Tuesday, May 29, 2012

LOTS and lots of pictures of our weekend

So I post lots of pictures often.  But this is going to be LOTS.

We went to Littleton for the weekend - a long weekend for us.  We got to leave early Friday morning - 7:30 - and came home Monday night.

When we arrived on Friday we played around in the backyard (frisbee, kick-soccer. . .) while Lucy took a nap.  After we got her up we headed over to Chatfield Reservoir.  It was a blast and the kids absolutely loved every minute of it.  It was truly so fun just watching them:
 The water seemed a little cool at first.  But it quickly warmed up and was actually quite pleasant.  Lucy wasn't convinced yet. . .

 Literally getting their feet wet.

 Love this - Lucy laughing at Emmy!

 Two cuties.

 The girls had fun splashing around.

 (blurry, but whatev)  We'd get "waves" from boats and that was always exciting!

 Pure goof having tons of fun.  :)

 Miles livin' it up, too.

 As the kids' clothing started getting soaked, they became less and less clad. . .

 Whoa Lucy.

Two beautiful sisters trying to get warm in a damp towel.

We all had a great, great time!

Friday night Ben and I went out on a date - oh so fun.  We played tennis for a bit (I lost 6-3).  Then went to Cafe de France and enjoyed some crepes.  Then I dragged Ben to Pier 1 Imports - I don't think I've been in one for over 5 or 6 years.  I love that place.  It's so beautiful and bright and makes me happy.  The only bummer is that I didn't/couldn't/wouldn't buy anything.  Someday. . .

Saturday morning I went running on the beloved highline canal trails.  Yes, fine, I was a little scared of a coyote coming after and attacking me.  I had heard Ben and his father talking about something about coyotes the night before and then on the trail was a sign about being aware of the coyotes.  Not that they will attack people - but just that they are becoming less shy of people.  I was a little skittish on my run.  But still loved it.

Later in the morning we took the kids on a bike ride on the trail to the jumps.  It's a wonderful place full of bike jumps and tons of spots to walk around and explore.  A child's paradise, really:

 See that grin on Miles' face?  So great.

 Ben even caught some air on his cruiser bike - Lucy's seat is on the back.  But Lucy wasn't at this time.  :)

 Emmy even tried it out. . .

 and she almost made it, but not quite!  She didn't got for it again.  :)

 Lucy had fun walking on some of the bike jumps.  Miles even escorted her on the whole loop once.  What a sweet brother.

 Snack time cuties.

 Jonas caught a little bit of air, too.

But nobody got as much air as Lucy.  :)  And how great is Emmy the Cheerleader?!  Adorable.

The afternoon was spent back at "home" (Grandma and Grandpa's house).  Ben and I cleaned out the car, washed it, vacuumed, etc.  Blah, but it was good to get done.

That evening we went to Casa Bonita.  It's this sort-of silly restaurant, but a definite experience and something totally different and fun for kids.  You don't go for the food, really (though Ben just loved his Velveeta cheese enchiladas. . .), but for the "entertainment."  There are cliff-divers, puppet shows, scary caves to walk through, Mexican scenery, etc.  We had what Ben would call "The Classic Experience":
 Here's the gang eating dinner at our table.

 The puppet show.  I think we were suppose to be "hiding" from something.  I just think this picture is funny. Miles is apparently not hiding at this point - I think he was already doing his "roar!"

 Miles' favorite part of the evning:  Black Bart's Hideout.  It was like a spooky cave thing.  The first time we all went through and Miles loved it all!  Ben had to cover Lucy's eyes; she wasn't a big fan.  I came out holding a screaming and crying Emmy and a terrified Jonas who had clung to my waist, behind me, the entire time.  I was laughing hysterically.  Miles did it several more times --

 Ooohhhh, see that scary face behind Miles. . . :)

 Oh man.  The Monkey.  The "Monkey All Gone" Monkey.  This Monkey petrified Lucy (and the same thing happened to Ben's brother, Joe, when he was about Lucy's age. . .).  As Grandpa Max said, Lucy's whole body just tensed up the moment she caught sight of the monkey.  She screamed and cried and wouldn't look.

 Grandma Max just held on to her.  I think it was a great bonding moment for them.  :)  When that was over, Lucy said repeatedly (like a hundred times that evening alone), "Monkey, all gone."  Just to reassure herself. The next morning she even said it, "Monkey, all gone."  It was great.

 Here we are outside the restaurant.  The girls were kind of done with it all by this point.

A cranky Emmy, but an otherwise good picture of the kiddos with their wonderful grandparents.

And that evening Ben and I went out again.  And what did we do?  Played tennis, again.  And, again, I lost 6-3.  Then I got to chose somewhere for dessert and I so wanted frozen yogurt.  And we found the perfect place:  Yogo Mojo.  I had gone their before with the girls in Grand Junction.  It's so yummy and even Ben commented several times how yummy his was.  It was the perfect evening.  :)

(I'm getting tired, are you?)

Sunday we went to church.  Afterwards we went to the Littleton Historical Museum.  It's always a lovely time there:
 Checking out the piglets.

 Checking out the cow.

 Miles working at the grindstone.

 Oh man she is so scrumptious.

 Is this where Jonas gets his sticking-out-the-tongue thing?  But I really think I was telling Lucy that something was yucky. . .

Oh Ben and I just love this shot of Emmy.  She's so flirting with the ram.  She seems to be asking, "So, what are you doing Friday night?"

That evening we had a nice dinner with Grandma Dee - Great-grandma to my kids.  Lucy (Dee, remember?) was adorable with Grandma:
 Could they be even cuter?

Just too, too, too, too cute.

On Monday morning I went on another run.  This time I found two rocks and carried them with me because that is what the sign said, to throw rocks if a coyote approached.  So I carried them, but, yeah right, like I would have thrown them at a coyote. . . Ben and I and Lucy did a quick run to Sam's Club for their yummy "fresh tortillas."  Miles just had to have them after falling madly in love with them at his grandparents'.  :)  The kids played some silly, yet intricate, game in the basement all morning long:
Great times on the freezer with old shower parts.  At least, I hope they were old parts. . .

It was a fantastic weekend that ended with a less-then-ideal car trip home.  Oh well.  It can't all be lovely, right?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

First day of Summer Break, 2012

Don't worry, I won't blog every day of our summer break.  Unless it's exciting.  However, today wasn't terribly exciting yet I'm still blogging about it. . . But it was actually very exciting for the kids.  So there.

I think by 7:30 Jonas had already begged me to let him go play at Jake's house.  I told him no and then he whined about how he had nothing to do and what could he do!?

I think by 7:31 Miles was asking me if he could make stuff and sell it outside our house.  "Let me think about that."  By 7:32 Miles had asked me again.  "Let me think about it!"  By 7:34 Miles had asked me if I had thought about it.  I said no.  By around 8 Miles asked me again.  I told him to go inside and see what he would/could make.  I can't remember what he first came up with, but we didn't have the stuff to make it.  Then he said brownies.  Alright. And lemon bars.  Okay.  (I sighed a silent Ugh.)

So, I helped Miles make brownies (whoops, Miles doubled the salt!  I tried to scoop out as much as I could. . . I was still a little worried. . . so I "frosted" them with some random marshmallow creme stuff we had on hand. . .just in case) and helped Jonas make lemon bars.  Then we had to go on an errand for an older lady-friend and then back for lunch and then. . . finally out to sell.  The boys were awesome (after I had thrown a bit of fit. . . ahem) and went down to the cellar and brought up, by themselves, the folded table and took it outside and set it all up.

To make a long story semi-short, the boys had lots of people stop and buy.  Most gave them "tips."  They stayed out until they were all sold-out.  We came back in, cleaned up, and counted the money.  Then paid tithing, after which Jonas cried at the HUGE stack of NICKELS he had to pay.  He doesn't quite understand that a huge stack of nickels is not as much as a little stack of quarters.  Anyways. . . the boys were thrilled.  Emmy was happy to get a few extra treats.

Oh, we also finished up a craft I have been wanting to try with the kids for while.  We did the gluing yesterday (the black outline is a mix of black paint and glue) and then the kids painted them today.  Jonas and Miles did all the outlining, which I thought they did a pretty good job.  Because I'm me, I did get a little frustrated that Jonas started not just painting a uniform color in each section.  Ugh, it drove me crazy.  I tried pleading with him to not to it that way, but then just let him go and create as he wanted to.  Luckily Miles kept his very pattern-y.  :)

Anyways, that was some of what went on today. . .

 So cute.  I love it.  I pretty much stayed "behind the scenes" (on the steps) and let the boys deal with their customers on their own.

I do really like how they all turned out.

We ended the day with Lucy amazing me with her memory and vocabulary, Miles and Jonas playing robots outside, and Emmy not feeling so well with a slight fever perhaps. . . (please, oh please, let her be well in the morning; for all our sakes. . .)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sniff, Yay, Last Day of School

Today was the boys' last day of school.  Miles is pretty sad about it - he'll miss his teacher (who he has had for the past 2 years) and his friends.  Jonas is excited, at least he says so - though he already complained of being bored this very afternoon.  Ha.  His best buddy, Jake, just lives up the street so we know we'll be seeing him around a bunch of this summer.

Yesterday was their fun day - field day.  The boys loved it and luckily it was hot so all the water games could be enjoyed.  Today we went to school at 9:30 for the end-of-year assembly, then played at the playground (with other students) until Jonas was done at 11.  We went home, had lunch, then went back to pick up Miles at 12:05.

We all had a special outing to the Coffee Trader.  The girls (including myself) and Ben (who got to go in to work late) went in the morning.  We rode our bikes, got one drink for all, and then a treat - mainly eaten by the 2 little girls.  :)  The boys got to go with Ben this evening after dinner.  They each got a drink and treats to share.  They rode their bikes as well and had a fun outing.

Why, yes, yes I did make my boys wear the same clothes!  Actually Miles just said, "My pants are different."  Darn it.  Oh well.  I'll try again next year.  :)

 Still needs a haircut. . . :)  Or at least a trim.

 They're identical!  :)

 Cute girls who share in a lot of school adventures as well.  Especially walking there and back three times a day.  :)

Going out for their evening ride.  So fun.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wilson = old man

So Wilson had a birthday yesterday - 10 years old.  And, yes, he most definitely acts like he's 70.  He's a great dog really and has always been so good (i.e., tolerant) with our kids.  The kids, Miles especially, was quite adamant that we celebrate with cake.  Of course.  So I made a cake - and we even let Wilson eat a slice.  Ha. Miles also really, really wanted to buy him some goodies at the pet-store.  So we went on Tuesday and Miles bought a big baggie of dog treats - that look so good that all my kids were mad they couldn't eat any of them (not that they haven't ever tried some. . .).

Yesterday was also Jonas' last soccer games.  He had a double-header due to a game that was rained-out (it probably rained for 5 minutes) a while ago.  While Jonas did have some improvement over the season, I'll just say that I don't see soccer in his future.  Or anything else that involves running.  My children lack the hussle-gene.  Well, Emmy might have some. . . we'll have to see.  Anyways, the first game Jonas did really well in defense during the first half.  Second half, I can't remember.  Last game?  He was pretty pathetic.  He let 2 goals in - which, really, I wouldn't care if he was trying.  But he wasn't watching the ball at all and that was the problem.  Then he complained to me that he just doesn't like running, which I reminded him that he was goalie and so he hardly had to run!  Geez.

Anyways, some pictures from yesterday:

 The cake.  I've made something similar to this a few years ago.  It did look better, but when I was doing some piping a big blob of frosting bursted out all over the front.  Oh well.  It was definitely edible.

 Wilson begging for his slice.  :)

 Awwww, we do love him.

 Lucy enjoyed the cake.  With her hands.  I don't know why she's holding the fork.

Enjoying a snow-cone after Jonas' final soccer game.  Perhaps the best part of his soccer season?  :)

Oh, and a video:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Our Book List

Just in case you're curious (which probably nobody is. . .) about the books we are reading:

Ben - reading Anne of Green Gables.  No I did not make him read it (the book I want him to read is The Count of Monte Cristo. . . ).  Of course I support his choice and he is enjoying it.

Me - I am reading our book club book, The Book Thief.  I am not super far in to it, but am liking it so far.  I am also reading the boys "Owls in the Family."  It looks like an old book?  The boys picked it up on the free table at school one day.  I totally love reading it to my boys.  It's a fun book - full of good boy adventures.  The boys are loving it just as much - "Please, mom, please read one more chapter.  Please, please, please, pleeeeeeeeeeeeease?"

Miles - He just finished Little House on the Prairie last week.  Then he just, just finished (as in last night) The Castle in  the Attic.  He really loved this book (I don't think the kid has read a book he doesn't like. . .) and would have to come down and tell us all about it.  I found out about this book via the new section in The Friend, Book Reviews.  Awesome.  It was a winner.  He's reading lots of other non-fiction books about space, Mars, Antarctica, and so on.

Jonas - While he is a good little reader, he goes through phases of not wanting to read to himself - though he always loves being read to.  He loves me reading to him Cowardly Clyde.  A Peet (I don't know his first name) book.  We like him.  He did read Scooby Doo's Carnival Creep.  He likes it.

Emmy - she reads (looks at) whatever "girl books" we picked from the library.  She's always adamant that we get "girl books."  Love it.

Lucy - she loves carrying around books and looking at them throughout the day.  She likes "My First Book of Sounds."  She likes some of the Arthur books.  She likes "Can You Tell Elmo How to Get to Sesame Street?"  And any book that has babies in it.

The end.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Mother's Day Weekend

(my sweet spoils. . . )

(I'm so long-winded!)

Well I had a really good weekend.  It started with a 6-mile uphill race - The Black Canyon Ascent - on Saturday morning.  I loved the race for lots of reasons.  It was in my town (my first in town race?).  Since it started at the bottom there were no shuttle-rides to the start of the race - thus meaning I didn't have to be there an hour or 2 before the race started.  I think I got there about 15 minutes before - perfect!  I was slow, yet steady.  It was cool, except when it wasn't - but then we'd usually get a good breeze that would help (not with speed, but I'd rather be cool and slow than hot. . and slow).  It was a 2,000 feet climb.  The last 0.5 mile was downhill - sweet peaches!  I was so happy about that.  I could have/would have pushed myself a little more at the very end, but I kept checking to see if Ben and carload were coming yet - then I would have let them see me finish.  But they came about 5 minutes too late.  Oh well.

The after-race was fun:  lots of food (I think Great Harvest provided my boys with at least 1/2 of their food for the day. . . And why were the kids so hungry; they hadn't just run???), live music, and awards.  No award for me, of course, but still fun to just be there.  I finished at 71:20 - 48th overall (160 - but that includes the walkers, too) and 10th (out of 38) for my age-group.  I was actually pleased with that.

On the way back from the race we stopped off at the local "petting-zoo" that was there for the morning.  We saw pigs (including brown ones - soooo cute!), chicken, horses, sheeps, and goats (including a teeny-tiny baby one).  Miles and Lucy loved petting the sheep - especially Miles.  It was very sweet.

Then was lunch-time:  I was amazed my kids still ate lunch even though they had eaten up most of my race-food stuff I had grabbed (I grabbed them mainly for them anyways. . .).  You would think they are growing kids or something.

Lucy napped; Ben and Emmy went grocery shopping (part of my mother's day treat:  not having to come up with the food menu, nor shopping!); and the boys and I played some pirate board games.  When Ben and Emmy came home, the 2 boys and myself rode our bikes to Main Street.  It was having some "vintage mother's day" something or other.  We saw some neat early 1900s Model-Ts and such.  The boys made some neat mother's day cards.  Oh, and the boys got yet another slice of bread (free, of course) from Great Harvest.

After that Ben took all the kids (carwash, quick library trip, park) so I could have some quiet-time for napping, etc.  I did a post, read for a while, then took a nap.  It was lovely.  It's probably been a year since I've had a nap.  Loved it.  That evening I did get to skype with my parents and wish my lovely mother a happy day - since it was already Mother's Day in Japan.  I got to see some cute Elders that had brought over a homemade, in their rice-cooker, cake for mother's day.  How thoughtful were they!?

So that was pretty much Saturday.

Sunday we all enjoyed a hot-cereal breakfast - which I love.  No, not in bed.  I think I prefer to eat my breakfast at a table. . . I got showered with all sorts of paintings, drawings, letters, and cards.  It was fun and sweet and cute and everything good.  Ben didn't have any meetings that morning and so that was a nice gift, too.  After church we had my requested dinner:  paninis, corn on the cob, salad, and key lime pie.  All was yum.

And that was that.

I'm lucky to be a mother to 4 wonderful and sometimes-not children.  And I'm lucky to have a wonderful mother and mother-in-law.  I've got it good indeed.