Category Archives: family outing

Weekend

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Sat morning we picked up Grace, dropped her at the play, had affogato at Ground up cafe and came home to chill. Bethany took Gwen and Hannah out for lunch and we had a quiet afternoon. We went to the Castle Rock starlighting, this time we caught the trolley to the event, which was nice.

We didn’t have long to wait before the lighting and fireworks began. I really liked the display this year, it went on forever and the types of fireworks coming out where different than normal.

Grace’s pic.

We ate at Taco Bell and then headed home to watch TV.

Sunday we went to church, then worked in the kids room, we had 12 kids (3-K), it was busy! I took notes and made a poem! True, I had to decipher my handwriting (it’s hard to write in splints) but I think it’s what I wrote.

Ephesians 5 1-2 Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

Say ‘Yes’ to God more than you say ‘No.’ I will – follow God. We aren’t to be just knock off imitations, we are to mimic God in such a way that people say – that must be what Jesus looks like. It means leaving your comfort zone, loving those that despise you and giving in a sacrificial way. It means doing good without thanks, helping when you are busy, being kind even if it’s taken for granted.

to follow hard
in the path of God
means walking

the ways of love that Jesus walked,

the ways of love that Jesus talked.

it’s love that covers the dirty hand,
feeds the belly of the poor,
cares for the lost
– at any cost.

it’s love for a wounded heart
– it’s a start.

it’s giving time and words and treasure,
to others without measure.

it’s sacrificial giving
– and living

it’s extravagant love,
and it’s hard to follow.
-L

Grace beat me to sunset pics.

This week- NIA, teen movie night at DMNS, hike, skating, Thanksgiving, hike, watching too many episodes of Knight Rider, something on Sat., church.

Dinners this week – spaghetti, butternut squash and chicken posole, 15 bean soup, Thxgiving meal (smoked turkey, wild rice and cherries, coriander sweet potatoes, cornbread and sausage stuffing, pumpkin pie and salted caramel chocolate pecan pie), leftover turkey hash, beef hand pies.

Chicken Butternut Squash Posole

1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 (15 ounce) cans red beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28 ounce) can hominy
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1/2 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer (can omit)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)

Combine chicken, butternut squash, red beans, hominy, chicken broth, salsa, beer, and Mexican oregano in a slow cooker.
Cook on Low for 7 1/2 hours (or on High for 3 1/2 hours). Stir cream into soup and continue cooking for 30 minutes more.

Coriander Roasted Sweet Potatoes

1 tbsp. coriander seeds
2 1/2 lb. small sweet potatoes (about 5)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. plain yogurt
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 red chile, thinly sliced
1/4 c. crumbled feta
Kosher salt and pepper

Heat oven to 425°F. Using a heavy pan, coarsely crush coriander seeds.
Peel potatoes, halve lengthwise, then cut into 1⁄2-inch-thick pieces. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and toss with oil, coriander, cinnamon, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Roast, turning once halfway through, until tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.
In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over potatoes and sprinkle with chile and feta.

Salted Caramel Pecan and Chocolate Pie

12 graham crackers
1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips
3 c. Toasted pecans
1 c. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 c. heavy cream
Coarse sea salt, for serving

In a food processor, pulse graham crackers and coconut to form fine crumbs. Add butter and pulse to combine. Transfer to a 9-inch pie dish and press evenly on the bottom and up the sides. Scatter chocolate chips over the crust, then pecans, and refrigerate until firm, at least 20 minutes.
Transfer pie to a large rimmed baking sheet. Heat oven to 350°F.
Place sugar, corn syrup, and1⁄4 cup water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until bubbles start to form at the edges, about 1 minute; give the pan a swirl. Bring to a simmer, then increase heat to high and boil, swirling the pan occasionally until the mixture is a rich caramel color. Immediately remove from the heat, add butter and salt, and swirl the pan to melt.
Return the pan to medium heat, add cream (it will bubble up), and whisk until smooth, slightly thickened, and a deep amber color, about 1 minute.
Pour caramel over pecans, transfer pie to the oven, and bake until mixture is gently bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, if desired.

Irish Beef Hand Pies

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
1/2 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 pound ground beef sirloin
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Coarse salt and ground pepper
All-purpose flour, for rolling
2 piecrusts (9 inches each), homemade or store-bought

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium; add cabbage and potatoes. Cook until beginning to brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add beef; cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire, thyme, and 1 cup water. Cover, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Lightly mash mixture with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely.
2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each crust into a 14-inch square; cut each into 4 equal squares. Place 1/2 cup filling on one half of each square, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the filling. Brush borders with water; fold dough over filling to enclose. Crimp edges with a fork to seal. With a paring knife or scissors, cut 3 small vents in each.
3. Transfer pies to 2 foil-lined rimmed baking sheets; bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.

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Harry Potter and Night at the Museums

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We went to the library to watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and eat cereal. It was Hannah’s first time watching the movie, she didn’t really like it – Muggle. We lazed away the afternoon then it was time for N@M, but first – food! We tried a new place –

No reservations, and it was a small place, but we only waited 15 min. We had the best deviled eggs and the second best brussel sprouts. Their tacos were like Mas Kaos, but they had so many more choices. They had good drinks too, but it was very loud, so not a date night kind of place. We weren’t far from the Botanic gardens, so we made that our first stop. They had a Day of the Dead event that had been going on all day, but I just wanted to see the gardens at night. It was James’ first time there, so maybe we should have gone during the light hours so he could see more of it, but he said he was fine with the bit he saw.

Then we went over to the Forney museum.

Fun Friday – Tennyson st.

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Bethany took Grace out for breakfast, when they got back I took the girls to the cat cafe to do school, kitten school.

This kitten decided that Hannah’s shirt was the best place for a nap.

Happy pic day 5.

We went to Atomic Cowboy for lunch, then walked to the Bookbar to finish school (yeah, kittens make it hard to do school.) Then we stopped by LM’s because, ice cream.

Then we went to the library for a DOTD sugar skull program.

Corissa got to spend the night, shenanigans ensued.

Pumpkin carving at LM’s

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James had to work from home, Bethany took off early for a long day of work and the rest of us read/played. We went to lunch and got a call from Joel, we got to talk for a bit. He said that they are leaving next week for a 2 week field exercise and still doesn’t know when his leave is in December. But, he will get to come home, so that’s all we care about. After lunch we headed to LM’s for the pumpkin carving contest and ice cream. We got there too early, the girls were done with their pumpkins about an hour before judging. So, they played at the park while we watched the pumpkins.

B&W day 6

Done –

It’s an orca.

Some of the competition.

A pilfering squirrel.

I won this ice cream.

I ate a whole bag of sour skittles, they are so sour!

Hannah’s pumpkin won cutest….I think they just didn’t have a category that suited it.

We made homemade pizzas for dinner and watched some TV (and read) for a bit before going to bed.

 

Ft. Vasquez, Cheese shop, Devil’s backbone

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Our outing today was to go see Ft. Vasquez. It’s a small reconstructed fort (they used some of the original adobe to rebuild the walls, though the walls are about 5 feet shorter than they were) in the middle of 85 near Platteville. Literally, the fort is straddled by 85 North and South.

We looked around outside, there wasn’t anything going on (they have a homeschool day camp on Mondays, so we might be able to make one of them the week we’re off dance or the week after dance ends.) Inside the docent told us about the fort and then we looked around at the exhibits. It’s a very small fort and museum, but they had some cool things.

The fort was built in 1835 as a fur-trading fort by Louis Vasquez and Andrew Sublette, who hired mountain men like Jim Beckwourth and Jean Baptiste Charbonneau (son of Sacajawea) at their adobe outpost on the South Platte River frequented by the Cheyenne, Arapaho and Lakota people. They gave us directions to another fort in the area that is gone, but has a marker.  So we went off in search of Fort St. Vrain.

This fort was built in 1837 and was managed by Marcellin St. Vrain, brother of Ceran St. Vrain who worked at Bent’s fort and started the new fort. An interesting note is that Marcellin married a 13 y/o who was the sister of Chief Red cloud and niece of Chief Crazy Horse. The fort and river are named after Ceran St. Vrain.

From there we went to Longmont to eat and the cheese shop and take pics (the girls were taking LPS pics.)

From there we went to Devil’s backbone for a hike. This place is notorious for rattle snakes during the Summer, so I had hoped that the cooler weather would keep them at bay – we only saw one and it was dead.

It was sunny, so we worked up a sweat and stopped in to get some ice cream before heading home. Back at home it was grilled cheese for dinner and youth group for Grace.

Weekend

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Saturday we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, then headed to Rock Ledge for the Fall fest. CB had Christmas stuff out.

There were a bazillion people there, we got the last pieces of pie and the very last cider. The girls decided to turn in their tickets for soda as the candy scramble and hay maze were a bit juvenile.

We had a lazy day back at home, made pizzas for dinner and the girls went to see the new My Little Pony movie while James and I watched Father Brown.

Sunday we went to church where Phil gave a great message on being included. A dirty sinner, saved by Grace, changed and wanting to be part of a family, included, wanting to be part of the body of Christ and wanting others to join in.

Jesus,
Word, Life, Light.
The beginning of all things,
to this, His family.
Where He longs to be
a part of your life.
Included,
part of a community
but, more than that –
He wants family.
So bring your messy life
your hurt and strife
your questions too,
we are here for you.
There are no lost causes
no pain too great
we long to invest –
it is never too late
to come to the family,
come meet with Jesus.
His arms wait to hold,
to comfort and change,
for the lonely, to heal
to belong to a family
included –
and do life for real.

-Liese

Then we worked in the little’s room and we had dot markers for our craft, we don’t always have dot markers….because…mess.

After lunch James and I went on our Jack Kerouac walk with Walk to Connect. It was a great way to see the city and to connect the Beat movement and writings with Denver. Want to do one of your own? Start here – https://www.denver.org/things-to-do/itineraries/beat-legacy/

We started at Union Station,

and walked to Commons park and started with a brief overview of Jack and Neal. I like it when there are quotes sprinkled throughout the walk. Everything is changing downtown, 3 restaurants that we like closed, one opened as something new, we found a bunch of new restaurants and lots of lofts going up.

Quote​ ​#1​ ​-​ In a letter to a student in 1961, Kerouac wrote: “Dean and I were
embarked on a journey through post-Whitman America to FIND that America and
to FIND the inherent goodness in American man. It was really a story about 2
Catholic buddies roaming the country in search of God. And we found him.”

Quote​ ​#2​ ​-​ ​“Now I could see Denver looming ahead of me like the Promised Land,
way out there beneath the stars, across the prairie of Iowa and the plains of
Nebraska.”

Quote​ ​#3​ ​-​ ​“And there in the blue air I saw for the first time, in hints and might
visitation, far off, the great snowy-tops of the Rocky Mountains. I took a deep
breath. I had to get to Denver, at once.”

From there we walked over the train tracks, past the Denargo market (which is now apartments.)

Quote​ ​#​ ​4​ ​-​ ​“….I had a long warm conversation about our respective schemes in
life and before I knew it we were going over to the Denargo fruitmarkets outside
Denver, there was smoke, smokestacks, railyards, red brick buildings and the
distant downtown graystone buildings and here I was in Denver.”

We are hopeful that they are saving this old firehouse on 20th.

Walking past Coors field we stopped to talk about the statue out front.

This guy hired jackie Robinson and started the inclusion of blacks into baseball. We walked on to an old skid row area onto Larimer street. We stopped in at Biker Jim’s for a whiskey and soda. If you don’t know about the history of the saving of Larimer street – Dana Crawford was instrumental back in the 60’s getting investors to save the buildings rather than tear them down.

Quote​ ​#5​ ​-”He let me off at Larimer Street. I stumbled along with the most wicked
grin* of joy in the world among the old bums and beat cowboys of Larimer Street.
It was also the biggest city I’d seen since Chicago and the big city buzz made me
jump.”

Quote​ ​#6​ ​- Za Za’s was “run with an uncommon dignity uncommon to any Skid
Row.” “While Dad worked on his infrequent morning customers or sat in the
battered barber chair to rest his feet, I absorbed what I could of Liberty magazine
or the Rocky Mountain News.”

Quote​ ​#​ ​7​ – “the renaissance began on a sizzling summer day in 1963, when a
group of winos came to Crawford’s rescue after her puke-green Ford convertible
died on Larimer Street. “Vapor lock,” one of them rasped from the doorway of a
building on Denver’s skid row.

We walked on to Champa and 26th and saw the location of Neal’s home (now lofts), his Dad’s barbershop where they lived before his Mom and Dad separated (it’s actually the tiny brick structure between the big house and the garage looking building on the right), the place where his brother lived  (empty lot now) next to the Puritan Pie Company (now a storage place.)

Quote​ ​#​ ​8​ – “Finally, in last month of this hectic year, Neal got a two-chair shop
near the corner of 26th and Champa streets. In this sad little shop so filled with
contention, Neal and Maude shared the last year of their pitiful marriage ​…
Although food was short, at least there was always dessert, for in the middle of
the next block was the Puritan Pie Company, and on many a Sunday the shop
shades were drawn as Neal cut an employee’s hair in exchange for a pie or two.”

Now we were headed to Five Points, an area where African Americans flourished with jazz, barber shops, hotels, and independent business. The Beatnik generation was looking for something, Jack and Neal loved to sit in on jazz in Five Points, even though they might be the only whites there. They experimented with drugs, sex and looked at other religions (both were Catholic.) They were cruising America from the East coast to the West looking at America in a different way, trying to see if it was possible to experience life and not be attached to the materialistic mode of the up and coming suburban lifestyle.

From there we were just a block away from the Blair-Caldwell library and the baseball field where pick up games have been played since the 40’s. Not too far from this point was the elementary school that Neal went to.

Quote​ ​#10​ ​- “Down at 23rd and Welton a softball game was going on under the
floodlights which also illuminated the gas tank. A great eager crowd roared at
every play. The strange young heroes of all kinds, white, colored, Mexican, pure
Indian, were on the field, performing with heart-breaking seriousness…..Near me
sat an old Negro who apparently watch the games every night. Next to him was
an old white bum, then a Mexican family, then some girls, some boys – all
humanity, the lot. Oh, the sadness of the lights that night!” Kerouac, On the Road

Quote​ ​#11​ ​- “The school cafeteria in the basement was not used by the student
body since most of the children went to their nearby homes for lunch….But there
were a couple-dozen of us who did eat there; the city had appropriated a small
fund to supply the needy children, whose parents applied for it (Father put off
doing this for weeks); a noonday snack of milk and graham crackers.” Cassady,
The First Third

Neal was an altar boy at this church, don’t know if he ever came back to his faith during his wayward years, but he’s definitely an example of ‘saved by grace through faith, not from what I’ve done.’

We ended the walk at Sakura Square instead of My Brother’s Bar (which was closed.) Jack and Neal were all for inclusion, so this area (and Five Points) held a lot of Japanese Americans during and after WWII. It also represented the Eastern religious searching that the guys did while trekking around.

We ended our walk (5.5 miles) and headed to Pig and Sprout (one place we saw on our walk.)

They had interesting drinks and really big small plates. We ended up just getting 4 small plates instead of an entree. Everything looked and tasted really good, nice decorations inside and lots of seating. They are pretty new, so I bet they eventually fill up and get to a reservation point. Back at home we watched a Father Brown and headed to bed.

This week – snow!, worship dance, NIA, St. John’s music at noon, marshmallow roast park day, Creativity club, women’s movie night, Ft. Vasquez tour, hike, youth group, DMNS teen night, MCA teen night, Fall fest, TNO.

Dinners – Chicken tikka, pork roast hash, BBQ chicken and corn on the cob, chicken soup and grilled cheese, (Fri night kids are eating at the museum), not sure about Sat yet…maybe chili or tacos. I have a lot of chicken this week.

Chicken Tikka Masala

1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces 4 long skewers
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat a grill for high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.
Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

(You can toss the whole thing into a crockpot on low for 4-6 hours or cook it on the stove, no need to grill the chicken, jut adjust the cooking time to make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly in the pan.)