Tuesday, July 29, 2008


We have had some amazing thunder storms this week.  A couple of nights ago we watched the whole valley getting struck by bolt after bolt of lightening for a couple of hours.  Fortunately, the storm brought some rain as well, which we really needed.  

We also experienced quite the rain storm on Saturday night when we went up on the Mesa to get Kirk's dirt bike that we had to leave up there when he had his accident.  As soon as we got on the four-wheel-drive road up to the cabin, it started to pour.  By the time we reached the cabin, it was hailing.  We got the bike loaded up and strapped down and headed down the trail.  That is when I got to find out how good of a driver my husband is.  The road got so muddy and slick that we were very close to sliding off several times.  I was thankful that he was able to drive because I'm pretty sure we would have gone careening down the mountain had I been at the wheel.   

My time off is definitely coming to a quick end.  We are headed to Denver this weekend where Kirk will be officiating our friends' wedding, then we'll stay there for a couple of days to celebrate our fifth anniversary.  I just found out this weekend that as soon as we get home, I have to attend a two day training because I will be mentoring one of our new teachers.  We will have five new teachers at our school this year, which is almost half of our classroom teachers.  Not all of them are new to teaching, but all are new to dual immersion, so we will have lots of work to do with them.

On a fun note, our neighbor brought us a box of apricots from his parents' orchard, so I get to make freezer jam today, which I love to do.  Their peaches will be ripe soon and they always bring us boxes of seconds, so I will be making peach freezer jam in a few weeks.  I'm sure I'll be baking with peaches and getting them ready to freeze too.  Sweet, juicy Colorado peaches are always a highlight of the end of the summer for us.   

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Three More Weeks

I have pretty much felt like this all summer, but now that I have to go back to work in three weeks (yikes!), it's time to get my act together and get projects done.  I have been working on organizing and sorting around the house and doing a few crafts, but not as much as I had hoped.  Of course, resting and a certain degree of laziness are important, but I also know that the more I get done this summer, the easier I will make my life during the school year.

Yesterday I washed most of our outside windows, something I had not done in ... well, I don't know how long ... meaning way too long.  It's amazing how clear things are when you look out clean windows (I know, wow, what a revelation!).  I discovered that I can hose down the window and screen and then hook a rag into my Swiffer to easily clean even hard-to-reach windows.   

I am also working on cards to replenish my what has become a very meager stash and I am making some to use at school.  I have an agreement with the social committee that instead of paying the yearly activities fee, I will provide cards when they are needed.  I love trades like that!  This year I want to have a bunch made ahead of time so that I don't have to make them at a moment's notice after a busy day.  

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Another Weekend on the Mesa

Our friends invited us to spend the weekend with them at their dad's cabin on the Grand Mesa.  We headed up on Friday evening, had a great dinner, enjoyed an amazing sunset, and played a new (to them/us) game they have called Ticket to Ride.  We have been playing The Settlers of Catan together for years, so it was fun to learn a different (and shorter, but equally fun) game.

On Saturday morning, we headed out on the trails on two ATVs and Kirk's dirt bike.

They took us up to top of the Mesa to one of their favorite spots, the field of flowers. 

It's a beautiful, colorful place with flowers as far as you can see during the summer and apparently a perfect snowmobiling field during the winter.

We stood up there marveling at the beauty of God's creation and the beautiful flowers that are growing all over the mountain.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Delicious Joys of Summer

My neighbor invited me to go pick cherries at her in-laws' orchard yesterday, which I was very excited about.  My family has a great tradition of blueberry picking every summer in Oregon, something I miss, so I jumped at the opportunity to go pick some fruit.  After the picking, there was of course some chocolate-dipping.  YUM!

Another summer favorite we've been enjoying are onions, zucchini, and fresh corn sauteed in a little butter and olive oil.  

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Enjoying the Holiday Weekend

Yesterday, we celebrated the 4th of July with friends.  They live downtown and invited us over to eat dinner and enjoy the fireworks the city was shooting off a few blocks away.  We had a great meal and had fun playing with the kids and watching the fireworks display.

Today, we drove up to the Grand Mesa with another couple to escape the heat and enjoy some time outside.  The Mesa is the largest flat-top mountain in the world and is covered with beautiful lakes.  We found a nice picnic spot with a fire pit and this view:

Right next to this lake:

We succeeded in escaping the heat and actually had to build a fire to keep warm and to attempt to keep the swarms of mosquitoes away.  By the time we were getting ready to leave, they were everywhere and we had to make a run for the car.  We had originally hoped to camp up there, but given the mosquitoes and the weather, we will all be happy to be cozy in our own beds.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What Does a Rooster Say?

Growing up overseas, it was always fun to hear how people made animal noises in other countries and languages.  Bzzzpeek is a great site that plays recordings of children from various countries making animal calls and other noises from daily life.  Click on the animals and objects then choose the flag of the country you want to hear.  Enjoy!