Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart

Happy Thanksgiving!  I am currently sitting by the fire looking out the window at the Alpine glow.  It is just about sunset on a beautiful Thanksgiving day.  We are at the family cabin in Fairplay.  It is one of my favorite places to be, so I am very thankful today.  The only thing missing is the other half of my family.  We are celebrating this year with the Lords, so I am missing the Coombs-Luebcke side of the family today.

Kids made centerpieces!

This is how we roll on Thanksgiving morning.  Matching pi's and matching mimosas.

This week has been a good one.  We came up to the cabin on Sunday afternoon because the kids have the whole week off this year.  I must say, the beginning of the week wasn't that great for me.  I came down with a yucky bug on Saturday and it took until Wednesday to feel back to semi-normal.  Let's just say that the bathroom and I became good friends and I am thankful for soft toilet paper.  Is that too much information?

Yesterday, however, was one of those days that will stay with you forever.  It was darn near a perfect day. We (Mimi, Jameson, Ashlynn-with her broken wrist, and the non-skiing Lisa) took the pass over to Breckenridge to have lunch with the skiers.  It was a beautiful day.  Can you believe that I have never been up the gondola up to the base?  I can't either!   We had a fun ride on the Lolola (gondola-JJ style) and then waited at the base for them to come down.  It warmed my heart to see my boys (two little ones and one big one) come down the hill with HUGE smiles on their faces.  They love to ski!

The Lolola ride.  See the look of uncertainty?

We chatted, ate, drank (Shock top on tap, yes please!), and generally had a wonderful time.  Did I mention that we were eating outside without coats on?

I loved every minute of being on the mountain without having to ski.  I have never been a skier.  I tried it and was terrible at it.  I hated every minute of it (except the hot chocolate at lunch and the nap on the way home).  I don't like to be cold and I hated falling (which I spent most of my time doing).  Call me a wimp.  I would prefer to sit in the lodge drinking hot chocolate and reading a good book.  Everyone keeps asking me if I want to take it up again and I thank you.  I don't want to spend WAY too much money on something that I don't really like to do (plus, to be honest, I don't have the patience to sit in the parking lot with the kids for an hour while they get their gear on and listen to all of the whining that I am sure happens during the ski day).  I much prefer to kiss everyone goodbye, have a quiet house for the day, do some crafting, make some delicious dinner, kiss a tired group hello, eat a nice dinner and put everyone to bed nice and early.

This is how I roll on the ski slopes.  No extremely difficult to walk in boots for me!

After lunch, the skiers went up the lift again so that the camera lady could get some more action shots of them coming down the hill.  Thanks skiers for the photo ops!

The spray is the goal of every young skier

Loving every minute!

The Lord skiers.  To be added:  JJ at the end of this season.

Then the non-skiers headed over to the roller coaster (kind of like an alpine slide but with rails instead of a concrete track).  Yep, you read that right.  Breckenridge has a roller coaster and It. Is. Awesome.  I HAD to ride with JJ.  Someone had to.  I know, it was a hardship.  It was amazing. I enjoyed the ride up almost as much as the ride down.  Let's just say that the brake was never engaged and Jameson screamed most of the way down.  It was ridiculously expensive, but fun for the people who don't spend a ridiculous amount of money on ski passes every year.

Then we took the Lolola back down the hill (which scared Jameson more than the FAST roller coaster ride) and did a little shopping in town.  I love the shops in Breckenridge.  They are way over priced, but always give me good ideas for fun hand made things that I can make for half (or more) of the price!

Then we headed back over the pass to our little cabin in the woods where we had homemade chicken pot pie.  Sounds like a great day hu?   It was!

I hope your time with your family has been equally satisfying!  And remember what the veggie tales song says: "because a thankful heart is a happy heart".

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Erickson's New (one year old) Addition

So...your first child arrives and there is great fanfare.  You have lots of pictures and memory books and everything revolves around that child.  Then something equally important happens.  You have a second child.  Now you are in survival mode.  You are outnumbered (unless the hubby is home which only happens for 2-3 waking hours of the child's life- during the week days).  So for 21 hours a day, you are splitting your time and having to decide who's needs are more immediate.  (Let's not even get into what it is like when #3 comes along.  Let's just say in our house, on a daily basis there was a time-thankfully a short time- when all four of us were in tears.)

Enter the Erickson family.  Nils and Chris go way back.  When I say way back I mean like there are pictures of them in diapers together.  Don't you just love friends like that?  They get you in a way that no one else does.  Thankfully, Chris and Nils have kept in touch and our families like to spend time together (when we can make our busy schedules collide).  Karli (Nils' awesome wife) mentioned that they needed some new family pictures.  Last summer they built an amazing house and had baby number 2.  Can you say crazy busy?  I am not sure they can....they are too crazy busy even to say it.  Karli joked that they didn't have any pictures of Tate (#2) anywhere in their new, totally awesome, house.  I looked around and realized that she wasn't joking.  So, we got to work.

Here is what we came up with.

First comes love.

Then comes marriage.

Then comes a baby (or 4 year old in this picture).

Bodie and Friends

Don't you love his curtains?
Then comes chaos.  Number #2.  So much fun, but it takes you awhile to come up for air.  Hence the one year lag in pictures in the Erickson house.  I am sure that this is true all throughout the world.  So here is the debut of Tate Erickson.

And this one.  See the chaos in the background.  So cute right?

And the photoshoot wouldn't be complete without a brothers picture.  Want to know how to get a one year old to hold still for a picture?  You got it...lollipops.

They have a great bedroom with a cool bed, but it was a bit bright in there and the one year old didn't want to hold still for many pictures, so I am going to try again soon to get "the shot" that takes your breath away and has Christmas card status.  Wish me luck!

I love this family and are so grateful for them.  I love that my husband has his "little buddy" that he can talk to and live life alongside.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Meet the Chipmunks

Before the next holiday rolls around, I need to catch up on the last holiday.  Halloween.  I don't know why Halloween is such a crazy time of year.  Oh yeah, perhaps it is because I choose to hand make the boys costumes every year.  Let me clarify.  I pick out the theme (always have to have a theme while the boys will still let me) and go shopping with mom (gaining her approval for all patterns and fabric choices-while juggling at least two children at the fabric store-which they all HATE).  Then I worry and feel guilty that the fabric is sitting at mom's house while I am busy doing ten million other things.  Meanwhile, my mom is chained to her sewing machine making magic (on 6 costumes-because my sister is in the same boat).  I stop by whenever I can to help cut, press, pin and....oh yeah try to keep three little people entertained so that mom can work.  Needless to say, I don't do a whole lot other than lend emotional support and come up with brilliant ideas for difficult costumes.  However, every kids have the best costumes around (thanks mom).

This year, they were the Chipmunks.  They even learned the Christmas Song.  So cute!


Alvin is the life of the party.  He is the talent, but he is trouble.  That fits Tanner's personality to a tee!  He loved being Alvin....and his favorite color is red.  Worked out perfectly!


Simon is the smart one.  He is always thinking and is on the straight and narrow.....just like Makai.  Another perfect fit.  Makai's favorite  Works out again!


Everyone loves Theodore.  He is the cute little baby (with a little baby fat).  That is our little Jameson.  Not sure what his favorite color is, but he says it is green.  Is that just convenient.  Perhaps.

Together they make the Chipmunks.

Everyone loved seeing the chipmunks in action.  They were super cute.

I love a good theme.  I am already starting to think about next year.  What else can three little boys be?  They have already been bugs, knight and dragon, Disney characters, animals.  Oh well.  I am sure it will come to me.  I need to have a few months to convince the kids that this theme is what they really want to be.  It took me two years to convince them of the Chipmunks theme.  Aren't you glad they finally let me have my way?

Here are some of our traveling companions.  We cruised my parent's neighborhood because they don't get many trick or treaters and therefore, give out full size candy bars!

Totally worth the effort of going between the one acre lots in the neighborhood.

Here are some of our pumpkin carving escapades.

This is a close as JJ got to the guts

Boys love the guts

Makai got to carve his own this year.

Tanner's vampire pumpkin

So, Happy Halloween everyone!

A Few of My Favorite Things

Just a question.  Why is the song "A few of my favorite things" always played at Christmas time?  Sorry.  Just thought of that as I wrote the title.  I realize that it has been awhile since I have done a regular post.  Things have been a little crazy around here with Halloween, Chris' birthday and me working three jobs.  But this week things have been a little less crazy.  Until I think about all of the things I still have to do and that I am subbing both Thursday and Friday.  Oh well.....don't get ahead of yourself, right?

So, now for my favorite things.  I wanted to document my favorite Fall decoration.  It was given to me a few years ago for Christmas by my best girl and sister, Julie.  We have a fall party every year and she thought this would make a nice addition to my fall decor.  I think it is awesome!

I am sure she will make one for you, for a small fee of course.

Here is another one she made for little J.J. after he was born.  It hangs proudly in his room.

She even came over and stole the wall paint so she could paint the puzzle pieces so they would match exactly.  So cute right?  This is a favorite gift for a baby shower (I have done it in the past too.  Big hit and pretty easy).

My favorite year round decor?  This one.

Fits will all seasons, holidays, everything.  Best purchase at a craft fair...ever!  Wish I would have bought 10 so I could give them away as gifts.

Here is another of my newest favorite things.  I used to covet one of these.  One of my best friends had a purse like this and every time I saw it, I fell more in love.  Finally this summer, I got the meet the aunt that made it for her.  Now I have the pattern and I made one for myself that I LOVE!!!!!

Here is another one that I made that has yet to find a home.  Anyone want dibs on it?  The price would be about $50. 

Here are two more that are going to be made soon.  One is slated for a family member, the other for a friend.  You like?  I love!

I am willing to take orders if anyone wants one for themselves or for a friend.  They are time consuming and do take a considerable about of fabric, so they aren't cheap.  Sorry!  Let me know if you want one and we can work something out.  I also make mini ones.  I made a super cute one for a one year old birthday gift, but in the craziness of getting it done in time for the party, I didn't take a picture.  If you are interested in the little ones, they are only $30.  I will put up some pictures of some cute mini ones that my sister has made recently.  I can also embroider them with your name or initials.  (end of advertisement).

I love the fall.  It makes me want to craft and sew and drink hot cider.  Looking forward to a few more fall days before the snow starts falling.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meet the O's

This is Mr. and Mrs. O. 

See their three little O's in the window?
And these are their little O's.

And this is what life with three little boys is like.

Never. A. Dull. Moment.
Lori was worried.  They had never had professional pictures done before.  Well guess what, Lori?  No need to worry.  Look at how beautiful your family is!

This is a seriously sweet family.  I love little boys.  I don't mean that in a creepy way.  I ALWAYS wanted little girls.  It was all I had ever known.  Sisters, cousins (except one), friends....all girls.  But God knew what he was doing.  I have all boys and have never looked back.  Never for a second (especially when seeing the drama of the nieces *disclaimer-they are awesome little girls, just not when they are in drama mode) have I regretted not having a girl.  I love how boys are tough, but sweet.  I love how they are fuming at you one minute and the next, all is forgiven.  So this is a family I can relate with.  Lori, I feel your pain and your immense joy in your boys!

Let me introduce you.  This is Preston.

I mean, seriously.  Can this kid get more photogenic?  He was AMAZING during the shoot.  Always looking out for his brothers, doing exactly what I asked and he is a natural in front of the camera.  This is only one of the 10 great shots I have of just him!  I try to let kid incorporate their ideas into a shoot.  It makes them feel involved and sometimes their ideas are great and work really well.  This was his one picture request.

Tebowing.  So cute!
The middle child: Oliver.  Oliver reminded me so much of my own middle child, Tanner.  They are the cute, funny but don't want to do exactly what you want them to do kind of kid.  Love them, but they are always working an angle.  He had his fingers in his mouth a lot, but guess what....still SUPER cute.

Here is his idea for the picture. 

Cute hu?
Here was my idea for his picture.

Entitled "Ollie's Lolly"
Now meet sweet little Sam.  Sam is the baby.  I love the baby.  But the baby is hard to work with.  Trust me, I have a three year old too.  And when I can get him to look at the camera and smile, voila, he is the cutest thing you have ever seen.  But I have a LOT of really bad ones too (of my baby, not Lori's baby).  The baby of the family is the one that everyone loves and coddles and tries to get to smile. 

"I am cute and I know it"

This was Sam's pick.  What three year old doesn't want to sit on a gigantic fence made of piled wood?

Here is mom's pick (or it will be when she sees it).  There is nothing like a mom and her sons.

And dad's pick (or will be when mom sees it, because let's face it when it comes to pictures the dad just shows up in the clothes that have been laid out for him and keeps his mouth quiet and smiles-if he is smart).

And here is LiLo's pick.  You know it can't be a proper photo shoot without some leg shots.

And in case you didn't get enough of this beautiful family, here's one last one.

And if you really, really didn't get enough, hop on over to LiLo Photography on facebook.  And.....BOYS RULE!