Sadness and Blessing

As most of you know, Colorado Springs has been in the shadow of a wildfire for a few days. A wildfire started in the mountains west of Colorado Springs last Saturday.  We were all watching it very closely as it grew and threatened small towns and major roads in and out of Colorado Springs.   Scott and I were keeping our eyes on the fire because it seemed so close to our community in which we lived for 13 years.  Of course, our friends and family in the Springs were watching with a very close eye because the smoke plume was so visible to them.  As the fire grew, many of our old neighbors and friends began to gather and pack up precious belongings.  At the beginning of the week, many of those friends were put on a voluntary evacuation and then mandatory one.  Unfortunately, some of our friends and family were not on any sort of evacuation notice and believed that they were not in this dangerous fire path.  Tuesday afternoon a storm blew in and the wind pushed that fire over the ridge and sent it down the mountain into the homes on the hillside.  I happened to be watching the news as it happened.  Within a few hours, those houses and in some cases whole neighborhoods were taken over by flames.  It is a blessing that everyone was able to flee the fire to safety.  So many thanks to the fire fighters who saved numerous homes in the Mountain Shadows community and continue to risk their lives fighting this fire.  We are sad to say that many great friends and old neighbors have lost their homes.  It is devastating and tragic but we are so blessed that our friends and family are safe and were not harmed fleeing this horrible fire.  Our church was very close to the fire but miraculously is still standing.  Please stop to say a prayer for all the families that are beginning to find out if their homes are standing or gone.  The news has reported that 346 homes were lost in the wildfire on Tuesday evening.  The Denver Post has posted pictures of this Waldo Canyon wildfire and its devastation. We are not completely sure but think that our old home that we tearfully moved from 8 months ago is still standing.
We all know that the threat of wildfire is great when you live in or near the mountains. There have been many instances when Scott and I have looked out over the foothills (from our Mountain Shadows house) and commented to each other about a wildfire.  It would be devastating, quick and incredibly destructive.  Well, it was all those things and I am completely sure that for those people that lived through that horrible event, it was also frightening and scary to say the least.

Once the shock goes away and the smoke clears, the blessings will emerge.  Children are safe with their parents, neighbors took care of each other, belongs are just things and memories will last forever.

Jennifer

Alice {9}

Happy Birthday to our sweet, spunky, sometimes girlie, sometimes not, mighty, beautiful and super smart Alice.  She continues to challenge and amaze us, everyday.  We love you!!!!!

I read this poem a few days ago and thought about my girl.  I pray this for her.
Check it out here!

Alice had an awesome day.  We stopped and picked up Alice’s friend Lily and then went and saw the new movie Brave.  It was great and a very refreshing change from the typical princess movies that we all know and love.  After the movie, we stopped at home to get Scott and then we headed to Eagle-Vail for the first swim meet of the summer.  You were missing those pool pics, weren’t you?!?!?!?  Anyway 🙂  The kids did awesome and swam soooo well.  After the meet we headed back into town, got some dinner and enjoyed some cinnamon rolls (her choice, not mine) for dessert and Alice opened her presents.  Not only did the kids fall into bed without a peep but Scott and I were not far behind 🙂

Here’s to our sweet girl. Every year we forbid her to get any older but she went ahead and turned nine anyway.  I guess we will adjust.

She got exactly what she asked for….a pogo stick.
Love you Ladybug,
Momma, Daddy, Sam, Paige and Mason

Our First Field Trip

The kids and I came up with our summer bucket list many moons ago.

And then life happened.
Today, because we had to be out of our house for a few hours (remind me later to tell you how much I love house showings), we headed out for our first summer field trip.  Because I didn’t have any need to be in the car for more than a few minutes (read: we’ve been in the car a lot), we chose one of our field trips that is here in town. We headed over to the Dillon Nature Preserve.  The kids thought it looked suspiciously like a hike but I assured them that it would be way more.  Well.  It was pretty much a hike BUT it was an especially nice hike that cruised along the edge of one of the many peninsulas on Lake Dillon.  We even stopped for some rock skipping in the lake.  All in all, a thumbs up on this stop.  Next week, I may decide to venture out of the county 🙂

Sam and Alice checking out a wild strawberry plant.

lake view
She is too cool for school.

Skipping rocks…always a crowd favorite.
I hate to brag but we sure do live in a gorgeous spot.  Just sayin.
Happy Tuesday. 
On to Wednesday.  
Jennifer

Sunday Hike {Boulder Lake}

Another beautiful Sunday morning hike. This time we headed up to the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. Scott was able to join us on our hike this morning along with all the mosquitoes in Summit County.  Aside from being eaten alive (and not having bug spray) and not making it to the lake, we had a super awesome hike. The hike ended up being a bit further than little legs can go so stopped to have a quick snack and blow some bubbles (every one should take bubbles on a hike, IMHO) and then headed back down the trail.  We finished the hike with a bible study and great discussion about making good vs. bad choices and how we are sometimes judged based on the choices we make.  We also talked about how God might feel about our choices.  I am always in awe of how thoughtful my kids are when we sit together and talk.

I hope you all had a fabulous day!

School’s Out For Summer!

Yesterday was the last day of school.
Thank goodness, we all made it 🙂  
We now have a fifth grader, fourth grader, second grader and kindergartner. And two really tired parents 🙂

I haven’t posted at all this week because we have been so busy it has been hard to find time to do things like brush teeth, sleep, eat, etc.

Here is the quickest recap ever. In order (sort of).

soccer
visitors
hiking
swimming at the rec center
work meeting
3rd grade field trip
road bike ride
field day
grocery store
end of school year BBQ
overnight guest
Sam haircut
sewing teacher gifts
grocery store
preschool graduation
more sewing teacher gifts
4th grade slide show
grocery store
3rd grade BBQ
last day of school
work sponsored movie
grocery store
city sponsored event at store
last soccer game
sleep.

Here are some pics to go along with the list. It was quite a week for the kids and I.  I am happy that we all survived. We had lots of fun! As you can see, I did visit the grocery store many times this past week. Lucky for you, there are no photos of the grocery.  Oh, the pics are not in order.  I am way too tired for that craziness 🙂

Alice and Brendan playing at the school park.
There were a couple moose sightings while our friends were here visiting, so cool.

Lunch at Cowboy’s Pizza is always a fun time.  Everybody loves the dress up.

Swimming at the rec center

Mason’s first trip down the water slide alone. He loved it!

Paige at field day. She wasn’t too hard to find 🙂

Alice’s class L.O.V.E.D. the parachute.  I laughed until my sides hurt, watching them.

Sam (blue hat, green shirt) and his class getting instruction during field day.

Sam pushing his “battleship”.  Another fun event at field day.

Mason loving his Popsicle after preschool graduation. 

Sam’s newandimprovedandverymuchneeded haircut.  Don’t mind the blue lips and teeth.
 Snow cone hazard.
I hope you all had a wonderful week.  Now we are looking forward to summer vacation.  So many things on our bucket list for summer break.  Hmmmm, where to begin?
I guess I will be starting here. 

Maybe somebody with sleep in tomorrow?!?!? I doubt it. 
Jennifer