big (new)s…

January 15, 2011

go here.


here are more of our favorite people.

this is gary’s sister’s family…

and play we did

at manning park.

from left to right/ top to bottom:

brenden, duane, kathleen, me, gary, dustin, jordan, jane, holly, taija, bo and char.

it was a day of making memories, driving, warming up our toes, eating, hunting for gloves and more driving.

it was also the first time my kids where on a tube in the snow …

they loved it.

i’m proud to say they even triumphed the advanced run with squeals for more.

i am equally proud to say i triumphed the advanced run without peeing my pants.

when we first arrived, bo was having his normal grumpy after nap time.  i’m sure waking up in freezing cold mountain air wasn’t helping the situation.

we literally stuck him in a tube and thrust him down the hill.

his first instinct was horror but nearly 2 seconds into the ride he exclaimed,

“it’s beautiful.”

and the rest is history.

yes… i even took janie down the bunny hill.

and although she didn’t cry,

i’m not sure she liked it as much as being in her cousin, jordan’s arms.

they had a thing.

if he was in the room she was in his arms or sitting next to him, with her arm on his…

i’m not exaggerating.

yes again, i duct taped their mits on.

it was probably my most brilliant idea to date.

every time i spend time with these people i  remember how much i like them.

and i love that they are my family…

p.s. duane,  if we could bottle your laugh,

the world would be a better place.

dear gary…

January 7, 2011

i love you more than your bread is sexy.

and this photo is hilarious.

i love you


than we need a 24 hour period away from our house, our children, our identities.

i love you more than you are tired… and grumpy (that’s a ton).

i love you more than modern family is our new favorite show.

and more than i laughed at the valentines episode….

i love you more than i am enjoying salt and vinegar kettle chips (right now, at this very moment, in fact).

and more than it’s raining cats and dogs

and more than your little mazda pick-up truck must lick heiny in this weather.

and more than i am thankful you are so gracious.

to me.

i love you so much i won’t post a photo of you sleeping with socks on your hands.

instead i will highlight that you took the christmas tree out of the living room while i was in class because you love me too.


harris play…

January 6, 2011

this year gary and i had our hearts set on a quiet christmas day with our kids.

fortunately our families were supportive and so we arranged for alternative times to

celebrate together.

we got together with my family the weekend before christmas.

this is my family:

and it’s getting bigger every year.

last year we received one of our most handsome members to date.

i’ll let you guess who i’m talking about.

this year we get another member

she happens to be a size zero blond.


oh, hi nicole (smile).

i’m pretty proud to belong to this group of people.

they have made a beautiful life out of loving and sharing and forgiving…

they are experts at creating, improvising and finding magic in the dark spaces.

it is a lifetime of grace and gratitude that binds us together.


they love food and sharing a meal as much as i do…

(well, we are still working on nicole.)

this year, roody bought my dad a lobster for christmas.

it, and the bisque that came after was a highlight for sure!

and finally,

they are also masters of play.

this year after our christmas feast we pushed aside the

dishes and did this:

are you picking up what i’m putting down?

marshmallow wars, people!

they are the best-

a must if you want to feel really alive!

i’m not going to lie, uncle rus had cut-throat technique

he’d fill his cheeks with marshmallows and then spit the sticky ammo right in our faces.

i had to pick a marshmallow off my neck more than once.

also, i was impressed with auntie kina’s snyper skills.

well played, kina!

rematch july 4, 2011? hey? hey?

janie didn’t care so much about shooting her gun as she did eating the marshmallows.


i believe this is my parent’s holding up the kids in the play house.

it was epic.

thanks mom and dad.

there were also puzzles or…

a “puzzle war” for mom and dad’s change jar, i should say.

(so american, right?)

and the winners are…

of course.

i love you family.

how could i not.

with the holidays behind us,

daddy back at work

and all the company gone home,

i look around my home and notice a subtle (or maybe not too subtle) grime on most surfaces.

i haven’t updated my blog in weeks.

the mail is piled up.

the pantry is empty

(and so is my bank account.)

something inside of me is craving productivity and

i’m ready for routine.

we had a wonderful

maybe even, one of our best


we celebrated with friends

and all of our immediate family at some point in the season.

we ate well, despite not having an oven

(can you say pico de gallo!)

we enjoyed a quiet christmas morning with our kids.

we watched christmas movies


we played.

we played a lot.

and not in a



but in



check it out:

that’s right.

plasma cars, people.

so much fun, you ignore the ache in your lower back and hip-flexors.

in fact,

plasma cars might just be as much fun as


can i just say, our household completed

four 1,000 piece puzzles over the 2010 holiday!

show it! (inside joke).

anyway, that’s how we started off our holidays

and pretty much, it set the course.

christmas 2010 aka “too busy…play’n

to be continued….

merry christmas…

December 25, 2010

i thought it would be fun to share what our kids will wake up to

tomorrow morning.

it’s pretty fun to be a parent and to get to create the christmas magic.

my parents did it so well.


they still do.

i cannot help but think how rich in blessings we are…

and my heart feels full because of this story.

many many blessings to you and yours this christmas.

not to brag…

December 24, 2010

but i’m pretty sure

jane is a genius.


then again,

so are my other kids.

news from the loo.

December 16, 2010


miss foxy had puppies in the bathroom sink today

(“puppies” or a really small stuffed horse, a pig, a small rabbit and two mini puppies).

as you can see, the family is thrilled.

i think that makes me a great grandmother.

pretty much, all day, as is common with new mothers,

foxy bonded under blanket and nursed her new puppies,

that’s right,

in the bathroom sink.

i’m going to get use to brushing my teeth in the kitchen.

according to my mom, i use to play in the bathroom when i was little too.

(the memories are vague but i sorta recall coaxing my brother to dinner parties in front of the tub).

it must be genetics.

cause i don’t know another child on the planet that does.

in other news, my kitchen oven in out of commission.

the part (we hope) has been ordered.

delivery date is in 3-4 weeks.

can you say bye-bye christmas turkey.

to be honest,

i don’t know if i’m sad

or relieved.




December 14, 2010

for some reason these blurry photos

help me remember

i really do like her

(actually i like her a whole lot).

we are nearing the 18-24 month stage


h-e-l-l (help! what is a better word for this?)


tantrums, testing boundaries, “no!” and of course, my personal favorite, meal time battles.

i know this time is a critical aspect of her development

as are my responses.

prayers are appreciated

as i never really feel 100% confident in my abilities, my skills, my techniques.

it’s amazing how in the heat of the moment (tantrum in the grocery store)

i feel like a poser, like i forgot my lines, like i just woke up in someone else’s life.

but maybe that’s the way i am suppose to feel.

maybe it’s a critical aspect of my development.


my muffin man

December 11, 2010

not too long ago gary decided that he wanted to get into bread making – machine style.

he wanted it to be “his thing.”

i love it –

a lot!

(mostly because i hate baking.

love cooking!

hate baking!

give me onions, give me garlic, give me  all the herbs – fresh please!

lemon zest, parmesan, and heavy cream.

you can keep your flour and sugar.

and because… there is just something about an man in oven mitts.)

for the last couple of days he has been getting in there and making it happen.

the following photos depict the evolution of the “gary” loaf.

attempt #1:


i called this the “baking soda is yeast, right?” loaf.

i tasted it because i love him

and no comment.

attempt #2:

i called this the “40 pound whole wheat” loaf



and then this happened…

attempt #3:


i called this loaf

“dying for some pb and j.”

last night we partook while it was still warm

with butter of course

which was a good thing

because this morning

while the rest of us where still warm in our beds

a very nude


decided to get “creative” in the kitchen.

all i can say is the perfect loaf was a canvas on

which many contents of my pantry where displayed.

the end.