Sunday, November 15, 2015

Fall Fun 15

To say it's been a crazy fall is quite the understatement. :)  I can't believe the last time I blogged was 2 months ago. It seems like yesterday, but also like a million years ago! Is that even possible?  lol

Well, trying to pick up where I left off in September, here's how things went:

Hike Grey's and Torrey's:
Aliy and the kids did all the hiking in the summer, but with Cam working he rarely got to tag along. So he took his turn all at once! By hiking to the top of two 14er's in one day! Grey's and Torrey's Peaks are 2 of the 54 mountains in Colorado that are above 14,000 ft. Making them "14ers". Cam got up early one morning with some friends from work and hiked them both! Great Job Cam!! Here's some of the views he saw:

Aliy got the chance to go to the annual MOPS Convention again this year. It just happened to be in Indianapolis, so it was a good excuse to make yet another trip to Indy this year! Amara came along and they spent almost a week there. Grandma & Grandpa Louie were excited to watch Amara during the time Mommy was at Convention, so it worked out great for her to tag along. This will most definitely be Aliy's last time going to convention (more definitive this time, since she also said this 2 years ago at her last one! lol) so she really made the most of it. And visiting with friends and family at the same time was an added bonus.

MORE time with Family
After visiting with them briefly while in Indy for Convention, Rodger and Kathie drove to Colorado for some time with old friends, and were able to squeeze some more family time into that mix as well! They stayed up on the north end of the state for about 4 days to hang out with us. It was more of a laid back vacation time, since Aliy had just gotten back from a "vacation", and we all had fun just chatting and playing games at home.

MORE Jeep time
Early in October we took the Jeep out for another spin! This time down towards Denver on the Spring Creek Trail. Another group of friends from Cam's work came along, and we were able to meet up with some other Jeeps along the way. It was a more challenging trail (not just obstacles to play on) so it took a lot more time and patience. But the views of the aspen trees changing were just gorgeous!

The Ultimate Craft Show
Being the Experienced Craft Show Person I am now, doing approximately 6 shows a year for the last 3 years, my friend (and booth-mate) Trista and I decided it would be a good fundraiser for our MOPS group. Last January we wrote up a proposal to present to the church, it was approved, and we started planning the MOPS Autumnal Market: A Craft and Vendor Show. It was a huge undertaking for us, and for the group. And on October 10th, everything went off without a hitch!!  It was hugely successful for our MOPS group, and a great outreach event for the church. We are already making plans for next year's event and are excited about all the new ways we can reach out with the amount of funds we have raised. :)

The rest of October
After the craft show, I kinda fell off the face of the earth. lol. It was a lot of catch up on other things that had slidden away during my busy time, house cleaning, crochet orders, family time, etc. We didn't really do much exciting. Took our annual pumpkin patch trip, and did the Halloween thing, but that's about it. I feel like we are just now getting things back to normal, whatever normal is.

But we have a full schedule til Christmas! Birthday Parties, more craft shows for mom, Thanksgiving (with Cam working yet again), and more Birthday stuff in December before Christmas!!  Its a crazy time of year!  I'll try to do better at keeping up with posts!

Friday, September 11, 2015

School Catch up

Well, yet again I've fallen behind. I hate not keeping everyone updated, but I love how much fun we are still having even though school has started! When I left of, Riley had just started school, and so far things seem to be going really well for him! He's of course having some trouble getting back into the swing of homework, getting up early, and such, but he still really likes school and I want to keep it that way! I snagged a chance to talk to him about school the other day, he rarely offers up any info voluntarily, when he was getting ready for school. I asked him what his favorite part of the day is. Since Kindergarten the answer to that question has always been recess (I mean come on - who didn't love that!!) or PE. So when he answered "Specials" I wasn't surprised. I said "let me guess, PE?" and Riley got this huge grin on his face (which I took to mean I was right) and then shook his head no! He said Library was his favorite. Now I got a huge smile, and asked why? His Answer "Because of all the books!" My heart melted! I love to read, and would spend hours a day swept away in some far off story if I could. I remember getting book club books in the mail each month at his age and I would hide under my covers with a flashlight reading it until I was finished! I have tried to pass that love along to my kids, both by reading to them, encouraging them, and by modeling it myself (although I don't get to do this last one as much as I would like). And it is really wonderful when you see success in some aspect of parenting! (now if I can just remember this high point when I'm yelling at him to brush his teeth for the 500th time that morning we'll be golden!)

Anyways! Like I said we've still been having a ton of fun, trips to Rocky, in the jeep, new landscaping, it's been crazy around here. One weekend Cam got together with some friends from work to do a trail in the Jeep. We had just done this same trail just a few weeks prior, but since we had some others with us everyone wanted to "play" in the quarry. About halfway along the trail there is an old rock quarry with lots of ledges and such for adventurous folks to play on. There were 4 vehicles and all 4 of us made it up through the quarry. It took some work with a couple of them, but everyone had fun and came out in one piece and of their own accord. :) Always a plus when Jeeping with macho men! Here's some pictures of us Jeeping.

Yep, that's Amara in there! She was tired and wanted to know when it was time to go. So we put her in and tricked her into thinking we were leaving! hehehe
And the Funniest part of the trip - Seeing the old Brick!! Yep! That Red Jeep there in the photos, that's the same Jeep we did all those trails with just a few short years ago! It was the funniest thing to come across it on the trail, the new owner and Cam talked for a minute or two, but then the guy followed us out off the trail to talk some more! It was hilarious! Apparently he still had a lot of questions for Cam about the jeep and of course Cam was happy to answer! What luck! :)  Oh the memories!
New meets Old

Our new landscaping is still a work in progress. During our trip to Indy this summer we got in trouble with our HOA telling us to take care of our weeds. We have a section of rocks and very few plants on the south side of our garage that doesn't have a sprinkler system attached. When we moved in we had planned on that being extra parking space, but our HOA did like that either. So we planted a tree and put a few odds and ends in there to appease them. But that section of the house (the south side) gets a LOT of sun year-round, and without a regular water supply we lose about everything we try to plant there. So we decided we are going to completely relandscape that side of the garage. I got a few plants at a sale the local nursery had a few weeks ago, but every labor day weekend (and the week leading up to it) they have a huge "Yard Sale". So now we have about 15 new plants there, about 3 large shrubs (or at least they will be soon) and a Tree for shade. Next spring we are hoping to get all the rock that is there out and move it under the trampoline in the backyard, but until then we just have to keep the flowers watered so they don't fry over there in the heat. We also planted another tree on the north side of the house. We have a bunch of russian sage in front of our house and the fence on the north side, and the ones along the fence are looking a little puny. So we bought a redbud tree to put there. My mom loved redbud trees and we had one when I was growing up, so it's a wonderful childhood memory for me to have one in my yard. Since the north side of the house has a good sprinkler system hopefully it will do good there, and we will get a nice pop of color every spring! And the Maple on the south side will bring a nice pop of color in the fall now too!
Denver Daisies

Our new redbud tree

Lots of sedum out front!

Last weekend, for the holiday, was a super busy time! Riley had the day off school on both Friday and Monday, and Friday just happened to be the 100th Anniversary of the Dedication of Rocky Mountain National Park. They were going to have a big ceremony at the campground near Bear Lake, and as much as I hate how busy RMNP gets in the summer and on weekends I decided (after some prompting from Cam) that this was a must see event for us! And I'm so glad that we went! It was an amazing day! We got there early so we could be sure to get some decent parking. And since we were there early we had a ton of time to walk around and see everything, and even got some Official Photos by the event photographer!
The Grand Event!
Painting Landscapes like Albert Beirstadt (the famous artist)
Amara wanted to "see the horses"
Gorgeous location!
Director of the NPS
And of course, Birthday Cake!!

I know the kids could care less for all the speakers and talking, but I really enjoyed it! Next year is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, so there is SO much going on in the NPS area. They are really gearing up to get kids in nature, teaching them about these lands that will soon be theirs, and only stay theirs if they keep at it. Which I think is wonderful! My mom instilled that in our hearts at a young age, and I will be forever grateful. I tried to follow that first as a park ranger, and now as a mom. So after the ceremony I told the kids we could go on a hike. It was getting late though and with how busy the park was I was ready to just go home. So I told the kids we would drive around a little and then head home. Riley was so sad. The whining started, "I wanna goooooooo on a HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKE!!!!" And that was all I needed to hear! It took some maneuvering to find a hike that had parking, but we did! It wouldn't have been my first choice - The closest "feature" from the Fern Lake Trailhead was 1.7 miles in, and even then it was just a "pool" and not the swimming kind that my kids thought it was! I figured we would just hike for a ways, then turn around and head back to the car when everyone started whining. But, they never really started whining! I couldn't believe it! We made it all the way to The Pool, and everyone was still Happy!! I eventually had to carry Amara in the pack, but really she walked more than she had on any hike to that point! And again on the hike back, a few "My leg hurts" from Jayce, but not really any other whining!!  I was so proud of them! 3.4 miles (almost 4 according to my gps tracker though) and they did it like Champs!!  I'm so proud! Next up - 14ers!!  :) Ok, maybe in a few years!
Amara "rock climbing" like her big brothers
my budding photog
"The Pool"

That was Friday, then Saturday Cam had a 1/2 Marathon to run. The Black Squirrel Half is a trail run that goes through Lory State park. He did it a few years ago, but last year was running another race at the same time this one was. I remembered that the bike track is right near the start/finish line, so we took the bikes for the boys to play while we waited for dad to finish. And Play they did!! Riley was ready to go and would have done all the big jumps if I let him. I made him start out small, and then let him work his way up to the bigger jumps. He did really good, and most importantly had a blast! Jayce even got in on some of the action, gently rolling over the "hills". It was so cute!
rolling on the whoops
Catching some air!
Amara says "I'm here too!!"
My other bidding photog (note: this camera doesn't even have a viewfinder - but this is what she sees mommy do!)

And Cam finished really strong in just over 3 hours! I know he was shooting for under 3, but since he's been battling plantar fasciitis all summer and some other ailments associated, he hasn't been training as much as he usually does, and I'm very proud of him for finishing and finishing so strong! Better than I could have ever done!
And they're off!
Good Luck Daddy!!
Still going strong!
Starting to climb!
Finishing with a Smile!

Sunday and Monday was Windsor Harvest Fest, and I spent those two days in my booth selling my Baby Bear stuff. Cam took the kiddos around the festival, to the parade, and on a Jeep ride while I was preoccupied. I had a pretty good show! One of my best! Got quite a few orders (that I'm trying to finish up this week before heading out of town) and I'm hoping this is just the start of the holiday season for me!

Also this week, Jayce started preschool! This is his second year, and he is actually doing Pre-K this year. He is still at FaithSteps at a church in Windsor, and we really like it. It was actually voted best preschool in Windsor recently, and I 100% agree with that! He has grown so much in the last year, and I know he is going to continue that way. Here is his first day of school pictures. (oh, and Amara was so funny, she had been wearing around Jayce's backpack all week, so we had to dig out the little one for her. And she wore it for just about 2 days straight, including to drop off and pick up her brothers from school!)
Big Preschooler!
Gotta have the backpacks!

Next week Amara and I get to spend some time in Indiana!! I can't wait! It feels like we were just there, but I'm happy to get back. The annual MOPS convention just happens to be in Indianapolis this year, so I get to kill 2 birds with one stone! See my family, and Have a long weekend away with an amazing group of Christian Women! I'm thrilled! Well, time to get packing!

#52hikechallenge hikes:

#15 Bobcat Ridge Historical Cabin 8/21/15
With the MOPS Group!

#16 Lily Lake/Lily Ridge 8/25/15

#17 Big Thompson "The Pool" 9/4/15