Friday, December 23, 2011


We spent Thanksgiving day at our favorite fire station and had a delicious meal. Then we celebrated with family on that Saturday and had another delicious meal. We had a great time at both celebrations and are so thankful for so many things.

Avalyn has always been a little bit scared of the fire trucks but every time we visit she gets more curious and this time she asked to get in and drive! She even got to turn the lights on and she thought it was so cool.

(iPod photo, sorry for the poor quality)

Thursday, December 22, 2011


What is the best part of baking? Baking something that requires frosting, of course! And what is the best part of making frosting? Licking the beater(s)!

Avalyn loves to help in the kitchen, we recently made some frosted brownies to take to our favorite firefighter and his crew. She helped measure the ingredients and of course was a great help with the cleanup!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Catching Up

Phew, it has been way too long! I think I better start back at Halloween and go from there to get you all caught up on our life!

I was on the fence about even starting to get into Halloween and I read this blog post and this one. Both captured how I was feeling about the day. And that was only a few days before Halloween so I had to haul out the sewing machine and get stitching!
So without further ado, here are some little sweeties that I had a good time making some sweet Halloween costumes for. Avalyn was Reepicheep from The Chronicles of Narnia and Harper was an owl because I had to use up all those felt and fleece scraps some way! :)

Avalyn Trick-or-Treating

IMG_7370 IMG_7409

Saturday, December 3, 2011


First time with a paint brush!
Usually we just do finger painting but we have been reading Panda Bear's Paintbox a lot lately and she has been asking to paint with a paint brush. Panda Bear uses watercolors but she doesn't know the difference.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Still Thankful

Ever have one of those days? Or week? Yes? Well, we're having one here. Here's to pushing through with bright hope for tomorrow!
Posting will be slim until we get our computer back from the apple genius people. I can only handle typing short posts on my iPod! Very thankful that we had a few weeks left on our AppleCare plan when our computer decided to stop working. Thankful that my husband was kept safe when his car broke down in the middle of a busy intersection! Thankful that we decided to go with a 4-foot Christmas tree and that no children were harmed when a certain 2-year old was showing a certain 9-month old how to pull the bulbs off the tree and they knocked the tree over! Ha!

But seriously I am so thankful, these things are just a drop in the bucket in light of eternity! None of these things really matter when I consider Christ and the joy of his arrival.

"See, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever
in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
and its people a joy. (Isaiah 65:17, 18 NIV)

"O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus;
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace."
-Helen Lemmel, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Have a good day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Giving Thanks # 23

Thankful for your book recommendations today, we have an upcoming trip that I would love to spend some time reading on. Any books you think I should read??

Monday, November 28, 2011

Giving Thanks # 22

I am so thankful for the home that God has blessed us with. We recently started a project that is taking longer than we thought it would and also requiring a bit more creativity then we intended it to but Josh is doing such a great job with it. I am so proud of all his hardworking! Thanks, Josh!

Giving Thanks # 21

Thankful that I don't blog for a job so I can take a break for a bit if I need to! :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Giving Thanks #20 !

Crochet hooks! And kids who take extra long naps (somedays) so I can work on some fun things! The other great thing about crochet hooks is that I can use them to teach Avalyn counting while I work on projects! She loves to count stitches with me and to count up all of my spare hooks and line them up like a train. Cheap entertainment!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Giving Thanks #19

So thankful to be reunited with 2 of my sweeties today! Josh took Avalyn with him to go hunting this last week and boy was it quiet around here. Well, Avalyn didn't go hunting, she got to play with grandma and her cousins while the guys went hunting. It was a successful trip.
I was able to get a few projects done that had been waiting on my sewing pile for far too long. Now I can start working on some of the new projects I have found on pinterest.
Speaking of, are you on pinterest? Would you like an invite so you can see what it is all about? Just leave me a comment with your email address and I will hook you up. See what I am pinning here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Giving Thanks #18

Looking forward to a freezer full of venison in a few weeks! Great job to my dad and hubs!

Giving Thanks #17

Thankful today for the creativity that God has blessed me with. I was able to complete a sewing project that I was ready to throw in the trash but eventually I got it figured out and completed it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Giving Thanks #16

Thankful today for food and the hands I have to prepare it with.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Giving Thanks #15

Today I am thankful for this reminder from Oswald Chambers', My Utmost for His Highest.

One of the hardest lessons to learn comes from our stubborn refusal to refrain from interfering in other people’s lives. It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amateur providence, that is, interfering with God’s plan for others. You see someone suffering and say, “He will not suffer, and I will make sure that he doesn’t.” You put your hand right in front of God’s permissive will to stop it, and then God says, “What is that to you?” Is there stagnation in your spiritual life? Don’t allow it to continue, but get into God’s presence and find out the reason for it. You will possibly find it is because you have been interfering in the life of another— proposing things you had no right to propose, or advising when you had no right to advise. When you do have to give advice to another person, God will advise through you with the direct understanding of His Spirit. Your part is to maintain the right relationship with God so that His discernment can come through you continually for the purpose of blessing someone else.
A saint is never consciously a saint— a saint is consciously dependent on God. 

Are you looking for a jumping off point to get closer to and be consciously dependent on God? I highly recommend reading your Bible, even if it is just a verse a day and a daily reading such as My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. The daily entries in My Utmost also have a verse reference that you could study more in depth if you need help.
I find it is great for me to have something to 'chew' on throughout the day and these little reminders tend to come right when I need them.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Giving Thanks #14

Today I am thankful for my sewing machine, I have a lot of projects I plan to work on this week. Unfortunately I will not be able to share most of them on this blog because I have way too many family members who read and a lot of them will be gifts! Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Giving Thanks #13

Thankful for our kind, loving, and sweet church. We have so many great friends that we have met through church and have learned so much.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Giving Thanks #12

The Internet and Skype! I was able to see AND talk to my sister in China and my parents in Michigan all in one day! What a blessing!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Giving Thanks #11

Today I am thankful for our veterans. Some of which include both of my grandpas and my wonderful father-in-law and a large number of cousins and friends! Thank you for serving!

Giving Thanks #10

I really thought I posted this yesterday and then I realized I didn't so here I am, catching up!

Today I am thankful for all of my family, near and far and here and There. Family is a special thing.

Love you all!

easterling (120 of 424)
easterling (118 of 424) 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Giving Thanks #9

Thankful today for the changing seasons. Of the reminder that God is in all things. Making all things new. That He is there when change begins, and sees us through every change to come.

I had a fun time last week showing Avalyn the joy of throwing snowballs to a dog...have you ever tried that? You should. I don't know what was more fun, watching the snowball explode in Charlie's face every time she caught one or listening to Avalyn laugh and snort so hard she almost fell over. The snow was such a new experience for her to hear the crunch under her feet and to touch and feel how cold it was. To see how she could pick it up and form it into something with her hands.
I think part of the blessing of having kids is experiencing the newness of each situation with them and being humbled in light of God's creation. Thankful!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Giving Thanks #8

Thankful today for a sweet group of girls who I have been meeting with for a few months. We have been getting deeper with God and each other and our lives are being changed.

"Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." (Matthew 18:19, 20 NIV)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Giving Thanks #7

My sister...we have had so many sweet times together. Here are a few of my favorite (recent) memories with Lacey. I really need to scan in some old photos.

Love you, Lacey!



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Giving Thanks #6

Thankful for communion today and the reminder of what God has done and is doing and will do forever!

Mark 14:22-25
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Giving Thanks #5

Harper, you sure do make us smile!

(discovered this week that Harper loves egg yolk!)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Giving Thanks #4

Good friends and good food.

Had a nice time last night catching up with some old friends over pizza and dessert.

Pizza Dough
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) pizza crust or RapidRise yeast (I think they are probably the same)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 3/4 cups warm/almost hot water

I use my Kitchen-Aid mixer with the dough hook and it turns out great. You can also do this in a large mixing bowl with a big spoon and strong arms. Add all ingredients to bowl in order, stirring vigorously. Set aside to rest five minutes, and then stir again for three to five minutes.
Add additional water or flour to achieve a smooth, sticky dough. Dough should pull together into a ball.
Divide into two pieces and place each one into an oiled freezer bag OR oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise at room temperature and then punch down.
Dough can be refrigerated or frozen now. If you are ready to eat, roll each piece out onto a pizza pan allow to rest a few minutes. Prebake for 10 mintues at 450 degrees F and then put toppings on pizza crust and return to oven for 10-15 minutes until cheese melts. (Makes 2 thicker crusts, you can easily make thin crust pizza just by splitting the dough into more pieces.)

Blueberry Apple Crisp
Fruit Filling
2 cups blueberries (can use frozen, just thaw first)
3 cups peeled, cored, sliced, diced apples
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp flour

Mix fruit filling together and place in a 2 qt baking dish.

Crisp Topping
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

Make crisp topping-Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl and then cut in butter until you have coarse crumb texture. Cover filling with topping. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes. Best when served warm and with cream over the top. :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Giving Thanks #3

God, the Creator of my life. My peace and my joy. Without Him I am nothing.

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
Psalm 46:1-4 NIV

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mama, help.

I hear that phrase quite a few times during the day. Sometimes it is to help pick a book or to get a glass of water. Other times it is to help her use the potty or pull up her pants. But sometimes it is for things like this...

While I had my back turned for just a few minutes as I changed Harper's diaper...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What would you pay?

I have been making these little baby/kid hats pretty quick and I know I could sell them. I have an etsy shop started, I have had it ready and waiting to be filled with products for months...hmmm...actually closer to a year now!
Anyway, I have a couple different styles I can make and I just love to give them to friends and family as gifts but I know people would buy them. I can do whatever color/weight people would want. I was thinking of selling them for $8-10.  Here's what they typically go for on Etsy...What do you think? What would you pay? Thanks!

Ear Flap Beanie with Flower
Plain Beanie with Snowflake clip on

Plain beanie with flowers, brimmed beanies with or without flowers and contrasting trim

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Harper - 8 Months Old!

Harper! You are 8 months old! You are such a sweet baby. You like to eat...and your sleep is finally getting on track! You really have to be ALMOST crawling now. You can roll and spin and scoot backwards, you push with your hands up and then push up on your toes so you kind of do a teeny tiny downward facing dog pose but then you fall back down on your belly. You are trying to figure out how to clap your sweet little hands and you love music. You are having some issues with separation anxiety but it is just fine. You are such a blessing to us. Love you, Harper Baby!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

I've been reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan with my small group. Originally we set out to read 2 or 3 chapters per week but we had to slow it way down because we were being so challenged we have only been reading 1 chapter. I thought I would share a few excerpts with you and encourage you to read the book yourself if you haven't already.

"Following Christ isn't something that can be done halfheartedly or on the side. It is not a label we can display when it is useful. It must be central to everything we do and are.
If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream." -page 94-95

"Lukewarm living and claiming Christ's name simultaneously is utterly disgusting to God. And when we are honest, we have to admit that it isn't very fulfilling or joyful to us, either." -page 103

"If we allow ourselves to live recklessly for Him, then we too, will see His glory. We will see Him do the impossible...We have to do things that cost us during our life on earth but will be more than worth it in eternity...When you pray, your prayers are heard by the same God who answered Moses' prayer for water in the desert, the God who gave Abraham and his barren wife a son, and the God who made the slave Joseph second in power only to Pharoah." -page 116

"True love requires sacrifice." -page 119

"Giving that is not motivated by love is worth nothing." -page 120

1 John 3:16-20

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Friday, October 21, 2011

sick but eating well

We've been a bit under the weather this week and are starting to feel better.

I will have more words to share when we are back to full health!

Here are some of the recipes I have been cooking lately...

Caramel Corn for my small group.
Baked Oven Fries for my french fry loving toddler.
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese for comfort. I added a few modifications but if you have never made your own mac & cheese, this is a great recipe to start with. I love being able to use whatever cheese I have on hand and usually a blend of a few kinds of cheese.
Oatmeal Cookies for my small group.
Biscuits for Biscuits and Gravy. I use 50/50 whole wheat and unbleached white flour for these and they turn out great.
Mint Brownies for dessert with family and leftovers served to small group. I use my brownie recipe with the whole wheat substitution.

Apparently sweets are my specialty. Actually we are trying to wait as long as we can before turning on the furnace and baking is a great way to warm up our chilly house in the morning!

I also made 2 more ear flap hats. I need to stop but it is a great stash buster and maybe eventually I will start selling them and then I can buy more yarn....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The incredible edible egg...

Big Mama gave us an egg!

favorite hat pattern...again!

I have now made 4 of those ear flap beanies and have another one in process. They are so quick and easy to make. I can't get over how much I like the pattern.

Here is what happens when you ask a 2 year old to stand against the wall so that you can take her picture.



Monday, October 10, 2011

weekend update

Saturday was a lovely prelude to winter here in Colorado! Josh was working so the girls and I stayed in for the day. The wind was really blowing a lot so I didn't want to go out in it! Avalyn and I took one trip out to check on the chickens but it was so windy she did not even want to touch the snow. I made these sweet potato fries that I thought were pretty good. Avalyn was a little let down that they weren't really french fries but Harper liked them!

Sprint PictureMail 

Sunday we went to church and then took Avalyn to get her staples removed. She was sure that her "owie" was all gone now that they took the "stables" out. Both girls took naps and we read lots of books. Avalyn kept saying she wanted to, "read a couple books." Which turned into 10-15 books per sitting! She is getting to be a really great "reader". Although she can't read yet she can tell us the story to her favorite books, some of which include Thomas and the Big, Big Bridge, Put Me In The Zoo, Where the Wild Things Are and Because a Little Bug Went Kachoo.

It was a nice and relaxing weekend!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

First ER Trip

Well, it finally happened. We had our first ER visit (well, Josh and Avalyn) and came home with 2 little staples in Avalyn's head. I stayed home with Harper and we also had some friends over who arrived right as a pot fell off of our hanging pot rack and hit Avalyn on the head. It was such a freak accident and I don't think we could recreate it if we tried. Avalyn only cried for a few seconds and then didn't even cry when they put the staples in. It is healing up nicely and she doesn't even act like she knows she has anything in her head. The other day she pushed her bangs back and asked, "Avy have barrette IN HEAD?"

Picture below in case you don't want to get grossed out!



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Drive

We went on a fall drive to see the aspens changing. The color change was the best we had seen in a long time. We took quite a few pictures and I couldn't decide which ones to share so there are quite a few here.
falldrive-3 falldrive-2 falldrive-1

Monday, October 3, 2011

honor flag video

You may remember this post when we went to see the U.S. Honor Flag. We found a video that was put together showing the honor flag from landing in Colorado Springs to being presented at a local football game. You might enjoy seeing it and see someone you know.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Avalyn - 28 Months

Avalyn, you are 28 months old. I wanted to take a minute and record some of the sweet things you say and do so that we don't forget them when you are older!
You are a great big sister to Harper and lately have been asking to pick her up and move her. You want her to be wherever you are. You are a wonderful helper in the kitchen, putting your laundry in the basket and putting things in the trash.
You love going to the zoo to see the giraffes and feed them lettuce. You really like to watch baseball and to throw your ball outside.
You are sure to tell us "um yuv you" (I love you) and your compliments at dinner are so sweet, "Very dishus" (Very delicious) and "yummy."
You got to ride the carousel at the zoo the other day and you loved it. You cried when it stopped and didn't want to get off!
You are learning how to share your toys and take turns. Not always fun but you are doing a great job with figuring this out.
You can count to 5 on your own and to 10 or sometimes 20 with help. You can identify quite a few letters on your own too.
We love you Avalyn and are so thankful for you and your sweet spirit!

Just keepin' it real here.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Quinoa Pilaf

I made this for dinner last night and it was so delicious and pretty too! It paired well with grilled steak and green beans with a small salad on the side. You can easily eat quinoa as a main dish or with a small amount of meat mixed in and it will really fill you up.

I should have taken a picture but you will just have to make it to see for yourself- the golden quinoa, the orange potatoes, the deep red cranberries and light brown of the toasted almonds make it beautiful!

We love quinoa here at our house and if you have never had it before, I highly recommend it. Some information on quinoa is here and here.

Fall Quinoa Pilaf from Cooking4Real
1 cup quinoa
1 T. olive oil
½ cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dried cranberries
1 small-medium sweet potato (¼-inch diced)
½ cup slivered almonds
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. While water heats up, toast almonds in dry pan on stove. Add quinoa to boiling water and cook for 12-15 min. until tender.

In frypan on medium heat, sauté cranberries, onions, garlic and sweet potato in olive oil until lightly carmelized. Transfer quinoa to a large mixing bowl. Gently fold in cranberries, sweet potatoes and almonds, Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Honor Flag

Last week the Honor Flag visited Colorado Springs and Josh got to participate in the ceremony. I decided to take the girls to the ceremony since it is a piece of history for our country. I actually didn't even get a glimpse at the flag because of where we were standing to watch the procession but it was a very nice ceremony with about 80 people in the honor guard and a pipe and drum escort as well. Harper wasn't a huge fan of the bagpipes at first so I didn't get any pictures once it started. Here is Avalyn waiting for the ceremony to start. :)


Monday, September 26, 2011

Harper - 7 months

Harper, you are 7 months old now! You are getting so big! At your 6 month checkup you weighed 15 pounds and 12 ounces (average monthly growth is 1 pound) so I know you are at least 16 pounds and probably well on your way to 17. You are switching in mostly 9months size clothing and we had to buy bigger diaper covers this week! It seems like you are starting to understand eating more now and you really like to try whatever food we are having too.
This weekend we went to Famous Dave's with Grandma and Grandpa E and you ate chicken and a few pieces of corn and also tried collard greens, I think you liked it!
You like blueberries, yogurt, and oatmeal which is not surprising since it is still what Avalyn eats for breakfast most days. You also enjoy avocados, roasted carrots, green beans, and roast beef.
You can scoot backwards and roll/spin all over. We think you are trying to figure out crawling because the past few days any time we get you out of your crib you have had your knees up under your belly and are pushing your belly up too. You are a little chatterbox and you light up when you see your sister. You recognize your name when we say it and like to give kisses!

We love you, Harper!



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fallen Firefighter Memorial

Josh had the chance to participate in the IAFF Fallen Firefighter Memorial last weekend. He was in the honor guard and I think he really enjoyed it. The memorial is held every year to honor those who have died in the line of duty. Since it is hosted by our local IAFF chapter, CSFD gets to present the colors and lead the honor guard.



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

new favorite pattern

Found this lovely earflap hat pattern and love it. I already made one in teeny tiny size for our good friend's little guy who will be born in January. I got most of it done in one nap time so it really is a simple pattern to follow. I've already got one going in purple for one of my sweeties too. Great way to use up my yarn stash!

For baby BST

Monday, September 19, 2011

random pictures

I imported the photos from my iPod this weekend and found quite a few that I had forgotten about so I thought I would share some of them today. Of course the pictures are a little grainy because they were taken with the iPod.

Also, experienced a a first today...went to the feed store to get chicken feed and straw by myself. And I was wearing heels. Awesome.

Harper eats green beans
Avy eats cantaloupe, pre recall. ;)
Photo 413
Avy and I, fun with photo booth and my new glasses.

Friday, September 16, 2011

play dough

I made play dough!
It was so easy and I was bummed when I realized I only had blue, yellow, and green food coloring so I couldn't make more fun colors! Oh well, Avalyn still loves it and it won't be long until it is all mixed together anyway.
Here is the recipe I followed. They also have a recipe using jell-o but I was afraid the scent would make it much too appealing to Miss Avalyn.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

choose joy

There is a blog I have read for a few years now and I was brought to tears last night when I read the update that Sara is moving toward Heaven. Soon.
It appears that it will not be much longer for her here on earth and I have been praying for her family, friends and all those who have been touched by her blog. She is a great of example of choosing joy in all that life brings even if that means being home bound for years. Her writing has been encouraging and inspirational to me through the years since I happened upon her blog.

Join me in lifting up Sara and those close to her as they travel this road.

Choose joy.

Link up here.

Hello from Harper

Harper wanted to say hi and show off her new pearly whites!