Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review: Saturdays and Teacakes by Lester Laminack

Saturdays and TeacakesSaturdays and Teacakes by Lester L. Laminack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, my goodness, I love this book.  If you have ever had a special grandmother or want to be a special grandmother, you need to read this book.

Mentor Text--Personal Memoir

View all my reviews

Monday, September 23, 2013

Family Reunion Second Cousins

One of the things I was most looking forward
to at the Family Reunion was
watching the Second Cousins Play Together.
Getting Ready for the Second Cousins to arrive.
Requisite Silly Photo
The second cousins being silly with the older cousins
and their Great Uncle too.
Caleb took every opportunity to
hang out with the VanLoenen Second cousins.
I think the sun was in their eyes
at the Olympic Training Center.
These first cousins are definitely BFF's.
Popcicles were good on a warm day.
Caleb enjoyed being with Sarah and Caitlin.

A game of parachute.
The instructor didn't know what she
was getting herself into.
Another popcicle photo.
I think this might have been at the
Drum Activity.
Eating in the fort
at Nana and Ducca's house.
Ducca had buried some treasure for them to find.
Nathan was successful.

Aunt Stacie found one!
This is the artwork that these
two sweet boys made for me.
My deck bears witness that all 7
Second Cousins were together.
Cora and Graham will be in more
pictures at the next Family Reunion
when they can hold their own
with the big boys.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Family Reunion--Zip Line Video

When our family members went to the orientation for the Zip Line Activity, they were asked if they would mind if YMCA video's them.  Of course, they said YES!  Who wouldn't want to get their 15 minutes of fame hurtling down a very steep hill?  So here it is (if it works).

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Family Reunion--Sweetie

Our Family Reunion was in July.
I have been so busy since then that
I haven't spent a lot of time blogging.
So for the next few posts, you
are going to get to see my precious
family and the beautiful 
YMCA of the Rockies at Estes Park.
Sweetie is the matriarch of the family so she
gets to be featured in the first blog post.
Here she is with all of her grandchildren
and great grandchildren.
Missing from the photo are:
Emily, Philip, and Sarah who were all
at the reunion but had to leave
before pictures were taken.  
Gail and Jon created a fun game of family bingo.
Newest great grandchild--Cora Elise.
You might be wondering what Josh is thinking.
We often wonder that! 
Her own private escort to the picture taking location.
Sweetie with her children.
Not pictured is Aunt Terry who had
to stay home for classes
to become a chaplain.  We missed her!
We teasingly told Kim that we should have taken
a picture of the "original three" but kindly decided
to allow the "baby" in the picture.  
We got a shot of four generations of girls.

Special thanks to Jon and other talented members of the 
family who took such fantastic pictures.

Wonderful memories!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Afternoon Hike--Fox Run Regional Park

David and I are trying to do more
walking for a couple of reasons.
First, I am trying to lose weight.
(It's out there now,
so no turning back!)
Secondly, we are going to 
Washington, D.C. this October
 with my siblings and spouses
so we want to be ready
for lots and lots and lots of walking.
Fox Run Regional Park
was our destination today.
Not a bad spot for a hike, I'd say!
Love the way the trees
reflected in the water.
A different shot
Don't the black markings
at the bottom of this tree look
like a lopsided heart?
You cannot see the sign too well, but
it was about lightning strikes on trees.
See the tree in the background.
If you know David well, I bet
you can guess what kind of t-shirt
he is wearing.
I wonder if some type
of animal lives
in the hole in the bottom of
this tree stump.
There are still a few
wildflowers blooming.

The fall berries are
beginning to appear as well.
The sun shining through
the trees was beautiful.

Thanks for going on our
hike with us.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Annual Labor Day Hot Air Balloon Post

The very first year we moved to Colorado Springs,
Jeremy and Mandy took us to the
CS Balloon Festival.
We were hooked!
We cheat and go to the opposite side of the lake than
most of the crowds.  We feel like locals and not
tourists because we know this is the
"place to be".
Seeing the balloons right over your head is awesome.
This was a new balloon this year!
The opposite side says
"defy gravity".
When it started coming up over the trees on the opposite
side of the lake, I knew what it was going to be!
We met Jeremy and the boys there
early in the morning
to enjoy the balloons.
Mud and water was more fun than watching balloons
for little guys.
Every once in a while, one would get their attention.
I wish I had caught this sun balloon
against a blue sky.
Aren't these clouds amazing?
God puts on a better show than the balloon people.
We love leaving the park and driving around
the town "chasing" the balloons.
They land everywhere--in fields,
in parks,
by playgrounds,
even in the middle of streets. 
This woman who was part of the balloon chase team
almost got trapped beneath the falling balloon.
Another street landing 
Patriotic balloon
landing in a parking lot
I always know it's about time for the
Balloon Festival because these beautiful
wild flowers start blooming.
Can you imagine what those mountains look like
from the air?
These two precious children were saying
(loud enough to be heard)
"We want to help pull the balloon down."
Two kind members of the balloon landing team
called them over and allowed them to help.
The loops at the bottom of the stripes
on this balloon are loose.
Very unusual and pretty design.
Another view of the loops.
One of my favorite views of the day!
I'm not sure if it was this balloon or not,
but one balloon dipped its basket
in the lake and then flew over our heads
so low that we could see the huge drops of water
 dripping to the
ground around us as it flew over.

Come and join us next
Labor Day!