Monday, December 31, 2012


Yesterday I took AJ skiing for our first run of the season. I plan to get him in lessons this year, but I wanted to first get him up with me and get him comfortable. My only hope is that we could get on the lift once and that he would enjoy himself. We made a deal that if either of us fell, we would laugh at each other. He was totally into that.

I had hoped to get an early start because I assume traffic would be rough, but of course that did not happen. I let AJ sleep in his long johns and he thought that was funny :)

We didn't get out the door till almost 7:45 and had a 90 minute (or longer) drive ahead of us. I packed coffee, toys, snacks and of course his iPad for the ride. Thankfully there was no traffic and we were at Loveland by 9:15am. I was a little worried about how I was going to get this all done alone. Skiing requires A LOT of gear and AJ wouldn't be much help carrying it. Jackets, helmet, his skis and boots, goggles, gloves, food, etc... It's A LOT!

The place wasn't totally packed so we were able to get mostly dressed in the car and easily walk to the lodge to get my skis. I decided to jump right in and get AJ on the lift. I wasn't totally sure how it would work out, but we were doing it. And it was AWESOME!

Ready to hit the slopes!

Love him!

Here we go!

He totally rocked it!

AJ did so well! And he loved it! We did 4 runs and most of the time he was in between my legs. I tried to get him comfortable and to find his balance. He was a little nervous when I wasn't holding him- but he did so well. We never fell getting on or off the chairlift- one of my worries. They slowed it down for us a few times to help. He loved being on the chair and watching other people ski below.

We had lunch and then decided to head back out for 2 more runs. I got him this little harness he could wear that allowed me to hold onto him a little better and it made it easier on my back. I could easily pick him up if he fell and control him a little better.

I told AJ how proud I was of him so many times that I think he got sick of hearing it! Can't wait for our next day up on the mountain!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Georgetown Loop Railroad with Santa!

Yesterday, Jason, AJ and I drove up to Georgetown to take a train ride with Santa! It was such a fun day :) I had heard of this fun adventure before- some friends of mine do it each year- but this was our first time. As you can see, it was COLD! Georgetown is about 90 minutes away- in the mountains. It's this adorable tiny town and was all decorated with lights and other Christmas decorations. Santa and his helpers were on the train and took pictures with each child. He talked to each child individually, asked them what they want for Christmas, gave them little gifts and Mrs. Claus passed out cookies and hot chocolate along our 1 hour ride. It was great! After, we all went out to this awesome pizza place- Beau Jo's. It's a famous pizza place and when our pizza arrived we knew why! DELICIOUS!
Just arrived at the train station

Waiting for our train

Standing in line with hot chocolate- YUM! (He went thru 3 of these)

On the train with Daddy

AND Mommy!

We got to take a picture with Santa!


Holy Cow it was cold! But so pretty

AJ told Santa what he wanted for Christmas.. Battleship, Imaginext and Legos :)

The beautiful train station

Mrs. Claus

Goofing around with Dad after our train ride

Us 3 :) Love that kid!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Denver Zoo Lights

Last night- the coldest night we've had all season- we decided to pack up and head to the Denver Zoo Lights. Every year they put thousands of lights around the zoo in shapes of animals and people pack up their kids in every bit of warm clothing they own and head out to walk around, drink hot chocolate and freeze for a few hours. It's actually quite fun! The place was PACKED and the lines were LONG, but it was a blast! We made hot chocolate and brought lots of extra marshmallows and snacks. We walked around for a few hours- AJ was lucky enough to ride in the wagon and be covered in a blanket. A very fun way to celebrate the holiday season :)

Waiting in line (with his 2nd of 5 cups of hot chocolate!)

Checking out the amazing spider web!

All bundled up and happy!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

2012 Christmas Tree!

Here is our tree! I had planned to get a much smaller one but...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Perry the Elf!

AJ loves his Elf on the Shelf! Last year, he named our elf Buddy. But this year, AJ decided to change his name. So, I’d like to introduce Perry the Elf! He showed up a few nights ago. That sneaky elf showed up in AJ’s room and was sitting on his guitar! He also left his book on AJ’s bed. I’m going to try to take their picture each night when Perry comes back.

Day One! So excited that he finally arrived this year!

Day 2- He was hiding in our Thankful wreath!

That silly elf was hiding in AJ's shoes.. which were on the counter!

That guy was hiding on our TV!

Day 9- silly boy! The smile is because he is standing on the arm of the couch- he thinks he's being sneaky :)

Day 15

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Castle Rock Star Lighting 2012

We look forward to the star lighting every year! It's always so much fun :) This year we decided to do it as a family- Jason and I get along so well anyway and AJ loves when we're all together. We went with our good friends the Zambrano family. It was awesome!

We were lucky enough to have really nice weather! The sun was out and it was warm for the most part. In fact everyone was walking around talking about how nice the weather was. We got there around 3:30 and the kids got to do a bunch of crafts, eat a ton of candy, and went down a blow up slide. They had a blast just hanging out together and playing. I always love this night because it makes Castle Rock feel very "small town". We see neighbors and friends as we walk thru the closed down streets checking out the vendors. They lit the star around 5:30 and then after had an awesome firework show- since we didn't have fireworks in July due to all of our fires.

After we all went back to Jason's for pizza and more fun play time for the kids. Here's a few pics.

The boys- the sun was down and it was getting a bit chillier

Us 3 :)

AJ, Kellyn and Braylon

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Operation Christmas Child

The holidays are coming and I think AJ is at the age where it's time to start learning about the real meaning of Christmas. Of course, he's 4 and so he is all about presents. I get that and I am ok with that, but it's time he learn that it's better to give than receive. I have always tried to explain to him that not everyone in this world has all the things he has. He understands the concept of "donating". We often go to the Goodwill together to donate things we no longer need or use.

I found this wonderful organization called Operation Christmas Child. They are a Christian organization that helps children and families in need all over the world. I decided that AJ and I were going do what we could to help out.

We decided to fill up 2 shoe boxes with toys, toiletries and other things and donate them. AJ chose one boy and one girl between the ages of 5-9. We don't know who the kids are or where they live, but we know they will be happy when they receive their Christmas presents from us!

For the boy we got socks, soap, toothbrush, jump rope, hairbrush, mittens, some Hot Wheel cars and a few other things. The girl is getting much of the same but with some princess things in there too:)

We put a note in each box that includes our address - we'd LOVE it if they wrote to us!- along with a picture of AJ and I, wrapped the boxes and will drop them off a nearby church this weekend. The website says we can track the boxes online to see where they go. I don't know how that works yet, but I'll find out.

I tried really  hard to have AJ donate a toy or two of his that he no longer uses, but he just did not want to. I get it. He is young. He doesn't fully understand. He got very upset when I asked him- I think he thought I was going to force him to give away his toys. But I want him to want to donate something so I let him make the final decision.My hope is next year he is old enough to realize how great it would be to donate something of his.

I love that we did this together because it really opened up the discussion of others not having everything he has and teaching him the importance of appreciating all the things he has.

Here's a picture:

Fall Activities 2012

AJ and I have had such a fun Fall! We've done a ton of crafts and other fun things. It's gotten cold and we've had some snow already which has made it really feel like the holidays are coming! Here are some of the things we've been busy doing.
Of course we carved pumpkins

I told AJ that when I was a kid Pop broke out the drill to carve pumpkins. He asked if we could do the same.. "Why not?" He LOVED this!
One day we made caramel apples covered with M&M's. He took them to school and the kids were THRILLED (not sure the teachers felt the same?)

I found a recipe for these DELICIOUS pumpkin spice Hershey Kiss cookies... My gosh, they were dangerously good!

This is Donk. We named him. We love to feed him and the other 10 or so horses near our house.


We went to Jason's neighborhood on Halloween to trick or treat. AJ found some other neighborhood boys and was running from house to house. Was so cute!

We also made a pumpkin cinnamon strudel. This also was SOOO delicious! We both love to cook together- and I love to keep a tiny bit for AJ and give the rest away :)

AJ's school pumpkin! He won "best alien" award :)

He also dressed up as Captain America

Our Astronaut

AJ and I made a Thankful Wreath. A friend shared this idea and I just love it! We made the wreath and then each day we add another thing we're thankful for.

Our church puts on a Barn Dance each year and this is our 2nd year attending. They have many fun things to do there. A pony train, pony rides, hayrides, face painting, and of course dancing.

Pony Train :)

This is Rudolph. We got him at Build A Bear. He's AJ new favorite pet and goes everywhere with us. His nose lights up and and sings THE ENTIRE "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer"

US 2 at the Barn Dance