The Kofford Family relocates to Colorado after 40 years as Californians. In December of 2007, Grandma Lorraine is diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. Sadly, she passed away on Dec. 26th, 2008 after a year long courageous battle. Follow our journey as we keep Lorraine's memory alive, and as we learn to appreciate that each day we are given, is a gift to be enjoyed!

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
~Maria Robertson

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The blog is going on vacation...

The editor and her family will be away in a magical place spending time one of the "happiest places on earth"...that is warm...where there is no assigned homework for it's a place that does the dishes for you...where hubby will have a week off...where there will be no laundry to bills to pay...and a break from the recent sadness of grieving...just 5 parks in 5 will be a busy time, but joyful! See you all in a few days! Until then, enjoy your week and live fully today!
Mickey and friends will hopefully make an appearance!
And we hope to see our smiling faces here soon. We've never been to Disney in Florida, so we are prepared with maps, friends' recommendations, comfortable shoes and sunscreen! See you soon! I've been singing this song for a month now! M-I-C-K-E-Y... M..O..U..S..E :-)

P.S. The kids had another snow day today..we had a foot of snow at our place and enjoyed the day making snow angels and sledding!

(Thank you Comeau Family for a great dinner tonight! We had a wonderful time with you!)
Sledding is fun, even for mom who gets tired after a few runs!
The pond..not looking very inviting, but two mallard ducks have taken up residence!
I love the look of pine trees weighted down with snow!
Snow covered roof line...
Sunny and deceivingly cold (for us!) at 28 degrees...
Snow angels are great fun!
Lots and lots of snow after the blizzard yesterday!
The allure and novelty of shoveling snow has worn off...when there is this much snow, it is heavy, and I found it to be really hard work to shovel even a little patch like this!
The swing set is snowed in!

One day snow, the next day sun in Florida.

See you soon! :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It snowed in my kitchen today...

It really did snow in my kitchen today, and it got worse before it got better! :-) I walked in and saw all this on the floor...

As I started to clean up, the blizzard that had been predicted hit, and snow was swirling all around the floor! I called the kids in and we had 3 beach towels lining the floor and still at one point the snow lined up from the floor above the towels! I think I need to speak to my husband about weather stripping! hee hee
This is what a blizzard looks like from the window. The shadow in the background is our neighbor's house! The weather forecast calls for 12-24 in. of snow by morning. It sure doesn't look like spring here!

Snow drifts outside the front door...and a grey cold day...we Californians are loving it!
And lastly...what good is a snow day without a little sledding down the hill? Mom was too cold to venture further out, but I hear the slopes were fast today! :-)
These are the happy children that had their first snow day! What a thrill to find out first thing this morning that school was cancelled! Tom got to come home early from work and the guitar teacher called saying the shop was closing for the rest of the lessons, no homework, no leaving the house, no more hubby's work, just blissful time spent in front of a fire...

Happiness is...SNOW! :-)

P.S. Anita over at "A wife, a woman, a mom" is giving away several great books called, "The Middle Place" written by Kelly Corrigan. A friend had e-mailed me a neat You Tube segment on this woman, and today I learned from Anita that she has written a book about her diagnosis with breast cancer, caring for aging parents, raising children, and how girlfriends support one another through these experiences. Link here to read Anita's inspirational post and enter yourself in the drawing. She's a great gal, and I am lucky enough to get to meet her next week...all the way in Florida! Story to come!

"The Apple Tree"

In memory of Harry and Lorraine Johnson...dedicated educators in Tehama County, CA.
The ad is out in the paper, the applicants are writing in, and we are excited to award 4 $500 scholarships to existing and student teachers in Tehama County, CA this May! Click on the link to visit "The Apple Tree Scholarship Blog" and learn how you can donate to this perpetual fund, or request an application. I know my parents would have been pleased that your generosity of giving in their name will benefit many students in the community they loved! Thank you!

Pepper Potatoes...

You've heard me say it before, I am NOT in any way shape or form, a chef or cook; nor do I contain any culinary skill whatsoever. So, when I find a recipe that I can actually execute, I feel compelled to share with you these successes, even the small ones. If it is not a store bought meal, if I make it with my own ingredients, AND people actually eat it, I consider it a success! :-)

Here's an easy side dish for spring grilling!

Potato-Stuffed Grilled Bell Peppers from Southern Living

"Think twice baked potatoes, except the potatoe mixture is stuffed into a bell pepper half. The peppers roast and char on the bottom, imparting a wonderful sweet flavor, while the upper edges stay crisp-tender. Don't forget to bake the potatoes before the guests arrive."

4 large baking potatoes (about 3 1/2 -4 lbs.)
4 large red bell peppers
1 (16 ounce) countainer sour cream
1/2 cup shredded Gouda cheese
1/4 cupsliced green onions
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Bake potatoes ahead of time and allow to cool until easily handled. Cut peppers in half lengthwise cutting through stems and keeping intact. Remove and discard seeds and membranes; rinse and pat dry. Set aside.

Cut baked potaotes in half. Scoop out pulp into a large bowl, discarding shells. Add sour cream and next 6 ingredients to pulp, blending well with a fork or potatoe masher. Spoon potatoe mixture evenly into pepper halves. Sprinkle with paprika.

Grill peppers, covered with grill lid over mediim high heat for 18 minutes or until peppers are blistered and potatoe mixture bubbles around edges. Serve immediately.

Yummy, easy, and shows well with colored peppers! Enjoy! :-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Puppy Mums...

My friend Toni sent these photos...aren't they adorable!?! I wonder how hard this could be to recreate? (Surely floral arranging must be easier than cooking! At least for me! hee hee )

So cute...ah, the talent these ladies have!

If time allows, you may wish to read a post I wrote on comforting a grieving friend over at "Project Create a Home." It will run tomorrow, and provides some simple practical advise when a friend suffers from a loss on how to help.

Happiness is...

Dropping a child off at a friends, and leaving with a dozen farm fresh eggs in brown, blue, and green! It is true, happy hens really do lay
more flavorful eggs! :-)

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Birthday Bash...

Long time, no blog! ha ha :-) It's been a busy weekend, but we lived to tell the tale, and our birthday girl is blissfully, officially 8 years old now! Here are a few highlights from all the events ringing in Ashlyn's 8th year! (If only birthdays could be this exciting when we grow up! :-)

It all started with a sunny Saturday morning horseback riding lesson. Ashlyn rides with Caitlyn below. Caitlyn is Ashlyn's "very best Colorado friend" in Ashlyn's words! :-)
Saturday night started with a sleepover, and a breakfast of strawberries and donuts. What birthday girl doesn't deserve to sip her orange juice in a fancy glass?
The balloons...the treat of course!
The roses and purple tulips.
Two best buddies getting ready for the party.
Mom with Ashlyn and Caitlyn. Ashlyn wanted to wear her tulle dress from the Father/Daughter dance...if it's your birthday, you can wear whatever you fancy! Can one ever be overdressed for her own party? I think not! :-)

Daddy with the birthday girl...
The Justice For Girls...the theme...Webkinz! (What is a Webkinz you ask? It's an overpriced stuffed animal, but who am I to judge?!)
Party prep...combing out hair for the hair do makeovers...
The birthday girl smiles for the camera...
Playing Webkinz Bingo, the Wheel of Wow, and other fun games!

The table back home...Webkinz, Littlest Pet Shops, and princesses...because who said a cake can't have 3 themes?
Blowing out the candles...
Enjoying the cake, pink lemonade, cake flavored ice cream, and the company!

The gifts... Did you hear that "8 is great!?"
Dinner at Red Robin...the birthday girl's choice since she liked that the waiters sing to you after they announce it is your birthday... to the whole restaurant. Ashlyn said as she sat down, "Oh good, there are a lot of people in here tonight too!" We're not shy.
The guests and one appreciative birthday hostess!
Today I brought cupcakes to the classroom and a book for the class library in honor of Ashlyn's birthday...I think we can say the celebration has officially come to a close...Did I mention that mom and dad are tired? hee hee Happy 8th Birthday Ashlyn! :-)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tablescape Thursday...

"Between Naps on the Porch" is hosting a weekly "Tablescape Thursday" event where ladies post photos of the creative tablescapes they have created. It's a great site to get some creative ideas on table settings. This is my first time participating. Here are a few photos from the dinner we hosted on Saturday evening.

I'm a beginner tablescaper...If I don't have napkin rings to match a particular theme I fold them and place each napkin in a wine glass...I have sturdy wine glasses that I put out for children...instead of wine, they get a fun mix of cranberry juice and 7-Up. :-)

Simple yet welcoming. Name placards are a must for me...this way I can stragetically place myself where it is easy to get out and easily refill drinks, etc...

I am not the best cook so I try to remember a saying that puts entertaining all in perspective..."It's not so important what is on the plates, but who is on the seats!"

Thanks for visiting my humble attempt at a "French Country" tablescape! In hindsight, a little escargot would have completed the evening! hee hee :-)

Happy Entertaining! With love from Colorado~

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Winner!!!

Congratulations Beth from "Walk a Mile!" Beth you are the winner of the "Cafe Au Lait Giveaway!" Please e-mail me with your address and I will get your goodies off in the mail tomorrow! Yippee!

I had so much fun reading your comments girls, and all of your good deeds! I think I have the best readers in all of "Blogland"! I look forward to staying involved in your blogs, reading your stories, and staying in touch through the coming weeks and months. Thanks for being here, YOU are appreciated! :-)

P.S. This is my 500th post! Oh my...I didn't think we'd have that much to say a year and a half ago when all this began...I'm so glad you have come back to follow our story...I hope you will be here for the next 500! hee hee

Ribbons and Bows and Girls Oh My!

Oh my goodness, aren't these bows just the cutest?!? If you have a little girl, know a little girl, or would like to gift a sweet little girl, hop right on over to Sara Beth's Bows! Jeanette is giving away a birthday bow and an assortment of other wonderfully made hair bows. The proceeds from each bow will enable their family to take a step closer to adopting their baby girl in China! Jeanette does quality work, and I can say that for a fact as we ordered the above bows and are so delighted! Look how cute the Disney princess bows are! Do you recognize "Ariel" and "Sleeping Beauty?"

Ashlyn is a bow aficianado, can you tell? We love korker hair bows, Slick Chick hair bows, and Sara Beth Bows! Gotta bow?

We'll get our fill of bows this weekend...someone special is turning 8 years old in our household! In a few days, the house will be filled with giggling bow wearing little girls! (And you can bet big brother will hide out until all the screaming and giggling has died down, or until the food is served!)

Be watching tomororw for Tablescape Thursday! How do all these ladies come up with such creative ideas? Check back for my take on a tablescape...the beginner's version!
P.S. Cafe Au Lait Giveaway tonight! Keep doing those kind deeds and good gestures, and tell me all about it...some of you have 10 plus entries...WOW! :-)