Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Break Day 2

Day 2 was much better than day 1. Everybody slept in (about 7:15), JR ate everything I served him, and was also able to maintain computer privileges the entire day. I'm a bit jealous of Jason since he's in Houston and reported sitting outside in the great weather. Although I think it got to about 45 here today. JR spent most of the day yesterday and today "off -roading" down the hill in our backyard. He's not daredevil enough to do it on his bike, but the Big Wheel has been taking a beating the last 2 days. And the gloves? My mom bought them. He thinks they're great because you can pull back the mitten part and have your fingers stick out...only problem-they're about 10 sizes too big. And on a side note, today's my Daddy's birthday, and it's a big one!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Break Day 1

The bus arrives at the end of our street at 7:18 every morning, which means I always wake JR (and the babies) up between 7:00-7:05. Today is the first day of Spring Break. You'd think some people might want to sleep in and take it easy. Let's see how the morning went.
6:35 AM-Babies up
7:06 AM-JR up
9:00 AM- JR refuses to eat the eggs I made because "they don't look like Daddy's"
10:30 AM-JR already grounded from the computer for the rest of the day
Weather outside today: super windy with a high of 37
Weather forcasted: snow by Wednesday
Can't wait til tomorrow!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Can You Give Me A Ride?

I know you can't believe it's a two post day, but I've got another "story" to share. Jason and I are really trying to get into this Durango outdoorsy lifestyle. We even bought a little bike stroller for the babies to ride in so we could start riding our bikes (they keep climbing out of their highchairs, so we were worried they wouldn't sit in JR's old bicycle seats). So this afternoon we dusted off the old Beijing bikes (mine complete with a front basket and bell) and got everybody loaded up and ready to go. Let me stop my story there to give you a little back-story. We rode our bikes in Beijing a lot. Enough that we even went out and bought ourselves another set of bikes so we'd have a set for guests. We rode everywhere: church, grocery store, friends' houses, out to eat. And JR always rode to and from preschool perched on the back of my bike. So though we don't consider ourselves "bikers", we do enjoy going for a family bike ride. Which brings me back to today. Before we even started we realized that the hill going up our street might be too much for JR. So we put him the bike stroller with Kyle, and Reed on the back of my bike (thinking he would be the less likely of the two to try and climb out). About 35 seconds into the bike ride I started thinking,"Wow, I'm really out of shape." That thought then progressed to. "Hummm, this is really hard. Maybe I should switch gears." I then became completely focused on the fact that I'm panting and might be having a heart attack. About this time Jason catches up and I say:
"I can't do this.
*gasp! wheeze!*
I'm going to have to
walk the bike
up this hill.
*wheeze!* "
Jason, always the analytical one, says:
"How's that going to help you?
The whole neighborhood
*gasp! wheeze!*
is like this.
Jason and I have taken walks around the neighborhood, and of course we would be breathing a little heavy going up the hills...but nothing like this! Seems we didn't give any consideration to the fact that we live at 7,500 ft. elevation and ON A MOUNTAIN. And that it might be difficult to bike at 7,500 ft...ON A MOUNTAIN! We tried finding as many downhill streets as possible, and I think I only had to get off and push my bike 3 times during our 10 minute (if that) ride. Needless to say, the bike stroller is already back in the box and will be returned as soon as we can get back to town. As Jason put it, "I guess we just need to stick to walking." So enjoy this picture of the babies in the bike stroller, cause it's the last time you'll see it!

Great Start To The Day

I could hardly wait to get home from church and errands to post JR's latest shenanigans. This morning he was complaining that he wanted to eat lunch (at 9:00 AM right after he had eaten breakfast) and then went into one of his dissertations about how he wanted cereal, and how he wanted to buy cereal at the store. We informed him we were NOT buying cereal since he never eats it. He then goes on to tell us, "Oh! I eat cereal now. I eat it at breakfast at school every morning." Whaaat? Oh yes, seems JR has been eating breakfast at school every morning for some time now. How long? I don't know, but long enough that he now has a "breakfast number" that he "kept forgetting" so they made him a tag, but he lost the tag, and so now he "just has it memorized" (he then rattled the number off for us). We continued to question him about eating breakfast since he doesn't ever take money to school. Apparently, Adrieanna (who's in his class and rides the bus with him) showed him that if you "go down this hall instead of that hall, you can eat breakfast." We also learned that he usually doesn't like what the "hot breakfast" is, so he picks cereal (usually Lucky Charms) and he eats it dry because they serve "Colorado milk" and not "China milk". (We have to buy "China milk" at the store because that's the only kind he likes. And yes, it's just regular old milk that we tell him is from China.) About half way through his telling of the "I eat breakfast at school every morning" story, I turned to Jason and said, "He's just like you. He's talked somebody in to letting him eat breakfast for free everyday!" I kept saying, "But, JR. Breakfast isn't free. How are you getting it?" And he'd tell us, "I just go to the cafeteria and eat breakfast with the kinder kids." So I started thinking: Well, maybe they do serve free breakfast to everybody here. Umm, No. I went and checked, and breakfast costs $1.00. Now, if you qualify for reduced lunch, you can get breakfast for free. Has JR convinced somebody he's "hungry"? After more research I learned we need to "pay for the week on Monday" or purchase a "year long meal plan". It sounds to me like JR's already got himself a "meal plan number", but I've yet to pay for anything. I'm expecting a bill to arrive any day for JR's dollar-a-day dry cereal breakfasts. I'm tellin' ya, he may look like me, but talking somebody into feeding him breakfast for free every morning...that's all Jason.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Update

It was 19 degrees at the bus stop this morning. Nobody was wearing shorts.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring Is Sprunging...I Think

I was really starting to like the weather here. It was getting up to about 60 degrees each day, the sun seems to shine all the time, and besides having to put lotion on my hands constantly, the dry climate really is enjoyable. I had convinced myself it was going to be smooth sailing all the way to summer. I was wrong. It snowed today. Okay, so it wasn't a big snow (Denver was supposed to get 2 feet!) But it did snow all morning. Evidently this is what spring is here in Colorado. Days of nice, warmish weather mixed with days of snow showers. Of course I'm used to spring in Houston, which is a few weeks of nice days before it gets too hot and humid to even go outside...and a couple of tornado watches thrown in for good measure. The locals here seem set on it being spring, and didn't revert back to their winter clothes for the snow. One of the high school girls was wearing shorts at the bus stop this morning, and another one of my neighbors was out in her front yard also wearing shorts. If this same weather was in Houston I can assure you we Texans would have had on every scarf, hat, and coat we could find. And being that I'm a native Texan, I sent JR to school in a heavy sweatshirt (over a T-shirt) and also made him wear his coat. When I picked him up from school today guess what he was wearing? Yep. Apparently JR has localized himself. There he stood wearing only his T-shirt. What can I say? Happy spring!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Passover Dinner

If you've ever been around my mother for more than 15 minutes then you're probably aware that she's "a German Jew". I've been hearing that since I can remember, and recently she's upped it a notch and goes on to say that she thinks all her relatives died in The Holocaust because she has no information about her German ancestors. Jason and I always laugh when my mom brings up being a "German Jew" since she's also a dyed-in-the-wool Presbyterian. (She's gone to the Baptist church with my dad for 35 years but refuses to join.) But, to her credit, her great grandfather really was German, and he really was Jewish. He came over and became a Catholic so he could buy land in Texas. (Then I think somebody along the way married a Presbyterian which is how she's not a German Catholic Jew.) I've never claimed my German Jewish heritage. In fact, the only time it comes up is if somebody comments on how black my natural hair color is. It's then I'll say, "Oh, I got it from my mom; she likes to holler out that she's a German Jew." So you can imagine my mom's excitement today when I told her Jason and I were going to a Passover Seder Dinner at our church put on by Jews for Jesus. (Her exact words to me were: "Be sure and tell them your mother is a German Jew!") Jason and I both really enjoyed the dinner, and were amazed how the Passover story in Exodus could so parallel the life, death, and Resurrection of Christ. I even got to participate when, as the "woman of the house", I got to light the Passover candles. Of course I burned my finger in trying to do so, but still was happy I had a part. Some of the food was good, but I had to choke down the raw onion, horseradish, and parsley dipped in salt water. (Here's my Passover plate.)
Part of the Passover dinner involves dipping your unleavened bread into wine (Hello? Lord's Supper anyone?) which is how we ended a very nice evening. And BTW, Mom, just let me know if you want me to get you a Jews for Jesus T-shirt.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Picture Pages

I spent the afternoon practicing with my new camera. So, Grandmothers, today is your lucky day! Enjoy....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Do My Shoes Match My Bag?

We went shopping on Saturday and JR was insistent that his new shoes be Skechers. Really? It starts this young? I figured it did with girls, but I was thinking it would be Jr. High before JR cared. Boy, was I wrong. And just when I thought JR was our only fashionista, Kyle has a new found favorite toy. One of JR's girlfriends left a Disney princess purse here (I think it was Melissa) and Kyle has taken it over. The babies are starting to walk, and you should see Kyle go with purse in hand. Jason tells me I should take it away from him, but really, JR used to play My Little Ponies with Madeline and he's as tough as they come. Except, of course, the part about having to have new fashionable tennis shoes. So here are two of my men, showing off their new accessories.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Life Tastes Good

Our church had a luncheon after the service today and trying to make things as easy as possible, Jason split his Coke with JR. Being that Kyle was attacking the hotdog on my plate, I didn't pay much attention to what JR was eating or drinking. Toward the end of lunch JR turned to us and said, "This is the best day of my life." Now I have to admit, I think JR's life is (and has been) pretty exciting, so I couldn't imagine what had been so special about today. Jason and I both looked at him and said, "Really? Why?" JR said, "Because I got to drink Coke for the first time, and Mack is coming over for a playdate."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Green Table" Part 2

Some great scenery pictures from yesterday...

Mesa Verde

We took the kids to Mesa Verde yesterday. (I still think "Mesa Verde" sounds like a name for a Mexican Food restaurant.) And I couldn't believe they actually let you walk around on the cliff dwellings! We hiked down (the path is paved, but I'm still going to call it a hike) to Spruce Tree House. The kids thought it was just about the neatest thing ever, and especially loved climbing down into the kiva (an underground chamber). If you're ever in the 4 Corners area, I highly recommend a visit.

*My camera finally died yesterday so some of the pictures aren't the greatest quality since I took them with my camera phone. (BTW, I got a new camera today...Yeah!)

On the hike down. You can see Spruce Tree House in the background.

I still can't believe they let you touch it!

Checking out the kiva.

heading down

Surely you didn't think I'd miss checking it out?

Jumpin' and Jivin' in the kiva. It was a lot bigger in there than I thought it'd be.

Going up

The babies were furious that we didn't let them go in the kiva. They were so mad they tried to wiggle and climb out of their stroller and kept pointing and screaming at it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Break Numero Uno

We've had the Parker Family here all week for their Spring Break. We've had lots of fun, and with 6 kids all under the age of 7 the house has really been a rockin! We went to Mesa Verde today so I'll have a full report and pictures ready for tomorrow. Until then, I tried my best to get a picture of all the kids together, but somebody was always missing. So put these 2 pictures together and that's everybody.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Please Hold

I thought only moms with teenage daughters had this problem! I can't get my kids off the phone....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

JR's Least Favorite "Holiday"

JR's been quite hostile about St. Patrick's Day since it's a "holiday with no presents". But today he came home with a new attitude toward all things Irish. Seems some leprechauns visited their school last night and did a great job decorating. (JR has a fine appreciation for over-the-top decor.) He came out of school happily wearing his rainbow hat with a "golden pot" that they had made, and even added "thank you for St. Patrick's Day" at the end of his dinnertime prayer.

From The Little Leprechauns

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Baby Talk: Work It Out

Kyle: Dude! Reed, Look! Here's Daddy's briefcase. I bet he'd love for us to help him with his work. Let's pull out all these papers and see what needs to be done first. Won't he be happy we are so helpful? I bet he'll be so thankful he'll start taking us to work with him everyday!

Reed: You're right, Bro! That's a great idea. He would love for us to help him! Let me get this pen and we'll get started right away.

  • Disclaimer: Jason did not witness the "babies touching his briefcase incident". Those of you who know him can imagine his reaction when he saw these pictures. Not to worry, I assured him I snapped the pictures quickly, moved the babies to a secure location, and nothing was removed from his briefcase during this "incident".

Sunday, March 15, 2009

We've Got The Look

I was thinking our transformation into "locals" was getting closer each day. Saturday we headed up to the mountain for some skiing, and bought our season passes for next year. We get to use them the rest of this year since there's only a few weeks left, and of course we thought we looked pretty cool with our passes hanging around our necks. We also did a truly local thing and brought our lunch. The food on the mountain isn't that good, and with a slice of pizza and a Coke costing about $20, you see all the locals brown-bagging it. So as I was skiing around Saturday with my season pass around my neck and my backpack of lunch on my back, I had an Elle Wood's in Legally Blonde moment where I said to myself, "I totally look the part!"
But as Elle wasn't fooling anybody in her first class, I guess Jason and I weren't either. We were standing and talking about which run to take next. Just so happened there was a black run (the hardest kind for you non-skiers) right in front of where we were standing. About that time a guy skied up to us, pointed his ski pole to the right and said, "Um, you guys are going to want to go that way." Really? It's that obvious? We weren't even in motion and he knew we could never do that run. Oh well, at least my ski jacket is cute!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Dog Day Afternoon: By Hunter Ingersoll

Hunter: I know you haven't heard from me lately, and I'm sure you've all been wondering how I've been doing here in Colorado. Actually, things have been going pretty good. The babies have started helping to take really good care of me.

They give me massages.

Reed tries to take naps with me.

Sometimes when Kyle's around I get to take a break and just chill.

But no matter what, there's always plenty of hugs.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Peas...

I've talked before about how Jason and I sometimes refer to the babies as "Mine" and "Yours". Well, Mine, is becoming more like me every day. Seems a future in the dramatic arts is definitely in the cards for Kyle. Both babies will break out into dance anytime I sing to them ("Wheels on the Bus" always gets them going). But it seems me making the family watch So You Think You Can Dance in the babies' early months has rubbed off on Mine the most. Jason is so good to let me have control of the remote, even if it means he has to watch every reality show out there. So last summer, when the babies were about 5 months old, we'd each take "ours" and help them "dance" along with the So You Think You Can Dance dancers. Even today with the babies being so little, Jason and I can still dance with them whenever the mood strikes. Just last week our moms (and everybody else sitting near us) were thoroughly entertained when we helped the babies break into dance when "Womanizer" came on while we were out to eat.
Of course it's only natural that Mine would have picked up some more intricate and fabulous dance moves under my tutelage in those early days. And this morning, much to my delight, Kyle showed me those early days of training have really paid off. We caught the tail-end of Britney's "Circus" video on the TV and guess who started dancing as soon as he heard it...Humm,I just can't imagine who else would do that too?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Green Giant

Jason tells me I'm being dramatic when I tell people that the culture shock from Houston to Durango is almost as bad as Houston to Beijing. But today I've got the proof. I took JR and the babies to the library for the first time, and as we pulled into the parking lot I noticed some parking spaces close to the entrance. Of course I said the same thing I always say when we see a good parking spot... "As Joel Osteen would say, 'the favor of the Lord is upon us.' "
But ya know, Joel Osteen preaches at a mega-church in Houston. Apparently here in Durango Who you know doesn't matter when it comes to good parking spaces. I knew the Southerners wouldn't believe me, so I took a picture. Here's why I wound up in the back of the lot.

I'm guessing my Expedition doesn't qualify. Do you think I could get away with putting a little sign in my window that says, "At least it's not as big as a Suburban."?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sofa City, Sweetheart

When JR was little he loved his Sesame Street futon. He'd sit on it and watch TV or look through his books. The babies aren't the least bit interested in watching TV, and they'd much rather rip the cover off a book than look through it. But Reed, like JR, does love the Sesame Street futon. He loves it so much, in fact, that he won't let anybody else near it. Kyle gets tossed from it like a rag doll, and you should see him pushing JR or me off if we dare try and use it as a pillow. He's so protective of it that if he sees anybody else near it, he'll stop what he's doing and "run" (crawl) as fast as he can to protect it. You'll notice that Kyle and JR are nowhere to be seen in these pictures...they learned quick to keep their distance. So I'm giving you fair warning...don't come between Reed and his futon!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Two Peas...

I heard hysterical laughter coming from the play room today, so I had to go check it out. What I found was Jason and JR enjoying their favorite kind of television humor...people falling down. A good sight gag never goes to waste on those two. I ran and got my camera so the rest of you can see what I'm up against. Just look at them, they've even started to dress alike....I don't stand a chance.