s.o.a.r. award (and a shout out to the super bowl champs)

Posted on February 8th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  4 Comments »





Zia received the December-January SOAR award last week. The teachers had a little award ceremony for the SOAR students and parents Thursday at 7 am (yawn). They had a breakfast buffet in the school library with cereal, juice, muffins, danish, and doughnuts–since of course everyone knows the very best way to start a kid’s day is with lots of sugar and grains, LOL. (Notice the glazed doughnut hole already taking effect in Cash’s eyes?)  Each student got a T-shirt and a gift-wrapped cup with a pencil and lollipops inside–to fend off the impending doughnut crash, of course.

Zia has been working really hard in school, and has thought about SOAR all year, hoping to be one of The Chosen. She’s at the top of her class–which includes first, second and third graders–in reading and writing, and she’s pretty good at math, too.

Each teacher wrote up a blurb for their student’s certificate and introduced him or her, going over the reasons why they chose them for the award. At the end they took a group picture of the students for the local paper.

The whole thing was really special for Zia, and it was the “best day of her life” (as so many days have been, ha). We framed her certificate and hung it in her room, and now we’re all just waiting to see her picture in the paper.

And by the way, I should probably mention that THE BRONCOS WON THE SUPER BOWL. Woo-hoo! (I’m trying to rouse my absolutely-non-sports-fan-self before I get scalped in Denver.) GO BRONCOS!!!!!!!

52 degrees in boulder

Posted on January 26th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  7 Comments »


The little reds and I got the grocery shopping done on Friday, and since Caleb was working and David was on call at home, the three of us spent Saturday down in Boulder. Boulder is just above 5400 ft in elevation, and the almost-4000 ft-difference between there and where we live (less than an hour away) equals about 20 degrees in temperature.  At 52 degrees and sunny, Saturday felt like summertime to us wind-whipped, chapped-lipped, scarf-wrapped, white chicken-skinned mountaineers.


We had almost forgotten what sun on skin felt like as we shed our layers and soaked in the warmth. You can see there is still snow in Boulder–that hill in the distance is covered. People were sledding there, but the kids wanted to be as far from their snowpants as possible.  There were other adults walking around bundled up in coats and scarves, but I was in bare feet and a tank top, hah. They probably wondered where I came from.  About 50 minutes vertical of here.



It felt amazing, like coming alive after a long hibernation in the snow.  Our snowiest time of year in the mountains (spring) is yet to come, but I really love the warm days interspersed throughout winter and spring on the Front Range.




Our clothes were completely filled with sand when we got home.




Zia is all about Shopkins these days. They are the hot trading item at school, and even Cash admires them–he swoons over “June Balloon” and “Marty Party Hat” at Target. I can’t quite feel the love for Shopkins, but of course I’m out of touch–I’m that weird kind of mama who hammers small bits of copper and thinks beetle-eaten tree trunks are the greatest thing ever. Expensive little plastic objects with eyes don’t hold much thrill for me.


But oh! they ARE simply thrilling! So I let her spend all her money on them.


The Shopkins-obsessed child


and the Shopkins-unimpressed mother, haha.


Shopkin lovers or no, there is nothing like sticks and sand and sun to make you come alive with happiness. So sorry for all you Easterners with your icy snowstorms. If it makes you feel better, this morning it was 10 degrees out when the kids left for school and the water bucket in the goats’ barn was frozen solid.  But this weekend should be in the mid 50′s again in Boulder, and we’ll be there, with sticks and sand and Shopkins. :)

in the shop: tree of life necklaces

Posted on January 19th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  5 Comments »













I’ve been making some new Tree of Life necklaces. They’re now in my shop–check them out at Poco Leon Studio. :)

steppin’ into a new year

Posted on January 11th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  11 Comments »


It’s been forever since I’ve popped my head into the blogoshere. I know it’s way late, but happy New Year!


I literally walked right into the new year in brand new boots. I never really thought I would own a pair, but David bought me these Frye boots last month. They are hand crafted and made in Leon, Mexico. I wore them for 7 hours the day we bought them, 12 hours the next day, and I haven’t worn anything else out since. My feet still haven’t noticed they are in new boots. :)


Here’s the back view, with hand stitching.  They are called Shirley Artisan and the color is Whisky. Oo-la-la.


Detail of boot top. I’m slightly excited about these boots, can you tell?


And that cozy sweater was a gift from my very sweet mother in law. Mwaaaaah.


Since this has obviously become a post all about me, I’ll just flow with it. I’ve been giving myself a deep-conditioning hair treatment, which is a mixture of molasses, yogurt, and apple cider vinegar. It adds moisture and shine, and the molasses imparts minerals and nutrients to the scalp. It’s supposed to nurture and bring healthy growth to your hair. It also deepens the color–you can probably see in the photo above that my hair looks quite a bit darker. Besides all that, it’s just awesome to smear food in your hair.


The kids and I did something very cheesy and made a gingerbread house from a box.  Terrible, I know. But it was so easy it was totally worth it. The only problem is they can’t eat it, since that’s actually the cardboard box it came in under the icing, haha.


I ordered a string of tiny star-shaped battery operated lights for my closet, since it doesn’t have a socket for an electric lamp. The star lights also made a great crown, which I wore for quite a while after I got the package.


I’m loving my skirt from Thailand. I can turn it into big Thai pants by the way I button it at the bottom. I’m not sure which way I like wearing it more, as pants or a skirt. I feel very billowy both ways.

Lest you think I went overboard on my wardrobe last month (which I did), I have put the kibosh on buying clothes, shoes, and accessories for 30 days, and possibly longer. I would like to do it for a year, but we’ll see how long I can stand my jeans, which (although they are fairly new) constantly fall down, causing me to look like a saggy-bottomed gangsta. Gotta love it.


This is a little hokey because I’ve practically copied this fairy out of a book, but I am having a lot of fun with Zentangle art. There is a lot of freedom in following the structure of it (you learn “tangles” like the ones in the fairy’s hair to incorporate into your art) and it’s also very relaxing, probably kind of like those adult coloring books that are all the rage now. Once you have the idea of Zentangle, you can make up your own tangles and go crazy with them. I just realized she’s a little cross-eyed. I guess that’s what happens when you draw in bed.


Here is that Oliver + s messenger bag Zia and I made for her. We made the larger size and it came out nice–it has an adjustable strap, two outside pockets under the flap, and an assortment of small inside pockets for pencils, cell phone, etc. JK about the cell phone.


Zebra lining and flap pockets.


We found an archery range that offers a free lesson for beginners. We have been there twice now, and all of us, including Cash, have been shooting. It’s a ton of fun.





This new year has been a really good, fresh start for us. It feels thick with grace, fearlessness, and new direction–and I’m soaking up every bit of it. I hope you are having a good start to your year, too!

happy challahdays

Posted on December 25th, 2015 by mountain girl  |  6 Comments »













We had such a great day together at home. The kids popped out of bed early and opened some little presents in the morning, which was very exciting and included things like Superhero Chutes and Ladders, Thinking Putty, and Quidditch goggles.

David gave me an American Giant hoody in a deep strawberry pink/red (which I love) and a sweet card, which I had to read very carefully in order not to cry.  I’m still not very good at getting him presents, unless I get up some verve and do a painting–but I made a yummy dish of enchiladas and a gluten-free apple pie this afternoon to make up for it, haha.

After an early dinner and apple pie a la mode, the kids went out to slide down the hill on their bottoms and I went snowshoeing in the woods. The rest of the day was filled with talking to our families on the phone, kid-made sugar cookies, various treats procured from stockings, and Kevin Costner A.K.A. Robin Hood.

Today was another mark to me of the goodness God is bringing us into. Even as the darkness of the season came to a climax just a few days ago and is slowly brightening each day, I feel that our family is also moving forward into a brighter time, and I’m running into it with everything I’ve got. Challah, challah.

I hope you had an amazing day, too, and I pray that God’s love is surrounding you and lifting you above your circumstances.  Here is a song I have been listening to daily, and holding my heart steady in the place it brings me to.