Friday, January 31, 2014

Art Class

Sometimes when you do something for someone else you end up getting even more out of it than they do. That's how it was when Dan mentioned he wanted to go to our financial planner's Christmas party. Ugh. I'm a bit introverted. I'm really not that interested in meeting a lot of people at once. And besides, I wasn't sure I would have anything in common with them. But Dan had a good point. We should go and try to talk to people that have been using this planner long term and find out what they thought about him. We aren't spring chickens anymore and really have to start thinking about protecting the savings we have. I went, with a happy smile even.

We sat across from an interesting couple. It's always easy to sit across from people who talk a lot. Less work for me. Soon I learned that she was a retired art teacher that now teaches art in her home, at a reasonable price no less. My ears perked up. And she taught preschoolers.

So here they are at art class using the light board...

and painting.

Their favorite part of class? Mrs. Hodges' dog and cat who wander in and out of the room. They are only three and four ya know!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Getting Ready

So I guess my meaning didn't come across as clear as I meant. I have been Catholic for about 47 years and was Protestant for about five. Services were canceled a few times in our Protestant church. Never, in 47 years as a Catholic, have I seen a Catholic Sunday Mass canceled. In the Catholic Church, it is considered a sin to not attend Mass on Sunday. A sin for which you have to go to confession. Canceling a service means you might be causing someone to sin. So it's just not done. Ever. Oops, okay, if the Broncos are in the Super Bowl that might be a good reason. Anyway, I was just amazed and had to share.

That being said, I love the Broncos and am very excited about Sunday! For more than one reason. Mr. and Mrs. Maciol will be arriving Thursday night. No, not for the Super Bowl. They are going to be Anna's Godparents for her baptism Sunday! I got her the cutest little orange and blue dress. Just kidding!

But...when we get home after the baptism Sunday, I will put this on.

I just got it in the mail today. My sweet husband, a die-hard Raider fan, ordered it for me. Go Broncos! Go Knowshon!

Monday, January 27, 2014


When we first moved to Denver we were watching the news and all of sudden it was interrupted for a "Breaking Story". What was this incredibly important news? Why the Broncos were trading a player! Seriously! I do like the Broncos. But they are not God. (See last post) And, in my opinion, this "news" could have waited until the sports edition. But it was an eye opener as to the status of the team here: not exactly God, but God-like.

I was driving around a part of town I have never been to before when I had to laugh. It was just soooo Denver. I took a picture of two of the houses, but there were several more. And, in case you are wondering, it's real paint on the garage door!

Beth, is Seattle doing these things?????

Sunday, January 26, 2014


For all of you who think I'm exaggerating this town's obsession, this was in our church bulletin this morning.

If I hadn't lived here for seven football seasons, I never would have believed it!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Prairie Preschool

Tuesday we skipped homeschool and went to Prairie School. It's a preschool age program at one of the many nature centers near us. This one was all about winter shelters and ice. It started out with centers. Their favorite was making "igloos" by pouring salt on the ice to get it to melt slightly so that the cubes would fuse together.

There were a few animals to look at.

We also got to handle different prairie animal skulls and play in a tipi.

Then it was circle time.

After that we headed outside to find animal shelters. We couldn't find any nests, but we did find a woodpecker hole.

The kids then built shelters with sticks but my camera was acting up and I didn't get any pictures.

After the class was over we had a picnic. It was a little cold and windy but fun to even try in January.

I tried to get a picture of one of the hundreds of prairie dogs that were all around us, but the sun was so bright I couldn't see my camera screen. I got one on the side of this picture.

Before we left we checked out the tipis on the property.

We'll be back again!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Chinese New Year 2014

Today we went to a Chinese New Year celebration that was much different from the one we went to last year. Last year it was like a festival. This year it was a show. I bought the tickets a long time ago and didn't realize it was during the playoff games. But the Broncos were winning handily, and looked good at halftime, so we took the kids to the show.

There were three really good dances all performed by an Asian youth group. The first was the Dragon Dance.

Anna didn't scream this time. She really enjoyed watching it.

Next was the Lion Dance. All I can say is AMAZING. There were two teenagers in each lion costume. First they just danced. The unison that they accomplished between the front and back of the lion was perfect.

Then they started jumping up onto to the pedestals!

And then they jumped from pedestal to pedestal and tightroped!

The last dance included the whole group and was interactive with the audience.

Did you see the empty seat next to Mia? Anna didn't last there too long before she came looking for a grown up seat.

We all had a great time!

Saturday, January 18, 2014


I never thought about January much when we lived in Southern California. I was glad when I got to wear a sweater occasionally and that was about it. When we moved here, January became a countdown. We're halfway through it. We're 2/3 through it. We're 3/4 through it. Yea, it's over! One more month and then Spring!

Colorado Januaries are not that bad compared to other states. It's cloudy and snowy one day and then sunshiny for 5, 6 or more days. Today it was 54 degrees and sunny. I saw people walking around in shorts. In making January a month of "it's almost over", I haven't enjoyed the many aspects that really are fun. So I decided this year would be different.

After every snow, we go sledding in the backyard.

There is also a sledding hill at our local park which we haven't tried yet, but plan to on the next snow day.

Every day that it is not snowing we have been taking walks. Mia has been riding her bike she got for Christmas and loving it.

Today we took the girls to the outdoor ice rink. Lots of these small rinks have been cropping up everywhere. They had a blast using the buckets to help them skate.

I can honestly say January has been a lot of fun so far!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Together Box

For Christmas Joey and Brittany enrolled us for three months in this:

We will get one of these boxes every month. It is filled with things to do together.

We opened it up the other day and did the first activity: make snowballs!

We made these by wrapping yarn around our hands 40 times and then securing the bundle with a small piece of yarn. The box includes everything you need, which is great. Otherwise it would eventually be called the Pain in the Neck Box, because I know I would not think it fun to gather a bunch of supplies every night!

We had some snowball fights and we played tried to throw the snowball in the baskets.

We also had a race kicking the snowballs.

This is the perfect time of year to have something like this as we are indoors a lot! Thanks Joey and Brittany!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

California Wedding Part III ... the wedding! The bridesmaids were all at Becky's suite at 6:00 for hair and make-up. Since there were NINE, it had to be early. We were still asleep. The girls slept until 7:30 and we were one happy family. Crankiness would make the day more hectic than it already was going to be!

I took Anna to visit all the bridesmaids and the bride after breakfast.

Beth was the Matron of Honor, not a title any of us thinks sounds good. She tried her best to keep things moving along.

At 10:00, Anna, Mia and I had our hair done at the salon on the ship.

In retrospect it was a great idea to go to the salon. There wasn't really room or time for us in the suite and the girls would have been so much more tired before the wedding having all that attention from the grownup girls. And as it turned out, the makeup person called in sick the day before the wedding and Becky had to hire one off the Internet. Thank you,!

The girls and I then went back to our room and watched Baby Max until it was time to leave. That poor guy didn't know what was up. Where is my Mama? Where is my Daddy? Why am I not at home?

The five of us left for the wedding at 12:30. We were under the impression the bus was also picking up the wedding party at that time. Yes, a bus was needed for a wedding party of 18, their dates, and bride and groom.

On the way to the church I got texts from Beth that the bus was no there yet to pick them up. What???!!! The wedding planner and I had a miscommunication about alcohol on the bus and she had sent him out before the wedding to get some! Not my idea! There was an event going on in the Queen Mary parking lot and the bus couldn't get to the pick-up place, after his little shopping trip. The girls could see him across the parking lot though!

After about four updates from Beth, I finally texted her I was just giving it to God. The next text I got from her, as I was trying to dress two flower girls and a ring bearer in the parking lot of the church, said that Greg had walked out to the bus and directed the driver into the parking lot and they were on their way. Okay, so my son-in-law didn't walk on water out to the bus, but he pretty much was the savior! Thank you, God, for reading my text.

Of course leaving on a bus, to a place that is at least 35 minutes away, 20 minutes before you have to be there, pretty much guarantees you will not be on time! I'm not sure how many people in the pews knew that the bus pulled up at 2:11 and the ceremony started at 2:14! We only had the church until 3:30 and we had a full Mass to get through. Poor Max was so distraught by this time that he would not walk down the aisle with anyone but Mama. In case you are new to my blog, that would be the bride!

The ceremony was sweet with no glitches. Some of it was in Polish, but most in English. Max sat on my lap through the whole thing, happy to see his parents get hitched. Anna and Mia sat with Sean and Dar. We had pictures afterward and then headed back to the boat.

I hired two babysitters to help with the littles. They turned out to be sisters which was great as they were comfortable watching all the kids together in our suite. Max never came to the reception. He was done for the day! Ben was out early too. Avery came up next and then Anna. Mia, the dancing queen, was last to go to the room.

The reception went smoothly as far as I could tell. At least nobody told me otherwise. The toasts were great, the band wonderful, the Polish polkas during the band's breaks were fun to watch and the food was yummy. We went back to our room after it was all over and the kids were all sound asleep. We kept Max in our room all night. He woke up once and I put him back to sleep on my chest in bed. He stayed that way the rest of the night. Grandparents can do that, you know.

Congratulations Becky and Arek! Can't wait to see all the pictures. So happy Arek is now an official part of the family!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

California Wedding Part II

On Friday morning my daughters and I (minus Brittany who had to work) met for a manicure and pedicure at the spa on the boat. It was a quaint little place and everyone had fun.

Anna took things very very seriously. She watched and made sure her manicurist did the exact same thing on the left that she did on the right. And she let her know if she didn't!

I can't even remember what we did the rest of the day, but we put the kids to be early because they had a very very big day on Saturday!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

California Wedding Part I

We arrived in California last Wednesday. We forgot it was even New Years Day! Dar had snacks and fun food waiting for us at her house. Denise and Dave were there too. The guys watched football and the girls made 200 tags for the small champagne bottles we were giving away as favors at the wedding. We had a great conversation after the girls went to bed and then we headed for bed fairly early ourselves, knowing the next few days were going to be pretty hectic.

The next morning we drove across LA County to my mom's house in The Valley. During Thanksgiving week she was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. She has been receiving chemotherapy and her tumors have shrunk! We are all grateful. But due to the chemo, her immune system is not working well and so she couldn't attend the wedding. We missed her. My father could also not attend as he had a major blackout while driving right before Christmas and none of us felt it would be safe for him to drive from Texas. His wife cannot fly due to Stage III emphysema and he cannot leave her alone for that reason also. They could find nothing wrong with him at the hospital. So, again we are grateful. My parents have always been very healthy so this whole series of events was quite a shock to all of us.

My mom's doctor said she absolutely cannot be around children so Dan dropped me off for a couple of hours and I had lunch with her and talked and played cards. He took the girls to lunch and to play at the park. By the way, the weather was awesome most of the time we were in California! After picking me up, we headed to another edge of LA County, Long Beach. Arek and Becky picked the Queen Mary for their reception. But our room was not ready! So I took the girls to the bathroom and pretty much blocked everyone's way as I tried to find our outfits for the rehearsal somewhere in my giant suitcase. I am pretty neat most of the time, packing would be an exception.

It took some time to get the girls dressed as they were a little wild after being in the car so much. And Mia decided, of all times, that she did not want to get dressed in front of everyone. Really? Just a few weeks ago she was running around the house naked. Of course Dan could not help me in the woman's bathroom. Besides, he was busy trying to get someone to give us a room since he had to take a shower. We did get a room about 30 minutes before it was time to leave and he was able to get ready too. Then it was time to drive back across LA County to North Orange County where the church was!

The rehearsal went really well and then we all got to have a delicious meal from the Polish food truck!

Father of the Groom and Father of the Bride:

We were all excited that there would be no driving the next day!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

We're Back

TIME. Today is the first day I have felt like I have some. In awhile. In at least a month. So much has gone on in our lives. Somethings I haven't blogged about, but will soon. But first of all, the wedding was FABULOUS! There were MANY behind the scenes glitches. But aren't there always some? I was so busy taking care of my two little ones and my grandson that I hardly took any pictures! So we'll have to wait for the professional ones to be ready. My friend, Katryn, did send me one of the happy couple.

And one of some middle aged lady holding her daughter, in her flower girl dress, as she tried to stay awake.

There was only one picture I took:

And that is all I have from the wedding!!

Later posts: why my parents didn't attend the wedding, pictures for the pre-wedding activities, Mia's tongue update, wedding glitches, my "perfect" life, etc. etc. etc.

We are back to a regular schedule and life seems doable again!!