Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We're having so much fun with the little guy. He's up and walking everywhere now...
... giving talking a shot too:) His favorite words are - "Dada"
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... and "hot" !
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... and "hat" - sounds like "hot" :)
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He'll give most words a shot :)
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Trying to figure out a way to allow Caleb to interact with the tree without mangling the ornaments was tricky... we came up with, "you can smell, but don't touch:)"... we have lots of fun smelling the tree together:)
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He's using a spoon to feed himself now too (or trying to)... growing so fast:)
After a few scary nights of 104/105˚ temperatures, we found out our little guy had Roseola earlier this month... the rash gave it away. Caleb clung to his daddy during these sick days and spent lots of time just laying on D's lap... so precious.
Nothing like Daddy's kisses to help get better fast
buddies:)
We visited Jeff, Kelly and Sierra last week... SO fun watching these two grow up together - both talking (some) and walking now:)
Kelly and I had SO MUCH fun making Lefsa together. If you're minnesotan, you know what a delicacy Lefsa is... and you probably know what a task it is to pull of a successful batch.

If you're an Arizonan or Coloradoan, you probably have no idea what Lefsa is... my best attempt at explaining this Scandinavian holiday treat is --- it's like a thin tortilla (good for a good giggle, huh Minnesotans?) we put butter and sugar on and eat with Sweedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn at any good holiday feast, ya know... :)

Anyway, after grandma passed away last February, the tradition passed to our hands to carry on. With a couple of precious grandma training sessions in my head and heart, and my grandma's long-promised lefsa cooking supplies at my side, I set off to start my first-ever attempt of lefsa-making without grandma's help. I peeled 10 pounds of potatoes, cut them in quarters, boiled them, riced them (using my grandma's antique-looking potato ricer... funny deal), mashed them, added cream and butter and let them chill over night. (Have I mentioned that cooking doesn't exactly come naturally to me?)

The next day Caleb and I drove to Denver to play and cook these potato balls up with Kelly and Sierra. While the kids were napping, we began step 2. We added flower and a bit of sugar and salt and starting rolling the dough into balls. (I found a hand-written note at the bottom of the griddle box from my grandma that said, "to Heather"... I teared up - I sure do miss her.) We plugged in Grandma's griddle, and layed out her rolling cloth. We'd roll the dough as thin as possible without tearing it then carefully lifted it over to the griddle to cook. Like roasting marshmallows, the sign of a good piece of lefsa is golden brown spots... not dark brown or black - that means it burnt.
We had way too much fun:) - after 8 hours of Lefsa rolling and flipping - we started getting a bit goofy... (well maybe we were pretty goofy the whole time). A few times when we were talking too much (happens rarely) and forgot to flip, the Lefsa burnt... then we just ate it - so it worked out ok:):)
Just as fun was hanging out with my two favorite little buddies:)
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Caleb and I spent the night in Denver. I got to babysit when Jeff and Kelly went to work the next day - what special alone-time with both kids! I loaded both kids into the car after their morning naps and met Kelly at Park Meadows for lunch and a visit with Santa.

Where's Santa?
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Here he is!

Uncle Ryan came to visit this weekend. We had so much fun together! What a blessing it was to have him here! Caleb had SO MUCH FUN playing with him!
Snuggling after nap
Thanks for a fun weekend, Ry!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

November

Happy 1st Birthday Little Guy :) Jeff, Kelly and Sierra made the trip up from Denver on the 2nd to have a little birthday dinner celebration.
Interesting method... but effective:)
Our little "wall flower" didn't have any trouble digging in :)
We celebrated with friends and family a few weeks later. What a fun party! :)








YEA for Rodie!!
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Both walking now. SO fun!
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LOVE fall raking!
Playing at the park with Owen
Sledding at the park after the big snow ... wee!
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Swim lessons with Daddy
We spent Thanksgiving in Arizona. What a wonderful week of family fun:). We all ran/walked in a 5K/10K Thursday morning.

Uncle Ryan, Caleb and D
Ansley and Caleb

Uncle, Caleb and Auntie :)
Dancin' with Ansley
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Breakfast with Grandpa
Grandma snuggles
Great Grandma and Grandpa Rollins
I've had so much free time this year to think about Thanksgiving... how very blessed we are. I am so grateful for so many things! Some topping the list:
- Jesus... His intimate love, mercy, faithfulness and spectacular plan for the lives of all of His kids
- Dustin and God's plan for marriage. Thank you Lord for giving me such a wonderful teammate to share life with, learn with, play with, grow with and love:)
- Caleb - I struggle putting into words the deep love and adoration I have for our sweet boy... for the gift that he is, parenthood...thank you Lord SO much
- Family - everywhere we turn we've got gobs of love pouring out on us from parents, sisters, brothers, cousins... I often wonder how in the world we got so lucky - I feel so undeserving... SO GRATEFUL for every second we get to spend with family whether in person or over the phone
- Friends - Lord, you've blessed us with absolutely AMAZING friends... again, I feel so undeserving... SO VERY BLESSED!
- Health (in general, but specifically the ability to walk and use both arms) and the health of family members
- Financial provision. Thank you Lord!
- Ft. Collins/Colorado - to live in a state with SO MUCH beauty, and opportunities to play outside!!
- Our Country - while having grown up in a generation seemingly seperated from the understanding of the true gift we have in freedom, I've spent a lot of time this year thinking about America... in awe of the structures that were set in place hundreds of years ago giving us the gift of freedom, voice and equality. Words really cannot express the gratitude I feel to all the men and women who have given their lives for my freedom... and to the present men and women risking their lives every day to protect mine... wow - what a sacrifice. Lord, bless them for their selfless devotion to others.
Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Grand Canyon

We've always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon while visiting family in Arizona, and have never "had enough time" on our quick trips home for holidays during the school year to make the trip 4 hours north. This week we had the opportunity to made it happen. Dustin's grandparents have a cabin in Flagstaff, so we headed up to Flagstaff Sunday evening (leaving Caleb with Grandma and Grandpa for a few days), and spent the night at the cabin. Monday morning we woke up early and headed an hour north to the Grand Canyon... a life-long dream of mine - again (Alaska, too, a few months ago) coming true. What a year! Thank you Jesus:)
We took off from the South Kiabab trailhead at 8:00 a.m. Our plan was to make a day of it... take the South Kiabab trail 9 miles down to the bottom of the canyon, eat lunch on the Colorado River, then make the 9 mile trek back up 5,000 ft. using the Bright Angel trail.
I was absolutely overwhelmed with the grandeur and majesty of the Canyon...




If you look closely you can see our lunch destination at the bottom of the canyon: the Colorado River
"I love you, O Lord, my strength. The lord is my rock, my fortress and may deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." - Psalm 18:1-2
...Happy, happy, happy girl:)
Getting closer to the river... SO beautiful!

Nothin' like chucking rocks over the side of a cliff into water! :)
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Love you Bro!!! :) ... will always and forever fulfill our childhood bridge duties! :)
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Starting the ascent back up
The way up was wonderful!!! Rivers and waterfalls kept us company;)
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What a surprise! Fall in the Grand Canyon? Who knew!! ... I was SO EXCITED to see yellow leaves!! :)
What a fun journey! We thoroughly enjoyed time playing, laughing, chatting, singing:) and hanging out together! After 7 hours and 18 miles of hiking, we made our way out of the canyon a little after 2... happy as could be:)
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made." - Romans 1:20
We stuck around to watch the sun set over the canyon... wow!
"Let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sign for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield." - Psalm 5:11 - 12