Page to stage

We went to the library this morning to see a Page to Stage performance of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Jack traded his cow for some magic beans, but the beanstalk led him to a giant’s castle filled with books!

His mother was glad for the beans, they had food to eat; Jack was glad for the books to read, his mother found out how to pan for gold and they got rich and Jack convinced the giant to open the Golden Goose library so that everyone could take a book to read. We went by our library on the way home and checked out some awesome books and put some books on hold.

Bethany was at home working on science, english and history. Here is a link to Bethany’s history paper. Grace finished up her math for the semester, which she started 2 months ago, now we have to figure out what we’ll do come September when regular on-line semester classes start. Co-op classes started posting today, I only did 4, our summer was already filling up and I don’t want to feel rushed. Mine are: Fan fiction writing (2 dates), Chatfield swim day and River clean up/tubing. I’ll save my other thoughts for the Fall.

Here is one pic of Hannah with her Grandma birthday money, yeah, I got a lot of 1′s for her.

Fun Friday

What could be more fun than writing spelling words, taking a math test and taking a science test? Eating lunch at Cafe 180 with Lola!

Lola treated us to lunch since she didn’t get to talk to the girls after the worship dance performance. We had a nice lunch and great conversation.

From there we headed to CORE to see Bethany’s art, it looks nice hanging there.


Some of the other art in the show and next door at Spark gallery.

(Upstream by Jana B.)

(Growth patterns by Marilee S.)

(Duct tape art by Annalee S.)

I dropped the girls off and went to the doc for my knee. It still hurts, turns out that it hurts because the bone spurs from my arthritis tore some of the meniscus. I knew that I had arthritis, it’s all over me from my neck to my knees, I didn’t know that I had bone spurs. So I got a shot and it feels better. I’m looking at adding fish oil and calcium pills to my daily regimen of BP med and glucosamine. But, the good news is that in a few days I won’t be able to feel any pain and I can get back to the gym!


You can read Bethany’s Storify argument against standardized tests by clicking on the link below.

It’s not a surprise that we perceive tests as not showing a complete picture of who my kids are as students. They are more than a test score, and they know it.

We’re about to head out to the library for pop-can art and then TNO. On a completely unrelated note, I found my former youth group pastor on-line and e-mailed him. Robert hasn’t changed, I mean sure he’s older and has less hair, but he’s still Robert. I had no trouble recognizing him in a current picture. He’s doing a very cool thing, traveling around the globe spreading kindness – who couldn’t use more of that? He’s such a sweet guy, he led our youth group on missions trips, he took us cool place, listened to us, hugged us and tried to impart knowledge as a youth pastor (which is a really hard job, your congregation is hard-headed teens!) But, I think he did a great job, I’m so glad I found him, we have a lot to catch up on.


Bethany finished up some essays on financial literacy and financial planning for advisory class and then went to work on her history assignment, an essay comparing propaganda posters. It was an eye opening assignment, looking at this poster (if I were German) I would believe that America was coming to destroy my city (the bomb on the leg), that they were two-faced hypocrites (KKK hat and noose when we say ‘All men are created equal’) and that liberty was not their goal. The Jitterbug and record seem a little silly, it’s as if we are going to make them listen to Big Band and do a silly dance if we win.


Another poster that many have seen, American propaganda to encourage women to come fill the spaces that men left vacant and fight for them in the factory.


The German poster was an eye-opener and we spent time looking though other Axis and Allied powers propaganda posters, after all, we usually only see the posters for the country that we live in. Bethany thought the military posters reminding sailors and all military men to not engage in…loose women was interesting. Some of them were rather offensive, but the message was clear – you can’t fight for victory when you are down with an STD.

Here are some more, for Germany.



Against Germany.



For the US.


Against Germany.



Against Japan.



For Japan.



For the US.



Now we’re off to dress rehearsal.

Bluff lake

We found out this morning that Grace’s fish art won 2nd place for CO.

That was a cool thing to start the morning with. We did school, ate lunch and headed to Bluff lake for my geocache co-op. My GPS was worthless, so others tried their GPS app on their smart phone, which worked too well. We found caches, but not the ones the park hid for the bird hike.

So, we ended up just walking around the lake and looking at the birds.

We passed by the prairie dog town and the dogs were on high alert because a hawk was cruising for a snack.

We saw some pretty flowers, a kestrel, ducks, blackbirds, robins, egrets and hawks.

We found quite a few nests, this one was empty.

We’ll have to find a GPS app and go back and look for the caches we didn’t find, still it was a nice hike. It started off cloudy, then sunny, then a thunderstorm rolled in just as we were leaving.

I’m making sweet potato chorizo lasagna for dinner. Here is the recipe, it looks good.

Sweet Potato-Chorizo Lasagna

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs.)
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 7 1/2 ounce links uncooked chorizo sausage
12 dried lasagna noodles*
Olive oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For sweet potato sauce, place sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven; cool. Peel; discard skin. Transfer to a food processor. Add milk, lime juice, and cumin. Cover; process until smooth. Set aside.

In a large skillet, break up chorizo with a wooden spoon and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until cooked through (160 degrees F). Remove from heat. Drain fat; set chorizo aside.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions or until tender, but still firm (al dente). Drain; rinse with cold water. Drain well.

Drizzle bottom of a 3-qt. rectangular baking dish with olive oil. Arrange 3 noodles in a single layer atop oil. Spread with one-fourth of the sweet potato mixture. Spoon with one-fourth of the chorizo over sweet potato mixture. Sprinkle with one-fourth of the green onion and cilantro. Top with one-fourth of the cheese. Repeat layers. Cover with a piece of parchment brushed with olive oil, coated side down; seal tightly with foil.

Bake 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 5 minutes more or until cheese is golden brown and mixture is bubbly. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.

New tires, English papers, dance

I am a fan of Discount Tire. They rotate my tires for free, they change flats (just not at 1:30 in the morning.) They have put 4 new tires on my car for the cost of replacement certificates, they rock. Today I got two new tires, one tire to replace the one that was way too damaged to repair and one tire to replace the other front tire that was pretty worn. Since I was nowhere near the mileage on those tires, I got a pro-rated tire, a free tire and bought two more replacement certs all for $80. I don’t know how much money those warranties and certs have saved me, but they are well worth the $15.

Here is a link to Bethany’s paper for English. It’s about homelessness in Denver. She put a lot of work into that paper and it’s only worth 40 points, I think her History research paper is worth 100 (to compare.) Grace and Hannah only did reading, I was at the tire shop for 2 hours and since we didn’t get to sleep till almost 3am, I let them sleep in (because today is the last day of dance!)

The week: Tues. – Play at the park with friends, drum circle, youth group.
Wed. – co-op birding geo-cache and hike.
Thurs.- Bottom braces for Bethany, ESI co-op at Lookout.
Fri. – Dress rehearsal for Grace and Hannah.
Sat. – Recital!
Sun. – Mom’s day!

Fun Friday

The girls went to bed late, but I guess they got enough sleep because when their guest left they got right to work. Bethany had 2 Scantron tests to take, the kind that keeps going the more you get right, she hates those. Grace had to write math answers to 4 tests by hand, they wanted to see the math ‘worked out’. I could tell she was still a bit tired though, some of her numbers were backwards. I looked over Bethany’s english paper and then the girls went to the park and I went to get my hair cut. I had the lady cut out my layers and trim my long bangs (we were wondering where that word came from, it doesn’t really describe hair that falls across your forehead. Turns out it has the same etymology as the word ‘bang’ from the Vikings which means a loud noise. In the 1800′s the word also meant a sudden movement, as in the clipping of shears to remove hair across the forehead, at the time called a ‘bang-off’.)

We dropped Bethany’s art at the gallery, here are the finished pics.

We ate dinner at Pho and then headed into the library for The Sound of Music. The girls had never seen the movie before, well, not the whole movie.

I think they had seen snippets and they had heard ‘Doe, a deer’ and ‘These are a few of my favorite things’ before. Hannah was asking if the movie was B&W, I said no, but I reminded her that she did like the Buster Keaton silent movie and it was B&W. All the girls love to sing, so I thought they’d like the movie just for that. As usual, I was right. They loved the movie, the songs and it was fun watching the movie with an audience. There were members of the Central City Opera there to help us with the singing and words on the screen too. It was funny when they showed the Latin words the nuns were singing in the abbey, everyone started laughing and we all sang the Amen. We booed at the baroness and clapped for Maria, it was a fun night. Since we were so close and it was a nice night, we headed over to Littleman’s and waited in the line for ice cream. We studied the flavors carefully and waited to see if any ran out during our wait. Luckily, they were not out of fluffernutter or churro. I would have gotten the churro, it was full of cinnamon and churro clusters, but the ice cream guy said that they make that flavor for La Loma, so I could always get it there. What I couldn’t get just anytime was the fluffernutter (peanuts, peanut butter, vanilla ice cream and marshmallow fluff), so I got that one. Everyone else got churro.

That was a fun night!


I meant to take a picture of Bethany’s art before it went further… is the base of mod-podged dictionary pages and water color.

Here are the zen-tangled hands.

I should have taken a pic of those when there was less stuff on them, they look different as they get more drawn in. Here are the letters for the words ‘you are more’.

It’s art based on a song based on a message – You are more than words, you are more than the sum of your past mistakes, you are more than the problems you create. We’re going to drop it off tomorrow night before heading to the library for a Sound of Music sing-a-long. I’ll take better pics of it before we drop it off.

James was home today, they were moving things around in his office space, so we got to go to lunch with him. The girls did all of their school work so a friend could come over to play. Bethany dropped her history paper intro. and conclusion and her english paper rough draft in their respective dropboxes on-line, finished one Coursera class and watched videos for the other. She’s way ahead in school, but the earlier you’re done, the more time you have to write and read.


Still very windy here, which makes it hard to take pictures of flowers, but I tried. Bethany worked on her english paper and did some history and science. Grace wrote her poem and did 3 math quizzes, Hannah worked on history, her poem and spelling. Today was the last day of our ‘poem-a-day’ prompts. The girls did almost all of the prompts, I think they only missed one or two. Here are today’s.

30. Write a poem about yourself in the third person (as if you were writing about someone else).

She loves otters.
She went to CMA
and saw Cooper the otter.
She thought he was cute.

She loves whales so much
she has them all over
her house.
Her desk is full of whales,
Orcas, humpbacks, belugas and dolphins.
Her room is full of pictures
of cetaceans.
She sure loves whales.

She runs her
fingers through
her hair
her way through
a Mario game.

She is always on the go
racing to and fro,
she seems to have
all her ducks in a row.
School is never hard to do,
her children behave
and never fight.
Her house is clean,
a pretty sight.
But you don’t see the dust bunnies
under the chair,
the tangled hair,
the pokes and prods
to get school done.
You don’t see the worry lines,
the beating heart
that trips and scurries,
as she hurries.
Her life is not perfect,
but she knows that
and wears out knees
asking for help
from a God who sees.

I ran some errands and checked out 3 more parks for park day and found one that will be great for the dog days of summer (it has a creek!) I bought come sticky rice for the girls (I was near Ba Lee) and went to Hudson gardens to pick up my blanket I left there. I decided to walk around there rather than the canal, more flowers to take pics of.

Laziest goose ever, it was sitting and eating at the same time.

Red robin.


Oh, today’s poem was not only easy, but I got to use my new favorite word – ephemeral. (It means short-lived, transitory.) We went to the cafe’ for lunch, but the MOA was closed, they open with their new exhibit on Sat. night, so I guess I know where we will be that night. School was done, papers worked on, spelling words written and books read.

29. Write a poem that incorporates at least three senses.

Cheesecake tastes good
and so do bananas and cheese.
I like looking at pictures
that are pretty.
Music tickles
my ears.

I feel the breeze
blowing through my hair,
birds of blue flock to the trees
‘Tweet, chirp,’ they say to me.

I touch the
wonderfully cold
blue water
and see the waves
ripple the surface.
I smell the
salty breeze in
the air
and feel calmness
take over.

Summer feels hot on my skin.
Rays of sun infiltrate the spaces
between the leaves and
like a laser they attack -
making me run to the river
to cool off in icy water
that roars past boulders.
Summer is fat blackberries
and sugary lemonade,
water that tastes like algae
and coconut sun lotion
invading my nostrils.
Summer is lambs wool clouds
and deep green forests,
dusty trails
and ephemeral mountain streams.

Bethany’s paper comparing art from the Renaissance, Industrial revolution and Contemporary time periods is coming along. She found this site and it has a great video that hits some key points in Renaissance art.

Tomorrow is another cold, windy day here.