Category Archives: Kids at home

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.


Chinese New Year, Broken shovels farm


Since Bethany didn’t have a car….she came with us to the Far East center Chinese New Year fest.

Jack thought it was very loud, he didn’t mind the drums and cymbals from far away, but he had his limit on how close he would get. It was a good show, Hannah got a stuffed pig and green tea kit-kats, we ate banh mi sandwiches and had a good time. I wasn’t the slightest bit hungry for dinner, but it was make your own pizza, so I eventually did.

Sunday I took the girls to a Valentine cuddle at the farm, it wasn’t so much a cuddle as a pet – the pigs were very pokey.

We got out to Petsmart with Jack, he was happy.

Then we chilled back at the house and had orange chicken for dinner.

Our week – NIA, school, Grace working, ballet/dance (Hannah), blood draw, St. John’s music at noon, dropping Valentines at Lambuth shelter, Holy Yoga, Joel comes in on leave, Walk2Connect (Montbello), Highlands Ranch mansion Valentine event, youth group, Kindness Krewe (Valentines at senior center), Taco Bell night (Valentine’s day), HS skate, TNO (Pho at Southglenn), don’t know about the weekend yet.

Dinners -rice/beans and cornbread, blue cheese stuffed pork chops and stuffed mushrooms, keema aloo and injera, Taco Bell (Valentine’s day), creamy chicken soup, waffles/eggs/sausage, fettuccine shrimp alfredo.

Keema Aloo

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 extra-large Spanish onion, chopped
2 tablespoons water (optional)
2 pounds lean ground beef
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
1 serrano chile pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup frozen green peas
1 teaspoon garam masala

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook and stir onion in the hot oil until soft and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. If browned bits of onion are stuck to the bottom of the pan, stir water into onion and stir to loosen the browned bits.
Mix ground beef, garlic, ginger, serrano chile, and cilantro into pan; cook and stir until beef is browned and crumbly, 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir coriander, salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, and turmeric into the beef; cook and stir until flavors blend, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and potatoes, cover pot, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Mix green peas into dish and cook until sauce has slightly thickened and flavors have blended, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle garam masala over the dish, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.


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.

Doc, Incredibles 2, Night at the Museums, church, Mom date


I went to the vascular surgeon on Friday. He said he wants to go in with an angiogram and use a stent to open the artery and close off the aneurysm. So, I’ll be scheduling that soon.

Saturday morning Grace, Hannah and I went to the library for a cereal bar movie, the Incredibles 2. I saw some of it on the cruise, but not the whole thing. It was pretty funny. Bethany was in town and went with her friend to a tea shop in the Springs. I went shopping, the girls went out for dinner and to the mall while James and I went to Night at the Museums. I had high hopes for doing the Botanic gardens too, but the small amount of walking we did at 2 museums did me in. We did the Clyfford Still museum first.

Then we went to the Kirkland museum, I’m going to have to come back to show the girls and to see the rest of it.

Sunday I went to church – Bad theology leads to bad practices. I do things for God because I am accepted, not to be accepted. Being precedes doing. I am a representative of Jesus, I am acting on behalf of Jesus, I am living for the honor of Jesus.

He is not “part” of my life, He “is” my life.

Colossians 3 1-2 So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. 3-4 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life.

A short library run.

Then a bunch of Moms met up at Whole Foods, kind of like a TNO. It was fun, especially when I said my meds, then (because I’m wrong) my nurse friend supplied the actual name. I think this should be a party game!
Carvadodol? Carvedilol (LOL!)
Furrysomething? Furosemide (sounds like furious.)
Spurlactony? Spironolactone (I don’t have any comment for that one)
Demexathisasodone? Dexamethasone (Meth?! I swear, it’s only 2 I can stop after that.) 
Lisinopril – I can say that one.

Our week – school, kidsitting (G), dance (H), fireplace guy, poet-tea, 3-D jewelry @ library, Jazz nite Englewood Grand, TDO (papermaking), youth group, blood draw(s), doc scheduling, Creativity club, Davinci machines co-op, Ladies night @ Festive cup, Bad art date night with my Schnooke, church.

Dinners this week (I’m cooking again) – Turkey burgers, pizza and soups, Taco Tuesday!, basil chicken in coconut curry sauce, butternut mac, Ladies night (so I don’t know what everyone else is having), beef stroganoff (for the girls, that’s my date night.)

I am omitting salt from my recipes, but you can add it to taste.

Slow Cooker Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

6-8 boneless chicken thighs, skin removed
1 teaspoon oil
2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
2 tablespoons dried basil leaves
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 and 1/2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
1/2 or 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 large red onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon COLD water
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Remove the skin from the chicken using your fingers and a serrated knife. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil (or you can use nonstick spray).
When the oil is hot, add chicken thighs. Don’t put them too close together, you want to avoid steaming.
Cook for about 2 minutes, until nicely browned on the bottom. Then flip the chicken over to brown the other side for about 1-2 minutes.
Remove the chicken to a plate.
Meanwhile, in a crock pot combine coconut milk, basil, 2 teaspoons salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, yellow curry, and chili powder (to taste). Stir to combine.
Add the chopped red onions, and garlic.
Add the browned chicken and stir to combine.
Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.
Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer to a plate or cutting board. Let cool for a couple minutes.
Add the ginger to the slow cooker.
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon COLD water. Stir until it’s not lumpy. Add this to the crock pot and stir.
Shred chicken.Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir. Return the lid and cook for another 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cilantro.
Serve with rice, cauliflower rice, or naan.

Slow Cooker Vegan Butternut Squash Mac

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 medium white onion, quartered
½ cup raw cashews
¼ cup nutritional yeast (I am omitting this)
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard
2 cups vegetable stock
1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked according to package
fresh parsley, for garnish

Cut off both ends of the butternut squash and poke all over with a fork. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes.
Peel the skin off of the squash. The skin should peel right off! Once peeled, slice the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and cut into 1-inch cubes. You should have about 5 cups.
In a slow cooker, combine the squash, onion, cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, rosemary, nutmeg, olive oil, mustard, salt, and vegetable stock. Stir to combine.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, until the vegetables are soft enough to be easily mashed with a fork.
Transfer the squash mixture to a blender, or use an immersion blender, and puree for 5 minutes, until there are no chunks and the sauce develops a creamy texture.
Pour the sauce over the macaroni and stir well.
Serve garnished with parsley.

Rest of the week/end


flew by for having ‘nothing’ to do. I made Grace do probably too much extra school on Thursday, we’re doubling up so we’re not behind when we come back from our trip. I have a list, I check it off, but I know that we have a lot of extra stuff next week that is eating up time, most things are in the afternoon, but still. I took the girls to the dentist and Jack patiently waited for them to be done. He was so good he got a puppuccino afterwards.

We bought him a new toy and it only took him an hour to chew through it and another 30 min to get the ball out and chew through it – so we took it back and got an  ‘extreme’ chew bone and a new ball.

And a Halloween shirt.

Friday I took Jack for a walk at Genesee, but it started raining on us, so we left.

Hannah finished some big and baby customs.

Saturday we went to a pumpkin festival in Golden.

The girls wore their new pumpkin shirts.

Then they picked pumpkins.

We had D’Deli for lunch and I forgot to bring Jack’s food, so he ate bread.

Gwen picked up Grace and they went to a concert, Bethany drove in and played games with Hannah, then we had Anthony’s for dinner. Sunday we all work up late, James made breakfast, we went to the mall, the girls headed home and we picked up Grace from her sleepover. We said bye to Bethany and James and I took Jack to a new dog park. It was nippy out, it’s supposed to snow tomorrow morning (we’ll see…)

Tonight we’re huddled at home with chili and cornbread.

This week –  school, kid sitting, St. John’s music at noon, J. Buck art at Robischon gallery, MOA diorama at Union, MCA art, Cottonwood farms (depending on weather), Denver puppet theater, youth group, Creativity club (Parker), teen nite at museum, cleaning, packing, dropping Jack for boarding, leaving on a jet plane.

Labor day weekend


We took James and Bethany to Green Mountain Falls to see the art. We ate brunch/lunch at The Pantry. They were very dog friendly and the food was okay.

The girls went on the swings while James and I walked to the island gazebo.

Then it was off to Footprint in Green.

Joel and crew were having fun at the NY State fair.

Later, we went to the pet store and Jack watched the guinea pigs.

Sunday morning Bethany wanted to do Dim sum, so we got there 20 minutes early and got seated in the first wave. We know better than to show up at 10am when they open,  but others do not. When we got back home the girls played games while we watched some TV, Bethany left about 4pm (she had a class the next day.)

Monday James and I took Jack to the park, then got the girls up to go to Kenosha pass and see some Fall leaves. It turned out to be a disaster. We stopped at the trailhead to eat lunch, then decided that we’d drive the car up the road a bit (because it’s usually closed there) and the car wouldn’t start. It was dead. There was no cell service. Lots of cars were at the trailhead, but no people. I saw a truck leaving that had some guys in it dressed in camo – I thought, they look like they would have cables. They did. The car started and since we didn’t know how long it would run we left without getting close to the trees – so for all of that, these are the only pics I got.

We pulled off onto Guanella pass, which was almost a very bad mistake. We stopped (and left the car running) to get out and use the bathroom and the car died again. Thankfully it had enough juice to start up, we got back onto 285 and made it home (and then to the shop to drop the van off.)

James grilled some steaks for dinner, we watched some TV and called it a day.

River sampling and apple picking


After school Grace and I went to grab some water samples. She didn’t have to do metals, so it was a quick trip to grab the samples (but still took time to do our own tests.)

It was cloudy, so hard to see upstream.

Right bank.


Left bank.

Bethany got home just in time to go pick apples with us.

We got done just as it started to rain. I made crock-pot apple butter, it was easy to make and tastes really good.

The girls had a pj night.