Thursday, January 30, 2014

Going to Sleep, Part III

Oh, this little girl of ours that just won't go to sleep in her bed. Last night we found her under our bed again, right in the middle. (Part I, Part II)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Big Cats

We made a friend that is volunteering at Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and have had a few tours with the kids. Seeing these big cats has been amazing and sad at the same time to think that they have ended up here because of people having improper homes for them, abusing them, or just making really awful decisions about their welfare. It is so great that some good hearted, untiring folks have created sanctuaries for just these situations. We've been reading some books about big cats with Pieter and he just loves learning more about them.

Friday, January 24, 2014

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Watching the Sunset

Pieter loves to show us the sunrises and sunsets in the sky. Last night I looked out to the backyard and found him sitting on the railing just watching. Watching the sun go down. What patience this little boy has. He sat there for more than a half hour, watching and watching.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014



The days are short,
   The sun a spark
Hung thin between
   The dark and dark.

Fat snowy footsteps
   Track the floor.
Milk bottles burst
   Outside the door.

The river is
   A frozen place
Held still beneath
   The trees of lace.

The sky is low.
   The wind is gray.
The radiator
   Purrs all day.

~John Updike

Larrick Crosby, Nancy. Piping Down the Valleys Wild. 
New York: Delacorte Press, 1968. Print.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Who knew that you could get watercolor paints all over your face? This little girl just loves the blue paint over all the other colors. She is going to have to expand her palette when it runs out.

Friday, January 10, 2014

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sleeping with your Eyes Shut

Juliana having her normal nap today and I noticed that it was quieter than ever. I found Pieter in the front closet asleep with the door shut. He always insists that he sleeps with his eyes open. This was great evidence to show him the truth - he really does sleep with his eyes shut, just like the rest of us. Juliana thoroughly enjoyed waking him up!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


So very quickly the beautiful red cliffs of Utah faded into the barren, cold landscape of Wyoming. We saw one very quick view of the rockies and then they disappeared as we wove our way through the state.

{continental divide, elevation 6720}

{Martin's Cove just southwest of Casper - what a sad memorial to so many that died}
We saw these signs for Pathfinder Ranch for miles and miles. I looked up the ranch and found out that it is 160,000 acres. Even after driving for so long past the fencing, it is still hard to imagine a ranch that huge.

{the last picture of our trip ~ sunset in Wyoming}


We crossed into Utah as the sun was setting. For the second time I missed seeing the Great Salt Lake during the day. We spent the night in Salt Lake City and got up the next morning for a swim at the hotel and then hit the road for our last day of driving.

It really is so impressive to see the mountains ringing around Salt Lake City. Just outside of the city we pulled off the highway for a brief, but beautiful plant collecting detour.

Monday, January 6, 2014


We got on the very beginning of I-80 in El Cerrito and headed east this morning. In a short order we were back up in the mountains and snow again. Nothing like a rude awakening. Poor Pieter got sick from the quick climb in altitude, but was feeling better after a while. Oh, the stories I could tell you about driving 3,500 miles with two little children in three weeks. Let's just say I was much better prepared the second time Pieter said that his stomach hurt. Below is our first view of Nevada. I drove this route by myself seventeen years ago in the spring. My memories are a land full of sage brush and devoid of civilization. Driving through during the winter this time just seemed so desperately bleak.

Just outside of Elko, Nevada we stopped at the California Trail Interpretive Center. The kids and I had a great time looking at the displays while Ben did a little plant collecting. They were very well done and the dioramas were beautiful. Seeing all the covered wagons was the prefect timing for Pieter. We have been reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and on this trip we read through Farmer Boy and On the Banks of Plum Creek. Pieter loves the series and will listen for more than an hour at a time. Since we were in the car, I was the captive one here, and I kept hearing Pieter say "Read, read, Mom!"

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