Monday, October 5, 2015

general conference and family portraits

We did our traditional countdown-to-conference pictures for FHE this week. Each of us gets assigned a day and then we choose a quote from the last conference and put on the poster with an illustration. It helps rev up the excitement. :)

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Autumn has really arrived now, with temperatures dropping into the 60s and 40s, and some lovely rain and overcast days this week.

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One of the highlights of conference weekend was having my brother and his wife and daughter come for a few hours. For the past 8 months he has been my closest sibling, living only about 45 minutes away. Now they’re moving to Wisconsin, and taking my adorable niece with them. :(

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Another favorite conference tradition of ours is to put a bunch of blank cards in a bowl with pens, and then have a treat nearby. During each session we write questions for each other about the talks (or songs :). For each question we can take a treat from the treat bowl. Then after the session we read the questions to each other and try to answer. Super fun and it helps us pay attention. :)

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Saying goodbye. :(

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This week we also had some family portraits taken, as well as Exacto’s senior portraits. I am so relieved they are done and we have them! Maybe only you mothers out there know what I mean, but I was seriously euphoric after we got these back, even if they’re not perfect.

I am really happy with them and highly recommend our photographer Brooke Clayton to anyone in this area!

Some of my fav’s. . . .

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I think this next one’s my favorite.

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I really love the background in this one. See the Horsetooth?

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My favorite of Exacto. . . .

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I’m really glad to have gotten some good Colorado portraits of us before we leave (probably) next year! Maybe now I can update the big 2010 portrait I’ve had on our wall since Rosebud was a baby.  . . .:)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rocky Mountain National Park, raspberry tarts, and other delights

A couple of weekends ago we spent the day at RMNP. We live only about an hour away, and I wish it were even closer! It is so, so lovely.

Many of these photos were taken from the car (apologies!) but I think they still show the beauty of autumn beginning to unfold here.


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We hiked in an area called “Hidden Valley” and went really, really high. It was surprisingly cold – there was frost on the ground.

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We met up with DC’s mom and brother’s family there, and had a wonderful day. I wish we could have spent about a week up there!

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I was curious to see the highest stretch of road in the park (and Bear Lake and the other lower areas were super crowded) so we headed up to the tundra at 12000ft+.

8 9 I was amazed at how barren and windy it was at the top, almost like another planet. But then see the lakes up there? So gorgeous!

We came back down to near Bear Lake and had a picnic at a lovely spot near a stream.11 12 13 14 .

All the campgrounds within an hour of the park were completely full. So the boys camped in our backyard!

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Grandma with B&D’s children.

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I think we must be related! :)

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Rosebud and S.

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Mom Baker made us a fabulous Sunday dinner, of course with ice cream for dessert!

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Rosebud and I found a farm in town with you-pick raspberries. We had a wonderful time and came home with 3 pounds (for $9!). Rosebud’s request was to make raspberry tarts, just like Amelia Bedelia. They turned out super yummy. I can see why Amelia Bedelia is always forgiven for her mistakes when she hands these out. :)

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We still try to take a weekly family photo by the temple. I’m hoping to do a time-lapse video of the progress. . .that would be super neat.

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My amateur attempt at capturing the super-lunar eclipse last Sunday. It looked so much cooler in real life!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Rosebud begins Kindergarten, and other unbelievable events

“What I like doing best is Nothing."
"How do you do Nothing," asked Pooh after he had wondered for a long time.
"Well, it's when people call out at you just as you're going off to do it, 'What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?' and you say, 'Oh, Nothing,' and then you go and do it.
It means just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."
"Oh!" said Pooh.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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She was so excited. She didn’t seem sad or anxious at all. I was feeling like Winnie-the-Pooh, getting left behind when Christopher Robin goes to school. At least she will be home on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Friday afternoons, so we will still be able to do Nothing sometimes!


Meet Isaac and Katherine, the start of Hummer’s betta fish family. He is researching betta breeding and hopes to sell the offspring to save money for his mission. Quite the adventure right here in our kitchen!

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Major car woes over the past month, including a sea monster infestation. The car below has about 250,000 miles on it and is being driven with a salvage title. Our Sienna has 200K. So yes, we were unsurprised when the troubles began. But still it was painful and we do hope we have given enough cash offerings to appease the car gods for at least a year!

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I have been reading Little House in the Big Woods to Rosebud, and we both LOVE it. She was especially enthralled with the dance at Grandpa’s. She set up a dance for us here at home, with refreshments, decorations, and even live fiddling from Pa!

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Rosebud’s dance attire.

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Our traditional Back-To-School Breakfast Picnic (BTSBP) was held at the area near our home we call The Buttes. It was my favorite BTSBP location so far since we moved away from Arkansas. Peaceful and lovely and no people besides us. I don’t like people besides us. JK LOL.

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9/8/15 ~ Fluffy’s 1st day of high school! It was still dark, on accounta his leaving at 5:45am for seminary.

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Hummer’s in 6th grade this year (still considered “Lower School” at their K-12 charter school) and Rosebud is in Kindergarten.

Aren’t their uniforms super cute? H can’t stand his, and changes into “nice” clothes immediately after he gets home.

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I like that they are able to leave and come home together in spite of a 6-year age difference.

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This was the first time DC got to come with me for the Kindergarten sendoff. It was really sweet.

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Here’s her other uniform – just can’t resist.




With Rosebud gone all day M/W as well as F mornings, I have taken on a couple more piano students. Two of my long-time students gave a joint-solo recital two weekends ago, and here they are with their trophies, as well as their older sibling who also studies with me. I really love this family. (Can you tell by my exploding smile? :)


Such an odd new phase for me, having my youngest start school. I’m definitely enjoying having a little more time to excavate our house and get organized, but I miss my little Friend on the days she’s gone.

“But, of course, it isn't really Good-bye, because the Forest will always be there... and anybody who is Friendly with Bears can find it.”
A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner