Category Archives: driving

Weekend

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We saw that Frisco was closing off part of Main street so eateries could spill out into the street and we haven’t been there in a while and it was a nice day, so.

We walked around the outdoor museum and then went to get lunch.

We split up with the girls going to a pizza place and James, Jack and I going to Lost Cajun. We all had a very long meal, it was nice sitting outside in the shade. We had just enough time after eating to go to a few shops before the afternoon thunderstorm rolled in with a vengeance. The wind pushed some of the wooden barriers that then broke some cinder blocks that were sectioning off areas, toppled huge planters, and I’m surprised that a vendor tent didn’t blow away. We walked back to the car and right before we got there another gust pelted us with sand and gravel, Jack was not happy. I have to say the weatherman was spot on about the storm and timing (today.)

Sunday church was outdoors, but I got there too late to get a shady spot.

We started a new series, Reboot, and today was about reconciliation and peacemaking. The church should be leading the way in peacemaking. People can know how to live in peace and make peace even while disagreeing, but the power of Christ in us makes us empathic peacemakers. We are to pursue the lost to be reconciled, just because things are awkward or we feel inadequate doesn’t mean that we should not strive for reconciliation. The real systemic problem we have is sin, it’s at the root of every problem, every relationship that is soured – sin is there.

How do we reconcile? Widen your circle. Choose active listening, which is – zip it (listen and don’t speak), lean in (an attitude of ‘help me understand’) and pray (break my heart for what breaks Yours Jesus.) Educate yourself, choose grace and empathy, don’t let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, speak out against what is wrong. If you are listening to someone and are more concerned about building your response and winning an argument than truly listening and building a relationship – take a step back.

Ephesians 2:14-15 The Messiah has made things up between us so that we’re now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped. Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody. 16-18 Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals.

I John 3:11 For this is the original message we heard: We should love each other.

Matthew 5:9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”

2 Corinthians 5:14 Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.

 

A beacon of goodness

shining out for the lost,

the storm tossed,

overwhelmed and desperate souls,

looking for a safe harbor,

a hand to hold on to,

a gentle caress on a weary brow –

and they are looking now.

Searching for a peacemaker

to calm the waves.

A guide to sort out

the truth.

 

Worn out people,

emotionally drained,

rubbed raw with life,

looking for hope.

 

So, shine bright –

speak words that heal,

throw out rays of kindness,

sparks of goodness,

that shine in the darkness,

to light the way.

Be the path that leads

to the healer of hearts,

the hope for the lost,

the salve for every wound,

the peace for the brokenhearted,

the changer of men,

Jesus.

-L

We stayed inside in the afternoon, it was hot. We took naps, watched some TV, and James grilled an early dinner. Then, we went to a live Buntport theater show. Well, we were in our cars with a speaker listening to the play that was pre-recorded, but the action was live. They had some interactive events, like coming to the car to throw grasshoppers at us, sticking a poem to our window, showing us a film about giant grasshoppers destroying a city, and dance-offs. My favorite – the ‘documentary within the documentary’ zoom call. Buntport has some very creative people, who knew that a show about grasshoppers could also be a metaphor for the duality of humans, social change, making progress forward and lots of low brow silly stuff too. I think the remaining shows are sold out (or close to it), so the people have spoken – we want live theater! As with all live theater, it was hilarious in person, the videos don’t really do them justice, but you can get a glimpse of what was going on.

Dinners this week – golden coconut curry shrimp and rice, BBQ jackfruit tortillas, chicken and mushroom skillet with mashed potatoes, Cajun butter steak bites with asparagus, grilled chicken pineapple wraps with watermelon feta salad, chorizo stuffed spaghetti squash, grill or out

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Chicken and mushroom skillet

2 tablespoons oil, divided
1 lb boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
8 oz sliced brown mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter
1 brown shallot, chopped
1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add chicken. Season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Mix well and sear chicken all over until browned and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate; set aside and keep warm.

Heat remaining oil in the same pan with 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the mushrooms and cook, while stirring, until just beginning to brown and soften, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the remaining butter to the pan. Let melt and sauté shallots and bell peppers until just soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the chicken back into the pan along with any juices released while resting. Mix through all of the ingredients to evenly coat in the pan juices. Continue cooking until all vegetables are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 1-2 more minutes.

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Cajun butter steak bites

For Cajun Seasoning:
1 tablespoon mild paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder, add more if you like heat
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar KETO: use brown sugar substitute
1/2-3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, add more if you like heat
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper to taste

For Steak:
23 oz (650 g) steak, cut into 2-inch cubes (Sirloin, Rump, New York Strip, Porterhouse or Ribeye)
1-2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/4 cup butter
4 cloves garlic finely chopped

Combine cajun seasoning in a shallow bowl. Add the steak bites and toss to evenly coat. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a skillet or pan over medium-high heat until hot. Sear the steak bites in batches for 2-3 minutes each side until edges are crispy and browned, adding extra oil as needed. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium. Add butter to the skillet and heat until melted. Sauté the chopped garlic until fragrant (about 30 seconds), while scraping up any browned bits from the pan. Take the pan off the heat. Throw the steak bites back in and toss through the garlic butter to evenly coat.
Serve warm.

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Chorizo stuffed spaghetti squash
(You can just add chorizo and skip the spicy spices instead of making turkey chorizo)

Turkey Chorizo:
1 pound lean ground turkey
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
½ teaspoon dried chipotle chili pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Spaghetti Squash:
2 (2 1/2 pound) spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup white onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup fire-roasted frozen corn
¼ cup canned mild diced green chilies
1 (14.5 ounce) can Hunt’s® Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Combine turkey, salt, garlic powder, chili powder, smoked and sweet paprika, cumin, coriander, oregano, chipotle pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and apple cider vinegar in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour for flavors to blend.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and brush cut sides with olive oil. Place squash cut-side down on prepared baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until squash is soft, 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chilled chorizo mixture. Cook and stir, breaking up lumps, until cooked through and browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add onion and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until onion becomes translucent, stirring constantly. Add garlic and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder, salt, and cumin.
Stir in beans, corn, diced green chilies, and tomatoes; cover and simmer 4 to 5 minutes. Fluff spaghetti squash strands with a fork, keeping them in the shells. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees .

Divide meat mixture among 4 squash halves. Top each half with 1/4 cup of cheese. Return to baking sheet and bake until cheese is melted 5 to 6 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro

The week

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Last week of school. The girls all took off for GJ on Monday and came back on Tuesday. They stayed at Zack’s house and I sent Evelyn a jar of dandelion syrup and she sent back 2 dozen eggs from her chickens. Jack and I went to the antique store that finally reopened, it’s pretty big and they have a lot of root beer.

I took Jack for a walk at Hildebrand ranch, we didn’t get very far because it started raining.

I took care of the critters while the girls were done and Peanut smiled at me.

I had the eye doc redo my glasses and Hannah had the quickest braces appointment ever. Wednesday I went to walk with Walk2Connect and drop off some food for the seniors. Jack was walking pretty fast, so he was dragging at the end.

The Depression era bake was vinegar pie (which made it taste like it had lemon in it.) It was a very good custard type pie, but I think the oven was too hot (I found another recipe that says 350 for 50-60 min.)

OLD FASHIONED VINEGAR PIE

4 large eggs
1 stick salted butter, melted
1½ cup sugar
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust

Preheat oven to 425 F

Combine all ingredients and beat until mixture is slightly fluffy
Pour into pie crust and bake for 30 minutes, or until center is set. Note: Center will set just a bit once removed from the oven.
Cool before serving and enjoy!

We took Jack to the dog park and he had so much fun.

Grace did some chalk art.

My yard is full of dandelions.

School is done! We binged watched all 3 Back to the Future’s! Today we’re making tiny cakes to practice some cake decorating.

Thoughts on tiny cakes – they are hard to frost! They don’t do well with rock candy making a geode cake. Chocolate candy bars are not the same thing as melted chocolate. Chocolate and cream cheese frosting are not good friends when you mix them. Hannah used way too much frosting. Cupcakes are probably a better option.

 

Pueblo, Mother’s day

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Time to cross another item off my Bingo sheet – Bingo burger. They have a location in Colorado Springs, but we like the drive to Pueblo and the Riverwalk.

Jack got his own burger because he’s a spoiled baby.

Riverwalk.

That was a nice outing. We grilled hot dogs and sausages for dinner and watched some Diners, Drive ins and Dives.

Sunday – Mother’s day. I watched church and relaxed while food was being made. I got flowers and brunch while LAPOMPE played a virtual concert.

Then we drove to Mt. Evans to walk around Echo lake.

Dinner is a Diners, Drive ins and Dives local pizza joint – Blue Pan Pizza – it should be good.

Week – Girls trip to GJ*, clean all floors (sweep. mop, vacuum), finish school, eye doc, orthodontist, Walk2Connect, friend outing, Depression bake, Zoom youth group, hike, tiny cakes, hike/drive, church.

Dinners (starting today) – Blue pan pizza, Cuban bowl, waffles!, pork loin with couscous and brussel sprouts, coconut chicken curry with rice and cauliflower, pasta and Italian sausage, takeout, chicken enchilada casserole.

Cuban bowls

white rice
black beans
cubed pork cooked with garlic, chile powder, oregano, salt, pepper and cumin (to taste)
sauteed onions, red and green peppers cut into strips
roasted plantains

{Cilantro lime sauce
1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
6 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves chopped
1 teaspoon lime zest (zest of one lime)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a food processor or blender, puree all ingredients until smooth}

Assemble – rice, beans, meat, onion/peppers, plantains
Toppings – cilantro lime sauce, pico, sour cream, cheese, cilantro

 

Palm Sunday

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Palm Sunday

Palm leaves wave
people yell praises to the King.
Hosanna!

The King will deliver us,
protect us,
free us.

But they only thought of earthly bounds,
they did not seek for their soul
and soon their praises
will turn to insults
hurled from broken hearts
because they didn’t see the soul saving grace
that would come from

Christ alone.

-L

Saturday James had to work at the office for a bit, I was reading, we watched some TV, went for a quick walk with Jack, tried to get treats at Petsmart but they aren’t doing treat Saturday right now. I could have cleaned something, but I didn’t.

Sunday I watched church on-line and James and Bethany took off for GJ. Mesa had said that kids could stay, but they changed their mind and said that everyone has to move out. So, they went to clean out her dorm, pack up and bring stuff back here. She’ll finish the year (like everyone else) on-line. The girls and I drove to Loveland to check out Boyd lake SP, they have a nice swim beach that seems like the buoys are pretty far out. They want to come back to swim in the Summer, but I’d rather check out Union reservoir in Boulder because they have a dog beach area.

We went by the cheese shop on the way home because they are hurting for business. If they close (after 40 years) before we get through this whole Covid 19 thing – I blame everyone. Grace and I finished our chalk on the driveway, Hannah’s spot was covered up by the car, so maybe she’ll get to it tomorrow.

We watched Buddy vs. Duff and talked to James before heading to bed.

To do this week – school, Spanish class, RiNo art walk, playing in the river, Citizen science project, hike, Zoom youth group, hike, looking at books at Bean Fosters, art, hike, drive, Easter! Citizen Science projects here. 

Dinners this week – Green chile sausage with elote corn, Hawaiian chicken with pineapple almond rice, Italian sausage with farfalle, butternut squash and spinach lasagna, garlic shrimp with corn on the cob, grilling stuff

Butternut squash and spinach lasagna

6 Cups cubed Butternut squash (about 1 medium squash)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
6 tablespoons butter
3 cloves minced or grated garlic
12 leaves fresh sage
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 cup shredded gouda or fontina cheese
2 cups whole milk ricotta
2 cups shredded provolone
20 oz thawed and drained, or 4 cups fresh baby spinach frozen spinach
1 box no-boil lasagna pasta sheets
1 oz torn thinly sliced prosciutto (can omit)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9×13 inch baking dish. On a baking sheet, toss together the butternut squash, olive oil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes or until the squash is tender.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the butter, garlic, sage, and rosemary, in a large skillet over medium heat and cook until the butter begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the sage and rosemary from the skillet. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Slowly add the milk and broth, whisking until combined. Stir in the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and stir for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the gouda or fontina cheese and the spinach. Stir until the cheese is melted. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, mash the roasted butternut squash until mostly smooth. Stir in the ricotta. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread 1/4 of the cheese sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with 3-4 lasagna sheets. Spread with 1/2 the butternut squash mixture, and then another 1/4 of the cheese sauce, and a handful of provolone. Repeat the layering until all the squash and sauce have been used…don’t stress about making it perfect. Arrange the prosciutto on top, if using. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until the top has bubbled up and browned a bit. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Grand Junction

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We got started about 9:30 for the drive and we were taking our time. Stopping as needed, grabbing a coffee, then lunch, so we made it into GJ about 3pm.

We headed to the dog boarding to drop Jack at Tiny town (we needed a sitter so we could go to dinner, but he stayed overnight because we were going to late picking him up.) Bethany came by the hotel and we went over to Delta for dinner with Zach (her BF) and his parents. Delta closes up early, even on a Friday, but we walked around anyway.

 

We had drinks at the hotel when we got back and watched TV for a bit.

Saturday morning we had breakfast then went to hike the Mica mine trail. James and I had to turn around when it got icy, but the girls went all the way to the mine and picked up some mica and quartz. Jack had fun!

The girls and I went to lunch at a brewery while James and Jack chilled at the hotel. Then we walked around downtown to the shops and antique store.

Hannah napped while Grace and Bethany went to make a candle. They headed off to dinner and a performance of Fiddler on the Roof while James, Jack and I watched some TV while eating pizza and wings. Jack was patient while we had cocktails in the lobby.

Feb miles 43.29

Sunday morning we ran Jack around with his ball till he passed out.

The girls met us for breakfast and we packed up and headed out to the Skinner trail in Fruita for a quick hike before leaving.

We said bye to Bethany, she had some work to finish up for English before going to work. Our drive home was nice, we went slow, had lunch and got home before the snow started.

The week -school, field trip Yesterado, date night, Police explorers, field trip Little Shop of Horrors, youth group, church work, first Friday art walk, WOTR teacher training, church, hike.

Dinners – Out, chicken mole and avocado salad, bbq stuffed potatoes, chicken teriyaki and cabbage slaw, Food truck nite, grilling stuff, hamburger patties with mushrooms and onions with broccoli and salad.

 

One of those weeks

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Since Monday was a holiday, James was home and school didn’t start yet. It kind of threw off my week because every day felt like it should be the day before. Monday we drove to Fort Collins and found a place that had outdoor seating (for Jack.) They had some good poutine and sliders. It was right next to Insomnia cookies, so we had to try them. Those cookies were huge, warm and so good.

We went to a park and walked around the pond. I thought it was the same pond the girls and I had been to in the Summer, but this was Prospect ponds and the other was Riverbend ponds.

Tuesday we had to take Mousse to the vet for an abscess on his cheek. They cut it and drained it and gave us some meds. It’s really hard to give meds to a rat and clean his face. I also saw my cardiologist and she said my EF was up to 60% (75% is good/normal) and dropped 1 of my BP pills to 1 time a day (instead of 2.) This should help with the dizziness. She left the beta blocker and rest of the meds as is and said to check back in a year.

Hannah had her Police Explorer meeting, but they didn’t tell her it was at a different location, so we went to the Police station, then had to drive back to Parker arts. Wednesday I drove Grace to Vail to sit in on a lecture about Gore creek and the bugs/water quality. Turns out the guy giving the presentation is one of the people who checks River Watch bug samples. So, that was cool.

Wednesday was also One Night at youth group and the girls invited some friends to come. There was an ice cream bar, games, prizes and inflatables. Thursday I dropped James at work, took Jack to the dog park and then the vet. He’s been super itchy and after a skin test they don’t know why. They gave me a liquid to put on him that will kill anything (if there is anything to kill) and a medicated shampoo that should help with the itching. I think he’s going to be the cleanest dog on the block pretty soon.

We did some school then Grace and I met a friend and her kids at the river. They wanted to see what sampling looked like and see a test, so we grabbed water and did DO. The sky from up to downstream and right to left bank looks very different.

I took Jack to the dog park again, and then he got a bath.

Today we’re catching up on school and then heading to the MCA for tiny hibachi and mariachi.

Well, the grill (and food) was tiny.

The exhibit downstairs was really cool.

Week

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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.

Grand Junction

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Friday we left for GJ and spotted some fall colors along the way.

We checked into the hotel and went to the Antique store.

Jack found a ball.

We decided to use the grill at the hotel and cook up steaks and hamburgers.

The girls went to Bethany’s dorm to watch movies and spend the night. Bethany had to go to work, so we said goodbye and went on our way.

I planned to stop in Aspen and see the Maroon Bells, finally, but I underestimated how long it would take to get there, eat lunch and drive home to get Hannah to her volunteer gig. But we did finally go through Aspen and over Independence pass.

Long weekend

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Saturday we headed to the Air Force Academy chapel to see it before it closes for renovation (for 4 years.) We hadn’t been in there in a long time and I’m not James ever saw it at all, so it was good timing. This building is new since the last time we were there and we found out the planetarium reopened (and it’s free!)

The plane plaza.

We had lunch at Ivywild food hall, it was a school that went out of business, then a brewery moved in, then another food place, a few craft places and they use the gym for live music and dancing.

Sunday was family weekend at church, Phil gave a great talk about being the person you want your children to listen to, follow and look to. If you aren’t reading your Bible, praying, thinking about God first, how can you expect your children to do the same? After lunch we went to check out the new LM ice cream factory, as soon as they get the slide fixed I’m making a tour.

Monday was Labor day, so James and I had a casual coffee at Legends and the walked around the outdoor mall at Southlands.

The girls wanted to go to the mall, so we dropped them off there and chilled at home. I finished up some reading and then we all went to Golden to swim in the creek. Of course, everyone else had the same idea too….

James grilled hamburgers for dinner and we watched Fool Us with Penn and Teller before bed. That was a long weekend, but a good one.