The Kofford Family relocates to Colorado after 40 years as Californians. In December of 2007, Grandma Lorraine is diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. Sadly, she passed away on Dec. 26th, 2008 after a year long courageous battle. Follow our journey as we keep Lorraine's memory alive, and as we learn to appreciate that each day we are given, is a gift to be enjoyed!

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
~Maria Robertson

Friday, May 30, 2008

First Week of Summer Vacation!

It's only been one week since the kids have been home, and already I am behind on the groceries, laundry, and the blog! HA HA I took for granted how much I could get done in a day when the house was quiet and everyone was at school! This week has been filled with appointments, activties, and keeping the kiddo's busy!

Today Ashlyn had her National Piano Guild Auditions, and she successfully memorized and performed 6 pieces to play in front of the judge today. She was nervous but excited to have mastered this skill. It brought back memories for me when I too took part in the Guild Auditions when I was younger...much younger! Of course knowing a certificate, special pin, and awards are given, were extra incentive for Ashlyn! Ü

Afterwards we took Ashlyn and her special friend Caitlyn up to Build-A-Bear and ColdStone Creamery for a treat. The girls had fun creating new furry friends, and it was a nice way to end the week. Kyle stayed back, but tomorrow he has a pool party to attend. This will be his first middle school party, so he is looking forward to having time with several friends at their beginning-of-summer-kick-off-party.

I've also been preparing for 4 tutoring students that will all begin next week. It has been a year since I last tutored, so I dug out all my teaching boxes, games, and lesson plans, and have been knee deep in preparations. It will be fun to work with students again, and the 4 that I have are all friends of Ashlyn's, so I will have a nice group of girls to do 1st Grade Reading and Math with!

Let us know how you are all doing...the blog is so one sided, and unless you have one too, we are out of the loop on your family news! Stay in touch, we'd love to hear from you! Happy Summer! Ü

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Briar Gate Farm Family Fun Day Ü

Family Fun at Briar Gate Farm!

The kids playing at Kate's house...

All of us on the horses at Briar Gate Farm...

Enjoying the chickens...Ashlyn got to collect eggs, and we even had a "chicken relay race" out in the arena! This race involved humans as well as chickens! hee hee

Kyle had fun catching the chickens as they just sit so patiently in your arms making little clucking noises!

Is this the life or what? Tom enjoyed the hammock, as we all did after our fun day at the farm!

Thank you Mom and Kate! My mom treated us all to a fun filled day at my friend Kate's farm! My mom arranged for us all to have private lessons, as well as an entire day of fun at Kate's farm here in Longmont, Colorado. We had such fun riding the horses, learning about ground work, grooming, feeding, etc... all at Briar Gate Farm! Kate, her husband Brian, and their darling daughters kept us busy with fun farm activities all afternoon! The kids couldn't be happier riding, climbing trees, jumping on the trampoline, collecting eggs, racing with the chickens in the arena, relaxing in the hammock, watching the sun set, etc...Afterwards we stayed for a "cook-out" and enjoyed a delicious dinner together out on their deck with the sun setting behind the mountains. It was a beautiful day, and we extend our thanks to the entire Johnson Family for showing us such a great day, and to you Mom for making it all happen!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Summer Seashells


"It is perhaps a more fortunate destiny to have a taste for collecting shells than to be born a millionaire."

~Robert Louis Stevenson

Summer Afternoon...

It was a beautiful day for planting, playing in the water, mowing the pastures, climbing, and enjoying iced tea! All of which are captured in one photo memory here! I have finally learned that it is truly the simple moments; the mundane, the ordinary, that are really not so ordinary after all; they are memories!

Memorial Day Weekend Planting

Finally, the day we have been waiting for...Planting Day! Yesterday the kids and I got all of our vegetables and fruits for the garden beds. Due to the late season frosts here, we followed the protocol and waited until this weekend to plant our veggies. We also did a few things from seed, so we'll see how it all turns out! We've planted everything from artichokes to watermelon, so it will be a good summer experiment to see what does well.

This morning Ashlyn had her rehearsal for the upcoming National Piano Guild Auditions next week, and poor Tom had to go into work for a few hours. He had his physical last week, and it turns out that he too has high cholestrol! His was so high, they are going to retest him to make sure the results were accurate! Now we will both be making positive changes, and as I told Tom, "You're off the beef baby!" No more steaks, hamburgers, eggs, etc...for any of us! The kids are not sure what to think of all this; they just want a good hot dog and potato salad from time to time!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy Summer!

It's official! The kids are out of school, and smiling from ear to ear! Not that they didn't enjoy the year, but Kyle especially is looking forward to more sleep, and no more bus pick up at 7:15 a.m! Today was full of parties and picnics, and a graduation party. It was a whirlwind day, and a fun way to start off vacation. Here is Ashlyn and her friend Ashley at the school picnic...there is an old school bell that hangs from the outside entrance. They rang the old bell as school let out and all the kids cheered and clapped. It reminded me of the scene in movies where all the kids come running out of the building for summer vacation! hee hee We all enjoyed entertainment, music, and the Schwann ice cream truck at her school afterwards. Kyle got to attend a swim party at a friends, and then Ashley invited Ashlyn over to play. Mom got another free hour, and treated myself to a frozen yogurt! I had to enjoy it while I could...the kids were at each other's throats within 5 min. of getting in the car together! Whew, it could be a long summer!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rainbow in the sky...

We still have tornado watch warnings until 8 p.m. tonight and Kyle's school was in lock down this afternoon, so he came home with stories to tell! After his guitar practice today, we were greeted at home with this gorgeous rainbow. This picture was taken from our driveway. The kids are in good moods today...only one more day until summer vacation! Let's hope no tornadoes touch down at the end of the year picnics tomorrow!

Lock Down in Wal-Mart...

Well, what a bit of excitement I had this afternoon. The day started out great...horseback riding in my friend Kate's pasture, a little exercise, and then I stopped at our Super Wal-Mart to pick up some fish for dinner. While I was shopping I could hear rain and hail outside, and remember thinking it was too bad I didn't have an umbrella with me. Right as I was finishing at the check out lane, a loud speaker announcement came on saying that Wal-mart was going into lock down mode due to a tornado warning. All of the customers were instructed to leave their carts and "quickly yet calmly" head to the back room in the warehouse. They kept us all there for about 45 min. At one point they said the sirens in the city were going off and we were right in the doppler area of the tornado! Well, I am happy to report we are all well here in Longmont, but several neighboring cities were hit with 6 tornadoes. I will keep you posted, I am off for now to listen to the news, the clouds outside are looking ominous...More later...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Heart Healthy News

Good news! Since learning of my high cholestrol and coronary artery disease diagnosis a month ago, I have been trying to make big changes in my lifestyle. They have paid off! My doctor was pleased as in this short time, my heart rate is down, my blood pressure is down, my weight is down 8 lbs. and my bad cholestrol numbers have dropped over 30 points! Thank you to everyone was so kind to "snail mail" and e-mail me your healthy living recipes! I look forward to reporting back with continued good heart news as the summer progresses~ Wishing you all a healthy and active week! I am off to the treadmill for my daily 3 mile jog/walk...Smile!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Summer Countdown

The kids are anxiously awaiting their summer vacation...3 more days and counting!

Build-A-Bear Field Trip

Yesterday, Ashlyn's Brownie Troop had a field trip to Build-A-Bear in Loveland, where the kids got to make a new fluffy friend, and most importantly, learn how to follow a budget. The girls did very well with this, and I was surprised that there wasn't one melt down, or set of tears over not being able to buy everything they wanted if it wasn't in the budget. It was a successful trip! Here is the entire group with all their new treasures!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tom on his annual "guys-get-away!"

Tom, (on the left in the white Covidien t-shirt)and all his buddies!

This weekend, Tom and his buddies from his Chevron days, all got together in California/Nevada for their annual trip. They had a great time golfing, watching movies, eating lots of delicious food they prepared themselves, a casino outing, etc...Here are a few photos of his fun filled weekend!

My Aunts Come to Visit!

The kids with their great aunts in Boulder
Pretty tulips along Pearl Street

My aunts Beth and Sylvia with niece Denise

Making music together; Kyle and Beth played guitars together, and Beth brought Native American flutes for the kids. Kyle learned several songs which I will post a video of soon!

My two aunts Sylvia and Beth, came all the way from Southern California to spend the weekend with us! Tom was out of town on his annual "guys-get-away" (pictures soon) and so Beth and Sylvia flew out to spend time with us, and keep us company! We enjoyed the weekend sightseeing, enjoying good food, playing lots of music, and catching up! Beth and Sylvia are my dad's two sisters, and they were such an important part of my life growing up. I love them both dearly, and it is so heartwarming to see our children fall in love with them the same way! Thanks for coming out to see us ladies, and thank you for spending such quality time with the children! They were so sad to say, "Goodbye!" (And so was I!)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Cindy and Kailyn!

Happy Birthday Cindy and Kailyn! May you both have a wonderful day filled with sunshine and happiness!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Kyle's Spring Orchestra Concert

Kyle played in his last concert of the year with the 6th grade orchestra. He will keep up the violin next year, and continue on with orchestra in 7th grade. He was excited to learn that 7th graders can play guitar for music class, so that will be on his schedule next year too. While I was away in CA, he played in his first guitar showcase at the music store where he takes lessons. He played, "Iron Man" for a small group with his instructor, and did a solo portion that brought him much anxiety. What a relief to have it mastered and done! Here are the orchestra photos from this week.

Ashlyn's Room

Before Ashlyn's riding lesson today, (Here she is riding
"Ringo" walking from a trot) a friend came by and brought us the cutest little "expressions." I had never heard of the company called, "Uppercase Living" that has a catalog of sayings, quotes and expressions that you adhere to your walls. Here is the one for Ashlyn's room that says, "Giggle" above her mirror. I thought you would like to see it; especially for Kim who has asked for house pictures! :-)

6th Grade Museum Open House

Last night was Kyle's school's Open House. The theme was all about American History. They turned the 6th grade wing into a "museum" where small groups of kids designed, researched, and created small vignettes of various historical events. I was impressed, and what impressed me most, was that the KIDS did ALL the work! As a parent who has been way too involved in school projects, turning them into "mine" instead of the kids, I was impressed that the students completed this at school, and in small groups independently. You moms of older kids know just what I am talking about! :-)

Monday, May 12, 2008

AAUW Scholarship Tea

My mom is involved in the group AAUW (American Association of University Women) and each year they host a scholarship tea for several recipients. My mom has had an active part in the tea each year. This year, with the tea falling on Mother's Day, my mom purchased a table for 6 of us, and we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon! My mom, myself, my friend Kim, her mother Linda, my mom's neighbor Linda, and our friend Crystal were all able to attend. We enjoyed tea, sandwhiches, desserts,and darling handpainted miniature tea cups to take home. The event was held at the Kelly Griggs Museum in Red Bluff, and our group was fortunate enough to get a privately led tour of the historic home. You can see the beautiful wallpaper and artifacts in some of the photos!

Last Day

Sunday morning was bittersweet having to say, "Goodbye" after our wonderful weekend. Here are photos of my mom and myself, and my good friend Kim who graciously made the 4 hour round trip journey to take me to the airport! Thank you Kim, and special thanks to your mom for giving you up yesterday to help me! Thank you Mom for hosting such a great weekend together! I love you!

T-Shirt Quilt

My mom had a neat idea to turn some of my dad's old t-shirts into a commerative quilt. Tom's talented mother, Billie, was able to take the t-shirts and use them in a personally designed quilt with some of my dad's special T's. There are t-shirts from his Air Johnson business, colleges I attended, countries they visited, etc...Isn't it a neat memorial for my mom to treasure!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you special moms we know and love! I will be flying out to California in a few hours to spend Mother's Day weekend with my mom! I will be able to see Tom's mom as well, so it will be a great time to reconnect with everyone. Tom will be "Mr. Mom" for the weekend taking the kids to all their activities. As always, he is so supportive when I leave...thanks Tom for making me feel special everyday! Enjoy your Mother's Day, whether you are a mother or a daughter, and make memories to last!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Recipes Needed Ü

Calling all cooks, moms, and those in the know...

In an effort to eat more fish, more vegetables, less fat, and less sugar, I need help. :-) In order to reduce my cholestrol and weight, I am trying to make changes for the better. If you have any great healthy recipes that you love, (and don't mind sharing) please pass them along. So many of you are already used to eating the "right way" so if you can share your ideas I would appreciate it! Beverly, can you pass on your delicious smoothie recipe again? It sounded wonderful! Thank you friends!

Happy Birthday Aunt Sylvia!

Happy Birthday Sylvia! Have a wonderful day! I look forward to celebrating your birthday next week in Colorado! We will do a belated birthday dinner then. Enjoy your special day!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

African Feast Day

Today all the first graders celebrated their "African Feast Day" at lunch time. All the foods were prepared from authentic African recipes, so there were over 20 dishes including, "North African Pizza", "Moroccan Pockets", lamb stews, coconut and banana bread,etc...Here are a few pictures of all the action!

Mr. and Mrs. Goose come to visit...

This morning our friendly pair of geese have returned to the pond. I think they were confused, as the birds have been, by all the missing cattails and now loads of mud. Once our project is complete, hopefully all the water creatures can call the pond "home" once again.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Fashion Show Queen

Here's Ashlyn and all the Girl Scouts ready for the "Mother/Daughter Tea and Fashion Show." Most of the children stood very still and didn't smile when it was their time to prance down the 'catwalk', but Miss Ashlyn turned on the charm twirling, hands on hips to pose, and smiling the whole way down. Everyone laughed and cheered for her, which made up for the napkin folding activity which bombed earlier, and the beaded necklace craft that brought her to tears...but that's a story for another time! It's a dramatic life being 7 years old! Ü

In other news of the day...

Our neighbor Christi and her friends get ready to attend the prom.

Ashlyn liked the limo!

Tom's garden beds...see our neighbor on her horse in the background.

Mom and Ashlyn ready for tea...

In addition to pond excavation, Ashlyn had an all day Girl Scout "Theater Badge Workshop" she attended yesterday. Afterwards we were invited over to our neighbors to watch all the kids get ready to attend the Senior Prom. Our 16 year old neighbor Christi, is also our occasional babysitter, so it was fun for Ashlyn to see her all dressed up like a princess. Tom rented a rototiller for the garden, and got the beds all finished. Today was the Girl Scout tea, and Ashlyn got to be in the fashion show. She twirled and pranced like a pro, and went down the cat walk in time to the show music...I could tell she has taken in the fine points of catwalking from watching Project Runway! hee hee