Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I just wanted to follow up on our last blog post and share some of the life changes we are feeling called to make.  This is not the first time we have had a conversations like this, so please don't think this is a brand new thought for our family or something we are just jumping into.  Previously, we have felt similar convictions and have done small things to change and have really tried to align our life with what we thought God wanted of us.  BUT now we feel Him asking for more, challenging us to make some sacrifices, to be a little different so that we can be more like HIM.  I think one of the biggest changes for me to is to be much more purposeful and strategic, so others can have more and having a well laid out plan to help make this happen.  It is scary but it is a good scary, full of anticipation of newness and of fresh perspectives and of change and challenge (did you hear that mom, CHALLENGE? you in?? :) ) So here we go, we have 5 months until the end of the year, we will re-evaluate in the beginning of 2013 to see if we could give even more and buy even less (I keep thinking, seriously?? how could that even be possible? BUT God is big and I have heard all things are possible with Him...)

1. We are going to up our giving we will continue tithing to the church but in addition at the beginning of each month choose an additional charity or cause to give to.  For me, this is the exciting part, I am really excited to see how God will move and work in our family as we sit down each month to decide how to give.

2. We are going to stop buying things new.  In order to reach our 17% we have to cut back significantly on what we buy.  When we do decide to buy something we are going ask ourselves these questions and follow this order before purchasing -
             1. Ask the question do I need it?  If the answer is no, we will ask ourselves these questions before moving on - Why do we want and what will it add to our lives?
             2. Can I make it?
             3. Can I buy it used locally?
             4. Finally, if I am going to buy it new, I must know where it comes from and how it was produced (ethically, environment impact).  Hopefully, this will make us much more conscious and cautious consumers.

3. We are going to address one Social Justice Issue as it relates to food consumption each month - This month is coffee - this is a pretty easy one since we don't drink that much coffee, but every time we do it must be certified fair trade.  Next month is chocolate (I need more time to gear up for that one (I love my chocolate!!!!) and to research as I know issues of slavery and fair wages with chocolate production are very complex). Then we will look at waste, food production issues, and eating biblically.

4. We are going to fast - This is a discipline that I love in theory but rarely do in practice, but I really want to incorporate it into my life. I feel like the bible is full of references to prayer and fasting in connection to big revelations and understandings of God. I want that.  Sooooo, since we are doing an overhaul why not just add it in, right? We will take 1-4 days each month to fast from something, this month is food, then cell phones, then internet, then noise (I am not sure how this one will work, but I love the idea of SILENCE!!) and in December, Christmas music, hahah just kidding but Colin would like that or maybe just singing loudly and badly to Christmas music,

So there you go, now you know what God is doing and stirring in our lives! Please share with us what He is doing in yours?
I feel like he is moving and stirring new things in so many people these days.  Today, I chatted with two friends who are feeling similar stirring in their souls.  It is so encouraging that people are wanting more and challenging the status-quo!  One friend passed the book 7 on to me today (read her blog post about it here, actually just read her entire blog, it's great). I haven't read it but after flipping through it, I feel like it is divine timing as well. We might be adjusting some of our goals based on her experiences!

***Ohhh and I should probably make a few confessions, I went shopping when I was in Arizona in July.  Fortunately, for me I bought a few fall staples, which I know will make this new budget a little easier.  In addition, we had been saving and planning for a trip to New York City to visit my dear sis, Natalie and her boyfriend Chris.  We are still going to take the trip, but adjusting our spending plans while we are there.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

He is rocking. my. world.

God that is. He is rocking my world. And I don't think I will ever be the same.  I wrote a post a little while ago about how I am seeing that in my life with Hudson less is more but I stopped there.  I didn't go into detail about what God has been trying  to showing me about less really being MORE.  He has been following me, pursuing me, filling my thoughts with images and impressing these hard facts on my heart -  3 BILLION people live on less than $2.50 day, 1 BILLION children live in poverty, MILLIONS of people are HUNGRY. Really hungry. And that I am RICH. Very rich. Literally, in monetary terms, education, travel, and overall freedom in comparison to the rest of the world.  If you're an average american, you're easily within the 10% wealthiest people on the planet.  These are facts that  I know BUT in my heart and in my life I have been ignoring. BUT God is changing that, he won't leave me alone he has been pursuing me, showing me that knowing isn't enough anymore.  He wants more.
For a while now we have been realizing that we have too much. Too much stuff. Too many things to do.  Too many choices.  Too many responsibilities.  And that this too much is keeping us from the good stuff.  From more of Him.  From deeper relationships.  From more joy and more peace.  
So God is calling us to have less, so others can have more, to use our abundance to make change.  We have always known that this is what God wanted of us and have sincerely wanted to live this way. However, I think we always envisioned it looking different and have been waiting for that.  Thinking that we would become wildly successful (in worldly terms) and have of extra money and big things under our belt and THEN we would start giving BIG, making a difference in the lives of people around the world with big projects.  It would be glamorous and we would be very cool.  Turns out, that is not what he wants.  What he wants is not glamour or cool but US right here, right now, willing to live differently, willing to change and trust and follow him.  AND what if we did?  What would it look like?  That is what we are trying to figure out right now.
A new day is dawning.
We are ready for the changes it may bring.

Here are some of the books that I have been reading that have been challenging me to change - The Bible, Everyday Justice, Small Things with great Love, and Kisses from Katie.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer-time Snack-time

It seems like it's always snack time when Hudson is around.  So my summer time goal has been to find some healthy and delicious snacks.  This has been harder than you would think since it has been WAY too hot here and the ice cream stand is right across the street calling our names.  However, after a few days of having ice cream twice a day, I figured it really was time to get creative.  We made banana softserve ice cream a lot last year but I had sort of forgotten about it until this week.  After a few different test rounds I think I have perfected the recipe.  The secret ingredient -  a little bit of yogurt which I think helps mask the banana flavor and makes it seem more like ice cream.

Banana soft serve ice cream

4 frozen bananas
1/4 cup greek yogurt (you can omit this but it makes it much creamier and more ice cream like)
1 teaspoon vanilla
A bit of honey (I use about 1 tablespoon but adjust to your sweetness preferences)
2-3 tablespoons almond milk to reach desired consistancy
* Any adds in you like (think pb, chocolate chips, fruit, coconut flakes, etc.)

Blend first three ingredients in food processor or blender for 1-2 minutes until starting to look creamy, then add honey and milk until you reach taste and texture you like.

Our favorite so far is the one pictured above. Topped with frozen raspberries and Annies gluten free ginger snaps!  It is so good, I don't even miss the ice cream stand.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cloud Peak Wilderness

Last week the entire Betzler clan made it to Wyoming for the almost annual family trip. What a treat it was to have them here to share in our life and stomping grounds!!!! Unfortunately, it was hot, hot, hot and trips to the pool, ice cream stand, and day trips up the mountain weren't enough to beat the heat so we headed up the mountain to cool off while backpacking in Cloud Peak Wilderness.  What a wonderful trip!  So thankful for the time we had together in the mountains, come back soon!
This way to the mountains.
 Hudson was an all-star hiker, maybe even a little too eager since he couldn't quite keep the pace, but I am sure he hiked at least 2 miles by himself over the weekend.
N totally won the "Happy Camper"award, he was always smiling and just loved being outside! He gets that award for the vacation in general as he is one happy, smiley guy.
We made it! The view from our tents, not bad for 10,500'.  Cloud Peak is on the left at 13,200'.
Campsite fun - throwing rocks for Luna to catch.
Super-uncle Osito!
Harmonica dance party in the tent.
The happy camper...ok, Tio was happy too.
 Grandma and her boys.
 A little relaxin'.
 Throwing rocks never gets old.

One last view from the camp site.
Uncle Bjorno taking the long way home.
Mountain MAN!!!!
Thanks Steve and Cindy for being such awesome, adventurous, brave grandparents.
Do we really have to go home? 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wonderful Arizona!

Hudson and I had an amazing time in Arizona.  It was the first time we had been home that it wasn't a holiday, a Birthday, or some other big event, it was also just Hudson and I (no other sisters).  We missed the sisters, of course, but it was really nice bonding time for Hudson and the grandparents. We really had a blast...so much so, that I was apparently too busy having fun to take pictures, I didn't have a single one of Lala and Huds and only a blurry one of Pa and Huds.  Sorry! But I know the memories are ingrained in your hearts forever.
Huds and his best cousin friend Stephan, had a ball! We love you two!!!
So tired after playing with Stephan, he climbed right up on his Great Grandma's lap and fell right asleep.
 I just love how he instinctively knows when he is LOVED by someone.  He was so happy and relaxed with her.
 We also had a surprise visit from my dearest friend Erin and her mom! Again, he knew they loved him and had so much fun with them.
One of the many nights spent hanging out with Pa on the lazy boy. 
Even though Lala didn't make it into any photos, she made plenty of memories!  They had a blast playing all day long, everything with Lala is more fun.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I love family vacations!  I do not however love 14 plus hours of driving.  I mean, I do, I love being with my family anywhere. But being stuck in the car just doesn't bring out the best in me.  Thank goodness Colin is the kind, wonderful, patient and very entertaining man that he is, otherwise I would have thrown in the towel at Taos and we never would have made to meet sweet little miss Elle! And she was so worth meeting.  The pictures say it better than I can. She is sweet, beautiful, and seriously the best baby ever.  She barely cries and slept through the night while we were there.  Did you hear that Hudson? - he still hasn't mastered that.  We had a great time in Albuquerque. THANKS, Meg and Brian!
 Elliott just hanging out being beautiful.
Hello. I'm perfect.
Even Hudson found her irresistible.  He wanted to hold her all the time...for about 5 seconds and then he was "all done".
 Elliott and Lala.
 Meg and Brian are amazing parents, relaxed, loving, and fun to be around despite the sleep deprivation.
Even with all the staring at baby the boys found time to work on a project. 
Thanks to the help from Hudson and Elliott they were able to complete the landing in a few short hours.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Decorate a wall for $25

It's hot here! Way too hot, if it's going to be this hot we might as well be in Arizona where there is air conditioning and swimming pools.  So to keep ourselves cool Huds and I head in doors for the afternoons, which has been harder on Hudson than on me.  Being inside has enabled me to slowly plug away at some of the projects I have been wanting to do, like hang things in the bathroom! and touching up paint :( and ironing :(, meanwhile H is looking the basketball hoop on the smoldering asphalt wondering why we aren't out there playing...

Anyway, I had been wanting to finish the guest bathroom and as a new one family income, I had to get creative on what to do.  It is a large wall and I had a budget of $25.  Here is what I came up with -
I saw this photo idea on Pinterest. So cute and I love that it doesn't feel like such a big commitment, I can quickly and easily change the photos when I get bored (which we know happens often!) 
Can you tell which one is Colin?
Homemade fabric bulletin board. Fun to make, fun to look at!
So how did I do sticking to budget? Not bad at all, I went over a little bit, but have left over fabric and cork board that will be used in the next project!
Hangers -                       $4 for 4
Paint -                            free, left over from another project
Picture enlargements      $3.99 x 4
Frame -                          $1 at garage sale
Cork Board -                 $6.99 a yard (I have enough left for another project!)
Fabric -                          $9.99 a yard (Lots left over as well)
Grand total -                 $37.00

DIY Fabric Covered Bulletin Board -
This was a really easy project, I was able to it all, while watching (well sort of) a movie with Colin.
1. Measure the inside insert of your frame, where the glass would normally go. If your frame still has glass, you can just trace the glass onto your cork board.
If your frame has glass, it would be easiest to get cork board the same thickness as the glass, that way you can just insert your board instead of the glass and use the frames already existing backing.
2. Cut your cork board to fit into the opening. I cut on the inside of the lines I traced to leave room for the fabric to wrap around the board.  My frame didn't have glass or a back so I had more flexibility.
3. Cut your fabric a 3/4 larger than your cork board on all sides (so it can wrap around the board).
4. Lay your fabric on the floor and your cork board on top of it, starting at the top, fold the fabric over and glue to cork board with hot glue gun.
5. Insert your new bulletin board into the frame. If you want it to be a little more sturdy, you can glue cork board into the frame as well.
6. Hang. Depending on what kind of shape your frame is in you can use the hardware from the frame to hang it on the wall.
1. Paint your hangers a fun color- I didn't sand or prime just painted right over.   I am sure you could and it might be better but this worked just fine for me.