Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

i know, i never post on this

but i wanted to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

We have much to be thankful for here, including that Alice's Dad is here for the holiday

It's so nice seeing him.

We'll get some pictures put up later

Love ya all

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wow, I haven't posted in awhile!

It's been super busy around here. And I've been playing with Facebook. It's fun!

Anyway......let's see here. We've been busy between classes, babysitting, weekend adventures, the Rockies games, and the care of many felines.

We went to a pumpkin ranch last weekend with James folks. It was really nice although a bit chilly. The kids had fun, they went on lots of little rides, Gracie painted a pumpkin, and Ian rode a pony for the first time! Of course I forgot my camera so I need Grandma to e-mail pictures to me, then I can post them!

Saturday evening we had friends over to watch the Rockies lose game 3. Sad wasn't it? I can't believe they were swept. I think that such a long break after such an amazing hot streak did them in. James was really disappointed because he managed to scrounge up a ticket for Monday nights game, but that game never happened. Oh well, maybe next year!

I am now in the process of finding homes for the foster cats and kittens. I have placed an ad on Craigslist and I am really hoping I can have them all spoken for soon. The cats were neutered last weekend and the kittens will be neutered on Nov. 13th. I really hope to have them all placed by Thanksgiving.

I will try to get some pictures up soon. I will have a bunch after tomorrow with the kids all dressed up for Halloween so I will try to post those on Thursday. Gracie is going to be a princess and Ian is going to be a fireman. They will look adorable (of course)!

I gotta go serve lunch now, ta-ta!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What number are you?

Wow, this quiz has me spot on. Scary!

You Are 1: The Reformer

You're a responsible person - with a clear sense of right and wrong.

High standards are important to you, and you do everything to meet them.

You are your own worst critic, feeling ashamed if you're not perfect.

You have uncompromising integrity, and people expect you to be fair.

At Your Best: You are hopeful, honest, and inspiring. You bring out the best in humanity.

At Your Worst: You are intolerant, judgmental, and picky.

Your Fixation: Resentment

Your Primary Fear: Being corrupt.

Your Primary Desire: To be good.

Other Number 1's: Al Gore, Martha Stewart, Gandhi, Celene Dion, and Spock from Star Trek.

Friday, October 12, 2007


As you can imagine life has been a little chaotic!! Who knew that taking care of so many cats would require so much work!

I managed to find a home for Callie, she is now living with my friend Kendrah and her family. I know they will take wonderful care of her, they are very sweet people and she is a very sweet cat, so it's a good fit! She has an appointment to get neutered on the 27th of this month.

The kittens are all well and growing really fast. As I type they are zooming around the office like little nutty furballs. They can get neutered the first week of November and then will go find new homes, hopefully they will all be gone by Thanksgiving.

Precious, (I hate her name and want to change it, all I can think of is Silence of the Lambs), the mama cat, is another story. I am concerned that she is pregnant. I guess cats can conceive pretty much immediately after birth and given the situation she was in it is entirely possible. I am keeping a close eye on her. Hopefully I am wrong and she will be neutered with the kittens. If she is pregnant then we are going to have kittens around the middle of November and they won't be able to be neutered and go to new homes until after New Years.

In other non cat oriented news:
Gracie is taking swimming lessons and she is doing wonderfully! She was a little nervous at first but she's been very determined to get her whole face underwater. She's done a lot of bathtub practice! Last week she did awesome, dunking her whole head on her own! I'm glad she is enjoying it, I love to swim and I want the kids to enjoy it and feel comfortable in the water too! Gracie is also taking her first long class without a parent. For this month she is in a two hour program on Wednesdays where I drop her off at lunch time and she eats her lunch with her class and then they do crafts and play. She loves it.

Gracie always has something she's trying to conqueror and right now it's monkey bars. Man she wants to do them so bad. SO BAD! Yesterday we had a major meltdown at the park which I think was due to low-blood sugar and deep monkey bar frustration. She did manage to do 4 in a row though, which is quite an accomplishment for someone who isn't even 3 1/2 yet! I'm sure she'll have it under her belt in no time and then she'll move on to another daunting challenge!

My job is going well. It's worked out very nicely so far and I really have no complaints. Colder weather will make it a bit more challenging I think, but I'll figure it out! My last guitar lesson is this Saturday. I haven't been practicing like I should but even still I have picked it up fairly well. Luckily I can read music due to years of choir and piano and trumpet and violin as a kid. It's just figuring out the fingerings and getting my fingers tough enough. Holding down all those strings properly hurts!!

Ian is doing well. He took a tumble down the stairs a couple weeks ago and since then has been refusing to come down the stairs on his own, when he wants to come down he stands there and screams. Hopefully he'll feel safe doing them again soon. He's quite a determined little fella most of the time, although not with the same intensity of his big sis. He tries to throw fits from time to time but it's actually pretty funny, he simply lacks the passion that I am use to dealing with from Gracie. All you have to do is look at him funny or give him a light tickle and he forgets all about whatever it was he was having a fit about. He's such a silly little guy!

James is good. Of course he's thrilled that the Rockies are in the playoffs and after last nights win we are so encouraged that they will be in the World Series!! He was able to go to the last game here in Denver when they won the division and of course that was cool. He brought home a program and a bunch of the "rally towels" that people had just left lying around. His job is going well, busy and frustrating at times, but I guess busy is better than bored, right?

So, that's the scoop around here... We have a busy weekend planned, guitar lessons, swim lessons, and dinner with some friends. Life is anything but boring!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Meow, meow, meow, meow!!

So,we have cats.

Many cats.


Yesterday I took in a Mother cat and her 6 babies. One of her babies is 18 months old and has already had two litters of her own, the other 5 are only 5 weeks old!!! They are super sweet. Add that crowd to our own two and our house is inhabited by 9 cats! Luckily both the adult cats are very friendly and gentle and the kittens were well socialized. I don't think we'll have any problems finding them homes.

Here are some pictures:

Precious- Mama to everyone! She's a Dilute Torbie.

Callie- Older sibling to the kittens, about 18 months old. She had two litters of kittens this summer, her last one went to it's new home on Monday I guess. She's a Tortie and White.

Singa- Female Tortoiseshell. Gracie's favorite.

Smoke- Male dark gray tabby.

Rhett- Male dark gray circle tabby.

Stripe- Male tuxedo.

Colorful- Female Calby.

I learned about what type they are according to pattern on Wikipedia. I had no idea there were so many types of Calico cats!

They will be with us for probably a month. The kittens need to be 8 weeks old and then they can all (adults included) be fixed. Then they will all go to new homes. They came from a lady on Craigslist that couldn't afford to have them all fixed and also has unneutered males in the house, so they were churning out kittens like a factory! The local shelters are over capacity right now so if she brought them there it would be a death sentence. I couldn't stand that thought, so here they are.

So....if you know anyone that wants a kitten or cat, send them our way!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wanna see what we're having for dinner?

Man oh man. Head over to The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I am so making Penne al la Betsy for dinner, even though it will require a run to the grocery store! We don't eat shrimp though, so I'll probably use chicken.

I'm already salivating!

Go check it out. Really!!!

(I have to make Marlboro Man's Favorite Cookies too, James is making me!)

I'll edit in my review tonight!

This dish is delicious, simple, and fast. The entire family loved it, the kids even had two servings each! I followed the directions exactly although I think next time I might use a slightly larger onion and slightly less wine. I substituted ground pork cooked in bite sized pieces for the shrimp and it went perfectly with this dish.

The rest of the bottle of wine was the perfect compliment!

Friday, September 21, 2007


Well lookie there! I got my title bar back. Seems that somehow I turned it off in my settings many months ago and all I had to do was turn it back on. Very simple fix......I guess I should have looked into that awhile ago!

So anyway, here's some recent shots.

Gracie at the Scottish Highlands Festival in Estes Park
Ian at the festivalJames and Ian at the festival
My little monkey
Ian's new cheesy grin
Handsome boy
My fairy princess
Horace and Scout catnapping
James and Ian catnapping
Snack time
The memorial sign for Sarah

This weekend we are going to stick around home, I have guitar lessons, Gracie starts swimming lessons, and we are going to install all new blinds in the house to match the ones we put in our bedroom last spring.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


A lot has been going on and has left me without much energy to post.

Soccer has been going well. Just one week left thank goodness. It's been hard but the parents have been great and the kids are figuring it out. And I have a whole new respect for the coaches I had when I played on community sports teams as a kid. Coaching is a lot of work. And this is just 3 year olds!

The kids and I attended a memorial for Sarah last week. There was a Mothers Against Drunk Driving sign posted at the accident site with the Don't Drink and Drive message and Sarah's name. I didn't know until I got the message from Sarah's mom the sign was going up that the woman that hit Sarah was drunk. I had suspected it but it has never come up in the conversations I've had with Drew and I never asked. The woman that killed Sarah was actually 4 times the legal limit and most likely passed out at the wheel. The memorial was wonderful and horrible all at the same time. It was nice to see our friends and share our memories, it was horrible to talk to people that had been at the scene and were able to fill in the blanks for me. It was a horrific accident. Hearing the details has been very difficult. I can only imagine how much worse it is for Drew as he was at the scene. Anyway....the last two weeks since finding out the woman was drunk and then attending the memorial have been difficult for me. I can't believe it's almost been a year.

I have started working again, I am babysitting a brother and sister just two mornings a week. They are 4 and soon to be 6 and they get along with Gracie and Ian wonderfully. It keeps me on my toes, but it's worth it.

I started guitar lessons. I'm picking it up fairly well and I am working through the numb fingers on my left hand!! It will be nice when I have callouses.

We started our Music Together classes again. As usual they are wonderful I just love Miss Brenda!

My co-leader for La Leche League has decided to retire and her last meeting was yesterday. I am now fairly panicked as I am solely responsible for all the aspects of the Parker group. I am very hopeful that my friend Kendrah will soon begin her application to become a leader so we can co-lead together. There's a lot of paperwork that needs to be done and a lot of small stuff to keep track of. I have done a lot of the "busy" work for our group so far, but I haven't been responsible for the important stuff like sending reports to international and doing the financials. I just hope I don't mess it up now!

Ian is talking more every day. He's adding in lots of words and speaking more clearly. It's so sweet and so sad at the same time. My baby is really growing up. He's almost 2!! It just doesn't seem possible.

We bought a new car. Since Sarah's accident I have been almost obsessed with vehicle safety. I know you can't predict that kind of thing, but I just want to make sure that I am doing everything possible to keep us safe in the car. It's one of the reasons we bought the Honda, which we loved. But with babysitting and needing 3 car seats in the car and not being able to use the front seat with a kid under 12 the Honda didn't work for me. And the van......well, it's a 1990. It has NONE of the safety features that are available now. Add to that the fact that Gracie has had to move up to a specialized car seat for kids over 40 pounds. (Bear with me now, I am crazy about car seat safety). I could legally put her in a booster, but for the most safety we had to buy a Britax Regent which holds a child front facing until 80 pounds with a 5 point harness. It is vitally important to me that she is in one of those seats. They are expensive though, and I really didn't want to buy two, and I really didn't want to have to move it between vehicles all the time. So I started doing research and convinced James (he's a patient patient man) that we could get ourselves a new Kia van and keep our payment the same as it was on the Honda, but be a ton safer. We went to the dealership this past Saturday and after seeing them he was convinced. So we bought a brand new Kia Sedona. It's silver and it's the base model but it's just as nice as the Honda was and it's the highest rated minivan for safety. Kia base models come with a ton of "upgrades" like power windows and locks, remote entry, CD player and lots of other nice things. I am very very happy. Oh......and it has LATCH for installing car seats. I can't even believe how easy and nice it is to put car seats in with it. So much better than using the seat belt, the car seats feel like they are part of the car, permanently attached. It's so great.

There's been a lot of other stuff going on too. I have pictures that I will put up in the next few days to show you what we've been up to.

Friday, September 07, 2007

So, we went to a new park this morning. I found it via Brandi, her last blog post mentioned it and I wanted to take the kids there.

It had a little stream running through it and there were some kids wading in it. There were a couple of small foot bridges to play on and you could get in the water right from them. So we went down to one. Gracie was nuts to jump right in and I was holding Ian's hands while he was walking on the bridge, it was like cement railroad ties all spaced a couple inches apart. Off one side of the bridge it was all sandy and stuff, but the other side was slanted down cement that was covered with mossy stuff. I thought "I need to tell Gracie to stay on the sandy side" which is where she was. I had my back turned though and I guess she crossed behind me because the next thing I know she's slipped and slides like 4 feet down this little slant with water pouring down on her. It was not even an inch deep, but still..........She kept trying to stand up but because it was so slippery she fell again and again and again. I was trying to get to her but I had to go very slowly and carefully so I wouldn't fall and I needed to make sure I was stable enough to pick her up without falling. I kept yelling to her "Gracie, just be still, just sit, stop moving, just sit, I will get you." But she was so panicked and cold and wet that she just kept trying to come up the stupid little incline. I finally got to her, almost slipped twice getting back to the foot bridge, and then I was so relieved that Ian had stood perfectly still and didn't try to follow us because, oy, that would have been really bad............

Once we were standing up there and she stopped crying she looked up at me and said,
"Mommy, you saved me." and I said
"Gracie, I will always save you." and she said
"Thanks mommy, you're the best mommy to protect me." and then she asked
"Can I go back in now?"

Some days parenting is like a slow and painful death......

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

It's my birthday!!!!!!!!!

I am 33 today.
That is all.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Herding Cats

What mind picture do you have when you hear that phrase? Well, let me share my mind picture with you. They hit the ground running, they don't come when you call, and when you put twelve of them in one space all hell breaks loose.

What are these creatures?

Three year olds.

And what was I trying to do with them?

Coach soccer

Today I found a new respect for pre-school teachers. Seriously. It is crowd control at it's finest. If you can get twelve of them to go the same direction at the same time while not talking you have managed an incredible feat. People who can do this with ease should be in charge of FEMA. We don't need big name government officials planning evacuations and disaster relief, we need pre-school teachers.

Anyway.......all in all I think our first practice went ok. I survived, the kids survived, and I think most of them had fun.

I think though, when this 4 week stint is over, I shall retire.

Friday, August 24, 2007

When did they get so big?

Seriously. Today I am struck by the fact that suddenly I am parenting two big kids. It's so weird. In my head they are still babies. In reality they are walking, talking, capable little beings. It's just amazing.

Ian spoke his first sentence yesterday. He said "Hello Anna". Well, he didn't say it as much as he yelled it out the window at our neighbor. Simple I know. But significant. In just a few more months he'll be chatting away with Gracie about who knows what. They will be able to have conversations that won't include me. That's just an amazing thought.

The two of them have been playing together a lot more lately. Gracie has decided that Ian is a suitable playmate for the most part, although she still occasionally tells me she wants me to give him back and get her a sister instead. She doesn't realize that siblings are siblings no matter what their gender. I have both a brother and a sister and they annoyed me equally when we were growing up. Actually...... they still annoy me equally!

Gracie is in the middle of her second class at the rec center. This class is a "princess" class. This class of all girls gets together to color pictures of ponies and rainbows, dance with ribbons, and make bejeweled purses and crowns. It's so stinking cute, really! The first week she insisted on wearing one of my dresses I wore when I was a flower girl in my aunt Judy and uncle Bill's wedding. She was the only kid that came all decked out in full princess apparel. The other little girls looked at her with awe, like they were in the presence of a real princess. It was so funny. Yesterday she settled on wearing a dress I bought on clearance after Easter last year. It just fits her now and it looked very nice. Again she was the only girl dressed up! Next week they were all told to wear their princess dresses and they are going to have a tea party. I am going to hit a couple Good Will stores this week to see if we can find something superbly fancy, maybe something with sequins and feathers..............

We also have Gracie signed up for a soccer team for the month of September. I am going to be coaching. It should be fun! Originally I had her signed up to play on Saturday mornings, but then I got the roster and there was a fairly big problem. Gracie was the only girl on the team. Now, if she were older I wouldn't mind that, after all I was one of only two girls in the boys baseball league when I was growing up. I didn't care at all! But for this very first venture into team sports I would like her to play with boys and girls. So I contacted the organizer and said I really needed him to either add girls to our team or to switch me to another team. So we were switched. She also starts swimming lessons the end of September and we will all be taking Music Together classes again this fall. So our schedule is going to be fairly busy.

I have been thinking about getting a little part-time job. I'm kind of torn on what to do. Part of me really wants to get out of the house and do something that requires interacting with other adults. The problem with that is it would require giving up at least one weekend day because I have to work when James can be home, otherwise it's pretty pointless. I don't want to give up weekend time though. The other option is in-home childcare again. Which I honestly don't really want to do either. Especially with how busy our calendar is becoming. I want Gracie to be able to take whatever classes she wants to without having to worry about being home for someone to be dropped off or picked up. I'm weighing my options and seeing what opens up.

So that's the scoop around here. I hope you all have a great weekend. We are going to do a whole lot of nothing I think. It's suppose to be in the mid to high 90's all weekend. That sounds like lay around in the air conditioning weather to me!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Another vaccine alert.

From the start this HPV (it is NOT a cancer) vaccine has been really freaky, it's been highly reactive in the short time it's been on the market. I just don't understand how the medical community shrugs this off. I really don't.

HPV Vaccine and Greater Risk of Guillain-Barre Syndrome

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) has issued a new report on risks associated with the HPV vaccine Gardasil. Analyzing adverse events reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), an association between Gardasil and Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) was found. A statistically significant increased risk of GBS (and other serious adverse events) were noted when Gardasil is co-administered with other vaccines, especially the meningococcal vaccine Menactra.

GBS is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system, and can cause total paralysis. "Our analysis of Gardasil reports to VAERS indicates there was a two to 12 times greater likelihood that serious adverse events, such as GBS, were reported when Gardasil was given in combination with Menactra rather than given alone," said Vicky Debold, PhD, RN, NVIC director of patient safety. "Accepted scientific standards indicate that these findings are statistically significant and cannot be dismissed as coincidence. In particular, the available VAERS data show there was a more than 1,000 percent increased risk of GBS reports following Gardasil administration when Menactra was given at the same time."

On February 21, 2007 NVIC had expressed concern about the safety of administering Gardasil simultaneously with other vaccines because the manufacturer (Merck), the FDA and the CDC had not provided evidence to the public that co-administration was safe. (1) On March 12, the CDC published recommendations for Gardasil use that acknowledged a lack of evidence that Gardasil can be safely administered with other vaccines, while still encouraging physicians to co-administer Menactra and other vaccines with Gardasil based on assumption of safety. (2)

NVIC is calling on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to issue an Advisory and amend its March 12 policy by alerting the public that Gardasil has been associated with 15 cases of GBS and an increased risk of GBS and other serious adverse event reports made to VAERS when the vaccine is administered simultaneously with Menactra and other vaccines. "The precautionary principle dictates that good science should precede CDC vaccine policy recommendations," said Barbara Loe Fisher, NVIC co-founder and president. "Parents have a right to expect proof of safety and not assumption of safety before new vaccines, like Gardasil, are given simultaneously with other vaccines to their children.

To view a copy of NVIC's report on HPV vaccine (Gardasil) safety, go to To report a vaccine reaction, go to
1) Vaccine Safety Group Releases Gardasil Report: Calls on FDA and CDC to Warn Doctors and Parents to Report to VAERS, February 21, 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Early Release 2007; 56 March 12, 2007:1-24. SOURCE: National Vaccine Information Center

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pictures, and lots of them.

I actually had more but the photo card and computer are acting up so I will have to do more later if it will all work.

Anyway, in no particular order (I'm afraid to try to move things around!)

Here we are at the Douglas County Fair:

Here's a beautiful rainbow that appeared right as we got to the fair. We were getting ready to go in to watch the rodeo. It was so huge and so bright, the picture doesn't do it justice at all!
Here's Ian sleeping, which isn't all that remarkable except that I had moved him from the car to the couch. This is something that NEVER happens. My kids don't stay asleep when I move them. Since it happened this once I had to get photographic evidence!
Here's Chris when he came to visit for a little while before he took James off to the Cubs game. I figured I'd show you what he looks like when he isn't hidden behind a bush!
The next few are from our camping trip. The first couple are from the very top of the mountains. We took a 4x4 road up from our campsite. It took us about an hour to get to the end of the road which was a uranium mine!! It was very cool. If we didn't have kids with us we could have easily hiked to the crest of the mountains there. It was so beautiful!

This is the view back down from the top. We were camping wayyyy down in the valley there.

These last few are just of our campsite. We went with our friends Desiree and Adam and their 3 littles; Spencer, Sophia, and Claire. It was so fun to camp with friends. The kids were occupied the entire 2 days and had a blast! The creek in the photos ran behind our campsite. It was a great sound to fall asleep to! We stayed at a small camp ground in the Pike National Forest. It was remote, but not really remote enough. The first night we didn't have anyone around us which was great, but the second night we had a couple people close to us. I think next time we will look for somewhere even further off the beaten path. When I camp I like to pretend no one else in the whole world exists.......

Monday, August 20, 2007

Interesting information on the vaccination front. I really hope that Congress does the study comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. I think that it will really help bring things to light about mainstream medicine in general.

Stunning New Survey Findings

A recently released survey indicates a strong correlation between rates of neurological disorders, such as ADHD and autism, and childhood vaccinations. The survey, commissioned by Generation Rescue compared vaccinated and unvaccinated children in nine counties in Oregon and California. Among more than 9,000 boys age 4-17, the survey found vaccinated boys were two and a half times (155%) more likely to have neurological disorders compared to their unvaccinated peers. Vaccinated boys were 224% more likely to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and 61% more likely to have autism.

For older vaccinated boys in the 11-17 age bracket, the results were even more pronounced. Vaccinated boys were 158% more likely to have a neurological disorder, 317% more likely to have ADHD, and 112% more likely to have autism. Complete survey results are available at Generation Rescue commissioned the phone survey. Data was gathered by SurveyUSA, a national market research firm, which surveyed parents by phone on more than 17,000 children, ages 4-17, in five counties in California (San Diego, Sonoma, Orange, Sacramento, and Marin) and four counties in Oregon (Multnomah, Marion, Jackson, and Lane).

The survey asked parents whether their child had been vaccinated, and whether that child had one or more of the following diagnoses: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), or Autism. The phone survey was chosen to mirror the methodology the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) uses to establish national prevalence for neurological disorders in their national phone survey.

J.B. Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue, whose son was diagnosed with autism says, "The phone survey isn't perfect, but these numbers point to the need for a comprehensive national study to gather this critical information."

In Washington, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has been advocating for such a survey. Co-sponsored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), the "Comprehensive Comparative Study of Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Population Act of 2006," or H.R. 2832, was introduced on June 22, and would require the National Institutes of Health to complete this research. From 1983 to 2007, autism rates have climbed from 1 in 10,000 children to 1 in 150 children, a growth rate of 6,000% (boys are significantly more affected by neurological disorders, accounting for approximately 80% of all cases). ADHD currently affects 1 in 13 children. In the same period, the CDC's recommended vaccine schedule more than tripled. The simmering debate over the cause of childhood neurological disorders shows no sign of cooling, but no study had ever been done to look at unvaccinated children.

Lisa Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue, adds, "Everyone working with autism wants to identify the cause so we can focus on treatment and prevention. A national study like HR 5940 could help end this debate and focus all of our resources on helping our kids. Its time has come, and we hope Congress will choose to put our children first." Visit for more information and to see complete survey results.

Friday, August 17, 2007

We have been BUSY!!!!

It's been nuts around here. I want to put up pictures but I don't have time today. We are going camping this weekend and are leaving in just a few hours. I think we are pretty ready, but I need to clean the house up a bit!

The last couple weeks have been crazy. James went to see the Rockies play the Cubs on Thursday and Saturday night. Friday night we went to the Douglas County Fair and Rodeo where we watched cowboys do all sorts of cool stuff and the kids rode the rides. Saturday we had a birthday party to attend for one of Gracie's little friends. Monday we went to the Botanical Gardens where we met up with Brandi and Adri and Brandi's nieces. Tuesday Bingo got neutered and we had to drive to the other side of Denver to get it done since I refuse to pay $200 for something when I can get it for $40. Wednesday we met with our mortgage broker and signed papers for our new 30-year fixed mortgage! Yahoo!! Yesterday Gracie had her first princess class at the rec center and today we are headed up to the mountains.


I promise to post pictures when we get back, I'll probably do a few posts of pictures from all the fun stuff we've done.

I hope you all have a great weekend!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Another blog added to the blog roll!

Prelude to A Book is written by Joe, one of James buddies from high school, and now a husband, dad, and lawyer. So far I have thoroughly enjoyed reading what he has to say! I hope you will go and take a look!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Happy Birthday James Darling!!!!!
You are a wonderful huband and a great daddy!
Here's looking with excitement at what the next 31 years will hold.
I love you!
Chicago at last!!!

While visiting my Chicago we always stay with my dad in Palatine, which is where I grew up. He and Helen have transformed their home and property into a wonderful little oasis and it's a great place to visit. They have a pond with fish and a train that Ian just loved, as well as dogs and cats and a huge's basically a kids paradise! Here are some shots of us hanging out:

Day one in Chicago Gracie and I traveled to the west suburbs to see Kim and Marilyn and new little baby Ben. Kim and I met at LLL when Marilyn was just a couple months old and Gracie was still in my belly. They moved back to Chicago this spring. She's a great mom and a great friend, I miss having her here. We had a great time with them, the girls played and played, Kim and I talked and talked, Ben slept and was so nice.

Day two we ended up going north to Cary to visit with James family. He has an aunt and uncle that live in Cary and a grandpa that lives in Barrington. It's always nice to visit with them when we are in town. We were also lucky that James cousin Emily and her boys were also in town from Vegas for a visit, so we got to see them. We had chicken for lunch and the kids played and the adults talked. It was a very nice visit. The kids loved the piano!

Friday we really didn't do much of anything, we decided to just hang around the house and relax, then we had my reunion dinner on Friday night. It was very nice to see everyone again and I had a great time talking and catching up with everyone. Here's a picture of James and I at the dinner:

The kids gave my dad and Helen a run for their money while we were gone and Ian was still up when we got home at 11:30!!! But everyone survived and James and I went out for the kids bedtime for the first time ever (Well, except when I was in the hospital having Ian. But that wasn't really very fun.)

I realized while writing this post that I did a horrible job of taking photos of all the family we were visiting with. Good grief, I have a couple pictures of my dad and that's it......none of anyone else. Shame on me!!!!! So to all you family people, please make sure I take out my camera and take some family pictures next time we see you guys!!!!!
We headed out of Chicago early on Saturday morning and drove to Lincoln Nebraska. We stopped once in Iowa somewhere and visited a very cute little city park. We walked around for a bit and then got back in the car. Again, the kids did just awesome and took 8 hours of driving without much complaint at all. We made it back to Denver the next day around dinner time.
All in all it was a great trip and James and I were totally amazed at how well the kids did. There were no major meltdowns in the car, they traveled and played and watched movies and slept great. It has made us very happy knowing we can now attempt road trips without fear!!!

Monday, August 06, 2007

I had a very vivid dream about Sarah last night, the kind of dream that you would just swear was a real event if it were not for the fact you know you were asleep. When I woke up this morning I realized that today it has been 9 months since the accident and it is a Monday, which is the day of the week it happened on. So I e-mailed Drew to say hi and let him know I'm thinking of him and the girls on what I am sure is a very tough day. The anniversaries are so hard, I wonder if it ever gets any easier.

Here's a picture of Sarah, Maya, and Abigail. It was taken the night before she died, obviously she had no idea she was in the last 24 hours of her life. I haven't shared any photos of her yet but since this blog is private I figure it is safe to do so.

She was a truly beautiful person. I am so glad I was lucky enough to be her friend.

Now everyone go hug your lover and your babies and be thankful you have today.

Friday, August 03, 2007

I just added a blog to our blog roll and I really think you all should go check it out. It's Confessions of a Pioneer Woman. Brandi introduced me to this blog a couple weeks ago and I am addicted, it's a wonderful blog with fabulous pictures that give insight into ranch life. And also Ree is really very funny!!


Thursday, August 02, 2007

The journey continues.....

So, in Sioux Falls we stayed at a great hotel. I highly recommend it if you are in that area. It was the Best Western Ramkota. It had an awesome indoor kids pool with a water slide and fountains and stuff like that, as well as an outdoor pool and room service that was very affordable. Which was a good thing because when we arrived at 8pm we hadn't eaten dinner yet and I had been promising Gracie all day that as soon as we got to the hotel we could swim!

One of the kids favorite activities in hotel rooms was playing with the phones. I believe they were so impressed by them because they had never seen such a thing before. We do not have a land line phone at our house, we each have our own cell phones and that's all. Every hotel we stayed in we had to disconnect the phones because the kids were just plain obsessed with them. From Souix Falls we went to the bustling metropolis of Galesville Wisconsin, a town where they try to get you to believe the Garden of Eden was. Apparently back in the day a traveling preacher made some really interesting calculations and said that indeed the Garden of Eden was right there in Wisconsin on the banks of the Mississippi river. Here's me and the kids with a statue of the aforementioned preacher:

The local greasy spoon restaurant that we had breakfast at was called The Garden of Eatin'. Clever, eh?

So, I'm sure you're asking how in the world we ended up in the Garden of Eden? Well, we were there to visit Chris, one of James oldest buddies. He's there finishing up his summer internship for seminary. Here's the only picture I took of him:

I know, it's a great shot! He's walking across a suspension bridge that is held together by duct tape and rust. It was very bouncy and fairly scary. Here's a shot of James and Ian in the woods across the bridge:

We had a great time in Galesville, we ate at a supper club that was right next door to our motel which was really cute. Afterwards I sent the boys out for some guy time while I put the kids to bed and then had some much appreciated quiet time reading magazines outside our room door. Until the sun went down and I started getting eaten alive by mosquitos. Then I went in the room and sat in the dark wondering what I was going to was pretty boring. I turned on the tv for a minute but the light made both the kids squirm around so I decided to shut it off. So I did what anyone in my position would do, I opened a Bacardi Silver and sat on the bed in the dark enjoying the quiet and then I went to bed. James came in awhile later having had a great time with Chris.

The next morning we headed out for our final destination. We decided to stop in the Wisconsin Dells for our mid-day break.

We ended up in this little Bavarian square where we listened to a clock tell us the story of the Pied Piper. It was kind of weird.Then we decided to go to the Wisconsin Deer Park a petting zoo of sorts where you can mix with the deer and feed them crackers. It was really pretty cool!! Here's a few of the best shots:

This is of course not a deer but a goat. Oddly enough the number on this photo ended with 666. I just wanted to share that.

And finally, later that afternoon, we made it to Chicago!!!