Thursday

I cleaned the basement some more, got all the K12 stuff packed that needed to go back and dropped it at UPS. I ran by the library, dropped books and picked up new ones.

I ran by the post office, shipped some stuff and then went back home to chill for a bit. I made dinner, dropped Grace at youth group and went to the mall with James. We ended the night with a Poirot (because we just mailed off Mr. Suchet’s late birthday card – hey, it’s the thought that counts.)

My break

The kids forget that this is my break too, this morning after dropping James at work I parked downtown and walked around by the river.

I was just wasting time until the office opened at RW so I could drop the samples (nutrients have to be cold and only last for so long and today was the lat day for May for them to be in.) After that I drove over to the Arsenal and had a good time taking pictures of bison, deer and birds.

Then I drove to RiNo to sit in a coffee shop with a cookie and chai.

I spent the time gathering festivals and events for June. Then it was getting near lunch time, so I took the ‘food’ way home and got a sandwich, sticky rice, coffee and ‘dessert’.

Since it was on the way home I also stopped by the new natural playground and river access to see how it was coming along.

The playground is done, the river part….not yet. Back at home I cleaned up the basement and got dinner started.

Last day, river sampling

For Grace and Bethany, everything is done, finals are turned in, and everyone got A’s (some lower A’s than others, but an A is an A.) Bethany said there was a carnival at work, it turned out to be one room and it was really meant for hospital staff, so we went in, got some candy and had lunch at the cafe there. The weather was nice, so Grace and I went river sampling. It was high flow, nutrient and physical habitat time. We measured the river and got wet, waders only go so high…

Upstream.

Downstream.

Right bank.

Left bank.

At the top of the hill.

Some flowers are starting to bloom.

Back at home we tested the samples, wrote it all down and watched some TV.

Creativity club, JAC and co-ops

I made CC early, 10, that was pretty early for the girls to get out.

After lunch we went to the Jr. American Citizen meeting. Alex was leading, Gwen did crafts and games, we had a snack and learned a bit about Memorial day and fun US trivia. I don’t think we’ll be making regular meetings (they are on Mondays…) but it was fun to see what’s going on.

Saying the pledge (the flag was outside.)

I had dinner in the crockpot, did 4 loads of laundry, Bethany did her last final and co-ops are opening later.

Sunday

Yep, we chilled today. James and I went searching for an anniversary restaurant and we poked around RiNo a bit too.

Back at home we went grocery shopping, James grilled and I made a huge burger.

We watched a Dr. Blake and then – bed.

The week – last bit-o-finals, Creativity club, Jr. American meeting, Co-op sign-ups, water sampling (weather affected last week), carnival at the hospital (Bethany’s work), CSI class @ library, don’t know about the weekend – yet.

Dinners – chicken broccoli casserole, beans and sausage, Italian pork roast, spaghetti and meatballs, chicken enchiladas, pork chops with mushroom gravy. (Not necessarily in that order.)

Chicken broccoli casserole

2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli
3 cups instant rice
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/4 cups water
1 (16 ounce) package processed American cheese, cubed
1 tablespoon butter
1 bunch celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound chicken cut into pieces

Cook broccoli and rice according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium saucepan over low heat, mix cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, and 1 1/4 cups water. Add chicken and cook until done. Gradually stir in cheese until melted. Be careful that the cheese doesn’t burn.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook and stir celery and onion until soft.
In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, rice, soup and cheese mixture, celery and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, until bubbly and lightly brown.

Chicken enchiladas

1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shredded
1 cup Thick ‘N Chunky Salsa, divided
4 ounces Cream Cheese, cubed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup Shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack Cheese, divided
8 (6 inch) flour tortillas (or corn tortillas)
(Toppings) sour cream, tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, guacamole

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook and stir onions and garlic in large skillet spayed with cooking spray on medium heat 2 min. Add chicken, 1/4 cup salsa, cream cheese, cilantro and cumin; mix well. Cook 5 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese; mix well.
Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place, seam-sides down, in 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with remaining salsa and shredded cheese.
Bake 15 to 20 min. or until heated through.

Hannah turns 12

After a lazy morning of potato-egg breakfast and Tom and Jerry cartoons, we headed to the library.

Hannah had wanted a small LPS themed party at the library.

We had a table for trading LPS.

A table for painting your LPS (and Hannah loaned me this bunny to paint.)

A table for coloring (you guessed it, LPS coloring sheets.)

A table with props for human selfies and one for LPS selfies (and I let them use the camera Joel got me, it was cute.)

I had fun at the selfie booth.

The cupcake/food table and grab bag table.

She had Grace and 5 other girls show up, they had a good time trading, coloring and painting.

She opened presents (cash and….LPS figurines.) We ate cupcakes and chips and then it was time to clean up and go. We went by the cookie shop to pick up her cookie cake with a picture of her mascot on it – they did a good job.

Then we went to Punch Bowl Social for dinner, we did not bowl there because the line was too long (should have bowled first) instead we went to Bowlero and played some arcade games and bowled 2 games.

James got a strike on the 2nd round, but it was on my frame, so I ended up with 5 strikes that game! We got home late and James and I went straight to bed – tomorrow we are recuperating from today!

Art co-op, snow day, slow day

Uncomfortable cat and shamed dog.

Wednesday I had my collage art co-op, it’s so satisfying ripping paper…

Things we learned about collage –

Collage truly emerged as a medium in its own right in the early years of the 20th century with the Cubist experiments of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. The duo coined the term “collage” (from the French verb “coller,” meaning “to glue” or “to stick”) to describe works composed from pasted pieces of colored paper, newsprint, and fabric, considered at the time to be an audacious intermingling of high and low culture.

Artists associated with Dada—particularly the movement’s Berlin branch—began incorporating collage techniques into their work. Hannah Hoch, Richard Huelsenbeck, John Heartfield, and others pioneered the technique of photomontage, using preexisting photographs, often drawn from mass-media sources, to create composite images that sharply critiqued German society and culture in the aftermath of World War I.

Neo-avant-garde artists of the 1950s like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns created assemblages that brought collage techniques into three dimensions—laying the groundwork for much contemporary sculpture—as well as works on paper that incorporated found elements drawn from the mass media and everyday life.

Also, making collages makes a mess on the table.

Thursday it snowed. More than we were expecting, so we canceled our Viking lecture.

Since Bethany was home (and wouldn’t be for Hannah’s birthday) she took the girls to Chuck E Cheese’s to eat and play, then to Krispy Kreme, then they watched Princess Diaries at home. I’d say it was a good snow day. Friday was slow, we did some school, went to skate city, did some last minute shopping for Hannah’s party and took Grace to her friends’ play.

While she was there James and I walked around the SW plaza mall and went into the new Round 1 arcade/bowling place to check it out. It is loud, but they have very cool next gen arcade machines, I’ve never seen anything like them and they are definitely made for this younger generation that has grown up with touch screens and computers in their daily lives. They also had weird photo booths there, the ads on the outside seemed almost porn like, not sure if that was just bad advertising (the center is from a Japanese company) or they just didn’t think about Americans and photo booths.

The weekend looks sunny with a chance for a birthday party.