Monday, December 28, 2009

For The Love of Shoes

Sam is beginning to get herself dressed. No, not shirts, pants, dresses.....SHOES. Yes, we have an obsession with the diversity that goes on our feet. Today she chose the following to go out in the snow!!!

* She got her boot on all completely by herself. Notice it is the left boot on the right foot, typical kid!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Written Friday:
So, we haven't left our home in 3 days because AJ and I have some sort of stomach virus. Let's just say that we can't wander far from home.

Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday!!!! We did at least get out and take Sam sledding yesterday......she loved it. she is a speed demon.....the faster we sent her down the hill, the more she laughed.

As of Sunday:
We are all feeling more like ourselves today, finally. We managed to get out today to run some errands, go to church, and are now watching the Broncos. We were definitely looking forward to going up to the mountains, thank to the Gurleys offering their place. However, we enjoyed quality family time no matter the location. We really did have a wonderful 5 days together and managed a little fun along the way.

Thank you to AJ for the nice times despite feeling so miserable. Thank you to Sam for being her always joyous self with lots of smiles and laughs!!!
It's such a HARD life being pulled around on a sled:)
Grandpa Cribley and the dogs had fun too!!!
Sam helped me shovel one day when it was windy and cold.
She really braved and enjoyed the cold....definitely a Colorado baby.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


It's a good thing that Menu Plan Monday keeps me in line because I am not motivated this week!!!

Mon - Artichoke and pasta

Tues - Crock Pot Chicken with Black Beans & Cream Cheese

Wed - Egg, Corned Beef Hash, Peppers

Thurs - Moussaka

Fri - Enchiladas

Sat - Quinoa w/ chicken, garbanzo beans, veggies

Sun - Veggie Burgers, sweet potato fries, salad

Mon - Tuna Melts; cucumber/carrot salad

Friday, December 18, 2009


Well, I finally added something to my day that I've been meaning to do for a while and it feels WONDERFUL!!!! As soon as Sam went down for her morning nap I jumped into some workout cloths and pushed my body and mind through yoga. *My legs are a little shaky*

I've been wanting to get back to yoga and more walking/running but it is so easy to get 'too busy.' I knew, and had even discussed with friends, that all that was needed was to add it into a routine. If you get yourself into a habit then the excuses fade away. Now, I just have to really keep the routine up.....I know it makes me feel wonderful so it shouldn't be too hard, right?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Family Time

Family dinner a la Dad!!
(notice someone can't wait to have Dad's pizza)

Having Fun Making Pizza

Grandma's 60th Birthday TeaSam especially loved the Devonshire CreamBest seat in the house...

Menu for the week

It is so wonderful to have meals planned because it really takes some daily stress away. I especially love getting new ideas over at Menu Plan Mondays.

I have accomplished a lot of new adventures in the last couple of days. I baked from freshly ground wheat berries and I made my own chicken stock from the carcass. It smelled so wonderful as it simmered all night!!! It sounds especially good as I'm getting over some illness.

Sun - AJ's Deep Dish Pizza

Mon - Brown-Rice-and-Black-Bean-Casserole

Tues - Shepherd's Pie

Wed - Artichoke, leftovers

Thurs - Southwest Chili, cornbread

Fri - Dinner w/ Gurley Family!!!

Sat - Tuna Melts on homemade bread; roasted veggies

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sick day...

Thank goodness for wonderful Daddy's!!!!

AJ has spent all day taking care of Sam and Mom because I am VERY under the weather. I am disappointed because we had a friend Zane's 2nd Birthday party and friends coming over for dinner.

So, I put a chicken in the crock pot and finally got to baking. I'm looking forward to the fresh chicken broth to help get rid of this sickness in our house!!! Plus, I GROUND MY OWN WHEAT finally and made some wonderful Blueberry Muffins!! Thanks mom for giving me the grinder.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Butterfly Kisses

Dad(or Grandpa as he prefers these days) and I had a date Sunday night filled with enough memories to last the whole year through. Bob Carlyle, a musical artist who wrote and sings 'Butterfly Kisses,' presented a free concert at a church here in town. I called to get tickets a week ago but they were all gone. Well Sunday came and the weather has been extremely cold and constantly snowing. I thought just maybe some seats would open up, so I called Dad and said, "Do you want to just show up and see if we can get in?" Of course he jumped at the occasion, 'cause you see, I was one of the many who was blessed and surprised to hear "Butterfly Kisses" as a gift when my daddy walked me down the hillside to 'give me away' to AJ. The show was wonderfully performed and entertaining but the company is what warmed the night and filled my heart with love.
Love you Dad

Monday, December 7, 2009


Last night we had the Autumn Soup that I've been planning to make for a few weeks and just haven't had the correct day. Well, at 10 degrees last night it was the BEST night, and a great soup!!! It was hardy, yummy, filling, and VERY good for us with lots of veggies. I highly recommend it. I found it and many other recipes at Menu Plan Monday, check it out.

A big goal this week is to grind my own grain, and make lots of different breads with my bread mixer. Wish me luck!!

Monday - Local Chicken Feta Sausages, Acorn Squash w apples

Tuesday - AJ's Turkey Chili, homemade corn bread

Wednesday - Chicken, Mushroom, and Rice bake, Artichoke

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Grandma's 60th Birthday Fondue

Saturday - Dinner w/ Castaldi Family don't know where or what yet!!!

Sunday - Pasta w/ sauce from the freezer, salad, homemade bread

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Story in Pictures...

Our Thanksgiving...

Table setting for 18
Our blessed Thanksgiving Family
The O'Briens
Bill, Sandy, Aj, Kelli, Sam, Tim, Amanda
The Cribleys
Steve, Michele, Eric Jorgenson
The Gurleys
Rick, Debbie, Jud, Brie, Laina, Maddie, Adon, Moriah

Spending quality time together

Uncle Tim brought a Nurf hoop for the guys to play
Sam got to shoot a few hoops when the guys were too tired!!
Deep Fried Turkey...need I say more:)

Sushi lunch for Amanda's Birthday (Glad you came up despite getting sick!!)

Sam ate so much Cranberry sauce she had an upset tummy the next morning.
All the O'Brien's came up for the occasion, my bestest Gramsi!!
(sweater and hat courtesy of Grandma Cribley)

Friday, November 27, 2009


I just read a wonderful book, on AJ's recommendation, called "The Shack." It is amazing how the Lord can help to provide something that you really need to read in order to bring home something realistic in your current events. It is of most importance that we live in the present. While a lot was emphasized to AJ and I in this book and it touched us, there were certain things that took us back to His Word to help us grow. One thing that was interesting to me was to talk about it with a friend and see the different mind sets of people and how we read what we want to read and how this book, like the Bible, has so many different levels that most people don't even touch in exploration. Like His word, our relationships are multifaceted and complex, but they don't have to be, they can just be about Love.

Yesterday AJ and I hosted a fabulously chaotic Thanskgiving Day. Our family all came over, consisting of 13 adults and 5 children, we are truly blessed by everyone. We were missing Amanda sadly. She drove all the way up here from Albuquerque to spend her day sick in the hotel. She did get some of the chow, after Gravy ate the first plate we made her!!! We also were missing Amie and Albert all non-thanksgiving over in Germany, but we all talked with them over Skype!!! Hope you are feeling better Albert. The rest of our hectic crowd had an exhausting but loving time. If someone was hungry it was their own fault, between the Turkey deep fried by Grandpa Cribley and the Roast masterfully prepared by Poppop O'Brien(and Tim), plus all the extras from the Gurley, O'Brien, Cribley women:)

Most importantly it was a joyous day of just spending time together allowing our blessed relationships to meld together. We really do need to let go to the Lord and be thankful to Him especially for the special people we hold dear to our hearts, mainly Him.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful menu

I was getting a little board with our menus and some weeks it is tiring to search for new ideas. So.......
I went to our mommy play group (and yes it's a double entendre because the kids play, and the mommy's play as well!!) and suggested that we each provide 1 recipe each week. This give 5 recipes out of seven days without having to work hard. We all enjoy healthy eating habits and I believe enjoy new ideas. So far it's working wonderful!!!

Mon - Yummy & Easy Burritos (mommy recipe)

Tues - Autumn Cabbage Soup, homemade tortillas

Wed - Family cocktail party at the Cribley residence

Thanksgiving -
we decided to go big today by inviting 4 families to our house!!! There will be the most rewarding chaos with 13 adults and 5 children running around giving Thanks to our FATHER!!!!

breakfast - Egg and veggie quiche, O'Brien Hash Brown Casserole

Eat Too Much Meal -

Deep Fried Turkey
Slow Grilled Beef
Corn Bread Pudding
Cranberry Chutney
Green Bean casserole (Tempura Onions)
Spinach Turkey Bacon Casserole
Roasted Veggies (squash, onions, carrots, etc)
Autumn Salad
Sweet potato dish
Mashed Potatoes
Fruit Pies (made by Tim the pastry chef!!!), ice cream, whipped cream

Fri - John Elway's Hamburger Soup w/ a slow cooker twist (mommy recipe) or leftovers:)

Sat - Pinapple BBQ Chicken w/ Quinoa

Sun - Leftovers, of which I'm sure we will have plenty!!!!

Check out other lovely thankful meals at Menu Plan Monday

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I must have been dreaming about sleep because it was on my mind when I woke up. It has been coming up in random places lately and I was realizing how blessed we are that it isn't a focus of discussion around Samantha any more. She is turning into a little one that can sleep anywhere and loves to go to bed at night.

I bought AJ this new song that he discovered makes him think of Sam, it's Fireflies by Owl City. One DJ described it as Strawberry Bubblegum in audio form, and it truly works. It is very young sounding and has great rhythm and sounds, Sam loves it too. Anyway, it talks about sleep and how we should dream so big that we never want to wake.

In the other direction my friend Jill has been awake so much lately that she, the fabulous mother of 2, actually asked me for sleep advice for her youngest little Katie. I told her that it gave me a good laugh that she was coming to ME for advice. However, this morning I was really reflecting on the blessings that have occurred over the last year, many of which involve night feedings. I feel so pleased that we chose to really listen to ourselves and most of all Sam to decide what she needed. I can never replace those times when she needed me and I was ALWAYS there, graciously enjoying the sacrifice of my own sleep. YES that is right enjoying a lack of sleep because it was for my daughter. I especially look back with fondness now that she is a great sleeper.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Monday - Take out from Tasty House.....always yummy.

Tuesday - Diner with Gurleys!!! Bring salad and bread.

Wed. - Moroccan Vegetable Hot Pot

Thurs - Baked Pasta w/ Spinach and Sausage

Fri - Leftovers

Sat. - Autumn Cabbage Soup

Sun - Black Bean Burritos

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Little moments

As I rest my elbows on the dryer a busy mind is absorbing it's surroundings. Time moves slowly as a pea sized object is moved from a noisy hard surface to plush quietness. Oh wait, here is another object, silence is it's objective. Where do I place them, what is my need, how am I to interact with my environment?

A friend of mine just the other day wrote about how the smallest advancements in his young daughters life bring such joy to his day.....only he realized that when put into words it is so boring without the emotion, especially if you aren't a new parent yourself. Well, I see and feel everything you are experiencing Adam, it's AMAZING!!!

Here are some pictures from this fall....First trip to the zoo with the Gurleys

Grandpa and Sam completed their first 5k walk for diabetes!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More Pictures....

We made it to Puerto Vallarta

Well, we took a chance and WON!!!! We headed to the airport hoping to go to Mexico standby with Zero seats available. There was a back-up plan to visit San Diego if necessary, but somehow 4 people didn't show up to fly to Puerto Vallarta and WE MADE IT!!!!

We had no idea where we would stay, what we would do, or if we could get back. In the end our resort was perfect, we relaxed the entire time (except for the 5 hour hike AJ and I took in the jungle), and made it back rested. We took lots of pictures so I'll let them tell the story.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

MEnu plan; back with a vengeance

It has been forever since I planned a menu in writing. We are starting to make one meal for little Sam (13 months now, can you believe it) and us, and we all eat together. We had a wonderful time last night as we all prepared the meal - dad did is part to carve the chicken, Sam and I made the veggies and pasta on the stove as she hung out in her sling. I think that she really enjoyed the meal better having helped to prepare it. She especially loved the spinach, lima bean, corn mixture that we made up with goats milk and some cheese and spices. She had 3 helpings!!!

I love to get ideas for menus over at Org Junkie.

Mon - Chicken Fried Rice; Cabbage casserole

Tues - Bakes Huevos

Wed - spaghetti and meatballs; salad

Thurs - Tuna w/ Apple lettuce wraps; potato wedges

Fri - Leftovers

Sat - Poor Man's Pierogies

Found a new website that I enjoyed for food:

gluten free mommy

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mexico here we come...hopefully....

We'll see everyone in a week....we may be in Mexico....or we may be in San Diego.....either way we are headed somewhere for a little vacation!!!

Shout out to Amie and Albert in Germany....having their own adventures:)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Next year is a big year....

Happy Birthday AJ/Daddy!!!! We love you soooooo much (insert Samantha's arms stretched wide).

Last month we gave Dad his present and thank goodness we did because we are in the middle of a winter storm. Below are the pictures of Dad's new toy to keep the Red Dragon well protected. We got to enjoy it one weekend at the race track!!
Dad coming home to the surprise. Amie and I drove to New Mexico and back in one shot to have it home when AJ got home from a trip....he had NO idea:)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Inspiration

I have an amazing husband. I feel so grounded in him at this point in my life. It seems that it would be a tumultuous time as our little one evolves into a toddler, our careers are unfolding, and the seasons in general are in full motion. He remains my Foundation. There have been many discussions, among ourselves and our families, as of late regarding plans for the future and the needs and desires to provide the best for our own growing family. The topics have been fruitfull, revealing, and mostly loving. We are great-full for the leadership that we have in our parents.

One important subject that we need to complete our actions is a Will, Living Will, and Child Custody papers. An insightful conversation and very important talk was shared between ALL of the grandparents and ourselves. It is not only important for legal purposes but I believe helps to connect us all in our personal times of life. We all shared what our wishes are with regards to the care of Samantha and of ourselves. How we want to be treating in death always reveals a lot of how we wish to be respected in life. Thank you to my strong husband for his leadership and departure into that discussion.

Anther avenue that AJ and I have felt some further need is in the exploration of our faith. While a Rock in so many ways this is an area that AJ (and I don't know if he feels this way, it is my observations) is still young and unguided. We know that our beginnings of faith in God are rooted in the same principles but our knowledge and understanding are not at the same place. It is important to both of us that it is a piece or OUR lives as one and that there is something there to concretely explain to Sam, at the same time an organic belief that matures with us in appreciation of the Lord. Part of examining this area of life has led us to attend some church services here in town. We found a place, through an old coworker of mine, that is bible verse led.....they actually read through each verse. The start of this church is based from an old surfer, which of course appeals to AJ. While this is a little bit of a struggle for me, it is inspirational to AJ and that makes my heart sing. We may not agree with everything that is said and done, but it is providing an arrow in the direction of our Lord for AJ. For myself it is exposure to His word and a constant reminder to keep my mind and heart open, only my thoughts can become toxic if I allow them, the Lord will speak directly to and through me as He wishes. This relationship will be organic, just like our entire path with God should be, constantly fructifying.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

We made it 1 year....

I know I've been the worst at keeping up with the blog in the last month, ok maybe month and 1/'s had work chasing around a toddler. You read correctly, we made it 1 year!!!! I can't believe what an amazing year it has been as AJ and I watched Samantha turn into the beautiful toddler and sassy girl that she has become. It is nothing of course compared to the changes that we have seen in ourselves and our relationship, all for the best. So, without further adieu some photo-memories....

*check out the video my sister did of her pics over the last year. iamalive

September 23rd

"So Big"
Sam loved the New York Cheese Cake Grandma Cribley made

The most adorable word she says, ALL THE TIME!!

Birthday picnic for the Bradley Gang...we can't believe we've stayed a group for 1 year

Hiking with Aunt Amie and Uncle Albert one last time before they left for Germany....miss you!

Dad had to go to Dallas for some gun training so Sam and I went to visit the girls. We stayed with Sharon and Libby came up from Houston. It was a fabulous time!!

We went camping with our friends John, Leah, and Thomas after the Bradley picnic. It was so much fun and we look forward to all the trips next summer.