Category Archives: outdoors

Kayaking, hiking, poe-tea


Monday after school was done we went kayaking. I can tell that if I want to do some kayaking at all I am going to have to get another kayak or go early in the morning.

We still haven’t gracefully learned how to get in or out of the kayak, so it’s a good thing the water isn’t freezing.

Tuesday I took James to work, so Jack and I stopped at Matthew Winters park for a quick morning hike.

After some school we had Hawaiian themed poe-tea. First of all, the Hawaiian language was banned in schools in Hawaii starting in 1893, before then ‘mele’ and hula were used to pass on history, chants, poems and stories. So, you can write down a mele, but it’s spoken or sung or done to hula.
We listened to the TED talk from the first Hawaiian poet laureate here –

We listened to a mele about a grandmother here .

We listened to a mountain mele about a sacred mountain (I like this verse – We go forward in the evening/Vanished in the light of day/We are caressed by the rain of Lilinoe/The pathway to Mauna Kea.

I put on some Hawaiian music and we had some treats and tea – sand dollar cookies, pineapple coconut puff pastries, fruit kabobs, fruit salad, Hawaiian rolls and SPAM. I have to say, I have never had SPAM before, but it was pretty good fried with a little pineapple and on a bun.

Then we took a short hike at Elk Meadows park.

Then back home for a bit before taking Hannah to another Police explorer meeting, but no one was there. Hopefully they are meeting next Tuesday, I am finding the Police explorer units to be disorganized and not helpful at communication.

The week so far


I posted this picture on Sunday, but I spoke too soon.

At the end of day 7 that ball was toast.

So, we start over.

Monday Hannah did her Earth science experiment about density, mass and volume. Basically she watched and took measurements as her ice filled rock tube fell apart.

It was Monday HS skate, which normally we would not be able to attend, but since we don’t have dance this semester we went. At first there was hardly anyone there, maybe 7 kids skating. Eventually it went up to about 23, still that is low.

Tuesday we put Jack in daycare, did school, then went downtown to the Ralph S. Carr Judicial center for a tour.

There were no cases going on in the courtrooms, but that just meant that our guide was able to talk and explain the purpose of the courts, tell us interesting things about the details in the room and note some historic people that practiced close to there (this is a pretty new building) such as Ruth Ginsberg who prosecuted a case not far from the building.

Since it’s a newer building, it has a green roof per the green roof initiative. It also has a lot of public art, since 1% of a buildings budget needs to be for art. We went up to the 4th floor, then down to the law library. The windows in the library are stained glass and each one has a historic document or type of law engraved in it (First Sumerian laws, Hammurabi’s code, Magna Carta, etc.) Also, some of the art has amendments lightly written over the picture.

The most interesting part of the tour is the learning center, a space that has interactive games and learning tools for introducing ideas about law and concepts of the same.

When we picked Jack up he had already tried to escape once – if I’m late picking him up he tries to sneak out under a big dog, sometimes he makes it, sometimes not.

Hannah and I went to an Explorer post meeting, but they just voted to change their meeting days to Wednesdays and Hannah isn’t keen on the idea of giving up every other Wednesday. So, we’re trying to find another post (looks like Parker will be our best bet.)

Wednesday was 9/11, we started the day with library school. I’m a woman of my word, they wanted a quiet space (away from Jack) to do school outside of the house once a week, they got it.

After lunch we grabbed trash bags, gloves and Jack and headed to Montbello for a Kindness Krewe day of service on 9/11. Sometimes on 9/11 we attend ceremonies, sometimes we climb stairs, sometimes we do service. I asked a friend if she knew of a place that needed cleaning, she quickly said, ‘Montbello Central park’. So, that’s why I chose that park. There were 4 other families, we grabbed bags and took off in different directions. I usually take an after picture with how many bags of trash we collected, but everyone threw away their bags before I could – but we had about 5 kitchen trash bags full and multiple small grocery bags full of trash.

When we were done we went by the Arsenal to see the bison, they just happened to be walking across the road as we drove up.

Then it was home to make dinner and off to youth group for Hannah.



After school I dropped Hannah at her friend’s house, Grace stayed home to paint and Jack and I went to Teacher’s Day Out. No one showed up, so it was just the two of us walking around RiNo looking at the new CRUSH wall murals. This is only a few of the new murals, I will be going back with the girls to check out the rest.

Grace made Hannah a new sign for her door.

Grace worked on a crime scene sketch for Forensics class too.


School, jazz, hike


Hannah had to do a potato topographical map for Earth science, it was kind of cute. The water is red instead of blue because they included red dye and she didn’t want to use our blue dye.

I took Jack on a photo/sniff walk on the canal.

Wild plums are mostly ripe, we need to go pick some to make some jam.

The girls watched Jack while James and I went to EG for jazz. Phil made me an excellent Kookaburra (root beer, absinthe, root beer liqueur.)

Wednesday we went to the library to do school, we’re planning on making that a weekly occurrence.

In the afternoon we went to the Audubon area for a hike.

Our A/C froze up last night, so it was a hot night sleeping (I think we got it down to low 80’s with the windows open, but the breeze was blowing the wrong way.) Stupid adult things one has to do, fixing A/C’s.

I finished this book – I think the most interesting thing about Audrey Hepburn’s story is not that she survived the Winter Hunger, it’s not her involvement in the Dutch resistance at age 15, it’s not her courageous escape from the back of a German van that was driving around picking up women, it’s not her iron will to dance and to work hard at something she wanted so passionately – I think the most interesting thing is her reaction to reading Anne Frank’s diary. They were soul sisters, Dutch, bornĀ a few months apart, loved to dance, lived 60 miles apart and were captive during the war. There were details in Anne’s diary that were images of Audrey’s family – 5 men shot by the Nazi’s, one of those men was Audrey’s Uncle. Audrey turned down playing Anne Frank on film because she could not relive the horror and she felt that Anne’s life was almost like that of a sister and she couldn’t play that role and honor her; it was just too close to her own war experience. Very good biography of Audrey Kathleen van Heemstra Ruston.


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.

Wed, Thur, Friday


From Union Station jazz Tuesday night.

Wednesday the girls did school, I took Jack on some errands – the post office, the UPS store, the eye doc, Petsmart. Thursday James was coming back home so I cleaned the bathrooms, vaccummed, swept, cleaned the kitchen and did laundry. The girls did school and then we took the kayak and tubes to Gravel pond for some homeschool PE.

Jack and I went to pick up James and Jack went nuts in the car. He missed Daddy.

Friday we did school and Jack broke his new ball.

Hannah had a Criminal justice lab based on this TED talk –

Grace learned about a new invention that makes handling sea critters in their natural environment a breeze.

Soft Robot Gives Jellyfish A Hug

Grace and I went out to get water samples and Jack jumped right in (because there was such a big sandbar. )


Right bank.


Left bank.

Tomorrow we’re going to visit the Air Force chapel before they close it for renovations and then we’re checking out a Food hall in the Springs.

Sunday, Monday


I was so tired Sunday morning, but I took Hannah to church, she worked at the coffee shop and made me a Mexican mocha (a perk, she gets free drinks.) After church Grace came by to pick her up (she was at Connections) and they went to the Dollar store and Goodwill and Target. Jack almost got his ball broken enough to get the crunch ball out, but not quite.

After lunch, Grace stayed home to paint and Hannah and I went to Chatfield to try out the new kayak and tubes.

In other news, James has been gone 1 day and ……

Goings on this week – (James is at a conference in San Fran), hike, NBTS pics, co-op registration, Denver animal shelter dog walking, school starts, LAPOMPE at Union station, chiro appt, hike, Chatfield, water sampling, weekend….don’t know yet.

Dinners this week – Round steak with onion sauce and side of artichoke stuffed peppers, chicken marsala over linguine with asparagus, Union station food, pepperoni chicken and cold cucumber ziti salad, tacos!, baked potato bar, BBQ and corn on the cob.

Pepperoni chicken

Original recipe yields 4 servings
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
cooking spray
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 (14 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (8 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese
24 slices turkey pepperoni

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rub oregano and basil over chicken breasts.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken; cook until browned and no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes per side.

Pour half the spaghetti sauce into a large baking dish. Lay chicken breasts on top. Coat chicken with remaining half of the spaghetti sauce. Scatter mozzarella cheese over sauce. Arrange 6 pepperoni slices over each chicken breast. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.


It was National dog day today and Jack was enjoying it.

We went to Enchanted Grounds so Hannah could do some on-line work, then Cafe 180 for lunch.

Then a hike at Fly’n B park and some extra school photos were taken.

Grace made these dolphin stickers, cute.

Jack finally broke his ball, day 7.

I started on a drawing based on the song ‘All Creatures Of Our God and King’ from church yesterday.

Finished it later.

Watched some TV and went to bed.