Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Year-New Blog

I will not be updating here anymore. Please go to Elementary Spirits to keep reading!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Well, Hello World!

Since we moved I am finding less and less time to blog. With all the fun stuff there is to do here, it is enough to get on and get my 'work' done (let alone help Carter play his Toontown game). I launched another new website with a friend this summer and have been busy promoting like crazy. Connors site is doing really well too :) Connor and Bob are both taking guitar lessons from this great guy literally 3 blocks over from us. So lucky to have found him. Connor is still liking his one day a week school. We have been out fishing a few more times. No real luck with the fish but great family time.

Below are some great pictures with some captions to tell you what else we have been up to!

Carter turned 10! Connor made the cake. Connor has gotten really into cooking lately. Thanks Grandma for helping the icing to come out right! He had a whole Batman theme going on. He got a lot of money for Build a Bear thanks to Grandma, Nicholas and Nana. He went the day after his birthday and bought three bears with plenty left over for the Fall. He is excited to go pick out a Halloween costume for one or two of them. Great gift for him, he couldn't be happier.

Carter, me and his new friend Tony going up the chair lift to the alpine slide. Carter went up once with me and Tony and then ditched me to spend the rest of the day with Tony. He works with an awesome program based out of Winter Park that does disabled outdoor sports. The program was amazing. Not at all competitive, just fun, which fits Carter perfectly. They have amazing trips that are all accessible including camping, rafting, and horseback riding.

I absolutely love this picture of Carter on the alpine slide at Winter Park. He looks so free and full of joy. Don't worry, Tony was actually right in front of him but he separated just for the picture. Connor and I were in the fast lane where I got rear ended and thrown out of the car. I had quite a few bruises and burns but it was all worth that incredible smile on his face! Con had a BLAST as well.

Carter being fit for his winter sit-ski. We will all take family ski lessons through the same program that we did the resort day with. Connor is so looking forward to learning how to snowboard.

Connors best friend, Connor came to spend some time with us. The boys had so much fun but it made my Connor miss 'home' even more. They are in the middle of the boat on this picture. I have never seen a ride soak you as much as this one. We were at Elitch Gardens which is a Six Flags amusement park. Both boys love it here. They have an little Main Street that sells Disney stuff so Carter is always happy! They have a water park here as well. We have been several times since moving here.

Connor and Connor on our back fence.

The weather is WILD here. Connor drew pictures in the hail one day. It is a toontown smilie face. We had three days of tornado warnings. One of the days we were smack in the middle of three of them with one touching down less than a mile from us at the lake.

This is Sammy the Salamander. We found him living in the playroom window well one day. He only comes out when it rains. By the size of him I am sure he has been there a very long time. We have many other wild friends. We have Sammy the Squirrel (don't know why we named him the same) and lots of chickadees and finches. We occasionally see deer and fox next to the house. It is hard for the kids to understand that they are wild and not pets but we are trying to just observe and give them some feeders so that the kids see them more. I have gotten really into the birds which the kids think is hilarious. They call me the freaky bird lady.

Beautiful picture from 13,000 feet at Winter Park. Carter and I went up there with Tony. Carter was not real happy with this ski lift as it was much steeper than the one for the slide or skiing. The crazy thing is that kids as young as 7 can be seen mountain biking down this. Our nephew Tyler would probably have a blast doing that as he is quite the little BMXer. If you click on the picture you will see all the brown trees. This is damage from a pine beetle that is literally killing the forest in the Rocky Mountains. It is so sad to see the devastating amount of damage that has been and is being done.

Just a gorgeous picture from our back patio after a summer rain. Pretty symbolic of our time so far in Colorado. Seems like good things are starting to come out of the darker clouds!

Have a great month everyone!

Check out Carts blog to read his stories: Carters World

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Month of July

Still feel like I am playing catch up with everything but it is starting to get better. I will try to give you a little run down on the last month. We have been outside so much! We have been to WaterWorld, which is billed as being the largest in the nation. Carter had a blast in the wave pool which surprised us all. Connor fell in love with a slide that is alot like a giant toilet bowel that spins you around and then flushes you out. We had our buddy Nicholas come and stay. We had a blast at Dave and Busters and the Zoo with him. We have been out fishing, including today up in the mountains at Estes Park. It is about 1 1/2 hours from Denver, past Boulder and into the mountains. I was happy because Boulder has an Original Pancake House (like the one in GVR) that we stopped at on the way up. We went to Trout Haven which was like shooting fish in a barrel but the boys needed to be successful with this as they were getting pretty burnt out not catching anything in the lakes down here. It has been 'hot' here. They call out weather alerts when it gets over 90 and it has been over 90 for 18 days straight. That has heated up the lakes here so it is almost impossible to catch things from piers. Lets see what else? We went to the Spina Bifida family picnic here and went paddle boating. Carter spent a night in the ER for the staph infection in his leg that came back. We had a great time at the Museum of Nature and Science. Carter saw his first Mummy there. Totally freaked him out. The boys have been swimming alot. Connor is starting to make some neighborhood friends. The kids across the street have a roller hockey rink in their basement so that has been a lot of fun. He is taking a rock climbing class. He signed up for a school program that is one day a week. It focuses on global economics so it is perfect for him. He will be going to school downtown close to Bob on Tuesdays. He is starting an ice hockey league, and then tryout for basketball start. The middle schools here don't have competitive sports so they play on club leagues based on where they would go to school. That worked out perfectly for him! His good buddy, 'the other Connor' is coming to spend next week with us. They plan to hit Elitch Gardens and WaterWorld. Carters 10th birthday is coming up soon. He choose to have a dinner at Dave and Busters that night. I will take pictures. Speaking of pictures, below are some recent fishing ones. Fishing has been good for Bob and Connor. It is forcing them both to learn a little bit of patience (especially with each other). The first set, the really light ones (still can't find the battery to my good digital camera) on the pier are from a few weeks ago at the lake about a mile from the house. They didn't catch anything. The darker ones are from today where they took home 5 trout. Connor had the biggest at about 18 inches but Carter caught the first fish of the day. I am honestly about to throw up at the thought of eating them. My return to being a vegetarian again is getting closer and closer.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pictures From Our Fourth

Nala enjoying ice for the first time

Carter making frog legs

Connor hanging out and waiting for the burgers he made to be cooked

Bob and Nala snuggling at the fireworks

Con and Cart snuggling at the fireworks

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Carters New Blog

Carter set up a blog for all of his stories to come. Please visit it and leave a comment. He is really excited about it and I want to encourage him to write.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I Got A New Altitude

First off, our move was a horrible, horrible, let me say that again, HORRIBLE, mess. We still have 66 boxes missing, furniture destroyed, Carter's ramps gone and on and on and on. But, I can't dwell on the negative anymore. It just isn't what I want to think about.

It is BEAUTIFUL here. My Vegas and Phoenix friends shall drool at the fact that I took a wonderful, meandering walk through tall fields and pine forests and it was 65 degrees out tonight! Don't worry I will suck it up and take your bragging when it is snowing here and you all are running around in shorts.

Everyone here is scarily friendly. No seriously, I am afraid to drink the CO koolaid. I didn't realize how jaded I had become in Vegas until I got here and everyone you talk to is nice. There must be some nasty people around here somewhere....(heehee)

I went to the garden center today and signed up for some classes. I am so excited to grow flowers!!!

Connor is loving the community pool. He can walk over by himself. Carter and I have been twice this last week. Our new homeschool co-op has park days on Wed so we will check that out next week. This week I have someone coming to give me an estimate on making the house more accessible. I have heard that the library two blocks away loves homeschoolers and runs lots of classes during the school year for us.

Boxes, boxes, busy, busy....miss everyone! Pictures next time!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Adios Amigo's!!!

We will be leaving on Saturday. To everyone we have not had a chance to say goodbye to in person: Thank you for making our time in Vegas so much better for having the chance to have known you. Our house here is not even on the market yet so I know we will back to visit :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Long Time, No Blog

To be honest with everything going on with the move and Connor's little skull fracture, lol, I have had a lot on my plate. We went through three houses before finally having the third work out. We close on it on Thursday so I feel relatively safe in posting a picture or two of it. It is a ranch, with an awesome basement. Very Colorado looking, don't ya think? At least that is only one set of stairs for Carter to deal with. We just got his old, yellow chair exchanged for a snazzy black one with red flames so that he will have one on each floor.

Two major fears have been conquered over the last week
  1. Connor went on the Canyon Blaster at Adventure Dome. He has never been on an upside down coaster. He really wanted to do it before we moved. I can't believe our doctor let him do it with the concussion, but I knew if he said it was OK, there was nothing to worry about.
  2. Carter went to the movies!!! That was huge. It was his Father's Day present to Bob. We saw Kung Fu Panda.
We move in less than two weeks. At this point, neither of the boys are happy about the move. Connor is going to miss all his friends terribly. He is not having an easy time with goodbyes and would prefer to skip them all together. Carter is more focused on the logistics of it all. Making sure all the bears have 'moving buddies' and such. He will not let the packers move his bears, that is a project him and I will do. Actually I am excited for it as we may finally learn how many he really has. Carters self esteem has been faltering lately, for lack of a better term, and I am not quite sure how to help him feel successful. He feels like everyone thinks Connor is so cool and he can't measure up. I am not sure how much of that is normal little brother stuff but my heart breaks for him. It seems that he is a an age where the boys are all running, skating and climbing and he is feeling very left out. I have talked to him about trying to take some drawing and writing classes in CO but he doesn't seem very excited about it right now. Hopefully, things will be better once we get there...

Con and I went to see the new Indiana Jones last week and that sparked a new interest in some ancient ruins. He has been watching shows and reading about Stonehenge. The movie didn't specifically mention that area but for some reason, he is really interested in it. Funny how kids minds make leaps like that when you let them just wonder a bit. I love to watch that process unfold. We have had some great conversations lately about ancient societies and the meaning of life. You can tell he is getting older and his thought process is expanding to realize that, wow, *get ready for the shocker* the world may not really revolve completely around him. Fun stuff, truly! I am really enjoying getting to know this new him.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Con, Cart and Club Penguin Party Tonight

Thanks for all the well wishes everyone. Connor came home last night. His head is really hurting and he is still throwing up this am. It is so hard for him to just lay there and not do anything at all. He is not allowed to even listen to music because anything that activates his brain makes it worse.

Carter, on the other hand, is not used to be the 'sibling of the sick one'. Talk about role reversal. Carter is bored to death as well. So,he is hosting the following virtual party tonight.

If your kids play Club Penguin, Carter would like to have a virtual meetup tonight at 5:00. In order for everyone to get on his Buddy List. Have the kids meet his Penguin, TeddyBear007, on the SNOWGLOBE server in the middle of the town at 5 tonight. Once they are on each others Buddy List they can apparently find each other anytime! Post your kids penguins names if you are coming so he knows who to look for. Thanks guys!
**Carter says to make sure and bring your party clothes**

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Quick Update

Today was not a fun day here. We canceled the contract on the "yellow house". Why? Let's see, the roof was made of recalled materials, the foundation is leaking a cancer causing gas, and it has a wee bit of a rodent problem.

Just as I faxed back the termination, Connor fell in the backyard doing exactly what I have told him a thousand times not to do. He jumped from the retaining wall behind and to the sides of the little basketball court area to the rim to practice dunking and missed this time. Of course he had the rim set at 10 feet so he fell and smacked the back of his head onto the concrete from 10 feet in the air. He didn't bleed or break anything but he has a wicked headache and can't remember what happened. Bob is at the emergency room with him now. He called a little bit ago to say that they are taking him in for an XRAY but it looks like the standard kid concussion. They have told him he needs to stay still and inside for a minimum of a week. A goody, this will be fun!

Bob goes back to CO on Sunday for an indefinite amount of time. I am back to look online for houses. Maybe the boys and I will go back with him this Sunday so I can look some more. That ought to be about as much fun as keeping Con inside for a week.

Wine, wine, I need some wine (not whine, I have plenty of that)

**update: Con just started throwing up at the ER so they are doing a CT instead of an xray**

**update2: OMG---he fractured his skull and they are admitting him. Will write more as I can.**

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New House :)

We did it! Found and ironed out a purchase agreement during our 5 day house hunting trip, with the kids in tow, I might add. Actually it only took us 2 days to find the house and we spent the next three days touring the town :) We fell in love with it the minute we saw it. The street is adorable. All of the homes are custom so they all have their own character. Such a difference from our cookie cutter street here. Nice wide open spaces, raised vegetable beds, trees and flowers and mountain views...oh, my! The house has 6 beds, 5 baths so lots of space for our friends to visit. :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Connor's Birthday

Con turned 12 this week. OMGosh, where did the time go? I blink and another year goes by. He is taller than me now. He is wearing a size 101/2 men's shoe. My baby is no longer a baby :) Connor got an XBOX for his birthday. He has been enjoying the Halo game a little too much, ha ha. Tuesday was our weekly park day with the homeschool group I started. We went to Exploration Park and taught the kids in our group how to letterbox. The box was a good hike up a baby mountain. It is one of our friends birthday this week as well so we shared cupcakes. That night we went to Memphis BBQ and Con stuffed himself full of biscuits and bbq. This weekend he is having some of his neighborhood buddies spend the night.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Teeny Tiny Tree Hugger in Me

Tonight I can't sleep so I am up randomly surfing my favorite blogs. The teeny, tiny tree hugger in me (my friend April coined that term today) read some great posts lately about small things you can do to benefit your family and the earth, so here they are:

Miranda talks about a program called Swaptree, which is basically trading your books, dvd's, cd's and such to another person. The thing that caught my eye was the video games. It drives me crazy how fast the kids go through them and when you sell them back you only get an insulting fraction of the price you paid. So, we simply stopped selling them back and I have piles of these games that my kids are tired of.

Tara informed me that I can cancel those bulky,waste of paper phone books that I get. I honestly did not know this. Yes, I do always recycle them but not getting them at all would be even better.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Leid Science Center

Wow, we were busy last week. Two park days, book club and the Science Center. Next week will be even crazier with Con's birthday :)
Look for more pictures soon! Click on these to make them enlarge.

Book Club

The boys really look forward to going to book club every month. Carter makes a big deal about choosing the perfect book to share with his friends. This time he brought the book Underwear. He got some good ideas for new books from his friends.

Some Park Day Pictures

My three kids playing at the park :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Leaving Las Vegas

The final decision was made this afternoon. We are Colorado bound. This is a huge opportunity for Bob and I am happy for him. Connor seems very excited about the move. He is excited to have water parks, museums, amusement parks, and most of all a ZOO. Carter is not so sure. He has a lot of questions about the logistics, how we will make sure all the bears make it and so on. We expected this and that is why we have been preparing them for this for a while. Both boys and I will miss our friends. I wish I had a time table for the complete move but I am thinking mid summer will be about right. I would like to get to Colorado in time to enjoy the few months of no snow :)

I have been reflecting a lot about this change for a few weeks now and I am ready to move on. Las Vegas was a huge change in our lives. I can honestly say that I really grew up in Las Vegas. This is where I learned that I can truly raise my family on my own. In Phoenix, we had so much help but in Vegas I had to learn to do things on my own, especially with Bob traveling so much. Vegas gave me a confidence in myself that I didn't have before.

Vegas will always be special to me and the people that I have come to love here will be hard to leave but everything in life has a season and our Vegas season coming to a close now feels right.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Adventures of Frog Pond

Written by: Carter

Once upon a time two tadpoles were expelled by the evil Uncle Milton from the Frogville Stream. Uncle Milton captured them in a small bottle and gave them no food. He sent them in the mail to Las Vegas where he was sure they would never be heard from again.

Unfortunately Uncle Milton's evil plan was foiled by a hero named Bat Kid. Bat Kid rescued the tiny tadpoles from their packaging and began the process of creating a habitat for them to thrive in.

Bat Kid used his super powers to turn the tadpoles into healthy and strong frogs. The day came when the frogs were strong enough to be released back into the wild. Bat Kid found a pond (in his backyard) where the frogs could be safe and happy. The frogs were strong enough to make their way back to Frogville Stream where they attacked Uncle Milton and made him apologize for keeping them captive in a jar for weeks. Uncle Milton promised to never catch frogs again. The frogs returned to the Bat Pond and lived happily ever after.

Moms note to other parents: While the boys finally enjoyed seeing the process of metamorphosis, I would never, ever recommend buying tadpoles through Uncle Milton's. Read the reviews on this product. You can also read our experiences with this and see how much more money, effort and heartache this took. If you live in an area where you can't find tadpoles in nature, ask your fish store. Occasionally they accidentally get shipped in with the feeder fish and the store will gladly give them to you. This is a much better way to rescue a tapdole :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mickeys New Service Dog

Carter decided that Mickey needs a helper dog too. Build-a-Bear to the rescue again. I absolutely love the accessories that they have, including the dog cape and wheelchair. I crocheted the leash (yup, I did!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Our Recent Comings and Goings...

So much going on here that I haven't had time to sit and just write for the last week. Where to start?

First off, my dad is in the hospital. He hasn't been feeling well lately and his legs have been really swollen. He has been there since Saturday with little to no progress in figuring out what is really the problem. Things are moving very, very slowly.

My mom turned 80 on Sunday. I can hardly believe that this vibrant woman is 80. She came up to spend a few days with us despite my dads hospital stay. She mostly hung out with us and enjoyed the kids busy schedule. Here is a picture of her and I at the local bar (yup, you read that right) playing video poker for her birthday dinner. ROFL!

Nala was presented with her service dog cape today. She is officially a "service dog in training" and has full access rights to anywhere her humans go. The boys are trying to figure out which rides at Disneyland she will like. :) Below is a picture of her and Krista, our incredible doggie and people trainer. Krista's organization, All Purpose Canines, is incredible. Please visit their site if you are interested in a service dog.

Bob has been in Colorado this week.

....and for those of you waiting to hear about our recent decisions, I will probably have a 100% answer by the weekend. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Real Life Learning

There is no possible way that I can do this story justice by writing it but it is such a great memory that I need to preserve. Try to imagine my sweet, innocent 9 year old telling me this in all sincerity:

C: I am going on Club Penguin to earn more coins.
Me: Why?
C: I need more coins to buy new clothes so I can get a girlfriend.
Me: Um, OK. Good luck with that.

***30 minutes later***
***Carter enters visibly upset***

C: My girlfriend broke up with me!
Me: What?
C: I did everything right. I don't understand. I took her to the pizza parlor. I took her to the coffee shop. Then she invited me back to her igloo
M: ***starting to giggle at this point***
C: Then she just dumped me. *very sad puppy dog face*I did everything right. Why?
M: I don't know C, girls can be like that.

***5 minutes pass. C is back on the computer.***

Me: What you doing now?
C: Applying for a job (he is in the Club Penguin Pizza Parlor)
Me: Why?
C: Well, I can't get a girlfriend so I might as well get a job!

***And who says that unschoolers don't learn anything????***

In case you don't know, Club Penguin is a virtual game owned by Disney where kids interact as penguin characters.

Monday, April 14, 2008

And That Ain't No Bull

We took the boys and Nala out to the County Fair in Logandale this weekend. Both Bob and I have such fond memories of the fair as kids. I know the boys will too after such a great family day. Here are some pictures:

The movie City Slicker comes to mind here...

Who doesn't have Fair memories of the big slide?

Can't believe he really went on this!

They really do have fun together :)

Watching the goat show...

Have I mentioned yet how AMAZING Nala is? She is only 17 weeks (pushing 45 pounds now) and she walked that Fair for 5 hours like a pro. The only thing she balked at were the roosters. She had no problems with any other animal, noise or people. She is beyond incredible but if I have to answer one more time, "What type of dog is that?" I may say she is a cat.