Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Today was red day at Cora's pre-school.  Last night we picked out the cutest outfit.  Grey and white tights with red gingerbread men and red trees with a jean skirt. The shirt was red with a Christmas tree and light bulbs, red sparkly shoes and a high pony topped it off.  She felt so pretty this morning. 

When we returned home she ran into her room and she was completely naked in seconds.  Whatcha doin' I asked her.  Her response....."I NEVER like the outfits you pick out for me, I only like the outfits I pick out, I'm a way better matcher."

The outfit she picked out....jeggings that come mid-calf, a bright orange shirt, and her red sparkly shoes.  She looked a little ridiculous and she insisted that she pick up Asher in the outfit amidst snow and ice.  She has character that's for sure!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Today while driving to pre-school Cora burst into tears.  You see her hair is getting longer "almost as long as Rapunzel's" and so there were tears shed it went something like this.

Crying, "Mama I'm so sad my hair is almost as long as Rapunzel's."

"Oh Cora, your hair is beautiful and you actually have a long way to get hair as long as Rapunzel's. Why are you so sad about this?"

"Because when my hair is that long and I turn into her (wailing at this point) I will have a MEAN, super bad mean Mom."

And then we pulled into the school parking lot and she dried up and said, "It's my snack day YAY!"

Crisis diverted.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Last night I was laying with Asher before he fell asleep and he said to me, "Mama you know how I always say that Daddy is the best daddy in the world, well their may actually be some better dad's in the world that I just don't know."

"You are right Asher, there are some amazing Dads in the world, but your Dad is the best for you I think."

"Well, I bet Walt Disney would have been a really fun dad. Like, really fun."

Good logic Asher, he created Disneyland, so he must have been an exceptionally fun Dad.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Labor Day Tradition.

Our annual Labor day plans include a fantastic day at a true Montana rodeo in Helmville.  This is our 3rd year attending and it's so fun.  We cowboy up with our hats and boots, pack our lunch and even bring our own beer.  The kids mutton bust and the best part is we get to enjoy it with some of our best family friends.

*I love this moment I caught of Asher looking at the design on his shirt.

We were right up front and the action was fierce!  We saw crazy horses who rammed into a fence, bloody and panicked, we saw horses kick the fence, we watched bull riders get thrown to the ground......only in Montana can you sit on the ground right by the fence this close to the action!  The moms had to back the kids up a few times!
 Look at this view!
I love this shot.  It shows the strength of these amazing animals.
Our friend's have twin 7 year old's who barrel raced this year.  They were so excited to participate in two rodeo events this year.  They are little horse girls.  You can read more about their adventures here.  Their Mom updates about their competitions.  We cheered for them as they raced those barrels.  Not sure if the horse could feel their kicks but they both gave it all they got and it was so fun to be their audience!

Here is Maddie!
 Here is Gracie!

And here is their excited audience!  Their friends were so proud. 
After barrel racing it was time for mutton bustin'! 
Asher has been looking so forward to this all summer!  His sheep came out and it was a wild one! The announcer was jokingly saying his sheep was crazy!  Jesse just threw Asher on before he could think about it.  It took a few seconds to get him steady and then he was off!
The competitive Mama came out in me and I could of killed the little rodeo clown's Dad (the child was about 7). While it was cute, the little boy would run at the sheep's face and the sheep would veer like crazy.  You will see in the series of picture how finally the Dad get's a clue and makes him wait until the sheep runs past.  Asher took a hard fall but he was tough!  And most importantly he loved it!  But, next year that little boy better mind his manners! :)
What a ride!  I was so busy watching Asher I hardly was able to watch his buddy Za go after him.  But I have this shot!  What a stud. And I gotta give it to the little clown.  This was nice.
Go Gracie!
Go Maddie!
Our Mutton Busters!
Re-cappin the story!
Love my cowboy with dirt all over his face!

Montana Rodeo's are the best. I love this tradition!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


We watched the movie Big Miracle this weekend.  At the end of the movie two people in love kissed each other.  It was a kiss of passion.  Asher wide eyed turned and looked at Jesse and said, "They kissed themselves, they must be married!"

Well they kissed each other, and kissing doesn't mean you are married. Ha!  I was just glad that he was excited for them and not grossed out.  I'm sure that will come.

Cora has a wallet that her friends brother made her.  It's hello kitty and it's one of her most favorite treasures.  Well she lost it.  We looked high and low today for it.  It has a dollar in it and she was focused on finding it.  Jese and I both looked for it but to no avail.

Tonight I was putting Cora to bed and out of the blue she asked me, "Mama are you happy?"  I replied, "Oh yes Cora, I'm so happy, you make me happy.  Are you happy?"  Her response, "I would be happy if you found my wallet!"

Oh I love her!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Not one but two!

What a few weeks it has been.  Not only did we send out little boy to Kindergarten, we sent our little girl to pre-school!  She is going two days a week, for two hours each time.  She is at the same pre-school Asher attended and she is feeling pretty awesome.

She has been three times....and each time she has laid her outfit out the night before and like usual she adds her own flair to each outfit.  Last week she insisted on getting dressed in the bathroom and yelled,  "I need privacy!" as she slammed the bathroom door shut.  Asher and I giggled and let her be.  When I picked her up from school she was doing somersaults and I noticed her gymnastics outfit under her clothes.  I said to her, "Cora you have your gymnastics outfit on too, that looks great."  Her reply with a big grin on her face, "Ya dat's why I needed privacy."

I wasn't sad to send her, I'm excited.  It's going to allow me time to be in Asher's classroom and it's great for her little personality too.  She does well in structured environments but I will admit this mama gave the teachers a warning about 'free choice time.' "She may shove someone or slug someone if they make her mad.  Oh man I can't believe I'm saying that about my daughter!"  They can hardly believe it after teaching our son who is peaceful and quiet and calm.  Same parenting, same parents, two completely different and awesome children!

Cora is a May birthday, Asher is August.  We chose to start Asher in school at age 6.  So, he was 9 months older than Cora when he started pre-school and it is SO obvious. I wonder if we will have her delay Kindergarten too.  She was so nervous when it came time for me to leave.  Her personality plays a role in this two.  She get's overwhelmed in new situations and in change.  She has been attending Sunday school for 3 years and every time she cries when we leave.  But, seconds after we are gone she is fine.  If we run into someone we know or someone says "hi" to her whether we know them or not she get's shy.  For awhile I thought she was being snotty and I was pushing her to respond differently.  Now I'm realizing it really is part of her personality and we are working through this anxiety.  Her response still isn't right but we are parenting it differently. 

Here she is on the first day of school:
*She insisted on curly hair (so we braided it the day before), and then she insisted on a hat.  I also picked out the cutest pink sweater that is cropped to show her cute dress off and she insisted on this.  She dictates her fashion that is for sure!

Here is Asher on the first day of pre-school....same wall, same stupid piece of gum is still there and so we moved Cora's picture over a bit.

Cora loves the doll house at school.  It was where she went immediately on orientation day!
Note the headband she had to add to her perfectly matched black and yellow outfit and my pearl necklace.
And when it was circle time she ran right over, quick to listen to the story Miss Wendy was going to read.
I love how perfect she looks in the this picture.  Boys are still standing and running and she looks on with disgust.  Her posture is perfect and she is ready to listen.  But ah, how this is one side of Cora......she is a spirited one too and I LOVE that about her.

I hope to be able to share lots of pre-school stories......some funny I'm sure, some may be embarrassing, some cute, and for sure a documentation of her many, many unique outfits!

Happy first day Cora!  We love you.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

We did it.

I sent Asher to school despite my threat to keep him home until he was 30.  His first day was only one hour and the parents stayed the whole time.  He left for a tour of the school while the parents met with the teacher.  Oh how I adore his teacher.  She is a master Kindergarten teacher, 30 plus years and so wonderful with the kids.
*This is the school garden his teacher implemented for the whole school.

We approached the school and I had a memory of walking to the same school when I was a little girl.  Some of the same teachers are still there!  It's a new building but in the same place and with the same name.  As sad as it is was to let go of his little hand and let him go, I'm excited to join the PTA, to be in his classroom, to get to know the parents.
I feel like he is attending a private school!  It's a small school (still lots of kids in each class), but each morning there is a collection of parents dropping off their children, enjoying their coffee, visiting with their children, hearing about how everyone is adjusting, supporting Mama's with tears on their first day.  I love this little community that we have been invited into.
*Peering into his classroom!

The children in his class are awesome!  Amazing, involved parents.  15 kind, excited to learn, kindergartners.  How awesome to be apart of this energy.  I have volunteered in the lunch room 2 times already and I can hardly wait for three weeks to go by so I can get into his classroom every Thursday morning!
His teacher has lots of classroom pets....guinea pigs, snakes, rats, salamanders, and a whole corner of animal skulls, skeletons, and animal fur.  Each day during rest time Asher gets to go the animal corner for his assigned spot.  He can hardly believe that he is so lucky to get this corner.  His first response was, "God did that for me!"
We finished the day at a local bakery enjoying a raspberry twist talking with excitement about the following day.  This Mama felt relieved to have had such a great first hour at school.  I was more ready, my heart more ready to let go, and so proud to be this little guys Mama.

We woke the following morning ready to let go a little more.  Jesse joined us as we made the walk that will become so familiar to our feet the next many years.
We briefly gave little nuggets of advice like.....go potty as soon as you feel the need to go.  Be kind to all the kids especially those that look like they need a friend.

Cora was so excited for Asher!  She hugged him good bye so many times.  And every morning since she runs to him in his line and hugs and kisses him good bye.
I'm so very, very glad that we get to walk to school each morning, that we don't live far away and that if I can help it, he won't ever have to ride a bus to and from school.  The morning times with this boy have been so precious.  We haven't had any tears yet, no wishes to stay in bed and sleep longer, no frustration about eating breakfast, just a grown up boy ready to learn and ready to let go.
Calm and secure.  No tears from this boy, no tears from this Mama.  Just a happy Kindergartner!  I'm the mom to a grade-schooler! How awesome is this adventure of motherhood.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The eve of the eve.

*Asher 5 minutes old
It's the eve of the eve before I walk my little boy to Kindergarten.  I'm not nervous for the first day, or even the second.  But, I am nervous about the reality of a year at school, being gone from 8:22 to 2:55 each day. I've thought a lot about what to say and what not to say.  I've reminded Asher of a few of our rules with people to keep him safe.  And I joke with him that I want to keep him home until he is 30 and then I pull him into my lap and kiss him and say, "I"m excited for you to go to school, to learn math and reading.  I'm excited for you to meet new friends and to go to gym Asher."  But in all honesty I'm nervous for all of those things too.

*Asher 1 year old

 What if he struggles?  What if gym is hard for him?  He has been eagerly waiting for gym but he isn't the most coordinated boy and I fear that he will be the last picked at some point in his life.  What if he reads something I don't want him to?  What if I don't like his favorite new friend?  It's fear I know, and on this eve of the eve I know that I need to pray, to hand it over, to believe that we have instilled a deep confidence in our boy and that he will be fine.

*Asher 2 years old

I think about the things I want to tell him and how to tell him......If people are talking about Santa don't join the conversation.  You have asked for the truth and we chose not to lie to you and I'm sad that the make-believe of Santa is already over for you but we don't want you to ruin that for another little person.  If kids are talking about naked body parts just walk away.  We aren't ready for you to "know it all" yet.  If there is a little boy or girl who is alone and needs a friend don't be afraid to be a friend to them.  We would rather you show kindness to everyone even the outcast than be the most popular boy.  What's popular?  Oh don't worry about that word, it's stupid.Oh, but don't say stupid.  Don't forget to wipe your nose. When you have green snot sliding out of your nose like a slug it's really gross and I don't want kids to make fun of you.  If you have to pee don't do the potty dance and grab yourself, go to the bathroom.  Oh, and remember you can't pee on the playground, you have to go into the bathroom.  Try and be friendly but remember not all people love to share space like you, keep your hands to yourself and don't kiss anyone or overly hug anyone.  Try and pay attention and not people watch too much. You are awesome little buddy. Good luck.

 *Asher 3 years old
OK, that would maybe be overload for a just turned 6 year old boy right?  I know that as a parent I have instilled (gently) everything above.  We have had little moments of the above conversation but some of them months ago.  He may remember and he may not, but this is not the time to overload his brain and I know that.  But, as a parent, as a Mama to the sweetest, kindest, most wonderful boy in the Universe I just want him to succeed.  I don't EVER want him to experience teasing, I don't want him to experience the feeling of being dumb, or to get in trouble.  I don't want him to hear things from other kids that Jesse and I should get to tell him first.  I don't want him to be overly exhausted from a ridiculously long Kindergarten day (too long in my opinion), I want to protect him - just like every Mama.  Just the like the other Mama's to the Kindergartners he will share a classroom with.

*Asher 4 years old - first day of pre-school

Tonight, I will snuggle him, one day closer to the day he begins a new journey.  I hope the pit in my stomach will go away.  I hope that I will have the perfect words and prayers to share with my little boy.  It's time to let him fly.  He knows I'll be here to catch him if he falls, to believe in him when it feels like others don't, to encourage him that he is smart and can do anything.  But just in case he has forgotten.......those are the simple words that I'll share with him as we walk to school, hand in hand, ready for a new adventure.

*Asher 5 years old - first day of his second year of pre-school.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bride to be.

I love to host parties!  I love weddings and showers.  Sometimes I want to have a party planning business!  My dear friend Amanda and I hosted a bridal shower for our friend.  We spent two days cooking and creating the perfect evening.  It was an evening shower with desserts and drinks in the beautiful backyard of my parents.

Our theme was around the house.  We assigned guests different rooms and they shopped according to that room.  We opened gifts one room at a time.  It was a different theme than I've ever thrown before.  I love themes as so does the bride to be, maybe even more than me!

My only regret is that I didn't spend more time taking pictures.  I quickly ran around the party as it was starting and took a few shots!  It was a privilege to throw a shower for Arlina.  She is a very important to Jesse and I.  She lived with us, has spent many hours with us seeking advice and we love her dearly.  Our children will be in her wedding next month!  I can't wait to be apart of her special day.

Our colors were brown and aqua.  We went with an antique shabby chic feel.  My friend Jami who loves the shabby chic style gave us most of our decorations.  It was an elegant evening.

The bride to be is on the right and my co-host is on the left.  Happy soon to be wedding Arlina.  We are so happy for you!