Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another house update

We have started the process of repairing our home. I have contacted several contractors in the area and now the next step is to choose a general contractor to oversee all the repairs. It is going to be a very labor intensive process as they have to completely remove and replace the floor while bracing the walls at the same time. After they replace the floors, they have to deal with the smoke damage. This means that we get all new carpet throughout, the cottage cheese ceilings will be scraped, all the walls will be cleaned, a new exterior paint job and new roof. It should look really nice when everything is all finished. Our insurance has been very helpful throughout this whole process. I am so thankful for insurance, I can't even think about the situation we would be in right now if we didn't have insurance.

The following pictures are from several weeks ago. They were taken a few days after the fires when the  whole community was still closed. One day the city allowed residents back in to clean out their fridges and collect their things. Luke drove down to check out our house:

First Luke had to bring proof that we owned the home to a local school:
Checking in to get permission to see our home
 They had security set up to make sure no one else was allowed into the area
Luke saw several military personnel patrolling the neighborhood.
At the first sight of our house, everything looked okay.

 But the view from the back of the house showed a different story. As it turns out, our house was where the firefighters made their stand. We are on the corner of our street and every home to the left of us burned to the ground while no one on the right of us was damaged. The firefighters busted down our front door and they fought the fire back from our home. At one point our house was on fire and somehow they managed to save it, it's really quite amazing.
View of the fire damage to the back of our house

After surveying our house, Luke took a tour around our neighborhood. Here is our backyard neighbors house that burnt to the ground. You can see our home (white and blue) in the distance still standing. 

 Then Luke took a drive around to view the rest of the fire damage:

Friday, July 27, 2012


For as long as I can remember my parents have always had a boat, I practically grew up on one. My mom and dad always tell me the story of how when I was a baby, the sound of the boat would put me right to sleep. The majority of my weekends as a kid were spent at Lake Mead, waterskiing, camping, inner tubing and hanging out on the sandy beaches. 

I have always wanted to take Jack out on the lake, but between Colorado and Switzerland we didn't have many chances. When my parents found out that we would be staying with them for a while, they drove to Nevada and picked up the boat and drove it all the way back to Colorado just so they could take us out on the lake. It was awesome! I was so happy to take Jack and Lily out on the same boat that I spent so much time on as a kid. It was great taking Jack inner tubing for the first time and watching Lily fall asleep to the sound of the motor. 

So far we have taken the boat out twice, and both times I took tons of pictures!

Jack and Luke during our first boat trip

Lily wasn't happy about wearing her
life vest, but she soon fell asleep once
the boat was in motion

Me and the kids in front of the boat
Nana and Papi

Lily loving the sandy beach

Nana, Papi and Lily

Me and my girl

Relaxing on the beach

Nana and Jack

Enjoying a BBQ lunch

Amazing how sand and an empty bottle
can be so much fun!
Luke, Papi and sleeping beauty

Jack and Nana building castles

My little cutie

She loves the lake

Such a big vest for a little girl

Luke and Jack on the inner tube
Our view most of the time

Jack had enough!

But it was fun!

I love this face!

Jack and Papi enjoying a drink

They are so much alike, in so many ways!

The whole gang together again
After the first boat trip we stopped at a local place for dinner
Lily is always ready to eat!
Papi and Lily
Papi, Nana and Lily

Shortly after this picture was taken, Jack decided to tip backwards in his chair. He learned the hard lesson of falling backwards and smacking his head on concrete. There was a huge egg on the back of his head and a little blood. 

A few weeks later we were able to take the boat out again:
Lily is excited to see the lake again

The water was warmer this time

And Lily had a new life vest to try

She had no fear of the waves or the water

Happy to be on the lake

Nana and Papi relaxing
Jack got ahold of the camera and took this picture

Luke and a tired baby girl 

Both kids loved the boat and the water! One day, when we are in Colorado for the long haul I would love to get a boat! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Water World!

We are enjoying the Colorado sunshine and this fabulously warm summer! I know that once we get to England we will miss these warm, sunny days so we are taking full advantage of them while we are here. 

A few weeks back we took Jack and Lily to Water World just outside of Denver for the day

Jack is excited to go in the wave pool
On the lazy river

Me and Lily on the lazy river

Water slide

Nap time in the stroller
There was an amazing area for kids at Water World. We spent the whole day in this little area and Jack was never bored. Although, the afternoon storms did blow in and then it got a little chilly.
Kids area of Water World

View of the kids area from the kids lazy river

Jack practicing his back floats

I finally got a chance to use my underwater camera:

What I loved most about the kids area was that it had it's own lazy river that was pretty shallow. It was the perfect hight for Jack to be able be able to practice swimming with no life vest, but still be able to reach the ground when he needed to.

Floating is so relaxing!

Maybe too relaxing?

Lily happy with her little fountain

I love my girl!
Jack had so much fun on the slides

"I'm not tired"
Water World was a blast! I am already trying to figure out when we can go back again.