Ladybug swarm

I promise all of my posts will not be about bugs...but this one was pretty cool. We went for a cookout this weekend at Mt. Falcon park. It's a high-altitude county open space park near Dave and Sandy's place - just up the canyon a few miles. Dave, Sandy, Marisa, Max, Avy and Andrea's friend Shandre all joined us. It was freezing cold and a little rainy, but we still had a lot of fun.

Anyway, Sophia found this tree that was just completely swarming with ladybugs. It was pretty amazing looking. Unfortunately I only had my cellphone camera with me, but I think you can still sort of see what it looked like. Very cool and weird looking. Turns out that all of the trees/bushes of this kind in the near area were covered like this.

Decadant American Food at its Best

KFC Double Down Sandwich

I think my arteries are clogging just by looking at this thing. Notice a complete absence of any vegetable matter (other than the flour used to make the breading). Now I'm not a nutrition freak by any means, but wow. I'm not sure I could even finish one of these.

Wild Wild World of Animals - Roxborough Edition

One thing I like about living where we do is we get to see lots of wildlife. The other day I caught a picture of our friend the fox taking a nap in our backyard:

For some reason foxes love this spot in our backyard for napping in the afternoon and I have lots of boring video of foxes napping to prove it. I can't tell for sure if it's always the same fox, but I don't think it is.

One day one of the foxes had a dead prairie dog in its mouth and it brought it into our backyard to enjoy its lunch. Well, I didn't want to have prairie dog pieces scattered around our yard so I opened the back door to try to scare it away. It did run away but it left the gross prairie dog! Yuck! Luckily it did come back for it though.

Our neighborhood also has deer, tons of bunnies, prairie dogs, salamanders, frogs and coyotes. There are lots of big horn sheep that live up in the canyon not too far away. Dave and I are also fairly sure we've seen some bear scat scattered around the neighborhood - especially near the grocery store.

Here's the not so nice side of the wildlife here:

We have these giant sized wolf spiders that end up in our house and garage at times. They're not really dangerous but they are very, very creepy. Notice in the picture that you can see its eyes shining and the other normal sized dead spider next to it (victim of the bigger spider?). That was behind my desk. Lovely. Try to ignore the dust bunnies. The cable is a network cable and that's one of those little bouncy balls for scale comparison. This was actually a mid-sized version of those giant wolf spiders. We had one in our living room which I would say was twice the size of this one. Not exaggerating.

I have seen this in real life on the way home from school.

A bunch of kids had turned over a rock and found one of these monster spiders with egg sac attached and they had coaxed it out of its burrow and somehow got it into a water bottle. The kid said he was going to bring it home to show his mother. What a lucky mom!

Now I think if I ever see one at this condition in or around our house I might never recover:

Starting High School and a Whirlwind Trip to Utah

Last week was busy!!!

Andrea started high school. Here she is getting ready to go on her first day:

She was nervous but soon realized that it's not that much different than Junior high. I wouldn't say we've settled into our school schedule yet. It's been an adjustment for us all to start waking up early again. 5:30 am now. :( Andrea has to catch the bus about a mile away at 6:55 am! I think we're starting to get used to the school routine again though.

On Friday we left early in the morning to drive out to Salt Lake City for our niece's wedding. Luckily our trusty old van got us there and back with no troubles. It was nice to visit with everyone. Crystelle looked really pretty. We got to meet our new nephew Hugo and our grand-niece Eden. It was fun to see all of the cute babies!

We drove home on Sunday. It's hard to get back in the car after only being there one day, but we had to get back to school and work. Here are some pictures from the trip. Yes, we saw the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

Nadia's Story

Nadia is enjoying her spotlight on the blog. She said she wanted to make another video. So she wrote this story and had me film her telling it.

Nadia's First Day

I always have a hard time with the first day of kindergarten. It's weird because I'm actually kind of happy to have my kid start school, and I think the three hours to myself will be pleasant! It just chokes me up when I have to drop her off there and I see her going in with all of the other kids. Guess it's the whole "my baby's growing up" thing.

Here we are at home getting ready to leave:

Here she is in front of the school:

Standing in line:

End of the day! I think she might have been worried right here that she couldn't find me.

Here's what she had to say about her first day:

School Milestones

Inspired by the blogs of family members, I decided that having a blog is really a pretty nice way to keep up with family and friends who are far away. So here it goes! Will it last or fizzle out like other good intentions? No idea.

I thought this week would be a good time to start because our family is hitting a few big milestones - first day of kindergarten for Nadia and first day of high school for Andrea! Hard to believe that either of them are really old enough for either of those.

Today was Sophia's first day of fourth grade. Our school district decided to make things as complicated as possible for us overburdened mothers and ended up making all the schools/grades start on different days. Sophia started today, Nadia starts on Friday and Andrea starts on Monday. For high school only the freshman start Monday. Grades 10-12 start on Tuesday. Seriously. It's very complicated. I only figured out this schedule for sure today! I was going to send Nadia to school on Monday one day late until another kindergarten mother kindly pointed out that they start on Friday!

In any case, Sophia looked very cute going to her first day of fourth grade. She was nervous but when I picked her up she was happy. So I'm hopeful for a good year!

Nadia had something called "Tea with teacher" today. I guess for kindergarten they have the teacher meet with small groups of kids to kind of get to know them and to make the kids feel more comfortable. It was pretty cute. Us parents got to label all of their school supplies and put them away in their cubbies. Nadia is really excited, although I realized I've neglected giving her much opportunity to use scissors at home. I think that's mainly because I hate cleaning up big messes of tiny pieces of cut up paper. But I think I better have her practice tomorrow. We'll see how I do dropping her off on her big day Friday!

Yesterday was Andrea's birthday. I made a giant meal which we all ate too much of and then we topped it off with some german chocolate cake. It turned out hideously ugly because I didn't let it cool enough, but it tastes pretty good which I guess is the most important thing. Happy Birthday Andrea!

That's it for now.