Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pizza and Park

Every once in a while I try to be nice to my kids.  On this day, we were scheduled to meet some friends at the local splashpad for a picnic lunch and playtime.  We were due for groceries, and didn't have any lunch items, so in order to entice them to get their chores done quickly, I promised pizza for their picnic lunch.  They held up their end of the bargain, and ate two medium hot-n-ready pizzas by themselves.  (I'm back on my strict eating plan, so I refrained, although it was very tempting.)

After the enjoyment of pizza, the kids played at the park that was adjacent to the splashpad.

 Kimble was building his dexterity and development by tackling this climbing obstacle!

Keaton entertained everyone by "being eaten alive by the slide!".  Hilarious.

 Then he became the troll under the bridge.

I attempted the splashpad with Kimble. He didn't like it one bit.  It looks like he's having fun, running around, but really, he felt one drop, turned around, yelled "Momma!" and came right back to me.

Kennedy, however, along with the boys and Kamyren, loved every minute of it and got themselves completely soaked.

Then it was naptime, and I was happy to take everyone home and get out of the heat!

A Photo Here; A Photo There

Here are a few random photos that I wanted to make sure to document.  Kamy continues to work hard on her little garden.  A few weeks ago, her first sunflower popped up, making everyone smile.  Also making everyone smile is hearing Kimble's new word: cheeseball.  He says it perfectly and it's so adorable.

 Kennedy works herself to exhaustion, playing outside in the sun.  She was sleeping like this, amid the pile of clothes I was getting ready to sort and fold.

Mr. Kimble loves to wear hats now, and his current favorite is actually my hat.  He was wearing it in the kitchen as he was slurping and spitting a glass of milk, while eating handfuls of crackers and cereal.

 I take many self portraits, and many come out zoomed in too far, because I don't check the zoom before I take the picture!

Kimble loves to play in the backyard (wearing hats) and digging in the dirt. He often doesn't have pants on, because he takes them off as soon as I try to get them on, unless we are going somewhere public, and then he keeps his modesty.

Keaton likes playing with Kimble too, in the backyard.  Keaton's current obsession is being a cowboy, and even if its 100 degrees out (which it has been quite often the past few weeks) Keaton still wears his jeans, cowboy boots, and more often than not, a long sleeved flannel shirt.  H.O.T.!

Cheyenne Mountain State Park

The further adventures of the hiking Nunnelly family are brought to you by Cheyenne Mountain State Park.  We, meaning The Husband and I, had planned to camp out here the weekend before our anniversary, and then after a griddle-cooked breakfast, we were going to hike through some trails in the morning.  Well, things didn't work out, and we never got to camp.  However, we didn't let that stop us from taking all the kids on a hike a few weeks later.  It was a perfect day for hiking, with big blue Colorado skies to be our tourguide.  Just lovely.

Behind the family lies Fort Carson, downrange.  We started on a few paths, walked down a few streets, and then finally found a trail to begin our actual hiking.

Don't let Kolby fool you. He has a great time when we are out hiking.  He just chooses to show his displeasure as often as possible.  (Can you tell he and I are having friction?  No?  Good.  'Cause we aren't....)

This is usually my view, when we are hiking.  I love it.  We certainly challenge Kimble as much as we can, but in actuality, he challenges himself.  He is always running and jumping and exherting himself. It's great to see, even if he totally "crashes" afterwards.

I love this guy.

My little ducklings all in a row.

After hiking, we came upon a playground (it was nestled by all the campsites) and had fun playing in the wonky mirror.

Then we looked across the mountains.  Storm rolling in!  You can see the line of showers...where it begins, and after we watched it a while, we figured it was time to get moving because it was coming in fast!

We made it to our car right when the raindrops started falling on us.  We made it home, right when the hail started falling on us...and thus we covered our garden beds, while I took pictures, in a previous post.

The Business of Wandmaking

Keaton wanted to sell wands. You may remember that he wrote a note about it.  His wandmaking involved this:  Finding perfect wand-ish sticks; carving them smooth; sanding them; painting them a specific color; adding a touch of glimmer paint over the top.   Viola!  A magic wand.

So Keaton (and the neighborhood kids who were bored that day) set up shop at a more populated street corner just down from our house (I could still see them out my window).

"Wands!  Wands for sell!  50 cents to 1 dollar.  Magic Wands!  Come get your wands!"

Surprisingly, people did come to get wands. Keaton made over 10 dollars in the hour or two that he was out there.

With some of the money, he paid his little helpers.  With some of the money, he bought a watch.  With some of the money, he continues to torment Kolby with his "fat wallet" syndrome...which makes Kolby's envy flare up.


A few weeks ago, we had a little hailstorm.  Normally the month of June is riddled with hailstorms, for our area, but we've been unseasonably dry lately.  So although we had plastic covers for our gardenbeds, it wasn't until the short rainstorm turned to hail, that we ran outside to cover the plants.  Of course, when I say "We", I mean The Husband and kids. I stayed inside where it was dry...and took pictures.

"Capturing magic" is what I said, when The Husband looked up and saw how very helpful I had been standing in the doorway, taking pictures.

Our garden is looking great!  Almost everything is growing.  (This picture was taken a few weeks ago, and everything has doubled in size since then!)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Frequent Tooth Fairy

The night after Kennedy lost her bottom tooth, she got to work on her other teeth.  Her two top middle teeth were loose, but I thought they'd hang strong for another few months at least.

All day long, she walked around looking in a mirror, and wiggling her middle right tooth.  By evening (after she was sent to bed, mind you) she came to me with it pretty loose.  I got a tissue, hooked my fingernail in the little gap behind the tooth, right up by the gums, and popped it off.  Just like that, she lost another tooth.

She was so excited...and naturally, she had to write the Tooth Fairy another note.  "I lost another tooth"

The next morning, after she got her dollar from the Tooth Fairy, she saw possibilities. So she started working on the other middle tooth.  Every time I saw her, she was wiggling that tooth.  All.Day.Long.

Once again, when it came time to go to bed, she suddenly was ready to get the other tooth out.  This one took a bit more pressure. There was one bit that had a tight stronghold on the tooth, and didn't want to let it go; but then we got it.  Suddenly, Kennedy can't say her "s" sound any more.  She looks completely different.

Another note for the Tooth Fairy?  You betcha.  This time, however, she got a bit greedy.  Her letter says (spelling corrected) "Holy Cow!  Another tooth.  Can you please give me jewelry or two dollars.  Answer yes or no.  Right.  Read.  Whoa."

The Tooth Fairy just happened to have two dollars to give a sweet little toothless girl.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waldo Canyon Fire

We have a fire burning in our city.  It's at a level 1, which is top priority for the nation, because of the proximity to residential and business areas.  It started on Saturday.  I was at my Farmer's Market in the north part of Colorado Springs.  We noticed the smoke.  We saw the smoke cloud get bigger and bigger.  As I was driving home, this was what I saw:

 None of these pictures are taken by me. They are all on public websites, like our city newspaper, the city pages, the incident pages, and some were taken by people who posted them on their blogs or facebook.

The above picture is what I saw, about 1pm on Saturday.  It was over the ridge at Waldo Canyon, about a mile or two across from where I was at the market.

Here is another picture of the fire burning in the canyon.
 Although it has never been contained, the firemen had lines of attack, to keep the fire burning in the canyon instead of having it come up over the ridge and into our residential neighborhoods to the west of our city.

But, about 4pm yesterday, the winds picked up to 65 mph along the mountains, and it blew the fire straight towards the city.  Within minutes, it had traveled down the ridge and was burning houses and communities.
 People who were already on standby for evacuation were informed they had minutes to get out of their houses.  Roads were blocked to keep people  from going back, and all traffic was at a standstill, trying to get people out of the evacuated areas.  At this point, the entire northwest part of the city, as well as the south side of the Air Force Academy was evacuated.

From this next picture's vantage point, they are looking towards the mountains (which you can't see behind the smoke and haze) at the fire coming down off the ridge.  This is just a few miles from where we lived previously.  We are now about 25 minutes south, and for now, are safe from this fire.

This is a picture of people on the freeway, with the fire in the background.

Garden of the Gods is a National Landmark and Park, here in our city.  Atop one of our tallest natural structures lies the "kissing camels" landmark.  This is a picture of the kissing camels, with the fire in the background.  So far, GoG is safe from the fire, for now.  (Edited to add:  This picture, although I found it through public media, was originally posted by Matt Payne Photograpy and was taken a month before the fire started.  The orange haze is simply the sun, not the firesmoke.  All credit for this picture belongs to him. He has some amazing photographs on his website!)

As I mentioned, the south side of the Air Force Academy was evacuated, where there were residential neighborhoods.  This is a picture from on base, with the fire smoke in the background.

Until yesterday, no structures were lost.  Then, when the fire was feuled by the wind, and it came down the mountain, many homes were lost.  It's devastating to watch, and know that there are people we know and love who have either lost their home or have been evacuated and are waiting to hear if their home was lost.

The city on fire.  So sad to see.

Here is a fire map of what's going on in our city right now.  The red area is where the fire is, with the blue areas being evacuated, and the yellow areas on standby.

There are a few facts about the fire.  First, our area has never seen this kind of devastation, in it's history.  However, we have excellently trained personell helping in all areas, and have many hundreds of crews (fireman, police, medical) that have come down to help.

As of today, 32 thousand people have been evacuated, and are currently staying with friends/family in another part of the city, or are at one of our many shelters designated for them.

The fire has burned more than 15 thousand acres so far.

We have had extreme heat for the past few weeks (over a hundred degrees with no relief) and that isn't helping matters. The fire is hot and the land is dry.  The embers from the fire "hop" over huge areas, including our mountain resevior that is a mile wide.

With a slight thunderstorm on the horizon for tonight, it brings an additional worry that because the burned hillsides have no vegetation anymore, and therefore can't hold any water, it will quickly start a flash flood that will travel down the valleys and into the city, into Manitou Springs, and further south where we live.

The winds are expected to be gusty today, as well, which will direct the fire any way it chooses, and make it impossible to control.  Yesterday's wind gusts sent the fire right past the firefighter's first and second lines of defense.  It's just so powerful.

If you can, please pray for the winds to cease and for the heat to lessen.  The estimated time of control, for this fire, takes us to the end of July.  We pray that no more of our beautiful city or countryside will be engulfed in flames and that no lives will be lost.

One other thing, there was a small fire that started a few miles from my home.  Probably a careless cigarrette thrown out the window.  It was contained quickly, and we weren't in danger, but it definitely caused us to be prepared by having our 72 hour kids ready and waiting.  A fire could break out anywhere, especially with the burning embers that are floating amid all the ash and smoke.  It's a very scary time here for sure.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tooth #3

It seems like teeth always want to come out when kids have already been sent to bed.  At least, it seems to be the case with my kids who like to procrastinate bedtime.  It only took a few minutes and her tooth was out.  I was impressed that there weren't tears and squirmish behavior.  The tooth was ready, and it practically fell out.

After rinsing her mouth, she quickly drew a picture for the Tooth Fairy, and then put the picture and her tooth under her pillow.  She went right to sleep, with a smile on her face.

The tooth fairy rewarded her efforts with a dollar bill, which Kennedy tacked onto our bulletin board so she could stare at it all day long.