Hi friends,

Dropping in to ask you to wear blue tomorrow to show your support of our sweet Sarah (and others on the Autism Spectrum). Autism Speaks is a great organization that does wonderful work for kids “On the Spectrum”. Sarah has decided that she wants everyone she knows to wear blue tomorrow, April 2nd, to show their support. This is a huge leap in progress for her. When she was first diagnosed she wanted nothing to do with the words Autism and Asperger’s…now she is proud to be recognized as a member of the Autism community!

Here’s more info: https://www.autismspeaks.org/liub

I thought it would be fun to surprise her with photos of her friends and family wearing blue…would you consider snapping a selfie or two of you and/or your kiddos wearing blue on April 2 and send her the photo to either her email: CurlsForJesus@gmail.com or her phone: 719-212-8515


Happy week-ending!



Hi. I’m back. and I’m mean it this time. None of this, “Oops!” “Sorry, that wasn’t for you!” posts. This is the Real Deal. Just for YOU!

(prepare yourself-I’m on a “meme-roll” today)

We joined the YMCA here in Monument. We came from a dreamland of Rec centers (and non-competitive (read: cheap and not as many crazed “sports parents” on the sidelines) CARA teams). They don’t have that here. Here it’s either public schools for sports or private organizations. And for an indoor gym/workout option you must pay membership fees at a YMCA or country club. I held out for three years-thinking that I could just run with a headlamp (and a construction vest with reflective tape) and a friend at 5am but when the snow (and ice!!) and complete darkness and urban legends of people sleeping overnight along the trail we were running (pun!) through my head I decided “enough is enough!”, re-worked the budget (thanks to the Alpaca boarding) and signed up for a membership at the Y. (Yes, I realize I could’ve said all of that in like two sentences-but where’s the fun in that?!).

I started going at my usual time (5-6am) and then discovered over Christmas break that there are classes-with other people!-pushing me to work really hard-harder than I was pushing myself on the treadmill at 5.5mph-and now I’m hooked (at least until the snow melts, the sun comes up and I don’t have to wear 14 layers of clothing just to run for 30min. outside).

I started with the standard “boot camp” and “interval training” classes. Which I still do once/week. BUT THEN! Someone I knew suggested I try out a spinning class. As in a bike. That moves back and forth (but not forward and backward : ). I’d heard legends about these classes. When they first came out years ago they were said to be filled with die-hard roadies (as in bicyclists riding on roads). If you weren’t used to it there was ZERO chance of survival if you tried one of these classes. But this friend that suggested it to me was so “normal”. How could I not try it?

Holy schnikies batman! I’ve been going for a little over two weeks now and geez louise! My thighs are on FIYAH! And the amount of sweat dripping from my face is just really gross when you think about how many other people have been on that bike and done the exact same thing and then halfheartedly wiped it down with a paper-towel and some spray we’re all really hoping stops the transmittal of whatever can be transmitted in sweat…I’m pretty sure a lot of really terrible diseases-but I’m not going to google it.


To quote Tony Horton (that’s the p90x guy and no, he has nothing to do with the YMCA or my spinning class), “that’s some serious DNA removal”.

I could only find this super cheesy meme to go with this one:

There’s also the added “that’s her/his bike” dynamic that brings you back to middle school when you sit in a seat and unbeknownst to you that’s where the most popular person sits-and everyone knew that but you…yeah. Spinning class is kinda like that….


So, for some (more!) comedic relief (and at the risk of sounding like a spinning geek after just only 2 weeks of doing this) I leave you with some funny memes on spinning. I needed to laugh today-why not share the laughter?!







Have a great day, today!!

La Gringa

That last post was intended for the Classical Conversations community I direct. Sorry for any confusion : )

I deleted it-so if you see this on the site and look at the last post-that one IS for us here at LaStradaTostada. Just not the one I erased, that you can no longer see, which means you may have never seen it in the first place…um. you get the idea.


Have a fantastic week!


There is only now.


I have a strong urge to convince you that “I”m still alive!” or that “I’m back!” or something like that. Since it’s been months since I posted I feel obligated to mention the time between the posts…but instead I’ll just put some pictures up that back up this quote above here. I don’t know who it’s from, actually, just that I saw it on Instagram (yes! I’m back on social media! Find me on instagram: TrueMountainBakery). I love this saying. In the spirit of that-I share some photos of my current “now”.

Above: Parade of lights Silliness


Above: Glorious way to wake up!


Above: My friend Sherry has been sending me her artwork she creates during her time with the Lord.

Really? How awesome is God that the gives me friends like this?!


Above: Mrs. Charles and me. Repeat above reference to God’s awesomeness and friends.


Above: Freezing at the Parade of Lights for my birthday!



Above: This tree. The snow. The barn. Takes my breath away (literally it was about 10′ as a high that day).


Above: Celebrating (other people’s) birthdays that end in zero are way more fun with friends. Thanks, ladies, for forging the trail!

I’ve still got one year left!


Above: Zip-lines (that one in the background is just a practice one). We spent four hours zip lining as a family-what?! So fun!


Above: What’s cuter than a bunch of kittens? Three sweet friends cuddling said kittens!

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Above: Abby got nabbed to be the minion to advertise for our church’s Harvest Fest one Sunday! Love!!

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Above: We sold the chickens and ducks! What?! We’re down to just alpacas that we board-and barn cats. Aren’t they so cute and fuzzy?IMG_4044 (1)

Above: El Guapo is a beekeeper- mentioned this before. He harvested his honey this spring, somehow boiled down the honeycomb and got the wax and then made these candles. Have you sensed a “Charles Ingalls” spirit in my husband yet?


Above: Papi and Alli…love!


Above: And another beautiful reminder from Sherry. Hope! Christ is born this day! (okay, not this day-but in a couple of days-and really we don’t know when it was-but we’re doing our best here as Christians-let’s go with this for now shall we?).

Merry Christmas, friends.

La Gringa

Backpack 18



For those of you who’ve been following LaStradaTostada for a while you know that El Guapo and I love to get into the wilderness of the Colorado Rockies to celebrate our anniversary. This year was no different (albeit late in the season for miss “I get really cold just thinking about being really cold”). Thanks to all three grandparents (one for  each grandkid to go to) and to our Pastor Scott and family for caring for our other kids the chickens, ducks and cats (that’s all the farm animals we have right now. Phew) we were able to pull off a trip into the James Peak Wilderness.  We started at the East Portal Trailhead of the South Boulder Creek Trail and headed up three grueling hours (4.5 miles) to Heart Lake. Beautiful. Stunning. Popular. Situated at 11,300ft. We were able to find a quaint, tucked away spot to set up camp-where no one could find us 🙂

Sadly, I got blisters 😦 even with my proven hiking boots! Darn it. I thought I’d figured that part out. Oh well. It was a pretty vertical climb so I was on my heels a lot. Speaking of heels….this trip comes right on the heels of my CC year starting up (see my previous post). Ever tried hiking while in labor?!? Ha! Well, God has been gracious and allowed CC to wait until we get back-priorities don’t ya know!! 

We managed to bag a 13er (that’s Coloradan speak for “we hiked up to a 13,000 ft. above sea level mountain) on day two. Phew! More time on those heels but God’s creation is so magnificent and breathe taking that I forgot about the blasted blisters. 

 If this goes through you’ll see a video we sent to the grandparents while on a mini summit-high enough to get cell service. Also it’s windy up that high…

 There was also ample opportunities for fishing-which El Guapo took ample opportunity catch:

We call that one dinner. 🙂

We’ve been dreaming and talking more of doing the Colorado Trail once the girls are out (that will happen, right?!?) and El Guapo can take a month or more off of work and still come back to a job…(will that ever happen??!!) so we’ve been reading up on “ultra light backpacking”. It’s a thing. We brought along a book to read together and it’s been really fun! Challenging ideas about how to backpack with less stuff but very tempting as the idea of a hauling around a 50-60 pound pack vs. a 25pound pack for a month through the Rockies  sounds delightful. Can we sleep under a tarp with just a down quilt and bivy sack?! Yikes. Maybe 35pounds and throw in a pillow. 

And let’s be sure to include breakfast sausage, potatoes and eggs. YUM. 


Well! It’s off to birth this baby! (Not a real baby-sorry to confuse you. It’s the “baby” called Classical Conversations). That would be crazy though if I’d actually hiked while in labor…and that we were going to have a fourth…right. Not happenin. 

But here’s our beautiful three we do have and got to return to. Absence makes the heart grow fonder-of retirement…er, I mean love for my hormonally charged, oops-that should read …of these bundles of joy, love, and constant reminders of why I need Jesus. 

(We were excited about an Indiana Jones movie El guapo’s mom and step dad gave us. Heeehee.)

Fondly, with blisters and all,

La Gringa 


….I’m dilated to a 6 and I’m entering “that stage”. I think people have called it the “wall of fire”. There’ll be a baby to hold on the other side of that wall. A “classical conversations” baby that is. 

In case my analogy has failed to get my point across-here it is plain and simple: I’m very, very busy getting this year’s Classical Conversations community together. We start September 15. Until then let me leave you with some parting photos. There’s no captions or explanations. I’m too busy breathing and focusing on pushing this baby out for details like that, remember?!

Wow! We’ve had a blast this summer!! Be back soon!

La Gringa 


Welcome back! Doesn’t that picture above just scream,

“Good morning! I’ve created an amazing sunrise for you-think how great the rest of your day will be?!” Love, God-the creator of the universe.

I took that picture, well, I hate to tell you this…while on the toilet. I realize this is way too much information however-at our last house-the view outside of our bathroom was much less glorious. It was actually someone else’s front yard. Speaking of toilets…

The Bathroom! We finished it ages ago (okay, May). I no longer have to watch my self use the toilet! Now I can keep my mind on other things than how wide my hips aren’t are aren’t-oh, you get the idea-no more mirror on the shower door! I’ll stop talking now and share photos-which is really why you’re here.

We grabbed this mirror at a garage sale, added knobs we re-purposed from an old oven we found on the property and viola! Hand towel holder! You can also kind of see the beetle kill pine tongue and groove we put up on the wall under the window. We put the same stuff on our ceiling in the kitchen-it’s really great. Oh, we also covered up the sage green paint with gray-to match the rest of the house:


Here’s a big picture of the bathroom. It’s a small space-but this new dresser we turned into a vanity has gobs of drawers-and is also adorable! We painted and distressed it and then El Guapo put his mad skills to work on creating a contoured counter top out of marble tiles-no grout lines-they are just glued together-I think he used glue? He also did some cool tricks so that we only lost about 5″ of drawer space total from the sink and faucet plumbing.

Also-you’ll sort of notice the lights in this photo…we painted them white-they are originally used on electrical substations-something like that. We mounted them on some old wood (we’ll say we got it from the barn-sounds more “pinterest-y’ that way). We also ditched the tiny mirror/medicine cabinet for this gigantor, frame-less one. Between it and the dresser we don’t know what to do with all this space! Oh, but our growing daughters, do-so good thing we’ve got extra space! Sorry the photo is so dark…oh! and isn’t the floor tile cool? Incidentally that’s “the window” from whence the sunrise came:


Here’s a closer-up of those barnwood lights:IMG_2303

Here’s what it looks like if you were a 3-year old walking into the bathroom…3-year olds can really appreciate the details on the dresser/vanity! I told you there were lots of drawers! (Incidentally-just so you know how amazing El Guapo is: he looked for an entire year (who does anything for that long anymore?!) for this dresser-one that was narrow enough, had tons of storage that wouldn’t be lost by adding a sink and one that matched my cottage chic look. I think I should take him out to dinner, don’t you?)IMG_2381

And here’s a crooked picture of the shower! Honestly-why can’t I take a straight photo?! Thanks to my dad’s brilliant idea-we ran the tile all the way up to the ceiling-feels so much bigger! El Guapo also put in recessed shelving, and drilled holes in the little corner shelves for our razors! Maybe we should order dessert!IMG_2382Another view of the shower. I actually had a friend zooming in on these photos on my phone so she could see what kind of hair products I use. I love girlfriends. (DevaCurl, btw)
IMG_2383That’s it! It took maybe two more weeks than we originally planned (so total of six weeks-nights and weekends). The biggest surprise was that with the configuration of the floor/wall heater the new tub wouldn’t go in so we had to cut out all of the drywall under the window (hence the tongue and groove). And thanks to El Guapo’s re-selling of random things we pulled out of the bathroom and other buy/selling techniques he’s mastered over the years-it didn’t cost us much, either! That shower door is my favorite, well, and the dresser. It’s a toss-up. They were both craigslist finds so really I can have two favorites since we got such great deals on them.

“What’s next?” you say? Well, We’re going to try to take a year “off” from projects. Although he’s already installed a water filtration system since this one ended…and I really want a new deck (a house keeper, professional organzer and professional landscaping would be great, too-since you asked)…but it’s nice to have our weekends and evenings to enjoy the farm…so we’ll see. The biggest “next” is the basement…but we try not to talk about it…it’s going to be a lot of work.

Now let’s go enjoy summer, shall we?!

La Gringa