Sunday, September 4, 2016

Summer is over.

And just like that, our summer is over.

I swear this summer went by so much faster than previous summers. I mean, yes, all summers go by quickly and that's mainly because it's play time with the warm weather, pool time and frequent BBQs but goodness! This summer, we basically blinked and now it's September. However, we can't complain, it was an awesome three months filled with new adventures, catching up with good friends and visiting with family.

The month of August was a little more low key since all of our vistors came during the month of July but it was still a very busy month as far as work. My hair bow business had me extremely busy by lining the most clips yet. I've officially broke my record and my poor little fingers hurt. "Haulin' with the Oats" has now become a sweat shop. Chris was kept busy in the office of the rafting company helping those last minute vacationers with their trips. This family is definitely ready for a good ole road trip. We leave tomorrow.. heck ya!

August definitely left us with some awesome memories.

We hiked our first 14er.. Mount Huron. That was an extremely rough trail while tagging along 3 kiddos who didn't really want to do it to begin with... Not when they found out how cold it was at the trailhead at least. Overall, they did well. We came prepared with plenty of candy, sweets and snacks but it was still touch and go. Next year, Chris and I will hike another one but leave our pumkins behind. Not gonna lie, 14ers are hard enough for adults let alone 6, 8, and 11 year olds. The views  were gorgoeous but those switchbacks were a beast. Plus, we did it in honor of my amazing brother, Sgt Paul Dumont Jr., who gave his life for our freedom.

The kids went rafting a handful of times while I paddleboarded and Chris kayaked. Chris was also able to take the kids down the river in an oar raft for the first time. It was a completely new experience for him but he managed quite well. He also managed to dislocate his shoulder.. AGAIN. That right there was the kicker to the end of season. Plus, my board has a hole still which means we'll be ready for next river season for sure.

Other than that, it was defintely a month filled with lots of work. We have to work hard to play hard and in a week, we'll do just that.

We hope all you had an awesome summer and that your school year is all starting off great!! Roadschool here we come! Happy and safe travels to all.


Visiting with my family from Virginia. 
Penny Arcades in Manitou Springs

Eating at Prost in Frisco. One of our favorite places.

The river life is a good life. 

Sandboarding at the Great Sand Dunes National Park

Stopping by the UFO watch tower on our way home from the sand dunes. Odd place but interesting. 

Hiking at Cottonwood Pass. Elevation - 12,500 at the top. 

Hanging out with Chris' Family in Denver and around town in Buena Vista.

Playing at the splash park in BV and Cottonwood Lake.

Hitting the river with our good friend, Bernardus. 

Hiking our first 14er.. Mount Huron.

Chillin' at the Rafting Company.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July Happenings.

Like I mentioned in the previous post, July would be a busy month full of visitors and traveling. It hasn't disappointed in the least. We kicked it off in the very beginning with Kenna's 8th birthday. We surprised them by getting a hotel up at Monarch, swimming, eating good food and opening presents. We like to take full advantage of hot showers that last longer than 3 minutes which means that everyone welcomes the hotel stays. 

Two days later, the 4th of July festivities arrived. It's one of our favorite holidays with everything being decorated in red, white and blue... proud Americans over here! Buena Vista puts on one heck of a parade. The kids collected tons of candy and Popsicles. What's not to like, right? Plus, truthfully, it's like the parade that never ends. The kids had a blast. We've been loving small town living. 

A few days later, Chris' best friend Brock came to visit for a week from Missouri. Unfortunately, the day before he arrived, Chris dislocated his shoulder while throwing cartwheels (kayaking) down at the playhole in town. Total bummer as we had tons of river activities planned. Never the less, we still had tons of fun. I managed to raft with him twice and finally ran The Numbers (Class IV and V) for my first time... awesome. The kiddos and I took him to St. Elmo to feed the chipmunks, we all went hiking a few times, toured Salida, BV, Leadville and Frisco. We also took him to our favorite German eatery in Frisco. You just can't beat good food and great beer. Then, the day he left, my family came into town. It really has been back to back company for this entire month because when my family left, Chris' other friend came into town and now Chris' family is visiting as well. We love visitors! Those will be showcased in a different post however. There have been way too many photos taken this month. 

August will die down as far as visitors but river playing will hopefully pick up now that Chris' shoulder is doing a bit better. He still has to take it easy but I'm sure we'll continue to find adventures in the small things. 


Friday, July 1, 2016

Long Overdue.

We've been busy. Life gets crazy and that is pretty much the end of story.

I've been meaning to update and have had it in the back of my mind but life gets in the way. It takes time and effort to finally get photos off my phone, downloaded on the computer, re sized, uploaded and then write. Ahh. So here I am, FINALLY getting around to it. 

The month of May and June have been filled with all sorts of adventures and truthfully, July will be even busier. We have lots of company coming to see us out here in the land of the Rockies! woo hoo. We're excited to show our friends and family just exactly how we live and all the cool things there are to do in the area. I'm sure it will be awesome and we look forward to it. 

So what exactly have we been up to? Well, the kids are still healthy and for that we are thankful. Man, April was a beast of a month and one we'd rather not relive. They have been super busy with activities, hiking, playing and just being kids. We still do school work since we aren't like most schools. Our schooling is year round, hands on, and filled with experiences. They get many breaks from handwritten work but still learn as we travel and go to new places. 

All three of them went to VBS this year and had a blast. Plus, this momma got a break for 3 hours, EVERYDAY for a whole week which was a blessing in itself. It's not too often I'm ever away from them for more than an hour. They're already looking forward to next years camp, so that's an awesome thing.

Chris and I have hit the river numerous times. It's been a blast so far and we're just getting started. The river has peaked at about 4000cfs and is now declining... boo. It just makes it harder for SUPing on my board with rocks beginning to pop up everywhere. I guess it just means we'll be at the playpark a lot more from here on out surfing. But, we have no complaints and look forward to the last two months of it. 

At the beginning of the month we went to the GoPro games, followed by the FibARK festival. It's always fun to see loads of cars coming in from all over the country with kayaks and paddleboards stacked on top. The kids really enjoy just hanging out with other kids, running around and participating in the many activities that these festivals tend to put on.

Other than that, we've gone to the sand dunes 3 or 4 times, hiked several trails (biggest being Browns Creek Trail), fed chipmunks at St. Elmo, fished at Cottonwood Lake, worked a lot, and worked some more. I'll try to update a bit more as summer goes on but with company coming, we'll see how that goes.

Hope you all have a lovely 4th. Cheers.

"Life was made for good friends and great adventures"

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Heading to Utah.

Once the kids were somewhat better, we packed them up, threw stuff in the car and headed west. At this point, we truly didn't care where the heck we ended up, as long as we were on the road to see something new. A few things ended up changing with our master plan and that was the part where we were to stop in Las Vegas. After having done Zion and noticing that Montana still wasn't being himself, having a hard time with any exercise and still wanting to lay around, we scratched that part. I'm sure we'll eventually go back considering it's a main city that Montana wants to visit. It just wasn't in the books this go round. 

Our first stop was in Cedar City, Utah. We ended up staying at a KOA cabin for three nights which was a "home base" for sightseeing in the area. That first day we drove out to Zion National Park. It's a park we had both wanted to see for quite some time and feel fortunate to have finally made it there. The only thing that turned out to be rough was the fact that in order to truly see or do the big listed items, you had to hike. And by hike, we mean 5- 8 miles. Normally, that wouldn't have been an issue but with having our wheezing son trailing behind, coughing every two minutes, while people looked at us like we were killing the poor child, we turned around. Needless to say, we'll go back. I really want to hike Angel's Landing and truly hike the Narrows so I KNOW, we'll be back. However, the views were gorgeous and the photo ops, priceless. Oh and just prepare yourself for the Disney World of Parks. Chris said, he was very glad that I woke his heiny up early to catch the shuttle system because once we returned, the line was unlike anything I'd ever seen but at Disney World. So word of advice, get there early, not at 11am!!

On the way back from Zion, we stopped at Red Canyon. LOVED this place! It's a great location for the kids to rock scramble, hike and play around. It has lots of loose rock sections so you just have to watch where you or the kids step. Plus, the scenery was amazing. Can't beat that, right? 

After stopping there and on the way home, we decided to swing by Kolob Canyon. It's actually a part of Zion but a section that can't be accessed through Zion itself. It's on the complete other side of the park. To be exact, it's 40 miles north of Zion and 15 miles south of Cedar City. It's a quieter park with over 20 miles of hiking trails and tons of amazing views. 

The second day, we drove out to Bryce Canyon. I'm a sucker for orange/red rocks and loved the views this National Park had to offer. Plus, it wasn't a hiking park per say. I mean, with having a sick kid, we were able to drive to many of the locations and take photos. And of course, it was easier on Montana. Don't get me wrong though, this park has tons of hiking trails and many that we would love to explore more of, but like Zion, it'll be on another trip. 

By the third day, we said enough was enough and took him to the Urgent Care in Cedar City. We knew he needed something to help fight off whatever he had and just really did not want to take him back to the same doctors in Colorado. Low and behold, by the time we made it home, he was so much better. It made us want to start all back over. But, we're just thankful he is finally better after a month of battling his illness. 

Oh and I forgot to mention that on the way out of Colorado, we stopped at Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Such an amazing place to see. Because there are many passes that need to be acquired before doing pretty much anything there, it's not a place we would hang out at. However, still a stamp in the book and spot to check off our list. 

More from this trip to follow in the next post

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Cedar City, Utah

Cedar City and Zion

Zion National Park

Zion and Kolob Canyon

Red Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park

Friday, May 6, 2016

The sickness continued.

The entire month of April was a complete disaster, well, except for that one day we managed to snowboard and ski. Other than that it was spent in and out of ERs, Urgent Cares, and other hospitals. Let me tell you how much it sucked... ALOT!! The entire family (expect for me) came down with who knows what, but it took it out of all of them. For close to 40 days there was coughing, crying, insanely high temps, throwing up, runny noses, sore throats, ear infections and the list goes on. We went through 9 bottles of Motrin and pretty much ran Walmart out of all their meds. I took Emergen-C like nobody's business and managed to not get sick. Don't ask us how that happened but I believe the good Lord knew that I needed to be well in order to take care of this troop. Finally, right at the end of April, things began to turn around and after postponing our vacation by two weeks we took a small trip. Praise Jesus!! While on that trip, we ended up taking Montana to a different Urgent Care kind of knowing that he needed some antibiotics. But you know, 3 separate doctors before that said it was viral back in Colorado. Low and behold, he got better. 

Today, everyone is back to themselves, the kids are laughing, we're touring around, and enjoying the outdoors once again. It feels good. While we didn't have the ending to ski season we wanted, we had an overall great winter. It just means that come next season, this family is so ready to shred and I have no doubt we spend most of our days up at the mountain. 

So what are we doing now? Well, we're back at the rafting company in Colorado where Chris is working on getting things prepared for the river season. The kids are schooling (we work year round) and I'm still working my hair bow shop as well as my drawing shop. This family is so ready for some sun, a tan and the fun adventures that summer brings. Oh and I'll post our trip to the Southwest soon.