Dashingly Dirty

It’s dashing and it’s dirty…it’s the Dirty Dash and it’s coming to a location near you. Well, maybe not. That depends on where you’re at BUT it’s coming to a location near me! Can you say #TeamFineS’Wine!

S'Wine

Intimidating, I know. Fear not…this race is great for all skill levels AND you can whoop it up for the cam an we’ll never know how many pits and obstacles you decided to tiptoe around. As for team Fine S’Wine, well, let’s just say there *was* blood, oh ya.

411 Recap from last yr? Here: 411 Recap from last yr.
Photo Journal? Here:
Photo Journal.

What’s the chapstick first aid about you ask? Well, let’s just say — that Fine S’Wine wasn’t a Boy Scout ;)

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Get the scoop on this year’s muddy mess…and start training now! Beer, mud, more beer, friends. Yep. That’s it. You’re in! Oh, camera. Check.

 

A Place Where All Dreamers Live

 

“My favorite space is the one between where the sea ends and the sky begins. It’s the place where all dreamers live.”

 ~ Jordyn Hay

HuntingBeach,CAbyJordynHay

It’s lazy mornings, long hikes, picnics in the park, swim days, video games, playdates and books we said we’d read but didn’t.  It’s the life, COLLEGE LIFE!

Alright, so you’re on to me. I write for Mamas, and no, that’s not a realistic glimpse into higher education, well …first semester, freshman year, maybe…but live and learn, right!? Ok, so I’m not done with my list here:

Late(ish) nights, unkempt rooms, uncontrollable raucous, random stickers fused to the floor, leftover pizza, evaporated Lucky Charms (minus the marshmallowy yummies) crispfused to the table and a never ending pile of seriously dirty laundry. Still sounds like college, doesn’t it? I know what you’re thinking – too many charms in my bowl, but hear me out.

I have a theory.

If it *sounds* like college, then it should *look* like college…SpRinG BrEaK 2013, oh ya! With healthier snacks, extra towels and a lot more SPF! What I’m suggesting is a legit Spring Break vacation. Not every year, but some year, this year (or next – after you plan and budget – hey, we’re responsible parents here!).

I’m just going to go ahead and admit that it’s been a while since I had a real Spring Break (hard to believe, I know)…but for the sake of journalism, I am willing to go out and capture the story for you — after I score that gig (stay tuned). BUT, what I did do is ask the opinion of a very real college expert. Brilliant and you’re welcome. Check out her tips and suggestions for an unforgettable spring break experience:

…and THAT is just a teaser for my upcoming MHM post! I know what you’re thinking and no, I’m not blog post MIA – I’ve been working on this (and many, many other things), and let me tell ya of the things I won’t do for journalism. Crickets. Yes, I landed that gig and ’tis good. Full report to come following SpRinG BrEaK 2013!

Meanwhile, plz don’t rob my house over SB’13 (I have few valuables and one neighbor with far too many guns – crazy and true), do know that my blog is alive and well, check out the invaluable advice that only a hip college undergrad can give – @MileHighMamas later this month and absolutely start planning your SB’14 getaway RIGHT NOW!

To come: “Is Spring Break a proper noun?”

photo credit: Jordyn Hay

Christmas Traditions Aboard the Santa Express

TheNorthPole

A train ride to the North Pole.

Elves

Christmas stories read by Elves.

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A visit from Santa Claus…and a small, silver bell.
A simple reminder that:

The Magic of Christmas Lies in Your Heart.

Santa Express Train
Canon City, CO

Special thanks to the Royal Gorge Route Railroad for inviting us out!
We had a wonderful time, always!!!

Four Feet to a Pig’s Nose at Anderson Farms

No, it’s not an official idiom…but it might find it’s way at Anderson Farms.
Definition: knowing you’ve grown tall enough to leap the stacks of the hay maze?

 Or maybe when you can tote the largest pumpkin in the patch?
(definition yet to be fully established)

It’s corn mazes, hay rides, live music, s’mores pit, pumpkin patches, pedal cars, barrel train rides, panning for gemstones and steaming hot cocoa with chocolate chip cookies inside a large barn brimming with confections and souvenirs (and lots, lots more!). It’s the stuff fall dreams are made of…and a family tradition we look forward to each year. It’s Anderson Farms Fall Festival!

While we did encounter a bit of rain this year, we didn’t get washed out…and when the showers did subside, we were ready to play hard – mud puddles included!

And this is it…the photo op: farm animal growth chart! Silas is as tall as a pig’s nose. We’re hoping for at least a lamb’s knees next year. Ryan is just past a cow’s utter, Charlotte and Noelle couple of hands above a pig’s belly. We captured adorable photos of each of the cousins measuring one another – and after a few years at this, we should have an adorable photo collection of our children growing up together…and maybe even enough to ruffle a rooster’s tail feathers!

Also new this year: a giant pumpkin on a silo.
It’s an interesting sight to behold and a peculiar mystery completely overlooked by our children.
I found it rather entertaining.

Colorado has several fall festivities around the state - I recommend exploring them all – but Anderson Farms is a must-see!
Plan to spend the day, food available for purchase, entertainment galore, wheel barrels help haul giant pumpkins and the people are amazingly hospitable and gracious in their traditional western welcome to all!

ColorCoatedGnar’s Favs @ColorMeRad

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If pummeling your friends with powdered color bombs and getting hosed down by perfect strangers armed with liquid color spray are your idea of a good time, then this is the 5K for you! What I love most about these silly themed, untimed races – um, besides the silly theme and the fact that it’s untimed - is that they’re ideal for beginner runners…aka: my five-year-old, whom raced via piggyback for most of this one #mommyworkout

Top Favs and/or Least Favs:

Blue boogies – two days worth, yum
Uber blue bath water – and the ring it left behind
The blue glow on our skin – three showers later!
Can you say #PhotoOp? (yes, in shades of blue)
Blue stain – how is it that the entire rainbow of colors we encountered = blue?

Team “Fine S’Wine” Gets Dirty @TheDirtyDash

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There’s Really Only 1 Way to Conclude a #SummerO’Fun

Yep, it’s on the books, in the plans and we’re crossing our fingers for seriously fab weather! Will we brave the slides and terrors of family raft rides!? (um, yes, I *am* mostly referring to the little accident we had last year!)…we shall see. Till then, here’s a recap of last year’s adventure including our PHOTO JOURNAL! W.W., here we come!!!

Key Factors in Aligning Values & Actions

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
~William Shakespeare

Worldly pressures, images and persuasions can be confusing and often misleading. If we are not careful, we can quickly stray from our original goals. We are continually exposed to media, social ideals and various other forms of information and unsolicited feedback, but thankfully, we have some insight and knowledge of these pressure pits which can help us thwart the mass of it…unfortunately, our children are still young and not as well prepared…but we are here to help them along their way!

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6

This transitional time of year is a perfect opportunity to help remind ourselves – and our children – of what our values and priorities are, and take a closer look at our goals…in order to reevaluate our cause. Learning more about who we are wonderfully made to be will help navigate this wide open space. Discovering more about who we *want* to be and less about what the world is *pressuring* us to be can be the key to true happiness.

So, how do we help our families achieve these ideals?

It helps to start with a list of values. Prioritize your top ten values and have your children do the same. The below list can be used to generate ideas, but choose your list according to what is most important to you.

Family
Spiritual Growth
Social Interactions
Sports
Education
Money
Health
Service
Career Advancement
Hobbies

There are no wrong answers on the values assessment list because every person is a unique individual! If we all shared exactly the same values and strengths, we wouldn’t be nearly as effective in working together.

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. Romans 12:4-6

Do your actions match your values?

Once you’ve determined your priorities, it’s helpful to check that you are appropriating your time accordingly. I like to do this using percentages, but you can simply rearrange your above list according to your current schedule. Now, compare the two lists and see where adjustments need to be made. Being aware of what we are doing and the reasons why can help in setting positive long-term goals.

Now that we know our values and can see where we are spending our time, we can use the information to set new goals and align our daily lives to reflect our beliefs. It’s not uncommon to slip into a bad habit of doing too much of that in which we would rather not…a whole lot less of that in which we should.

Goal Setting

One of the best ways to get back on track and moving toward the original goal is to set a main long-term goal with several, reachable short-term goals along the way.

All goals should be SMART:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

Your goal setting sheet should look something like this:

Main Goal = _____________ (keep it positive)

Short-term Goal #1 (include specifics and an achievable date)
Short-term Goal #2 (cross s-t goals off as they are accomplished!)
Short-term Goal #3 (almost there…stay on track)

Motivators: (I like to put encouraging words and helpful reminders here – something to keep the focus. Sticky notes on mirrors, in the car or somewhere they will be viewed daily can help too!)

I think you might be surprised at the many things you can learn about your children and their amazing, loving hearts as you help them set and keep their goals. They may be surprised to learn some pretty cool things about you too (and gain some wisdom into the reasons *why* you do the things you do!) …so in whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23

A Guide to Raising Well-Behaved Children

I recently made a most amazing discovery – a treasure, if you will – hidden deep in the suburban basement of a neighbor’s home. No, I wasn’t in search of a valuable find…it was just random luck as I helped good friends in the clearing of cobwebs in preparation for their summer company. The unexpected find was a serendipitous bonus.

“Manners are the way we communicate good intentions.”

Wise words from another friend of mine, spoken to our children. Being that this particular friend was from another country and English was a second language made it all the more interesting. I began to ponder the vast importance of this politeness stuff…making translation unnecessary.

It was pristine, untouched, recklessly abandoned beneath tattered copies of Harry Potter and the latest Lucado…Emily Post’s Etiquette book. So, it wasn’t an original, first edition – but it was a 75th Anniversary, 16th Edition, revised and updated by Emily’s great-grand-daughter-in-law, Peggy Post. I had been searching for this book for years (um, ok, so I could have gone to a bit more trouble in accessing a copy…but lets not take away from the moment.). I believe my friend’s response to that admission was something of the, “You’re so weird!” sort, but I suppose that much is true. (And with that, I was confident that she had *not* read the book, ha!)

Etiquette, according to Wikipedia, is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class or group. Let me paraphrase here: RuLEs FoR NorMaLCy. Oh, and this stuff can be hysterically funny too!

Food For Thought…

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” Emily Post

“Nothing is less important than which fork you use. Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor.” Emily Post

“A compliment is baloney sliced so thin that it is delectable. Flattery is baloney sliced so thick that it is indigestible.” Archbishiop Fulton Sheen via Emily Post

Continued Wisdom…

“When it comes to general conversation, the old adage ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” is good advice.” Emily Post

“Suitability should be a factor in choosing your stationery, just as it is in choosing your wardrobe.” Emily
Post

“Graceful standing and walking posture includes the following components: shoulders back, chin in and slightly
up, abdomen and stomach in, back straight and knees relaxed.” Emily Post

“There is little you can do about the annoying speech mannerisms of others, but there is a lot you can do about your own.” Emily Post

So, yes, some of this stuff is seriously funny…BUT

Laughter aside, rules for appropriate behavior according to social norms are great ways to help our children excel in their world, and there is now information on internet etiquette in the updated edition…a concept called “netiquette.” Read, laugh, enjoy, giggle…but in the end, you might have a few extra insights that could come in handy – personally and professionally.

Take it from me… and my proven success in raising well-behaved children. Etiquette, manners and the way in which we conduct ourselves speaks volumes about our good intentions and the person we hope to be.

“Women frequently ask whether they should call an unzipped fly to the wearer’s attention. Unless you are total strangers, do.” Emily Post

READ MORE AT MILE HIGH MAMAS

and the Scores are in…Sports Camp 101

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Skyhawks Sports Camp was a week-long success with a grand finale game day this morning. I was able to capture some excellent action shots – smile – and big brother came out to lend his own kind of moral support (yes, mostly mandatory). Everyone had a great time. Noelle made new friends, learned new skills and received rave reviews from her coaches. At the end of the day, she wasn’t afraid to relax, step out of the world of #futureOlympiansinthemaking and act like a kid again, haha.

My Fav Highlights:
student to coach ratio (check out my fab stills)
excellent organization, instruction and safety precaution
consistency in management
a welcoming atmosphere for parents and families
the fact that she was excited to return each morning!

Would I recommend Skyhawks to friends and family? …affirmatively so.

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