Monday, October 29, 2012


I know I still have summer updates to complete...and a marathon to report, etc. However, I think you will agree that these are worth sharing. I made most of the costumes. Elliot's was a thrift store find, but I added the red bow and the courage medal. I sewed little miss Priya's costume and left lost of room in the seams so she can be Dorothy again when she's 12 if she wishes;) Christian is wearing my dress and skirt and a lovely shade of green face paint. I was able to find the pinkest poofiest dress (did someone once wear this thing with a straight face?), but I made the crown and wand. After much running around town, I decided to make Silas's costume out of a chicken feed bag and an entire roll of shiny duct tape. An apparent success...and we'll do it all again Wednesday night (I think Christian will skip out).

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Amanda, the adult update

The word "adult" in the post title does not imply a PG-13 rating to this post, no worries. I just figured you are probably tired of hearing about early childhood development and seeing adorable photos of adorable children (yeah right!).  If you are, this post is for you. If you've been wondering, gosh, "does Amanda have any gray hair?" "Does she ever get out of the house?" Things like that there, this is your post.

When the weather turned warm this spring (read: middle of June), I started running again. I have been an on-again-off-again runner since high school. A few years ago, I tore my meniscus and started biking regularly to rehab the knee. That summer, I decided to ride the Alpine Loop as an end-of-summer goal. Christian and I made the 55 mile mountainous, high altitude trip together on fine September day. I thought after I was done have babies, I would try to run a marathon (with the "before I'm 35" goal in the back of my mind). I was actually considering building up over the winter and trying for one in the late spring of 2013, when I read that one of my Lake City buddies wanted to do the Denver Rock and Roll Marathon in...wait for it...September of 2012. Over the summer, we came together as a little running pack, four of us in all, and began training together. This has been so wonderful for me in so many ways. The other women are Christians as well and we spend our long runs encouraging each other and praying for one another and our families and our little town. One of the ladies has run Denver before and Chicago once as well. The other three of us will be running our first marathon (Gasp: in 3 weeks). Overall, the training has been easier than I imagined. I have learned so much about shoes, glucose, blisters under my toenails, pace, etc. We'll do our 20 mile run together this weekend and then taper down on miles before the big race on the 22nd.

Is this how anyone should feel after running that far?
Our pack took last weekend off of running the long run together (two girls we're busy on Sat). I, however, decided Friday night over diner to do a NUTSO mountain race the next morning. This was a 22 mile trail race in Creede, CO. You can read more about the course at Basically, we ran from 8,850 ft, straight up to 12,5000 ft and then straight back down. This is apparently one of Colorado's toughest "up and over" courses. With a 25 dollar entrance fee and a beautiful Labor Day enticed me. So, I gave it a go. I wasn't out to race or win, just to enjoy the day and do something different. After 5 hours and 2 minutes, I was back at the finish line and came in second overall for the women (7 minutes after the top female). I could have shaved about 30 or more minutes if I was really hammering, but I wanted to save my knees for the marathon (and the rest of my life). I only saw two other people after mile 6. one guy in a bright yellow shirt came from behind me on the steepest part of the climb and we ran together for a little and then took turns passing each other for a while before he took off at mile 17. We passed anther dude who looked like he was really hurting. Mr. Yellow T-Shirt and I were both of the "sturdy-built" variety, but we finished way in front of Mr. Tall and Lanky, who looked like he should have kicked our butts. I had not done hardly any hiking or trail running at all this year, so I was pretty happy just to finish the thing. But since I did pretty well on little training...I'm thinking of doing something like that again. I think running in the mountains is more agreeable to my soul than running with 7500 people in Downtown Denver, but we shall see. We have a 50 mile race in our town on the Solstice every year that a lot of top notch ultra-marathon folks use for training for the Hardrock 100 and the Leadville 100.  I might consider doing the San Juan Solstice, if the family can handle the training schedule and if my body holds up. We shall see...that is another summer.

There were a few other Lake City people who ran the race. Lydia and I before running the beast.

Wish we could have camped more this year,
between fire season and bear season and
Christian working so much, we just didn't have many opportunities. 
Oh, and for those of you who only read this blog because you love precious children...we'll be back to that topic next time around.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Priya, the world's greatest sister

Training up her assistant in the ways of folding laundry.

Like her mother and grandmother before her, this girl loves to mow the grass,
which we only need to do about 3 times a summer.

We took the kids down to Red Bridge, a beautiful area on the lower end of the river that runs through our town. 

"Sassafras" is a fitting nickname for this gal...and one I started using this  summer. 

Smoking the dogs, living the good life.

All packed up and ready to go.
Priya had a great summer, making friends and playing with her brothers and cousins. She remains completely in love with Elliot. She loves to pick out his clothes and match them (ie: stripes go with stripes no matter the color). She's helping him learn to walk and to brush his hair. Our summer neighbors visited us 3 times this year. Jace is 7 and Callie is 5. Perfect match for Silas and Priya. Priya would say, "Callie, I can't say 'Callie', so I'm just gonna call you Sally, ok?" And she did. The girls played on the swing set with their baby dolls and in the ditch with the boys, too.
We also hosted some teenage girl friends of ours while their parents traveled and Priya LOVED that. She's brave and tough and beautiful and silly, all that a girl should be. She's a little bummed to not be old enough for horse club this year, but she watched patiently on Monday as Silas rode. She seems to be getting into the swing of Kindergarten pretty quickly, but that is another post.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Silas's summer of salesmanship

In about 20 minutes, I will bike down a few blocks and pick up Silas from his first day of First Grade. A couple of weeks ago, he lost two teeth in two days, just in time for school (and sweet corn season). This has been a summer of salesmanship for Silas. He was planning on a firewood business early on, but we were under a statewide fire ban for a number of weeks. So, he continued with his Rock Shop business, diversified by selling lemonade and cookies, and then picked back up with firewood a few weeks ago after the ban was lifted. He made considerable bank this summer, enough to buy a metal detector, which was the goal, and more for the piggy bank, too. He made his own signs, and sat out at the store, sometimes in the rain. He even had a little sign that said "We went to get ice cream. We'll be back soon."A great adventure for our hyper focused child. 
We did not get out camping as much as we had hoped. We were waiting to be able to have a camp fire...but then the summer rains started up and finding a dry night for camping was a challenge. Silas organized an End of Summer party last weekend and we grilled and shot off fireworks. Then, he tried to make his own firework. Basic recipe, you take a plastic Easter egg, put in two rocks and a match, and maybe some stuff from the inside of another already lit firework, oh, and a string. Light the string, toss the egg in the alley. The match lights and the air expands and then the egg explodes and the rocks knock together and make a noise. Pretty smart idea from the physicist in the family. Silas has learned to be a good leader this summer, which will be handy at school. He is one of three 1st graders in town, but his room also houses the kindergartners, of whom there are 12. We've been talking about "being a good example" quite a bit! Yesterday, Silas started Horse Club. He will get to ride and learn about horses every monday afternoon for 12 weeks. We are so proud of our big boy! Now that he's missing his front teeth, it is easier to explain to people that the kid who looks like he is 10 is really still just 6. More to come about sweet-P Priya's summer. 
Two teeth in two days...keeping the fairy busy!

There is a marshmallow at the other end of that arm.

Silas learned to make Kale chips. Oh my, a new family favorite for sure!

I need some more photos of the Rock Shop, but here is Silas selling rocks to tourists. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

July 4th!!

Fourth of July!!! It was a big day around here. I was blessed to get to spend a little of the holiday with my friend Michelle, who moved to Boulder a few years ago. Michelle is always an encouragement and a total blast to be with. Her kids are pretty great, too. The fourth is a little like a family reunion for the whole town. Christian threatens every year to go and hide in the woods; it is slightly overwhelming when our small town of a few hundred swells to thousands for the holiday. I know what you really want to see is photos of my kids in their red, white and blue...but hold on a second while I tell you about the fly-over. Usually, the Air Force flies over and we might hear it and catch a glimpse of the plane before it leaves the valley. BUT, this year....FOUR of them came right over the street where the parade was and corkscrewed around super low and down the valley. I was a little shocked, but I actually teared up. They were just so loud and powerful...and I felt we had been given a unique treat. (I was so comforted after the parade when Michelle confessed to getting weepy over the whole special experience.)   Something else to cry about? No fire works this year. BUMMER. And, the street dance, was in the dark, old armory...double bummer, and it felt a little prom-ish. Oh well, praying for more rain in June 2013.
Happy with the spoils...check out her little cousin, who has enough trouble keeping his britches up. 

We average about 25% with the "everyone look at the camera" test.

My little businessman went out early and sold t-shirts with Pops.

Say what? Candy? Balloons? Fire trucks?  I'm there. 

This one's my one and only niece; I'm pretty happy with her!

10 little cousins celebrating the Fourth

We're caught up to July up...individual posts about each person in the family and our summer endeavors (adults, too.) Marathoning, lemonade stands, tooth fairies, camping, mowing...OH MY!

Did you have a special 4th this year?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Birthdays

I am fully aware of how long it has been since I last updated this old blahg. You know how it is after one week, two weeks, a month goes by, you're not really sure where start. So, how about a little Birthday montage? Summertime is birthday time for this family. So much so, that when I count another year and scrape the last bite of pie off my plate, my mother-in-law exclaims, "Thank goodness all the Birthdays are over for a while."

Levi celebrated his third birthday on May 16th. I made pizza and a four layered chocolate cake and he had about 15 kids come over. Unfortunately, he slept through the entire party. We got him up from his nap, took him in the kitchen, set the cake before him, while the cowboys and indians ran circles around the house, and the kid never woke up. Ever cheerful and content, he had chocolate cake for breakfast the next morning and asked why nobody came to his party. Levi is a complete sweetheart, with a bent towards hard work and independence.

Priya had a big bash for her 5th birthday on June 14. She wanted to have a "girl party" and a "cousin party". I would, of course, have thrown two separate parties and cooked food for 20 people twice, because, well, I like to overdo it. My wise sister-in-law, who was also turning another year older on June 14, suggested we have the two parties at the same time. Girls at my house...and boys at the park (I live across the street from the park). The girls sat and giggled and played for a while...and then we took a spectacular strawberry cake over the park to meet up with the boys and stuff our faces. A party success story.

 Elliot and I celebrated our late June birthdays together(25th and 27th). This sweetie makes my life so happy. He loves to cuddle, lets Priya carry him around everywhere, loves chickens, can really bust a move when there's music...and is always snapping his fingers (all my boys have snapped at 10 months!) He wants to hold his baby cousin Aven and is a perfect addition to our family. Elliot was due on Priya's birthday, but almost waited until mine to be born!
 I figured Elliot wasn't particular about cake just yet, so we had an amazing key lime pie. Here's a great shot of me with my pie, and Levi keeping it real.
 I knew Elliot had hit the one year mark when I discovered him sneaking a peach from the box. I, of course, had been peeling and dicing them for him on his little tray...apparently he can wrestle a peach like any of the big kids...this is number 2!
I know it is August now...but just to keep you up: July 4th.

What's your favorite birthday treat? Does your family have a birthday cluster that keeps the cake-baker on her toes? Have you ever had a Colorado peach? (I think we're on our 5th 20lb box and I haven't frozen any).

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Piece of the pie

So, we are property owners. We bought a little slice of Lake City wonderfulness. The spot is across the river from where we know live and is still in town. An adjoining foot path will assure I can walk and bike everywhere still and it is about the same distance from the kids' school as we are now. The views are as follows: South--Roundtop, Red Mountain and T-Mountain, as well as a closer view of a little knoll and a lovely ponderosa pine. West--the foot bridge, Lake Fork of the Gunnison River, and Neoga Mt. North--Cannibal plateau and the ball-flats neighborhood. East--Station 11 Mountain. Our current house is the sweetest little antique place, built by Lake City's first doctor in 1874. Three of our four children were born in this house, called the Moon House after Dr. Moon. But, alas, I think we've outgrown the place. We shall see what lies ahead for us with this property. I'd like to build a log house that looks like it has been around a while. Think log/victorian/farmhouse. The property is kind of a knoll in itself and Christian wants to make the house as tall as possible. I'll attach a photo of our idea at this point. NOTE: we don't own the house...just the property.