Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hot Air

IMG 3463Every year the town of Erie hosts a hot air balloon festival. We’ve never attended it, but now I’m pretty sure that we don’t have to. We get our own little show right from our house.
IMG 3480When the weather is nice we often have all the doors and windows in our house open.
IMG 3483This particular morning I heard a strange noise outside, so I went to check  it out only to find a balloon right over our house. I could hear the hot air blowing into the balloon. 
IMG 3491I have never seen hot air balloons up close. I could see the people inside and the baskets are much bigger than I thought they were. I’m pretty scared of heights, so you probably won’t find me in a balloon too soon, but they were so fun to watch. 
IMG 3492

Friday, October 7, 2016


IMG 4899With the long winter we were eager to get going on our garden, so we got cold vegetables in as early as we could, but then 2 feet of snow hit. Ahh!! IMG 3538The weather did end up warming up after awhile and we got the entire garden planted.

IMG 3738Then the weeds started growing,
IMG 3735and the hundreds of rabbit,s on our property, began enjoying our crops, so we built a fence one afternoon.
IMG 3854The weather decided to skip spring and go straight to summer. Our poor cold weather crops didn’t know how to handle it, so they went to seed pretty quickly.
IMG 3874A hail storm hit in late spring and I thought I lost my onions, but instead they grew a little longer, and then it got too hot for them and they went to seed.IMG 3860When I thought our beets were a lost cause I went out one day and they had bounced back and were super bushy.
IMG 3877The corn was knee high before the 4th of July!
IMG 3895We built a little trellis for the cucumbers, but they felt like spreading their leaves rather than climbing, so we had to go along and train them to go up the fence manually.
IMG 3881We planted 120 tomato plants hoping for a large crop so I could can vine-ripened tomatoes for the winter. There’s just something about the flavor of vine-ripened tomatoes from your own garden that a grocery store tomato can’t beat.
IMG 3897I forgot about how zucchini plants grow to an enormous size, so when my husband only planted four plants I was a little skeptical. I wasn’t sure there would be enough zucchini to feed our family.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tea Party!

IMG 3409
Amidst a somewhat busy spring sports schedule and a rainy, cold spring a few church ladies and I were able to get away, for a few hours, for tea at the Brown Palace.  I had only heard some wonderful stories about tea at this place and now I was finally getting to experience it for myself!

IMG 3408
We ordered 4 different teas, so that we could try a variety of different flavors. Then we were showered with a lovely tray of delicate tea sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream, and dainty little pastries. They were so pretty and cute. I didn’t want to eat them, but I was assured that if we ran out of something we could get more. They just kept bringing us more little cucumber sandwiches, and scones, and oh those little desserts were to die for.
IMG 3428The company was lovely. We pretended we were living in the UK, and were part of Downton Abbey cast. We talked about the history, and the scandals that went on in show, and what it’s really like out there. Sitting there sipping tea and nibbling on a light lunch made us want to hop on a plane and visit. Wouldn’t that be fun?
IMG 3414The tea room of the Brown Palace is actually right in the foyer of the hotel. When you look up this is the ceiling. They’ve preserved much of the hotel which was built in 1892.
IMG 3417
 The architecture of the hotel is just beautiful. I loved the rails and the arches just add a nice touch.
IMG 3419Tea is  only open for a few hours each day and then there a bar right there too, which I am sure opens when tea time is over.
IMG 3415The foyer is definitely the central area of the hotel and everything points back to it. If you’re in or visiting the Denver area you should check it out, if you like tea of course.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Spring Sports

IMG_3272Spring finally came. Even though it was still cold outside we couldn't be shut in any longer. We needed out. Rebecca decided that she wanted to try playing volleyball, so we signed her up for a rec league and she had a ton of fun. We all learned a lot, especially me since Iv'e never played before and don't know volleyball rules. IMG_3262I guess Rebecca had a lot to learn too. We're, even now, still trying to figure this volleyball thing out. It's been fun and even makes me want to play a little. I just wish I was a little taller. That net is pretty high for a short gal like me.  _MG_2703Elizabeth, Anna, and two of our foster boys played machine-ptich baseball this spring. My dainty little Elizabeth pounded that ball at almost every at bat. It was so cute.

Anna really wanted to play baseball this year. She never played t-ball or coach pitch, but we still just threw her in there with everyone else. She was such a hoot to watch. It didn't matter how well or how poorly she played. She always had a smile on her face.
IMG_3434David played player pitch for the first time this year. He wanted to play every position, but mostly played 2nd base. He really wanted to pitch, but has zero experience pitching. He made a good effort and has been practicing in the backyard ever since. _MG_2881I had no idea he wanted to be a catcher, but he was pretty excited to try this position too. _MG_2879If he practices enough I think he could make a great catcher! _MG_2613Thomas did quite a bit more pitching this year than last. He's really enjoying it. _MG_2668He and his buddy Peter even plotted to get a kid out when he tried to steal second base. It was a hidden ball trick similar to this trick that Todd Helton did a while back. Always be alert when you're playing ball. The umpire didn't even know what was going on when our boys did this trick. _MG_2826I wouldn't recommend trying to steal bases when Thomas is pitching. Often times it doesn't end well for the base runner.  IMG_3394Who would have thought that two pastors could coach these boys to first place in their league? They certainly didn't practice and play year round like the other teams in their league, but they did work hard and they ended the season on top of the other teams. Go Blue Jays!

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Heat is On!

IMG_3151With even the slightest hint of spring and a little warmer weather coming we got outside as soon as we could. Being cooped up all winter is no fun!
IMG_3123      IMG_3213
My parents came to town to help out with a little yard work, but there was more than a little. There's so much yard work to do around here that they are making a special trip this fall to help out with pruning and and cleaning.

I think my mom secretly wishes she was a chicken farmer. She had so much fun watching chickens and collecting eggs while she was in town. Maybe when she comes back she can clean the poop off their perches. Then we'll see if she still wants a chicken farm. IMG_3198As soon as the weather warmed up we cleared out a space in our wood pile area to get our planting started. We got the dirt tilled and even planted some seeds and onion starts. My lovely husband likes to take risks and this year I'm not sure if the risk was good or bad. The ground seemed to stay cold a little longer than we were hoping and I think some of our seeds didn't like that, so they didn't grow. We ended up re-planting a few things that never came up.
  IMG_3172      IMG_3193
While my parents were in town we also celebrated my Lutheran Stud's birthday. He was pretty happy to get this tractor sprinkler.
IMG_3203We couldn't wait to get up and moving either, so planting the garden could not have come a more perfect time. Who would have thought that watching a sprinkler could be so entertaining?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Welcome to Miami

IMG_3047 The day after David's birthday my Lutheran Stud and I hopped on a red-eye flight to Florida where were met up with some dear friends who used to live in Colorado. The flight was long and exhausting. Did I mention that we arrived at 6am on a Sunday morning only to find the airport almost completely deserted? Coffee. Why wasn't a coffee shop open when I needed it? Then we had to wait until 10am for a ride to pick us up to take us to church. During that time Starbucks did end up opening, but I was seriously still a zombie after not sleeping on the plane or in the airport. MiamiNot to worry though, after church we found another Starbucks, but it was also lunch time. The fine gentleman at the restaurant we popped into gifted us margaritas and the margaritas kept coming. I didn't know how to handle that. Coffee or margarita? Or both?  MiamiAfter checking into our condo, finally, we decided to explore Miami just a bit and ended up at a lovely Turkish restaurant complete with belly dancing and a guy who offered us some free "mary jane" when he found out we were from Colorado. IMG_0046The view from our condo was beautiful! We could even spy on the people in the pool or the lack there of. We did end up meeting some interesting guys in the hot tub that were on a vacation from France. Once our husbands entered the conversation we knew things were not going to end anytime soon. Politics and religion were soon the topic of conversation. It didn't take long before Mandy and I got hungry so we took off leaving our husbands for another hour or so before they arrived back in our condo. We decided, since it was late, to just get a small meal of Mexican food from the restaurant we went to when we first arrived. We had a coupon for free guacamole so it totally made sense, right? Well, as it turns out when we sent our husbands to pick up dinner it seemed to take quite a long time before they returned. We were starting to fall asleep to Hart of Dixie. Somehow while our husbands were waiting to pick up our food they were given free shots of tequila while they waited and then they got to talking to the hostess and owner of the restaurant over more tequila shots. Our food finally arrived minus the guac. Mandy and I still aren't sure what happened there. I guess it was free tequila or free guac. Hmmm. . . . IMG_0080Our mornings were filled with coffee and getting ready for the day while our lovely husbands searched for fun things for us to do or maybe they were checking email and working on vacation. Who knows?
Miami     Miami
Beach time was all I really cared about after such a snowy, cold winter and spring that we had. One day we packed a cooler full of drinks and snacks and stayed at the beach pretty much all day. We even had time to get buried in the sand and take a nap. The sun in Florida is definitely easier to handle than Colorado's sun. It must be an altitude thing.
MiamiOur husbands did and a little snorkeling and picked up a bunch of sea shells for us. I brought a bunch home for the kids.  Miami
We walked down the beach and ran into and nude beach. Yikes! It wasn't too far off from Trump Towers. Miami
After a long day at the beach we were famished. We found this cute little restaurant in a little strip mall. The food did not disappoint. Here's dinner!
MiamiWe sat outside and walked along the dock while we waited for our meal. The dock was shared by some other restaurants nearby. It was just our luck when we walked by a little bar and outside were two ladies taking in a little hookah. They were quite friendly and offered up some of their hookah to us. Strawberries and champagne was their flavor and it was quite interesting. After that little pit stop  it was time for dinner.
Our waiter, Nick, was great! He's from Serbia and for some reason he really liked us. Just as were were about to leave he showed up with a couple desserts and orangecello shots on the house! How could we refuse? Then our friendly husbands began talking to people at the table next to us and we found out that one of the guys owns a cigar company in Nicaragua. Guess what happened next? Yes! They gave our husbands cigars.

For our last full day in Miami we headed to South beach to do a little exploring. We walked through some old hotels and saw some pretty cool architecture. 

Our trip to Miami couldn't have come at a more perfect time. After being stuck inside or freezing cold outside doing chores we were ready for some warmer weather.