Sunday, December 30, 2012

8 Crazy Hours

   Growing up, we lived really close to two airports, so I had never entertained the thought of having to travel long distances to one...then we moved to Colorado.  We live about two and a half hours or so from one airport, and three and a half hours from another. The closer one is smaller and only hosts a few airlines. The three hour one is where we usually go for flights.
     This year, my mom & sis were able to fly out for Christmas. They flew into the farther airport located in Denver, CO. Hubby went up early in the morning to retrieve them from the airport, driving over snow-covered mountain passes. They did not get back to our house until late afternoon. After 5pm, they were checking their luggage for gifts and discovered that: 1.They had someone else's luggage 2. They were missing one of their bags.
      In a mild state of panic, I called the airline/airport baggage department. After being shuffled around for a half hour, it was finally made clear to me that: 1. Airlines cannot tell you if they have your bag or not over the phone 2. If you take some one else's bag from the airport, it's considered theft, and you have a 24 hour grace period to return it. OOPS. This meant driving back to the airport to return the "stolen" luggage without knowing whether or not my family's bag was there. (Although, if someone else walked off with my bag, I'd want them to return it ASAP too)
      After calling my trusty friend & her hubby, we decided it would be best if her hubby, my sis & I made the trek to the airport and, we took off. adrenaline pumping and full-panic-mode on stand-by, we drove the three and a half hours to the airport in three hours (did I mention I was only running on 2.5 hours of sleep?). Awesome, right? Thankfully, the baggage transfer went smoothly, and we took the right bag back with us. Somehow between getting gas and Arby's sandwhiches, we ended up losing an hour (and our way). Once we turned around, we made it back through the slightly treacherous mountain passes and finally back home...since it was past midnight, it was technically the next day, and I finally had a chance to enjoy seeing my mom before passing out in my bed. No charges were filed, and no underwear lost.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Got Viral?

       So last week, I was blown away by the popularity of one of our family Christmas photos. We just had our session the prior Sunday, and our awesome photographer had our pics ready by Wednesday. With permission, she posted one on Facebook, and before I could say "love that pic!" comments and likes started flooding in! The increasing popularity of the photo blew us away-

        The idea for this particular scene came to me during an a.m. run the day before the shoot. I informed Tonja of my idea, and she helped it become what it is ;) I assumed it would get a few likes and comments (I know my friends ;) but my FB notifications wouldn't stop! It got to the point where friends of friends were liking & commenting-people we didn't even know!
         During the insanity of it all, I grew to wonder if the pic would go viral. According to this article, it did, but to me, going viral means that *just about everyone* has seen it and it shows up in everyone's newsfeed in some form or other. It's gotten close with a few family members sharing and reposting the photo (and tagging our photographer) but, my secret dream is to see it become so popular that *just about everyone* has seen it & makes a parody of it. Yes, I know wishes are wishes, but if you'd like to encourage my insanity, just click here and share, share share!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

8 More Days!!!!'s been busy, busy, busy here!!! I've been quiet this week because I'm finishing up my second semester of classes, working on getting Christmas cards out, and preparing for my Mommy & sister's visit!!! We get to see them in a little over a week!!! That means cookie making, caroling, gift wrapping & all kinds of stuff!!! I also get to teach my mom how to "crochet in the round" (connect the lines to make round things like hats! Or balls! Or other stuff!) I also get to eat food that I haven't burned!!!
     My mom hasn't been out to visit us for a few years (my sis has never been out here), and it's quite the change from the flat, muggy Delawarean landscape. We're talking purple mountain majesty in 360 degrees! And brown grass! (These poor kids....grass is supposed to be green, not brown....) And tumbleweeds! And deer-don't don't always hit them...sometimes they hit you! The air is crisper here, but drier too...which basically means you could freeze to death before you realize it because you wouldn't notice ;) I believe the town has added another stoplight since my mom's last visit-making the total 3.
    We are looking forward to having fun & making memories (and not freeezing to death!!!)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Things I Learned While Handing Out Hot Chocolate At Wal*Mart

       So, even though I enjoyed the Black Friday mayhem, I also spent some time helping patrons who endured the semi-craziness of our small-town Wal*Mart. Let me remind ya that Wal*Mart is the only "department store" our small town has, so aside from Murdoch's Farm & Ranch Supply, they're about the only place within 60 miles offering Black Friday deals...which means that's where everyone is after filling up on turkey and watching the game.
       Last year, my friend's hubby's non-profit started handing out hot chocolate to patrons...for agenda, no gimmick. Why? In my words, "Jesus gives to us, so we should give to others". (Plus we live in a small town and you can only hand out so much Christian literature so often. Certain denominations and religions here have yet to understand this fact)
     As I stood at the exit doors, two cups of cocoa in hand, it occurred to me that I could make a blog post out of it!
         Things I Learned While Handing Out Hot Chocolate At Wal*Mart
1. Not everyone appreciates free things
2. Say, "Hot chocolate?" before phrases like, "Hello. How are you? Would you like some..."
3. Not everyone appreciates free things
4. I need to learn the word "free" in other languages
5. Sometimes, you have to convince people that *you* didn't make it.
6. Standing with only one cup in your hand is creepy. Two cups, and you're a bonafide hot-chocolate-giver!
7. Wear gloves so when hot chocolate sloshes over, you're protected!
8. Don't lick your gloves. That looks creepy too.
9. Offering to follow someone to their vehicle (they're hands are occupying a loaded shopping cart) comes off as creepy.
    Bottom line?? If you're handing out free hot chocolate, try not to look creepy!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

*Black Friday 2012*

         Of course I am one of those crazy people who make it to the Black Friday madness sales!!! I'm BlondieChell, lol! I love finding bargains, scoring great deals & raiding clearance racks!!! If I see a red sticker in Wal*Mart, I check the price. I didn't realize how well I had honed this skill until I was walking an aisle with an employee who is a friend and she pointed this out after I reached up in between some rabbit bedding and pet food to grab a random Clorox Wipes container. Red sticker clearance!!! I like to know where the clearance racks at all my fav stores are located. I clip coupons, earn Swagbucks and split shipping costs w/the bestie, all in the name of saving $$$ and scoring an awesome deal.
          Last Thursday night (you know, Hubby's BDay, Turkey Day, ect) we (me, Hubby & friend's hubby) left the house at seven to brave the not-too-crowded-small-town-Wal*Mart. I was soooooo "in the zone" that I started calling hubby "Team Leader Yellow" and our friend "Team Leader Red". We took two separate vehicles, traveled the three minutes or so to Wal*Mart,  I parked and RAN across the parking lot to the store. I swiped a cart and zigzagged between fellow shoppers perusing the DVDs. The men had their lists, I had mine. The only thing missing from our daring mission was walkie-talkies. After walking around a few sections at a fast clip (when there wasn't a traffic jam) I joined the guys by the pillows, assured that they had gathered their loot. We split again, later I met with Hubsters, compiled all of our items, then stood and waited in line for 8 p.m. so the sale prices would ring up. Afterwards, I helped the guys hand out hot chocolate to Wal*Mart patrons for a few hours, then ended up at home where I proceeded to put away our fall decorations and hauled out our Christmas ones. I am *that* girl. Stay tuned for "Things I Learned While Handing Out Hot Chocolate At Walmart"!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Discount Code for The Happy Trunk!

I am sooooooo excited to try The Happy Trunk!  It's a " carefully curated box filled with art supplies, crafts, and science activities for hands-on projects for kids ages 3 to 11, each month, delivered right to your door. Every month a new themed box of goodies will appear full stocked and ready to be ripped open by your young explorers. All materials and know how is included, to really engage the kids in fun and learning activities as well as spending quality family time together."

The Happy Trunk boxes are two tiered: the young kid boxes geared towards kids ages 3-7 years, and the big kid boxes for ages 7-11 years. The young kid and big kid boxes are structured differently, to suit these appropriate age groups. Every project in our boxes are designed by early childhood educators and parents, and tested by our very own team of kids. 
The Happy Trunk boxes can be purchased as a month-to-month, 3, 6 or 12 month subscription. Our boxes also make great gifts for birthdays, achievements or holidays. Additional materials can be purchased for siblings. Our boxes are not just popular with parents but also grandparents, sitters and homeschoolers. My Readers Get 50% off a 3-month subscription to The Happy Trunk. A $58.95 Value, Promo Code: HT3F50 #kidscrafts

  This sounds like a fun opportunity for my kids to try something new. Amber's the arts & crafts one- Josiah rushes through projects to get them done & Malachi usually puts it all in his hair, or eats its ;P

     *Disclaimer: I receive a free Happy Trunk to try for posting this, and hopefully a giveaway on it!

Monday, November 19, 2012

I'm Coming Out....

     ...Of the Foodie Closet!!!!
      So apparently, I'm a closet foodie. I know! Here I am trying to get rid of my fat cells, and my brain and tongue are begging me to indulge.....usually in sugar or carb loaded foods. Now, I used to consider my appetite "normal" with the "usual" sugar cravings/indulgences, but I recently posted three different pics on Instagram of food within a week. Oops.
     See, I rarely post food pics, as I don't consider myself a foodie, but I also enjoy food pics that others post. And...then I found myself diving into a whole bunch of sugary treats that week and posted photos....Of yumminess....Of sugary, gooey, taste-bud satisfying goodness.... Sure, it's not great for my diet goals, but I can only deprive myself so much. Then I indulge once in a while (or twice in a while...or thrice in a while...) and I'm good for another "while". Here are a few shots I posted to Instagram:

This is a slice of pumpkin pie with Dunc Hine's white glaze with a side of Blue Bunny's peppermint icecream topped with whipped cream & sprinkles...YUM!!!

This decadent treat was high-altitude snickerdoodles (flat) with layers of Duncan Hines' new icing creations where you add your own flavors (mine was pumpkin spice-something-or-other) and, of course, CANDY CORN!!!! 
    My sweet tooth seems to enjoy candy corn, cookies, all kinds of chocolate, and ice cream. If it's in the house, it's gone, lol. In order to keep my "diet" on track, I typically purchase chocolate "diet" snacks so I don't go off the deep-end as much as my sweet tooths would like me to. Now, not all chocolate diet snack are created equal, no matter what the box depicts. Hubby has helped me "test" a few that seemed to be great alternatives for his chocolate addiction, but the thing about replacements is, it's gotta at least taste like chocolate...and those few didn't ;( (Right now I enjoy chocolate covered soy nuts mixed into flavored 90 calorie yogurt!) Are you too a sugar-holic? Do you find yourself creating super-sweet creations and inhaling the entire thing without thinking twice? Let me know I'm not alone! Follow me on Instagram where you are sure to see more foodie pics, especially since the Holidays are almost here!!!

*Nutrition Disclaimer: To balance out all the extra calories and burn fat (while I agree that super-slim is not an ideal goal for me, I do need to shed some left-over pregnancy poundage) I run 3xs a week and do Pilates 2xs. Once I finish school (and semester breaks) I plan to increase my cardio.

Monday, November 12, 2012

BlondieChell *CAN* Crochet!!!

           When I was little, my mom taught my sister and I to crochet a chain. We thought it was the neatest thing in the world and made tons of necklaces and bracelets!  A few years ago, my mom taught me how to connect the chains, essentially enabling me to create rows of chains. She tried teaching me double crochet stitches, but I didn't understand the "yarn over" part, and ended up just using single and chain stitches. I also didn't understand the concept of crocheting through the entire top of the stitch, so all my little scarves, hats and blankets for the kids were "front loop only".
          A few months ago, a friend of mine started getting into the whole crochet world, and shared knowledge of tutorials on youtube (no idea why I never thought of that).  After watching a few vids and how to's, I was able to follow simple patterns and therefore increase my crochet skill. However, it hasn't been all fun and games. There's been many trial and error situations, and sometimes I get my fingers all caught up in it....

....but most of the time I can produce some pretty awesome stuff!!! I'm working on Christmas gifts right now, but I've also made hats, a beard (more of those to come too, just watch!) and scarves.

Awesome frog hat design I got to test by my friend Ashley over @ Good Lookin' Hookin (yeah, so I need help making faces too)

Hat & petite scarf I made for my Mom

Hat I made for my bro w/ Playin' Hooky's's free pattern!

I didn't make this hat-I made the beard & attached it w/buttons & use it in lei of a baklava when running. It's also a great tool for randomly freaking people out ("Wait...whaaaa??")

I find the art of crochet (defined as " is a process of creating fabric from yarn, thread, or other material strands using a crochet hook") relaxing (unless I'm trying to figure out a fhdc or how to do a flower) and fun! I love making really cool stuff out of yarn. Do you crochet or knit? What kind of crafty things do you do??

And The Winners Are....

It's......MONDAY!!!! Time to announce the winners of the BlondieChell 500 Fans GiveAway!!! I used to draw the names! After the entries are verified, I will be emailing the winners individually to get their addresses to send their mask. If I do not hear back in an appropriate time frame, new winners will be announced!
          Thanks for participating!!!
                                        1. Kendra S.
                                        2. Esther I.
                                        3. Monica
                                        4. Nicol T.
                                        5. Felicia C.
          If you are reading this, and your name is listed above, and you haven't received an email, let me know! Rafflecopter usually uses your FaceBook info to get your email address, so if you've made a change to it, and you didn't update it in your settings, the email is probably lost somewhere in cyberspace ;( all alone....Anyways, just contact me (here, FB, twitter, wherever ;) and I'll get the information I need from ya!  Have an awesome, adventurous week & stay tuned for my post later today!

Monday, November 5, 2012

500 Fan GiveAway!!!

   Welcome to my *500 FaceBook Fans GiveAway*!!!! La Vida de BlondieChell's FB fan page has over 500 "likes"! To celebrate, I'll be giving away 5(one for every 100) BlondieChell masks!!! These are hand-crafted, adult-sized BlondieChell replica masks that you can use to recreate the adventures of BlondieChell, or create your own adventures!!! Check my BlondieChell tab for some of my awesome adventures, or peruse the blog to find one!
    To enter, just wait for the rafflecopter form to load, then follow the instructions ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 This giveaway will be open for one week-this means that by next Monday, I'll announce the winners!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

*More* Crazy Things I Do While Running

Apparently, after I make a list, more things add...and the more I run, the more crazy things I, here's *More* Crazy Things I Do While Running:

1. Practice my ki (it's a yelling thing you do in the martial art of Kendo)
2. Narrate the "Adventures of BlondieChell" ("there she goes up the hill...running faster....faster.....")
3. High-five random weeds
4. Learn new things (check out my Things I've Learned While Running tab)
5. Tried to race a bike on a parallel path...apparently they're faster.
6. Scream...and yell things like, "OH MY GOSH" as I jump out of the path of fellow runners, cyclists and hikers...
7. Scramble to keep myself from falling off a mountain (totally jumped to the wrong side of the path. oops).
8. Wear a crocheted beard (attached to a crocheted hat. Works sooooo much better than my baklava)
9. Text. Yes. Dangerous? Yes. Important? Sometimes....I only text while running when, "Hey Hun, can you have So-and-so ready to go out the door? I'm running late (literally running)" or, "Can you call 911 for me? I've got a mountain lion chasing me. Ty."
10. Take pictures of dead things....



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Guest Posting Over At Pointing Up!!!

                 Today I am guest posting over @ Pointing Up. Last month I won a free sponsor spot from Dalayna on FaceBook and she offers her sponsors guest post spots!!!! So, here I am posting over at her blog today!!!  Come on over & read all about my expectations (or lack there of)!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Trash...Is It All Bad??

      Trashcans are a necessary commodity in our society.  Just about every American house-hold has one.  If you don't have a dog, whatever you can't recycle goes in one.  But ours is causing some problem...  Apparently I have a slight issue with trash pickers.... No, I'm not talking about wild animals, or even strangers... I'm referring to my own flesh and blood...
     I have no recollection (or photographic proof) that Josiah used to dig in the trash.  However, Amber did it (she has stopped this unlady-like behavior), and Malachi now continues the trend.....since this profession is obviously unsanitary and gross, I've been racking my brain with ways to deal with it (apparently "no" only applies to things other than trash picking), so, I developed a list....

Ways to keep children from digging in the trash:
1. Booby-trap it (though this could prove scarring for any unsuspecting adults)
2. Paint vegetables on the lid (this would still keep Amber away from it)
3. Taser???
4. Eat from the trash in front of them (beware-this may also encourage the behavior)
5. I'm back to "booby-trap"
6. Duct-tape their hands together
7. Retractable leash-let them get within a fingertip's reach, then ::yank::
8. Hide the trashcan (but...then I might forget where it is....)
9. know-you touch the lid & something pops out & scares the snot out of you...Hubby would hate me forever....

                                            Amber- @ 2 years old

                                          Malachi-about 2 months ago....

What are your ideas??

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Another Chance to Win a BlondieChell Mask!!!

       I've signed up to be a sponsor in Treasured Forever {Photography. Props. & More} s *Hugenormical* 5000 Fan Giveaway!!! Yup, that means *another* chance to win you very own BlondieChell mask!!! (You too can have adventures like BlondieChell!!!!)  First you must go here: (click me) and comment "agreed", then just click on over here  (The Rafflecopter Link) and enter the rafflecopter!!!! Her giveaway is over when she reaches 50000 fans, so let's show her page some love!!!

      Want another chance to win a BlondieChell mask?? When my FB fan page ( La Vida de Blondie Chell ) hits the 500 fans mark, I'll be hosting another mask giveaway here!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Things I've Learned....About Anthills....While Running

            So I'm starting this new series that you can find under the "Things I've Learned While Running" tab on my homepage ;) It's about things I learn while running....
           See, some people see running as a loathsome form of exercise, and other than endorphins, stress relief and good cardiovascular heath, others see no benefit at all. But that's because they are not me!
             Aside from only being able to hear my own ragged breathing, watching my footfalls (sharp rocks, anyone??), and listening for silent attackers (my imagination continually haunts me), I've also discovered that I can actually learn things while running. Most of these things are nature-related (duh) but who knows what I'll learn next??
             One of my recent epiphanies is that "where anthills are, grass does not grow".  I don't know the exact reason for this, but I'm guessing it's because of how close to the surface the ants burrow, leaving no room for grass's roots (it also makes the most sense).
            I noticed this phenomena on one of my recent jaunts by a trail that is next to a field. There were *tons* of ant hills (in the field and on the trail) and you could see where they were because it looked like the grass had been purposefully cleared. Interesting. No sneak attacks from the ants now!

                                See?? Clearing around it...

                              Large Anthill...for those who've never seen one before ;)

(See?? Running is educational too!)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mortified During Math...

          Soooooo......if you've been following me for a while, you'd know that I started "back to school" this past summer to get my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE).  The Bible college I graduated from was not accredited (and on hiatus for now) so non of my Gen Eds credits counted. I took a magical Accuplacer test when I enrolled in C(olorado)M(ountain)C(ollege). I was sooooo good that I basically tested out of all the remedial stuff. However, I am taking a remedial math course so I can combine it w/another one in order to skip going through a harder one.
          Most of my classes are online, however, a friend convinced me to take this one on campus since it's math.  Last Monday was class #2...
          Class started off with roll-call, and after I answered, the prof tapped his pen into his forehead kind of like he was saying, "Oh, great....Her...." Though this sort of bothered me, I grew even more bothered... A few minutes into class, there was a tough question that momentarily puzzled I furrowed my brow...and formed my face into a quizzical "huh?" which immediately caused the teacher to point to me and say, "Don't do that!" (Again, "huh?")
           I didn't want to get in trouble during class by whispering, or passing notes to my neighbor , so I decided to write a note to myself. Kind of like a journal. But on my math notes. In my open notebook that nobody could read.  Soon after I started this trend, the prof wrote a mathematical equation on the board and asked us to solve it. While my head was down working out the super-complex problem { (x+2)(x+8) }, he came around to check our work! And apparently my note!

It reads, "got 'yelled at' in class for furrowing my brow...guess he's concerned about me gettin' wrinkles. -do my brows furrow randomly? If I write to myself, aren't I just talking to myself, but on paper? *also, after teacher roll-called me, he tapped his pen on his forehead. What?!? Also..."

                      I was MORTIFIED!!!! After reading what must've been part of it, he says, "That makes me feel sad." I retorted, "Well, you made me feel sad!" and.....then I just sat my adult remedial math class...later I found out that no one else heard/understood the transaction, but I was soooo embarrassed. Things have been a little awkward since then....Oh, to finish my math test now!

Monday, September 24, 2012

I've Created A Monster..

       Our family has a few "rituals" that we do when we tuck the kids into bed. This includes a series of kiss-nuzzle-hugs that the older two understand. Malachi hears the word "hug" or "nuzzle" or "kiss" and goes in for a kiss (it's cute, but I like my nuzzles & hugs too). Yesterday I decided to play with him by naming different actions, executing them, then repeating the action to see what he would do. Apparently the "head bonk" was his fav.
        It has come to my realization that not all of my children's collective actions can be deemed "normal". That's okay. What's not okay though, is one of them finding humor in something that causes pain. When Daddy came home, I tried the "head bonk" again to see if Malachi remembered it. He did. However, he enjoyed it so much that he insisted on continuing to do it. Again. And again. Needless to say, Tylenol was my best friend last night.
          Have you ever had the full weight of a child's head repeatedly bash you in your forehead? And it didn't matter if I wasn't looking-the head bonk came anyways. Poor kid-Mommy teaches him something, he learns it, then Mommy tells him to stop.....I mean, I don't mind one head bonk here and there (sometimes I have the urge to randomly head-butt hubby), but more than two in a row can become painful...I just couldn't believe that it didn't seem to hurt him! And seriously, this kid's head is big for his age-if you stuck him in a room with 10 little boys his age, his head would be the biggest. And apparently hardest....
         Don't laugh. When's the last time you tried something that failed miserably? (Although, I guess I really succeeded because he not only remembered the action, but he could continuously execute it). I'm just hoping this knowledge leaves his head when he wakes up.........

                           See??? Big.....

Monday, September 17, 2012

To My Fellow Runners & Cyclists...

Dear Fellow Runners & Cyclists,
       While I appreciate the courtesy you lend by shouting "ON YOUR LEFT!" (or vise-versa), I would like to make you aware of a few things...
        First, when one is running (without media plugged into their ears), their ears are usually filled with the sounds of nature, their feet pounding the ground....and cray-loud echoes of air being inhaled and exhaled. The last thing a runner is thinking about is "Oh, wait-is there someone trying to pass me?"
        Next on my short agenda is the fact that when you sneak up behind someone only to yell in their ear as you pass by, you scare them. This behavior paralyzes the runner to the point of short-term amnesia. "Which side's my left?", "Oh, no! Bushes!", "Wait...what??" As you can imagine, this can only lead to the runner (whom you are supposedly trying to help stay safe by letting them know which side you are passing on) being disoriented and possibly injured (did you watch that last person you passed fall off the cliff? No. You didn't. You just breathed a sigh of relief when they moved out of your way).
         The last thing I would like to draw your attention to is the fact that what you are doing (no matter how "polite" it may seem) is just plain rude! When is the last time you were in Wal*Mart and shouted, "On your left!" to the person right in front of you? Exactly....if you wouldn't do it while you are walking, why would you do it when running or cycling? 
            Continue to chew on these facts the next time you're out trolling along and want to pass someone. What's the big deal about just following them? Slow down your pace to keep everyone safe ;)
                         Thank you for your cooperation,
                                  ~BlondieChell (the blonde chick running super-slow)

*Disclaimer: this post is bathed in sarcasm & intended for laughs only. I love my fellow runners & cyclists.
**Right after I wrote this, I almost slid off a mountain due to one of these encounters, thus proving my point, lol

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thomas the Tank Engine In Golden, CO (Part II)

            Saturday we had an exciting time @ A Day Out With Thomas @ the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, CO!!!! (Okay, we had an exciting time after we actually *got there*-we live 3 hours away and were running waaaaaaay late). The last time the kids & I were on a train was two Novembers ago in Strausburg, PA (Malachi was just couldn't see him yet).  They haven't been on one since because's too expensive 2.we live too far way (Golden is over 3hrs!). This may have been hubby's first train ride *ever* and it was nice & simple. The engine didn't go as fast as the one in Strausburg, but we didn't go for the Thomas days, either.
           We arrived just in time to board (our tickets were for the final boarding time) so we didn't get much time to look around before hand, but there were all kinds of activities and things for the kids to see afterwards, including a petting zoo! I think entrance into the museum (and yard) is free on the  Day Out With Thomas days because we only needed tickets for the train.

   When we boarded (the Thomas engine pulled open cars), there was lively music from Thomas & friends, and the conductor really played up the Thomas act!

  the boys watching things go by....

                                  I thought this one turned out pretty cool....

                                   Josiah loves trains!!!

A Water Tower!

Amber had fun too!

            The kids really enjoyed riding the train (it went around the museum track 3xs). Afterwards, we wandered around checking out which events were still open. Sadly, we missed seeing Sir Topham Hat because we were too late, but we were able to watch a Thomas the Train miniature set go around tracks and small set-up of Sodor. 

watching Thomas & his friends on a miniature track...

Malachi pointing....

pointing to more stuff....

 SO much fun!!!!

                   The petting zoo was still open, so the kids & hubby went inside....

There was a small petting zoo.....

 I took pics from outside while waiting for something epic to happen...

             We let the kids play in a tent that had sooooooo many Thomas & Friends train tables!!! There were wooden track sets, lego ones, and even more set up on tables!!! Afterwards, we checked out the other trains & track at the museum, including the roundhouse with a working turn table!!!!

 Josiah knocking on the roundhouse door

working turn-table

JR says this is a car made into a train...

taking a short-cut under the barriers....

               Later, we headed home.....we had so much fun on our Day Out With Thomas that we can't wait to do this again next year!!!!

*Disclaimer: I was given free tickets for our family to attend this event on Saturday. All opinions are my own. I am receiving no other compensation.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thomas the Tank Engine In Golden, CO (Part I)

     I am soooooo excited about Saturday!! We are getting free tickets to ride Thomas the Train in Golden, Colorado!!! I had no idea there was a Thomas car so close to where we live! I know the Strassburg Railroad in Pennsylvania has one they store (or lend out?), but I had no idea Thomas traveled! (duh, Michelle. If you have trains, why not make a popular one for the kiddos??)
     Thomas the Train is a popular character in our household, and so are his friends. The kids have a wooden train track that they play with, and of course Thomas cars & all (okay, some...and some are another brand...) his friends!!!
    Thomas will be visiting the  Colorado Railroad Museum  in Golden, CO for a Mystery On the Rails Tour!!! We'll get to meet Sir Topham Hatt (controller of the railway)and participate in activities for the whole family including arts and crafts, storytelling, video viewing, petting zoo and live music!!! The kids will be sooooooo excited!!!!
    "When is Thomas coming??" you ask. He will be at the museum the following Saturdays & Sundays in September: 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23. It looks like you can purchase tickets for rides starting at 8:30am and the last one is 4:45pm on these dates. The Colorado Railroad Museum's website has all the details!! If you're planning on going, you have to get your tickets soon! This event fills up fast!!! (Tickets are $18 for ages 2 on up.)
       Join us as we join Thomas on the rails!!!!

*Disclaimer: I have been given free tickets for our family to attend this event on Saturday. All opinions are my own. I am receiving no other compensation.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Amber Almost Didn't Turn 4!

    For those of you who are frequent readers, you are aware that my daughter is blonder than most. (I'm just not sure where she gets it) Last weekend, she had a tea-party sleep-over for a few friends to celebrate. What could be more fun than dressing up and eating cookies, right?? Well, no one got injured or died, so I would say it was a success! The kids woke up, opened Amber's presents, then had toaster strudels for breakfast (yes, sugar, sugar, sugar.....but they were headed home to their parents by now ;)
     We went to church, then took Amber to the toy store to pick out another present (they send birthday coupons!!!). After throwing an incredibly unbelievable tantrum because I wouldn't let her eat her lollipop till after lunch, we left and went to Burger King. I don't know why she chose this place since the last time we were there (just a few weeks ago), she got stuck in the slide/tunnel thing (it's also the only fast-food place within an hour that has a play-place) and started crying. After they had finished their food, Josiah pushed Malachi around in the highchair (highchair + wheels = fun for all!), then he helped Malachi up the steps to the tunnel/slide, which meant one of us (adults) had to go and get him before he got stuck or hurt. We raced. And fought. I won.
      After chasing Malachi around in the tunnel, I hoisted him up to the slide. I went down head first. I do not recommend that. Going down head-first gives you the impression that there are more twists and turns than what really exists. Can we say "dizzy"??
     Later that evening, we had more of Amber's  friends over for cake and icecream. (Someone needs to stop me from decorating cakes. Or give me a lesson. Oh, heeeeeeyyyy....I wonder if there are youtube tutorials...) This did not go as planned because when everyone arrived, Amber was still finishing her dinner (she takes tiny she takes forever to eat). Eventually, it was time for cake. JR lit the candles (fire and sharp objects are not safe in Michelle's hands) and I held it at the table in front of Amber as we all sang. There were about six candles on the cake (five were decorative, then one was the number four) and she proceeded to randomly blow them out. This started out successfully... until her hair caught fire.
        Since my natural reaction is verbal panic, that's what I did. "AAAAAAAHHHHHH!"   "AAAAAAAHHHHHH!" I yelled. This, in turn, caused her to panic. I think I yelled something about fire (did I mention my reaction time is delayed? quick I am not.) and her hair being on fire. I also had more fire (candles still lit) and a huge cake in front of me, so I didn't get up. Though there were other adults witnessing this fiasco, none of them immediately jumped in to help (did I mention I was the only (adult who saw it happen? Sure, others heard crackling and smelled smoke, but I get the memory of flames.....) Later I asked hubby how the fire was extinguished, because I couldn't remember how it was put out. He tells me that when Amber panicked, her hand slapped at her hair, putting it out. Then she had some charred, black hair. Thankfully it hadn't spread too far, so it wasn't that noticeable. Instead of being a nice mommy, (still under the adrenaline influence), I was yelling at her to blow out the rest of her candles while she was crying. Thankfully there were saner adults in the room, one of whom took her & comforted her until she stopped crying (after all her candles were extinguished, of course).
          Talk about exciting! Unfortunately, the designated photographer missed catching a pic of flaming hair, but here's "Before and "After" pics:

                            Here we are lighting the cake:

BEFORE Amber catches fire
    AFTER Amber's been extinguished...note the tears (and baby that appeared afterwards...thankfully *afterwards*

The cake....someone, please stop me from decorating!!!