Halloween with Death Eater Alex and Spider Woman Melinda –

It always seems as if I planned ahead for the costumes – so why the heck was I going from store to store on the 31st to get last minute costume items?  Well, the pants Alex was going to wear were too small.  Oh, he also did not have a black hooded jacket.  Melinda still did not have spider rings so that I could braid them into her hair… 

spooooky kids

Alex and Friend

Thank you Lord for no time change this year so the kids could actually trick-or-treat in the dark.  I prepped for the dark with several flash lights and promptly forgot them on the counter. 

scary girl

My cute little girl??

Okay costumes again – Alex needed me to paint his face and by the way his friends face too.  I had a plan with out any makeup brushes.  I was using my fingers trying to smear white and black paint hoping their faces resembled a skull.  I was told by my faithful death eater that it didn’t look like a skullL  His friend said thank you and no complaint from him.  Grandma Judy was great and brought over some special tooth paint which helped Alex’s look. 

Adding the makeup

Final touch

Melinda’s costume was not a problem-An easy find at the local second hand store for a dollar.  The spider rings were not only a pain to find at the store but not all that easy to braid into her hair.  I liked them.  I teased her hair and it promptly fell.  Grandma Judy came to the rescue and hair sprayed and teased Melinda’s hair.  The best part was the long black finger nails and dark lipstick Grandma brought over. 

 

We went out with Melinda and friends and trick-or-treated.  Alex was lucky in his book and trick-or-treated around the neighborhood with his friend.  I did get told by a neighbor that he had seen the two boys running around without shoes saying “Trick-or-Treat smell my feet, give me something good to eat.”  Randy says that some sayings never die. That’s my death eater. 

It is so nice that kids are now old enough to carve their own pumpkins and somehow kept all their fingers. 

Child carving pumpkin

Alex not cutting off his fingers

kids carving pumpkin

working together?

The house was decorated by the kids.  Melinda originally did not feel our house competed well with the neighbors but spider web works great.House decorated with spider webs

VACATION !!!!! yea!!!

Vacation, Vacation! A time for rest? –

NOT our vacation.

Though not restful, two weeks ago was truly a fun week of family adventures. Starting with a great swim meet ( I will talk about more later). After the meet we ran home finished packing, (more crap than we needed). We have not been on a family vacation before and thought we would get as much in as possible. Fishing poles, bicycles, hiking boots, swimming suits, info on rafting, and info about the adventure park and bags of food and suitcases full of clothing. We even brought Frisbees and a couple baseballs and mitts – like we were going to have time for catch?? Did we forget anything? The dogs!! We left our barking dogs at home – though we stayed in a hotel that was dog friendly, meaning that there were a number of dogs staying at the hotel barking. Yea!!! A three hour drive from home to Glenwood with one short stop at the summit of Vail pass and our vacation was officially started. We should have had someone shoot off a starting pistol to get us going, the way we pulled out of the drive. All of us were looking forward to some time away from our normal routine.

Walking around Glenwood.

The first day we spent walking around town to find a bike shop. We needed to replace Alex’s inner tube so we could bike around a bit.   We also found a local souvenir shop.  We then rode up the canyon a little ways and skipped some rocks into the Colorado river. NO, we did not bring the skipping rocks with us!!! We decided to use a local variety of rocks for this particular activity. We found a river company to try. And we rode our bike’s to a place for dinner. The kids meals were served on Frisbees. Yes we already had a couple of Frisbees with us and know we never had the time to throw them around. At any rate it was a mellow day as we tried to plan the next few days activities while trying not to worry about the money. Holy crap everything costs a fortune. Sorry I’m trying not to be worried about the money. First things first, lets get up in the morning and try river rafting with the kids. How Much? Never mind – I am not worrying about the money.

Hit the river.

Why are we getting up early on our vacation?? The river trip. That’s right , I almost forgot. So it was a quick walk up to the rafting companies office to wait for the bus. How much is this costing us? Never mind. It is nice to be able to walk to most everything. So we picked out the life vests and on to the bus. On the bus ride to our starting point we got the talk about what to do if you fall out of the boat – swim!!!! The kids had a good time and Alex even braved the cold water and jumped in so he could say he swam in the river.

Fishing

We then got my fishing license and we made our way up some Mountain to a beautiful lake to try some fishing. Melinda is the only one that caught anything. She was excited about bringing it in but felt bad for it. The only bites I got were from the mosquitoes. Alex had a couple of bites but never caught any fish. No we did not eat Melinda’s fish – we let it go so it could grow bigger and be caught again, and so I would not have to clean and cook it. Pattie did not do any fishing this time, but decided she needed to get her license for the next time. Pattie is great about trying just about everything.

The next day we bought Melinda a new bike. How much? That’s right I am not suppose to ask. And it was less than my first bike. She had outgrown her other bike, again, and it was past time to get her a new one. At any rate we will be coming home with more stuff than we went with – hard to believe that that is possible. Getting in to the parking lot Melinda wanted to try it out and was in the middle of finding the best way to get on her new (bigger bike) some fool thought it was his place to tell us Melinda’s new bike was too big for her. Like I didn’t know!!! At first I calmly said; thank you, yes we know, she will grow into it. He say‘s: no that bike is way to big for her!!! Yes I know She will be fine! And she will grow into it. NO doubt he thinks himself some kind of expert on everything and should be in charge of what bike I get for my kids. The next thing you know he will try to get a new law passed about the size of bike that is appropriate for children.. I do not know how he grew up, but my first bike was way too big for me and that is the one I learned on. I should not have to explain this to him or anyone else but Melinda has been ridding bikes for a long time now and a bike that is big for her is not a problem for her. And she has been growing like a weed and will be tall enough for this new bike in no time. She has been having more fun on this new bike than she ever did on the last one and is riding more now than ever – most likely it feels good to not be on a bike that is to small. At any rate her bike is awesome and she loves it – so stay out of my family’s business. Sorry, I digressed – Back to the vacation.

The Hot springs

Wednesday was the day that we decided to (among other things) play in the Glenwood hot springs. How much??? Forget I said anything. Melinda was not happy about the smell of the sulfur but had fun playing in the warm water. We even made a couple of rides down the water slide. The kids enjoyed it but told us: it was not as scary as the water slides at Elitches. Alex did a few flips off the diving board and then we left for dinner – only to return for some night swimming. It was nice to hang out in the pool and relax, though Alex and Melinda wanted to play, more and relax less.

Just a caouple of fun underwater pic’s

Thursday was the day for the Adventure park and a cave tour.

Holy crap you want how much ??? Sorry I slipped. Just suck it up and pay for the day pass, It is worth it. A tram took us up to the top of a mountain where a small amusement park has been built and the where the entrance to the cave tour is. We all got to try a mechanical bull ride for the first time and I sucked at it. Pattie almost fell off but the operator stopped before she fell on her head. I tried to bribe the operator to knock her off but no go. Even Melinda had fun on it and possibly did the best. We all tried the rail ride thing – a lot of fun as you can go almost as fast as you want. Melinda wanted to go faster but her arms were a little short and you have to push the breaks as far forward as you can to go faster.

Pattie and the kids did the wall climbing and on his third try Alex made it to the top. He stopped a little short of the top and was about to come down, but with a little encouraging he went to the top.

The big event was the swing that took us out over the edge of the canyon – Melinda was into it. I must admit, it was an adrenalin rush. What a view and what a unique way to see Glenwood Canyon.

Alex thinking about getting on the swing.   

This is a view from the swing platform.

The one image of the swing was taken from the edge of the canyon where you can stand when you take the cave tour.

Alex got us all to play laser tag, my first time. It was fun even if I did lose – we will have to try it again. We even had fun watching the 4d (that’s right 4d) short movie. Than we took the tram back down the mountain to try to get some sleep for the drive home on Friday.

We packed up and headed for Denver but not without stopping to hike up to hanging lake and spouting rock. It is only 1.2 miles but it is over a 1,000 vertical foot climb. It is beautiful as ever but I was amazed at the number of people on the path.

Then we had to race down the mountain so we could make it to Denver in time for the swim team banquet. We made it just in time and the kids rode their bikes from home to the park for the banquet. And yes Melinda took her new (too big of a) bike and loved showing it to every one.
Pattie and I made it a little later and no we did not ride our bike’s – we drove.

What a great week for the whole family!!!

Adventure Day

We started the day at Elitches.

We did not have much time as I had clients in the afternoon that needed attention but Pattie and I both got some work done first thing in the morning so we thought we could get some RELAXATION in.  Relaxation is not exactly what happened.  After dealing with heavy traffic and a line of cars to get in to the parking lot, we made our way to the swimming area to find no room at the inn.  All of the chairs had been snatched up before we got there.  I agreed to go with Alex to ride one of the roller coasters – “The Mind Eraser” – not exactly a relaxing ride.  After standing in line (for ½ hr) to have our mind’s erased it was our turn to be swung around upside down and sideways all over the place.  Getting off of our mind erasing, body numbing ride I realized that I had lost my waterproof case that was tied on my neck.

The water proof case

To hold all of our valuable things so that they won’t get wet or lost or stolen, – or lost , or lost — I’ve lost it!!!! No big deal, it only had the season passes for the family. Oh , and my license and one of my charge cards. Oh, and Pattie had given me her driver’s license and her charge card and her cash. Oh and I had, for the first time, put my phone in it. Great now what?  Maybe we could call the phone. Of course my phone is not that loud and the park is loud!!! After getting in touch with a supervisor it was explained that part of the problem was that it could end up on a roof or in a tree or bush so this could take some time.  And no one is allowed to go into these areas while the roller coaster is moving – so it would have to be shut down.  Great I am going to be a rather unpopular person while they look for my lost pack.  Really this is not the norm for me.  Pattie was told they would shut down the coaster at 12:00 and start looking.  I kept looking through the fencing as much as I could trying to see anything that might resemble my stuff.  I seen a lot of hats and a few sunglasses but nothing of mine. Then there it was behind two fences, the yellow top of the water proof case.  Incredible.  I will not have to cancel the charge cards, we will not have to wait in line to get new drivers licenses. The supervisor was excited as well. They would still have to shut down the ride but, only long enough to retrieve my belongings – not for the lengthy amount of time to do a full out search of the area that they were expecting.

After retrieving my case

We decided to take at least a little time to calm down by floating down what is called the lazy river. Melinda enjoyed pushing us into the waterfalls. We also went up the steps to come down one of the water slides. Melinda has been doing well at trying new things.

Friday night was our family adventure race.

Our second year of participating in this fun event.  Alex teamed up with me and Melinda with Pattie.  A three legged race to get to the boats (canoes, or a paddle boat).  Alex had not tied our legs together very well so the knot came undone and the rubber tie snapped us.  We tried to re-tie it while running and not getting run over by the other teams.  We managed to get a canoe and get a good start in the water. With only a couple of boats in front of us we felt good with our placement as we got out for the transition to our bikes. Pattie and Melinda did not get to a boat so ended up running to the bike transitions area and got there just before us. I had to get my bike shoes on so it took just a minute longer to get on my bike than I would have liked. But once on the bikes Alex and I were on our way. Alex choose to take the Adult bike course instead of the shorter one for the kids. It was a couple of miles longer but it was fun. Once we made it back to the transition area, the bike shoes came off and running shoes took there place. I could make Alex work on his bike to keep up with me but my running was not up to his standards. He tried to be patient with me but my gut was in the way of my running and I slowed him down. Alex has decided to dump me as a partner for next year in favor of mom.  I told him I will get in shape and leave him in the dust next year – he is not worried and says he is looking forward to the challenge.  He is only 12 and already he is not afraid of me!!!! I must get in shape for next year.

Prioritise

Letting the kids make decisions for themselves

 is a learning experience for us (the parents.)

Due to a rained out baseball game Alex “s team had a make up game Saturday. Saturday is when Alex and Melinda have their swim meets. Alex does not need to improve his times to qualify for the varsity swim meet but we thought he would want to beet some of his own time’s. Alex also knows and gets along with the kids on the swim teem better than the baseball team. We were hoping (kind of) that he would want to go tot the swim meet. But he decided to go to the base ball game, a little surprising. This was also a bit inconvenient for us as now we would have to split up and go to two different places. Selfish on our part but we actually get to talk to each other during the swim meets – a rare thing these days. We also like bragging about how well he does with his swimming. It was not easy but we resisted the temptation to tell him to go o his swim meet. Putting our selfishness aside we let him decide and baseball was the choice.

His teem is struggling to under stand tactics of the game and most of the kids need a lot more practice on the basics (including Alex) but this is one of the reasons he wanted to do baseball. I would like to see him be a little more assertive and less timed around his team mates so this is probably a good thing for him. As far as the game went – they lost. Alex made it to home plate twice but did not get the score. His first time didn’t count because the other teem got out the batter (third out) than he was tagged out on the last run. He thinks he made it but who could say for sure as the dust hid what happened. I told him to try to be happy with just getting on base and into the game as many of the players did not. I know it is difficult for him to play a game that takes time and is not always moving, but he is hanging in their.

More decisions for Alex during the game.  

 Do I swing or not?   The other teems pitcher was good but had trouble adjusting to Alex’s left hand swing so he walked Alex twice. Alex wanted desperately to swing but knew to let them go by. 

 

Do I steal or not?

Go for it and third was his.  

 

Off to home!!!   Should have been a run.  next game it will be. 

 some good out-fielding!!

I am happy that we let him go to the baseball game!!!

 

 

Melinda did well at the swim meet but hit her head on the wall during her backstroke. She said she counted the strokes during warm up but when she counted them during the race she was off by one. She did place (she thinks) even with the head bumping. Next Saturday I should be their to watch her race.  I feel a little guilty not being at her race but I make it to most and I have not yet figured out how to be in two places at one time.  

Last Sunday -A Day of rest?

It started like any other lazy Sunday

 but last week Pattie noticed some standing water in the kitchen sink. Why do they call it STANDING water? Why not SITTING water? Or LAYING water? Or even KNEELING water? Or some such thing? no matter!!!! At any rate the water was not draining and it was a Sunday – not wanting to know what a plumber charges on a Sunday I decided I could take care of it myself. It cant be that big of a deal? Can it? Yea right!!! It was a great reminder as to why plumbers charge so much. It seemed so simple – just snake out the clog. Yea right!!! Five hours later, a completely redesigned drainage system under the sink, a rental unit to snake out the drain in the basement, a borrowed wet dry vac (this was the weekend we loaned out our own) And presto everything is great -yea right.

Still have a leak under the slink (the garbage disposal)- I will get to it. Yea.     After a long shower I did feel a sense of accomplishment but I cant wait until I have my millions so I can just hire some one else to take care of this kind of thing. Than I will really have a sense of accomplishment.