Sunday, September 14, 2014

Settling in ...

By the time Anonin's Birthday rolled around (two weeks after Caleb's), we felt much more settled into our home and neighborhood.
Even so, I wasn't sure who to invite to our home for a party, so we celebrated as a family, once he returned home from school!!
Ashlyn & I decorated the house while Antonin was at school, and again- it was fun watching Ashlyn's excitement for her brother's birthday. We also baked cupcakes with much anticipation.   :)
Preparation was slightly more challenging since I was also home schooling Ashlyn, but everything was ready in time!

Happy, happy 13th Birthday, Antonin!!!
I can't believe how fast time is going by- everyone was right when they told me the days are long, but the years are short.
What a blessing you are in our family, and we look forward to what God will do in your life!

Looking for something to do during Labor Day ... we discovered a hot air balloon festival!
We enjoyed every moment, it was so much fun!!
Even though we had to get up very early (like we do most weekdays, wouldn't it be nice to sleep in since it's Saturday), we agreed that it was well worth the effort!!!
The balloons began taking off at 7AM, and were all in the air by 8AM

What excitement! We were so glad we came.


 
As the hot air balloons drifted away .... and we decided to go exploring.
 
We took a scenic drive to Monument, Colorado. I loved the trails there, as they had a "forest" feel to them. What can I say- I'll always have Midwest forests (tall trees) in my blood, you know.  ;)
 


A beautiful day for a hike and views! :)
 
Later that evening, we returned to the Hot Air Festival, to see a "Balloon Glow".
It was difficult getting great photos with my regular camera, but the experience was awesome!
The lights flickered and glowed ... 
Ashlyn was scared; she was afraid the balloons were going to fall down.
 

 
On Labor Day (Monday), we took a drive to an Art & Crafts Festival in Manitou Springs.
It was obviously smaller than what we'd grown accustomed to in Belleville, IL (one of the largest Arts Festivals in the country) .... but it was very nice, with a small mountain-town feel to it.   :)
Ashlyn found a couple of fun activities  :)
We then drove around the town of Manitou Springs, oohing and awing at the scenery ...
.... and how people lived in the mountains!  Can you imagine this view being across the street from you, or in your backyard?!?!  
 
  
I keep thinking that I'm living in the mountains with living in Colorado Springs. No ... Manitou Springs is true mountain living. Now I see why my Colorado Springs neighbors gave me a funny (but polite) look, when I said I was getting use to living in the mountains.
I should say that I'm getting use to living in higher elevation, and a dryer climate in Colorado Springs ... that would be most accurate.   :)
Our Welcoming Home ... this is our first home with a flag pole holder! :)  Yay!

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