Monday, September 27, 2010


how's that for attention grabbing title? FREE STUFF people. there is a little Mountain Aven Baby Facebook GIVEAWAY that is about to end! don't miss it-- all you have to do is visit the MAB fan page and leave a comment with your favorite tee design. your name will be entered to win a $25 Gift Certificate to the shop. like i said... FREE STUFF. ready, set, go!
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

almost october?

hard to believe that september is almost over. seems like yesterday it was june and now winter is staring us down already! winter? yeah, around here, october could very well be winter. or it could be blissfully autumn-like, you just never know. but we're having none of that winter mess yet and have been enjoying the little glimpse of fall so far (even if it's been too hot for my tastes since we got back from vacation). apparently our babysitter extraordinaire, Kindal, is feeling the same thing, as she showed up on friday with an arm load of baby pumpkins! sweet. kindal hung the moon, we are most definitely sure of it. as you can see, the girls had a good time getting artsy with them and they are really proud of the painted bunch of pumpkins that now adorn the table. who knows, maybe they'll help sell the house or something... you know, a little seasonal, homey flair? bring on the pumpkins.
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

the (self) entertainer

it was pointed out to us recently that sylvi is really good at entertaining herself. and it's true. she's pretty content to find what she likes and enjoy the time to play uninterrupted. maybe this is a second child trait-- they don't get that much playtime to themselves on a regular basis, so when they do, they go for it? i don't know, but we all appreciated it. this morning she spent a good chunk of time surrounded by cars and puzzles on the sheepy rug. while camping last weekend, she would find something interesting around camp, plop herself down, and play and sing all by herself for as long as she could. not only is it amusing for everyone else, but it's also a welcomed break. love it.

family camping 4.0

why the 4.0 you might be wondering? because it was family camping with 4 children under the age of 4... w00t! i can venture to guess that phil and matt felt a little outnumbered-- with two year old twin girls and our own two girls, well... they were outnumbered.

on the way back up from santa fe, we came back up through the colorado mountains to meet up with more good friends. it just so happened that our good friends pat and katie were getting married in ridgway on the same day that geoff and debbie tied the knot. since we couldn't be in two places at once, we decided to do our best to see folks in both states as best as possible. it did make for alot of (gorgeous, mountainous) driving, but it was well worth it. to top it off, we go to do some camping with more good friends who drove all the way up from california! we haven't seen the deines in a year, so it was especially good to hang out. they have twin girls (!!!) who had just turned two the week before. all the kids were pretty worn out by that point, so we mostly laid low and enjoyed the relative down time. the highlight may have been the Ouray Hot Springs Park, a natural hot spring with several different temperature pools. it was awesome. the water was shallow enough that three out of four girls could get around and swim on their own and the main pool was the *perfect* temperature. not to mention the views from the pools were incredible as well.

the next version of family camping 4.0 will be next spring in utah. we can't wait!

Friday, September 24, 2010

ballet redux

isa is thrilled that ballet has started again for the year! yippee! there are lots of returning students from her last class and it's amazing to see the difference they've made, even since the recital last spring. granted, there is still some wandering around/dancing in the front of the mirror (though not isa, actually) but for the most part they are doing really well with following directions and learning their routine. their class is already learning their part in the Nutcracker, which will take place in December! very exciting!
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

just plain fun

asking the street performer if you can try to stand on the big pink ball and juggle clubs.

insisting your aunts and uncles play horsey with the croquet mallets.

asking complete strangers if they'd read books to you before the ceremony starts.

and playing "sack of potatoes" with the beloved aunt amanda.
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congrats debbie and geoff!

there couldn't have been a better reason to take such a great vacation than to see uncle geoff get married! woohoo! it was such a beautiful ceremony and of course a great time to see family and friends that we don't see very often. phil was a groomsman, which was also special, and the girls really loved the whole affair! since daddy was up front, i had the task of trying to keep them quite for the ceremony... not an easy job. luckily aunt margie has the thoughtful idea of giving the girls four new books right before the ceremony started. brilliant! this was really helpful and kept them occupied for the most part. towards the end however, sylvi wasn't too happy about daddy standing so far away and apparently ignoring her-- yep, she kept waving and saying, "Hi Daddy!" before we jumped up and hightailed it to the way back, out of earshot! isa seemed to understand the quiet concept, except for when she shushed sylvi so loud that the whole row could hear it. oh well, she was trying right?!

the most entertaining part of the reception was most definitely two little girls who danced tirelessly on the dance floor! i don't think i'm exaggerating here-- they danced for hours on end, mostly all by themselves, on the dance floor. eventually they had a crowd of people join them, but they served as side-splitting entertainment in the meantime. sylvi didn't last too much past bedtime and was pretty limp by the time i put her down. isa continued to party well into the night though and eventually conceded to sleep, but not after putting on quite the showing. this included getting on the mic to wish debbie and geoff congratulations and showing off her whistling skills (in the mic) to anyone who was listening. wow. that girl might end up in showbiz.

the bishop's lodge

the motivation for the trip to santa fe was for uncle geoff and (new!) aunt debbie's wedding, which took place at the bishop's lodge. we had no idea when we booked our room just how awesome and convenient the place would be! it is actually a registered historic site with alot of really interesting history. it was beyond convenient to stay there with so many family members and to be in a place that was comfortable and entertaining for the girls. with the exception of the rehersal dinner, we only loaded the girls up and drove them into town once! in such a beautiful place with a great pool, tons of open space, a playground, and grandparents... who needs to go anywhere? there were endless paths and shaded nooks and crannies to check out. i was a little disappointed not have gotten better pictures of the buildings and grounds (the place is huge!) but you get the idea from these.

we're back!

over 1600 miles later, we're safe and sound back home in wyoming! phew! it was an awesome vacation and we enjoy it immensely, but we are also really glad to be back home. there are several hundred pictures to wade through, and of course now we're up to our necks in "life maintenance" details from being gone, but there are a few pics to hold you over. more soon!
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

'round here

the (almost!) two year old likes to count... she is demonstrating her skills to daddy here.

the four year old is constantly in costume. constantly.

regular blog readers will notice that the blog is going to slow down a bit for the next few weeks. mostly because we are going to be traveling (more on that shortly) and also because we are digging ourselves out from a really, really busy summer and starting the annual slowing down that comes in the Fall. slowing down is very much appreciated at the moment. isa has started back to school and the school year work/babysitter schedule is back to the new normal. these transitions are most certainly welcome, for the most part, but it doesn't mean that they always go seamlessly. anyone who has spent consistent time around isa can tell you that transitions are not her strong suit-- she might not verbalize this, necessarily, but we can almost always predict some really unpleasant behavior from her in times like these. sylvi seems less sensitive to change, luckily, but everyone is just a little thrown off when the weekly routine takes a u-turn. and it just so happens that we are going to be traveling for the next week as well! phew. we are more than ready for a real vacation and can't wait to hit the road. the roadtrip mobile is already packed! and while we've got a ton of things to get done in the next 48hrs (the list is dauntingly long), we will be on the road before we know it. so we will try to update here and there but i am guessing computer time will be sparse, and that's perfectly ok with me! catch you on the flip side!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

fly in!

here are some pictures from this morning's annual "fly-in" at the local airport. the girls had a blast and especially loved sitting in toby and natalie's airplane! they also got to sit in a blackhawk helicopter as well. happy saturday

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play kitchen extraordinaire...

finally, the secret craftiness is revealed! some of you have waited very patiently (thank you!) for us to get this thing done and also get the camera to work the way it should... sometimes things just don't come together in the timely manner you imagined ;) but here it is, none the less! i had been wanting to get a bigger kitchen for the girls but didn't want to shell out the bucks for something that wasn't that nice and cost too much and that they would outgrow quickly. so in the came the plan to build one ourselves! a friend was giving away a large end table and it was *perfect* for the project. since the idea was to be thrifty and resourceful, we used lots of free, reclaimed, and previously-loved parts and pieces we already had lying around. the oven door (which still needs glass put in the window) was the original table top. the new top, backsplash, and shelf were made with leftover mdf. the faucet was found via the local listserve, the towel bar was from our old kitchen, i already had the fabrics, etc. all told, the whole kitchen cost less than $40! and it's way cuter than any kitchen we could've bought from the store.
we still have a few details to finish-- the oven door, a metal shelf to go inside the oven, etc. but it's almost completely done and most definitely ready for playing. we have some fun pots and pans, and some kid-friendly dishes on the way as well. the girls have already gotten plenty of good "kitchen time" in since we brought it inside a few days ago. mission accomplished!
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

first day of school 2010

she picked out this "school dress" for her first day.
and insisted on this pose for having her picture taken.
she was just a wee bit excited. can you tell?
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

so long, summer?

if the weather in the mountains were any indication, summer is on it's way outta here! we made an afternoon trip up to louis lake today, only to be thwarted by some seriously strong and cold wind! there were big white caps on the lake and it was obviously not swimming weather. once the clouds rolled in, we cut our stay short and headed for a place that was warm and calm... the car! i think we spent about 5 minutes by the lake before realizing that it was just a little too chilly for hanging out. of course isa could've cared less, and proceeded to try to bury herself and make "sand angels" before we told her it was time to head out. since we had already packed a picnic dinner, we decided to hang out in the shelter of the car and eat our food before heading back down. this was apparently just out of the ordinary enough for the girls and they got a huge kick out of it. so we had our food, watched them dance to the radio, and called it an afternoon. it's been a busy weekend around here, so no one was too sad to cut the evening short. more on the weekend busy-ness later-- we've been doing some serious crafting around here and can't wait to show you what we've been up to tomorrow. stay tuned!
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Saturday, September 4, 2010


here's a little flashback from almost exactly 12 months ago. sylvi's lost those chubby little wrists and the double chin, but she still loves that baby more than the rest :)
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

these two...

...make a pretty good team when they want too. i was reminded of a story this morning and thought i'd share. we were at the park the other afternoon and there were several other kids there. there was one particulaar little boy who, although seemingly nice, kept throwing mulch at sylvi. he was alot older than her and she didn't quite know what to do about it. she kind of backed away and glared and then looked at isa. being that isa isn't afraid to speak up about anything, she quickly looked at him and said, "Hey! No throwing mulch at my sister Sylvi!". and that was that, problem solved. sisters are good to have around.
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