Archives for March 2013

And she rode away…

Yesterday, Mackenzie asked her daddy to take her training wheels off her bike.  (A note to our family and friends in the warmer regions of the country, the bikes have been put away since last fall and just recently saw daylight.)

After several attempts through the grass in the yard, and up and down our driveway yesterday, Mackenzie & Scott called it good. She was getting it, but I assumed that it would take a lot more practice before she went off on her own.

On the way home from school today, Mack asked if I would help her practice again. Of course, I could!!  After two trips through the grass she asked to go on the road. Although hesitant, I couldn’t say no. I ran up and down our dirt road twice before I stopped and watched her ride away without me running beside her. Sniff sniff

It seems like yesterday I was holding her in my arms for the first time and today as she took her maiden voyage on her little pink bike with the tassels from the handlebars blowing in the wind, I realized how fast time was flying by. Kindergarten today, college tomorrow. Her little pink bike or driving off in her first car, our girls are growing up so fast…

And she rode away... March 2013

And she rode away… March 2013

Amazing Moments…

Not long ago, as I tucked the girls into bed, we did our normal bedtime exchange… hugs, kisses, thankfulness, a prayer. As I am turning the lights out Mackenzie usually tells me that she forgot to “give” me something.

I go back for one more hug, another kiss. That particular evening Mackenzie started with, “Mom, I love you the most”.

I replied, “I love you more”.

She said, “I love you the most-est”.

I said “I love you to the moon”.

She replied, “I love you to Vicki and back”. With a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, I said, “I love you to Vicki and back too.”

It is incredible to me, that at five, my little freckle faced girl has such a grasp on life, heaven, and that her extra bedtime gifts can give me such amazing joy in my heart.

It felt as if at that particular moment, Vicki was standing in the room with us, saying good night and kissing us too. In my heart I know she was. Amazing moments like these seem to make everything ok…

Vicki & I 1979

Vicki & I 1979

Over The Rainbow Memorials

Almost five years ago, an amazing and beautiful friend named Krista entered my world. We have shared a lot in our short journey together, and I feel so blessed to have her in my life. Aside from being one of my very best friends, she is an amazing artist. I was immediately drawn to her work, and knew that being brought together was not a conciendence.

Krista, through her company Over The Rainbow Memorials, makes handcrafted glass memorials to help us honor and remember our loved ones.

I went to Krista and asked her to make me a pendant in memory of Vicki. Typically, she takes ash or hair from your loved one and uses it to create a memorial. I had neither to offer… just two trunks of Vicki’s personal things that mom had kept through the years. When we discussed what was in the trunks, I mentioned that I had the outfit that Vicki came home from the hospital in and her “Brownie” uniform.

Krista immediately had the idea to take snippets of her clothing, two things with so much meaning, and use them to create my memorial.

She made me a pendant with seas of blue that can take me right into Vicki’s eyes. Sparkles of pink, her favorite color, as the snippets of fabric run through the glass. Just holding the pendant in my hands fill my heart with an amazing amount of joy and comfort.

We have asked Krista again to make a few more pieces for loved ones, and when she finished this heart pendant for my sister, Carie, I was amazed again. She not only captured the blues of Vicki’s eyes, but colors that fit Carie’s style so well. I am anxious to see the rest of the memorials as she finishes them.

Krista continues to amaze me with the compassion and love she puts into the memorials she makes for us to remember our loved ones by. It is a gift and talent that is treasured.

You can view Krista’s work on her website at or on Facebook at

A heart for Carie in Memory of Vicki Lynne

A heart for Carie in Memory of Vicki Lynne

Vicki Lynne Mile Clean Up, Court Hearing Update

Just a reminder  SUNDAY, MARCH 17th is the quarterly clean up for the mile in Memory of Vicki Lynne.

I can not say thank you enough to our family and friends in Arizona who help us give back to our community in honor of Vicki.

I originally posted the information on this clean-up on February 28th. If you have any questions regarding this upcoming date, please feel free to contact me.

Last week there was a hearing in U.S. District Court on Atwood’s Motion for Reconsideration based on the Martinez vs. Ryan claim. The Martinez vs. Ryan claim has affected many death penalty cases, including ours. The court took the hearing under advisement and is waiting for a ruling by the United States Supreme Court in another case before it will issue a ruling in this case. It may be mid-summer before we know the outcome.

If the judge rules against Atwood, it will go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and onto the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here is a link to the article from the Arizona Daily Star on the hearing:

As we wait for the final months of this story to unfold, all we can do is pray and wait. I look optimistically forward, and feel so incredibly blessed by the amount of support we continue to receive.

I will keep you posted as soon as we have any new information.

“The Eggstraordinary Egg” Children’s Art Show

Madison’s 5th grade teacher, Ms. Crabtree, has done amazing things this year in her class. As a parent, I see a teacher, tapping into the creativity of her students, and it has been very exciting to watch.

In February she invited her class to participate in “The Eggstraordinary Egg” Children’s Art Show being held at the Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell. They could submit their works of art, two or three dimensional, for the exhibit that features local artists in grades K-8.

Tomorrow evening, March 7, 2013, they will have their opening reception from 5:00 to 7:00 for people to stop by and enjoy the wonderful works of “eggstraordinary” art the kids, the exhibit runs the month of March.

For more information, please visit their website or you can find them on Facebook at

For those of you who live here in Kalispell, I invite you to join us to see the display. Those who are unable to attend, I am sharing with you Madison’s sketch. It was fun to watch it come to life the evening she penciled it out then colored it in. I particularly love the fact that she has incorporated a “kitty” in the background.Prior to the sketch, she had done a lesson in abstract art, which inspired her piece. I hope that you enjoy as much as we have, as this is an “out of the box” drawing for Madison.

Mady's "Eggstraordinary" Drawing Feb 2013

Mady’s “Eggstraordinary” Drawing Feb 2013

Madison’s Corner

Madison is 10 and an extremely talented artist and writer. (Yes, I realize that I’m prejudice!) She started drawing as soon as she knew what a crayon was, and her creativity has really blossomed. Recently we have discussed in great lengths how to nurture her passion. Do we put her in any art class we can? Take on-line courses? How can we teach her to use the tools and supplies she has to take her gifts to the next level?

About a week and a half ago, I had the pleasure of talking to local artist, Treg Miller. I was helping him prepare for a lesson he was giving in first grade at our school. We had a great conversation about Madison, and he really helped me understand that we are giving Madison exactly what she needs. It is reassuring to have Treg’s encouragement, and I feel so blessed that we have such a talented resource for Madison to look up to.

Madison loves to draw, and is experimenting with chalk and painting. We spoke to her about sharing her work on my blog, and she gave the go ahead. She is a little shy about the world seeing her art, so we felt this would be a great place to display what she does and I know the positive feedback will boost her confidence.

Today’s drawing was done as a gift for her snowboard instructor. Hope you enjoy!

Horse Drawing, March 2, 2013

Horse Drawing, March 2, 2013