Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dave's Plan

I made a $600 credit card payment today. 

May I suggest, that if you use a credit card, it should only be used as a debit card - and paid off in its entirety each month.  I am working for $8 an hour, 20-30 hours a week, just so I can have the priviledge of paying this thing off.  Annoying. . .

I believe one more payment and I am done with this one.  I found out this week someone has 2 more cards tbat need cancelling. 

That means in September - I will be working for a savings.  That shouldn't be as annoying.  One would hope. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Friday - our last day here, 2013 Colorado trip

Today we set off towards Trap Lake.  When we head up into the mountians, I ride in the back cargo area of the suburban.  If we were in a car, would I end up in the trunk?  I don't know.  I don't like to get car sick.  If I sleep through the trip, tha seems to help.  So I missed seeing where the mud had recently been scrapped off of the road, due to a mud slide.  Mud slides are often a result after a fire.  Nothing holding that dirt in place.

So - we arrived at Trap lake and had to walk a long way to the fishing spot.  I wish I could show you photos of this amazing place.  One side of rhe lake buts riggt up to the side of a mountian, and the side of the mountian is full of stones.  Large, small and everything in between.  I believe it is the end result of a glacier.  Pushing southward, then stopping to rest on the side of this mountian, melting, leaving a hole, filling with water and leaving all these stones behind.  I may be wrong., but it makes for a good story.  It also makes for a difficult trip to ones fishing spot.  I had charged the batteries for the good camera.  They were still in Lovelamd, plugged into the wall.  I had left the tablet home to lighten the load.

Well the rocks were Tough travel. You will just have to believe me.   BUT worth it if you are doing the fishing.  6 fishers - getting their limit in around 3 hours.  Tori got the biggest.  A 2 pound trout.  Mansel caught the first.  Grandpa caught the last.  Milo caught the most at one time. . . Reeling in two fish at one time. 

Watch facebook for photos.  I have a few on my phone. 

We had a picnic lunch.  We headed to the vehicle a few at a time.  The speedy ones leave the others to straggle along.  Once again the slow ones got to see the fun stuff.  I heard a sound, turned to see if it were Grandpa - or a cow - LOL.  It was a moose.  Big as a horse, no antlers.  So don't ask for any more specifics.  I've got nothing for you.  Wayne was right behind me so I whispered, "Wayne. There is a moose."  We stood and watched it amble out of the woods, towards Aunt Karen.  Ha!!  We both pointed at it - so she kept on walking until she was no longer in it's path. And she stood by us and we watched it walk across the clearing into the woods on the other side. How exciting.  Wayne was thrilled.  It was neat to see. 

On the way home, we once again stopped at a shop.  Picked up some trinkets.  Utilized their clean flush toilets.  Oh happy day!!

Of course we ate trout for supper.  Tori cooked hers over an open fire and ate it all.  What fun.  The reat of us ate ours grilled. 

After supper Aunt Karen took us to a super neat ice cream place.  Chill, in Loveland, CO.  They use liquid nitro to freeze the ice cream - made to order. Delicious.

Then we packed our gear - getting ready for an early departure tomorrow.

I am refreshed. 

Respite - that is what this trip was all about.  Good conversation.  Helped me solidify some of my opinions.  Helped me see more clearly how our actions are shaping the children.  I have a tough job ahead of me, and appreciate all prayers said for me!! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Thursday, 2013 Colorado Trip

Oops - I forgot to blog before I went to bed. Now I am awake at 2:30 a.m.  I'll blog now. 

We hiked up to Alberta Falls in Estes Park.

God's creation is beautiful.  It was a short hike.  We could do it in just a few hours.  We hiked up to the falls - one mile, which included some down hill hiking.  Then we hiked back, taking a different route, which included more down hill places.  I hope I don't lose my toe nails.  How long does that take to happen? 

Karen and I got to see a ptormiga.  It is a bird, about the size of a free range chicken.  We saw several, actually.  One mom with a few chicks.  We would spot these when we would see people photographing them.  I doubt I would have found any of them on my own, as they are not easy to spot.  They blend right in with the background. 

On the way back down from the falls, Aunt Karen pointed out to the kiddos where the youth group from her church used to stop and wade in the river and climb on rocks.  Wading in a river in Colorado  is similar to wading in a creek in Iowa.  Except it is much, much colder.  Tori mentioned it was like an ice bath after running in track. 

When we got to the vehicle - we saw lightening and decided to try to find a sheltered place for lunch.  We didn't really find one.  We stopped at two stores for the kids to shop at.  An Indian store.  The Indians happen to be manaquins who set on a bench on the porch.  The other was a Dam Store.  Not a typo.  One t-shirt for sale said, the store that allows children to cuss and not get in trouble.  I never saw the dam - but I bought 2 shirts there.  My mom mentioned to the kids that I sure wear a lot of Knoxcille Panther gear.  LOL So I added 2 Colorado shirts to the mix. 

While we were shopping it dropped 15 degrees, I bet.  I made sandwiches in the back of the suburban.  We ate in the vehicle in shifts while some were still shopping.

It was nap time for me when we arrived back to home base in Loveland.

Tori wanted to shop more, so she and Milo took off armed with the GPS.

After nap time, THEN I was ready for a Ticket To Ride game!!  I love that game.  Mansel, Danielle and I played.  (I won) 

Supper of hot dogs was delicious! 

The boys got haircuts or trims - then we retired.  What a fun filled day!!  :)

Fishing on Friday. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday, 2013 Colorado Trip

Today was a biking day. 

Grandma and Grandpa borrowed two more bikes, thus ending up with enough bikes for all the kids and grandpa to ride bikes today.  They took a 6 mile trip to a park. Grandpa rode a bycicle built for two with Wayne.   Grandma and I then met them at the park and we had a picnic lunch. 

While at the park we played a little catch with a baseball.  Mansel, Wayne and Grandpa took turns hitting the ball and some of us chased and chased the ball around. 

They rode back toward home, and on the way stopped to swim in the Big Thompson river. 

I headed home and read some more.  What a relaxing day for me. 

We went to church tonight and ate supper with them at church.  Shepherd's pie.  I wonder which shepherd it belongs to?  It was delicious.

Church was good for me.  I plan to memorize James with my kid at home and in my Sunday School class this school year.  Well - my teacher talked about James tonight.  That was a blessing.

Church was good for the three youngest as well.  I had asked the kids this morning to serve someone today, but not tell anyone about it.  Tonight in their class, they learned about serving others using their individual talents.  In their class they made encouragement cards. 

After church was popcicle time.  Yum. . .

Tomorrow - hiking.  :)

Tuesday, 2013 CO Trip

This day started out early.  One and 1/2 hour drive to the fishing spot.  So we leave at 7:00. 

Found e85 fuel on the way up there.  $2.50/gallon.  Boy howdy!!  I figured up the gas mileage, and I think it is 21mpg.  That's fair.  Pretty good for an old Suburban.  I am going to stick with e85. 

We fished - I say we liberally, as I actually did no fishing - we fished for 9 hours. 

Dowdy lake has a pretty cool path around it.  We walked and walked and walked.  I would stop and rest, wait, I mean I would stop and take pictures along the way.  I took the old SLR with me, instead of the tablet.  So the photos are on the SD card.  Use your imagination today.  LOL. The kids climbed on some really big rocks today. 

On the drive home we saw where we had passed the fire the year before.  So here is a 2012 picture of smoke from that fire.  Now the grass has grown back, but the trees are still standing and burned black up around Red Feather Lakes. 

Grandma took us out for supper on the way home. 

The men cleaned the fish, I started a load of laundry and am now flirting with sleep.

Oh - I really had a good time.  I got to read a children's book called the Old Iron Horse.   Can you guess what it was about? 


That's right - the original steam engines.  It mention crossing the Chariton River.  I wonder if there is more then one Chariton river? 

I worked on my tan today. More crazy tan lines to add to my collection. 

Tomorrow - a bike ride. 

Monday, July 15, 2013


Today I started the day by reading my bible outside.  They are having great weather here.
The grands took us to Chilson something or other.  It is like our Recreation Center in Knoxville, only 50 times bigger.   I played Pig in the water with Grandpa and the kids.  Grandpa lost.  Surprisingly enough - I kept getting lucky.  I bet he kept getting water in his eyes.   ;)  My mother can swim like a fish b.t.w.  I swam laps - only they were like 1/2 of what she was swimming, for 30 minutes.  If even that.  She swam for over an hour. 

Then we went to Kohls.  Dani couldn't find one shoe before we left.  So we thought we would buy her some new tennis shoes.  When I looked down at her feet - her current flip flops were too small.  Good thing she left her tennis shoes behind.  We got her size 3 shoes.  That would have been uncomfortable hiking in too small shoes. 

Then to Walmart. 

Then home for lunch.

Then Karen took some of us to a thrift store.  I got 3 books.  Surprise.  LOL. But - one of the most fun things of the day?  We went to Esh's.  Oh my goodness.  They sell groceries that are expired or damaged.  I bought the same exact brand of grapes before we left for $.99/ lb at Walmart.  They were on sale.  But at Esh's.  $.59/lb.  WOW!  I got a fun sort of k-cup.  The kids bought gum!!  :)  What a hilarious store.  My parents bought 4,751 boxes of cereal for this week.  CHEAP at Esh's.  (only a slight exageration). 

What a fun day.  While out and about - we found some statues to pose by. 

Home for grilled chicken for supper.  Once again outside.  It is beautiful here.  Did I mention that yet?  Absolutely beautiful. 

They kids are playing with Grandma's fiddle that we got her for Christmas from the Cracker Barrell.  That thing is hilarious.

Mansel has started rading Mr. Phill Robertson's book.  I hope he hurries up with it.  I want to read it too. 

And last, but not least, when ever we get a chance - someone is squeezing in a few hits of ping pong. 

Comparisons 2012 vs. 2013

I found the photo I took of the kids last year at the same spot.  WOW what a difference. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

2013 Colorado Visit, Day 1

The kids and I are going to visot my parents, and siater Karen in Colorado this week.

We left home this morning.  Early. :)  I am so proud of the kids.  A lot of them helped me around the house -getting reasy to go.  I plan on having the carpets cleaned while we are gone, so the carpets needed vacuumed, and some furniture moved. 

It seems to be a tradition to stop at the windmill rest stop on our way out of Iowa, on interstate 80W. So just a short time of being on the road - we stopped to see the big windmill blade.  It extends the length of a fotball field.  Huge.

Around lunch time - we stopped to fill up with gas and ate a picnic lunch.  We had yummy York Peppermint Patty pieces.  Yummy.  I think trips are fun, because we take along fun snack food. 

While I was napping we took a detour.  But that's ok.  It didn't delay us much.  My confused tone sounded like yelling to the driver - so I apologized.  We came into Loveland from a new direction, and that turned out ok.  We saw new stuff. 

We had pizza for supper.  I realy like eating fod I don't cook.  It was delicious.  After supper we sat outdoors and enjoyed this beautiful Colorado weather!! 

Now I am pooped. 

I am going to try to continue our electronic free entertainment kick I am on, dragging along the kiddos kicking and screaming.  And Grandpa is setting up our schedule.  I don't think we have any free time while we are here.  So if I don't call you, or message you, or reply to texts right away - I might be out and about and electronic free.  :) 

Mansel's Treasures

Mansel is starting the process of getting braces put on his teeth.  He has his dad's big teeth in my little mouth.  Most of our kids do.  All of them are going to need braces, if they want their teeth to line up normally, and not sideways, which they are doing now. 

First - select a plan.  We selected to have adult teeth pulled, and other teeth moved into place.  Should take about 2 years, from beginning to end.

Second - put plan into action.  We have begun.  He got 4 teeth pulled today.  He says it didn't hurt.  His mind said, "fight or flight" and tried to faint dead away.  So we interceeded and had him lie down a bit. 

Third - spacers.

Fourth - then braces.  Here we go!!  I can't wait to see the finished product.  :)

P.s.  I noticed this didn«t publish.  Oops - his hwppened in January.  His teeth are looking great. 

Monday, July 8, 2013



eMeals is saving me a TON of time and energy!!

I use it to Aldi!  Classic meals.  My kids are eating most of the meals they recommend.  We are trying new things even.

They really are easy and delicious.

I have taken a part time job in the evenings - to help pay off Dan's credit card.  Tori has helped me a LOT with the dinner meals -- and she can follow the directions.  She can pick which meals she wants to cook and always knows the ingredients will be available because I used the eMeals list to do the shopping!

It's a great thing... call me at 641.820.1168, if you want to hear me rave about it!!

I used a coupon code to get 20% off a 1 year subscription - be sure to google eMeals coupon before you buy!!