Friday, February 19, 2010

Hagar the Horrible

The kiddos have started a new unit at their school. They will be learning all about Vikings and have asked us to send our pizza boxes in with them to school so they can use them to make shields. Darn! Does that mean I have to have pizza this week? Oh, such a chore! Anyway, their art teacher showed them step-by-step how to draw Hagar the Horrible today and they turned out so cute, I had to share them with you.

                                             Ike's Hagar

                                                  Izzy's Hagar

Sweet Spot

OR...Musings From Tonight's Insomnia...
OR...Remember Never To Drink Caffeinated Tea Before Going To Bed...

I used the words "Sweet Spot" today. My hubby's been giving me B-12 shots weekly for the past year and we think we've finally found the "Sweet Spot" (yes, we're slow learners). That seems an unlikely pairing; sweet spot and shot. It is true, however. And in this case it involves speed and trajectory (just kidding). It does require speed, though. It seems to take all the pain away the faster it happens. Sounds brutal, huh? Anyway, hours later as I tried to fall asleep, I thought about that phrase and the context where it would normally be used...

*Babe Ruth's bat
*that perfect cruise control speed that took you 15 miles and 3 hills to get just right
*the center of a slightly underdone, freshly baked, chocolate chip cookie
*the crook of my neck that gives me goosebumps when kissed
*Starbuck's dulce de leche (which they unfortunately stopped making; or is that fortunate?)
*a perfect ending to a perfect book
*a baby's freshly bathed and powdered bum
*a long, hot bath
*a dog's favorite spot to be scratched
*that place between my shoulder blades where my kiddos stick their elbow to work that knot out
*that spot in my husband's and father-in-law's back that they just can' need another hand or corner of the wall to get to it (and I think my son has inherited)
*that place on the beach where the wind blows softly...just enough so you don't have to get all wet AND sandy trying to cool off while getting a tan (definitely thinking about this one as the snow continues to fall)
*that place in front of the fire that warms you up but the smoke doesn't burn your eyes and nose
*that moment, about 10 minutes after crawling into bed where your feet and hands are warming up, you are relaxed, the house is quiet and just about to doze off (so much for that idea...I'm STILL awake)
*that special spot where your kiddos fit just perfectly while cuddling-no bony elbows, bums, or knees to dig into you
*your favorite place to meet your friends, have a cup of coffee and catch up
*an infectious laugh

You get the idea...and none of it had ANYTHING to do with a shot, huh? Maybe I should have called it the "Sweet Shot" instead!
I crack myself up!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Simple Life

I've been asked a bunch how I feel about living so far away from civilization. Actually, we are only 20 minutes from the nearest town, but unless you have 4-wheel drive or chains (or both) you can't get to our house about 9 months out of the year, and I couldn't be happier. I love that we don't have a doorbell and all that implies. I love that I wake up to trees and horses and animals (domesticated and wild). I love taking both short and long walks and never seeing a soul. I love how quiet it is, although we do have planes that pass overhead and we always stop and listen to see if someone is coming up our road. I love being able to hear people 1/4 mile away come up our road. We definitely don't have solicitors. We definitely don't get people in the middle of the night that are drunk and looking for their home or their friend's house (yes, this happened to us twice in our last house). The only artificial light that shines through our windows is the one that gets kicked on in the middle of the night if the horses get out, the raccoon is getting into the trash, the elk is muching on the alfalfa, or the wind is blowing the trees. I love our woodstove and waking up to a warm cabin, now that we found out that aspen will burn almost all night and you should burn it when it has just a tinge of green, where cottonwood and pine is spent in an hour or two. I love watching MacGyver, my man, chop firewood and hear it echo through the canyon. I love spending so much time with my family and working side-by-side with my husband. I love the sunrises and all the birds that come out and sing in the middle of winter because the sun is out. I actually saw a bird take a snow bath a few days ago. I love how safe we feel. I love back-up plans that include a generator and an extension cord. I love Carharts, leather gloves and work boots. I love fences made from trees, and the smell of alfalfa. I love my warm comfortable bed and caramel coffee in the morning. I love fresh-baked pumpkin or banana bread. I love homeschooling and all the life-lessons, conversations, and 'rabbit trails' that make homeschooling so cool and rewarding. I love being still and peaceful. I love watching all the life lessons my kiddos are learning by 'living off the grid'. It's a simple life; certainly not for everyone. There are sacrifices but they are easily forgotten in the shadow of these beautiful mountains.

20 Questions

Remember 20 Questions? I thought you'd like to hear the game we played on the way home tonight. It went something like this:

Izzy starts.
I'm thinking of something black and gray.
Is it an animal?
A food?
A mineral?
Is it outside or inside?
Is it light or heavy?
Lighter than a feather?
Can you lay on it?
Yes, but I wouldn't want to.
Can you buy it at a store?
No, I don't think so.
Can you see it?
Is it smoke?
Is it air?
This went on for 20 minutes (and I'll spare you the LONG of it), until we said:
We give up. What is it?
Giggling from the backseat:
Daddy's whiskers!
Needless to say, I laughed and laughed and laughed until I started choking and could hardly breathe! We just discussed earlier that afternoon how much gray hair we were both getting! Yikes! I thought I'd share a little humor thru the eyes of an 8 year old!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day

MacGyver brought me home roses and a hilarious card for Valentine's Day. What a sweetie! The kiddos love it when their daddy brings me flowers and gifts and make me smile. Why is this? Do they just love seeing their parents in love? No, Izzy tells me. In fact, they find it very embarassing. We go out of our way to kiss and hug right in front of them just to torture them! We even went on a real date (with no grocery store involved :) for Valentine's Day. Okay, it was actually two days before but we have an intense aversion to masses of people and having to wait in line for 2 hours to eat a good meal in 30 minutes all in the name of a date. So, we went to an afternoon showing of Avatar 3-D. Thank you all for the suggestion! Great movie, minus the swearing and new-age spiritual element. Seeing it in 3-D was worth the cost and I would love to see it again. I might even let the kiddos watch it in a couple of years with a profanity blocker. Why must we have to buy a profanity blocker just to watch a good movie? Oh, don't get me started!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Colorado snow

I love Colorado snow. I woke up to a few inches of snow this morning and as I headed out to feed the horses, I grabbed a snow shovel but quickly realized it was as soft as baby powder; so I grabbed the broom and swept it away, instead! So much easier! The snow covers over everything and makes it all new again. And an hour later the sun was up and reflected on the trees so beautifully. There isn't a camera in the world that can grasp that kind of beauty.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Alice in Vail-land

We met up with some of the "cousins" in Vail. They were in for the week for their annual ski club trip.  We wanted to go up and ski for the day, but the ski conditions were sub-par, we were just getting over an exhausting week with the flu and we ended up only having a few hours before we had to get back and get ready for school and work the next day. Bummer! Maybe next time, guys! Next year we'll be prepared ...we're planning on making a week of it next year in Steamboat Springs! We did eat some yummy fajitas by Chef Alice and Chef Doug and then jumped on the Vail Gondola and headed up the mountain. We laughed at all the crazies heading down the mountain in the dark on ski bikes and all secretly wished we could try it, if only just once! We found an awesome fire ring outside one of the restaurants and sat around and talked and laughed a while. We love you guys and wish we could get together more often! See you in April!