30 December 2010

Vaters Haus

During my senior year in high school I spent the month of December in Germany, visiting an exchange student that had lived with my family the year before.  She lived with her mother in a city, but her father lived in the country.  One weekend we stayed at his home so that I could experience the country life too.  Above is his house.  I instantly fell in love with the vine covered entryway, the simple lines and the stucco facade.

23 December 2010

Merry Christmas from my home to yours

We got a dusting of snow last night, but nothing beyond that so far.  This picture is from two years ago, but it still makes me smile.  I love my house at Christmas time.

Merry Christmas!

21 December 2010

My favorite Christmas

I have many fond Christmas memories, but the one that I love the most is from the year I was sixteen.  That Christmas my dad was serving as the bishop of our ward.  Our little congregation had several families who were in need that year.  Fortunately, we also had a few generous members in the ward.

Three weeks before Christmas my dad pulled me aside and gave me a handful of money.  He also gave me a list of shopping to be done.  He told me that he trusted me to make the money stretch to cover all the needs--I had a list of ages and what was to be purchased for each.

I had the most fantastic time searching our little town for the best deals.  I bought toys, books and clothing for children and adults.  I enjoyed wrapping the gifts and reporting to my dad each time found another great bargin.

I know that that money went much farther than it should have.  I also know that there were many families who felt Christlike love through the generosity of their brothers and sisters in the gospel.  For me, it was the most humbling, beautiful Christmas experience I have had.

17 December 2010

A day late, but look at the gate!

 I found this traditional home while looking for covered bridges.  I liked it, but then I noticed....

the gate!  
With the circle cut-out.  I had to up it to one that I love.

13 December 2010

My favorite Christmas Song

I first heard my favorite Christmas song as a young child. I remember the first time I saw the Hallmark commercial that featured "O Holy Night" --by the end tears were streaming down my face. I couldn't imagine a more beautiful song. To this day it's still my favorite.

11 December 2010

Christmas card oops

Last year when I was making out Christmas cards I noticed that the card we had sent an old friend of Craig's was returned the year before (I keep a list, okay?).  Being the sleuth that I am, I looked him up on the BYU Alumni site.  The name, graduation year, and major matched.  The adress listed was in his hometown so I sent it off.

About two weeks later we got a card back from him, but when we opened it we were astonished to see a picture of a family we've never seen before.  It was not Craig's former roommate, nor his wife and children.    

I like to imagine the wife opening our card (with a picture of our kids on it), shrugging her shoulders and deciding it must be from someone she doesn't remember.  So she reciprocated by sending us a card.

 It still makes me laugh.

Think we'll get one from them this year?

10 December 2010

Christmas on the radio

Listening to Christmas music in the car has prompted my children to ask some questions.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas--" Mom, can you hardly wait for school to start again?"

Last Christmas--  "How could someone give his heart away?  That doesn't make any sense.  Why didn't he give it to someone special the first time?"

Feliz Navidad-- "Why does he want to wish us a Merry Christmas?  Why doesn't he just do it?"

09 December 2010

New England Christmas

This is how we decorate for Christmas in New England.  I love, love, love it.  This home belongs to our neighbors across the street.  I get to look at it whenever I want.  Lucky, lucky me.

04 December 2010

I'm pretty sure it's only going to get worse from here on out

Goosey:  No, I said dated.  What did you think I said?

Dogger:  Mated.

Goosey:  What does mated mean?

Me:  Married.....and having children.

Goosey:  Oh.  Okay.

Dogger:  You and Dad mated.

Me:  Umm, yes.  We did.

Dogger:  Three times.

Me:  Uhhhh, yep.

Goosey:  What?

Dogger:  Three kids.  HELLO!

03 December 2010

Seeking Christmas Dinner

I want to start a new Christmas dinner tradition.  In the past we've always done a turkey, but it's so soon after Thanksgiving that I feel like it's repetitive.  Craig says he's heard of people having prime rib, but he's really lobbying for a goose.  I don't think you can buy goose....can you?

So, I'm wondering what your Christmas dinner traditions are.  Do you have any ideas for us?  Your own traditions or some that you've partaken of at the homes of others?  Please, do share.  Caveat:  no seafood.

02 December 2010

Chatham Light

What's better than a lighthouse?  A lighthouse with a Christmas wreath!  I love lighthouses.  I would love to live in one (or next to one, as is the case here).

29 November 2010

Funny or ugly?

When I worked at the BYU my boss's 3-year-old daughter liked to play a game called "Funny or ugly?"  She would do something, then ask her dad if it was a funny or ugly thing to do.  Example:  "Dad, I just threw the cat down the stairs.  Funny or ugly?"

Sometimes I find myself in situations where I wonder, "Funny or ugly?"  Today, for example, I wondered "Is it funny or ugly that I take my kids to say hello to the lobsters in the grocery store?"  Because let's be honest, I know that those lobsters are going to be someone's dinner......but I think my kids might be under the impression that it's a mini-aquarium .

25 November 2010

It's the holiday season

This sweet little home sits across the street from the library.  When I was there this week I loved that the occupants already had their Christmas lights in the window.  I also love the green with the white trim.  Such a cheery sight on a foggy day.

23 November 2010

I have a confession...

I've taken two online photography classes.  I don't like to admit this, especially to the blog-o-sphere, because I don't want to be labeled as one of those people who thinks she can start a photography business because she bought a DSLR.  I am not that person.

I love photography.  I was introduced to "real" cameras when I was on yearbook staff in high school.  I loved it--both shooting and developing.  As a senior I spent time working in a portrait studio as part of an internship.  I loved that too.

I thought about majoring in photography at the BYU, but a drawing course was a requirement and I knew I couldn't do that, so I didn't.

But I did take these two classes because I love taking photographs and I wanted to improve.  And I've learned a lot.  And I love the pictures that I'm taking of my family and friends.

I've been expanding my knowledge and skills.  And I'm proud of myself for doing that.  So there.

18 November 2010

sweet little cape

This sweet little home is in a fantastic family neighborhood.  I love the New England look of this one-- Cape Cod, 16 light windows, shutters, surrounded by maples.  Darling.

15 November 2010

Enjoying it all

 We still have a few trees left that delight us with their color.

And we're enjoying them all we can.

But the ones that have lost their leaves make us happy too.

13 November 2010

Audrey's quilt

My first niece is on the way, courtesy of my sister.  I sent this quilt off for her baby shower.

10 November 2010

How did that happen?

I chipped a tiny corner of one of my front teeth this afternoon.  I have no idea how it happened.  I was sitting at my desk when my tongue felt something sharp.  I checked in the mirror and found that I had chipped a tooth.  I had not been eating anything, chewing anything, grinding or clenching my teeth.

I find this particularly disturbing because I have frequent dream in which my teeth break off in pieces.  They feel dry and porous, like pumus rock, and when I run my tongue over them small pieces come off until eventually I have half a molar missing.

Not quite déjà vu, but definitely disconcerting.

08 November 2010

Tamron Lens Giveaway

If you're into the photography thing check this out.  It's a chance to win an awesome lens..

04 November 2010

Historic Home

I love that the number on this house isn't the address, but rather the year it was built.

03 November 2010

Dinner Conversation

Crossley, age 5

Me (in my most convincing tone):  You know what I like to do?  I like to take a little bit of cabbage with each bite of meatloaf.  It's really good.

Dogger (thoughtfully):  There are two kinds of really good: kid really good and adult really good.  Kid really good is spaghetti.  Not whole wheat spaghetti.  And there's parent really good.  Like cabbage and meatloaf.......and whole wheat spaghetti.

29 October 2010

Falling away

We're definitely past peak leaf season now.  But, the late fall colors are still gorgeous.  I love that we get three full months of autumn here.

28 October 2010

Italianate Victorian

I love the mansard roof on this one.  The proportions feel right.  I also love the cupola.  This house is on the Maine coast and I have the feeling that may be a functional cupola--one where a sea captain's wife could wait, watching for his safe return.

27 October 2010


When my mother-in-law was here she told me that my photo on blogger isn't the most flattering picture of me.  "You look angry."

Do I?

26 October 2010

Rock and a hard place

I've tried so many different beginnings for this post and none sounds right.

Basically it comes down to this:  Our health insurance with Craig's new company hasn't started yet and the state refused to keep my kids insured until it does because a) we make too much money for the "free" program and b) they insured my kids for two weeks this summer, making them ineligible for the buy-in program.

So when one of my children needed medical attention I actually waited a week to see if it might get better....until it got to the point when I realized that it wouldn't.

I don't think a child should have to go without medical attention because of a lack of insurance.  And I feel like a horrible mother for waiting as long as I did.  And if I thought we didn't need to do something about the insurance/healthcare system before I sure do now.  Because there's nothing more awful than watching your child struggle through ongoing asthma attacks and wondering if you can afford to get her help.

P.S. She's doing wonderfully now.  They gave her a lung-strengthening steroid and the difference is amazing.

22 October 2010

Fairy tale House

I snapped this picture on my cell phone while waiting at an intersection.  Please try to ignore the fact that it was trash collection day and instead look at the roofline....and the beautiful chimney right in the front.  So cute!  This house reminds me of Hansel and Gretel--don't you think it could pass for the gingerbread house?

20 October 2010

Sometimes I think....

I should've majored in:

Recreation Management and Youth Leadership
Political Science
American Studies
Manufacturing Engineering
Travel and Tourism

18 October 2010

To satisfy Aunt Lindsey's insatiable curiosity

Both sets of grandparents came for Goosey's baptism.  Aunt Lindsey has demanded pictures of the paternal side of the family.  Unfortunately there weren't many of the kids and grandparents together....probably because Goosey and Dogger were in school most of the time.
Papa Don playing legos with the boys.

Grandmommy making french toast before school.

Papa Don harassing Lew at Dogger's soccer game.
Grandmommy watching Dogger play soccer.
Papa Don and Lew fixing my kitchen drawers.

What team work!

16 October 2010

Wicked Awesome

Last night my friend Cat and I went to Boston to see......
Attempt at a self portrait.

Did you see it?  Up in the corner?  Just in case you missed it....
A kind passerby takes our picture (but not very well).

It was WICKED awesome.  The Boston Opera House was gorgeous.  
The actresses playing Elphaba and Glinda were spot-on with amazing voices.
Finally, someone who can take a photograph.....but were were laughing and looking goofy.

15 October 2010

New England Autumn 2010

We are having a nor'easter today.  The rain hasn't been too bad, but the winds are definitely coming in high powered gusts.  The unfortunate thing about this storm is when it's hitting--right at peek leaf season.  The last two days our leaves have been absolutely gorgeous.  Amazingly beautiful.  I've been able to snap a few shots, but I'm hoping the storm doesn't blow everything away so I can get some more.

14 October 2010

The house of orange

I really, really love this house.  I've been waiting for the trees around it to turn so that I could take an autumn picture.  I love the color.  I love the setting.  I love the style.  I drive by this house every day, and everyday I admire the way they've been true to the architecture.  With the exception of the car in the driveway, this home looks like it could fit right into the 1930's.

To be baptized.....is just the thing I want to do

Goosey, age 8

Goosey prepared herself and made the choice to be baptized.

 We are so pleased with the way Goosey lives her life.  She is unfailingly kind and always tries to do her best.  She loves to help others and do what is right.
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