Monday, October 27, 2014

Zoo Trip

We bought a new-to-us car a few weeks ago. We got a pretty good deal on the car because it had significant hail damage on it, which the dealership promised to fix. The only caveat was that we had to take the car back to Denver to get it fixed. We decided to make a day of our trip to Denver since we had 7 free zoo passes that needed to be used up soon, so we picked up Grammy on our way down to the dealership. After we turned in our car and picked up our rental, we drove over to the zoo. It was a beautiful day to be outside and enjoy God's creativity in creation.

We learned a lot about the tapir. Asher is trying out what it is like to have binocular vision.
 
 Uzziah eyeing the rhino.
 After the zoo, Grammy treated everyone to ice cream at Liks.
 Uzziah got "yellow ice cream" (per his request).
Obed got peppermint s'mores ice-cream (sounds bizarre, but was pretty tasty). In spite of the necessary trip to the dealership, it turned out to be a fun day!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Grandma Came to Visit - October 2014

Grandma was able to come out for a visit at the beginning of October, which is always a highlight for us! We went up to RMNP one day with the hopes of having a picnic and doing an easy hike, but as we drove higher and higher up into the park, the temperature dropped further and further. While it was almost 70 down at our house, it was a balmy 39 degrees at Bear Lake, and it was snowing! We were totally unprepared for the weather. So instead of picnicking outside, we sat in the car and ate lunch.
Then we hiked all of 100 yards from the parking lot to Bear Lake to get a picture, and then back to the car, before we all froze!
That day sold our Suburban and were without a car that could fit our family. So we took the Max Bus to Old Town for dinner that night. While on the bus, the boys and I made ugly faces. Although all the boys do a pretty good job of ugly faces, I think Asher holds the most skill in this area.



Grandma left on Thursday, but was able to bring the cousins up on Friday night for a few soccer games. It was fun to be with them again.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Camping - RMNP - Aspen Glen

The last couple weeks of September were hard weeks in the Black Abode. We lost Warnie. We had a scary incident happen on our street a few houses down, along with several other significant happenings. As a family, we were feeling the strain of life for sure, so we decided a quick family get away would be just the thing. We headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park for a couple nights to camp, and it was a wonderful time! It was just what we needed to reconnect as a family and decompress from all the stressors at home.

Ezra and Asher are getting old enough that they are able (and desirous) to help set up the tent(s). It was supposed to be pretty chilly when we were camping, so we decided that a few, smaller tents, would end up providing more warmth than our large tent. Mom, dad, Solomon and Uzziah shared a tent. And Ezra, Asher and Obed shared a tent.


Obed was pretty excited. He had lost a little stuffed bear (named Bob) and Bob was relocated, tucked deep in the recesses of his sleeping bag from a previous trip.
It was definitely chilly out, especially in the mornings. Uzziah was a little bit like the Stay-Puffed Marshmallow man in his coat. But he stayed warm.
Our first night we had spaghetti, salad and biscuits. It was pretty cold out, as the wind was blowing hard. So after we ate dinner and had a few s'mores, we cleaned up and got into bed early to try to stay warm.
It was a good thing we tucked in early the first night! We were at RMNP during the rutting season, so the elk were bugling. At first it seemed kind of surreal and magical to hear these massive creatures calling and making all sorts of noises. Then we learned that when elk bugle, they do it all.night.long. Good grief! By about 2:00 AM, we were all ready for these amazing, majestic creatures to call it quits! But that was right about when an elk wandered into our camp and spent the next hour standing next to our tent, calling out to all the ladies in the park. It was a long night - one we will not soon forget. At one point, the boys became rather concerned, asking (through the tent walls) if we were in any danger. I figured elk are not carnivores and had no interest in mating with us, so as long as we stayed out of sight, we were likely safe. But the "magic" of the elk bugling wore off pretty quickly.
The next day we got up, had breakfast and headed out for a hike. We parked at Bear Lake and hiked to Nymph Lake, onto Dream Lake and then picnicked at Emerald Lake. It was chilly and super windy when we started out, but turned out to be a beautiful day for a hike.
 Solomon worked hard and hiked the whole way.
A quick family pictures at Nymph Lake. The boys had a snack at Nymph Lake, and at one point, a Gray Jay tried to swoop down and steal the food right out of Ezra's hand. A chipmunk also crawled up my pant leg, and like any sane person 100 times larger than its nemesis, I screamed like a Nancy and ran around shaking my leg. Good times.
 Uzziah likes to "go hikin'" (as he says) which translates to riding on daddy's back.

 While we were picnicking at Emerald Lake, we found Waldo!
Our picnic spot (where the chipmunks were CRAZY aggressive!). The boys all got sticks to chase after the chipmunks. They were quite chivalrous to protect me from the nasty little creatures.
Solomon and daddy hiking down from Emerald Lake.
There was a lot of wild life at our campsite. When we returned from hiking, there were deer all around our campsite. They were clearly not bothered by our presence, as they just lay down in the grass right behind our site.
In the morning we got up and Vince made donuts... yummy! The boys enjoyed the donuts, along with some hot cocoa. Solomon did get some of both into his mouth, although the picture may say otherwise.

Ezra and Asher love playing with the fire.

I keep a box of toys with our camping stuff that only comes out when we camp. The boys love having the trucks and card games and puzzles to play with, and it helps pass time when there's nothing much going on.
On our last day, I stayed behind at the campsite and started packing stuff up while Vince and the boys hiked up the ridge behind our campsite. They had a great time exploring!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hiking

At the end of September, Vince took the boys up to Rocky Mountain National Park for a day hike. He was really wanting to see the fall leaves. I was feeling pretty behind in a lot of life. So Vince took the boys and gave me a day at home to get caught up on the things of life. Vince and the boys left early in the morning and stopped at our favorite donut shop. Then they hiked about 5 miles. They hiked both Bierstadt Lake and Bear Lake. Solomon was able to hike the whole time. The boys had a great time and I was able to get caught up on a lot of stuff. A win-win for everyone.

Solomon was pointing at the aspen trees.



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Good Bye Warnie

On Tuesday, September 23 we had to say good bye to our faithful pup, Warnie. He had a large mass pop out of his chest cavity and was very uncomfortable. He could not lie down on his chest anymore, and he totally stopped eating (which if you knew Warnie at all, the dog thought he was starving all.the.time!). After several tests, it was determined that the mass was cancer and there was nothing to be done for Warnie. So after many hugs and lots and lots of tears, we said good bye to our furry friend. Although he was a very needy dog, with lots of separation anxiety, he was a good boy and loved our family well. We miss you Warnie.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Seven!

Obed turned 7 last week and had a few days full of fun! His birthday was on a Thursday, which had quite a bit of stuff already planned in it, so we celebrated on Thursday AND Friday.

For his birthday, he opened presents and wanted donuts for breakfast. So he had a Boston cream donut and a pluot.

Then for dinner he wanted chocolate explosion pancakes. So daddy whipped up something special and we watched The Fantastic Mr. Fox while eating chocolate explosion pancakes.
They were good enough for the allowable birthday plate lick.
Then on Friday, Obed wanted to go swimming, so Daddy took the oldest 4 boys while the youngest guy slept. Then Obed had a soccer game on Friday night and wanted Garlic Knot pizza for dinner. Grammy and Papa were able to come up and join us for the soccer game and a late dinner. Then Obed wanted a lemon cheesecake. Asher is a really special big brother, as seen in this photo. Really, really special.
Happy birthday to our sensitive, tender-hearted, goofy, delightful Obed. You are a joy and a blessing and we are so glad you are ours!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Obed Plays Goalie

This is the first year that Obed's team has been old enough to have goalies. All the kids get a turn to try it out. Obed enjoys it!