Monday, August 25, 2014

Final Road Trip before school

After our successful camping in Wyoming we had earlier this summer,  I decided I we needed to get one more trip in before school started. Joel was not so sure this was needed :). Sadly Lauren came down with a cold a few days before we were planning on heading out.  After going back and forth we finally decided to get busy livin! So, Thursday night we head to Wyoming to camp, before heading on the South Dakota.  We arrived at the campground just before dark, so the kids were able to run around with head lamps for a few minutes before we headed to bed.
 The next morning we woke up and hit the road, wanting to get to Custer State Park before all the camp sites were taken for the weekend. Due to a more the complex camping situation than I was used to, we missed out on a campsite. After a few phones calls, we were back on track, finding a campground near Mount Rushmore. At least we had a pretty drive thru the park.
                                                  One of the many tunnels you drive thru

After getting our tent set up for the weekend we headed to an animal park that several people had recommended. It was called Bear County and it was named well. It was a drive thru park, and they had wolves, reindeer, mountain lions, and a lot of bears. Joel and I were guessing about 50. It was fun and the kids enjoyed it.
Cute Tree with a bear cute into it
 Mountain Goat
 One of the many bear
 This was a big guy
 The bear cubs were so cute to watch!
 Kids liked being out of there car seats the most :)

 At this point of the trip, Cooper wanted to take some pics. So I gave him my camera and he promptly dropped it. So Sadly I have no more pictures  from this point on. We have a few from Joel's phone. The next morning we headed over to the Wind Cave and Jewel cave, for a few tours. Both were great and we had a good time.  Of course we had to see Mount Rushmore (cooper is very happy to be there.....)

By this point I am coming down with Lauren's cold, so we take it easy for most of the day. Early the next morning we make it a priority to get the Mammoth Site Museum, were there have an active archeological site. Cooper really liked it, so it was well worth the trip.
Replica of what a Ice Age dwelling might have looked like
 Cooper (6) and Lauren (3) at dig site
 Cooper holding a replica of a Columbia Mammoth Upper Leg bone, shows just how huge these creatures were

We made it home Sunday with time for me to crawl in bed and not move for a while, but we had a good time and I am defiantly glad we decided to go.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summertime fun

Just a quick post for the Grandma's out there. Here are two short video's Joel put together of our trip to the water park and the bike park.

We went to Water World this last week. Despite having to wait out a short storm we had a great time

Bike riding at Valmout Bike park in Boulder. Lauren is not quite sure she like it yet, but Cooper is doing great.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Birthday Extravaganza's

Cooper is 6..... and I can not believe it. I was thinking than having a party at the park, would be easy. In case you are interested in, it is not. Instead of just showing up at a place and party... you have to bring everything. But the things we do for our little ones.  Well I think everyone had fun, so it was all worth it, but I see Monkey Business in my future for Lauren's 4th.
We showed up about a half an hour before everyone else showed up and we were blessed with great weather, about 80 degrees. Joel put up our slack line, and I getting out the sandwich and other snacks ready. We also brought up our peddle car and scooter in case the little ones wanted a spin. 
                                                   Skylar going down the slide

Dad pushing Lauren in the swing
Reese, Jaxon, and Lauren on top of one of the climbing rocks

After playing and we headed down for some sandwiches, and of course birthday cake. It was a great party and I am glad we had good weather and great friends to help us celebrate.  We had 11 kids between 1 1/2 and 6 years, and no real tears, or any blood. So success!
Birthday Boy looking for trouble :)
Little girl just like her Momma.... we love our cake!!!
The next day we get to celebrate Reese's 5th birthday. Sarah held it at her community pool and we all had a great time. The big surprise was a visit from Anna and Elsa.  Cooper was not as impressed, but let me tell you how excited those little girls were.
We need pretty dresses to spend time with the Princesses of Arendelle
Reese, The Birthday Girl
  We were able to get our face paint to match our swim suit
 Listening to a story
 Again, Cooper not too excited, when we asked if he wanted to listen to a story, he said "No Thank you"
Jaxon and Lauren playing "Who has the Crown" with the Princesses
 Cooper told Dad that if he never saw another Princess it would be too soon! I am guessing at some point in the future his feelings toward girls might change, but for now I will enjoy his disinterest in them.
Still avoiding all the girly girls on the playground

More Proof Lauren is a champ of birthday cake eating (Sadly I did not get a photo from Reese's party, because she had chocolate cake all over her face)

Hope Cooper and Reese had a great birthday!!! 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Fourteeners Finally!

Joel and I have discussed for a decade now that we needed to hike a 14k foot peak. It was always a little daunting for me to think about it, but I must say since having little ones, and starting to run has helped my asthma quite a bit.  So when several people at Joel's office decided in January to start training for Fourteener I decided I would try to. The biggest factor would be getting a sitter. Thankfully Auntie Sarah came to the rescue. So on Friday night we had dinner with Sarah and the girls, then headed to her place to get everyone cleaned up and in bed. Now I am not sure they stayed in bed, but there were in bed when we headed home around 8. We went home and prepared for a early morning.  Our alarm went off around 3:45 and we were on the road by 4. Thankfully traffic is pretty light, so we made to Breckenridge, by about 5:30. Grabbing something quick to eat we meet the Markwest group at the trailhead before 6. Sadly one of Joel's co workers meet up with a deer on the way in and had cause quite a bit of damage to his car. Thankfully it was still drivable, but would need some bodywork.  We had about twenty people in our group, so grouping up in the parking lot we headed up. Quickly after leaving the parking lot, we started to all set our own pace. Clark (I think still pumped up from the car accident) quickly left the rest of in the dust, but I was feeling pretty good. The altitude at the trailhead is just under 11k(10,850), so I was starting to get a good feeling about making it to the top.

Taking a break at about 12k feet
We continued to make pretty good time, Only stopping ever 3/4 mile to catch our breath. They we hit the last mile. I think at this point someone attached cement blocks to feet. The last mile was TOUGH!  We climbed almost 1k in that mile and with the thinner air, it was really hard. I am guessing I was taking breaks about 50 feet.  But Joel and I were the second and third of our group to make it to the summit. (behind Clark who had to wait an hour for us to arrive). We had great weather and were able to take a break on the summit, From what others told us it was pretty uncommon to be able to do, since weather and wind are pretty harsh at the higher altitudes. We had climbed 3,340 feet and made it to an altitude of 14,265.

Joel and I at the peak

View from the peak

Several of our local friends we saw on the way up.

The hung out just a few feet from the trail (Scott Parker and Joel selfie with a goat)

After a group photo, we headed back down. Now, normally I love to descend. But this was so rocky I think it was just a hard or harder going down. The other issue was that the trail was very crowded. I love that Coloradans and other visitors get out and about in our beautiful state, but I was surprised so many were on this peak.... a would guess about 1000 people were on the mountain that day. 
Here are the stats - 2 hours 45 mins to ascent
                     Total Time Around 5 hours 30 mins
                     Total Altitude -14,250 feet
                     Total Climb - 3,450 feet
                     Total Miles - 6.75 
 We grabbed some lunch in Breck before heading back down to get the kids. Had a great time, but was a little sore  (okay very sore) for a few days. I would do another one, if it works out again sometime in the future. 

                                                     Scott even hauled up a banner 

                                  See why that last mile hurt sooooo bad

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summertime fun....

The summer is half over and we have been having some fun. Just a few pics from what we have been doing to last few weeks.

We all love the splash pads
 New discovery Zone at the Museum of Nature and Science
 Very Cool water table
 Ancient Mayans
 Cooper volunteering to help with a presentation about Microbials
 Up. Up and Away
 Getting Ready to watch the fireworks, from the top of our hill we could see several different cities at once
 All dolled up and ready to Dance at the WOW Children's Museum

 At Last finishing Cooper's new room. Since we redid Lauren's when we moved in last summer I told Cooper he could redo his room for his 6th birthday. We picked out new Pirate bedding and painted one of the walls. I have a treasure map, and a few more things to decorated. Thankfully it was a pretty easy transition.