fall flavors

Although I've had little time to blog this fall, I just finished our family's October menu and thought I'd pass it on if it helps you organize or inspires your family's meal planning this month.
Most every dinner recipe comes from the Whole Foods website.
Until next time, I leave you with these photos, taken today on our family's hike in the Rocky Mountain National Park.


summer with my children

send them outside 
these last summer days
into the sunlight, warmth, freedom
of forts and crickets and skinned knees and wading pool and ice pops dripping with summer heat.

summer days when

Catherine goes from four wheels to two 
training wheels come off

Jude goes from four limbs to two

Jack goes from needing diapers to finding trees and rocks for those things

Camille rides, pedals to the metal and skids out, 
her personality in a bike ride.

summer days long and bright grow faintly shorter
morning air faintly crisper
aspen leaves changing, lightening not yet yellow

the boxes - white and large, brown and small - arrive
new books, yet unread
new texts, yet unanswered
new days, unknown
excited, jittery
Catherine's school days about to begin.

frustration wanting to reach forward,
ache wanting to stay behind
here in this sweet nostalgia of summer with my children.


golden summer days

Our family hiked a favorite route around Lily Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park
Sunday afternoon. 
We can't get enough of these golden summer days and these golden days in our children's lives. 
Our hearts are full of thankfulness everywhere we look.

NPS Ranger Jude 

after-hike picnic fun


summer's peak

Summer's at its peak in the High Country!
We're making the most of these last summer evenings by firing up the grill and enjoying the season's best produce.

Click here if you'd like to visit our our printable August menu!
Want to find the recipes? Many of our August suppers are from Whole Foods.
Others you can find through google. 

If you're just in, you are welcomed to visit our posts on menu rationale and method.



summer activities for preschoolers #6
(the sixth in a weekly series of ideas for families with preschoolers...
please feel free to share your own by clicking "comments" below!)

6. keep the postman busy.

Address some envelopes to friends and family you don't often see. Do you hang on to your child's artwork? I keep each week's art (summer activity #4) in a file and bring it out when we post.

We talk about each person the envelopes are addressed to, by

understanding how we know them
remembering visits with them
discussing memories of them.

Then I ask each child to choose some of his or her artwork to send along to that friend or family.

We don't have any expectation for our children's art to be framed by the ones we post to... the idea is just to say hello, we miss you, and we're thinking of you!


skips in the record

Records. Record players. Remember those?
Did your record player ever skip?
Earlier this summer, our blog was running pretty smoothly, but somewhere along the way there have been a few skips in our record (modern readers, read: scratches in our CD?).
Just to make you aware, if our blog skips from time to time, and I'm not here as regularly, I have been needed more by my family. They are my divine priority, so that's where I am!
We will post as able.


shopping with Jack

Shopaholics warning: material may make you cry with discomfort!

Because we live so far from "suburbia", shopping isn't a thing we do for fun... it's something we just do.

Driving down to the Valley (think: Target, WalMart, Costco) takes 1 1/2 hours. One way. Between Nap and Bed is squeezed Driving and Shopping.

Putting words like "Squeezed" and "Shopping" together may drive some of you madly uncomfortable.

Kinda like wearing shoes or pants that are too tight.

When we shop, we follow "The List".

Now some of you are really squirming... relax. Jack's about to learn the word "Browse".

With Catherine's birthday approaching, Erik and I agreed that I would dash away to shop at Target and Michael's with the boys while he followed "The List" and hit Costco with the girls.

Here are some of the conversations Jack and I had on our shopping spree:

strolling up and down the aisles, trying to find some sweet, thoughtful things for Catherine's day

Jack: Mom, we are LOST.
Mama: No, Jack, we are browsing.

Mama: Jack, what do you think Catherine would enjoy for her birthday?
Jack: RACE-TARS! (racecars)
Mama: Jack, would you like race cars for your birthday?
Jack: yes!
Mama: Let's think about what Catherine would like for HER birthday.
Jack (pauses, thinking): MOTORCYCLES!

Jack: Is that for me?
Mama: No, this is for Catherine's birthday.
Jack: Is THAT for me?
Mama: No, this is for Catherine's birthday.
Jack: I don't WANT Taf-frin's birf-day. I want MY birf-day!

Jack: Maybe we get Taf-frin some princesses for her birf-day.