Today’s bike ride – Leon Creek Trail, Grissom Rd. to Ingram Rd.

I decided to start in the same place I did last week, but take the creek part of the trail instead of going back into Cathedral Rock Park. I was surprised to find that the entire trail is finished from the split where the portion from Cathedral Rock Park will come in, all the way to Ingram Road. This area of the creek has been used for "mudding" for a long time, so there are well established vehicle trails along the creek.

I was amazed to see the extreme topography in this part of the creek. At one point, there is a sheer cliff with about a 100 foot drop to the creek.

I'm attaching a google earth file that contains the pictures I took along the way today.

January 2011

Dear girls,

It’s the beginning of a new year. This year is going to bring so many things for both of you. The two of you will no longer be the only children in our family. Your Aunt Sarah and Uncle Britton will be having a baby soon, and hopefully, we’ll get a chance to meet your new cousin sometime this summer.  That means that the two of you will be taking a big trip. Later this year, Emily will start to talk (in a way that we can understand you), and Rachel, later this year, you will start Kindergarten. There are going to be lots of new things this year, and we are looking forward to every one of them. For now, though, let’s take a look back at the first month of this new year.


Emily, just in the past week or so, we’ve noticed a marked increase in your “talking.” You will babble on and on, just like you’re having an actual conversation. It’s too bad we don’t know what you’re saying most of the time. Of course if you want something from us, you’ll still use the “point and whine” method, but we’re trying really hard to break you of that and getting you to say what it is that you want. You have said some new words this month, like apple, out, off, on, and milk. You even said what sounded like “agua” when you wanted a drink of water.


With your freedom of movement has come a love for being outside. Every chance you get, you point to the door and whine, letting us know that you want to go outside and play. Along with going outside is dragging your coat everywhere with you. You love putting on your coat, and you get really excited when we tell you to go get it so we can go outside to play.


Both of you are getting better at sharing, but we can tell it’s going to be a long road. It seems like you have this built in thing where when one of you starts playing with a toy, even if the other hasn’t wanted anything to do with that toy for months, the other one of you will immediately want to play with it. I guess it must be something that just happens naturally with siblings…you have to just bug each other like that.


Rachel, you got some new shoes a little over a month ago, and they have shoestrings rather than velcro. You’ve been watching very closely and are learning to tie your own shoes. You can do it about once out of every 10 times, and you’re so proud of yourself when you do get one tied. I’m really impressed because I didn’t learn to tie my shoes until I was in kindergarten or 1st grade.


You have gotten very good at spelling words. You still ask us what a lot of signs and things say, but you’re sounding them out more and more, and spelling things in your head more too. Along with that, you’ll write words by trying to sound them out. It’s still slow going, and you tend to spell faster in your head than you do on paper, but you’re really getting there.


You have also gotten really good at reading.  I’m amazed at how quickly this skill has progressed for you. It seems like you went from not being able to read very much at all, to reading entire pages by yourself. You still stumble over tricky words, but I can tell that you are going to be a great reader.


Emily, this next thing has progressed a lot over the past few months, and I didn’t mention it because I’d hoped you’d outgrow it, but it looks like you’re going to be our “softie” girl. Your Aunt Sarah had a “softie,” a blanket that she would carry with her everywhere, and you have really taken to your Winnie-the-Pooh blanket. You will drag it with you all over the house, even tripping over it from time to time. If it’s in your bed and you can’t reach it, you will go into your room and cry until we get it out for you.


The flip side of this is how independent and friendly you’ve become. You are testing your boundaries with us by walking away from us and playing on your own. You have also started waving to strangers everywhere we go. If we’re sitting in a restaurant, you’ll turn around and wave as people walk by (sometimes you’ll try to wave with a fork in your hand and almost stab people). You’ll wave to people on the street. You’ll stare at people until they wave at you. Your little personality is really starting to shine.


We’ll probably take a trip to the rodeo this coming month, and Emily, I can’t wait to see how you react to the animals. You were a little too small to know what was going on last year, so I’m looking forward to seeing how you are around a bunch of live animals. As always, we can’t wait to see what new things this next month brings for both of you. We love you very much.