Oh, the weather has been so good to us lately and we are super grateful. After doing home church we packed lunch, snacks, and water and headed on a new hike with the kids. We drove the swag wagon up Mt. Herman road and parked at the trailhead to hike to the top of Mt. Herman. We were lucky to grab a parking spot just as someone was leaving. The road was already lined with cars. It was around 1:30pm so we weren't all that surprised that it was crowded. We passed a few families on the trail, but it really wasn't as crowded as we thought it would be. Madeline was such a trooper and hiked the ENTIRE way up the trail. She had help with a few spots where it was slippery, or the rock steps were too big for her to step up on her own. Each one of us took turns holding her hand and helping her along. It really was quite impressive that as a 3-year-old she could handle such an incline. Mike carried the kid backpack just in case, but she didn't even ask to sit in it at all. The hike was really fun as we headed through some great tree sections and some fun rocky sections. Eventually we popped out on top and the views were pretty spectacular. We found a nice spot below the ridge line to each our lunch and enjoy the view. Madeline was all about the chips and grapes. Everyone else enjoyed the other fun snacks that Mike packed. Grapes, brie, crackers, chips, and hummus pleased everyone. After some laughs and silliness at the top we decided to put Madeline in the backpack for the descent. We hiked down so fast it was hard to believe it was that short of a hike. The entire hike was only around 2.5 miles round trip. The funniest thing Madeline said on the way down was, "I can't wait to get back to the car so I can hold my blanket and suck my thumb." Oh, she just makes us smile. It's good to be outside with all of the kids hiking in the great outdoors.
EASTER CRECHE AND BOOK
APRIL 1, 2020
As I have been preparing for Easter, I decided I wanted to be a bit more focused on Christ and so I ordered the Christ-Centered Easter book and an Easter creche to use during our scripture study. I loved the stories focused around people close to Christ in this book and how much more prepared mentally we all were for Easter.
EMMA’S FAVORITE BREAKFAST
APRIL 1, 2020
The question I usually hear every morning from Emma is, “Do we have avocados?” That is primarily because her favorite breakfast is now avocado and egg toast just like me. She has finally learned how to do her own sunny side down eggs and that makes her so very happy.
ABBY AND MADELINE ARE TWINERS
APRIL 1, 2020
Abby and Madeline love to play together. One day Abby put on the same sweatshirt as Madeline so that they could be twiners. They were both so cute and Madeline was so happy to be matching with Abby.
KIDS MAKING COOKIES
APRIL 2, 2020
Andrew loves to bake and so he brought out his cookbook and made Hershey kiss peanut butter cookies. Emma helped him make them and they were out of this world delicious. It’s nice that Andrew knows his way around the kitchen.
APRIL 3, 2020
Homemade deep-dish pizza is absolutely the best kind of homemade pizza. I love it when Mike makes it. It’s also the perfect excuse to drink root beer since we don’t really drink soda in our house.
APRIL 4, 2020
We always look forward to watching General Conference together at home in our basement. This year was especially exciting as we were all looking forward to some hopeful messages from the leaders of our church during the COVID19 pandemic. President Nelson and others totally delivered.
EMMA’S NEW BIKE
APRIL 4, 2020
After two months of procrastinating, we finally took Emma to the bike store and got her fitted for her first mountain bike. She was so excited to finally be getting the other half of her birthday present just in time for the good weather.
APRIL 8, 2020
We made a fire and roasted marshmallows for the first time this year. The kids enjoyed talking and eating yummy smores around the fire.
BING WATCHING STRANGER THINGS
APRIL 13, 2020
One of the things that helped us through the first few weeks of COVID19 was binge watching Stranger Things together. We got through all three seasons rather quickly. There were even a few things we didn’t notice from watching it the first time.
PLAYING WITH MADELINE
APRIL 8 & 22, 2020
It’s heartwarming to see the kids take Madeline outside to play with her. Peter took her outside several times to play with her. It was not uncommon for him to spend over an hour playing with her doing chalk and bubbles or jumping on the trampoline. She just loved that.
MIKE’S PROTECTIVE GEAR
APRIL 23, 2020
It always makes me feel better when I know Mike is wearing super protective gear when he operates, especially because he is in the airway most of the time. I can’t wait until we are past COVID19 so I can stop worrying so much every time he goes to work.
MADE FIRST FACE MASK
APRIL 24, 2020
I had no desire to make face masks since we have access to Mike’s medical face masks. However, I thought it would be fun to make one just for fun. The 5 min face mask took me way too long to make the first time mostly because I had to make my templates. However, I thought it turned out pretty well.
QUECHE AND CAKE IN A JAR
APRIL 24, 2020
Mike tried a new recipe and it was oh so yummy. He made a crustless cheese and broccoli quiche and it was outstanding. To top off the fun dinner he also made cake in a jar!
APRIL 25, 2020
Mike and the kids really did a great job making my birthday special this year. I got two giant balloons reminding me of how young I am and a yummy ice-cream cake with 42 actual candles. I blew ALL of them out in one breath. That’s right…I’m not old yet. The kids got me the Elton John Diamonds vinyl and a unicorn pinata to beat the crap out of. From Mike I get a new TREK Domane SL6 road bike which I am super excited to get.
ANDREW’S CREAM PUFFS
APRIL 28, 2020
Andrew decided to make cream puffs for the first time. Oh yeah, they turned out perfectly and so incredibly delicious. He really does have a talent in the baking department.
DATE NIGHT AT THE PARK
APRIL 29, 2020
Mike and I needed some time away from the kids, so we ordered dinner from Ted’s and headed on over to Fox Run Park to eat and relax. It was so nice to have some quiet time together.
REORGANIZING THE BIKES
APRIL 30, 2020
The one bad thing about the nice weather is how quickly the garage can get disorganized and cluttered. With so many of us using our bikes frequently, the back of the garage was getting out of control. I spent one morning after a bike ride with Emma organizing all the bikes and cleaning up the clutter. It made me so much happier to see a clutter free garage again.
APRIL 30, 2020
Madeline loves it when Abby will take her for a ride on the skateboard.
This was a great month for biking and running. The weather was warm pretty much most of the month with several days of wearing shorts and short sleeved shirts. I mostly ran with Dionne this month at Black Forest Section 16, Manitou Springs, and along the Santa Fe trail. Peter and Emma continued to run together, mostly at Fox Run Park. There was lots of biking by everyone. Abby and Emma both went out to Wolf Lake with Mike, Peter and Andrew explored mountain biking at Fox Run Park, Mike and I rode Red Rocks, Mike, Peter, Emma and I all rode at Fox Run Park, and Emma did 7.75 miles with me around Black Forest Section 16 where she had her first crash. Luckily it was just scrapes from road rash. She went down one of the hills too fast and hit some gravel and slid out. I told her that I fell many times my first year of riding. I was always sporting cuts and bruises. I was so proud of her for getting the courage to get back on her bike and finish the loop. Being able to be outside exercising has made a world of different in how we have felt about ourselves this month of quarantine. We continue to pray for good weather so we can keep up the exercise!
We have lived through natural disasters, tough economic times, had health difficulties, and the like. We could not have imagined the insanity that is COVID-19. When we were in Hawaii in February, we were just starting to hear about this respiratory disease. There was a tourist from Japan that stayed at our hotel a week earlier that was diagnosed with COVID19 after returning home, but the illness seemed worlds away, confined to mainland China. There were rumblings in Taiwan, in Hong Kong, in Singapore, but it seemed distant and contained. Then Italy went nuts. People were dying left and right. Germany started to find patients. Then Spain. Then Seattle. Then it got real. Suddenly, the United States was in full panic mode and decisions were flying fast. School was cancelled, church was cancelled, work was cancelled, life was cancelled. Stay at home or die. Projections for the healthcare system being totally overwhelmed were startling. The numbers from New York were horrifying. How did it get to this point? It’s amazing to think that a little virus could bring the modern world to its knees so quickly and out of nowhere. Now, after a month of quarantine, financial ruin, stress, and anxiety, we are entering into a new phase of reopening our lives. Uncertainty abounds, but now there is hope that things will begin to move in a direction that is more sustainable. Normalcy is a thing of the past, but hopefully, it will one day be within our reach again.