Thursday, March 31, 2011

Loving the Crazy Weather

Tuesday morning, very, very early in the morning, it snowed. I know - shocking, as we do live in Colorado. When I went out to my van in the morning (which is currently being parked outside because JADs car is parked in my garage), there was a good 3+ inches of snow that needed to be cleared off before I could leave for school. I do have to admit, however, that the scenery as I drove to school was gorgeous. It looked like a master painter had taken a paintbrush thick with white paint and dabbed it on the top of every house, bush, and tree. By the time I walked out of school that afternoon, all the snow had melted and the temperature was in the low 50s. Today we hit the low 70s and we'll stay that way through Saturday. March is really following the addage that it 'goes out like a lamb.' I'm not complaining, though. I got to pump gas tonight in short sleeves and a skirt and I didn't freeze. Even better, we won't be popsicles at soccer Saturday morning. It's a beautiful thing.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Back to School

Today most of us had to go back to school. JAD had today off (lucky dog), but the other four kids and I all had to head back. It was BRUTAL getting up at 5 am this morning. I had the luxury of sleeping in until 8 or later just about every day during spring break. That's the nice thing about your kids getting older - even if the little ones wake up early, they know to leave mom/dad alone and go watch tv or play a game. It's a beautiful thing. The kids were not overly happy about having to be up before 6:30, either. MED cried almost hysterically about having to get up at dark o'thirty. Let me just say it wasn't a pretty scene getting her up and moving. Somehow, I have a feeling that tomorrow morning may prove to be a little more difficult. Day two always seems to be that way and waking up a teenager before the early hour of 10:30 will be a challenge. Hope your week is starting off better than ours! Only 35 more school days left...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Afternoon

Today we went to Fountain Creek Nature Center. Fountain is a little city that's just south of the Springs and it only took us about 15 minutes to get there. The Nature Center is a nice little building with representations of some of the wildlife that lives in the area - some things are in glass cases and others are tactile so the kids can get a feel for what actually lives there. The younger kids really liked it. After about 20 minutes in the Nature Center, we decided to go for a walk on the trails in the Nature Preserve. The day was beautiful - upper 50s - and we spent an hour and a half just walking along the paths and watching the ducks and geese that inhabit the marshy areas, ponds, and Fountain Creek. One of the first things we experienced was 'star sticks'. JED got great pleasure in showing his entire family what these are as he came to the Nature Center last year on a field trip.

If you break open the sticks at the right place you are rewarded with a center that's in the shape of a star.The kids searched for 'star sticks' underneath this tree:

This tree is over 20 feet around and five stories high. It was quite impressive.

We continued on down the path and the two youngest ones wanted to become the 'leaders' (just in case we got 'lost'). Here are our fearless leaders:

Don't they just make your heart MELT??? I always want to remember them this way - they truly are best friends.

Spring is finally peeking its way through the brown... it's slow in coming as we are very, very, very dry here in Colorado. The brilliant green of the ferns along the riverbank was just astounding. The pictures don't even do it justice.

I captured these pictures as we continued to meander down the walking path.

I think it captures the simple, pure love between a father and his daughters. It makes me believe that there really is some good in this world.

We finished off our afternoon with a little time at a park that is just off the path. The kids (yes, ALL of them) enjoyed running around and acting goofy.

Yes, that is CED running between the swings as her siblings went up and down. I kept waiting for her to get whacked. I probably would've laughed. I know that's mean, but if you're crazy enough to run in between swings...

We ended the evening with pizza (Free! From Dominos! CED won a few free pizzas at school - score!) and two movies - The Town and The Fighter. Our evenings of family movies continue. Hope you enjoyed your Friday. We did.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Movies Movies Everywhere

We decided that this week we would watch a movie a night with the kids - something we love doing and we can all pretty much agree on it together. So far this week we've watched Grownups (funny!), Unstoppable, Salt (think Jason Bourne - just female), Red (we will be purchasing a copy of this movie in the near future), The Tourist, Good Will Hunting, and Secret Window. Some have been better than others (The Tourist looked better in the previews) and some have had us in stitches (see previously mentioned Red) and some were watched after the three youngest went to bed (Secret Window). All in all, it's been great sitting down and just relaxing with the whole family. We love RedBox (you can't beat a dollar a rental)... I can't wait to see what is in tomorrow when I return tonight's movie!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Hiking We Will Go

Today we decided to go hiking. It's something we love to do as a family and it's free. Bonus! We went to one of our favorite places - Cheyenne Canon Park - it's close and there are lots of trails. We drove through most of the park up, up, up the mountain and decided to go on a trail near Helen Hunt Falls.

This trail proceeded to do nothing but go up, and up, and up. The view at the top was beautiful, though. It made all our hard work worth it.

And, as always, what goes up must come down.

After this, we decided to go on another trail that proved to be pretty tricky at one point. Fortunately for us, our kids don't shy away from a challenge and they were scrambling up steep inclines with nary a complaint. Of course, we did have to come down again and on an incline this steep, it always proves to be a little tricky.

Here's a picture of our motley crew:

The kids ended the hike with a stirring rendition of the commercial song "We Wear No Pants". Yup. We're klassy with a 'k'.

The Things Girls Do...

as they get older and have sleepovers. CED and her friend B had a sleepover last night and they decided to do a face mask. They were all giggly and running around showing K and myself how they looked through the various stages of this very entertaining (in their opinion) process.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

On Stage

On Friday and Saturday MED had the privilege of being a part of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' put on by the students (and a couple of faculty) at the Colorado Springs Conservatory. It's funny watching how your different kids react to various situations. MED had absolutely no problem being up on stage. In fact, she just basks in the lights and 'adoration' of the crowd. (She thinks they're adoring her alone - they are really enjoying the culmination of ALL the kids' hard work. Just don't tell MED.) Here she is with some of her fellow dew drop fairies and Hermia (who is personally one of MEDs favorite people at the conservatory):

The play was really well done and we had a great time watching. Just don't ask JAD or JED for their opinions...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Meet Emma

Or Emanem, as her 'birth certificate' states. She is a pure-bred chocolate labrador retriever and she is now ours. So far, she and Desi seem to be getting along well, which is a relief! Our last dog, which we had to relinquish back to the Humane Society, kept biting Desi's ears, leaving them bloody and with holes. No joke. She was actually biting holes through Desi's ears. Emma's owner felt that she couldn't take care of her the way she needed to and she felt that our house - with lots of kids and another lab - would be a great place for her to go. I hope that the two dogs will really just gel together and play like labs should. Welcome to our house, Emma. We're excited to have you here!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Outdoor Season Has Begun

Today was the 'official' opening day of the outdoor soccer season. JADs team was supposed to have a game bright and early this morning at 8:00. However, no team showed up. Maybe that was due to the fact that the entire CYS schedule was completely altered at some point Friday. Ummm, ya. That poses a problem for teams that might have to travel. Which would encompass ALL teams in the division. But those are small details. I guess the team that was supposed to be down in the Springs this morning claimed that the game had now been moved up to Denver at 2:00. What? No, we do know how to read a schedule... and it certainly did not call for us being in Denver at 2:00! Though it also would've been nice to not be up at the crack of dawn o'thirty, either. Oh well. The game will be rescheduled and hopefully we'll have good weather for it.

CEDs team started out their Spring season fantastically. They won their game, sans subs, 2-0!!! It was a great game. The girls played their positions really well and they handily beat a team that went undefeated last season. It was great watching these girls use their passing skills as they've been taught and they started communicating with one another, as well. Overall, it was a great game. We're looking forward to a great Spring season for both teams. Go, Corinthians!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Performances Continue

Yesterday, MEDs conservatory class put on a little performance for all the parents. We were treated to some rhythm with clapping and dancing (think Stomp), a few piano pieces, and a song the kids played with bells. It's always so fun watching these little ones just put their all into the music and dance.

I had to giggle at this next little guy. He is in MEDs classes as well, but he refused to come out of his 'hiding spot'. I guess stomp and rhythm just isn't his thing.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Hodge Podge of Unrelated Information

JAD has adapted quite well to his new school... I think. He's embraced his homework duties with gusto, although most nights he's wallowing (somewhat happily) in the 3 hours that he has to complete. The nice thing is, every day that I talk to him after school he sounds HAPPY - something that wasn't happening in his last program. I'm glad we made the switch and I know he is too. Here's a pic of JAD with H - his best friend - at JADs locker. I laugh when I see this because JAD is actually a half year older than H, yet H just towers over him. My bff J (H's mom) took this picture of 'her two sons'...


Today we have an indoor soccer game (I know - shocking!) that should be VERY interesting. JAD is playing on his team Barcelona and Barcelona is playing against the Vipers. What's interesting? JAD also plays for the Vipers... both indoor and outdoor. Yikes! One mom from the Vipers wanted to completely cancel this game thinking the boys would be hurt, upset, disappointed, etc because they'd be playing against their own teammates. The majority of the boys' reactions? They don't care. Just let them play soccer. As for the parents, that may be another story. Would you like a plate of anger with a side of bitterness? That's what will be served at 2:25 today. I'll keep you updated on the results.


I have lost a total of 30 pounds so far. I am still following my Weight Watchers program with fidelity (99% of the time) and I am really pleased with my results. Monthly totals so far have been 19 and 10.5. I still want to lose 63 more pounds, but am on target for 50 pounds gone by the end of May.

We have a weight loss challenge going on at school right now. Many of us signed on to participate and we have been put into teams. It's fun watching and listening to people talk about what they are doing to lose weight and how much weight they have lost. It's about the only camaraderie we have in our building, which is sad, but true. The winners will get a free one hour massage at a local spa at the end of the year. My team is currently in the lead by .04%. I'm hoping we WIN!!! I did have a great compliment paid to me this week, though. Our night building engineer has lost 20 pounds herself since starting the weight loss challenge and she says that I am her inspiration (cue music here). Isn't that sweet? I love her dearly... I'm glad that my journey has helped her to begin her own journey to be healthier.


A week ago K was offered a great deal and called me to discuss it. We decided to take it and paid the guy the asking price of $450. The deal, you ask? A 1992 Volkswagon Passat. For whom, you ask? JAD. Yes, I know he is only 13. But he now has a car that he has to put the time and money into and once he turns 16, he will have a car to drive. K has already lined up people to help him lower the car, tint the windows, fix hail damage... JAD will have a sweet little car in two years if he puts the work into it. I was never a big fan of my 16 year old having his/her OWN car to drive right away, but reality is, we have 5 kids and they are all active and involved with various activities. I NEED another driver to help me get people places! In a couple of years, we'll probably start looking for a car for CED, too. It's all about practicality, people.


MED starts rehearsal for A Midsummer Night's Dream today. She's a fairy. The rehearsals only last for this week and next and then the performances begin. The original schedule that came out said that rehearsals were every night from 4:30 - 8:30. Ummm... what? For the five year olds, too? When I did contact the conservatory, they came up with a new schedule for the little ones that is much more palatable. It's an exciting opportunity, though, and I am glad our little MED gets to be a part of this!


Spring Break is only two weeks away. Thank goodness! I have started looking in earnest for a new job. Where I am currently working keeps getting more and more infuriating to be at. We have had at least four people in the last few weeks turn in their resignations either effective almost immediately or for the end of the school year. I have yet to do this as I don't want to be completely out of a job, but I was also recently told that our principal will be cleaning house and removing most everyone from their positions. Great. Good luck to him, however. Expecting great things out of a brand new staff? Yep, he'll learn soon enough....


Have a great week, everyone. I'll keep you posted on the soccer game later today. It'll be a doozy, I'm sure!