Saturday, January 27, 2018

Photo Friday : January Catch-up

It's the end of January, and this is my first blog post this year... sorry 'bout that!


But first, let me say Happy Anniversary to Brian.  Ten years ago today we got married!   If we look a bit far-removed from the Colorado winter in this pic, it's because we were.  My parents watched the kids for a week while Brian and I had a wonderful anniversary getaway in Belize and Guatemala!


We've done a lot this month.  We have been staying with my brother Ben and his wife Meggin near Denver, CO, and have been traveling around the state catching up with partners, churches, family and friends.  A few of the non-work things we've done:

 The Denver Museum of Nature and Science


 Digging up fossils.


 Honestly though, for our salt-loving boy I think the best part was the enormous pretzels in the food court!


So much bigger than the ones mom makes!



 We went to the free ice rink that was set up at the airport and the kids got to try ice skating for the first time:




We spent a weekend with my (Susan's) grandparents in Fort Collins, where the kids enjoyed tea parties with great-grandma:



While we were in Fort Collins we finally got some snowfall!  We seem to have been missing all of the snow storms as we travel, and so the kids were very excited to finally get the chance to play in fresh snow.








One of our furlough traditions is to go eat cinnamon rolls at the Silver Grill Cafe in downtown Fort Collins.  This furlough we've actually made it there twice.  (It's a place where I worked for a while in college...)







Next week we'll be starting our road trip back to Oregon.  The kids are looking forward to getting back to Oregon, but mostly they want to go back to PNG, especially Greg.  All the moving around and visiting people wears on them after a while.  Greg and I counted it up last night - 60 days until we get on that airplane to leave the country!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Photo Friday [206]

Time to dish on our Christmas-y doings.

We had an early Christmas with the Freys, since we wouldn't be in Oregon for the holiday itself:


Just missing one of Brian's brothers...


Then it was road trip time! 

 Three days on the road as we drove to Colorado to see my side of the family.


 Froggy even helped drive.


 There were some "fun" winter roads for Brian to navigate on that last day... Although by the time that we got to Grand Junction, where my parents live, the roads were dry and the skies clear.  No white Christmas for us....


Teaching grandpa how to play Exploding Kittens.


The seemingly impossible task to get a nice tree photo with the kids.


The whole gang back together!  Last time we did Christmas together, Kate was a newborn. 



 Both of my brothers love to cook, and so we had cinnamon rolls, chipotle-raspberry glazed bacon, and even tri-tip cooked to perfection in a professional steam oven.  (I contributed the pies, which has been my area of specialty since High School).



Day-after-Christmas Lego building
 

Fun times with cousins:
 

 


After my brothers left and it was just us and the grandparents, we checked out a few of the fun things Grand Junction has to offer.


There is a neat place (in the mall!) called the Children's Nature Center, which offers a very educational hands-on tour of their reptile, amphibian and fish menagerie, including a massive albino python once owned by Michael Jackson and a rare pig-nosed turtle which is only found in the wild in Australia and Papua New Guinea.


 



Yesterday afternoon we drove through the beautiful Colorado National Monument, which includes some of the mesas that surround the town of Grand Junction.

Up on the mesa there was a little bit of snow on the ground.
 



The boys were enamored of the rock formations






Saturday, December 2, 2017

Photo Friday [205]

Sorry that I've been AWOL for a few weeks.  Let me try to catch up:


We had a round of sickness this past week.  That combined with cold weather made it a good week for random naps near the fireplace.


Greg proud of himself for realizing that he could work ahead on his daily spelling homework so and have some "days off" later in the week.



 Did you know that Candy Land can be a very high-stakes and emotional game?








Kate had a birthday!
 
She requested an "Elsa" cake, and here was my attempt.


As a special surprise, grandma had arranged for Elsa to come to the birthday party in person!  Kate loved it.   (The bulletin board in the back is part of a very elaborate party game devised entirely by Greg). 





 Caleb and his faithful friend Froggy.


 Kate has been living in this "dancing dress" that she got for her birthday from Aunt Becky.  Not sure what was going on here though...


I saved the best for last.  On black Friday, our newest nephew Hudson was born!  I was able to make it to Portland in time to be there and document his birth in photos.


Kate was not happy about the baby.  Although usually she loves babies, this one was taking up a lot of the attention that day, and she didn't like it.  I think she's used to being the "baby" of the group of six older cousins and brothers.
 


Greg, on the other hand, was totally fascinated. 





Holding a tiny newborn did give me some pangs of nostalgia and perhaps the thought of having one more of our own crossed my mind.  But then we took our own three plus my four nephews to Costco to feed them lunch, and the craziness of taking seven kids out to eat kind of put that idea to rest!