Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Giving Thanks In Idaho....

We decided we wanted to do some exploring over Thanksgiving break and we loved Northern Idaho when we were there a few years ago so we decided why not check out Boise. We had heard great things about it and so we rented a little condo near downtown and off we went...

We fell in love with so many aspects of it that it is hard to nail down just one. We took a couple of hours one morning before the storm rolled in and toured the state capital. It was like 23 degrees outside so it was also a great excuse to get in out of the cold...

This building was beautiful and the marble work was breathtaking....our kids were afraid we were trying to "sneak" school in and make them learn while they were on break. Whaaattt? Me? "Nooo....just walk around the state capital and read all the historical markers and don't let any of it sink in, I promise you'll be just fine children."

Boise is Bronco college football nation so of course we had to visit the stadium..

Sadly they were in CA for a game so we missed seeing them play...

The best part of exploring was finding all the cute little areas with old fashioned candy shops and quant coffee shops....

One of the days brought about 2" of snow which was nice because we built a fire, had hot cocoa and just enjoyed the different weather than we are used to...

Dan & the girls did a 5k turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning and it was COLD! I think like 15 degrees. My doctor told me no because my leg is still healing, so me and my mom were the support crew...

Being a support crew member requires that you put a crazy turkey hat on and cheer on your loved ones. Yes I was proud and plus I think it makes me look taller. The atmosphere was so amazing. There were over 6,000 runners, walkers, people walking dogs or pushing strollers but then they asked us to face the flag while this guy played the national anthem on his was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Then one person started quietly singing, and then another and then pretty soon all 6,000 of us were singing. I got very emotional and couldn't help but cry as I was moved to be thankful for our freedom.

My mom likes hot weather so she was freezing! She especially liked when I had the bright idea to take pictures near the river when it was like 12 degrees out ha!

We try as often as possible to take our girls and get away from the norm and into new places with different people and things to see and just have that time with them that we can't get back and to be together as a family.

It was so beautiful this time of year. We are thinking of going back this summer so we can try some of the summer activities like mountain biking and kayaking, tubing etc.

On the way home we stopped in Provo Utah and woke up to more snow...I made sure to tag cars as we were leaving...the friendly kind of tagging of course.

Me and my mom are kindly making you aware that in this very moment it is 5 degrees!

Friday, December 4, 2015

What We Know....

I can remember 9/11 like it happened yesterday. It's a day burned in my memory for many reason that are obvious but one that really stands out is that I remember looking at our 7 month old daughter and thinking,"Oh dear God this is your world you have to grow up in." Wednesday December 2nd brought the same anguish in my heart when my sister in law called me and told me to turn on the T.V. because there was an active shooter in San Bernardino and it appeared that many people had been killed. Knowing my husband would be on scene along with many friends who work for the fire and police department, I sat paralyzed in front of the T.V. trying to get answers just like everyone else in the area. Suddenly my house being cluttered with my kids shoes and school books didn't seem that important. Errands could wait. Being annoyed with my daughter for her bad attitude became small. My phone went crazy as everyone wanted to know Dan was safe and what was going on. We all hate not knowing, not having the answers right away. Why is this happening? Who would do something like this? Are we in danger? When will it end and will there be more victims? My girls are older now and they understand and can wrap their brains around the fact that we live in an imperfect world. They understand there is sin and evil and that this is what we call it. If we are being straightforward, as Christians it doesn't really matter if it's work place violence or domestic terrorism because the bottom line is it is sin and we know sin has a ripple effect that spans so beyond the person involved and this is has a very large span of people it has frightened, hurt and scarred for life. Our youngest looked at me and said,"Mom, I know this is bad and I never want to be involved in something like this but I know God has my exact days numbered and I know when I do die where I'm going." Our oldest who I thought might be changing her mind about going to Spain this summer for a missions trip said,"Satan wants to steal our joy and our security and the word tells us God wants us to not hide our light." So in the midst of overwhelming sadness this week for the victims and their families, and worrying about my husband and all of our friends who were on scene of the shooting and their mental and emotional state, I still don't have the answers to why this couple would do something so hateful and quite frankly what answers would be sufficient? What answers will bring those who were killed back? What answers will erase the memories embedded in the images the first responders saw? What I do know is that when something bad happens and our hearts are hurting I tell the girls to go back to what we know even if we are scared and confused. We know God is good. We know God works all things for the good of those who love Him. We know there is evil and we live in a fallen world BUT that God is bigger. We also know the ending of the story and that is that satan does not win God does. We know that satan has come to steal and destroy and rob of us of our joy and security. But our God has come to give us peace and our joy is in Him not based on our circumstances. As children of God we need to be steadfast in prayer and because we are certain of where we are going we need to love on others and make sure they know that Christ died on the cross for everyone and his grace and mercy are sufficient in all things. Be blessed today knowing He is in control. Come Jesus come!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dog Post....

I walked out this morning to find our Great Dane curled up on the couch asleep with the T.V. remote near her paw and her face buried so my mom suggested I post on here with her picture and a funny caption. We were thinking; "No mom, I swear I was not watching that scary movie!" or "I'm sorry mom, but yes I was up all night with the cats watching Netflix." I realize it's the end of the week and I could very well be losing my fact I'm 99% certain.But I thought a dog post was long over due. I even text a friend telling her Happy Anniversary for her 10-10 wedding anniversary...she said," do realize it's November?" I responded with,"Well shoot, Christmas is going to be a HUGE surprise now!"

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Halloween Happenings and Kicking Diabetes to the Curb!

Our Halloween weekend was super low key but fun. Friday night the girls had a few friends over and we made a big pot of chili and had a fire pit with s'mores. Then on Halloween we went to dinner and then just walked around the neighborhood for a little while. All our neighbors sit out in their driveways with fire pits so it's super nice just walking around visiting and getting candy along the way.

This past weekend we headed down to San Diego to support my niece AJ and walk in the Juvenile Diabetes walk. 5am came quick and cold as we took the shuttle from the zoo to the starting spot.

All the cousins came out to support AJ and our team raised $1,500!!

Once the sun came up bright and warm everyone thawed out and we enjoyed a beautiful morning together.

Go team AJ! AJ was diagnosed almost a year ago and so this was our families first time participating in this event but Team AJ will be back next year!

Good exercise. Good attitudes. Good scenery. Good family time.

Thank you to everyone who sponsored us financially and or came out to walk. It was a great day and I'm super proud of my little niece as she figures out how to live with type 1 diabetes; she has a great attitude and is doing an amazing job managing it all.

Until our next adventure!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Best Date Night Ever!!

I think I have mentioned in the past that our family is pretty sports oriented. So with that being said you need to also know that I am a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan while my husband is a VERY devoted Steelers fan. As long as our teams are not playing each other I have no problem cheering for Big Ben (Steelers quarter back) About a month ago we decided to check off a box on Dan's bucket list and go see the Steelers play in San Diego. Monday night was the night and the Steelers did not disappoint. Best Game EVER!

5 seconds left on the clock, at the one yard line and it's Steelers trailing and their ball. TOUCHDOWN! Steelers win by 4 points! There were just as many Steelers fans as there were Chargers fans so the noise level was crazy loud! We had amazing seats by some other Steelers fans who after 75,000 high fives and 4,000 hugs you just become family ha! My main goal was to go to the game without my crutches which I did and then got in trouble by my physical therapist and doctor yesterday for all the walking and jumping up and was worth it. The best part is my doctor was there so I'm super thankful he didn't see me!!! We stayed the night in San Diego at Dan's brothers house and then took our time stopping for breakfast before we headed home. Thanks Honey! Best date night ever!!!
We have been putting off getting our pumpkins because we refuse to go to the pumpkin patch when it is 100 degrees. Ugh! We waited until 8pm the other night and headed down along with a ton of other people who had the same idea. Everyone found their perfect pumpkin and all is right with the world.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October is Cancer Awareness Month...

We all have been touched by cancer in some way shape or form. We've had it and won, we know someone who has it and is fighting for their very life and some of us have even lost loved ones to cancer. I love someone who right now needs a cure. The thing with cancer is it's so BIG. It seems impossible that any one person could do anything to help anyone at all in the battle. But you can, you can send a card or take treats to the kids in the cancer ward at the hospital. You can take a meal or clean a house for someone. A firefighter Dan knows has a daughter fighting her second round of cancer and so we wanted to post this link for you to watch the video and buy a t-shirt to help support the cause.
 and the direct link to the store to purchase a hat or t-shirt is;

Ignite the Fight Women's Tee

Here is another great link where you can support cancer research AND do your Christmas shopping all at once! I bought some bracelets here last week that are yellow to support colon cancer research which my aunt is currently battling. They are super cute, come in all different colors and styles and make AMAZING gifts. Go to

It's a really small thing all of us can do and it is for a really BIG cause. Just sacrifice a trip to Starbucks or a lunch out and pitch in. Bless someone with a t-shirt or bracelet that is fighting cancer or who needs to feel loved today.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Raising Ryanne Story #346

I was thinking on Monday how I really haven't blogged much the past few weeks; so I checked my brain to see if anything stood out that was blog worthy.....hmmm.....saw the nieces and nephews and commiserated with my sister in laws about raising kids and the things we should never have to say out loud as parents. Started physical therapy which hurt so "good" I sweat through my t-shirt and had dripping wet hands...super attractive as your walking out the door of your appointment. Walked around the neighborhood a few times which totals about .5 miles. Took me like half an hour at turtles pace. Ya' nothing to exciting or note worthy just doing life. Then Wednesday night I am in the kitchen finishing up dinner, Dan has gotten home and gone for a run and Ryanne is outside playing when all of a sudden I hear this yelling and the dog barking like an idiot. Usually I would just glance out the window and ignore it for the most part because well, my kids are loud and the dog is always barking. But this time it just sounded different so I walked to the back patio and I see Ryanne standing there crying and her foot covered in blood. She was running past her mountain bike and caught her foot on the metal part that your chain sits on....yup peeled the skin right back. 
My first reaction is to always clean up the blood because it usually looks worse than it is. Nope not this time. Luckily Dan was coming up the street right at that moment and we took her to the urgent care where she got 10 stitches, a tetanus shot, 10 days of antibiotics and 4 days of bed rest. My friend said when I am done raising Ryanne they are going to just hand me a medical degree no questions asked ha!
Can I just say listening to your kid cry as they are giving her 6-7 shots to numb her foot was like the worst day ever! She was so good and so brave. I on the other hand felt like I was going to throw up. I'm super calm and collect like that. ha! The first ten minutes we were there the nurse was talking to us about God which was very comforting. I prayed with Ryanne before they gave her the shots and a calm washed over us. We got through it and I told her now we have a new scar for a new story. :)
While the doctor was stitching her foot he had Dan hold her leg down so she wouldn't kick him in the face or jerk her leg; we also gave her my phone to distract her. She text my mom and told her she was scared and my mom text back,"Oh sweetie I'm so sorry, that sh*t hurts but then it will be numb for the stitches." Well she obviously meant "that shot hurts" but Ryanne was reading the text out loud and to say the bad word got a chuckle from the entire room would be an understatement. The best part was my mom realizes her spelling error and instantly texts back,"Oh shoot, not that bad word I meant shot. Don't tell your parents I said that." Again Ryanne is reading it out loud. I think grandma needs to have her phone taken away ha! Good times. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Two Feet. Two Hands.

I am super excited to be posting that I made this yummy dinner tonight because you guessed it I am on my own two feet without crutches for the first time in months! So I'm back to being excited about cooking because believe you me, it is MUCH easier to cook with two legs and two free hands. I saw the doctor last week and the break had healed enough for me to put weight on it as I continue to heal and start physical therapy. The doctor told me to take it slow because my muscles would not hold my leg, but lucky for me I am super determined and don't really like the word
C-A-N-T. I started taking baby steps around the house the next day and then went down to one crutch the third day. Today is my first official FULL day with  no crutches and I even went to the store....okay I leaned on the shopping cart but hey taking it slow right? Ha! We are praying that the swelling goes down and the deformity in my knee will heal as my tendons get back to being strong and healed.
But for now I will take all the little victories I can get and keep my focus on the bigger ones like getting back in the pool and riding my bike. Here's to recovering from jumping off a rope swing and the looks on peoples faces when they ask what you did to your leg!!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Wrapping Up August....

So I had my X-rays and follow up with the doctor yesterday and the praise is that the X-ray showed calcification which means it's healing quickly. The doctor decided the cast was not working out because it was sliding down my leg and causing lots of pain as it pulled on my knee. I was on my third cast in three weeks! Instead I get to ride out the rest of my broken leg in this bionic brace which is much cooler. Cooler as in temperature not like I'm so cool I now have a bionic leg kind of cool ha! Still have to have it on 24 hours a day BUT I can scratch when my leg itches and it's not as heavy. My goal now is to get ALL healed up and off the stupid crutches!!! The first couple of weeks I was kind of down and frustrated getting around but I learned something valuable; I learned what to say and what not to say to someone with a broken anything! My least favorite is,"Maybe this is Gods way of slowing you down." At first it annoyed me when people would say that but then I got to thinking about it and I decided; no this might be Gods way of telling me that if I'm going to launch myself off a really high roped swing into a swamp I better darn sure stick the landing next time. And also why on earth would God make me have an adventurous, curious, always on the go trying new things and seeing new places kind of child of God just to say STOP being that person I created? Nope, much to my moms gray hair I have caused, I am never going to stop climbing, swinging, biking, exploring and dreaming about all the fun things and places God has out there. This has only slown me down long enough to plan our next adventure. And to realize God made me a determined person for a reason.
I just love this picture that Morgan took of a small town we visited in Florida. The movie theater is really old and closed down now but so amazing none the less.
She took this one as well and I love how she captured the tractor under the tree at sunset...
We are wrapping up our second week of school and although I was nervous about having one in High School and one in Jr. High, they are both doing great and are super motivated.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Back To School!

Today marks the day We have one child in high school and one in middle school. I don't ask for much really...just a simple family photo this morning of us all smiling to mark the day....But oh no! In comes the dog and Ryanne is having some kind of "episode."
Morgan won't quit being a teenager and stand up straight...
Dan is starting to lose it here and both girls have checked out...
Pleeeaaassseeee! can't everyone be normal? ugh!
I'm trying to be patient here people....
Ahhh....yes, here we are...a nice normal family! Okay normal might be a stretch but you get the idea! Happy new school year girls! You are so gonna rock this year! (and yes my cast is now blue because the swelling is going down and my cast slips down so I'm going through the color pallet of casts, so fun!)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Vacation Photos...

I'm done rigging my car so I can drive; think towels, duct tape and pillows ha! So now I've got nothing but time which means I have no excuse for not getting some of our vacation photos up that I've been promising our family.

We took this amazing trip about 3 miles into the swamps of Louisiana and I'm telling you it was beautiful! I mean we love the South so we might be bias but I want to live down there.

This was the walk from our house we rented in Florida to the water...

You expect to see a lot of things when in the swamps; alligators, snapping turtles, poisonous snakes, huge spiders...but a puppy? Not so much. This little guy had escaped a yard somewhere in the Bayou and fallen into the swamp. We found him up to his neck in thick mud and water. It was just in time as he would have either drown or become somebodies lunch real quick. As you can see he was VERY grateful. Kisses were handed out all around.

Daddy and Ryanne were kayak buddies...

Morgan, Paul and Ryanne enjoying the evening on the beach...

We heart Cape San Blas!!!

Looking up at the light house....

The kids all got along great and the best part of the trip was just watching them play, belly laugh out loud and explore new places.

My favorite picture of the entire trip!

We love so many things about the's hard to pick just one. I will post more pictures in the next day or two. You will be on photo over load! :)