Category Archives: driving

Grand Junction

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We left Friday afternoon (after the Forensic pathology lecture, which was very interesting) for GJ.

It was a long drive and we got in late, Jack was wired up and wanted to play, but we eventually got him to sleep.

The girls stayed in Bethany’s dorm (she doesn’t have a roommate.)The next morning we dropped Jack at daycare and James and I had breakfast at a cafe while the girls slept in.

Main street.

We had lunch with the girls and Zack at Texas Roadhouse, then went to walk around the mall. We split up, the girls went back to the dorm and James and I went to Fruita to walk around. We managed to get there when everything on Main street was closed.

We took the scenic route back to the college.

We went to dinner at Pho, then walked around Barnes and Noble. The girls were going to see MacBeth, but it was sold out, so they ended up going to the movies while James and I went for a nightcap.

Sunday morning we had breakfast and walked around the college, said goodbye to Bethany and headed out.

We stopped at Rifle Falls SP because we were close to it.

There were caves, some big enough to walk in, behind the falls.

Stuff – Heart Echo/EKG/MRI/cardiologist appointment, school, Grace work, friend time, ballet, worship dance, TNO, EG Hammertime benefit drinks, Holi @ Fox theater, youth group event, Creativity club, hike, Pop tart party EG, Resurrection day!

Dinners – BBQ pork sandwiches, taco Tuesday, peanut coconut curry chicken (had to move it from last week), quinoa bowl, sweet potato and chorizo lasagna, grilling stuff.

Weekend

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James and I took Jack to coffee, the weather is getting nicer in the mornings, not too cool to sit on a patio.

We got home, picked up the girls and went to the Springs to eat at Rudy’s BBQ.

It was really good, the brisket was so tender and moist, the cream corn was creamy, the potato salad was good, the coleslaw could have been better, but the meat and jalapeno sausage were spot on Texas style. Dogs can hang out on the patio, so it’s a great lunch spot in good weather.

After lunch we walked around Old Colorado City and got some ice cream.

Jack was not impressed with the queen.

From church – do you get to Heaven by being a good person? There’s more to following Jesus than simply following the rules. It’s devotion that is missing – if there is something dividing your heart, keeping you from full devotion, get rid of it. If it is time, money, material things, unhealthy relationships, whatever is keeping you from following Him, leave it.

Mark 11 17 As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?” 18-19 Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.” 20 He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!” 21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.” 22 The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.

After church on Sunday James grilled, then I took the girls to the Arvada kite fest while James took a nap.

Our week – the oxygen machines go bye-bye, Grace work, ballet, worship dance, driving practice, St. John’s music at noon, $1 movies, Main event youth group, TDO Castle Rock, Forensic pathology lecture, leaving for GJ, visiting Bethany, Macbeth, Rifle Fall SP.

Dinners this week – Navy beans and sausage, pasta alfredo with Italian sausage and yellow squash, pomegranate pork chops with couscous and green beans, peanut curry chicken over thai noodles and veggies, pork Tex-Mex soup, (dinners in Grand Junction Fri/Sat), grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato or chicken noodle soup.

The Best Thai Curry-Peanut Sauce (this makes 28 servings – so, a lot – cut it down by 1/2 or 1/3 as needed, also turn the heat higher or lower if you like and serve it over pork, chicken, veggies, etc.)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook until the aroma of the garlic has mellowed, about 1 minute. Add the red curry paste, and stir for 1 minute more. Whisk in the peanut butter, brown sugar, chili powder, cayenne pepper, fish sauce, sesame oil, and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and is smooth.

Hike, Pikes Peak Pickle Shack, Kindness Krewe

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Day 21 – go on a hike with your kids (and dog, if you have one.)

So, we really only drove to Green Mountain Falls for a hike because it’s near the Pickle shack and Grace wanted to get over an hour of driving in (she drove home.) I was hoping the musical swings would still be in town, but they were packed up. Guess when they say a piece of art is there for a limited time – they mean it. Anyway, it was kind of windy and a bit chilly, but our hike was pretty flat. I brought my sling for Jack, but he only rode in it for a few minutes.

Then we went to the Pickle shack and got some peach pie in a jar, peach and jalapeno preserves and pumpkin butter.

Day 22 – do something kind today, we were at the Montbello library making no sew pet shelter blankets.

The many moods of Jack when waiting on Hannah to get her hair cut.

My birthday present to myself came in early!

At the library making blankets for the pet shelter.

Spent some time cleaning up the house as my birthday is tomorrow and LAPOMPE is coming over to make brunch and have a concert.

Owls, TNO, Weekend

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The owls are back at the park. Can’t wait to see the babies.

I went to TNO on Friday (Pho) and had one friend meet me there who is neither a homeschooler nor a Mom, but we had fun. Hannah made me some friends to take with me, just in case no one showed up, sad, but there it is.

Jack got some pics at Red rocks.

Saturday we drove to the Springs to check out Pub Dog, an indoor and outdoor restaurant where you can have your dog with you. They served their food in dog bowls which I thought was cute.

Then we went by the Ice Cream Lab, I had a French toast taco, probably should have shared it.

Jack was out on the way home.

And playful at home.

Sunday we had brunch at Pappadeux and then took Jack by the dog park.

He wanted to go to Zoey’s, but they were closed.

I cleaned up some more, kind of Marie Kondo style, purging and finding homes for things that aren’t used all of the time or just don’t spark joy. I listened to a podcast of 2 women who read a self-help book and then live it for 2 weeks, they were not a fan of week 2 living the Kondo life. I agree, it’s stupid to put everything away, I use pots and pans 2-3 times a day, I don’t want to have to drag them out every single time I use them. But, things like blenders and espresso machines that don’t get used every day – those can reside in a cabinet.

What I’m up to this week – NIA, school, driving practice, Grace at work, Hannah at dance/ballet, hanging at Solid Grounds, teen poe-tea, LAPOMPE at Union station, park day, youth group, wood art co-op, creativity club (Parker), Arvada Winterfest (maybe), church

Dinners this week – baked potato bar, tacos, pot roast, chicken and eggplant parmesan, chicken and sweet potato buddha bowl, grilled cheese and soup.

Buddha Bowl

3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 large sweet potato, diced
1 large red onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons smooth almond butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cups baby spinach
1 avocado – peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Bring chicken broth and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Spread sweet potato and red onion onto a baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over mixture and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat.
Bake in the preheated oven until sweet potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir 2 cloves garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 6 minutes per side. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces.
Whisk 1 garlic clove, lime juice, almond butter, soy sauce, and honey together in a bowl. Whisk 1 tablespoon olive oil and sesame oil into mixture until dressing is smooth.
Divide quinoa among bowls; top with chicken, sweet potato mixture, spinach, and avocado. Sprinkle cilantro and sesame seeds over the top and drizzle dressing over each bowl.

Driving, hike, chocolate fest

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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!

Breckenridge

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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

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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.