Friday, May 30, 2014

The First Lemonade Stand of Summer 2014

Fun Facts about this:
*  I did it nice and early so the kids can't tell me all summer how I never let them do this . . .

*  My kids all stand out there and wave to most of the cars that drive by.

*  A policeman stopped by and bought some lemonade.

*  A nice lady came, told the kids she was on a diet and so didn't buy anything, but gave my kids $5 anyways because her daughter used to do this.

*  So far 2 people from school have stopped by - the computers teacher and Miles' Quest teacher.  Totally exciting for my kids!

*  I sit back on the porch and let the kids do it all.

* Miles made the cookies.  Emmy and Lucy helped with the lemonade (We just had to go and make more!).  Jonas wrote the sign, helped carry out the tables, and helped a tiny bit on the cookies.

*  One man asked the boys if they were in Cub Scouts.

*  I think this is the busiest they've ever been - we'll have to see what the final amount-made is when they are all done.

*  Miles wanted to make a "grand cookie," (i.e., a really big one).  At first, I was like, no.  But then I didn't have any reason to say that, so I told him to go ahead.  It sold within the first 10 or so minutes.

*  When you sell things for cheap, most people give a "tip."

Fun stuff!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Summer (so far) Report

Well it has almost been exactly 1 week since school got out for my kids - about 8 more minutes then it will be exactly 1 week.  :)

So far, we have all survived!  Maybe we've even had some fun.  :)

I thought Miles would be the most challenging to deal with all day long, every day.  While he definitely presents his challenges, I think Emmy wins, thus far, for being the most challenging.  I've dealt with screaming fits (twice she's had to walk Lily home so she could have a time-out and relax and chill-out), drawing with pens on my desk and the toilet, stuffing construction paper down the toilet (luckily Ben had to deal with that one).  Seriously!  What is up with her?!  I'm hoping it's just a "transition phase" and we'll be done with it ASAP.  I've realized I have 3 really strong personalities - and that can be a challenge.  Jonas is the easy-going one.  At least I got one!  I like strong personalities, but mixing them all together - not my favorite thing.

Anyways, we've done some fun stuff like:

We went bowling one day.  I've signed the kids up at kidsbowlfree.com and each kid gets 2 free games a day during the summer!  We'll never go that much, but I've already gone more (once!) this summer than I did last summer.  The kids really liked it - though Jonas got a little mopey when Emmy started killing him the last game.  :)

Another day we rode our bikes to the skate park.  It's a 30-minute ride, one way, so it's a good one!  Emmy complained (probably yelled) about having to ride her bike and not sit in the trailer with/like Lucy.  Growing up is tough, kid!  But we had fun at the park - we played at the playground, ate our lunch (plus 2 popsicles for dessert - I'm the coolest!), then went to the skate park and had a great time there before heading back home.  Lucy really got in to riding her little pedal-less bike down a ramp there - she would ride down, go up, ride down, go up, over and over and over again.  The boys found a circle area that they just rode around and around and around in . . . circles, of course.  :)  We made it back home right before it started raining.  Perfect timing.

Saturday late afternoon we met another family at the bike bumps.  Remember this?  I had a feeling Lucy would love it on her bike and whoa did she!  She was all over that place riding her bike on her own.  It was the cutest and coolest.  The other kids had a great time with their friends and so it was a really great outing.

Today there was a "water safety" event offered at the pool/rec. center.  It was free and another friend was going and encouraged us to come and so I reluctantly agreed - because I do love my kids and knew they would love going.  It turned out to be pretty great.  The kids got passports and had to go to 6 stations - where they learned some water safety tips, played a game, and got a prize.  At each station you had to get a signature and then when all 6 signatures were there you could go and swim.  There wasn't too many kids and so that was perfect.  Plus, 2 of our friends (friends = a whole family of friends) were there, too, and so my kids were loving it.  I was able to handle it well since the outside pool is pretty shallow and the boys are fine all alone - even going down the water-slide themselves.  Lucy is getting taller and wore a life-jacket and so that really helped, too.  It was already a hot morning, so it actually felt good to be in the pool (though my kids did get out for a good 15+ minutes to warm up - they get so cold in the pool!).  There were "drawings" were the kids won prizes.  Our entire group of friends (12 total) each won a prize.  My boys won some nice goggles and swimming caps.  Lucy won a beach ball.  And Emmy won a free swim pass for one day.  Then Emmy won the "grand prize" as Miles called it.  It's this big inflatable Thing - a lizard?  I don't know.  How did Emmy win it?  By asking!  I had gone to take Lucy on the slide and Emmy was with my friend Patty.  I guess Emmy went and asked one of the lifeguards that was helping out with the event whose it was and then she gave it to Emmy.  So fun.  We'll take it to my parents' house and hopefully have fun on it!  So it was a good day.  Of course it still wasn't/isn't without the little battles and struggles that happen each hour or so.  :)

Anyways, that's summer so far.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Let the hiking begin

I'm not sure how excited Emmy and Lucy are about hiking, but it felt good to get out today.  :)  We went not to the forest - where Ben and I would prefer, but due to probable snow in most forest-areas, we stayed low and desert-ish.  Ben's friend Randy loves Dominguez Canyon and so we get some ideas from him of where to go and headed out this morning.

We hiked/walked about 3.4 miles in to some Indian Petroglyphs.  We only had a minute to spare before we were just going to stop and break for lunch and head back.  So luckily we made it to the rock just in time.  :)  It was a pretty cool hike and a definite good outing for the day.  Emmy sure complained A LOT on the way up, but did great on the way down.  Jonas did pretty good, too, with just some very minimal complaints on the way. Miles is quite a hiker and just has the desire and stamina to go and explore and see everything.  Lucy was good, too - held lots and put in the backpack, too.  Here are some pics:

 What cute hiking sistas!

The hike starts out along a railroad track.  Too bad no trains came by while we were there!

Jonas caught a grasshopper - he's pretty good at catching things!

A pretty flowering cactus plant.

Cute girls and their handsome dad.

Some hikers in front of us spotted this guy.  He was the biggest and most colorful of all the lizards we saw - most were brownish/grayish.  Pretty cool!

 The rock!  Finally!

Lunch!  Finally!

This pictures just gives an idea of the area we were in.

Lucy just couldn't really get comfortable to fall asleep for too long.  Even though her tired self so wanted to!

For the last mile (we did about 7 miles total) Emmy got to ride on Ben's shoulder.  Lucky girl.

And here is one video of Miles and his Echo:

Wasabi Yucks

It had been a while since we had played the flour-game; so when one of my kids suggested we play it last Friday night, we did.  It's definitely fun!  Here is a video shot afterwards:


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Last Day of School, 2014

(The markings on his face were done the previous night at a Cub Scout Pack Meeting.  Miles wanted to keep them on for school.  Whatever.  :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Wiser, perhaps, but not necessarily a better speller . . .

I saw a cute and simple teacher-gift on Pinterest and so I had the kids make one for their teachers.  We stuffed them with some chocolate.

(To understand my title, check out Miles' - on the right.)

Post-library Syndrome

This is what happens when the kids come home from school and see that Lucy and I have been to the library and checked out new books:


Wilson turned 12 last Saturday.  It was quite a busy day and so nothing was done to celebrate.  Wilson was highly offended.  So we promised to make it up to him on Monday night.  We took Wilson on a walk for our FHE and had cake.  Well, people had cake - Wilson had gross dog treats that he seemed to love.

 His cake.  Well, our cake to honor him.  :)

Not a super great picture, but I couldn't keep him from moving and licking up all the milk that Emmy had spilled. . .

A video:

Wilson is a great dog, really.  We're lucky we've had him for 12 years!

The Elder who started it all . . .

We were oh so privileged on Sunday afternoon to have Elder Koyle and Elder Merrill stop by our home.  They are both APs in Grand Junction and were passing through on official mission business.  :)  Both Elders served in our ward - but not at the same time.  They are super fantastic young men and we truly love them - some in probably a different way than others. . . :)  Elder Koyle was my girls' first missionary-crush.  Big-time.  Remember how Emmy was telling him why she loved him so?  "Go look in the mirror and you'll know."  Pure awesomeness.

When they came over the boys were all out doing some home-teaching.  So we chatted for quite a while on the porch.  Finally the boys came back.  Miles invited them for dinner and they accepted so it was a great evening.

What a bunch of handsome men surrounding two beautiful girls.  :)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Super Busy Saturday Morn!

Well we had a fun and busy morning today.  I started it off by running my 3rd Black Canyon Ascent.  It's a 6-mile, 2,000 elevation climb run.  I always liken it to childbirth:  it's painful, yet I keep doing it.  Although I'm done with childbirthing . . . so maybe I just need to run it once more to call it even.  :)

It's definitely one of the hardest runs/races I do.  It's all up-hill, quite up-hill, until mile 5.  Then there is some flat and a down-hill or 2, but still up-hills, too.  I'm happy with my time (74 minutes) - even though it's 2 minutes more than my last 2 years.  One thing, I guess, that I am proud of myself is that I actually run the entire thing.  Slow and steady, sure, but I don't walk.  Many people do and so I guess that is cool (I can't think of quite the right word I want to use) I don't.

I rode up with 3 other gals - all from school.  They are fun ladies and it was fun to be there with them.  My family drove up later and passed me around mile 5.5 or so - it's always so good to see them!  It's fun and I'm glad that Ben drags everyone out to cheer and support me.  :)

We hung out for a bit afterwards, but had to miss the awards and raffle drawings since we had soccer games to get to.

Emmy's and Jonas' last games were today.  Emmy's game was at 10:30 and Jonas' at 12.  We had a picnic lunch in between - oh, and I also drove home to get Jonas' shirt and change.  The games were fun to watch.  Emmy's team won it's first, only, and last game!  It was great and Emmy had a few almost-goals.  :)  Jonas' game was good, but I think that right now soccer is definitely not in Jonas' future.  That might change, but right now that's pretty much the case.  He still had a fun season, though, and I'm glad both kids tried it this season.

Then we came home and have been working in the back - expanding our chicken run area so that we have Happy Hens.  Jonas and I played a little badminton - well, just hitting the birdie back and forth to each other.  Our best volley was 9 - which we got a few times.  Our goal is 10 someday.  :)  Ben is still out working, but I was ready for a shower!  Anyways, a good day and here are some pics:

 Here I am finally running on some flat road!  Yippee!

Me and 3 of my kids running to the finish line.  Fun!

Me and my good friend Patty.  Patty works at the school's health center and is Jonas' best-friends's mom.  She's pretty wonderful.

Emmy in the game!

Go, Emmy, go!

Emmy and her trophy.  She had a good season!

Oops, Jonas missed that one.  :)  Oh well.

He looks like he's concentrating hard - just not sure what about.  The soccer game?  Perhaps, but not likely . . . :)

The last game we always promise the kids a treat at the concession stands.  Lucy has been excited about the "last soccer game!" all week long.  This might have been her first cotton-candy experience.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Last Hurrahs!

Well the kids are winding down their school year.  They have, including today, 3 1/2 days left of school.  So crazy!  There have been lots of field trips, park trips, etc. going on these past couple of weeks.

Just this week Miles had a field trip to a park - with many activities and stations all about water.  Miles also had a "wax museum" event one night.  Jonas went to Ridgway State Park and will go to the park today.  Emmy went to the park yesterday and got pizza for lunch.  I think they've all had their special root-beer float day at their school's library.  So it's been busy!

Here are a few pictures I've gotten this week:
Here is Jonas playing some water-relay at Ridgway.

Here you can see Lucy and Jonas playing a game of tag - prey and predator tag.  The predators wore orange flags and tried to get the yellow (rabbits) and black (mice) flags.

Lunch time with Ivan.  Patty - Ivan's mom - is hiding behind Ivan.  :)

Lovely Lucy.

Our little group that we took on a "hike."  It was pretty there!

Proof that Lucy still needs a nap - because this is what happens when she doesn't get her scheduled one.  :)

Miles at his grade's "wax museum."  Live wax museum.  :)  The kids all studied and researched some famous Coloradans.   He chose Daniel Cheeseman Oakes.  I'm not sure why?!  But the man was a business man and opened up the first sawmill in Denver, among other things.  The kids dressed up and then parents walked around - the kids would then tell a little about their characters.

Miles with his fellow classmate Mackie, aka Chipeta.  I think Miles is the shortest boy in his grade and Mackie the tallest girl - well, probably tallest overall!

Miles with another fellow classmate, John, aka John Elway.

Next week the kids go Monday, Tuesday (field day) and then their last day is a 1/2 day on Wednesday.  Wowzers.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Goodbye Parakeet Bearakeet

Well, sadly, Parakeet Bearakeet passed away while we were gone in Mesa Verde.  Ben noticed the bird's demise when he was putting the girls to bed on Friday night.  We told Miles a little bit later.  Miles was definitely very, very sad and teared up quite a bit.

Miles got Parakeet Bearakeet 4 1/2 years ago from Santa on Christmas day.  He was a chirpy and contented bird.  It's sad that he's gone - but especially just sad for Miles to lose his pet.

We had a little funeral for him in our backyard on Saturday afternoon:
Miles choose a good spot to bury him in our backyard.

 Miles was adamant that we didn't just bury his body in the ground without some type of casket-thing because Miles knew the body would decompose and then then "there wouldn't be anything left of him."  Very sweet.  So Miles found this jar and it was perfect.

A sad boy.

An even sadder girl.  Well I'm not sure if she was more sad, but she was definitely more emotional!  :)  Sweet girl.

Miles wanted to put Parakeet Bearakeet's bell in with him because he loved it so.

Filling up the grave.

Unfortunately, death is just part of life.  Miles planted some wildflower seeds near the "tombstone."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mesa Verde

Miles' 4th grade class went on a field trip to Mesa Verde.  I decided to be a chaperon.  Frankly, I thought they would need me - but there were quite a lot of parents there!  Which was really good and helpful to the teachers.  I think there turned out to be about 45 kids and 15 adults (parents, 3 teachers, PE teacher, and principal).  My parents were kind enough to come out and watch my other kids for me while I was gone.

We left Thursday morning by about 9:15.  By the time we turned off at Ridgway we were in white-out snow conditions.  It was quite crazy.  And freezing!  And none of us had planned for snow-conditions.  I was getting a little worried.  We stopped at Telluride for a bathroom break and it was 30-something degrees and blizzard snow.  So cold.  Then we stopped at Dolores for a lunch and play break.  Again, it was freezing!

After forever, we made it to Mesa Verde.  We got out and started getting a few directions and instructions.  Then it started hailing on us!  We all ran inside to the visitor's center.  We walked around there, checking out the exhibits and such, then headed back on the bus to go on a hike.  We actually had decent weather (not warm, but not snowing or hailing, so we were happy!).  The hike was fine.  Nothing too exciting, really.

We finished up that day by doing some singing activities at an amphitheater and then heading back down to Cortez.  We stayed there at an elementary school in their gymnasium.  We got to the school, unloaded our gear, then went and played tag in the field (I was still freezing.).  The kids looked like they had a lot of fun.  Then we had pizza for dinner, more playing for the kids on the playground, then in to the gym.  There were a few other activities for the kids that evening and then around 10 pm lights were finally off.

Girls slept on one side of the gym, boys on the other.  It went pretty well - there was not much talking among the kids.  But just lots of noises - moving, shifting around, coughing (mostly fake I'm sure), etc.  I slept like I did when I camp:  waking up every 2 hours trying to find a more comfortable position.  :)  We were awakened at 5:45am to Olaf singing about summer-time.  :)

Friday morning we packed up, ate breakfast, and headed back to Mesa Verde.  Our first stop was the Spruce Tree house.  We divided in to 2 groups and my group roamed the little museum.  Then we got to hike down to the dwelling.  It was cool.  Miles loved it - especially going down in to a kiva.

We came back and then went to Cliff Palace.  We again divided in to 2 groups - one group stayed at Cliff Palace and the other went to Balcony House.  Unfortunately, Miles and I were in the group at Cliff Palace.  (I was "over" 4 kids, Miles being one of them.)  Cliff Palace was cool, but the tour guide wasn't super friendly, didn't seem to like kids, and didn't really leave any time for exploring the area.  Kind of lame, but still it was cool to see.  Then we waited for our bus to come back with lunch and to take us to Balcony House.  But there was a mix-up/miscommunication and our group ended up waiting for 1 1/2 hours until our bus came back.  The poor kids were starving, but did well and just played, sang songs, etc.  The other group finally made it in the bus and our kids got to eat.  But our group had missed our scheduled tour for the Balcony House and so were weren't able to do that one - which is the cool one with huge ladders to climb, caves/tunnels to crawl in, etc.  Bummer.  So while the other group did Cliff Palace we went on the bus and drove to a few quick get-out spots.

Then back to pick up the other group and head back home.  Mind you, there were about 15 bathroom breaks taken on this trip - which, with so many people, would end up taking 30 minutes.  We headed out about an hour late, and so arrived back in Montrose at 8:15.  Jonas was on his bike with Grandma Dixie there, too.  We walked home, got some dinner, talked about our trip, hugged the girls, saw the awesome home-improvement project Ben had started for my Mother's Day gift, etc.

I think the 4th graders had fun.  But it was also a lot of sitting on the bus, listening to rangers, etc.  I think it needed a little more hands-on activities.  But, overall, it was a good field trip.  I'm glad I got to go.

Here are some pictures.  I had given my camera to Miles and let him take whatever pictures he wanted to.  He got lots of weird shots, but that's Miles for ya.  I won't post most of them here, don't worry.  :)  I think I'll have them all printed out and he can put them in a little scrapbook.  Anyways, here are some:

Miles' good friend Malachi on the bus ride over.

Snowy, snowy!

A picture of a rock Miles liked on our hike.

Malachi and Miles enjoying some snacks after the hike.

 Playing a crazy game of tag where everybody is it.  Last one standing is the winner!

Another picture of tag.
 A not-so-good picture of Miles, but shows he sleeping arrangement.  :)

Breakfast time!

Spruce Tree House.

Miles standing next to a kiva.

Miles liked to poke his camera through the holes and take pictures.

Down inside the kiva.

Cliff Palace.  The largest dwelling at Mesa Verde.

More Cliff Palace.

The only picture of me.  :)  Miles was inside the bus - I was holding off for as long as I could.  :)

The 4th grade group and their teachers!