Activity-kids, Food, Shenanigans, worry

What in the actual heck happened, is happening, will happen?

I mean c’mon, right? I think we all need to just come out and talk about this pandemic elephant in the room, let’s stop pretending it doesn’t exist and live in reality. Ha! Just kidding. I mean – I think all we are ever talking, reading, hearing about these days is COVID-19.

This time 6 weeks ago I couldn’t have told you what an N95 mask was, what “PPE” stood for, that the term “shelter at home” was something you could do without a tornado warning, and which of my kids does really well with online learning (hint: ZERO).

I also now know that Lexapro is a faithful friend. I’ve discovered that (at least) one of my kids, when bored, keeps cutting (and/or coloring) their hair and piercing more holes in their ears (and maybe other places. Wait. what?!).

I call this one:
Fun with filters and Alli’s right arm

Social distancing is an actual phrase now – although one of my word nerd friends reminded me that technically it’s physical distancing and should be referred to as such. I agree with her.

I also started, thanks to Alli (who now has bangs), an online baking class which is FUN (when the internet works and I don’t spend the entire class time switching out my internet and asking everyone to hold up their thumbs if they can hear and see me moving). So far we’ve baked together: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cinnamon Rolls and Lemon Bars.

I’ve coped by online shopping. Specifically: New running shoes, glasses, books, organic hand sanitizer, new bedding for our bed, paint and canvases for art therapy.

Let me be honest here: this has been HARD. I know I’m not the only one and I hesitated to write about this subject in this space because seriously, who needs one.more.person. writing about their coping during this bizarre time in our world’s history? But I missed you guys in this space and I felt I couldn’t just all of a sudden start writing about random things that pop into my head when all of this is going on.

Anyways (and always), thanks for reading. I promise to talk about something else, anything else! next time I pop-in.

Onward and upward,


Activity-kids, Motherhood

Weights, Toilets and my Mom

I just ordered hand weights. I scrubbed my own toilet. I wash my hands like my kindergarten teacher taught me to do it 38 years ago. I haven’t hugged anyone outside of my immediate family since Sunday (I know, it’s only Tuesday, but still – I’m an extrovert you know). I did get my nails done a week and a half ago and they’re still going strong so that’s exciting.

Let’s pull back the layers and re-visit item two from the paragraph above, shall we? Look. It’s not that I hate cleaning (I actually enjoy looking back and thinking to myself, “Wow, you did that. You made that clean!”) but to really get things clean you have to have a high attention to detail and a hefty serving of perseverance. These are two character qualities that skipped a generation. Seriously. Have any of you seen my mom clean? She is a machine. Absolutely amazing. I mean, she has a tool (brush, rag, what else do you use to clean things?, and a liquid (secret potions for sure) to get anything clean.

See? I told you she’s magical.

This is proof that most things skip a generation. I really don’t like to clean. And by “don’t like” I mean I basically make sure I make at least $130/month so I can pay a house cleaner to come over and do it for me. “Don’t like” as in Corinda was sick this past week and we had to clean the house all. by. ourselves. and I barely had enough cleaner to get the job done. Only a max of two people at any given time could be cleaning – and really only one toilet at a time because we only have one bottle of Pursue Disinfectant (I grew up on Amway products and still source it from my mom sometimes. Sometimes she gives me gifts like cleaning products because that’s how great she is).

So anyways, we all pitched in and cleaned the house yesterday (and the crowd goes wild). SOMEONE, who shall remain nameless, mentioned that maybe we don’t need to pay a house cleaner to do it because “look at what a great job we all did”. Look. This is a temporary set-up where we’re all home and motivated. Also, I like my job a lot and what will I do with that $130 if we don’t have a house cleaner?!

I armed everyone with a typed-up checklist of their area to clean. We did it. And we’ll probably have to do it again sometime soon with all that’s going on, so I better make sure we have enough cleaning stuff. I have a Norwex window cloth thingy that’s amazing (just one though) and that is the best thing ever.

How do you clean your house? Do you do it all in one day or one room at a time? Do you have any tricks or favorite products? Or do you just pay your own Corinda to do it for you so it’s clean, all in one day, for about 2 hours, until we start living in it again? (best two hours of the month).

‘merica, we got this.


Activity-kids, Motherhood

My, er, I mean the kids’ favorite musician

Our mornings are tough. I’m just going to be honest. With S’s sensory issues and other “I just woke up, please don’t bother me” type attitudes that seem to be increasing as the girls approach the teen years there seems to be a lot of arguing, provoking, lack of compassion-and then there’s the kids and how they treat each other ; )

I’ve tried worship music, instrumental hymns, silence, funny faces, sarcasm, yelling, hot chocolate with marshmallows. Nothing really works amazingly well. We always pray for our day together-no matter what (okay-sometimes I forget to pray. Then it gets really interesting!). 

Today I tried playing my, er, I mean the girls’ favorite musician, Justin Roberts. I just love his lyrics and the tunes, too. My absolute 100% favorite is Henrietta’s Hair. I believe he is a Christian-although his music isn’t in that genre per se. However they are wholesome. Fantastic. Seriously-sometimes I listen to his music when the girls aren’t around. He just nails it on how kids think and feel-and how their parents handle that thinking and feeling. 

Having him on in the background this morning seemed to work. I’ll keep you posted on how it works.

Of course-I’d really love your ideas on what works for you and your family in the mornings. Structure, lack of structure, same things for b-fast everyday, music…share if you have a minute!

And a video, just for you:

Thanks for stopping by!

La Gringa



This photo is from Sally’s post about her last tea-I’m so famous ; )

Something hugely fantastic about our move is that we moved about five (5!) miles from Sally Clarkson. For those of you who don’t know who this is, do yourself a huge favor and buy her newest book Desperate. Also, you can click here.

The Lord has used her to keep me going when times are really tough (like now-when I am ready to kick out the children and subdue this house as my own-I’m’ tired of sharing it with sinful people!!). Oops, sorry for the venting-but it’s true! And Sally offers such refreshment, hope, encouragement…I told her she is like Jillian Michaels for moms…as if she’s yelling at us while on the treadmill “keep it up! You can do this! I know this is hard now-but think of the results you’ll get!”.

Sally hosts a “tea” (it used to be at her house-now it’s at the big church, New Life. Once a month I get to receive encouragement and be around other moms (some even have chickens, too!). It’s great. I’m bringing cookies tonight.
Chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate coconut??

Have a great day!

La Gringa

Activity-kids, education, Motherhood, Uncategorized

Tea with Sally

Activity-kids, Farm Life, Motherhood, Uncategorized

The Cat Food Mystery-Solved!

So the two cats we have live in the barn. By “live” I mean we give them their food and water there and a cozy spot to sleep-although we have no idea if they actually spend the night inside. The first three weeks we had Chloe (the one year old black cat) she meow-ed outside of our window from dusk to dawn. Now she goes somewhere else.

The Barn is what I would call almost predator proof. Okay, it’s not at all, but I feel like a bad cat owner if I think I’m luring them to their death-by-coyote so I like to think of it as almost predator proof.

T minus 1 week (today is T, in case you didn’t get that): Upon entering the barn we find the cat food tub has been knocked over…contents spilled out-very little food left. Darn cats. We let the cats know this is not acceptable. We buy more cat food.

T minus 3 days: Cat food knocked over AGAIN. Seriously, what in the world? Scold cats. Place brick on top of newly purchased cat food.

T minus 2 days: Brick found 3 feet from food tub. food tub knocked over and is upside down (however contents remain intact). No need to get more food-every need to figure out what in the world is big enough to knock the brick off and move the tubs around. This calls for…an investigation!

The girls and I strap on our muck boots (‘cuz there is lots of muck around here!) and go searching for signs of the intruder. That’s when we find fresh poop  (as in there is very old and lots of poop already) in the barn loft. Oh great. Something is coming back now that it’s getting colder. It likes cat food, can climb the barn ladder to get to the loft and hasn’t eaten any chickens or cats. And poops like a dog-shape/size speaking.

T minus 12 hours: El Guapo and I do a Google image search for “raccoon poop”. (funny, never done that before). Definitely raccoon.

Thankfully back in the Operation De-Mouse days of the farm El Guapo bought for $10 a “have a heart” animal trap because I had realized there was something living in the barn. We set it up for a week or so with no success. We decided whatever it was didn’t like us living here and so it was gone…or maybe (now that we are farm experts ; ) I think the animal had no need to come back-too warm. It’s started getting cooler at night the last week or so and this animal has now made his appearance again.

T minus nothing-as in-currently happening right now: S comes running from the barn this morning, “Mom! Mom!! There is a raccoon in the trap!” Yes! Success! Please don’t ask me what we are going to do with him. I can’t tell you. And by “we” I mean El Guapo. The girls and I are leaving for the night and it is perfect timing for us, if you know what I mean. El Guapo will be all alone on the farm. Well, along with the ducks, chickens, horse, bunny, cat and…the raccoon.

Thankfully he (the raccoon, not El Guapo) didn’t get to the chickens, or the cats. Could there be more??

raccoon 001


Just another day on the farm!

La Gringa


Trail Running

I love running on trails. Or at least I thought I did. It sounds so, so…Colorado, doesn’t it? I have done it a few times in the past-mostly in college. There is this fantastic trail just 1 1/2 miles from our house that my librarian friend told me about. She runs. A lot. Her husband just ran the Leadville 100 (that’s 100 as in 100 miles!). He’s 65. Wow. Me? I’d just like to run often enough to keep up with my caloric intake.

Anyways…here’s the view from the trail. I took it with my flip phone-so if it’s pixel-y you now know why. But what in the world? Isn’t that beautiful!!??

Now I must find a way not to get eaten by bears, attacked by coyotes or kidnapped while I’m out there alone. In the dark (sunrise is now at 6:15am-so very sad). I’ve been doing Jiliian Michaels’ “Ripped in 30” in my basement. And by “doing” I mean I woke up yesterday and did it. Once. Farm work is a workout in and of itself! Sheesh.

Anyways. Back to trail running. It’s not as glamorous as I thought it would be. Besides the above mentioned dangers there’s also the constant gravel and rocks that keep making their way into my shoes. I’ll have to work on this for next season. As for now…unless I can find a running buddy that will run with me at 5:45am I’ll just keep getting up and doing Jillian. Or farm work. Or both. Or neither. Darn cookie dough.

Also…CATastrophe part 2 is seriously on it’s way…next. I promise. really. no, really!

La Gringa

Activity-kids, Motherhood, Uncategorized

Trail Running

Activity-kids, Motherhood, Uncategorized


Image(don’t worry-I’ll post about the CATastrophe part 2 soon…I know you’re on the edge of your seats ; )

Things are moving along swimmingly here at the farm. The summer seems to be a mild version of what others in Denver experience. We don’t have A/C-but between the lower temps and the great breeze that flows through the upper part of the house we are quite comfy most days (except when I self-clean the oven on the record setting hot days, oops).

So the summers are more mild, mustn’t the winters also be more, er, chill? Less intense? I don’t think so. You see, there’s this area that is always on the news for being a problem area during winter storms. “Monument Hill”. When we first looked at this house people would ask where the house was in reference to “Monument Hill” (you have to say “Monument Hill” in a deep, baritone voice-with a sprinkle of ominous overtones, otherwise it just doesn’t work as a written word). I would always answer, “You know, I’m not sure. I can’t seem to figure out where “Monument Hill” actually is??”. And then, we approached the house from the south (we’d been coming from the north all the other times). And there it was. The “Monument Hill” sign. You know, the green ones that identify exits, landmarks, etc. off the highway. That’s when I discovered…We are ON “Monument Hill”. Oh geez.

Since then we’ve talked with the previous owner and five neighbors who have all warned us of the intense weather patterns that exist here. One recalled a winter that had over 121″ of snow by January. I’m sorry, what?!?! Now, I am no stranger to snow. We lived at over 10,000 ft. before S was born. That was a lot of snow. This new house is close to the highway-but apparently the main road that leads to our driveway is often closed.

The last neighbor we met actually said (she’s lived here for just two years), “You know, when we first moved in people would warn us about the winters here and we just shrugged them off-thinking they were exaggerating to be more dramatic. But now that we’ve lived here through two winters I no longer think that. So let me put it honestly and straight forward. I am not going to sugarcoat it for you. The winters, especially during a storm, are very intense here. The wind drifts are so high on the main road you won’t be able to go anywhere. I want you to know that.”

Yikes! What a fantastic adventure!! I love snow. You can quote me on that (and may need to remind me of these statements when I am experiencing severe cabin fever and am ready to move to the Bahamas.

: )

La Gringa


Activity-kids, Motherhood, Uncategorized



…people come visit!

Most recently my dear friend over at LearningAsWeGo. (yes, she and I have the same blog “theme”-isn’t that fun!?). Her latest post includes this cutie picture of us and this other one of the kid’s tree house they worked on while they were here. : )

Also-if you came to see us and I failed to get a photo of it (ugh, I think that’s everybody else) let’s try it again!! That’s what happens when you no longer have an iphone. You don’t take pictures. sad face.

Happy face!:



La Gringa.

Activity-kids, Motherhood, Uncategorized

A great thing about living on a new farm…


Backing up a bit

Before we moved last week we took a four-day reprieve. My grandfather gifted each of his children (my dad in this case) with land or property before he passed away. My dad inherited the cabin. Sweet! Now he and his family are blessed with this wonderful retreat in the mountains above Castle Rock.

We try to go up a few times each Spring through the Fall. My cousin and her family came up with my parents for a day and it was such a special time visiting with everybody! She brought crafts, of course, and chocolate! It was really fun.

: )

La Gringa

Activity-kids, Motherhood, Uncategorized

Backing up a bit