Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Monday morning I went to NIA again and made it through all of the songs! NIA is so much fun and makes me happy. I went by the doc and got my blood drawn, we did school, made lunch, went by the $1 store and Jack chilled on me.

I made dinner and went to Holy yoga. I haven’t done it in ages and it felt pretty good.

Tuesday, 1 week after our big snow. My front yard.

Across the street.

The street in sore need of another plowing.

Grace had to work at church, Hannah had an interview at Chick-Fil-A, then Police explorers meeting. On the way back from dropping her off I took Jack to Petsmart to book some day camps.

Wednesday I went to Montbello to walk with Pam and give her some stuff for the seniors. Jack loved the snow!

Then it was driving to RW to drop water samples, running an errand and finally back home for lunch and finishing up school.

School today – Chemistry – conservation of mass, balancing chemical equations, synthesis reactions. Practical math -sequences. Forensic science – arson lab, robbery and theft. British lit – Hamlet act III.

English – archetypes and allusions. World history – cultural diffusion. Astronomy – the sun text questions. Earth science -barometer lab. Algebra – exponential equations. Criminal justice – police terminology.

Never watch VeggieTales as a substitute for reading Hamlet.

 

Week

It seems that there is little time these days. I wake up and it’s Friday, the week flew by again. Monday we had a Denver Police dept. tour, it was the video production area (and offices in that building, but it’s not THE police station, just offices.) It was cool to see the video guy in action, he taped the kids with a green screen and they got to add in the background. Hannah got a card from an officer and everyone got DPD dog tags, which was pretty cool.

It was Hallowteen night at the DMNS museum, Brad and Janet did not win the costume contest.

Tuesday we took Grace up to Keystone for the H2O science school. She was a bit nervous at being around total strangers, but then found out some of the kids were at the teen night and one girl used to be in our homeschool group. She ended up having a great time, making friends, getting to talk to water people, sampling and having some time without us. Hannah finally got to go to an Explorer meeting, they were working on combat care and tourniquets. She decided that Parker is a good fit and has to go to at least 5 meetings before getting her uniform and equipment. They let them wear fake guns on their belt and other tools on the belt to get used to the weight and feel of it, so that’s cool. I doubt there will be 4 meetings coming up (with breaks and they only go every other week) so it might be January before she gets her stuff.

Wednesday Hannah did school and then we watched the rest of season 2 of The Good Doctor and caught up on season 3. It started snowing right as I was dropping her at church. We ended up getting about 4 inches, but the roads were fine.

Thursday we did school and went up to get Grace. The road was fine with a few exceptions of packed snow on the road. I was worried about the road to the school, which was pretty snowy on Tuesday, but the plow had been by and packed it down (the road is dirt, so it never gets plowed to the bottom.) Jack had time to play in the snow before Grace showed up. We somehow made it to Westminster for the school Winter social in record time. Grace changed into her Janet costume and bam – they won the High school most original costume. The prize was an i-tunes card which Hannah turned into Psych the Movie and a few songs. We chilled for a bit, made dinner and then drove to the mall to walk around.

Friday I took James to work, we did school, grabbed water samples for October and drove out to Cottonwood farms. I wanted to wait until Tuesday, but it’s supposed to snow Sunday-Wednesday, so we went today. The corn did not grow this year for some odd reason, so the maze was easy for anyone over 3 feet tall. The girls picked out 2 big pumpkins and we took some pictures.

Hike, Sampling, Volunteering, Jazz, Mall school, Ballet!

After school we went on a hike. We were supposed to be somewhere else, but we ended up a bit lost. But, we rolled with it.

September water sampling.

Grace got some good news.

Hannah had her first volunteer day at GraceFull cafe, she washed dishes for 3 hours.

It was jazz night for me and James, a standing date night on the first Tuesday of the month. I think Phil keeps jazz night around just for us (because we are usually the only ones there.)

Wednesday Hannah did her school while Grace was working at church. We had lunch at the mall, Jack slept, we did some school and the girls walked around.

This mall is little (compared to Park Meadows), but I really like the chill vibe from the food court seating area. I remember when the mall was getting a facelift and I was worried about how it would turn out – but they did a really good job.

James and I went to Dang while the girls were at youth group. It’s Littleman ice cream, but it’s soft serve. We’d never been in that area of town before (Oneida park) and it’s really a cool spot. The store was done up very 60’s inside with 8 flavors of creamy soft serve, tons of toppings and games in the courtyard. There was a happening restaurant we took note of and a coffee shop that we’ve never been to before, so it was a nice outing.

Thursday we went to the Ellie Caulkins opera house to stand by for Don Quixote ballet seats. It was ‘sold out’, but as someone who coordinates field trips I know that you will NEVER have 100% of the people who said they are coming (paid or free) show up. I was right. It was full, but from our nosebleed spots we counted over 100 empty seats (and those are the ones we could see.)

We went to Union station for lunch and got to see the MOA”s Fall decorations.

 

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. )

Upstream.

Right bank.

Downstream.

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.

Hike, dandelions, dog park, water sampling, LAPOMPE, TNO, HS skate

My boop in the dandelions.

Hiking at Corwina park.

Wednesday James took off to GJ to help Bethany move all of her stuff out of the dorm and back home. We went to the Platte to sample, then took Jack to a different spot to see if he’d get in the water if his ball was in it – yep.

We got sandwiches and bobas at Ba Le, ate at the park and went home. Hannah got to youth group early so Grace, Jack and I could go see LAPOMPE. While the concert was going on, David said between song, ‘I thought I saw our band mascot, out there, there’s Jack’ and I held him up for everyone to see (so glad I gave him a bath.)

We had a good time, then picked up Hannah and stayed up late watching TV.

Thursday we did school, just Grace now, Hannah was done yesterday. I took Jack to the dog park to wear him out.

Bethany and James got home within a few minutes of each other. The girls went to dinner and James and I went to TNO with Stacy. We had good food and a good time chatting.

Friday was the last HS skate for the year. They were selling the passes for the summer, but I don’t think we’d even go once – so I didn’t buy any. Hannah is going to youth camp with church, Grace is going to a camp for another church, Hannah is hoping to get into a youth police academy camp, Grace and Bethany are going on a road trip to VidCon, we have co-ops, hikes, library programs, park days, etc. My summer is filling up fast.

 

Spring break

Day 25 – take some time to write down your thoughts somewhere, a journal, a blog, a random piece of paper. What are you doing this week, what did you do last week, what made you happy or sad?

Monday Grace had to work, Hannah had dance and ballet and we made some art at Solid Grounds.

Jack might have had an ice cream cone.

Day 26 – Compliment someone today. We went by Fly’n B to check on the owls and Jack got muddy.

Jack also got to go to the dog park.

Day 27 – Spend some time today listening. If you are outside, close your eyes, what do you hear? If someone is talking to you, give them your full attention. Listen before you respond. We drove up to Ft. Collins today for some pizza, some ice cream and a hike. We are definitely going back to the ponds, the Poudre runs right next to it and there is shade and a beach.

Jack knows ice cream is coming.

Jack was a little tired after that…

Day 28 – it’s Thankful Thursday, what are you thankful for? We went sampling this morning, but our spot was blocked due to construction, so we sampled downstream.

Our snakes were sunning when we got home.

Later we went to the library for Creativity club and 2 other families showed up for a bit.

Day 29 – Laugh out loud today. That’s easy to do when you start off at the Denver Puppet Theater for the Brer Rabbit show.

We had lunch, then went to another co-op that was supposed to be a hike, but it turned into nature center play time and a short walk.

Day 30- find some time to volunteer. It snowed overnight, but not enough to stop us from going to church to help pack meals for Feed My Starving Children. Out table packed 18 boxes, as a church we packed over 100,000 meal kits that will feed over 250 kids for a year.

We put Jack in daycamp and drove to check out the newest Littleman spot – Constellation.

Day 31- be a good friend, (not just today.) After church we took Jack to an Art of Brunch. It’s where you walk around the art galleries looking at art and munching on the offerings of each gallery.

Slow week coming up – school, driving practice, work for Grace, ballet, worship dance, jazz at EG, NIA, making art, youth group, Colorado ballet, CU Boulder terrarium making, Springs walkabout, church, kite fest or fairy fest (depending on weather.)

Dinners – chipotle pork (didn’t make it last week), cheesy chicken and pasta, lasagna, chicken quesadillas, Irish shepherd’s pie, grilling stuff, Front Range BBQ?

Irish Shepherd’s Pie

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, diced
2 pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ketchup
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups water, or as needed
1 (12 ounce) package frozen peas and carrots, thawed
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon butter
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 pound Irish cheese (such as Dubliner), shredded
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place olive oil and butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onion and ground beef; brown the meat, breaking it up into small crumbles as it cooks, about 10 minutes.
Stir in flour until incorporated, then mix in salt, black pepper, rosemary, paprika, cinnamon, ketchup, and garlic; cook and stir until garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in water and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium-low and bring mixture to a simmer; cook and stir until thick, about 5-6 minutes.
Remove beef mixture from heat and stir in peas and carrots until combined.
Spread beef mixture into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.
Place potatoes into a large pan of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and return potatoes to pan.
Mash butter, cayenne pepper, cream cheese, and Irish cheese into the potatoes. Mash until combined and potatoes are smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Whisk together egg yolk and milk in a small bowl; stir into the mashed potato mixture.
Top the beef mixture in the baking dish with the mashed potatoes and spread evenly to cover.
Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling up around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.

Fika, River Watch, Teen cafe’, board games

Tuesday after school the girls walked to Starbucks and I went to Fika to have some adult time. No one showed up though. It made me very sad, I think people think they are saying, ‘I don’t have time’ but really what they are saying is, ‘It’s not my priority to spend time with you.’ So, I had my coffee and read some of my book, then headed home to oversee Hannah making dinner. It was spinach ravioli (frozen) with red and white sauces, garlic bread toast and a spinach/beet/goat cheese salad with fig sauce.

It was really good.

Wednesday morning was cold, but Grace, Jack and I got out to sample.

As close to upstream as I could get (I didn’t bring waders.)

The water was 2 C.

Right bank.

Downstream.

Left bank.

Some cool ice.

A kingfisher.

I was so cold all day, even when curled up with Jack.

I took Grace and a friend to the Teen science cafe, the speaker was a botanist and Grace came away super excited. She said the botanist was very passionate about her job, plants, trees, and learning about them. They came away with some pressed plants that they picked out from her stash.

Thursday we had a board game co-op at a game shop. We brought Denver Scene (which is like Monopoly) so the game lasted us over 2 hours, even then we weren’t really done. Some of the cards you draw are funny.

Tomorrow is the start of my birthday month and I’m excited to have some cool things to share with people.