Author Archive


Stop It.

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My sweet Adele just said her first two word combination. It’s a doozy: “Stop it.”

adele1Her second two word combo: “Love you!”

Is this what it will be like having a little girl? Sweet and terrifying at the same time? Love you, too, Delly! My little Princess Monster.




carriage ride & hair cuts

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We actually got to spend time all together this weekend. We wandered around in downtown Fort Morgan on Saturday afternoon browsing in little businesses and decorating cookies at the Fort Morgan Times. A little later we found a new barbershop to trim the boys homeless-looking locks. They are so handsome, no? Adele felt very grown up walking on the sidewalk by herself.

Thanks to a horse named Jade, I was reminded of why we love being in a small town. We rode around in a traditional carriage with velvet-covered seats. We slowly made our way around the library and our favorite park. Passed the post office where the employees know you by name. The pace of life here forces you to actually know your neighbors and the man who bags your groceries. Enjoy the pics and come visit if you want to slow down for a minute. We might even find a few horses for you to ride or hay to climb.


Living With Phin.

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Phin is hilarious. He is also really into a PBS Kids show called WordGirlHere is how he uses his expanded vocabulary at home.

Phin: (Threatening voice) Dad, if you don’t share that smoothie with me I’ll make you swelter!

Nate: (skeptical) How will you make me swelter?

Phin: I don’t have to tell you.

Epilogue: Phin got a glass of smoothie.


Snuggle Books: Our #blog4cause Project

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What Nate is thinking: “Enough elaborate projects already!”

What Alli is thinking: “I know. I know. But this one only lasts a few weeks!”


So, I wanted to help teach Phin the concept of empathy. It’s a tricky one for all of us. I was reading my favorite early childhood blog and was inspired. She and some other mommy-bloggers are doing great holiday service and spreading the cheer with the twitter hashtag #blog4cause. I decided  join in the fun.

Phin spent a little time in a hospital this year and we brought a few books along. He told me that it helped him feel better. So…Phin and I are collecting new books for all of the pediatric patients admitted to Colorado Plains Medical Center during 2013. We talked about a few ideas and this is the one he came up with, “Snuggle Books.” (He quickly vetoed the title, “Cuddle Books.”)

Phin stated in his adorably, thoughtful way, “When kids are sick they need a really good book to read. Especially if they’re snuggling with a mama.”

We’ve already received fabulous support from The Fort Morgan Library. And a rumor has it that the Fort Morgan High School Drama Department will also… 🙂

How can you contribute? 

  • Donate a New Book appropriate for ages 0 – 7 (Must be new, hospital administration says so for infection control.)
  • Help spread the word about “Snuggle Books” using email and social media
  • Donate $ to help package the books (we’re using cellophane and ribbon)
We’re collecting books from now until December 20th.

Thanks for helping Phin with his first service project!

Email me if you’d like a PDF with all of the information.


Fall is here.

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Sorry for the long pause between posts. I’ve been spending my online time over at Don’t Panic Mom. Kids only nap for so long…

Not a lot of text today. The pics will speak for themselves. Life is good.


First Day Back.

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Nate will begin his fourth academic year in Fort Morgan tomorrow morning at 7:30 am. I know he is ready. He bought two directing batons this weekend and excitedly described them to me. Love this man. 

Here’s a little pic for my honey to remember our favorite Stay-cation days. Thanks for working hard for our family. I love having such a lovely roof over my head. Here’s to year number four!


she’s walking.

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It’s official. The little lady is mobile.


Summer, Over!??!

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Summer Updates:

  • Our garden is beautiful. New plants this year: Purple Potatoes, Lemon Cucumbers, Dragon Tongue Green Beans, and Purple Kohlrabi.
  • We had a new nephew born in late May. Welcome to the party little one!
  • Our chickens are not laying yet. I scold them everyday I fail to find eggs.
  • Our little lady turned one. I actually have photos from her party, thanks to a darling mother-in-law.
  • Our home was filled with good music from voice and piano students.
  • Phin taught Eli to play a C-major scale.
  • Phin loves to ride his orange bike to church on Sunday mornings. He even has his own ‘parking space’ on the side of the building.
  • We started participating in Bountiful Baskets.
  • Both boys still sleep on the bottom bunk together. When we suggest they split up, they simply say, “But [other brother’s name] will be so lonely!”
  • We use the blender every day. Both boys knowingly slurp smoothies with spinach and kale.
  • We finally replaced the white couch in our living room. Nate is thrilled that our new one is long enough for him to nap on. As if he will ever do that.
  • We frequented the library, Riverside Park, and our favorite hang out: the backyard.
Enjoy these shots of Adele’s party:

leave it.

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Here are all of the “leaves” from our gratitude tree. Contributors include family, friends, piano students, extended family, and neighbors. I am typing the entries as the boys hand them to me off the tree. I thought about saving them in a baggie and then unearthing them a year later in storage. But then the “blog fairy” whispered that I could just make a GREAT post to share. Here’s to a wonderful tradition:

  • Phin is grateful for “ooooo-ooooo Bananas!”
  • Mama is grateful for how Eli says, “EEEEEE-ow” for “Meow”
  • Experience and Progression
  • Libraries
  • The Book of Mormon
  • Hearing Eli Pray
  • The Hallelujah Chorus
  • I am Grateful for Phin and Eli – Taylor
  • Phin “Leaves!”
  • Eli: “Trash Truck!”
  • Family that shares
  • Croutons
  • Adele’s Smile
  • Eli: “Cookies!”
  • Phin says, “I’m grateful for strawberries on my cake. That makes me happy.”
  • Eli: “Tubby Time”
  • Adele is grateful for kisses from her brothers.
  • Papa is thankful for the end of the musical!
  • Warm Socks
  • Hearing Phin Laugh
  • I am very thankful for celebrating Eli’s birthday today and for all my precious great-grand kids. -Grandma S
  • “Unicorns!” Says Phin
  • Family, Friends, the Gospel
  • Phin: “I’m grateful for Heavenly Father & this food!”
  • Blueberries
  • Eli says, “aw-wer-ries!” (strawberries)
  • I am grateful for my artistic ability
  • I am thankful for the world
  • I am thankful for my shelter
  • Adele: “Midnight Feedings”
  • Alli: “I am grateful for adventurous eaters!”
  • Wonderful Grandchildren
  • “I am thankful for music.” -Lillian
  • I am grateful for Abinadi and his teachings
  • Great-Grands -Poppa Great
  • Eli: “For Apples!
  • I am grateful for a kind, loving family that feeds me and does other things
  • I am grateful for truth and direction in my life & for eternal families
  • When Eli sings “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” he says, “won-a won-a what you are.” SO CUTE!
  • Thankful for my family, cats, toys, friends, flowers, and trees
  • Phin: “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”
  • Wonderful Grandchildren
  • I’m thankful for Jesus and Church
  • Working Car
  • Nate: “Weekends!”
  • Eli: “Colors! Pink, White, Purple, Black.”
  • Our Family -Grammy Jo
  • Health & Strength & Food & Shelter & Lots of Hugs
  • Peanut butter Apple Dip
  • Phin: “Sparkling Snow”
  • The Internet (amen!)
  • Alli: “Getting one-on-one time with Adele at night when the boys are asleep”
  • I am thankful for my church, family, and friends – Morgan
  • I am grateful for God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ
  • Loving Family
  • Glasses & Contacts
  • Fresh Garden Tomatoes
  • I am grateful for a wonderful family and great friends. -Chris
  • Listening to Phin tell stories
  • Nate: “I am grateful for a hot wife.”
  • Eli: “Sprinkles” (the dust specks you can see floating in light coming through a window)
  • Nate: Wrestling with Phin and inventing a new game called “Ghost Fight”
  • I’m grateful for the love of my wife & family- all the grands and great-grands.
  • I’m thankful for my family, food, clothes, and friends. -Emma

“Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.

This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways.

We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. President Thomas S Monson

Life is good.


a little hint.

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Here is one of my favorite pics from Autumn so far:

Our neighbors are REALLY good at staying on top of their yard. It was mowed weekly, fertilized on a schedule, etc. Our lawn was usually green. Enough said. Anyway, a few weeks ago we had a gentle reminder from our neighbors that it was time to rake. I laughed outloud when I took this picture.

We surprised Nate by raking the leaves while he was at work. It was a perfect afternoon with LOTS of giggling, running, and diving. I love having toddlers. We finished the day with making a Gratitude Tree. Every morning at breakfast I ask the boys, “What are you grateful for? What makes you happy?” Some of the entries so far:

Phin: “I’m grateful for Unicorns!”

Eli: “Straw-re-ries”

Alli: “Midnight Feedings with Adele”

Here’s to a wonderful season! What are you grateful for?