we went to the Denver zoo yesterday. they had a free admission day, so we took advantage. many places (zoo, museums, etc) are offering free days, so check out your local area. it's nice to be able to go out and have some fun, even
in this economy!
Elliott could have stayed and watched the fish all day. it was so cute. he really was fascinated by all those fish and sea turtles he saw. wouldn't it be cool to discover new things the way babies do? I love the wonder that comes across his face. full of hope, inspiration, and joy. isn't that how God wants us; faith like a child? it's so beautiful.
and here is Samuel with a polar bear who is standing 10' tall. we got to watch a couple bears playing and "talking" to each other. it's very neat to watch animals interact.
on the other hand, it saddens me to go to a zoo at all. none of these animals are meant to be here, caged and stared at. have you seen Happy Feet? that's what I think of. not to mention all the terrible stories of animals leaping from their den to snack on a stupid human that sitting there antagonizing them. what are you going to do? there are stupid humans everywhere.

oh and don't forget, you can always bring a picnic to the zoo too!

C is for cookie

girl scout cookies that is.
I love, love, love, girl scout cookies! why are they so delicious? and why are they not available year round?! actually, I'm better off because they're not. you are too, I'm sure!
if you want some girl scout cookies but don't know where those girls are hiding with them, check out this cookie locator.
yesterday I bought thin mints, somoas, and those peanut butter ones. YUM! they are $3.25 per box, which is more than I would pay for cookies in the grocery store. as you know, they're well worth it! YUM!


put your hands up!

guns is sort of a touchy subject for me. I'm not really sure how I feel abou them. hubby has owned guns for years now ... I guess that means I've owned guns for years now too.
I've never been interested in them. I think all I ever knew, was that guns can kill. the intention of a gun is to cause harm, something that I want nothing to do with. I need to learn to love, not hurt others.
but I realize it would be completely foolish of me to remain ignorant and uneducated, knowing full well that there are guns in our house. I need to learn to shoot. something my hubby has been waiting forever to hear! we drove up into the woods, about 8,000 feet. it was a pretty view and it was also pretty cold.
this gun with the scope is huge, and heavy, and I can't remember what it is exactly. it was hard to get the shot lined up, but once I did, I got to thinking about the kick it has, then I chickened out and didn't even shoot it!

here is me and my target. squint and you can see I got a couple in the white bullseye, with this massive AR-15 no less!
I also used a shot gun. that has lots of kick, in fact when I shot it, I got the top of a tree instead of my target that was straight ahead. I couldn't control it, it was just too powerful for me.
so then I tried a pistol. this I enjoyed much more because it was less kick, I didn't have to hold it againist my body, and this one made me feel like a super bad-ass cop chick ... just for a second anyway! I didn't get any of my targets on this one either.
the sad part of the day was this:
the trees are covered with bullet holes. bullets can kill trees too.

and the ground is covered with things that people have brought to shoot to death. I would never think to bring a step ladder, but someone thought it was a good idea. there were old computer monitors, tons and tons of beer cans, glass shattered everywhere, not to mention all the shot gun shells.

I'm sure it's not just these woods that are popular for shooting/target practice. now it will be hard to look at a beautiful mountain view without thinking about all this. it's so ugly. I wish I could pick it all up. there were certainly not enough hours in that day to do it.

if you have guns in your house, get a clue how to use them. I am not qualified by any means, but if need be, I'm at least a little capable now.
please be safe!

awake at 3am

it's 3am and I'm not sleeping.
I was, but then I cough.
I was, then my congestion takes over and I can't breath.
I was, then Elliott wakes up wanting to eat.


I have been sick for a few days now. it wasn't anything major until I had to drive to Wyoming to meet hubby (complicated nonsense) and driving there with the changing elevation really messed me up. now I'm coughing, congested, major sinus pressure especially behind my eyes ... sigh. the pharmacist gave me sudafed, which is approved by the APA. he said it will come through to Elliott and probably make him cranky, but drink lots of water. it helped, but not a lot. Elliott did get cranky. it hit him within a couple hours of me taking it. I always wondered what flavors he was eating, compared to when I ate them. there ya go, a couple hours.
I'm definitely a nose-breather-sleeper. (yep, coined that one myself!) if I have to breath through my mouth, I'll wake up gagging from dry mouth. yuck. hubby sleeps like that. yuck. that's part of the reason we're not snugglers, or rather, why I don't snuggle with him while sleeping. heavy breathing, bad breath, it's always loud too. he's also a total warm-body. snuggling next to him, you'll be sweating in 5 mintues, no lie. aaaah, but I do love him. I swear!

and can I just add, it's AMAZING how much snot your body can produce! kleenex is evil after blowing your nose all day, lotion kleenex or not.

Elliott has woken up a couple times tonight wanting to eat. he never has slept through the night consistently, but I am determined to get that going! I was reading about babies and all their cuteness, and everyone said babies after 6 months old that wake at night to eat does it out of habit, not because they're actually hungry. they want mama to come in and hold them close, console them, fill the belly, and then go back to sleep. who wouldn't want that?!
I personally believe in the cry-it-out method. I tried the other way, and he just cries harder when he sees me, then when I turn my back and leave again, cover your ears. why draw it out longer? and yes it keeps me up, but it's not like I can sleep anyway.
Elliott gives up a lot sooner than Sam ever did, which is nice. much more tolerable that way. but it still pulls on my heartstrings pretty hard. knowing exactly what he's asking for but still not giving it. it's usually when you can't understand what they need that breaks mamas' hearts, but here's the exception to that.
up until 5 minutes ago Sam slept right through it all. that kid sleeps like a brick. and I've heard that about boys; they won't be fully potty trained until much older because they just don't wake up for the middle of the night potty trips. whatever. to me, not a big deal. when/if it bothers Sam, then we'll work on it.

ok, so this is my learning curve. what have I learned?
don't get sick! maybe I need to be more of a germ-freak. afterall, we don't have insurance and can't afford to get sick! the boys are cold-free still, and I've been praying their health remains protected from those evil germs.
and I probably should've dealt with the sleeping through the night thing with Elliott months ago. he has a better memory now, not to say he won't love me again in the morning.
oh, and is there a way to get hubby to breath through his nose? I think I'm screwed on that one.


learn everyday

written by Andy Rooney, a man who has the gift of saying so much with so few words. Enjoy.

I've learned.... That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
I've learned.... That when you're in love, it shows.
I've learned.... That just one person saying to me, 'You've made my day!' makes my day.
I've learned.... That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.
I've learned.... That being kind is more important than being right.
I've learned.... That you should never say no to a gift from a child.
I've learned.... That I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way.
I've learned.... That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
I've learned.... That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
I've learned.... That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
I've learned.... That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
I've learned.... That we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.
I've learned.... That money doesn't buy class.
I've learned.... That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
I've learned... That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
I've learned.... That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
I 've learned.... That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
I've learned.... That love, not time, heals all wounds.
I've learned.... That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
I've learned... That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
I've learned.... That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
I've learned... That life is tough, but I'm tougher.
I've learned.... That opportunities are never lost, someone will take the ones you miss.
I've learned.... That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
I've learned.... That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.
I've learned.... That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
I've learned.... That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.I've learned.... That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you're hooked for life.
I've learned.... That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.
I've learned.... That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

are we alone?

I found this in the Costco Connection, a magazine that every member gets.

continuing January's debate - is there life elsewhere in the universe?

"YES. the absence of proof does not constitute the proof of absence."
"YES. it would be a shame to think that we are the absolute best that God could create."

are you kidding?! so sad to hear how lost people are, isn't it?
the NO's made me laugh out loud.

"NO. I am still waiting for Earth life to display intelligence."
"NO. the universe is a pretty hostile place and the coincidences resulting in Earth are really a long shot. I think the coefficients in the famous equation are a lot smaller than thought. but more importantly, so what? I doubt we could communicate or have any shared values anyway. where is the dialogue with the ants who have been here a lot longer than we have and are clearly a higher pinnacle of evolution?" refer to Proverbs 6.


happy birthday to me!

last year turning 30 wasn't a big deal. I was pregnant, so I had more important things on my mind. but this year turning 31 seems to be making a bigger impact. why? I don't really know.

hubby has been out of town for over a week, my sister wasn't going to come see me until later, and my parents are in SoCal and are planning to visit next month ... but my bday was here and now and no one was around.
my parents always made "my day" special. I do remember a few bday slumber parties, and a bowling bday, but mostly mom would let me chose what was for dinner. I always picked the same thing: lasagna. nobody cooks like mom!

I now live close to my in-laws, whom I don't know that well. we've always lived so far apart from each other, that I'm just now getting to know them. my MIL invited me over for lunch, and I thought "why not? nothing else is going on." I was bummed and a bit disappointed because everyone I normally spend my bday with was gone. not being too close with my MIL, I wasn't expecting anything extravagant.

boy, was I wrong!
I walk in and saw all these decorations of streamers and balloons, so I guessed right away she took the girls out of school to have a party for me. but around the corner was everyone I knew here in CoSprings. hubby was sneaky and came back into town, my sister and her hubby, a couple we met a few weeks ago, and co-worker/friends hubby works with. the girls attacked me with silly string, and I got hugs from everyone. my MIL even made me lasagna ... not like moms of course, but still yummy.

they also got a pinata. I thought those were only for kids' parties; turns out they work for 31 year olds too. it was fun!

there was so much commotion, I don't think anyone took pictures.
hubby had to go out of town again already, but when he returns we're doing something special, just us. I'll take pictures then.

it's nice to be reminded how much people care. I didn't really realize who and what I had until my party; it was a real blessing and a great way to begin 31!

red lights

so I'm the first one in my lane to reach the red light. as I'm sitting there I think about all the times I've been that first person in line at a light. I realize it happens pretty often.
and I think how can that be possible with so many other drivers on the road? it can't always be me at the front. how often are you the first in line?
the "pressure" of having to know when the light turns green so no one will honk at you.
the paranoia of the cars that just got the red light, so you can have the green light, wondering if they will all stop or if that one moron thinks his light is still yellow and decides to run it.
or getting up to the speed limit so the guy behind you isn't on your tail anymore.

anyway, what I really wanted to share is this, not all that nonsense -
since I'm first at the red light, I look around to see ... whatever. across the intersection is a church (Assembly of God, I think) and they always have something clever up on their sign.
tonight it said: take life as it comes, but never leave it how you found it

I love clever ideas, inventions, and sayings like this. it's so simple, yet many times so difficult to do. Ghandi once said, "be the change you want to see," which is so right on in my opinion.

I hope the hundreds of people that drive by this church have the "ears to hear" the messages they put up. it's awesome that they are using words like Jesus did, hidden or not so hidden meanings, using parables.

as I see more of them, I'll share it with you blog-land!

my baby

sweet Eli. growing just as fast as he can! he is 8 months old now. a tooth is just barely poking through, he's been crawling for a few weeks now, all he wants to do is stand up and he is just starting to pull himself up on the furniture too, and when I'm around he's attached to me, like a magnet. VERY much a mama's boy! it's pretty frustrating sometimes, but then other times, it's nice to be wanted and needed so desperately. he's chowing major amounts of food too! some days I'm surprised at what this boy (his brother too!) can put away. here come those huge grocery bills that only boys bring - you get ready too Morgan!

now that he's so active, he's falling over and running into everything. he also is distracted by anything shiny, loud (his brother), something worth chewing on, etc. so we now enter into the I-look-abused-but-I-really-just-learning-to-walk phase. I remember Sam always had bumps and bruises everywhere. I thought for sure someone would call CPS on me, or something! today, Sam is as graceful as I am ... that's not saying much. I'm not accident prone, but I have been known to trip going up the stairs. never took dance or anything; I did play soccer for many years, you'd think that would give me enough coordination ... anyway, I digress.

so say goodbye to this sweet, unscathed face. his sweetness will of course still be there, but probably just in his mama's eyes, right?


Denny's is giving FREE breakfast from 6am-2pm, February 3rd only.

now I know some of you dislike Denny's, some of you with a passion!
my hubby will go there only if it's the last resort; their food usually makes him sick. so as a family, you will rarely find us at Denny's.
personally however, I don't mind it. it's average, ok slightly below average, but it has the potential to hit the spot.

anyway hubby is out of town, so off to Denny's we go ... and it's FREEEEEEE! and I do love freebies!