Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tradition.... Tradition!! (sing it like Fiddler on the Roof)

We have a tradition every year around Christmas to take the kids to a movie at the nice theatre (not the dollar theatre) and to go to dinner at a nice restaurant (not just pick up a pizza).

We usually do this little tradition of ours closer to Christmas day, but since we've moved ACROSS THE COUNTRY (for crying out loud), we are having to change lots of things.

In the past, it was never an option to go to Denver because, HELLO... we lived in Ohio.  So, how cool did it sound to say, "Hey, let's go to Denver for our annual dinner and movie family date?"  For just a second we pretended we were really wealthy and we only went to fancy, far away places.

AND... how fun was it to wake up to this on our family outing day.  We almost decided to stay around our house for our outing because they don't do much to the roads around here.  (In case you've never heard me mention it, it's ALWAYS sunny here, so the snow doesn't stay around for long... so they don't treat the roads)  Anyway, I'm SO GLAD we decided to make the drive.

On our way there, we had played an It's a Wonderful Life trivia game with the kids.  They all have a pen and paper (except Emme) and they wrote down their answers (except Emme... she yelled answers that made no sense the entire game.)  If you are fans of the movie and watch it every year like we do, you should play the game with your family.  Here's the link:

The winner... well... they got to go to dinner and a movie.  HAHA!

It was really fun and Shelby was the winner!

 The pretending we had lots of money thing... it didn't last long.  We went to a nice theatre but went to a matinee ($5).  And, since everything about this year is different, we also didn't see the movie as a family.  The girls saw a girly movie and the guys saw a guy movie.

After the movie, as part of our tradition, we always go to a mall.  The malls we would go to in Ohio... they were fine.  We never buy anything anyway, we just like to be out in the hustle and bustle.  The malls in Denver though... they are a different story.  I'm not a mall fan, but Denver is trying to change that.  I have been to 3 in ol' Denver, Colorado and I'm a fan!

I loved EVERYTHING about the one we went to Saturday.  It was the Park Meadow mall.  I took a few pictures but they really don't do it justice.

The mall was made to feel like it was a big log cabin and it was beautifully decorated for Christmas.

I don't know why, but in the state of Colorado, I am intrigued... fascinated... obsessed with their signs.  

And... just so you know...

We did it!!  We refrained!  We did not enter the water!!  We were so proud of ourselves!

Still refraining!

The girls were so excited to see a Forever 21... although I don't know why.  They were all told in advance we would not be making any purchases.  They wanted me to take a picture of it though.  So... I did... I just forgot to get the Forever 21 in the picture.  Oops!

Just one of their many cool entrances.  Again, the picture doesn't do it justice.

 I was trying to take a picture of the Windows store.  Windows... they are such copy cats!  They totally tried to make their store look EXACTLY like the Apple store.  They should know they'll never be as cool.  Good try though!

Again, pictures don't do it justice but instead of a Food Court, they have a Dining Hall.  All the restaurants look like stations like you'd see in a dining hall.  And, if you look close in the picture below you can see there was a huge brick fireplace (fire on both) sides with a mantle and a wreath.  It really gave the whole place a lodge feeling.

We conned some young guy into taking our family picture.  We did make ONE purchase.  I always buy the kids Christmas pajamas.  I could not find any matching ones this year.  But, here at this amazing mall,  not only did the Disney Store have pajamas in all the sizes I needed, the were all half off!!  WOOHOO!!!!

Huge St. Bernard tied to a pole just sitting there by himself.  He was so good.  Then all of a sudden he barked and we all about peed our pants.  Haha!

Refraining from the water... again!

Loved all the lights and decorations.

Such a cute picture!  Too bad it's so dark!

I wanted to eat at a place we had never eater before.  I spotted what looked like a little Italian palace.  It was called Maggiano's.  That's where I decided we should all go.   We went there all right.  We went in, looked at the menu and walked right out.  Too expensive!

The kids won.  The wanted J Alexanders anyway.  I know that sound expensive too, but not the way we do it.  We get two chicken finger platters (not even on the menu anymore but they still have them) and one kids meal and that feeds us all.

It was such a fun day!  What traditions do your kids look forward to every year??  

Comments would be nice people!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Deck the House!

First of all, if you have not read my last post about Emme... you must!

Next, I'm sorry I made it sound so serious.  I always try to make catchy titles so people will want to read my blog.  Maybe I should be worried (especially after tonight... you'll have to wait for the next post), but I actually thought it was hilarious.  She's a spirited one.  But, my fight is bigger than hers... I'm NOT going to stop talking about Jesus... ever!  So there!

 Anyway.... it was fun being in a new house this year and decorating.  Thought you might like to see my cute little house all festive.  

P.S.  I realize... there are multiple pictures of the same room... I liked the different lighting.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Please Please Pray for Emme

My little Emme is in desperate need of prayer.

Yesterday she had gymnastics.  As we were walking out of gymnastics, she initiated a conversation with my that started very sweet and innocent and quickly spiraled out of control.

"Mommy, why do babies have such small hands."

As I was holding her teeny hand across the parking lot, I answered, "Well, I don't really know.  That's just the way God made them."

She replied with another question as I was getting her in her car seat, "Why do you always talk about God?"

Pulling away from my parking spot, I said, "Well, because I love Him and I want you to know about Him.

Another question from Emme, "Is Jesus in the car with us?

Now I am pulling onto the main road thinking about how in the world I can answer such a question.  And, to be honest, she asks so many questions these days I find myself answering in the simplest way I can because one question so easily turns into 17 more questions.

So my response to her was, "Well... God is always with us so... in a way... I guess Jesus is in the car with us."

Nothing could have prepared me for her response.  Thankfully, I wasn't near a mountain or I might have driven right off.

She said to me, "I just slapped Him in the face."

What?!?!?!?  Let me repeat this for you.  She asked me if Jesus was in the car with us and when I said he was she tells me she just slapped him across the face?????  What is wrong with her?

I was seriously at a loss for words!  I thought about chucking her out of the car and leaving her on the side of the road so as to spare my own life from the wrath that was surely about to be brought on me because she just assaulted the King of Kings AND because something so sick in me could hardly contain my laughter.

The only thing I could think of to say to her was, "That wasn't very nice."

Then she said, "I just want you to stop talking about Jesus."

I pulled over at the next gas station.  I had to get out of the car and call her dad.

***Big sigh***

I am taking Emme to school early today.  She's having lunch with the principal.    She won an award for demonstrating Integrity and Fairness and was nominated to be a "Character Hero" at school.

WHAT?!?!  Same child?!

Please pray for her... and us.  She needs Jesus.  Clearly.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Trick or Treat 2012

Our first Trick or Treat night not in Ohio.  


The weather for our first Colorado Halloween... crazy nice!  It was in the 70's during the day and it was very pleasant for our night out begging for candy.  Good thing we invested in the camouflage S N O W S U I T!  

I'm sure you are wondering... Jackson was dressed like Jase Robertson from Duck Dynasty.  We are ALL obsessed with Duck Dynasty.  It makes us happy happy happy.  If you don't recognize that statement, you've never watched Duck Dynasty.  And, if you've never watched Duck Dynasty, you are missing out!

Only thing is... it does not make me happy happy happy that since our obsession with Duck Dynasty began... ALL Jackson talks about is hunting.  He has also said MANY times that he wishes he was them.  He wants to change his last name... become a Robertson... and move to Louisiana.  I might be ok with that actually.  I mean, who wouldn't want to hang out with that family?

Anyway, here is Jase Robertson and Rapunzel.  I never really liked Emme in that wig.  I couldn't figure out why.  And, then, it dawned on me.

It's because she looks exactly like E.T. when he dressed up and put on that wig.  It's disturbing really.  How can someone so beautiful put on a wig and look like the picture below.  I don't know what else to say about that... except... as long as she is in my house she will never be allowed to dye her hair blond. She will have to leave.  I can not live with E.T.

Shelby went to a party at church with her friend Ciara.  She was dressed as Katniss Everdeen and Ciara was dressed like... well... I don't really know.  I am not even sure Ciara knew.  It mattered not... she was cute.

Gracie went trick or treating with her friend Emily.  There were dressed as 80's dancers.  They looked super cute.

Ciara loves Emme.  And... ah... my precious Emme is back.  

And, my "Robertson" men... well, I'm sure there will be a blog post sooner than I like about their hunting adventure.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Death Toll at Family Reunion Rises to 10

     Yes, the death toll at our family reunion has risen to 10.  And, I'm not sad about it.  I haven't even shed a single tear.

     See, it's bad enough to see a mouse in your garage, but when they start inviting extended family and turn it into a family reunion.... in my garage... it's game on, party over.   I tried a trap laced with peanut butter... twice.  Twice, they licked it clean.    That was back when I thought we were dealing with a mouse.  However, when I opened a cabinet that had grass seed in it, and saw cousins and aunts and uncles with beverages in hand and decorations on the walls... throwing confetti, I went to plan B.  Sticky pads.

    Within hours Wednesday, I had 5.  By the time the sun rose on Thursday morning, the count had risen to 10.  We're onto maintenance now.  Relatives arriving on late flights, will be met with light horderves of rat poisoning.  Death toll can be expected to rise.

      In other news this week, Paul's parents came to visit.  We took them to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park and the trip did not disappoint.
     First we stopped in Estes Park.  We ate lunch at a little local joint and then stopped at the candy store.  We bought candy and warm, freshly made carmel corn.  Then, walking around with our stash, we went in and out of all the fun little shops.

As you can see, Emme is growing into a regular giant.

     After that, we went to Rocky Mountain National Park.  I am much more into chasing large mammals with huge antlers than little mice with beady eyes.  

     This trip, it didn't take us long to find the elk.  I read, on one of those infamous signs, that it's mating season.  Therefore, they were out and about.  Thankfully, we did not have to observe any... of... that... part... of... nature.


Of course, we had to get in some fishing this weekend.  What would a weekend look like without fishing?

    So... Welcome to Trout Haven.  Guaranteed to catch a fish, they supply you with bait, poles, buckets, nets... the whole works.  Fish that are caught are paid for by the inch, but they clean it and pack it in ice, and you get to take it home and fry it up.

So much for their stupid guarantee.  We didn't catch a thing.  (shhh... I was secretly glad.  I did not want to eat that for dinner.)

   Hmmm... Now, I realized I just moved to Colorado, but I'm pretty sure fish are supposed to be in the water.  Here, friends, we have some fish laying out... in the sun... in the grass.  We decided it was unusual enough that we should inform the Trout Haven employees.  

     They already knew.  Yeah, they put them there.... FOR THE BEAR that likes to come eat them!!!  What?!?!  Where was my warning sign?  How am I supposed to know what to do if I spot the bear that comes to eat the fish?  I should have known.  Of course, a bear comes there.  I live in Animal Kingdom now, I momentarily forgot.  Forgive me.  Sometimes, I forget that I signed up for wilderness life.
Now, there's a sign!  Ice fish at your own risk.  Ice fish.  And, what's the risk?  I've got a lot to learn.

     Since the guaranteed trout catch, was a farce, we decided to make one more pit stop to see if we could get our fish catching high.

      So, we turned off the main road and.... hey!  There's an elk casually walking down... the road!!  Where... most... elk... walk... right?

Looks like a great place to stop... and.. eat... some... grass.  Take your time.  Don't mind us.  We'll just.. sit... and... wait until your.... done.

Since we were already waiting, Paul and Jackson decided to throw in their poles.  Across this rather large lake, we saw, what appeared to be Papa Elk.  He was walking toward the water... and then he decided to take a swim.

Oh yes, he did!  He swam right over to see us.
Sorry about the Blair Witch quality filming.  I didn't know my regular camera could video. Therefore, I accused my 11 year old of being a liar and a inept photography and I took the camera away from her.  The result was this fabulous video.  Yeah!  I'm a great mom.  Encouraging... instilling great confidence in them...  Go ahead!  Nominate me for Mom of the Year!

     Until I receive that award... stay tuned for more adventures... that... I... had... no... idea...I was signing... up...for.  Yay me!