Tag Archives: averi

My Averi-Girl is Six & Sweeter than Ever!

Happy Birthday, Averi-J!

averi and cake

Oh, my goodness, sweet-pea – I have loved you like crazy for 6 whole years now!  You have gotten sweeter and more lovely each year.

olaf and the girls

You are such a wonderful big sister to Amelie Belle and Bailey Sophia!  Aren’t they so blessed to have you?  And you are a fun cousin to the K-kids and the Powers boys and to baby Eva – how lucky are they?  And I love that you are such a wonderful daughter for your mommy and daddy and look for ways to honor them.  Goodness, you are a delight!


But wow, oh wow, oh wow!  You are my grandbebe, my sweet six-year-old grand-girl.  You were the 5th of all the ones I will ever have and I just think you are turning into one of the most amazing little women ever born.


I love you my darling, beauty queen.  I love your heart and your spirit and face and those eyes.  You have my heart forever.

avs party game

Now I bless you ~

May you continue to grow in the grace and admonition of the Lord.  May the source of your life always be Jesus, for He is your righteousness, your sanctification,  and your redeemer.  May you always walk in the freedom that comes from knowing Him and be full of the joy He has promised for you.  And remember – His presence is where you will always find the fullness of that joy!  Stay blameless and innocent no matter what the rest of your generation does, Averi Jadyn, because you were born to shine as a light in this world.  So sparkle and shine, sweet girl, for Jesus all the days of your blessed, beautiful, whole and holy life!  I bless you in Jesus’ Name!  And I seal it with a kiss.  :)

Kiss*-Kiss*, Birthday Girl!  {Love, Nonna!}


NOTE:  Averi had a Disney’s FROZEN party, in case you couldn’t tell.  Her mommy posted a bunch more pictures and ideas on her blog, if you’d like to take a look.  {CLICK HERE}

And God said, “Let there be neon!”

Averi and I ran some errands yesterday.  We purchased a package of brightly-colored, stretchy headbands for which she had an instant affinity and she was explaining to me how much she loved the bright colors, but she was trying to think of the “right” word for them.

Neon!”  She finally remembered.  They were neon-colored!  Oh, how she loves neon colors, she kept effusing while deciding which one or two to wear with her outfit.

Did you know, ” I took her down memory lane, “that when your daddy and all your aunts were little kids back in the 80s, neon was a huge thing?  They had lots of neon clothes and shoes and headbands back then!”

She was awed by this news.

“Really, Nonna?  Wow!  God must have thought all the little children wouldn’t know about neon unless He made it for them now.  So He made some more neon so we would know!”

Her extreme gratefulness for God’s kindness in making neon known to her all these years later was evident as she adjusted her headband and sighed, with a very big smile on her cute little face, “I love neon colors.”

Gemma, Averi & Me in Estes Park

In other news….

A wonderful thing:  I got $60 worth of kid’s Creatology Musical Instruments today at Michael’s for a little less than $12!  Yay!  I had been wanting them for the grandbebe playroom.kid's instruments

I can just hear a little {grandbebe} band making merry music in my very near future!  In good, old-fashioned primary colors.  ;)



I love you all the way to a million and back, Averikins!

Yet another pre-schooler will “graduate” to Kindergarten this year.   *sniff   Averi will be going to big-kid school in the fall.

I have been the most blessed Nonna ever because, so far, I have gotten to pre-school the first five of the 8 grandbebes.  First Gavin, then Hunter, then Guini, then, can you believe it, Gemma and this year: Averi-J.  Omygoodness, I am a lucky-lucky-lucky girl!  I imagine I will start with Amelie after Christmas, so I’ll get a school year and a half with her!.  :)

Averi and I loved that there was snow on the ground Wednesday morning, but on Thursday morning we got to go outside barefooted (as it should be!).  To count cards.  Because that is school.  Yes it is.

Look who we ran into at IKEA the other day:


We “schooled” a little there, too, because Averi followed the map with her pencil and matched words to signage.  Education!

Good times, no matter how you quantify it.

Averi & her IKEA doll

ikea dolls

All the grand-girls got IKEA dolls from a certain Nonna (aka “Nonni,” as dubbed by a few of the grandbebes).

My first dolls were fabric, embroidered faces.  Good memories.  :)

I meant to get a picture f each of them holding their babies, but alas, forgot.  Did get a few of Averi, though, a couple of days later.

And may I say POO to Youtube for mis-identifying the original music and banning it from mobile playability???  I had to change to one of their ugh selections…YT is ticking me off. 

{things that happened during the “break”}

I  A M   B A C K, baby !

I kinda took a blogging fast after epiphany (January 6), which I was afraid to say “out loud” until later in January {wrote about it HERE}.  And I didn’t know how long I’d stay gone and there were birthdays I had to mention and a few times I couldn’t resist posting something like a link or video or quick thought.  But true writing/blogging, I have not done.  And how I have missed it.  And how, especially right now, in the midst of the greatest joys anyone could experience and in the midst of the deepest of sorrowful things for people I love deeply, right in the middle of the messiness of life and celebration-worthy rites of passage and as the tulips are becoming glorious and the daffodils stand tall and proud –  I just need to be and  able to break-the-blog-fast to say, and {to declare loudly}:

God is good.  He is faithful.  He is SO faithful.


So, I am back to write that ~~~ plus lots of silly things and a little opining, too.  I will write about sunny days and my quest for joy and let you in on where I find it.  I will sing songs and share the lyrics and write about life as I see it.  And I am back to write because my mom thinks I am good at it (everyone should have such a cheerleader!) and because I want a written record for my familia. 

 One day the grandbebes will grow up and be so happy to read this thing and see their faces and know o-how-much-I-do-love them & their amazing parents (the people I adore most in the world)! 


And I am back to blogging because, to shamelessly rip off 1 John 1, I am writing about the Word of Life!  I have not only heard of Him, I have heard fromHim myself, and have seen Him with my own eyes and touched Him and been touched by Him.  So I want to share and tell the things I have seen and heard with my own familia and the ones God has made mine by His Spirit. My “motive for writing is simply this: [I] want you to enjoy this, too.  Your joy will double [my] joy!”  (1 John 1.1-4, The Message) 

May this blog be a record for the generations to come of the faithfulness of God in our less-then-perfect, ordinary-yet-unique lives. And of the great, great joy He gives.

Plus a peek into the swirling thought collage of my very heart & soul.

And now,

here are some things that happened

while I was “blog fasting”…


Dave and Tara got settled into their new home

She is an amazing homemaker and it was cozy within days.  She is also very creative and organized and it is a lovely, peaceful place.  There is a giant, jetted tub in the guest quarters where the grandbebes could swim laps!  Their yard connects to open space (which in Colorado is guarded  like gold!) and their big window views are of the crystal-clear Colorado Rockies.  They are home!


I visited my mom and dad in St. Joe, MO…where is snowed and snowed and snowed…bleak!


Parsonage on the left.  Church on the right.  Too close for comfort.


Rocky and Jovan bought a new house, too!


There’s a lot  a-lotta pink in the girlie room!

It is cute as a dollhouse and colorful and sweet.  It fairly screams Rocky + Jovan + 2 of the cutest little girls = Blue and green & lots o’ pink and JOYfully Ever After!

Averi turned THREE and had a CandyLand Party complete with an Ice-Cream-Cone-Castle cake


Aren’t the presents kids get at three just the most fun?  Her Grammy and Papa hosted in Frederick and it was a sunny day full of cute kids and smiles!

Love was, naturally, in the air



My sister Tami worked on the Moslander Family Reunion in earnest.

We shall gather near Chicago late June.  Frontier Airlines to Midway, car-to-go, please.

I discovered Rice & Bean Chipotle Cheese Artisan Snack Chips

All Natural, Gluten Free, Zero Trans Fat, Zero Cholesterol

“Aged cheddar cheese and just the right amount of spicy seasonings create a flavor that is highlighted by the adzuki beans’ subtle sweetness. Together with its light and crispy texture, this artisan snack is the perfect better-for-you snack chip because of the adzuki bean’s natural healing and health properties.”

Thank-you Candi, for this most wondrous introduction.  I shall ever be grateful…and smiling as I crunch on them.

We unveiled the Heaven Fest 2011 Vision at 4 small, joyful gatherings with our volunteers and team


The volunteers for Heaven Fest, the leadership and everyone who is part are THE. MOST. AMAZING. PEOPLE. IN. THE. WORLD.  I love them.  {Stonebrook Manor in Thornton, Jim Elliot School in Englewood, Northern Hills Church in Brighton and Rez in Loveland}  Thank-you, people! www.stonebrookmanor.com

Dave was in Prairie Playhouse’s “Willie Wonka”


He played Grandpa Joe to the great delight of crowds of people.  Stephanie had to assure her friends he did not really walk or act that old in real life, because he was so good and a local news article said the “ubitiquous Dave Rhoades” threatened to steal the show.  And?  Even though it was sprayed gray, he got to keep his hair (in “Annie” a year ago, CLICK HERE  he was shaved bald)!

We had the coldest days of the year and also reached the 70s in mid-winter – all within a 2 week period!


That is Colorado for you.  And though March is our snowiest month, we didn’t get any.  Uh-oh.  Watch out, May!

Joe & Robin came to visit!


Joe made red beans and rice (to-die-for, mmmmmm) and I made an ok batch of gumbo.  That got better each day until it was gone.

Tredessa got a boyfriend.

Is it ok to say that here?  Well she did and he is cute (Army) and she kind of adores his muscles (Norwegian from Florida).  And how sweet he treats her (prophetic intercessor).  We all like him.  That works out well.  And since I don’t think he even knows I have a blog, I can pass all the news about them on to you.  Haha.

I lost an hour, but the days got longer.

I am not against Daylight Savings at all.  It tells me gardening is around the corner.  Every night, as the blue hours (l’heure bleu) get bluer and last measurable minutes longer, I sigh happily.

We announced our super-cool NEW Heaven Fest 2011 location!


The Ranchin Loveland!  Oh, yeah, baby!  www.heavenfest.com

My niece, Christiana, starred in a commercial for shopping in Aberdeen, SD.  

She is “Dorothy,” which seems so perfectly appropriate, somehow!  VERY proud of our little working actress!

There was a “super-moon”! 

It’s a wonderful night for a moondance…

Tredessa introduced me to a positively lovely way of looking at sarcasm, a mode of communication I tend towards:

 …the last refuge of modest people, when their soul is invaded.

Spring snuck up on me

One day I woke up – and there it was, spring!   And I looked out the window to a sure confirmation: the garlic chives were taking over the back yard already!


Stormie bought a house.  Yes, she did.


Look at all the colorful dishes waiting for Dessa to finish painting the cupboards.

A 1919 bungalow.  Cute and in pristine condition.  Great price.  The last owner {Ruby} had lived there since 1944.

Tredessa moved out of her apartment in Arvada.

She will live with her baby sister.

My lover turned 52

Sorely missed at the celebration were the Powers fam.  Another celebration will have to ensue.

You have to see this {all the way through} to believe it!

Yep.  That is Wrex.  The Birthday Singer.

“Baby Belle” (better known as Amelie Belle), turned ONE!


And?  God is still faithful!  And we have lots to talk about. :)

My Funny Valentines

NOTE:  To be able to view and pause photos a little more slowly, click on “View All Images.”  You can control it from there.


I love you my little Grandbébes. 

Happy days and love and kisses from your Nonna! 

You light up my life.  You are my sunshine.  All I ever need is you. 

Why do stars fall down from the sky everytime you walk by? 

Just like me they long to be close to you. 

I need you like the flowers need the rain. 

You made me love you and I’d be lost without your love. 

I can’t stop loving you.  I will always love you and I won’t last a day without you. 

Unforgettable-that’s what you are.  It’s impossible, I wish I had more than words to tell you…

And I love you so.  I don’t want to miss a thing. 

Somewhere out there, I must have done something good. 

I believe in you, my little grandbebes.  God only knows where I’d be without you. 

Don’t make me go on…because I could!





(There are 89 images in the slide show…I can’t help it.  My grandbebes are soooo cute!)

Crazy 8 Days before Christmas

Hunter had a pre-school Christmas program.


See Hunter?  He is fourth from the right on the back row, his little blond head bowed-praying for all he is worth!

It was truly apparent, and not just because the Little Prince belongs to me, but because it is true: the kid has the market on musical talent at his pre-school.  And when they did “The Little Drummer Boy,” Hunter led out on that coffee can “drum,” never ever missing that first beat.  Truly, all the other little kids followed his lead.  He told me, “I drummed “pa-rum pum pum pum,’ but the other kids drummed pa-rum-a-do-do,’ like that.”  He knew he was good.

The grandbebes make ornaments for the keepsake tree.


Cardboard hats and felt, glue and glitter, and voila!  Note to Averi: Though quite pretty, it is actually not a cookie.

girls-on-stairs1 gavin-and-glitter kids-shoot-066

Gavin is a dedicated artiste.  He loves the Martha Stewart super-fine glitter as much as I do (90% off the last week of January 09…jealous?).

Bad news/good tidings of comfort and great, great joy!


Dave’s book didn’t make the top three in the competition (we now find 10 more votes would have put him there!!), but we got good news that outshone some silly competition.  It is kind of private, but suffice it to say, we are rejoicing and dancing merrily because of a health scare one of us had that is now not as scary and looking really good, in fact.  Thank-You, God for mercy, for healing…

The grandbebes will not stand still for pictures.  Will not. C’est impossible.


We tried sitting, standing, and stacking, we clapped our hands and said their names as brightly and joyously as possible.  We threatened, cajoled, bribed and shrugged our shoulders in hopelessness.  These five are in charge of the universe and all the best-laid plans are a fantasy, because they are a combined, insurmountable energy-force and you best just get out of the way.  And certainly don’t believe they will all behave as requested.  Goodness, no.  Just line them up, let them go crazy and hope for the best. (I wasn’t supposed to be in this shot, but Guini wouldn’t let go and when Guini wants to give love, that is when you will receive it – it is all on her timetable!)

God willing and the creek don’t rise, I will get my Christmas cards out say…next Tuesday???

Happy 3rd Anniversary, Rocky & Jovan!


It was crisp black lines and soft, silk blue and monograms and crystally-light drapes.  It was bubbles and blue Mustangs and tuxedos and loveliness.  Barefoot flowergirls, curled hair cascading down their backs and ring-bearers raced to the finish line.  The black, menacing sky broke forth into a yellow blaze of western-sun glory just as the bride, on her father’s arm, entered to be seen by her groom.  There was a 5-tier cake, each a unique and specially-chosen flavor with gourmet fillings, embellished with the palest blue and thousands of edible pearls.  There was candlelight.  Friends and family filled every space, the dancing was exhuberant and chocolate fountains flowed.

My favorite part of Rocky and Jovan’s wedding day?  The vows they wrote to each other, so sweet and loving and true. A close second would be that Jovan and I tested at least 17 buttercream recipes and hit upon the perfect one.   My favorite part since?  Their commitment to passing on family traditions and their gift of time, the time they give us on holidays and holy days, the special events and times that make family and keep the legacy going.


Rocky and Jovan got married three years ago on September 15, 2006.  Congratulations and Happy Anniversary you two beautiful people.  Life has changed since then.  Rocky + Jovan brought us Averi-baby and will bring me another grandbebe in the spring!  This is a thrilling and good thing.

Love you so much, my son and his love…mom

pictured: Rocky and Jovan with Averi, taken by Ellie Pickett; The “Rock-vans” at Heaven Fest, taken by Kori Verspohl

She’s like the Wind


A few weeks ago, I followed Averi (the youngest of my grandbebes), around with a camera.  Each time she “stopped,”  I’d try to snap her picture.  But she is faster than the digital can handle.

june-days-009 june-days-011 june-days-012

She’d be looking right at me, center screen, giving me that smile all grandmotherly-photographer types are dying to get.  And then?  Dang it!

june-days-015 june-days-016 june-days-026

Finally.  The money shot.


The cousins arrive.



Popsicles all around.  Summer is good.


She’s Like the Wind,” from the Patrick-he-used-to-be-so-cute-Swazye