March 26, 2011

Family fun times

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A little town up in the mountains has a winter festival every year. For the last 11 years I have been asking….no begging Mark to take me.  Thanks to a gracious friend of ours that has a cabin in the town that he happened to not be using one of the weekends, I was finally able to see the festival.

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After a long day of sledding, we headed through the town to look at the ice/snow sculptures.


I have no idea how long it takes to make one of these sculptures, but they sure were beautiful.  The detail on each one was amazing.


The 2nd place winner was this port a potty sculpture.  This was an interactive exhibit.  The kids had fun pretending to use it.


Ashley is very lady like when using the ice potty.


Allyson, always the comedian, had a little trouble working it out.


Even Mark, reluctantly, took a turn posing in the ice toilet.

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Ashley took a moment to give a bear a kiss.

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The first place winner had this little cabin with several animals and trees around it.  I would love to be up there a few weeks before the festival to see the people working on these things.

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The grand prize winner was Sharlie, the lake monster with these fishermen.  The expression on his face is perfect.  I’m sure he has a great story to tell his friends about the one that got away.

February 17, 2011

Ski / Snowboard Lessons

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Our homeschool group organizes ski/snowboard lessons through a youth athletic program.  The girls were very excited participate this year.

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Ashley picked snowboarding.

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Allyson picked skiing.  Both the girls were naturals.

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The girls found their groups and got acquainted to their new feet.

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As I watched I was amazed at how fast the kids were up and moving on those things.  I would have been curled up in a little ball by the sign counting the minutes until the lesson was over.

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“Here kids, strap these sticks on your feet and ski down the hill.”

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Both of them were amazing.  Staying up on their ski’s/boards and looking great.

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Ashley learned the fine art of turning.  That smile makes it look like she is actually enjoying her lesson.

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This is a picture I took from inside the lodge.  That’s Ashley riding the Magic Carpet, to go higher up the hill and board down.  The lodge was nice and warm…I was sipping a hot cup of tea.  And I may or may not have been playing games on the girls IPod.  Ski lessons are fun.

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That’s the Magic Carpet or ski escalator. Bye Allyson.  Have fun.  Maybe you should watch were you are going, to make sure you can get off in time.

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By the end of the first lesson, the girls were zipping up and down the hill like pro’s.

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Hooray, a picture with both the girls side by side. Too bad Mark didn’t snap it a few minutes earlier while Allyson was still upright.

January 28, 2011


The other night on the way to take Ashley to ballet, the sunset was beautiful.  I called Mark and told him to grab the camera and head outside and he said he was already on it. 




Such a pretty fiery sky!  WOW!!!

January 5, 2011

And my Baby turns 10…T E N


Have you met Allyson?  She is my baby.  When I close my eyes I remember her like this.


She’s the one in the cute pink hat.  She didn’t have much hair at first and she used to wear hats.  Look at all her friends!


We went to Disneyland when she was 1 and she kissed Winnie-the-Pooh.  She loved those guys.  As a matter of fact, I think she was Piglet for Halloween this year.


When she turned Two she let me put her hair in cute little piggy tails.  I miss those piggy tails.


Here she is on her 3rd birthday…notice no piggy tails….They grow up so fast.

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Yes, she did enjoy the chocolate fountain at the wedding. Why do you ask?


When she was five she became a runner.  Her older sister is somewhere behind her.


“My Mom’s taking a picture and I have to smile…am I done yet”


When she was 7 she let her sister do the work…smart kid!


For some reason I can’t comprehend right now, we continued to let her have birthdays.  This is when she turned 8.  It was a crazy hat party and all her girl friends came over and decorated hats.  PLEASE STOP GROWING!!!!


This was just a few months ago.  She growing more independent and wants to earn her own money.  Then she’ll be talking about moving out and maybe even driving.  What is wrong with kids today?!?


No matter how big she gets, every time I close my eyes this is what I see.

Happy Birthday baby girl!  Now STOP growing!

November 22, 2010

Bread bowls…getting closer

I’m no quitter.  Even though my attempts to make bread bowls in the past have failed miserably, I’m going to keep trying until I get them right.  I got closer the other night, still not perfect, but getting closer.


I made a version of seafood stew or cioppino.  We had dinner at a friends house where they made cioppino and I wanted to recreate it at home.  After cleaning out my freezer a few weeks ago I found that I have an abundance of shrimp and fish which are some of the main ingredients.  The only thing I needed to pick up at the store were the clams and those were hard to come by on a Wednesday night. It seems people in my town only want to eat fresh clams on the weekends…strange.

I wanted to make fresh bread and thought the stew would look pretty in bread bowls. Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe has had great success with her bread bowls.  And since I have failed at them in the past I was happy to find pot pie tins at the grocery store.  I figured I could cheat and use them as a form.  In the past my bread bowls turn out flat


This is what they looked like just before I put them in the oven. You can see some of them did flatten out.  After reading some of the comments on the website where I got the recipe, I feel like I under floured them.  Thankfully I had the tins to help them hold their shape.


They cooked up fine and tasted wonderful, but I still have some room for improvement.  I will keep trying.  I’m sure I’ll get it right one of theses times until then at least the failures are tasting better!

Winter wonderland


One of the perks of living in a small town with other small towns near us is all the fun holiday festivities.  A town near us just spent a lot of money to uncover a creek that was running under the streets and building in their downtown area.  The area was in desperate need of a revitalization project and the city hoped by uncovering the creek and creating a park like area it would bring people into the area and the businesses would benefit. They have several festivals through out the year and for the last few years they have created a Winter Wonderland area with thousands of lights and holiday decorations.


The lights were just turned on Friday night, so Saturday night we headed over for some family fun.  We didn’t tell the kids were we were going, we just told them to dress warm.  As you can see even Mark didn’t follow his own instructions.  He is really in shorts.  We have lived in Idaho for 12 years and he still wears shorts in the winter. I guess you can take the man out of Vegas, but you can never take the Vegas out of the Man.


The area follows the creek and has a few foot bridges that cross the creek. All the trees are wrapped in lights and the bridges are covered in lights.


I took this opportunity to mess with the shutter speed on the camera and tried to get pictures without a flash.  With some trial and error I think I did well.

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Some of the pictures I just used the Auto feature so I could see the kids.  There were several of these lighted bears playing all over the area.


The reflection of the lights in the water is so pretty.  Luckily the bridge on this end had a large hand rail and I was able to slow the shutter speed while the camera was steady on the hand rail.  I just added camera tripod to my Christmas wish list.


I forgot to speed up the shutter speed, but thought this picture was pretty in it’s own way.

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Over by their old train depot they had Winnie the Pooh train. Allyson was piglet one year for Halloween. Hello old friend!


Happy Holidays Piglet.


Ballerina Ashley liked the candy cane walkway.  I guess ballet classes are paying off, this seems to be her standard pose lately.