I C Icing

Aunt Marie bought Leia cupcakes for a belated birthday celebration. So, who wears them better?

  Most Artistic

 Most Enthusiastic

 Best Color


School's In

Addy was the first back to school on August 22. They start early in Colorado!

 5th grade and over 5' tall. She's going to be taller than Aunt Marie any day now!

Then Travis headed off to kindergarten this past Monday

 Such excitement!

and Leanne

 First grade

and Leia had their first day today. 

 Fourth grade

Jac - our only non-schooler - 

 Natural curls

was not impressed that she had to get up early for this first day nonsense. Boy is she in for a surprise tomorrow . . . and the next day . . . and the next day . . .


Last Day

Tomorrow we head for home, so today we tried to do everything we hadn't gotten to yet. We antiqued in Ault, where I got a great wood and fabric folding chair and some wooden blocks for Jaclyn. Then Rach  took me to her favorite fabric store, where I bought everything I need for my eclipse quilt - 

Kentucky Wonder by the American Quilt Society. I'm not much of a blue person, so I'm using purples instead. 

The top two fabrics are for my stash and the rest, including 5 yards of charcoal gray (bottom fabric), are for this quilt. Love the Grunge fabric! 

And tonight we headed into Denver - minus Addy who's down for the count with strep throat - to see the Broadway-bound musical Frozen. 

It was fantastic!!

 Leia in her Anna costume, including Anna boots, with Addy's friends Melanie and Mariah 

Several new songs have been added - Hygge was my definite favorite - so this isn't a remake of the movie. The staging was amazing, especially Elsa's ice palace and the final scene where Anna becomes frozen. It was magical. 

Hope it comes to LA eventually so we can take Leanne to see it too.


Rocky Mountain National Park

We headed for the mountains again today, to one of our favorite national parks.

A lot has changed since our last visit. The road into Estes Park was severely damaged in the big flood of 2013. It's been mostly repaired and we noticed newly repaired/rebuilt homes throughout the canyon. The flood changed the river's course in several places and there are still piles of rocks everywhere left by the floodwaters.

 Can you see all 3 sheepies?

One thing that hasn't changed is finding big horn sheep at one specific place just before the city limits. Today they were in the roadway, waiting for us. 

Which almost caused an accident when the jeep in front of us parked his *ss in the roadway to take pics. Sheesh.

A quick lunch in town and we were on our way into the park, 

armed with another junior ranger booklet for Leia.

Our timing was off for finding animals, unfortunately. 

They all decided to stay home, 

out of the rain and thunder that followed us the entire afternoon.

We hiked a bit,

dipped Leia's toes in icy cold streams,

climbed on rocks,

 Leia's heart rock

found treasures,

and generally had  

a great time.

Leia was determined she was going to hike across this stream

or climb to the top of the waterfall

but the steady drizzle finally persuaded her to give it up.

We stopped for a snack at the Stanley Hotel,

where Leia was very disappointed not to see a ghost.

We'd told her about ghostly happenings 

 Can you spot Leia in the maze?

and the time Gary and a buddy stayed overnight in one of the haunted rooms. To this day, he swears they heard (ghost) kid's footsteps outside his room. 

Tomorrow night we have tickets to see Frozen, the play, before it goes to Broadway. Then Saturday morning, bright and early, we head for home. See you soon, California.


Museum of Discovery

One of my absolute favorite museums, especially for kids, is the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.

 Neon jukebox entrance to restrooms

We've taken the grands here several times and every time has been a smash hit.

Today, Leia spent most of her time in the music section,

playing guitars, keyboard, bongos, marimbas,

and her fav, the drum kit. 

Kids can touch and play with just about everything in the building and the open space lets then move with ease from music to tornado chamber to animals (both live and taxidermied) to - another of Leia's favorites - the indoor beehive with a clear tube that lets you watch worker bees entering/exiting the hive. Seeing great yellow blobs of pollen on their legs was very cool.

Leia was also fascinated with this magnetic tube building wall. She'd have happily stayed here for hours, testing different configurations and watching the ball roll through. 

While the museum is mainly aimed at kids, it's interesting for adults too. My favorite today was Ben Franklin's creation - musical bowls. Beautiful and fun.


Rest Day

After the weekend's excitement, we unanimously decided today would be a rest day (except for Rach, who had to work).

Leia recently learned - and likes - to play solitaire on the iPad, so I taught her to play old-school, using real cards from our trip to Devil's Tower. She won her first game and is officially hooked. Another life-skill mastered!

When Rachel got home, she and Leia built an Owl Crate color spinner, complete with motor. 

Sure brought back fond memories of making T-shirts in the '90s using the same techniques. 

Even Addy, who came home sick from her first day of school, got in on the fun. 

And now I need to subscribe to a Crate program for the little girls at my house. So much (educational) fun.