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!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Montana: Friday afternoon & evening

In the afternoon, we took a hike around my parents' land on a trail that my dad has built. For Elijah's enjoyment, he has also put in two bridges, and Elijah was completely delighted by these! (He has a little bit of an obsession). Ingrid was perfectly happy to ride in the backpack and didn't protest at all. Kirsa loved finding little mountain flowers to pick and carry.

It was really warm out, but we walked around for a while, then went back to play in the shade in the yard. The kids enjoyed the swing and the fresh green grass and the waterfall. My dad walked Ingrid around a lot, and the kids played with toys. Elijah loved Uncle Paul's old metal trucks, especially crashing around at breakneck speeds on the rocks with them!

Daddy played outside too, and the kids fully enjoyed having his complete attention - and all of his energy, too, of course!

(It was fun to get this picture of Elijah and Grandpa walking together, and compare it with a similar picture I took five years ago!)

After a delicious dinner, we put a very tired Ingrid to bed, and went back outside with the kids. My dad built a fire in their outdoor wood-burning oven, and we all roasted marshmallows and ate s'mores. The bridges and s'mores pretty much completed the day for Elijah, and the kids were in sugar-heaven with sticky hands and faces!

We put the kids to bed after s'mores (and a bath), and spent some adult time chatting and relaxing in the living room for the evening.