Monday, May 21, 2018


The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds were flying a "site survey" today for Wednesday's Air Force Academy graduation. I took these photos from our back deck. A few more photos are here.

Just left of center and down in the distance is the Air Force Academy's
football stadium (Falcon Stadium) where the graduation ceremony will occur.

Lower right is the Air Force Academy. The familiar chapel is rightmost.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Teacher Gifts, Classroom Project

Only three days of school left for the year. That means, among other things, teacher gifts and final classroom projects. Here's AJ's final classroom project of baking cookies. The class is doing an international thing and each student is to bring in 50 "bites" of an international food. AJ chose (from a couple choices Nana provided) a French butter cookie. And how about chocolate "pineapples" for the teachers; they'll really love 'em. Really.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

There's a Whole (Family) in the Bucket

The event was called "Touch a Truck," put on by the Children’s Hospital Colorado and GE Johnson Construction Company. Thank you, and all who supported! They're building a new hospital less than 10 minutes from our house and the event was held right on the construction site. Our two micro-preemie twins are both patients at this hospital already (part of it is already open), and that's how we managed to get an invitation to this event (we think). Perfect event for our clan, especially the twins who are mega-into trucks. They were both beside themselves the whole two hours; actually, everyone had a great time. We'd have been there longer but the event was only two hours long. Oh, and lest we forget, the new Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bagel truck was there with complimentary goodies. All the photos are here.

"Pull over!"

There's a Whole (Family) in the Bucket.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Summer Approaches, and... Hail!

This is how close Summer is... Today marked the end of the last full week of the 2017-2018 school year here in the Springs. It was threatening thunder and lightning, so the kids knew Papa was coming to get them. What no one knew was that right at pickup up time, the lightning alarms would be going off, kids had to picked up at their classroom doors. It was pretty exciting for a routine operation. We (Papa, Fina, Matteo, and AJ) all got in the car AOK and decided to do one last after-school frozen yogurt store trip. While we were enjoying our treats at the store, we began to hear heavier and heavier pitter patter on the roof. Then one of the kids said, "hear those tings in there - hail?" By the time we looked around the wall to the outside, it was hailing full force. Pretty heavily for about 20-30 minutes, with hail sizes approaching two inches I'd say. By the time the car got home, there were several inches of hail collected under the windshield wipers. Hail sliding off the roof of the car in big white chunks was fun at every turn. A few minutes later, we met the twins at their bus stop with a pickup vehicle (very rare, their bus stop is at the end of our driveway), but by then things had calmed down considerably.

AJ's an Author

AJ's an author - of a real book! This 2nd grade project started back in January when AJ interviewed Papa who was to be the subject of the book. Today was the big reveal day when the kids showed the book to their subject person and talked about how it was done. Quite a process, getting the info, planning each page of the book, executing each page (writing or illustrating), etc. BTW, the printing company that did this for the school provides order forms should you wish to order more copies. Who wants one?!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Courtyard Improvements

A dream realized. Kinda. Papa's always wanted to live in a castle, or at least have a room or two feel castle-like. And with a couple improvements to the courtyard, it just may have happened. Whadayathink - castle feel?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Kiwi Crates

AJ spent a fair amount of time today working on his new Kiwi Crate. This one was an anatomy science and art project. He stitched and stuffed the plush organs, and placed stickers to make an arm "x-ray" on glow-in-the-dark paper (big hit). Matteo's been doing KiwiCo's Tinker Crates for a couple years now and loves those, too. They get pretty excited when these crates arrive. It's a monthly subscription thing (about $20/month, or less if you buy ahead). They have six or so age-appropriate project series in the 0-16+ range. Very STEAMy (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). No affiliation, just a happy customer. Then we were off to the new ice cream store we can walk to...