Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008 in a nutshell

2008. It was a good year!
Kind of a stay at home and get things done year, but a good year non the less.
We are looking forward to going skiing for a week at Winter Park with Kevin's Sister and family next week, and the girls are enjoying a nice long winter break. I didn't get any of those family projects done, the calendar, the cookbook, the collection of all photos and slides. . . but I still have my sanity.

Colleen - (that's me) is going to Regis University to get a masters degree in Special Education and my teaching license. If all goes well I will be student teaching in the fall. And that has set the tone for the rest of our lives going on 2 years now. I do my yoga in the basement. I work as a PARA at Rolling Hills elementary. I still co-lead the 2 girl scout troops, although not as well as I would like - but I'm excited for camping trips coming in the spring that will take us to a whole new level. No time for book club, bunko, coffee talks - but I'll be back! Bruce and Roberta Gillis (my mom and dad) are doing fine, and we get to see them often.

Kevin - (that's my hub) has a brand new baby at work. It's a G4, gulfstream jet. The pilots are fighting over who gets trained on it, and so far it looks like Kevin gets to go to school and will be the lead mechanic for it. We girls are actually going to go in today to have a peek. He has a picture of it in his wallet (well, on his phone, it's that exciting). Otherwise he has been a trooper picking up the considerable slack cause by my going to school. Thanks honey!

Caitlin - Caity is in 3rd grade, she's 9, wants to be Hannah Montana, has braces and glasses, is the tallest (girl) in her class and reminds me alot of Mary Katherine Gallagher from Saturday Night Live. She is a Brownie Girl Scout, swims with the Parkview Penguins swim team in the summer, plays soccer with the Tigers in the fall, and will soon be skiing in the winter and spring! She's doing great with piano lessons, and is quite the little artist. AND - she can't wait to "help" me set up the chocolate fondue fountain that we won in the Gillis family gathering grab bag. Yeah, it's Friday morning. Let's do that for breakfast!

Abigail - Abi is in 1st grade, she's 6, she has about 90 webkinz (little stuffed animals with an accompanying online life) and knows them all by name and wants to take all of them everywhere she goes, and loves Starwars (they both do, go figure). Both girls go to Rolling Hills where I work and it has been fun being able to see them in the halls (they are so lucky I want to do elementary school and not high school). She prefers being a crumb (little sister who gets to tag along with the Brownies) to being an actual Daisy - but she's hanging in there with the Daisies for now, she plays soccer with the Super Shooting Stars, and will finally be old enough to be on the swim team this summer. She too is an excellent little artist, has braces and glasses, and a learning disability that we are all learning from. Abi says I love Christmas!

Lilith - (that's the dog) Lilly is a border collie mix, and I can hear the girls yelling at her upstairs even as I type. She's eaten at least one of their cookies and is a sneaky, evil genius! But she's equally as cute and lovable so we keep her. There is a rumor being spread around that Santa has agreed to bring as a puppy next Christmas, because you know all evil geniuses need minions, or at least a henchman. That's what Santa told me any way.

Happy Holidays everyone!
Thank you for all your generosity, friendship and good company - live or digital, we will take it! Best wishes for a fabulous 2009!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday morning, not doing much of anything

Well, a crazy week and weekend are over, and winter break has officially begun!! Starting it off right with coffee and a big jug of that nasty creamer stuff I love so much (it's made of THOSE ingredients that have a half/life they're so bad for me). It should last most of the break.
I'm making a list, checking it twice . . . and the girls got all excited when I told them I might leave them home alone (and since I need to Christmas shop this is WONDERFUL news). But, then you have to wonder, why are they all excited? Planning to hunt around maybe? Who knows - don't care - gotta get it done!
Kitcat was fluey last night, but seems completely recovered now. No sign of it making the rounds through the house so I am off to Costco, Costplus, SportsAuthority, Bestbuy, Target, Justice(40% off everything coupon!) and Samanthas Cats and Dogs! (Lilly has NOT been good, so we have to get her something because she's on Santa's naughty list.)
I, on the other hand have been extra good this year - because I want an Ipod, and Santa just might be in the mood to get herself one. Cheerio !

By the way, TZ hostessed a fabulously successful ornament exchange party last night. It was super fun and I had 2 full plates it was so good. ( and 6 huge olives stuffed with garlic cloves!) way to go Tracey! Thanks!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Caitlin gets in the spirit!
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Not everyone can apprieciate the beaty of the beast

But Abi obviously can. These are just a few of the 29 pictures - Digital is a wonderful thing. But where did my picture of the grinch go?
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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas is in the air

Oh, the girls just lover everything about Christmas.
It's a very creative time of year. (Don't worry, I rescued her.)
I'm tired. I have a ton of assignments due on Saturday, so this may be my last decent nights sleep for awhile. Night night!
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Monday, December 01, 2008


15 more days!!

That's wassup!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Nana's blogging!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

"We thank you lord, for this our food, for life and health and mercy good. May manna to our souls be given, the bread of life sent down from heaven" - Gillis family prayer, probably a Midwestern Presbyterian thing.

Today I am thankful for:
- My squirrelie girls who make my life meaningful, and everything more fun.
- My hard working, patient, helpful husband who just made me a ham egg and cheese bagel for breakfast.
- My family and any chance we get to spend time with them.
- Kevin's family and their eagerness to come visit us.
- All my supportive friends and family.
- For the good old USA.

Hot showers, computers, television, indoor plumbing, automobiles, and even Lilly (the dog).


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Oh he's not really sick. . ."

Today was Grandparents Day at school. They also called it Special Persons Day.
Could call it "bring someone important in your life who has a check book to the bookfair" Day.
Really, it's nice to see the effort at inclusion of all different types of families that makes kids feel less weird for not being from the Cleaver Family. In this class there are a couple of sad stories reguarding why dad wasn't there for donuts with dad this morning; why Grandma and Grandpa aren't coming.

But on the lighter side. . . I don't know why this litte girls Grandparents weren't coming, but she was expecting mom and brother. I overheard someone tell her "Your mom can't come because your brother is sick." So I sat near her and a few other loners so they would have an adult to chat with and share cookies.
Some share more than others. She was mad at her brother because now mom couldn't come. chat chat chat. Well, no see, he's not really sick. Really, chat chat chat. oh he's not really sick, he has a problem with his pee pee. OK. Yeah, there's something wrong with his pee pee again. There's always some thing wrong with it. Let's have another cookie sweetie!

Imagine what I might have learned if I'd had her full attention for longer than 2 minutes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This was funny. Made me laugh and cry instead of cry and cry which is a nice change today. (Abi's parent teacher conference makes my top 10 worst moments list.)
It's alittle long, but get's hilarious at the end when Ellen calls her back.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead! The mean old witch, the wicked witch. And all of Emerald City is Rejoicing

Now, here is an example. Some day, I will need to keep my personal blog / proffessional blog very seperate,
(or perhaps learn to keep my mouth shut? Nah.)
BUT - not yet
Today I feel the need to document my amazement at the number of people who had a smile on their face, a little bounce in their step, who expressed a feeling of relief. The volly of celebratory phone calls that burst forth, the offering to throw a goodbye party without inviting her, the high fives that where discreetly given. . . I was not alone in finding my co-worker less than charming. She really was that bad.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hamster? What Hamster?

I feel like Carl Rove. Recreating my reality. Spinning it.
Shhhh - the hamster is gone, and unbelievably the girls haven't noticed yet.
I had moved him into the basement because of grandma's being horrified by the many health risks involved with harboring an exotic pest; and they have pretty much forgotten about him (hence his death by "natural causes" - don't ask).

It's a pleasant Monday afternoon. We had to go see about braces for Abi, she will have an expander in 2 weeks, and I will get to be Ratchet Woman. Ab is excited because we get to crank it 28 times, and Caitlin only got to do 21. AND - Abi gets to be in the big book! That's right. Her mouth is so impressively messed up, that she has had 3 before pictures of her face, and 6 before pictures of her teeth taken. WOW! Caitlin didn't. She's just Bunnicula. hehehe. Meaning she has the 2 big old front teeth, then 2 gapping holes, and then a crazy set of fangs! Oh shush! It's good to be able to laugh about it.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Never say never? Even if one is prone to exageration?

NEVER - talk politics in the copy room and expect to come out of it feeling good.

NEVER - open your 401k statement and think "how bad could it be?"

NEVER - wait until the last minute to get your obscure lesson plan done.

NEVER - pick "youtube" as your final assignment, because you, my friend are easily distracted, and will NEVER finish your "research".

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The up side of global warming

The upside to Global Warming:
The It Girls look would not have been visable underneath snowpaint, snowboots and ski parka. They went without jackets last night! They also were tickled pink with the glitter hairspray that you can't even see. (I was tickled pink too, being afraid it might go on thick as spraypaint.)
And our long lost playgroup buddies showed up for some impromptu hot chocolate and pumpkin pie. (They have 2 hamsters now! Cheekie and Cutie. They stayed home though.)
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Latenight with David Letterman

Probably the only thing that could make Bill Clinton sound like an genius, is 8 years of listening to GWB. hehehe. OF course my bleeding heart-left wing views have me leaning that way anyhow, but Bill does Former President pretty well.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Caitlin Makes an Autobiography

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More college is still college

OOH, somebodies (plural) in a RU class of mine just got their hands slapped for copy/paste-ing. Seems someone else doing the same assignment copy/pasted the exact same think! 2 for 1. Don't they realize that the person who wrote the thing they just copied is just some yahoo and they could probably say it better themselves?

OK - i want to go shopping. I'm doing homework. I have 1 more day of break which I will be spending observing reading groups. Ciao.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Woggling, - gled, -gle, - [w/ah/gl/ing] verb, to not quite jog, not quite walk but woggle at a leisurely, slow pace, esp. as an outdoor exercise: She went woggling this morning to keep in shape. To move up and down, in and out, or to and fro with short, quick jerks while not quite jogging, not quite walking. A jiggling movement. The act of looking absurd or ridiculous while excersicing.

(Woggling is best preformed early in the morning, prefferably in the dark, or at least before the middle school students come out en masse.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday night at the DTC classroom

Tuition for 3 credit hours at Regis University: $1,000.00

Books and supplies: $69.00

Snacks: $2.50

Being bored silly for 4 hours: priceless

That was the note being passed around by the giggling girls in the front row no less! I'm so ashamed of my behavior. Some things never change.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Am I a glass is half empty or half full kinda person?

Here's the test.

I'm home, doing laundry, studying, cleaning AND having a fabulous hair day... is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Pretty easy test.

It's the last week of break. I'm exhausted and the girls are sick to death of each other. Thank goodness we go back next week. (Was that another 1/2 empty, 1/2 full test?)

OK, I'm feeling the need to keep plodding along. Sorry blog world, it was another short visit.

OOOH! but most importantly, I broke my MAGIC NUMBER on the way DOWN the scale. My nemisis number, the axis of evil number, the number that makes loosing the rest of it seem down right plausable. Yeah Me!

Monday, October 06, 2008

I love Halloween

I like the cannibal pumpkin man best..
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Playing Catsup

I'm so impressed with everyone out there dutifully blogging away. I also just ran across a Halloween picture that was on a blog - humming along just fine until October 2006 - When it just stops! Now that's disconcerting. Did he die? Get divorced? Family emergency? Went back to school? Ha! Don't let this happen to you, I said to myself.

Anyway, cliff notes version of September/October thus far:
  • Why does my DD have more money than me? Currently she's walking around with a brand new Nintendo DS, 3 new games, tons of new clothes, $60.00 cash, and $75.00 in un-cashed checks! I have 3 bucks. What's up with that?

  • Happy Birthday Gang (3 of the 6 - wait, 5)

  • Vail was beautiful. We went for a couple of hikes, DD2 officially learned how to ride her bike (although she's been riding the "Pony" bike with training wheels since she could walk, she had a steep learning curve with "Rose", who she is almost to big for now that she's tamed her) round and round at that Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.

  • The best thing about Vail? Dog lovers everywhere. Big Dogs, little dogs, black dogs, white dogs, black and white dogs.

  • While trying to enjoy myself on vacation, I did a 23 page presentation about assistive technology, when a 3 page evaluation check list would have been fine. Oh, the joys of working with a new partner in a graduate school classroom. Maybe I can use it later.

  • Flat Stanley is a good traveling companion.

  • Racquetball is fun! Ab was a giant pink target when the 4 of us where trying to play. Funny stuff, sorry, no pictures.

  • I have a crabby neighbor who hates me, and my little dog too. Apparently "Lilith" barked her fool head off several nights in a row while we were gone. I found an unsigned nasty note telling me how inconsiderate "you people" are. Thanks. Apparently TZ, that's why Lil was so calm and non-barky during the day. She must have been exhausted. I thought about standing outside at 2am and yelling "hello! hello! I just wanted to assure my anonymous thoughtful neighbor that now that we are aware of the barking at night problem, we will be sure to keep her inside. Thank you for the lovely note. OK, good night!"

Friday, September 26, 2008


It's good to be off track. The hub just packed the kiddo's off to Vail, and although I'm going to spend most of the time doing homework, I have the house to myself, I'm about to go to the library by myself, go to video store and rent a movie for me, and pick up some dinner. Maybe I'll go somewhere I want to go.

Then, I get to go up tomorrow for most of the week.
THEN, I have 2 more weeks off.
Maybe I'll visit some of my long lost blogging friends.

Last night we went to the Bee Movie at Rolling Hills Elementary, and I gotta tell ya, this CUTE little boy Reda and Abi are loopy over each other. OK, I know I'll have pictures soon because Flat Stanley is coming with us, and we are supposed to report on his journeys. Ciao Baby!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm Better Now

I finally got some sleep and now realize that Ab does not have ADD.
I might, but that's a topic for another sleepless night.

Wordless Wednesday. Searching. . . Bingo!

Tall one, middle, glasses.
(Caitlin on her new improved team, the Tigers! Grrr!)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Up Wringing My Hands

Nothing like doing homework with the little resistant one to send me into a spiral of despair. I've been back and forth between relieved, to freaking out, and back again. I'm currently looking up ADD/ADHD and Auditory Processing Disorders that are frequently co-morbid (love THAT term) with speech language disorders.

DD2's memory seems to be just fine for anything other than academic, language, not-interesting stuff -it's just learning to read she can't be bothered with. How many more hours can we possible put in before she gets it or I pull all of my hair out? Last week I thought gee, that reading group is really at a lower level, I should ask to have her moved. Today, I think she may have 10 sight words memorized if she's lucky, and suddenly it's like pulling teeth to get her to sound something out.

Maybe I should put in an emergency call in to my pediatrician. Wake up! My DD can't read! Now I'm going to look up global warming, and do my finances just to really get myself worked into a frenzy. Then I'll check in with the fox news network to try and figure out why people trust the republican party - and how it makes them feel safe.
Should I laugh or cry?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A Sorry State of Affairs

I just walked through the kitchen and saw The Cauldron.

I suppose at least it's not collecting dust from lack of use; instead it's filled with kids homework. A sad misuse of The Cauldron, fairly accurately representing the current state of my life. It's OK, I know it's only temporary, and at least I have Ms. Martha looking out for me, (and the rest of the neighborhood). Martha, I was going to photoswap your head into a Loveboat picture as Social Director Julie, but alas I'm headed off to class this morning, so I don't have enough time.

But, if you can't find yourself a Momma Mia costume for halloween, you might consider this as a substitute.

Friday, September 05, 2008



Imagine a picture of a golf green, and on it the yellow flag marked "15"; as in 15 days until fall break!
I probably need to kill a chicken so the computer gods are happy again.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Shredding down memory lane

One of my fondest childhood memories is getting out ALL the ski equipment, gear, and accessories and practicing in the living room. I think the excuse for my dad was checking that everything fit and was in good working condition; but I think he was just looking forward to ski season so much he was giddy.

So it was appropriate that my mom and dad were there in the living room for the first go at pretend skiing. Look fast girls!

All geared up, and ready for snow!
C and A also had the 2nd ever sleep over at the Grands so that Kevin and I could finish painting the north side of the house. Busy busy weekend, but we still managed to squeeze in a last day at the pool. Happy Labor day, and . . . don't forget:

19 more days.

Daisies go backyard camping

That was Friday, and Saturday morning.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I know just the thing that will brighten my day. A countdown to fall break. Ready? I'm getting the calendar. . . Don't forget Labor day, 3 day weekend. . .

23 days!

Then, we have a lovely 16 days off. And we get to go to Vail the first week. There now. Can you face the day? Make it to the morning meeting with a smile on your face? (A fake smile is O.K., given who your dealing with here.) OK, let's go wake up the girls, bribe them with the promise of donuts for breakfast, and get them in gear.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Science in our own front yard

Right out of our front door, we have been observing the biggest freakin' mushroom I've ever seen in my life. We don't see alot of them here in Colorado, and normally we just kick them as far as we can (the girls, I rarely get a shot at one). So, one was bigger than all the others in this most recent batch, and we decided to let it live an see just how big it might get. If only I had a time lapse camera, because mushrooms are WEIRD. I must have told the girls a dozen times - make sure you don't eat it! (I have issues.)

Well, and it's just not the same without the pictures - is it.
Maybe eblogger will be more cooperative on Wordless Wednesday and I can post them as a compliment to this one.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Quote of the Week

from ED (eldest daughter):

"Abi, you shouldn't say that. That's like a bad word, and if you keep saying them you'll grow up to be just like mom!"

hahahahaha - WHAT!?! - hahaha
(Abi call someone a Nin-com-pooop)

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Too Many count downs going on at once!
First Yoga, THEN coffee.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Birthday SIS


It's been so nice having you as a neighbor (blog-o-sphere neighbors count). We wish you were close enough to throw a party for!

Best wishes,


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ut-Oh. . .

This morning, I'm sitting here feeling pleasantly relaxed, having a lovely cup of coffee before going in to work. What I'm supposed to be doing is working out. That's what I've done for the past 3 weeks. EVER morning (weekday morning), on the run to squeeze it into 1 hour. I just couldn't do it today.

Yesterday was the first time I weighed myself in a month, and I'll be damned if THAT NUMBER didn't appear! Yeah yeah, muscle weighs more, blah blah blah, you're loosing inches, yadda yadda yadda, you'll have a big weight lose soon. I know it's not about THAT NUMBER, I'm actually quite proud of my ability to ignore THAT NUMBER. But but but, GDIATH - I really need THAT NUMBER to go away soon, or I fear my amazing motivation will evaporate into thin air, and this nice relaxed morning . . . nah. This time it's personal. THAT NUMBER - is going down!!! I think I'll wait another 3 weeks to weigh in. No. (because I'm afraid it will still be there) Let's make that track off time. That's about 6 weeks.

I've been working out hard, too! And eating responsibly. F-ing scale.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beautiful day at the EMPTY pool!

First, I want to point out that the movie Zoolander is some kind of funny stuff at 3 a.m. "Hey, I can deri-lick my own balls" - says Derrick Zoolander.

But more importantly, today we had the neighborhood Park View pool almost entirely to ourselves! Filled with friends is preferable, but it turned out fun because Kevin and I played with the girls, and I got to finish my 2nd book club read of the summer, The Big Year. (Author Obsmarski(sp?). The subject was bird watching. It was interesting and made me giggle.)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I'm A BAD MOM - go ahead, give me the rusty, broken down, spikey bad Mom Tierra. I deserve it.

Exercise is good. It's a much needed outlet for my stress.
I've gone every weekday for the last 2 weeks.
Except for today.

A typical Thursday morning. Pretty stressful because we have a new chore/responsibility system that's alot of work,
but it seems to be paying off little by little.
The girls are ready, fed, and finally out the door for school.
On the way to the car I say to both of them, "I'm taking back a quarter because you didn't get your teeth brushed".
Caitlin says "I brushed my teeth".
I can't really remember all the horrible things I said, trying to get her to confess her blatant lie. I was so sure she had NOT brushed her teeth that I just went off!! I ended with "Fine! After I drop you off I'm going home to see if your toothbrush is wet! And I can tell if you brushed your teeth.
"I'm giving you one last chance to tell me the truth!"

So did you guess the suprise funny ending?
There was her toothbrush, obviously freshly used.
Wet, the only thing out on the counter, and the toothpaste lid wasn't quite closed.

I was screaming like a lunitic, over a toothbrush.
This is what I've been reduced by a chore chart.
Not one of my finer moments.
When I appologize to her I promise not to berate her with the numerous reasons I didn't believe her in the first place.

So Martha, I do allow ugly at my house.
But only on me, between the hours of 7-8 a.m.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Girls at the Helm

I love digital, and at least they didn't trash the house this time. (I was upstairs nursing a migrane.)

There were about 100 more pictures, but I think you have the idea .

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