Monday, October 29, 2007

Weird...

Sorry that some of these pics aren't "clickable". I have no clue why some aren't allowing you to click to get the big version. I've uploaded them all the same way with the same options. Weird.

Buzz!

I tried to upload this here as a link to our youtube video but blogger is freaking out in a thousand ways today and apparently (I'm guessing since they now host videos) they don't want me connecting to youtube. Ugh. You can find it on youtube under our username (same as the last video) if you'd like. Hope this blogger video thing works! So I lost the original post and here I am trying to remember all my witty comments...

Ok, so this is from this morning! Rick usually puts on his gear in the kitchen. While he was getting dressed Nathan decided to borrow his cool motorcycle stuff. :) He does this frequently - hey, who could resist! After Rick had put on one of his boots Nathan grabbed the other one and after putting both feet in, tried to hop around the kitchen.

Then he crawled up onto the chair and put on the gloves and helmet and said this! :)

video

You should all know that my kids, and especially Nathan are in love with Toy Story. (So if you're thinking of a Christmas or birthday gift - that would go over well!) We don't even have the movie but our friends Aaron and Shelly are sweet hearts and have let us borrow their 2-disc set (1 and 2!) twice so the kids could watch them. They love those flicks and quote them all the time. In fact Buzz is what Nathan wanted to be for Halloween, but I couldn't find any costumes for less than a fortune. So Spidey (who runs a close second for fave hero) was our costume of choice. :)

Tonight's FHE


So tonight we Halloween Family Night. While dinner was baking Rick helped the kids carve their pumpkins. Then we ate and after dinner we told the story from the friend about Pumpkins and Candles. (We lit the Jack-o-lanterns on the hearth while we read). We had flannel board pics to help us tell the story and afterward we turned down the lights and looked at the kids' Jack-o-lanterns. We talked about the light of Christ that's inside each of us and how it burns brightly for all to see when we're living like we should. We discussed the boy in the story and how he was able to repent after "dimming" his light and what kind of choices he made (and could have made). It was great!
Next we went to the kitchen and brought out our laminated pumpkins to decorate. I made these last year by printing pumpkins and various pumpkin parts onto cardstock and then laminating them. We use the sticky tack (you know - like gum kinda but removable?) stuff to arrange eyes, a stem, nose and mouth. My family is so creative! Mine's your standard pumpkin face, but Ashlyn must have used each item on her pumpkin and Rick was so tricky! He used the pointy eyes as ears! Such imagination!

First snow of the year (last Sunday the 21st)


Frankie and his Witch

Spidey's got muscles


Ashlyn's a Princess


Trunk or treat

Fun! We had our church's trunk-or-treat on Saturday and thought we'd share some pics! We started with chili and rollss, then we went through the different rooms to collect goodies! It was a fall carnival with bowling, fishing booth, beanbag toss, spook alley, cake walk, musical chairs, spin for a prize, etc.

Then we all walked around the the parking lot from trunk to trunk for candy.

FHE

So last week we did our 2nd annual "We love Fall" family home evening. We went on a little nature walk and had the kids fill bags with fall leaves of different colors, shapes and sizes - whatever they liked. (Nathan wanted to add berries, sticks and rocks but we had to veto that plan).




Then we drove around and talked about what beautiful fall colors God made for us here, had a little science lesson on why leaves change color in autumn and went back home for a little crafty time.
We took the leaves and had the kids make wax paper collages with them. (You take the leaves and iron them between two pieces of wax paper.) They each have one in the kitchen window, their bedroom windown and they each made a smaller one for daddy's office window. (Yeah - he's that cool - he has a view).



Fun!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pumpkin Party

Our friends up the street had their what I think will become annual party up at their place and invited us and lots of others to their fabulous shindig. They have a lot with quite a bit of acreage including a HUGE garden plot and a barn down back. They planted a bunch of pumpkins and then invite enough families that their is a pumpkin for every kiddo. They provide chili and we all bring side dishes to share. Each kid gets to go up to the "patch" to pick out their own pumpkin to take home. They had candy and glow-in-the-dark bracelets! The kids' good friend Olivia is the other cutie in the pictures.
Such a great fun night!
We had a nice storm that night - complete with lightning and thunder and a bit of hail. That's why all of the pics are in the barn (complete with concrete floor and a woodburning stove - cozy!). We did have a bunch of fun though and appreciate all of the hard work our friends put out for all of us who were lucky enough to be invited!

All Stars

Here's some cute pictures we took on our way out of the park to head home. Really cute stuff! We need to come back for a day game. Tickets in the Rockpile are only $5 or so so maybe we'll try again next season!

Take me out to the ball game...

We went to a Rockies/Marlins game with Rick's work buddies. (Since the company bought the tickets why not right?) We took the light rail into downtown and that may have been the best part of the night in the eyes of our kids! :) We had fun, but next time we'll be going to an earlier game. This was a tough night for the kiddos and I think they'd do a ton better if we went in the afternoon. Fun experience though! We left early, but I think Rick told me we ended up losing. Who knows! The whole world series ticket deal yesterday was a fiasco so we'll just pretend this was our game!

End of zoo day

With each paid admission to the zoo you are allowed access to drive up to the Will Rogers memorial shrine. It is WAY up at the top of the mountain upon which the zoo sits (it bugs me so much not to talk like a normal person - but once told a rule of grammar I rarely forget it and I can't break it without it completely bugging me!)

OK, this gets a sidebar. Here are my biggies - the ones that I can't NOT fix (no bugging me on the use of a double negative in my grammar discussion).

First - "I feel nauseous." Ok, this one is used so often that the dictionary gave up and allowed it It's used incorrectly so frequently they changed the word's meaning to accomodate it. Naseous is causing nausea in others. It's funny to let it slide if you don't like the person who's saying it, but most of the time I'll correct you. (Cuz I like you, right?) You should say "I feel nauseated." That means you feel sick, not that you cause sickness in others.

Second - Ending a sentence with a preposition. As in: of, at, in, for, around. I still remember a lesson in 5th grade where we learned about prepositions by filling in the blank in "____ the box". Anything in the blank was a preposition. Of the box, on the box, for the box, etc. Anyway... so you are not supposed to say (like I wanted to above) "it's way at the top of the mountain the zoo's on". You need to move that prep. to the beginning of the phrase. Nobody seems to do this so it's often very hard for me to think of the correct way to phrase something without breaking the rule. Ah, the struggles of a perfectionist.

There are more, but maybe I'll save it for another time when nothing's going on in our lives about which to blog :)

So here you have the tower up close. And below is the explanatory plaque.

After our trip to the zoo and shrine we ended our day at the hotel with a nap and a dip in the pool before dinner. To celebrate my birthday we ordered room service. I have always wanted to do that! After going back and forth (as is my wont) I settled on crab-stuffed trout with a chipotle cream sauce. BTW - again, I need to remember that my opinion of hot is not like anyone else's. I should not have asked, "is the chipotle sauce very spicy" I should have asked, "would you feed this to an infant without fear?" My oh my, "not spicy" my foot. Oh well, it was still yummy.

We had a great trip and I'm so glad that (even if I wasn't on the Pacific coast at Sea World and Disneyland) we did head out of town for a little time away from home. So important!

Zoo

We booked a couple of nights at the Embassy Suites b/c of my very fond memories with Kim's parents at the one by SeaTac Mall. I was amazed that at night you got FREE drinks (we got Shirley Temples) and snacks and then in the morning you got FREE breakfast (not just a mini box of Cheerios and a muffin my friend, I'm talking made-to-order omelets (the spell check gave me that - is that seriously how you spell it? I guess it is. It looks more and more right the longer I look at it), bacon, sausage, oatmeal, fruit, the list goes on!)

So we stayed there with the kids and they too were impressed with all the fun freebies. We had pretzels, chips and salsa each evening and with the free hearty breakfast I didn't even eat again until those pretzels. Staying there saved us buying 2 meals each day! We didn't even have to tell the drink lady our order the second night! She just said, "How many Shirleys and how many Roys?" :) We must have been the only adults there who didn't take advantage of the free booze (beer, wine, mixed drinks - you name it).

Part of the reason we went to a hotel instead of just camping is that we wanted to swim. We had been telling Ashlyn for a year that for her birthday we were going to California and going to swim in the ocean. So we wanted a nice pool as a substitute. We loved playing in the pool and by our second trip Ashlyn was doing well and even let us take her out of her life jacket. The kids loved the pool and the hot tub!

For my actual birthday day we went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. It was great! Rather than bore you with lots of our animal pics I'll post some of the unique things about our day and the zoo.
First of all - how cool is it that you can feed and pet the giraffes? They sell you these crackers that look like Ry Krisps. :) Fun! It was pretty warm the day that we went and so all over the zoo they had these portable fans hooked up to a water tank that would spray mist down the walkways. It is a pretty fine mist but my kids played enough in them that they were soaked to the skin! The day was hot enough that this presented no problem and Ashlyn especially thought that this was definitely way up on her list of "Coolest Things in the World". Also of note about this zoo are the calves of iron you will need to traverse it. Wow - I was sore for almost 2 days. Despite the picture above I lugged that beautiful double stroller around quite a bit. The whole zoo is up on a mountainside and it is SO STEEP!!! They do have a trolley for a buck or so, so don't let the hike dissuade you from going.

My birthday!

So for my birthday we were supposed to be in CA - but that trip was cancelled. I'm still not totally sure that we made the right decision - but oh well, what's done is done. We're are going to try again next year and hope that someone drops a few thousand on our doorstep in the meantime to ease our conscience about spending such a ridiculous amount of $ on a vacation.

So instea of CA we went down south a bit to Colorado Springs. I had looked online previously and found out about some of the attractions and printed off coupons for the ones that looked fun. The first place we went to was a museum/cliff dwelling place. Now I should have guessed, since the Anasazi ruins I'd heard of were all in the four corners area, but I really didn't have a clue that we were going to an artificial ruin. They built it to look like Anasazi dwellings so you could walk around and stuff and see what they're like.
I wouldn't have gone if I'd have known they were totally fake. We are planning (eventually) on seeing the real deal and I think I'd much prefer it. These were very small and there wasn't a ton to do. If you take your time in the museum you might spend 2 hours at the site.
Anyway, the kids had fun climbing around and they were interesting, but definitely not worth the $ we paid. And just to prove to you that I did actually go on our summer adventures - here's a picture with me in it! Ashlyn was too scared to go up the ladder so it's just Nathan and me.

Happy Birthday!!!

Well, that takes care of August - on to September! To start things off we have Ashlyn's birthday! Her special dinner of choice was Fish Sticks and Macaroni and Cheese (mine of course!). And she got a FunFetti cake with Cherry frosting and lots of red sugar sprinkles. The crown is from her party at school. They didn't let us bring food (nuts - less work for me!) since everyone seems to have allergies to something or other now! But they had some cake for her at school (from her description it's a real but petrified cake upon which they let you blow out a candle). She also received a birthday card and a birthday bag on loan. The bag had inside a book, a puzzle and a matching game. It also included a journal where Ashlyn could draw or write about her fave part of the birthday bag. All the kids add to it as the year progresses.
Then we had our little family party for her the night of her birthday. Rather than post individual pics of her opening all of your gifts (thanks so much - btw) I'll post a pic of the face she made when she opened your present. Seriously - just tilt her head a little one way or the other and insert your gift into her hands and there you have it!
Thanks to all from a very happy girl for helping us make her day incredibly fabulous!

More camping!


After the boys got to go up camping it was our turn as a family! This was the same weekend as the Father/Daughter campout but since they weren't going even 10 miles away from the house and we'd already had this weekend planned we decided to head out on our own. (BTW - Where are the mom/son, mom/daughter campouts?)

As always the hammock was a big hit! And since mom was along we brought lots of yummy food this time! :) And because we brought dad too we had some fine camp cooking!We had great weather and the heater in the camper saved us! The kids were waking up almost hourly until we turned it on. They like their creature comforts!

First day of school!

Well, to round out the month of August we had our first day of Kindergarten for Ashlyn! Very fun day! They lined up under silver balloons with their grade number (or a big "K" in our case) and then walked up the red carpet into the school while they played a cheesy back to school song. :) Ashlyn had a great time! Since we've been in school now for 2 months I can tell you that Ashlyn really has a fun time. At first she wanted to stay home because K was a bit too "busy". But she's doing wonderfully now and says everyone is her friend!
She's doing well academically and learning so much! K is so academic now (a result of our continual worldwide drop in standing) it's been shocking for me to see and I just hope they aren't burning these sweethearts out early with all they're cramming in.
She'll be testing next month for the Honors program to see if it's a good fit for her next year (they run it from 1st grade through middle school here). It's no biggie either way, but it would be a great thing for her if she qualifies and is accepted. In all of the meetings we attended to get more info, the program's goal is to offer enrichment opportunities and the chance to fit in a peer group of people just like you.
All the smart kids know how, even though you still make a ton of friends in elementary and middle/junior high school it sucks to be the one who has to do all the group projects in order to prevent your group from pulling you down. Or to have to fake disinterest or understanding to fit in with others. They do some really fun things in the program!

Father and Sons Campout


Our camper's first trip! Rick went up with Nathan and our friend Nate and his son Tyson. It was a stake function so there were quite a few people there and lots of fun BOY activities! They slept in a bit compared the rest of the camp so the vittles were scarce for breakfast (but hey, why break the trend? Rick forgot most all of their dinner at home the night before) but they had a good time. :) One of the little boys got lost (scary!) but was found relatively soon and surprisingly close to camp. Nathan and Tyson had fun - and Nathan LOVED Rick's hammock. Since mommy wasn't around they could do "loop the loop"s with abandon. :) Looks like a fun trip!

Free Day at the Park

Our public library, like many others I'm sure, has a great summer reading program. The kids read (or are read to) a certain number of hours and then they get prizes! Ours included a free book, lots of kids' meals, bowling, and an all-you-can-ride pass at the local amusement park. What a fun way to celebrate the end of summer! We went the day after we took the kiddos pics in August. We spent the afternoon in the kiddie section where the kids enjoyed a ferris wheel, rocket ships, boats, canoe ride, cars, planes and I can't even remember what else! What fun!

A summer to catch up on!

I've not edited any of these pics for the sake of time - but you'll get the idea!

Young Indiana Jones




So fun - now there are 2 out! The final installment should be in the Spring of 2008. :) I saw George Lucas on one of the morning news shows and was pleasantly surprised to remember that I had seen these shows! They used to be on TV and now they've released them to DVD. They show Indy from when he was 10 until he's 22 meeting different famous people and involved in cool historic events. Included in the extras are 1/2 hour documentaries of each of the "real" people he meets in the shows. Like Sir Lawrence Olivier and T.E. Lawrence.
The first set is $70 at Amazon and the second is $91. I'm sure I have an extra $160 floating around here somewhere :) It will take me a long time to save up that many $10 GC from my surveys so maybe we can hope the price will drop after they (I'm sure they will) release the big box set next year. :) Cuz (all who know of family situation) I'm sure we'll be overflowing with extra cash come Spring 2008!
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