Sunday, May 31, 2009

Look at Me!

Look how big I am! I can pull myself up and everything!

Little Sadie is growing too too fast for her mom and dad. Yes she is 10 months old but has taken her time crawling and pulling herself up. She does what we call the monster crawl where she uses her arms to get somewhere but rarely uses her legs. She is also starting to pull herself up onto things. I think she is a little slower than our other kids because 1. She is so mellow, 2. She is usually in a car seat going to and fro 3. When she isn't in her car seat, mom, dad or one of the others is lovin on her and she hasn't had as much floor time. It's funny how with your first child you can't wait for them to crawl or walk and now with Sadie being my last I love seeing the new things she discovers but I want it to all slow down. Alas, isn't that how it always is.

Park Day

Today is Sunday and Travis was so kind to let me take a long nap. He took the kids over to the Erie Commons park. Here are some pictures:
Are all these little ones mine? I am so lucky!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tattle Tell

Tonight Travis was putting Reece and Dayton to bed and after Travis left the room Reece yells out "Dayton said a bad Word!" Well, Travis was right by the door and Dayton didn't say anything but Travis decided to see what Reece would do if he "punished" Dayton. So this is what happened:
Travis pretended to "spank" Dayton while Dayton pretended to be all hurt and sad. After his pretend punishment Dayton got back in bed and Reece seemed very concerned. He walked over to Dayton's bed and said "Dayton I'm sorry, are you okay?" Dayton responded very solemnly, "yes (sniff, sniff) I'm okay, it's okay). Reece gave Dayton a kiss and a hug and climbed back in his bed. Travis leaves the room and shuts the door and within two seconds hears Reece say.............. "DAYTON SAID A BAD WORD!!". What a little stinker. Poor Dayton having to share a room with such a traitor. We love you Dayton and know you don't say bad words.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mesa Verde National Park

The reason we wanted to come to this part of Colorado was to see Mesa Verde National Park. We were not dissapointed. It is amazing. Our first site we saw was the the Spruce Tree House. This is the third largest cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde. Mesa Verde has more than 4700 archaelogical sites recorded.

Landon and Dayton are looking into what they call Kiva's. Nobody knows exactly what a kiva was used for. Some archaelogists say they were used for warmth since they were built into the ground and stayed warmer in the winter, other's say they were ceremonial. Our tour guide said that whenever an archaelogist doesn't know what something is used for they say it is used for ceremonial reasons (I thought that was funny but probably true). The ancestral Puebloans built and lived in these cliff dwellings about 1,400 years ago, long before Europeans explored North America. They and their descendants lived here for more than 700 years. In the late A.D. 1200's in the span of a few generations they left their home and moved away.

We were able to climb down a ladder into one of the dwellings. Sixty to Eighty people were thought to have lived at Spruce Tree House.

A small room with little cut outs was at the bottom of the ladder. Below is a picture of Dayton looking into a kiva. One bad thing about having little kids at Mesa Vede is it is very dangerous with a lot of cliffs and hazards. We had a scare with Reece running around this as mom was trying to grab him. He was trying to run away from mom and almost fell in a Kiva. After that, we sat all the kids down and "laid down the law" and Reece was not allowed to move a inch without mom and dad holding his hand.

They had a musuem by Spruce Tree House with small scale models of what they thought life would have been like for the Ancestral Puebloans. Reece kept saying "They're Naked!, hee hee hee". It was pretty funny.

Sadie Ann was a trooper in the backpack. Never fussed or cryed once! How lucky are we.

Below is a picture of Cliff Palace which is the largest cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde. You can only get to it by a guided tour and you have to climb up and down a series of ladders. It was huge and amazing and SCARY! The guide said they built down in these cliffs for protection in a defensive way. I believed him, it is not easy to get here.

If I look annoyed in this picture it is because I am. We are gathered around a kiva and the guide is giving us the lowdown on the history. What you don't see is that Travis is standing on a two foot wide space with cliffs on both sides of him. Really? Keep in mind that Sadie is on his back in the backpack and Dayton and Landon are right by him. I chose the "safe" spot to sit and nobody followed me. Needless to say I was happy when this little chat was done and we could get the heck out of there. Did I mention I'm terrified of heights? And I'm a mother? Seriously!
One of the crevices we had to climb through to get to Cliff palace.
A ladder we had to scale to get out of Cliff Palace. The ladders were obviously not here for the Ancestral Puebloans. There are little notches in the wall that they used to climb in and out.

Well, after a long day Sadie decided she was done with Mesa Verde and took a little snooze right in the backpack. I love this little one so much and like I said before she was fabulous and just went along with everything we did. I was a great trip!

The second largest cliff dwelling is called Balcony House. It is known as the "Indiana Jones" tour of the park. Apparently you have to climb 30 ft ladders, crawl through tunnels and such in order to get there. We had tickets for this but after Cliff Palace decided it was best to hold off til our kids were older (or mom was braver). An interesting fact about Mesa Verde is that it is the first National Park of it's kind. What I mean by that is that in 1906 Theodore Roosevelt established Mesa Verde to "preserve the works of man" whereas other National Parks have been established to preserve natural works. Pretty cool.

It's the Bar-D-Chuckwagon!

Since this was kind of our "nature", "outdoor", "hick" vacation we decided to go to the Durango Bar-D-Chuckwagon Dinner and show. We started off on a little train they had that went all around the property. It was perfect for little kids, they loved it.
They also had little shops and such that you could visit and a hiking trail. So before dinner we took a little hike in the mountains. The trail looked like it was stroller friendly but about half way up the mountain we had to abandon the stroller to the side and carry on without. Here is little Sadie and her cute smile after enjoying a lovely pre-dinner graham cracker.

The boys don't ever seem to have any trouble finding stuff to climb on.
The girls.
The dinner was served inside a big outdoor pavillion (which they had covered because of rainy conditions). It was all bar-b-que and they basically herded you through the line like cattle. After dinner the Bar-D-Wranglers put on a fantastic show of Western music. It was great and we were laughing and having so much fun. The kids favorite (and adults) was the "Old Matt Palmer had a farm" song, even little Sadie Ann was clapping and bouncing up and down. If you have a chance to check out a show I would recommend it. I guess there is a little "hick" in all of us Jensen's. One of the things Travis and I really liked about the show was that they had a "moment of silence" at the beginning of dinner and then they ended the "moment of silence" with an "Amen". At the end of the show they paid tribute to our country with a medley of American songs. One thing you always find among the heart of America is God fearing, country loving people which is very refreshing. It's nice to know we aren't alone out there.

Fishing at Willowtail Springs

At the Lakehouse they had canoes and a smaller fishing boat for our use. This was the favorite for Landon and Dayton. Here is a picture of everyone getting ready to head out on the lake. It was a beautiful setting.Dad catching the first bass of the day! (The only catch I might add)

Landon, Dayton and Dad took to the lake everyday, sometimes twice. Mom and Sadie went one time and little Reece went atleast once a day but for short little trips and wanted back to solid ground.

Look at the view. The owners of Willowtail Springs have about 60 acres of land in this area so it was very peaceful.

The boys became excellent "paddlers" by the end of the trip!

Fishing, canoeing and boating scored an A+ on this trip.

ER VISIT-Cortez Colorado

A Jensen family trip wouldn't be complete without a trip to the local emergency room. The morning after we arrived at our cabin Reece woke up with a huge lump on the side of his neck. Since everyone I know seems to have cancer my mind immediately thought "It's a tumor". Travis gave him a blessing and I took him to the nearest ER about twenty minutes away in Cortez Colorado. Turns out it was just a swollen lymphnode which can be treated with amoxicillin. I was grateful and at the same time thought of all our friends who have not been so lucky to have such a easy fix for their own children. While Reece and I had a lovely visit to Cortez; Travis, Landon, Dayton and little Sadie Ann explored some of Willowtail Springs. Here is what they found.Something to climb on and try to destroy.Smelling of some random flower/toxic weed.Posing like superstars on top of some wood.Sadie wondering "When is mom going to be back? I'm ready to go to Gymboree already!" Yes, my kids are Awesome! Such potential, you can see it in their faces !

My little princess Sadie Ann taking a moment on the rocks.

Landon looking a bit concerned about a little frog they found on their "nature hike" and then Dayton pretending to eat the little frog they found on their "nature hike". Luckily mom and Reece returned soon and no animals were harmed during this filming.

Willowtail Springs

In Mancos Colorado we stayed at a secluded (meaning in the boonies) cabin up at Willowtail Springs. We rented out a cabin called the Lakehouse that overlooked a small private lake. It was great, the kids loved it and little Reece called it "our wood house" and wanted to live there forever (he cried on the way home when we told him we were going back to our red house).On one of the porches

All smiles, love it!
The porch off the back of the cabin with a big tree that they built the deck around which Landon and Dayton found perfect for climbing.