Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend Camping

We took our first camping trip of the season this weekend outside of Canon City. On Saturday, we had a fun-filled day at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.

The first thing we did was ride the Incline Railway to the bottom of the gorge. The line was very short for this in the morning. When we walked by it later in the day, there was at least an hour wait. We were very glad we did this when we did.

The ride to the bottom is very step.

When we got back up, we walked across the bridge to the other side of the park. The bridge is the world's highest suspension bridge. The walkway is made of 1,270 planks of deck; about 250 are replaced annually. The planks have large gaps in them and you can feel the bridge sway as you walk across. Cars are allowed to drive across, adding to the movement of the bridge.

The bridge was a perfect place to try out the panorama feature of my new camera. I had lots of fun experimenting with this setting.

On the other side of the bridge, has the Mountainman Encampment featuring many old west attractions, including a horsedrawn wagon ride, burro rides, panning for gold, ax throwing and re-inactments of gun fights.

To get back to the other side of the park, we took the Aerial Tram. Gliding more than 1,100 feet above the canyon floor it is the world's longest single-span Aerial Tram.

Within the park we also rode a trolley, a carousel and the Silver Rock Railway. It was one full day.

When we got back to the campsite, the kids wanted to keep going so we played some miniature golf. Then we had dinner, smores and they kiddos fell asleep.

The next day was a quieter day around the campsite. The kids are now at the age where they can basically entertain themselves. They played games in the camper, explored the woods behind our campsite, climbed on the playground, swam in the swimming pool and played with some of the outdoor toys. Mark and I were really wishing we had brought our books cause for the first time ever, we had a lot of down time on our hands.

By the end of the trip the four kiddos were wiped out. It didn't take much for the four of them to crash.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Not So Lazy Days of Summer

Morgan started summer day camp with the YMCA this week. The camp meets at her school just like their after-care program did. There are new directors running the summer program: Stephanie and Rich. I can already tell the program is tons better then the after-care. Instead of being a holding area for kids, they have lots and lots of activities planned. This week's theme is Food Fight and here is the schedule:

Monday - Introduction to camp, morning snack, create an art project entitled: A Tangled Web, play the Name Game in the gym, play SPUD in the gym, have lunch, make homemade ice cream, create another art project with Jello Sand painting, gym game super market lot, afternoon snack, discuss highs and lows of the day and create Camper Grams.

Tues - Day at the Reservoir. Lifeguards are not on duty yet so no swimming this week. Instead they played sand volleyball, went on the trails, played on the playground, and they had nets to capture and release water wildlife (among the items captured were crabs and shrimp). At 2:30 they headed back to school for afternoon snack, highs and lows of the day and Camper Grams.

Wed - Go to Old Chicago's to take a tour of the restaurant and make their own personal pizzas, head to the park for lunch, kickball and playing on the playground, head back to school for afternoon snack, highs and lows and Camper Grams.

Thurs - Go to Casa Bonita. For those of you not familiar with Denver or haven't seen the South Park episodes, Casa Bonita is an Mexican-themed restaurant labeled "The World's Most Exciting Restaurant". The multi-story complex includes a 30-foot-tall waterfall complete with cliff divers, their are magicians, fire jugglers, strolling mariachi bands roaming the tables, a pirate cave to explore and video games to play. As for the food, well, let's just say you don't go there for the food.

Friday: Small groups, create candy necklaces, play steal the bacon, make camp banner, have lunch, talk about your neighbors/neighborhood, create a jelly bean picture, play a gym game called Guess a Veggie, have an afternoon snack, go over highs and lows of the day and Camper Grams.

And that is just the first week!

She will be going to the YMCA for a few weeks, the zoo camp for one week and gymnastic camp for the rest of summer. I think she's going to be doing more this summer then she has in her five years combined!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Field Day

Field Day was a great sucess. There were about 13 stations that each class rotated through. All the events required teamwork and lots of physical effort. There was a race to fill up a large bucket using a snall bucket with holes in the bottom...


...filling up a bucket using wet sponges...

...volleyball using a beach ball...

...tug of war...

...flag tag where you have to rip the flags off your opponents waist...

...wheelbarrow races...

...and more.

Morgan really bonded with her partner, Gerrion. Good grief!

And now, summer official begins. It isn't going to last long though. Since school ends so early for us, it also begins early. August 4th they go back. It's going to fly by.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Continuation Ceremony

Wow. That was short. How is it we are here already...

...when just yesterday (I swear it was just yesterday, wasn't it??) we were here:

After the ceremony, we headed inside for snacks and to clean out the kids things. This wasn't the best kindergarten year. There were lots of ups and downs, but we made it through.

Klayton, Roan and Morgan are still buds. They will be going to summer camp together for a few weeks and will be camping with Roan's family.

Look at that smile. Can you tell that she's smitten with her "boyfriend" Peyton? His mom and I keep in touch so they will be getting together over the summer.

And here is her frienemy, Ashley. One day they are BFF, the next day they can't stand each other. Ah, the joys of girls!

Today is Field Day, their very last day of school. Mark is with her today. When he brings her home, she will no longer be a kindergartner. Summer vacation will begin.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Date Night

Mark and I had a date on Friday night. We spent the evening hanging out and laughing with Tom Green at our local comedy club. He's still hilarious. And tall. I didn't realize how tall he was until I saw how much he looms over me in this picture. Kind of looks like a psycho-killer or something doesn't he?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Herding Cats

Yesterday I chaperoned my first kindergarten field trip and let me tell you, it was quite an experience. The field trip was at the aquarium. We arrived at 9:30 am but the kids were not allowed in the aquarium until 11 am. Keeping track of five kids in a controlled environment is one thing, but trying to keep control of them in an outdoor, open area was a huge challenge. There was a bouncy castle to play in and an outdoor play area. We had to make sure they ate lunch during this time as well as rode the 4D Sponge Bob movie/ride. I had an extra challenge, as I was in charge of a child with extreme special needs that needed a lot, a lot of extra attention. Not sure why the teacher did not have him (she did not take any kids) as it was not fair on me, the other kids in my group nor this boy, who obviously needed more direct supervision. While the other kids would stop and look for their group if they wandered too far away, this child did not. He was in his own world, constantly roaming far ahead of the group. Every five minutes or so, I would have to run ahead and reign him back. He did not respond to his name being called. If I tried to hold his hand, he would grunt and growl at me. Two times I found him with his stomach across the glass, feet up in the air and arms fully submerged in the tanks. The rest of the kids in my group became my little helpers, noticing when he strayed too far and walking him back to us. On top of this, it was a cold rainy day so I was carrying five winter jackets and two umbrellas. Needless to say, it was very stressful. It helps to know that this will be the hardest field trip to chaperon - it can only get easier from here as the kids get older and more responsible. And I would hope that the next grade level teachers would be more considerate regarding this child. If not, I now know enough to respectfully decline having this child in my group and suggest that teacher gives him some one on one attention.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Last of Kindergarten

I can't believe the last few weeks of school are upon us. In less then 20 days Morgan will no longer be a kindie. Crazy. And apparently in the last few weeks of school, we as parents aren't supposed to be working much: one day I'll be taking off for a class field trip, one day Mark will be taking off for a teacher-workday, then we have to come during the middle of the day for a continuation ceremony, another day is mostly field day where parents are also encouraged to participate. So in the next three weeks, we'll need to take off five days! Yicks!

We are crossing our fingers that it isn't more time, but Morgan has expressed an interest in participating in the year end talent show. This is coming from the girl who passed on the opportunity to have a speaking part in the Winter Concert. Now she wants to perform some of her "gymnastic tricks" solo on a stage. While I would like to encourage this, I don't want to have to take off work for the auditions (yes - they have to audition for this!), the practices and the performance which is once again, during the middle of the day. Mark and I are not bringing it up again, and we are hoping she doesn't either. Shhhhh.