Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

Yesterday, we headed to Old Colorado City for Territory Days. It's a huge street fair with vendors - both food and 'store' - musical acts, and some cowboy-type displays. We watched a quick-draw shootout (the fastest time was .414 seconds!) and reenactments of cowboy corral shootouts. The boys loved watching everything and the quick-draw contest was fascinating. How can you pull out your gun, aim, fire, and shoot a balloon in less than half a second? That's a lot of practice, I tell you. The day was beautiful with temperatures up in the 80s and even the wind wasn't too bad there. The crowds were unbelievable, though, and at times we were at a standstill just waiting to move forward. By the time we got home, K said he was exhausted just from constantly swiveling his head to make sure we had all five kids. I even saw JAD turn around to count kids. That made my heart smile!

Last night, one neighbor invited MED and MAD over to spend the night and CED went to spend the night at B's house. That left us with just the two boys. So, K and I went to Applebee's for dinner. We were given a gift card back at Christmas for the restaurant and we just haven't had the time (or energy!) to go, so we took advantage last night and headed out. It was very nice to go out just the two of us and not have to deal with food on the floor, kids on the floor going after the food on the floor, and the fighting and bickering. When we got home, K and I walked to King Soopers to see what Redbox had to offer for our viewing pleasure. We ended up renting Faster with Dwayne Johnson - something we were sure JAD would like to watch. The night was beautiful and it was really nice to just take that 1/2 hour walk back and forth. I really enjoyed my day with my family and night with my husband - it was a good day.

Today we are talking about going for a hike, but the wind is just raging again with speeds over 30 mph. I love Colorado, but hate the wind. It's really a beautiful day - the sun is shining, temperatures are in the upper 60s - but the wind just really puts a damper on everything when it is this strong. The trees are bending at 45+ degree angles right now and my windows have been rattling all morning long. Regardless, it should be a relaxing day no matter what we do and I hope we can find something we can do as a family without a child or two being tossed into the wind.
I just want to say thank you to all of the men and women who have served or are serving in the military. Both of my grandfathers were soldiers - one served in WWII (Navy) and the other served in the Korean War (Army). K's grandpas were also soldiers that fought in WWII (Army and Navy). We currently have several friends that are soldiers and have been on one or more tours 'Down Range' - Nate, Scot, Sheldon, Dominic, Jacob - and we are grateful for their safe returns. I also appreciate each of the wives and families that support them and bravely say goodbye to them as they go serve our country for a year or more at a time. For all of the fallen soldiers - your sacrifices will never be forgotten. We especially remember Marine Rick Nelson. He will always be remembered and loved by my family for the sacrifice he made with his own life on his second tour of duty in Iraq.Link

Friday, May 27, 2011


This week, Tuesday, I had a meeting with the director of the Colorado Springs Music Conservatory (CSC). She wanted to discuss with three other families and ours the possibility of our kids continuing next year in their program. If you didn't already know, MED was given a scholarship for this past school year for their program that teaches her dance, theater, piano, violin, and singing. She has really enjoyed going there once a week and her confidence level has skyrocketed. She gets up on stage anywhere and exudes confidence in who she is. She has been a part of two piano/dance/singing recitals this year and was chosen to be in "A Midsummer's Night Dream" as well. The director has offered all four families a continued scholarship for the next year - $1100 total - if the child (and family) is interested in continuing at the conservatory. Yes, please! We have to pay the registration fee of $250 - a total steal considering what she gets in return.

So, MED will continue at the conservatory next year, practicing her singing, dancing, instruments, and acting. We are so blessed to have been given this opportunity that we wouldn't be able to afford on our own. Come September, look for updates and pictures of MED at the conservatory. K and I are super excited!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

We Are Surviving/Randomness

K and I are still trying to recuperate from the busy-ness of the past few days. This doesn't mean that life has come to a standstill, because it hasn't. We still have to pick JAD up from school today, take him to buy a suit for graduation, go to Sam's Club (my children perpetually DON'T tell me when we're out of milk. Or dog food. Or garbage bags. Or, or, or...), and then take JAD to soccer practice. And that's just today. But at least it's not the craziness of the weekend. I'm also trying to get my house clean (it's a very slow process) and catch up on laundry (which just seems to keep multiplying - what in the world do we wear all these clothes for???).

Yesterday we headed to the library where I checked out five books. I get to read! I love reading, but the school year keeps me ultra busy and finding the time to read anything other than papers I need to grade or seeing if reading material is appropriate for my students just escapes me on a daily basis. So, I plan on reading to my heart's content over the next couple of months. After the library, we drove past a book warehouse on the south end of downtown. K has wanted to go in this place for quite a while and, since we had the time, we headed in. They have a pretty good selection of books and the prices were pretty decent - $2 for a paperback and $4 for hardback. The store even has an exchange program where you can bring in books and they'll give you store credit to get other books. I like that, except I live with a book hoarder and I don't think he'll be giving up any books any time soon. On the second level of this place they have several huge tables with books marked down to $1. As we checked out, the lady (an owner, I'm sure) said the kids could all have a free book. How nice is that? MAD found an Elmo book, MED a Junie B. Jones (3rd grade reading level and she's almost done with it already!), JED a Shel Silverstein poetry book, and CED a book she heard from kids at school that's really good. I think that we'll be going there every now and again! And just in case you're wondering what I'm going to be filling my brain with over the next few weeks - junk. I'm reading mysteries - no love stories - just good ol' mysteries, crime books, and the like. I'm detoxing and this is one of the best ways I can do it.

This morning I joined a friend from school on a walk. She doesn't live too far from me and we walked about 3 miles together. 'A' taught a 4/5 split class at my (former) school, but quit for personal reasons back in March. It was nice talking/walking with her and we plan on meeting again soon. As K put it when I got back - I got to get some exercise, talk with a friend, and escape for a while. All true.

I've also been working on finding kids to play in a 3v3 tournament that another club in town is hosting in June. Sending out emails to CEDs team and coordinating that is pretty normal as I manage her team, but I'm also handling JADs team as well. The current manager's son is not going to play soccer anymore and the club owner has asked if I would be willing to manage this team as well. My response? Not a problem. I'm sure the old manager is not happy that I'm already 'taking over' because she doesn't like me very much, but many of us want our boys to play in tournaments this summer, so I'm getting it done. June 11th you'll find us out on the soccer fields watching 8 games. Yes, 8 - 4 per kid. I'll be investing in a LOT of sunscreen!

Hopefully I will get pictures of MED and CEDs graduations posted in the next day. Most of the 'good' pictures are on Ks camera and I keep forgetting to ask him for those. At the very least, I'll get all of the graduations up next week!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weekend Run-Down

Here's a re-cap of what happened in our house this weekend... If you actually have a life, you'll be bored quickly by this rousing rendition of what we did.

Friday brought us two extra kids for the night - a brother and sister that play on JADs team and CEDs team - so we could take them to games on Saturday. They were up late. K and I went to bed before they did. In fact, I fell asleep on the couch around 9. I'm assuming they went to bed when we said they should. Then again, what I don't know won't hurt me now.

Saturday was full of three games - one in Littleton and two in the Springs. CEDs game was in Littleton and they unfortunately lost. It was certainly a one-sided game as far as calls go and our team was not on the winning end of those calls, except when it came to off-sides. I won't rehash all the bad calls because I'm crabby right now and I'll begin to rage.

JEDs game was a slaughter for the other team. JED scored multiple goals, not only for his team, but for the other team when he went in to help them because they didn't have enough players. He's becoming quite the player on offense and his coach wants him to concentrate on passing the ball - once they're winning, of course.

JADs game was also in the Springs. Also a loss. And a very horribly called game. I didn't get to see either of the boys play their games as the girls and I were up in the Denver area and it was a 2 1/2 hour round trip, but I got to hear very detailed re-caps of the game and these refs also seemed to be absurdedly one sided. JAD was red carded - something we knew would happen one day - but apparently for a very bogus call. Actually, he was blatantly tripped when he was nowhere near the play and the ref didn't call it because he 'didn't see anything'. JAD got mad and yelled (I'm sure very politely) at the ref that it should be a foul. So, he red carded JAD. Another player on JADs team was also red carded for going after the kid that tripped JAD. Mayhem then broke out and the ref had the audacity to lay his hands - and even restrain the other player he carded by completely wrapping his arms around the boy - on both kids. Let's just say our coach let it be known that he didn't like that at all. JAD then told the ref that he needed to 'grow some b*l*s'. He has no fear on the soccer field (or pitch, as I'm sure he'd correct me).

CED spent the rest of the afternoon and night at the house of her teammate that spent the night at our house Friday night. This family is moving to Texas in July and it was M's birthday party/going away party. Another late night for CED.

K and I took advantage of no extra kids at our house and left JAD to babysit so we could go listen to Corrupting Celest at a local bar. I worked with the lead singer's dad for the past two years and we got to listen to him play with the band, as well. We had a delightful time listening to music and talking to people and we got home very late - something like 2 am - and went to bed even later - like 3 am. Thus the reason I'm crabby today. But I'm glad I went.

I had to pick CED up from the sleepover this morning and drop JAD off at the same time as he was attending his teammate's birthday party/going away party. They went paintballing and ate pizza. I had to rush CED home so she could help set up for the graduation party she and our neighbor B had this afternoon in our cul-de-sac from 1 - 3. I dropped her off and ran to the grocery store because - yikes! - it was our day for drinks and snacks at JEDs soccer game. JED and I left for his game at 12:30, leaving behind K and the girls to finish setting up for the party and K to cook all the burgers and hot dogs.

JED had a great game - 4 goals - and his team won 8-2. JED even scored on a throw in. He threw the ball in, intending for a teammate to get it, and no one touched it so the ball just rolled right into the goal. Score for us!

JED and I rushed back home to the party, where it promptly started to rain 10 minutes later. All the adults huddled under the party tent. Awesome.

I was able to chat for a while with a former neighbor who moved to New Mexico last year. She and her husband are back in town for a few days, so it's been nice catching up. Our other neighbors that moved to Kansas about the same time last year should be in town tomorrow, so we're looking forward to spending some time with them as well this week.

At 6, I had to head back down to Fountain to pick JAD up from the party he was at. K, once again, was stuck with party duties and very graciously and kindly finished cleaning up. In case you're thinking I've done nothing for this party, I did do all the dishes and I did clean up all the food. Ahhh, the crabbiness is showing, isn't it?

While I was doing dishes, another adult suggested to the little girls (there are 5 in this cul-de-sac that are 8 and under) that they should make 'cheeseball soup' in the pool part of the slip-n-slide. Guess what? They did. Mud, water, and cheeseballs. It was delish!

We are now all finally inside, the little kids are clean, and the Bulls are on. I'm trying to figure out what to do with myself as I have no schoolwork to do. I suppose I could help JAD study for finals, but that doesn't sound fun, either. I think a trip to the library early this week is in order - I need some reading material!

CED wanted another sleepover tonight, but that idea was nixed - especially since the girls wanted it here. Why does everyone just assume that we want their kids to sleep here? Why can't my kids ever leave to sleep elsewhere? I couldn't handle the thought of three nights of sleepovers (we had one Thursday night, as well) and my kids are tired and crabby. Kind of like me. I'm looking forward to peace after 8 tonight.

Hope you had a great weekend. Our weekend really was very good, just positively exhausting. I'm looking forward to a slow beginning of the week!

Friday, May 20, 2011

School Is Over

Yesterday was the last day of school for three of our kids. Unfortunately for JAD, he has two more weeks of school although the last week is really just a 'fun' week. He gets to study for finals this weekend, however, and he is oh-so-happy about it. Especially since he gets to study with me. We spent Wednesday night at CEDs fifth grade graduation and Thursday morning was MEDs kindergarten promotion. It's hard to believe that CED will be in middle school next year and MED is big enough to be in first grade. Time goes by way too quickly.
Today was my last day of school. I am no longer a fifth grade teacher at Monterey Elementary and I'm currently on the job hunt. As much as that frightens me at times (finding a new job), I'm relieved to be moving on. I am going to miss some of the people I worked with, but that's what Facebook is for, right? Regardless, most of us don't have to rush around Monday morning frantically trying to get ready for school. Ahhhhh.... summer!

PS - I'll post pictures of the graduations later this weekend. Tomorrow is Soccerday, so look for a wrap-up post of our last games of the season!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Soccerday, Week Who-Knows

Today is Soccerday and it's cold here. Where is Spring? It flirts with us - we get beautiful skies, warm, sunny weather and then BOOM! It's cold again. The weather forecasters are talking about what parts of the Springs are going to get snow overnight. SNOW. In the middle of May. This is just crazy. Today started out pretty nice - cool, but sunny, so that fought off any kind of chill you might feel outside. By the time we got to JEDs game this afternoon, the clouds had rolled in, the breeze had picked up, and the temperatures started dropping. K and I are still feeling chilled and my nose is cold to the touch. We were supposed to go to the Sky Sox game tonight with friends, but we backed out knowing that the little girls would be miserable by the beginning of the second inning. Bummer.

Okay, so back to Soccerday. We started out the morning at CEDs game with a whopping 10 girls and that's how they played. They fought hard - especially with two of the girls not feeling well - and pulled out a solid win of 4-0. It still marvels us that they have a record now of 7-1-0 when their record last fall was 0-7-1. Notice the correlation? Weird. But we definitely like seeing that 7 at the beginning of their stats! They have worked hard this Spring and it's really paying off.

Game 2 was JEDs game. I'm not sure of the final score and we're really not going to worry about that. Get my drift? But JED did score his team's only goal, so we're really pleased with that. We spent much of that game hunkered down under blankets trying to stay warm. That, and trying to keep Desi under control. K and I decided to take both dogs to the game and Emma was a picture perfect dog - well behaved and she sat or laid down the whole time. Desi, on the other hand, got out of her collar twice, rolled all over the ground, and tried to tackle any person that walked near in hopes that they would pet her. I've never said that the black lab was smart. Just the opposite. But we love her all the same.

JAD didn't have a game today, so we got away with only two games today (although JED has another game tomorrow, so it's still a grand total of three games this weekend). Instead, he went to a birthday party at his girlfriend's house. He ended up being the only boy that showed up, which was, in his words, "awkward". This was a huge step - letting our son go to a girl's birthday party. I don't like the fact that my kids are getting older and liking people of the opposite sex. I'm not ready, even if they are.

Hope your Soccerday was warmer than ours. Look for an update on JEDs second game of the weekend in the next few days...

Friday, May 13, 2011

She's A Winner!

Sometime last week I received a call from the kids' elementary school saying that MED had won an award for their Writing Masters Program. To give you a little background, the Writing Masters Program is held every year and every student in the school has to participate. Various teachers from the school score the students' writing and they choose honorable mentions, and first, second, and third place. For the last two years, we've been invited for CED. This year it was MEDs turn. K was able to go to the school to watch her receive her award and, to our surprised pleasure, MED won first place for all four classes of kindergarten!!! K said she was so surprised and didn't realize that she had won first place until he was able to tell her after the presentations. She was so modest throughout the whole thing. That is until Thursday when she wanted to wear her first place medal around her neck. That's gotta make you smile.

MED had to write about what it would be like if she was a princess. Her story begins "I love that I have a boutlofl (beautiful) castle. I am so prity. I would trn (turn) my flamilmy (family) in to a prince or a prinss (princess)..." She continued on with an additional seven sentences. Her teacher told us a few weeks back that when the kinder students had to write three sentences, MED would always write 6 or more. She just loves to write. We're so proud of you MED!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Graduations Are Going To Kill Us

This year we have three kids all having promotions or graduations pretty much at the same time. MED is being 'promoted' to 1st grade (a very big deal for kindergarteners!) and her ceremony is next Thursday morning at 9:00. CED is graduating from 5th grade, with her program next Wednesday evening. And JAD is graduating from 8th grade - 8th grade, folks! And, of course, every child needs something nice to wear. Fortunately, our next door neighbor keeps giving us the clothes that her daughter has outgrown and we have inherited some beautiful dresses. CED needed something nice to wear, so she picked out a dress at Kohl's last weekend. JAD's ceremony requires a suit. I guess that's what we get when your child goes to a prestigious charter school. All the girls have to wear a nice light colored dress (no skirts!) which must be pre-approved and the boys must wear a suit (no sportcoats) with a faculty approved tie. Craziness, but I know that it will be a really nice ceremony with all those kids all dressed up. It's a busy time of year!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Two Decades

Twenty years ago today K and I were sitting in the car at Illinois Beach State Park and he asked me, officially, to be his girlfriend. That day has segued into sixteen (almost) years of marriage, five kids, and three states. I am so happy that we met all those many years ago. We have gone through many happy moments and some difficult, as many marriages do. However, I am the luckiest girl alive for having snagged the man I have.

I love you more than you'll ever know, K I can't wait to see what the next twenty years will bring!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

I hope that all the mothers out there had a great day yesterday. The weather here was ideal - sunny, warm with temps in the low 80s - and I spent the day inside. If you remember, on Soccerday I got fried. Yes, fried. Today my students were amazed at how red my legs are (it's Skirt Monday - something my teammate and I instituted about a month ago, so I was in a skirt where all could see the lobster-like legs I'm currently sporting). So, K wouldn't let me go outside even though it was a beautiful day. As I walked out of my bedroom yesterday morning, these are the signs that greeted me as I walked around:

K made breakfast - homemade waffles with blueberries and a potato/onion/pepper/sausage skillet creation - and then the kids gave me their gifts. I received beautiful hand-drawn pictures, a letter written by MED, and a paragraph written by JED. It was all very beautiful and thoughtful. We pretty much just relaxed around the house, except for a short stint out to Kohl's where I spent some gift cards I had. All in all, it was a very relaxing laid-back day. A huge thank you to my husband who walks side by side with me in this whole parenting deal!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Soccerday Wrap-up

Today we had three games (what else is new?) that, fortunately, kept us close to home. The day started off with JADs 8:00 game (which meant we were up by six - ack!). The boys handily won the game 6-1. We even put a boy in at keeper for the entire second half that NEVER plays this position EVER. That's how much the boys dominated the game. After the last couple of rough weeks, it was good to see them win a game. CEDs game followed later at 12:30. The girls played a lot of the game on our side of the field (that's never reassuring), but they scored just before the half and managed to hang on until the end. The other team was subbing girls 5 at a time... we had one sub. The sun was shining, the temperature was warm and all of the girls - both teams included - were hot and tired by the end. They've gotten used to playing in the cold weather we've been having, ironically, on weekends. Playing with the temps in the upper 70s threw them all for a loop. I, on the other hand, was thoroughly enjoying my time in the warm weather and sun. Well, that is until I realized my legs were completely fried. They are now a very bright, bright red. It's not so pleasant and enjoyable now.
JEDs game was five minutes down the road from CEDs game, but started at 1:00, so I couldn't be there. JEDs team won their game as well with a score of 5-2. JED scored every. single. goal. His coach, if you remember, wants him to score and apparently that's just what he did today. K kept sending me texts updating me on the score at JEDs game. The first goal came in the first minute. What a way to set a precedent for the game!
I hope you all had an equally pleasant Soccerday. We are still outside enjoying the warm weather. I, however, am wrapped in blankets and all other sorts of cold weather gear because my nearly blistered skin is making the night air (which is currently at 69 degrees) feel positively frigid. Lesson learned - skin not exposed all winter needs to be covered the first warm and sunny day so as not to become lobster-like. But it was a great Soccerday. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Nice Night

Tonight was our first 'real' nice night of the Spring season. It was 80 degrees here in the southern Springs (and will be all weekend - yay!), which made for a very pleasant evening outside. The kids were playing out in the cul-de-sac when I got home from school and they came in only for a brief stint to eat dinner. As soon as they were done, they all bolted out the door to enjoy the evening. MAD spent a lot of time tearing up the place on her bike (she may look wobbly, but she can steer around now and pedals fiercely as she goes) while the others ran around with a soccer ball or on their bikes. K and I spent a good hour and a half talking with our next door neighbors (NOT the crazy ones) while our seven kids plus another neighbor's daughter ran pell-mell in the dark. It was nice to be able to sit outside without freezing our kiesters off and talk and laugh about anything and everything. If only our other neighbors still lived here... it would have been an ideal night then.

Tomorrow is Soccerday. I'll have updates for you later. Lucky us - all games are in the Springs tomorrow! The only downside is JADs game is at 8 am. No sleeping in for us. Darn.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Short Time

I realized yesterday, as I began to think about the fact that oh-my-gosh! it's May!, that K and I have been together for 20 years. 20 years, folks! We'll celebrate 16 years of marriage this summer, but we dated for four years prior to that. It's amazing how time flies. When you're young, twenty years seems like an interminable amount of time. However, as you experience life with work and kids and day-to-day activities, twenty years goes by in the blink of an eye. I love you, K. Hopefully our next twenty years will go by a little bit slower so we can actually relish the time together (rather than rush off to the next soccer game :) ).