made by zia

Posted on September 14th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  3 Comments »


I know my posts have been few and far between, but life is rolling along just as steadily as ever. David is in Lexington for a few days building out a network, and the kids and I are holding down the fort at home. It’s been cool and rainy, and currently there are piles of 1/2-inch-thick paint mixed with glitter on the kitchen table (most of it made it onto the paper).

Zia and I have been brainstorming for ways she can earn money–since nine-year-olds have such a dire need for cash–and I finally decided she could try making simple things to sell in my shop.

We went to the Denver Coliseum over the weekend for the annual Mineral, Fossil, Gem, and Jewelry Show. It was huge and very awesome. It was so overwhelming it was hard to choose anything, but I finally spent $38 and came home with a few beautiful rocks and lots of ideas.

Zia and I planned out a necklace with an agate slab from Peru we bought there, and she made it the next day–the boho necklace pictured above.

She now has her own section of the shop–Made by Zia. I made sure she knew that selling things takes time, but at this point, her excitement about making things for the shop has transcended her deep need for cash, haha.

zia’s fox

Posted on August 29th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  6 Comments »


Zia and I took an art class this summer with this year’s artists in residence at the library. She learned to work with pastels, and made this red fox on velvet paper. Nice, right?

I used the class time to do an oil painting of a Dall sheep, which I’ll post when it’s finished.

log splitter at the county fair

Posted on August 25th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  1 Comment »

We went to the county fair last weekend, and David signed up for the log-splitting contest. He went against all the other young and wiry mountain men of yonder and yore hill country, who probably split wood as often as they brush their teeth. Which actually may not be very often, after all.


Five of them qualified for the finals, including David. He ended up beating all of them with his time of 1 minute 13 seconds except for last year’s champion, who sneakily propped all the logs in a row on the ground instead of setting them up on other logs like everyone else. His strategy was that he didn’t have to waste precious time picking up the fallen logs and setting them up again. Tricky.


But I guess second place isn’t really that bad. ;)


We watched and cheered from the bleachers, and the kids somehow devoured this huge fried dough.


Zia bought a zebra-design PVC bow with three wooden, Styrofoam-tipped arrows. She’s been honing her shot ever since. How do you like that cool, collected, practicing-for-a-teenager face? Just trying not to look like her wildly grinning mother, I’m sure.


During the log splitting, Cash got bored and climbed the bleachers. He charmed some people into letting him “borrow” a bag of popcorn–like he needed it after that fried dough, haha. He seemed to be the life of the party when I found him there.


It was chilly at the fair, and it’s been downright cold and wet this week. Yesterday we got this lovely white coating over everything. It was just hail, though, which somehow seems so much better than snow in August. :):):)


But at 37 degrees, I’m not sure it matters whether it’s snow or hail, and this morning David built our first wood stove fire. It was verrrrrrrry cozy and he gets lots of props for it–especially since he split the logs himself, and most likely in record time. :)

first day of school

Posted on August 16th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  12 Comments »


It all begins again today–this time (third grade!) with a new teacher, and as always, a few new classmates. Montessori combines grades, so a little band of 1st graders joins the classroom’s higher grades each year.

And this year Zia will go and come home by herself each day. Caleb is still in Germany, but has decided to live with his mom in New Mexico when he returns to the States later this week. It’s a big decision for him, and one that affects all of us in many ways.

I think he is looking forward to a change (he’s been with us five years), and also thinking of the different opportunities living with his mom will present. Through all the different feelings that come with his decision, our overriding sense is that the Lord is guiding and leading all of this, and, somehow, it will all work together for our good–including his.

The little kids took the news with some sadness, but they are resilient and already moving forward into the next thing–which for Zia is the new school year, and for Cash is whatever is in front of him at the moment. He is already telling people he is going to school next year, and he definitely has life by the horns in every other aspect. I might fight to homeschool him, but then again, I might let him run forward and just be there for him to run back to.

Which, come to think of it, stands true for all our kids.

ice cream sign

Posted on August 12th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  4 Comments »


Here’s Mama–she stopped at this ice cream shop while driving through the Adirondacks the other day.

I painted that top sign when I was a teenager, probably about 25 years ago! My brother Seth helped me–I think he at least prepared the wood and did the base coat. I vividly remember figuring out the tones in the swirl and the cone, working them almost to death, LOL, so much that my memory of the lettering took a back seat. Now, though, I remember painting coat after coat of yellow, trying to cover up the dark green underneath. Guess I never thought of priming it, haha.

So fun to see it, after all these years–still doing its job and shining out like a beacon to the sugar-starved soul. :)