Tuesday, March 31, 2009

nothing new

It was a busy day today right from the start, just like yesterday, and just like tomorrow and the following already has a list of errands planned in my head if appointments don't come in between.

After taking lots of photos today for the playgroup at the YMCA I would love to work on these. It's itching in my fingers. But these have to wait because I have actually work to do, besides the piles of laundry which are still waiting here for tomorrow to come.

At least spring and summer temperatures are here in Texas. The kids are wearing skirts and capri pants again in between some cooler days and the thick winter jackets and hats are banned in the closet until next year. Soren's favorite occupation is opening the front door and just going outside to hang out on the front porch or keep ringing the door bell. If i join him outside he goes back inside and tries to lock me out. He knows unfortunately very well how our locks work, so a safety plan for a second key is in works because Daddy can't rescue Mommy when she is locked out with his key!

The nest ist still inside the bird house a little bird decide to built inside our decoration at the old house, perhabs this year another one will pick it as a home again.

Update #1: We are still on restricted water supply. ---> Do boil drinking water until further notice!
Update #2: By the way, the kids loved the rainbow cake, but you are get NO picture because it didn't turn out. It had the inside texture of chewing gum. But we definitely will make another rainbow cake but with eggs and oil and no diet soda. The colors turned out great. And I have the feeling that the girls won't even need me for making the next one beside putting it in and out the oven.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Always something new

We didn't do anything messy today. We didn't do much today that had to do with cleaning up. At least since after 8 am. We didn't do anything that had to do water neither. We simply had NONE.

All water was shut off in the whole neighborhood. Fantastic. My dishwasher was waiting to be turned on. Several loads of laundry should be washed, but more as a couple drops of water did not trickle down our pipes. Okay. After talking to the water company and NOT ME being the reason why there was no water I thought it's okay, it will be back on and I grabbed a glass and went to the fridge to get some water to drink. TJA. Stupida. NO WATER. No soda in the house neither.
Whatever, don't stress I tell myself, because I am really fantatastic in stressing out and worrying about nothing and everything, I am leaving shortly and by the time I am back the water will be back on I think.

Hours later, debating with myself if we should grab food on the way home or stick to the plan to cook we are driving home and getting closer and closer. The truk from the water company is still in the neighborhood.

Huge pink signs posted with the information

"All customers from our water company should boil all drinking water until further notice!"

I am ecstatic!

I am now supposed to even boil all the bathtub water for Soren who considers bathtub water as drinking water? Seriously!

We weren't cooking today. We ate sandwiches outside on the patio in the evening sun. Drinking the last bottled water - of course now we are running low.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Baking in Rainbow Colors

A few days again I came upon a RAINBOW CAKE recipe and the link to Omnomicon to give credit where it belongs. I love baking and cake but I stay away from it lately because as soon as it is in my kitchen I CAN'T stay away from it and I try pretty hard to watch and cut down what I eat. It worked so far and I lost 10 pounds in the last 5 weeks and if I can keep these pounds off and perhabs even loose some more then it would be really good. So yummy cakes are not really good for me, because the word everything in moderation does not apply in such cases.

But this recipe was special for several reasons.

#1 It looked like so much fun for the kids.

#2 All the colors it has inside do NOT appeal to me so much, who knows if I actually will eat it.

#3 The recipe is applied for weightwatchers and the cake mix is made without the eggs and oil and I used diet soda instead. One piece is supposed to be 1 WW point. Just my bad luck, I do not count points.

- all the ingredients we used -

- my BIG helper -

- loving dipping and licking his finger in the dough -

- NO, we did no use the m&ms for coloring the dough, these were Soren's snack in between to keep him busy -

- he was eyeing me very closely what I was doing with all the different bowls of dough and lots of colors, probably counting how many more spoons and bowls to lick -

- Look at THIS -

- Doesn't it look crazy? -

So far it looks good.

We will see how it turns out when it comes out of the oven and if it tastes. lol.

So far this cake has real advantages to bake with kids -

#1 There are lots of bowls and spoons to lick - no fights about the bowl.

#2 You can teach your kids about colors and how to do dishes.

#3 If you have a kid still in diapers I be aware of color changes and diaper changes. LOL

Monday, March 23, 2009

More Colorado Pictures Part II - Garden of the Gods

A gorgeous spot in right on the edge of Colorado Springs is the Garden of the Gods. It is actually breathtaking there. Even the kids were all enchanted seeing it for the very first time.

We arrived at the Visitor Center to get a map and all the information of the park and started with lunch including the beautiful view. The ladies there were really nice and helpful and marked our map exactly with which way to drive to get to the easy trail for the kids and to see the balancing rock and to find our way out of the park again, too.

Another nice add on is of course the free entrance there -"Entrance to the park is free according to the wish of Charles Elliott Perkins, whose children donated the land to the city of Colorado Springs in 1909."

The kids had a blast and we did not get any complaints about how far they still had to walk. They were excited to discover the next rocks and to get a chance to climb on them, too, - in limitations.
By now I still find itty bitty rocks in pockets.

This is my favorite picture of all. Finally an afternoon with both girls and less drama, no bickering and complaing, but being happy sisters. Because lately we do have more the opposite. The can't live without each other, but don't want to be with each other usually until suddenly a moment like this is back.

Soren would try to climb if we let him, but digging in the red sand is sooooo much better. A bucket and a shuffle would have been all he needed.

We washed our hands so often after the park but it still seem to be some red stuck on it no matter how much soap we used. lol

Aren't they cute together?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Colorado Pictures Part I

We made it to Colorado just in time for Gabriel's 2nd birthday.

Both of the little big boys were way more excited about the cupcakes as about presents. Their hands were fast for securing their cupcakes from the big platter.

The next day we visited the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. It is a small, but beautiful park. You do go lots of ways up hill but you don't really feel it so much and get rewarded with a beautiful view over the plains of Coloradp Springs. Right at the entrance you find lots of giraffes and even a little baby and we were able to touch them and to feed them. Priceless.

We had very nice company strolling through the zoo and all the kids found a buddy that made the visit even more special. Look at that little gang.

We were at the highest point and didn't I already mention the view from up there?

And guess who got comfy in the egg and turned into a little dino? Not just Soren!

It was a fun day, but Soren did not fall asleep after so much walking and excitement and skipped nap in the car. He stayed up until late, but luckily we have the naps back now.

You might be missing the animal pictures from our zoo visit. Lol. So I do give you one, just one and no more.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

we are back home

Soren and me are sitting out on the front porch in the sun with spilled Kix cerial between our feet and munching on left over trail mix from the trip for breakfast. He is awake. Me more or less. But we are back home.

We left Colorado yesterday morning and drove all the way home. Jack - the new GPS voice - after Luigi ditched us we separated, led us back down the mountains in New Mexico and over lots of highways. Jack even found snow in Texas in the middle of nowhere of course. We planned on staying in Lubbock overnight, but kept driving towards Abilene and then were way too close to home to stop at any hotel. So still yesterday we finally saw the first LAMPASAS county sign and even that were another 45 minutes to go it was almost home. And by 12.30 am we made it.

Even we drove two different routes there and back it's about the same distance 805 miles (for all our friends with the metric system I even did the conversion 1286 km). On the way up there it felt a lot longer, less gas stations, more worries. Yesterday it was easier. I guess the working DVD player helped, starting with the 75 mph speed limit was good, too.

To give you an idea about the distance we covered yesterday from Colorado to Central Texas is the same as driving from Hamburg, Gemany through Austria and Switzerland to Genova, Italy.

It is not a big deal here, but believe me in Germany I would think twice to drive that even with all the way on the Autobahn and a highe speed limit as the slow 70 in Texas and 65 we ended up at night.

After some more sleep, some food, some laundry, cleaning, .... I hopefully get to the pictures from our days in Colorado and can show you some, too.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Colorado Roadtrip - Day Two

On day two we actually left Texas. Yes we did. We crossed into New Mexico and even stopped at a little gas station and got snack because we didn't pack any - just kidding, but I gave in when three kids begged for candy when passing the candy shelves on the way to the restroom. And we do like New Mexico and that we did not pay tax neither. lol.

It's just truly a pity that the shortest way from our home to Colorado Springs went through Amarillo instead of through Alberquerque. That would have have been really nice to stop there and get into the old historic downtown. I have to admit I do not even know if Amarillo has one, we skipped that and just left quickly after breakfast there.

But driving crossing the border from one state to the other with New Mexico is always a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong stretch. 120 miles and 150 miles. Does it really need to be so long. I don't mind more towns in between, did I mention more gas stations ans restrooms. Just in case. I am also getting better friends with Luigi - our GPS - even he wasn't talking with us today, but at least now we know more about how to press his buttons literally.

In the middle of nowhere, we suddenly saw a few patches of snow next to the road. The girls were so excited. There simply was no chance to stop, but snow, how could that be they were wondering, just there and nowhere else. They still remember snow from living in New England and also from Easter last year in Central Texas, but Soren has never seen or touched snow. So it was a pity we could not give him the chance. But who knows when we get the next snow ball fight?

Time kept passing and we still were not at the end, not even close, but suddenly we saw mountains, even snow covered ones in front of us. A beautiful picture between after all the plains. The girls were snapping pictures with their little cameras all the way and couldn't get enough and were hoping we would drive right on top of it. Dream on little girl.

That was one of the very few sleeping moments of Soren in the car on that trip.

804 miles later we made it. We spent 4 days in Colorado. Now our bags are packed again and in morning we are getting ready to head 808 miles back to Texas.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

On the way to Colorado - Day One

Saturday morning we left. The car was packed to the top with everything you could imagine from clothes to sleeping bags to pillows to drinks and snacks and food ato movies and toys anything to keep two kids and a toddler happy and entertained and from starving and freezing on the trip planned ahead thinking we are driving all the way to the cold in the north.

We barely left with 45 minutes delay - we are good and made it under an hour - and our route and friend Luigi - that's how we call our GPS - leads us to/through Lampasas our favorite town near anyway and I seriously say we could stay right there and just take pictures. It was beautiful, early saturday morning, we were actually all awake, but I refused to stop anywhere the first 3 hours and to get out of the car even with all the tempted nice little towns to snap pictures from we drove through to snap pictures from. It is close by I kept telling myself we could come back and we just started to drive I DO NOT want to stop already with such a long way ahead of us.

I seriously start to understand my husband now why he drives the way he drives on long trips and why I have to beg a long time ahead for bathroom breaks, but I also do appreciate him driving the long distances and me mainly just being the passenger and handing over the drinks and snacks.

After our first stop in Abilene we mainly got this picture on the road to see.

Nothing. Or not much. I was happy to find a gas station and a rest room to stop. After getting low once on gas I seriously almost hit every gas station on rest of the trip. I know that I can drive for hours with on gas tank, but the stretches we drove with just plain nothing in between from 20 miles up to 150 miles just made me a little bit nervous. And not just that besides a few bigger towns almost everything between Abilene and Amarillo and Colorado Springs are ghost towns. Broken down. Left behind. Empty. Left alone. Amazing for taking pictures, but really sad that these are places not worth living there anymore, not worth to keep up, no built up again. Not strong enough that people can live and survive there anymore.

At the end of the day, after driving all day, even after the kids asked all day long

'Are we already in Colorado?'

435 miles later



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