Thursday, December 29, 2011

Year 2011 In Review

This is so much fun for me to do. What a joy to look through my year. To think back at the beginning of the year wondering what we were supposed to do, how it would turn out, where we would be. And to think all in 1 year.
The only thing that comes to mind is Praise God, Thank you God. Thank you for providing for us, although we don't have much, we do not owe anyone. Thank you for Guiding us. Thank you for protecting us. Thank you for molding us a little closer into your image.
So here you go - Year in Review

Indoors with newborn. mostly all i did was blog and nurse I think :)

We were in charge of a fondue night at our church for Valentine's day. turned out great, but took a lot of planning. And hosted
a small Superbowl Party at our house!

Carson Turned 2!

Weekend getaway with the hubs! :)
(Mostly to celebrate done nursing :))
I ran 5K (first one since giving birth)
Memorial Day trip to lake beach with family
And Richard graduated with his Master in Biblical Studies

Aunt Becky got married
in Colorado. Decision was also
made to move to Fort Collins!! :)

Ran a 5K with my twin. Drank a lot of Iced coffee's b/c it was
hot and I knew there was none in CO. a lot of uncertainty
with no job or housing or anything
in our soon to be new home
We moved from Scranton PA to Fort Collins CO
yeah, that pretty much sums up the month! :)
Adjust to life in CO and loving the great weather
Celebrated my 27th Bday, and Landon's 1 yr Bday
October was a busy month, but highlight of month was 
meeting my new nephew in MN, and seeing my 
mom again.
But also involved, running my first 10K and
seeing my Gardner side of the family
and a lot of fall activities, like Halloween.
It was really hard to pick just one picture this month ;)
Got 2 big snow storms, spent thanksgiving with the Gardners
and Richard and I spent 3 whole days
together by ourselves without the boys to celebrate
5 whole years of Marriage. :)
Merry Christmas
What fun to put this post together. I hope you have as much fun looking through it as I did putting it together. What a privilege to see what God has done in our lives. How he has changed us and loved us, and how much more I love Him b/c of it!

And a Happy 2012

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Last winter Carson hated the cold/snow. He wouldn't even walk to the car or store. I was carrying a newborn and a 2 year old! :) 
This year he is loving it! He loves to pick up the snow, make footprints in it, and now he has learned the art of sledding. 
Monday we were in Denver with Richard's brother and family. They got dumped on with snow right before Christmas. So we took advantage of it! We went to a great place called Ruby Hill. What a perfect place. We only had one sled and we had to borrow some good snow clothes (which now that I think about it, that might be why he didn't like the snow too much last year. :) ) it was so warm and sunny out, which made it perfect for sledding b/c it wasn't too chilly. The kids loved it!

Carson's cousin Aspen was a good example
to really enjoy the snow! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

This was not a good year for Family pictures at all! :(
I'm so sad to say. We need a new camera and will probably get one
But we did have some feeble attempts at good family pictures

Thursday evening:
Richard got off of work at normal time. We had a sorry excuse for a dinner
(mostly b/c I did not want to cook and was on vacation mode)
Then drove around Fort Collins and saw all the beautiful lights.
Boys in their christmas pj's :)
It's always fun trying to drive around town to find the coolest
neighborhood. And we have to pick out our favorite house. :)
We also got stuck in the snow. :) It was a beautiful night for light-seeing. Just snowed and the town
was glistening.
One particular street was not plowed well at all. and yes, we got stuck
What a fun memory of Carson scared to death in the back,
landon sound asleep,
and Richard pushing the car
while I try to gun it out. :)Only with our Alero in Colorado :)

The rest of the Christmas season was spent in Grand Junction CO
Woke up super early Friday Morning
made the 5 hour trek to Grand Junction
We had beautiful scenery. It had snowed a ton about a day before.
The mountains were just amazing
the wildlife along the road was so cool.

The boys were showered with gifts
and love from both sides
of our families.
Our day was filled, literally filled, with 
good food, skyping distant family, chatting with present family
and playing trains with the boys.

We did have a little bit of sickness.
Landon had a fever for like 4 days. Low Grade and no other symptoms
but momma was starting to worry
then, as fast as it came on it left. :/ What can I say?
Teeth?!?? i have no idea!

We are so thankful! 
And we had a great Christmas Season!
Now onto New Years!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ziploc Bags

yes, Folks I'm psycho about my ziploc bags. For two reasons: 1. I grew up in Ecuador where we had to bring them back from the states, so we saved them all the time, b/c they were precious to us and we couldn't easily get more. 2. I like to think I'm frugal, and don't like to buy new ones. They are expensive sometimes

So I save my ziploc bags if they are not gross and haven't had meat in them. I wash them out and dry them like this. I've done it my whole growing up life, and grown up life. :)

So - if you give me something in a ziploc bag - please know you made my day!
if I give you something in a ziploc bag - know I think you're special! :)


Monday, December 19, 2011


What a whirlwind of emotions going through my head. What a crazy last 24 hrs this has been. (or maybe a little more).
From being at church - being so encouraged by the fellowship of the body of believers that we have here. A family! Learning to live life together, showing that we are a community that loves each other and most of all  showing Christ to a desperate needy world. Showing this hurting world Christ's love that we celebrate this season. That he came as a baby, in human form to die for our sins so that we can have eternal life.

To - getting a call in the middle of the night that my friend is starting labor. Woohooo! I'm so thankful to help someone in the same way we were helped when we didn't have very much family nearby, and our second baby was born. It truly was a joy to me to finish out the night at their house with their toddler, and now spending the day enjoying my 2 boys and their boy, playing while I pray over the new life entering the world.

But as one friend welcomes a new precious baby, their own flesh and blood, into the world,
another friend - grieves the loss of their baby! My heart breaks at the same time today! For the pain and hurt and disappointment and expectations not fulfilled! for the long road ahead of grieving and molding and shaping.

I can't help but sing - He gives and takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

it's Christmas! We celebrate Christ, who came to us lowly sinners
to save us. He suffered in our place
so that we can have hope, peace, grace filled lives. Be forgiven
So that we can bring Glory to God
And no matter the circumstance - Blessed be HIS NAME!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's been a few days since I've updated. and I even missed my Random facts Friday. :( The reason for the lack of writing is b/c we've been doing a lot and it's been so much fun. But sadly I forgot my camera all the time so I can't document it.

Friday i drove down to Denver and we had a great time with our cousins making and decorating Christmas cookies. My sister in law had a great recipe for cut out cookies (it had orange zest and orange juice in it) and they are amazing!!!!! It was a great day out for me. The boys were amused for a short amount of time with the cookie decorating - but overall it was a great day. We made a mess of her kitchen and she was so gracious about it. :)

The rest of the weekend was filled with, baby shower, 40th birthday for our pastor, Christmas shopping for family and the boys.

My mother, even though she lives overseas, she has managed to always buy great Christmas matching outfits for my boys! I love to dress them up like this and they got lots of attention at church for their cute-ness. :) I'm pretty sure they will wear these outfits for 3 weeks in a row 1) b/c they are so cute, 2) so that I can get good use out of them.

Random facts-
-I had to get the boys ready for church today by myself b/c Richard had to go early -it was a kinda hectic morning b/c they also need baths!!! (Baths are not fun here in our house, mine cry all the time)
- I picked up literally a million cheerios off the ground today b/c for some reason every time I left the room Carson thought i was funny to pour them all over the floor! For some reason I kept leaving them within his reach
-Landon found bananas in the boys trash can (for some reason Carson has been taking one or two bites of his banana and hiding them in his trash can without be knowing) and was eating them! Who knows how long they had been in there and it was GROSS!!!!
-Thankful for God's forgiving Grace even though it was a frustrating morning and i did not react correctly to my boys! I'm a mother in desperate need for God's grace the whole day - and I'm thankful he has forgiven my sins and loves me despite my failings.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

this really does still happen

Today was a day out for me with the boys. We only have one car so i try to plan my days to go out and only need the car no more than 2 days a week. Boys had a doctor's check up appointment, so we loaded the boys into the car on the chilly morning and headed out the door to take Daddy to work. I had about 40 min in between dropping him off and the apt. time, so I thought "What a perfect time for a nice cup of coffee". :) They have a few random drive thru coffee places, that are surprisingly decent.
(every one knows that a drive-thru is a mother's
best friend!)
I was taking a right into the place, but a car was turning in from the other direction, she was their first, so I stopped and waved her through so she could get in line first to get her coffee. Didn't think a thing of it, because after all, I did have plenty of time! As I pulled up after her to the window to order my wonderful cup of hot coffee, the kind lady told me that the car in front of me
b/c I was a kind driver.
I was flabbergasted! So surprised and so happy about it. As i stumbled about what I wanted, I still just ordered the cheap regular black coffee (thinking, i should've ordered a big expensive latte :) ) But what a nice special treat for me to begin my day out with the boys at the doctor's. ( and we all know, a cup of coffee goes a long way on days we have to take the kids to a doctor )

So lesson learned: be patient, let other's go first - and maybe one day I will pay for your coffee at the drive thru coffee shop!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The worst Parade Ever!

I know the title sounds depressing, judgmental and negative - but it is true.
Needless to say I was very disappointed. :(

You see, I like to make events like this special for the kids and to experience things and just enjoy things. I had it in my mind that we were going to a nearby town for their supposed Parade Festival of Lights. I looked online and it stated they were doing snow sculpture competition things and little things going on all day and from 4:30-6 was the parade of lights.  We were busy during the day, so we planned to just attend the parade. I was so excited about the fun family festive outing we were going to experience.

Well we got into the town and parked close by around 4:30pm just in time, but mind you, it's still not dark yet, dusk, but not dark. So in my mind "they could not be starting yet".
We find a bathroom very close to the happenings of the town. And can see the sculptures on the road and the road blocked off for parade. So we think, we'll stop for bathroom really fast, then walk up towards the parade and look at the cool ice sculptures on our way. Well as we are waiting in the bathroom I notice/hear parade start, so I say, "we have to hurry". So we run up, noticing the all of 5 ice sculptures, and find our spot along the road. We knew we had missed the beginning but thought we still had plenty of parade left. B/c it's a parade of lights afterall and it's just now getting dark enough to appreciate the lights.

So Richard sets up our chairs, we put a blanket over the boys to stay warm and settle in for the long haul. I was psyched thinking this was going to be so special.

I kid you not - one dance group went by us, one truck of lights that handed us tootsie rolls, a chick-fil-a truck that gave us free kid's meals vouchers, and then Santa went by and the parade was over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was heart broken. We had missed the entire parade. I looked at my watch thinking, this cannot be. It was barely 5 oclock, and the lighting of the sky was finally just then perfect for a light parade. But it was all over. All that work of getting the boys bundled, getting the chairs and blankets in the car, out of the car, and set up along the street, for literally 4 things!!!!! Who ever heard of a parade of lights so small and before it's actually dark?????!?!!!!?

Right before the great disappointment
I've never been so disappointed to see Santa at a parade. So so sad!!!!
The boys just sorta sat there and had no idea why we dragged them out there for that, and what the big hype mom was making about this whole parade thing.
Oh well, next year we will definitely go to a different city and try a different Festival of lights. hahaha

So instead, to help our downheartedness about the parade we went to Smashburger for the first time. I loved their sweet potato fries. It was still a fun night out as a family. But boy! What a disappointment of a parade.

Has this happened to anyone else? Does anyone have any funny stories about parades or fun events that turn out lame?

Friday, December 9, 2011

10 Random Things- Friday

1. I cannot even believe that it's Friday again already. This doesn't happen to me often, but it seems like it was just last Friday. We love us a good Friday night around here! :)

2. A fellow RA from college was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer a very short while ago, and had surgery to remove the tumor. As of last night one grew back super fast in it's place and threatened to take her overnight. As far as I know she made it through the night, and is in surgery to remove it again this morning. In college people told us things like this would happen to our friends. When you're in college you wonder who will be "famous", who will fall into deep sin and turn away, who will be great missionaries etc. Now after 7 years these things are starting to happen to our fellow classmates. God's grace is pouring out on her very young family and husband and so many people are uplifting them in prayers. If anyone knew Heather - she was a gem, wonderful, sincere and loving of all people. It's very humbling, and encouraging and sorrowful all at the same time.

3. when I only had Carson, he would very routinely get a banana and a bowl of cheerios with milk just about every morning. They both still get  a banana but Landon gets a bunch of dry cheerios dumped on his tray, what will happen to my third child? just handing him the box of cheerios and say "have at it" ? hehehe (I wonder if Landon is jealous when he sees carson with a bowl of cheerios with milk, while he gets dry cheerios on his tray? )

4. I think we are going to try to go to a Parade of Lights nearby tomorrow evening. I cannot wait.

5. I've started going to the Library regularly with the boys, and I love having a plethora of books to read to carson throughout the week. And mostly I love that he sits and listens to them.

6. Along the same line, I got a Dr. Seuss book Titled " Hunches in Bunches". Yeah, weird book and Carson always asks what those things are. It's really hard to explain to him, those hats that look like pointed hands are "hunches". What's a hunch?  Dr. Seuss books are great and fun to read, but hard to explain to kids. Have you ever read "if I ran the circus"?? another very hard book to explain to my poor almost 3 year old.

7. I really need my hair trimmed, it looks very scraggly, but do not want to pay $30 bucks for a trim. Maybe I'll just still go to Fantastic Sams or Cost Cutters.

8. I know I've said this before, but Landon imitates EVERYTHING  Carson does. Today i gave Carson a toasted bagel and told him to be careful b/c it was hot, Carson proceeded to blow on it. Landon got a piece of a non toasted bagel and he blew on the Not-hot piece, b/c Carson blew on his bagel. I thought that was funny. :) (Notice a trend Carson gets a toasted bagel with butter, and Landon gets a plain cold bagel, poor guy)

9. I pretty much finished all the "projects" that were making me busy, now I just have to do fun baking and presents for our small family!

10. My boys' faces are super dry here. :( Chapped, chapped, Chapped.  (especially where the drool is constant, which is like the entire chin :) ) I put Eucerin on it like 100x's a day and have started using chapstick. Any other suggestions?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

everyday in the life of the Gardners

Ok - now that I've waisted all the precious naptime making these mundane pictures worthwhile  - Let me me write a small little post. Then I need to shower (yes, i have not showered since my early morning run and I know that's gross, but hey, I hate to shower, but I must since we are going out in public tonight), study my material for Porterbrook, and write out my christmas cards plus make supper, all in about 3 hrs. i can do it!!!

But not before I enjoy a wonderful cup of Trader joe's coffee (do no ask me what number mug for the day that is unless you want to be amazed/surprises/or judge me) and the BEST MOST AMAZING caramel corn you will ever taste! I posted the recipe on pintrest so follow me and then look it up!!!!! i hope there is still some popcorn left for tonight's Life Group!!!!

Landon is really becoming such a Ham!!!!! He is so goofy. It amazes me how much he understands and communicates to me even if he never says anything besides UH, UH, UH, in a super whiny but very getyourattention kind of way! He watches EVERYTHING and really pays attention and figures things out!
For some reason he walks around the house with a little round cup and a stick. The variations of toys that fit this mold are amazing but he always has something like this in his hand, and he's banging them together.

ps -mum, I put the top right picture in just for you. I know you hate seeing pics of slobber. :) But this kid is SLOBBERY!!!  If you see him without a string of drool down his chin - please document it for me, b/c I have never seen that.

And then my precious Carson - He loves to tear apart our living room, and jump all over the place. he is very athletic and is very proficient at any acrobatic move you can imagine, and if you haven't imagined it, he already has and done it. He communicates so well, and remembers so well.  he has gotten considerably cuddly lately. I don't really know why - but he is always giving me a hug, or asking for hugs or asking to be carried "carry you" he says but he really means "carry me". It's just so funny that every time we respond "you want to carry me" he says "yes". :) LIke that's possible. :) I am soaking up the sweet moments of cuddles from him and he is so sweet!
We are working on not interrupting - which is not going so well, but if you have suggestions let me know - so one random time as he's yelling in a visitors face something very trivial while they are telling us a story, I say, "you need to say excuse me". From then on every time, he just repeats "excuse me" as fast and as many times as he can as close to your face as he can get until you acknowledge him, then he says something like "look that airplane" or soemthing very menial and funny. I can't help but laugh b/c he is saying excuse me but still very much so interrupting. I guess we'll keep working on that. :) he just has so much to say!

As I enter this busy time of year I want to still enjoy the days that I have at home, still teach my boys things and let them participate in my daily activities.

Now coffee is done, caramel corn is long gone (at least that portion, i shoulda just set the whole bowl in front of me) serenity is over! TIME TO GET MOVING!
I hope you all are having a great Thursday - I know we are here!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Everyone's doing it!

Every one is posting posting pictures of their Christmas decorations that is. I'm very anti - dowhateveryoneelsedoes or very against "cliche" things- but it is Christmas after all and we are getting into the spirit.

It's been fun to see Carson finally starting to recognize Christmas trees everywhere and lights and just get excited about it. (although I'm pretty sure he doesn't have a clue about much except for christmas trees and lights) I'm not very crafty or very good about decorating any time of year - so Christmas is pretty slim in our house mostly b/c I'm either lazy or not good at knowing what to do with decorating.  It took us a total of probably 30 min to decorate and that may or may not include setting up the tree. :(

I love that we have a fireplace!!!!!!

Simple is the way!

Hopefully this year I can get some clearance items for next year and spice up our collection of decorations :)

It's an exciting time of year and I love all the celebration and excitement and merriment that comes with it. I love all the food making/eating too. I love the little bit of extra socialization too. I hope to pass on all this joy to my sons. :)

But also need to start implementing the meaning behind the season. What we are celebrating - the birth of our Savior who came in fulfillment of God's perfect plan, to save a wretched soul like me and make me and heir with him. I pray that one day my sons will know the truth of the Gospel and accept it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

10 Random Facts Friday

A look into how mundane
but beautiful life as
a mother really can be. 

1. I have a stuffy nose and cold - not miserable but not comfortable either :)
2. Carson is pretending to cook/eat things, and he even pretended his blanket was a baby and put it to sleep and was talking like it woke up and stuff. So cute!
3. I only went out into civilization one day this week - library and lunch at panera with boys and a friend. (b/c we all know there is no civilization in our house with my two boys. hahahaha) and truly I don't know if in the winter it's worth it. To take Richard to work and pick him up, plus go to the places I need to, with all the coats and mittens and car seats. It was a lot of work.
4. I love looking in the back seat at the boys all bundled up squished into their car seats with their arms stiff out and mittens on the end. A little smile always pops out from under the bundle and it's really cute!
5. My living room at this current moment is covered with our couch cushions, train tracks, cars  and books - and it's driving me crazy but I'm trying to just let them play. :) At least my bed is made that always helps.
6. Landon adores Carson - it's so cute to see him want to do and imitate everything Carson does.
7. I hope we get a chance to decorate and buy our real christmas tree and set that up this weekend.
8. Landon walks like a crab - sorta sideways, should I be worried?
9. We're having chicken Swiss bundles for supper - and we love it! recipe here - Chicken Swiss Bundles Recipe
10. We have no plans tonight - I hope we come up with something - b/c ITS FRIDAY NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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