Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Oh My! I am sooo behind in my blogging. I have been incredibly busy with houseguests, decorating, Thanksgiving at our house, reviewing testimony with Dan for a trial he has to testify at, wedding stuff, and on and on. Usually I've already mailed my Christmas cards. This year I haven't even ordered them and am not sure I will get to it.

We had 21 people over for Thanksgiving. It was a large group of California transplants!

I'm feeling thankful for my precious babies waiting for the guests to arrive...

and for my husband who goes with the flow of this "different" way of life we have chosen...

and for friends who are like family...

and for family living in here in Colorado...

and for a sister and her husband (didn't get a picture of him) who drove 1000 miles to be here with us.

Love all of them! We are thankful for our beautiful, but chaotic at times, life here in Colorado!

Friday, November 22, 2013


Today I took Mia on a shopping trip, just the two of us. It was a tradition I started with the older kids for many years and now she is old enough! She bought a present for Dan and for Anna and then we went to lunch. She loved it!

Yes, it's Burger King. They get to pick where we have lunch, or dinner. It's part of the deal. I have every confidence that it will be a better, healthier place over time.

I am now officially done with my Christmas shopping!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pre Thanksgiving

We have been having fun with Thanksgiving this week. (But next week it will be even more fun when Dar and Sean are with us!) For Family Fun Time (more on this in another post...if all keeps going well...I'm talking about the sleeping habits of a particular four year old...) we made corn husk crafts.

Dan's looks pretty good for a guy who hasn't colored or made a craft in years.

Anna is very proud of hers.

Today we had a homeschool coop at our house. We read some Thanksgiving stories and had a feast of their favorite foods.

There were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, mac 'n cheese and pizza.

I served chicken tortilla soup to the adults. And we all had pumpkin pie for dessert.
The kids made turkey crafts and someone got the idea that the turkeys were all in a "chicken fight" and so they drew red scratches all over the turkeys and their own faces as well! (In their defense they did ask permission first.)

Mia "securely" taped Anna's turkey to the wall so Anna couldn't take it down. Her own turkey is of course free to wander about the house!

Tomorrow we are going to the library to make pilgrim hats. And then kid's Thanksgiving time will wind down and adults will begin! I went to the liquor store today and got the ingredients for pumpkin spice martinis. We are having 21 people over for Thanksgiving. I can't wait!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Free Zoo Day

On Friday we went to free day at the zoo. We rarely go to these as they are all in the colder months. But we have been having an awesome November, weather-wise. No jackets needed! Mia's friend, Ellie, from preschool, and her mom, went with us.

It was really crowded but we got to see quite a few animals. This cheetah was amazingly close with just an electric fence separating us.

We absoultely loved this bird, a cassowary, behind the girls. It had the most beautifully colored head. I thought it looked like the bird from the movie, Up. It liked to follow the girls whereever they walked.

After lunch we went on the carousel!

It was late in the afternoon by the time we got home. After Friday night pizza and movie, I headed to the airport for a shower weekend with the older girls!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Just a Normal Day

We got another $2 grab bag from Michael's today. They are so much fun! There is usually about $10 worth of stuff that I like and a whole mess of junk that the kids love. Today, it was tons of fake flowers for the girls and a cute tote bag for me that Anna carried around the rest of the day. Little green purse is now second fiddle!

We have been to a wedding recently as well as planning Becky's so Mia's first thought was to play wedding!

The guests have arrived...

The bride is lovely...

Mia married Anna where they promised to take care of their children who will be one boy and one girl. It was soooo cute! I was a flower girl and an "audience".

In the grab bag, there were also five packs of these cute little clothespins. I stashed them away. They should come in handy for a future birthday party!

Mia has been asking to make a pumpkin pie. I'm not sure where she got the idea from, but she finally got her wish today.

I didn't have any white sugar, only coconut sugar. But it tasted fine and should be lower on the glycemic index. They both love pumpkin pie! They get that from my side of the family!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Veteran's Day

Last night we went over to Michelle and Stel's house and had a great time. The three girls danced their little hearts out.

The older girls were not always happy about Anna playing with them and, truthfully, Anna did not want to play with them most of the time. Mia and Lorelei have an amazing bond that none of us can quite figure out. They are very much alike and they just "get" each other. Anna has a completely different personality than the two of them. She preferred to stay with the adults, which is never a big deal because she is so well behaved.

Today we went to Aunt Bonnie's 90th birthday celebration. It was an open house with cake at her country club. It was good to see all my cousins I only see about once every 10 years. But there wasn't much for the girls to do so we only stayed about an hour. And I forgot to take any pics!

From there, we headed downtown for a Veteran's Day celebration. I've always wanted to attend one to support all the veterans. As usual, I was shocked by all the free stuff and the lack of crowds. Love this about Colorado. There were free hot dogs, chips, bottled water, hot chocolate, donuts and coffee. Of course, we made donations that equaled the cost of the food. But the fact that we could eat for free if we wanted to always tickles me. I am so cheap!!!!

We picked the perfect year to attend this gathering. It was in the 50's at sundown. That is pretty rare for November here.

We enjoyed listening to the Lennon Sisters while we sipped out hot drinks.

But the highlight of the evening was the fireworks show!

The girls were both mesmerized. They had never seen fireworks this close before.

The fireworks started at 5:45 and we were home for a normal bedtime!


We don't buy a lot of toys. I have found that kids play with the same ones over an over. And each child likes different toys. But the favorites always have one thing in common: they are open-ended. They can be used in many ways for many things. I no longer buy expensive toys that have only one purpose. The child may think they are going to love it. And they do. For about two days. Then they get bored with because it only does one thing.

Some of the favorite toys over the years have been cars, dolls, stuffed animals, blocks, magnets, purses, backpacks, figurines, tupperware, play kitchen, balls etc. All things that lead children to use their imagination.

Right now, and for the last several years, Mia has had a love affair with stuffed animals. She plays with them every. single. day. And you don't need fancy playthings for them as long as you don't mind your children using some of your grownup stuff.

This table is often "the jail" for wayward animals. They need some devotion books to correct their behavior!

Home can be a cupboard with shelves for separate "floors".

My sisters and I used to make all kinds of Barbie items out of tissue boxes and toilet paper rolls.

Anna's favorite toy right now is a green purse. She carries it everywhere like a little old woman. She is constantly taking things out and putting new things in. She even takes it to bed!

We are keeping all this mind as we search for Christmas gifts for the girls. Mia will be getting a bike. Anna said she wanted her own iron, but I know that will only be used for about a day so we'll have to think of something more open-ended.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Day LIght Crankings

Our weekend was quiet after going out of town last weekend. I was sick on Friday so we had to postpone dinner at a friend's house. Feeling better, Dan and I had a date night with Dawn and Bill on Saturday. We kept the girls up an hour later for daylight savings time ending. But that backfired, of course, and they woke up even earlier than usual!

We took advantage and went to church at 7:30 this morning. Then we spent most of today running errands, keeping them awake, dealing with tried crankiness, running more errands, controlling our own tempers over crankiness, etc. But...we managed to keep them up that extra hour again and...hopefully...they will sleep in the extra hour too. I believe in fairy dust too!

They did manage to fit in one more Wizard of Oz playtime with Dan and I playing various parts at various times. Mia is the ultimate director and star, knowing exactly where everyone should be standing, and what they should be saying, for all scenes. Here is Dorothy just waking up from her dream.

There's no place like home!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Halloween at our House

I originally bought two big pumpkins for carving. But they looked so cute on the front porch I just couldn't cut them up! I'm hoping they will last through Thanksgiving.

So I picked up a rather sad-looking pumpkin at the grocery store that we carved up.

It came out pretty good. It was Mia's idea to add the tears.

Even though the girls don't go to preschool on Thursdays, they were still invited for the class Halloween party!

Here is Mia and her best friend at school.

Of course nothing is as exciting as trick or treating! Anna kept saying every day, "It's taking too long for trick or treat." She finally got her wish! She lasted much longer than last year and really had fun!

Happy Halloween!