A Busy July 4th!

I know a few days have passed since the fourth of July but we had such a crazy, unexpected day that I thought I'd share some pictures. The morning started with the annual parade in Georgetown, Colorado. We've "marched/walked"  in about three of these parades with my brother, Tim Mauck, who is county commissioner for Clear Creek County. This year Uncle Tim had new/old Jeep so he took the top off, put the kids in, and  had them throw candy to the bystanders. (I don't think the kids realized how … [Read more...]

Give the 4 Year Old a Saw. . .and some Pliers

I've been reading for a year or so a blog by Lenore Skenazy called Free Range Kids. Ms. Skenazy argues that children are "not in constant danger from creeps, kidnapping, germs, grades, flashers, frustration, failure, baby snatchers, bugs, bullies, men, sleepovers and/or the perils of a non-organic grape." She points out that this is one of the safest times to be a kid and advocates that we should let our child have the freedom to play outside unattended. . .to walk to school. . .to ride his or … [Read more...]

A Summer Read: Whiskey and Charlie

I'd like to say that my identical twins are the best of friends and are not at all competitive. While I see first hand both the bond that my boys have--I also have to admit there are signs of competitiveness and strains of tension that are part of their relationship.  Recently when I was introducing them to a Dad of a new friend the boys had made, the dad asked how to tell them apart. Will took Luke's face to show him the "mole mark" that we use to help people distinguish them. Luke blurted … [Read more...]

Summer in Denver

I know that memory is a funny thing. It often gently fogs over the rough corners of the past and sweetly embraces that which was good and fun and worthy of building upon. And, this is how I remember my childhood in Denver. My brother and I would ride our bikes to the public tennis courts for group lessons led by a high schooler or maybe a college student then we would come home and change and ride our bikes to the local public pool for swimming lessons or just to swim. The days were led … [Read more...]

Five things I’ve Learned from my Husband about Parenting

Even though the event was a couple days ago, I've been thinking of Father's Day. I'm thinking a lot about parenting these days because we are on the cusp of new terrain in parenting. Our first set of twins are now preteens and we have the beginnings of the loud sighs, the exasperated shouts of YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND! and the increasing importance of friends (and the drama that goes with those relationships). The second set and our little guy. . .well, they are still our puppies--happy to be fed … [Read more...]

The First of Many Leavings

Yesterday I dropped Maddie off at Girl Scout camp for her first extended (a week) camping experience. As we've prepared for this event, her emotions had been all over the place. She was excited. . .then angry that she was going to miss vacation bible school at our parish (and blaming me for not scheduling everything better). . .nervous. . .and then excited but nervous. On the hour and a half drive to camp Maddie ate a bag of popcorn and talked a lot. Eating and nonstop talking are her outward … [Read more...]

“Lego” Popcorn (aka popped sorghum)

Even my picky eater will often try something new if I pair it with something he likes. So when I was trying popped sorghum and called it "Lego Popcorn" and required each child to accept the first tasty popped kernel from a Lego figure, ALL of the kids were immediately hooked! Actually this isn't popcorn. . .it is popped sorghum which look like miniature popcorn and the perfect Lego figure size! Have you ever heard of it? I had no idea, but when I spotted a bag of it on the clearance shelf … [Read more...]

What is Your Minimum Requirement?

Probably the most asked question I get (besides how did I end up with two sets of twins) is how did I do it. Honestly, I don't know and more honestly, I don't remember. I didn't have any great organizational system, philosophy or check-off chart. I constantly felt like I was drowning while trying desperately to swim through these days of infancy and toddlerhood. But, what I clearly remember is that I had a couple of minimum requirements that were like life rafts to my days and weeks. In … [Read more...]

An Alternative to Hotels

I have come to the conclusion that hotels don't work for my family of seven. Actually I realized this a few of years ago when we started the 15+ hour drive from San Antonio to Denver in one day,  just to avoid spending the night in a hotel. We no longer fit in one room and two rooms are pricey. Ditto for suites in terms of price--and someone is still sleeping on the pull out couch that doesn't work. And then there is the mini kitchen that is good for a bowl of cereal but not so good for any … [Read more...]

Guess what’s going to school tomorrow?

This afternoon as I was turning over the compost piles (you know, a well-aerated compost pile makes the kitchen waste turn to compost faster!), I found the one thing, besides a a power outage, that gets the boys away from the video games: GRUBS. These two inch, grayish, plump larvae of the May or June bug love. . .absolutely delight in. . .almost finished compost. A bird delicacy. A nine year old's and four year old's total obsession which I don't understand but totally encourage.. So … [Read more...]