winter arts festival

Posted on December 20th, 2014 by mountain girl  |  No Comments »

Last week we attended the Winter Arts Festival at school.  Zia sang Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with her Montessori first and second grade classmates.  The boy to her left is Max, her best (and silliest) friend.


She did great onstage and didn’t seem as nervous as last year.  She wore her Rudolph necklace, but just before going onstage, she gave it a tug and it slipped off the chain.  We fixed it after she sang, but she didn’t get to wear it for the event we made it for–too bad, but at the same time, not really a big deal.

She has worn it to school since then, and when she explains to her classmates that her mom hand-painted it, they are blown away.  “Like, your mom painted that with her fingers?”  To which Zia replies, “No, silly, she used a paintbrush.  Hand-painted means not painted by a machine.” “Even though, of course (telling the story to me) it looks like it was painted by a machine.”  Which is the ultimate compliment, coming from a seven-year old.


After Zia’s recital was over, we went to find her drawing in the art show.


She did a flying mouse in oil pastels–which I thought looked pretty awesome, and not at all like it was painted by a machine. ;)


And now, school’s over and the kids are done with school–free at last!!–for a couple of weeks.  Let the fun begin!

{this moment}

Posted on December 19th, 2014 by mountain girl  |  5 Comments »

Linking up with SouleMama…a moment from our week.


rocky mountain bighorn sheep

Posted on December 17th, 2014 by mountain girl  |  5 Comments »


We came upon a herd of Rocky Mountain bighorns the other day, grazing along the side of the road.  A big male with battle-worn horns seemed to be in charge.


There was another male, a younger one, in the herd as well.  The two of them seemed to have an amicable relationship.


We’ve seen bighorn sheep before, but they have always seemed skittish, and we’ve usually only caught glimpses of them bounding away into crevices in the mountains.


This herd was very different–not at all afraid, and they didn’t even seem to care that we stopped to watch.


Some other people stopped after we did, and a few got out of their cars and tried to get closer to get pictures of themselves with the sheep.


That didn’t go over well with the man in charge, and he stared at them with a look that would have made me edge back into my car as fast as my little feet could patter.  My heart would have been pattering, too.  I don’t have hooves or horns, and if we butted heads, I’m pretty sure I know who would win–and it wouldn’t be lil’ ol’ me.


The picture-takers didn’t seem to notice the ram’s icy stare, but thankfully he overlooked their blissful entrancement.  “Just think! ME, on Facebook, with a herd of mountain goats!”


The old ram finally shook his head in disbelief and turned his womenfolk (and son?) up the mountain.


I’ve read a little about Rocky Mountain bighorns, and their horns alone can weigh 30 lbs–more than all the bones in their body combined.  They come down lower in the winter to find food, which is probably why they weren’t eager to leave their bit of grass by the road.


The females’ horns are smaller, and not so curved.  Check out the funny mismatched horns on this little female!


It was awesome to see them so close, and for such a long time.  They were strong and majestic, and not the least bit intimidated.  I still want to see one of those big furry white Rocky Mountain goats…but I’ll probably have to go up a little higher in the mountains for that.

in the shop: fox in snow necklace

Posted on December 17th, 2014 by mountain girl  |  2 Comments »


There’s a foxy new necklace in the shop.





With wood carving, clay arts, and secret present-making  (not to mention live hungry children) vying for my attention, it has been a while since I’ve made a new piece of jewelry.  Enter Mr. Fox, prancing through the snow.

Partly because of visual over-stimulation from the creative kaleidoscope I find myself spinning in and partly from limited time, I wanted this necklace to be simple and a bit understated.  To me it is as much about the aspen wood background as it is about the fox itself.

I love trying this necklace on.  It’s restful to the eye while adding a little pop of bright color–and it just makes me feel good.  Mission accomplished.

Any girl who wears it is sure to be pegged a nature lover…and just maybe a foxy lady, too. ;)

{almost} winter days

Posted on December 16th, 2014 by mountain girl  |  7 Comments »


Winter is just around the corner…but it’s felt like winter ever since that week in November when the mercury dipped ten below zero.  Brrrrr.  We’ve had some warmer days since then, but this weekend it turned cold and windy again, and we got several inches of snow.  We’ve been all tucked in at home and mighty cozy by the wood stove.


We made “stained glass” gingerbread the other day. The plan was to make a gingerbread house with colored windows, but for now we opted for stars and trees and gingerbread men–much easier!  The kids had a blast crushing Jolly Ranchers to bake into the cookies.




O thou dirty screen. ;(


Zia went with her class to Central City to decorate the local Christmas tree.  We went too, and watched her hang her little ornament–doting parents that we are.


She was so excited she went hopping down the street.


A moment of sharing toothy smiles amidst throngs of shouting kids.


And this boy-oy-oy.  He refuses to have his hair cut, so we just roll with it.  He’s got his Dadda’s good looks, so he’s cute either way.   He’s been a little under the weather (A.K.A. needs Uddey Sidey every five minutes) and hasn’t been very happy.  This is the last week of school for the kids, and hopefully having Zia home every day will help him feel better.  Caleb leaves in a few days to vacation with his mom for winter break.


Saturday we went to the heart of Denver with some folks from our church.  We gave people at an apartment complex bags of food, along with gift cards for their kids.  Some people were really happy to see us, some were a little weirded out.  It was a lot of fun, and somebody snapped this picture of us just before we headed out.  It’s been almost a year since we’ve gotten a photo of all of us.  (The reds are winning!  Yayayay!)


Driving in Denver.  Being in the city all day makes you ache for the mountains…and our home is just beyond that first ridge.