My sister, Megan, and her two children were here for a visit. We had lots of fun right here in our own backyard. I decide to get all of the pictures scrapped before posting on the blog, as I just had so many that it would have been a REALLY long post to just put up my favorite pictures, and this one is going to be long as it is.
They arrived on June 12, and we were out the next morning for lots of fun. We headed up into the mountains to Cripple Creek. (click the layouts to see them larger)
journaling: We spent the first day of the Rodeffer’s visit to Colorado in Cripple Creek learning about gold mining, riding the narrow guage railroad and walking the Florrisant Fossil Beds National Monument.
credits: What Dreams May Come by Flergs and mgl Scraps at scrapbookgraphics.com; LO template by Yin; staple from Staple Stash by Maya at scrapbookgraphics; fonts: Typewriter
A town made famous for its gold mines in the past, and now also for the casinos that are there. We took a tour of the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine- going down 1000 feet to the bottom of the mine where they give you a history lesson on gold mining showing you how it was done when the gold was first discovered and the improvements in technology over the years. We even got to bring home a small chunk of gold ore. The gold is bound in a compound called sylvanite and it actually has a silver look to it. One of the richest veins in the mine produced 40 to 60 ounces of gold per ton of rock.
After the mine tour, we ate lunch at a local restaurant (no fast food in this tiny town) and then we took a 45 minute steam train ride on the Cripple Creek Victor Narrow Guage railroad. The train takes you up the valley towards Victor and you get to see the slag piles and head frame remains scattered along the way. You go over a bridge supported by a rock pile that is estimated to have a million dollars worth of gold in it, it would just take two million dollars to process it and remove the gold. Megan and I just had to laugh when we saw this poor little shack go by on the train ride- any one want to move to Cripple Creek? there's a home waiting for you for a good price LOL!
It is amazing how the whole landscape is changed by mining. You can't escape that fact in Cripple Creek as evidence of it is everywhere you turn. There is still a large open-pit gold mine near where the train ride ended. Our guide said that they remove $2 million dollars of gold and silver ore a day from it currently.
After the train ride we visited the Pikes Peak Heritage Center, a beautiful new visitor center where you can learn more about the town, gold mining, and the local wildlife. And then finally we finished off the day by driving to the Florrisant Fossil Beds National Monument and hiking one of the trails there. The kids all earned Junior Park Ranger badges. The neatest thing we saw was a woodpecker banging away on a pine tree- he was so busy hunting the bugs in the poor infested tree we were able to get really close to him. Look for the picture of Molly and the woodpecker in the layout above! I got some nice pictures of Brenna there, and I scrapped a couple of them with this really pretty new collab kit, Breezy, by Chere Kaye and Amy Wolffe.
journaling: Brenna, we are coming up on the beginning of Kindergarten for you finally. You can hardly wait until you can say that you are going to school now too, just like the big kids. I want you to enjoy every minute, learn lots of new things, and make new friends. I want you to soar! to be and do even more than you and your dad and I ever thought you could be and do. I know you can do it! credits: Breezy by Amy Wolffe and Chere Kaye at The-LilyPad; date stamps by Amber Clegg at Scrapartist; fonts: CK Script and Typewriter
We had a 'kid swap' Friday night and the twins went to my moms house with Molly to spend the night and Brandt stayed at our house. Brandt of course loved to do things with Bryce, but he also got on quite well with Brenna and would do things with her too.
On the 14th, we took it easy in the morning and then we all met at the zoo. It had been a while since the Rodeffers had visited us here and they hadn't seen the African Rift Valley exhibit yet or the new Rocky Mountain Wild exhibit which just opened up.
journaling: We spent a really hot afternoon at the zoo. It had been a while since we had taken the Rodeffers, and they hadnt seen the African Rift Valley or Rocky Mountain Wild exhibits. We started with feeding the giraffes, and there was a new baby giraffe too. We visited the wallabies, and saw another baby getting his lunch. Grandmama bought all of the kids a seed stick to feed the budgies. The river otters entertained us in the Rocky Mountain exhibit, and Sarah thought watching the goats eat grass was fascinating.
credits: Exotic Adventure by Christina Renee, Nancy Comelab, Emily Merritt, and Tiff Brady; grass from Easter Chipboard by Christina Renee; twig bundle from Wintry by Jessica Bolton; leaves from Gumnut Gully by Flergs; LO template by Yin; fonts: Typewriter
I forgot my camera (oh for shame!), so I just borrowed my mom's camera for the afternoon. Megan had hers too, so between the two of us we got plenty of good pictures- and hey, look! I'm even in one of them :D
Sunday the 15th, we attended morning services at the church where my mom is playing the organ now. And then we spent the afternoon and evening relaxing (ie napping) and just enjoying each others company. The kids all had a blast together.
On the 16th we took the kids up to the Visitor Center at Focus on the Family. The basement is a kids wonderland. The whole floor is decorated to look like places in the Adventures in Odyssey stories- it is amazing. They have continued to work on this during the years we have lived here and now every nook and cranny has something special to see and do. There is even one room where you can walk through the wardrobe into another room that looks like Narnia. The biggest hit was of course the A-Bend-A-Go slide, which is a 4 and half story tube slide. Brenna was just big enough this year to go down it and she loved it!
journaling: We spent the morning at the Visitor Center of Focus on the Family enjoying the many kids activities in Whit’s End, the replica of the Adventures in Odyssey town in the basement. Secret Tunnels, videos to watch, pages to color, books to read, puppet shows to perform and stages to dance on. The best part for the kids is always the slides. Brenna was just big enough to go down the Abend-A-Go slide, a 4 and a half story tall tube slide, this visit. Brandt went down it 20 times (so he informed us) and I’m sure Brenna went down a few times more.credits: by Flergs at scrapbookgraphics: Denim Blues,Gumnut Gully, Grasshopper Kisses, Sugar & Spice; LO template by Yin; fonts: TXT Antique Poster and Typewriter
After a stop for lunch at my mom's house, we then went to see the movie Horton Hears a Who and spent the evening hanging out at our house.
The last day of their visit my mom treated us all to a showing of Kung Fu Panda. Cute movie, good story and the animation is amazing! We had lunch at our house and then headed out again. We made a fairly quick stop at the Current Factory Outlet store, and then since the weather was holding we went to play in Uncle Wilbur's Fountain downtown. It was a bit cool to make it really enjoyable, but the kids had fun and since they had been talking about this particular activity for days it was a nice way to end the trip.
journaling: We went to see Kung Fu Panda at the movie theater in the morning & when it looked like the weather would hold for a few more hours after lunch, we headed downtown to let the kids enjoy running and splashing in the Uncle Wilbur fountain in Acacia Park. Sarah wouldn’t venture into the fountain by herself, but with help and encouragement from Molly she finally got wet. Brandt was cold after a little while and chose to spend the rest of our time there watching from a towel on the warm cement with Brenna joining him most of the time. Beth and Carissa danced in circles around the fountain to the music, and Bryce practiced his kung fu skills on the fountain jets.
credits: Silly Starbursts Pastels, Duo Tones glitter, glue & glitter glue blobs, tag and tape from Fancy Pants by Flergs at scrapbookgraphics; Hipster Plumes by Anna Aspnes at designerdigitals; Canvas Stamped alpha by Laura Lively; LO template by Yin; acrylic shadow by Traci Reed; fonts: Typewriter
It was a really nice visit- I hope we don't have to wait as long next time to see them again.
Labels: Cripple Creek, Rodeffers, Uncle Wilbur, vacation, zoo