Thursday, June 14, 2012


 8 ('cause she's 8) facts about gretchen:

1.  she loves to be fancy.  she would for sure ditch me and go live with fancy nancy's family if that was an option.  she is always looking for ways to add some fanciness to her life.  she even added ribbon bows along the sides of her bunkbed to fancy things up a bit.

2.  she is a great friend to pace.  he pretty much waits all day for her to get home from school and then attacks her with his enthusiasm the second she walks in the door.  she is usually a good sport about it.

3.  she is a super good helper with wells.  i am so lucky!

4.  she LOVES reading and is really, really fast and good at it.  she has read all the harry potter books, the percy jackson books, fable haven, etc........

5.  she likes to play with her american girl dolls and gets them all fancy (of course) and set up.  she makes "beds" and "rooms" for them out of cardboard boxes.

6.  she bears her testimony at church almost every month.  she is way braver than i am!

7.  she likes to wear her hair in pigtails.

8.  she made (all by herself and with no prompting from me) a poster about being vegan and took it to school to show her class.  this was not an assignment.  she is very enthusiastic about sharing what she thinks with other people!

love you, gretchy!

Monday, June 4, 2012


(with a bit of loren and the kids thrown in for good measure).  so, here's a rundown of my life since moving to washington:  six children.  whooee!!! doesn't that look like a lot of kids? i'm still waiting to feel grown up enough to have them.  (and, total side note, washington state redeemed itself a bit weather/beauty wise by providing us with this great backdrop for family pictures this weekend--this was taken just outside my backyard.)
between and around and in amongst taking care of children, i had lots of fun setting up our house here. i think i would rearrange my house every two years even if i didn't move.  i just really, really enjoy finding places for everything and making things work in new ways.  and since most of my family and friends have never seen my house, and this is pretty much where i spend all my time and energy (besides in the car and at costco), i'm going to grace you all with some house pictures so you can picture where i be! (it's 'am', i know--it just sounded fun to say 'be').

this is a picture of liesel-and-gwyneth's (yes, they are one word) room.  we started redoing it in florida and then finished it up here.  

 for christmas i got them a chandelier for their walk-in closet and made them a little hang-out spot in there.
 my main push in this house has been to become super organized.  (i've maybe discovered it's a secret passion of mine.)  i actually think i want to become (in a far-off scarcely imagined time years from now) a professional organizer.  it's just too fun to label and sort and throw things away, i tell you!  here's our craft/sewing/piano practice room (the piano's on the other side of the room, not pictured, obviously).  i just got to teach a mini relief society thing about organization and i had way too much fun.
 and here's the "extra food storage" cupboards, which are actually in our laundry room, which is just off the kitchen.  you can't really tell here, but everything's sort of labeled and in its own spot.  liesel and gwyneth gave me a labeler for valentine's day, and nothing in my house is safe now.

this is our front room--view from the door

view from the kitchen  (that balcony up there goes to l-and-g's room)

 this is from the upstairs hall--the front room is open to the 2nd story all the way across
 this is my room--mostly this picture is to show that i finally hung the curtains behind my bed (something i've been talking about doing since we moved here)

so there's pretty much the house.  when it's not raining (ha!) i will go outside and take a picture of the outside and show you that, too.

other than housey/organizing stuff, i've been doing a lot of yoga again.  a studio opened up less than 5 minutes from my house, which has been super fun for me.  i also go running sometimes--mostly in a walk-up-the-hills-run-down-them fashion.  i have not gotten on my bike since my bike crash last year (except once when loren made me and i rode so slowly i was worthless, and even got off the bike to walk down some of the hills).  i am a big chicken now!!!  i FINALLY got my tooth that was knocked loose fixed last week, so maybe now i will start to regain some of my biking skills?  i really want to do another triathlon, but we'll see how it goes........
i also got to go to virginia a couple of weeks ago for the annual cabin retreat with my virginia friends.  it was SO much fun.  i love being with people who've known me for a long time (and still say i can come visit them!).  i fully took advantage of the sun there and came home a bit fried, but i say it was totally worth it!!!! rain, rain, go away.

and here's a bit about loren:  he likes his job here a lot better than he did in florida, so that's super nice.  he (and i) love the commute--it's the shortest commute we've ever had.  he's much better than me at actually running up hills, so he's been doing some races and having fun with that.  saturday he did a mud run and had a lot of fun.  and as always, he's the best husband i could hope for!

so, i guess that's it!  life as i know it.