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.
IMG_3131

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.
Miami
  Miami
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.

IMG_0125
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. 

Miami
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!
IMG_3042   IMG_3044 
 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?
IMG_3015
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. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Spring Storms

IMG_2830
Like I said in previous posts, winter seemed like it was never going to end. It did eventually end, but then the spring storms started. These storms weren't small either. Once one storm had passed through it wasn't but a few days later that another storm was already on its way.

IMG_2834The snow drifts were crazy. There were times that we had to dig a path just to get out the door.
3     4
I'd like to say that I was happy to stay cooped up indoors, but having chickens and wanting to burn firewood made staying in almost impossible.
IMG_2836It was quite the trek just trying to get to the chicken coop. Then trying to get into it was another obstacle in itself. We did make it in and found our chickens to be just fine and cozy inside.
2Their little run was covered from blowing snow, but the inside of their coop was dry and they were great. I'm sure they didn't like being stuck inside, but at least they were warm and their it's a good thing their feathers keep a lot heat for them.
IMG_2826
We thought the snow was gone for awhile, so we bought some new baby chicks. They probably thought this spring/winter storm was nuts. That heat lamp was working overtime to keep these little guys warm.
IMG_2849     IMG_2855
Being stuck inside could make one stir crazy, so going outside with any amount of snow was starting to sound kind of fun.
5
It was pretty much impossible to keep the driveways all plowed, so it became fun and challenging to see if we could drive though all the snow. It only took my Lutheran Stud a few tries before he was able to plow through this mess.
10




Just so you know, our van is not 4-wheel drive and it liked to do a little fish-tailing on the ice. I also got stuck in my own driveway 3 times in one day. Luckily, I have some pretty awesome boys that were ready and able to dig me out.6
The snow did eventually stop and it felt quite peaceful and calm when the snow stopped falling and wind stopped blowing.

7
The children no longer felt like they would blow over from the wind, so they were able to explore our field. They found snow drifts that were taller than they are. They trudged through the snow and fell down on purpose because the snow was soft and it didn't hurt to fall.

11
The chickens were also excited for the storms to come to an end. They couldn't wait to get outside. The amount of worms they found was unbelievable. Many of them also loved to eat the snow.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Spring?

IMG_2544      IMG_2454
We got a short respite from the snow and a lot of it even melted. It was a good thing because my sweet little goddaughter came out from California for a little visit.
IMG_2679     IMG_2677
I also planted some garlic in the fall and noticed that it was starting to sprout. We needed to get some water on them so they could keep growing. Our sprinklers were blown out in the fall and we still hadn't started them back up yet, so there was no water getting to them, except from the snow that had been falling. IMG_2657 Our chickens were even getting tired of being cooped up from the snow. They couldn't wait to get outside or see what I was cooking up in the kitchen. Do you know how creepy it feels to have chickens spying on you while you're washing dishes? IMG_2723Cousin Adam also came to visit, so we were happy for some sun since we had some work for him to do outside and inside of our house. There was also time for a little frisbee. IMG_2682I think the boys purposefully threw the frisbees on the roof so they could retrieve them. They've learned to climb the big pine tree in front of our house. It makes for an easy hop onto the roof.  IMG_2726Even all the mud in the field was drying out and we were able to get into the field to check out the wood pile. IMG_2730It definitely didn't disappear over the winter, but it looks well seasoned? IMG_2737The field looks more cleared out than it did in the fall. The children worked really hard over the winter and sold a ton of firewood. Now we've got to get this cleared out so we can plant a garden.