Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dear Mom, There are benefits to ‘going green.’

Week of March 17 – 23

I am trying hard NOT to say that this past week—our Spring Break that we had looked forward to so much—was a huge disappointment.

Monday morning started off just dandy. We had green smoothies and Lucky Charms for breakfast. Lunch was nice, too, with “Green Eggs and Ham” Irish muffin sandwiches. And then it began. . .

Hummer took the St. Patrick’s thing a bit far when he threw up all afternoon and several times that night. Exacto and Rosebud joined him during the night. DC and I succumbed on Tuesday. All of us but Fluffy were lying around, groaning, cancelling plans right and left, not fixing meals because any food at all was intolerable.

On Wednesday we looked at the fridge and sobbed because Spring Break was halfway over and there was our Bucket List, with absolutely nothing crossed off! We decided it was time to change our attitude. We added something to the list that we could cross off.


Aren’t we the great examples of making our own sunshine? haha.

Fluffy did have his own bout with the bug on Thursday, and so we all got a chance to share in the fun. We noticed there are actually several upsides to having an entire family losing their appetite for days.

Here are some benefits you can have by ‘going green’:

  1. Save $ on groceries – couldn’t believe how much food was left by Saturday!
  2. Don’t have to do chores (Hummer noticed this one on the day he felt better and I asked him to empty the dishwasher.)
  3. No energy to spare for contention :) It was an unbelievably peaceful week.

It was a crazy long stomach bug and affected us all slightly differently, but I’ll spare you the details. It was just a roller coaster for everyone, each feeling better for a while then going back to nausea, then feeling better, etc. By Sunday everyone was fine except me. :’(

During some of our up times, we did manage to squeeze out a few fun things with whomever was feeling up to it at the time.

Geocaching for the first time in CO



Flying a kite for the first time in CO


(Fluffy was pushing his luck by joining us. . . .)


Looking back on it, I think this was the best part of the week. It really was magical.



All of us managed to get the kite up, even Rosebud.




So grateful that at least we had this happy time.


And there was a little bit of park fun, like roller-blading and tennis.

0317 to 0323


Below is a comical moment – for a minute Fluffy couldn’t see what had happened to the ball he just hit. . . .He looked all around for it while Exacto was laughing and laughing.

161 crop

We also watched Fiddler on the Roof over the course of four evenings and everyone loved it, even though it has a “sad ending.” I remember Dad saying that was his favorite movie –is it still?

DC had a busy Saturday away from home, I was still sick, and it snowed, for crying out loud, so we pulled out a special surprise we had been saving for just such an occasion. It was a hit, even for the non-princess-lovers. :)



I think it is awesome that her buvvas will play with her like this. She is such a lucky little girl!


On Sunday I stayed home with BYUTV and indexing while DC took the sweet ones to church. Here’s a picture of Rosebud ready for church except her shoes. :)


And so, it wasn’t what we had hoped for, but I guess things could very well have been worse. (Aren’t you anxious to visit us now? haha.)

We’ll remember the kite. :)



Monday, March 24, 2014

Dear Mom, We made it to spring break!

Week of March 10 - 16

This has been a kind of excruciatingly long 9 weeks, but we did it!

Highlights of the 9th week:

FHE outside because it was just too nice to stay in the house.



(Not sure what our neighbors thought, particularly of the OT demonstrations :).


This next picture made me laugh so hard. In DC’s defense, he was preparing for a test on MMT the next day and was trying to remember what was next in the order of how it’s done. Exacto doesn’t need defense – he is just super funny.


Rosebud and Fluffy built an epic fort in our living room and spent hours in it. Fluffy even did all his afternoon schoolwork in there.


Wednesday night was a Court of Honor, at which Fluffy received his 1st Class rank advancement and 4 merit badges. Yay, Fluffy!


The best part of the week was that weekend, when we had a mini-family-reunion with DC’s parents, sister Heidi, and all the CO family at Bob and Daniela’s house. Mom and Dad Baker came back to Fort Collins with us and we spent Sunday together.


Never did get a good photo of all of them together, drat it all.

On the way home from church, Fluffy spotted a free trampoline!


I made DC pull over and he and Fluffy carried it all the way to our house, Sunday clothes and all. :)


As they arrived, Hummer celebrated on the recorder. (See video).

ode to joy!

The best part was taking them to see the temple site. Big progress! It’s amazing how much it is changing every week now!


We were excited to see that they had added this sign to the fencing.

043 crop

Dad Baker said it looks like they’ve started pouring concrete for the pilings. (Wish I had a closer up photo—if you zoom in you can just see the flags marking where the rebar for those are, and the huge drill for making the holes).


Everyone say, “Hi, tripod!”

We were euphoric that evening, with a full week of Spring Break ahead of us, ripe with possibility . . . . .



Monday, March 17, 2014

Dear Mom, Music is nice.

Du holde Kunst, in wieviel grauen Stunden. . . .

. . . .Hast mich in eine beßre Welt entrückt!

from An die Musik  ~  Schubert

Week of March 3 – 9

Two band concerts this week, the debut performance of Rocky Mountain Mormon Youth Chorale (for which I had the honor to play), and Hummer began formal recorder studies at school. I’m glad our life is still music-full. :)


This here is Fluffy, just before leaving for his 7th grade band concert. He is really loving playing the trombone and is making great progress on it. I think it is super awesome that he can still participate in that while he’s homeschooled. Yay for CO!

Wednesday morning was Exacto’s band’s opportunity to compete in a regional doo-hickey. Fluffy and Rosebud and I went to hear them.

014 edit for blog

Exacto had a solo, which I simply must include here, partly because you asked me to and also because it was just beautiful and I want to show it off.


Exacto–luscious solo

Then he had to stay for a while so we found a nearby park to hang out whilst we waited for him.


Fluffy’s teacher said he had to study, which he did in the car. But Rosebud was in heaven.


Rocks – boulders – in landscaping are tres chic here in the Front Range.



Later we compromised because Fluffy insisted he could study and play at the same time. :)



It worked pretty well, actually. Here he is reading Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life. :)


Hummer is doing Recorder Karate at his schmancy charter school. (I was happy to discover that they do that program here. Fluffy and Exacto were both black belts in Recorder Karate back in Arkansas. :)

He is already quite accomplished at it, and can even play a duet with himself.


Hummer–self-duet with decidedly modern harmonies


Not satisfied with that considerable achievement, being Hummer after all, he is already headed off into the sunset toward new frontiers, new mountains to conquer. . . .




Another thing I absolutely love about his school is the art curriculum. They are always doing the coolest projects and they keep them all from the parents until the end of the year, making us salivate with anticipation. Gargoyles (shaped in clay and then glazed and fired!), medieval shields, a 3D monogram, and recently, a collage study of the Taj Mahal.

I still haven’t seen Hummer’s, but he came home and offered to teach me how they did it. So here are my planning sketches and then finished collage of Taj Mahal.


The highlight of the week was getting to play for the RMMYC, which has been organized by our stake president for all the seminary-age youth in Fort Collins and Loveland. The conductor? Head of the CSU music department. Accompanist? A friend in our ward, also professional level. And the choir, made up of radiant youth (including Exacto), is sounding just fabulous. It was such an honor to be asked to help with two songs for their first performance, which was stake conference. I played the piano for a glorious arrangement of Beautiful Savior, and covered the flute and oboe obbligatos on the organ for Mack Wilberg’s My Shepherd Will Supply My Need.

So since I had to play for a rehearsal Saturday evening, sweet Fluffy made dinner for us – a baked ziti, french bread, and a lovely salad. It was great! He is great.


Notice Exacto’s smooth evasion of the camera. . . .

And so, while DC studies all day every day about how to become a super-great occupational therapist, I guess the rest of us have picked up his musical slack. :)



Monday, March 3, 2014

Dear Mom, Fluffy looks cute in his braces.

Week of February 24 - March 2

I am sorry for my absence on this here blog! It has been a long two months, and I was sooo happy to turn the calendar page to March yesterday. Now I can see spring break in the near future, and vernal equinox, and a visit from Mom and Dad Baker. Yes, the worst is over, now the morning sun is shining like a red rubber ball. . .mm-hm. :)

So this week we had some fun times, including cascarones during FHE, a visit from a real-live fairy, and Bloonies!



Though they are of course immortal, sometimes fairies do need to go to the bathroom. :)

Bloonies. I remember having a blast with these once when I was about Rosemary’s age.

0224 to 0302


However, the biggest news of the week is that Fluffy has been bequeathed with braces! (So grateful for Uncle Tapa’s help with getting it all squared away.)



He has been such a good sport with the inevitable soreness during the first few days and we think he looks older and even more handsome.




(Rosebud said, “Fluffy, you look taller in your braces! :) And actually, you can probably tell by the camera angle that he is taller than me now!)

The other notable event of the week was a Friday night temple trip for me and DC. We had planned on Saturday morning because we love getting up super early and having the kids asleep through a lot of the time we’re gone, but there was a snowstorm in the forecast, so we braved the weekend traffic instead.

photo credit

It did take us an hour longer than usual to get there, but the next morning when we woke up to thick, fluffy snow that continued all day we were really glad we had already gone. It was wonderful to be there – I am still feeling added peace and strength from being where I feel so close to heaven.

I sure hope to catch up on some of those missed posts over these next few days. . . but either way I send you my love,