Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Thanksgiving in Dallas

We took our first family trip to Dallas for Thanksgiving. We started the visit at Nana and Papa's house. We had a great time playing, visiting with Grandma Barstad and eating Nana's wonderful cinnamon rolls. Halie held Nana to her earlier promise of helping decorate her Christmas tree.

A few days later we took a trip to Forney to visit Grandpa and Grandma. We got to spend a few days visiting and playing with them. The kids got to have an early Christmas, so you can only imagine how excited they were about that!

We got to spend Thanksgiving day with Pauls extended family. Halie had a great time getting to play with Samantha during our visit.
We got to spend a little time with Grandee, Pauls grandma. She is one amazing woman!
Our trip ended with a couple days out at the lake house with Nana and Papa. It was nice to get to spend some time there again, it had been a while...

Austin and Grandma fishing...
Grandma passing on the kringla tradition.

Just look at those smiles :}
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jan 16, 2012 Almost a full year since I have sat down to journal our journey. What an amazing year it has been and I am sad that I have not taken the time to capture our journey along the way. Here is going to be a quick highlight of the year, this will not do any justice to the adventure we have been on....
February...We were still living at the Winslows (to whom we will be forever grateful for their hospitality)

The new house!!! Full of unpacked boxes. It took me quite a while to get us settled...

A surprise trip back to Dallas to get the rest of our stuff and our beloved Chewy!!! We played 2 great surprises on the grandma's. It was awesome!!!


Getting the house painted! Who knew that new color on a wall could make someone so happy! That someone was me!

Our first family hike and picnic in the absolutely amazing forest in our backyard. A year later I still stare out the back windows and say to myself "we really live here!"


We really started to get out, hike, and discover this new amazing place we now call home!

I know I sound like a broken record, but seriously....look at this place.
Mothers Day and my birthday all in one day! Dad and the kids took me for a hike in the red rocks open space and then out for dinner. Thanks guys. Love you!

So there have been a few things that have totally taken me by surprise here in Colorado. The first was how incredibly windy it can get. I had no idea.... I have never seen trees dance like this before in my life. It's actually a little frightening. Next, school gets cancelled or delayed ALL THE TIME! Confusing...but getting used to it now. Lastly, winter kind of goes into spring and spring kind of gets skipped here. Seeing a temp of 84 degrees was so monumental to me, I had to take a picture of it. After a long, windy winter, nothing beats that warm sun beating down on your body!!!

Paul was able to take a huge step of faith and go to Rwanda with an organization called Rivers Promise. www.riverspromise.com There is a story behind him going, but I will save that for another time. (This is the cliff notes version of our year) God is continuing to pour blessings over our lives from that trip.

June ...
My princess turned six...She is growing up so fast. We had a costume party and cupcakes!

We found a great little ice cream shop in Palmer Lake that became a favorite spot this summer. The kids will eat their cones on the porch and give the "honk" sign to cars as they pass by. They love it!

We have been blessed to have a forest with hiking trails right in our back yard. We spent many hours out there exploring this summer.

We took a hiking trip again out to the Red Rocks Open Space with the Lunn's when they were out here for a visit. We found this awesome rock that looks like a dinosaur head, can you see it??? The kids are standing by its mouth, and Austin is fleeing, obviously scared it may eat him!

We spent the day of the 4th celebrating with friends. The town of Monument has a huge parade every year. I think it will become a yearly tradition for our family! After that we had a church picnic at a park and ended the evening with a wonderful dinner at the Winslows followed by watching fireworks from Halies school.

Grandpa and Grandma drove in from Dallas for a weeks visit. We had a great time just hanging out, hiking and showing them our new home here in Colorado.

Shortly after Grandpa and Grandma headed back to Texas, the rest of the Mason fam joined us for a week. We had a great time just hanging out and spending time together. I am coming to realize that I am going to love all the visits we get from family and friends here in Colorado. I love that it is not just hanging out for an afternoon, but we really get to spend good, quality time with them. I love that.
Here are some pics from the cousins visit. Hopefully we have many more memories like these to make...

Nana and Papa came to live here in a condo for the summer. We had a great time getting to live life with them for a couple months. The kids were in heaven!!! I am so sad that I did not take many pictures with them here. This months pictures were marked by the incredible nature we have been blessed to live in the middle of.
The kiddos playing in the backyard. I remind them often how blessed they are to live in the middle of a forest! I pray that as they grow, that they have a true appreciation for the beauty that surrounds them every single day.

I caught Nana and Papa out for a walk on the trails behind our house! They came by and surprised Halie with a special hike.

A crooked tree growing in our backyard. We love the uniqueness of it.

The view from our front porch. Most days it's a lot clearer than that, but even still, it is absolutely beautiful.

We love to watch the hummingbirds.
My Halie is a big first grader now! She is growing so fast. Happy and sad all at the same time. Here she is with Mrs. Hunt, her new teacher.

Yes, that is a picture of a bear in our street. Halie spotted it first. She yells out, "there's a bear in our back yard". Hmmm???? Sure enough, walking down the same trail you just saw Nana and Papa on was a black bear out for a stroll!

We had our first Annual Back to School Party this year. It was a great time to get together with all our new friends and celebrate the new year, filled with new opportunities! We have been so blessed with incredible friends since moving here. We honestly couldn't have wished for a more incredible group of godly people to surround us.

My little man turned 3. Seems like yesterday he was my quiet little baby, who never made a peep. My how times have changed! Not much of anything quiet comes from this boy now! Happy Birthday Austin!

Daddy, Papa and Josh took a trip up to the mountains to get firewood that would keep us warm this winter. The kids jumped right in helping out with the stacking of the wood. They loved it, and continue to love it and help to this day. There are some little joys of living here that I absolutely love. This is one of them. Watching the kids out there working with dad, working on something that will bless our family on a cold Colorado winter day, which we seem to have plenty of!

The first snow at the beginning of October was a little new and unusual to us Texans. But man, was it beautiful!
Chewy, inside by the fire, enjoying the warmth!
"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth...."

The kids gearing up for the first venture out into the snow.

We were able to take two trips up to Cripple Creek this year to see the leaves change colors. It was absoultely beautiful to see the yellows and greens on the sides of the mountains. These pictures don't do justice to what these mountains looked like the weekend before. Note to self, next time bring the camera....

Regardless, both times we had a great time being with great friends.

We took the kids to an overpriced pumpkin patch :) But most importantly, they had a great time!

Pumpkin carving time! No one in the family except me really seems to enjoy scooping out pumpkin guts. I'm hoping that changes over the next few years! These next pics are a little out of order, but after putting one year into one blog entry, I don't really care anymore!

I remember this summer sitting on the porch at the Winslows house and John was talking about how fall was his favorite season here in Colorado. After experiencing our first fall here, I am going to have to say, "John, I couldn't agree more". The weather is crisp, but beautiful, the trees are amazing, the sides of the mountains gain color and we absolutely love it.
I think I am going to wrap up here for now. I will do a separate entry for the holidays. They earned a spot all by themselves this year. Again, as I look back over these last 2 years, I truly am saddened by how much I have failed to capture of this journey I have been on. I pray that as I pick up right where I am, that I am able to capture this changed heart God has been so gracious to give me.
Oh wait, I missed one! The kids enjoyed watching the World Series with dad this years. Go Rangers! Well, maybe we'll get them next year! Anyway, we had few impromptu baseball games in the living room!