Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pikes Peak




The sun shining on Pikes Peak was beautiful the other morning. This was our last view of sun for 3 days as the snow came down in torrents.

Misawa Memories




Oh my, Misawa memories are flying by us today. We have had a snow storm now that has gone on continuously for 2 days. Both kids have had the last two days as snow days and today really added on the extra inches. I think we porbably have at least a foot on the ground but some of our drifts are 2-3 ft. deep. THank goodness for the large snowblower we bought Tom for Fathers Day this year. A little one just wasn't going to cut it in our neck of the woods. We figured if you live in Colorado, might as well live where you are going to get a lot of snow. Guess we picked the right place! Its a good night to cozy up to the fireplace and watch movies tonight!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Almost a Teen...






Miranda turned 12 on the 22 of July. We had a very small get together with just Grandma, Grandpa and one other friend. Miranda loves her new IPod and is busy trying to go through the 1000 songs her dad downloaded to see which ones she actually wants. Her friend Breana got her this enormous stuffed dog that has provided lots of laughs with the cats. She had a fun week with her cousins visiting and decided turning 12 wasn't all that bad.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Konnichiwa



We had the opportunity to host a Japanese exchange student for the last 10 days. Maka is 22 and just fit into our family like another member. Her English was unbelievable and she communicated like a pro. During the day, the program she was with scheduled a lot of activities so she was able to go to Cave of the Winds, drive up Pikes Peak, tour Norad and go horseback riding. In the evenings, she spent time with us watching movies and getting to know about family life in the US. We loved getting to know Maka and it was very sad last evening having to say our good-byes. I am sure we will stay in touch and see each other again in the future.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hi-Ho, Hi-ho, its off to....we go

So, lots of changes in our house this year. Today was Miranda and Aaron's first day of school. I wanted to attend the Boo-Hoo breakfast for kindergarten parent's but thought I would get a lot of looks when I said mine were in 7th and 5th. It is a first for us though. Miranda and Aaron were excited and looked pretty smashing in their "dress code" clothing. I will say at 54 degrees though this morning, Aaron was a bit chilly in his shorts. I thought we could get by with shorts for a few months, but at the temps we have been experiencing, we may have snow by Labor Day. Off to work Tom went, off to school the kids went, and off to the office at home I went. The only ones that didn't actually change their activities today, were these two lazy cats!!


Home Renovations

We figured if we were to ever finish out our basement, it had to be immediately. I started looking for contractors in May and by the first of June, we were set to begin. Applause goes out to all our friends who have ever taken on this type of project. I thought for a half a second we could do this project on our own, but quickly realized it was above our expertise. We have hired a great contractor and are underway. The dust in the house has been great fun for the kids. I try to keep up but there is just no way to completely combat all the dust that is generated by drywalling, tiling and other projects. I see Miranda and Aaron's signatures on the piano, coffee-tables and even the pictures hanging on the walls. I am so anxious to see the completed project.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sushi Tales

We found a great market in Denver that has all the makings for sushi. Now that
Aaron can put away a lot of sushi, we have to find other ways to quench his cravings. We made over 100 pieces of sushi one night. The market sold blocks of tamago (Miranda's favorite) and already fileted ebi. The kids had so much fun and this way saves about $100 on a sushi meal.

Visiting with Dear Friends



Our dear friends, The Boerwinkles, visited the middle of June. Miranda and Aaron have missed Anna and Carl so much and had a great time catching up with them. We went to Garden of the Gods for the day and hiked around a bit. Ice cream at the Old Colorado City creamery was a hit after our day of sightseeing. We are always up for visitors and as soon as our major home renovation is complete, visitors will have their own space to enjoy.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

A summer of Swimming



The other part of our summer has been spent in the pool. The kids are both swimming on Falfin swim team this year and have really embraced their love of swimming. They have both improved so much and will be moved up to the next level group next month. They have both decided they want to swim year round so I am thinking this will be their "one" activity to commit to for the school year. Miranda is definitely a backstroker and Aaron is quite fast at freestyle. I love that they both are in the same sport as it makes "game" day pretty easy.

Rainy Fireworks



The 4th of July brought none other than, more rain. Monument has a fun little downtown and they host the best small town celebration ever. The parade had several of those small Shriners cars and clowns. The downtown area had venders with lots of fun things to eat and gifts to buy. We came back to the house and had a barbecue in the pouring rain. Fireworks were difficult as we were able to get in about 3-4 sparklers between downpours. The kids had an enjoyable time regardless and the day was filled with home-made ice cream and barbecue.

Snow in July





We have had the chance to travel a little this summer. No major trips (other than moving of course) but we decided going up to Estes Park would be a good break. The beetle kill of the trees brought tears to my eyes. I know it is natures natural process but trees are some of my favorite things and seeing them die is heart-breaking. Once we reached the top of Rocky Mountain National park, the views changed. There is still snow the end of July. The kids had a blast with a snowball fight in July. We saw lots of elk hanging out on the side of the mountain. They are amazing creatures and just looked like they were on top of the world, literally.

Where has summer gone? The temperatures here in Colorado have been so odd and have not lended many days of sunshine. The temps this week are in the mid40-50's this week.

The kids attended camp early June. Miranda learned survival skills at Girl Scout camp. She stayed in primitive cabins for the week but made some great friends and learned a lot about herself. Aaron's experience was not quite as positive. He was chosen to attend Operation Purple, a camp for kids that their dads have been deployed this past year. He was not sure about a whole week away but embraced the idea of a new experience. Unfortunately, he came down with strep mid week and was miserable until we picked him up on Friday. We headed directly to urgent care where they informed us he was quite ill and needed antibiotics immediately. So, Aaron is not sure the camp experience is quite worth it.

The last week of June was spent at golf camp at the Academy. They learned impressive golf skills and loved the idea of whacking a ball on the driving range!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

How did we get so busy?



We are still looking for summer in Colorado. Most days it is in the mid 60-70's. We've only had a few 80 degree days. Not that I am complaining. I love the rain in the afternoon and the fresh smell of trees when we go outside. We have learned to keep jackets in the car at all times.

The last few weeks have kept us hopping. The kids both attended camp about two weeks ago. It was so hard for me to have them both gone at once and Tom still in Albuquerque. I learned a lot about myself that week and learned I can keep myself occupied without someone always yelling for mom. Of course, picking Aaron up from camp with a full onset of strep was not fun. He was quite miserable the last few days at camp (still can't figure out why a nurse didn't call me) and then for the few days after he got home. We found he is really allergic to almost any antibiotic and know to always give him an antihistamine to combat his reactions. He finally recovered and we were able to spend a couple of fun days with visiting guests from out of town.

Other news, Tonia finally is returning to work. I can't believe anyone would have taken the time to recruit me, but God is good. I will be working from home doing medical insurance work. I trained last week for 40 hours and am hoping I have the hang of things. It is different for me to return to work after being out of the loop in so long, but I think I will like it. Working from home will give me flexibility and I will still be able to spend a lot of time with the kids.

Tom started work on Friday. He too will be going through quite a lot of changes. He has never been an instructor before and working with cadets will be a whole new opportunity. We had the privilege to sponsor a couple last week for the night before they in-processed. We are praying that we will be good mentors and do the work God wants us to.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What have we been up to?

The house is slowly coming together. I have only a few boxes left that just don't interest me enough to actually go through them. We have spent the last two weeks getting estimates on getting our basement finished. We figured we might as well get it finished early on so we can enjoy it during our time here, however long that may be. Tom has been traveling back and forth from Albuquerque and I always have more on his "To Do" list then the time he has to do it. This weekend, we will celebrate the end of the school year with a field trip to Denver. The kids have worked so hard this year and are anxious to see what next year will bring with going to school. We are all a little apprehensive, but we are praying hard for good friends and a great learning environment.

We put our van up for sale as we decided we will need to have a 4 wheel drive to endure the winter storms. I had one such storm in April where the 3 foot drift in the driveway would have kept me home bound had it not been for the Land Cruiser. I love my van but I have to take into account where we now live.

Otherwise, the kids are swimming 3 nights a week and so they are trying very hard to make friends on the team. It proves to be a little difficult to hold conversations when your head is under water. I have caught up with a few people I knew when I lived here and have reconnected with several on Facebook. Both kids are going to a camp for a week in June, so I am sure I will be a little stir crazy with worry and not quite sure what to do with myself. I feel like I am entering a whole new stage in life, and it is totally unknown to me. We are learning the town and love the small town atmosphere. I am traveling to Albuquerque next weekend to attend a retirement, celebrate our anniversary for the first time in 3 years, and go to Tom's going away dinner. He will have about a week and a half left in Albuquerque before he finally joins us for good. We are all very anxious to be a family again.

Just a little....AWESOME!!!






So, sometimes we wish we could be a kid again. Miranda and Aaron had an amazing opportunity last week to swim at the Olympic Training Center pool. It is a beautiful pool and has lots of extra perks that most pools do not. There are cameras mounted from all angles and tow ropes that work as resistance. There were no sightings of Michael Phelps but the kids had the "he peed in this very pool" rumor going around quite rampantly. Both Miranda and Aaron enjoyed the opportunity and I had to stand and just watch. Seeing their smiles definitely made it all worth while though! Miranda is in the pink suit and blue cap, Aaron is easy to find.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nothing like Easter in Colorado





So, this morning Tom heard thunder and lightening before we woke up. We thought it was raining outside. When we opened the window, we realized we were not in New Mexico anymore...we had several inches of snow on the ground. Pretty normal in Colorado to have snow for Easter. It would have been great to hide Easter eggs outside on the grass last night and had the kids try to find them this morning. Wish I would have thought of it sooner. So, we got all dressed up in our sandals (with socks and tights on) and joined my parents for Easter morning service at their church. We then had all my family and a friend over for Easter dinner. Tom left at about 2pm to return to Albuquerque. Click on photos to view larger!

Aaron's Last Taiko Performance

Aaron joined two other ladies in a taiko performance at the Balloon Museum on the 1st of March. He was the only child from the taiko classes that performed. He wasn't real enthused about his part of clanging a triangle so that drums could be moved. We are hoping to find him a group in Colorado so he can continue his training. Click on the pictures to view them full screen.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Last hiking trip in New Mexico





Miranda's Girl Scout troop went hiking just north of Albuquerque to an area called Tent Rocks. We decided that it would be a good chance for our entire family to do one more hiking trip before we left this area. We have been so busy packing boxes and getting ready to move the rest of our things to Colorado, we haven't had much time for "fun" activities.

We had a bit of a scare the other morning. I woke up at about 5:00am with a popping in my head and numbness that started from the base of my skull down my arm. Tom rushed me to the emergency room where we then spent 10 hours trying to figure out why I was having so much pain. Ten hours, a cat scan and an MRI later, we found a herniated disk at the base of my skull that is bulging and causing pressure on the main nerve flowing from my head down my back. The popping was the bone around the disk popping out of socket (or so I am told!) I am now on pain meds to help alleviate the pain and a major "time out" to let the swelling go down. All this stems back to the accident I had over a year ago. So, take it from me, never, never, fall on your face!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Miranda's Outreach to Afghan children

As many of you know, Miranda started a mission last summer to collect money to buy gifts for Afghan children. She has a real passion for reaching out to these children who are the most affected by the war being waged in their country. To date, she has raised over $300 dollars and has sent 8 boxes of gifts to the children in Afghanistan. We have a friend of Tom's who is now taking the gifts she sends to a hospital where children are being treated for all types of injuries and sickness. She started making fleece blankets to send and this month made Easter bags to send to the children. I am so proud of her for reaching out, even if it is in a small way. She recently wrote an essay for her writing class explaining her reasoning for her project. It made me cry to read what she had written and to know this is all coming from her heart.