"Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end." Psalm 119:33

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Concert

Last spring Aly and Jessi both tried out for children's choirs in Casper. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that Jessi made it into Bel Canto and Aly made it into the Casper Children's Chorale. They've been practicing hard since September to prepare for their annual Christmas concert. It was a beautiful concert! We are very impressed with the children and their directors.

We were not allowed to take pictures during the concert, but were able to take these pictures of the rehearsal. Hope you enjoy them. If you want to hear a short video of the rehearsal, click on the link to the Hubert blog and view the video.
This is the Casper Children's Chorale. Aly is 3rd from left in the top row.

This is Bel Canto. Jessi is in the front row, 2nd from left.

They were depicting a sleeping baby Jesus in this song. It was precious.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Ruby Jane -by Jessi

Ruby is my baby. After I lost my gerbil, Angel, I was so sad. In March I went to Driggs, Idaho with my dad to pick up Ruby. She is now 11 months old. She and I have a good friendship. I know someday she will grow up, but I will still call her my baby. When she is older I may breed her, and name the baby Fred. But for now it's just her. I love, love, love my baby, Ruby! Hope you enjoy these cute picture of her.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Art Class

Grandma Cathy generously takes the kids every Monday afternoon and teaches art lessons. She is very creative with their projects. They have made some really neat things this year. She is a watercolor artist so they have all been blessed by her wisdom with this type of painting. She also taught them how to make wire sculptures this year. (And I have to admit, I've gotten addicted to making wire wrapped rocks for crosses- thanks to her introduction of this type of art). We are all very thankful to Cathy for the time and energy she puts into their learning and loving art!

This week's project was gingerbread houses! It's hard to compete with that, grandma :)

This is by far their favorite subject in school this year! Aly loves art class and usually produces beautiful pieces.
Her house was brightly colored, unique and cheerful.

Blake's house was really meticulous.
The M&M roof was perfectly color-coded, and nothing was out of place.

Jessi always adds animals to all of her projects. There are "creatures" all around the house and decorating the rooftop.

One day, the kids made homemade pasta with grandma and grandpa then served it for dinner.

I was in Texas but heard that it was delicious!
Look at Blake......Hopefully he'll keep this up for his future wife!

Birthday Dinner Fit For a King

Well, we can't belive our boy is 14! It really seems like just yeserday when we brought our sweet little baby home from the hospital. We were up at the crack of dawn (thanks to some subtle Christmas playing in the livingroom around 4:45 a.m.) Blake loves his birthday! He wanted to gather the family together and hear the hilarious story about our hospital experience when he was born. Then, he had us wait until 6:24 a.m. to open his presents because that is the exact time he was born. December 9, 1996. Can it really be 14 years ago???He liked his new TCU Baseball shirt. He put it on in the morning and kept in on all day.

When asked what he wanted for his birthday dinner, he requested crab legs, a lobster tail and steak. It's a good thing his birthday only comes once a year!
Jess and I were enjoying Blake's pleasure- and taking a small breather after dinner.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day turned out to be a pleasant surprise. We thought it was just going to be the five of us. My mom was scheduled to have surgery so we weren't planning on having her and Doug with us. Her surgery was cancelled because she caught a head-cold. Then, our good friends, the Huberts, had to cancel travel plans due to poor weather. We invited them to join us. So, we went from preparing for a dinner for 5 to preparing for dinner for 14! We love to have a full house on the holidays. Our friends Paul and Kim, were able to join us after the meal for some desserts and football. It was a wonderful day. Jessi and Lindsay are ready to eat! Too bad the food isn't ready yet!
Blake and Aly created cartoon-character place cards for all of us. This is Savannah posing with her place-card. By the way... Blake made this card in the morning before he saw her hairdo for the day.

I snapped a picture of the feast just before it began.
We had turkey, mom's famous stuffing, beans, potatoes, salads and plenty of pies. At dinner we all gave thanks to our Lord for his many provisions this year- especially the gift of wonderful family and friends.

Aly and Allie helped Timothy and Savannah play dress-up while the rest of us watched football. The best part was when Timothy came into the room dressed as a fairy. Phil had left the room and came back to hear Timothy yelling "Look Daddy...I'm a fairy, I'm a fairy!" He was a proud father.

Aly snapped this picture of Pete and me just before our guests arrived.
Although the meal was fully prepared, I still had my fancy apron on!

True Women in Texas!

In October I had the opportunity to travel with 11 women from our church, Cornerstone E-Free, and one lady who used to belong to our church before they moved to Arizona, to Ft. Worth, Texas. The event was a True Woman Conference, and it was amazing. The premise behind this movement is to draw women's hearts back to Biblical Womanhood. To do this we must understand how God designed us, and live according to what His Word says-not according to what our culture says. The speakers were wonderful! There were some tears shed as the Word of God convicted our hearts about how we, as a culture, have abandoned the instructions given to us by God, and have instead embraced a very worldly culture that opposes the standards set by God. We had several "belly-out-loud" laughing moments, both during our sessions and as we ventured off around Ft. Worth. A trip to a chocolate factory proved to have us all laughing so hard we cried! And the giggles still spill out of me when I think about that evening. We all came back rejuvenated in our faith and trusting God to work his transforming power in our hearts to help us become more like the women He intended us to be- beginning first in our homes, then our church and also in our community. Here's our group picture taken in the lobby of our hotel.

Aly's Photography

Last spring, Grandma and Grandpa Faler noticed that Aly had an interest in photography. They sent her a camera, and she has had a wonderful time taking pictures. Below are just a few of the many pictures she has taken this year. At Pinedale ranch

Pete and Jessi checking out the fishing prospects.

A storm was rolling in.

Our cat, Joey, enjoying a leisurely afternoon.

From a flower lamp her Aunt Linda gave her for her birthday.

This is Sam. He's a resident at the ranch.

A ranch chicken.

A wonderful week on the ranch

At the end of baseball season, we packed up the camper and headed to Pinedale to spend a week on my dad and Claire's ranch. We had a wonderful time, and it was very difficult to leave at the end of the week!One evening, Pete got the camera and the kids just before the sun went down and took these beautiful pictures.
You probably recognize this picture from our Christmas card. We used this because we knew we wouldn't be able to duplicate their pure joy in another picture.

Our sweet girls!

These two love each other too.

This is Beau's daughter, Maria. She is a precious, hilarious little character. She has the voice of an angel and intelligence far beyond her years. Whenever we need to lift the spirits in our home, we tell funny Maria stories and before they are over we all are laughing. Look out Beau and Wyatt! We think you have your hands full!

Ruby loved her week on the ranch. Daisy is afraid of the camera so it is almost impossible to get a picture of her! One night the dogs chased down the smell of a skunk. Ruby was smart and didn't approach it. However, Daisy charged forward on an attack mission! Dad and I were cooking dinner and suddenly smelt an awful smell as Daisy ran through our outdoor "kitchen." So, what do you do when you only have the supplies in your camper, you are 30 minutes from a grocery store and your dog has been sprayed by a skunk? Well, dad and I dug through both of our cupboards and found vinegar, v8 juice, garlic powder and some hydrogen peroxide. We gave her a shower (wearing gloves) at his outdoor shower.....and we laughed the entire time. Dad kept making me see the good in the situation and we laughed through the whole showering and throughout the whole week. I won't ever forget that blessing in disguise of a skunk attack. By the way....our concoction worked better than anything I've ever used to get rid of the stink before!

This is my grandpa's home on the ranch. It was wonderful to spend our week with him. He always tells us wonderful stories and he and Blake are kindred spirits. Both ornery as can be, but you just can't help but to love them dearly!

The sunsets are beautiful on the ranch. There is something so beautiful about admiring God's creation out in the middle of nowhere.

One day, my dad asked us to help him paint the tepee he placed outside near the pond. When we were through, he and Jessi took a little break to love on each other so I snapped this picture of them.

My dad had the girls each pick out new cowboy hats at the Cowboy Shop in Pinedale before our adventure began. The looked so adorable in them.

The kids were usually up at the crack of dawn playing with the farm animals. Aly took this picture of the geese and chickens.

The ranch is also home to three sheep. On this day, they were returning to their home after taking a walk down to the pond.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A New Baby to Love

My sister, Beau, had a darling little baby boy, name Brutus, on July 26th. We went to meet him the first week in August. He's almost 2 weeks-old in these pictures.
Ahh....is there anything sweeter than a sleeping baby?
Just look at those precious cheeks!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Jessi's Birthday

It's really hard to believe that our "baby" is already nine years old! She celebrated in the heat of July with her closest of friends, cousins and a party at the pool!Lindsay, Faith, Jessi and Kade took a break from swimming
to enjoy some popcicles and laughs.
Jodi was there for moral support-
My friends Lizz, Megan and sister-in-law Jaime, were there enjoying the sun and party too.

Joseph finally let me snap a picture of him, but only when holding tightly to his mom's leg.

Who could have a party without party faces? Can you guess the faces behind the masks?

Jessi gave a cold and wet hug to Savannah after a plunge in the pool.
Not sure Savannah was very happy about that, but the cake brought a smile to her face.

Baseball 2010

Aly and Ruby at the very long (3.5 hours) Colorado State Championship game.The singing of National Anthem at Colorado State Championships. Fortunately, two of the boys from the Longmont team were in a city choir, so they volunteered to sing for the crowd.

There's our boy!

As usual, baseball season kept us very busy all summer. Blake moved up to Division 5 in the city league. Pete coached the Pirates team this year. They were one of two teams that had to be added to the league so they were a very young team. Most of the kids were 13, while the other teams had several 14 and 15 year-olds. It was a big "step-up" for the 13 year-olds, but a great experience. The future looks bright for the Pirates next year!

The 13 year-old Casper Cannons had a dynamite season. Pete assisted in coaching this team again this year. They won tournaments in Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado. In Casper, over the 4th of July, the Cannons beat a 14-year-old team from Colorado Springs, who defeated the Casper 14 and 15 year-old travel teams and won the 14-year-old tournament in Casper. It was an amazing victory.

The highlight of the season for the Cannons was when they travelled to Denver to compete in the Division II State Championship tournament. There were 40 teams competing for the title. The Cannons went in to the tournament ranked as one of the bottom teams. (Mainly because they hadn't played enough Colorado teams to earn a higher ranking) However, they quickly earned the respect of the Colorado teams when their talent and discipline led them to win all 8 of their games sending them into the finals against a team from Longmont. The game didn't start off so well for the Cannons. In fact by the end of the 3rd inning, they were trailing by 10 points. Did I mention that our number one catcher broke his hand in the semi-finals and was at the E.R. when this game started? Anyway, their courage and stamina led them to prevent the other team from scoring for several innings and each inning the Cannons scored a few runs. It was the bottom of the sixth inning and the score was Longmont 15- Cannons 12. There were two players on base and Blake was up to bat. Low and behold- he nailed a triple up against the fence and the two runners ahead of him made it in. The kid after him hit another rocket which sent Blake in to score. Top of the 7th inning and the score is 15-15. Longmont is up first and the Cannons held them- 3 up, 3 down as they say in baseball. The Cannons are up to bat- one out-no runners on .... then everything went black. Literally, the lights in the stadium turned off and could not be turned back on again because they were controlled by a satellite. After a long time of debating the umphs made a phone call to the state director who told them to give the victory to the Colorado team. It was a bittersweet night. In September we had a knock on our door late one evening. It was a pleasant surprise to see Blake's coach, J.C., at the door. In his hand was a ring (similar to the superbowl ring) for Blake. Apparently the Colorado Board reviewed what happend and decided to make the championship a tie, and sent J.C. the championship rings for all of the Cannons. Whew! What a journey!!

Well, even though I said the highlight was the Colorado tournment, Jessi and Aly would probably disagree. They enjoyed the Babe Ruth State tournament- not because the team played well- (they had a really bad weekend) But, because many of us stayed at a campground and enjoyed swimming in the river, roap swings and toasting s'mores by the fire in the evening. Ruby travelled all summer as the unoficial team mascot and learned to love baseball too. Next year will be the last season of Cannons and we will all really miss the adventures, the boys and their families. They've become our summer family.