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


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Um, I’m back.

I would apologize for the extended absence from this virtual home of mine, but I do have good reasons! Maybe I will be able to fill in the blanks sometime. Anyway here are some recent photos! :)

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A quintessential summer photo of our Rosebud.

The Angel Moroni statue was placed on the Fort Collins temple from about 8 – 9 am on August 26, 2015, and we were there to watch! A once-in-a-lifetime experience that I hope we always remember.










The following were taken at Back to School night.

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Fluffy is attending there as a 9th grader, Hummer in 6th grade, and Rosebud in Kindergarten.

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I love this sign below on the backboard – definitely gives the flavor of the school! :)



Rosebud’s Kindergarten classroom. (Pix to follow of the first day of school and this sweetheart in her ridiculously adorable uniform.)

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Hummer will be studying the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.

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DC had a birthday, and we celebrated for days!

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Our newest niece with her mom – she was born in Italy this summer!

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The birthday boy! (He’s turning more than 3 :).

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We had a wonderful evening with DC’s siblings and their kids.

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This photo is very sweet of my niece and her daddy, but doesn’t do justice to the cray-cray puppy Hazel. :)

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We had another party at home, too, because chocolate cheesecake.

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I normally don’t love photobombing even if it’s unintentional, but Hummer’s face in this one just cracks me up. 041 (4) edit 043 (3) 048 (3) .

DC’s birthday wish for us to go all together to the Denver Temple and then to the free day at the Denver Art Museum. We got up real early. . .


. . . .and had a lovely time at the temple. (Thanks to Exacto for watching the younger ones for us!)

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Next up was the art museum. DC and Hummer had never been there before. The rest of us enjoyed showing off our favorites, like we had made them ourselves. :)


We LOVE this Bierstadt painting of Estes Park. So gorgeous!



Btw, DC was gone for 11 weeks this summer doing a Level II Fieldwork assignment in Prescott, AZ. It was amazing how much easier life felt when he returned! You can tell from these photos that Rosebud was really happy to have her Daddy back.




A couple of my favorite new finds. . .


This next piece really inspired me. See the bear cub at her feet? Tough mommy!112

The Buddhist art was spectacular!