Sunday, November 29, 2009


Recently I've been thinking a lot about change. Change is one of those sometimes dreaded, even difficult necessities. Other times, of course, it can be most welcomed. But, it's an inevitability nonetheless. And all though there is change we have no control over, I've come to realize, over my short lifetime of 30 years, that change can and should be embraced and can ultimately be loved for what it truly is, regardless of how it comes. I've come to be grateful for change, even, and most especially, the difficult ones. I have to say here, first, that there hasn't been any real big changes in my life recently, nothing that would blow any one's socks off or anything, nothing that would seemingly make a huge, or even a slight impact on my life. But, do you ever get the feeling like the subtle, small changes taking place in your life will one day, in retrospect, be noted as the bench mark experience(s) that will have lead you to some place in life you never really expected to be, or maybe some place you've dreamed of being but didn't really feel like it was going to be a part of your life simply because from the vantage point of current circumstances it just didn't even seem possible? I don't feel like I'm putting into words very well what I'm feeling, and maybe it's because I can't exactly put my finger on it yet, I don't know. What I do know is that it's a good feeling, a peaceful feeling and it is blessing me to be able to let "come what may, and love it." It's that feeling that all these little changes happening, cumulatively speaking, will one day, in retrospect, amount to a big change in who I am and what I'll be and what I will be doing. I suppose what's hard sometimes about change is that you don't realize or let yourself see the big picture, and because of that, it can be difficult to appreciate the challenge of change because, from our limited view point, it doesn't seem like it could possibly lead to anything greater.

So, I sit here today, in gratitude for this little lesson of life....That the change that takes place in our lives, even the ones, and probably most especially the ones beyond our personal control(because these seem to be the ones hardest for us to deal with, accept, and least for me), are indeed the catalysts to something greater, something beyond us, beyond ourselves. I say beyond ourselves only because I know that without the guiding hand of an all knowing and all loving Father in Heaven in our lives, there could never be anything greater , and we alone could never make anything truly great of ourselves. It is this faith and hope that can carry us through these changes in our lives. It enables us to recognize change for what is really is and know with assurance that it is meant to be used for our good and betterment. It is truly a gift from God. Thus, we can grow to love with all of our hearts and be full of gratitude for, embrace and look forward to all the change that has and will come in our lives.

Early Birdy Gets The...

FLANNEL!!! OH, yeah!
For the last couple of years my sister-in-law, Holly, has persuaded me to wake up before the crack of dawn on Black Friday to hit the door bustin' deal on flannel at JoAnn's. It's crazy(...she's more crazy:), but I have to admit, this year she hardly had to say a word to convince me to go. But, this year we weren't 5 min away from the store. Both of us had stayed here in Bonners for Thanksgiving, so we had to leave here at 4:00 to get there at a quarter to 6, fifteen minutes before they opened. I know it's nuts, but really who can pass up buying a year supply of flannel at 1.49 a yard? Not me! It's so great to have it on hand. Anyway, I saved over $200 dollars on my purchase, spending only 76 buckaroos! Isn't that fabulous?!! Love it!

However I have yet to be convinced that it's worth it to go anywhere else on black Friday. Lines, the lines are way too long:)

Thankgiving 2009

Thanksgiving this year was hosted here at our house for the first time. I was a little nervous at first when I decided to take on the challenge. I've never been in charge of Thanksgiving for various reasons (mainly feeling the pressure of making things perfect so not to spoil everyone's most anticipated meal of the year), but I thought it was time for me overcome my apprehensions and fears. I prayed a lot and luckily my mom and sister were here to help and I knew they would be encouraging, and forgiving and would still love me if things went a little array. Things turned out great...even better than I had hoped. And the great part, I felt little stress. I worked really hard on Wednesday, got everything done that could be, and then Thursday, though still busy, was so not stressful. It was such a good experience for was definitely a lot of work, but so, so worth it to prepare something so enjoyable for people that I love so much.

Everything was homemade. I know to others, that's like a given at Thanksgiving, but there were a lot of firsts for me, so I think I was rightfully nervous about preparing it all.

I made rolls (I guess it was the second time I made them...I tried the recipe last week to make sure I could handle it and that they would turn out okay.

I made homemade cranberry sauce. If I do say so myself, this was the best cranberry sauce I have ever had:)

Stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, Spiced Wassail, appetizers for earlier in the day, pumpkin bread.
Mom made all the pies, and Shawnte' made the turkey glaze and a wonderful green salad and breakfast for us that morning. It was so, so yummy.

We watched a movie and watched the boys play in the turkey bowl. Mostly just enjoyed one anothers coversation and company.

I'm so grateful for Thanksgiving...I love that we get together and celebrate our gratitude with each other. Wonderful, wonderful experience.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The 3 Stooges 8/17

Here's some cute pictures of the girls and cousin Tory just hammin' it up. Love that kids can be so entertained and enthralled with the simplest of things.

Playin' in the Rain Aug 13-14

Enjoying the aftermath of a warm summer's rain, while mom and dad clean out the garage. Love these pics!

Yellowstone Trip 8/9-8/12

We only had a few days for a trip this year, so we decided to forego our usual trip to the Oregon Coast and hit Yellowstone instead. What an incredible place! It's so beautiful. 2 days in the park was hardly enough to see everything there is to see. But what we did see was impressive to say the least. It's definately a place we'd love to go back and spend more time. The sights are breathtaking. Really, it's hard to believe there is such a place that has so many strange and unusual geological things happening.

Let's Wiggle!!!! July 18,2009

Nana, bless her sweet heart, bought all of her little grandkiddies, and their mommies, tickets to see THE WIGGLES, Live! Oh, boy was it fun! I've never been to a cooler concert:) No, was so fun to watch the kids get into it. Our little cousin Breck is way, way into the Wiggles, so it was especially fun to watch him. He was star struck! Here are some pictures of the this unforgettable event:

Friday, July 3, 2009

4th of July Weekend...

The 4th was pretty low key and laid back. It was nice. Owen cooked up some burgers for us on the ol' grill and we played in the yard and had a nice bbq dinner. Then we waited.... and waited...and finally got to go into town to watch the fireworks show at the fairgrounds. It's so fun to watch the kids get excited about all the colors and fun shapes they could point out as they watched the display. It was really quite an impressive show for a little town. And the crowd was big, for Bonners Ferry anyway. Of course, nothing like CDA, so it wasn't as stressful trying to keep the kids together... and it only took us 15 min to get home... yeah!!!(...and we live at least 10 miles out of town.) Remembering the many 4th's spent at the lake in downtown Coeurd'Alene, the one big annoying bummer of the evening, was the drive was a good 2 hours at least to get home traveling the same distance we do here. We got a much better deal this year, in my opinion.

Kaelynn took great care in making sure her ear drums didn't "blow out":)

Sunday, we headed up to Yaak, MT to see some of Owen's family who were up visiting from Kalispell, MT and Coeur d' Alene. It was a nice family get together. Owen's brother, John, blessed their son Alma while we were there. Afterwards we had a nice dinner and let the kids play while the rest of us chatted and caught up with one another.
Unfortunately I have no pictures to prove any of this happened...bummer!:(

Gone Fishin'! 7/1/09

Braden has been begging us to take him fishing for some time, and so Owen brought home the conoe from the school and we decided one evening to take the family fishin. We went out to Bonner Lake, just a little lake up the road from our house. It was so awesome! I don't know exactly what was wrong with these fish but they were practically jumping in our boat...seriously. Kaelynn caught two fish with just a bait, just a hook. Crazy, but great for the kids. They loved it! Braden and Kaelynn both caught four fish each. Had it been left up to the kids, we would have stayed out there all night. Needless to say, we had a few meltdowns on our way back in...

Look, Papa, I did it!!!

Umm, Kaelynn, Are You Feeling Okay? 6/27-28

So, Saturday, Kaelynn woke up with these little bumps all over her body...not a ton, but enough, and they looked like little mosquito bites. She was itching like crazy. I just thought the poor thing got eaten alive all night by some mosquito that somehow got stuck in bed with her.

Well, the day progressed and the "bites" seemed to be spreading, and not only spreading but getting bigger. By that afternoon I was convinced this probably wasn't mosquito bites. She acted totally normal, besides the itching, she was completely Kaelynn. So, I was baffled. Did I really need to worry about this? She seemed totally fine, but this rash thingy was looking uh, really scary.
That evening we were headed to Sandpoint to go out on the boat with Owen's Dad, so we decided to swing by urgent care on our way there. The doc looked a little shocked, but seemed convinced that this was simply a reaction to t a spider bit and that we would just need to manage the itching and it would go away. So we treated her with benadryl and oatmeal wash and dermacort in hopes we would see some improvement. Much to our dismay, that night was horrible and she started a fever and her body began swelling.
The next day, we obviously kept Kaelynn home from church, but in his early morning meetings, Owen mentioned to the Bishop, who is a local physician, that Kaelynn had gotten this strange rash, and to us seemed completely unexplainable. He told Owen to bring her to church after all the meetings were over, that afternoon, and he would take a look at her.
He was obviously not expecting what he saw, but he had apparently seen something similar. He had some crazy name for it...but in the medical field there was no known cause. He was certain this was not an allergic reaction, but just a rash that would take it's course and go away without any apparent cause.
And so we took it. We gave her Zyrtec and let it take it's course. And by Tuesday, there was no evidence there had ever been a rash of any kind. Her skin looked completely normal. It was the strangest thing, and nearly gave me a heart attack worrying about what was going on with my little girl. But all is well and now we have some great pictures of this inexplicable rash that will make for some awesome story telling in the years to come!