The girls went whale watching, went to 3 days of Vid Con and went to Disneyland one day. They sent back a few pics along the way.

I had a good time at the concert last night, I had the Figgy Piggy sandwich from Hey PB&J, so good.

The band was a Blues type and they were really good.

Hannah and M went to the library teen geeks who read and once again got last place, but they did also walk away with free books, so that’s something.

I told Hannah Gravel pond was open, so we went swimming Friday afternoon. The water was nice, Jack sat on my lap in a tube and we floated around.

I also made him swim and look how good he is! He hates swimming, but he’s super fast.

Jack had a good nap, but he was mad when I took him out of the car to drop off Hannah at the library for another teen event.

Saturday we went to coffee at Briccy’s and walked around the park after. We saw this food truck that had a seating area on the back of the truck, that is a cool idea.

We rested for a bit, then took James to Gravel pond so he could watch Jack while Hannah and I swam. Even though Chatfield was packed, most people were at the swim beach (which I was hoping for.) I don’t know why people would rather swim in the dirty 3 ft swim beach than in the very deep, clean dog friendly pond – but fine.

I finished Bastard Brigade, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk and am somewhat through The Sacred Echo.

Finished this the other day – awesome book! It has it all, spies, atomic bombs, Nazi’s, Allies, the looming war, the world at war, after the war (although that part is very short.) The chapters are short and race you from one character to another, big names like Fermi, Heisenberg, Curie, Kennedy, Berg, Pash, Churchill, HItler, Bohr, von Braun, Roosevelt, Eisenhower – the list goes on. Brave men and women risking it all to stop the Germans from acquiring enough hard water and uranium to make a bomb, all the while ensuring that the US would be able to make one. From V-1 and 2 rockets smashing London to remote controlled airplanes with bombs utterly failing to reach their targets, to deception, cyanide pills, spies who seemed like anything but and the race to kidnap top scientists this book moves at a fast pace. Stories emerge giving backstory to people like Irene Curie (Marie Curie’s daughter) or baseball player Mo Berg (spy!) or some unflattering Kennedy pictures of the senior senator and what really happened to Joe Kennedy. A lot of the research was classified at one time or another, interviews, wiretaps, news articles, letters, diaries, the author tracks down the history and weaves it into a tale as old as time – good against evil and heroes emerging from the night to take down Goliath.

Started and finished this book today, it’s by the same author that wrote The Man Who Walked Backwards (I didn’t know this book came before that one.) The sad, but uplifting tale of Emma Gatewood, a mother of 11 children eeking out life with her seriously abusive husband until she is almost killed by him (which lands her in jail, yeah, don’t ask.) She reads a story in the early 50’s about the Appalachian trail and has a desire to be the first woman to walk the whole trail, and at age 67 in 1955 she is. She’s walked in the woods before, but this trek is fraught with danger (rain, snow, wind, low food, no water, people who think she’s with the government and won’t give her a place to rest – speaking of rest – lying on a pile of leaves or on a table, in barns, on a porch, in tumbled down shelters, etc.) She tells her children she is ‘off for a walk’ and starts out. It only takes a few hundred miles before the news catches up with her, she carries a 12 lb pack, no sleeping gear, a flashlight, bandages, some food (but she often forages or accepts food from strangers as her trek goes on.) She has no sponsors and spends $200 from start to finish and what a finish! Oh, and she didn’t just walk the trail once, she walked it through again 2 years later and one more time in sections (and also walked many other long trail trips like the Oregon trail.)

Just like in his other book the chapters are sprinkled with history of the places and times, from Harpers Ferry to the Indians that roamed the land to the coal miners and even a town populated by former German POW’s that had been interned in camps during the war. The chapters also flip-flop from her life growing up (1 of 15 children) to her marrying, the abuse she suffered, the hard farm life, raising 11 children and her walk along the trail and other walks that drew her national attention and also got people out walking again. This book is not just the story of how she drew attention to the AT that was in dire need of help, but also about the determination and strength she had. It’s about making new trails, one in her home state of Ohio, and the history of walking in general (especially in the car crazy days of the 50’s.) You can’t help but admire Grandma Gatewood and her walk that she did, ‘just for the heck of it.’

From church – Not all advice is good, take time to consider what you are given. It’s hard to rise above the level of your friends, so seek out people who are where you want to be in life and faith. Want marriage advice? Find someone who’s been married 40 years, not 40 days. If you lack wisdom, ask God for it. He loves to give gifts to His children, even when they don’t ask, but especially if they do. God is always there to help you with a decision, but He won’t make you make the decision.

We had lunch at Pho (per Hannah’s request) and then went home to chill. Later Hannah and M went to the movies and James and I took Jack to Lazy dog (he loves the burgers there.)

We watched Columbo and then went to bed.

The girls stopped in Utah for the night and will be home tomorrow.

The week so far


Early Monday morning Grace and Bethany left for VidCon, Disney and whale watching in California. Bethany drove the whole way through (stopping in GJ for breakfast with Zach and stopping for lunch/gas/dinner), they made it there at 9:30pm their time, so not bad. Hannah had her ride along today, so Jack and I dropped her off, then went to walk around Hudson gardens.


Then we went by Tattered Cover where Jack found a great book – but he wasn’t in it, so he took a nap.

Hannah had a great time on the ride along, they pulled over a driver with an out of date tag, drove by hotels and schools and removed debris from the freeway. She made tamale pie for dinner and it’s funny, whether there are 3 or 6 people eating tamale pie – there are no leftovers.

Tuesday we went to park day and – shock – there were 7 other Moms there! I didn’t get any pics because I was chatting or walking in the water with Jack. We went by Cafe 180 for lunch, then to Ross to shop.

I finished up my book about Tides, really good science book on tides, the ocean and everything related to that.

If you know nothing about the ocean and tides – or think you know everything about them, this book will take you across the globe and introduce the science behind the paradox of tides, time, the oceans, the pull of earth and moon and the fascination we have with water. Part science, part travel, part storytelling, Jonathan White takes you with him as he watches a tidal bore in China, goes mussel hunting under thick slabs of ice, navigates waterways, questions monks about the tides that take over their abbey and many more adventures. I like the science behind the tides, but also the personal stories, the respect that he gives the water. Ocean swells are no joke, his harrowing encounters and those of surfers battling 50 foot waves make you grit your teeth, as will his trying to outrun a bore wave. From ancient history to modern times of trying to seek out energy from the tides, this is a good read (not a good beach read though, because you should be looking out for crushing waves and high tides between pages.)

Wednesday was Hannah’s outing with the youth group to lunch and to see the new Spiderman movie. Jack and I went to see Grace’s art at the library teen art show and had lunch at Kendrick lake park.

Then it was back to our library to pick up some more books.

And then, the Highlands Ranch ice cream social. I sat on a bench with Jack and ate my dinner and enjoyed some jazz, Hannah was walking around with friends eating ice cream. Jazz here and here. 

Today is 7/11, so free Slurpee’s at 7-11 stores. I got Jack a blueberry lemonade, but he didn’t like it. I had blueberry lavender and it was really good.

I mowed the front lawn and watered it, Hannah and M walked to Code Poke for bobas, now they’re watching movies in the basement. Later Jack and I are going to Spoons and Tunes because -Blues Bros type music and the PB and J food truck (my fav.) Hannah and M have a teen Geeks who Read event at the library this evening, so pizza for them and PB and J for me.

Friday and the weekend


Friday Grace and I tooled around a bit, I took Jack out (he’s allowed in the library – who knew?)

We picked up Hannah from church and went straight to the eye doc to pick up her new glasses.

Jack played with his ball.

Saturday we cleaned, chilled, read, napped and watched Scooby Doo. Sunday was church (and the coffee shop), lunch at home and walking around the Cherry creek arts festival.

From church (we started a new series) – The King’s tree. Today, Solomon and what it means to be wise. What is wisdom? It is a discerning and listening heart. How do you get it? Ask God for help. Put it into action, that’s how wisdom works. Don’t be complacent, tolerating, coexisting, imitating – you can know who God is with your head, but if your heart doesn’t know Him then He is not the most important thing to you. Wise people are always learning, growing, and trusting in the Lord, but always giving their heart to Him first.

I loved this paper artist.

Random art.

This guy’s art was cool, he took random objects (drums, a karaoke machine, boom box, old TV), took out the guts and put dioramas in them.

This guy was from Georgia and used salvaged wood from barns and sharecropper houses to use as his canvas.

We saw this artist last year. He takes toys and random things, paints them and glues to them a canvas. Usually his stuff is all black, but this was a Pollock style gun.

It rained pretty good at the house, which meant I didn’t have to water the yard (yay me!) Hannah made dinner (week 1 challenge of a 10 week challenge from church camp) and we watched Ratatouille. Grace made stickers for Vid Con, she and Bethany leave tomorrow to drive there. Pray for safe travels!

Happy 4th


This was Jack’s first pet parade! He was super excited, waiting at the start.


Grace walked with her youth group and since the parade had already started, Bethany and James joined in with them and came to sit with me and Jack when they were done.

We went home to cool off, read a bit, had lunch, watched some TV, then decided to take a drive to FoCo for ice cream.

Jack waited patiently for his milk bone pup cone and we found out that Pizza Press went out of business. It’s a shame because the concept was cute and the pizza was great.

We went from sunny and beautiful to holy hail! Everyone on the freeway was trying to stop under the passes to wait out the hail, but only so many cars can fit under there and the water was starting to stack up, so we got out and got back on the freeway. We needed gas, but the first gas station was full of people hiding under the awning, so we kept driving to the next one. The hail was only pea and marble sized, but it sounds so loud when it hits the car. See this clip, but really to get the full effect put on headphones and turn it all the way up. We had a late dinner of breakfast when we got home, Jack was begging for cheese.

It was still raining when the girls and I went to see the fireworks, but the show went on anyway.

Week so far


Hannah has had time to text, she bought some camp shirts, they got to eat last for dinner, there was a concert, it was cool. Grace and I went to see Dumbo, it was okay. Danny Devito was the best actor, the other actors were so wooden. I’m not sure if that was the script or just how they are, Jack and I went to run errands and it started pouring down rain. I had to pull off the road and go around because it was flooded. I made it to the post office and went a different way home. It was raining so much that it flooded the underpasses and the cops were pulling people out of submerged cars.

I’ve lost 2 cars to driving through deep water in Texas, so I know better, you just never know how deep it really is.

Tuesday I dropped Grace at church and Jack and I went to Daniel’s park, then the dog park, then back to church to pickup Grace.

We dropped her at home to hang with Bethany, then Jack and I went to Lair O the Bear.

That wore him out properly. James and I went to EG for jazz night and watched the Rockies score us tacos for dinner tomorrow (7 runs.)

Wednesday Jack and I went to Herman gulch for a hike. I was feeling dizzy so we didn’t hike for very long, but the views were nice.



We dropped Hannah off at church, made sure she got her stuff loaded and then took Grace to Starbucks.

We had no plans, so we chilled, read, took Jack to a new pet store, watched some TV, took a nap, then took Jack for an evening dog park play.

(He wants the dirty tennis ball I placed on top of the trash can.) Hannah and crew arrived in Salida for tubing and a hotel stay. Tomorrow they drive the rest of the way to Durango.

Sunday James and I went to coffee, I had to run by after church and help with food prep handouts, Grace went to Connections and they were having hot dogs afterwards, so we went by to eat a few and pick her up. Plans included – napping, reading, watching an old Charlie Chan and some new Father Browns. Grace made a lemon chiffon cake and James made eggplant parm, spaghetti and meatballs for dinner

Hannah made it to Durango and the opening night was full of a rock concert, journal handouts and unpacking. She left us this handy guide to feeding her fish while she’s gone.

These are all great reads.

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Fun Friday


Hannah finished packing for Christ In Youth camp (she leaves tomorrow), Grace got to hang out with Gwen for a bit and I took Jack to NIA in the park. I didn’t know how he would do, it is a park and there were dogs walking by, geese wandering around and of course music and people dancing – but he did great.

He sat at my feet the whole time, until the last 2 songs. He found a goose feather and when I pulled it out of his mouth, he found another one. So I just went and sat down on a bench and did the arm motions for the last song. We were in the shade and it was morning, but it was already getting hot. We had a nice potluck after the dancing and got to chat, which was very nice. When I got back Grace had gone to Skate city with Gwen and Hannah wanted to chill, so I sat around and read.

When James got home we left Jack with the girls and went to Color con for a date night. Color con was a couple of blocks of new murals being painted on the alleys near Broadway. Not as big as RiNo, but still nice to walk around and look.

Bonus fun – I made a Frida button.

We went to Atelier for dinner.

We sat inside, but had a view out the window to the patio. We had the crab gratin and lobster ravioli. I should have taken a better pic, our table was half in light and half in shadow, but let me tell you – the presentation and the taste were sensational. The chef knows his stuff, the place is small but with the huge windows open you get a sense of space. I love the little touches of the pans on the wall, lights outside and the fresh bread and butter that was not just something to snack on, but part of the meal to enjoy.