Thursday, January 17, 2013

Colorado Vacation Episode 3

Let’s combine a few days, shall we?

The next day, we were able to go to Pikes Peak!  My uncle secured a tour bus from his workplace and we all got to drive together like the good, little tourists we were!


“We got the front seat!”


“Look Mom, I’m a big kid!”

No, we did not hike it- it’s winter, after all, and we’re not crazy!  The rode the COG, as in a gear, train.  It normally goes all the way to the top, where there is a gift shop and some secret-recipe, high-altitude donuts.  Unfortunately, the storm that had just rolled through kept the train from getting all the way to the top.  We only got about 2/3 of the way up, no donuts for us :( but it was still a beautiful sight!

Here are some pics of us waiting:



And from on the train (which blessedly was heated!):


Apparently, you can see 4 different states from the top.







“I have reception!!”


Colorado Springs is also home to Focus on the Family, and with my sister’s recommendation, we went to tour the place.  It was very nice, with the top floor devoted to the strides FOTF has made in the pro-life, pro-family movements, etc., and the lower level devoted to the kid stuff.

When you go downstairs, you’ll find Whit’s End (from Adventures in Odyssey), a nice, little soda-shoppe, and a playground similar (but better) to what you would find in a fast food restaurant.  Then you can walk around ‘Odyssey’ and explore the different stores and businesses from the show.  They also have a recording studio, in which you can record and ‘adventure in Odyssey.’  Hero and Awesome McAwesome wanted to do that, and they did a great job!  Yours truly was the foley, and the sound effects were superb, if I do say so myself :)


Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Colorado Vacation Episode 2


This is what we woke up to Christmas morning!  My aunt says she has lived in Colorado Springs for 19 years, and they have never had a white Christmas.  I told her we brought it with us from Arizona ;)

All the family would converge that afternoon for Christmas dinner and exchanging gifts.  I was very proud of my kids for not once asking to open their presents early.  Of course, that may have been because they were too busy playing in the snow!


McAwesome was the snowball king!

My brother gave us their sled and once Grandpa tied some rope to it, they were set to go sledding down the street!


Whoever pulled the sled would get a running start, then fling the sledder on down the street.  The kids loved it- and the neighbors thought we were crazy to be out in the cold so early in the morning!


There goes Minion 2!


Hero is such a good big brother!


Tank wasn’t overly impressed with that cold stuff :)

Later, the guys took the kids to a nearby school to sled down a bigger hill, while the ladies got dinner ready.


Dinner was delicious (there was WAY too much food!), and afterwards we opened presents.  Because I was holding the baby, and trying to help the kids open things, I didn’t get too many pictures, but here are a few from the day:





Our main gift to the kids this year was a trip to Legoland (this Spring).  Every one of them (except the baby) is completely into all things Lego, and have been asking to go for a while now.  I gave them each an envelope to open that contained a ‘ticket.’


Opening the envelopes.  What could it be??


McAwesome got his opened first.


They were a little excited!


Finally, we squeezed everyone in for a big family pic!


To be continued…

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Colorado Vacation Episode 1

After a VERY long day driving, we wanted to get right out the next morning and see some sights!  Of course, it was Christmas Eve so there wasn’t a whole lot open!

We decided to drive through the Air Force Academy.  It was a beautiful area in the winter and very large and spacious.


Air Force Chapel- famous for its tall spires


Minion 1 loved the jets!


The grandparents with (almost) all the kids


I haven’t seen my sister in a long time!

After that we met the rest of the family for a drive through the Garden of the Gods.  There were beautiful red rock formations similar to what we have in Sedona, AZ.


Dad with all of his kids!


Balanced Rock


Hero and McAwesome holding up Balanced Rock


Minion 1 and Minion 2 found a jungle gym

That evening we went to my brother’s house for pizza and games- none of which I won (but I’m not bitter).  The grandkids played together and before long we noticed that it had begun to snow!  So, of course, my kids had to go out and try to catch some snowflakes on their tongues!


Stay tuned for the next episode…

Monday, January 7, 2013

White Christmas

That’s right- we weren’t dreaming- we were in it!  My family was blessed to spend Christmas and New Year’s in Colorado Springs, and we had a fabulous time!

My brother and sister-in-love just moved there in September and I also have an aunt (we stayed at her house), so my parents, my sister and her family, and us (we?) all trekked out there since it’s pretty much in the middle of everyone.  This was the first time since all of us have been married and have had children that we’ve all been together.

Colorado Springs has a ton of stuff to do!  We definitely weren’t bored.  We explored the Air Force Academy, the Garden of the Gods, Focus on the Family, Seven Falls, the mall and other shopping areas (of course!), the Olympic Training Center, and we rode the Cog Railway 2/3rds of the way up Pikes Peak (it had snowed the night before and the train couldn’t get any higher up).  We also played in the snow and had plenty of down time.

Over the next few days, I’ll share some pictures and details.  Stay tuned…