Month: June 2019

To Grand Junction in the new blue van

I decided to break-in the minivan with a quick trip to Grand Junction.  The van served us well.  Comfortable drive, good gas mileage, and fun movie watching (until the kids got too nauseated).

We had a great time, visiting mostly with Waterhouses, and Saturday morning with the Masons.  I got to help out at the soup kitchen with my folks.  It was a chilly weekend, so the boys couldn’t jump into the pool immediately.  By Sunday it warmed up enough and they spent a good chunk of the day being fishes.

We had a picnic on the Monument and were excited to see a whole herd of bighorn sheep gathered there.  We went yarn shopping (my parents are enablers 😉 and Lego shopping. We got the telescope out to see Jupiter and her moons.  And more swimming 🙂  These pictures are exactly in order, but I think you get the gist.  It was a great summer indulgence!

b and d

Learning to read and write is hard.  Sam made great strides during Kindergarten.  I’m trying to keep his brain in the game with reading and writing over summer break.  There are two letters he didn’t master in reading.  He complained yesterday that he was still frustrated by identifying b and d.  Whenever a word starts with one of those letters he pauses, hesitant to sound it out, because he’s not sure which sound to make.

I did some research to see if there was a good trick to help kids remember the difference.  I found this great idea and, as I suspected, Sam took to it with gusto after lunch.

Focus on which part comes first, the line or the circle.  For b the line, or “bar” is first.  For d the circle, or “donut” is first.

Now replace those with a Twix bar and a chocolate donut and suddenly the kids are eager to form d’s and b’s – d starts with a donut, b starts with a bar.


Even the third grade grad was excited to practice his b’s and d’s.


The memory device seems to actually work.  Sam wrote “sudway,” noticed his error, and changed it to “subway” without me pointing it out!


They were engrossed with writing until Freddy started toying with my flower.  Not even chocolate can compete with a prancing kitty.


A busy Friday with a magic show

I feel like my days are nonstop since…early May?  Today I packed it full: yoga class in the AM, then a quick change before selling my car.  Sniff!  Sad to see my Versa go, but after driving my van for a week the Versa seemed so small cramped!  I felt like Alice, suddenly too large for her house.  I went down to Carmax and they offered me a fair trade, and got it all done in an hour’s time.  I had just enough time to scarf down lunch before taking the kids to the library for a special show.

As part of their Summer Reading events, we saw Magic Rob!  I registered the kids a while ago, figuring magic was a slam dunk way to spend Friday afternoon in June.  Jack was excited by Sam dug in his heels.  He loosened up when I allowed him to bring some blocks in a fanny pack “for my entertainment.”  After less than two minutes Sam had forgotten his blocks.  He even shot up his hand to volunteer (along with most every other kid, neither of my boys got a turn to help).  I did not expect the magician to be a version of Chris Farley for kids, but the kids were rolling on the floor with laughter.  After the show, during the meet-and-greet with Presto the bunny, I embarrassed Jack by telling Rob that Jack is an aspiring magician too.   Rob was genuinely excited to hear about that and pulled Jack aside to ask him about his tricks and to give him a trick coloring book to take home.  Jack was glowing with pride.  Pictures and video of the show are below.

The Golden library where we saw the show is right along Clear Creek, so the boys waded a little bit.  They were shocked how cold the water was.  It’s snow-melt, guys!

Home in the afternoon gave me a chance to sit down and do my billing work for a while, plying the kids with backyard hammock-time and popsicles.  Then Ben and I blitzed through the house cleaning.  A brief but intense summer storm had me running to shut windows, and we lost power for a few seconds.  After the storm lifted I went to the bank to deposit my car check and get McDonald’s for the boys.  Ben and I enjoyed Indian take-out with his friends.  We hosted Gloomhaven at our house tonight.  Between serving and cleaning up the kids, helping set up their movie, and baths later in the night, I had a few moments to myself to eat samosas and watch some youtube.  I’m ready for a slower weekend tomorrow!  Just a birthday party at lunch and an Alamo movie with the fam on the schedule.



Waterhouses in NYC

My folks invited me to come to New York with them last weekend.  Ben offered to keep the kids at home, and the Masons came over to help out with them.  It felt so strange not to have little kids to manage and extra items in my luggage to care for them.

It was a fantastic trip!  Tons of great shopping and experiences.  We saw Tootsie and Hadestown on Broadway.  We saw the Camp costume exhibit at the Met and I got some extra time in the European halls (I’m usually dead-tired by the time I get up there, so I went straight there this time.)  We ate a ton of great food – so many delicious pastries!  We visited two unique yarn shops and I had to borrow an extra bag to get all my yarn home.  There were a few street festivals too.  Here’s some pictures from the trip:

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