Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Dreary Wednesday

It is a really dreary day. We don't get too many days like these. When we moved here our realtor told us that this city has about 320 days of sunshine a year...and it's true. It's also wonderful! I love the sun.

I can't really complain about it not being sunny today though because we haven't yet reached 60 degrees today. It's downright chilly. The kids were outside playing in the backyard earlier this morning and came inside to put their fleece on. How's that make you guys in Arkansas feel right now???

Anyway, I had planned to take the kids to the park to watch the *free* air show from the Air Force graduation today. But it's not really fun to play at the park when it's cold outside. And it's been raining off and on all morning, so I didn't want to sit in the rain either. We made a good choice and stayed home and saw a little of the Thunderbirds, but viewing is difficult in our neighborhood because of all the rooftops.

Earlier in May, I took Will to get his hair buzzed for summer. It's already grown so much and has been looking really shaggy. My neighbor let me borrow her clippers this morning and I buzzed his head myself a little while ago. I never knew it was that easy. Will was a little skeptical and protested loudly about me doing it. He said he was afraid I'd mess up. I told him if I messed up, I'd pay him $ offer he didn't hesitate to refuse. He was pleased with the results and said I could just pay him $1 instead...the $1 I took away from him yesterday for continually picking on Sarah. Money is a powerful motivator for him!

So after John finishes up for the day, he promised to take them all to our local toy store to spend some money they got from grandparents. They begged to stop at every Walmart in Oklahoma and Kansas to spend it, but we made them wait! They're not very patient when they have money in their pockets!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Good to be Home

Our family is back home after a whirlwind trip to Arkansas. John's grandfather passed away last Tuesday, and we left Wednesday for his funeral. It is a grueling trip, but we were very thankful to be able to be there to honor him.

We had really hoped to fly instead of drive, but the cheapest plane tickets John found were $700 apiece...and there are five of us. We knew we could drive for way less than that...but it meant driving 18 hours. It's never pleasant, but it's always worth it. Especially when we get to see our kids enjoying their cousins. Their only cousins are on John's side of the family, and they LOVE them so much.

We have tentatively been planning to make a two-week trip to Arkansas sometime later this summer. I'm not even willing to discuss it at this point (give me a few weeks). I tell people that drive is so much like labor...I need to forget how bad it is before I'm ready to do it again. Note that I stopped after having three children! smile! I will say that it has gotten much easier to travel that distance as our children have gotten bigger. Abbey being potty-trained makes a really big difference. Apparently, she's overcome her fear of public restrooms being that we had to stop once an hour for her yesterday morning. And we've also discovered books on cd. We listened to Frindle, Anastasia Krupnik, Amber Brown is NOT a Crayon, and Henry and Ribsy during our drive. Enlightening stuff! The dvd player is nice too, but I make them alternate between movies and books...mainly because I can't stand the dvd player noise in my ear (it hooks onto the back of my seat).

Since we got home yesterday afternoon, I guess that makes today the kid's first official day of summer vacation. I was thinking we might head to the library. They signed up last week for the summer reading program, and they've been asking if I'd let them count all the books we listened to as hours read. Hmmmm...because each book is roughly three recorded hours, they'd be finished with the entire game card no way! They're bummed, and I'm the mean mom. Whatever.

A few minutes ago, I heard and recognized one of my favorite sounds. It was the sound of the Air Force Thunderbirds flying overhead. We live about 5 miles north of the Air Force Academy and every year at the AF graduation, the Thunderbirds perform. The perk for us is that they practice flying overhead for a few days. They practice their stunts and their formation flying and it's just super cool. So, in a little while, we're heading out back to take in some amazing sights. Awesome! Just another one of the many reasons we love living here.

Another reason would have to be the cool mountain air. We were greeted by it yesterday afternoon, and with temps in the low 60s, it was a welcome change from the mid 90s we experienced in Arkansas. 90+ temps with 90% humidity is really HOT. I don't miss that or those pesky mosquitoes one bit!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Winding Down

The school year is winding down. Only two more days. I don't know who's or the kids! Only 2 more days of making lunches and rushing out the door in the mornings. I LOVE summer!

This afternoon a tornado touched down just east of here. Tornados aren't too common in Colorado and I'm thankful for that. Tornados terrify me!

Back in March when John's parents were here, we visited Focus on the Family. In the kid's mini-theater, they were playing a Veggie Tales Video that had Will quite intrigued. Our kids were huge Veggie Tale fans when they were smaller, but have been "so done" with that for a long time now...until Will saw a little bit of the "Lord of the Beans" video. He was begging me to buy it for him, but I was skeptical because I didn't want to add another Veggie Tales video to my yard sale bin. So, we put a hold on it at our local library, and we just got the video yesterday. It is HILARIOUS! It's based on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. John and I are big Tolkein fans, but this video takes the cake. It's Toto, instead of Frodo...EarofCorn rather than Aragorn...flobbits instead of hobbits...and the list of humorous similarities goes on and on and on. If you're familiar with the LOTR trilogy, you'll get a good chuckle from Lord of the Beans. I'm thinking it's one I really would like to add to our collection!

Yesterday, we worshipped at a Seventh Day Adventist Church. Now...hear me out while you pick your jaw up off the floor. The Anglican church we attend meets at a chapel on a college campus. Twice a year, our church gets the "boot" because of campus events. Yesterday was one of those occasions...the baccalaureate service was going on in the chapel, so we had to find an alternative meeting spot. Last year, we met at a park (which was so great!) but this year, they decided to keep us inside and so we borrowed the Seventh Day Adventists' sanctuary. I don't really know what Seventh Day Adventists are all about, but they had a beautiful building. You know John is going to be writing a book on denominations this summer; I hope he can fill me in on those 7th day guys.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Okay, gotta tell you that VBS (Vacation Bible School) in Colorado is WAY different than what we're used to. In the past two weeks, I've seen ads in the paper for three different bible schools...and the cost to attend each of those is $15, $35, or $45 PER CHILD! What in the world? Have you ever heard of such a thing or am I just really, really out of it???

I've been a part of different VBS programs for most of my life and I've never heard of a child having to pay to go! At each church John pastored, VBS was a huge part of our church budget every year. It was just something you planned for and the church paid for. I guess it's just not the same here in the west.

Any thoughts on this??? Anyone else think this is crazy?

I have found a few programs that don't charge for their VBS. They have an enrollment list though and once it's full you're put on a waiting list. I'm not really a cheap person, but I'm thinking I could have VBS in my own backyard this summer and funnel the money I would have spent into our vacation fund!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Blues

I've got the blues. Blue legs that is. I got a new pair of denim capris on Mother's Day, and I love them. But every time I take them off, my legs have a bluish tint. Really weird. When I first noticed it, I thought maybe I was having circulation problems. I showed John and he thought I had bruises all over. Today I wore them again and not only were my legs blue, but my hands were too (from having them in my pockets). I guess I need to wash them and see if that takes care of it. They're a really dark wash, but I've NEVER seen anything like this. My blue legs make me look like a Smurf!

I just got back from having dinner with my friend who is moving to Fort Collins. We ate at Pei Wei. It's an Asian diner and it's really yummy. It's right around the corner from REI and every time I drive by that shopping strip it makes me laugh that the letters P-E-I, W-E-I, and R-E-I are in such close proximity to each other. I think they should name it EI square or something. I know...I'm weird. I really do notice letters and words and such. Sometimes I even see words in my head when I'm talking. John thinks it's strange...and I think that it's strange that he doesn't see words in his head--he being the writer and all.

Abbey and I ran to the grocery store this afternoon and picked up some stuff for dinner. John had dinner duty since I was meeting my friend, and he said he wanted to make hamburgers. John's great at cooking burgers on the G. Foreman grill. Anyway, I bought 2.5lbs of meat thinking he'd cook it all and we'd have some leftovers for lunch tomorrow. He just informed me that the four of them ate ALL of the burgers. Two and a half pounds of ground chuck between the four of them! Unbelievable. Actually, the amount of food our kids consume really is unbelievable. The other day they had a snack--cheese and crackers--and in 15 minutes they had eaten a half-pound of cheese! What's that about? We get our milk and bread from a dairy service that delivers to our door. I filled my order out this morning and upped my bread to three loaves. I usually order two a week, but always have to make a run for another loaf or two. Some of our friends have five kids (I shudder to think what their food bill looks like) and she bakes her own bread. Maybe I'll get her to teach me how to do that this summer! Or maybe not.

Tomorrow is another CRAZY day around here. I think I have somewhere to be every hour from 8AM to 4PM. I'm LIVING for Friday when I have absolutely nowhere I have to be!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


This afternoon John went with me to pick the kids up from school. Their school has a great playground--with two zip-lines, three or four slides, monkey bars and of course, the swings. My kids all love to swing and eventually we all found ourselves at the swingset. Abbey has recently learned to pump her legs to keep herself moving (great news for mom and dad!) and she is so proud of her accomplishment. I decided to hop on the swing next to Will, and being the competitors that we are, it quickly turned into a contest to see who could propel themselves the highest. My son won even though he told me that my weight was to my advantage. Just what a mom wants to hear! The kids and I were all swinging side by side while John patiently gave everyone a push every so often. There's something about swinging that is so relaxing. My kids could swing for hours on end (and often do) and I think I could join them. It was the best part of my day!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Still Here

It's been awhile since I've has been busy! Some weeks are slow and some are busy. This one is just crazy!

Will had his last track meet tonight. It was sprint night. He did so great! We're really proud of him! Also today I went on a field trip with Sarah's class to a bug museum. It was cool. This local guy collected thousands of species of insects and butterflies from all over the world and has them on display. It was amazing! Then we went to the park and ate lunch. I think that was the kid's favorite part.

Yesterday I had a perfect Mother's Day. The kids brought me breakfast in bed. They also brought me the Sunday paper and let me read it in bed after I ate breakfast. That's high on my list of favorite things to do, and one I don't get to do often! We went to church, then out for lunch (Carrabbas--my most favorite place!). We stopped by Home Depot on the way home and bought a storm door for the front and then John watched the kids while I went to Eddie Bauer (my favorite store) and got to buy a few things for spring! Yea...we ended the day the way we end every Sunday...watching Funniest Home Videos and laughing our heads off! Thanks guys for a fantastic day!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Yesterday morning we woke up to snow. I did a double take when I looked outside. I don't always catch the weather forecast, but this was a big surprise. The ground was completely covered, but it melted pretty quickly once the sun came up.

Speaking of snow, Pikes Peak is still snow-capped. It's usually all melted by June but I don't know if it will be gone as quickly this year. We'll see. It's always a sad thing to me when the snow-cap melts. It's still pretty majestic looking, but the snow really accentuates its beauty.

How are gas prices where you live? Sunday afternoon, we put $40 worth of gas in Minnie-the-van. I had about a quarter of a tank when we filled up, and $40 didn't even bring her all the way to full. Very depressing. It was $2.79/gallon Sunday. Yuck.

I'm downstairs and I keep hearing thuds from the kids rooms so I'm off to see what chaos I need to manage. Ta ta for now!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


In the almost 16 years that John and I have been married, I can't ever recall burning a meal...until tonight. I put some veggies on to steam in my new steamer basket. The steamer basket sits inside a saucepan with water in the bottom. When the water boils, the lid goes on the saucepan and the steam cooks the veggies. And they're usually quite tasty that way. Well, I put water in the pan, but not enough and by the time I realized the little water I did add had evaporated, I had a big mess on my hands. I tried to salvage dinner, but it had a distinct burnt taste...and was actually really gross. And I still can't get the black stuff off of my saucepan or steamer basket. Yuck. John was sweet to eat it anyway (and even said he liked it), but the kids wouldn't touch it. Usually I make them eat what I prepare, but tonight they were glad I had a box of mac and cheese on hand.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

About a week ago, John and I got our first ATM/debit cards in 11 years. ELEVEN YEARS! When we moved from Irving, TX to Stephens, AR in 1995, our local bank didn't offer an ATM card, so we did without. We got so used to living without it that we didn't choose one when we later moved to Arkadelphia and then to Colorado. It wasn't really too hard to do without one, but did require planning ahead for weekends and making sure we had cash before the bank closed on Friday/Saturday/holidays. A few weeks ago we ran into a situation (track registration) where we really didn't want to use our credit card, but they were going to charge us $10 more to write a check (arghhhh). A debit card would have been the solution, but we didn't have one. So we decided to apply for one and like I said we got them about a week ago. Actually, they sat on the counter for 4-5 days before we even remembered to use it. Let me say...OH MY GOSH!! How much easier this has made my life!!! I really didn't know what I was missing when my kids were smaller and I was at the checkout line putting the groceries on the belt while trying to juggle a kid on my hip, keep the others from climbing out of the cart, give the cashier my coupons AND write a check while my baby was trying to grab my pen and put it in her mouth. How much easier it would have been to swipe my debit card and be done with it! NOW you tell me...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Take Me Out to the Ballgame...or maybe NOT!

Colorado Springs has a minor league baseball team called the Sky Sox. Today, Will's class took a field trip to a Sky Sox game. I don't remember going on field trips like that, do you? Anyway, I had volunteered to go, but his teacher had enough parents and didn't need my help. At first I was bummed, but this morning I was thankful. It was FREEZING! Seriously! The temps started out in the 40s, dropped to the 30s, and the wind chill was in the 20s. It was foggy/rainy/drizzling/snowing. Definitely not baseball weather. They ended up cutting the field trip short as the game was delayed due to fog. Will was pretty disappointed, but I was glad they didn't have to sit out in that weather longer than they did. I told him we'd take him some warm summer evening! Sounds like a much better plan to me.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My Random Post for the Week

Whew! Today was our busy day. I'm glad it's over. Very glad.

The countdown has begun! The kids have three more weeks of school left. Actually only 14 days because they have a four-day week next week. I am so tired of making lunches and having to remember all the things they each have to take each day. I can't wait!!! I guess other parents and students are ready too. Sarah has been invited to THREE end-of-the-school-year parties. Her social calendar is very full these days.

Oh yeah, did I mention I was tired of homework? Really tired of it. Last night John and I got together with some friends from church and we had a babysitter for the kids. While I went to get our sitter, John helped Will finish up his homework. They didn't quite finish because they got stumped on one of the questions. Will is doing fractions right now, and this particular problem was pretty tough--even for my brilliant husband. Before we left, I overheard John tell our babysitter that he'd pay her extra if she'd help Will figure that problem out. She's very smart and of course it was finished when we got home...and yes, we gave her a couple extra dollars!

I took Will to get his summer haircut this afternoon--a buzz. It looks great and we both love how easy it is. He thinks it's so cool that he doesn't have to brush his hair for awhile. Me too.

Today one of Sarah's classmates had a celebration at school. She was celebrating the completion of her chemotherapy. She was diagnosed with leukemia in kindergarten, but she's doing great now. I can't think of a better thing to celebrate, can you? One of Will's classmates had hip surgery today. He has some rare degenerative disease that has affected his hip. He's been in a wheelchair for a couple of months now and probably will be for at least a year longer. So sad. Those two situations made me so grateful for healthy, happy children. It's not to be taken for granted that our kids are as healthy as they are...and we say Thanks, Lord.

John talked to one of his editors today about writing more Living the Questions Bible studies. The four that he wrote (that have been published) were on the four gospels, but now they want some based on Paul's letters. Exciting stuff. This series was actually "his baby". The idea was his own and they gave him a lot of creative space. That's always a nice thing.

I met a lady a couple of weeks ago who had just moved here from Texas. We started talking and realized that we had lots and lots of things in common. I invited her to get some coffee/tea with me this moring and we had the best time. I love adding new friends to my circle! And it's always fun when they're from the give us lots of things to laugh and talk about.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Hide it in Your Heart

I've mentioned before that Sarah goes to AWANA at one of the churches here in town. We're really, really proud of her. She has memorized massive amounts of scripture, all the books of the Bible, and most recently, the 23rd Psalm. She's great at memorizing, but what I've been so impressed with is her ability to really learn and remember it.

Last Saturday, Will found a gum dispenser that he got for his birthday. At one time it was filled with gum. Lots and lots of gum. Seems Abbey found it and has been gradually consuming the gum (and hiding the dispenser in her secret hiding place under the back of our recliner!) Will was pretty disappointed when he discovered that his little sister had chewed all of it. I had a little talk with Abbey and explained to her that is eating Will's gum was "stealing"--taking something that didn't belong to her. Sarah was observing all of this and started spouting scripture..."Let him who has been stealing, steal no more..." And she was very serious in her tone towards Abbey. Last week, I was joking around with Sarah about something silly, and she looked at me and said, "Mom, you deceive yourself and the truth is not in you..." It was all I could do not to laugh at her. But what she was saying was actually quite true in that moment! Hiding God's word in your heart...that's what Sarah's been doing. It's neat to see her pull those verses out and quote the context of the situation. She was also pleasantly surprised that she could repeat another verse along with our pastor on Sunday. Way to go, Sarah!

Monday, May 01, 2006

It's the dreaded Monday morning...ugh. The kids only have 3.5 more weeks of school though, so I guess I only have 3 more Mondays to really dread. After that, we'll have a LOT of togetherness. My most favorite thing.

John had this past weekend off. He works a lot of Saturdays, so when he has an entire weekend off, it's a great thing. This weekend, however, he was fighting a really bad cold. How un-fun to be sick on your time off. Thankfully he's feeling better this morning, but Will woke up coughing and complaining of a sore throat. He conned me into letting him stay home from school this morning (I think because it's Monday!). I'm taking him a little later though because he has his first track meet tonight...and if he doesn't go to school, he doesn't go to the meet. And he really wants to run tonight. He's up for the 800 meter (1/2 mile).

Can you believe it's already May? Where do the months go???