Thursday, July 24, 2008

Drums Along the Rockies - 7.12.08

Click to play Drums Along the Rockies
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One of the first things we took Daphne to do was to see a Drum & Bugle Corps Competition hosted by the Blue Knights -- Denver's own D&BC. How much more "American" can you get? It was held at Invesco Field, and since it isn't football season, this was one of the only ways to see the stadium while Daphne was with us. These are some hard core marching machines. Talk about precision! WOW! It sure did bring back memories for me of my days in the high school marching band. But I would not have been able to try out for these, as they only include brass and percussion instruments and color guard. I guess I could have learned another instrument or been in the guard, but I probably would not have been up to par having started so late. In addition, at least two of the corps at this competition (there were 9 total) are still all male, so they would have been out for me too! These kids work HARD all summer long, and end up sleeping in High School gyms and getting ready in the locker rooms. That's a rough summer, but 99.9% of them would not trade the experience for anything!

White Water Rafting - July 20, 2008

Click to play Rafting Trip '08
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Here are a few photos from our rafting trip this past weekend. We did a half day trip down the Arkansas River through Brown's Canyon. Our trip was with Highside Adventure Tours just north of Buena Vista, Colorado. We took Daphne for her last day with us, and also picked up another of the IFYE students - Souzanna - also from Greece, to take with us. We asked Phil & Ellen and Chad to go along, but none of them could, so we thought we'd ask our friends, Brenda and Andrew. Brenda said she has lived in Colorado all of her life and has never gone, so I'm glad we asked. We all had a blast! I don't think Daphne or Souzanna had any idea what they were getting themselves into, but I'm 100% positive they had fun. They were a little bummed that they had to wear life jacket (required) and I also made them wear helmets. I know they weren't the most fashionable, but they are not my kids, so SAFETY first! :-) After rafting, we met Daphne & Souzanna's next host family at K's Burger Stand and ate lunch in the park before we all headed for home. Buena Vista was about halfway, as their next hosts live in Alamosa. All in all it was a great day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Alaska Photos - Flightseeing

Click to play Flying in AK - May, '08
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With this great new slideshow program I found on the internet, I'm loving making slideshows of our photos to post. Check this one out -- it is just a few of our flightseeing photos.

Photos - RMNP

Click to play RMNP - 7.13.08
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I found this cool new way to make slideshows of our photos that is so much easier than trying to post them, so I'm trying it out with our photos from our hike last Sunday to Rocky Mountain National Park. If you like it, let me know.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rocky Mountain National Park

Well, yesterday we went up to Rocky Mountain National Park and took a 4 and a half mile (round trip) hike up to Cub Lake. It was covered with Lily Pads and flowers. It really was a beautiful day. We spent some time at the lake eating our lunch and watching the wildlife -- especially the crazy duck who was not afraid of us AT ALL! She just came right up to us -- we assume others had fed her in the past (a No! No! of course), so she wasn't afraid to come looking for food. We also saw some great flowers and critters. This picture is one of the more unique flowers -- have no idea what it is, but it was pretty cool, and the only one we saw. The critters were a little more difficult to catch on film. We saw plenty of little chimpmunks, a weasel looking animal and a woodchuck of some sort. We also saw a grouse and a small herd of elk playing in the mud off in the distance. Of course we saw the duck and her little ducklings as well as lots of dragonflys and several little mini eel-looking things in the water. They were about 2-3 inches long and spotted.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Welcome Daphne!

Our campsite at the Family Campout.

Holli shooting shotgun.

Chris shooting .22 rifle.

I can't believe it has been so long since I last blogged -- well really, yes I can. I am just not very good at it, I guess. I've never really kept a journal, so it takes some getting used to. Plus, we don't take a whole lot of photos, so our blog might be kinda boring -- just reading.

I guess I'll start with the most recent -- for the next week or so, we are hosting an exchange student from Greece. Her name is Daphne Prassa and she is from Greece. She is 17 years old and is here on the International 4-H Youth Exchange (IFYE) program. She is one of 4 IFYE students here in Colorado. She is here for about 3 months. We picked her up on Thursday night and will take her to meet her next family on the 20th. We hope to give her several "Colorado" and "American" experiences while she is with us. We went bowling last night and will go to a Drum & Bugle Corps Competition tonight. Tomorrow, we are going to go hiking in Rocky Mountain National Forest. Although Chris and I have to work this week, I might take a day off to take her shopping. We also have tickets to sit in the Rockpile (cheap seats) for a Rockies Baseball game this week, and then next weekend, we have plans to go rafting on the Arkansas. We might go camping too, but haven't decided yet.

Over the 4th, we had our friends DaNell and Keegan and their 5-week old son Ethan over for a cookout and watching the fireworks. We saw some great fireworks on TV, and then went out on the deck and were able to watch the Westminster fireworks right from our deck. Although I love going to the park, it is also nice to just stay home too. We ended up re-arranging the furniture in our family room on Saturday -- moving the recliner to the corner closer to the fireplace and putting our computer desk between the basement stairs and the bathroom. I've suggested that we build-in a desk and cabinet there, but we are trying it our for a bit before we make a final decision.

The weekend of June 27/28/29 we spent time with our friends Brenda & Andrew and Lauren & Truett. We went to dinner Friday night and then went shooting skeet and .22 with them on Saturday.

Over Father's Day weekend, we went to the Colorado 4-H Shooting Sports Family Campout. There were over 200 people at the campout, which was held on a private ranch outside of Victor, Colorado. It sure was beautiful there. We borrowed Phil & Ellen's pop-up and actually went camping for two nights. This was highly out of my comfort zone, as I really like to have a bathroom, but there were port-o-potties and we bought a little solar shower, so could at least wash my hair. We also did the "sponge-bath" thing each morning. It wasn't so bad, but the first thing I did when we got home was take a shower. I could probably handle a weekend trip every once in a while, but probably not much longer than that without a shower available.

That's about it. Not too much excitement, but a few things here and there.