Monday, July 27, 2009

CO pictures

In Crested Butte ~ stylin' new glasses

The whole crew

Just our fam ;)


It's wonderful that Kansas will be having cool weather here in the next couple of days! We can possibly enjoy the zoo again! It will feel as if we are back in Colorado ~ minus the extraordinary view of course.

The trip was wonderful, and I believe it left the ENTIRE family with a desire to move to Colorado...maybe one of these days for all, possibly soon for some!

As Maisy likes to say, we took the long fun way to Colorado and the short boring way back ;) My whole family was able to go. We were worried at first about my father and Kelly getting there (work was on the line), but it all worked out! We headed out in the afternoon with a goal of making it about nine hours. We like to stop in Greensburg to see the world's largest hand-dug well, and were curious as to what remained there. None of us had seen it since the tornado went through the town. About half an hour from Greensburg, I could tell someone had soiled their diaper, but figured we could make it to town. Boy was this a BAD mistake. We pulled into a very different Greensburg, having difficulties even making it to the well, which stood all alone, and pulled up on the side of the road. I go to unbuckle her, and find a surprise all OVER the car-seat and ruining her outfit. What a way to start out the trip ;) As I am frantically using a whole pack of wet-wipes to clean up the mess, Gianna drops her first coin in the well with grandpa! We pulled into the local dillons (about the size of a QuikTrip with quite a bit considering), grabbed a bottle of Spray-and-Wash, and cleaned fabrics for the next half-hour. She was lucky enough to sit on a blanket in her car-seat for the remainder of the day ;)

After having her britches changed ;)

enjoying the scenery ;)

We arrived in La Junta the first night and went to an amazing Chinese restaurant we happened onto last time we went. The next morning, went to Mass...we showed up and they start playing Spanish music with the Spanish sound! We were a little worried had not told us it was an all spanish Mass! Luckily, only the music was in Spanish (very Hispanic area of town apparently ;). The baby was so tired that, despite the loud music, she fell asleep. The priest decided to wake her up after Mass was over. Grandma cooled the baby off in the fountain afterwards.

We drove on into Almont, arriving late, to a BEAUTIFUL cabin. It backed right onto the river. We absolutely loved it, and will definately try it again. We even had a friendly bear that enjoyed getting his dinner every night in the trash can a block away! If you listened, you could hear him slam the lid shut every night (this we believe is what woke the baby up at three o'clock the first morning).
Bear tracks

The next day we went into Gunnison to do some grocery shopping and shop around town.

The first rafting crew

We went rafting in two shifts (the children we not able to go on the more difficult trip), and ALL made "the plunge" into the 43 degree water, jumping or falling from a rock! Maisy even braved it twice! a bit surprising coming from her ;) Jes watched the baby while we went horseback riding (he doesn't care for trail-rides) in Crested Butte. It was a beautiful trip and was a lot of fun, despite my saddle falling off, and my attempt to ride side saddle for 1/3 of the trip. We put Gianna on a horse afterwards...she was shocked and started shaking! Poor girl ;) We enjoyed a WONDERFUL day in Crested Butte after the ride. It was very nice walking around town and "shopping." It's a completely different place than Wichita ;)

Chase and Jes worked on his campfire skills and started a fire outside nearly every evening. We switched off making dinners at home too...Tacos, hotdogs (over the fire) with smores!, and Spaghetti. Everyone took shifts working on a puzzle that took nearly a day to finish. Overall, it was just wonderful to enjoy some family time...doesn't seem like you can get too much of it.
Our van did wonderfully, but my parents struggled to get up the mountains (until they put in some octane booster) and took nearly 17 hours to get back due to a bad catalytic converter. The kids were dropped off the night we got back to hop on a plane with Tan and Melissa for California the next day (they had a blast)! They are recovering better than I expected! We picked up the cat the next morning from being boarded, only to discover Kelly's cat had been mistaken for ours the first day (switched when they put them into their cages after getting them out to play). Kelly called us from the vets wondering if we were almost there and said the vet was wanting to talk to us. Going over worst-case scenarios did not prepare us for the news that our cat had been declawed instead of hers! Both families received free boarding, vaccines, and declaw. I was rejoicing, having lost the battle with Jes to declaw the cat (worried about babies getting hit when we're not looking). Jes was a bit fumed to say the least.
That's about it on the trip! More to come on Gianna later! Love you all ~

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sign Language

I forgot to mention a couple of things. Gianna is greatly advancing in sign language too! She is much like a cat and chooses when she wants to use it, but she waves bye bye and hi (and says both, although bye bye much more consistantly). She also is getting much better at "more" and "all done." She is gaining so much personality. She'll giggle much more and hugs herself while crouching in on herself almost shy-like while laughing...adorable.

The other two kids are growing like weeds! Maisy is excelling in her drawing. We would love to get her in art classes when finances are not so tight, because she truly has a gift. She has been drawing Disney characters from a book she has. It is eye-balling not tracing. Though some proportions are a little off, it is amazing work! Chase has gained a very large fascination towards Star Wars. He loves video games, but definately has to be curbed, for it makes him much more edgey. They both have great imaginations...and they work together, MOST of the time.

PS~ Haven't forgotten about the picture Jen! Just haven't been able to get a good one! I'll get one in CO for you!

Love you all!

Monday, July 6, 2009

David Cook

So recently, all the sisters went out for an evening and saw David Cook in concert here in Wichita. Speaking of, Aubrey is going into her fourth year teaching at Carroll. She just finished summer school, and has a bit of a break before going full force into another year. She found out she gets to teach two more honors classes than last year! so she is excited about that. Kelly is hopefully done with her boards as we speak! and just got a job in Topeka for nursing and starts first week in August. Allison will begin school at WSU here soon. She will be in the arts department! Anyway, pictures from the concert...

First swim!

And no! I'm not that dark...;) Julia is behind her!

Playing with Max and Kolbe

Em's visit!

Much delayed...Sorry!

Bunch of beggers ;) Gotta love brownies!

Max Thomas

Kolbe William

Gianna Paige

Fourth of July

Gianna 10 months

Wow! Sorry it has been so long. It's hard to get time away! Gianna is now 10 months old. Hard to believe she will already be a year old in two months! She is now imitating everything. We can make it through her touch-and-feel animal books and she will at least imitate all the vowels on a good day. Some consonants make it out as well. The other day we said baby girl and she imitated with bibi ji...pretty close in my opinion! But I'm just the proud mom ;) She will balance for about five to ten seconds when she wants to. She's such a mover though, she doesn't like to hold still! Due to the fact that Grandma Les taught her how to suck through a straw, she is not as keen about sippy cups...working on that one. She's progressing with all foods, and has only reacted to full size rice...she can't stand the texture! She is a definate mooch...she will beg for ANYthing you are currently eatting. She is getting some color! which excites me...she won't have her mother's skin. She is still growing the tuft on the top of her head ;) Waiting for the rest to grow in. No news on the top two teeth...although they have to be close. She had a really bad week last week sleeping through the night with lots of we wait. She bit me hard once...still healing (I'm afraid she was using me as a teether because her top two hurt!). She is learning to love swimming! We go a decent amount. Our favorite is the YMCA. They have amazing pools with lots of activities for the kids and swings in the pool for the babies!

Things are going well. I wish I had more time for my spiritual life...that is my greatest struggle right now. The kids are enjoying summer, but are growing accustomed to being near each other for any extended period of time...that is the challenge ;) We leave for vacation in a week, which means LOTS of preparing! Going from packing one to packing five seems very intimidating to me! and I feel I have to start asap. My whole family is going (hoping my dad will be off work...few more days to find out for sure...prayers would be excellent). We will be Colorado bound! Can't wait to see the mountains. Horse-back riding and rafting on are the to-do list. Of course hiking will not be forgotten, and Crested Butte will be had by all!

That's all I can think for now! More later I'm sure ;)

All the beautiful kids!
Aubrey with the babe

First time watching fireworks!