Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Back to School

There have been the usual emotional difficulties with transitions. Mostly with Calvin, he has the biggest change. We started him in half day kindergarten. The first two days he left just crying that he wanted to stay the whole day. After deliberation, as I wasn't keen on picking him up so early either, we decided to bite the bullet and pay for full day. He is so excited to eat lunch at school and ride the bus home. Busing home is also our new step this year. We are all very excited!
They unintentionally matched on the first day!

Audrey even started Preschool! She is excited to be a big girl and take her backpack. We only had orientation day so far and she starts next week for real. She acted like she was real shy at first, but I know she is just dying to go.

I am just glad I have a few weeks for their transition before I start back into school myself.

Friday, August 17, 2018


We had a summer of cars. Test driving, selling and buying. We started the summer out with our usual desire that resurfaced to buy a truck. We test drove some in June and narrowed it down that we wanted a Ford F-150 with a crew cab and long bed. When we came home from our camping trip we decided to take the kids on the test drive to see how we felt with all six of us. Well, that ruined it. Having a child in the front between us was just bothersome enough even on a test drive. So we dithered another week on not getting a truck. Then Grant started looking at Suburbans. I have told him for years I would not get one. I'm still not really sure how or what happened to change that, but the next Saturday he bought one close enough, a GMC Yukon XL.

He took the kids down to the temple for a primary temple grounds tour. I had to coordinate a lunch for a funeral, so I didn't go. He then went car shopping after, and eventually came home with it. It has all the fancies. Black leather, smart vehicle. I feel too opulent in driving it.

The next day he sold his Acura to Carvana, and by the end of the week sold the van to a private party.
Grant had fun driving his Acura for a year and half. He loved Uber and Lyft driving for a while. Then he just didn't find the time. Then after further calculations realized it really wasn't worth it. Though he was sad to see it go, the Yukon is just a bigger, nicer version of the Acura.

We bought the van when Luke was a baby. It's all the kids have really known so far. It is still a good vehicle, but I am glad to sell it before we have to put any significant money into it. And to be honest, I never really loved it from the beginning. It has served us well. Calvin misses it the most.
So after all our driving, research and dithering we are back down to a two car family. We still have our stalwart Honda that we bought when we were engaged. It still runs great. Someday we will get the truck.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


We did our usual summer bucket list. We had park days every Tuesday. A couple of bike rides, until the trailer broke. A few hikes, swimming lessons, amusement parks, rockies game, some time at child watch at the Apex center, bbq's, swim days.

These were from hike number two of the summer. We only made it to three this year. They did awesome on the first, okay on the second. Week four of our hikes I didn't feel like dragging them out of bed to go. Plus, they didn't want to carry the water pack, Warren especially would pitch such a fit. I figured we couldn't hike without water and I wasn't carrying it and Audrey. Next year will be interesting when Audrey is four.
I did well in June working out at the Apex and then practically nothing in July. 

Our first amusement park this year was sponsored by Grant's summer family BBQ. We bribed Luke to go on the Boomerang, a fairly intense roller coaster. This face was legit.

Warren still managed to squeeze in and have fun in kiddieland, as well as the big coasters.

We took the kids to the Rockies game on the 3rd of July for the fireworks game. Our section got to go onto the field after for the view of the fireworks, which are always amazing at Coors Field. They are so intense in the finale, loud and bright, my heart feels like it would burst. Audrey even loved them, until the very end we were feeling cardboard debris littering all over us, so it scared her.

All the smoke behind them just post fireworks.

The week of the 4th Grant actually came down with Hand, Foot Mouth Disease. Apparently it went through all the kids almost undetected the week before. They had mild symptoms, such as a fever and sore throat, which I thought could have been anything. It wasn't until Monday morning, as Grant was at work, that he noticed the red spots showing up on his hands. He came home and was out for a couple of days. Red spots and swollen hands, blister like on his feet, and red spots and sores all in his mouth. It was pretty intense. He felt mostly well, so we still all went to the Rockies game, but he skipped out on festivities the next day. Those included me getting Warren up early to do the Fun Run 5K with our stake. He claimed he really wanted to do it, hearing only the "Fun" part. Less than a mile in he realized that we were literally just running. I had to drag him through the rest. He would get spurts of energy and bound ahead of me and then whine again. I just impressed we both finished.

During the day on the 4th, while Grant was sick, I had homework to do. The kids played in the cul de sac, and before I knew it, the neighbors in the corner, Travis and Lindsey, were feeding all the kids an impromptu kid bbq party. Their oldest is Audrey's age and the three little girls have been playing.

That night we went to the Cardon's for a bbq with a couple of families. Craig challenged the kids to an adult v kid dodge ball, with the winners throwing water balloons at the losers. We lost one of the games. Good thing both Warren and Luke both missed hitting me.

Grant's office location changed. They moved to a brand new high rise at 15th and Arapahoe. This is his new view through the dirty window.

We did swimming lessons at the indoor pool this year. Audrey made slow but a some progress for her first year of lessons. Nobody else technically passed their level either... so though the boys are all quite water friendly, they need to work on their strokes. 
A day spent at Splash, I got my friend's baby Ivy to fall asleep on me. She gives me a good baby fix. Still glad we hit our first summer diaper free! It's been so nice. This day at the park we stayed longer than any of our friends, nearly open to close, 10-6. My kids last a really long time in water.
In June Grant took a day off and we went to Water World for the first time. It's cheaper the first couple of weeks of summer. It was so crowded! Getting into the park was the biggest joke ever. Very poor management of crowds. Needless to say it started Grant off on a very bad foot. He then hit his elbow on a ride that has turned into months of a puffy elbow due to bursitis. It might be a while before we make it back there. And no picture documentation of that day.
Cousin Camp! July 9th, Marci drove up from Texas with the kids. She then flew out to San Diego for a few days. Tuesday was a full day. We started out with our first Chick fil A cow appreciation for breakfast before swimming lessons. After swimming lessons we went to Bear Creek Lake for a few hours with all our friends. It was so hot it made getting in the cold water quite nice. We stayed long enough to then get our cow gear back on for dinner. Two meals for a cow and eight calves was awesome!

The next day was 7-11, so we hit two rounds of free slurpees.

Once Marci came back we were able to do our full Saturday of thrift shopping. I've missed by thrifting partner.
Then our other cousins joined us by the end of the week. They were all so content to just hang out and play with each other we didn't need to do much entertaining. Three moms and 12 kids, took them to get free Bliss frozen yogurt on Tuesday.

Hannah and Tyler moved to Colorado! We helped them move their stuff in their Grandpa Furber's garage until they find a house of their own.
Grant twisted his ankle during their move. While we were in Utah, Grant got work suite tickets to a concert at the Pepsi Center, so he took Tyler. Of course no pictures were taken. The band was Foreigner. Not necessarily Grant's genre, but at least cleaner than the stand up comedy tickets we took in June. We had to leave the comedy because it was just so crass and dirty.

 We then took our only trip of the summer to Utah. When we came back we had just a couple of weeks left to squeeze more out of summer.
We went with Hannah and cousins to History Colorado for Colorado day.
Calvin was the only one interested in meeting Milo the Bronco.

Grant and I went to see Les Miserables, our favorite show, touring at the Buell downtown.

Lisa braiding Audrey's hair.

Our annual camping with friends at Golden Gate Canyon. Thursday was a really hard day for me mentally. Can't really explain what was going on with me as I don't even fully understand, but a rough mental day. I really, really didn't want to load up the car and get everything to go camping all on my own. Grant wouldn't be joining us until the next night. It took tremendous mental energy to get myself going, packed, to the mountains and unloaded and camp set up. I cried a lot that day. But I did it. My biggest motivation was the kids. They love it. I even pushed through an uncomfortable moment struggling with the bike rack, crying, sweating, my neighbor offering to help, and yelling at the kids, all because Warren insisted we take their bikes. I knew I would be grateful I pushed through and got there. I was grateful to go to sleep that night. The next day was much improved. 

We cashed in their summer reading for Lakeside tickets. Technically Luke was the only diligent one in reading, but they all loved Lakeside. Grant, not so much.
Double date with Hannah and Tyler to dinner theater, Newsies. Many more dates to come.

Grant took the kids to the Primary temple tour trip. I had to coordinate a funeral lunch that morning. 
We did quite well in fitting fun in the summer. We could have done better with reading, Luke was the only diligent one the first half. We didn't manage to fit in any piano lessons in July. And I managed to pass my two classes while still doing summer stuff, which I was nervous about. I was a little upset that I got an A- almost purely because I missed two gathering classes (it was summer!) and they were worth a lot of points. But I did end up with all 6 A's through Pathway, that now transfer towards my degree. Now my biggest break of six weeks before online classes start.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Bear Lake

We had our bi annual extended Stum Reunion at Bear Lake this year. I am still so impressed how much of this family shows up and spends three days together. We were only missing a few families out of 5 siblings, 27 something grand kids and all their spouses and kids! We had about 130 people. I was very glad we went. We drove up Wednesday evening. Grant and Tyler drove over after work on Thursday night.
All the great grand kids. The theme was YOLO, you only live once, coming from the DeLlamas family who was in charge. Uncle Dale has pretty serious cancer and that theme has been with their family this year. 
We all "camped" out at the KOA. Our family got three newer cabins that had more space, kitchen, bathrooms and AC. They were actually pretty nice, but it also secluded us a bit from the group gathering which was the grass between all the other cabins. The KOA had a lot of fun things for the kids. Our cabins were the ones just behind the putt putt golf. There was also a playground with a giant jumping cushion thing, giant chess, a swimming pool and more.
We had our two days on the beach with our compound of pop ups. The first day our family was in charge of making dinner for everyone. Dutch oven on the beach. It turned out great!

 I didn't take a whole lot of pictures, so I am waiting on collecting from other family members. One in particular my Uncle Karl took. He does a slide show for us at the end of the reunion of everyone's pictures. On the second day he came up to Hannah and me and said, "One of your kids I just took a picture of looks just like your dad did when he was little." We were thrown off and had no idea who he was referring to, until we saw the picture! It was Calvin. Somehow he all of sudden looks like my Dad! We were so surprised.

The last night they did a group family quiz that included participation through all our smart phones. It was a fun interactive way to do it. And somehow Grant was almost the winner! Good guesser. But I also won a reunion t shirt through the raffle and Warren won a goodie too.

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