Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Texas Cousins

Kevin is up with the family for a few weeks. The girls and their Texas cousins have got together and have had a great time. Keara loves being with Keenan and Kaylei loves to play with Ethan and Dylan. Too bad they can't stay longer. We did have a cousin sleep over one night so that was fun. Mom watched the boys while Kevin and Jessica went to Las Vegas for a conference.  It was fun to have their energy around. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cowboy Mark

Mountain Climbing

Zeb got up to the mountains for the first time this summer. He went to climb Mount Elbert. He went with his friend Scott and they had a good time. They even saw a goat on their hike. More beautiful Colorado views. 


Adopt-teen has a camp that has been all over the country. It is a camp for adoptees from China who are age 13-18.  Lately it has been in Colorado and this year we decided to host one of the campers. Our first camper didn't end up coming but we got one of the camp counselors name Hannah Sutherland and we really enjoyed having her for a few days. She didn't have to come far since she lived in Colorado Springs but that's enough of a drive in the morning and evenings that it made it easier for her to stay with us. The girls really loved her.

Kailei got to go to adopt-tween which was one day spent at the camp with two of the older girls who "adopted" her for the day and did activities with them. Kailei had a great time since Hannah was one of the girls who spend the day with here.  They did lots of crafts, ate and hung with the big girls. It was a great event and Kailei looks forward to going again. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mom's Retirement Party

So mom officially retired this year. I can't believe it actually happened but it did and I'm glad. And I couldn't just let things go by without a little celebration. So I knew when Kevin was coming to town in late August that would be a perfect time for the family to get together and celebrate all that she is done. I rented out the clubhouse in our area, had it catered, threw up a few decorations and surprised mom with it all. I think she really appreciated it. She definitely deserved it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pool Party

The Troutmans invited us over to their pool for the evening. I wasn't able to go due to work but Zeb and the girls went and had a great time.

Family Weekend

Well, normally we celebrate family day during the summer. When asking the girls what they wanted to do Keara suggested Mount Rushmore. And so began coordinating a last minute trip to the Black Hills. And knowing that my dad would probably enjoy the trip, as well as my mom, we asked them to join us.

I start work on the 22nd so I didn't have a whole lot of time and neither did Zeb. 

We secured a room at the Comfort  Inn and made our way to the little town of Custer on Thursday. We arrived late Thursday night so there wasn't time to do anything except go to bed.

Woke up to a great breakfast at the hotel and then we headed out to Crazy Horse. What an amazing monument that it is! It's going to be quite the complex when it's done but we really enjoyed just seeing everything around there and learning about the memorial itself. 

After Crazy horse we headed to Mount Rushmore. I would not recommend seeing Mount Rushmore after Crazyhorse just because in comparison it looks so small but again it's still an impressive site and we enjoyed it.

Had lunch the and then decided to drive through Custer State Park. It was an absolutely beautiful drive. Not that I would recommend doing it after a long drive in the car but still we enjoyed it. Took the wildlife loop around hoping to see some wildlife but alas saw nothing more than a prairie dog and some antelope which we can see it home.

In the meantime, my brother Mark texted that my cousin John was in the area. So we got in touch with each other and managed to hook up for dinner. What a small world it is when your cousin from New York ends up in the same little town  on the same weekend that you are. 

After dinner, mom and dad took off to run some errands and we decided to go see the laser light show at Crazyhorse. Laser light shows sure have changed since I was a kid. It was amazing and so much fun to see on this mountain of rock.  The kids said it was the highlight of the trip.

Saturday morning headed into Hot Springs. We were told a must see is the mammoth site located there. The kids participated in a dig and we learned quite a bit on the tour about how the mammoths ended up there. Quite fascinating. 

Had lunch at Wooley's and then drive back home. It was really a great little trip for everyone and I'm so glad we went. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Top o' the mornin'

Headed out to the Irish festival today.  I was sure we would get rained on but the luck of the Irish was with us.  Enjoyed walking around, eating funnel cake (which is a Irish treat for sure) and getting our faces painted.  Mark played in a hurling game so we had fun watching that.  Apparently he is pretty sore after playing three games yesterday.  His team still won and Mark even rallied to score a few despite his exhaustion.

After the game we headed to Mom's for a late birthday dinner for Poppy.  Mom made a great meal and everyone scarfed it down.  Good times.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Girls Time

I picked up the girls from Walsh since it was mid-week. Spent the night visiting with Phyllis and then headed for the springs. My initial idea was to do something fun on the way home but it seemed to take forever to get there. We did stop in Pueblo to see the river walk I had heard about but it didn't end up meeting our expectations so we left pretty fast. By the time we got to the springs it was about 5pm and we decided to just spend the night which was of course fun in and of itself since we would be in a hotel.

The girls and I had a nice dinner together and then they spent the rest of their time in the hot tub and pool.

On Thursday morning we headed to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Zeb and I took Keara there when she was a baby but that was 12 years ago now. The zoo is built on a mountain which just makes it unique.  We fed giraffes, took a tram ride up the mountain, and had great fun. It isn't the cheapest place in the world so we left to have lunch elsewhere. 

We ended up having a "plp". That is a new acronym we coined which stands for parking lot picnic. We each wanted something different so well grabbed our lunches and met in the sparking lot where we had lunch under a tree sitting on an electrical box. It was fun and we liked our new name.

We headed up to Seven Falls after lunch which was a new attraction for everyone.  I loved it!! We walked up the to the top of the falls which was 224 steps and no small feat but it was beautiful. Up at the top there are some hiking trails that were just beautiful and I loved walking Round. The girls were. Little nervous as clouds rolled in but they enjoyed it
as well. 

Had some ice cream and decide to beat the traffic home. Our friend Sheryl texted to join them at the pool so we did.  

It was a long but very fun day.  I LOVED spending time my girls.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Camp Walsh

Grandma Phyllis invited the girls down to Walsh. They haven't been down to "Camp Walsh" for a few years with Grandpa being so sick but Grandma decided it was time. We shortened the stay just a little but they had a great time. From what I understand they
made homemade bread and cinnamon rolls. They did latch hook, and had a hotdog roast out a farm.  They swam, toured a lollipop factory, and even took part in a box lunch event.  I thought the box lunch event sounded fun. Everyone decorates a box and packs it with a lunch.  Folks then pull out a handful of beans and whoever has the highest number of beans gets to pick the first box.  This continues until everyone has a lunch.  The girls were a little worried about what they might get for lunch so Grandma and Kailei managed to get their own lunches.  Anyway, it sounded fun to me. I think it was a little hard for everyone not having Grandpa there but we know he was there in spirit and smiling at them all.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4th

Had a rather low key 4th of July. We participated in the neighborhood bike parade but can't tell you that I actually saw the girls as they scooted ahead of me,  Met The Wyman family at the pool and then I invited the Merwin-Olk's down as well. We basically hung at the pool all day which was fun with a DJ and photo booth. We also had dinner with the Merwin 's and went to the park. No fireworks again this year due to the fire ban but that is OK. We had a relaxing day.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Heritage Square

Ventured out to Heritage Square today. It's another one of those Colorado landmarks you just have to go to.  We have taken the girls there before but of course they don't remember. Sam and Grammy joined us. There has actually been some renovations there which surprised me but that also meant the prices went up. There is an alpine slide which is my favorite but the girls decided they wants the unlimited ride pass so they skipped the slide. Not much of a crowd so the girls buzzed on and off rides and played a round of mini- golf. Grammy bought them ice cream which they enjoyed. We had dinner at Gunther Toody's diner after which was yummy.