Friday, September 30, 2011

Pumpkin Jack-O-Lanterns

 I just love October- it may be my favorite month ever! 
The leaves start changing.
Sweaters and hoodies (thats for you, Mark) can be worn all day.
There's a nice nip in the air especially in the early morning and late evening.
Pumpkins start gracing front steps and mums appear everywhere.
Its my man's birthday month!
You can find apple cider in the grocery store.
We dress up our little munchkins and go trick or treating at Grandma and Grandpas!
We drive up into the mountains to see all the yellow Aspens.
I just love fall! Its the best season ever!
 I found this cute idea in a Southern Living magazine that my mother-in-law gave me.
Take old canning jars and paint the outside with orange paint- let dry. Paint a black rim and design a face with black paint. Stick a tea light or LED light inside and ta-da.. a cute little non perishable pumpkin lantern to adorn your front steps for October!  And the best thing is that little hands can do most all the work!
Happy October!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I love this picture. It reminds me of a fuzzy picture I have of my mom and dad on their wedding day in the 70's. In this picture I am just missing the feathered hair and long flow-y dress and daisies! I really need to get a scanner so I can show you all some great "old" family photos.

Now, on to yet another date with my man. I know- we are getting WAY too many date nights, right! We have gone out without kids the past 3 weekends and I could really get used to this:) This time we went out to celebrate Mark's moms birthday! We treated them to Lola's- a fancy "chef" Mexican restaurant downtown in the Highlands. It was WONDERFUL! The food was amazing and the company just delightful

We started off with homemade guacamole that the guy makes tableside. It was so yummy! I am a sucker for anything with avocado in it.
Mark and his mom ordered the double cut smoked pork chops with frijoles charros, onion rings, guajillo
and grilled peach barbeque sauce. It was delicious! I tried a bite, ya know! It had such a yummy smoked flavor- I wish I had the recipe for that sauce!
Ben and I had the poblano relleno which had hazeldell farm mushrooms, tomatoes, chayote squash,
wild rice, smoked goat cheese, chile rojo. It was quite spicy but the goat cheese cooled it down just enough!
It was big Pepper!

We decided to ride downtown for dessert on Larimer Street at The Market- a local joint that has amazing desserts (definitely try the Spring Fling Zucchini cake with fresh fruit) and a great coffee bar.

It was a wonderful evening filled with great food and great company. Special thanks to the Endyks who babysat the kiddos so we could have a nice evening out with Marks parents. We love you guys!

Ephesians= WOW!

Last Sunday we were challenged with Sola Scriptura- the importance of Scripture to our church and individual lives. Its SO easy to say we highly value Scripture but boy was I convicted by my lack of desire to read it and truly desire it above all else.

‎"Let us then consider it certain and conclusively established that the soul can do without all things except the Word of God."
 ~Martin Luther

We were challenged to read the book of Ephesians for 5 days this week. I am on day 3 and its SUCH a good book- I think what has hit me most is the contrast of the life we had before Christ and the life we enjoy after we have accepted the good news of the gospel as our sole means of salvation-listen to these verses and get ready to be blown away! 

Ephesians 2:1-10
  And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh,indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselvesit is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

WOW- what grace! What unmerited favor God showed to me- a rebel to His cause!
The whole book is filled with passages like this- showing the sinfulness of man and the greatness of God- and how God reached across that great chasm and filled it with the His Son- CHRIST- on the cross. Brings me to tears. 

What a mystery!  What love! What grace! What a glorious Gospel! 
I pray as I gaze on this great truth that my soul would desire 
more and more of this GREAT God and His GREAT Word!

Vanilla Rainbow Cupcakes with whipped cream icing

I am not sure when I got this recipe but it my favorite vanilla cake recipe- its easy, simple and basic and always turns out and tastes great! a winner all around! I cut it in half to make 12 large cupcakes- 
This time around, I added food coloring to make the batter and layered it to make rainbowed cupcakes for two very special 4 yr olds! 

Vanilla Cake (makes a 3 tiered nine inch cake)
1 cup of butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 3/4 cup flour
2 Tbs baking powder
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter until nice and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating inbetween each addition. In a separate bowl combine the flour and baking powder. Alternate pouring the milk and flour into the mixture until well combined, Always scrape the sides after each addition. Add vanilla.
Bake for 20-25 minutes

Whipped Cream Icing
2 cups of heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla or any other flavoring that would taste great on cupcakes!

Combine above ingredients and whip and whip till light and fluffy!

Friday, September 23, 2011


After one week I am starting to feel  some relief from this disastrous cold! Thank goodness!We had to cut out a lot from our week like volunteering at the girls school and a few playdates. I hate cancelling those things but  I also hate to get other people sick:) 
Just wanted to share a few pictures from our amazing date last Friday to Aria! It was fantastic! It was fancy! It was right up my alley but not Marks! He was a good sport though and humored me!
Aria is located downtown in the Cherry Creek district right next to the mall. The ambiance of the restaurant was tasteful and the wait staff superb. They were very knowledgeable about the menu and saw to our every need without being overbearing. Aria is the sister restaurant to The Opus in Littleton.

We started off with some homemade bread with butter that had this yummy Hawaiin sea salt sprinkled on it.

Our first course was Sauteed Superlump Pecan Crabcakes with a lemon aide sauce and sweet corn relish. It was delish and the lemonaide sauce complimented the sweet crab perfectly.

For the Second course, I enjoyed Goat cheese and Walnut Crusted Chicken Breast with a yummy parsnip puree and warm blueberries and mixed veggies. It was SOOO moist and the goat cheese and blueberries tasted wonderful together. I savored every bite. Of course, it was presented beautifully.

Mark ordered the Bacon Brie Bison Burger and Potato Crisps and I, of course, sampled it and it was delicious! The burger was cooked to perfection and had a nice pink center. And anything that has Brie on it tastes amazing.

And our third course was dessert, we shared the Chocolate Chip Cookie Spring Rolls with fresh berries and a sweet ginger dipping sauce.It was melt in your mouth GOOD! I really loved the gooey chocolate chip center. It was the perfect ending to a perfect meal.

IT was such a fun evening of good food and of course a handsome man by my side!

Special thanks to Marcus and Ashlie for watching the kids and for the gift certificate!
You guys ROCK!
We are so blessed to have you as friends.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We've got the Sniffles

Sorry I havent been blogging recently- I have some very exciting topics to blog about but I would much rather lay on the couch and watch a movie- we have been sick in this house since Saturday- colds- miserable, runny nose, sore throat, congestion filled colds! YUCK! I despise colds-it started with Sophia, spread to Ella, spread to Elijah and Daddy then spread to Arianna and me. I feel like I have been hit the worse- maybe its because I am so much older and my body feels the soreness and achiness more!  Its been 3 days now and I am hoping it leaves soon. It is not welcome anymore...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Its Friday, Im in Love

First of all, I am in {LOVE} with this little guy-
 he has been so cuddly and sweet lately- just love him!
 He's always kissin me and lovin on me- its the best! 

I am also in {LOVE} with the fact that I get to go on a fancy shmancy date with my hubby tomorrow courtesy of our awesome friends Marcus and Ashlie. We are headed downtown to ARIA restaurant.
I am one lucky girl- 2 dates in 2 weeks- sweet!
Dont know if I told you lately but I {LOVE} my man! 
He's wicked awesome. He melts my heart. 
I could be deserted on a desert island with just him for months and be okay with it! 
he's that awesome!
okay, I better go before you throw up:) 

Have a smashing good weekend everyone! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Black Bean Salsa

Everyone makes fun of me because I LOVE to eat! I really do! Dinner that is.. I rarely eat breakfast- there are just SO many things happening in the morning and food isnt on my mind. I do drink lots of coffee in the morning. Lunch is really hard too- So I try to come up with different lunches that I enjoy- this week its greek salads and black bean salsa. I have honestly been eating this salsa almost every day for lunch for the past few weeks. It is SO yummy and I think pretty healthy too since its all fresh ingredients- except for the chips.

Fresh Black Bean Salsa
2 cans of black beans, drained
1 mango peeled and chopped
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
20 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Toss all ingredients together and refrigerate.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hi Ho Hi Ho Its off to Work I Dont GO

Hard to believe but after 17 years I have stopped working all together and am truly a stay at home mom!
The decision to stop working was a good one, I think. It wasnt like I was working a lot but it sure is nice not having the work schedule hanging over your head when planning weekly activities.
Mark recently got an assistant speech and debate coach position at Valor and that has enabled me to stay home altogether. It pays REALLY well and is not a huge time commitment at all. 
Win! Win! Win! 
I thought it would be fun to blog about my work experience-
someday my kids will love to see this:) 
So if it bores you, you can close my page right now:)

15 yrs old-18 yrs old: Worked at The Creamery (an ice cream store) where I learned to make ice cream cakes and decorate them! I also worked at an Insurance Agency for an hour and a half filing papers- before the world was going paperless! and ALSO worked retail at Nautica at the outlet mall by my house- for a while there (like a few years)  I was doing all 3 jobs after school! crazy, right! I also worked at Mt Airy Lodge as a front desk clerk. At that job, I was almost robbed while carrying a bunch of money down a dark hallway.
COLLEGE:  I worked at the Information desk giving tours of the college, etc. for 2 years. During summer and winter breaks I worked at Vinny D's Deli and gained a hundred pounds:) I sat out a year of college and worked there a whole year full time. I also worked at The Shannon Inn doing front desk work. Again for a while there, I worked 16 hour days going from the deli to the hotel- it was crazy! 
My junior year of college I worked at Country Inn as a waitress. I really liked that job because I made REALLY good tips! Sometimes I think I should go back into waitressing- it was awesome money!
My senior year of college I got married and then managed The Daily Grind- our college coffee shop for the summer during camp. It was a FUN job! AND I truly developed a love for coffee! 

AFTER COLLEGE TO THE PRESENT: I taught 3rd grade for 2 years after college and loved it- then got preggo with twins. I did stay home with them for about 2 months after they were born and then went back to work as an Assistant Day Care Director for a year. I had enough of my kids in daycare, so I started working evenings as a Trainer for Dunkin Donuts- I also loved that job because I got lots of free coffee!  Then we moved to Colorado and I started working for Gymboree a kids clothing store where I worked for 4 years up until now! 

So there you have it- wow, I am tired just typing all that! Thats a lot of work! I have met MANY wonderful friends through all my jobs many of whom are still friends today! Even across the many miles! I am so thankful for the ability to work and hope to instill that in my kids at a young age so that when they turn 16- they can get a job and start saving for college- all my money from all those jobs went to paying for college. I am going to miss working but I only have about 2 years with my little munchkins and then all my kids will be in school and I will have plenty of time to work from there on out! Plus, I think being a mom is one of the hardest jobs out there and we get paid with hugs and kisses and smiles... and right now that's worth more than any amount of money in the world! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Whirlwind of a Weekend

 This past weekend was very busy but very exciting as well! Friday started off with the twins field day at school. They do it at the beginning of the year to form unity and bonding within the class. They rotate along through different games and overall really enjoy it! I remember my field days as a kid- we would even get ribbons at  the end and there was the famous obstacle course where you couldnt wait to dive into the mud and get all dirty. We would have the standard three legged races and long jump and running races. I usually won those- I could really run when I was little.  
Elijah and Ella came along to cheer on their sisters but Elijah soon lost interest and played with Littlest Pet Shop toys on the cement. It was pretty funny- he carried these around with him all day long. 
Ella tried to get into the games and was tagging along after her sisters all morning.
Later that afternoon, I met my friend Erika for our annual Pumpkin Spice Latte debut at Starbucks. We have met every year since our girls started Kindergarten. I quite like the tradition. and I REALLY love the drink! (please ignore the double chin in this picture- its probably from drinking too much coffee!)
 And the cherry on top of my Friday was a date with my man, Mark! We went to Elephant Bar Resturant for dinner and then got to go downtown to a HEART meet and great on Larimar Square- HEART is the organization that Mark teamed with to go to Africa- they are doing AMAZING things in Africa and it was all started by this sweet older lady, Vicki. What an encouragement to me to see this woman (who is entering a stage in life when most people sit back and relax) forge ahead and create this organization that is doing SO much in meeting needs for the people of Africa- AMAZING! I was in tears. 
Their newest project is where they build greenhouses for the African people to grow crops to sell in their towns- they started this because of all the famine going on in Africa right now.

 Special thanks to our sweet babysitter, Rachael, who watched the munchkins for us! She also went with      Mark to Africa so she was excited that we got to see Vicki and hear about HEART!

Saturday was very busy as Mark met with with an Ordination Counsel to pursue eldership at Sola Church. He was grilled for around 2 hours by Jay Janz, Paul Valentine, Chad Mondragon and Rudy Gomez about his theology and his own personal life. Sunday, it was complete as he was installed as an elder at Sola Church, along with Bobby Endyk.
 What an amazing God we serve who uses ordinary men to serve and guide and love His church. 
If you dont have a church body and live in the Denver area, we would LOVE to have you come and visit us! 
We meet on the corner of Holly and County Line and have our service at 10:30am.
We also have missional community groups that meet once a week for a meal together and Bible Study-
 we would love for you to come! 

And now a new week has begun!
Yesterday the twins started after school choir! They are all excited- they get tshirts and get to sing at Christmas at Southglenn. Ella continues to love school. Elijah and I met with our neighbor today who is a young teenage girl who just had a cute little baby girl. I was able to take pictures of little Kaliyah for my Etsy shop and give her some pretty baby bling! I am hoping to get to know Karly better! 
Tonight I head to the twins schools PTO meeting- I am excited to get involved this year! I had my first big event as Hospitality Coordinator last month and was able to meet a lot of the staff and parents at Hopkins.
 It was fun! 

Friday, September 9, 2011

First Week of Preschool A Success

Isnt she just SO cute! My little 4 yr old Ella Bella started her first school experience on Tuesday at Christ Lutheran Preschool. Its about 10 minutes from our house and she has 14 girls and 4 boys in her class. She has been looking forward to this for MONTHS and regularly would ask when she would be going. I was worried that she built it up too much in her head and would be disappointed when the day actually came but that was silly! She LOVED it!
Ella is in Jr Kindergarten and they meet from 9:30am-12:30pm. She eats lunch at school and that has been quite the exciting experience! Her teachers name is Miss Pam and they also have another classroom teacher named Miss Debbie. Ella is always coming home with papers and crafts and projects and new songs and new poems and new rules that she has learned.. you get the picture! She's learning lots!
 And since Ella is in school this gives me time to spend some quality time with my little Lij! I have never in 7 years of parenting ever had one child to look after- its so different! And I like it. It definitely is quiet! I have started teaching Elijah too seeing as he really does not know much- not sure if its because he is a boy or it is because he is the last of 4 children- poor guy doesnt know red from yellow- but we are working on it and soon he will know lots:) And if he doesnt learn quickly, at least he has his looks:) He sure is a cutie!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend- we sure have a busy one ahead!
 And I am SOOO looking forward to it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Help

Last night I was able to go see The Help with Erika. It was SUCH a good movie- about racial segregation specifically with woman (moms)and their maids and one young woman's stand against it. Skeeter (the main character) took a chance to stick out in society by befriending some black maids and exposing their mistreatment at a time when it was actually against the law to do so! I thought it was wonderful. There were several curse words but other than that it was GREAT! oh, and lots of smoking- I cannot believe how much people smoked back in the olden days- thank goodness it has died down much from back then. Of course I cried and laughed a lot. Erika commented after the movie how emotional I am and I really am- it doesnt take much to get a laugh from me or tears for that matter:) 
I just want to say that I am so thankful for Erika's friendship- we have known each other for 4 years now and she is definitely a Life-long friend! We each have different personalities but in my mind, it balances us out pretty perfectly. I love that we can hang out easily together and talk about anything. Love ya, Erika! 

And on a side note, I just LOVED the fashion from that movie! 
All the skirts and little bows in their hair and funky tops! 
It was great! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I am in love with a nerd

Since I can still not access the pictures from Ellas first day of preschool, I will leave you with this clever little comic. Its actually a Tshirt and I really want to get it for Mark:) Mark dressed up as a math nerd with his Math Department today- here is a picture for you to enjoy!

Math was NOT my favorite subject in school- I am so glad our kids can go to daddy with their math frustrations and he will help them! Being married to a nerd and having his babies really pays off!
I'll never have to pay for a tutor.
And he's REALLY smart and I am not so its all good.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


And much to my utter dislike, this post has no pictures. You see our MAC has the gray screen of death and is waiting for Marks computer genius touch to revive it or at least get the harddrive out so he can put a new one in. (and yes, my pictures were in Iphoto and were not backed up- lets not talk about it or I may throw up) Thats another story for another day.
In the meantime, I am stuck using a laptop which I am very thankful for, but which I am not very good at using. I am not very good at using Picasa either so the bazillion pics I took of Ella starting prechool today are still on the camera and hopefully will come off tonight when Mark shows me how to do it.
All this to say, you are stuck with a pictureless post and most all of you will probably not even read this since no picture accompanies it!
Ella did start preschool today and it was a smashing success- at least for her- my eyes have been filled with tears all day. When did my baby girl grow up? Childhood is flashing by at the speed of light and I for one am not liking it!

Friday, September 2, 2011

How Are You Spending Your Weekend?

Dont you love this vintage effect on these pictures we took camping the other weekend? 
I used a free photo editing thingy at
You should try it- its super cool and its free! 

Last night we went to a Valor Math Department Party at Kathy's house- most all the math teachers from Valor came and we shared a yummy dinner. I am so thankful for such a wonderful group of teachers that Mark gets to interact with every day. They are so kind, funny and just great people! 

I am participating in a HUGE kids consignment sale this weekend- I am selling clothes and hope to make a fortune:)ha! It was pretty easy to do. I came up with prices that I wanted to sell items for and then entered them on an online pricing system and then printed out the tags and attached them to my stuff. You drop them off, they get inspected and then you put them out on the sale floor and that is it! You get 60% of the sale for doing that. If you volunteer- you get another 5% back and if 5 friends come with your consignment number , you get another 5% back so thats 70% altogether! I think thats awesome for consigning!  I plan to volunteer tomorrow for 4 hours. It should be fun! I already shopped and got some really good deals yesterday. Ella is ALL set for fall/winter clothes. Elijah  needs casual clothes like knit pants and long-sleeved tshirts and the twins need a few more school outfits. And they all need winter boots and thats about it. Not bad at all. I shop in off seasons for the most part so its nice to pull out a bin of clothes all ready for that new season. And I get them dirt cheap too! The only time buying ahead has come back to bite me is with shoes. You can just never guess right about what size they will be in in a years time. 

The weather is supposed to cool down  this weekend into next week. It has honestly been in the 90's for weeks now and I am SO tired of heat and sweating. I am ready for fall. I am ready for jeans and little jackets and sweaters:) I really LOVE fall! Its my favorite season. Hopefully we get a fall this year and dont skip it and go right to winter. I could see it happening. 

well, I am off to organize and rearrange the basement. Its time:) 
Have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Embrace the Camera {LOVE}

SO weird, my original post completely disappeared. So I must repost this picture. 
I was saying, that I really am liking the music of Ingrid Michaelson. She has some really pretty folksy love songs that I have recently downloaded to my IPod. 

"The Way I Am"

If you were falling, then I would catch you.
You need a light, I'd find a match.

Cuz I love the way you say good morning.
And you take me the way I am.

If you were chilly, here take my sweater.
Your head is aching, I'll make it better.

Cuz I love the way you call me baby.
And you take me the way I am.

I'd buy you Rogaine when you start losing all your hair.
Sew on your patches to all you tear.

Cuz I love you more than I could ever promise.
And you take me the way I am.
You take me the way I am.
You take me the way I am.

Another GREAT song by her is
Take a listen :)