Sunday, August 26, 2007

Our first excursions in Colorado

We're finally settled in our rental home so we thought we'd take the weekend to explore what the Denver Metro area has to offer. I wanted to do something fun for the kids since they've been dragged with us to boring adult places. So what better place than the Denver Zoo. Rick's Uncle Rico (his only living relative on his dad's side) lives just north of Denver so he and his partner Rebecca met us at the zoo. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of them, but I took some cute
pictures of the kids. And one cool picture of a Bison.

We also took a little drive around our new little town Castle Rock and came to the entrance of the trail that leads up to "The Castle Rock".

The town was named for this butte we climbed (the early settlers thought it looked like a castle, hence, castle rock). And yes the kids climbed too, however, only to the base of the butte not the very top. I think I would've had a heart attack if we climbed to the very top.

Here's a picture of the boys along the trail. They were so excited to climb to the top I was lucky to get a good picture of them.

At the top! This a picture from the northeastern side of the base. Pretty nice view, don't you think? Our housing development is on the northwestern side of town so not in the background of this picture.

I thought this was a cool picture of Rick and the boys against one of the many rocks along the base of castle rock. The whole area is actually pretty rocky, but it makes the foothills look more interesting and beautiful.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Aidan's 1st day of Kindergarten!!!

I can't believe this day has finally arrived, although it did kind've feel like he started kindergarten last year since his Jr. Kindergarten class met everyday. But, Aidan's now officially a kindergartener. At first he was very scared to go to school. I think mainly because we had only lived here for one day when I took him to his new school to register, but once he met his teacher, Mrs. G, last Monday he was very excited to go to school.

Here he is getting ready to leave our house to walk to school.

My boys at the back of Aidan's school waiting to line up for class.

Aidan sitting on the carpet with his fellow kindergarteners waiting for class to start.

Kellen giving big brother a kiss goodbye.

Aidan's class and new teacher Mrs. G getting ready to say goodbye to all us parents who don't want to leave.

Kellen of course wanted to stay and join in on all the kindergarten festivities. I don't think I'm ready to send two kids to school yet. Maybe in the winter I'll enroll Kellen in preschool.

Our "new" home

Here's a picture of our rental house. It's pretty nice and we're happy here, but as I stated in a previous blog, we are very eager to move into our new home once it's completed. The boys seem to have adjusted nicely to life in Colorado. They are just as excited to explore Colorado as we are so that will make it easy for all those day excursions we plan to start soon.

I've also included a couple of pictures of the boys playing at one of the few parks I've found so far. If I have any gripes, it's not knowing where things are, but I know that will come and it just takes some driving around to discover those hidden treasures.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Our long 3 day trip to Colorado

Well, here I am in our rental in Castle Rock, CO. It's funny, but even though we have actually lived here for only 3 days I already feel like this is home. That's not to say I don't miss, my family (those living away from us), my friends and my surroundings, but I definitely love it here. It's sooo beautiful. And we are so excited to check out everything Colorado has to offer. We are eagerly awaiting our house to be built and while Elva (Rick's mom) was here we were able to show her where we'll be living. At any rate, here are a few (very few pictures) of our travels east to our new home.

The first picture is taken at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and in case you're already wondering, no we did not stay there. We had our kitties with us and a place like Bellagio wouldn't accept pets. Las Vegas, hmm, HOT as you know what, ugly as sin, and too many people. Although the hotels are pretty amazing and all the other tourist traps are pretty cool, I'm still not sure why people would spend their vacation time there. I guess wanting to win that million bucks? But being one who doesn't gamble or party I just found it hot and crowded. But, really I'm not that much a pessimist. I loved watching the the fountains at the Bellagio "dance" to Celine Dion's Titanic song and loved watching a thunderstorm occur in the mall where we ate, but I guess I was so tired from the long 11 hour drive from San Jose that I just couldn't appreciate all Las Vegas has to offer.

The second picture was taken somewhere in eastern UT. Amazing views, but civilization was few and far between. However, we did stay in the very small, but cute town of Green River. We arrived around dinner time so we didn't see much, although I don't think there was much to see in the town itself.

Soon I will post pictures of where we're living and its surroundings. Of course I forgot to take pictures of my dad's place. We stopped there for lunch and the kids had fun exploring their yard. They live on an acre in Battlement Mesa, CO, about an hour east of Grand Junction. They have this great pond and waterfall where Kellen just had to play "car wash". Poor kid is dying for his Hot Wheels car wash and Thomas trains and tracks.

Our drive through Colorado was absolutely breathtaking. If you haven't driven on I-70 from the border of UT to Denver, you must! One of these days when we head back to Vail or another resort I'll take a lot of pictures and add them to this blog, but it still won't do the views justice.

As for getting settled in, we're just about there, but we're waiting for the other 1/4 of our stuff which we hope will arrive next week. Thanks to another Californian moving to CO who hogged most of our moving truck some of our stuff was pushed to storage waiting for a ride out here. Once the rest of our stuff arrives we'll feel complete. Overall, as I said, we love it here and are very happy.

The last good-byes...until next time

The last couple of weeks before heading out to Colorado was filled with last playdates, dinner dates, and precious time spent with our California family. Here are some pictures highlighting those fun events.

Dinner at Sonoma Chicken Coop with my wonderful Mulberry friends - Shirley, Melisa and Christine. Those 2 years at Mulberry were unforgettable because of these wonderful ladies. Shirley's Aidan and my Aidan were best buddies and BIG trouble makers in the 4-day class. Thankfully Teacher Paula loved them:). And of course, Christine was my babysitting buddy. She would watch Kellen while I worked at Mulberry and then I'd watch Zander while she worked her day at the school. And Melisa, the one I could always count on for support and a great laugh on my work day.
A last playdate with Aidan C. and the younger siblings. We had a fun filled, water-packed day at Shirley's house. Zander and Christine were able to come and enjoy the day, but Zoe (another friend from Mulberry) was at a summer camp. It was really hard for Aidan to say good-bye to Aidan C. On the way home from his house Aidan kept saying he didn't want to move and just wanted to play with Aidan again and again and again. What do you say to that?

We also had a wonderful picnic with Rick's side of the family at Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos. The kids hardly ate anything good for them. I realized after Kellen ate a cupcake for dinner that he also had junk food for lunch that day too. What a wonderful mom I am? Too much packing on the brain I guess. But other than that, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and enjoy just playing with the kids at the park. I know Aidan and Kellen loved playing with Aunt Susie and Uncle Ryan.

We were also able to meet up with the Aochi family one last time at Parma Park in San Jose. Miranda and Aidan have known each other since they were infants. Christine (Miranda's and Jason's mom) and I met at Good Sam's mom's group. I think that group saved my life. I looked forward to meeting with all the new mom's every week. Eventually Christine and I started a babysitting swap between the two oldest kids and then once Jason and Kellen arrived we threw them into the mix too. Anyway, the park day with all four of them was fun. They ran around the park playing on the play structure and then spent a lot of time at the water feature. Miranda and Aidan then Jason and Kellen entertained everyone at the park with a little music.

And last, but definitely not least (I know a dumb cliche, but very true) a good-bye dinner with the Coy and Nelson family. Rick and I have known Deborah, Shaun, Jen and Walt since '93. All before we were married. Lots of memories with them and too many to mention, but after 12+ years of marriage for all of us and 9 kids between all of us we're still great friends. Even though we may not see each other often (even when I lived in Cali - we were all running around in different directions with our own kids) we will always be friends and will always keep in touch. Who knows, maybe I can convince them to move to Colorado:)

Aidan's birthday - Our big 6 year old!

It's hard for me to believe that Aidan is 6 years old already! It seems like yesterday, I was preparing for his arrival.

Aidan wanted a pool party so it was our last hurrah at our Cabana Club. The kids seemed to have a blast swimming, we could barely pull them out of the water to eat dinner. However, Aidan's choice for his "birthday cake" was a HUGE hit - brownies a la mode. That seemed to get everyone out of the pool. The Nelson kids had seconds and some thirds. (Yes, Deborah and Shaun you're kids loved the brownies.) Thankfully there was none left over for home and for me to eat:)
As you can see from the pictures above, it was a wild boy party - lots of testosterone floating around. I just had to add the cute picture of Auntie Susie and Uncle Ryan.

Our last beach trip

Here are some pictures of our last beach least for awhile. The kids had a blast playing with their friends, Nate, Cameron and Melanie and splashing around in the waves at Cowell's in Santa Cruz.

Ahh, the of the things I will miss most about California.