Friday, September 26, 2014

Family Fun and terrible iPhone photos

This past week, we did a few fun things as a family. On Saturday morning, we went to a playground a few miles away. Elijah rode his bike, I rode my bike with Ingrid on the back, and Chris ran with Kirsa in the jogging stroller. The kids had a blast!

Then on another afternoon, we went mini golfing and out to dinner at our favorite Greek restaurant. This was fun but it was hot outside and then the restaurant must have shut off the AC for the winter already because it was absolutely sweltering in the restaurant. But as you can see, the kids still had a great time!

A forgot my camera for both outings so the pics are all courtesy of the iPhone.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Community Helper

A few weeks ago, Elijah's first grade class was studying community helpers, and parents were asked to fill out a form if they were willing to come in and do a little presentation about their job. Chris filled one out, and went in one morning to talk to the first graders (52 of them, two classes' worth) about being a "cancer doctor". He showed them how various doctor tools work, and asked and answered a lot of questions.

And then a few weeks later, Elijah brought home a large stack of thank-you-for-coming letters. Chris and I spent a while one evening reading them, and they are just too good to forget! So I am typing them here so we can always remember them! They almost all begin with the date and either "Dear Mr. S----" or "Dear Dr. S----" so I will skip that part below and just get to the good stuff... and I am keeping the original spellings, because they are TOO adorable, but if you can't figure one out, copy it in the comments and ask; I think we figured out all of them in the end!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

~ Thanks for comeing to our class and speking. I am happy that you help peapel. I hope you or Elejah never get cancer.

~ Thek you for taling the class adot yore Job. I like to see yore rome. You are a good cancer doctor. I enjoy you tolk adot your job it is a kole jod I like it yas I do how do you halp pele stay hathe.

~ thank you for coming to oru clas to shaer about yor gob as a cancer doctor. I enjoyed wen you tested my eres do you tret cids or onle udults. thank you agen for coming.

~ Dear Daddy, Thank you for coming to our class too share as a canser / grounup doctor. I enjoyed Doing fun at the end and do you help 5th and 4th grade feel beter too. Sincerely, Elijah

~ Thank you for coming to our class to share about your job as a Cancer Dotor. I enjoyd the things that you yoosd on kids. Do you ole hlep kids? Thanks for coming.

~ Thank you for coming to share abot your job. I enjoyed listening to what you do. Do you like your job as as a cancer doctor?

~ thenk you for coming to our class room to schare to us. We had fun with you and your job, hahaha. I love to be a doctor when I grow up. I have a doter's bags and a doctor's gown. I have a bear that is a doctor. I have a tiger. I love your job.

~ Thank you for shaing about yor job I think it is rilly insting and I Rilly enjoyed is so much. Thank you agen.

~ Thank you for coming to are classroom and for represinting your job as a Doctor it sounds hard and diffucel as a doctor to me it sounds like and fun at the same time so you help pepole and baybes to some day I will get a cool and easy job lik a police mane or writting or makeing paper and stuff.

~ thankoo For kumen to R kas and it Slanen wut yoo doo.

~ I am going to be a docdr. Is being a docdr fun? Thank you for coming.

~ Do you woke with Kids and gron ups? Do you help pepeple to? Wot tols do you use?

~ Thank you for coming. I am super glad you came in frist becase youer prsentacoin was graet you are vary nice I bet you are a vrey good dady. I wish you could come here more so you could show us more thinggs you work with and let us ask more questoins! Thanks for coming agin.

~ Thank you for cuming. Do you do sugres? Is your otis ocscipocps? Is your bilding in bowntow? Is your otis big or small?

~ Thank you for coming. I think its good that you that you keep people healthy and help injerys and cure diseses. Why do you do surgery?

~ Thank you for comming. When I grow up I will be a dotor. I love the exsiperement of dotors. Thank you for teaching us all about dotor. What place do you work in? What do you do in the dotor?

~ Thank you for cuming in to day. I love your job becas I wont to squeeze peplls ams and lags. And a doctor fixis there lags and there ams wen thay backe them.

~ Thank you for coming. How do aleens lae egs in your brane.
Editor's note: Yes, this says "How do aliens lay eggs in your brain." This was my favorite!

~ I like youer job. I like being a cancer doctor.

~ How long did it take to get traned to be a docter? Your job seems fun. I'd like to do that only as a nurse! Thank you for comeing.

~ Thank you for teling us ubowt your job. is your job hrde?

~ thank you for cainng to are class thank you for tiling us that we need halthey staf to eat and it is a god thing to keap are dods clean and wen we cof you owas cover youre math and wen you sneas you stil af to cover youer thank you for caing agen.

~ Thank you for coming to our class to share about your job.

~ Thank you for coming to our class to share about your jod as a cancer doctor. thank you for tacking car ov pepoll tat hav cassr bo you wrck on Sonbasy and Satrbassy Thank you for coming.

~ thenk you for cumeng to uor class and shering your jod as a cancer doctor. do you he eneawun then ben

~ thank you for comeing today I like your job as a caser docter thank you for comeing again

~ Thank you for coming to our class today! I wish you could egzame me. It was fun! It was nice to call on other pepole. Were do you work? Thank you f

~ Thank you for coming to our class to share about your jod as a doctr. i enjoy you ceking my freds hartbet. do you lik wat you do.

~ thank you for comming I like your job it saoons fun doo you give medasin to peple.

~ Thank you for comeing to our cass to taok about your job as a cancer doctor. Ones my ganndmal got sin cancer ck out off her faes befor but now she's all batter. I enjoyed wen you bout out the stafosckop.

~ Thank you for sharing waht it is to be a cancer doctor.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Great Grandma Visits!

Last weekend, Great Grandma Polly flew out to visit us! Chris picked her up at the airport on Wednesday. On Thursday, she came to see the girls' preschool and Elijah's bus stop. Friday morning she helped with Kirsa's homeschool preschool lessons, and Friday night we all went out to dinner at Helga's, our local German restaurant.

On Saturday morning, Great Grandma and the older kids made roll-out cookies. I was impressed to see that Kirsa patiently helped roll dough and cut cookies for a solid hour, and Elijah lasted through the entire 2 hours that it took to roll and cut the dough. Then they both went outside briefly, but helped frost cookies for over 30 minutes later that same morning. The results were, um, very authentic. :) But they taste delicious and the kids had so much fun!

Sunday morning was church, and on Monday morning, the girls and I took Great Grandma back to the airport for her flight home. We are SO glad she could come! Ingrid enjoyed spending time reading and "finger walking" with Great Grandma. Elijah just loves having company of any kind, and Kirsa enjoyed her attention too! Thanks again for coming, Great Grandma!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fall is Here!

This past week, the weather actually cooled off enough that we even had to run the heat one day! The leaves are beginning to change, and school is in full swing. There are three September cuties running around our house, decked out in a lot of pretty fall colors!

It was a bit of a trick to convince Ingrid to stand and smile nicely with her siblings for the picture, but some crazy antics from Daddy finally got her to participate! :) Elijah and Kirsa were very patient with her until she was ready.

Pike's Peak Ascent

Over a year ago, Chris decided he wanted to run in the Pike's Peak Ascent half marathon race in August 2014. First he trained for a half marathon in Denver, which he ran last fall, in order to qualify for The Ascent. He ran the Rock'n'Roll half marathon in 1 hour and 26 minutes, finishing 60th overall out of 8613 runners, and 8th in his division out of 502 runners.

Then he relaxed a little last winter, but starting in the spring, he began running a lot. By June and July, I had had it with the whole thing! But he kept on running and training, even running three 14ers in the process. On August 17, 2014, he drove to Manitou Springs, CO, and ran the Pike's Peak Ascent.

It was 13.32 miles with a vertical gain of 7815 feet at an average grade of 11%, finishing at 14,050 feet above sea level. Chris ran it in 3 hours and 12 minutes! He finished 110th out of 1084 men (they group the women's results differently but there were 599 women who finished as well). He was the fastest runner from Aurora.

He hasn't decided yet if we'll buy any of the pictures from the race but if we do, I will come back and add those. Congratulations once again though to my amazing, sexy, and extremely fit husband on his successful race!!

Mt of the Holy Cross

In preparation for his Pike's Peak Ascent half marathon, Chris ran up Mt of the Holy Cross this summer. These are a few pics from that hike/run!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Montana: Sunday and Monday

Sunday morning, we all went to church together. Our kids were wonderfully behaved and I was very proud of them! We managed to sneak in a few dressed-up pictures with the grandparents too!

In the afternoon, we took a last walk around together, and hiked to the top of the hill for a couple of (very windy) family pictures as well.

A little packing was done too, and we had another delicious dinner of ham and au gratin potatoes before tucking the kids in to bed early in preparation for the long trip back in the morning. Elijah even got a chance to say goodnight to the deer after his bath that night!

We made the drive home safely on Monday. It was a wonderful trip and we are SO glad that my parents were willing to host us over Labor Day weekend. It was so fun to spend time together and do so many fun activities! What great photos and memories we have now!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Montana: Saturday evening

Saturday afternoon, my parents' Pastor's family came over for dinner. It was their oldest son's 13th birthday, so we had a little celebration with a gorgeous cake that his mom made, and the kids ran around and played like crazy!

The younger three girls enjoyed some quieter time indoors as well. We had a delicious dinner with grilled leg of lamb, potato salad, and homemade rolls.

Montana: Saturday morning

Saturday morning, we took the kids swimming at the Broadwater, the pool where I swam and took lessons as a kid. It's an outdoor pool that is open year-round because it's heated by a natural hot spring. It's not quite as lovely as I remember everything being, but the kids certainly didn't notice. They had a wonderful time and we all enjoyed a good hour of swimming!

Grandpa and Grandma came in to take a few pictures of us, but didn't get in the water themselves. It was fun to get pics of me with the kids too!

Both kids went off the diving board too - Elijah bravely but a little hesitantly, and Kirsa bravely and without hesitating a bit - sometimes without quite waiting for Daddy to swim back to catch her! What a great way for Daddy to quickly improve his own swimming skills! :)

Kirsa was utterly heartbroken when we had to leave, and she cried, screamed, and begged to be taken back to the pool from the moment we stepped out of the water until we were nearly back to my parents' house!

Naturally, it was time for lunch and some naps again at that point!