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Our first visitors!

Before we made the move to Colorado my brother found out that he was going to have to go to Denver for work.  He was able to use some frequent flyer miles and get his wife a ticket too.  They came in on Friday night we had a great time.  Saturday morning we went for a hike in the Open Space Elk park here in Evergreen.  There are tons of trails there and we wanted to get out and enjoy the cool mountain air.







We gave them a tour of town after the hike and then headed back to the house for some rest time.  We went out to dinner in Denver later that night then on the way home it started to snow!  I was hoping we would get more than the 2″ that fell through the night but in the morning there was enough snow to have a pretty serious snowball fight and make a snowman!




We were so glad that they got to come and visit.  Hopefully they can move up here soon!!!

Family Night Out: Brunswick Bowl

About a month ago we began “family night out” as a special night where we go on an outting and do something fun all together. This has led to us brainstorming during the week if what we might want to do for our next FNO. Last weekend Luke had the fantastic idea od going bowling. The kids were unsure at first but quickly warmed up to the bumping music, root beer & foods that were paired with liquid cheese. Both of the kids were better bowlers than I. A great time was had by all, especially this jitterbug…
oh it won’t let me post the video frm my phone! It’s too big. I’ll have to add it later. image

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Christmas Gift!

In my family we have a strange & crazy tradition of stealing each other’s “Christmas Gift.” To accomplish this feat one must say (or yell) “Christmas Gift!” at the other family member before the afore mentioned family member says it to you. This is the stealing of the Christmas Gift. I don’t know for how many generations this has gone on, but I can imagine it originated in a year of harder times than this recession has handed us, when there were no gifts to be given. Maybe it began as the giving of the Christmas gift and an overly competitive passle of siblings turned it into the stealing of the Christmas gifts. Either way-we love it. My little people included. This year on Christmas Eve at Grandma & PaPa’s house we all hid in closets & under tables to trick the late arriving Aunie Kimmie & Uncle Wendell into thinking we weren’t there (despite the tempting smells of food wafting through the house) so that we could jump out screaming in their face “Christmas Eve Gift”  like children hyped up on too many candy canes, the night before Santa comes (you add the Eve according to when you’re seeing the family). Yes I bumped my head, yes my brother in law got trapped in the ancient sliding door of the linen closet, but over all it was well worth it. With the excitement, old memories come tumbling out like faded pictures from the leaves of a family picture album not opened in years. It never fails to lead into a trail of “remember that year…” tales of adventure & scheming. Cousins running down the alley, my dad scaling the 8 foot fence, torn pants, an aunt who will rename nameless always getting injured…all to rouse a little Christmas festivity (and prove oneself a craftier gift stealer). This is the joy of Christmas. No real gift even existed in any of these tales of old, but the joy lingered. Enough to be told 10 times over.

This is what Christmas is all about. At Camp Thorkildsen, Christmas is about others. Your birthday is about you. So on a budget & in love with all things hand-crafted, Luke & I decided we would only make each other a gift, with money only to be spent on the materials required. The results were stunning. It was so fun to work on our projects, stealing moments here & there in our work spaces.  I was excited as a kid on Christmas morning, just dying for Luke to open his gift. I made him an ammo-holder. I sewed it myself from muslin & then sprayed camo patterning on it (I call it Keri 4-HD). It was so fun. He loved it & uses it every time he hunts. It holds 14 shells, which is just enough for a limit & a few misses.


Ammo holder being modeled at my parents'.

Ammo holder in action


Luke worked hours on my gift, my curiosity rising each day. He made me a bagel slicer stand! No more sliced fingers in the morning hours before deliveries! It holds 3 various sizes & is made of alder wood which is the hardest wood, so that the knife doesn’t catch in the wood while slicing. It has my logo etched in the side of it, which was done with wood flour made from a darker wood. It is so pretty and functional. I was so proud to be the recipient of such a thoughtful gift. I don’t know how we’ll top it next year, but we decided to carry on our tradition & try!

Showing off my bagel slicer stand from my woodworker hubby at my parents' house.

Luke is such an artist & I’m so impressed with all the crafts he has mastered in his woodshop. The last few months of this year have been so fun as we have each explored more of our artistic sides & tried new projects. I can’t wait till the next project is finished!!! He’s been working on this one for 6 months!


Until Next time…New Years Gift!

Big Toe

I wanted to do a quick update/info for those that have not heard.  Yesterday, Easter, we were at our house playing outside enjoying thenice afternoon.  As we always do we got out my old dirtbike.  We were enjoying being outside and taking turns on the motorcycle.  I gave the kids a ride, Keri rode with me, uncle Riley took a spin, Keri’s mom even took a little spin (impresve)!  Keri took another ride and went up a little hill we have in the front yard.  She caught some air and I think that may have caused her to get a litle off balance.  She ended up heading betwen 2 trees.  The tree on the left side caught the handle bars then pinned her toe between foot peg.  Keri was flying through the air saying “I’m okay, I’m okay!”, not wanting to make anyone worried.  She ended up stopped at the base of another tree and said “Whoa, my toe, I’m not okay”.  We ran over there and after one glance it was obvious that we were headed to the emergency room because her left big toe was literally  dangling off of her foot.  I picked her up and carried her to the car.  Her mom ran into the house and got a towel to wrap around her foot so she would not have to look at it en route to the er.  I said that I had to find my keys, but I knew where they were.  I wanted to go back and make sure that there was not any of Keri’s toe laying on the ground.  I jumped in the car and we headed for the hospital.  I’ll skip the part of the story where I broke every possible traffic law on the way to hospital.  We got Keri into the er and they had to do some x-rays on her foot as well as her knee and abdomen as they also sustained some damage.  We waited for quite a while for the er doctor to come back and let us know wat was going on.  We already had some idea of the severity because the doctors first question after taking peek at her toe was when was the last time you ate? After a long delay and us all wondering what is going on, a man barges into the room in plain clothes.  He was not rude, or apologetic, just facts and he spoke in a way that said I know this is what I do and I’m good at it, borderline arrogant but in a good way.  He simply said, “I’m a bone doctor, they called me as a specialist and from the desrcription of the x-ray I thought it deserved a look.  You pulverized your big toe and also pretty severely fractured your 3rd toe.”  As he peeled back the bandage that was covering the toe he said he was glad that he came up there.  “There is a good chance that we will have to amputate the toe, we are going to try and save it, but the big risk is infection.”

They took Keri into surgery pretty quickly.  Afterwards the doctor said that saving the big toe was a viable option but the third toe was also an open fracture so they had to clean it out as well and will require pins to be put in.  Additional surgery will be required.  Most likely they will have to do a bone graft from her hip to see if they can get the tip of the big toe to grow bone since 60% of the bone is missing.

At this point we are waiting to see if infection sets in and if it will be a candidate for saving the toe.  Either way we we are looking at having another surgery in the next few days.

Keri is doing great and is in good spirits.  There is significant pain but she is being very tough.  Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.  It is funny how complex our bodies our and how fragile they can be. 

A day on the lake

A few Sundays ago my brother offered to take us out on the lake. So we slept in, had a great big breakfast, watered the garden, loaded up a picnic & a cooler and headed out for the open waters. The kids each took their turns being thrilled: the big truck we rode in, the life jackets, the birds, the splashes of water, driving, honking, climbing around to see all the views. Amazing day. Thanks bro-you’re the best.

Joss was more excited about the life jacket Riley brought her than being on a boat.

Boating Beauties

Checking for fishies

Trip driving with Riley-Riley laughing because all he wants to do is honk the horn.

The usual attempt at a family shot-3 out of 4 is not bad.

"working" with Ri Ri-another highlight of the day for Jossi

A trip to Barron Downs

A few weekends ago we ventured out to Stephenville, TX, population 20,000 people; 200,000,000 head of cattle. My sister Kelli & her horse trainer hubby live on 3,000 acres of wide open spaces. So we roamed, shot, fished, sat, whittled (just kidding), bulldozed burn piles, met new animal friends, ate, drank & were generally merry. We had a great time…

kids on a fence

the country life

a curious horse

Jossi horse whispering

My sis & seb

kids on a boat

Trip being brave...

Mommy being brave

pretty fish

my baby love

ya, I'm tough (notice the face of focus)


Better late than never. I tried to post all these pics before & after loading them, putting great captions, etc-they wouldn’t post & my saved draft was gone! So i was immensely frustrated & gave up altogether. But here they are. A few pics of the greatest Texas snow day I’ve had in a long time!