Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Me, Mom & The Kids

A hundred years ago when Jeff and I started dating (okay so 12, but close enough), I was welcomed into his amazing family and developed a bond with his mom that has developed into her becoming more of a mom to me than anyone else in this world. She's amazing help to me and a wonderful Grandma for the kids. Last week Jeff took off to Germany for 2 weeks for a deployment (Yes, that's what the Air Force is calling it) and Mom flew in to lend me a hand (and make sure I didn't kill the kids). While most days Jeff is a huge help around the house with the kids, and chores, having another mom around is super helpful. I come down from putting the kids to bed and the dishes are done and toys put away - life is good! Here are some pictures from halfway through her "work-cation".

Kale peeking through the loft, or Baby Jail - you decide.

Mom, in her PJ's (it was a work day around here) gaining a whole new respect while trying on the Kevlar with armor. It's HEAVY!

One way to get her to sit still and watch a movie. Actually, Haley really enjoys being "Buckled Safe" into her car seat and I had it in the house to clean the crud bucket up. When it was all reassembled she wanted to sit in it and watch her movie.

One of Grandma's highlight's was that she found Kale's first tooth. Now, I've been checking daily and he managed to pop it out right when she decided to look. I'd be bummed that I didn't get to find it first, but Auntie Christy found Haley's first tooth so I'm O-fer.

Don't know what this kids obsession with Cheerios is about, except that maybe it's the only solid food he can have with his partial one tooth, but he kept peeking around the box and smiling at us.

On Sunday before bed I looked outside and there was like an inch of snow (I know, nothing compared to MT right now, but I can still be ticked - after all, I spent more than a few winters there). You might have to open the picture to read the sign, I'll just apologize for the profanity now, but I'm TIRED of the snow.

Our little engineer trying to figure out how the dishwasher works. He ended up sitting on the door and looking around at the living room (must have accomplished what he climbed up there to do).

Grandma and Papa decided that the kids needed a playhouse. As usual, they're right. They LOVE it. It has a working doorbell that both kids could push all day long and a telephone that Haley carries with her everywhere. Also a hit? The ginormous box that it came in.

Apparently it's also a great climbing structure. Thanks Grandma and Papa!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Have you ever wondered what an entire box of Cheerios would look like if you dumped the whole thing on the floor? Yeah, I haven't really either, but apparently Haley and Kale had that thought this morning and decided to explore it. Earlier in the morning I had given Kale a small handful in a bowl and stuck the box up on the island in the kitchen. I was upstairs in a vacuuming zone, finished the stairs, came around the corner and this is what I found. I should also mention that they were silent before I found them and in the time it took me to download the pictures and e-mail them to Jeff, Atlas and Bella had completely cleaned it up for me.

Hoppy Easter!

I think it's safe to say that Easter and the Easter Bunny was a huge hit here at our house. Haley talked all about him the night before, especially after we told her that he would bring her presents (that's my girl!). When she woke up, she right away started to look for eggs and then saw her basket and went to town.

The first egg she found that morning.

Dude-a-man digging through his basket. Yes, it's a Tonka truck.

All dressed and ready for church, she loves her brother!

My too cute little girl.

My super handsome little man.

One of our other Easter Morning surprises was a bunch of snow. It was pretty slick when we left for church, but by the time church let out, we were only about 5 miles up the road and it took us 20 minutes to get home. It was snow man snow too so Jeff built one for the kids in the front corral.

Mommy and the Dude-a-Man

This is a big chunk of our Easter Basket opening - beware, it's a 6 minute movie.

My BIG Surprise!!

Every year for the past (nearly) 5 years My step-mom Carrie and my brother Ben come out to visit us (wherever we are) for Ben's spring break. It's something we look forward to because we rarely get to spend time with just them. Plus they're always up for anything when it comes to doing all of the "touristy" things around town. This trip being Ben's first trip to Colorado and Carrie's first in a long time we had lots of things to do (check out the pictures below of what we were up to).

But I have to say that the best part of their trip was the surprise that showed up on Monday. We were hanging out just finishing up dinner when there was a knock at my door, when Jeff got it, in comes my dad! My dad is usually pretty busy with work as spring time is a busy time of year for boats, but this year he's on a practice retirement and had some time to come out. It really made the vacation.

Haley really had a GREAT time playing with Uncle Ben (and Grandma and Grandpa too). Kale was just thrilled to have the extra arms to hold him. I loved the extra hands helping change diapers and entertain them!

The first full day that they were in town we went on a lantern tour at Cave of the Winds - very cool and lots of fun.

Jeff and me in a dead end on the tour. Those are the lanterns that we got, just a kerosene candle inside of a small bucket.

Carrie and Ben in the same dead end. The tour guide was in heaven having a 10 year old on the tour - he rode him like a pony: Blowing out his lantern, making up stories about other kids in the caves, and just generally making the tour fun for everyone at the expense of Ben (who was a really good sport about it all).

Next up was Garden of the Gods with Dad, Carrie, Ben, Haley and Kale. Jeff had to work.

Practicing my photog skills.

A rare picture of me with my kiddos.

More photog practicing, I'm pretty impressed that this is with just a point and shoot camera. I think this is one of my favorite shots of the vacation.

We took Ben with us to the BX and the "Sword Guy" was there and let Ben hold a few of them. It was likely the highlight of the trip for him (not Cave of the Winds, or Garden of the Gods, might have even beat Casa Bonita).

We also made a stop by the Academy. This was the first time my dad had ever seen it and was full of questions. He really enjoyed seeing all of the static display planes.

Since Ben now plays AAA Baseball at home and was missing a couple of practices and at least one game, we needed to make sure he got in some practice time and took him by the batting cages. They had one whole cage that we were able to put Haley into with a ball and she had a blast running all around - I wonder if I could get one for the house, she was so happy and CONTAINED!

Grandpa and Haley

"Big Brother" and "Little Brother" wrestling on the floor (I think I called Doorknob for Ben and Jeff enforced it). This ended with Ben's foot stuck under the waistband of his pajama bottoms.

Ni-Night snuggles with Grandma. This was after a long day outside.
The last stop on the vacation was to Casa Bonita up in Denver - really cool atmosphere, but the equally as terrible food claimed 2. Ben was sick that night and Dad was in pretty bad shape the day they were supposed to fly out. The best part about this was the night before the Casa Bonita episode of South Park was on and Dad got to see it - pretty funny to actually go there right after that.

Yet another rare photo - the kids are both looking at the camera.

It was yet another fantastic Spring Break with my family, we had a great time! We can't wait for next year and all of the fun things we can do (especially with all of the kids another year older).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Hobby

A few Christmases ago I gave Jeff a home brew beer kit, and he's really taken off. I decided to delve back into my old layout and design ways and design the labels for the beer he was brewing. I thought I'd share some of the past work - I'm pretty proud, considering I have no formal training. I'm definitely open for comments and suggestions.
This is the label for the red beer - similar to a Killians and the first label I did. This is Jeff's favorite beer to date (and a dead powerful one too).

This is one that he and Norm Vujevic brewed - it's pretty much the Beltain from Belt, MT. They didn't fair too well with the judges, but managed to get 2nd place people's choice so they must be doing something right.

This one was brewed tonight and features his test director Maj. Dave Reasland - a.k.a. "Gummie" on the label. The brew is a bunch of his leftover ingredients and 2.5 pounds of gummy bears.