Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tea Party!

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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!

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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.
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 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.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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.

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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. 

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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.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Foster Care Updates

As many of you know we've been foster parents for a few years now. We had a sibling group of three children in our home for two and half years. On Good Friday they moved to, hopefully, their forever home. That forever home is the home of some dear church friends of ours. Please keep them all in your prayers while they learn what it's like to have such young children in their home again. The transition has been a little rough, but we're hopeful that everyone can pull through all the challenges that have come up. IMG_3533 Since our home was empty again we took a little vacation and when we returned this little cutie arrived. She has transitioned quite well in our home and all of our children are just loving her. We've been having so much fun with this little girl and she has learned so much in just a few short months. We don't know how long we'll have her, but we'll definitely keep her as long as we can. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

David's Birthday

David 2Believe it or not this adorable little bundle of cuteness turned 9 years old on April 1st, no joke!
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 With baseball just getting under way we were running crazy getting 5 kids to their activities. We didn't get to celebrate David's birthday until late that evening. I think he even got to run a few extra laps at baseball practice since it was his birthday. Forget dinner, how about some mint ice cream cupcakes instead?  IMG_3035 Our children worked really hard all winter to split and sell firewood. With all of their hard work they've saved quite a bit of money. They've really enjoyed living across the street from Target. Walking across the street to spend all of their hard earned money has been so much fun for them.  IMG_3039When we requested a birthday list from David he put a hula hoop on it and boy has it been fun around here. We can't wait to see some more fun come from this kid this year. He's mastered that hula hoop along with the Rubik's cube, and knot tying has still kept him busy around here. We began doing scholastic testing on him a few years ago. This year he has ended up in the 99th percentile for his age. Getting him to do his schoolwork this year has really tested my patience when there are so many other things he'd rather be doing, like riding scooters or mastering other patterns on his Rubik's cube, playing Legos or cleaning the chicken coop, but I guess we really can't complain when his grades are so high. Happy birthday, David! Keep driving us crazy like you do. :) We love you!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Easter

IMG_2899Easter crept up on us so quickly that it ended up being a pretty low key day. The big storm that blew through just a few days before Easter made it difficult to get out of the house and by the time Easter arrived there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground. There was enough snow that the children weren't able to hunt for eggs outside. IMG_2946
I did, however, manage to get my children to go outside and pose for a photo in the snow. How can you refuse your mother, right?
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Then it was time to get back inside for church to begin.

UntitledOur friends from Fort Collins actually made the trek down to us to spend Easter dinner with us. With our husbands both being pastors it was already a long morning and we were exhausted just trying to stay awake.