Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Skiing on a Monday

We all had Monday off from school and work - well except for Glenn who had to work because the Legislature is in session but he doesn't downhill ski anyway so this is a long way of saying that the kids and I went skiing!  With some friends like last year!  A great time was had by all! 

Let's start at the beginning.  After a relatively warm and dry early winter, our nearby ski resort has had amazing amounts of snow in the last few weeks and after checking that the temperature was going to be manageable, I made our reservations online, dug out the ski goggles and other random winter wear and packed everybody up.  We even remembered Will's jacket this time. 

The snow was deep, the temperature was probably in the mid to upper 20's and the sun came out in the afternoon.  The Bronco Baby mom never fell down (yahhh!), the Bronco babies crashed a few times but not major damages and we had a really fun time getting in as many runs as we could. 

At our lunch break and I notice that Will has the beginnings of a shiner.  He and his friend had an impromptu snowball fight with some kids outside of the lodge and they apparently to abide by the "NOT THE FACE" rule implemented by moms everywhere. 

Will in the foreground or whatever you call towards the bottom of the picture. 
My friend Mary took all of these pictures because I didn't bring my phone with me on the slopes and I was usually too busy keeping Reina upright to take any pictures anyway. 

Will and his friend on the lift. 

Reina and her mom on the lift.  Look at all of that glorious snow! 

Will post-crash.

Reina and her mom again!  This was one of the first trips up the lift we took in the morning before the sun came out.  There was hardly any wind which is great for this location. 
I love that my little monsters love to ski.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Pictures of stuff that Reina wanted me to take at the zoo.

On New Year's Day, we all headed to Denver.  The boys were going to the Broncos game and Reina and I had some shopping planned and a quick trip to the zoo.  Yes, the day was had a weird gender division going on because long-time readers will note that usually I'M the one going to the Broncos game but frankly, I didn't want to watch my beloved team (who wasn't making the playoffs) play the Raiders, along in hindsight, it would've been a fun time.  Glenn and Will had a blast.  The Broncos lead the entire game.  Glenn hadn't taken Will to a Broncos game before and when I asked him afterwards what he thought, he replied simply, "You have a big sports fan on your hands."  Bring on 2017!   
Glenn wearing MY #87 jersey and Will wearing just about every item of Broncos clothing that he owns.  

So Reina and I did a little bit of shopping. I had gift cards from the previous Christmas that needing using and Reina is a pretty fun shopping companion, especially if there's something fun for her to do later.  She helped me pick out some new work clothes and had helpful insights ("that shirt would be good if you wanted to be a pirate" and "Wow, Mom, your arms look really meaty!")    Honestly, she picked out a few things outside of my comfort zone that I ended up liking and it was fun way to use up the gift cards.  

After our whirlwind shopping trip, we drove across the entire length of Denver and spent a few hours at the zoo before it was time to pick up the football fans. I brought my camera along and told Reina to point out things I should take a picture of.  
30 seconds into the zoo and PEACOCK!  

Some sort of mini primate tamarin something something.  

A chicken made out of dried flowers and stuff.  I need this at home.  

Condors (?) building a nest.  We watched them for a while and provided commentary.  "I don't want that stick there, it doesn't look good.  Well feel free to grab your own stick and get to work." 

Big cats! 

Big grin and big cats. 

At this point, Reina was getting a little antsy because she had a specific snack from a specific snack shack in the zoo in mind.  After we visited this seal, we turned the corner and the snack shack was closed for the season.  She drowned her sorrows in a bucket of cotton candy instead.  

My girl.  

Monday, January 2, 2017

Christmas Eve and Christmas morning

2017 is officially here and I'm still needing to catch up on 2016.  This year, we spent Christmas Eve at Grandma and Pop-Pop's house with aunt and uncle and cousins.  We ate some delicious food and argued about who got to snuggle Baby E, so it was like the rest of the holidays.

Cousins looking slightly too serious for 12/24. 

A sorta smile? 
Toddler cousin greatly enjoyed the traditional cornflake wreaths that dye everyone's mouths green and sometimes crack people's fillings the next morning (mine, oh joy unbounding.)
nom nom nom nom

Uncle Glenn getting some good smiles! 

Will and Reina woke us up on 6:00 a.m. on Christmas morning.  We'd hoped for 6:15 but it was close enough.  We unwrapped family presents, cooked breakfast, played with toys and even took a nap before the rest of the gang came over around 9:00.  While we waited for everyone to arrive, I let Baby E open his present from us which kept both Toddler Cousin and Reina busy for a few minutes. 
Rare Bronco Baby Mom siting! 
We all opened presents, ate a delicious brunch, napped, assembled Legos (tradition!), watched Galaxy Quest (my present!), watched football (sad face), watched Coco play with her new toys, the empty boxes and wrapping paper, stayed warm because it was cold and snowy and just had a really nice day. 
The obligatory new-Christmas-pajamas-just-take-our-picture-already-picture. 

I included this picture with hoods because I think Will looks like me!  Poor little guy. 

Not slapping his sister, just hamming it up. 
So in conclusion, it was a really great holiday.  We enjoyed some time off after Christmas.  Glenn and I worked a few days and had help from the grandparents in keeping the kiddos entertained.  We had some nice family time and I think everyone is ready to go back to the grind tomorrow.  Bring on 2017 - we are ready for you! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The sights and sounds of Christmas programs

December was a busy month.  Well obviously.  Does anyone NOT have a busy December?   We had a piano mini-recital, Will's school program, the church Christmas program and a ballet mini-recital. Lots of arts and entertainment in December!  

Reina's piano teacher has several of her students play an assortment of Christmas carols at the local shopping mall, as part of a "Tree of Remembrance" hosted by the hospital (so Aunt Vicky was there, too!).  That's a big introductory sentence.  Reina played "Jolly Old Saint Nick" and it was her first foray into public piano playing.  She was a little nervous but she played beautifully.  

Look at that concentration.  
Will's school Christmas program started off with the fourth-graders playing their string instruments. Will has been learning violin.  Performing any sort of musical production is not Will's favorite thing to do in the world but we're really proud of him for trying out the violin.
Getting ready to play "Mary Had a Little Lamb."  Or "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."  
After the orchestra opening, the class had a little skit and sang several songs.  This year, Will was in the front row center so it was easy to get a bunch of pictures.  Pictures of Will singing.
Let's just leave this here without comment. 

The red eyes don't help.  

Wait, I think I see some hand movements!  

Is he singing loudly?  No, I think that's a yawn.  

It's kazoo time!  This was actually my favorite part of the program, surprisingly.  The classes kazoo'd their way through several Christmas classics.  It's a great way to help them learn the tunes without having to learn the words also.  It was delightful!    
Next up for the Christmas-themed performances was a short ballet recital.  Reina is in her second year of ballet and she's really learning a lot.  Look at my girl go.

To round out our December performances, Will and Reina both participated in the church's Christmas program.  They sang several hymns and Will got to do a few readings.  They both memorized some German to sing "Von Himmel hoch, da komm ich her" and will gladly launch into song at random moments.

So that's our Christmas season for the arts.  Next up, Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Eve Eve

Note, this picture does not represent their current state.  This was taken earlier in the month on a relatively relaxed Saturday morning.  
It's the night before the night before Christmas and the Pauley household is a little wound up right now.  The kids have been off of school since Wednesday - well Reina had part of Tuesday and all of Wednesday off because she had a fever and general malaise, but she's all better now!  Christmas fever is running rampant through the house. Even Coco seems to have it - she got to open up one of her presents early last night because she started to open it (and other people's presents) and I thought we could cut her off at the pass if we let her have one new toy to play with.  Reina and Will would like to see that strategy applied to the humans as well.  Most of the big work is done although Glenn has some serious gift wrapping to do in the next 24 to 36 hours.  My to-do list includes last minute baking, gift delivery, exercise as to counteract the delicious fudge that was in our office breakroom today and keeping two squirrelly kids from losing their ever-loving minds before 6:00 a.m. on Sunday.  Wish me luck.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Reina's pilgrim diary

I'm home for the day thanks to what is probably the norovirus.  Fingers crossed that no one else gets it!  Besides having to type this while laying flat on the couch, this inconvenient stomach bug is also putting a big damper on my holiday baking, present-wrapping and TOP SECRET KID TOY plans.  Oh well, there's like 13 days until Christmas, plenty of time right?!

In the meantime, let's talk about Reina's recent Pilgrim Diary project.  She had to write about a week on the Mayflower.  She worked pretty hard on it - we read a bunch of books about the Mayflower and life in early colonial times.  She lobbied for me to make her a Puritan outfit to wear whilst giving her presentation but that didn't happen.  I did some internet research and made a little doll that looked like something a Pilgrim girl would play with.  I need to take a picture of that.

Reina had to give a short presentation to her class and here are the comments from her fellow students.  They had to list a fact that they learned or comment on her project. This just might be my favorite part of second grade:

1.  I like it.
2.  The children drink beer.  (This was clearly a highlight because it was mentioned several times in the evaluations. I know it was probably Reina's favorite tidbit to share.)
3.  I love it because of the dairy.
4.  Reading loudly.
5.  It was rof on the Mayflower.  (Amen sister!)
6.  I love how you exprest how you felt.
7.  (completely indecipherable)
8.  She wanted to go on the Speedwell but she couldn't because it had a leak.
9.  Good job. I liked when you said beer.
10.  Good job.  (Drawing of a cat)
11.  Sea water is bad for your lungs.

Thanksgiving or pictures of people holding Baby Boy Cousin

We had a terrific Thanksgiving this year.  We had out-of-town guests and a delicious dinner at Pop-pop and Grandma's house.  The food was great, as usual and the pie-makers remembered the sugar this year.  Our long weekend involved a lot of shopping and movies and pre-Christmas preparations. The weather was winter-like but manageable.   We had a lot of time with extended family members and it was just a lovely long weekend.  
Trying to take a photo of the elusive Toddler Cousin.  Say cheese? 
Reina will pose for the camera.  She wanted to dress like a pilgrim and this is as close as we could get.  

Glenn working on the turkey.  

Glenn and Baby Boy Cousin.  Little BBC is at the delightful age where he'll sit with just about anyone and he seems to like his Uncle Glenn.  
And his Girl Cousin, too.