Friday, May 24, 2013

Last Day Of School

Oh, it's the last day of school.  It seems early, but then again, they go back to school the first week in August, so it balances out.  I like to compare pictures from the first day of the school year, Found On This Blog Post, and I see the most difference with Kolby and Kennedy (whose front teeth grew during the school year!)
 
To celebrate with them, I got up early (with The Husband) and we made them a special breakfast.  They only had half a day of school, so it was just a few hours of fun before the year would be over. I LOVE this next picture of the school-age kids!
 


I really like that one of Kamy and Kennedy, too!  As a thank you gift to the kids' teachers, which is far less than they deserved, we (and by "we" I mean "I") spent about 5 hours the night before baking tons of cookies.  We (I) made three different batches of cookies, in varying flavors, and packaged them up for their teachers, with a note that said "Thanks to you we're smart cookies!"

 
Last day of school.  Sigh.  Let the summer begin!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kolby Top Five!


The last week(s) of school provide for little learning, a lot of chaos, many fieldtrips and activities, lots of movies and parties, and also some award ceremonies.  I think I could win the "proudest mom" award when I saw that Kolby received an award as one of his school's top five students. Kolby's category was "most improved in reading and writing".  Seriously.  So proud.  He isn't highest in any of his courses.  He doesn't have the greatest grades.  Scholarly work is very difficult for Kolby.  So by being "most improved", it showed that even with his struggles, he has made the most progress.  Well done!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Keaton Moves On

 
Keaton has been looking forward to this day for a long time.  He "graduated" from 5th grade and Elementary School, and crossed over to middle school.  Even though he doesn't look like it in this picture, he was super excited, and a bit nervous.
 
 
They put together this program, with mostly songs, some slide shows, speeches, and diploma passing out, and an award or two.
 
 
Keaton received an award from his teacher, who said some very kind remarks about him.  He is a great student who works very hard and has come a long way in terms of his confidence and organization and learning.
 

 
...I was there too.

 
The next day, he had his 5th grade Wax Museum.  He, and the rest of the grade classmates, had been preparing for this for months. Keaton chose to be Neil Armstrong, and learned some fascinating things about that noble man!  Kimble and I went to the school and supported Keaton with his project.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chicken Farmer & Gettaway Driver

 
This is the last week of school, and the time is coming to an end where it'll just be me and my little buddy at home all day.  Of course, we'll have two more years of this before Kimble goes to Kindergarten, but for the next couple of months, all the kids will be together again all day long.
 
I'm going to miss our quiet times...with the chickens.  Such a good chicken farmer, he is.
 
He has also discovered our neighbor's little toy car, and has stolen it every chance he gets.  He said "There are bad guys, mom.  I gotta drive."
 
Whenever I ask Kimble how he looks, he smooths his hair and says "I handsome, mom".  Yes, buddy, you are.  Especially when daddy gives you a haircut!

 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Gymnastics Party

After our  hike the day before, Kennedy and Kimble were invited to a friend's birthday party.  It was to be held at a local gymnastics place, and Kennedy, who has dreamed of becoming a gymnast her whole life (I did too, as a kid), was so beyond excited to go.  We got the gifts ready and Kennedy helped personalize them by providing lovely drawings on the wrapping paper.
 
 
Kimble had to be watched closely, as he was crazy-know-no-fear, and I was high with anxiety the entire time, but he had a blast.

 
So did Kennedy, who wore a fluffy skirt for the occasion.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

We Went Hiking Again

We use to find a new hiking trail every weekend.  Then we got busy.  But we found the time to go again.  This time, it was at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. We have a year pass there, it was beautiful weather, we were craving a BBQ...so we combined all three.
 
 
We took Bobcat Trail for a mile or so.  The Husband took this same trail with some of the kids about a month ago, and they actually saw a bobcat.  Well named, that trail.  So with that in mind, we made sure to keep the easy prey (Kimble) in the middle of the caravan.

 
While talking with a park worker, the kids found this bench, and had a little rest.
 
 
Then Kolby found a flower for me.


 
After a short while, which was far too soon for me, the kids were all STARVING, so we backtracked on the trail, found a nice spot to BBQ, and got our supplies from the van.

 
While waiting for the grill to heat up, we took pictures, and the kids ate watermelon and chips & guacamole (the same guacamole that we froze a few weeks before).
 
 


 
After we ate and cleaned up everything, and reloaded the van again, we let the kids play at a little park that was off of the trails.  We all played, actually, with The Husband and I acting as "crocodiles" and trying to get our prey.  The game ended, though,  when the last person was trying to be eaten by the crocodiles, and got hurt by banging her head on the equipment.

 
So once recovered, we started down a new trail.  This trail's name escapes my memory, but it was wider and intended for mountain bikers as well.  At this point, it was after naptime, and Kimble was feeling the effects of exertion on his little heart.  So The Husband carried him a bit.  Kimble was wiggly and couldn't decide how he wanted to be carried, so there was a little acrobatic show for a while, as they found their groove.
 



 
The kids really enjoyed the trail, and were running up and down it as we, the old people, brought up the rear...meaning Kimble and Kennedy.

 
Soon, though, these three younger kids decided they wanted to head back.  So I took them back to the park area (about 1.5 miles back to the beginning of the trail) and the other two kids continued on with The Husband.

 
After about another hour, we all met up together again and then went home.  Kimble fell asleep instantly, exhausted from his hiking efforts.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Messenger Bag For Kimble



I made a messenger bag for Kimble. I thought he would like it, since he loves to carry around purses to hold his treasures, and he is always shoving things in his underwear because he needs a pocket for his toys...but he hates the bag. He wore it for about two seconds (for me to take a picture) then he tossed  it on the ground and never looked at it again.


 
I even made some special pockets just for his cars...and the inside is big enough for his toy dinosaurs and books.  At any rate, I like it, but still want to tweak the pattern a bit, before I'm happy with it, but it was fun to do.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Field Day and Lunch Dates

Today was field day for these three kiddos.  They each found hats to wear, totally excited to spend the day lathered in sunshine  and playing games outside in the beautiful weather we are having this week.  Winter finally decided to give up it's command and we went right to summer, with temperatures in the 80s.  So delicious.
 
 
Kimble and I were invited to The Husband's work, to enjoy a BBQ lunch.  Little Kimble was so excited to get his own field trip, and loved the time he spent with his daddy.

 
Later, we peeled and cored and sliced about 20 pounds  of apples and then I cooked them down and prepared a huge batch (three big pots full) of apple pie filling, which we put into ziploc bags and froze.


Some of you requested info on the batch of guacamole we did last week.  Guacamole is difficult to freeze, or even refrigerate. It's sort of a "make fresh and eat it right away" type of food.  That being said, if you add enough acid (lemon or lime juice) to counteract the oxidation of the avocados, then it'll work.  So I can't give you an exact guacamole recipe, because it's all about getting to the flavor that you like, but besides avocados, we add in some diced tomatoes, cilantro, diced onions, cumin, lime or lemon juice, garlic, onion salt, pepper, and jalapenos.

We froze them in freezer quart-size bags and removed  all the air before sealing. Then we flattened them and stacked them up.  To serve them, we removed a bag and let it thaw in the fridge.  As it thaws, it oxidizes a little bit, turning slightly gray/brown on the outside.  I just stirred it all up and although it's not as bright as fresh guacamole, it still tastes great.  Hope that helps.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

City Cleanup

We started noticing strange occurrences around out city this week.  There were piles of trash, discarded household items, bulk piles of giveaway things, and evidence of yard cleanup in the works.  So we figured out what was happening. It was a city-wide cleanup.  There was a schedule of when to put out your piles, and the city would come clear it away free of charge.  You could also put out items you wanted to give away, and people would come around and swipe it if they wanted it.  A Win/Win situation.
 
So we did some investigating and discovered that our neighborhood pickup was scheduled for the next day.  The Husband decided it was a perfect opportunity to get rid of the huge pile of wood, branches, leaves, and old Christmas trees we had cornered on our side yard.  We got all the kids out there, each outfitted with gloves and rakes and wheel barrels, and we busted through the debris to get it relocated from our backyard to our  front side yard so the big front loader could scoop it up.  Here is a picture of the new pile, ready for pickup.

 
Kamy and Keaton are standing in the spot that was overfilled with the debris, and in the final stages of getting cleaned out.

 
It felt so nice to get it all cleaned up!  Horray for city cleanup!
 


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Visiting Kennedy

Kennedy had a school play today.  Boy, the last two weeks are crazy filled with activities for the school kids.  I was happy to have this time free to get up to the school and witness Kennedy's literacy group do a reading of two stories.  They are practicing reading outloud and not sounding like "robots".  Read with feeling!  They all did great, and Kennedy was so excited to have Kimble and I visit her classroom.
 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dentist Buddies


It was another dentist appointment for these two boys, and this time, I managed to have Kamy home to be with Kennedy and Kimble, so there were no mixups at my friend's houses again!  This time, I actually enjoyed the experience of waiting in the waiting room for these two to get done. I didn't even have any anxiety issues over being at the dentist (even thought the appointments are for me, I have major anxiety every time I walk into a dentist office, let alone have an appointment!).   I passed the time away with a good book, and quite enjoyed the 1.5 hours of relaxation.  Afterwards, the boys were given Frosty coupons, so I got them redeemed.  They were happy.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

The Husband and I don't often exchange gifts for Mother's Day or Father's Day.  Instead, we ask "what would you like for us to do today?"  This usually entails special meals being prepared and served, acts of service, and extra love being shown.

I had a few suggestions for the day.  1.  I didn't want to be in charge of making sure the kids did their chores.  2.  I wanted happy thoughts and kind words spoken throughout the day (in other words, no bickering!).  3.  Breakfast in bed would be lovely.  4.  Pictures of me with the kids.



 
It was a nice day. I sure do love this group of people!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Writing

I love to write.  I have ambitions to get books published.  I have a few children's books that are done, and another idea for a book that I've written a bit for, and created a long list of writing prompts to help me complete it.  I'm feeling the itch to actually follow through with all of this.

I've decided to pursue finding a literary agent, and am excited about this process.  Yay!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Avocados



The Husband has a friend at work who also works for a food company that delivers orders to local restaurants.  Every week, we are given a list of their specials, and we have the opportunity to buy from them as well.  This week, we couldn't pass up a big box of avocados for 13 dollars (we also bought a big box of apples, and two boxes of chicken).  The avocados were ripe as could be, and ready to be made into guacamole.

The Husband and I worked together tonight to prepare a huge batch of guacamole, which we then bagged into 12 separate pouches of 10 servings each.  Into the freezer they went.  Now that's a bargain!