Sunday, September 30, 2012

1000 gifts: my "babies" start kindergarten

Continuing my list of gifts, blessings that I write down to remember all the wonderful things that God gives me along life's journey. I write these down on my calendar, and when I get a chance I add them here to my blog. These are all blessings are from September, 2012.

512. My "babies" start kindergarten
It seems like just yesterday the twins were born, Starlet 5 pounds and Serious 4 pounds, tiny little things nestled together in the same bassinet. Now they are 5 1/2 years old and starting kindergarten! I took them to school and introduced them to their teachers (I decided to put them in separate classes)... tearing up several times during the process. 

513. Why she likes kindergarten now
Starlet didn't like the first day of kindergarten, but the second day she says she likes it now, because she won a pair of socks (!) for singing the alphabet and also, this happened: "There's a cute boy at school who loves me. He plays a game, he follows me. His eyes are hazel and he has black hair. My eyes are green-hazel. My teacher told me." (oh boy am I in trouble, Starlet is a flirt already, what will she be like as a teenager?!)

514.Walkie talkies saving the day
My mom and the girls and I always take a fall road trip together, this year to Rocky Mountain National Park. While waiting for a shuttle bus to take us up to a trailhead in the park, Mom helped me make some sandwiches out of the cooler in the back of my car. When we finished, I looked around and realized the 5 year old twins, Starlet and Serious, were missing. We looked in visitor center; we walked around the grounds; I started to feel an awful panicky feeling. Then a park ranger stops me and asks if I'm missing two little blonde girls; they apparently jumped on another shuttle bus along with another large family and they were already halfway up the mountain! Thanks to their walkie-talkies, the rangers and bus drivers were able to coordinate a spot for our bus to meet with the bus carrying the twins and transfer them back into my car in less than 10 minutes. I still can't believe the girls got on a bus without me or their big sisters!

515. Alberta Falls
I'm a waterfall junkie - anywhere we travel, if there's a waterfall nearby, I have to go see it. The hike to Alberta Falls was just the perfect distance for the little kids - and my mom - and bonus, it had one of the most beautiful aspen forests I've ever seen along the way, too.

516. Big Thompson Canyon
As we were driving through this canyon on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park, I had to turn the DVD player off in the back of the car so the kids would take the time to look out there windows. "Isn't this canyon cool?" I asked them. It's narrow and twisty and the rock walls are so high and steep sometimes they almost feel like they are going to fall in on top of you. What a shame the kids would rather watch a movie than admire the dramatic scenery! But Dreamer did at least say this, "It is so cool, I'm just not showing it."

517. Bugling elk outside our window
We stayed at the YMCA of the Rockies, which is adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park, and is over-run by elk. Two young bulls were busy eating up the flower beds right outside the main lodge.

Later in the day we saw this giant bull strutting his stuff in front of his herd of cows, and bugling whenever he saw one of the younger bulls. In the morning, he and his cows were right outside the window of our room! No movie could distract the girls when this big guy was around and they definitely all agreed the elk were very cool.

518. I'm the smallest
When the twins were wandering around a gas station convienence store on our trip, the cashier said "You guys are so cute."  Starlet said, "I know I am because I'm the smallest."

519. Streets of gold and confetti trees
B. couldn't go with us on our Rocky Mountain National Park trip, but the next weekend he was free, and it was peak aspen color so we went on a fall color drive along the Flattops Wilderness south of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Stretches of this road were completely covered in gold leaves, and the occasional dark pine tree stood out in stark contrast to all the golden aspen, sometimes their dark branches covered with aspen leaf confetti. So beautiful.

520. Escaramuzas
One of our neighbors asked if they could ride their horses in our round pen, and we were all fascinated when she showed up in a Mexican side saddle (I've seen English side saddles, but never this kind). She explained the type of team riding these saddles are used for, an Escaramuza, which means "skirmish" in Spanish. Eight ladies ride together in patterns with fancy spins and passes, and they are all dressed in beautiful Mexican dresses and spangled sombreros. The girls and I watched some videos of Escamuzas on Youtube.

521. Mashed potato addict
I'm pretty sure my stepdaughter is a mashed potato addict. This is the only food she will prepare (she does NOT like cooking) and she will go through stretches where she eats mashed potatoes every night. Several times I've discovered her making mashed potatoes past midnight (she's also a night owl). And then she confessed when she goes out to eat with her friends she "saves money" by just ordering a side of - yup, mashed potatoes.

522.  Towell trolls
This is what I call my girls after they take a bath. They hunch up underneath their towels  while they wait their turn for me to rub them down and dry their hair.

523. Kitty rubs
Pulling weeds in the garden with a kitty rubbing against you demanding to be petted

524. Spooky toots
B. has traded for another young horse, Rio, which he's been training to resell. Part of the training is to take him on long trail rides, which B. says Rio does really well at, the only thing he spooks at is when B. passes gas. Yeah, I just had  to share that one!

525. Interstellar Banks
You know you're a SF/fantasy geek when you get a check and you misread the issuing bank as The First Interstellar Bank instead of First Interstate Bank. (N. loved that when I shared it with her. She's a SF geek too).

526. Tia on trailrides
We always go on lots of trail rides in September to enjoy the changing colors. We sold three of our well-broke horses this year (Jewel, Folly and Sam), leaving only Ally and Spring as "dependables" for the kids or guests to ride - which means B. and I have to ride the green horses, Rio and Tia. I was thrilled to discover that Tia, who has only been ridden a few times, is a wonderful trail horse and doesn't spook at anything (not even toots). I rode her on a long ride up Sheep Mountain with N. and B.  and B. (N's husband is also a B.) Even when the guys took off at a gallop, she followed along without a fuss. Here's a picture of Blaze riding Tia. We're really happy she's a "keeper" because B.'s mom raised her from a baby.

527.  Walking away from a bad accident
A motorcyclist hit my stepdaughter's car when she was driving 65 mph (long story - still don't know why he tried to cross a highway, but the police determined she wasn't at fault). So thankful she was able to walk away from the accident with only a few minor scratches. Praying for the motorcyclist  who was hospitalized along with his passenger.  Makes you realize how little control we have over our lives; our life could be over in a moment and we find ourselves standing before God.

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