Monday, December 27, 2010

Kellen is 6!



It's hard to believe, but Kellen is 6 years old already! We celebrated by going to Chuck E. Cheese. (Unfortunately, Aidan was really sick the week of his birthday so he couldn't join us.:()

(A visit from Chuck E. Cheese!)



(Kellen and his buddies)

(Kellen in the ticket blaster)

Then the following evening my parents took the family out to Red Lobster for Kellen's birthday dinner. Of course in typical fashion, Curren woke up from his nap with a high fever so I ended up staying at home with him. (At least Rick brought me some dinner.) Even with sick siblings Kellen still had a great birthday and received lots and lots and lots of Hot Wheels toys! Nothing's better than that!

Christmas

Hard to believe Christmas has come and gone already with 2011 right around the corner! We had a wonderful Christmas this year. My whole, and I mean WHOLE family came to town. My brother and his family (6 of them) drove from NC, plus my dad and step-mom came from Western CO and of course my sister, mom and step-dad who live here locally. So that means 16 people spent most of Christmas week at our house.


(Love, love, love this picture of all of us!)


The cousins had so much fun playing with each other and us adults had a great time talking and hanging out. We went to the Denver Mint, The Denver Art Museum (The DAM) to view the King Tut exhibit, Rick and my brother David spent a day on the slopes at Copper Mountain, Rick, Aidan, David and one of his sons' Quin went to a Colorado Avalanche game (hockey). Did a little hiking on Spruce Mountain down near Larkspur and we enjoyed lots of good food.

(Aidan, Kellen, Truman and Quin outside the State Capitol Building)


(All the kids around the gingerbread train my dad and step-mom made. A Christmas tradition in Sweden. The kids couldn't wait to eat one of the cars.)

(Kellen, Truman and Aidan leaving cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer.)
(My nephew Grey is an amazing artist. He likes to design his own shoes with sharpies.)
Christmas morning actually started off later than expected...thankfully. The kids didn't start stirring until 7:45am or so and we actually had to finally wake Aidan up so he didn't miss out on the gift opening festivities.


The weather has been very California-like. No snow anywhere in sight.... well you can see the snow topped mountains from our house, but none in the Denver Metro area. In fact, Christmas day was in the 50's so we spent a lot of time outside, playing basketball and riding bikes.
(Aidan's new bike - a gift from everyone - thanks!)

(Playing a little basketball with Kellen in the foreground trying out his new scooter.)
The week with my family sped by way too fast and we were really sad to say good-bye to everyone, especially the cousins. Too bad there is about 1600 miles separating us. Thankfully we did get some great pictures of my whole family to memorialize Christmas 2010.
(Eden (17), Kellen (6), Quin (11), Truman (9), Curren (2), Aidan (9) and Grey (15))
(David, me and Kirsten - just for the record, I'm the baby:))

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Testing for his yellow belt

Today Aidan tested for his yellow belt in martial arts. He was pretty nervous (because this was his first time testing and he didn't know what to expect), but he did great. Master Scott gave him some good critique to focus on for the future. However, we did have to explain to him that Master Scott wasn't mad at him, but giving him some information on how to improve. Isn't that what life is about? I believe he will be presented with his yellow belt in class on Monday.

WAY TO GO AIDAN!!!

(FYI - the video is just a snippet of all the things he had to perform during his test. And this was taken with my iPhone so I'm unable to zoom in.)

video

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween weekend



Nowadays it seems Halloween isn't just a day it's a whole weekend. At least that makes it fun for the kids, but exhausting for the adults. (Although I had fun too, watching my kiddos have fun.)


Friday were Aidan's and Kellen's school parties. Their school doesn't allow them to dress up and the party must be called a "fall party". Go figure. At least it's something they get to look forward too. Of course with Kellen being in afternoon kindergarten their parties were at the same time.

So I split my time between the two of them.

Kellen's class had a little visitor before I arrived. A nice hairy, brown and black tarantula! EEEEK! I walked into the room just as Kellen was getting ready to touch the thing. Eeek! I really don't like spiders and definitely not the big hairy kind.
Afterward, his class separated into groups with one group making spider cookies and the other group making a spider treat holder. Curren had fun eating his spider cookie.

Heading over to Aidan's class I walked in while he was decorating his mummy cup. After he was finished he got to fill it up with candy. They had some games, face painting, food, lots and lots and lots of popcorn (A big black garbage bag was filled with popcorn, graciously donated by the movie theater.) And boxes filled with disgusting items to feel with your hands.

That evening Aidan and his friend Parker headed over to Aidan's martial arts gym to eat pizza, snacks and watch the new Karate Kid. When I went to pick them up after the movie they said they had a good time and the place was filled with kids. Great event by his martial arts instructors. (Not to mention a great PR event for them as well.)

Saturday was our ward's trunk or treat event. We had a chili cook-off, a spook alley (my kids had no desire to participate in that), an amazing Thriller re-enactment and of course the kid's favorite - trunk-or-treating.

Sunday evening I did allow the boys to trick-or treating on our street. They were pretty bummed they couldn't trick-or-treat the whole neighborhood, but it was a Sunday. They ended up being good sports and had fun handing out candy to the kids who came to our house and emptying out their bags to see what goodies they received. It was also really cute to see how quickly Curren caught on to this whole trick-or-treating thing. Once he realized from his trunk-or-treat experience that he receives candy in the bag mom was holding for him there was NO way he was going to let me hold it while we trick-or-treated the few houses in our cul-de-sac.

Weirdly enough we didn't get many trick-or-treaters this year. Not sure why, but we did handout candy by the handful so we only had a few pieces left. I've also convinced my kids to sell their candy to their pediatric dentist. They receive $1/pound of candy and the dentist's office ships the candy overseas to our troops.

Now it's time to take down the Halloween decorations and gear up for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Isn't it almost that time again?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall

In a nutshell here are some pictures to highlight some of the things we've been doing this fall. As I type the kids are on week 2 of fall break. So far it's been pretty good, with only a few fights and meltdowns. What else could a mom ask for? (NOTE: 2 cute videos below)


At the beginning of October we took the boys up Rampart Range Road (kind've near Devil's Head) to a trail system called Indian Creek. Gorgeous colors - all the aspen were turning yellow. Curren had fun walking a portion of the trail and then on mom he went. (Rick had hurt his achilles so he couldn't carry the extra load.)

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video
A couple of weekends ago we took the boys to a pumpkin festival Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield (near my old CO stomping grounds) was putting on. They had some bounce houses and rides, but the kids weren't too interested in waiting in line for the rides and instead had a blast running around the pumpkin patch and the border of the corn maze. The cool thing about most pumpkin patches here is that you actually go to the actual pumpkin patch - the place where the pumpkins grow. All of the pumpkins had been picked off their vines, but they were still in the fields or along the perimeter of the fields.

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Last Friday I, along with some other friends took our boys (there were 10 of them and no girls) to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in CO Springs. It's a pretty cool smallish zoo. The nice thing about this zoo as opposed to Denver Zoo is you're able to get a little more up close and personal with some of the animals. You can feed the giraffes - always a big hit. And as you can see from the picture above, the gorilla was enjoying a little company. Although he kept making some hand gestures which made me think he was trying to tell us to screw off. Either way I did capture a good pic with him and Curren.

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Last Saturday after Aidan's martial arts class we drove over to our neighborhood speciality store - Tony's Market to buy some caramel apples. They were making them especially for kids. The boys could choose up to 3 toppings. As you can see from Kellen's apple they were GIGANTIC. Two was plenty for the 5 of us. And they were sure yummy!

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Today I took the boys to see their pediatric dentist. And even Curren cooperated and had his teeth cleaned. It was a sight to behold. What a cutie. And even after eating those yummy caramel apples all boys have cavity-free teeth. Yippee!









video

Friday, September 17, 2010

Breckenridge


Labor Day weekend was spent in Breckenridge. Love, love, love this town! We stayed in such a great location too. We were able to walk to town for shopping, dining, people watching, etc.

Rick participated in the Breck Crest which is a 5k, half-marathon and marathon. Rick did the half and he said that was tough! They climbed for 6 miles straight and then traversed a mountain for a short bit. He did awesome considering all the climbing. It started at 8k feet above sea level and topped out at about 12,500 feet above sea level. He also said it was beautiful running in the mountains too.

We also took the gondola up to peak 10 (I think) to play at Breck's fun zone. They have alpine slides, bungee trampoline jumping, miniature golf, and you can also take a chairlift to the top and hike around or ride your bike down.

Aidan decided he wanted to do the bungee jumping. They had one in town he tried and then he tried the one at the fun zone. He flew! I was amazed at how much air they catch on those things. He loved it though. Me, can't even try it. Not only am I terrified of heights I would be sick to my stomach on the first jump.
(The bungee jump in town)
(The bungee jump at the fun zone. Got some air?)
Kellen loves miniature golfing so of course he was dying to play. So while Aidan, Rick and Curren waited in a long line for the bungee jump, Kellen and I played miniature golf. He's getting pretty good. We might have a little golfer on our hands. He even loves to watch golf on tv. Go figure.
On Monday after returning from Breck we headed over to my mom and Jerry's house for a BBQ. Yummy food, fine times had by all. The kids love spending time with their grandparents.
(Curren helping Pop Pop clean the grill)

Friday, August 6, 2010

School's back in session

Today was Aidan's and Kellen's first day of school. It's a big milestone for Kellen because he started kindergarten today! Now I have two kids at the same school. Yippee! Although kindergarten is half-day so that means if I didn't carpool with my friend I'd be heading to school 3 times a day. Not fun! Because of budget cuts they now charge to ride the bus. I'm boycotting the bus...but I may back down and utilize the bus when the weather turns bad. We'll see.

(Perfect picture of Aidan on the first day. Not overly excited. And when he asked why I was taking picture of him I said, "because it's the first day of school." "No it's not, mom. I am a third grader now.")


(Lining up to go inside. Aidan's teacher is the woman in the white sweater holding the sign.)



(Kellen, a kindergartener now)

(With his teacher, Mrs. Hamilton-Jones who happens to be LDS too.)

(Kellen with his neighborhood, church and now school buddy - Tanner)

Summer re-cap

Yikes! I guess I've been too busy this summer because I haven't kept up with what we've been doing over the summer. So here it is in a nutshell:



Girls' weekend in San Diego. I had a blast! It was so great to see my Cali girlfriends. We're planning to do this every year, but in different locations. Can't wait til next year.





Aidan's 9th birthday! Wow! It's hard to believe he's already nine years old. Where does the time go? I still remember heading to the hospital to deliver my little Aidan.





For his birthday, he invited a couple of friend's over for some pizza, cake and ice cream. Then we opened presents and headed outside to play a little basketball. For any of you reading this who don't know. Our families and us (his parents) all chipped in and purchased a permanent basketball backboard. Best investment ever. The kids are always playing a little hoop and most of the neighborhood kids head over to play some hoop too. Anyway, after playing outside for a bit I took the boys over to the theaters to see Despicable Me. What a cute movie. I wasn't really looking forward to seeing it because the previews didn't look that interesting, but I was pleasantly surprised. And that evening we topped Aidan's birthday off by heading to Red Lobster for a family dinner. My mom and Jerry told me on each child's birthday they'd like to take the family out to dinner. The birthday child gets to choose the restaurant.









(Our neighbor and cake decorator extradonnaire made Aidan's cake. As you can see he wanted a Broncos themed cake.)

4 days later we celebrated Curren's 2nd birthday. Now talk about time flying by! No more babies in this household. Curren didn't really know or care it was his birthday, but I still think he had a good day. We went to church and then the fam came over for dinner, opening presents and cake. He was very excited after opening up each toy. I think we could've just bought him one toy and he would've been fine with that. He now has a water table for playing outside which has kept him pretty happy and wet over the last few weeks.



(Curren's cake - store bought. He kept trying to grab the cake, hence the reason it's so far away from him in this picture.)



The last weekend in July we headed up to Steamboat Springs. We've never been there before and I'm glad we went. It's such a great town. And lots to do during the summer. Most ski destinations are also great destination points in the summer too. We rented a condo for the weekend with another family and had a great time with them.



(Fish Creek Falls)



The first full day Rick and the two older boys rode the alpine slide. Always a huge hit. Then the second day we went to The Old Town Hot Springs pool. Once again the kids had a blast. And Kellen passed the swim test so he was able to ride the big waterslides. That was pretty much all he wanted to do. Either Rick or I would ride the other slide and meet him at the bottom to give him a little help exiting the pool. Aidan also passed a swim test and was able to jump off the diving board without a parent standing by to watch. The boys are really turning into such great swimmers. Definitely a life skill I insisted they learn. I never want my kids to be afraid of water.






(What's could be more fun for boys than throwing/skipping rocks in a river)


The rest of the summer has been spent going to our neighborhood pool, playing at the park, playing with friends or hanging out in the cul-de-sac.



Oh ya, almost forgot. Yesterday the boys (along with their neighborhood friends) found two small frogs in our backyard. They must burrow in the rocks where water accumulates. We put them in a bucket and wandered around the rest of the 'hood to show off their frogs. Thankfully, before heading inside they put the frong back where they belong.



Overall, we had a wonderful summer break. Now on to the busy, hectic life of the school year. Aidan is taking martial arts classes once again and loves it. Kellen will be starting soccer and both boys are still in swim lessons...at least for now.