Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lest I Forget

He has said so many cute and funny things this year and every time I hear one of them I think I should write that down before I forget.  Well, I haven't and I know I have forgotten some good things, but I have remembered some.

Last summer he kept calling rhubarb, rhubark.

Instead of saying I'll be right back, he says I'll be rue back.

He was playing horsey with one of my brooms and would say getmeup not gittey up.

I hope I always remember:

how he told me Santa says Ho Ho Ho (in his deepest voice),

how he told me I looked pretty and had flowers on my funny pants (it was a skirt),

how he sounds saying The Lord's Prayer,

the excitement in his voice when he talks about my house, my beautiful bathroom, my MaMa, my DaDa (this one big guy's my DaDa.

I hope I remember everything, but I know I won't, so I need to write more things down.  To jog my memory.  For the day he towers over me like his DaDa.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


We celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve at Nathan and Stacy's house.  Kaiden was very excited about opening presents, but very careful.  He untied his Christmas bag and took each item out and looked at it. 

After dinner and presents we went to Christmas Eve service.  I could not get him to take off his mother's new purple gloves for a picture.  At least they matched his tie!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011


I have been thinking about Christmas traditions and wanting to write down some ours for Kaiden.  I realize they are evolving.  Some we have had for years and some are fairly new.  When I was a little girl, my mother did a lot of cooking.  She made fruit cake, breads, cookies and candies, pies.  We always had a large gathering on Christmas - there were 5 of us kids, spouses and grandchildren.  I do not remember many leftovers.  I think the tradition of all the cooking and especially the baking came from the time my parents grew up.  The sweets were not an everyday thing especially during the depression when my oldest siblings were raised.  These sweets were special and part of the gifts of Christmas.  My parents recall getting an orange, hard candy and nuts in their stockings - usually the only time they had oranges and hard candy when they were growing up.  Items not grown locally and sugar were not items readily available.  I do not do much baking anymore.  Our gatherings are smaller, my kids do not eat many sweets and we certainly do not need them and they are not as special anymore.  I do make pizzelles every year.  I think I would be in trouble if I didn't!

When my son was a little boy Santa filled our stockings and hung candy canes on the tree.  He had a tree in his room decorated with his ornaments.  I made our advent calendar (the original one is at his house and Kaiden puts the ornament on everyday).  He learned you could rearrange the letters in Noel to spell Leon, a tradition that continues today.  We went to the candlelight service on Christmas Eve, which we still do.

After Tito and I were married and our families blended, we blended our traditions.  Some decorations were packed away for Nathan and Carrie, some continued to be used and we acquired new ones.  We started buying an ornament from our trips, we have a lighthouse from Maine, a Canadian Mountie from Victoria, little birds from Mexico, chili peppers from Taos, an elk from Estes Park. 

The year Tito was battling cancer and going through chemo, we made several changes.  Since the kids had other families to celebrate with and we were dealing with so many changes in our life, we changed our celebration.  Having a "traditional' Christmas dinner on the 25th didn't seem so important anymore.  It could be brunch on the 23rd, tamales on the 24th, leftovers on the 26, just as long as we were together.  In order to bring some fun to our house that year, we started our Stocking Stuffer game.  All the items that would normally go into stockings were wrapped and put in the center of the table, dice are thrown, when certain numbers come up a gift is taken, when they are gone from the center they are taken from each other, when other numbers come up, all gifts that person has go back in, the gifts are not opened until the time limit is over.  We really have a good time with this. 

After Tito was well and free from cancer we decided to start a tradition of creating memories as our gift at Christmas such as our trip to the Colorado symphony this year.  No matter what traditions we hold onto, or change, or create, we will always keep two things, Jesus and family.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree

No matter how I tried this year, I could not get the top of my tree to look straight.  I yanked, I turned it around, I moved branch, I gave up.  It isn't as bad as it looks in this picture because it seems, I can't get my camera straight either!  So last weekend when our friends came to dinner and to exchange gifts, someone said it would probably look better, if everyone would lean to one side. 

So we did,

and then I was told my mirror was crooked.  Oh, well.

These 2 couples are the ones who took the challenge to give gifts made in the USA.  It was a challenge, but I think we did pretty well.  There were puzzles, hot sauce, candles, liquor, bowls, wood chips for smokers, bbq rubs, refrigerator fresheners and a door bell button* -  all made in the USA.  There were also many homemade food goodies and beautiful table runners, napkins and hot pads made in the USA (technically, even though it is hard to find material made in the USA). 

I think we all had a little more fun this year, because we had to put thought into it.  We had a blast opening the presents to see what everyone had found.  We are so blessed to have such great friends - that was the best gift!

*Vivien thinks that the little plastic door bell button that come with houses is pathetic and has found beautiful replacements ones made from metal with designs (ours is a chili pepper) that are made in the USA. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Colorado Christmas

Our big Christmas gift this year was the symphony for Colorado Christmas.  It was a wonderful program with the symphony, the Colorado Chorale group and the Colorado Children's Choir.  The music and the singing were beautiful.  Kaiden was enthralled and was so good.  Some of the highlights for me:

During Handel's hallelujah chorus he was singing hallelujah forever and ever Amen.  Later on in the car he sang hallelujah whatever.  We all chuckled.

I was singing along with Silver Bells and he told me not to sing because it was their turn (the children on the stage).  A minute later, he told me it was my turn.

There was a reading of The Night Before Christmas (with great music back up - the theme to Tom and Jerry after the line "not a creature was stirring"; the theme to Mission Impossible after the line "he spoke not a word but went straight to his work").  Kaiden  said "that's my story, you read to me; DaDa read to me.

Then the grand finale - Santa Claus is Coming to Town - with a guitar playing dancing Santa - just like Papa (Stacy's Dad plays the guitar).  And Santa looked our direction and waved.  Kaiden says he waved at him and said Ho Ho Ho!

We went to Carrie & Dave's (or as Kaiden says "Auntie Carrie's place") for coffee and cookies. 

It was a great evening.  A great Chirstmas present.  A great memory.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'm Christmas

He put this Santa had on and announced "I am Christmas".

He wouldn't hold still for a decent photo.

He may not be Christmas, but he sure brings joy to our house.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I have a friend who decided she was going to give only gifts this Christmas which were made in the USA.  When she announced this back in August, she made it clear she wasn't asking anyone else to do this for her, it was something she felt she needed to do.  When I waited until a few days before her birthday in October, I failed.  Everything I looked at was made in China.  I finally settled for items not made in China. 

We got together a couple weeks ago for Tito's and another friend's birthday.  She and her husband found gifts for both of them made in the USA and she gave us an update of her journey.  Instead of buying tins at Walmart to package homemade goodies for her workmates, she found canning jars are made in the USA and will be using them this year.  She has found small companies making handcrafted items.  She went to Hallmark for Christmas cards and found although single cards are printed here, the boxed cards are not.  With the help of a clerk they found the UNICEF cards are printed here, so that is what she is sending. 

I thought making gifts would be the answer, but you have to search to find fabric and yarn that is not made in China.  It took some time and thought, but I have managed to find items made in the USA.  I have e-mailed companies when they do not list manufacturing info on their web-site.  The answer is usually China.  I thank them for their response and tell them I am only interested in purchasing items made in America.  I have found clerks in most stores helpful, but I am most impressed with The Container Store.  They have a section on their web site of items Made in the USA. 

I admire my friends conviction and by speaking out she has a few other people aware and looking at what they purchase and that's how you make a difference.

Monday, November 28, 2011


We celebrated Thanksgiving with the kids on Saturday this year.  I remember all to well going from place to place on a holiday is not so very relaxing.  Add a tired toddler and a tired expectant mother into the equation it is even less fun.  Since the kids left home I have always said I don't care so much about the day we celebrate as long as we do celebrate.  We have traditionally trimmed the tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so this year we did both.  Tito and I put up the tree and the other decorations on Friday and the kids hung the ornaments on Saturday.

Tito make turkey tacoquito and salsa.  We also had our usual stuffing made with green chilies and chirizo as well as cranberry sauce.  Not completely traditional, but no one complained.  Kaiden handles the spicy food like a pro.  He will tell you it is spicy, take a big drink and ask for more.  Tito is so proud!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Te amo

Kaiden had to show Tita he could count like Dora - 1-10 in Spanish

So Tita taught him to say Te amo (I love you).  When he left that day, he said Te amo, Adios. (Just like Dora).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Birthday Visit

Tito's mother is visiting from California.  She lived here while her husband was stationed at Lowry Air Force Base during WWII.  That is where Tito was born 67 years ago today.  She wanted to see snow.

We found some for her last week and even made a snowball for her.

Happy Birthday, Tito!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


We took last week as vacation.  We stayed in Estes Park and really didn't do much but relax.  We took in the wonderful views.

Wild turkeys in Rocky Mountain National Park
Deer just down the road from where we were staying
Elk on the road to town
Never tire of the mountains.  When given the choice of beach or mountains - it is mountains for me.
Not a great picture of Tito, but love the sun on the river

We saw these piles in RMNP.  At first we thought it might be a Boy Scout project - building a winter shelter, but they were all over.  Tito thought they would make great ski jumps when the snow got deeper.  We both said maybe they were alien pods like in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. 

We asked the ranger at the entry and he said "Do you want the real answer or the fun answer?"  We told him we wanted the fun one to see if it was anything like ours.  He told us they were building tepee shelters to be able to reintroduce the Utes back into the park much like they reintroduced trout species.  

They are really slash piles from dead wood from the Pine Beetle kill and undergrowth that has been cleared.  They are waiting for sustained periods of cold enough weather to do controlled burns.

I like the alien pod explanation myself.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Big Brother

Yes, he is.  May 13th, which is Mother's Day. We are so happy and praying for a healthy Mom and baby. 

And we just took the crib down!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Where Do I Sleep?

Tito's mother is coming for a visit, so we decided to take the crib down from the guest bedroom to give her a little more room.  I washed all the bedding and put it in the linen closet.  It tugged at my heart a little because Kaiden is growing up too fast.  When he came the next time and went into "his" room to get toys, he said "where's my bed?"  I told him that we put the baby bed away because he was a big boy.  He then asked me where he was going to sleep.  I told him he would sleep in the bed we were sitting on.  I'm not sure he is convinced.

Friday, November 4, 2011


A little late posting Halloween pictures, but it was a busy week.  Family and friends came over to carve pumpkins.
It's pretty serious business

He looks like he is playing hard to get, but they walked around holding hands, chased each other all over the house and he kept calling her "my Mia".
The jack-o-lanterns lined up.  Cookie Monster, Patrick, Scary, Hearts and Stars, Mr. Pumpkin Head, Pirate, Wilson, Boo.

I have pictures of Kaiden and Mia with their full costumes, but am having trouble uploading pictues tonight - it is taking about 5 min per picture. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

My New Favorite Pictures

I just can't pick just one.  Love them all - his personality shines through - he is a little ham!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Winter Weather, Summer Pictures

We had eight inches of snow today and there is going to be a hard freeze tonight, so what better time to post summer pictures?

Hanging out with friends on the porch


Helping in the garden.

Making faces.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Story Time

One of my fondest memories of my son's childhood is story time.  We always read before naps and bedtime.  I saved some of his favorite books and got some of them out this summer to read to Kaiden.
I read some of these so many times, I had them memorized and so did Nathan.  If I would try to hurry the story up a bit by skipping a few lines here or there, he knew it.  Long before he could read, he would flip through the books and tell you what was happening on each page.  The Richard Scary book has such wonderful illustrations and the imagination to create the "things that go" - a carrot car, a pickle truck, a eggmobile.  Kaiden loves the toothbrush and toothpaste cars.  This book also has a little "Goldbug" that hides on each page to find.  Kaiden will look and look until he finds him and is so delighted when he does.  He will chant "I think I can" with me while we read The Little Engine Who Could.

My favorite was always the Monster at the end of this Book, so when Kaiden crawled up in my lap and said "Gram can we read the Grover book", so of course we did.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I had help picking the pumpkins today.

Watched over by Witchy Bear until it is time to carve Jack O' Lanterns and make pumpkin pie.