Symphony Under The Stars

This past Saturday (the 15th) Helena, Montana had it’s 14th Annual Symphony Under The Stars (SUTS) about 1/2 mile from where we live. This SUTS was a free rock concert with music from the 70’s and 80’s, so naturally we jumped at the chance to go. It was delayed for an hour and a half due to rain, but when it finally started we had a blast.

Unfortunately not all of us were able to go, but those who did do not regret it. We went with some friends and enjoyed the music. The playlist was as follows:

We Will Rock You / We are the Champions+

25 or 6 to 4 +

Girls Just Want to Have Fun +

Hotel California +

I Will Survive +

Son of a Preacher Man +

Respect +

Alone +

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough +

Bohemian Rhapsody +

*** Intermission***

Come Sail Away+

Stayin’ Alive+ 

Proud Mary+

Stairway to Heaven+

Like A Prayer+

Man in the Mirror+

Dream On+

You Can’t Stop the Beat +

We walked out to Dream On as it was almost midnight on a Saturday, but we enjoyed viewing the fireworks (which were shot off after), from the comfort of our front yard.


(P.S. Our rented house has no internet, so writing posts is a bit of a challenge, I am currently parked in Starbucks)



Who Was Adolf Hitler?

I know. You’re probably thinking, “Of course I know who Adolf Hitler was. Where is she going with this? And why is she writing a post about the most notorious mass murderer in history?”…

There are three reasons: 1) I have been studying WWII and Adolf Hitler (which has included reading his 720 page autobiography/propaganda filled book); 2) Today marks 128 years since his birth; and, 3) Many don’t actually know that much about Hitler, except that he was the world’s most infamous dictator, and a mass murderer. So, I am going to give a synopsis about his life.


Adolf Hitler was born on April 20th, 1889, in Austria, to Alois and Klara Hitler.

From a young age, Adolf was constantly rubbing shoulders with his equally stubborn father. When Alois wanted his son to follow in his footsteps by studying financing, Adolf purposefully did poorly at school in the hopes that his father would relent and let him study the much preferred subjects of Art or Architecture.


(Adolf at around age 10)

When Alois died suddenly in 1903, Adolf’s mother allowed him to enroll in a different school where his performance improved.

In December of 1907 (When Adolf was just 18) his beloved mother died of breast cancer, leaving him orphaned and homeless in Vienna. He was rejected twice from the Academy Of Fine Arts In Vienna and forced to work for a living. During this time he was introduced to racism and, some suggest this is also when he embraced anti-semitism.

He moved to Munich in 1913 and in listed in the Bavarian Army at the outbreak of World War I  (or as it was then known, The Great War) where he was wounded, temporarily blinded, and received several badges for bravery.

In 1919 Hitler joined the German Worker’s Party, which later changed it’s name to the National Socialist German Worker’s Party (the Nazis). Hitler himself designed the banner.


(A Swastika in a white circle with a red background)


He was discharged from the army in 1920, and he began to work full time for the “Party.”    Hitler was an impressive speaker and soon people were flocking to hear him rage against the unfairness of the Treaty Of Versailles, and his hate of Marxists and Jews.

Influenced by Mussolini’s March On Rome, Hitler and his “Beer Hall Putsch” marched to overthrow the Bavarian Government. Twenty people were killed in the failed attempt, and Hitler was arrested for treason and placed in prison, where he wrote part of his autobiography. Released in late December of 1924, Hitler rebuilt the National Socialist German Worker’s Party and sold hundreds of thousands of copies of his book which laid out his plans of transforming Germany into one, pure race.

Adolf Hitler

In January of 1933, Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany. In July of that year, the Nazi Party was named the only legal party in that country.

In 1934, the President of Germany died, and his role in office was merged with Hitler’s role as Chancellor, making him Führer. In the following years Hitler continued to gain power and soldiers, eliminating anyone who opposed him publicly.

On September 1, 1939, the German army invaded Poland, starting the Second World War of which all major countries (and many minor) in the world took part.

As Germany invaded country after country, Hitler’s numerous death camps appeared. Horrible atrocities were committed on people solely because of their ethnicity, color, age or disabilities. Hitler’s plan for a pure world could include nothing less than strong, healthy, young, and fit “Aryans.” Men and woman, young and old, were shot, starved or worked to death, sent to the gas chambers, burnt alive and mass murdered; all because of one ruler’s twisted beliefs, other wicked men (and women), and the blind obedience of his followers.


Once a young boy, devastated by the loss of his brother, and later his parents; Hitler is now responsible for the worst mass murdering the world had ever seen. (Only the number of babies killed since 1980, which is more than 1,000,000,000, tops Adolf Hitler in intentional killing)

The number of deaths caused by the Holocaust stands around 10,000,000. The number of deaths during World War II stands over 60,000,000 people (over 40,000,000 of which were civilians).

When Hitler realized the loss of the war was inevitable, he ordered his labor camps to start killing their workers. It was his last attempt to “cleanse” the world.

In April of 1945, shortly after his 56th birthday, he and his newly wed wife, Eva, killed themselves. Ending Hitler’s 12 year reign of terror.





Hot Air Balloons

This day last year, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that Phoenix has hot air ballon days(?)… and they were launched right by us and we could walk a few hundred feet to view them up close. Of course I brought the camera, so I decided to share some of the photos with you all. It was a little overcast that day, but it was still a great sight to see!



Yes. It is true, he did really have a great fall… and I watched it.


Which was your favorite?



History Of Valentine’s Day

How many of you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Either as a special day to show your significant other that you love them, or as an excuse to buy yourself some much needed chocolate as you mourn the fact that you are single, and no one is going to buy the chocolate for you. Or send you some roses. (Gotcha)  But do you even know the story behind this special day? Well. I am going to tell you it, so snuggle up and tuck your blanket under your chin… just kidding, it’s fairly short.

Once Upon A Time there was a man, the Roman Emperor in fact. This man’s name was Cladius II or Cladius Gothicus as he was later called. He was a great military leader and won many victories for Rome (though some of his conquests were frowned upon for being unnecessarily).

Cladius soon found that he didn’t have enough soldiers for his liking. Men who were married had a stronger attachment to home and therefore less interest in joining the army; he decided. So to fix this “problem”, Cladius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome, in the belief that this would increase his army’s strength.

Valentine, a Christian Priest, chose to ignore this decree, realizing the injustice of it and the real problems that might come from forbidding marriage (A sacred act between a man and a woman for life). Our hero continued to preform marriages, but in secret.

Before too long Cladius was bound to find out about him, but that did not deter Valentine, he continued the marriage ceremonies.  Sure enough, he was seized and thrown into prison. Not long after, he was killed. Valentine was first beaten, then stoned and finally beheaded, on the fourteenth of February, around the year 279 AD.  

Emperor Cladius II died of the plague not long after.


Basically the moral of the story is to all you lovers/soul mates/couples/strangers who met today for the first time… just get married already. Who knows, soon we might have a Cladius on our hands….( Just kidding, you can keep your shirt on).  But seriously, did my story interest you? Or have you already heard the great tale?


P.S. Legend has it that the last words Valentine ever wrote, were in the form of a letter,  and read: “From Your Valentine”.

News / Update

PurlsByGrace Shop will be closed over the spring and summer due to traveling across the country and some other factors. I still plan on blogging and am very excited to see/share new plans for this blog soon, but I am closing the knitting side of it for now.

I apologize for the slow blog posts, but stay tuned for more exciting ones in the near future, including stories, photography, randomness and more!

Gratitude For 2016

Yes, I know. 2016 wasn’t unicorns and glitter, but there is a whole list of things that I am incredibly grateful for. Here are some things I was able to do in this past year.

I enjoyed Spring Training in Arizona with swimming, baseball games, sunshine, ice cream, and hot air balloons. When we returned home for a few months, I did some camping, knitting, writing, farm work, and threw a surprise birthday party for my sisters.
June rolled around and our family welcomed the first grandson/nephew, we paid a short visit to my brother (a Marine) at his base, and spent a few hours at the beach. We took a small vacation where we visited Mt. Rushmore among other places, and enjoyed the beautiful drive to Montana for the baseball season, where I went hiking, rock climbing and ran a 5K at the capitol. Got to enjoy baseball games and a wonderful library.
During the summer we also visited the stunning Glacier National Park, made new friends, visited old ones and experienced new things.
Fall/Winter brought us home once more (not before visiting Yellowstone National Park, The Grand Tetons and some friends) where we enjoyed the beautiful seasons, some quiet time, and celebrated Advent and Christmas with family and friends.

I have grown in many ways this year, and I am eternally grateful to God for all he has blessed me with. There were hardships, but God brought me through with His deep love and grace.
Enjoy this new year and always be grateful.