Run for Rwanda
August 3, 2019
Peter jumped in on the Run for Rwanda 5K with his friend Josh to support their cross- country coach who hosts this run every year. Peter didn't plan on racing it but used it as a hard tempo effort run. There was a pretty good turn out for this relatively flat 5K through Cottonwood Creek Park. He ended up running it around 21 min.
August 7, 2019
It is not uncommon for us to see Andrew playing games on his new laptop all situated in the dining room. To my dismay, he plays online games with his friends quite a bit. Having too much free time can sometimes not be a good thing for a new 18 year old.
Tornado in Colorado Springs
August 8, 2019
As Mike and I were on our way up to Denver to see the Billy Joel concert we got a FaceTime call from our kids who informed us that there was a tornado in the area. We had passed through some heavy rain on our way through Larkspur, but we didn't think anything of it. We were so glad my parents were staying with the kids. It passed quickly but the kids were pretty scared.
Ft. Collins Temple
August 9, 2019
Since Mike and I were already up in Denver from watching the Billy Joel concert the night before, we decided to take advantage of a shorter drive to Ft. Collins so that we could go to the temple since the Denver temple was still closed. The session was packed. It was a bit longer than we had anticipated but hopefully we will be blessed for our efforts.
August 10, 2019
We were so lucky to have my parents stay with us for a few short days before heading to Greg and Ruby's house in Texas. My kids always love it when they can spend time with their grandparents.
August 11 , 2019
These evenings have been so pleasant, and the girls have enjoyed spending time on the porch in the early evening just hanging out or reading their books. It was so cute watching Emma read to Madeline. Oh, how I wish these summer nights would not end.
Finding New Glasses
August 12, 2019
I took Peter and Emma to look for new glasses to use as a backup to their contacts. Peter had quite a fun time trying on all sorts of crazy glasses. It was hard to not laugh.
Abby and Madeline
August 12, 2019
I took the girls shopping for some new school clothes and we found this adorable sweater shawl for Abby and a cute pink dress for Madeline. They were both so excited to wear them when they got home.
Andrew's New Glasses
August 13, 2019
Andrew picked out frames totally different than what he has been wearing his whole life and they finally arrived. He was so surprised at how much better he saw through a really good quality lens. I must say he looks pretty good in his new glasses.
Emma Finishes 8th Grade Math via BYU Independent Study
August 14, 2019
Emma spent the summer working through both semesters of 8th grade math through BYU Independent Study so that she could move up to Algebra 1 as an 8th grader. She relied on Peter a little bit at first to help tutor her but by the time she got to the second semester she did it completely on her own. She finished the course and passed her final the day before school started. In only 7 weeks Emma finished an entire year's worth of math. Way to go girl!
The A-team on the First Day of School
August 15, 2019
Abby and her friends call themselves the A-team because their names all start with the letter A. There are 5 of them and they have become the best of friends over the last 2 years. This year they have a new addition, Olivia, who doesn't start with A but nevertheless a great addition to their friend group. On the first day of school they all met up and got popsicles at the snack shack after school.
Riding the Moped with Madeline
August 17, 2019
Madeline just LOVES riding the moped and will usually ask Emma or Abby to take her for a ride. Now that the girls are back in school, I am the one she asks. It's a good thing I also love riding the moped because it's so easy to say yes to her. We always have a great time.
Peter's Last 8 hours of Driving
August 17, 2019
Peter has been working hard this summer to get the rest of his 50 hrs of driving completed so that he can get his driver's license. He only has 8 hrs left and we are just starting school. It's so much work to go out driving with these teenagers but the rewards of having them drive themselves is totally worth it.
Sara's 1st Run after a Month Off
August 19, 2019
I went out for my first run after taking a solid 4 weeks off of exercise. It was a great time to let my body heal and recover. It was a super slow and short run, but I was proud of myself for the effort.
Andrew Instagram's about Peter
August 22, 2019
Sometimes brothers don't always get along but every once in a while, one of them will do something pretty great for the other. Andrew instagramed about Peter and how fast he is becoming in his running. It was pretty great.
Andrew's Internship with Telluride Biomedical
Andrew spent 2 weeks in Phoenix as an intern for Kelvin who works for a biomedical engineering company. He spent the first week moving some of their new biomedical equipment specs onto a new software program. It was supposed to take him the entire two weeks, but it only took him 4-5 days. He spent the rest of the time helping them get ready for an upcoming project. He had a great time spending time learning the biomedical world, eating at In-n-Out, and hanging out with Kelvin and his family.
It's amazing how time flies so fast when the kids are little. It was almost like I woke up one day and Madeline was a little girl and not really a toddler anymore. Madeline had lots of FIRSTS this month. At the beginning of the month she had her very first dentist appointment. She did really well sitting in the chair at first. Then she wanted me to sit with her so I held her on my lap. She let Dr. Patterson count all of her teeth and she let the tech brush her teeth.
Right before the kids went back to school, we decided to transition Madeline from a crib to a toddler bed. I knew that she could stay in bed all night since she slept in a toddler bed during our family reunion over the summer. Mike and Andrew worked together to take the front railing off and replace it with a toddle rail. Madeline was so excited. She actually did really well transitioning to a bed with more freedom. At night she never got out of her bed but during nap time she will still occasionally play in and around her bed before she finally falls asleep. I feel like it's a win because she doesn't come out of her room when it's time to sleep.
One of the things we are trying to focus on more is potty time. Madeline really doesn't have any desire to potty train but that is not to say we aren't trying. I bought her some pull up diapers so that she could learn how to take them on and off by herself. That was step number one. Step two was learning how to get on and off the potty by herself. She can actually do it without using a stool. I'm not sure how she swings her leg all the way around but she somehow manages to get on toilet by herself. Finally, she learned how to wash her hands by herself. The most important piece now was actually sitting on the potty long enough to actually go. We tried reading books, singing songs, and eating snacks but none of those things really helped. The only thing that got her to sit on the potty by herself was knowing that she had to go and not having her pull up or diaper on. I let her roam around naked and I went about my business in the kitchen. I noticed that she walked back in the bathroom and got on the potty and was bracing herself against the wall. Oh boy...she was doing something. She did actually go in the potty but it kind of scared her and she started to cry. I'm not sure if I will be able to convince her to do it again but at least she did it once.
Since Madeline is almost 3 years old, we figured it was time to give her an activity that she could participate in. Since I did ballet and tap with the other girls it seemed like the natural thing to do for Madeline. I found out from a friend about a good ballet/tap program and we did a trial class to see how she would respond. I was so surprised at how well she listened to her teacher and how well behaved she was in the class. When the class was finished, she was so happy.
Even though Madeline had lots of FIRSTS this month, she also had lots of repeated cuteness from things she does all the time. Some of my favorite moments this month from her was her love of playing in the grass, mopping the floor with me, talking on her pretend phone and actually pausing as if she were actually talking to someone, using her own resistant band when I was doing my PT exercises, playing with puzzles and telling me the numbers as she put them in the puzzle, and having a blast during bath time. There is never a dull moment when Madeline is around.
I really do think there is nothing quite like doing something fun with your spouse. Mike and I both love many of the same things. One of the things we love to do that is easy and pretty accessible from home is biking together. We have really tried to take advantage of this great weather to be outside together. We decided to head out on our road bikes to bike from our house all the way to Costco via the Cottonwood Creek trail and the Santa Fe trail. The only major roads we had to cross were Briargate and Union Blvd. We road Royal Pine from our house across Briargate and once we popped out onto Austin Bluffs, we got right onto the wide sidewalk which turned into the trail at Woodmen. We biked all the way through the new section (which is AWESOME) and stopped at the Crit Café at the Criterium bike store. It was so amazing to sit outside on the patio sharing a burger together. I couldn’t think of anywhere I would rather be than spending quality time with Mike. Thank you, Mike, for lighting up my life with adventure and your amazing presence.
Ever since the last high school swim season, Peter has had some workouts that put his heart rate over 200 and sometimes as close as 210. Although it never seemed to effect his performance, it was a little concerning going into this year's cross-country season. His pediatrician ordered a exercise stress test and echo cardio exam. Everything looked good on his EKG and his ultrasound. The next piece was the exercise stress test which he passed with flying colors. It was pretty spectacular watching him run his heart out on that treadmill as the speed and incline increased. Turns out his VO2 max is 65!!! That is at the superior level for someone his age. The only thing the doctor noticed was his oxygen output was a little restricted when blowing out which meant that he could benefit from an inhaler before racing or swimming really hard. We are so grateful that there was nothing wrong with his heart and comforted to know that his HR going above 200 is ok.
We took the kids shooting up in Woodland Park this evening. We left later than we wanted and so we only had about an hour to shoot before the sun went down. We went to the Pikes Peak public range and found a great spot to set up. This was the first time the girls had been shooting and they were both really excited. I didn't grow up with guns so this would be my first-time shooting rifles and shotguns. Peter and Mike set everything up while the girls and I hung out in the car eating our fabulous Sonic burgers. Mike took each of the girls and taught them about the parts of the gun they were shooting and gave them some safety advice. Emma wasn't all that nervous and had Mike help her with the first shot. After that she did it on her own. She LOVED it. Emma mostly shot grandma Candace's 22 bolt action rifle. She only needed a little bit of help pulling back the bolt. After shooting that a bunch she tried the over under 410-22 rifle/shotgun. She was a bit shocked with the kick she got from the shotgun setting but she still loved it. Abby, on the other hand, was extremely nervous when Mike finally put the gun in her hand. She actually put the gun down and ran away until I convinced her to just try it once. At first Mike helped her hold the gun and shoot. Eventually she was comfortable enough to try it on her own. The thrill put a smile on her face, and she was no longer scared to hold the gun by herself.
As for Peter, well he was a pro at shooting. It was fun to watch him shoot the 12-gauge semi auto. Both Peter and Mike spent most of their turns shooting the semi auto gun. I tried both the 22-bolt action and the over under 410-22. I actually managed to shoot down a can and the cardboard wall with the shotgun setting. It was such a thrill. We all can't wait to go back and shoot together again. Next time I will try the 12-gauge semi auto!!
The kids had a pretty fun summer filled with various camps and a big family reunion on the Kelsch side of the family. After all the adventures, the kids were actually ready to head back to school just to see their friends again and to be social. This year will be challenging for each one of the kids but for different reasons. One thing is for sure, I know they will all rise to the occasion and be successful this school year!
Abby was excited to finally join the ranks of the older kids by joining Emma at Challenger Middle School. She was the most excited to be starting this adventure with her A-team friends: Addy, Avery, August, Anna, and Olivia and to be on a team with some pretty great teachers. On the first day of school she was not interested in Mike and I walking her to the bus stop. She quickly sped down the sidewalk and waved without looking back. Abby started school the day before the other kids.
6th grade, Team 614, Cross-Country Team, Rapids Swim Team, Voice Lessons, Piano, Make-up wearer, Social Butterfly, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Pre-Algebra A, PE, Gateway I, Drama, World Language, and Music.
Excited about going on High Trails.
Most concerned about doing math and having Ms. Murray.
Favorite class is PE.
Emma was excited to finally be at the top of her school as an 8th grader, get straight A’s, and to gear up for cross-country season.
8th grade, Team 814, Cross-Country Team, Kokopelli JOXC, Rapids Swim Team, Violin, Piano, Saxophone, HS Orchestra, Silver Tones Choir Group, Advanced Art, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Algebra 1, and PE.
Excited about her science class and participating in the HS Orchestra.
Most concerned about getting straight A’s.
Favorite class is social studies and language arts because the teachers are great.
Peter was excited to see his friends and be on the cross-country team again but he wasn’t that thrilled for his hardest year at Pine Creek HS. As a Junior, Peter will be taking tough classes and preparing himself for the ACT and SAT.
11th grade, Cross-Country Team, State Running Team, Rapids Swim Team, Varsity Swim Team, Advanced Jazz Ensemble, Seminary, H Pre-Calculs, US History, AP Physics, American Lit & Comp, Weights & Fitness, H German 4, and Programming 2.
Excited about Cross-Country and Swim Seasons
Most concerned about doing well on the ACT and SAT and his AP Physics class
Favorite class is H German 4
There are several reasons to live in Colorado. Most all of them involve being outside in this great state enjoying the activities that the mountains offer. This year, we had epic amounts of snowfall, which translates directly into great white water rafting in the Spring and Summer. We departed on a Friday afternoon to Canon City and camped in a Red Rock enclave that was secluded and beautiful. The boys enjoyed climbing up on the red rock bluffs that encircled our camp. We had a fire, food, fireside and all the usual good stuff that makes a camping trip excellent.
In the morning, we embarked for our white-water adventure. As we waited for our bus to be ready to take us to the boats, we played Volleyball in the sand. All I could think about was that I hoped the boys would be better at rafting than they were at playing Volleyball. The older boys went down the crown jewel of Southern Colorado: The Royal Gorge. The Royal Gorge is an impressive site any way you see it. However, being on the water is a whole different experience: terrifying, exhilarating, and memorable. We separated into two rafts of 6 boys each and headed down the Arkansas River. The white water was plentiful and fun. It bounced us around, soaked us to the bone, and made for some great memories. The River goes up to Class V rapids when it goes through the Gorge, so it was some serious white water with memorable names like Boat Eater, Wall Smasher, and Sunshine Falls. The boys loved it and the leaders loved it too. Certainly, a memorable and fun experience.
written by Mike
Back in the spring I found out that Billy Joel was coming to Denver to perform in August. There was no way I was going to miss out on this opportunity to see one of my favorite singer/songwriters of all time. I grew up listening to Billy Joel and watching his incredibly fun and entertaining music videos on laser disc. I remember sitting with my brother, Greg, watching those laser discs over and over again. Since I didn’t delay in getting tickets I was able to get some pretty great seats on the floor. Mike and I ended up making a date getaway to Denver and spent the evening at the concert and then stayed at the Ritz Carlton for the night. We got upgraded to a suite which was awesome. Thank you Platinum American Express card! We ate dinner at Elway’s at the hotel and then headed on over to the concert at Coors Field. We were pleasantly surprised at how cool it was to be so close on the field with the floor seating. We walked around and got a closer look at the stage before the concert started. We’ve both been to many concerts, but I think this was probably one of my favorites. Everything about the concert was perfect from the stage set up, to the great set list of songs, to the hilarious comments made by Billy Joel, and of course being there with Mike. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend our anniversary this year than to watch Billy Joel and stay the night in Denver together.
I had a fun time at girls camp this year. I know the leaders put a lot of effort into making it a great experience. There were lots of girls because it was for the whole stake. On one day we participated in different stations. Some of these stations included shooting BB guns, bow and arrows, mason jar crafts, and hair braiding/wraps. On another day we had a water fun day. The little lake close by our camp was overflooded, so they made a slip n slide and we had fun with that. One night we all gathered in the woods and sang hymns. During another night we all went to a specific camp site and did something nice for them. On one of the last days, they used this chalky stuff, and we had a color fight. My sandals are still dyed green. One of the things I did not like about girls camp were the bathrooms. I was so afraid of the little whiteish black bugs that were everywhere. I preferred the last girls camp, where we only had one bathroom. I still had a lot of fun and was happy I got to bond with some of the girls in my ward.
Abby spent two weeks at a theatre camp with her friend August at the Fine Arts Center. The camp was “Let’s Make a Musical.” They spent the entire two weeks coming up with their own musical, writing the script, taking popular songs and rewriting the words, and then rehearsing for their big performance on the last day of camp. Abby had so much fun at this camp and came home every day just so excited and happy. The musical ended up being about two softball teams who came together to play a game of softball when a giant cantaloupe struck one of the teams. Both teams became angry at each other and decided to build a wall in the middle of their town. Eventually the teams found a way to tear down the wall and become united again. Some of the songs they sang were pretty great. They rewrote words to the song “Seize the Day” from Newsies and the theme song from Friend, “I’ll Be There for You.” The kids had fun performing and the audience enjoyed the great acting, the fun songs, and the bits of humor.