Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hello August!

Time is flying! We are that much closer to fall break ;) I also recently learned there are only 19 more Fridays until Christmas. Imagine that!

It's been hot as hell here. I guess that shouldn't be a surprise. When the temp does go down then the humidity goes up. We just can't seem to win. We are also on the edge of that "I'm so done with the heat" phase of the summer. We can see September so close bringing promise of cooler night temps and the vague glimmer of hope for lower daytime temps. I went ahead and busted out my fall decor. Silly me, I count August as part of fall!  I guess because for me, our summer is May, June and July (while the kids are out of school) Fall starts with August for our house. Plus, by August I need a change of interior scenery to keep me as sane as possible. I am not sure it works but I try :)

School is rolling along. Cassandra is really having a great time in high school! She had her first high school dance last Friday. She brought 5 friends home with her on the bus to hang out until the dance. 4 girls, 1 boy. We had about 5 hours to kill before the dance so they played Wii, did their hair and makeup...well, not the boy. Danced, ate a lot and just hung out. Cassandra has been having fun making her plans for the future. She recently decided that joining the Navy would be a good start to her career in the FBI. I have talked to recruiters and done research. I guess if this is her path of choice, it's a good one. She cracks me up, so determined at only 14!!

Savannah is having a great time in 7th grade! She is so fearless. I envy her :) She has the most amazing science teacher! This lady has done it all and has a doctorate in science. She said they will do maybe 6 book assignments for the year but they will do well over 80 labs and around a dozen projects. Savannah is so excited! My little Cubby is getting so big.

Griffin is adjusting in 5th grade (middle school). He has wonderful teachers and friends in his classes/lunch. He just needs to get organized. I think some people have that gene or they don't. Cassandra didn't but she learned it by 7th grade. Perhaps Griffin will be the same ;) His language arts teacher and I are working together to keep his papers and such in check until he gets the hang of it. It's only the 4th week of school and he's already doing much better!

Alyssa is doing great in 2nd grade. Her teacher is wonderful! She said he is so nice and fun until people won't be quiet and then he uses his big voice. That always makes me laugh. She is doing well for her first year with no siblings at her school. She still loves watching Dirty Jobs marathons. She has fallen in love with the show Castle so we watch a lot of those during the week too! Some days I really wish she'd say "Hey, can we watch bubble guppies!?" I guess those days are long gone :-/

Shane is good...work is keeping him busy and out of trouble ;) We are both ready to get out of the heat for a few days during fall break. We are headed to a cabin in Pagosa Springs with the kids and we can't wait! The leaves should be changing and the weather should be awesome!

Here are some first day of school and other pics!



 Cassandra had to do a little poster that shows things she loves!
 Last minute baby snuggles!
 We were lounging ;)
 First day of School! Cassandra 9th, Savannah 7th, Alyssa 2nd, Griffin 5th. Can you tell who is excited about HS?


 Cassandra has to be to school balls early so we did our "ready for school" pics after she left! Sigh, they are so big!
My loves!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Trips part three

More Colorado...ya, I know.


We found the family plot in Creede. It took quite a bit of searching but Shane was the one who found it :)

 They were refurbishing the little church in Creede, it looked beautiful.
 
 

Summer Trips part two

I will let the gorgeous pictures speak for themselves in Colorado. Suffice it to say, we were very taken with our trip there.  The whole family can't wait to go back in the fall!

 Alyssa on her hike at the top of Wolf Creek Pass
 Some gorgeous land in Pagosa Springs ;)
 Griffin and Alyssa made a good friend at the cabin, Michael the cat.
 Daddy and Lyssie Belle fishing.
 She was so ready to try out every trick she learned watching all the River Monster episodes! I think Jeremy Wade would have been proud ;)
 My goofy boys.
 Savannah had just informed Cassandra that "you are short and bossy but I love you!"
 My little fishergirl.
 Me and my cubby.
 Crazies.
 We had such a gorgeous spot to fish! Clouds and breeze and then sun and breeze. Sadly, no fish biting.
Me, boy and our favorite photobomber!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Trips Part One

This summer has been a glorious whirlwind of travel! As you know, we started off the last day of school headed to Disneyland. A couple of weeks later, Shane and I went to San Diego to mix a little business with our anniversary getaway. Recently, he had a conference in northern Arizona so we tagged along and went to Bearizona, the Flagstaff Arboretum and then headed up to Colorado.

San Diego was awesome! We stayed in a gorgeous hotel right next door to Seaport Village. We did a harbor cruise (I had not done one of those since before we had kids) and we toured the USS Midway! What a great experience! I really didn't care much about doing it but Shane was really excited so I said sure ;) It turned out to be amazing!

Our trip to Flagstaff was great, it was pleasently chilly! We swam, got in the hot tub, hiked all over the Arboretum, saw squirrels and all sorts of beautiful birds. We went to Bearizona which is a preserve of sorts. They have bears, wolves, bison, fox, badgers, mountain goats and more! You drive through part of it and then there is a walk through section which is much like a tiny zoo. They had adult bears in the drive through part, adolescent and baby bears in the walk through section. We had a great time and again, the weather was gorgeous!

We finished up our 2 days in Flagstaff and headed straight up to Colorado. It was sad to see how much of the Ponderosa Pines that had been destroyed by the Bark Beetles. The aspens were still alive and flourishing but the pines were just dead and brown. Crumbling in many cases. It had been 12 years since I had been to Colorado, I had forgotten how much I liked it there. We went up through Durango, Pagosa Springs, Wolf Creek Pass and stayed in Southfork in some cute little cabins. We fished, hiked, saw a TON of wildlife. OMG, I have never seen so many different kinds of animals not in a zoo! We drove to Lake City which is breathtaking!! I saw moose, deer, squirrels, beaver dams, porcupine nests, birds....so much! The valley leading there with all the horses and ranches was so beautiful. It was like watching a Robert Redford movie, so scenic! We went to Creede a couple of times. I love that little town, so much colorful history. We went to the old Creede cemetary to find the Leonard family plot. Apparently, Leonards settled there to mine silver in the 1800s. The cemetary was very pretty and very old. We walked and walked until Shane found the Leonard plots.



We went fishing one day. It was one of the few cloudy days during our stay. The kids were super excited! Alyssa has watched so many episodes of River Monsters, she was delighted to try out her own fishing skills. She was surprisingly quiet and patient. I reminded the kids that fishing is not an exciting sport (unless you are Jeremy Wade, netting a monster) and that they had to be very quiet. They had a great time and we were out there much longer than I figured we would be! The fish were not biting but they were well fed by the time we left our spot....We all loved the small towns and being outdoors so much. We can't wait to go back!


 Our anniversary in San Diego
 Headed to Flagstaff and then on to Colorado
 We had a great time in Flagstaff
 Bearizona
 Flagstaff Arboretum
 Enjoying the fact we were outside and not sweating! Beautiful skies, lots of squirrels and killer swarms of butterflies ;)
 My love
 Gorgeous Flagstaff skies
Shane and Cassandra goofing it up at Cracker Barrel as we head out to Colorado

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Disneyland part TWO :)

 Waiting in Cars Land
 The best kind of family picture :)
 Aunt Julie's first time on California Screamin' but Cassandra is an "old pro."
Shane (waving) and Griffin (his first time!)
 
Another successful Disney trip and a wonderful kick off to summer break! They never saw it coming and I'll never forget how excited they were. <3 p="">

Disneyland Surprise Part ONE!

We pulled off the biggest of all surprises! After MONTHS of planning, dodging curve balls in scheduling for the last day of school ( we received last min notice that all of the kids were getting academic awards and special awards on the LAST DAY!)Thankfully, our schools rock and they moved our kids to the front of the award line so they could be done in time for us to leave town on time! We arrived at each of the 3 schools midday and picked the kids up. They were under the impression they were having an epic sleepover with their aunt/uncle/cousins to celebrate the end of school. Shane and I had packed and dropped off our suitcases at their aunt and uncle's house so that none of them would be suspicious of the luggage. Upon arriving at Uncle Andy and Aunt Julie's house, each of the kids was given a bag with 2 things...first being a small Disney themed stuffed toy and 2nd, a Disney gift card. On the back of each card was a word and when each kid read theirs in sequence it said...

"LET'S GO TO DISNEYLAND...RIGHT NOW!"
 
After much screaming, disbelief and one pissed off kid because she didn't want to miss a sleepover with her cousins...we were on the road!
 
Don't worry, it only took Alyssa about 15 min to get over the attitude because she really realized that her cousins would be at Disneyland also! This scheduling phenomenon had not happened since Christmas of 2009!
 
So, without further delay..here are our pictures!
 
 These are the little bags of love containing our surprise! WOOOO
 Still a little dazed but ready to go!
 We have arrived :) Dinner at the Grand Californian Hotel~Storyteller Cafe
 We "grown ups" are just as excited!
 YAY DISNEYLAND
 We broke tradition and rode Indian Jones first.
 Cassandra and B, they rode many rides together on this trip.
 Andy, Savannah and Shane waiting for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The refurb was worth it, what an awesome ride!
 Alyssa joins the party ;)
 The kids were pretty blah about all the princesses except this one, check out Brandon's face!!!!!! He looks like he just landed the "catch" of the day! (See what I did there?)
 We waited 60 min for Dumbo. Never again...well, not until I have grandchildren ;)
 My and my Cubby flying high!
Alyssa and Sully. I FINALLY got this kid on the horse drawn trolly after almost 7 years of her visiting Disneyland. Whew, cross that one off the bucket list!