Monday, August 29, 2016

2016 Blue Jeans Week 34

 Crazy week last week.  We entered a new phase of life and parenthood as we drove 1200 miles to take Miss A to college and back in just a few days.  We got home and the other kids started school.  Busy week.  It was wonderful and awful, fun and sad, horrible and exciting.  Lots of tears were shed.  Thanksgiving is a long time to wait to see this girl of ours, but we are so grateful she has this opportunity!  What a great age to be, what a great place to be and study and learn and grow!!!  We are so excited for her, just sad for us because we are going to miss her like crazy!  I am just very glad we live in an age with instant communication---talk, text, skype, video chat, whatever.  We can keep in constant contact :)  Take a look at our week. . .

This is Miss A' dorm on campus, and it is so nice and new!  Got her moved in.  Thank heavens there were big carts to load up all her stuff and elevators!  

This is her bedroom

Her kitchen

And her living room with huge windows that look out on the mountains.  She was excited!

And this was our last picture with her right before we left her.  Ugh.  That was hard to drive away and wave good-bye, and then Ben and I had 1200 miles to alternate between driving and crying on the way home.

Got home Wednesday night and school started for our kids Thursday morning.  No rest for the weary!  Miss O is ready to hit school as a junior!

Miss E is starting high school this year as a freshman.

Mr J in his second year at the middle school as a 6th grader with his saxophone and ready to start band!!!

And while we were doing that, Miss A was having freshman orientation.  Isn't this cool?  She said she was somewhere in the middle :)

And she sent us this from her first college volleyball game surrounded by friends.  Makes me happy!

So we made it through that tough week. Coming home was hard.  I went to set the table and got out 6 plates and about cried.  I didn't need 6 plates anymore, I only needed 5.  Little things like that jolt me.  I still expect her to come home from school with the other kids.  Life marches on.  As a young mother it used to annoy me how often people would say, "Enjoy this time, it goes so fast."  Yeah, yeah I would say.  Now I understand better--it does go by way too fast and you think those kids are going to be around forever, but they aren't, and you don't want them to be  :)  You want them to grow and progress.  It is a good thing she is healthy and strong and able to attend college.  So many in the world do not have that privilege.  I am excited for her and this new phase of life.  Not quite so excited about the phase of life it puts me in, but that is ok.  I have 3 more kids at home to enjoy the short time I have left with them!  Life does go by really fast, so enjoy!!!  Have a great week!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

2016 Blue Jeans Week 33

Last week was pretty emotionally draining.  Not as much as this week, but close.  It was Miss A's last week home, and we left Friday afternoon to start the drive to take her to college.  Man.  An emotional week as she packed up her room and did all her "lasts" and said good-bye to everyone.  It was especially hard to say good-bye to her siblings as they were not going with us to take her to school because their own school was starting.  Leaving on that sad note of telling them all good-bye until Thanksgiving was hard.  But I am so thankful for the technology we have where we can call, text, skype and keep in touch very, very easily.  And I am soooo excited for her and the opportunities she will have!  So here is a look at our last week. . .
Love hearing this girl play the piano.  I am going to miss that.

Sunday afternoon walks are a family tradition--just not usually with Miss A wearing a cape :)  But today was our last Sunday evening walk as a family.  Tears, yes.

Went up to the city for one last fun day up there.  My sister joined us for lunch and yummy dessert from Nothing Bundt Cake.  Yum!

Then beginning of school things started here--locker check out day for Mr J.

Exciting new phone for me--finally moved up to a smart phone :)  Yes, I am a little slow, but better late than never.

Mr J started to learn how to mow the lawn by himself.  Nice to get a new lawn mower in the family.

We had a farewell party for Miss A with a yummy DQ cookie dough blizzard cake--her favorite.  Her sisters got her the cape and crown to take to school :)

This was the last time my 4 kids will be together until Thanksgiving.  Yes, I was crying as I took this picture right before we left Friday.  That was a tough good-bye.

Thanks for visiting.  Hope you had a great week!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2016 Blue Jeans Week 32

What a fun week!  We had some young friends over for a few days.  They were fun.  They reminded me so much of when my kids were that little.  Oh my, and now I have a girl heading off to college in a week.  Crazy!  We are huge Olympics fans here.  Loving watching those each night.  They might have been able to hear us cheering for Michael Phelps in Rio from our living room because we were so loud "Go Michael!!!!! Come on Michael!!!  Yeah!!!!!"  Love it!  Got some family pictures taken on probably the hottest day of the year, but our family time is quickly coming to an end, so we just smiled and sweated :)  Hopefully you can't see the sweat in the pictures, just the smiles.  Take a look at our week. . .
Miss A entertaining our young friends.  So much fun!

Mr J loved this little girl.  Fun to have a really little one around too!

Another day they were here, and we got out the old mini pool and slide which haven't seen a lot of use from my kids in  years :)  Good to see them out and used.

Loving the Olympics and loving cheering on Micheal!!!  Four in a row!  How awesome is that?

Just a fun shot of family pictures.  The finished ones are not quite ready, but love this preview :)

This week has been high school marching band camp.  Miss E is now a freshman and gets to be in the high school marching band with Miss O.  At the end of the week they had a family dinner and a preseason performance mini show.  They were good!  Miss E playing the baritone on the end with her hair in braids.  Love marching band season!

And today was Miss A last day of work.  It was fun she got to work with Miss O--my girls running the show :)  Kind of a bitter sweet day for Miss O as she will miss working with her sister!

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

2016 Blue Jeans Week 31

Had a good week.  First time for Miss A to vote--which is a big deal in our home.  Our church had a college shower for Miss A and 2 others going to college.  My dad had an art exhibit we went to--awesome!  We enjoyed A&W's free float day---one of my favorite treats ever, and we went school supply shopping with Mr J.  Fun stuff!  1 1/2 weeks until my oldest leaves for college!   Take a look at our week. . .
Since she turned 18 a few months ago she had been studying and preparing to vote.  She knew the local candidates and knew what she was going to do.  Proud of her.  Voting is important!  First time to vote!!!!

Our church ladies were so kind and had a college shower for the 3 girls in our congregation that are heading to college in a few weeks.  They were so generous!  Good stuff!

Three amazing young women here that are going to do great things!   The one on the left is going to be Miss A's roommate at college.  

My dad is a professional artist.  He was a college art professor for 24 years, and now focuses more on his own art since he retired from teaching a few years ago.  He had an art exhibit this week which we totally enjoyed seeing.  Missing one here because she had to work, but sure love to see my Dad's talent!

Root beer floats are seriously one of my favorite treats ever.  We are lucky to have an A&W restaurant close by especially when today was Free Float day!  Man, can't be that!!!

This guy is so excited for schools supply shopping--his sisters, not so much, so the two of us tackled his school supply list today plus other things :)  It is nice to check that off the list!

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you have a great week!

Monday, August 1, 2016

2016 Blue Jeans Week 30--vacation!

We are the type of people that like very relaxing, low-key, get-away-from-it-all vacations.  So this summer we did a glorious week at a cabin in CO elevation of 10,000 feet.  The highs were 70, the lows in the 40's-50's.  It was glorious.  We told the kids no electronics were allowed, and we didn't have service where we were anyway, so it didn't matter.  We had a great week being together as we prepare to take our oldest to college in a few weeks.  Ugh.  but that is a rather depressing thought right now, so we are just going to focus on the great vacation we had.   Take a look.. . .
We had a wonderful kitchen in the cabin and we planned very easy, quick yummy meals.  We were so excited when we went to a near-by grocery store and they had Dunford chocolate cake donuts covered in chocolate icing.  My grandma always had these when we came to visit when I was growing up, and they are divine!  They are made in Utah and we were so surprised but super excited to find them in the mountains of CO!  We sure enjoyed these for breakfast!!!  If you ever see them at a store, buy them!!!  They are sooooo good!

Went to a small church up in the mountains and enjoyed this gorgeous view!!!

Did some early morning fishing.  Didn't catch anything, but still fun.

Did lots of hiking at different places each day.  Today we went around a mountain lake that was ice cold and gorgeous!


And we even found snow up there!  That was exciting!

More hiking. . .

Finding beaver dams

My favorite thing about the vacation--the big front porch and reading--in my hoodie no less!  Love it!

Exploring different mountain streams

Throwing rocks into lakes

And then blowing out 2 tires--(they are on the other side) way up in the canyon miles away from anything. . .having to get towed and 2 new tires.  Not on the agenda for that day, but it sure was exciting :) ha, we just kept saying "everyone is fine.  No one is hurt.  It is fixable and we can pay for it."  Counting our blessings :)

With the car in the shop for a day waiting for new tires we sure enjoyed the cabin and playing games together.  Spot it was a favorite.  Did lots of puzzles too.  

And more hikes---lots of fun!!!!

So enjoyed our time together.  Getting back to real life is hard especially with that college starting looming before us.  Just a few weeks before our oldest leaves the nest.  Oh my.  But we sure enjoyed the time we had together!  Making memories!!  

Thanks for visiting!!

2016 Blue Jeans Week 29

Hello!  Yes, I am playing catch-up again.  We had our family vacation this last week, and it was an off the grid, unplugged, no electronics week.  LOVED it!  We had a cabin in the mountains at an elevation of 10,000 feet.  The highs were 70.  It was divine!  but I digress, this is the week before that when we were dying in 105 heat index heat.  We sure appreciated that mountain air and coolness!  Anyway, the week before vacation we were finishing up some summer activities, and Miss O chopped off her long, long hair to donate and looks soooo cute!  Take a look. . .
Mr J found a recipe for chocolate crinkle cookies that he loves and has made a few times.  He was so excited to show me these cookies he made Sunday when I returned from my girls' trip with my mom and sisters.  These were yummy!

Summer band is an important part of our summer.  Miss O and Miss E will now be in the high school band together.  Looking forward to another awesome marching band season!

And this week marks the end of swim team.  These two heading to their last early morning practise!

Had some cute little friends over and did some amazing art!

Miss O and her before long, beautiful hair that is going to make some other girl very, very happy when she donates it.

Miss O after with her cute stylist and her way cute short and layered hair!  So proud of you Miss O!

And then end of last week we headed on vacation.  We stopped in Colorado Springs for a little to see the Garden of the Gods.

It was pretty cool!  More vacation photos to come!  Thanks for visiting!!!