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Showing posts from May, 2011

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is humbling.  It is a day set aside to remember the men and women who have died serving our country.  That humbles me.  I cannot fathom going to war. . .being on the front lines. . .risking my life for a country.  It is humbling.

Memorial Day was first declared in 1868.  On www.usmemorialday.org, I read this quote and it sums up my feelings as I decided to write this post:  "Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all."

As I am humbled by Memorial Day, I often get frustrated.  I feel like we aren't really proud to be Americans anymore.  I feel like politics and wars have made us less proud and that makes me sad.  I remember the patriotic feeling after 9/11 and I remember loving that feeling.  Now I feel like we have gone back to politics.  It seems like we are less happy to be Americans if the person we want to be president isn't in office.  Or we are less proud to be Amer…

Baker's Bridge

Yesterday we spent much of the afternoon at Baker's Bridge. Some of our alumni staff are in town and it was so much fun to enjoy the sun and the fellowship!





Blog Catch Up

Where have I been lately??? MOVING OUT TO CAMP, ending school, buying a new house. . . . I've been a little busy! So, I'm going to give you several updates in one post. . .pics and stories and such!


Today is the last day of school. We survived another year! I'll post about today later! I'm back to being on top of blogging! Yipee!

Desktop Wallpaper

I just made this fun wallpaper for Andy's computer desktop.  I thought I'd share it with you.  I love him!

Camp Kivu Has Begun

Well, Braner Party of 7 has moved out to Kivu for the summer.  We will still have to go back and forth for school for four days, but for all practical purposes, we have moved.  We are so excited to be out here with some of the Kivu staff. 

It is so refreshing to be surrounded by amazing people!  I love cooking for the guys (we only have guys staff out here for the next several days).  Andy and I actually cooked breakfast for them this morning and being in the kitchen with Andy all to myself for nearly two hours was a dream come true!  I love it that my boys have wonderful young men to look up to!  I love the camp pace! 

I am so thankful that this is what I get to do in the summers!  Life is good!

May in Colorado

This is what we woke up to this morning.  (Mind you, when I say "we woke up" you need to know that Andy took me on a super fantastic anniversary date. . .lunch, walking around downtown, coffee and brownies, a long afternoon nap, dinner, a movie and the Blue Lake Ranch. . .my favorite bed and breakfast in Durango. . .nap and bedtime at Blue Lake.)

It is May 19th and the snow is beautiful!  Our "uncles" arrived yesterday (some of our guys staff at KIVU) and they are bundled up as they get camp ready for the kids to arrive!

Maggie's field trip got CANCELED yesterday due to snow.  Nuts! 

I really love living here because it is just so pretty, but it is time for the warm weather to be here!  Sending my kids to school in snow boots, ski coats and with gloves and hats the last week of school is so crazy!

Happy Anniversary, Andy!

Fourteen years of marriage.  Wow!  I seriously cannot believe it (until I look at my breakfast table and see my "little guy" who is nearly thirteen. . .reality check).  As of this summer, I have officially known Andy the same amount of time that I did not know him.  Weird.

Anyway, happy anniversary!  This year has been tough in so many areas and we have for sure seen more downs than ups in the past twelve months.  However, we are closer now than before and we know each other more intimately than before.  That's what it is about. . . for better and for worse!

My motto this year has been LOVE HOPES and I am hopeful!  I am hopeful that we will have fourteen more great years (and then fourteen more after that and fourteen more after that and maybe even fourteen more after that).  I am hopeful that our love will never stop growing.  I am hopeful that he will always be my best friend.  I am hopeful that he will always be my greatest ally and biggest fan.  I am hopeful that as…

Good Time

Wow. . .what a whirlwind!  Wednesday night I decided to go to Branson.  Hmmmmmm. . . . .  My Gran'ma was having surgery on Friday--it had been scheduled for a couple of weeks and I have known about it, but I just kept telling myself that I didn't need to be there.  Then on Wednesday evening, the other part of me won the battle and I was like, "what am I still doing in Durango?  I need to be in Branson!!!"  I was almost frantic as I made that realization and started trying to get myself East at the speed of sound!

The trip was crazy!  By Wednesday night I was on an airplane headed to Denver.  I got to Denver in a blizzard!  We were one of the last flights to land that night.  It was crazy.  So, I got a hotel and I could not find the shuttle bus to the hotel.  (Usually I'm pretty together and "with it," but my emotions had the best of me and I had almost no common sense at this point.)  So, I called the hotel (twice) and they told me that the shuttle serv…

Free Download Of Andy's New Book

Hey there!  Today you can download Andy's new book for FREE!  Yep, free.  We are hoping for 100,000 downloads in the next couple days!  And then hopefully these downloads will translate into super recommendations and then others will PURCHASE the book or the download!

The book was written to parents of the 12+ crowd and youth pastors.  Don't think that this book doesn't apply to your child. . . you'll be floored!

ClickHERE to download it for free today only!

Yesterday Morning

This is what we woke up to yesterday. . .so beautiful.  It was kind of refreshing to wake up to a winter wonderland (then I remembered that it was May 11th and was craving the smell of blooming lilacs, but it was beautiful nevertheless).

Best Mother's Day Eve

Yesterday was the best! The kids and I drove down to the Grand Canyon and spent the afternoon biking the rim. It was magical! I had Gabby on a pull-behind bike and the 6 of us had a blast. The most magical part was being on the rim (literally) and just seeing the grandeur of the canyon to the side of me and my kids in front of me...magical!!!

Yesterday was by far one of the best days I have had in a very long time!  Thanks kiddos!

Then today for Mother's Day we spent it in the Canyon with BeBe and PaPa.  That was a fun last minute surprise!  I'm so glad I drove down to meet them!  We had the perfect weekend!







Mother's Day 2011 could have been the best ever!!!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday!

Happy Birthday, Mom!  I adore you so much!  For the past 14 years I have felt our friendship growing and growing and these last two years away from you has drawn my heart so close to you.  I love you so much!  I admire your strength and your courage and your vaulnerability.  I admire your patience that NEVER seems to end (why didn't I get any of that from you?).  I admire your true compassion and your thoughtfulness.  You are an amazing woman.  You seem to have every quality I wish I had.  You are so grounded and together.  You are my hero. . .the woman I wish I could be like!

It is so weird to me how much I long for you as a dear friend now that I am gone.  I want to talk to you about fifty times a day.  You're the person I want to call to laugh with and to cry with.  You are who I want to run to for so many things.  You are a very dear friend and I am so grateful for that!


I love you so much!  You're the best!  Happy Birthday!

Growing Up...One Shaved Leg At A Time

So, this isn't really thousands of readers worthy, but it is family and for my own memories worthy.  I taught Maggie how to shave her legs.  I remember the first time I shaved (many of you remember the story from my post about why I love summer camp).  It wasn't a great experience.  I was being a 10 year old who was away at camp and whose mother wouldn't let her shave.  (Why not, mom?)  I learned my razor burn lesson the hard way and waited until Junior High until my mom gave me permission to shave. 

Well, Maggie wanted to learn this week, so I taught her.  (I must say--for my own memories--that Hays decided to shave a few weeks ago, so I had to let my daughter. . .a different story for a different time.)  So, I got to teach my oldest daughter to shave.  I got to tell her which ankle bone to watch out for and how that Achilles tendon can be a real killer.  I got to tell her to go slow in order to avoid razor burn and how she needs to put lotion on afterward. 

It was fun.  …

May the Fourth Be With You

This link is in honor of my Star Wars boy, Dax.  It is best when he says "May the Fourth be with you" with his little lisp.  I love it!  So, to you, Dax, my Star Wars, dimple-face, thumb-sucking mama's boy. . . MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!  I love you!

Osama Bin Laden

Okay, I'm not going to do a big political post or a big religious or moral post.  I'm just going to post because sometimes in writing I figure things out better. . .and I have noticed that sometimes in my writing (and others reading my writing), I am not alone in my feelings.

So, this morning, Andy woke up long before the crack of dawn and he couldn't sleep. . .therefore I couldn't sleep.  So, he pulled out his iPad and started reading the news.  And of course, the first thing to come up was that Osama Bin Laden was killed during a mission in Pakistan yesterday.  Whatever.  At five in the morning, I didn't really think too much about it (I just really wanted to be sleeping instead).  And then we began to read more articles and blogs and twitters and everything and I encountered the "jubilee" of many people in the country.  And still I didn't think too much about it.

Then I got out of bed and got my day started and I realized that I was really bothered…

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Happy May Day

It is May Day and it is SNOWING here in Durango (and it is supposed to keep snowing until tomorrow morning). . .and it is COLD!  Its weird to think about school ending and camp starting and all that entails when it is snowing outside.  Weird!

May is always such a weird month for me.  Life changes so drastically once camp starts and that date is less than three weeks away.  I have SO MUCH to do in order to get ready for camp to start up again this year!  I'm so excited for the staff to come but I am so anxious about the changes in our family that have to happen in order to make running a camp happen.  Once it gets here, I am typically fine, but the looking forward to it is hard.  May is not the month I ever look forward to.

My mom's birthday is coming up.  Mother's Day is coming up.  Our 14th anniversary is on this May calendar.  The kids have all kinds of "end of the year" type things at their schools.  Lesley is coming back!  Dalton, our sitter from last summer…