Our last days in CO

27 September Wednesday

Today was a day to ourselves! Man, we really needed it. We’ve been super rocky lately, and we just need some time for things to get back to normal, but it’s hard when your time is not your own.

After school when I was preparing pizza for lunch Tj said he’d take over and I should go have some down time! Hallelujah! I needed a break. I went out to eat at a wonderful Mexican place, and then went to 3 Goodwills (where I found nothing exciting!! Boo!!!), and then went to Wal-Mart to pick up Tj’s order and do a big grocery shop.

28 September Thursday

Today was a nice, normal day; and then at 7:45pm I took Tj to the airport. When I got back I put on some TV and painted my fingernails red. I needed a pick-me-up!

29 September Friday

Today was the typical day-after-Tj-leaves: I cleaned out the fridge and made a meal plan to eat all the odds and ends left over from a week of craziness. Then after school and lunch Jack and I took a wonderfully long nap.

After the boys were in bed for the night and I read for a little while, I snuggled down to work on my second basket and watch a movie. Then one of Tjs old friends asked how I was…there’s an active shooter here! I texted TJ, and have now turned off the TV and all other lights. I’m not turning on the a/c so as to keep the sound down, too. I’m glad the boys are asleep. TJ says if we hear shots to put the boys on the floor. I think in the bedroom would be best…there’s more cabinets around in this area than in other parts of the bus. I’m not too scared. But it’s crazy to think about. We are in God’s hands. Whatever happens he already knows.

30 September Saturday

I’m glad I didn’t freak out about the shooter…turns out it was a hoax! Times like this certainly make you think about your priorities!

1 October Sunday

We went to the Academy chapel this morning, and I was hoping to hear their awesome organ. They didn’t play the organ, but we did get to hear from a female chaplin! Oh well. We’re gonna go back next week at the earlier service and hopefully they’ll play it then. And hopefully it will be awesome.

2 October Monday

We went out to eat after school, and then went shopping. I couldn’t remember the name of the soup I wanted, but after tasting the great soup at this restaurant I remembered it’s Tom Yum. The waitress here told me where to get some, so we’ll be going out to eat again soon :-)

3 October Tuesday

I finished my second basket tonight. I probably could have finished it quicker, but I keep waffling on the best way to finish it. Run the stitches out at the handle or in the middle of a row? Oh yeah, and I had to rip out the beginning a million times because I thought I could wing it and not follow the pattern. I can’t.

4 October Wednesday

We did our errands in the morning and school in the afternoon. It’s crazy how different it seems. We take the same amount of time for school and free time, but it sure seems like we have less free time when we take it in the mornings.

We bought a saber for Greg, and then went and ordered a display box for it. We got the mail, and then went to the nearby thrift store where Max found a Dalek shirt!

We went to the Commissary afterwards and I was looking forward to making a cake with whipped cream and raspberries in the middle. I was so bummed not to find any raspberries! Wal-Mart had them Monday, but I know better than to buy them before I’m ready to use them. Oh well. I did buy 2 boxes of Devil Cremes at WM the other day so I guess I should wait anyway. I haven’t been able to find Devil Cremes for over a year!

5 October Thursday

It’s supposed to rain this afternoon, so we’ll go outside for a long break from school this morning. Or that’s the plan. Homeschool and travel sure make you be more flexible.

I had a long chat with Mom during my school break. I love that!

6 October Friday

Max had a super short day, so when he finished up around 11 we headed out. I had planned to sightsee Saturday and then Wednesday when Tj was home, but the forecast shows snow Monday, so I hate to take the chance.

We headed over to Outdoor Rec to see about our package from Amazon, and then I got some info from ITT about the places to visit. After getting a full tank of gas we headed out to the German bakery someone told me had wonderful black forest cake. It was an hour and a half drive there, but the scenery was beautiful. Majestic mountains and a beautiful blue sky with awesome white clouds.

We finally made it to Gold Camp Bakery, and I ordered a miner’s pasty for us to split for lunch while I figured out what all desserts we would have. I took Jack to the bathroom while she heated up our lunch and saw that the faucet lit up when you turned it on! The hole where the water came out had a ring of blue light. Fancy! When we went to the bathroom again before leaving I realized that Jack left his big winter coat in there the first time…I’m so glad we got it!!! We ended up having chocolate peanut butter pie, bee sting cake and black forest cake for dessert, and I got a soft pretzel, a kaiser roll and a nut roll to take home.

We then drove to Phantom Canyon Road for the other reason we drove all the way out here. It was a dirt scenic highway, and I stopped so many times to get out and take pictures…it was beautiful! The drive was never scary, but it was often only wide enough for one car. A few cars passed me going the opposite way, but the traffic was so scarce it was easy to take our time. Towards the end of the drive we drove through two rock tunnels. I stopped the truck several times in the tunnels to take pictures, and the second time I opened the sunroof and let the boys stand up while I drove through. What good memories!

We needed milk at home, so we stopped at Wal-Mart once we got back into civilization. Max headed off to the Lego section while I started shopping. I finally broke down and bought the red coat I’ve admired for the last 5 or so years. I only brought a casual heavy coat on this bus trip…trying to be reasonable and not pack heavy, but I’ve missed having a dressier coat every time I went to church in cold weather. I’m so excited! I also bought some raspberries, so I’m planning on making that cake Sunday after my nap.

Google was telling me to turn East out of the parking lot and I said which way is East? Max said it’s right. I was astounded and asked how he knew, and he said it was because the US is West of Europe…and then I died laughing! Turns out he thought Google was saying go East like go right. Heh.

7 October Saturday

We had a lazy morning in bed. I finished my book while Max played Legos and Jack played with his marble tower and watched Animusic 2. Now we’re gonna get ready and go eat some Tom yum soup, and see the Manitou cliff dwellings.

The soup was good, but it wasn’t the taste I remember having in Cabot. I’ll have to try the soup there when we go back and see if it’s the soup or my memory. The ginger chicken was wonderful, though. I asked for medium heat expecting Jack to eat it and Max to complain but eat it. In the end Jack seemed to have some trouble, so I guess it was hotter than I thought! I didn’t make them finish their last bites.

We were on the way to the cliff dwellings and saw a playground on the way. Max asked to stop, so the boys played a while and I watched. I was chatting to a lady in the park and looked over and Jack had a little girl’s swing and was slowing her down! Her dad was swinging next to her, so I apologized to him and got Jack away from there as quickly as possible, but the dad and girl didn’t go back to swing. I didn’t let Jack swing then because that wouldn’t have taught him anything. Guess I wasn’t watching as well as I should’ve been!

We got to Manitou and it’s just a recreation of the original Anasazi cliff dwellings. We were able to walk in and around them, which we wouldn’t have been able to do if they were the original ones, but those are a many-hours drive away. I bought a scalloped Turkish bowl and some praline pecan butter at the gift shop.

We went to WM to return the pants I bought that didn’t fit, and to get eggs and lunchmeat. Max went and picked out the food while I stood in line for the return…he got exactly what I asked for! Once we got home I told Max if he’d take Jack to the playground for an hour I’d give him a Devil Creme. Heh.

8 October Sunday

We went to the early service today, and got to hear the organ…it was beautiful! There was a lady in front of us with short, curly hair, just touching her shoulders; she had a rat tail that went to her knees!!! It was a tiny braid, and it wasn’t matted at all, but it was so long! We walked to the Visitor’s Center after church for some exercise again and saw a sign saying it’s 1/3 mile…not too bad for a Sunday stroll.

At home I made cheese sauce to cover our broccoli and baked potatoes, then Jack and I took a nap. When we got up Max and Jack went to play with Caden and I made a cake. Boxed chocolate cake with upgrades, homemade whipped cream and raspberries in the middle, and that divine chocolate buttercream frosting on top. I think I need to make that black frosting thinner. I kept the cake in the fridge because of the whipped cream, and the frosting was about as stiff as fudge, which meant every time you cut a slice of cake you just mangled it. But, boy did it taste great!!

I brought a piece to Caden’s place but they had company and I didn’t have enough for all of them, so I brought it back home and the boys and I ate it. After supper I had sooooo many dishes to wash! Then I battened down the hatches because the forecast says 100% chance of snow that starts at 2am and continues 24 hours!

9 October Monday

I awoke at 6:30 and checked outside…disappointment! I expected great big fluffy mounds of snow, and there’s only a thin layer on things that are raised off the ground. I’m going to read my Bible now and wait for more snow. Not that I want great big piles of it…I have to go pick up Tj tomorrow and don’t want to drive in that mess. But, you know….

We did school, and took some time out to go play and walk in the snow. I’d never seen such fat/fluffy/wet snowflakes! It was beautiful. And serene. And by supper it was basically all melted. Which was good since I need to drive to the airport tomorrow morning to get Tj.

10 October Tuesday

Jack and I left the house at 6:30am to get Tj. I met Jon Thompson for the first time, but it was cold outside of the restaurant! Jon had to leave his house early for work anyway, so he got Tj from the airport which was near his work and took him to a restaurant where they ate breakfast and waited for me to come.

We went home and Tj went straight to bed. The boys and I had school and then lunch, and then we all drove over to the Arnold’s son’s house for supper. Which was the biggest pizza I’d ever seen! We visited for a while and then went to their condo in Denver and had second supper with their other son and visited some more.

11 October Wednesday

We just had a regular day. Tj didn’t leave the bus, and I just ran to the store for groceries.

12 October Thursday

We had our weekend today and went to the Royal Gorge. On the way there there was an accident that delayed traffic for an hour, but we’d already bought our tickets through ITT so I hated to just give up and throw away about $80! We finally got moving again and went straight to lunch at a BBQ place. I had bbq nachos, and Tj had a burger with both a patty and pulled pork and bacon on it. Both our lunches were awesome!

The Royal Gorge was beautiful. Our tickets included a gondola ride so we did that first. The views were amazing. The boys got to play on a playground there and burn off a little energy they’d accumulated sitting in traffic for so long. When we went to ride the carousel there was a man sitting on the only bench seat, and his son was on a horse. Jack went right up to the man and sat next to him! He’s so awkward and doesn’t even know it! Crazy kid. We walked back over the bridge over the gorge next, and then went to the visitor’s center where Tj bought 2 t-shirts.

While we sat in traffic earlier Bill asked if we wanted to have supper with them so we headed straight to the diner next. It was great to see Mrs. Norma again, but it was sad to see her memory’s going. She told us a few stories that were completely unrelated to the topic of our conversation, and then told us a story starting with, “A few months ago…”. When they heard enough of the story to recognize it Bill and Teresa reminded her that that had happened years ago when she was living in Germany. Otherwise, though, we had a great visit with all 3 of them.

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