Sunday, April 22, 2018

Reina's Spring Program

Before the month completely gets away from me, I have to post some pictures from Reina's Spring program a few weeks ago.  The theme of the third-grade extravaganza was along the lines of "skip Spring in Wyoming and just head straight into summer because Spring doesn't happen here."  We had a few inches of snow on the ground yesterday morning so the program is certainly prophetic.  

Reina had a speaking part for this program.  She tried out several months ago and was picked along with three other students.  She was pretty excited to bring home the news and she faithfully practiced her lines and sang us snippets of the songs for weeks.  

A few days before the program, Reina decided she needed a new dress.  The music teacher had suggested that the students wear something spring-y, western or beachy.  We took a quick trip to the mall and I let Reina pick the store.  We found ourselves in The Store Where All The Pre-Tween Girls Congregate and while I was wishing we were in Target, Reina picked out the perfect combination of denim, flowers and spring-y.  She looked adorable.  

Singing her heart out in the front row.  
Singing and flag waving to "Grand Ol' Flag" 
I can't remember what song this was but the hand motions were smashing.
More dancing and singing 
We took so many pictures but most were blurry because of all of the action and out seats towards the back. I couldn't get a shot of our superstar talking but this was close.  
 Reina's music teacher does a terrific job teaching songs and dance moves and you could tell the kids had a great time. I told the teacher afterwards that I thought the class was chock full of future music theater students.  I know at least one sure enjoyed her time on the stage. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Last Sunday

I still have half a camera of vacation pictures to download and then a bunch of pictures from Reina's Spring program AND I have to talk about how Glenn and I played in an all day volleyball tournament and we have a half empty bottle of ibuprofen to prove it.  But first, last Sunday was Will's first time as an acolyte at church.  He went through the training a few months ago and took his first communion and then it was his turn to acolyte.  I waited to tell him until a few days before so that he would stress out about it.  Our resident introvert (or the second-generation introvert) really doesn't like being in front of people but he didn't complain too much and when Sunday rolled around, he was ready to go.  
Why why why does the computer flip my pictures? I don't know.  But I kept the bulletin just so I could take this picture.  
He looked so grown up walking down the aisle and lighting candles and sitting by the pastor during the service.  It made me a little teary-eyed but what else is new?  After Sunday School, he proudly told me that several people had told him that he had done a good job.  Another milestone in the books. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Spring Break 2018 part 1

Last Saturday, the alarm went off at 3:45 a.m. and we all popped out of bed, kissed the pets, hopped in the car and headed to the Denver airport.  We caught a plane to Cabo, Mexico and our Spring Break adventure began.   We met my parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew and b-i-l's parents and aunt and uncle down there.  It was a big crew and the first time I've vacationed with my parents and Vicky's family besides the occasional camping trip.  And spoiler alert, it was a great trip.  There were so many adventures that this will be post #1 of ... many.  

Our first morning there was Easter Sunday.  The Easter bunny did not bring baskets to the kiddos but Pop-pop brought out his tradition of hiding jelly beans in plain sight and it was a hit with all ages.  Baby Boy Cousin got super interested when he realized that jelly beans were not only edible but FULL OF SUGAR.  
 Our first day was spent at the pool while some us made a grocery run and checked out the lay of the land.  We stayed at a resort right on the end of the peninsula with the Pacific ocean on one side and the Sea of Cortez just down the hill on the other side.  I broke my record for number of steps on my Fitbit but the daily ice cream and awesome food kept the trip from being a weight loss adventure. 

Here are a bunch of pictures of a handsome American fishing in the Pacific.  Warnings are posted up and down this beach about not swimming because of the dangerous current and ocean drops off to a deep shelf just a few yards from shore.  So no swimming but lots and lots of fishing from the shore. 

Glenn fishing as the sun was starting to set.  The big hill behind him is supposedly a hot spot for famous rich people to build houses.  I'd take one.  

Hubba hubba 

I like this picture.  There were some crazy waves that would come crashing in.  It looks pretty mild there but it's slightly deceiving. 

The hotel had a little garden and Will wanted me to take this picture.  We would check ESPN every night to see how the Rockies were doing.  ESPN Deportes would pop up and the website would automatically translate the Spanish into English.  The abbreviation for the Rockies is COL on the scoreboard which ESPN would translate to CABBAGE.  It always made us giggle.  

Oh look, it's the Bronco Baby Mom!  I'm not sure who took this picture.  Either the small blonde or brunette. 

Love this picture of our girl. I think her brother took it.  

A kid captured photo of greenery.  

A kid captured photo of deck chairs and the Pacific.

Reina and I watched the waves.  
Stay tuned for part #2!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Great Chicken Mystery of 2017-2018

I don't write about them much but the Pauley chicken girls are still racing around the backyard and providing us with a lot of company when we are out there.  They are pretty friendly and super food oriented so if you go out the backdoor and yell "come here my little chicken girls!" they come running.

Egg production hasn't been what we expected but we've chalked that up to a lot of different factors.  Over the summer two of the girls went broody - which is cute for a day or two until they stop laying and don't leave the next box and insist on laying on everyone else's eggs.  Luckily neither one was aggressive - I've read that some chickens will peck or attack anyone trying to make them leave the next.  My girls would complain and head back to the hen house as soon as they could, but no biting.

After they stopped being broody, egg production picked up a little bit until molting time.  The number of feathers floating around the backyard would briefly give me pause everyday until three live chickens came racing around the corner of the deck to see if I had brought any snacks home with me.  All three molted at different times but we stopped getting as many eggs each day and then the days got shorter as winter set in.  We don't have any artificial light for the chickens so egg production naturally drops off as winter sets in.

The last few months, as the days have been longer and the chicken girls are all healthy, we've gone weeks before we'll find a few eggs in the coop.  We blamed the cold, we gave the chickens pep talks, sometimes I resorted to strongly worded lectures (listen you slacker chicken girls!) and egg production has slightly increased over the last few weeks.  But we definitely haven't been getting eggs every day.  Sometimes there will be three eggs in there and then we'll go a few days with nothing.

Which brings us to today.  Glenn called me as on my way home and said something like "I might have figured out what's happening with the eggs but don't jump to any conclusions."  Today was cold and snowy but the snow wasn't sticking and the yard was a big muddy mess.  The chickens don't mind but we kept the dogs inside to cut down on the mess.  When Glenn got home, he let the dogs out, went to check for eggs and as he opened up the back of the coop, he was greeted by Trigger standing inside the hen house.


"Don't jump to any conclusions?"  Yes, we should probably conclude that Trigger has been eating the eggs. 

Mystery solved?  Probably.  We tested it when I got home and with hardly any encouragement, Trigger can squeeze himself through the chicken sized door into the hen house.  Tootsie took a lot more convincing so I think she's off the hook.  Unless she's smart enough to not incriminate herself.  Looking back, every once in a while, I'd find a few tiny bits of egg shell in the nesting boxes and I'd worry that maybe the chickens were eating their own eggs (eww) but the few times that had happened before, it was a bigger mess and they wouldn't eat the whole thing.  I wondered if something small was getting into the hen house and stealing eggs but there aren't many animals out here that wouldn't just try to get the chickens. 

Furthermore, Trigger will eat just about anything.  In the past, we've caught him snacking on raw potatoes, onions and a banana that he pulled off the counter.  He can hear the sound of a chip dropping on to the kitchen floor from rooms away and he also tries to steal the scraps I bring out for the chickens.  Once he gorged on the cat food bag that he found in the garage and then barfed it up all over our bed.  That was a fun day.  AND, his coat has never looked more luxurious.  Or maybe that's only if he's been bathing in eggs, I don't know.

AND we keep finding little bits of wood shavings from the coop inside the house.  This has been happening for a while.  We'd just say man that stuff gets everywhere ha ha ha and never wonder why are the wood shavings from inside the coop INSIDE THE HOUSE and stuck in Trigger's coat?  Huh. 

Bottom line, it's a good thing that Glenn and I don't run a detective shop.  We can solve mysteries but it takes a while and it's helpful if the evidence just sort of presents itself, by standing in the hen house waiting for you to feed it an egg.   To borrow a line from one of my favorite episodes of Law & Order (where clearly I learned NOTHING about detecting, evidence, putting two and two together, etc.) "Girl you are as dumb as a sack of hair."

Kids, if you are reading this, Dad and I are going to brush up on our detective skills by the time you are teenagers.  We'd better get cracking. 
Who me?  It's not dog shaming if said dog as no conscience.  

Monday, March 26, 2018

Birthday bashes for 11 year olds

The Sunday before Will's actual birthday, we invited a few of his friends to meet us for an afternoon of laser tag and cake.  With a March birthday, you can't guarantee nice enough weather for outside parties so laser tag was just about our only option.  Will and a handful of boys from his class plus some friends from sports and his sister AND his cousins joined in the fun.  

A few weeks before the party, Will told me he wanted a cake from the grocery store.  Perhaps my hysterical sobbing frightened him into changing his mind.  Okay, I didn't sob but my "REALLY?  You want a grocery store cake?  Well maybe next year when you want to go to a Broncos game, you can see if the GROCERY STORE wants to take you" response helped him change his mind. He found a video online of someone cupcakes and filling them with sprinkles, which I was happy to whip up.  We didn't have many leftovers so I think it was a hit.  

Baby Boy Cousin thoroughly enjoying a sprinkle-filled cupcake.  

No one paying attention to the lady with the camera except the toddler.  

Getting ready to blow out the trick candles.  I guess I've used these too many times before because the birthday boy caught on pretty quickly.  

Cake and ice cream and 11 yr old humor.  
Yes, someone definitely liked his cupcake.  

A shot of the whole gang courtesy of the party co-host aunt. 

A rare sighting of the Bronco Baby Mom and the birthday boy together.  

Preschool cousin liked hers too!  
Another birthday party in the books.  Next up, Glenn's birthday!  I hope he picks a movie party instead. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

A letter to the birthday boy

Dear Will:

Today you are 11.  Eleven!  Officially tween-dom around here and I still can't wrap my mind around that.  You were bummed earlier in the year when you discovered that your birthday would land on a Monday but I hope we made the best of it for you.  Your party was yesterday and I'll post more picture of that later.  You invited a few friends, a sister and her friend and little cousins to play laser tag and have pizza.  Much fun ensued but let's get back to your official birthday.

You woke up this morning when it was still dark but you watched ESPN and waited patiently for us to get up and going.  Once everyone was in the kitchen, you opened presents including a Larry Nance Jr jersey (that you wore all day), headphones for the Xbox, a mini basketball hoop and basketball, a sweatshirt and  a "church" shirt (that your sister picked out and you actually liked it!) and some stuff that's arriving tomorrow in the mail (Legos).  From grandparents and aunts and uncles, you got a lot of giftcards, a jacket and cash that you already have big plans for.
Early morning big birthday smiles and new jerseys. 

Will, it's harder for me to write these letters when I know you can read what I'm writing in just a few clicks.  You don't like sappy, so I'll try to contain myself.  Kid, you have a delightful sense of humor.  As you get older, there are more things that I think are funny that you also think are funny but you are also still susceptible to potty humor every now and then.  Your sarcasm is coming along nicely as well, okay I really shouldn't type that but it's true.
You were bored while we were shopping and created your own entertainment.  

Sports are still a big part of your day.  Which one is your favorite?  Well, what season is it?  On these nice March days, we find you outside shooting baskets (sometimes with your sister) or throwing a baseball around.  The bad weather just moves the game inside and my rule of 'no bouncing the basketball in the house' was long ago forgotten, especially since we just installed your mini hoop in the hallway.  Football is still high on your list along with shooting sports and maybe even a little golf.  You watch highlights, re-runs of old games, draft analysts and whatever else happens to be on.

Yes, it's a sideways picture.  But it's also a picture of siblings shooting hoops.  
Will, your dad and I are so proud of who you are growing up to be.  We have our moments of course, but you are a good kid.  You were proud to start Communion at church, you are kind to your cousins.  Preschool cousin still wants to marry you, by the way.  You take good care of the pets.  I think Tootsie will want to go to college with you.  You and your sister can find amazing things to fight about, but when you need someone to play balloon volleyball with in the living room with all of the breakable knick-knacks, she's right there.  You are still a voracious reader and you work (somewhat) hard at school.  You have a big group of friends and I think that will carry with you for the rest of your life.

Happy birthday big kid.  I hope 11 is full of game-winning shots and lots of adventures. 
Taken at the doctor's office last week but still a sweet smile.  

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Will's First Communion

Today Will took Communion at church for the first time.  I didn't get any pictures because I wasn't sure he was going to make it to church until five minutes before we headed out.  He has one of his bad coughs brought on by slightly warm weather and then cold weather and not enough jacket-wearing AND a Friday night sleepover where little sleep actually happened.  So Will's a bit under the weather but that brings us to Sunday morning.  

Even though I didn't get any pictures, for the record, Will was wearing a nice polo shirt and khaki pants that are actually blue.  So blue slacks basically.  He looked droopy but sharp.  At the church we attend, fifth graders take a separate communion class for a few weeks and then next year, he'll go through confirmation.  So there wasn't a lot of fanfare today, but it was special for our family. 

Since we didn't get any photos, Reina drew this picture of me when we sat back down after communion.  I don't know why I don't have arms but the rest of the picture is pretty accurate, including my omnipresent bun.