May 2018

May 1

Spring in Colorado.

May 5

Benjamin trimming new growth in the Canada clump-form cherry.
Phoebe using the loppers.

May 6

As you know, Phoebe and I have been taking piano lessons from Walton Lott, the accompanist at church. He’s an amazing pianist, and he’s been challenging us to learn some music theory along with playing the music on the keyboard.

Our piano teacher, Walt, on Sunday morning.

The first third of life committe, of which I’m the chairwoman, planned a youth Sunday. It went really well! The kids did a great job, and the adults really enjoyed having them as part of the worship service.

Sophie, Sarah, Julia, and Phoebe greet parishoners.
Alyssa holds the door.
Benjamin dressed all in blue for his big debut as a concierge!
The children and Amelia leading worship.
Bill Renfer, our nonagenarian, still singing in the choir.
The choir and the altar cloth (made by the children out of paper) on Youth Sunday.
Last song…with instruments!
Ben Wirth was the cross bearer.
The big boys messing around in the back of the sanctuary.
We have new babies!
All the kiddos. First row: Sophia, Benjamin, Sarah. Second row: Annika, Audrey, Julia, Phoebe, Alyssa, Thomas, John. Third row: Ella, Maggie, Ben, Sienna
Climbing the chain web at Peak to Peak.
Splinter!
Having a drink after good work on youth Sunday.
Benjamin loves chocolate milk.
Definitely worthy of a Band-Aid.

May 7

Benjamin is now enrolled in three therapies. Here he’s working with his physical therapist.

Working hard on the swing with Miss Lindsey.

May 11

Phoebe won an individual and team medal in the Noetic Math Contest!

Phoebe won two medals in the Noetic Math Contest!

Phoebe took a video of Benjamin’s first soccer practice:

Working on his soccer moves.

May 13

Even on Mother’s Day, the kids and I make our weekendly trek to the grocery store, but it enabled me to make a delicious beef stew.

I just liked the visual of Phoebe reading a book (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) on the back of the horse at the grocery store. Plus, they’re sharing!
Mother’s Day feast: beef stew and homemade challah.

May 18

Dave and I took the morning off work to enjoy first Phoebe’s second-grade class “Shelebration,” at which the kids acted out and recited Shel Silverstein poems from memory. Next, we watched Benjamin’s kindergarten carnival, which was a celebration of the end of the kindergarten year.

Shelebration

Rock ‘N Roll Band

Imagine

Egg poem

Mirror poem

Kindergarten Carnival

Dressed up for his stint as a poodle. (Looks more like a rapper to me!)
Kindergarten portraits.
He must’ve been in his brown period.
There’s our little poodle!

Singing songs at the kindergarten carnival.

Poodle tricks

May 19

Phoebe and I were invited to Gwen and Bill Wharton’s house to watch the royal wedding with other church friends. We had to be there at 4 a.m., so we climbed out of bed and dr

Stretching during the royal weddingove into Boulder in the middle of the night. It was a great bonding experience—I think we’ll both remember it forever. And what a lovely wedding! Just as the eclipse turned us into eclipse chasers, this might’ve turned us into royal wedding junkies.
Jess, Phoebe, and Big Lion watching the royal wedding.
A scone and a digestive—fond reminders of England!
A few royal watchers: Gwen, her friend, Patricia, Elain, Phoebe, Tina, and Terry
Really cool Flatiron tiles in the Whartons’ bathroom!
This painting was in the bathroom too. I just love it.
Starting to wear out.
The inevitable consequence of the morning festivities!

Later that day, the kids and I joined the Gawenus family for Lafayette’s first Ninja Warrior festival. A Ninja Warrior gym just opened next to XTreme Altitude, the gymnastics facility. Lafayette is such a cool town! It was freezing that day.

Benjamin on the kiddo obstacle course.
Climbing.
Phoebe partway through the ninja warrior course.
Handling the web with no problem.
Crossing over to the Swiss cheese.
Scrambling as high as she can on the warped wall.

During Dave’s last performance of Gypsy with the Longmont Theater Company, he took a time-lapse video of all of his instrument changes.

May 20

After Dave’s Longmont Concert Band concert, he played in a saxophone quartet.

Saxophone quartet after the Longmont Concert Band concert.
Handsomest tenor player!

I caught only a few seconds on video:

May 21

This is Benjamin working with his occupational therapist. Mat man teaches kids to draw a body so they don’t draw arms and legs coming out of a head.

Drawing mat man.
Building mat man with Miss Brittany.

Mesa Verde Camping

It’s rare for us to have a camping trip with WiFi, so I thought I’d take advantage of the luxury to put up a quick blog post about our trip to Mesa Verde (still ongoing). So, the post will be pretty short on prose in favor or pics.

We left the front range after work and B’s soccer and a quick Chipotle dinner at around 7:30. Since it’s about 7 hours of driving to Mesa Verde we arrived around 2:30 in the morning. I think everyone was more than ready to climb into the tent which is precisely what we did as soon as I got everything setup.

Saturday morning we slept in a bit, made a yummy pancake breakfast (with sausage), and made our way back down to the visitor’s center to buy a new park pass and get tickets for one of the guided cliff-dwelling tours. The kiddos enjoyed learning about nature and making beaded necklaces and bracelets with some CU students while I waited in line for tickets. One of the dwellings (the Spruce Treehouse) is currently closed due to some recent rockfall, so that left just 3 options. While waiting in line, one of the volunteers gave a short description of the options and it was clear that the more adventurous Balcony House tour was perfect with its 32’ ladder and tunnel, so I got us tickets for the 5 o’clock tour.

Here’s a cactus we saw n the hike into Balcony House.
This is the big 32’ ladder you have to climb to get into the cliff dwelling. I was climbing behind Benjamin and both trying to keep up with a carefree 5-year old while simultaneously staying ready to catch said 5-yera old and maintain a sufficient grip to keep dad and son from falling. Needless to say I was happy to reach the top safely! Unfortunately I couldn’t get pics of the kiddos on the big ladder. They weren’t the least bit scared and thought it was great.
Here’s the first set of rooms you see after topping out from the ladder climb and the namesake feature for the site.
Benjamin really wanted to climb into the kiva. He asked some questions too like how did they get down there?
He’s such a cutie and a ham when he wants to be.
Here’s a smaller ladder at the exit. This time Jess was following B and came to fully understand just how terrifying that is. Again the kiddos both thought it was fun and easy which was not true of the other adults on the tour either!
Here’s Phoebe approaching the tunnel exit. I think the kiddos are ready for some caving.
Here’s a parting shot of the big ladder from the plaza of the Balcony House. This gives you a good feel for the exposure.

That pretty much wraps up day 1 at Mesa Verde. Everyone had a blast and we hope you enjoy the photos.

April 2018

April 3

I went on a field trip with Phoebe’s class to Sombrero Marsh in Boulder. I didn’t even know it was there! It was freezing that day, but we still had a marvelous time learning about birds, insects, plants, and animals.

Eating lunch at Sombrero Marsh on a cold, windy field trip.
Who packed that nice lunch?
Happy second-grader.
Really happy second-grader! (Or she’s waiting for a bug to fly in.)
Selfie at lunch.
Huge storytime.
Lovely view from the marsh.
Kids in the bird blind.
I can see Phoebe in the middle there.
Looking toward the north Boulder smokestacks.
Here’s the education building.

April 4

Benjamin had a fever and stayed home from school.

Sick kid.
Showing some sign of life.
Finally eating some crackers after 3 full days of sleep.
Matzo ball soup (left untouched, alas).

April 8

I’ve never seen him draw a mouth before, but this is one happy car.
Rocking the trike!
Phoebe wasn’t feeling well enough to read to a dog, so we took a photo for her. Benjamin got to pet him gently a couple of times.

April 9

Now Phoebe’s home from school.

Reading Harry Potter on a sick day.

April 12

The Alicia Sanchez kindergartners had a choir concert. This time, Benjamin was appropriately dressed! (More or less.) It’s early June now, and he’s still singing some of the songs from their performance. It was terrific.

Kindergarten concert. Who’s that nonchalant businessman right up front?
Check out the socks and Lightening McQueen sandals. Next tech billionaire? Or Big Lebowski?
We’re all done!

April 14

Some work friends and I got together to bake Mittens the Cat Cake, an incredibly complicated recipe Jane discovered on NPR around Thanksgiving.

Mittens the Cat Cake.
The chocolate and pumpkin mousse interior.

Phoebe fell in love with Harry Potter and read it over and over.

Final page, book 1, Harry Potter.
Hmm. This might actually be the final page.

April 17

This is the second of the two Mittens the Cat Cakes. This one also had gelatin issues, but it’s so pretty!

April 23

Benjamin did ten weeks of physical therapy at KidSPOT, which is owned by his first physical therapist, Jessica Fuentes! He worked hard, had fun, and progressed a lot. He earned his hot chocolates. (KidSPOT is located below Vic’s Coffee Shop in Louisville.)

Hot chocolate with a bendy straw after a physical therapy session with Miss Lindsey.

I interviewed the kids about their plans for being a grown-up.

April 24

Turns out, melty beads are very relaxing! I made this for my friend Jenn, who got a new job.

April 25

This must almost be the end of the snowy mountains for the year.

April 26

Benjamin was working on a melty bead project and singing a song from his school concert.

April 27

I tried to get Benjamin to come to Take Your Children to Work Day, but he declined. Phoebe came with me the day after the official day; BVSD schools were closed because so many teachers were marching in Denver for better pay and more money for schools.

Working on snap circuits in “her” cubicle.
Drinking hot chocolate and working on a puzzle.
Finally working! My colleague Robin asked Phoebe to open a bunch of envelopes from the Copyright Office.
Take Your Children to Work Day.
Now Robin has her unpacking books.

Third year in a row taking this photo in front of the ABC-CLIO logo!
What a cutie.

April 28

Phoebe won first place for second- and third-graders in the Lafayette Youth Poetry Awards! She was invited to a reception to read her poem, which was truly wonderful.

Phoebe reading her prize-winning poem.

The judge for the poetry in English explaining his thought process on Phoebe’s poem.
Benjamin and his apple sitting on a peacock sitting on a frog. Public art!

April 29

California rolls for lunch.
Pam’s apple tree in bloom.
Looking up through the branches of the apple tree.
Snapped this one at the library because Phoebe looks like a grownup with keys in one hand and a shopping bag in the other.
That little perch must’ve been made for kiddos!

Happy Easter!

We had such a lovely Easter this year. We didn’t worship much during Holy Week: on Maundy Thursday, Dave and I had band rehearsal, and on Good Friday, Phoebe and I went to see a show at the Boulder Dinner Theater (long-planned as a birthday present to ourselves). We like an a capella group from Boulder called Face, and two of its members were putting on a show (with musicians) called Broadway, Billboard, and Beyond. Phoebe ate spaghetti, and I had yellow curry. We shared a couple of desserts, and she enjoyed a Shirley Temple. It was a wonderful evening, but we didn’t get home until 10:20 p.m., which made for a grumpy Holy Saturday.

Cody Qualls and Stephen Ross (2 members of the a capella group Face) singing “Lean on Me” with Hazel Miller.

Still, we had a good time dyeing Easter eggs.

Preparing to dye eggs.
Having fun!
Phoebe arranged the ramekins in rainbow order.

Phoebe interviewed me at the end of the afternoon:

Saturday evening, we went to a potluck at church with the Seventh Day Adventists who use our building on Saturdays. It turned out that one of the boys there is in one of the other kindergarten classes at Benjamin’s school. And we later found out that three of the people at the potluck are DREAMers. We had a good time getting to know some of the other congregants. Then we went to a nice worship service and came home to get some sleep before our next worship service!

On Easter morning, Dave had to be at church early to get ready to play his sax, so the kids and I slept in a bit and picked up our friends Clint and Carolyn on the way. There was no Sunday school, and we got there in time to get a good seat. The church was full! The kids looked terrific in their new Easter clothes (thanks, Grammie and Grandma). After church the kids participated in the annual Easter egg hunt (their third of the holiday).

Gribble family photo. We look pretty good! It’s hard to tell, but Dave and Benjamin are wearing the same color shirt.
Coming down from the loft. He cleaned up on eggs this year!
Mom, I don’t like you taking my photo.
But she looks so lovely, even with the pout!
Growly.
Dave in his all-purpose suit.
Showing off his goods!
Phoebe and Julia Philpott.

Then we stopped by Barnes & Noble to spend a gift card Phoebe got for her birthday. I managed to wheedle the kids into this amazing photo:

Easter siblings.

At home, we spent the rest of the afternoon preparing for the big dinner I was cooking for friends. Eleven people came over to eat with us, and many of us watched a bit of the live performance of Jesus Christ Superstar afterward. Phoebe made her famous deviled eggs and helped with the pie. We had ham, lamb, and all my favorite side dishes, including scalloped potatoes, six-layer salad, three-bean salad, and roasted butternut squash.

Phoebe wove the lattice for the cherry pie.
This is how you know you had a fun party…
And this…
And this. It actually took less than an hour to clean up.

We hope you all had a blessed Easter too!

March 2018

February 28

We didn’t seem to take any photos in February except for on Valentine’s Day, and those are already posted. Here’s one video (sort of) from the last day of February; I was driving the kids to school, and they were laughing. I wanted to capture it, so I turned on the video recorder on my phone at a stop sign. Feel free to ignore the video of the steering wheel and just enjoy their giggles.

Kids laughing

March 1

On the first day of March, I went on a wonderful field trip with Benjamin’s kindergarten class to the Dairy Performing Arts Center in Boulder. The whole class moved as a group, which meant I didn’t have a small group of kids to repeatedly count and keep an eye on; I could just go from station to station with them and enjoy the arts. First we heard a cellist play a traditional and then a carbon-fiber cello. Next we did an art project about drawing maps. Then we heard a guitarist sing a book called Lost Dog; he talked about the two truly American types of music, country and blues. He’d set the words of Lost Dog to those types of chords. It was really cool. Finally, we all gathered for a concert performed by the cellist and guitarist, who together make up a group called Acoustic Eidolon.

Benjamin and Alejandro on the bus to the Dairy Center.
Joe Scott from Acoustic Eidolon playing his two-necked guitar.
Joe Scott playing with his wife, cellist Hannah Elkire.
Kindergarteners (and Miss Theresa) eating lunch.

Lost Dog in the blues style

Lost Dog in the country style

March 2

The whole family passed around a stomach bug for a couple of weeks. Phoebe stayed home sick on March 2, and I fell ill later that evening.

Sick kid.

Still, she managed one important project: writing invitations to her birthday party.

Phoebe created her own birthday party invitations to mail to her friends.

We ran out to get some dinner.

Benjamin shows that he knows how to carry a pizza.

Benjamin reading us Lost Dog.

Benjamin working on sight words.

March 4

We went with Lisa and Fritz Gawenus to a really neat free concert put on by the Boulder Philharmonic at Mackey Hall at CU. It was called Reach for the Stars: “Join Michael Butterman, the Boulder Phil and guest LASP scientist Dr. David Brain for this free family-friendly concert. Featuring a space exploration theme in honor of NASA’s–and the Boulder Phil’s–60th Anniversary, the program explores concepts of history, courage, and innovation while featuring some of the most engaging orchestral music ever written. The concert will also feature an instrument petting zoo, provided by HB Woodsongs.”

The programming was terrific, and Fritz got to try out a saxophone. Watch out, Dave! I really liked the Mason Bates piece and the John Ireland march.

GUSTAV HOLST The Planets: I. Mars
MASON BATES The B-Sides: III. Gemini in the Solar Wind
GEORGE WALKER Lyric for Strings
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5 in C minor—
I. Allegro con brio
JOHN IRELAND Epic March
JOHN WILLIAMS Star Wars Suite—Main Theme

Fritz trying out a saxophone before the Boulder Philharmonic Reach for the Stars concert in Macky Auditorium.

March 5

I’m publishing a really cool book called Storytime and Beyond: Having Fun with Early Literacy. I told the kids about how one of the authors, Kathy Barco, uses anything at hand to create alphabet letters, and while we were at Mom and Dad’s in December, I took some photos of the kids making letters with Jenga blocks in the hopes that they might be included in the book. It worked!

A form giving permission for the kids to have their photos included in one of the books I’m publishing!

March 8

Phoebe has been allowed to walk over to the Peak to Peak Charter School playground by herself for a while now. As I picked the kids up at Take-A-Break, she asked what she could do when she got home. I said, “why not go over to the playground?” She asked, “Can I take Ben?” I told her I’d have to think about it on the drive home. When we got home I said she could, and we set up a system in which she’d use the timer on my phone to have an alarm ring every five minutes, at which point she’d call home. I made sure Benjamin understood that Phoebe was in charge, and I reminded her that she’d have to watch him every second. As they marched off, I called out, “Phoebe, do you know how to call 911?” She shouted that she did. They were completely responsible and called home each time the timer went off. They ended up staying for 20 minutes, and I was able to cook dinner with no one else in the kitchen. It was a milestone!

Phoebe and Benjamin went to the playground together, found a piece of chalk, and wrote letters. Phoebe took photos for me.

Phoebe and Benjamin at Peak to Peak playground.

March 10

Rob and Rachel hosted a “YABS in the city.” We love their townhome, and it’s always fun to get into Denver! Plus, it was a great excuse to make “The Last Word” cocktails and catch up with Susan and Nick, who also came over.

Reading and puzzling in Rob and Rachel’s living room.

March 11

Sunday afternoon trip to the Wow! Children’s Museum.

Benjamin working on his balance at Wow! Children’s Museum.
Pretty good, little boy! (And check out the Cleveland Orchestra t-shirt he’s wearing.)
Phoebe made this neat pattern during her time at Wow!

Phoebe playing “Minuet in G” at Wow. Piano lessons are already paying off!

Phoebe playing a song on the Illumitune.

Benjamin balancing at Wow.

March 12

Benjamin is doing physical therapy at KidSPOT in Lousiville once a week. He enjoys the time with Miss Lindsay, and we can already see progress. Here he’s drinking his after-therapy hot chocolate—Vics coffee shop is upstairs.

Hot chocolate after a physical therapy session with Miss Lindsay.
If there’s something better than coming home to a clean kitchen counter, I don’t know what it is.

March 13

Just happened to see this out the car window driving home from work one day. The horse and rider are right in front of Take-A-Break.

March 14

Phoebe spelled her way into the first-and-second grade spelling bee at Lafayette Elementary! I didn’t write down her round 1 word, but after that I started keeping notes. In round 2 she spelled “south,” round 3 was “hire,” round 4 “return,” round 5 “purse,” and she got out in round 6 by spelling “fauct” instead of “faucet.” We were so proud of her!

Phoebe turning around before the first-and-second-grade spelling bee. We weren’t allowed to take photos during the event.

March 17

Yes, sure, it was Saint Patrick’s Day and my birthday, but the kids had swimming lessons (I got to sit in the steam room for a while) and Whit’s karate birthday party. Plus, I had to make the cake for Phoebe’s party the next day! It was actually a very nice day.

Whitman’s karate birthday party.
Benjamin sprinting back from punching one of the dummies.
Sit in a line, kids! And…Benjamin, be Benjamin.
Green selfie on my birthday.
Phoebe working on her birthday party cake.
Lovely birthday flowers from my dear friend Karen W.

March 18

We went to church and then did some door knocking in the neighborhood to invite people to Easter worship. Phoebe’s birthday party was at the CU Museum of Natural History. She chose a bird theme (out of 4 options). It was a wonderful party. Our hostess, Sydney, was terrific, and the kids really enjoyed the hour of crafts. It was quiet enough that the grownups could chat, and we had our own room for cake and rice krispie treats.

Phoebe had a bird-themed birthday part at the CU Museum of Natural History. Her cake is a pun.
Party and photographer; we agreed to have a professional photographer from the college take photos to use in the museum’s marketing materials. Phoebe, Kylie, Isabelle, Calae, Benjamin, Sydney (leader), Tilley, Whitman, James.
Benjamin works on his owl mask.
The kids do some quiet coloring while the moms chat.

On March 19, I left for the Public Library Association conference in Philadelphia. I was there all week, flying home the morning of Phoebe’s birthday.

A peek at the Pennsylvania Convention Center before the opening of PLA.
The ABC-CLIO booth being assembled.
I’d never think of this, but I’m glad someone does!
The tower is coming together. You can see my old employer (Rowman & Littlefield) in the background.
It’s so cool to have a job where you can work in the middle of a pile of boxes in another city!
The two guys working on my booth (Frank and Dominic).
Getting the computers out of the case.
I’m a big fan of this new world!
Tom and Frank from Renaissance helping the tech guy tear up the carpet to repair the Internet—at 11:00 a.m. before a noon setup closing! TV guys in the back. You can’t see the lighting guys, but they’re around.
Sally Yates gave the opening speech.
During the opening reception, a jazz band marched around the hall! It was so cool.
A lovely church near the hotel.
Elizabeth Gilbert gave one of the “Big Idea” morning talks.
A view of the Reading Terminal Market from one of the convention center hallways.
The booth looks pretty good all set up!
Really neat building out my hotel window.
Fabulous details in the architecture!
Freshly made Amish donuts. The mocha (center top) was amazing.
Signs I made to help direct librarians to our books.
The other side of the shelving.
Our books and table.
The woman in the bottom left corner drew this whole graffiti wall. I love it! (And I can’t help but think it seems really fun to try that.)
Face-on view.
Teardown begins.
I love this clever solution for keeping the screws with the brackets.
This photo was for Phoebe: sunrise at the Philadelphia airport on her birthday!

March 24

Happy, happy birthday, Phoebe! We had a wonderful day culminating in dinner at Benihana and scores of presents.

Phoebe explaining the layout of Sushi Zanmai during her birthday dinner at Benihana. (We all had a great time!)
Phoebe put up her own birthday number (equation). She didn’t want to take down my “41” after just a week. (To be frank, it was actually Dave’s 41, and it had been up since early December!)

March 26

Benjamin’s 5 1/2 birthday!

Benjamin asleep but still clutching his 5.5-year birthday book.

March 27

This is a bus, and the yellow lettering says “Ben” and “Mom.”

March 28

Building a big puzzle from Grammie. Phoebe loves these puzzles.

March 29

Frost on the car windshield.

March 30

Phoebe and I went to the Boulder Dinner Theater as a joint birthday present—two of the members of the a capella group Face were performing a show they call “Broadway, Billboard, and Beyond.” We had a lovely time! Phoebe preferred the “Broadway” half of the show, during which I heard songs from Hamilton for the first time.

Cody Qualls and Stephen Ross (2 members of the a capella group Face) singing “Lean on Me” with Hazel Miller.