Saturday, July 5, 2014

Pikes Peak

When we got to Colorado Springs we were wanting to do something. I looked at some of the hotels brochures. One image stood out. It was a train up Pikes Peak. I asked Daddy, "Do you want to do this?" He called, reserved tickets, and said, "I think we have time."

We rushed to get something to eat, and headed over to get our tickets.

Keep in mind that even in the summer Colorado can get cold. We had our sweatshirts, but I almost wished we had our winter coats for this trip up the mountain.

The place we went is called Cog Wheel Route. It's the world's highest cog train. You can get their food to take on the train with you. Adults are $30 and children 3-12 are $17.50. Daddy swears he spent less then that. I know we bought tickets in advance, which is recommended. There are different departure times from 8 AM to 5:20 PM.

The boys were super excited!

 Holding their tickets.

In all their photos together that day they looked like 2 crazy kids. I guess that's what happens to them when they are cooped up in a car all day.

The view all the way up was amazing!

 When we reached the top it was cold! We were up 14,10 feet. They let us out, and we were free to roam for 40 minutes.

Isaak at this point was acting off. He was A) Tired B) Cold and C) The Altitude was bugging him. His complexion was whiter than normal. In every photo I got of him he looked sad. It was a shame because it really looked beautiful there.

Once you get up there, there are bathrooms, a souvenir shop, and places to get food.

How pretty is this?

This little guy kept play peek a boo.

Then we saw what I thought were mountain goats. They were not goats. They were sheep.

Daddy shooting his own photos.

The ride back down seemed to take FOREVER. Everyone was so done with taking pictures. I wouldn't recommend taking the last trip up Pikes Peak if you have little kids. Isaak fell asleep on me. He was so done. It just got pretty late. We were already in the car ALL DAY LONG.

Here's one of the original trains used to hike up Pikes Peak:

The overall trip up the mountain was super fun though! I'm so glad we went.

I Hope Everyone Had a Happy 4th

I'm still trying to play catch up. 

Two days ago we had no idea what we were doing for the 4th. Then Aunt Terra called, and invited us over. She was having our cousin Stacy over. Stacy has a 3 month baby girl, Terra has a 2 month baby boy, and Emerson is like a baby, but he's now 3. Stacy also has a 3 year old son. Then there is Terra's others Evan and Elijah that are our boy's ages. It was kid crazy there. My parents AKA Grandma and Grandpa came to.

I tried getting a good photo of Emerson, but was unsuccessful. Terra got a few of him and I together. She took some with her camera to capture bubbles being blown at us for our birthday invite that will take place next weekend. Emerson giggles when bubbles are blown at him. It's pretty cute. Here's a photo I took from her:

We all brought a side and our own meat. I brought a Quinoa Salad *recipe will go up later, the works for Strawberry Shortcake, and stuff for Hamburgers. If you celebrate, what did you eat for the 4th?

I did get some cute photos of my youngest nephew Edison AKA the boy's youngest cousin. Isaak still calls Edison, "Ederson". It's pretty cute! I love his redish hair.

After we ate, we went up to a local school parking lot, and we lit and watched some firecrackers. We had a great view.

The only sucky thing was is that it was windy, and cold for July. The babies didn't much like that.

Cousin Evan, Mica, Cousin Elijah, and Isaak

It's pretty cute because Mica kept walking with Evan, and their arms were around each other. They were chatting about Indiana Jones. 

Mica has shirts in his closest that are red, white and blue, but according to him and Daddy he could wear whatever he wanted. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt it was. They are named after Italians, drawn in Japan, but they do live in NY. Isaak looks like he's wearing a Valentines shirt. It's actually a British John Lennon quote, "All you need is love." It's red and blue. This mom - me way over thinks this kind of stuff.

My boys weren't the only ones that mixed cultures for the holiday. I made red, white, and blue Parfaits for breakfast yesterday. Daddy said, "Parfaits are French." My comment back was, "Whatever."

We had a pretty good time with cousins.

My family growing up was never into the 4th of July much. I finally learned last night why. My cousin Stacy told me that our Grandpa was always worried about his daughters loosing a finger lighting firecrackers off. My Grandma was a nurse, and she told him stories about accidents that happened during that time of year. I guess that carried onto my Mom's generation. My boys like firecrackers. I think they are pretty, but that's it. I'm not crazy about the noise they make, the pollution they create, and the accidents that happen. I'm thinking I get these thoughts from my own parents. We never did much of anything for the 4th growing up. We just sat and enjoy the neighbor's firecrackers.

Are you big into firecrackers?

Sing, Sing a Song Saturday

Sing, Sing a Song Saturday is all about me discovering something that is different. I don't want to post things that you and I have more than likely heard before. I want to find something different. It could be from another country, someone singing from the streets of NY, and more.

This week I'm not going to feature a band. I'm featuring what tree rings on a record player sound like.

Artist Bartholomäus Traubeck has custom-built a record player that is able to "play" cross-sectional slices of tree trunks. The artist called this piece, Years.

Keep in mind that the tree rings are being translated into the language of music, rather than sounding musical in and of themselves. A 1 of a kind record player uses a PlayStation Eye Camera and a stepper motor attached to its control arm. It relays the data to a computer with a program called Ableton Live. What you end up with is an incredible piano track.

When I first heard it I was thinking it was supposed to be the actual sound of a record needle on a piece of wood. It's a piano piece that's an iinterpitation of the

Friday, July 4, 2014

Random Tid Bits

  1. This one is going to be about ouchies. Getting hurt isn't funny at first, but sometimes you can look back and laugh.

    One time I was riding my sister's handle break bike, and couldn't stop. I was used to peddle breaks. The neighbor I was with said, "My mom learned to ride her bike by just going down a hill." I said, "Well ok then." Down I went. Keep in mind I didn't have anytime to think about anything. The street at the bottom was a busy one.

    I thought in my head, This isn't good. I can't get hit by a car down there. The smart me would have turned the bike around, went up the hill, stopped and fell softly. The oh shit (sorry for the bad word) I don't have time to think me said, The grass will stop me. Off the retaining wall went my bike. I dinged up my sister's bike, had blood dripping from my chin down on my sister's white Benetton shirt. Why it was sister day I have no idea.

    The neighbor lady ran out of the house screaming, "Are you ok?!" I said, "No my sister is going to kill me!" I had to get stitches in my chin. I was lucky I didn't break my neck.

  2. That same year I decided it would be fun to flip around the swing. I had done it many times before. There was just one problem I grew. It was a year since I had done that same flip. I flipped alright, and scraped my forehead on the ground. Stitches were in order again. For the record it hurts worse to have a bunch of shots in your chin over your head. How old was I? Old enough to know better. I was in 5th or 6th grade. 

  3. I'm not the only one that got hurt around that time.

    Grandpa Spiehs AKA my Dad took us to his schools skating party. He was a teacher. One of his students was skating behind him and fell, or rammed into him. He fell like a giant Domino. He put his arms out and broke both elbows at once.

    This was the first time I drove. I turned corners while he helped and yelled the "F" word. We got home, and a neighbor drove us to the hospital. He got put in 2 slings. My mom was working the night shift at the hospital this whole time.

    He had problems doing many things. One of which was brushing his teeth. I tried, but I didn't do a great job. In the end he rubber banded a toothbrush to a ruler, and it extended long enough, so he didn't have to bend his elbow to brush his teeth. He painted a picture for his own dad that year with his mouth. I tried getting away with a few things, thinking ha I can get away with this, yes he couldn't grab me, but he could kick. Many of my family members are not into skating after this incident occurred.

  4. I broke both my foot and my shoulder when I was in college. I walked on the side of my foot for a week before going to a doctor. I have a high pain threshold. 

  5. The worst fall I ever saw was when Mica tripped over a crack in the sidewalk. He didn't break anything, but he looked like Hitler for one whole season. The mark under his nose was the last to heal up. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Driving For Miles

I don't really know where to begin with blogging about our trip. It's going to take awhile. We went to 10 main places. Just like any book, I'll start with the beginning.

Daddy plans the trip. I pack. 

Daddy had hotels booked, but he couldn't find confirmation to one. I said, "Look in your history on the internet." Somehow he found it. He didn't have everything planed out as to what we were doing, but I kept reassuring him that it was ok. Every place has brochures, and things to do.

I felt like I was pretty prepared with packing. I've learned to make sure there are a ton of snacks because food ranks up there for the boys. I had a mental list of all the things I wanted to bring.

When Isaak got some birthday money in May I made sure he used it to get some things he could use partly on our trip.
  • That blue thing that looks like a book (*see below) isn't a book at all. It's a box. It's filled with 1/2 stories. You read the 1/2 stories, and make up the endings to them. 

  • The Boy's Doddle Book has 1/2 drawings in them. I knew he'd love that. He often asks Mica to draw him a picture, and then Isaak finishes it, and colors it. The book has things like, "You just found a hidden treasure box. What's in it?" The treasure box is drawn in, and Isaak would draw in whatever he wants to be in there. Another page said, "An alien just landed on Mars!" The planet is there, but the alien is not. 

  • Then Mica and Isaak both had workbooks, plain paper, and 2 new boxes of crayons. I don't know about you, but when I was little opening a new box of crayons was the best thing ever. 

Mica had his longer books. Reading, watching movies, eating, and playing Legos is all Mica ever wants to do anyhow. I did get him some Mad Libs books. He and Isaak thought they were so funny! Isaak won't read a whole lot, but he knows his nouns, verbs, adjectives, and ad verbs.

Mica watching something.

Both boys went to bed late (9 or 10!) on vacation, and got up around 8. They seemed to manage fine. Except they both got blinky at the end of the day. They blink rapidly when they are tired. It looks so funny. They flat out refused to sleep in the car most of the time. Mica in particular does better at home with more sleep. He's always needed more sleep than Isaak. You'd think it was the other way around since he's older. Not true. He took naps on weekends in Kindergarten. He was happy to do so. Sometimes he goes to his room and says, "Goodnight. I'm going to bed." We have easy goer to sleeper kids. I swear I don't drug them!

On a trip though, with a different place to sleep, things to do and see, and cable TV there isn't time to sleep. By the way I don't know how you cable people handle Cartoon Network. It's so odd! The boys including Daddy love it, while I 'm in the background rolling my eyes. I did happen to like T.V. Land, and ABC Family. We killed time watching part of Parent Trap and Sandlot in one hotel.

Isaak looked sleepish most the time, while in the car. He only crashed once.

I had a few surprises in store. One was The Lego Movie. Mica said, "You're the best Mom ever!" when I pulled that out."

I also stole the Little House and the Prairie books from Aunt Terra before we left. Somehow Miss greedy pants got all those. They were originally Aunt Angela's, so I have no room to speak. Aunt Terra is my little sister, so I can trash her every once in awhile. ;)

I read out loud to the boys the first 3 books. Mica read when I couldn't read anymore. Daddy said, "Geeze are you going to read this whole time?" I said, "What's wrong with me reading? It keeps the boys content, they aren't fighting, and they aren't talking up a storm. All of which you complained about last year when we were on our trip. Suck it up and deal with it." So we read and read.

It's a damn good thing I read towards the beginning of our trip because I lost my voice towards the end of it. Maybe I lost it from reading so much. Nope it's stupid allergies!

The Pilot had just gotten an oil change before we left. Then they said something was wrong. It's costs us more than $1,000 to fix it before we left, and time to fix it. URRR!!! On the road the air conditioner was working, then not working. It was on, but it wasn't pumping out cold air. Under the glove box was sure cold and dripping though. We still don't know what's up with that. 

The weather was rainy traveling to Colorado. Remember we're from Nebraska. We went from flat grassy plains - where you can see for miles and miles, to hills and trees, and finally mountains.

I'm ending with these rainstorm photos:

This was the best trip driving with the boys. They were so good overall!

Rainbow Bandz Loom Kit Review

Isaak and Daddy have had a few Rainbow Loom parties. They love watching YouTube videos, and figuring out how to make their next bracelet, or ring. Boys love Rainbow looms to.

I got a Rainbow Bandz Loom Kit to review.

The kit is $19.99, but on sale for $9.99!
On Amazon they have a note that if you do not like your set, they want 100% satisfaction guarantee, or they will give you your money back! 

The Kit Comes With:
  • 1 Super durable loom
  • 1 Hook with base opener
  • 600 silicone latex free rubber bands
  • 24 S-clips
  • Instruction manual


What's great is that they are nontoxic and latex free. We have some latex sensitivities in our family, so that's pretty important.

There is enough bands to make about 28 colorful and fun bracelets.

The Rainbow Loom product seem very durable. My sister bought a knock off loom, and she doesn't like hers. She also bought bands from some other place, and they are weak. Who wants their bracelet to only last a little while? Not me. Rainbow Loom bands do not have weak spots. 

Our Experience:

We plan on doing some video tutorials, but we still need practice. We're beginners at the Apel household. At this point in time Isaak's either trying his own thing, and it doesn't work out, or we're following along other people's videos on YouTube. We'll get there. In a few weeks we plan on having a Rainbow Loom party with the boy's cousins, and a few friends.

My Gift:

I got the best birthday presents ever this year. Here's what Daddy and Isaak made me:

A Fishtail Bracelet and Ring

Daddy made the bracelet. He got so into the Rainbow Loom.

Isaak made the ring all by himself.  It's comfortable. I thought the sides of it would bother me, but they don't at all. I wore it all vacation. That made my littlest man happy. He's also made a few bracelets for Grandma and one of Daddy's co-workers.

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