• Our mission down aspen lane
    Community,  Faith,  Family,  Friends

    Our Mission At Down Aspen Lane

    Our mission at Down Aspen Lane is simply this—to encourage the creation of authentic connections in our homes, community, and world. Through the sharing of personal stories, creative resources, and simple challenges, we encourage others to create a more authentic life…one simple step at a time.   Hi, I’m Carri! Let me start by saying that this blog is probably not for everyone. It’s true. There may be some who feel perfectly content with the world as it is, but if you, like millions of others in our society, desire more authenticity in your life, then keep on reading. OUR MISSION Down Aspen Lane details my family’s journey towards a happier life,…

  • FREE St. Patrick's Day Love Notes Printable For Kids

    FREE St. Patrick’s Day Love Notes

    What better way to begin St. Patrick’s Day than with some holiday note cards? Surprise your children by tucking a note with their lunch, on their pillow, or on their bedroom mirror–a simple and inexpensive way of saying, “I love you”! No children at home? Why not place individual cards in hidden spots throughout the community for strangers to find—a simple way to brighten a strangers day! Interested in more fun ways to build authentic connections with your children and others in your community? Subscribe to our always-growing FREE Resource Library to access more printable note cards, lists, worksheets, and more.   FREE DOWNLOAD: RESOURCE LIBRARY: ST PATRICK’S DAY LOVE…

  • child baby

    What My Children And A Monkey Taught Me About Cherishing Every Moment

    I found myself face to face with a monkey and I wasn’t sure what to do. His little patchwork body was sewn to the front of the tiny blue pajamas that had, only weeks ago, adorned my newborn.   He sat, with his tail curled around him, looking at me. He and I were eye to eye. “What am I to do?” I asked, willing him to answer. He didn’t.   The tiny blue monkey pajamas held so many memories: like the times I would gaze down at my baby boy and play with his little toes while he held my finger in his tiny fist.   Giving away the…

  • mud cake

    The Benefits of Outdoor Play (Kids’ Club Intro)

    **Someone hacked my website last night with a PRIVATE post about mud cakes. Mud cakes, of all things. I was deeply concerned until my daughter confessed that she was the culprit. When did she learn how to post something onto a blog? Seriously, children these days seem to be born with the natural ability to use technology. I read through her short post again and have decide to make it PUBLIC. She is excited to have it added to the Kids’ Club collection of posts.   What is Kids’ Club, you may ask?   Kids’ Club is a collection of posts on this blog that we feel will benefit children of…

  • Field trip Boyce Thompson Arboretum

    Field Trip: Boyce Thompson Arboretum

    You wouldn’t know it by looking at it, but right in the middle of the desert, in the midst of Picketpost Mountain, lies a place of profound peace and beauty. With its countless plants and trees, Boyce Thompson Arboretum is the ultimate oasis in the Arizona desert.   WHAT IS BOYCE THOMPSON ARBORETUM?   According to Wikipedia, Boyce Thompson Arboretum is the largest and oldest botanical garden in the state of Arizona. It is one of the oldest botanical institutions west of the Mississippi. Founded in 1924 as a desert plant research facility and “living museum”, the Arboretum is located in the Sonoran Desert on 392 acres along Queen Creek…

  • Serenity word of year 2018

    Happy New Year! (and my One Word)

     A NEW YEAR   A ten second countdown, the drop of a crystal ball, and just like that, one year is over and another has begun.   Turning the page on one’s life brings with it a mixture of emotions. Some good; some bad. As I turn from the dimly-lit past to focus on a bright tomorrow, a similar mixture of emotions sweep over me.   CREATING A BEAUTIFUL LIFE   American sculptor and musician, Thomas Ball (1819-1911), penned poignant words to describe his feelings of inadequacy as an artist. His description is a beautiful representation of the feelings I have about my own personal efforts to create a beautiful…

  • Simplify the season

    Restoring The Wonder

    The holidays are approaching—a time for family togetherness, love, laughter, wonder, and the making of special memories. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! Not long ago, however, I made a surprising discovery—the wonder of the holiday season was missing from the eyes of my children. This discovery saddened me and I immediately set myself on a mission to restore the wonder—the sense of anticipation and joy—to the eyes and hearts of my children. To read more about my mission to restore the wonder of the season, CLICK HERE to visit the Simplify The Season Blog Party where I am guest posting today and sharing some of…

  • The Connecting Power of Food

    The Connecting Power Of Food

    Food. It requires much of our time and effort.   We prepare it. We eat it. We clean up the mess.   Was all that effort wasted, or was it time well spent?   The preparation and eating of food—and even the cleaning up of the mess—has the power to connect us in ways that nothing else can.   We can choose to put love into our meal preparations and invite others to join us in that space. Natalie from www.everydaynatalie.com shares a special memory she has of food and family HERE. She even includes a recipe!   The memories that are created as family and friends gather in a…

  • Fall Season

    15 Ways To Enjoy Nature During The Fall Season

    Fall is my favorite time of the year! Pumpkin season. Sweater weather. Nature at its finest.   My goal this year is to enjoy each day of the fall season, whether it be taking a walk in the cool air, making apple butter in the crockpot, adding fall details to the home decor, or burning a vanilla-scented candle. Being stuck in the house all summer due to the high temperatures in our area, fall time is the perfect time for me to get out of the house and enjoy nature. Perhaps these ideas will inspire you to spend some extra time outdoors this fall:   1. Take a nightly stroll with…

  • favorite flower

    My Favorite Things: July 2017

    Hey there, friends! It’s time for another round of my favorite things. I’d love to hear about one of your current favorites, if you’d like to share in the comment section. Hope you’re having a fantastic summer!     FAVORITE THING #1:     JOHN MUIR LAWS WEBSITE I am completely in awe of John Muir Laws website. He is an incredibly talented artist and art instructor. Have you seen his videos on YouTube? They are something else! And his website? It’s a beauty. Grab your sketch book and pencil and check it out.     FAVORITE THING #2:   TAHITIAN VANILLA CANDLE I love burning candles in my home year…