Monday, March 30, 2015

Jak's First Social Engagement

That title is misleading - Jak is one of the most social 2 1/2 year olds you'll ever meet.  But this weekend, Jak (and Lillian and I) attended the first birthday party for one of Jak's friends.  For some really odd reason, Jak's class has 28 kids - 20 of which are little girls and only 8 boys.  Of those 8 boys, Jak is the only one who attends the Wooden Shoe full time.  His buddy Gray, turned 3 last week and his parents threw him a fun gymnastics party.  The kids had free run of the gymnasium, jumping in the foam pit, walking on balance beams, doing somersaults on the "floor", rolling in large foam tires and of course, jumping on the trampoline.  Jak was so proud to be at a party for one of his friends.  He can't stop talking about it!

 They even saved Jak a seat next to the Birthday Boy!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Big One

For a couple of weeks now, at bedtime, Jak has pleaded with me to sing The Big One.  He requests this bedtime song as if I should know exactly what song he means.  I have attempted to sing every song under the sun that I think he may feel is "BIG".  It hasn't been easy.  I have "swung and missed" every night, causing him to groan in frustration..."No, momma, the BIG one"!  ?#%&?  
Well, finally, the other night I casually started to sing, "I love you, You love me, We're a happy...". And Jak came unglued..."Dat's the Big One, Momma the Big One!" Um okay...But then I got to the line "With a great BIG hug and a kiss from me to you...".  Aha! Jak was so happy that I finally got it right.  He closed his eyes, grinned and wrapped his arms around my head so tight I could barely continue the song.  As you know, we've struggled to understand Jak's speech for - well for his whole life - and it is so nice for Jak (and the rest of us) that we are finally starting to understand each other. 
 Still smiling with his eyes closed!
 Climbing to new heights every chance he gets!

Sleepy Jak after a 12 hour nap!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Wooden Shoe...Home Away from Home

The kids love the Wooden Shoe so much, that even after spending nearly 10 hours a day there, I have to drag them out every night.  Guess if you have to spend a small fortune on early childhood education/ least we know we're getting our monies worth!  Couldn't ask for better staff, better education, better activities and better friendships for our kids.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


This is a really difficult post to write, one I've been dreading for weeks now.  There is an enormous hole in our hearts because of the death of one very special woman.
 Linda was my mom's "chosen" sister.  They shared a friendship that comes once in a lifetime - and quite honestly most people never experience a friendship as natural, and relaxed as these two ladies had.  They marched to the beat of the same drum and our families both knew they nourished each others souls the way no other relationship in their lives did.  They both raised 4 kids, had wonderful loving husbands and full time teaching jobs when their kids were junior high, high school and college students involved in all sorts of extra curricular activities.  They kept each other sane, talked each other through countless issues involved in raising 4 hellions, helped decorate the others house and encouraged the other to try new things such as recipes, crafts and shopping for clothes and antiques. 
 Cancer is a horrible disease - but it's especially horrible when you only have 6 weeks from diagnosis to death.  So many words left unsaid and so many things left undone.  Linda's husband and family chose March 14th to honor her life - because it's international Pi day (3.14) - and a fitting day for her mathematical mind!

 It was really great to see all of Linda's boys.  We realized, the 8 of us hadn't all been together since 1995.  Linda would have loved this!
 Round 2 - we took the first picture and realized after that Cody wasn't in it!  He always did have a habit of slipping away from the group.

 Brian and Kelsey are getting married in October, offering us a happier occasion to get together. 

 It was a terrific reunion - we just wish Linda was with us.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

One Additional Midwest Vistor

Cousin Gary was in town on business briefly this week.  He suggested we get together for a drink while he was here.  It just so happened that a friend of his plays in a band that performs regularly at Local 46, a bar I used to walk to from my old house in Northwest Denver.  I picked up Ian and we met Gary after the kids went to bed.  I can't tell you the last time Ian and I shared a beer in a bar on a weeknight!  It was awesome to see Gary and very tempting to stay til last call.  Then I remembered how old I am, and that I have two kiddos and a husband at home and a full time job that's pretty demanding.  We cut the night short and headed home to reality but it was fun to be carefree for a bit!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Midwest Visitors and Keira's Second Birthday!

Cathy, Mike and I have worked pretty hard to get the kids together for so many visits over the last year.  And it sure has paid off.  These 4 kiddos couldn't have been happier to see each other last week.  

All kids LOVE to mix snow and hot tubbing!
 Layla was a little sad to be going off to ski school for the day - without Johnny or her cousins, but it sure paid off in the end, she had a great time and learned a lot. 
 It was Jak and Lillian's first time on ski's.  We rented one pair, purchased one lift ticket and had them swap coats after Lillian took a couple "runs" with Dad first.   For a brief second, I had wished we bought Jak and I a lift ticket too...but it was only a brief second!  Neither Jak or Lillian was able to stand on their own two feet.  Mike spent the morning hunched over balancing one of the kids on his legs as they "skied" down the bunny slope.  Lillian did take one long run with Daddy - they rode on the real ski lift chair and everything.  Next year, we'll get the kids ski rentals for the whole season and practice more, I'm sure they'll be quick learners. 
 Johnny made major improvements.  The first day, he was in ski school unable to make any turns on his own.  By the end of day two he was able to go up and down the bunny hill all by himself without any help from Uncle Mike or his mom.
 The gear may be uncomfortable, but she looked good!

 It's a good thing Lillian wears a blue ski jacket (instead of a pink or purple one).  A powder blue coat is a 'little' less girly and more acceptable for Jak to borrow!
Uncle Mike guiding Layla down the bunny slope.  
 Johnny on the chair lift at Eldora - looking and feeling pretty big.
 Johnny giving Lillian a piggy back ride down the stairs.
 Keira's birthday lands right before St. Patrick's Day - so Holden brought some leprechaun looking mustaches for the gang to wear. 
 The birthday girl and her beautiful momma.
 Mom with 3/4's of her girls.
 Cowboy Mike and Cathy
 Casey surprised us all with a rainbow cake, I wish I had recorded the ooo's and aaa's when she plated up that first slice!
 Casey and I didn't intentionally dress these two alike - but I sure love this picture of them!  Jak's pretending to ride the stuffed horsy.
 Cowboy cuddle!
Great party Keira. Welcome to toddler-hood little lady!
 This girl wants a dog of her own so bad.
 Johnny, Layla and Cathy had to fly home Sunday morning.  But with Grammy and Opa still in town - Kim and Ian hosted an early birthday dinner for Holden.  Lucky girl got to celebrate her 8th birthday the whole month of March it seemed!
 I may not have captured anyone's eyes wide open in this picture - but the pre-bedtime fun is depicted clearly!
 You gotta love Rocky Mountain springtime.  The kids are playing with no coats on and using garden tools instead of snow shovels!
Birthday gifts for the 8 year old.