Sunday, August 31, 2008

School Days

School starts in 4 days and Grace is out of her mind excited! So leading up to the big moment I thought my next few posts would be school themed (you know how I love themes!). Grace and I had a bit of girl time Friday (thanks Mom for watching Harris) and went school shopping, we also stopped and had a lovely lunch at a fun cafe. We had such a good time I think we should make a tradition out of having a "date" for school shopping. Here's what we got....

I was glad Grace picked out these shoes. As you might know she can be very sensitive about shoes and clothing in general. If they are remotely uncomfortable she won't/can't wear them. These were her favorite and I really like them because they are classic and will go with most everything.

This is the dress she plans on wearing the first day of school-she already has it laid out! You can't tell in the picture but it has little apples on it, she seems to have inherited my love of themes. I'm so proud!

Here is the lunchbox she picked out. This is the first year she will eat lunch at school, and I'm nervous about fixing her lunch everyday. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.
We found a thermos that fits into her lunchbox. This is my attempt at thinking that I will send her interesting lunches.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fairy House

Grace is in love with fairies.  I think she really wants to believe that they are real and magical.  She is desperate for a fairy to present itself.  Truth be told, I really wish one would.  
A year ago, Grace received the DVD Kristen's Fairy House which is about a girl who travels with her aunt (Tracy Kane) to an island where fairy houses are built.  Grace loves this DVD, and I love that she loves it because it is so uncommercial and pure.  There is also a book by Tracy Kane called "Fairy Houses Everywhere" that we picked up in the library.  This book is filled with the most wonderful photographs of actual fairy houses.  I have been surprised at how much time Grace has spent studying the photos.  She also has sketched out a fair number of designs.   
On our last day in Colorado Grace got her opportunity to build one in Gran's garden.  It became a group effort as the woodmen (Granpa and Harris) built custom features for the house.  Grace has strict standards in that everything in the house must be natural.  Of course.    

It's difficult to see but this is an overall picture of the fairy house.

Grace found the wood with the window on our camping trip.  The vines make a perfect window shade.

The entrance to the house.  Grandpa and Harris made the door.  Notice how it has a doorknob and even hinges!  The piece of knobby wood to the left is a bathtub for the fairies.

The squash is a bed for the fairies and the seashell is filled with water.  It functions as their pool to cool off in.  The rock is a stool in case the little ones can't reach.

Behind the fairy house is a gazebo and dance floor so that the fairies (this is a quote from Grace) can "dance by the light of the moon."  It's also for when the fairies just want to "hang out."

The cross represents the cemetery for fairies that have passed on (after many hundreds of years!).  

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We are home!

Home Sweet Home!  We are back home from our great vacation!  We are tired from the day of travel but full of happy memories.  I would like to thank my in-laws for being such wonderful hosts for the week!  I don't want to even think about how much weight I might have gained eating all the great food we had (none of which I had to fix!!).    


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Last Days of Vacation!

Yesterday morning, Gran and Grandpa took Harris and Grace to the park near their home. They had a wonderful time, then came back and ran through the sprinklers and got soaking wet! This picture is of them in an enclosed slide.

In the afternoon, we took the Pikes Peak Cog Railway up to the summit of Pikes Peak. After an hour and twenty minute train ride we arrived at 14,110 feet. It was COLD at the summit! We even had a tiny bit of snow - in August!

Bryce and Harris on top of Pikes Peak.

Today we decided to have a relaxed, low-key day. The children had a bit of a rough day yesterday and we thought it was probably from being on the go so much!

So today the children worked with Gran and Grandpa to make a fairy house. Harris was thrilled to work with Grandpa with real tools (who better to teach him!) and Grace planned and assembled an veritable fairy estate!

Gran and Grace working in the garden on a fairy house. Grace specifically asked that I do a post on her fairy house so that will come in the future!

Right before dinner we went back over to the Garden of the Gods. Grace and Harris are working hard to hold up the Balancing Rock!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Vacation - Days 5 and 6

Today we headed to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I was thrilled to get up close and personal with the giraffes! Visitors are allowed to feed them special giraffe biscuits and they would come right up to you and eat them out of your hand! They are such beautiful creatures - I wish I had their eyelashes. We saw many animals but the highlights were the hippo (huge!) and the mountain lions (I'm not sure I will ever go camping again). Oh, and the moose and the porcupine and the bears, oh my!

After the zoo we stopped by a waterfall in South Cheyenne Canyon and it started raining - no matter, we just pulled out the ponchos.

We headed to Seven Falls after church.

We walked up something like 285 steps to the top! I might should exercise a bit more (or any at all!) because my heart was pumping hard by the time we got to the top. I'm going to blame the altitude, not my lack of fitness......

Family photo at the top of the canyon.

Bryce and I went on a date last night. We chose a restaurant that had "Colorado Cuisine" for an authentic dining experience (as most of you know, we LOVE food). We had a lovely time and sat on the outside patio until a huge rain and lightening storm blew in over the mountains. I even had some hail drop on me! Made for a romantic dinner though.

Our appetizer included bison, ostrich, wild game quesadilla and pistachio pesto ravioli. It was delicious.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Vacation - Days 3 and 4

On Thursday we left to go camping among the Collegiate Peaks at Mount Princeton (ironic huh?). Al and Marilyn have a fifth-wheel camper, so we weren't exactly roughing it, which was fine by me!

This was our view from camp and we had rushing water as our background music.

Steps from camp was this mountain creek (Chalk Creek) that was the highlight of the trip. Grace, Harris, Bryce and Grandpa frolicked around in the ice cold water for a long time. Grace especially loved the water.

Luckily, Gran and Grandpa had bought the children water shoes just for this purpose!

Later that day, we went for a hike on the mountain on a former railroad bed.

We ate very well the whole time we were there. We grilled out for dinner and ate, ate and ate some more!

After dinner we told Ghost stories (all with happy endings!) and made s'mores. The fire felt wonderful as it was getting chilly.

The next morning we had a wonderful breakfast of blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon that Al made. Later we went to St. Elmo, a gold-mining ghost town. We didn't see any ghosts!

At St. Elmo, there was an area where you could feed chipmunks and squirrels - this one came right up into my lap!

Grace feeding a chipmunk.

On our way back to camp we stopped at this lake. Grace and Harris played in the water and Bryce skipped rocks (one went all the way across).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vacation - Days 1 and 2

We are here in the Centennial state and having a great time! I wasn't going to post while we were away but after realizing we have already taken a ridiculous number of pictures, I thought it would be easier to do as we go instead of in a big lump at the end.

The children did really well on the trip to Colorado. It was a long day of travel but they were troopers!

This is right after we arrived in Denver. The Denver airport is my favorite airport because of the tent-like roof that look like snow-covered mountains. It's just so clever! Once we got to Colorado Springs, the children played in Gran and Granpa's garden and had a grand time. We even got to sit around a fire on the patio, it was quite chilly!

On our first full day in Colorado we did a bit of spelunking! We went on a tour of the Cave of the Winds and it was awe inspiring. First, it's hard to believe that all of that is sitting underground and second that it was discovered and we were walking through it. While we waited for our tour to start we had this gorgeous view of the mountains. We were pretty high up and Grace said it made her stomach hurt to look down!

Entering the caves!

This evening we went on a hiking/climbing adventure in The Garden of the Gods. This park is absolutely stunning and an amazing view is to be had everywhere you look. Grace and Harris loved it and we even spotted wildlife!

Super Bryce!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Colorado, here we come!

We are off this morning to Colorado. We've had a flurry of activity getting packed and ready to go (it's a lot of work packing for 4 people!). The children are beyond excited about seeing Gran and Grandpa, flying in a plane and camping. I'm sure we will return with a lot of happy memories.

P.S. Aren't the luggage tags I got the children adorable? I love them!

Our Weekend

This past weekend we had family in from out of town.  Bryce's dad and brother came for a long weekend.  The children were really excited to see them.  We had a nice visit and the children were able to spend some alone time with their Grandpa Paul and Uncle Ben.  Saturday night Bryce and I had a surprise birthday party to go to, so the four of them ate dinner together, played at the park and read books before bed.  Today they took the children to the shore so that Bryce and I could get ready for our trip to Colorado, which was wonderful.  They leave tomorrow and so do we! 

Grandpa Paul and Grace

Uncle Ben and Harris

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vintage Finds

This weekend I went to pick out paint colors for our porch (more on that later), and I had an opportunity to run in one of my favorite antique stores. While there, I found two tablecloths for my table (vintage) that we bought for our front porch. Perhaps I've seen too many beautiful table settings in Martha, but I have a fantasy of having the perfect tablecloths and table settings for every occasion. I feel like I got one step closer to that dream! Never mind that I can barely get the table set most of the time! As a bonus, my mom found a flower frog at a garage sale for 50 cents (she is the queen of good finds) and got it for me. I had recently seen some flower frogs at an antique store for $18 apiece. I wish that it would help to fulfill my dream of being able to put beautiful flower arrangements together, but alas, try as I might I can't seem to get the hang of that. The flower frog is a step in the right direction I suppose.

The flowers are printed on this tablecloth. I thought it would be fun because it has red and sage - the color of the furniture and pillows on our front porch.

The flowers are embroidered on this one, which makes it really lovely. This makes me think of having girls over for lunch with a bouquet of flowers on the table.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Family Olympics

The Olympians!

We have established that we love the Olympics.  Fortunately for us, we also have great neighbors in our town who also love the Olympics.  So tonight we held the "Family Olympics!" Unfortunately, due to a rather lengthy thunderstorm, we were only able to complete one event - swimming.  The children really had a good time though and we are hoping to do some track and field tomorrow!  After the medal ceremony we came back to our house and all ate dinner together (Chinese, of course).  

We made medals out of cupcake liners and ribbon.

They are off!

Grace won gold! As did Marshall and Hannah - all in separate events.

After dinner, we had cupcakes decorated with the Olympic rings.  I'm not so sure I was that successful on this one, Grace thought that the rings should have overlapped!
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