Thursday, March 31, 2011


While we were off in Colorado for Spring Break, we also decided to go dogsledding.  We tried it out last year and the kids loved it so much, we had to make it part of this vacation, too.

The way it works is that you go meet your guide and your team.  The guide introduces you to the dogs and tells you a little about them and how they got to be there.  For instance, one of our lead dogs, Lily, was a little less than a year old and had been trained to run the Iditarod for this year!  Unfortunately, her team's funding fell through, so she "retired" to this place to take tourists dogsledding.  Sort of sad that her "talent" is kind of wasted here, but she's an extremely friendly puppy and she LOVES to run!

After meeting the team, you get to move the dogs one by one, hook them up to the sled, and get ready to go.  The kids got to ride in the dogsled and the husband and I took turns "mushing" the dogs - We each took turns standing on the back of the sled and when the guide said to stop, we put the brake down and jumped on it.  It takes quite a bit to stop a team of 8 dogs!.  The guide rides a snowmobile up ahead of the dogsled and has a sleigh that holds anyone not currently on the dogsled.  About half-way through, you switch people on the dogsled.

This is Buffy.  She's super-nice, we just got a funny picture of her!
Fellan took a liking to Willow.
Marxo was the Dog Whisperer.  Lily loved her and so did Buffy.
Surrounded by friendly dogs!
Dogsledding family

Monday, March 28, 2011


The week before Spring Break was a whirlwind.  We went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans the weekend before (and stayed for about 40 hours, total.  You see, now that the kids are in school and the state will take us to court for the kids missing too many days of school, we're completely beholden to the school schedule.  So that means that we don't dare take Friday or Monday off from school.  See Section 25.094!).

Also, now that the kids are in school and we have to take vacation during Spring Break, it means we've missed the Rodeo the last couple of years because it happens to coincide with Spring Break and we're gone for most of the time that the Rodeo is in town.  This year, however, the husband was given four tickets to go on Wednesday night before Spring Break started, so we put on our gear and headed to the stadium.

Turns out the tickets were really good!

Down by the action!

We also like to go through and look at all the animals that are there for the Livestock Show.  We stopped by a Longhorn to take a picture for the husband's brother, who went to the University of Texas, but Marxo decided to just totally ham it up...

"What?  I was concerned!"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Back from Spring Break!

Well, we're back from Spring Break!  Apparently I was gone too long, though, because when I went to work out today, someone was riding my exercise bike as if he owned the thing.  I'm going to have to get down there earlier tomorrow...

Anyway.  We went skiing last week and enjoyed the record-amount of snow they've gotten up there this year.  It was really nice!  The kids took ski lessons for a couple of days at A-Basin and then we spent another three days skiing together in different places: Breckenridge, Loveland, and Ski Cooper.  We went to Ski Cooper on Friday, which turned out to be a great decision.  They got about 2 inches of fresh snow overnight and the runs there are perfect for the kiddos.  It was a great finish to the vacation.

Fellan's class apparently read a book about Flat Stanley before Spring Break started and he had an assignment to either send Flat Stanley to someone over Spring Break, or take him along on a trip and take pictures of him along the way.

Since Fellan got a camera for Christmas, he was pretty excited about doing this, so we have quite a few pictures of Flat Stanley which will be affixed to posterboard along with a map tonight to show where each picture was taken.  Here are the highlights...

For the first day of driving, we didn't make it out of Texas, but we did see lots of wide open spaces and a few energy-related things:

For Grandpa
For Daddy
The next day, we pushed on through New Mexico and into Colorado!

(We actually had to take this one on the way back home because we missed it on the way!)

Once we got there, skiing ensued!


We took pictures of the rest of the places, too, but you know, sometimes enough is enough!  :)

On the way back, we stopped and took pictures at the state lines for New Mexico and Texas, but the picture that Fellan took of the New Mexico sign turned out to be only a small sliver of the sign!  Anyway, we already had one of those and the Texas one is good.  :)

And we couldn't resist taking one more the last morning on the road.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Replacements

Since we had to take everything out of our closet and I'm not allowing anything back into the closet until the decision has been made that we NEED it, our bedroom is an absolute mess.  We still have old shoes, clothes, and general junk that had been stashed in the closet all over the place.

Two of the things that we had stashed in our closet were The Replacements.  When Lamby got lost 5 years ago, we were determined to have back-up attachment objects, just in case the need ever arose again.  We kept them hidden in our closet for all these years, but we had to take them out in order to re-do the closet.  Well, we were still trying to keep them a secret from the kids, but Fellan discovered replacement Baby Tarah on Friday!  :o

Since the cat was out of the bag, we went ahead and showed Marxo that we had a replacement Lamby, too.

The Replacements! (From L to R: Baby Tarah, Baby Tarah 2, Lamby, Lamby 2)

Check out how clean those replacements are!  They're still hanging out on our couch at the moment and whether they become permanent members of the "lovey" community remains to be seen.

Now, the amazing part of this story is not that we were able to keep these babies secret for so long.  The amazing part of the story is what Fellan told us after we told Marxo the truth that this one was not really the original Lamby.

We were explaining to her how the husband had gone out looking for Lamby and had spent an hour roaming the neighborhood in search of her, but he was never able to find her.  So we ordered two more, kept one as a back-up just in case it ever happened again, and passed off the other as the original Lamby.

As we were telling this story, Fellan chimed in, "Yeah, I found her for you under a bunch of pillows!"

The husband and I were floored.  We didn't remember the specifics of "finding" Lamby, but Fellan was less than three years old at the time, and he remembers the whole thing.  Scary.  On the one hand, I think it's awesome that he has a memory like that, but on the other hand, I figure he's going to need a lot of therapy later in life to un-remember all the horrible parenting he's been subjected to thus far in his life...  :/

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Amazing Closet Transformation

I finally got the husband to send me the pictures of the closet from his phone since my grainy phone just would not have done the glorious closet justice.  :)

The Spaceman guys showed up exactly on time Saturday morning and were psyched about not having to rip out the existing closet appurtenances.  However, their joy was quickly replaced with dread when they realized how many trips they would be making and what they would be carrying up to the third floor for the next half an hour or so.

After they finally got everything upstairs, they started the installation.  I couldn't help myself - I kept going in there every 30 minutes or so to see what it looked like.  Finally, at about 1:30pm they finished installing everything and then used an industrial-strength orange furniture polish to clean everything up.

Yikes.  It was overwhelming.  We ended up having to open all the windows and leave the house for a few hours so the place could air out!  I even had a bit of a rash on my face and chest and poor Marxo looked like death warmed-over.

Luckily, however, we were able to return to the detoxified house after dinner and bask in the glory of our new closet.  I'm not allowing any clothes back into the closet until they've been washed (just because!), so we don't have everything loaded back in yet and I don't have final-final pictures, but at least you can see how awesome it looks without clothes.

(Also, I should tell you that we didn't clean up our closet at all before we took the "before" pictures - we wanted the difference to be as drastic as possible!)

Husband's side - before
Husband's side - after rip-out but before Spaceman
Husband's side - after [note the hamper, belt rack, tie rack (back side), and valet rod!]
My side - before
My side - after rip-out
My side - after (there's another hamper under those drawers!)

Looking from husband's side - before
Looking from husband's side - after
Built-in - before
Built-in - after
We had the guys who did the rip-out of the old closet paint this so that it would match the stuff that Spaceman put in.

AND the pièce de résistance - the jewelry drawer!  :)