Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thankful Thursday--Sprouts

Monday and Tuesday were reserve snow make-up days for our school, and since we didn't have the opportunity to use them this winter, the boys had a LONG weekend of Friday, Monday and Tuesday ALL off from school! They enjoyed the time at home to just hang out playing outside and inside (can we say Playstation NHL 10) and to also work through some bad tummy bugs that had been getting Easton down. Well ... I ended up sick with an achy cold by the weekend just in time for my long-looked-forward-to Ladies Retreat with the church ladies and Nolan is just now working through some tummy issues ... but we're rallying.

On Monday though I was so blessed by this:

The boys, ALL ON THEIR OWN INITIATIVE, made notes (3 in all) for Landon at ND in China. Talk about bless my socks off. For so long I have wanted them to have a heart for those who have been dealt a harder road in their young lives. And especially I have wished for them to have a heart for orphans. But my earlier attempts of trying to get them interested in serving others really were met mostly with disgruntled hearts ... with a few soft spots here and there. But lately I've noticed something new. Something that doesn't have so much to do with anything I have been doing because I kinda decided to lay off and just do what I was doing and not so much pushing on what I wish they were doing. When the earthquakes hit Japan earlier this month, Easton's first thought was, "I hope Landon is alright!" (He's not yet too familiar with geography although he knows that China and Japan are both far, far away.) And he also asked if he could send something special to him and picked out a cute Lightning McQueen car. Ahhh, melt my heart!
And then this ...
it may be small but it means so much ... to me.
It's these sprouts that I pray grow roots and turn ultimately into much good fruit for them!

P.S. The "GR" on the top of the sign is for "Grand Rapids"--their dad's high school team who they just LOVE. Easton is #2 and Landon gets to be #5.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Nifty Mitts--Great Gift Idea!

I have a friend named Trudy from our church who had a marvelous idea.
She had this really neat pair of Microwave Mitts that she had gotten from her sister about 5 years ago. They were so fantastic she had looked everywhere for another pair just in case hers ever wore out. Well, she came up empty handed not finding anything exactly like what she had and she liked hers so well.

SO ... she brought them to me and  allowed me to share in her idea knowing that I have a heart for orphans and sewing and that my proceeds would most likely end up showering others in part--she even sold them at her workplace for me at Christmas time! And truly they are Nifty.

I've started selling them at Ruffled Feathers Company along with my skirts. They would be a perfect gift for that lucky Mom in your life for Mother's Day or your sister at Easter or even a good friend "just because" or just to cheer someone up! (They even work for men and I DO have some woodsy-manly fabrics ... although let me know if you'd like them a little larger so all their fingers to fit in the top pocket. My brother got a pair for Christmas and uses them with 3 fingers instead of 4 and that works fine too.)

I'll make 'em in any color/color combo you'd like. Many of my fabrics are listed on the sidebar of the Ruffled Feathers Site, however I have others too including Christmas fabrics. And if you like surprises I can work from directions like, "I like blues and purples, but absolutely no reds," if you really want to leave the fabric up to me.

There are so many great things about these nifty mits--

  • they're hand-washable, 
  • they include a magnet for hanging on the microwave or dishwasher or fridge, and 
  • with so many colors what a neat way to seasonally spice up your kitchen! 
  • You could get a pair that coordinates with an apron from Scarlet Threads for the ultimate gift set!
  • I've priced them at $10/pair, but I'll also sell them 3 pair for $27. (also Trudy's idea--see isn't she great too!)

This is Easton's little hands in them and although at 5 years old he's a little young to be removing things from the microwave as it's up high, his 7 year old brother has used them quite a bit.

Put 'em on--Fingers in one side, thumb in the other and bend.

Use 'em--safely remove your hot bowl or plate from the microwave. (Best done with one on each hand.)

 Hang 'em up--they're magnetic!
If you'd like a pair please email me  (almquist at fmtcs dot com) or leave me a comment. I'm (slowly) working on getting a PayPal button up on the site too.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Eight-Hundred Meter Dash

I'm not Irish ... in fact ... St. Patrick's Day has never been a big deal in our family. I'm part Czech and with St. Joseph's Day two days later on March 19th we kinda breezed by St. Patrick's Day in anticipation of the Kolaches to come (WAY better than potatoes or corned beef on rye in my book.)

BUT ... I do know that getting pinched by classmates for NOT wearing green is a big, uncomfortable, day long ordeal. So I reminded the boys ... and I reminded my husband (who IS Irish by the way and who also had no idea when St. Patrick's Day was exactly.) In fact I reminded my boys several times but I guess I wasn't specific enough as neither one of them had remembered to put on anything green. We of course didn't discover this until we were half way down our lane to catch the morning school bus. Ya, about right here in the driveway--it's LONG. (this shot was taken the first day of school in Sept. by the way ... it's WAY uglier right now with no leaves on the trees and just brown flat grass all around.)

SO ... I raced ... I ran ... I gave it all I had ... and booked it all the way back up the driveway to the house in order to grab any 2 green shirt items I could lay my hands on before the bus arrived which would be ANY MINUTE from when I left them. I blew by my 2-year old who was hiding in the coat closet, tossed open the drawers and found 1 old green t-shirt and a camo-long underwear shirt. Flew back again by Nolan, out the door, down the driveway (panting and sucking wind like no tomorrow) and handed off the shirts for the boys to put on at school JUST as the bus pulled up. Oh what a sight those bus kids got that morning.

Where is this story going? No, it's not to affirm that I am way out of shape and that wind-sprints at 7am in the morning are just killer. It was just the look of awe that Brayden had when he sat down on the school bus looking out the window with his green shirt in hand. He never looks out the window anymore (probably because he knows I'll wave.) His look today though was priceless! Even through my panting I caught it. He isn't one who is easily impressed, especially by his mom. But this day I made his book of great moments. And it's certainly something I will treasure in my "mom's mind's-eye camera" forever!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

(almost) Black and White Wednesday--Anguish

My ever so patient ... SON ... who has officially had ENOUGH modeling of my little girl skirts and dresses from my little company Ruffled Feathers Company.

Here it is in full.
Actually he probably would humor me again and try on something for me ... but this day he had really had it! And hilariously enough, right after this shot I thought I had downloaded the photos but hadn't and proceeded to erase them all (to destroy any evidence his father would have a cow about!) Well ... the other photos were gone ... and I couldn't put him through any more modeling so this is my shot, albeit a bit grainy one, of this one of kind apron dress. HA!
Thanks Nolan for your patience! You're a peach!

Visit other Black and White Wednesday Photos HERE.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Camouflage and Blues, The Pink Revolution

8 years ago I was pregnant with our first child.
It was a JOURNEY ...
             ... to say the least!
And by this time of the spring in 2003, my lightly pregnant belly had turned into this ...

Okay, that was actually mid April--but considering Brayden wasn't born until May 18th, nearly one MONTH after this photo was taken, could you all do a community groan with me? Wonder no more why I needed belly button hernia surgery late last year after three of these pregnancies. (Do you see my regular waistline about two feet underneath the belly? No really. Click on the photo to zoom in. It hurts for me to look at this.)

(A photographer friend surprised me last week with a book of these long forgotten pregnancy photos that we had taken along with some HILARIOUS out-takes from our wedding. We look so young and fresh!)

But I digress. I remember being super pregnant and being filled with hormones ... and I came across the sweetest little bunny at the craft store. I just HAD to have it ...
It was one of the strongest pregnancy related things I can remember having caved to ...
The bunny was little and dressed in a tiny mint green dress with a little flower tucked behind her ear. Totally a silly purchase. But I HAD.TO.HAVE.IT. So silly. Secretly, it seemed like a confirmation to me that yes, I would be having a little girl who would love that bunny.
Hmmm ...
funny, in retrospect eh?

Well, when Brayden arrived and we became a family more siding with the male side of things numbering 2 to 1, this was lost to the back of the shelf eventually finding its way to a drawer as did anything remotely pink or even purple ... in fact ... I kinda shy-ed away from anything particularly girly--maybe subconsciously at first--but then outrightly, so I'd fit in more as "one of the guys" ... Soon came Easton ... more males tipping the scales away from Pink, 3 to 1. That color had simply been banned from our house of camouflage and blues. (I'm not kidding here.)

When I was pregnant with Nolan, our third son, hope rallied again for my pink futures and one day I wore a pink flowered shirt to an ob appt. As I was getting ready upstairs I decided to pull it out of the box of hand-me-down things from my sister (who is blonde, blue-eyed and fair skinned and looks great in pink by the way) and just secretly hoped "maybe the pink would soak in" (heh heh.) I came down the stairs ready to collect the kids and head out for the doctor's appt. when Easton, then just 2 and a half, stopped me in my tracks on the stairs with an incredible declaration coming from such a young little guy ... especially since I honestly didn't think he ever noticed what I was wearing.
He said, "WHAT. IS THAT??!!"
To be honest, I spun around to see if there was a spider or bug on the wall ... but he clearly was astonished that I would ever think about wearing pink over his little brother. (The boys knew somehow that it wasn't a little girl in there even if we didn't.)

It's amazing the power little kid's words have. It was like a thousand spears of accusation at my heart. I didn't wear pink after that--and that was almost 3 years ago ... and really I felt guilty if I even looked at it.

Recently however ... that pink has been knocking on my door. No, not that a baby is ANYWHERE in sight, don't give Jeff a heart attack with that thought. It's just that in these bleak last days of winter when the grays of melted snow and brown flat grass all around have me begging for any sort of color I have taken delight in that dear old friend, "Pink."

I hope the boys will forgive me ... but I just love my new pink Calgary Flames hooded Sweatshirt ... and my new hot pink phone cover ... and my pink lined bag that I occasionally have the courage to use ... my pink un-mentionables and even enjoying pink candy.

Sorry boys, I just need a break from the overwhelming camo, blues and hunter-greens and all things sports, guns and hockey in this house ...
I am a girl. And you can enjoy that at least my new pink hoodie has the name of a hockey team embroidered on the front.

I can still be the mom of a house full of boys and wear pink, right?
It's a quiet revolution ... and one that will have an attendance of one ... but hello Pink. I've missed you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A New Journey

Over the course of the last year and a half our family has been praying for and sponsoring Samuel at New Day. (You may remember this post or this post or maybe even this post. ) And it is so BEAUTIFUL to announce (as if you don't already know) that 2 weeks ago he was joined with his Forever and Ever Family!! And the prayers of my heart, and the hearts of the others who prayed for him and for this family to step forward were answered in FULL.
God heard.
In fact, He had a plan all along.
Samuel and his 2 brothers and 2 sisters!

So with Samuel safely in the arms of his forever family our sponsorship of a child at New Day has recently been vacant and I was so anxious to have that empty spot filled ... to have someone to pray for ... that we would go to God about ... because it's all we could do from half way around the world ... because we have faith that He is there and is working ... that it is His plan that we have a small part in bringing this child into a family through prayer and petition. To stand in the gap and to pray. That maybe our own hearts and faith would be grown in the process and that we'd be more having reached out ... more of what God wants of us and less of what we want of us.

I know it maybe sounds a little bit like it's more about us, but that's just because I can't quite put to words everything that sponsoring a child is about, at least to me. And to be honest, a good deal of it is about us ... and God ... and that relationship that He wants with us. If He wanted to do it all on His own of course He could. He doesn't NEED US to help him out with running the universe (although ya ... at times I like to throw my 2 cents in on the state of things, shea, as if I have a clue?!) But God WANTS US to have a part in things, a vested interest ... to help us grow and mature and see things through His eyes and not our own.

But I found it hard to choose a particular child because each and every one of them is a treasure. And I didn't want to come into this with an agenda of my own. And let me tell ya, that's hard.
Renee's sweet cheeks, thick hair and soulful eyes had me at hello ... and Elliot's special need ripped my heart in two striking so close to home ...
So much like the Fall of 2009, I was torn not knowing what to do other than to pray about it.

But also, like 2009, the answer appeared at just the right time and this time through ND's suggestion on which child for us to sponsor. Again, what an answer to prayer.
We pray that this child will grow and bloom and someday be matched with his forever and ever family.

It is my great happiness to introduce to you our new sponsor child, yes, it's a BOY!
(we just love boys ya know!)
His name is Landon!
He has just turned 2 years old--one of my favorite ages!
He has a repaired club foot and repaired Spina Bifida.
(maybe you already peeked on my sidebar and saw his new button?!)

And although I fall so short of knowing what that diagnosis means ... I have searched his face in this photo over and over again wondering so much about him. Does he laugh easily? Is he serious as this photo makes him seem? Does he like to play with cars and trains? Is he able to run and play with the other children? How long will he wait? Is he a gentle little boy or one that is full of loving mischief?!

I can only imagine what it must be like to be matched with a child for actual adoption receiving only one or two photos and from them constructing a temporary reality of what that child might be like. How much can be seen in the magnified pixels or those one or two sentences that attempt to describe everything that he or she is?!

As I read his bio over again it says, "he has a smile that brightens the room" ... THAT I cannot wait to see! I am anxious for seeing all that his future holds!
Name: Landon

Birthdate: January 2, 2009

Landon was born on January 2, 2009 and abandoned at the local bus station the same day. When his parents could not be found, he was brought to the local orphanage. Landon was born with a clubbed left foot and spina bifida. He has had corrective surgeries for both already. Landon is an active and energetic boy and his big smile brightens up the room. He is able to stand and walk with support and his vocabulary is already growing. We are happy to have Landon as part of our New Day family.

There are several new children waiting to be sponsored at New Day as well as many sweeties who still have sponsorship room available. If you are interested in sponsoring a child please click on Landon's button on my sidebar which will take  you to the New Day site. From there you can click on "How to Help" and hover your mouse over the hands and click on the one that says, "Child Sponsorship" or click HERE. It could be the beginning of a journey that could change your life.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

KimBob: The Recipe

Originally I made this recipe as an appetizer .... but ... the leftovers made a perfect lunch for me the next day! MMmmmmm The actual meal wasn't very Asian ... remember my family isn't too keen on my asian cooking. I made a delicious crock pot Iowa Pork Chop recipe along with a salad and sweet corn. (If you are unfamiliar with Iowa Pork Chops ... mmmmm ... what a terrific cut of meat! It's about 2 inches of pork heaven. (hmmm, that's an odd pairing ... but they are good.) I will HAVE to do a post about grilling these in a month or so when it warms up outside. They are delicious!)

KimBob (Korean Sushi)

  • 4 cups hot cooked rice 
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce (Korean Soy Sauce if available)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil 
  • 4 sheets kim fresh seaweed (flat, dried dark green seaweed sushi wrappers)
  • 1 small carrot, julienned 
  • 2 eggs, beaten 
  • 2 green onions, chopped small
  • 10 ounces fresh or frozen spinach, thawed and drained if frozen.
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce 
  • 4 slices pickled yellow radishes 
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed, toasted 

Directions:Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 23 mins

  1. Let rice cool a bit and set aside.
  2. Saute carrots strips with sesame oil, garlic seasoning, season salt. (no certain amount, just eye-ball it)
  3. Beat 2 eggs together with the chopped green onion and  a pinch of salt. Fry flat like an egg pancake and set aside.
  4. Then, mix the rice with the vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil and a little garlic-all listed.  
  5. Cut egg into strips about a quarter inch wide. 
  6. Blanche fresh spinach in boiling water for a few seconds or cook thawed spinach. Rise with cold water and squeeze to almost dry and mix spinach with sesame oil, garlic and soy sauce. 
  7. To assemble, put rice on a bamboo roller (I do not have one and it works fine, just not as tightly rolled). 
  8. Spread rice over 2/3 of the dried sea weed sheet/wrapper, lay carrots, spinach, and egg on top. 
  9. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and roll like a jelly roll. 
  10. Seal edges with a bit of water rubbed where the two edges meet and pressing or squeezing firmly so it stays stuck.
  11. Cut into 1/2 inch rounds using a SHARP knife rinsing between cuts if necessary. 
  12. You can adapt this to your own tastes, some people put imitation crab meat or cucumber in them.
The Egg Pancake


    Dipping Sauce
    • 1/4 C Korean Soy
    • 2 Tbs. water
    • Pinch red pepper flakes
    • Sesame seeds
    • A little sesame oil
    For a tighter wrap, you can wrap the logs in saran wrap tightly before cutting and place them in the refridgerator.

    Use a sharp knife for easy cutting AND in-between slices clean off knife and wet lightly with a little water.

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Korean Kim Bob

    We had some friends over for supper the other night. What an opportunity to try out a recipe that I first tried this fall at my sister-in-law's bridal shower but had never made. Since it's a Korean dish AND it includes spinach (my fav!) I automatically love it ... and my boys ... automatically hate it   :-)   Wouldn't it figure ... HA!

    Anyway, it was really good, (and I'm not a big sushi fan ... but these are actually more like California Rolls as there isn't any raw meat or fish in them, whew!) even if it didn't turn out exactly like the original recipe (I didn't have Korean Soy Sauce or Pickled Radish, but made due.) I thought I'd share some photos from the batch at the wedding shower.
    I do have a photo of the ones I made, but these were a little prettier and already downloaded. Forgive my laziness.



    If anyone is interested in the recipe, I'd be happy to post it.

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Zero Tolerance

    I saw this sign at Brayden's first travel hockey tournament LAST fall. As luck would have it, I had forgotten my camera that day! Yes, can you imagine? His very first travel game.
    Well, when we went back to that same arena earlier this fall I remembered to get a shot of the sign. I think it could have great usage in many places beyond the hockey arena don't you?

    Easton also got this shot of Nolan and me that day which I found when looking for Nolan photos. E is quite the photographer!

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Sweet Recovery

    Thank you for your prayers! Nolan was so brave and came through like a champ!
    (It wasn't just him who needed that long nap yesterday afternoon!)

    Nolan rode in the wagon to the toy room for some trucks to play with while we waited ... but when it came back for the BIG ride apparently he had been listening pretty well and there was NO way he was getting in! So, we opted for the quick hand-off with some big tears. 

    Sweetly cuddled in Dad's arms during recovery

    He did pick out a sweet stuffed moose as a reward from the doctors to be waiting for him when he woke up which we were pretty proud of! (Jeff JUST missed the deadline for applying for a moose license for the fall hunting season the night before so it was kinda funny that Nolan chose a moose.)

    But I really love today and seeing Nolan busily playing with trains! Yay!

    Thank you again for praying for him!

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Sweet Nolan

    Our youngest will be having minor surgery today ... nothing major ... but still it is surgery.
    If you would keep him in your prayers for safety and a fast recovery we would appreciate it!

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Colorado--We Love You 2011

    After the fateful ski trip of 2007 I never thought we'd return to Copper Mountain. (You can read about it here if you missed that post or would like a refresher.) But this year with 2 boys raring to tear down a mountain and a third just thrilled to go somewhere in the truck, we were bound to head West. What a blessing to have that same family that invited us along last time have the courage to continue to ask us back year after year! We finally called their bluff I guess and said yes to their invitation -- hee hee!

    So their family of 6, along with our family of 5, their parents and 3 church youth all enjoyed a great week together in a condo and on the slopes of Copper Mountain, Colorado!

    The brave hosting family--The Sanders (they also have a one year old not pictured.)

    (Angie is a GREAT photographer and you can view some great photos of our trip here on her blog.)

    Unlike the previous trip, we had great weather on our trip out ... well, that is until we hit Denver. At that point we were pretty much in a heavy snowstorm that hung over us on the last 70 miles up the mountain. Ug. If you're a parent you're going to appreciate how LONG those last miles are of any trip ... Well, imagine a 14 hour trip that had the last hour and a half stretched into three and a half! Traveling at speeds of about 6 miles an hour inching along as cars spun out in the thick greasy snow/slush that clogged the roads. I should have pulled out my camera a bit more, but Jeff was getting, um, a little edgy and I didn't want to tip over the bucket if you know what I mean. I was never so glad to have 4 wheel drive and a personal driver though! And despite Nolan getting car sick due to the exhaust and the altitude ... poor lil' guy! ... we made it and things were smooth sailing from there. (Minus the altitude sickness I had during the week that made me feel like I was going to perhaps have a heart attack and my puffy swollen eyes ... oh yes and Nolan throwing up one other time from crying too hard during a tantrum. I think I'll blame that on the altitude too as he usually is pretty easy going.)

    Here is the trip in photos:

    Traveling through Western Nebraska ... it was 60 degrees and sunny!

    This isn't the acutal day we arrived ... it was snowing much harder that day!
    What a change in just a few short hours from the photo above though!

    With all the snow ... there was LOTS of fresh powder to fall on ... I mean, ski through ;-)
    Brayden and Gabe gearing up on the first day.

    Likewise, Cooper and Easton were ready to hit the slopes.

    The busing system that takes you right where you want to go is one of the great things about Copper Mountain. Here Gabe, Brayden and Cooper are relaxing on the drive out on the first day. It was so cool to hop a bus for the short ride to the slopes, shopping at Center Village or swimming at the local athletic club (which we did about every night with a lot of the kids. We got a lot of looks on the days we took all the boys with us solo--I think they thought they were ALL ours! Ya, all 5. Jeff was in his glory as they were all boys.)
    Easton and I took advantage of some afternoons by ourselves on the smaller runs. Did I mention that I might be a good skier if I wasn't so worried about going too fast or falling? (sigh) I do enjoy skiing, it's just not pretty to watch. Call me Snowplow Val.
    I really enjoyed my time with Easton on the magic carpet though (It's like a moving conveyor belt beginners can hop on and be taken up the hill--WAY easier than the pull rope that I learned on as a kid! I kinda wished he wasn't such a quick learner, because by the end of the week he was on the bigger hills and it won't be long and he'll be out skiing me just like Brayden. He felt so good about his accomplishments!

    I have this on video and it really shows how he mastered his snowplow. He raced down the bunny hill, did this saucy turn with a snowplow and ended up RIGHT at the end of the Magic Carpet to go up the hill again. I was so proud of him. And the little girl in pink to the right had her eye on him ... oh my goodness. (Of course her mom was yelling at her, "Look at that little boy, do it like he's doing it!"--She kept wanting to ski down the mountain backwards, which although that wasn't what her mom wanted really took some skill and no fear!

    Nolan (under the hat that he wore constantly--although not always over his face) was spoiled to be watched by his Grandma Bonnie ... which is actually Cooper and Gabe's Grandma. He just kinda adopted her. No really ... he even refers to her as Grandma Bonnie!

    Gabe and Brayden

    Gabe and  Brayden getting ready to hit the slopes again. I wish I had more shots of Brayden skiing ... but it was COLD on the mountain and I had every part of my body covered. It took awhile to get to my camera out of where it was buried under the layers of clothing. Not to mention that Brayden is a fast skier as is Jeff, so I wasn't out front much. We do have some video that I may have to post.
     You may need to click on this one to really see it ... but Jeff (in the neon green coat has Easton on an orange leash on the first day making sure he didn't careen down the mountain out of control. By the end of the week Easton was going solo and with gusto! (He hated the leash ... but it made me feel better about things!)

    Easton and Nolan sitting in the back of the bus. (This shot pulls at my heart because I have one of baby Easton sitting on the bus 4 years ago on our fateful trip. I just sigh when I see how big he looks here and how big brotherly he is!)

    Nolan being silly in yet another one of his many hats.
    Did I mention how patient he was during the trip? 

    Easton and Dad up on a chairlift on their afternoon out together.

    Jeff thought this would be a good angle to get our photo. I look HUGE don't I?! I think he was focusing on the mountain behind me and trying to get its best side. Brayden looks great though!

    Cooper and Gabe were  incredible sharers of their DS systems with our boys who don't yet have any. I know, they are the only kids who don't own the system yet. It was neat to see them get along so well.

    Brayden and Gabe taking in the scenery (they did not fall in this photo but were lounging.)

    I did do the Dew Run one of my 3 days skiing. 

    Brayden Jeff and me.

    Brayden at the top of some trecherous run I am sure (Jeff took this photo.)

    The Dew Run Crew on the last day (I was off shopping for souvenirs.)
    If you're new to hearing about a "Dew Run"--it's a Sander's Tradition (the family we went with. They've gone to this same ski spot for over 30 years by the way!)) They go out on their first run and bury some Mountain Dews in the snow. On the last run of the day they ski down and dig them out and enjoy their slushy-frosty enjoyment.
    Our Family Copper Mountain 2011

    When we returned home we found this. Ya ... our hot water heater sprung a leak in our absence. LUCKILY Jeff had turned it off when we left to conserve energy and it hadn't leaked all over too badly. AND my brother who is a plumber kindly came out 2 days later (on Valentines Day none the less) to restore our HOT water.

    Did I mention what we got each other for Valentine's Day?

    Or maybe it was really a really expensive cardboard fort for the boys?
    I'm such a spoiler.

    The family

    The family