Friday, April 18, 2008

NREL Tour and Rob's Work

I figure with Earth Day quickly approaching, these two subjects tie in nicely together. On Tuesday, Karrie and I took the kids to NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) for a tour given by Karrie's friend who works there. The kids enjoyed pushing buttons and playing with knobs and Ashleigh's favorite part was the solar-powered ski lift seen in the picture below. They also had a display there that featured advances in solar energy, so I could even teach Ashleigh a little bit about what Daddy does for a living (a hard concept for a 3-yr old!).

Solar-powered ski lift

Janice, Ethan, and Ashleigh in front of the Solar Cell Exhibit at NREL

Rob said things are going extremely well right now at his company and that just this week, they've blown past their efficiency goals for the month, which also means they will be able to start building their production line soon. We know all our knowledge and success comes from the Lord, but it truly is amazing how smart my dear husband is and how God is using him in the workplace. He feels like Joseph at the end of Genesis who, with God's favor in the workplace, goes from a slave to the second in command to the king.

We also had a picnic lunch with her friend outside and I reminisced of my engineering days when I worked at NREL, my very first engineering job out of school. I have never regretted my decision to stay home with my kids. Sure, there are days I long for adult interraction and I do miss some of the people I used to work with, but I know these years go so fast and I'm glad to spend these days together, seeing them learn and grow.

Ethan and Ashleigh in front of a display

Ashleigh and Rusty electrolizing the water to produce Hydrogen to run the car

Monday, April 14, 2008

Redo ski trip to Crested Butte

Janice, John, Jennifer, Ashleigh (3 1/2) Rob, and Steven at Crested Butte

We were finally able to take our Crested Butte trip this weekend! Some of you who have been reading my blog for a while may remember we tried to take this trip in December, but Monarch Pass was closed while we waited 6 hours for it to re-open and we turned back to town at 10 pm. Well, we made it up this time and even though it was the last weekend of the season, there was still a TON of snow up there! Here's a picture of our ski-in/ski-out condo and the truck. (Keep in mind, this was mid-April!). Our original condo was one that we would have to take the shuttle to and from, but we were upgraded and could look right out our balcony onto the base of the ski area! God is good, even on weekend trips away from home!

The condo where we stayed in Crested Butte

The doorway to the condo

Ashleigh also got to come and go skiing for the first time. We put her into a lesson, so I don't have any pictures of her on skis, but I do have this picture from before she started in the morning. She did great and rode the magic carpet (instead of the lift), which for you non-skiers is similar to a really slow moving walkway you'd find at the airport. We got to spy on her lesson after lunch and watch her get off the magic carpet and ski down the gentle slope. No snowplow yet, but I imagine that takes some growing and leg strength to get good at. She loved it and was so sad to leave on Sunday, so I'm glad she didn't get frustrated and is excited about it. There is nothing quite like seeing your own child doing the activities you love and are passionate about! Highlight of my day!

Ashleigh and mommy on the steps getting ready to go

Dropping Ashleigh off at Ski School

My brother-in-law, John, my brother Steven, my sister Jennifer, and Rob at the top of the lift

Rob and I at the top of the mountain (above treeline)

This last picture was taken the day before we left for Crested Butte and I just had to throw in the cute Ethan picture. Grandma and Grandpa watched Ethan for the weekend while we went skiing. He climbed, by himself, onto the shelf under the coffee table and got stuck!

Ethan (9 mo) stuck under the coffee table

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Children's Museum with Grandma

Ashleigh, Ethan, and Grandma Carole in the baby area of the Children's Museum

Janice and Ethan (9 mo) being served food in the play restaurant

Ashleigh and Grandma Carole grocery shopping

Ethan, Ashleigh and Grandma in front of the fire truck

Last week, Ashleigh, Ethan, my mom, and I went to the Children's Museum in Denver. It was a great day for it and Ethan's first time there. They actually have a little baby/crawling area too for the little guys, which he loved, but most of it is right up Ashleigh's alley. She got to garden, play with the toy gears (ahhh... a future engineer in the making!), paint, and go grocery shopping with the other kids there. My mom really enjoyed it too! Seems like we've been sick for so much of the winter with colds and flu bugs, so it was nice to get out when we were all feeling well.

Some other news for us is that after much prayer and discussion, we've decided to change churches and attended Calvary Chapel Aurora for the first time last Sunday. We had been going to their Wednesday night Bible study service since the first of the year and really enjoyed that and felt God leading us to make the change. We're both excited and sad, as we will dearly miss our church family at Pinecrest. Calvary Chapel is a much bigger church than what we're used to, but I saw they have a Moms' group and also a homeschoolers group that also meets at the church twice a month, so I'm looking forward to meeting some new people there too.

As promised on the last post,
here's Ashleigh in her Easter dress that Grandma Debbie sewed