Friday, December 12, 2014

Hide And Seek

This is a perfect example of what happens when I finally get in the shower in the middle of the afternoon and Little X promises to watch Daniel Tiger on PBS Kids until I get out...
He plays his own version of Candyland and builds a fort in the front room with every loose couch or chair cushion available. And then he hides.
Which means I get to look all over the house for him.
I look in all of his favorite hiding places. He's not tucked behind one of the chairs at the computer desk. He's not in the pantry. He's not under anyone's bed. He's not beneath the dirty clothes inside the hamper. He's not anywhere in the backyard.
I start to get that little panicky feeling. That sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Did he get out the front door? How long has he been gone? I rush to check the deadbolts - they're still locked. I think to myself, where in the world could he be? Then I turn to do some more searching and hear a contented, sleepy, 3-year-old kind of sigh from beneath the cushion fort.    

There's my boy.

Monday, December 1, 2014

25 Days of Christmas Service

In an effort to get my kids thinking more about others as Christmas approaches we are using a different kind of advent calendar this year. For each day from December 1st until Christmas we will choose one of the following acts of service, in no particular order, to do as a family:

UPDATED January 2015: How did we do? I put a line through the ones we actually completed. It was a busy month, but even the small acts of service we did added to the spirit of the season.

1. Leave a note and treat for the mailman

2. Donate some food to the food bank

3. Donate unused toys and clothes to D.I.

4. Do some yard work for a neighbor (rake leaves, shovel snow, pull weeds, etc.)

5. Send cards to all of the missionaries in our ward

6. Make bird food ornaments (pipe cleaners bent like candy canes with cheerios laced on, bird feed stuck to peanut butter on a pine cone, etc.)

7. Do a "trash walk" and pick up garbage in the neighborhood

8. Tape bags of microwave popcorn to the Redbox machine with a note saying “Enjoy some popcorn with your movie!”

9. Leave quarters in candy machines at the mall

10. Donate books to the school library

11. Give someone poinsettias

12. Give a homeless person a blanket

13. Leave compliments for people all over town and give 3 honest compliments to strangers
14. Leave anonymous treats for teachers in the faculty break room

16. Leave candy canes on cars in a parking lot with a note reading 'Merry Christmas'

17. Donate DVDs we no longer watch to KidFlix (or donate them to the pediatric unit of our local hospital if there is a need)

18. Donate gently used stuffed animals to S.A.F.E. (or the local police or fire station if they are needed)

19. Have each child choose a pet toy from the dollar store and donate it, along with a bag of dog food or doggy treats, to the local animal shelter

20. Collect pencils for a group of children in need

21. Pull out the neighbors' trash cans the night before trash pick-up  
22. Pull everyone’s trash cans back up their driveways on trash day

23. Leave a ziplock bag with quarters in it taped to hospital vending machines

24. Leave toy dinosaurs or army men all over playground equipment at the mall playground with tags that say 'Take me Home' attached to them

25. Tape coupons (collected from free mailers) to products at the grocery store
The kids are so excited to get started! Almost as excited as I am.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Quick Quips

Little X: Look, Mom! I see Mowoni! And he's on the temp-o!
Me: Yeah, isn't it beautiful?
Little X: Yeah! And when I get bigger and bigger I will marry you at the temp-o.
Me: Someday you'll meet a really nice and beautiful girl that you will love very much and you will marry her in the temple. But I'm your mom, sweetheart, so you can't marry me.
Little X: But you are a willy nice and butiful girl. And I DO love you vewy much!
Me: (heart melted) I love you, too.

Me: So, O, your music teacher called me today. And it sounds like you were being pretty disrespectful in class. You want to tell me what happened?
Little O: (looking nervous) I don't really remember.
Me: I think you do, and I need you to tell me why you were behaving that way.
Little O: I got put in time out.
Me: I know. But why? What were you doing?
Little O: Bad stuff.
Me: Why? You aren't usually like that, O.
Little O: Um, I don't really remember.
Me: Come on, O. You remember. Tell me the truth.
Little O: SIGH. I was trying to make someone laugh. A girl.
Me: (hiding my laughter) Oh, Little O. Life is not all about girls.

Little X: (singing as he plays with Legos) 
There was a horse on a farm, E-I-E-I-Ho.
There was a 'nother horse on a farm, E-I-E-I-Ho.
There was a owl on a farm, E-I-E-I-Ho.
There was a baby on a farm, E-I-E-I-Ho.
But the baby should be in a house, E-I-E-I-Ho.

All-a-Boy came home from school with this taped to his shirt:
Need a closer look?
He saw it on a pizza box at lunch time and just couldn't resist.

Thursday, November 13, 2014



I've been trying out a bunch of the fitness classes at our local recreation center over the last week because I'm not getting any younger and my body's not going to get into shape without some effort on my part. We all have underused memberships and I know I have more fun when I'm not just walking laps around a track or standing on a machine so I figured, why not?

First I tried Zumba. I've always thought it looked like a blast, I love music and "dancing" (I use that term loosely), so win/win, right? I got to class early to ask the teacher how intense her class was. She assured me that it was easy to follow. As other class members started to arrive I felt more confident. There were two guys who were at least 60. One was wearing a t-shirt that said, I Believe In The Right To Bear Arms with a picture of a bear holding a gun. The other guy had on a Harley Davidson tank top and a handlebar moustache. I decided I'd hang out near them because if they could do it, so could I! The first 10 minutes were awesome. I was a little behind but I could follow the teacher's basic moves and was getting a good arm workout. And then she said, "Great warm-up guys! Now let's get moving!" Huh? I thought we were already moving. What happened next I have no words for. But those 60ish year old guys? They were ROCKING it! Me? I stood in the back, a dazed expression on my face, limply lifting my arms and lamely tripping over my toes in an attempt to follow the dance moves that utilized muscles I didn't even know existed and required movements I just couldn't master. I walked out 20 minutes into class. A dancer is something I will just have to be content to be in my dreams.

Next I tried a spin class. Riding a stationary bike? Now this I could do! And I was doing really well until the instructor mentioned those words I was learning to dread: Great warm up! This class was actually doable since no one sees what level anyone else's bike is at. As long as I stayed about 8 gear levels behind what the teacher told everyone to switch into I looked like I was doing amazing. And then she told everyone to stand up. You know, like you used to do as a kid on your banana seat bike?  In case you don't know, that hurts now. I don't remember it hurting when I was a kid. It just made me go faster back then. But on these stationary bikes? Ouch. Even if you discreetly switch down another 4 levels. I was on 2 while everyone else was pumping their hearts out at 18 and I looked worse off than every other person in the class. The worst was when the guy next to me tried to look over at my bike to see what level I was on because he lost track of which gear the teacher said to shift to. I just gave him a nervous laugh and told him I was the wrong person to ask. I was on 4, everyone else was on somewhere around 12. I'll probably try this one again since I have friends in the class. But it's not exactly a class where you chat while you ride. People just let out an occasional "WHOO!!" when they're feeling the burn. So, that's kind of fun. The only thing I really said the entire class was WHAT? when the teacher said we had a great warm up.

I looked in on a class called something like Super Insanity RIP Kick It Pilates and they all looked like ninja warriors compared to what I can do. Also, I'm pretty sure they were just warming up. Plus I try to avoid classes that have R.I.P. in the title. So I avoided eye contact, pretended I was looking for someone, then turned around and just walked away. With no regrets.

Another day I tried yoga. As I walked into the classroom I worried I had come at the wrong time because the lights weren't turned on. I went back to the front desk to ask if I had the right room and they assured me that I did. I went back in and saw two women laying on mats with their backs and necks propped up on foam blocks, talking quietly in the dark. I grabbed myself a mat as the teacher came in and turned on some music that sounded more like sounds of nature - waterfalls, an occasional chirp from a bird and wind blowing through trees interspersed with earthy flute sounds. The teacher promised me that this was a gentle yoga class and she was right. The only time I didn't feel calm and relaxed was when she told everyone to get into Happy Baby Pose, and all I could do was picture everyone in class like this:
I kind of wanted to giggle and say "we're happy babies!" but then suddenly my spine felt amazing with this awkward-looking massage I was giving myself so I snapped right back into relaxed mode and went with the flow. You know what they say - when in Rome... At the end of our session the teacher had us all lay on our mats with outstretched arms for like 10 breath cycles (I'm still trying to figure out what that means because I breathe in and out a lot more than she says is a breath cycle). I kept thinking, there is no way this is really exercise. But I like it. When the class was over the teacher said Namaste and everyone repeated it back to her. Except for me, because I had no idea I was supposed to. But you better believe I will next time! Because guess what? Yoga IS exercise you guys, not just stretching and getting into crazy positions! The big reveal happened the next day when I woke up with sore stomach and arm and leg muscles!

And as a bonus, the people in this yoga class are super friendly. One gave me a dozen fresh eggs that she had just gathered that morning in exchange for a promise that I would attend her handbell group's Christmas concert. And would I like some walnuts? Another mentioned that she and her husband have bees and is anyone interested in honey? It was like this class was made for me. I was tempted to look for a hidden camera. I was in heaven. Farmer's Market and yoga all in one?


I have found my exercise class.

T-Rex found here
Baby photo found here

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Halloween 2014

Halloween is always fun here at our house. Some years we go crazy and turn our entire house into a spook alley for the neighborhood, but not this year. Maybe next year. It's been like 4 or 5 years since we did that last and I need to work myself back into the idea of it.

I put together a few of the kids' costumes this year. Some were easy, some... not so easy. But all worth it. Want to see? Okay! 
Allen the Younger decided on the morning of Halloween that he could be an elephant, wearing the hood I cut off of an old size 3T footie elephant costume last year. It's a little blurry, but it's the only picture I got. It cracks me up that he wore this at school all day.
All-a-Boy was Flint Lockwood from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Or, as we like to call him, FLINT LOCK-WOOOOOD! (If you've watched the movie you'll probably know what I mean.) We didn't have time to make spray-on shoes so he just carried a can of it instead. And now that Halloween is over he finally agreed to a haircut so he could have normal looking hair again. 

Cowgirl always knows way ahead of time who she's going to be. This year it was Vanellope Von Schweetz from Wreck It Ralph. Her costume was the hardest one to make but also one of my favorites. We lucked out on finding the right color of sweatshirt but had to order the tights online. The tights were the part I hated making. Painter's tape does NOT stick to tights well, in case you were wondering. Once the costume was all done she tried on the skirt she had and realized it was way too short. So we ran to the thrift store and found a long brown skirt that I cut and sewed into what she's wearing in a 30 minute time frame. It's not exactly right but it was good enough! We made the licorice knot in her ponytail from pipe cleaners (hooray for simplicity!) and glued circles and confetti that we cut out of foam to clips to create the candy stuck in her hair. We were both pleased with the result.

Princess wanted to be a mail person. I am lucky enough to have an amazing friend who works at the post office who was able to find me a shirt, hat and satchel from her friends who deliver the mail. We got her a pair of dark blue pants and we were done. Easy peasy!
She also had to dress as an Egyptian escort person sort of thing for this tradition they have at her elementary school where they drag one of the 6th grade teachers around on a cart in a cardboard sarcophagus as an Egyptian mummy. I don't understand it, but whatever. She looked cute and had fun and was really excited about it. Thank goodness Julia had made this tunic for an extra credit report a couple of years ago. I love having a costume bin!
Hubba was going to be a ninja but I ordered his costume online and when it arrived it was super lame. We both pretended it was great for a couple of weeks and then I asked if he wanted to try something different and he chose Fix It Felix, also from Wreck It Ralph. I think his costume was one of my best creations. I printed the hat and shirt patches onto fabric printer paper and sewed them on to the hat (from the Dollar Store) and shirt (from his closet). I had a hard time finding a hammer to spray paint gold but finally broke down and bought an entire toy tool set that Little X will get for Christmas (minus the hammer). I love how this turned out!
Curly wore a pirate girl costume that has made its rounds with our girls. I love it when someone wants to wear something we already have! Elle had sent her these necklaces for her birthday and she was really excited to make them a part of her costume. She was even more thrilled when she found out that all of the 2nd grade teachers were dressing up as pirates as well.
Little O was the most perfect Peter Pan! I got tired of making costumes and bought his at the Disney Store. They were having a 40% off sale and I figure that Little X can wear it later. This costume fit his personality so well!

Little X wore the same ol' pumpkin suit he wore last year. That was perfect, because I didn't have to make it! The only picture I got was of him wearing Allen's wig at the elementary school carnival. But here's last year's picture, in case you didn't see it. He's a little taller but looks pretty much the same:

At the last minute Allen called me from work (the night of our church's Halloween party) and told me he needed a black afro. Here's a simplified version of his costume:

Me? I just wore a simple Christa McAuliffe (the astronaut) shirt I made for a report Elle did in the 5th grade. It's a bunch of patches copied from the internet and sewn onto a blue scrub top. It was the first thing in the bin that fit me and I was good with that. Sorry, I forgot to take a selfie.
Julia wore a pirate costume to a Halloween party and she and her roommates dressed as Hogwarts students from each of the 4 houses. In true Julia fashion, she made their robes. Because she's off to school in a land far, far away I had no pictures. But thanks to the magic of Facebook I was able to steal these two:

Oh, we can't forget Elle! She dressed up as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Same thing she's worn every day for the last 9 months. Pretty much the best costume, ever. Here's a shot of she and her companion trying on hats and glasses at a store with one of the people they are teaching.
Hooray for Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Autumn Leaves

Over fall break I took some of the kids up the canyon so we could get outdoors and enjoy the colorful leaves and perfect weather that come with the change of seasons at this time of year.

The almost glowing brightness of the aspen trees was seriously breathtaking. I kept wanting to pull over and take pictures because around every bend was another burst of color. I fought the urge to load a bunch of the fallen leaves into the back of our suburban to scatter around our yard at home.

When we arrived at Cascade Springs we were surprised to see how crowded the parking lot was! Everyone was out enjoying the colors and the crisp air. We were a little disappointed to find that half of the trail was closed for repairs, but the boardwalks were open so we explored for a while, took a couple of pictures and then headed toward another canyon to take in the vibrant views there as well.

I love living in a place with changing seasons and autumn is by far my favorite of them all.

I don't know if it's because it's my favorite time of year that it seems to be so short, just a beautifully orchestrated colorful afterthought sandwiched between summer and winter. It's confusing at times with the heater kicking on in the early hours of the morning but welcoming that same crisp air into our home through open windows later in the day. Yet every year, before I realize what's happening, the winter cold creeps in and autumn... leaves.

We're going to enjoy the beauty of the earth in autumn and this awesome weather while we can.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Random Thoughts

Thanks, Curly. I needed that.

I was sitting in a line the other day when I overheard a conversation between two women. I didn't feel too bad eavesdropping because they were talking loud enough for everyone in the line to hear without even trying. One of them mentioned that she loved the idea of trying to say 'yes' to your children as much as possible. I started to think about that and I realized that I say 'no' to my kids far too often. I tend to be overprotective and, to be honest, lazy. Because usually when I say no it's because my involvement is required to do the thing they are asking. So last week I tried saying 'yes' more often and I noticed that my kids were (pleasantly) shocked by my response a lot of the time. Saying 'yes' does require my time and attention, but I think it's good for all of us in moderation.

Little O asked me if we could all go swimming and I said, "we'll see". I then overheard Curly whispering to him, "When Mom says we'll see or maybe that means no".  So I guess I need to work on not saying every form of no in my vocabulary. And I should probably get over my extreme discomfort over wearing a swimsuit in public as well. So much to work on! Baby steps.

I have no idea why, but at one point in my day last week I had an overwhelming desire to be walking along a beach with warm sand between my toes and a salty ocean breeze blowing through my hair. I went outside and walked up and down the block with Little X. But concrete sidewalks are nowhere close to sand and mountain winds, although exhilarating, are not salty breezes. ((Sigh))

Little X can sit and play with our plastic box full of toy cars for hours. He lines them up from the kitchen to the front door, races them across the slick kitchen floor, sorts them by color and creates conversations for them to have with each other ("You not a speedy car, Mis-toe Bwue!" "Well, I say-ud turn and go up and up but you dinnit yisten. So I AM a speedy car. Dwive away!")  All-a-Boy left his Lego collection upstairs for about a week and that kept X happily entertained for entire days, too. I love watching him effortlessly use his imagination.

Just over a month ago, I started texting. I can definitely see the benefits of it but I can confidently state that I prefer real conversations. Well, most of the time. There are some people that it is easier to just text with when I don't have the time for a long conversation. The sad thing is, I'm THAT friend. The one people would probably prefer to text with. If you've ever tried to call me for a quick conversation you know what I mean. So, win/win?

I don't know what it is about this time of year but it always makes me feel unsettled, like there's something I'm supposed to be doing that I'm not. I don't know if it has to do with the change of seasons or some repressed childhood memory or what. It's harder for me to fall asleep. I am constantly counting my children to make sure they're all there. I keep checking my calendar for missed appointments. I become overly sensitive and even easily offended. The only way I can think to describe it is that something feels just not quite right and I don't know why or what I can do about it.

Out of nowhere the other day I had a thought enter my mind: why do most people wait until they know they are dying to really make the most of every minute of life? I mean really, we're all one step closer to dying with each moment we're alive, right? I thought right then that I should always be doing the things that would really matter most to me. And when I thought long and hard about what those things were it all came down to spending time with my family and close friends, making happy memories and creating a legacy of love. I'm making a real effort to be better about how I spend my time.

When Little X asked if he and I could eat the rest of the pumpkin pie for lunch, I said yes right away. Baby steps!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Born To Be A Scout

For the last 17 years or so Allen has continuously been involved in our local scouting program.  He has been a scoutmaster, a Varsity Team leader and Venture Crew advisor, our local unit's Chartered Organization Representative, a member of the scout committee and has attended Wood Badge training. He is a counselor for a good variety of merit badges and has attended every annual week long summer scout camp since becoming involved, either as a leader or a father or just because they needed more adults there.

Allen is not only involved in scouting, he lives it. Have you ever heard of the Scout Law? It says, A Scout Is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. That pretty much sums up how Allen lives his life. He is all of these things and then some. He has to be one of the most service-oriented, generous and unselfish people I know.

Because of Allen's dedication to the scouts he works with and to the scouting program overall, he has received a couple of awards, too. He is never excited about getting these awards because he is definitely not in it for the recognition, but he is very much deserving of them. He has received the District Award of Merit, the Provo Peak Award and, most recently, the Silver Beaver Award.

I know what you're thinking. What the heck is a Silver Beaver Award?

The Silver Beaver Award is the council-level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America. Recipients of this award are registered adult leaders who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council.The Silver Beaver is an award given to those who implement the Scouting program and perform community service through hard work, self sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service. It is given to those who do not actively seek it. (That last sentence is an overstatement as far as Allen is concerned.)

The award ceremony was held on a Saturday afternoon in September. Allen was planning to be there but he had also committed to go on a backpacking trip with Cowgirl and a group of young women from our church that weekend. The plan was that would make it home in time for the ceremony but eventually we realized he wouldn't be back in time. 

I didn't want to skip the award ceremony altogether, so I told All-a-Boy to get dressed in his scout uniform and we'd see if he could accept it on Allen's behalf.

They were happy to have him do so and he enjoyed wearing the Silver Beaver Award until Allen came home later that afternoon. Unlike Allen, All-a-Boy loved the attention.

I have mentioned before that Allen is a much more private person than I am. I hope that if he is reading this he is not embarrassed by all of this. However, because this blog is where I write about the goings-on in our family and it is the only organized record we have, I thought that this was important enough to be included. Also, I am kind of proud of all the good he does and I love that he was recognized for it.

Besides, it's not so bad to have to own your awesomeness every once in a while.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Jokes For Kids: Halloween Edition

Halloween is definitely a favorite holiday around here. That means Halloween themed jokes in lunches for October! Here are our favorites.

Q:What is the problem with twin witches?
A: You never know which witch is which.

Q: What do you call two witches that live together?
A: Broom mates.

Q: What's a witch's favorite subject in school?
A: Spelling.

Q: What did the witch do when her broom broke?
A: She witch-hiked.

Q: Why didn't the skeleton go to the dance?
A: It had no body to go with.

Q: Who won the skeleton beauty contest?
A: No body.

Q: Why didn't the skeleton cross the road?
A: He didn't have the guts.

Q: Why can't skeletons play music in church?
A: They have no organs.

Q: Why did the skeleton cross the road?
A: To get to the body shop.

Q: Why can't ghosts tell lies?
A: You can see right through them.

Q: What does a ghost call his mom and dad?
A: His transparents.

Q: What do you get if you cross Bambi with a ghost?
A: Bamboo.

Q: Why don't ghosts like rain?
A: It dampens their spirits.

Q: Why do ghosts like to ride elevators?
A: It raises their spirits.

Q: What happens when a ghost gets lost in the fog?
A: He is mist.

Q: What do you get if you cross a vampire with a snowman?
A: Frostbite.

Q: Why was the vampire hard to get along with?
A: He was a pain in the neck.

Q: Why did the vampire flunk art class?
A: He could only draw blood.

Q: How are vampires like false teeth?
A: They both come out at night.

Q: What's a vampire's favorite fruit?
A: A necktarine.

Q: What kind of girl does a mummy take on a date?
A: Any old girl he can dig up.

Q: Why do mummies have so much trouble making friends?
A: They're all wrapped up in themselves.

Q: Why don't mummies take vacations?
A: They're afraid they'll relax and unwind.

Q: Why do mummies make excellent spies?
A: They're good at keeping things under wraps.

Q: Why is there a gate around cemeteries?
A: Because people are dying to get in.

Q: Why are graveyards noisy?
A: Because of all the coffin.

Q: How do you fix a broken jack-o-lantern?
A: With a pumpkin patch.

Q: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter?
A: Pumpkin pi.

Q: Why did the cyclops close his school?
A: He only had one pupil.

Q: Why did the scarecrow win the nobel prize?
A: He was out standing in his field.

Q: What happened to the cannibal who was late for dinner?
A: They gave her the cold shoulder.

Q: Why do you always find demons and ghouls together?
A: Demons are a ghoul's best friend.

Q: Why wasn't there any food left after the monster party?
A: Because everyone was a goblin.

Q: What happened to the guy who couldn't keep up payments to his exorcist?
A: He got repossessed.

Q: Did you hear about the zombie that lost his left arm and leg?
A: He's all right now.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Bear

I think that the majority of the posts I write about Hubba have to do with his shenanigans. I wanted to make sure that the good things he does are equally represented. Take last week for instance... after a year of hard work (okay, mostly fun for a 9 year old boy), he earned his Bear badge in cub scouts.

When I asked what his favorite part of being in the Bear den was, he said that he loved day camp, especially making their own foam swords. He also loved having a Mentos party, where the scouts all got to make geysers with Mentos and soda. Hubba was excited to pass off the entire Family Fun section on our family trip this summer. The hardest thing he could think of in earning his badge was having to walk to scouts instead of getting a ride. That cracks me up since his scout leaders both live about a block from our house! He couldn't think of one requirement that he didn't enjoy - and I credit his awesome scout leaders with that.

Way to go, Hubba! We are so proud of your hard work!

 Does everyone do crazy cheers at pack meetings? We do.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Medieval Times

Sometimes having fun friends helps keep life fun for Allen and I. For example, would we have ever planned a LARP (Live Action Role Play) party with a medieval theme and invited a bunch of people to get dressed in full character and join us? Nope. But our friends the Arnolds did and it was such a blast!
We got invitations well ahead of time and then found out our characters soon after. I was dreaming of the fancy dress I'd get to wear as a princess or duchess or something and then saw my character card in my email: a scantily-clad witch, with a note that said, "You don't have to dress exactly like this". Thank goodness! Because not only would I feel extremely uncomfortable, I think everyone else would have felt the same. So I went to a local theater to rent costumes for Allen and I. They had something for Allen right off the bat but they had to get creative with me.

This was a night filled with awesome friends, delicious food, jousting, knife-throwing, love-letter writing, laughter and fun. I didn't bring my camera but thank goodness others did! I'll just let the pictures do the talking... 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Our Little Free Library: Z Library

I heard about Little Free Libraries a couple of years ago and immediately knew it was something I wanted to do. I researched how they are built, how they work and where they are located (all over the world!). The more I discovered about them, the more I loved them. I especially loved the thought of having it be in memory of my friend Jason who was an amazing teacher with a contagious love for learning and books.

My sweet husband was the designer, architect and master builder of this beautiful piece of art that now stands in a corner of our yard. When I let others know that I was going to do this and mentioned that book donations were welcome, the response was overwhelmingly awesome. There were so many people who dropped books by or mailed them to me and I am so thankful to each one of you for your generosity and thoughtfulness! I ended up with 14 boxes full of a wonderful variety of books for kids, teenagers and adults.

Our friend Marc created, printed and donated book labels for every book. Whenever I told him we had run out of labels he would print more and bring them over. Thank you Marc!

Once Allen saw how many books were donated for the library he decided that two shelves were not enough. Instead of the typical library he designed a library with shelves in both the front and back.
I took pictures of it along the way, although not as often as I wanted.

And here's the view from the back of Z Library:

The only thing the library was lacking was a bench to make visitors feel even more welcome. Well, last week, by a series of small coincidences that could be a post in itself, we were given a bench for free by a total stranger. Allen has refinished it and it now sits beside the library for people to sit and peruse the books when they come to visit.

If you live nearby, please come visit our Little Free Library! Take a book, leave a book when you can, and don't forget to sign the guest book so we know you've been here. If you live not-so-close, we would love to have you come visit when you are in town or join the Z Library group on Facebook to stay updated on what's going on with our Little Library.