Thursday, August 23, 2007

Family Night

Last night we had a fun family night at the bowling alley. The kids had a great time!They thought they were so big!

Isabelle was so excited! She picked the ball right up and was ready to roll! She was even more excited when we told her that she could roll twice!

Ian acted like a pro! He learned how to put his fingers in the ball. This is the first time he has ever been able to hold the ball that way. He was ready to go PRO!

Isabelle showed such enthusiasm every time she knocked down even one pin! She would watch very intently as the ball made its way down the lane. Then she would run back to us and report her accomplishments!

Ian...The pro!

Anyone that knows Ian will not be surprised by this picture. Almost as exciting as the bowling itself is the screen that shows the scores, the speed of the ball as it goes down the lane, which pins you have left up, etc...VERY EXCITING!!!

Sandbox Time

From afar, everything looked alright. The kids were outside enjoying the sandbox together. Daddy had just put new sand in it for them and they were eager to get in!They played for quite a while before I went out to check on them. (why interupt them when they are getting along so well?)

As I got closer, I realized that there was something wrong with this picture!!! The kids looked like they were covered in chalk. This new sand was more like chalk!

It didn't seem to be bothering them! They were having a great time.

I figured they were already covered...I may as well let them keep playing!

Later that evening, I asked David where he got the sand for the sandbox. He looked at me like I was crazy. "You did get PLAY sand, didn't you???" I asked. His reply???
"They make play sand?"


Conversations in the backseat

We were running errands the other day and this is what I overheard...
Isabelle: Ian, I am not going to be your sister anymore.
Ian: WHAT??? That is not very nice, Isabelle. Why aren't you going to be my sister anymore?
Isabelle: (with a heavy sigh and a bit of sorrow) I am just going to be a big girl, not a sister.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

More fun in the sun!

The kids (Haaley included!) all took their turns being burried in the sand!

Isabelle seemed oblivious to the fact that her face was COVERED in sand! We found sand in her hair for days!!!

Who needs water to surf?

A day at the beach

After a 28 hour drive home, this kids were ready for some play time! Haaley got to drive back with us and she was very excited about going to the beach. So, we made a day of it!

Haaley and Ian enjoyed some time on the boogie boards!

Ian decided to take on the waves!

Isabelle never thinks she likes the beach. It just takes her a little time to warm up to the sand. What looks like a tan line in this picture is more of a sand line. She was absolutely covered!

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

One of my favorite places to take the kids when we go to Colorado is the zoo. It is carved out of the side of a mountain. They have made a lot of exciting changes through the years. One of the best parts of the zoo is the Giraffe area. You get to be so close to the animals. The kids enjoyed feeding them special crackers!

Isabelle would giggle every time she fed them a cracker because their long tongues would "get" her.

Ian did his best to feed all of the giraffes. He didn't want to feed more to one than he did the other. He is very good at being fair like that!

We got to learn about the tigers and pet a tiger fur. The kids measured their hands up against a real tiger paw!

This gorilla always looks like he is contemplating some great issue. He has been there for years and seems to always assume that same pose! Maybe he is planning his excape!

Home, Sweet, Home

When I was going into the 7th grade, I moved from Florida to Colorado. I wasn't happy about it. I was leaving my friends and the beach...two very important things to me at the ripe old age of 11. I started at a new school and made new friends as I always had in the past. We had moved a LOT as I grew up and I had grown accustomed to the process. In the meantime, however, I discovered something that would mean more to me than the beach ever could...the Mountains.

My mom spent much of her young life in Colorado and had decided it was time to return. I never thought I would forgive her for taking me away from Florida. Now, I realize what a tremendous gift she gave me.

It is, quite honestly one of the hardest feelings for me to put into words. When I am in Colorado I feel a sense of joy, of happiness and an amazing peace. I remember when I was in high school I spent many hours alone in my car parked at a viewing spot in Garden of the Gods. There is a beautiful view of Pikes Peak from there. It is tucked away so you don't hear any of the busy noises of the city. It was a place I used to clear my mind, to sort my thoughts, and to pray. I never really shared with anyone that I did this because it was just my spot and I didn't want to risk losing it! I could spend hours staring at the mountains, the surrounding city and the peaceful nature around me. It somehow made my life, my concerns, and my thoughts seem so little next to the massive world around me. It helped me to see that I am a part of such a wonderfully big world. It helped me to remember how big my God is and how he could help me handle my challenges.

When I moved away from Colorado and joined the Navy, I knew I was going to miss Colorado and the mountains. I don't think I understood the extent to which I would miss them, however.

To make a long story short (which tends to be very hard for me) I joined the Navy, went to boot camp, moved to South Carolina, got married, got out of the navy, had a baby, moved to Virginia and had another baby. Basically, I have started my own life and my own family. However, being a military family, we don't get too much of a say in where we live. I am fortunate that I have gotten to visit Colorado frequently since I moved away.

I always thought it would get easier each time I had to say goodbye and leave my family and Colorado. With this most recent trip, however, I feel that it has only gotten harder to leave. I am sure it is a combination of many things that plays into these feelings, but what it boils down to is the fact that I love it. I miss it. I hate living this far from it. No matter where the Navy moves us, or where we live after we are done with the military life, I truly believe Colorado will always be "home" to me. David and I talk often about the possiblities of retiring there. I love sharing with my children the same things that my mom shared with me.

You have no idea how it warmed my heart when Ian and I were sitting and enjoying the mountains and he turned to me and said, "Mommy, isn't that a beautiful view?" That is MY boy!

Thank you, Mom, for moving us to Colorado!

Garden of the Gods

The kids enjoyed climbing around on the rocks at Garden of the Gods. This is one of my favorite places to visit in Colorado Springs. The red rocks are amazing and there are absoulutely beautiful views of Pikes Peak from the park.

The kids would get pretty proud of themselves each time they reached a new summit! It was pretty fun watching them trying to navigate the rocks and find the best path!

Holding up "Balanced Rock!"

A view of "Kissing Camels."

Pool Time

We got to spend a few days in Colorado. One of the biggest attractions was the swimmig pool that we have gone to for years! The kids love the kiddie pool. They love being able to touch the bottom. Isabelle enjoyed pushing her cousin, Hunter, around in his float!

I think Isabelle enjoyed having someone smaller than she was so that she could act like the big kid! Thank you Tara for coming into town so that we could hang out! It was a great time!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Party Time!

While we were in Albuquerque, Mom and Haaley joined us for a few days. We celebrated Jilienne and Haaley's birthdays together! Haaley is 14 now and going into high school! I am a little bit challenged by the whole idea of her entering high school. You see, when I was in high school, she was very little!!! She had a little blue and white cheerleading uniform and she would stand with our cheer squad on the sidelines and pretend she was one of us. She was really quite a hit with the crowd! It just seemed like such a far off idea that she would be entering high school. And now she is going to be walking through those very hallways and dealing with those same high school issues! I don't know if I am more concerned by feeling like I am getting old because she has already reached this point or by the fact that my own children will grow up as quickly as she has. I am already baffled by the idea that Ian is entering Kindergarten! Where does the time go?

Monday, August 6, 2007


While we were in Albuquerque we got the opportunity to spend the day at the zoo with Grandpa. It was a great time. The kids loved all the animals! They got to pet the llama and Isabelle even got a couple kisses from the friendly animal!

Ian and Isabelle got to ride on a camel! It was a bumpy ride but they were able to hold on! The only complaint was that it didn't last long enough!

Thank you Grandpa for a great day!


After our drive to Kansas, the kids and I got to drive down to Albuquerque to visit Jilienne (otherwise known as Bean). She just bought a beautiful new home and we were excited to see it! We also got to do a little site seeing around the city.

We spent some time hiking around the Indian petroglyphs. The kids enjoyed looking for all the old drawings on the rocks and trying to figure out what they meant.

We also rode the Sandia peak tram. It is the worlds longest arial tramway. Once at the top, we enjoyed a meal at the restaurant up there and took in the beautiful views of the city.

We also got to visit the Balloon Museum to learn all about how hot air balloons work and how they are made. The kids enjoyed seeing all the inventive shapes and sizes of balloons!

Thank you Bean for a great time! We really enjoyed seeing Albuquerque!

Family Gathering

Grand Kids Gone Wild! Some of us might technically be adults, but we are still kids at heart!

All of the family gathered in Kansas to celebrate Grandma Pat's life! It was wonderful to see you all! I wish we were all able to get together more often!