The Colorado adventure

Friday

I took James to work and Jack and I stopped on the way home to walk. The ice crystals were very pretty.

We did some school then headed over to the K12 office for a Winter social, making gingerbread houses and other holiday fun.

We headed back home to catch the Highlands Ranch hometown holiday tree lighting. Our tree looks like a Charlie Brown tree, just bigger.

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Thanksgiving

#famouswomen

Sacagawea 1788-1812

Born circa 1788 in Lemhi County, Idaho. The daughter of a Shoshone chief, Sacagawea was a Shoshone interpreter best known for serving as a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition into the American West—and for being the only woman on the famous excursion. Much of Sacagawea’s life is a mystery. Around the age of 12, Sacagawea was captured by Hidatsa Indians, an enemy of the Shoshones. She was then sold to a French-Canadian trapper named Toussaint Charbonneau who made her one of his wives.

Sacagawea and her husband lived among the Hidatsa and Mandan Indians in the upper Missouri River area (present-day North Dakota). In November 1804, an expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark entered the area. Often called the Corps of Discovery, the Lewis and Clark Expedition planned to explore newly acquired western lands and find a route to the Pacific Ocean. The group built Fort Mandan, and elected to stay there for the winter.

Lewis and Clark met Charbonneau and quickly hired him to serve as an interpreter on their expedition. Even though she was pregnant with her first child, Sacagawea was chosen to accompany them on their mission. Lewis and Clark believed that her knowledge of the Shoshone language would help them later in their journey. In February 1805, Sacagawea gave birth to a son named Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. Despite traveling with a newborn child during the trek, Sacagawea proved to be helpful in many ways. She was skilled at finding edible plants. When a boat she was riding on capsized, she was able to save some of its cargo, including important documents and supplies. She also served as a symbol of peace — a group traveling with a woman and a child were treated with less suspicion than a group of men alone.

Sacagawea also made a miraculous discovery of her own during the trip west. When the corps encountered a group of Shoshone Indians, she soon realized that its leader was actually her brother Cameahwait. It was through her that the expedition was able to buy horses from the Shoshone to cross the Rocky Mountains. Despite this joyous family reunion, Sacagawea remained with the explorers for the trip west. After reaching the Pacific coast in November 1805, Sacagawea was allowed to cast her vote along with the other members of the expedition for where they would build a fort to stay for the winter. They built Fort Clatsop near present-day Astoria, Oregon, and they remained there until March of the following year.

Once Sacagawea left the expedition, the details of her life become more elusive. In 1809, it is believed that she and her husband — or just her husband, according to some accounts — traveled with their son to St. Louis to see Clark. Pomp was left in Clark’s care. Sacagawea gave birth to her second child, a daughter named Lisette, three years later. Only a few months after her daughter’s arrival, she reportedly died at Fort Manuel in what is now Kenel, South Dakota, around 1812. After Sacagawea’s death, Clark looked after her two children, and ultimately took custody of them both.

I am thankful that I got a lot of food prepped yesterday. That meant less standing and cooking today.

Thankful for laundry to do
Puppy hairs on the floor
A sink full of dishes
And butterfly kisses.

Thankful for learning at home
Walks in the snow
Date night with my love
And whatever licorice is made of.

Thankful for family
Both near and far
For friends to hang with
And life that’s a gift.

Thankful for no hospital stays
Warm blankets and cocoa
For a trusty blue van
And slightly crooked snowman.

Thankful for golden sunsets.
And clear rushing creeks
For a snow capped mountain view
Aspen trees and skies so blue.

Thankful for another day
For every breath to breathe
For joy, peace and love
And every good gift from above.

-L

Jack had his own little Thanksgiving dinner (and turkey off the table.)

Bethany gave us some early Christmas presents, here is another snowman for my collection (filled with candy and popcorn.) We went around the table saying what we were thankful for (no hospital stays hit the top of my list.) Hannah also gave each of us a note about why she was thankful for us.

Here is our beautiful autumn palette of food. Smoked turkey, then from the bottom going clockwise: Italian sausage cornbread dressing, sweet potato, corn and black bean salad, brown rice chutney with apricots, roasted cauliflower, raisins and almonds and Grace’s pistachio honey chili brussel sprouts. Pecan and pumpkin pie for dessert.

We hauled out the Christmas tree and stuff and decorated.

We fought over light color.

We went on a Harriet hike/Thankful walk by the Platte river.

Look at our wicked icicles on the house!

Joel called and we talked for a bit, he went over to a neighbor’s house for dinner and he went to the gun range. We had some pie, then everyone (except for me) went to Target to look around. They said it wasn’t very busy at all. We capped the night off with a Columbo.

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Long weekend

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.

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Happy 4th

This was Jack’s first pet parade! He was super excited, waiting at the start.

And…go!

Grace walked with her youth group and since the parade had already started, Bethany and James joined in with them and came to sit with me and Jack when they were done.

We went home to cool off, read a bit, had lunch, watched some TV, then decided to take a drive to FoCo for ice cream.

Jack waited patiently for his milk bone pup cone and we found out that Pizza Press went out of business. It’s a shame because the concept was cute and the pizza was great.

We went from sunny and beautiful to holy hail! Everyone on the freeway was trying to stop under the passes to wait out the hail, but only so many cars can fit under there and the water was starting to stack up, so we got out and got back on the freeway. We needed gas, but the first gas station was full of people hiding under the awning, so we kept driving to the next one. The hail was only pea and marble sized, but it sounds so loud when it hits the car. See this clip, but really to get the full effect put on headphones and turn it all the way up. We had a late dinner of breakfast when we got home, Jack was begging for cheese.

It was still raining when the girls and I went to see the fireworks, but the show went on anyway.

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Memorial day

James and I had a leisurely coffee in Castle Rock and then a nice sit/walk around the park.

I had time to read some of my book The Organic God by Margaret Feinberg. Ouch, I feel the same way. I spent so much time and energy last year trying to get people to come to things, to hang out with me and my kids, when I told my groups that I was letting them off the hook – not that I am doing any less, but that I’m not doing it for them – it was very freeing. I was trying to make it like it was in the old days with my homeschooling mama’s and the more I tried the worse it seemed to get. So, I’ve let go of the idea that I can have the friendships that I had years ago. It’s hard because I still feel like I need that community, but I see how I spent too much time working for something that is not meant to be.

James grilled fajitas for lunch and burgers and hot dogs for dinner. The girls walked to Target and James and I took Jack to the dog park. It was full of the normal dogs we see there and a few new ones. Jack had fun playing with his soccer ball and running around. Back at home we watched Chopped, had dinner with the girls and then went to LM. Jack says, eyes on the prize!

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Weekend

Saturday morning Grace and I worked at Connections church (where so goes to youth group), then we picked up everyone else and went to the food truck carnival. We had shrimp po boys, crawfish etouffee, sushi, potstickers, cajun fries, root beer floats, coffee floats, ice cream and cokes. It was all good even if I did miss the What would Cheezus do and PB&J trucks (which were there another day.)

Sunday was Mother’s day. I got flowers, a cute card, digital art, tea cup candles, licorice tea, we went to church, ate lunch at Sherpa house, had a walk by the creek, took a nap, read my book and went to a speakeasy for drinks. I think it was an excellent Mother’s day.

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Weekend

I know it seems like we do stuff every weekend, but some weekends are pretty chill. Saturday we just hung out at the house, then drove to lunch. We were going to try the Watering Bowl, but the parking lot was full, so we ended up at Racine’s. Jack found a nice spot in the grass to sit and wait for an outdoor table.

My adult shake was so good, really that’s all I needed (but I did end up with bacon pancakes too.)

We went back to the house and I read while James worked for a bit, then we went on a date night to Englewood Grand for the pop-tart party. You know what goes well with a brown sugar pop-tart? A pink squirrel. Sam also made me a new drink, a mix of a bee’s knees and an aviator, we’re calling it the flying bee (and a peep was in there because, Easter, and how else are you going to use up all the peeps.)

Sunday we all went to church –  a feat in itself – and had a good service. Of course we talked about the resurrection story – but Ken pointed out something that we probably just glance over when reading –

Mark 16: 4-5 Then they looked up, saw that it had been rolled back—it was a huge stone—and walked right in. They saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed all in white. They were completely taken aback, astonished.

6-7 He said, “Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now—on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You’ll see him there, exactly as he said.”

“and Peter.” Poor Peter, who was the rock, who said he’d be there by Jesus’ side forever, not only abandoned Him, but denied even knowing Him. He was ashamed, guilty, but look. The angel made it a point to tell the women, go and tell the disciples – but also, tell Peter. Let him know, it’s okay, he’s forgiven, he is loved. How many times do we feel like we’ve done the last thing, the straw that broke the camel’s back, but God is there and He says – it’s okay, let me tell you, I still love you.

After church there was a bustle in the kitchen – I was making twice baked potatoes, beef roast, fried cabbage, natural dyes for the eggs while Grace was making pineapple compote for her carrot cake.

We dyed/drew on the eggs and had lunch, ate way too much and took Jack to the dog park to walk off some of the meal.

We ended the day with an old B&W Alfred Hitchcock – Blackmail – the first talkie film in England. It started as a silent film (and still is silent for the first few minutes of the movie), then Hitchcock added sound. The actors are still very made up for silent film, and there is some points where you can tell it was hard for them to get out of that mode – but there are some very innovative things about the movie too. I would say that someone watching it in 1929 would be shocked at the plot and some daring scenes (for that time.)

To do – school at the library, ballet, dance, driving practice, collage art co-op, LAPOMPE at Union station, Fox theater show, bubble tea, youth group, Penrose museum co-op, Kindness Krewe (kitty socializing), DMNS teen night, RiNo photo scavenger hunt, church, ironing recital clothes.

Dinners -leftovers, lasagna alfredo rolls, Irish hand pies, chicken piccata, pizza (teen night), sweet potato and chorizo bake.

Lasagna Alfredo Roll Ups

8 lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
21 ounces Alfredo-style pasta sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Rinse in cold water and drain well.
Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan over medium heat add oil and cook broccoli or spinach and green onions until tender, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat and stir in ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt and egg.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Place noodles in a single layer on a sheet of waxed paper. Evenly spread some of the cheese mixture on each noodle. Roll up each noodle from the short end, jelly-roll style.
In a 8×12 inch baking dish, spoon about 3/4 of the Alfredo sauce on the bottom and spread evenly. Arrange the rolled noodles, seam side down, in the dish. Top with mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce. Cover loosely with foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted. Serve.

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Good Friday

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St. Patty’s weekend

Day 16 – post a favorite Bible verse – Psalm 46:1-3 God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, Before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us. Saturday James worked and I could have taken Jack to his first (and longest) St. Patrick’s day parade, but I didn’t. I just lazed at home. This is Jack playing hide and seek.

Day 17 – wear some green, eat some green, just don’t be green with envy.

After church we drove up to Ft. Collins to get some ice cream. LM’s was partying, there was a band, lots of dogs, the new flower shop opened, people were eating outside enjoying the sunshine, it was nice.

Birthday week – NIA, school, work, Bethany’s Spring break, hanging at SG, ballet, dance, poe-tea, DaVinci field trip, puppy day care, Spring break for the girls, procuring positively puckering pickled things at the Pike’s Peak Pickle shack, driving practice, hike, Kindness Krewe (making pet shelter blankets), birthday brunch and tunes with LAPOMPE at my house, birthday dinner, church.

Dinners this week – BBQ stuffed potato bar, Moroccan chicken thighs, pork and pineapple stir fry, turkey/chorizo meatballs over angel hair, shrimp and sausage gumbo, birthday dinner – I’m leaning towards Ethiopian, but I’ll take suggestions (just kidding, I won’t take any suggestions.)

Moroccan Chicken Thighs

8 bone-in chicken thighs
kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
3 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 lemon, zested and juiced
olive oil, or to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil, or to taste
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Let come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Combine chicken broth, paprika, cumin, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons lemon zest in a bowl.
Heat oils in a cast iron skillet until they begin to smoke. Add chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook for 4 minutes. Flip thighs and continue cooking until skin is crispy, about 4 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Saute onion in the skillet until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour chicken broth mixture carefully over onion; scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
Return chicken thighs to the skillet. Spoon some of the liquid over the thighs.
Transfer skillet to the preheated oven; bake until chicken thighs are no longer pink in the center, 25 to 30 minutes.
Add olives to the skillet. Pour lemon juice over the thighs and garnish the whole dish with parsley.

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Walking, Mansion, Valentine’s Day, Kindness Krewe, Taco Bell

Wednesday we got out to Montbello again and walked with a bigger group (it was nice outside.)

We got lapped by the old people, I blame Jack. Anytime there was a pile of snow, he had his face in it. We had lunch at Shake Shack, which means Jack had a puppy ice cream.

We left him at home and went to the HR mansion to meet some friends, tour around, eat some treats and belt out ‘Sweet Caroline’ when the DJ played it.

Back at home I caught the exact moment when Jack chaed the squirrel. James went to pick up Joel from the airport, I took Hannah to youth group and we waited for Joel to get home.

Thursday we loaded up flowers and cards and went over to Quincy senior housing and handed out Valentines and walked around with Jack so people could pet him. We played 2 rounds of Wheel of Fortune with some of the residents, then headed home to do school.

Jack was not happy about having a bow put on him.

Joel was busy putting a gun together.

Jack’s first Valentine’s day.

We went to Taco Bell, of course, for dinner.

We left the girls at home and Joel went with us to Englewood Grand for a nightcap.

Sweet!

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