Color Sunday

So where I live in Colorado is close to the world’s largest flat-top mountain, known as the Grand Mesa. It’s a beautiful place to go visit for camping, fishing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, sledding, hiking… etc. There are a bajillion lakes up there too, so if you’re up during the summer months, don’t forget your super-strong mosquito repellent! This time of the year the trees start to change, and our valley has what they call “Color Sunday,” and lots of people drive up there and take in the beautiful array of fall colors. It really is gorgeous. Our normal Sunday routine was out the window today, so we decided to take advantage and have ourselves a nice little trip out of town to view the fall colors and breathe some nice fresh mountain air.

All of Us but Kev
Unfortunately, there is only one or two pics of Kev in this whole set because he was the photographer. So I guess he’s there in a sense; after all we wouldn’t have any of these great shots without him.

What happens when you tell them to give you their biggest smiles.

Throwing a Rock
Boys will be boys. Beau tossing a rock (or maybe a pine-cone) into the lake.

Selah and Cherry
Selah walking with Grandma Cherry. We had to work hard to keep her from going into the lake. Silly girl.

Selah. The only reason she’s sitting remotely still is because she thought it was cool to be sitting on a rock.

Kids on the Rock
Kids on the rock.

My handsome little dude, Drew.

A Hottie and a Cutie
There’s our photographer! It’s too bad he wasn’t in more of the shots, because he’s a hottie!

Grandma Cherry and Selah
Grandma Cherry and Selah, who look a bit alike, if I do say so myself.

Selah and Beau on the Trail
It’s Selah, and Beau! I have no idea what Beau is doing, but Selah sure is cute.

Grandma and the Kids
In action, but smiling none-the-less.

The Ladies
The ladies. Selah is having a jolly old time tugging on my earring.

A borrowed prop. Thank you, to whoever this boat belongs to.

Most definitely plotting their world domination. Looks like fun.

Lake View

Of course, if you’d like to see the whole set, just click on any of the photos to go to my Flickr page.

It was a really nice day, very refreshing, and it went by waaaaay tooooo fast!


Life and Parenting

Sorry I’ve been kind of M.I.A lately. I’ve been having a hard time coming up with much to write about. Well, maybe that’s not really it. I HAVE been super busy though. Ever since we’ve started Drew at this new school, things have just been go, go, go! It’s probably a good thing though. I’m getting up earlier, and seem to be accomplishing more. However, by the afternoons, I’m usually super tired, and any energy I have goes to getting dinner ready, doing homework with Drew, and then getting the kids in bed. Sometimes you really just have to take a deep breath and push on through. (See… I’m preparing for labor!)

I’m happy to report that homework with Drew has gone much better this week. He seems to be getting the hang of it, and getting used to having to do it, so he’s not fighting me quite as much. (I SO hope I didn’t just jinx myself by saying that!) It seems that if I set him up at my desk on his own, but stay in the same room, where I’m available if he needs help, but not a distraction by sitting right with him, he gets things done a lot faster.
Also, last week we discovered that one of his classmates lives in our neighborhood, so that has been a fun thing for him. We were able to have a play-date today. And I am coming to grips with the fact that we’ve reached that age where I’m going to have to start slowing loosening my clutches on Drew here. He’s going to want to go over to friends houses and attend birthday parties (without me!) and so on. I’m learning how and what kind of boundaries to set with what I will and wont allow him to do, and what has to happen before he can do certain things, like hang out at a friends house. This is one of those times, where your fear for their safety and well-being makes you wish they were still in your womb. Ha ha! At the same time, here I am 8 months pregnant, uncomfortable and totally ready for the next one to come on out! Talk about irony! Ah, such is life. And parenting.
Well, must go, I have important things to attend to: like watching Battlestar Galactica with my hubby. Yep. We’ve been sucked in.

Menu- Sept. 21-27

Monday- vegetable enchiladas, I don’t make the enchilada sauce, I buy a can of the green stuff from Hatch.
Tuesday- pesto pizza I use store-bought pesto (Classico makes a pretty good and inexpensive one), and make my own crust. I am also adding sliced mushrooms just to give it an extra veggie.
Wednesday- green chili chicken soup
Thursday- spaghetti with no-cook tomato sauce, salad and garlic bread
Friday- blue cheese burgers
Saturday- burritos
Sunday- leftovers

Lunches and snacks- soup, veggie sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, smoothies, salad

The last three recipes have been added to my recipe page, check em out!

Weekend Update

What? It’s not the weekend, you say. Well, it is for me. Drew doesn’t have school tomorrow, and as I have been getting up around 6- 6:30 a.m. for four days in a row, (for three weeks now) I’m more than ready to sleep in. Drew will generally be having his Fridays off, depending on the week. (If they have a Monday off, they’ll go through Friday to make sure they have enough school days for the year… etc.) The three day weekends are very nice. One thing they neglect to tell parents (before conception) is that when your kids start going to school, that essentially means that you, the parent, are back in school as well. Except now, you don’t get the joy of being in class. No, you get to do the fun part: the homework! Ha ha. Drew and I have been slogging through homework now for three weeks, and let me tell you. We are both relieved when the weekend comes, and his teachers mercifully do not give him over-the-weekend homework. Thank God for that! We are both learning and growing though, and that is something that is very important to me and that I see as incredibly valuable. One thing that I’ve been able to pinpoint with this whole adventure, is that I don’t want my kids to just “skate by” with their education. I want them to strive for excellence, not mediocrity, and I feel like this school is really upholding that standard. Aside from the homework struggle though, Drew is doing really well. He has, on more than one occasion, received kudos for good behavior (something that NEVER happened last year,) and yesterday his teacher told me he was doing really well. She said she worries when kids come in late (start attending late,) but that Drew is so driven that he’s doing just fine! (Thank you to Kevin for the “driven” gene.) I was so glad to hear that, and also so thankful for a communicative teacher. After some apprehensive weeks of not being sure about our decision to send him there, I feel like we’ve done the right thing. Whew! Sigh of relief. The homework thing will come around too. We’re trying new things to see what works best, and I think I’ve got a method that will work.

On the home front, this week has seen Selah discovering how to crawl out of her crib. Honestly, I’m surprised it didn’t happen a lot sooner. I think both of the boys were crawling out somewhere shortly after they turned 1. The other night Kevin and I were both jolted awake by the sound of one our kitchen stools scraping across the floor, (such a lovely sound!) and lo and behold, Selah was out there. She had also wreaked havoc on the bathroom, so we really don’t know how long she was awake and wandering about the house. Yeah, scary, I know! Nap-time has also been interesting, but I think we’ve got that one under control. Just call me the “Nap Warden.” Ha ha.

I wish I could say I’ve been pretty productive this week, but not really. I feel like I’ve spent most of the week recovering from a migraine that I had on Monday. The headache ironically came not 30 minutes after I had tweeted about deciding to be happy and productive despite my grumpy mood that morning. (Do you doubt that God has a sense of humor? I don’t.) Anyways, it left me with a bit of a fragile head the rest of the week. I’ve also been getting more and more tired as the pregnancy wears on. I feel like I can only schedule one event for the day because just the one event wipes me out! Oh well… (More news about that in the Baby Monologues.)

My garden has done really well too. I’ve had lots and lots of grape and cherry tomatoes, and have really enjoyed those. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m ruined as far as eating the grocery store variety now, they just don’t taste near as good! I’ve estimated I’ve picked about 40 large tomatoes so far this summer. We’ve enjoyed lots of fresh salsa and no-cook tomato sauce. I’ve had a few jalepenos, and a handful of cucumbers. I think next summer, with a larger garden, we’ll have a little more space to grow those a little better. I trimmed off a few of the non-flowering branches off the tomato plants to hopefully encourage the rest of the green tomatoes to ripen here before it gets too cold. Don’t ask me where I get my weird gardening ideas from. It’s stuff I glean from random sources here and there, but the pruning seems to be working so far! This is very much a trial by error process for me, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I think the garden has pretty much already payed for itself too. Looking forward to a bigger one next summer!

And I think that about sums it up for this little weekend update. Hope you all have fab weekends!

An Old School New School

I’ve been avoiding posting anything because I really don’t know where to start… so I’m just going to jump in with both feet here…

So, I know I’ve posted my thoughts here and there about schooling and whatnot, and all that good stuff, and the week before last one of the charter schools here in town called to say they had an opening and would we like to send Drew there? This was the school that I had mentioned before; it is a Classical Education school, that also focuses on the Core Knowledge Curriculum. After MUCH debate and research (in 24 hours) Kevin and decided to go ahead and give it a shot. This seemed to be one of those situations that we just wouldn’t know the outcome until we tried. So Drew started last Monday. School starts at 7:45 in the morning, and gets out at three, and generally, they have a four day week. He also has to wear a “uniform,” of sorts.
So far it seems to be going as well as can be expected. These kids started their school year on July 27th, so they had already been in school a month before Drew started. So they’ve had the time to adjust to the new 1st grade schedule, and Drew was just beginning that transition, so he was definitely a bit tired the first few days when he got home. He also has had homework every night which has been a little hard for him to focus on after a whole day of intense focus at school. We’ll be working on that together. I’m sure it will get easier as he settles into the schedule and gets used to everything. I’ll have to take a picture of him in his uniform just to document…

Drew in his School Uniform
(There we go!)

I’m sure I’ll have more to say as the year wears on too. Kevin and I have 40 hours of volunteer work that the school expects parents to complete as well, so that might be a bit of a challenge as well, but I think it’s a good thing. I’m glad he’s there.