Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2014~Week 34

We took the kids to see The Giver along with my parents last Wednesday.  We read the book last winter as a family and were excited to see it on the big screen.  Well done movie with a few changes to the book, but overall they did a good job.  This was a first for our family: Read a book together and then all go see the movie in the theater!  FUN!
My parents left early Thursday morning for a road trip to CA to visit friends and family.  We enjoyed our first official day of our 10th year of home schooling!  Hooray!  This year we will be studying the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation along with many other subjects.
Hope is getting into green smoothies!
Owen finished Alpha Phonics with me and cashed in on an Eating Out award for all his hard work!  We had wings at Russos and he loved it :)  What a fun way to celebrate his time and dedication to honing his reading skills.
We had friends stay the night with us Friday night...James Eldridge and his siblings Grace and Michael.  We loved our time with them...dinner and games Friday and donuts Saturday before they hit the road (driving from Montana to Arkansas).  We've know James for many years and he has a special place in our family :)
James' dog Pilot...Emma fell in love instantly!
Sweet Coloradough!
After saying goodbye in the rain at the donut shop, we ran a few errands including WalMart where we did NOT buy these hilarious shirts!
Went over to American Furniture Warehouse so Owen could buy a pillow he's wanted since June.  Couldn't pass up a photo op with Jake Jabbs' cutout!
Hope made beautiful and tasty cinnamon swirl banana bread for house church Saturday night:
We got to help Chase finish painting his van (our old van) on Sunday night.  It's FUN to spray paint a car!  ha ha!
On Monday, Owen became the first Starr kid to open up a savings account!  He put $100 of birthday money in his new account and is excited to have his money in a safe place so he doesn't spend it all on junk food.
We enjoyed a class party to kick off another year at The Garden School for Hope.  This is her junior high class (missing one more boy).  Mostly 8th graders with a few 7th graders.  We had a potluck picnic and played Minute To Win It games.
And to end our day we had to say goodbye to Chase :(  BOO HOO!  He's moving to California tomorrow to follow God's call on his life to live among and minister to muslims in America.  We are excited for him but also pretty darn sad to say goodbye.  We've really loved our time with him and are thankful for our friendship.  
~Rose

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

2014~Week 33

Desi and I enjoyed a Medaris hike and came down a bit off the trail to look at a house my folks are thinking about buying.  It backs up right to the mountain!  Pretty sweet place :)
Looking south from the ridge of the Medaris trail...the river gets brown after a good rain.
Terrible photo...BUT, there was a BEAR in town on Friday evening!  He is that black dot in the golden grass.  He was a young one...probably only 3 or 4 years old...not that big.  We watched him for awhile and then continued on our hike and saw him again from the top of the mountain trail (he was far far below us).  Bears are all over the place these days and I'm not sure why! 
On Saturday we helped the Ware family move out of their house (across the street from us) to the other side of town.  We are happy for them to get into a better place but are BUMMED they don't live so close to us anymore!  We all had about as much fun as you can have on a moving day!
On Sunday we met up with friends and floated the Colorado River from Grizzly Creek to Glenwood Springs!  Emma and Levi stayed home with my parents who took them mini golfing.  Hope and Owen really enjoyed the float but parts of it were a bit scary and at times we got cold!  The river had tons of people on it which was pretty fun. Our favorite part was when got out near some natural hot springs and sat in warm water till we warmed up!  Chase has been on the river many times and was a great guide for us.
After our long float we enjoyed a lovely birthday party for Owen's 12th birthday.  We had a great time eating with friends and sharing verbal blessings over Owen.  He loved opening his gifts, one of which was super special.  Chase has been helping Owen work on his state quarters collection and he was down to the last two...which were so hard to find.  Turns out Chase bought $500 worth of quarters from the bank to find those two quarters and they were NOT IN THE BOX of 4000 quarters!  So he BOUGHT A SECOND BOX!!!  He and his dad worked to find those quarters and they found them in the 2nd box!  Man, it was so fun to watch Owen open the multi-part gift and hear the story!  Chase is such a blessing to our family and we'll miss him greatly when he moves to California!
The River Center's community garden is LOVELY!!!
I took Emma and Levi to the river Monday afternoon and we enjoyed over 3 glorious hours of swimming, sunshine and play (and reading for me).  Levi caught his first little snake! So fun!
I made a rainbow of river rocks :)
Last night I stayed up late to finish a lovely little book called Just David by the same author who wrote Pollyanna.  This book was a delight to read and I recommend it heartily. 

Tonight we had target practice with Levi's air soft gun :)  Fun times in the wild west!  Ha ha!
None of us could get the bullseye! 
Levi caught an awesome bee thing in a jar...it was hard to get a picture of it but it was so cool!  Levi let it go after we looked at it a bit.
This is an awesome caterpillar Emma got at the beach today...turns out it will turn into a huge moth!  It's a Cecropia Caterpillar.  We hope it will eat these apple tree leaves and will eventually make a cocoon.  He will "hibernate" all winter and will hatch in spring into an enormous moth.  Hopefully we can keep him that long and watch the whole life cycle!  He's as long and thick as my long finger!  BIG!
A rousing game of Up and Down the River after dinner :)  These kids are hilarious and quite a joy to play with!
Fantastic Week!
~Rose

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2014~Week 32

We got to watch a new light post get installed on Thursday morning before packing up for our camping trip!  These guys worked so fast and it was fun to watch.
Desi and I followed Lee and his son Jack up to the Meadow Lake area.  We had so much camping gear we had to take 2 cars!  Lee showed us the way and helped us pick a great spot to save for our River Churches camping trip.  This spot was amazing!  We could have had 10 families easy!
Lee and Jack had to head back to town (just over an hour drive) for various things but Desi stayed and helped us get our camp set up.  He stayed and had dinner with us before heading home.  He had to work Friday and didn't come back up till late Friday.  The kids and I stayed ALONE to reserve the spot for everyone coming up Friday!  It's dispersed camping...no water, no toilets, nothing!!!!
The kids did GREAT!  They quickly became champs at using the bathroom in the woods :)
Two of our 3 tents...Owen slept in a little one to the left and above the red tent.  The other three kids slept in the red tent and Desi and I had the yellow tent.
After getting camp set up and eating lunch, Desi gave each of the kids a DRIVING LESSON in the campsite driveway (it was long).  They LOVED it!  
This one hit too close to home!  Hope will be driving in another year or so!  She did really well.
Owen had an anxiety attack the first night due to the cold but I was able to help him calm down with essential oils, tylenol pm, hand warmers, a sweatshirt and ear plugs (it was noisy the first night with some dummy shooting after dark...not near us...but sound travels far in the woods).  It was COLD and Owen could not figure out how to get situated.  Thank God he was able to get to sleep and he did fine the other 2 nights (they were warmer and quieter).

Bacon, eggs and hash browns for our first breakfast!
Morning campfire to stay warm!
We enjoyed a mellow morning and played 20 Questions and Quiz Cards while sitting near the fire.
Our friends started arriving around lunch time on Friday.  Tim brought up his UTV (and had unloaded it before giving our kids a ride on his trailer to park it).
Later that day Kevin brought out a faulty guitar that he was instructed to destroy (the company wanted him to before they sent him a new one).  So the kids had fun throwing it around before Tim drove over it with his utv!
Saturday's Fishing Derby!
We had a few friends come up just for the day on Saturday and they joined us at the lake.  I have a lot more pics I took on my big Nikon camera that I will post later.  Owen won one of the fishing derby prizes (smallest fish) while fishing off of a canoe!  So cool.  We all had trout for dinner that night :)
Cliff Lake.  I got a ride with Tim and Misty in the utv down a very rocky 1/2 mile road to this beautiful lake.  It was stunningly gorgeous!
We came home Sunday and unpacked and showered and started the first of many loads of laundry!
Monday was Owen's 12th birthday!  It started off a bit rough but ended nicely with dinner out, ice cream and presents at home and a movie with my folks. This is what I posted to Instagram and FB:  Happy 12th Birthday to my first born son Owen Timothy Rock Starr! He's a very special kid and I'm so thankful God gave him to us. He's passionate, generous, sensitive, loves the truth, intelligent, logical, laughs with abandon, creative and enjoys life to the fullest while living with Aspergers. He's taught me so much and I look forward to the next 12 years and beyond. Love you Owen!!!
Blowing out fake candles on his ice cream.  We'll celebrate his birthday on Sunday with a long river float and a dinner party with friends and family.
Levi got Owen this awesome cheetah blanket from a yard sale with his own money. Owen loves it!
Cool gifts from the Starr Grands!
And today we were back in the river to cool off and take the kids floating in tubes for the first time.  The river is quite low and slow and we tied the tubes together (just 3 tubes) and we have life jackets.  The kids LOVED IT!!!

Levi on a noodle while we wait for Desi and the first two kiddos to come down river:
Emma jumped out and swam to the beach for fun:
My view while waiting for Desi and Hope and Owen...so beautiful!
~Rose