Monthly Archives: September 2017

Teacher day, camp


I set out a note for the girls to do some school stuff, Hannah was packed and Bethany was dropping her off at church at 4pm to leave for camp – I was heading downtown with my Schnooke for breakfast at Snooze and then to an all day teacher training event at the History Colorado museum and the American West museum.

Only a few of the teachers there knew we (there were two other ladies from my HS group there) were homeschoolers, but they were cool with it. We learned about the resources the museum has, field trips, docent tours, on-line archives, hands-on materials and then took a tour of the new Backstory exhibit which has DAM Western art and History Colorado artifacts paired to tell a story.

The pieces were pretty amazing, much better in person, but here are a few things.

Lewis and Clark’s telescope!

Alfred Miller, Shoshone Indians at a Mountain Lake. This painting is so tranquil and I love the way the tree and cliff are boundaries for your eyes that bring them back to the center of water and mountains.

Civil War drum and drumsticks. This is from a NY regiment.

Albert Bierstadt, Estes Park Long’s Peak. This picture is huge, it’s of the Estes park area. I love the way the light bounces off of the trees and the shadows that are cast.

Charles Russell, In the Enemy’s Country. There was a lot of detail in this small painting that you can’t see in the photo. The Indians that are further back are covered in buffalo hides to camouflage them as they trek though enemy territory. Sometimes reading the title of the piece is helpful.

E. Irving Couse, Crouching Indian by Fire.  I loved the brush strokes and color in this one.

Ernest Blumenschein.

W. Herbert Dunton, Black Bears. This one reminds me of an Emily Carr painting.

Kenneth Adams, Reapers (Harvest). I love the light and the flow of this one.

After that we had lunch, then went over to the American West museum, which I have never seen before, though I have passed the building many times. The building itself was just as impressive as the art it held – built in 1880 as a girls’ conservatory school, then it was won in a gambling match, lost in a gambling match, was a brothel, then a gentlemen’s club, an Italian restaurant, a gallery for art and now a museum housing salon style art of the American West (no pictures.) We went over Visual thinking skills and strategies, had a tour of the galleries, then were sent off on our own to investigate a painting. I chose this one:

Donald Crowley, Raindrops.

Image result for raindrops by donald crowley

Yes, that is an oil painting. We convened back at the tables and discussed the paintings we had studied, then it was time to go. The American West museum is free for school groups, so I’ll be setting one of those up. The art is just amazing, you could spend hours there.

Hannah made it onto the bus just fine, she was a little sad that she didn’t get to say ‘Bye’ in person, but I think she’ll have fun.


Park day, book art co-op


No one came to park day, so we read more of our Helen Keller book and the girls walked around while I leafed through all of my educator stiff from Monday night.

Our book for Wednesday night women’s group, it’s pretty powerful.

A doodle a day.

Thursday we did school and then headed over to the library for my book art co-op. Zoe with her ‘help me, it’s Geometry’ face on.

The idea was to use the book as a canvas, I didn’t offer any advice on what to do or how it should look. I just wanted some time to create.

Took Grace to youth group, went to Wal-mart to get some stuff for Hannah for camp tomorrow, bed!

RW, CU, Nederland hike


We dropped samples, got our supplies and made it to CU Boulder by 9:45am. My plan was to do school in the museum’s bio lounge and check out the new exhibit and kids space.

When we first turned to park I was like – where did the parking garage go? I knew they were building a new student center, I didn’t know they were building it right on top of the garage, we haven’t been here in awhile….

We did school, looked at the new food web/ecosystem exhibit and had tea and coffee in the new discovery center.

It’s really made for little kids, but there was no one there, so we sat at the table and did school, made some art and looked around. I like that it’s brighter, it used to be so dark, they kept the puppets and tree house and added some more discovery boxes, a light table and a few other things. We would have taken a spot in the bio lounge, but every table was taken (usually not the case.) We had a few minutes to also go through the art museum’s new exhibit….art.

Joel Swanson Zabf Dingbats revolved around their y-axis

Erika Randall Paula and Francesca P+F

We headed to Ned and ate at Kathmandu, then went to Mud lake for an easy hike and Fall pictures.

Even though they got some snow recently, the aspen are still vibrant.

We also made a quick stop on the way out at our favorite aspen location on 119.

Back at home the girls played with their friend, I read and then I started on dinner – the chicken pot pie came out great, I think it was my best one ever.

We might be the only ones at park day tomorrow, again, but Hannah will practice her ukulele, Grace will draw and I need to go through all of the stuff I got from the museum.

River sampling, dance


It was low flow sampling time, so Grace had normal, blank and duplicate metal samples to get, regular samples to test, nutrient jug and cylinder samples plus duplicates of those and physical habitat. One good thing was it was really low flow, the Platte had one small space to squeeze through since Marcy Gulch was pushing sand out into the river, we could walk from one bank to almost the other at our sample spot, so the stream depth reading was like – 0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0, 0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,…….2″, 6″, 12″, 18″, 12″, 6″, 3″, 0, 0, seriously. Back at home she did the pH, hardness, alkalinity and DO and I checked off our supply list for the next day. We plan on dropping samples tomorrow and picking up EDTA, Sulfuric acid, filters, bottle, acid pillow packets, labels and 2 other chemicals – we were running low on a bunch of stuff, I didn’t realize how low until she went out in the field with 1 filter…oops.


Left bank/Right bank

Looking from the far left bank where we had to start stream depth.

Just a pretty Fall water picture.

The sand bar from above.

By the time she finished testing, it was time for Hannah and me to go to dance. We missed last weeks dance and devotional, I gather it was on working on the fruit of the Spirit from the inside, Holy Spirit, will, emotions and then fruit – since fruit always starts from the inside. Today’s devotional was about the body of Christ.

I Corinthians 12:5-6 Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:

Jesus is the head, the church is the body. No part is indispensable and all parts need to work together. Everyone has something that they are gifted with, to use to help the body, the world and to glorify God.

-We are a reflection of Christ and we are not doing a good job of imitating Christ and becoming more like Him.
-God is relational, as a body so are we. That’s why we should rejoice with those that rejoice, weep with those that weep, love others, meet with others, serve others.
-We need to walk with the body to grow in Christ, the path of life is not meant to be traveled alone.
-If the body is not working properly it won’t function the way the God intended.

Yes, we are broken people, we are not perfect, but the more we lay down ourselves and focus on Jesus, the more we will be like Him, the more we will love, the more we will serve, the better the body will be.

Roman 12:4-9 4-6 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.

6-8 If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face. 9 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.

I Corinthians 6:19-20 Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.

My teacher was at the hospital with a friend, so we had a sub which meant that we didn’t get to start on our dance. Grace was super happy to find out her dance – For King and Country’s Love Like You’re Not Scared. Hannah found out her song too, but I can’t remember it.

I dropped the girls at home and flew as fast as I could to the DMNS for the educator night. James met me there and we had food, drinks and perused some museum exhibits and I gathered flyers from a ton of SCFD organizations, some of them I didn’t know about and some of them have free educational outings – cool!

We also got to see some raptors, always cool.

The do nothing day, Fun Friday, lazy weekend


The girls watched Titanic and 3 Jaws movies on Thursday. Wish it was for something, but they just wanted to watch them and I let them. Grace didn’t want any of the Jaws (just Hannah.) Hannah practiced her ukulele, Grace went to youth group and James and I went to Perry’s for a drink and they had a very good piano player there.

Friday our Hudson co-op was canceled, so we did some school at home, tried to make an Archimedes’ death ray (which really didn’t work, but probably would have started to burn the boats if we had coated the boats in gasoline and been a bit more patient) and went to Cafe’ 180 to eat lunch.

They always have such good food there.

Then we went to the Hyperspace arcade. OMG, I haven’t seen some of these games since I was a kid! I played Qbert, Burgertime, Cheyenne, Galaga, and more. I got the girls to play Joust with me, they hated it. Marble Madness got Grace’s goat, Dragon’s Lair (which I have literally not seen since I was a kid and played it at my cousin’s house) made us all mad.

I am definitely going back (without the kids…)

Saturday we went to Four Friends Kitchen for brunch. I gambled that the new DU location would be less busy than the Stapleton one and I was right.

We are going back (with Bethany) because I need to try their shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles. Their fried green tomatoes and beignets were good, my coconut grits with bourbon kale, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and pecan sage pesto was so delicious. The grits were creamy and sweet, the kale (I hate kale) tasted like bacon, the sweet potatoes and the mushrooms blended with the pesto and it was just…so….good. There is a lot of seating, fun colors on the walls and chairs, though it can be a bit loud. On the way home we stopped by 3 ponds park to walk around, Fall leaves were changing and it was a nice little walk.

It’s a connector for the Highline canal trail coming from University, so James and I will have to go back and walk that section. Back at home we read and napped, I took Hannah to her ukulele class at the library – it was fun.

Back at home we put dinner plans on hold and went over to the Dolence’s for taco night (and we brought dump cake.)

Sunday we went to church where Mark Scott (a former preacher at our church that returned back to teaching at Ozark college) was giving the sermon of I am Cherished.

I am cherished
loved beyond compare
a heart can not fathom
the love that God does bear.

I am cherished
fondly held as dear
in His secure arms that
will protect against all fear.

I am cherished 
with God’s agape love
which crossed Heaven and Earth
blessed affection from above.

I am cherished 
by the God of the universe
HIs love seeks me daily
even when I do not love Him first.

I am cherished 
as God’s love rains down
from the storehouses of Heaven
to my heart, love is found.


Then we stayed for the next service and worked in the 3-K room. We only had 4 kids, we were talking about Joshua and the battle of Jericho. The kids all made Superkids masks to go along with the armor of God they’ve been collecting through the lessons. We had sandwiches at home for lunch and basically just sat around and read/played/napped all day until dinner. After dinner we took the girls to Freddy’s, then James and I went out to Perry’s again, sadly there was no piano player.

The week – water sampling/testing, worship dance, NIA, school at CU museum, Nederland drive, educators night at the museum, park day, book art co-op, youth groups, Women’s Bible study, educator training at History museum, Hannah off to camp, date night, school (in general.)

Dinners -TV dinners (I have an educator night), shake and bake pork chops with acorn squash, chicken pot pie, sherry apple pork chops with asparagus, lasagna, and I don’t know about Sat. night…James and I have a date night, Hannah will be at camp, so maybe Bethany will take Grace out for dinner.

Chicken pot pie

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cubed 
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts Add all ingredients to list

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Sherry apple pork chops

6 pork chops
3 large apples – peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry sherry

In a large skillet, brown chops, about 2 minutes each side; reserve.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Arrange apple slices in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Dot with butter or margarine. Top with browned pork chops and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sherry over all, cover and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour or until tender and the internal temperature has reached 145 degrees F

Cell cookies


I went to NIA class and had a good time. We’re almost done with the Dragon routine and we’re moving into a routine that has a lot of Indian music in it (think Bollywood.) When I got home we did some school, then went to the park (alone again.) Hannah practiced her ukulele and Grace drew and we read one chapter of the Helen Keller bio. When we got home it was time to make cell cookies. We do this every few years because who couldn’t use a refresher on parts of a cell that you can eat?

Hannah wanted to try Wed night youth group, so I took her and stayed for the women’s group. They just started on a book about fervent prayer last week, so I didn’t miss much. Our talk was about how the enemy distracts us and how we need to focus our prayers to provide stability in the world. It also hooked back into the sermon from Sunday, if the world says you are (fill in the blank) what does God say about it. Hannah had a good time and wants to go back, so we will.



Bethany had to work a different shift today, so she kept the girls busy playing games and watching TV until I said that we needed to do some school. We were going to the arcade today, but the girls didn’t feel like it. It was also Talk Like a Pirate Day, but Krispy Kreme wasn’t doing anything and all Long John’s was offering was a deep fried twinkie, so we didn’t dress or talk like a pirate at all. After lunch I ran errands while Grace made a cake. Her youth pastor and his girlfriend were coming over for dinner, I switched the tamale pie to tonight (because it sounded nicer than spaghetti.) I came back home and cleaned the house, it took 3 swiffer pads to sweep the front room, kitchen and living room. I started making dinner while listening to some jazz. Timothy and Sara arrived right one time, we had dinner and great conversation, then we ate cake. Timothy can play the ukulele, which surprised Hannah (he was very good!) He works at a Christian radio station (so we talked about when James worked for KSBJ.) He likes the old Veggietales and lots of old Christian rock bands, though he kept saying ‘when I was a kid’ which wasn’t that long ago. Here’s Grace’s melted ice cream cone cake. She saw a cake pop recipe too made with mini cones that looked cute.