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, July 31, 2009

Change is in the air....

Longmont in the summer...with all the rain we have had, our town is just as green as can be! I love all the sunflowers we see popping up along the roadside!

Hello friends and family! It has been a week since I last updated due to a busy schedule and a few goodbye's as well. It was an eventful week filled with mixed emotions, beginning with a sad goodbye to our dear friends, "The Nulls" who left on Tuesday. Once again, Ashlyn cried her eyes out standing in the driveway as they drove away. Saying, "Goodbye" is hard to do. We just say that it isn't really, "Goodbye" only "Until we meet again!"

Tuesday started off rocky before our guests even left as Tom went into work that morning expecting a usual work day. You can imagine our surprise when he came home an hour later announcing he had been laid off. After a corporate restructuring, his position was eliminated, and now he finds himself with some much needed time to regroup and figure out what the future holds for him career wise. After 20 plus years in finance and accounting, he will have some big decisions to make, but the lay off was truly a blessing in disguise. The last 12 years of a high stress job, has been tiring, so he is looking forward to having some time with the family before jumping in to a job search.

We are enjoying having him home for a family dinner nightly, and the kids love seeing him before 8 p.m! This economy isn't the best time for a job search, but for a hard working accountant, we are keeping our fingers crossed he will find a position that can utilize all his skills, and allow for some flexible family time too! It was a mixed emotions event as Tom loved the people he worked with, and we made the big move out to Colorado with the company. They have treated us well, and we will always be appreciative for the opportunity his company provided us to experience living in this great state. We plan to stay, and Tom will look for work locally as we have so enjoyed living in our new community!

On a different note, this week I worked the mornings at our friends farm, "Briar Gate" for a week long "Horse Camp." As my friend Kate led the children in horseback riding skills and games, I worked with children on crafts and activities during the week. We got to milk goats, bottle feed the babies, make goats milk ice cream and more! Today was the final "Horse Show and Demonstration" and the kids were thrilled to each receive a ribbon.

This is Skittles, the patient goat that let 8 children milk her! :-)

Ashlyn riding, "Chummie" her favorite horse at the farm!

Now that Tom has some time off, we are going on a mini road trip to see the Royal Gorge, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Telluride. We'll take a few days to see these sites before school starts back up and the job search begins. The fall may find me substitute teaching, and we'll see if a full time teaching position will be in my future. Life is never dull, and we will be adapting to the new changes and challenges we will face in the coming months. I look forward to checking in with all of you, and hope your summer has been full of wonderful memories with those you love!

With Love from Colorado,
Denise :-)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our 13 year old rock star!

Kyle with his electric guitar on our front porch before the "Rock Camp" concert...Our friends the Nulls came and cheered Kyle on...for the first time in 2 years we had our own "groupies!"

Dinner with our "groupies!" (Look at those rain clouds in the background. It poured on our way into the concert!)

Last night was the concert that Kyle's "Rock Camp" hosted after a week of practice. There were two student bands and it was fun to know several of the kids, aka "rockers", and see them perform. Here's Kyle on vocals and guitar!

All the kids ready for a final bow...this event is a rock-star-wanna-be experience!

Kyle and his instructor Jason...

Look at requesting autographs! A star is born! :-)

Banjo Billy's Bus Tour of Boulder...

Yes, if you come visit, you too can ride on Banjo Billy's Bus Tour! Our friends, the Nulls, are visiting and we decided to try something new and take the tour of Boulder as told on a converted school bus with a tin roof! The seats in the bus are lounge chairs, sofas, and horse saddles...we heard ghost stories of those who lived in historic homes and hotels from 1877, and saw college student frat houses filled with great folklore! The CU campus is in Boulder and what history the school holds. Luckily our guests are good sports and are up for any adventure!

Ashlyn sat in a saddle for the open air tour....

Spooky stories about the 3rd floor of this campus building...

We stopped at the Hotel Boulderado afterwards and rode a hand cranked elevator!

We have a photo of all of our summer guests in this exact spot in downtown Pearl Street...I need to start an album of everyone who has visited in the past two years and who has stood in this historic location! :-)

Today Tom and the Nulls are off to Rocky Mountain Park, and the kids and I are staying back so Kyle can keep rehearsing for his big concert tonight. He has been attending "Rock Camp" and there are two student bands playing. Kyle will be singing and playing electric guitar...we'll have live entertainment for our guests tonight!

(Remember my mom's best friend Annette who did so much for us while my mom battled cancer this past year? Annette and her husband Fred are pictured above as well as their son Fred, Jr. and his lovely wife Crystal. It's been so nice reminiscing with them, as they had known my parents for over 30 years!

I wish you all a wonderful weekend filled with wonderful memories!

With love from Colorado, Denise :-)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Estate Sale Update...

Remember the estate sale happening at my parents home?

Well, even with the 10 ft. U-Haul trailer of belongings I brought home to Colorado, there were still over 2,000 items that were sold at the estate sale.

The final numbers are in...the total sales from 4 preview sales and one big public sale day, amounted to $6,766.30!

After the estate sale gal's commission, that brought us a little over $4,000 for the "Apple Tree Scholarship Fund!" We were pleased with these numbers as this allows us to keep the scholarship fund alive for a few more years, thus keeping my parents memories alive in the community as well. I know the children who will benefit from the scholarship recipients are exactly what would have pleased my parents most!

The house is now up for sale, and it does feel strange to think that soon everything will be parents are gone, their things are gone, and soon their house will be gone...although I know they will never be gone from my heart, selling everything does bring a sense of finality that is difficult. But more on that later as we have company arriving today and sadness will have to wait.

Just an upate as you were all so kind to inquire and follow our story from beginning to end. Remember to live today fully, and appreciate all the people you love!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lazy Moms Tote and Website...

I've been a reader of a fun blog called, "Lazy Moms." Don't let the name fool you, these ladies are not lazy by any means! They do lots of great articles on how we can save time on household tasks so that we can enjoy more time with family and friends! I was fortunate enough to win one of their darling tote bags that says, "Lazy Moms Guide to Life...How to get more done so you can have more fun!" Check out the link above for great recipes, housekeeping tips, beauty ideas, grocery shopping money saving , and more! Thanks Amanda and Leslie for this fun tote bag and all your wonderful ideas!!!! :-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The "Gate" finds a home!

Remember the gate that was going on the big wall up the staircase? Well we found a new home for it where it didn't have to be hung. We were worried that each 50 lb. piece wouldn't be safe up the staircase so we found a high ledge where it could just be propped up. We like easy solutions!

I found another picture that could work on the stairway so Tami and I put the guys to work hanging artwork. Here is a picture of the final look...Decorating is such fun, especially for those who don't have to climb the ladder, like me! :-)
What have you hung, propped, painted, or nailed up? My latest favorite find was this cute plaque that says, "Wishes Won't Do Wishes!"

Now if only husbands and kids did! :-)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summertime Sightseeing...

Tom's brother Mitch and his wife Tami were here from California visiting with us this week. They are both a lot of fun and we so enjoyed our visit with them. Here are a few highlights of our time together...
Pearl Street in Boulder...this bronze statue is real!
Dancing Native Americans with elaborate headresses...
Tami and I overlooking beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park...

The 100 year old Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. It is a beautiful historic hotel that was the inspiration for Stephen King's "The Shining." Theodore Roosevelt, Molly Brown, and other historical figures have stayed at the hotel. Now ghost tours and a spa are also a part of the hotel, so we look forward to returning and staying a night!

The back of the hotel and the pretty wood lobby...

While the ladies shopped the men sat by the pretty geraniums...

Tami and I had fun browsing all the quaint shops in Estes...

Tom, Mitch and Tami also attended the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Wyoming. They had a good time, but had to wait an hour to park! Yikes! I stayed back with the kids and we saw the latest Harry Potter movie.

The kids loved having their aunt and uncle all to themselves and it was hard to say, "Goodbye." Ashlyn stood at the driveway and cried for 10 min. as they drove away!

Ashlyn also attended "Cheer Camp" where she learned several routines and dance moves. Here she is in action and with the instructors.

Our friends the Beattie's also stopped by on their way driving from Ohio to California. Kyle and Spencer hadn't seen each other in 2 years, so we had fun reaquainting with them as well. What a fun and busy summer! :-)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Just Clownin' Around...

Today was Ashlyn's last day of, "Circus Camp" that was held for a few hours each day this week. It was taught by two "little people" who happened to be sisters that performed with Ringling Bros. They did a great job with the kids and put on a fine Circus act today! Complete with plate spinners, circus music, skits, and clowns; it was good fun! :-)
Today's circus had lots of acts like balancing a bowling pin with a ball on top...this was harder than it looked!
Juggling and spinning plates...
Clown acts...this little skit was called, "Bus Stop" and oh how the kids laughed at the sitting- against-wet-paint premise!
Walking on stilts...
Flying on the "trapeze"...
Jumping through hoops...
And of course, what is a clowning grand finale without pie in the face!?!
A fun time was had by all! Don't you wish you were a kid again? :-)

Monday, July 6, 2009

6 more weeks until school starts!

We looked on the calendar and counted 6 more weeks until school officially starts! Like the kids said though, "Let's not talk about it for another month Mom!" So, here are a few photos of the past few days in the Kofford Family; and no, Mom will not be counting the days until school starts again!

Tom caught a few photos of this hawk who perched himself on our archway. Watching wildlife is good fun; except for the poor cat who misses bird hunting in the worst way!

We are enjoying some veggies from our 2nd annual vegetable garden...isn't this a fine head of lettuce?

We had fun celebrating the 4th of July with our friends the Risdons. Unfortuantely, I did not have my camera with me and was not able to capture some fun moments; like watching us all teeter across a little bridge to cross over to the golf course where we watched the fireworks, or the BIG swing that you sit on to swing over the creek, or the largest "Left, Right, Center" game you have ever seen! But, I did capture this moment where we joined our neighbors for some home fireworks over our pond! :-)

We are tennis fanatics this summer...

And there is nothing like a summer picnic with friends...

As I type though, the rain and hail are coming down in buckets...I do believe these daily rain showers will help our water bill tremendously!

Hoping you all had a wonderful 4th of July with your family and friends! Just another quicky post...until school starts again and Mom has more time! Missing you all!

Happy July,
Denise :-)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer Reading and Baking...

Thank you to Beth from "Shut Up and Run" for suggesting the great book, "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See! I stayed up until 2 a.m. two nights in a row as I was captivated by the story! If you are looking for a good summer read, this one is it! The story is set in 19th century China, told by a woman in her 80's. It chronicles the life of two girls and the painful ritual they both endured called, "foot binding." Although you may think you have little in common with anyone from that time period, the book touches on all the real emotions of being a woman, friendships, and marriage. It is also made me feel so fortunate to live in the 21st century that I appreciated every modern convenience I enjoyed today!

Just for fun, I tried one of my mom's old recipes for "Potato Chip Cookies" this evening. I also made her delicious "Teriyaki Skewers" and "Chinese Chicken Salad" tonight so it has been neat to remember her by preparing the foods she once did! The kids had fun crushing potato chips and although the cookies are a little plain for me, they are still moist and tastey, so I will share the recipe if you are interested! These are such easy cookies to make and a novel idea with crunchy chips!

Potato Chip Cookies

Cream: 1 cup sugar and 1 cup Crisco
Beat in: 1 egg
Add: 1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 cup nuts
3/4 cup crushed potato chips
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix well and drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10-12 min. Makes 3 dozen. Enjoy!
Two kids playing golf and tennis equals lots of time outdoors with little computer access...please know I am thinking of you all and will be stopping by to "visit" soon!

P.S. The estate sale has done very far there have been over $3,000 in sales! Even after the estate sale gal's commission, the scholarship fund will still see a few thousand dollars! Two more sale days to go, so I will keep you posted on how it all turns out!