Wednesday, December 30, 2009


We spent this Christmas in Oklahoma visiting family this year. We decided with (now) 4 of us that we can't really justify the expense to fly any more (not to mention all of the presents we would need to haul to and fro), so that left one option -- to drive 10 hours with a 6 and 3 year old. Surprisingly, the trip was very easy! I spent almost a week master planning (in my head) all of the items I would pack to keep the boys occupied and out of trouble for the trip. I am happy to say that the organization paid off! The boys did so well and the trip was a breeze!

We had a great time visiting with everyone and sharing the magic of Christmas with the boys (and with our family). The only low point of our trip was a terrible snow storm that hit on Christmas Eve. It was the absolute worst winter weather I have ever experienced. Blowing snow and white out conditions. All of the highways in Oklahoma were closed for a day and a half! Oklahoma is clearly not equipped to deal with that kind of weather! Unfortunately, with all of the snow, many of our family activities were cancelled or rescheduled and we weren't able to see everyone we were hoping to see. But we left with a promise to come back in the summer this year and hopefully have a few get togethers that will enable us to hang out with some of our extended family a little more!

(Jake, Trent, Drew holding Eli, and Gavin)

I hope everyone had a great Christmas (despite inclement weather!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

November (because aparently I can only blog once a month at best)

Trent's Thanksgiving party at school:
We kicked off the holiday festivities with a classic kindergarten Thanksgiving party in Trent's class. It was very cute and Trent was mostly just so excited that I came to his classroom. I made turkey cookies that Trent proudly passed out to all of his classmates, and the class wore cute little hats and sang several Thanksgiving songs. So cute!

The Christmas Train:
Nanny and PawPaw came for Thanksgiving this year and we went up to Georgetown to ride the Christmas Train and see Santa. The train ride was very fun - the boys enjoyed it very much! During the ride, Santa came and sat with each kid and they each got to write down what they want for Christmas and give it to him. The Santa was very realistic and such a sweet old man. The boys were in awe. On their Christmas lists: Jake - a BIG airplane, and Trent - wii Lego Starwars game (to which Santa replied, "huh?") :)

We had a great Thanksgiving celebrated with Nanny & PawPaw, and with our neighbors, The Borie's. It was my first attempt at home-made pumpkin pie, and I was pleasantly surprised that it came out so well. I won't be so scared to make it from now on! On Thanksgiving night we actually braved the crowds to shop at the Castle Rock Outlets. It was INSANE and something John will probably never do again with me! :)

Jake's 3rd Birthday!:
Capping off the holiday weekend was Jake's birthday. We got to spend it on his actual birthday and partied at a local kiddie gym called Romp n' Roll. The party was very fun, and he had lots of good friends there to celebrate with him. I love the teacher-led activities to keep all the tots busy and best of all they clean it all up when you're done - can't beat that in my book!

I can't believe my baby is three years old. It seems like only yesterday when we were bringing him home from the hospital - it's cliche, but time really does fly!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Halloween

Halloween was very fun. Our neighbor's hosted a great party on Friday night (John and I went as Jon and Kate +8), and then we went trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. The boys got enough candy to last us through to next year I think!

(our jack-o-lanterns)

(Trent, Jake & Mackenzie trick-or-treating)

(the ninja and the dragon)

(Jon and Kate plus 8 (and a dragon))

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Yep, that's right folks, we've had a total of 3 (yes THREE) snow storms in the month of October!!! The first was just a light dusting (but Trent's first experience with the white stuff so we snapped a few pics).

The second was a little more (about 6 inches) and of course we built a snow man!

(Trent snow angel)

The third was just ridiculous, really. We got around 35 inches here in Highlands Ranch where it snowed for 2 days straight. Trent got 3 snow days (unheard of here in Denver!).

(our deck - about 1/2 way through)
(Mackenzie and Jake sledding on our drive)

(John waist deep on the deck)

It stopped and warmed up a bit just in time for trick-or-treating! This week it should be in the 60's all week. Gotta love Denver weather (or NOT!) :)

(our neighbor's Halloween inspired snow man!)

Our New Addition

Many of you already know that we have a new addition in our home since the beginning of September. My Nephew, Trent has come to live with us! Trent is a very sweet little man and we are so happy to have him here with us. Of course it's been an adjustment (having a kindergartner and another little guy around is completely different) but we've settled in and are having a great time with him (Jake especially thinks Trent's awesome)!
Here are a few pictures of Trent!
(Trent on the plane coming to Denver)
(Trent playing at the Denver Children's Museum)

(Trent's 6th Birthday)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer is fading...

Well, it's been over a month now since I posted here - and I promised myself I was going to keep up with this darn site! Oh well, what can I say?

Jen had baby Eli and we went to Oklahoma at the end of July/1st of August to visit and meet him. What an amazing experience! Eli was born on his due date (August 1st) just as his mommy hoped he would be (what a good boy), and I was able to be there when he was born. While we were there, I got to spend a lot of quality time with Jen and the rest of my family and Jake got to spend some quality time with his cousins, grandparents and aunts/uncles. It was so much fun. We were sad to leave, but happy to be home (Daddy missed us a lot!)

Eli Joshua Downing 8-1-09

Jake taking the tractor for a ride

Proud big brother Drew with baby Eli

Jake and Drew on Paw Paw's boat

d-day (just a few hours after Eli was born)

School has started now and the young maple tree in my back yard is already starting to change colors. I know fall is on it's way soon. This makes me very sad. I love summer so much and this year it was WAY too short here in Colorado. I hope the summer weather lingers a little longer.

But what can you do? Well, for starters, it's time to look for Halloween costumes, and plan our annual trip to see the Colorado fall foliage! That is definitely something to look forward to!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chugga, Chugga.. Poo Poo!!

Paw Paw came for a visit this weekend on his way to a job outside of Grand Junction. We all went to the Railroad Museum in Golden, CO. They just happened to be celebrating their 50th anniversary, so there were a lot of people there and a lot going on. There were also a lot more trains there than usual which was cool to see. We also went to the park and let Jake play in the fountains before Paw Paw left town. He had such a good time that he didn't want to leave. We'll definitely have to do that a few more times this summer!

Jake is on a 2-week dry streak (give or take a few tiny "didn't-make-it-in-time" accidents)! He's really started to get it and can hold it a lot longer now. He even went poo poo on the potty at school today!! hooray!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The 4th (of April?)

We hosted a 4th BBQ with our neighbors (the Lynch's) for the 5th year in a row this year. For the last two years, it rained on us. This year, not only did it rain, it rained a LOT and got very cold. Luckily, with the basement newly completed, we had room for everyone to come inside! The kids loved the new couch in the basement and used it like a "bouncy house" for their entertainment. Well, I guess it IS supposed to be an entertainment room, right? We skipped the big fireworks show again this year for the Larson's show. Doug never fails to entertain/scare us with his not-so-legal fireworks show (care of WY fireworks)! Jake really enjoyed having so many friends over and loved watching the fireworks with PawPaw (when he wasn't hiding from them).

Happy Hosts
(see storm clouds in the background)

The family pic!

Mackenzie, Clara & Jake (before the rain)

The new couch (aka Bouncy House) -
yes, that's an action shot of Jake on his head!

Paw Paw, Jack and Jake

Hallelujah!!! The Basement is Finished!!!

Without further of the new and improved basement!!

Entertainment Room (view #1)

Entertainment Room (view #2)

Bathroom (shower)



Wet bar

Rec room/wet bar

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer at Last!

Sorry it's been a while since I updated the blog. Summer has finally arrived here in Colorado and we can't do anything but enjoy it! Jake started swimming lessons a few weeks ago. He was not sure what to think about it at first, but after lesson #2 yesterday, he is now fearless! He now jumps off of the side of the pool into the water (into my arms of course), and I also caught him going underwater after the older kids did it (scared me to death!) He's such a big boy now!

Father's day was fun too. Dad spent Saturday golfing and we spent the day at the pool as a family on Sunday. We got Dad some new grilling acutroment and a new grilling cook book (cliche I know, but that's what he wanted!). Now maybe dad can cook us some yummy food on the grill this summer!
Now that summer is here, Jake has a new favorite thing -- popsicles and ice cream! Can you blame him? Our block has been targeted by several ice cream trucks lately, so Jake now knows exactly what that music is and has an immediate Pavlovian reaction the instant he hears it. I distinctly remember the sheer joy of the ice cream truck growing up as well (of course, mom and dad "share" with Jake).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Monsoon season?

Apparently there is a monsoon season in Denver (who knew?), and it came early this year. I guess it wasn't bad enough that it snowed in May, but it hasn't gotten above 70 degrees in weeks now. Being the weather nerd that I am, I tried to find an explanation and found the following.

And, did you know that a monsoon is actually referring to the wind pattern and not the rain? Interesting...

We've also experienced several consecutive days of severe weather including several funnel clouds and tornadoes in the Denver metro area. If you follow my facebook status, it's all I can talk about these days.
(funnel cloud just behind our house on May 31st)
On the up side, today is going to be sunny and 80 degrees - with (of course) a chance of thunderstorms and severe weather starting this afternoon. I'm so ready for a hot summer pool weather, but I am beginning to wonder if we'll ever get any this year - is it possible for it to skip right over into fall? Ugh!