A Group Of Stahrs

Our Family Life…All Together

Archive for the category “Adventures”

Ten On Tuesday

1.  While in Pennsylvania in May, I took some pictures of my nephew and his wife.  I was so excited with how they turned out.  I wanted to wait until they were able to see them before posting some here.  Here are a few of my faves…

IMG_0003Kelsey has a gorgeous smile (and everything else is gorgeous too but you can’t help but smile when she smiles).  And then there’s Jonathon.  He’s my oldest nephew.  I’m pretty proud to say that he is my nephew and that he married such a great lady.  I’m not even sure what they were laughing at in this next picture but it makes my heart swell to see it…IMG_0007They had some inside joke, just between the two of them.  It reminds me of Jeremiah and I.  Every time he wants to make me smile or laugh, he knows just what to say.  No one else would think his joke is funny but me and that’s the funny part.  It’s our little secret.  IMG_0020I told Jonathon to pick Kelsey up and kiss her.  He didn’t even hesitate.  And he did it with such ease, of course.  I tried not to puke in my mouth from all the love…hard for an Auntie to watch…IMG_0024But they do love each other.  Very much.  It’s nice to see how much they adore each other.  Thanks for letting me take some pictures of you two!

2.  Ring dance was last week.  It was my third time going to it.  Jeremiah had it easy.  He gets to wear the same thing and he still looks handsome.  I ordered a dress on Amazon and when it arrived, it was not the correct size.  So I sent it back and had to scramble to find another.  And since I had to scramble, I had to go with a dress that was way out of my comfort zone.  But I guess it’s not too bad for almost 14 years of marriage and 15 years from the original ring dance…


Thanks for watching the kids for us again, Dad.  I know they had fun!

3.  Jeremiah had his change of command ceremony last week.


I think we did a collective sigh when it was over.  No more “buzz, buzz” from the blackberry in the middle of the night.  YAY!

4.  This is what you do after giving back command…


It was well-earned.

5.  Jacob had a playdate with his little girlfriend to say goodbye…


I love that he blushed for the picture.

6.  The girls had their besties over today.  No pictures for the cool kids apparently.  I mean, really, what tween will let their parent take a picture?  And what 9-year-old doesn’t follow their big sister?

7.  We did get to relax from all the packing.  We did a few ‘smores over the fire pit…


I’m so glad my kids are still fond of each other.

8.  Sunday we started to pack the things we are moving ourselves.  It broke my heart to pull down all the pictures.  Those who have been here know I proudly display my family/friends and there were a lot of pictures.  Jeremiah spent most of today loading the Uhaul.  It’s almost full and we still have things to put in there.  I hope we do not exceed the weight limit!

9.  The kids helped a little throughout the last few days putting things into boxes and getting this ready for movers to handle.  Jacob was saying “see ya later” to some of his friends…


10.  The movers arrive tomorrow with 5 people to pack our things.  We were allotted 2 days for the packing and one day to load the truck to pull it out.  But the lady who scheduled us said they would probably be finished packing our things in one day.  Friday they drive away.  *sigh*

The Graduation

On Tuesday, May 21, the kindergarten class had a music/promotion ceremony.  It was at the end of the school day and Jacob was just so excited about the whole thing.  He went to bed Monday night stating “After tomorrow, I will be a first grader”.  *Sigh*  This year has gone by so fast.  And he has enjoyed every bit of kindergarten.

He even wanted to wear a button shirt for his special day.  Those who know Jacob know how big that is.  He also decided he was going to wear slacks instead of jeans and his “date shoes”!  So he went to school dressed rather handsome and we joined him in the afternoon for his promotion ceremony.

When the curtain opened the kids were under strict instruction to not wave at their parents because they were big kids now and big kids don’t do that.  Maybe 2 or 3 kids actually waved!  Jacob just gave me a big smile.

IMG_0001The kids performed a few songs based on nursery rhymes with a bit of a twist.  For example one of their songs was titled “Gettin’ Down with Mama Goose”.  They were jammin’ and singing their hearts out.  It was a great music program!


Then came the promotion part.  There are four kindergarten classes.  Jacob’s class was the last to call their students for their certificates.  The teachers also went in alphabetical order.  Jacob’s class was last to go and he happens to be the last name in the class.  So he was the last student called to accept his certificate.  Don’t worry about Jacob’s self-esteem.  He was cheering (loudly) for all his friends in his class and since he was last got a big round of applause from all the parents.

IMG_0034It actually fit that Jacob was called last.  It was like it was supposed to be that way.  He certainly didn’t mind!


The next day several people (including a couple of teachers) mentioned about how great Jacob was cheering on his friends.  I just smiled and said, “yep, that’s my son!”


We were able to get a picture of Jacob and his teacher (who taught her last year this year).  We hope you have a fabulous retirement, Mrs. Walker!

IMG_0042So now it’s official.  No more kindergarteners in this house.  Sniff, sniff.  Man, it’s hard growing up!  We love you , Little Man!!

The Wedding

On May 11, my nephew, Joey married his lovely girlfriend, Jenny.  They asked me to make their wedding cake.  So we went to Pennsylvania for a quick (and very busy) weekend trip.  The church was decorated…

IMG_0035and the sound man was doing his thing…

IMG_0036My littles dressed in their wedding best…

IMG_0037and us grownups too…(thanks Josh for snapping one of us)

IMG_0038The wedding began and this is what happened to my nephew when he saw his bride turn the corner to walk down the aisle…

IMG_0050My very favorite part of the whole ceremony was when they were reciting their vows.  They were holding hands and swaying while they were saying them.  It was pretty cute.  And there was the kiss too..

IMG_0060The only thing I asked for was that they let me take a picture of them with the cake.  And they obliged…


You can read about the cake and all the fun that went into that on the cake site.  We are so very happy for you Joey and Jenny!  Welcome to the crazy!


This month is turning out to be crazier than last month!  So here are a few of the things we’ve been busy with over the last few weeks.  First, Landsharks.  Jamie and Jacob ran the track series this year.  They had a blast!

Jacob ran the 400 meter.  I asked him why he kept turning his head when he passed someone.  He told me he said, “Sorry I passed you.” So every time he passes another kid, he apologized.  I told him he didn’t have to do that next time.  Here he is coming around the last corner…


and then to the finish.  His only goal was to not be last and he wasn’t!


Jamie was going to run the mile but fell on the track during warm ups and skinned her knee pretty badly.  So instead she ran the 800.  She was happy doing this distance.  Here she is running her first lap…


and then coming in to finish.  Again she just didn’t want to be last and she wasn’t.  Coach even finished it with her for support…


Their second meet was sprint night.  Jacob and Jamie were running at the same time but in different distances and there was no way to get pictures of both.  They had a blast with Landsharks.  I hope we can do something like it when we move!

Next up, music.  First Mazie had her final band concert.  I am so impressed with the band.  The woodwinds practice at a different time than the brass/drums.  They only play together on the concert night.  They really sounded good!  The sixth graders setting up their stands and music and Mazie notices that my camera is shooting…


With the them from StarWars, Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven, and Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water on the program, it was really something to see and hear.

Jamie also had a concert.  Her final choir concert was amazing.  We were jammin’ out to Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life and songs from the ’80s like We Are The World.  Jamie has really enjoyed choir.  These kids sang their hearts out and had a blast doing so.



You can really tell when a teacher enjoys his/her job.  The kids enjoy learning more from that teacher.  I know Mazie and Jamie have done better in school because of these teachers.

Lastly, SkySox.  While the event wasn’t the actual baseball game, it did take place at a SkySox game.  Jeremiah’s Group One going away party was fun.  We walked to the SkySox game and had dinner with the other AOCs/AMTs of Squadrons 1-10.  With 5 AOCs and the Group commander leaving, they decided to do a low-key type going away.   Each AOC received a guidon from their squadron from the group…


Jeremiah also received a gift from his AMT, Mason.  A straight jacket so he doesn’t forget that they have had dealings with all the mental facilities in Denver and Colorado Springs!  It’s a pretty cool gift…


And don’t think that this means we are slowing down.  There are lots more things going on the rest of this month and we were at a very special wedding last weekend but that needs its own post.  So until next time…

Pop Pop

I have so many pictures to share from Pop Pop’s two-week visit.  I’ll start at the beginning, of course.  He arrived and we celebrated his birthday (which happens to be the day before mine) but the kids insisted on a cake (pumpkin bundt with streusel filling and dark chocolate ganache drizzled on top) and singing.IMG_0004

But even before getting to the celebrating part, the kids were all over him.  I mean to say that we miss Pop Pop from visit to visit.  It’s usually very loud when the kids finally see him.  However, this time, Maxine even missed Pop Pop and had to get in a snuggle…IMG_0001

We had some fancy programs during those two weeks.  Jamie had a choral concert and Mazie had her first band concert.  They happened to be on the very same night.  BOO!  Since they were both having daytime performance, we decided to split up so everyone could see all the performances and all be happy.

First, Jamie’s concert.  I have to say that this was their best concert yet!  I was so impressed with their singing and dancing.  Every song brought tears to my eyes.  I could see the pride in their little faces.  Mrs. Chapman does such a great job with all 100+ students in the school choir.  This was Jamie’s Ursa Minor choir (the second and third graders)…IMG_0024

and the choir singing “The Snowman is a Showman”IMG_0027

We also did a few pre-performance photos of the girls…IMG_0014

and of course, with Pop Pop…IMG_0017

I went to Mazie’s daytime performance.  The bad thing about this was they didn’t have enough time to do their whole concert since they were sharing the assembly with the choir.  So I missed out on a lot of songs.  No worries though, I enjoyed the songs I did hear.IMG_0030

Can you spot Mazie?  She’s wearing a santa hat and is near a trumpet bell.  In the next picture you can see her under the band instructor’s left arm.  She played her heart out and worked very hard to learn these songs.  Mazie’s come a long way since August.  I am impressed with her.  She seems to have a knack for music and playing the flute.  My heart swells with how excited she is!IMG_0034

I have some seriously talented kids!  I love that they love music.

We took Pop Pop to the Safari of Lights at the Zoo for our “Christmas Eve” with him.IMG_0010

It was fun but we were quickly disappointed to find out that we could not get in to see Santa and Mrs. Claus.  I think I was more disappointed than the kids.  But we were able to see our new elephant barn (which was packed and my camera fogged up from going from cold to hot so no pictures) which had not only elephants but a new black rhino!  As disappointed as I was with the whole Santa thing, we were delighted in seeing the rest of the lights and the giraffes are always part of that…IMG_0016

This guy even posed for me with his tongue out and all…IMG_0019

So since that was Christmas Eve with Pop Pop, we had Christmas day the next day.  Makes sense!  We had caramel rolls for breakfast and then went to the gifts.  Stocking first…IMG_0025




If you needed to know, Jacob got an alarm clock that he desperately wanted (and despises because it’s so loud).  Jamie got cool purple drum sticks.  And Mazie received a big pack of colorful sharpies.  Then we went onto the big gifts…

Pop Pop went way overboard this year.  The kids received new iPads…IMG_0032

Pop Pop got a few picture gifts and some homemade mugs with the kids artwork displayed…IMG_0036

Jeremiah got a bunch of books from his list including a rare one he’s been looking for for sometime and some running shirts but I didn’t get a picture because I was too busy playing with my new lens…IMG_0049


To say the kids like their iPads is a bit of an understatement.  In fact, they like them so much that Pop Pop was left alone for the first time in two weeks!IMG_0054

Don’t feel bad for him, it didn’t last too long.  Jacob decided to share his new toy with Pop Pop and they watched a movie together…IMG_0064

We had a blast over the two weeks that Pop Pop was here.  We can’t wait to see him again!

Ten On Tuesday

1.  Today is my birthday.  It was such a wonderful day.

2  I received so many texts, cards, Facebook well-wishes.  I feel so blessed to have so many people wish me a happy birthday.

3.  Jeremiah took the day off of work to spend with me.  Well, he took the morning to make an angel food cake for me from scratch and then spend the rest of the day with me.  While he was busy in the kitchen I took advantage and went for a birthday manicure/pedicure!

4.  I got OPI The Spy Who Loved Me, in case you were wondering.  It’s red with gold sparkles.  Lovely!

5.  And doesn’t he look 0h-so-good preparing it…IMG_0002

I’m one lucky lady, folks!

6.  After we picked the kids up for school, I was treated to a special supper.  The kids behaved (which they typically do at a restaurant) and we enjoyed our meal unrushed.

7.  We came back home to have the oh-so-yummy-looking homemade angel food cake with chocolate fondue.  My wonderful family sang to me and I did get a picture or two with my cake…IMG_0012


8.  When I cut the cake, we found the middle wasn’t completely done.  So we couldn’t enjoy it.  In Jeremiah’s defense, angel food is one of the hardest cakes to make from scratch, especially at 6500 feet in altitude.  But it was the thought that counted and the kids and I were more than happy to continue dessert with the yummy chocolate fondue with marshmallows and pretzels.

9.  Jacob even announced mid-bite that it was the best birthday ever!  I have to agree with my little man.  It really was a great birthday.

10.  The kids gave me their homemade cards while we watched the train circle under the Christmas tree.  It was a wonderful way to end the day.  My three dozenth birthday (as my husband says) was such a fun day.

Happy Tuesday!

Hero Day

Today was Hero Day at school.  The teachers and students put on a little ceremony honoring the local firefighters, police, and military.  It was pretty special.  While walking into the school, I took a picture of the pinwheels for peace the students made…and the heroes vehicles…

The students sang a few songs with a slide show and special speakers.The kids all made homemade cards for the various heroes which they handed out as the heroes paraded around the school.Then the kids joined Dad in the reception area for some juice and cake.It was a special way to remember.

Board Break-A-Thon

Every year the U.S. Taekwondo Center raises money by breaking boards for local charities.  This year our goal is to raise $50,000 for the Memorial Hospital for Children.  The Board Break-A-Thon is on September 15.  If you are in the area and want to watch us break some boards, come to the City Auditorium (doors open at 9:30).  It’s a free event!  And for a small donation, you can break a board too, if you want to try it out.

So here’s the real deal.  Mazie, Jamie, and I are breaking 5 wooden boards each.  We are also competing between each other to see who can reach $200 first.  So far the girls have $25 each and I’m straggling behind with $10.

The break-a-thon has been so much fun in the past.  There are special demonstrations and some surprise guests.  There is also a silent auction.  I hear that Stahrs Cakes is donating a few goodies, in case you want to bid ;-)!

Ok so here’s how you donate…

1.  You can send a check (made out to Memorial Hospital for Children) and send it to us and we will make sure it gets to the break-a-thon.

2. You could send us cash.

3.  You could go online.  Just make sure you state who you are donating on behalf (like the girls or all of us specifically).  Also, if you can shoot me an email letting me know you have donated on our behalf that would be great.

On the website, the tax id # is listed, in case you need it.

Thanks, in advance, to those of you who donate.  We appreciate it and we will be having fun next Saturday breaking the boards!

The Big Dog Brag

Jeremiah and I thought it would be fun to sign up the whole family for a mud run.  There happened to be one close to our house that was kid friendly.  The Big Dog Brag was the name of the event.  We opted for the 2k so the kids could do it with us.  They were all so excited about doing an obstacle course.  Jacob was the one who was hesitant at first about the whole thing.  He was so worried that the mud would be just too much.  It wasn’t until after I told him that we were supposed to end up very muddy at the end of the race that he started getting excited.

Here is a before picture of the clean kids…I have to say it was a long 1.25 mile.  It was a hot, sunny day.  There were so many people doing the run that we ended up waiting in line as most of the obstacles.  It was the first year and there were a few kinks that I’m sure will be smoothed out before next year’s race.  We had so much fun though.  Our first obstacle was a mud slide.  Jamie and I went down together, holding hands, because I was the chicken.  We ended up so filthy and muddy.  It was awesome.  I washed my hair three times before I felt like the mud was completely out!

Our filthy family…And our no longer running shoes…We really did have a great time.  It is something we will be doing again!


The post is about the rest of our summer since we only have two months before schools starts.  July 4th was kind of uneventful due to the fires.  Firework shows were cancelled so I tried to celebrate with the kids.  I made star-shaped sandwiches for lunch…I dipped some ice cream sandwiches in some patriotic sprinkles and the kids thought it was pretty cool (pun totally intended) ;-)!Jeremiah and I celebrated 13 years of marriage (and 17+ years of dating, 3 kids, 2 dogs, 3 different states, many memories and lots to look forward to) with a night out for just the two of us.  I love you, Jeremiah!The kids had lots of time to play in the sprinklers this summer with it being so hot most of the time.  I love this picture.  Jacob typically stays out of the water just enough so he can really get his sisters soaked…the little stinker…We also took a day to go to the Denver zoo.  It was a nice sunny (but very hot) day.   Jacob blurted out the differences between Bactrian and dromedary camels and noted that while they were not full of water the Bactrian camel has a B with two humps and the dromedary has only one hump. Mazie and Jamie thought this looked like the giraffes were out at recess or on a lunch break at school…The kids were really looking forward to seeing the polar bear and the flamingos.  The polar bear was sleeping in the shade of a corner in his little cave so he was kind of a disappointment.  The flamingos were a hit though…On a crafty day, the kids decided to try their hand at papier-mache.  They wanted to make bowls.  So Jeremiah blew up a few balloons and the kids went to work…

The bowls took a few days to dry but the kids were pleased with their handiwork.

July wasn’t full of things for us to do.  Instead it was a nice relaxing month of lots of family time.  Just what we needed before school started!

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