Saturday, December 24, 2011


Here are some of our favorite activities this month, excluding all the excavating and demolition, which of course are in a class unto themselves.

Opa's Christmas concert with the Colorado Mormon Chorale 12/2 got us off to a great start this year.  They actually performed up in Longmont this year, so we didn't even have to drive far, making it much easier for us to be on time and not miss anything!  The choir did a great job, and the Stake Center was so pretty.

Go see The Velveteen Rabbit at BDT.  Really cute show.  Even cuter baby afterwards at Red Robbing for lunch.

Cutting out snowflakes -from paper and doilies - was such a big hit we revisited it multiple times.

Christmas glitter nails - Katie went for alternating red and white on her fingers, and white and gold on her toes.  Max went for green toes, and Alex declined, as he was too busy driving the train.

Train show in Longmont - not as big as the one in Denver, but still really good this year.  Added bonus was setting up the Circus Train (electric O-gauge model steam train) and decorating it immediately with various nativity sets.  When Roger's old train set arrived from Grandmother and Granddad, various nativity figures quickly made it to the flat bed cars for immediate transport.

Gingerbread houses!  Alex made . . . a steam train, Katie made the station, and Max went for a regular house.  The writing on the roof of Katie's is 'Cris' and 'Mis.'

The kids all had cute holiday programs at school.  It's fun to see how much the classes change as you go up just one year in age.

 Note to Roger: Max is not the shortest kid in his class, even though he is the youngest.

 Note to Kat: please learn how to take pictures in focus!

Katie's class decorated mini-gingerbread houses after the singing program. This was my first experience with  glue-gun-on-milk-carton graham cracker gingerbread houses.  I'm still a bigger fan of the original, but there was no way I was going to make 30 'real' gingerbread houses.  Another note to Kat: need more graham crackers and frosting for 30 houses!

Making beaded snowflake ornaments - and whatever else we come up with.

Movie night - always a hit with everyone. This one also got a repeat or two throughout the month.

Sleep over at Oma's house - this became plural after the main breaker blew.  Original fears of a new panel were put to rest when Roger figured out how to fix our antique main circuit breaker.  He then discovered that only half of the panel worked - the CITY gets to come and fix their part of the adventure now, as we only have power coming IN to half of the panel.  (Playing electrician was NOT on Roger's list of fun activities, but he was doing cartwheels when he figured out the problems!)

Hot chocolate party. The kids cut out the extra marshmallows from candy making into fun shapes.

Decorate sugar cookies

Make candy - FINALLY Katie is messier than me (her entire jaw bone was covered with chocolate).

Make Christmas cards - I'm so happy my kids like to play with paper and coloring!

Make deliveries -we're still trying to get to our best friends and to the fire station.

Camp out in the basement - this will require more sweeping

Zoo lights will be happening after Christmas - it just got too cold!

Hammond's Candy factory tour:  TOTALLY great this year!  The factory was in full production mode, so we could see them making lots of different kinds of candy, and all the packaging and other equipment going at full speed.  And more exciting, KATIE LOST HER FIRST TOOTH WHILE WE WERE THERE!  She pulled it out all by herself. I am trying to not freak out at the continual growth of my 'babies.'

Today (12/22) we woke up to THIS, so 'Have a white Christmas' will make the list after all!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 23, 2011


This year we finally graduated to a full-sized tree. It's fake, but it is taller than 3 ft. I'm glad we went with the shatter-proof ornaments - I'll save the glass for a less exciting year.  The activity advent has moved to a home of it's own home. Highlights of some of our activities coming next . . .

The kids have really gotten into decorating their own rooms.  The boys opted for snowflakes and ornaments on their window - they had a little help with the tree - and peppermint lights.  The giant penguin snow globe complete with motion-detector-triggered music is a huge hit - thanks Oma.  Katie made each of the kids' rooms a Christmas countdown sheet, so they can cross of the days until Christmas.  She is also very particular about the other decorations in her room - she designed the 'HO HO HO' on her door, and has blue snowflake lighst and a miniature lighted Christmas tree in her room.

Also, she (well, I might have had some input there) decided that every door needed a wreath, so everybody picked out their ribbon and bows.  I may need a tutorial from a more accomplished bow maker, but these worked for the under 5 crowd this year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


In order to remind myself that most days in December have NOT been about blowing the main circuit breaker to the house and having the power steering pump go out on the car, here's a start at what we've been up to this month . . .

Where to begin?  We'll start with mom's birthday.  This year we went with 'experiences' for presents.  We went to Disney on Ice: Toy Story.  In lieu of pictures, of which I took NONE, here is a quote from Roger:  'Hey.  That didn't totally stink!'  It was actually really good.

On her actual birthday, we went down to the Botanic Gardens for the lights.  This is one of my favorite things in December, but luckily mom likes Christmas lights and the cold too.  :)

It is so great to be able to do all these fun things with our cousins/family.  Everyone should just move back to CO!

Friday, December 2, 2011

train show in denver

We went to the train show down in Denver last Saturday - a little 'Advent Calendar Activities Preview.'  SO much fun!  So many train layouts.  Alex made sure that he and Max had their engineer hats for the occasion.  He is still very much a train guy.  He set up 'Team GeoTrax' around the base of the Christmas tree on his own.  My days as track designer are definitely numbered.

SO many G-gauge trains - almost makes you want to switch gauges and join the Garden Train Club.
This layout needs to be replicated at our house.  Rog liked the guy with a million relay switches - microcomputers in the track that automatically switched the track so the trains would change routes automatically and not crash into each other.  Our switches are not quite that fancy . . . yet.

Alex could have stayed even longer. We only got him out of there with the promise of setting up the Circus Train with the new switches when we got home.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

what our christmas photo SHOULD have looked like

We went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to check out the dinosaurs.  I thought the animatronic dinosaurs were AMAZING. I tried to talk Rog into driving down just to try for a family portrait with 'Sue' in the background, but no go so far.  You'll just have to enjoy me feeding my niece to the beast. Hopefully it distracts from my crazy hair.

Alex was not a huge fan of the IMAX movie - 3D screaming T-Rexs don't seem to be his thing - but who doesn't love the 3D glasses?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

happy halloween, or WE'RE BACK!

Thanks to Julie for the little kick I needed to get back in action.  Here are some pictures - A LOT - from Halloween.  We had a ton of fun this year.

The week before Halloween we went to my first corn maze, with Uncle Tom, Aunt Margaret and our cousins!  We found one of the 2 bridges, shared a funnel cake, and had dinner at Chili's around 10 pm.  Here's how much Katie and Alex enjoyed dinner:

The following Wednesday we woke up to this:

Luckily we live in CO, and it all melted in time for Halloween. Alex is completely enamoured with bats these days.  He cannot get enough.  Oma did a great job on his costume.

Max decided to be a skeleton, sans the scary mask.

Katie was 'Princess Aurora's mother' for Halloween, 'because queen rhymes with Halloween.'  I need to get a good picture of her in her dress.  This shouldn't be too hard since she likes to hang out in her finery.

On Friday we had a Halloween party at Aunt Mag's house. SUCH a fun time!  Eyeball cake, haunted gingerbread house, party favors, and a pinata.  Besides hanging out with cousins.  Impossible to beat!

 Max might have had a little too much fun destroying the gingerbread house.

Everyone like swinging at the pinata.  Kalle and his friend Billy survived the evening unscathed.

We went trick-or-treating at the 'trunk or treat,' and also for REAL!  So much candy, but so much fun. The weather was perfect for Halloween, and then it snowed again the next day.  Next year, we're going to hit the BOO at the Zoo, just to have one more costume-wearing opportunity.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

reunion, anyone?

When I find my camera cord, I will finally post pictures that prove that we did more than sit inside all summer, trying to hide from the heat. Until then, noodle on this, Reese . . .

About a year ago Pam nominated/appointed me to be President of the Reese Family Reunion Committee. Doesn't that sound fancy? Well, here's the plan.

Meet in Cedar City, UT sometime at the end of July/beginning of August for a long weekend - Something like arrive Friday am, leave Monday.

Why Cedar City, you ask? Well, there's a Shakespeare festival in Cedar City for the artsy among us. Zion's Park is about an hour away - and Cedar City claims to be 20 degrees COOLER. Vegas is a reasonable place to fly into and pop on over - I think about 3 hours. There's shopping in St. George. And it's about midway between CO and CA - our friends on the east coast and beyond will have to fly in anyway, so I tried to find a location drivable for approximately half.

Mag and I thought the KOA campground would be great for lodging - tent, cabin or RV sites are available in one spot, so everyone can decide how they want to sleep, but it will still be in one close area; playground and pool for playing; small store for everything we forget to bring. Check it out:

We'll figure out the food and lodging specifics as the time gets closer - like when it's actually 2012! - but for now I'd really like to nail down a date, so that everyone has time to plan accordingly. Please vote in the comments for your preferred weekend:

  • July 20-23 (we could celebrate some birthdays with this one, as well as potential for Pioneer Day festivities)

  • July 27-30

  • August 3-6 - (happy birthday Dad!)

So, what works best for you? We will pick the weekend that works the best for everyone. I figured if we did it now, an entire YEAR in advance, it might work. And no, I can't believe I'm planning something this far into the future either!

We're shooting for as many of the members of the immediate Randy Reese Family to attend, but I'm game for anyone else that wants to join in showing up as well.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

summer fun

June is off to a great start. We introduced Summer to the dog beach at the reservoir. She didn't mind the dogs too much, and she even favored us with her impression of Roger. And no one got burned!
We finally checked out the children's area of the Botanic Gardens and it is a blast! The amount of fun we had is inversely proportional to the difficulty of getting these 4 goofers to all look at the camera at the same time.

Katie and Summer thrilled all the Grandma's with their cuteness and matching sweaters. Alex was an owl for a while.

No one could get enough of the suspension bridge.

Alex the owl turned into BUGMAN for a while at the bottom, while Katie and Summer worked some dress up magic.

The HEATED river was probably everyone's favorite, although Alex really loved the real kid-sized shovels. Katie even changed out of her dress to dig in the dirt.

There are tons of things to climb upon or through, and then naturally leap off.

This little beauty - Baby ViVi - joins us on all our adventures; she's just not quite as mobile as all the other cousins yet. We love watching Summer be a big sister, and everyone loves to hold that little nugget Violet.

Monday, May 30, 2011

memorial day weekend

Camping trip #2 for 2011. Memorial Day weekend, Roger took work off Thursday and Friday and we headed up the Poudre River Canyon along Hwy 14. We changed campsites every morning - driving approximately 1 mile between sites - and managed to find a spot each day even without reservations. Definitely spring camping - some rain, some wind, and the heater turned on a few times every night. I feel like a wimp sometimes that these little people think camping means sleeping in a 'house on wheels,' but then wake up and realize that if were tenting it, we would most likely just stay at home. There's still time for 'roughing it' when they're older!

Campsite #1 - Lower Narrows. We had a nice spot on the end, with our own little beach to do what we all like best: Roger harassed the fish and the kids threw rocks and dug in the sand. I scored the post of water carrier.

Katie likes to dress up for everything, including camping.

Campsite #2 - The Narrows. Roger did some more harassing, me and my friends did some exploring. There are some nice campsites at the top of a hill that you walk into from your car. There is also a lot to be said for 'roughing' it in the RV, so that in the morning when you're moving on to the next site it only takes 5 minutes to pack up and head out.

There was TONS of wood to play on - we did some balancing and jumping and found a log that made a great teeter totter. There's Max giving his version of 'thumbs up.' It was good to have something to climb around on to warm up - definitely springtime in the Rockies.

Alex had his first run in with a cactus on our first night. Luckily it didn't slow him down too much from hatching some games. The grabber thing we found the first night got some serious usage, from 'grabber attachment of an excavator' to oar to fire stick.

Campsite #3 - Dutch George. Pretty cold and rainy this day. Luckily there was a small boulder field to climb on rocks, and we made another teeter totter with a log. The folks next to us set up a bunch of tents with no rain flies. We couldn't figure out exactly what there plan was - especially as it was drizzling off and on all day. At night when it started to pour I really wondered how they were doing, but didn't get a chance to ask them in the morning as they had packed up and left!

We did our usual morning twinking, and talked about whether we should just call it early and head home or keep heading up the canyon and try out another site. We checked out a few campgrounds, had lunch in Rustic, and then decided we might as well camp one more night. SO glad we did!

Campsite #4 - Kelly Flats. Best campsite of the bunch - the return of the sun might have had something to do with it, but it also didn't hurt that we had an entire loop of campsites on the end all to ourselves . . .

Or that our fearless leader finally caught that elusive fish! It made a nice addition to dinner.

The kids had another nice afternoon of digging, hauling water, and throwing rocks. I played princess and sat by the river and sewed - in between water hauling duties. And it was finally warm enough for the popsicles! Seven was finally worn out and ready to rest.

Great trip - and now we have some fun campsites checked out for when you all come to visit!