Saturday, November 11, 2017

4th of July 2017

Yes... I know it's November!
But, Happy 4th of July, anyways!

On 4th of July we love to go swimming and spend the day outside!

The pool we went to had many fun activities!
Grace loves swimming!
She does a good job!
She can go under water and swim freestyle, 
breast stroke and backstroke for about 15-20 feet!
She can be in the water where she can touch the bottom 
but not over her head yet.
(Jake, too!)

The kids loved playing on the water features!

Love the flags!
So proud to be an American!
(Thank you to all of our Veterans!)

It was a busy day at the pool!

This was our spot...
with all the towels laid out!

We didn't realize that we needed to be there 
bright and early to claim our spot...
We missed the opportunity to get lawn chairs-
 we didn't care!

Towels work for us!

Jenny dislocated and broke her elbow 
at the very end of June.
She had surgery on it June 3rd, 
late in the afternoon.
And here she is celebrating the next day!
This girl is a trooper!

After swimming, we went back home and got ready for dinner and fireworks!

We have always had so much fun in MN on the 4th
that we were thankful to have found a place to celebrate
here in CO!

The parents...

Had to get a pic showing the mismatched flip flops!

The kids love dressing in
red, white and blue!

We took up two tables!

You betcha!
Mom and Dad took a deep breath and enjoyed our moment... 

This time we wanted good seats,
so we hurried outside while they were available!

Waiting for the fireworks!

The children visited with the very nice lady behind us!
No, we are not a birthday party, a soccer team or a field trip!
Just a family!

but it was a treat watching fireworks 
for the first time
without mosquitos!

No smelly, sticky bug spray!

Grace is enjoying her first 4th of July!

Okay, I did tell Ben to open his eyes!
Guilty as charged!

Jake struggles with pics...
so I had to post this one...
because, it's his best pic ever!

But I can't forget LUKE!

These two play like puppies!

The fireworks were magnificent!

The children are in awe!

I love fireworks!

Not fond of crowds, traffic jams or mosquitos...

But I love fireworks!

Thankful to have had a fun 4th of July!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Best Kind of House Guests!

This summer we were blessed to have
our oldest daughter and her family come to visit us in Colorado!
(end of June and early July)

It is such a joy spending time with them!

Emily is at a fun age!
I love the conversations we have!
She talks, we decipher and answer back!
If we get it wrong... she lets us know!
It's beyond adorable!

And I get lots of kisses, 
even the open mouth, 
wet ones!
I'll take what I can get!
Love this precious girl!

It was pretty wonderful having 
or two oldest kiddos (Matt and Katie) 
and their families all together!

When family is scattered throughout the USA
time together is so treasured!

We are attempting to see as much of Colorado as possible,
while we are here!

So we spent a day in Estes, Colorado!
 We took pics and had lunch at the Stanley Hotel!

 The movie "The Shining" was filmed here in 1980
starring Jack Nicholson.
It also has a history of being haunted...
(I'm not a fan of scary movies so this was new info for me!
BUT, I also love adventures, so I'm all in!)

Love this precious family!

We have a little photo bomber...
She absolutely adores her Momma and needs to be near her!

When you have a broken elbow
it's very hard to tie your shoe!

Helpful siblings come in soooo handy!
Thanks, Sam!

Then a gondola ride up the mountain!

Another first for us!

As we headed up the mountain...
it started to rain...


It took 2 gondolas to get all of us to the top!

It was a beautiful sight,
despite the grey clouds and rain!

The weather can change so quickly in Colorado!
Before we got to the top we spied a bit of blue sky!

And a slightly lighter sky,
giving us hope that it will clear soon!

Emily broke her wrist in early June.
The doctors were thinking about taking off her cast after 4 weeks
only if she was a mild mannered, quiet little girl...

That's not our Emily!
She is the daughter of a green beret, special forces, Lt Colonial in the US Army
and a D1 soccer player...

They left the cast on for 2 more weeks!

I was never a mountain person...
until we moved here...

The beauty is breathtaking!

I think of our God and 
just how mountain moving amazing 
HE is!

Broken arm or not,
our Emily loves exploring!

I'll never tire of this view!

We spent some time at the top-
 exploring, climbing, taking pics, enjoying the view
and more!

Sometimes the hardest part of getting a picture
 is getting all the kids together!

Finding Joey can be especially challenging!

Awe, glad you made it Joe!
He has mischief in his eyes!

Unfortunately, one of our older girls was having a tough day.
I want to be compassionate, understanding and supportive
but sometimes it's hard
and not accepted by the hurting child.

And when dangerous(to self and others) and 
unkind(to others) behavior are part of it...
it makes it extra challenging.

Daddy/daughter moment!

Yes, there was an outfit change here...
on the top of the mountain!
Discretely done!
No one noticed...
 the watchful Nana!

Emily loves hanging out with her Aunts and Uncles!

She calls them
"her friends"!

I can't believe your 
Momma photographer
brought an outfit change!

Running around!

Hello you two!
You are supposed to look this way!

and now there's photo bombers!

There we go!
These two are doing very well!
At the time of this pic 
they had been home for 7-8 months!

Grace is growing out her bangs!
Both kids are learning to 
"play with"
there siblings.
Their English is improving but 
it seems to be coming at a slower pace 
than expected.
Jake can understand more English and can speak in sentences, sometimes.
Grace has to think of the words before speaking.
Both kids can read at a mid kindergarten level!
They are happy and acclimating well to large family life!

There are many chipmunks on top of the mountains!

They are quite tame

and always hungry!

Many of the children were able to feed them!

I think...
this is Melissa!?!

I'm obviously NOT the photographer
my oldest daughter is...

I forgot to include the 

These two...
are just soooo

And this guy is an
awesome Dad!

Emily loves the mountains!

Ellie and Mom
having FUN!

need to find a new spot for a photo shoot!

The camera was all set up 
and I had explicit instructions!

Same girl... new outfit!
Professional pic this time!

What a great way to end a post!