Author: eaumaison (page 1 of 170)

Grands in Grand Junction

It wouldn’t be summer without a quick trip to visit the double grandparents living in GJ!

Jack has been learning new magic tricks and was eager to share them with an enthusiastic audience.

So. Much. Swimming.

We all loved the new hammock. 

Ben had fun with friends back in the Front Range.  

Nimbus is the cattiest of cats

I think I struck gold with Nimbus.  She is every kind of cat you could want.

She’s great with the kids.

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Jack is suppressing his gag reflex to feed her the stinky wet food, Sam is restraining Nimbus from leaping at the food.  It’s a team effort.

She perches at the window to watch for birds and critters.

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She follows us from room to room, always wanting to be where the people are.  She claimed this stool in the kitchen so she can socialize in the kitchen with us.

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She cuddles!  She enthusiastically joins me on the couch at my side.  When I laid down the other night, she leapt from her window perch and began some serious spooning.  Every nights she changes up whether she sleeps with me, Jack, or Ben (Sam is not her favorite – we are working on his cat-play skills).

She is so very playful.  The boys are great at giving her mice, laser pointers, and feathers.  The first week she arrived she paraded through the living room with this blue ball of yarn.  I do not know where she found the blue ball – all my yarn is in drawers or high up on a bookshelf.  After rewinding it three times in a day I gave it some extra stitches to hold it’s shape, so now I only have to rewind it once a week.  She plays with it endlessly.

She sleeps with it.  She puts it in her food dish.  One time she tried to trade me her precious blue ball to get a good bite of the yellow yarn I was knitting (wiggling yarn is always > than plain yarn).

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Ben said Russian Blues are supposed to play fetch – well, half fetch, by chasing after what you throw.  Nimbus certainly loves doing that.  Tonight we were playing and I realized she carried it back to me.  I repeated the game, and we were totally playing fetch!  We played at least 6-8 rounds, and I even caught a few on camera:

 

YOU GUYS.  My cat PLAYS FETCH and CUDDLES.  She is clearly the best of cats.

Jack’s 8th Birthday

This Memorial Day was also Jack’s 8th birthday!  To start the day he requested a big breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, strawberries, and donuts.  Opening presents was fun, he got a lot of games and books this year.

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Ben took the kids to BigTime jump gym and then to the Toys R Us to scope out the going-out-of-business sales.  They got a great deal on an enormous LEGO robot set that Jack has been eyeing for years.  We had lunch at Red Robin, where he politely declined the birthday hoopla.

In the evening we hosted a Harry Potter themed birthday party.  I had various activities tied into the wizarding world, with lots of magical items for them to collect and take home.

I turned the front door into Platform 9 3/4 to enter the magical world.  The kids were sorted into the different houses and received their wizard cap and a wand.  The snacked on pizza, Huffle-puffs, Raven-claws, Gryffindor Grapes, Slytherin Snakes, Quidditch Brooms, Bertie Bott’s Beans, and Prof. Sprout’s veggies (ok, mostly the adults snack on that last one).  Then we began classes.  First they had Charms class (float the balloon with “Wingardium Leviosa!”).  Then they learned to write with quills.  Then we went to Transfiguration class to turn into owls and race the letters.  Lots of cheating with that one, so I switched to charades, whispering an animal to each child to “transform” into.  During this time Amanda and Ben set up the table for Potions class.  This was the clear winner of the night.  We had a selection of ghastly ingredients and recipes they could mix up and drink.  Next was cupcakes and presents, and we finished with Care of Magical Creatures by coloring their own Basilisk snake.

Everyone seemed to have a blast.  I’m indebted to Amanda for being such a helpful Sister Witch.  She plays a wonderfully stern Potions Master too.  Ben was also great at making sure all the kids were having fun, and managing Sam as he tried to blend in with older kids.  The night capped off with an impromptu sleepover for Jack’s best friend.  They were absolutely giddy about getting to play for another few hours, and right back at it in the morning.

Welcome Nimbus!

We decided it was time to add a furry friend back into our family.  I searched high and low and finally met this little kitty at a shelter in Littleton.

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The boys were overjoyed when we announced we would be getting a cat – apparently they believed our cover story that we had been visiting shelters “just to visit the animals.”  Jack started crying actual tears of joy.  He has been wanting a new cat for years (geriatric Molly wasn’t the curious and friendly creature he had in mind).  We showed them pictures of the cat I found and gave them the short list of name ideas we had come up with.  Furious discussion with new suggestions ensued.  Once the kitty came home we all decided that she fit the name we all liked: Nimbus.  Like the stormy cloud, and also like the quidditch broom from Harry Potter.

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Being a shelter cat, we don’t have a full background.  They estimate her birth date as April 27, 2017, so she’s about a year old.  She’s from the Bahamas.  Apparently there have been a lot of programs shipping stray pets from the hurricane-battered countries to Colorado and other states where the adoption rates are higher.  Her coloring leads us to think she’s of the “Russian Blue” variety, but surely not a purebred.  Sam has declared “We have the best cat in the world!” I’m inclined to believe him.  So far she is everything you could want in a cat.  She’s bold, curious, gentle, playful, cuddly, patient, and a total purr machine.

A drizzly Mother’s Day

So far it’s been a splendid Mother’s Day. The boys gave me shiny necklaces from target, three bouquets of flowers, an Alamo gift card, and cooked me a delicious breakfast of bacon, eggs, and chocolate croissants. We roasted marshmallows in the backyard and pretending we were camping.

It’s been a tiny weekend-my favorite weather. Sam is matching the sky with a drizzly nose. He’s been performing some dramatic nose-blows during church. Motherhood is full of mucus. 😉

Happy Star Wars day!

The boys got to build porgs at the LEGO store. I brought a friend from home to watch.

Fourth time 3D printing a cookie cutter was successful. My Wookie Cookies were not ready before the boys went to bed. It will be a fun treat for Free Comic Book Day tomorrow.*

*provided no one else gets sick. Ugh. It’s been 7 days of one boy or the other having a stomach bug. Fingers crossed the virus is done with our home.

Infinity War

We came. We saw. It was epic. I wore my infinity stone gauntlet and ate a Hulk burger and clapped with joy when Thor lit up the screen with his sparkles. A good movie with good friends. Commence countdown to May 2019.

Mission beach

The last leg of our San Diego adventure was with the Waterhouse family in a house on the beach!  The boys were enchanted by this foreign terrain.  Sam went over the sea-wall and planted himself there in the sand.  I had to coax him farther onto the beach.  He was satisfied right there on the edge of the largest sandbox he had ever seen!

Ben and I ambled up the street to order dinner for the rest of the inbound Waterhouse flights.  We found this charming Greek restaurant.  The owner was so happy to make a big “surprise platter” for us and asked for a picture together for himself “because I make this like I make for my family!”

Passed out within minutes of tucking into bed.  Two days of Legoland and sunset on a beach will do that to a kid.

Cousins quickly bonded over Mario Kart.

Amanda and I chuckled at the navy stripes club.  Not pictured – the other men were all wearing plaid!

Front: Susan, Me, Amanda, Lexi, Jack.  Middle: Will, Sam, Sadie, Rosina, Sylvie.  Back: Nathalie, Ben, Andy, Ed, Larry, George.

We had a wonderful time catching up with my family over good food.  My folks and Rosina and the Evans all made a delicious barbecue spread for us.  Poor Andy got sick at the end of the visit, but before then my boys had a riot goofing with their uncle.  Jack and Lexi discovered a partially dug pit that they diligently expanded.

I heard nothing for the next three days except “I wish we lived at the Beach House, I wish we were back at the Beach House, I’m going to buy a house on the beach, etc etc.”

Legoland

The boys were up bright and early each day for Legoland.  They seemed to be stuck on Colorado time, waking around 6:30 when the park doesn’t open until 9:30.  The hotel provides a buffet breakfast that met most of their requests (no whole strawberries?  Quelle horreur!).

We used our early access as hotel guests both days to sneak onto rides before others.  Day 1 was cold and rainy for a few hours, so some rides were shut down.  I worried that the kids would be dour about the weather, but I think I did the most grumbling.  In fact, the boys had a total of ONE minor tantrum from Sam on the second day.  It was more of a disagreement than a tantrum.  The boys were awesome.

Both days were low attendance – we walked straight onto almost every ride, hardly ever waiting more than a couple minutes to load.  We rode our favorites twice in a row; it doesn’t get any better than that!

Tons of pictures here, mostly out of order.

These rocks sing “We Will Rock You!”

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FOCUS

Sam brings his steely looks for a photo op

Second consecutive run on the dragon coaster

Jack tried to trade some minifigs and Michael refused several because they were too cool to give away.  He tried to give Jack an education on collecting.  Jack just wanted a new one.

Ninjago x3 or 4, I forget.

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Many rides can’t have pictures on them. Here we are getting seated for the Kid Power Towers.

I’m on a boat!

This ride has five levels to customize your ride.  Sam REALLY wanted to do this ride on “medium” and go upside down.  They had to give him a padded vest (“armor”) to fit in the seats and only let him go on the lowest setting – fairly slow and no upside-down.  He wants to come back bigger so we can go on a crazier setting.

Not a bad picture by Jack!

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Saying good-bye to the ride than opened and closed both days for us, the Coastersaurus.

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In the aquarium I spotted a gold button on an employee and Jack retrieved it.  We had seen Wanted posters around the park for them.  Apparently there are only a couple of them out each day and if you get one you can turn it in for a free admission ticket or keep it as a souvenir.  Since we are not local he decided to keep it.  Apparently they go for good money on eBay, but Jack doesn’t want to sell.

California, here we come!

The Masons are at Legoland! After a problem-free flight we arrived in sunny San Diego. We popped in on my grandparents for an unexpected visit when we realized we were so on-time that it was too early to check into the hotel.

Legoland hotel is absolutely living up to expectations. We’ve never been to a hotel so fully immersive and designed for kids. I think they are in heaven.

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