Category Archives: driving

Driving, hike, chocolate fest


On Thursday we did some school and then Grace drove us to the Paint MInes. In all she drove 3 hours on highway, freeway, county roads, roundabouts, merging, traffic, construction, etc. It was good weather and good driving conditions and an easy way to get 3 hours and a hike in.

But, when we got to the Paint MInes a sign said ‘no dogs’, so Jack and I stayed on a bench while the girls went down to the hoo-doos to take pics.

Friday we did short school (LA, math, Biology, History, English) and then went to the Platte river for a hike. Another family (with a teen!) showed up.

We walked 3 miles and it wore Jack out.

Saturday we took Jack for a puppuccino, then dropped him at puppy daycare while we went to The Cereal Box and the Chocolate fest in Arvada.

We stopped in at various shops to sample their chocolate or candy or drinks or whatever they were hosting for the fest.

Hannah and Grace both won a plushy!



Should we skip school, ride with a friend up to Breck and see the very last day of the snow sculptures….well, of course we should!

My friend Ann wanted to see the sculptures, last week the weather was too snowy for my van, so she said she’d drive this week. It all worked out. It was a bit chilly, but not terrible up there. Jack was happy to have a higher seat to see out of, so he stayed awake for almost the whole ride up.

FIrst stop, ice sculptures, they were in the shade at this time of day.

Then on to the snow sculptures. I don’t agree with 2nd place over 3rd place, but I’m no judge.

2nd place Sphere and holes.

3rd place Hippo Ballerinas.

1st place, this angler type fish.

Jack playing King of the HIll.

Dance, party, computers, mall, Coney island, snow


Friday –

Time for the Winter Wonderland dance. I dropped off the girls and… they had fun! I was sure I’d pick them up early, but they stayed from 6 to 9:30pm.

Saturday it was go to the mall (and I put pics of Jack all over the Microsoft store computers.)

And got some late b-day pics of Bethany (the mall has great backdrops.)

Then it was off to drop the girls at the MCA for an 80’s party.

I took the opportunity to run by the Courthouse to take pics of the lights.

Sunday we went to church and decided to take a drive to Coney island for hot dogs.

When we got home, Jack was bored.

Goings on, school, work for Grace, river samples, teen poe-tea, ice carvings, youth group, teen science cafe, driving practice, Paint mines, doc, blood draw, Platte hike, Chocolate affair, church, zoo (maybe)

Dinners -Italian sausage and potatoes, chicken pot pie, hamburger patties with mushrooms and onions, beef and barley stew, aloo phujia, chicken with tabbouleh.

Aloo Phujia

1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tomatoes, chopped
1lb cubed pork

Lightly brown onion in oil in a medium size skillet.
Stir in salt, cayenne, turmeric and cumin. Add potatoes and cook 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add tomatoes and pork, cover pan and cook until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.

Snow dog on Monday.



Advent day 9 –

Bethany and James went out for coffee while Jack and I slept. Grace made pancakes in the dorm while James and I had bagels. The n we packed up Jack to go get the girls.

Bethany took us to her favorite night star watching spot.

Then we went to look around the antique shops on Main st.

Stopped for lunch at Sonic, then we dropped Bethany off and headed home. We stopped in Frisco for the last day of Wassail days (and so Jack could walk around.)

We got home about 7, made dinner, watched some TV and went to bed.

Dinners this week are on the fly – pineapple chicken wraps, pot roast, junk food (Christmas party), roasted chicken and root veggies, pork chops with couscous and salad, TNO @ Whole Foods (girls going out.)

Our week – school, worship dance recital, driving practice, Fox theater show, CU teen cafe, youth Christmas party, DAM teen tour, Cardiologist, HS skate, Bethany home on break, Olde Golden parade, LM Gingerbread houses, TNO, church.

Grand Junction


Advent day 8 –

We got a late start to GJ, the views were nice along the way.

I went to the mall and dinner with the girls while James and Jack stayed at the hotel.

I made Jack a little nest on the other bed with pillows surrounding his blanket, rectified Goodnight Moon twice and he went to sleep. The girls were snacking, watching TV and sleeping in Bethany’s dorm.



Saturday, Advent day 1.

I had a women’s Christmas tea at church, I ate way too many scones, but they were so good.

I got to wear my new hat.

We made a little craft, I’m going to add some stuff to it, the paint was a little thick.

We went to the mall and I found a ‘World’s Goodest Teacher’ hat.

We had a good time walking around. When we got back home we rescued Jack from the crate and took him to Petsmart to get some food. They had free treats, so he got lucky with bacon and cookies in a bag to take home. We bought 2 new balls, we had 3 green spiky ones…but we threw away 2 of them this week due to his chewing the spikes off.

Grace went to her youth group and helped watch kids, I took Hannah to our church to meet the prospective youth pastor. We took some photos after.

Sunday, Advent day 2.

From church –

In a land of deep darkness
a Light shines to see –
Jesus, the Christ 
from whom evil will flee.

Our Wonderful Counselor
a gift from above,
God’s beloved Son
cradled with love.

The leader to guide us
in a world out of control,
oh Wonderful Counselor
a balm for the soul.

Don’t lose your sense of awe
at the heart of it all,
for our Wonderful Counselor
waits for your call.


We went for a drive to Manitou Springs.

Jack had fun going in and out of shops, we shopped around for an hour, then headed to the arcade.

I had to play the indoor Galaga, I hate that one (the fire button gets stuck.) Jack was ready to blast off!

We saw pics of Joel’s troop participating in the obstacle course at camp.

We got back home, shopped and started dinner. We ended the night by watching a long Columbo, I wish the guy had just confessed, it would have saved us an hour.

Our week – school, final kid sitting, final worship dance, Hora around the Menorah at LM’s, Spot the Elf in Lafayette, Jazz at EG, driving for Grace, youth group, TDO in CR,¬† Constellation family night, Jazz at ACC, Grand Junction visit with Bethany, Frisco Wassail days.

Dinners this week – chicken marsala, Asian tacos, tamale pie, Greek chicken with couscous, Brazilian black bean stew.

Brazilian Black Bean Stew

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 pound chorizo sausage, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (1 pound) sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 small hot green chile pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups water
2 (16 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 mango – peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and cook the chorizo 2 to 3 minutes. Place the onion in the pot, and cook until tender. Stir in garlic, and cook until tender, then mix in the sweet potatoes, bell pepper, tomatoes with juice, chile pepper, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.
Stir the beans into the pot, and cook uncovered until heated through. Mix in the mango and cilantro, and season with salt.

Lapompe, driving, string art, photo walk, party


Grace started driving again this week, so we went out every day and drove here and there. On Friday she got on the freeway and made a giant loop back to the house for 54 min of drive time. She’s doing really well, there were a few jerks who drove like jerks (we have a ‘new driver’ magnet on the back of the van – people know she’s new.)

Tuesday James and I had a date night at Nocturne jazz supper club with Lapompe playing. The food was really salty (that’s probably because I haven’t had much salt in stuff lately), but it was good. The music, well it’s gypsy jazz with Lapompe, so it was awesome.

Jack is ready for Christmas photos.

He got to go to the dog park and play with the wolves, we haven’t been in a while, so he was happy.

Being spooky.

Thursday we went to a library program and did string art, Hannah stayed home to Jack sit and we pick up a friend to go with us. I did a heart and Grace did a narwhal.

Jack loves to sleep in a hammock made from a blanket and your legs.

But, at 12 pounds, he’s kind of heavy.

Friday I took Jack with me on a photo/sniff walk. I took pics, he sniffed.

Hannah had a Christmas party at church and made these awesome cookies, they also played games, ate snacks and watched The Grinch.