Weekend Fun

We all went into Boulder this past weekend so Dave could look at bikes. The kids and I decided we’d rather go to the CU museum, so Dave dropped us off. We had such a great time! They had a butterfly exhibit for kids, free hot tea, and an anthropology section that really interested Phoebe. Here are a few photos. The rest of the weekend was great too—swimming, church, the library, and dinner at Cyclhops.

Phoebe drew this picture at the butterfly exhibit.
Phoebe’s excellent drawing, plus a great shot of her missing bottom teeth.
Girl descending stairs.
Benjamin getting himself a drink. His whole shirt front is wet.
A mosaic painting at the CU museum.
My favorite cell. I’m a sucker for primates!
Enjoying a beautiful sunny day!
Playing a running game.

Lafayette Quaker Oatmeal Festival 2017

Happy 2017! Every January, Lafayette hosts the Quaker Oatmeal Festival. There’s a 5K race, an oatmeal breakfast with more than 125 toppings, and a health fair. The kids and I like to go, and my friend Karen Maye has joined us for three years running. (The festival is everything Dave dislikes: small-town events, oatmeal, and running. He sat happily at the coffee shop noodling on his computer.)

The race started at 9:30 a.m. outside the music building where Dave and I play in the concert band. We picked up our bib numbers right on time and then went to the port-a-potties and got ready to run. Phoebe decided to run this year, instead of riding her bike. She doesn’t have any running shoes she likes (don’t get me started on the expensive pair I bought her recently—she swore they felt comfortable in the store). So she ran in her winter boots. I pushed Benjamin in the Chariot. He really had it made—coat, gloves, sweatshirt, hat, boots and a warm blanket! We had a really good race, clocking in around 48 minutes. Not bad for a six-year-old! Then we went over to the breakfast, where they’d made some organizational changes that made it run SO much more smoothly than last year. And the oatmeal wasn’t even watery! The kids loaded up on candy toppings. I stuck to fruit and nuts (with a bit of candy on the side). They had Longmont Dairy milk and were recycling/composting 100% of the trash. Modern small town! We ran into a few friends from church, so that was fun. The health fair included enough freebies to make everyone happy.

What a great way to start the year! Outdoors in the winter enjoying some exercise followed by food and coffee.

The kids are almost ready to race.
The three of us in front of the huge inflatable oatmeal box.
In front of frozen Waneka Lake with the snowy mountains in the background. We were about halfway through the race.

Christmas Recap

Here are a few photos left over from Dave’s (40th!!!) birthday. We celebrated with a dinner out at Cyclhops in Longmont the night before and had homemade spaghetti on his birthday before he opened his presents.

Happy guys!
This is Dave’s stack of birthday gifts from Phoebe.
Benjamin insists on opening one of Daddy’s presents.

We had some beastly cold weather between Dave’s birthday and Christmas.

Cold. But ????

Can you believe we didn’t have our photo taken on Christmas Eve? Dave played his oboe for the 5:00 p.m. worship service, and Phoebe took part in the Christmas pageant. She was delighted to be asked to be a reader; she didn’t have to dress up in costume, and she loves to read in public. Benjamin got assigned a part, but he declined to dress up and walk to the manger with the other kids, so we just watched Phoebe. She was wonderful! She had to stand on a box at the lectern, but she spoke slowly and clearly, just as I reminded her a hundred times beforehand. (And just as my mom used to remind me!) There were a couple of tricky words that we practiced in the car on the way there, and when it was almost time for the pageant, I asked if she’d looked at them one more time. She rolled her eyes and showed me the piece of paper with her reading printed on it—she’d underlined the words, of her own initiative!

The kids and I snuck out after her reading and had a picnic dinner in the nursery before worshiping as a family at the 7:00 p.m. service. When we got home, Phoebe left cookies, milk, and carrots for Santa and the reindeer.

Phoebe set up this tableau all by herself, though she did ask how to spell “reindeer.”

Christmas day itself was chilly and dreary, but we didn’t care, because we had four rounds of presents to open! Santa left a note back; I only got this fuzzy photo of it.

Santa left a nice note.
Consumerism at its finest. We had a mound of presents! And we loved opening every one of them.
Can you find the boy amidst all the gifts?
Phoebe seems to like her new backpack.
Benjamin got a light saber!
Dave’s Dollar Tree gift.
Phoebe is already almost done building her Moana Lego set.
Action figures!
Benjamin’s new truck has working lights, and the engine revs.
This girl loves Shopkins!
Legos+super heros=a very happy Benjamin.

We had a really nice Christmas holiday. It was wonderful to have so many days in a row with nothing planned and nowhere to be. As you can imagine, we sat at one or two coffee shops every day, sometimes playing board games. We got up whenever we felt like it. Even though I kept up my exercise schedule, I turned off the alarm clock and went out whenever I got up. We made only a few plans, but we found enough to do anyway. There were toys to play with (lots of Lego fun!) and books to read. We went to the library and the playground. We spent a day with my best friend Elaina’s sister Laura and her kids, Logan and Leah, who were visiting Laura’s father-in-law in Colorado Springs. Leah is not quite a year older than Phoebe, so they like to play together, and Logan loves to hang out with Benjamin. Benjamin and Dave developed bad colds, so it was good to have some recovery time. I had a chance to cook, including making a bouche de noel that was very fussy but extraordinarily delicious. I even made meringue mushrooms to decorate it!

Final photo of our bouche de noel. It tasted even better than it looked!

Dave had a show with the Flatirons Jazz Orchestra on New Year’s Eve, so the kids and I spent the evening with our good friends, the Wilensky/Berzanskis clan (Andrew, Maggie, Tilley, Whit, and Milam). The kids stayed up pretty late, but none of the three of us made it till midnight. On the last day of vacation, New Year’s Day, Dave went to work, but I took the kids to see Sing, which Phoebe and I had been eagerly awaiting.

The kids went back to school on a Wednesday and had a snow day on Thursday!

The kids got a snow day!

Now we’re back to the routine. Just before Christmas, I got in a minor car accident taking Benjamin to preschool (we had already dropped Phoebe off at first grade). It was icy, and I slid through an intersection, trying to stop, while another car slid into me. Benjamin and I were both fine; he was mainly annoyed that we had to stop on the way to school. However, our Subaru Legacy, Luna, was totaled, mostly due to her age (and a possible broken strut). We ended up buying a gently used Mazda CX5, which the kids and I named Cherry Blaze. We’re really enjoying “the big red car,” as Benjamin calls it. It has all sorts of fancy modern amenities and safety features.

Result of our low-speed accident.
Cherry Blaze

The kids are back at school, and Benjamin has—just today—hit a milestone. He’s officially a non-napper at Take-A-Break! He hasn’t been napping on the weekends for more than a year, but he was still taking a nap at daycare. Lately, though, he’s been disturbing other kids because he won’t go to sleep, so it’s time for him to join the ranks of the big (little) kids. He’s very excited about it!

A few random photos:

Two sleepy guys, both with colds.
Messing around at Staples. How much will Benjamin cost?
Waiting for his eyes to dilate at a routine eye doctor’s appointment.
“Take a picture of my long line, Mommy!”

Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas from the Gribbles! We hope all of our wonderful family members, friends, and neighbors are having some much deserved and relaxing family time. Here are a few quick pics from our house.

Everyone slept in a bit, except for Phoebe who was more into media time. When Benjamin finally got up, he got pretty excited.
Phoebe opening a new backpack while Benjamin holds a cool tangram-like truck puzzle he got from Phoebe.
Beware of the “life saver”.
Here’s me with a new dish scrubber Phoebe picked out on a gift-buying field trip with her daycare classmates.

November 2016

November 5

November 17

First snow of the season!
First snow of the season!
It really came down for a while.
It really came down for a while.

November 19

Phoebe went to read in our bed before dinner, and when I went to see what she was up to, I found that Benjamin had put himself to bed next to her, complete with his blanket and a lovey.

P, reading, didn't know that B had put himself to sleep next to her.
P, reading, didn’t know that B had put himself to sleep next to her.

November 20

After church we participated in Cranksgiving, a really cool way to donate food to charity before the Thanksgiving holiday. You start at Boulder CycleSports, where they pass out a scavenger hunt: a list of food and a list of grocery stores where you have to go to buy it. Many people do it as a race, but we treated it as a fun family ride. Phoebe ended up riding 8.5 miles, including up and down The Hill by the university! Dave put on more miles; he went to a few grocery stores by himself while the kids and I were making our way across town. Afterward, Dave had to go to band practice, so the kids and I went to Southern Sun for free drinks. We ordered some fries, too.

After Cranksgiving.
After Cranksgiving.
Sharing fries after Cranksgiving.
Sharing fries after Cranksgiving.
Silly kid.
Silly kid.

That evening, Phoebe got a piece of paper and started doubling 3. We had a quick reminder lesson about carrying. Then she kept going for ages—pretty soon she was adding two five-digit numbers!

November 21

Phoebe lost her second tooth, the one on the bottom next to the first lost tooth! She wouldn’t let me take a photo, but here’s the note the Tooth Fairy left.

Tooth number two comes out!
Tooth number two comes out!

November 22

Benjamin woke up screaming, and when I touched his face near his ear to see if he might have an ear infection, he recoiled as though I was pricking him with a pin. A trip to the doctor told us he had a virus similar to the mumps. He got a sick day out of it; he felt pretty good during the day, but I made him take a nap anyway.

Fried egg for sick-day breakfast.
Fried egg for sick-day breakfast.
Nap on a sick day.
Nap on a sick day.

Thanksgiving weekend:

We had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday. No friends or relatives were available to join us, but we made the most of the four days off together. On Thanksgiving morning, we ran/walked in the Louisville turkey trot and then had a cup of hot chocolate to fortify us for the long day of cooking and eating.

Turkey trot!
Turkey trot!
Blow-up reindeer.
Blow-up reindeer.

I made enough food for ten people. There are certain Thanksgiving items that can’t be left out—never mind that I’m the only one who eats them.

Thanksgiving 2016.
Thanksgiving 2016.

Phoebe made the deviled eggs all by herself this year, from start to finish. They were delicious!

Phoebe made the deviled eggs from scratch, all by herself!
Phoebe made the deviled eggs from scratch, all by herself!
Benjamin made this turkey mask and puppet at daycare. He was really proud of them!
Benjamin made this turkey mask and puppet at daycare. He was really proud of them!

Friday morning I slept in until 8:36—an extremely rare treat. We had burritos at the coffee shop. (On Friday! Mixing it up!) The kids couldn’t decide what they wanted to do, so we ended up at the playground for a while. Dave went for a bike ride and then picked us up to go swimming. Everyone was a bit crabby, so we were glad to have two more days off after that.

Sharing a blanket!
Sharing a blanket!
Benjamin has his own sense of style.
Benjamin has his own sense of style.

Saturday I went for a run and then we all ate cereal together for breakfast. We headed into Boulder, got some coffee, and walked around on Pearl Street for a little while. Then we went to the climbing gym. The kids were great! Benjamin loved jumping around on the mats, and Phoebe particularly liked the slack line. Dave and I tired ourselves out. We had lunch at Chipotle and went to see Moana—our first movie in the theater together as a family. Benjamin ate three quarters of a medium tub of popcorn. (Where did he fit it all in?) We all liked the movie a lot—the graphics were wonderful, and the story was carefully crafted. That evening, we played Ticket to Ride, and we managed to keep Benjamin from destroying all our routes, so it was a success. Except that I lost to Dave and Phoebe. 🙂

Licking black beans at Chipotle.
Licking black beans at Chipotle.
Phoebe thought this cup was funny.
Phoebe thought this cup was funny.

Sunday we went to church, as usual, and then came home for some lunch. Dave went for a bike ride and got home in time for ice skating with Andrew, Maggie, Tilley, Whit, and Milam. Phoebe’s rented skates had single blades, so she had to relearn some of her technique. Benjamin got pulled around in a sled most of the time. He looked terrified but kept saying how much fun he was having. We had some hot chocolate afterward, and the Wilensky Berzanskises came over for homemade mac and cheese for dinner. It was the perfect ending to a lovely long weekend.