Category Archives: museum

Harry Potter and Night at the Museums


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.


Baskerville and the Springs


B&W day 2 –

We went to the student matinee of Baskerville – it was so good. It was funny, witty, and 3 of the 5 actors played 40 characters. This made the play even better, in my opinion. The actors were really just phenomenal. After the play we went through the Fine arts museum to look around.

Buck Walsky At the Beach 

Jerome Lujan San Istanislas Kostaka

Jimmy Trujillo Calavario

Niccolo di Pietro Gerini Madonna and Child

Wendy Mike and De Lane Bredvik Ragnarök

Then we headed to Fargo’s for lunch, then to the Pioneer museum to look around.

That was a good day. Back at home the girls watched a movie while I drew a doodle.

Dinner –

And jazz –



Was kind of lazy. We slept in, I made a grocery list, we went shopping at a different King Soopers, the girls watched TV with their friend, Bethany drove them to Chick-Fil-A for lunch, they walked back, I got to read, I took Grace and Gwen to the MCA teen nite and they had a lot of fun making potions, bracelets, telling stories and looking at art.

Gorgeous Fall weather this week for what we’re up to: Church and Fall fest, Worship dance (observation day), Baskerville a Sherlock Holmes mystery at the CSFAC, Kindness Krewe (knitting hats for NICU babies), hike in Waterton canyon, youth groups, Bible study, HS skate, concert at our church (going away concert for our worship leader), NIA, school, LM’s pumpkin fest/contest, Reformation hymn-fest and Oktoberfest.

Dinners next 2 weeks – Sun (TNO – I get Whole Foods, they get Mod Pizza), tacos, pork roast and plantains, chicken and hominy soup, baked ziti, shepherd’s pie, mushroom beef roast, garlic chicken, fried fish and okra, spaghetti, sausage and barley soup, shake and bake pork chops, citrus baked fish.

Sausage Barley Soup

1 pound Italian sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 (48 fluid ounce) can chicken broth
1 large carrot, sliced
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
1/4 cup uncooked pearl barley

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, onion, and garlic until the sausage is evenly brown. Season with Italian seasoning. Remove from heat, and drain.

In a slow cooker, mix the sausage mixture, chicken broth, carrot, spinach, and barley.

Cover, and cook 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low.


Sweet and Savory Fried Plantains

1 large yellow plantain, peeled
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon reduced-fat margarine (such as Smart Balance®) 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1/3 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 pinch ground cinnamon, or more to taste (optional)

Cut plantain into three sections. Quarter each section so you have twelve pieces. Season plantain pieces with garlic powder.
Heat oil and margarine together in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook plantains in hot oil until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side; season with black pepper and continue to cook until slightly darker in color, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove skillet from heat and drizzle agave syrup over the plantain pieces. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the plantains.


Shepherd’s Pie VI

4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
5 carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ketchup
3/4 cup beef broth
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. Mix in butter, finely chopped onion and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.)

Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook until clear. Add ground beef and cook until well browned. Pour off excess fat, then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add ketchup and beef broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Spread the ground beef in an even layer on the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Next, spread a layer of mashed carrots. Top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.


Spicy Chicken and Hominy Mexican Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch garlic salt, or to taste
1 (32 ounce) can enchilada sauce
2 (16 ounce) cans hominy
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pinch cayenne pepper
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken, onion, chipotle peppers, garlic, and garlic salt; cook and stir until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes.

Stir enchilada sauce, hominy, tomatoes, black beans, and water into the pot. Season with chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil. Cover and simmer until flavors combine, about 40 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.


Citrus Baked Fish

cooking spray
4 (3 ounce) fillets salmon fillets
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
2 teaspoons melted butter
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a baking dish lightly with cooking spray.

Place salmon fillets in the baking dish.

Mix lemon juice, orange juice, lime juice, butter, parsley, paprika, salt, and pepper together until well blended. Drizzle over salmon in the baking dish.

Bake salmon in the preheated oven until easily flaked with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

River sampling, DMNS teen night


Grace and I got out early to go collect samples, the river is looking so pretty with the Fall leaves reflecting in it.



Right bank

Left bank

The construction.

She’s using the DO testing for Physical science, so we took pics of each step.

Some things that make me happy:

Maisy had the blues.

Grace and her friends (who were off of school) played around in the afternoon, then everyone got ready for the Hallowteen event at the Nature and Science museum. Dress up, mask making, wandering the halls in the dark, petting cockroaches, and ghost stories. Grace wore my prom dress to be Cinderella.

Here’s everyone.

We stopped by Sweet Cooies’s before the event. Alex and Bethany –

James met me at the museum and we ate dinner at Humboldt Farm-Fish-Wine. The brisket with goat cheese polenta and beets was so good.

We were going to D Bar for dessert, but Grace texted that a fire alarm went off and they were evacuating, of course as soon as we got in the car she said – nevermind, they let everyone back in. So we had some ice cream at cookies at The Kitchen while we waited for them to be done. Alex got dropped off at our house and he and Bethany watched movies till 1am, Corissa spent the night and James and I must have been tired because I heard no giggling when I went to bed.

Ft. Vasquez, Cheese shop, Devil’s backbone


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.

Teacher day, camp


I set out a note for the girls to do some school stuff, Hannah was packed and Bethany was dropping her off at church at 4pm to leave for camp – I was heading downtown with my Schnooke for breakfast at Snooze and then to an all day teacher training event at the History Colorado museum and the American West museum.

Only a few of the teachers there knew we (there were two other ladies from my HS group there) were homeschoolers, but they were cool with it. We learned about the resources the museum has, field trips, docent tours, on-line archives, hands-on materials and then took a tour of the new Backstory exhibit which has DAM Western art and History Colorado artifacts paired to tell a story.

The pieces were pretty amazing, much better in person, but here are a few things.

Lewis and Clark’s telescope!

Alfred Miller, Shoshone Indians at a Mountain Lake. This painting is so tranquil and I love the way the tree and cliff are boundaries for your eyes that bring them back to the center of water and mountains.

Civil War drum and drumsticks. This is from a NY regiment.

Albert Bierstadt, Estes Park Long’s Peak. This picture is huge, it’s of the Estes park area. I love the way the light bounces off of the trees and the shadows that are cast.

Charles Russell, In the Enemy’s Country. There was a lot of detail in this small painting that you can’t see in the photo. The Indians that are further back are covered in buffalo hides to camouflage them as they trek though enemy territory. Sometimes reading the title of the piece is helpful.

E. Irving Couse, Crouching Indian by Fire.  I loved the brush strokes and color in this one.

Ernest Blumenschein.

W. Herbert Dunton, Black Bears. This one reminds me of an Emily Carr painting.

Kenneth Adams, Reapers (Harvest). I love the light and the flow of this one.

After that we had lunch, then went over to the American West museum, which I have never seen before, though I have passed the building many times. The building itself was just as impressive as the art it held – built in 1880 as a girls’ conservatory school, then it was won in a gambling match, lost in a gambling match, was a brothel, then a gentlemen’s club, an Italian restaurant, a gallery for art and now a museum housing salon style art of the American West (no pictures.) We went over Visual thinking skills and strategies, had a tour of the galleries, then were sent off on our own to investigate a painting. I chose this one:

Donald Crowley, Raindrops.

Image result for raindrops by donald crowley

Yes, that is an oil painting. We convened back at the tables and discussed the paintings we had studied, then it was time to go. The American West museum is free for school groups, so I’ll be setting one of those up. The art is just amazing, you could spend hours there.

Hannah made it onto the bus just fine, she was a little sad that she didn’t get to say ‘Bye’ in person, but I think she’ll have fun.

RW, CU, Nederland hike


We dropped samples, got our supplies and made it to CU Boulder by 9:45am. My plan was to do school in the museum’s bio lounge and check out the new exhibit and kids space.

When we first turned to park I was like – where did the parking garage go? I knew they were building a new student center, I didn’t know they were building it right on top of the garage, we haven’t been here in awhile….

We did school, looked at the new food web/ecosystem exhibit and had tea and coffee in the new discovery center.

It’s really made for little kids, but there was no one there, so we sat at the table and did school, made some art and looked around. I like that it’s brighter, it used to be so dark, they kept the puppets and tree house and added some more discovery boxes, a light table and a few other things. We would have taken a spot in the bio lounge, but every table was taken (usually not the case.) We had a few minutes to also go through the art museum’s new exhibit….art.

Joel Swanson Zabf Dingbats revolved around their y-axis

Erika Randall Paula and Francesca P+F

We headed to Ned and ate at Kathmandu, then went to Mud lake for an easy hike and Fall pictures.

Even though they got some snow recently, the aspen are still vibrant.

We also made a quick stop on the way out at our favorite aspen location on 119.

Back at home the girls played with their friend, I read and then I started on dinner – the chicken pot pie came out great, I think it was my best one ever.

We might be the only ones at park day tomorrow, again, but Hannah will practice her ukulele, Grace will draw and I need to go through all of the stuff I got from the museum.