In 2009, we got settled in Colorado Springs in our new home, and also had the opportunity to experience many local events. Follow the links below to the many events that make up our year 2009.
For Christmas, the boys received a fun sled. Finally, it snowed enough to go into the backyard at our rental house and try it out. Unfortunately, the snow was so powdery that Marc had to pull the sled down the hill.
Photo Gallery from Backyard Sledding
In March, we moved into our new home after some significant renovations to the interior and the deck. The crowing moment was when our new hot tub was delivered and we could officially call this home.
Photo Gallery from Hot Tub Delivery
In March Marc's parents visited. While Jana and Marc were enjoying their cruise, Omi and Opi spent time with Stefan and Sebastian. In addition to a visit of the Thomas stage play and the zoo, they spent time just playing with their grandchildren.
Photo Gallery from Opi and Opi Visit
In 2009, snow fell as late as April, and we got to enjoy the view from our windows.
Photo Gallery from Snow
In April, we visited our friends, the Nicks in Sacramento. Stefan and Sebastian enjoyed the visit to the California Railroad Museum, the Jelly Belly factory, and playing with Lily, and we all loved visiting with our friends.
Photo Gallery from the Visit with the Nicks
In mid-May, our friend Liz and her family visited us from California. We showed them Garden of the Gods and Seven Falls, which was also a new experience for us. They visited the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the boys enjoyed spending time with Jacqueline and Cecilia.
Photo Gallery from Liz and Family Visit
In May, Jana visited our friend Nicky to celebrate her graduation with a Masters degree from California University Sacramento. While juggling building her own company, getting married, and having a baby, Nicky also earned her degree. It was a well-deserved celebration of her achievement.
Photo Gallery from Nicky's Graduation
A fun event that the boys enjoy time and again is a visit to the zoo. They get to feed the giraffes and birds, ride the zoo train and watch the animals. After the zoo we joined friends at a park.
Photo Gallery from Visit to the Zoo
A fun day at the park with friends always promises a good time for Stefan and Sebastian. Here they joined their friends Trey K., AJ, Trey M. and Liana at a local park.
Photo Gallery from Park Day
In July, Jana, Nicky and Jaimee went on a girl's weekend away in Santa Cruz, California.
Photo Gallery from Girl's Weekend in Santa Cruz
August and September were great months. We had lots of visitors. The first to swing by were the McKenzie family, Craig, Angela, Madison and Rylee. They enjoyed visiting the top of Pikes Peak and the North Pole amusement park.
Photo Gallery from the McKenzie Family Visit
The next visitors were Nicky and Lily. The boys enjoyed that "aunt" Nicky and "cousin" Lily came and played with them. While Nicky and Lily were here, Marc had to travel to Southern California for business. He was able to visit briefly with the Kulbas and catch up with them.
Photo Gallery from Nicky's and Lily's Visit
Our good friends from Utah, the Sanders family, KC, Shannon, Julia and Lily, also came for a visit. From a day in the park and riding with the Power Wheel around the neighborhood to a visit of the Ghost Town Museum, Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods, and the North Pole amusement park, we enjoyed the activities and the company of our friends.
Photo Gallery from the Sanders Family Visit
The final visitors for this year was the entire Lettini family: Nicky, Nick, and Lily. We visited Garden of the Gods and the Broadmoor Hotel. Since it was also Nick's birthday, we enjoyed dinner at Pappadeux and the Melting Pot.
Photo Gallery from the Lettini Family Visit
September is also the month for the Colorado Springs Balloon Classic - a hot air balloon festival, second only to the famous one in Alberquerque. We had to get up early in the morning, but it was bearable with hot chocolate and hot donuts. It was a lot of fun seeing all the different balloons. Unfortunately, there was fog and wind that prevented the balloons from actually taking off. Nevertheless, we are looking forward to next year's festival.
Photo Gallery from Colorado Springs Balloon Classic
Shortly before our trip to Europe, the boys enjoyed another annual event - a Day out with Thomas. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the outing disaster struck and Jana fell and sprained her wrist. It was an unfortunate event, but the kids thought it was great that the firefighters were able to help their mommy.
Photo Gallery from the Day Out With Thomas
Halloween this year was a fun time. First we went to a Pumpkin Patch and the kids were able to have a snowball fight, as it had snowed a couple of days before. Stefan really got into Halloween and embodied the dinosaur that he chose as a costume. Sebastian is now into trains and cherished the Thomas costume that Stefan had gladly handed over. This year both went to several Halloween parties at Jana's MOMS Club, Stefan's school, at My Gym and our neighbors Connie and Bill. And it was their first time going trick-or-treating in our cul-de-sac. But they still loved handing out candies at the end of the night to the kids that stopped by.
Photo Gallery from Halloween
In November, we went to Las Vegas to celebrate the 30th birthday of our friend Nicky. It was a short, but very fun trip.
Photo Gallery from Nicky's Birthday in Las Vegas
This year's Thanksgiving Holiday was very casual. Our friends Jaimee, Tyler and Reese spent the day with us. Sebastian, unfortunately, slept through most of the feast. However, when it was time to use daddy's camera to take pictures from a kid's perspective he and Stefan were busy snapping photos - some of which are shown below.
Photo Gallery from Thanksgiving
This year, Christmas time was very magical. Stefan really got into the (modern) Christmas spirit and counted down the number of days until Santa Claus would come and bring him all the presents on his list. Luckily the list was quite short and consisted of dinosaurs, dragons, race cars and trains, but Stefan repeated it all the time and to every Santa he met, whether in the mall or at the annual neighborhood Holiday get-together.
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo also had a special exhibit during the holiday season. Winter WildLand was available in the evenings and the zoo had been decorated with a large amount of holiday lights, most of them in the shape of animals.
Photo Gallery from Christmas Time
Right before Christmas we visited Jana's Grandpa and his wife Shirley in Grand Junction, Colorado. Jana's aunt Dee Anne and her cousin Jennifer had come from California to spend the Christmas Holiday there. The drive between Denver and Grand Junction is always incredibly beautiful, although we had to battle a snowy winter storm on the way back.
While we were visiting, we found out that the nearby town of Fruita had a dinosaur museum and Stefan and Sebastian were eager to visit. The could clean bones in a "dinosaur dig" and visit with T-Rex. There was even a "spitting dinosaur" (trying to illustrate the concept of venomous spit) and the boys shrieked with delight every time it was about to spit.
Photo Gallery from Grand Junction Visit
We were back home on Christmas Eve and spent the morning baking cookies, so that Santa could dutifully consume his cookies and milk when he came through the chimney at night. Stefan also sprinkled some food for the reindeer in the yard. He claimed they needed the energy to get from house to house. The boys loved tearing the packages open, but they were so exhausted by the end of the day that we were glad we spaced the presents over two days. It was a calm and quite Christmas, something that we truly cherished following the busy year we had.
Photo Gallery from Christmas Holiday