Sunday, November 30, 2008

Erik & Gelerie News 2008

Just in case you were wondering, that's not a special effect of Photoshop in the 2008 Christmas Photo. A friend mentioned her abs in the trailer photo and I said, "oh, we'll feature her abs again this year…" So here's the real deal. Expected due date is mid/end January. Aubrey is calling him "Nugget" for now (as in "chicken nugget.") We expect to have a more fitting name here in a bit.

And for those who might like a more traditional photo of the family than our Non-Traditional photo gives…

In late summer Gelerie relented and let me ride a motorcycle, and let me tell you, I rode like the wind! (wheels courtesy of Reuben Kahler. Thanks, Reuben!)

Erik bought some decent back country cross-country skis and went out a few times with his buddy Eric Aakko. All we need is another Eric and we'll be Erik, Eric, and our friend, Eric (or Erik). Any takers?

Eric Aakko and I also rode to the top of Trail Ridge Road* via the old Fall River Road, which is dirt. (*they say Trail Ridge is the highest paved road in North America -- my lungs agree). We did the ride after the road opened, but before it was opened to vehicles. This is shot up near the top. That's Eric on the road.

The Aubrey News

She's getting taller and smarter. She's been busy this year. Here's a few highlights from '08 in the world of Aubrey:
Long hair…

We saw a deer in the back yard after a beautiful, gentle snowfall. It was a magic moment for us both…

Aubrey was a flower girl in Mandi and Adam Gane's wedding, and did a great job. Mom made the dress for her (for Aubrey, not the bride!)

Other big news: Aubrey started Kindergarten this year. That was made much easier since she knows some of the kids from church and such. She also knows the teacher, Teri Smith, because Teri was her babysitter for over a year and Aubrey knows her girls too. She's pretty proud of being in school now.

Aubrey often plays hostess at the house too. Not sure what we'll do when she and her friends outgrow the flower table I made her.

She's a good listener (that's her great grandfather, Avery Dick telling a great story).

No idea where she got this from, but she LOVES eating snow. Loves it. Every time it snows, her taste buds must start getting excited. No worries about proper hydration. More worries about hypothermia: she spends half her time outside eating snow. Now, before I get worried emails and a visit from child protection agencies, that's TANG on the snow she's eating and grape snowcone syrup on the other half. Sheesh, you guys. I'm a better dad than that!

Random photos and stuff

Aubrey is interested in photography as long as it's play (yeah, I'm encouraging the "play" part and talking up the "doctor" thing for work. ES.) Here she is with her glowing magic wand.

We went to Loveland to watch the fireworks this 4th of July.

We hosted a Healthy Cooking Class at our house and Gelerie taught basic sushi making. Quite a challenge for a mostly-vegetarian crowd. They said to expect maybe eight people. I think we had over 35 in the house!

We went camping in the Snowy Range of Wyoming a couple of times this summer. One fun trip we did with the Kahlers.

Construction at the Stenbakken's

Since we decided not to move to Windsor (a town closer to Fort Collins where Gelerie now works) I finally decided to do all those things I'd been putting off "because we're moving soon." One of those things was building a cool playset. So mid-summer I began the project:

That's Aubrey playing on the "uncle jim" rather than jungle gym. That's Uncle Francis, Gelerie's brother. A few weeks of weekends later it was all done but the painting (and uh, that's still a work in progress). Cost way less than a prefab and stronger than most cheap real houses. She and her friends like it. The surprise hit is the rope swing on the back side.

Hula Wyoming -- the big little trip

A big road trip through Wyoming was our trip-o-the-year. We went up through Thermopolis, Cody, and into Yellowstone. Photos of the entire trip here… [sorry, blogspot's nifty "link" tool is not working, so you have to cut and paste that into your browser]. Our grand trip was cut short because the Vanagon's alternator konked out just as we drove into the Teton National Park. Bummer. But a small miracle: there was a Bosch starter in stock at the Jackson Napa store (and the folks there helped me put it in). So we just jetted on home from here. Oh, and because of a poor mechanic's job in Greeley before the trip, we ended up with a gastank of water and therefore a night in a truck stop parking lot. I don't think Aubrey minded at all -- it's all camping and fun to her. At home and $14 later, fixed the gas tank. Overall, still a fun trip.

Little Chef

Aubrey and Mommy worked on lots of cooking projects this last year. In general, Aubrey is a great helper, especially when it comes to cooking yummy stuff!