Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Are you there? We moved!

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Oh neglected blog, how you have been missed.  I have a lot of catching up to do and yet, I STILL have minor writer’s block.  Perplexing!

We moved into a new *old* house this fall and it has been so fun to set it all up and make it our own.  What a blessing the season of living with Caleb’s parents was.  Our “Life in the Sticks” was precious to me in so many ways and I learned an incredible amount.  I also loved that chance to see my kids natural life nurtured through chickens and gardening and playing in the great outdoor.  However, as the school year commenced, it was all so lovely to wake 45 minutes before the opening bell and make it to school on time, with a brief 4 minute drive.

So, I’m going to hit “publish” and see if this works, more to come soon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer Recap

I really did want to “unplug” this summer.  Put away the facebook, blogging and TV and just enjoy some good time with the kids.  After all, Avery did graduate from Kindergarten and McClaine was headed there in the fall.  We needed some good quality time to make mudpies and play in the sprinkler.aves gradAnd enjoy the East Texas “beaches.”  Which we really did, this is not a beach at all, but we pretended.  It was really a muddy lake with beach-like quicksand shores.  I am learning that if you really zoom in, people can’t tell if you are in Bermuda or at Lake Tawakoni.audrey waterThough we didn’t quite make it unplugged, I did give blogging a little break (hence the exhaustive recap) and somehow we are surviving record consecutive days of over 100 degree weather with minimal help from Nick Jr.  And we did manage to get in some good playing in the backyard until the worst drought in Texas history turned our grass into straw.playing outsideAt the beginning of June, I left the kids with Caleb and flew with my brother and sister-in-law, Beth, to Colorado to wish my dad a happy 70th.  My Uncle Tommy picked us up in Denver and we spent the morning there with he and my cousin, Brittny.tom and ryanbeth and britcousins    Then we drove up to Vail for my dad’s birthday party.  We were going to make the whole thing a surprise, but we had to tell my dad for reasons you will soon find out… but, we did surprise my Aunt Janice and Jimmy Ray.  Check out the surprised looks when we jaunted into their barber shop from TEXAS.surprise



We went to Los Amigos for my dad’s birthday party.  Los Amigos is the restaurant that my parents started in the 70’s at the base of Vail Mountain.  There were tons of Vail Pioneers that joined us in the celebration.  Here’s a couple quick family pictures.fam pic  Janice

me and dadSeems everyone one had a pretty great time, because I had to drive these three kids home after the festivities.  Brandt (Brittny’s husband) asked me if I could drive them home in his truck.  “Sure,” I exclaimed.  And then I met her.  Lord have mercy.  This beast was a PAIN to get out of the parking structure in Vail Village let alone drive up Wildridge!  But I conquered.  Missing a gas pedal, dashboard lights, seatbelts and first gear, made our next challenge of this Colorado trip a breeze.iphone 750

Meet the Penske.  My dad has been asking me for years to come get some of his cool treasures so he doesn’t have to keep storing them.  So we obliged and rented a moving truck, loaded two storage rooms full of stuff and headed back to Texas- just me, Beth and Ryan and a big ol’ load.iphone 836It was a lot of fun going through dad’s stuff.  He is so kind and wanted us to enjoy the stuff he has while he is still living.  Thanks dad!  But… we’ll pass on that nasty jar of unidentified product and the O’Johnny port-a-pot!dad and port a john Now would be a good time to tell you how terrifying it is to drive a moving truck through the mountains of Colorado.iphone 739There’s just no way I can capture the sheer drop-off of this pass that we drove over.  It was so dang scary.  It made me really thankful that my bro has his CDL and knows how to drive the big rigs! iphone 822 iphone 759 It really was gorgeous too.iphone 821

After conquering Monarch Pass, we went ahead and let Rojo act silly at the local Salida WalMart.  He really did deserve it.iphone 827 When I got home, my big ol’ boy turned FIVE!  And he did not want a Superman, or Spiderman party.  Nope.  He wanted a…mc fb

That’s right, purdy darlin’.  My boy had a Rifleman party.  Yeehaw.july aug 2011Later this summer, Caleb and the kids and I spent a great, refreshing weekend in San Antonio on our way out to the West Texas Ft. Davis Mountains.  We go every first week in August for Bloys’ Camp Meeting.san antonionThis is such a special time for our family and I look forward to the fellowship, worship and eating cookies on the porch while the kids dig in the dirt.better fam cmThe kids are getting big enough that they can help feed the nearly 500 people that go through the Means-Evans cookshed for every meal.  Here Audrey and McClaine are serving up biscuits. We do manage to make it out to dinner in town once during the week.  So here’s a group of us out on the town!grown upscm group   This is a picture of the courageous kids and select parents that venture up the mountain to hike to the bat (4) And here they are in the bat cave!!!batcave This is always such a great way to wrap up the summer, spend time with people we love and relax before…kids cm

we put our uniforms on for a new year of the blessing of school!  Thank you, Lord, for a great summer and a new school year on the horizon!back to school

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dabbling in Design

April 202Hello there! I realize that it has been entirely too long since my last post and quite honestly I feel like every post that I do write starts just the same- “it’s been a while.” No doubt about it, I find it increasingly challenging to keep up with being a mother of four wonderful and energetic children and all that goes with it- the laundry, the dishes, the teaching, the cooking, the potty training and the training up in the Lord.

I also feel the pressing need to make every post that I do write seasoned with grace and laughter and joy, and that’s just really tough to do when you only have fractured thoughts and frequently interrupted conversations and only about four point six moments to sit down at the computer. I am finding that I get lured into the quick status updates on Facebook because you are usually only held accountable for <25 words!

My mom did come to visit over Mother’s Day weekend and it was such a treat to see her. I am sure my Azalea post convinced her to get her on the plane, but be certain that the sweet kisses and laughter from my children had her perusing for some possible winter homes in Texas. Or was it that I took her to Ross? Or perhaps the fact that she had to drive home from Denver airport in a snowstorm?

Whatever the case was, it was just a lovely weekend. I truly am so blessed to be a mother of these sweet and funny kids of mine.

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I have also been dabbling in design, and contemplating opening an Etsy shop with my very fabulous and talented mother-in-law. She makes to-die-for birthday cards in a mixed-media style with fabric and such. They are very lovely and very labor intensive, and so while the recipient treasures the one they receive, it would be so fun to share. I have been working in collaboration with her in using her designs to create stationary stationery (note to self- learn the correct spelling of the item that you are considering selling) and greeting cards.

This is a scan of the original card that Mona made me for my birthday,
you can’t really tell, but it is fun fabric and even an illustration of Lassie stitched onto thick watercolor paper.

scanned original tyne

This is a quick example of a personalized note card (post card)Flower stationary white border copy This is a photograph of a card that she made for my nephew Wyatt for his second birthday (it very much resembles Zipper the dog)Wyatt's 2nd birthday 005

And a Wyatt post card that uses her design-wyatt and zip copy This is a photograph of a card that she made for Margaret last year
(with scraps of wrapping paper from the baby shower in honor of Margaret when she was pregnant with her!)June 2010 009-1

And this is a note card using that design that I will probably give as a set to my cousin Jode for her birthday this year.
Glad she doesn’t read my blog or it might ruin the surprise.jodeThis was the Christmas card that I made for her family last year-

final front copy

and the back-final back copy

We’re just thinking about testing the water. It would be nice to do something you enjoy and make a little money while you’re at it, right? So, I have been spending those very few moments when the children are nestled all snug in their bed, to mess with design a bit, and it is so much fun.

And keeps me from blogging. So there’s a good chance that the next post will begin the same as this one.

Be blessed, friends!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Usually Don't Cuss

Really, I don't.

But in an attempt to customize the font on my post titles, I reverted back to the classical design and



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Running Their Hearts Out and Emptying Your Wallets (all for a good cause)

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Avery and McClaine ran in their school Jog-A-Thon last week and it was awesome.  I was so proud of them for their fund raising efforts, their desire to give back to the school that has been such a blessing to them and their endurance as they ran the race set before them.Jog-a-thon 011 copy

They had each set goals of how many laps to run-
Avery set the goal of 35 laps and McClaine set the goal of 30 laps.  They received pledges for each lap that they ran and I think some of their sponsors were a little surprised when they called them with the final tally.Jog-a-thon 029 copy

Avery ended up running 44 laps and McClaine ran 42 laps! 
Together they raised nearly $800 for their school.Jog-a-thon 030 copy Audrey was altogether a wonderful helper,Jog-a-thon 004

And played independently and with other children while I punched holes furiously for the high school students that ran laps (to keep track of how many they ran).Jog-a-thon 040

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This school has been such a tremendous blessing to our family and I have come to value even more after their first year, a Classical Christian Education.  
This essay by Dorothy Sayers started the revival of Classical Education,
it is a wonderful and thought-provoking read if you are interested.