Bible Verse of the Day:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Too much time, a new pen, and no paper.....

....leads to this:

Not a great picture from Allie's camera, but you get the idea. We discovered this when we stopped in Wheatland for a bathroom break. To his credit, he drew a very nice happy face on one leg and some very good letters on the other.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Denver Mini-Vacation

In conjunction with a school training for Phil, we spent a couple of days in Denver doing fun family things. First stop -- DENVER ZOO.

Timothy kept saying, "He's waking up, He's waking up..." Unfortunately this bear was most content in this sprawled out position.

The zoo animals carousel was a HUGE hit for Tim. He giggled most of the time. Listen to his laughter in the video below:

The kids liked this bird's mohawk!

Momma and Savannah

The penquins were fun to watch. They were all chasing the one that had a stick in its mouth. First they jumped in, swim to the other side, play awhile, and then start the routine all over again.

Museums and zoos are always good places for Biblical teaching opportunities. Near the primate exhibits was this evolutionary display. Of course, it was not mentioned as a scientific view, but rather as fact.

We had a good discussion about God, creation and the age of the earth. Right away the kids recognized several things that didn't line up with the Bible -- which is the ultimate authority from the only creator, sustainer, and ruler of this earth!

It is so sad that many people think we accidentally evolved from animals and not wonderfully created and designed by a Holy and Awesome God!! His creation is amazing, but the Creator is the one to be praised.

Allie also heard another lady explaining similar things to her kids at this sign. She thought that was really neat.

More carausel pictures!

This little creature kept following us.

Savannah especially enjoyed the short train ride through the zoo.

Timothy even made up a song about it.............Listen below:

It was a great day, great weather and great kiddos!

Candy Factory Tour -- YUM

When Phil and I were in Denver in June for the Colorado Home Educators Conference, we stumbled on this candy factory one morning. Free tours are offered daily from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

As we left the zoo, Phil thought it would be fun to take the kids to see this. We pulled in the parking lot at 2:56 p.m, walked in and made the last tour of the day by just seconds.

A blurb from the factory homepage:

Hammond’s Candy Factory was started in 1920 by Mr. Carl T. Hammond, Sr. Over the last 86 years, the "Mile-high" city of Denver, Colorado has seen a number of fine chocolate and candy manufacturers come and go. But the candy company founded by Carl T. Hammond, Sr, in 1920 is one that is still very much in business.At Hammond's Candies® today, we still make candy the way Carl Hammond made it, with the same tempting recipes and the same careful craftsmanship. Toffee is still dipped in rich chocolate and hand-rolled in crunchy almonds. And hard candy is still hand-pulled to extra-shine. Yet, even with all that handwork, we still make and offer hundreds of different candies. Chocolates and creamy caramels fill our showcases, along with brittles, lollipops, candy canes, and much, much, more.

After watching a short video demonstration of the candy making process, we got to go in and watch the candy makers at work. They definitely use their muscles at this job!!

Of course, we had to go into the store and buy some samples for the ride home.

Casa Bonita, too???

Our original plan was to go out to eat at one of my favorite restaurants -- Macaroni Grill. So when Phil suggested Casa Bonita, my jaw dropped! He HATES this place almost as much as Chuck E Cheese.

Since it was early (before 5) he thought we'd get right in (we did) and be able to sit near the action (we did) and get back to the hotel early in the evening for some swimming (yep - did that, too).

Timothy's new favorite restaurant is now Casa Bonita - and it's not because of the food....but rather because of the pirate that came to our table and talked to him!!!!

Then to watch the pirate fight and the cowboy shoot-out was simply too much excitement for one day. In a 3 year old's world, tigers and candy and pirates are wonderful by themselves, but all together in one day..... UNBELIEVABLE!!

Here are a couple of videos of the excitement.

Don't know haw many blog readers know that I worked for a summer at Casa Bonita. Not much has changed - except the prices of the food! Our recommendation - order the American food rather than the Mexican. However, the chips and salsa and sopapillas are very tasty.

Hotel Fun

Back at the hotel we had the pool to ourselves. I think we need to find some blue or green colored goggles for Tim???!!

Savannah preferred the edge of the pool.

On your mark, get set, GO. Phil and the girls - off to the races.

By the way, Allie and Lindsay have decided to join the swim team this year. Sarah wants to stick with dance and was asked to be a part of the dance performance team. Another busy, fun year to look forward to.

Goodbyes and Farewell

One of the main reasons we decided to accompany Phil on this trip to Denver was to say goodbye to some good friends - The Helm family. Several years ago they moved from Casper to Denver, but now they have accepted a job offer in the Chicago area.

After Steve came and rescued me and my dead battery at Mardell's, we had an enjoyable time hanging out for the afternoon.

Allie, Sarah and Sarah opted to stay indoors most of the time and play cards.

What do you get when you add a family with 6 kids (and a neice) to a family with 5 kids in the midst of a move??? Swimming in underwear, of course!!

One of the twins - don't ask me which one - and Timothy having a squirt bottle fight.

I think Mark took this picture of Christy and I. Good job for an almost 4 year old!!

Lindsay and Jaylee had a blast on the trampoline.

And lounging in the sun.

Mark took a particular liking to Savannah. He followed her around like a little mother and she was quite content to follow his leading.

Allie and Sarah getting ready to say goodbye

A little water hose/trampoline fun caught on video.

Come get your lemonaaaade............

A summer favorite -- a lemonade stand.

The girls set this entire operation up themselves. I was surprised by how much traffic they had in front of our house.

Lindsay (holding Sophie who we were dogsitting), Taylor, Sarah R., Allie, Timothy and Sarah anxiously await some customers.

Allie and Sarah tried to fool the others by dressing up, sneaking out the back and coming down the sidewalk. They fooled them until they got close enough to recognize the dress up clothes!

Girl's Getaway Weekend

Allie and I recently enjoyed a special getaway ~ just the two of us. We didn't go far -- a local motel just a mile from our house -- but it was a nice break from the demands of daily life.

The purpose of the trip was to spend some quality time together as mother and daughter. I also had some special date activities planned for us to do together.

As the other girls get older, I look forward to mother-daughter dates with them also.

We started out the date with a frozen beverage from Starbucks! YUMMY
The hotel from outside.

Then we did a little swimming and hot tubbing. There were 5 hot tubs in this hotel, one located right outside our door!

Then we went to a nice dinner.

I got Allie a special gift ~ more beads, string and a fancy necklace layout board. She was DELIGHTED!

We spent the rest of the evening beading and then watched a movie.

The next morning we woke up, had a nice breakfast at the table outside our door and Allie soaked in the hot tub again.

I woke up feeling a little under the weather. I learned a few hours later that I had indeed caught the stomach bug that Timothy and Savannah had the day before. UGH!

It was a great trip that Allie and I will cherish forever.

Thanks, honey, for holding down the fort and taking time off work so we could enjoy this.

Monday, July 13, 2009

More River Walking

Brenda and I enjoyed a mid-morning river pathway walk. All the kids wanted to do was get into the water, though.

Blake was very patient as he tried to show the girls how to skip rocks.

Aly and Allie

More pool and waterslide fun

Teresa, Brenda and I gathered up the kids and took them to Paradise Valley pool to try out the new water slides. Brenda and Jessi took the blue slide and very narrowly beat Teresa to the bottom. Teresa most definitely wants a re-match!

Savannah, Savannah - you should swim in the water - not drink it.... (and it would help if you were in your bathing suit instead of your clothes when you decide to jump into the pool).

Sheer delight in life!

Swimming suits optional.

Now THIS is fun!

Witnessing for Christ at the Fair

Our church's summer youth interns trained and accompanied several of the kids as they witnessed for Christ at the Natrona County Fair. They worked alongside CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) and handed out gospel tracts and encouraged kids to get their face painted for free at a booth. As they got their face painted, another CEF volunteer would share the gospel message using the wordless book.

Allie and Sarah went on 2 different days and participated in this outreach. They said it was scary at first, but as they talked to people about Jesus, it got easier. They both decided that even if people ignored them or threw away the tracts, it was worth it to plant small seeds in peoples' lives.

Here is Kayla with Sarah and another girl from church, Melissa. Allie was with Justin in another area.

After they were done with their "shift", Phil and the rest of the kids came to see the animals and check out the rides. We did not ride any...just watched for awhile.

Hanging with the Sheridan Huberts

Missi, Meg, Ella and Jack came down to Casper for a day trip! We definitely do not see these guys often enough. It was nice to not have a specific agenda and just hang out.

Phil had the day off so he took a little nap with Timothy, Jack and Savannah. The rest off us drove to the swimming pool for the afternoon.

Ella did a little sunbathing.

So refreshing.

Meg got brave and went off the high dive. Missi did as well!

Which led to Lindsay going off ONLY if I agreed to also. was no problem going off, but touching the bottom of the pool SERIOUSLY messed with the equilibrium and pressure in my head. I had the absolute worst headache I have ever had and even had to excuse myself from dinner later that night to lay down. Throbbing doesn't even come close to describing the pain I was in. Thankfully, the pain subsided later that evening, but my left ear still hasn't fully popped. Needless to say -- no more high dive for me for awhile...or ever!

Here's Lindsay marching right off the end and jumping like a pro.

Later the kids shucked corn.

And sweet, handsome Jack hung out in the living room.

Thanks Missi and gang for making the trip - can't wait to go camping in a few weeks!!