Category Archives: friends

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.

Dog parks, strange plants, Teen trivia, youth scavenger hunt


I have decided that our closest dog park is not the best for Jack. He could get through the fence if he really wanted to and it’s all sand. That never bothered Maisy, but Jack is closer to the ground and after running around and grabbing a few tennis balls his tongue was covered in sand.

A puppuccino fixed that.

I went to the Englewood dog park, mulch, much better. I bumped into Sam from Englewood Grand. She had her two dogs there running around, Jack borrowed a ball or two.

I went home, got the girls and drove to a Denver library for the Denver Botanic Gardens strange plant talk. They learned about pitcher plants, venus fly traps, a plant that has roots like tarantula legs and more, They went home with a purple bean plant – they had been hoping for a fly trap….Jack and I sat under the trees and chilled.

Hannah went to our library for a teen trivia night with her friend Malia (who also slept over.) Grace had a great time at her youth group on a photo scavenger hunt that took them to the YMCA (where they had to take a video of their group doing the YMCA dance/song), the park to take photos on a stage, the library to take a picture of a book and at the flag pole doing the pledge, taking a picture of a rotisserie chicken at King Soopers and much, much more.



Puppy nap….

then puppy play! Jack finally got his day at puppy playtime, he had a blast – it wore him out!

Grace went with her youth group to play disc golf, Hannah met friends at the pool to swim, James and I did some errands. We got back and remembered that the Rockies had scored 7 runs last night, 50 cent tacos!

We went by our closest Taco Bell only to find out they went out of business (we don’t usually go to that one – that was a surprise.) We went by another one and got tacos for us (and pizza for the kids.) Hannah had one person sleep over.

Sunday morning Grace and I worked in the 2’s room, we had 13 kids in there. I think there was some confusion about how coloring works.

Also, I didn’t get a picture of the craft, it was gluing eyes, ears, nose and mouth onto a face – yeah they came out Picasso like. Did you know Home Depot has treats for dogs? I guess there are a lot of places we didn’t take Maisy.

Grace made these clay Dan and Phil sculptures.

Two words – dog…stroller.

We went to Lazy Dog for brunch, I knew they allowed dogs on the patio, I didn’t know they had a dog menu!

Chicken and biscuits.

Jack had the hamburger patty with brown rice, peas and carrots. He was stuffed. We came home and relaxed before heading out to City Park Jazz to hear La Pompe.

The wind blew hard and rain threatened, but it blew over and left us with a rainbow.

Dinners – today picnic at park, Korean BBQ ribs, Chick-Fil-A, food truck fare, Italian chicken, pizza, grillin stuff, TV dinners (TNO for me at Whole foods.)

The week – swimming, park day, church of cupcakes at library, Chick-Fil-A cow day, youth groups, 7/11 Slurpee day, HR ice cream social, Jack gets a shot (😢), Teachers day out, Kindness Krewe, DMNS teen night, Putt crawl on Broadway, church, TNO.

Jack gets his swimming in


Thursday was HOT, 105 in Denver, 101 in Highlands Ranch, an aberration (for sure, considering that a few days later it will be a high of 77.) We don’t usually go to the chutes this early (too cold), but 56 feels good when it’s 101 out. Jack did not agree. He can swim (and does the doggy paddle when you hover him over the water) but even the extra insulation of the life vest didn’t make him want to repeat his performance. The girls got used to the water and flow (actually low for right now, 256 cfs) and I was on Jack duty. We had friends meet us there early, then some more showed up at 12, then more showed up at 1:30 (when we were leaving.) Oh well, we’ll catch them next time. Tubing here and Jack swimming here. 

Of course it wore Jack out, the water, the sun, so much fun, but so tiring.

It was so hot outside that Hannah tried to fry an egg in the street (because the blacktop is hotter than the sidewalk.) It sort of worked.

Grace made watermelon sugar cookies for youth group, they were cute.

A nice sunset.

Sometimes Jack’s tongue sticks out when he sleeps.

Friday morning it was time to water sample.


Right/left bank.


Heron flying off.

Jack “helping.”

Hannah and I took Jack to the pond for a swim. They  had a side blocked off, probably weren’t supposed to be there, so next time we’ll head to a different pond.

Grace got picked up for her Dan and Phil show (with Gwen) and the rest of us went to Salsa Brava to eat, even Jack.

Our dinner ended abruptly when James choked on a piece of meat. He could breathe, but this is the 3rd time in 6 months that this has happened. It is not the same thing as his peanut allergy, that causes his throat to close up, this was the inability to swallow. I dropped the girls at home and took him to the ER. They gave him a drug that relaxes the throat, but that didn’t work, so they ended up doing an endoscopy. That removed the piece of food and let them look at the esophagus, which looked normal. He has to go back for a recheck with the GI doc and I’m sure they will be more in depth about why this is happening and if it’s at all connected with the breathing issue with allergies. While he was back getting scoped I ran downtown and picked up the girls, they were so hyped (Gwen was sleeping over) they stayed up till late talking about the show. Grace really had a good time, I’m glad she got to go.

TDO, Lunch with a friend, Fly’n B, puppuccino


Janice and company spent the night and stayed the night today too. I took Jack with me to TDO, we walked in and out of the shops on Littleton’s Main st. He locked himself in puppy jail and didn’t know how to get out.

I didn’t know that InTea had tea cocktails, good to find out. We had coffee at Dirt, walked through an antique shop and the pet store (where Jack got a treat.) He was super tired after walking that much (okay, he walked about 4 blocks, I carried him the rest.) I dropped him at home and went out to lunch with Chantel. We had been trying to get together for lunch for like a year, a whole year. We chatted at her house, then had lunch at The Lazy Dog (which allows dogs on their patio.) Good food and good conversation ensued. She got a new kitten and she’s so cute!

I made it back home in time for dinner (yay, crock-pot!) We took the dogs to Fly’n B park for a walk and came home to play Rummikub.

Jack was scratching and whining, his left eye was swollen shut and he would not stop scratching it. I didn’t know if he had gotten into something at the park, if he and Coco had played too hard and he’d gotten scratched or what. I washed his face, but his eye was still bothering him. We took him to the night vet and they extracted a piece of spear grass from behind his third eyelid and gave us eye ointment. It was way past his bedtime and he tossed and turned all night and slept a lot of the next day. We got him to wake up for a puppuccino and a visit to the pet store to get coddled, but then he fell asleep again.

Finally, by 4 pm he seemed to be back to his normal self. I think he just needed the extra sleep.



Friday morning Grace did 2 of her remaining 4 finals (she’ll do the other 2 on Monday.) Then is was off to the last HS skate.

We took Gwen with us and went to the library to watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and have popcorn and root beer floats. We were the only ones there, which meant that we had to drink lots of floats.

The librarian kept saying, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize there was that much swearing in this movie.’ every few minutes. I didn’t realize it either, but everyone had already seen the movie at least once, so it wasn’t a shock. Then Grace got dropped at Gwen’s house, Hannah went to Malia’s house and Bethany went with me and James to The Stanley to eat and listen to Stephen Brooks jazz. We didn’t realize that Cheluna was just a brewery, so no food, you had to bring food from one of the restaurants. We went around and there was a wait everywhere except for Denver Biscuit Co, so we ate there. We got ice cream and sat down and listened to Stephen’s second set for a bit, then went home.

Saturday was pretty lazy, we picked up Hannah, ate at Urban Egg, went to Walmart, then back home where I finished up a baby shower gift. Grace, Hannah and I went to baby Theo’s blessing party (his Grandma runs the Fox Theater shows and we’ve known her for 13 years.) There was an Aztec four directions ceremony, followed by individual blessings. Theo is so cute!

Back at home James made chili (it was cool outside) and we watched A Series of Unfortunate Events.



Notes from church – The glory of God is a person fully alive. Some people think followers of Jesus are restricted, you can’t do this or that, but in truth to follow Jesus is to be truly free.

‘But now’ is our cry.

I once was enslaved, but now I’m free.

I once was foolish, but now I’m mature.

I once was disobedient, but now I gladly obey.

I once was full of hate, but now I am full of love.

I once was impatient, but now am willing to wait.

I once was in distress, but now I am at peace.

I once was lost, but now I’m found.

Don’t minimize the power of God in your life.

Don’t forget where you came from.

To be the receiver of such amazing grace requires that we have amazing graciousness to those who haven’t had their ‘but now’ moment.

We worked in the 3’s room during the next service, those little kids always make us smile. We had lunch at Panda, then went back home to drop Hannah, her friend was coming over. James and I went shopping, came back home and read a bit. We went for a windy walk along Chatfield dam, we’d never walked there before (I was excited to finally use our free State park pass that Grace got from RW.) The Army corps has started work on the dam, they are making it bigger and we’re wondering about how that will look in the Platte downstream of the dam (they will be letting more water out at certain times of year, so Grace is wondering how that will affect sampling.) They have half the park closed off, I’m not sure that they will have the swim beach open by this summer, so that is a bummer. But, more water in the Platte means more water for swimming and tubing there, so it’s not all bad.

Hannah made lasagna for dinner, but James and I were good and had our own food. After M got picked up, James and I went out to hear La Pompe at the Mercury cafe. I didn’t realize there was an upstairs to the place, it was decorated with vines, flowers and lights.

I think we’re getting better at swing dancing, I only stepped on one person. It was fun watching the other dancers and trying to find a pair that we could copy. It might have helped if we had come early for the dance lesson, but we ended up doing a slow Charleston and just kind of shuffling back and forth.

What we’re up to this week – NIA, water sampling, worship dance, school, Kindness Krewe (Dahlia center tour), dentist, hike, s’mores park day, youth groups, Bible study, Dr. Seuss party co-op, amazing science show, Japanese doll festival.

Dinners this week (starting today) – lasagna (Hannah), taco stuffed avocados and black beans, onion soup mix hamburger patties with mashed potatoes (Grace), Italian sausage and summer squash, beans and rice, crockpot Mediterranean beef with artichokes.

Taco Stuffed Avocados

1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon Chili Powder
½ teaspoon Salt
¾ teaspoon Cumin
½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
¼ teaspoon Onion Powder
4 ounces tomato sauce
3 avocados halved
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup cherry tomatoes sliced
additional toppings:
sour cream
green onions

Add the ground beef to a medium size sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until browned.
Drain the grease and add the seasonings and the tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.
Remove the pit from the halved avocados. Load the crater left from the pit with the taco meat. Top with cheese, tomatoes, cilantro and sour cream.
If you want to make a larger area in the avocado for the toppings, spoon out some of the avocado and set aside to make guacamole! Then fill with toppings.

Onion hamburgers

1 package onion soup mix
1lb ground beef
1 TBSP worcestershire sauce
salt/pepper to taste

Add soup mix and worcestershire to hamburger, shape into patties and pan fry till done.

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef with Artichokes

1 tablespoon oil
2 pounds stewing beef
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped or more to taste
1 (32 fluid ounce) container beef broth
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted and roughly chopped Kalamata olives
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook beef in the hot oil until browned, about 2 minutes per side.
Transfer beef to a slow cooker. Cover with artichoke hearts, onion, and garlic. Pour in beef broth, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes. Stir in olives, oregano, parsley, basil, cumin, bay leaf.
Cook on Low until beef is tender, about 6 hours.