Week

It seems that there is little time these days. I wake up and it’s Friday, the week flew by again. Monday we had a Denver Police dept. tour, it was the video production area (and offices in that building, but it’s not THE police station, just offices.) It was cool to see the video guy in action, he taped the kids with a green screen and they got to add in the background. Hannah got a card from an officer and everyone got DPD dog tags, which was pretty cool.

It was Hallowteen night at the DMNS museum, Brad and Janet did not win the costume contest.

Tuesday we took Grace up to Keystone for the H2O science school. She was a bit nervous at being around total strangers, but then found out some of the kids were at the teen night and one girl used to be in our homeschool group. She ended up having a great time, making friends, getting to talk to water people, sampling and having some time without us. Hannah finally got to go to an Explorer meeting, they were working on combat care and tourniquets. She decided that Parker is a good fit and has to go to at least 5 meetings before getting her uniform and equipment. They let them wear fake guns on their belt and other tools on the belt to get used to the weight and feel of it, so that’s cool. I doubt there will be 4 meetings coming up (with breaks and they only go every other week) so it might be January before she gets her stuff.

Wednesday Hannah did school and then we watched the rest of season 2 of The Good Doctor and caught up on season 3. It started snowing right as I was dropping her at church. We ended up getting about 4 inches, but the roads were fine.

Thursday we did school and went up to get Grace. The road was fine with a few exceptions of packed snow on the road. I was worried about the road to the school, which was pretty snowy on Tuesday, but the plow had been by and packed it down (the road is dirt, so it never gets plowed to the bottom.) Jack had time to play in the snow before Grace showed up. We somehow made it to Westminster for the school Winter social in record time. Grace changed into her Janet costume and bam – they won the High school most original costume. The prize was an i-tunes card which Hannah turned into Psych the Movie and a few songs. We chilled for a bit, made dinner and then drove to the mall to walk around.

Friday I took James to work, we did school, grabbed water samples for October and drove out to Cottonwood farms. I wanted to wait until Tuesday, but it’s supposed to snow Sunday-Wednesday, so we went today. The corn did not grow this year for some odd reason, so the maze was easy for anyone over 3 feet tall. The girls picked out 2 big pumpkins and we took some pictures.

Fun Friday and the weekend

Friday Hannah did a quick minerals lab and then we headed to the Springs to see Humpback Whales at the AF Planetarium.

We went to the Penny arcade and I broke Galaga! I was just playing and hit my own ship as it was coming down, it froze a bee on the screen and it wouldn’t advance past this. There are 2 more Galaga machines at the arcade, but one of them has a sticky fire button and the other has a sticky joystick.  I hope it’s not really broken, just needing to be turned off and on.

Saturday we had a nice coffee with the girls and then went to Zoey’s pet parade. There were a lot of pit bulls there because Zoey was a pit bull, but there were a handful of other breeds (but only one Jack.)

Jack was honed in on the pet photographer – she had a ball.

We all walked up the street to the park for pictures, then back down Main st.

Businesses take corners and make pumpkin art.

Sunday after church we went to the Dairy block for the Fall Flannel Fest.  We talked to Joel and he said he had gotten his b-day package. He turned 25 today, hard to believe.

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The week – Denver Police dept. tour, school, DMNS Hallow-teen night, H2O in Keystone for Grace, Police Explorers, youth group, hike, Petsmart Boo, Littleman pumpkin carving, church, Trunk or Treat, James gone to Vegas.

Dinners this week – Tex-Mex beef and rice skillet, teen nite (whatever the DMNS offers), chipotle chicken sausage sandwiches, Italian chicken and acorn squash, chilli and corn bread, butternut squash and peasant bread, Saturday night is up for grabs.

Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Skillet

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 medium red bell pepper, diced SAVE $
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 can (10 oz) Old El Paso™ enchilada sauce
1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso™ original taco seasoning mix
3 cups cooked white rice
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

In 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef 6 to 8 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until brown. Drain, and wipe out skillet. Add oil to skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. Add, bell pepper and corn. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender.

Stir in beef, enchilada sauce and taco seasoning mix. Heat to simmering; stir in rice. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until rice is heated through. Top with cheese and cilantro.

Some stuff from the week

Hannah got her ear pierced on Monday, Jack thought the cold floor was an excellent place to sleep.

Tuesday after school we went to another Shakespeare in the Parking Lot – Romeo and Juliet.

We went home and had a fall theme poe-tea with pumpkin scones, chocolate pumpkin bread, sugar cookies, pumpkin cream cheese quesadillas and mixed nuts.

We read poems from this site and then made diamante poems.

Ball
bouncy, toy
rolling, bouncing, wrecking
give me three minutes of quiet
annoying, demanding, running
funny, silly
Jack

Pumpkin spice
warm, delicious
soothing, inviting, steaming
flavorful, fragrant, enjoyable, fruity
dripping, refreshing, chilling
cold, sweet
watermelon juice

Romeo
energetic, handsome
wooing, kissing, fighting
mortal enemies, star crossed lovers
gazing, running, fainting
teenager, beautiful
Juliet

Hannah’s pumpkin is feeding the squirrels.

I went to TDO and walked around Hudson with one other Mom. It was a nice 1.5 hour walk and chat time, even if it was hot.

Last week

A friend told me that she hadn’t been seeing pictures in posts, so hopefully that is working now. It seems there was something with Google photos that turned off sharing, so every photo I linked to wasn’t showing up. This is a quick hodgepodge of 10/5-13.

Over the weekend we went to a performance of Shakespeare in the parking lot, Midsummer’s Night Dream. It was abridged, but they packed a lot of the story into 45 minutes.

Sunday we went to The Lazy Dog and Jack was waiting on his food. He never eats the peas and carrots, but this time he spit come of them outside the bowl.

Hannah was working on her flower art on coffee.

I found pumpkin rolls on sale for 50 cents!

Dinners – pork tenderloin and stuffed mushrooms, sweet potato and black bean street tacos, sloppy joes, crockpot chicken and dumplings, burgers with butternut squash, ?

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Crema

8 cups Diced Sweet Potato
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
3 teaspoons Cumin, Divided
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Small Onion, Finely Diced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 cans (15 Oz. Size) Black Beans, Drained And Rinsed
1 Lime, Juiced
8 Corn Tortillas

FOR THE AVOCADO CREMA:
1 Avocado
1 cup Mexican Crema
1/2 cup Cilantro
2 cloves Garlic
1 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice

Heat oven to 400ºF. Line a sheet pan with foil. Spread sweet potato on the sheet pan, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cumin and chili powder. Toss until evenly coated. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

While potatoes roast in the oven, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add onions and garlic, sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add black beans, remaining cumin, and lime juice. When potatoes are done, add them to the beans and mix until well combined.

Combine avocado, crema, cilantro, garlic, salt, and lime juice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Top with cilantro and cotija cheese.

Monday we did school, then went to HS skate, dogs aren’t allowed in there – but Jack is!

Tuesday was Creativity club and another family showed up.

I wasn’t able to work on my geode painting, but I was able to practice carving leaves, it’s hard to do curves.

Ball time!

Grace is making smaller pictures of some of her art, she’s hoping to stake out a corner for the next Santa Fe art walk and sell some stuff.

Coffee shop school.

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School today – The quantum atom, correlation coefficients, Petrarch’s Sonnets, Forensics blood spatter discussion, Criminal Justice lab q’s, Astronomy lab q’s, History Greece to Rome, Earth Science plate tectonics, slope. Ted talk about prison systems. 

Thursday it snowed and I tried to take James to work, we got all the way to Golden, but the roads were so bad he didn’t want me driving back home alone – so we came back home and he worked here.

Snow in Golden.

Jack was happy to go play in the snow.

School today – Criminal Justice (jails, prisons and community corrections), Earth Science (minerals), Algebra (slope intercept form), History (Roman society), English (write an analysis), Astronomy (webquest, galaxies.)

Forensics (trace evidence, hair and fibers ), Practical math (linear regression), Chemistry (atomic structure), British Lit (role of the supernatural in Shakespeare’s plays)

And Vi Hart just because – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CruQylWSfoU&feature=youtu.be

Jack checking the perimeter for squirrels in the snow.

Bethany came in Friday and took the girls to IHOP while I was at HS skate (just chatting.) I met them at the mall and Jack waited and waited.

The girls played games and watched TV. Saturday we went to the Arvada festival of scarecrows and did lunch at Saltgrass.

After lunch and getting Bethany a new phone she went to a friend’s house, the girls watched some TV and hung out with friends. Sunday we went to church, Hannah made coffee, I finished my book, Bethany worked on her book and we went to Connections church fall fest. Grace was working the face painting booth, Hannah carved her go-to throwing up pumpkin (and won a $10 Sbux card) and Jack had fin eating things off the ground.

We chilled back at home until Bethany left to go back to Grand Junction. Grace was painting, Hannah and her friend were hanging out and I took a nap. James and I went out to dinner at Perry’s while the girls watched Jack. It was a nice date night with dinner and drinks. Back at home we watched the next Glitch and season 3 is posing interesting questions.

Oh, the weeks are flying by , this week – Fall break day, TNO, school, Shakespeare in the parking lot (Romeo and Juliet), poe-tea, Parker police explorers meeting, Doc (me blood work and x-rays), TDO, Geeks who read @ library, Paint like Alma co-op, planetarium show/Manitou (rescheduled from last week), Zoey’s pet parade, working at Riize (Hannah), church, Fall Flannel Fest, working at church (Grace)

Dinners this week (starting tomorrow)- ham/mushroom/swiss quiche, pinto beans and rice with cornbread, lemon chicken and asparagus, shepherd’s pie, sausage and spaghetti, BBQ chicken and corn on the cob.

A Scotsman’s Shepherds Pie

5 cups mashed, boiled potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
2 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound ground lamb
1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 (16 ounce) can stewed tomatoes with juice, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup peas
1 cup Irish stout beer (such as Guinness®)
1 cube beef bouillon
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Stir potatoes, sour cream, cream cheese, 1 tablespoon butter, egg yolk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper together in a bowl until smooth.

Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add ground lamb, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until browned and crumbly, 4 to 5 minutes. Pour off excess grease and season lamb with salt and black pepper to taste. Stir tomatoes with juice, onion, and carrot into ground lamb; simmer until vegetables are tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Add peas, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, until peas are warmed, 2 to 3 minutes.

Heat beer in a saucepan over medium heat; add beef bouillon. Cook and stir beer mixture until bouillon is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add in 1 tablespoon butter, whisk flour into butter until thick and paste-like, about 1 minute. Stir gravy into lamb mixture and simmer until mixture is thickened, at least 5 minutes.

Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler. Grease a 9×12-inch baking dish.
Pour lamb mixture into the prepared baking dish. Carefully spoon mashed potatoes over lamb mixture, covering like a crust. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese, parsley, and paprika over mashed potatoes. Broil in the preheated oven until crust is browned and cheese is melted, 4 to 5 minutes. Cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Hike, Sampling, Volunteering, Jazz, Mall school, Ballet!

After school we went on a hike. We were supposed to be somewhere else, but we ended up a bit lost. But, we rolled with it.

September water sampling.

Grace got some good news.

Hannah had her first volunteer day at GraceFull cafe, she washed dishes for 3 hours.

It was jazz night for me and James, a standing date night on the first Tuesday of the month. I think Phil keeps jazz night around just for us (because we are usually the only ones there.)

Wednesday Hannah did her school while Grace was working at church. We had lunch at the mall, Jack slept, we did some school and the girls walked around.

This mall is little (compared to Park Meadows), but I really like the chill vibe from the food court seating area. I remember when the mall was getting a facelift and I was worried about how it would turn out – but they did a really good job.

James and I went to Dang while the girls were at youth group. It’s Littleman ice cream, but it’s soft serve. We’d never been in that area of town before (Oneida park) and it’s really a cool spot. The store was done up very 60’s inside with 8 flavors of creamy soft serve, tons of toppings and games in the courtyard. There was a happening restaurant we took note of and a coffee shop that we’ve never been to before, so it was a nice outing.

Thursday we went to the Ellie Caulkins opera house to stand by for Don Quixote ballet seats. It was ‘sold out’, but as someone who coordinates field trips I know that you will NEVER have 100% of the people who said they are coming (paid or free) show up. I was right. It was full, but from our nosebleed spots we counted over 100 empty seats (and those are the ones we could see.)

We went to Union station for lunch and got to see the MOA”s Fall decorations.