Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Earning Service Points

The Boy needed to earn a few more service points for National Junior Honor Society so we decided to go clean up in and around one of the neighborhood parks and the walking trails that lead to it. The Girl had to come along with us so she joined in to help out. 

Wow! I never would have guessed there would be that much trash! (It was mix-up crazy clothes day at The Girl's school. That's why her outfit looks so crazy.)

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Helping Out

The Boy almost had all the service points required for National Junior Honer Society. Almost, but not quite. So we started brainstorming more activities he could do around the community.

We planned to clean up trash in a park one day.

He spent one morning shoveling sidewalks in our neighborhood after a snowfall.

He volunteered to be in the Denver Parade Of Lights (this was a school provided service opportunity).

He still needed more points so Mr. LH suggested he help out at the upcoming Student Show for the film school. 

The Boy sorted and passed out programs to students and supporters coming to watch the show. Then he was able to sit back, relax and enjoy the films himself.

It's a treat for The Boy to be able to go. The Student Show usually falls on a school night which keeps both "Pickles" at home.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Tomato Snatcher

I feel quite lucky to still have some tomatoes hanging around this late in the year. They haven't yet been damaged by frost even though we've already has several small snowfalls this fall.

Keeping the tomatoes on the vines to ripen has made some of the local wildlife feel pretty lucky as well. The squirrels have been swiping my tomatoes every day for a week now. This one was bold enough to do it right under our noses...

The little guy must have been really hungry because I was able to get pretty close without scaring him off.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013 - Link and Anna Valerious

Every year, the "Pickles" come up with their costume idea almost at the last minute. Thankfully, I usually have enough time to put something together.

This year, The Girl decided to be Anna Valerious (from the Van Helsing movie) and The Boy wanted to be Link (from The Legend of Zelda game).

Lucky for us, our Halloween costume bin has grown so much from past year's costumes all we needed for this year were a a few thrift store purchases and three small homemade pieces.

For The Girl's costume, we were trying to only hint at Anna Valerious because the actual outfit is a bit too elaborate.

We found a corset-type vest (too large for The Girl  right now but it worked), a loose red blouse and black boots all at the thrift store. We used the red blouse because we couldn't find a red jacket that would work.

We had her wear a cape we already owned (thick black cotton with a red flannel lining that was originally made for a vampire costume - you can get a better look at it HERE.) and my black leather gloves because it was pretty chilly out that night and her shirt was only a 3/4 sleeve.

For The Boy, pulling off Link's costume was a tad easier. we already had the tunic,
scabbard, belt, gloves and undershirt already in our Halloween bin (or in our closets).

The pants were purchased at a thrift store. They are just women's knit pants. I can fit into them so they won't go to waste. Unfortunately, we couldn't find light brown or beige/ivory pants that would work so we went with a darker brown pant.

Link's hat, wrist covers and boots (which are really only shoe covers) were all handmade from fabric purchased at a thrift store.

The hat was very easy to make. I used jersey knit fabric and a free pattern I found online at Instructables.com.

The wrist covers (I think they're called bracers?) were made by just fashioning a "sleeve" out of green and brown fabric...like a leg warmer for the arm.

The boot covers were more trial and error (more error than anything else) but were fashioned using some black boot covers as a "guide". It would have probably looked better had we just bought brown boot covers but people weren't really paying attention to his footwear anyway.

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

17 Mile House Farm Park

I knew it was an old homestead. That's all I needed to know.

There was a fall festival going on at the 17 Mile House Farm Park and I was going to go even if it meant dragging the rest of the family with me. Luckily, I didn't have to drag anyone. They all wanted to come with me.

From the Arapahoe County website:
The 17 Mile House has a long and significant history. When the 1859-1860 gold rush resulted in large-scale settlement of the state, a series of inns emerged along Cherry Creek to accommodate travelers and freighters. 
These 'mile houses' were located every 2-3 miles along the Cherokee/Smoky Hill wagon trails from Kansas, all named based on their distance to the intersection of Colfax and Broadway. 
Upon arrival, travelers could get a meal, spend the night, rest their animals and have minor repairs made to their coaches or wagons. Out of the original six mile houses, only 17 Mile House and 4 Mile House exist in their entirety today. 
With arrival of the railroad in 1882, pioneer traffic along the wagon trails ended, and so did the need for mile houses. But the name stuck. For over 100 years, hard-working Coloradans lived on the land at 17 Mile House.

For the Fall Festival, all sorts of activities were set up. They had a pumpkin patch, hay rides, a petting farm, food, crafts and exhibits.

Of course, I just wanted to look around and see how things were "put together" back then.

The "Pickles" got a lesson in gold panning from the local non-profit group "Gold Prospectors Of The Rockies".

We watched a blacksmith work his magic.

The "Pickles" shook cream in jars until it turned into butter.

 We all liked the cow. She seemed gentle and sweet.

The "Pickles" kept giving her more and more hay and she kept right on eating it. I was worried with all the children feeding her, she would eat too much.

As the highlight of the day, the "Pickles" and I got to milk her! It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. The Boy kept exclaiming on the way home "I milked a cow!"

For directions as well as tour dates and times, please visit the Arapahoe County website.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Punkin Chunkin' 2013

We hadn't been to the Punkin Chunkin since 2011 when a cold, wet snow blasted us and kept us indoors for most of the "chunkin" portion of the event. The weather looked like it was going to be a little nicer this year so we decided to go enjoy the festivities.

As soon as we got there, we realized the  event had grown quite a bit in just the last 2 years. Cars were everywhere and we had to park quite a distance from the actual event, but it wasn't long before we were watching pumpkins fly.

If you plan to get a pumpkin here, get one early. There were only a handful left at the end of the day.

Other than Punkin Chunkin teams tossing pumpkins around, there were exhibits, games and activities.  The "Pickles" wanted to test out the zipline.

And we all enjoyed the petting zoo...

The Plains Conservation Center had a booth set up where the "Pickles" did puzzles and played with puppets and huge animal costumes.

This year's Punkin Chunkin' was much more pleasant than the one we previously went to (I'm sure the weather had a lot to do with it) and once again, we would definitely recommend it!

UPDATE: They had a contest set up. We signed up hoping we'd get a Home Depot gift card. We were plagued for months after by phone calls from people saying we had "won a free vacation" that wasn't really free. We recommend not entering that contest.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer Winding Down

With summer vacation quickly coming to a close, we once again headed to Brighton to spend the day with friends at the pool. We'd had to put it off for awhile simply because overcast weekends kept spoiling plans but an agreeable day finally arrived.

Mr. LH and The Boy tossed the football around a bit.

And The Girl convinced all the kids to bury her in sand.

I spent more time lounging by the pool than I did taking pictures so I'll just leave you with this bunny image...awwww....

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Broncos Scrimmage at Mile High

We had never been to Sports Authority Field. We had never seen the Denver Broncos anywhere other than on our TV. We had never been on the Light Rail.

Yesterday we did all three. We took the Light Rail to Sports Authority Field to watch the Denver Broncos Summer Scrimmage.

It took awhile to figure out how to buy tickets for the light rail using the ticket machines, but eventually we wound up with (what we hoped) were the correct ones.

There were so many people on the light rail headed to the stadium that we needn't have worried about getting lost. We just followed the crowd of orange and blue.

(This train full of Broncos fans was the happiest group of strangers I have ever encountered)

Even once we got off the light rail, there was a pretty lengthy walk to the stadium but we could just "follow the crowd".

Leave it to the "Pickles" to find something to climb on. In this case, it was a giant football.

I had never before been in an NFL stadium. It was really exciting! There was dancing, cheering, stomping, and of course, the wave!

But the sky darkened with clouds and it wasn't long before a warning flashed on the screen above our heads:

Not wanting to press our luck with mother nature, we left our seats and decided to pass the time in the team store until the storm passed.

Luckily we went early. Once the rain started, EVERYONE wanted to get into the team store and security had to regulate how many people could come inside!

When the rain calmed down, we wet off to find some seats under cover. Those were in high demand now and hard to find. But we managed.

Look at that sky!
Catching the light rail back home

I'm so glad we went! And because the Summer Scrimmage is free, it only cost us the light rail fare!

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