Saturday, September 20, 2014

Looking Back at Summer

Grace decorated her own birthday cake.  Her favorite color is yellow.  Can you tell?

Happy 8th!

Enjoying the Cherry Days parade in Paonia on July 4.

Is it coming yet?
Grace's new friend.

Ava and her hand-crafted crab apple mud cakes.

Testing her umbrella in Gramps's hay-field irrigation sprinklers.

Gem Lake,  Rocky Mountain National Park.

Sisters in Gem Lake.

The Gem Lake trail is 4 miles round trip, with the first half being a steep uphill climb.

I only had to carry a couple of 3-year-olds on parts of the return hike.  Impressive!

Enjoying the pool while sisters took swimming lessons.

A nature walk on the Calf Creek Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park.

The hiking stick her Grandpa Nydell made her.

We identified lots and lots of wildflowers!
My hike to Chasm Lake in August.  Pretty amazing!

My favorite view from Trail Ridge Road.

A moody morning in Paonia.

Craft time at Grammy and Gramps' house.

Gideon's face painting from "Pickn' in the Park" in Paonia.  He IS his favorite animal!

They are such boys!

Ava and the tire swing her daddy made.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sunday, September 07, 2014

First Week of School

We began the week with our annual first day of school outing.  This year, I drove our "school bus" into Rocky Mountain National Park to our favorite picnic spot for breakfast and pictures.  Then, we headed home to dig into the academic rigors of the girls' first and third grade subjects.  It feels good to be back in the rhythm of the school year again.  Let the learning begin!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Rainy August Afternoons

We've been enjoying lots of quiet rainy siesta hours lately.  It's really quite lovely, especially when followed by a romp outside when the sun comes back.  I love Colorado weather!

Monday, July 28, 2014


I thought a lot this morning about taking an active stance in the things that I value.  Waking up shortly after 5 am to go hiking was not a passive act.  Without that proactive beginning, though, I would have missed the swirl of vapors filling Moraine Park, the brilliant red sunrise in the rear-view mirror, morning alpenglow on the peaks, and most importantly, silence on a trail that would be clogged with fellow hikers by mid-morning.  I took action and gained peace, introspection, and refreshment as a result.

I was struck by my desperate need to step out of passivity not just as I pursue the natural world, but as I pursue the Kingdom of God, desiring to be clear-eyed and vibrant in spirit.  I am memorizing Jesus' Sermon on the Mount this year and slowly soaking up what it means to be a kingdom-dweller beginning with, "Blessed are the poor in spirit..."  I had always thought of this as a mere recognition of lack; an awareness of how infinitely more there is available in Christ.  However; to be truly poor in spirit, I cannot be passive.  I cannot let myself sink into the attitude of a victim, thinking, "Poor me, I'll never change".  I must be consumed with a wholehearted pursuit of the Great King.  I once heard it expressed as a lifestyle of spiritual violence. That is exactly what a life devoted to Christ is.  And that it what I want.  Willingness to strive to the extreme for the only thing worth living this moment and the next, and after I stumble and get up, today and every day...until eternity.

What do we miss by letting life just happen to us?

Nymph Lake's beautiful water lilies.

Huge boulders just below the surface of Lake Haiyaha.
Arriving at Lake Haiyaha was arriving at a hushed mirror of sky and peak.  Water so still, the dark fish were clear.  Concentric rings around each bite of mosquito.  Later a breeze whispered down from the cirque above Chaos Canyon ruffling water and whisking away the swarming mosquitoes, ending fish breakfast.  Slow moments listening to lapping, chirping, cawing, echoed winds, krummholz brushing.  How can this beauty be but a dim reflection of heaven?