Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The December Marathon

It has begun! In order, happy birthday, happy hanukah, happy anniversary, happy anniversary, merry christmas, happy birthday, happy new year, happy birthday, happy birthday, and happy back to school. We love everyone, but if we look distracted, its because we are! Our cards might make it to you this year, then again, they might not. If not, we're still thinking of you and wishing you holiday blessings.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Halloween was the bomb!

OK, its official. Halloween has become my favorite holiday. It's not completely overblown - we don't have to deal with two months of Halloween music playing at the mall. Lots of small happy faces disguised as pirates, Anakin Skywalker, monkeys, football players, cheerleaders, Spiderman, princesses, devils, ladybugs. An excuse to say hi to every neighbor in the neighborhood. An annual tradition has started to emerge - Rachel and Victoria and Olivia and Antonio came over to hang out with their cousins and trick or treat. My best "family" (best friend and her family) was in town, and we got to take Cole (aka Lincoln Log) and the Rhodus clan trick or treating too. Some new pictures are posted at the Flckr site.

Thanks to all for making this a great halloween. Lots of love.

Happy November Birthdays

Kirsten (5) and Faith (5)! - We love you both ;-)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jumping Off

Today has been a pivotal day in terms of life after Intel. While I really like what I am doing (most of the time), I am pragmatic in knowing failure to plan for life after Intel could result in someone else making choices for me. Last Friday night @ the gym, I had a great conversation with an HR / Biz consultant who is looking for some resources with basic technology and corporate knowledge to partner with. This week at work, I was reminded by several folks that my value came in the consulting I have been providing. One of those clients commented that I was like one of their own personal Bain consultants (only cheaper) ;-)
During a soccer party, I was able to discuss some of the great work one of the moms is currently doing as around diabetes treatment through her startup and some follow on implications. Without going into details, the wheels started spinning, and a few of my medical and chemical engineering brain cells started firing again, and we agreed to get together in a few weeks to understand further where this could lead.
So I did it. My brother and I started to put down on paper a few key questions that will help build a better long term business plan, and understand the local economy and dynamics. I'll put a little time into firing up the network, and do some exploration with a few of my local buddies. Figuring out if this will help the kids situation will be critical to the next steps, too. I don't know where this journey will end, I only know I (with Frank's support) have taken the first step down the road.

Wish us luck ( prayers are welcome)


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Taos was just what the doctor ordered!

This was a much needed rest and do little weekend. Grant and I got to see Lindy Friday night for a couple of minutes. Brett had soccer Saturday (didn't quite win), and then we went up to Taos on Saturday, and did all the right therapeutic stuff. We found a cool little guest house off Kit Carson Road to spend the night. We were forced to walk through a bunch of fall leaves on our way to the plaza. We had dinner @ Roberto's on Kit Carson Rd, a couple of good books ( What is the What, by Dave Eggers) to remind me of how we are blessed living in America. The Lobos (5-2) pulled it out during the last 15 seconds of the game against SDSU, and gave me the chance to talk to Bruce Saturday night. Sunday was awesome as well. While we missed church, we did have huevos ranchero @ Michael's cafe, went to a fun toy store in the sunny morning. After we came back to the casita, the weather got cold and we made a fire. We broke out the Uno Cards and played a couple of games, read some books, the kids watched some cartoons, and then we looked out the windows. It was snowing! Brett and I went outside and started playing soccer in the snow. It was a blast! We finished everything off with dinner @ Gabriel's on the way home. Our equilibrium was restored after a fairly tough week at work.

Coming this week: Character parades at School, no school Thursday / Friday (again, Grrrr!), Susan and Luca and Cole are coming in this weekend.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Happy Green Face Week

My munchkin Grant can officially celebrate getting Green Faces at school all week (Green = good, red = sent home from school). He had 4 days in a row where he didn't scratch or otherwise mutilate any of his school buddies! Hooray and thank goodness. He got a Lindy fix this week, and seems to be getting the message that playground time is not for hitting. Thanks for all your prayers, and please keep them coming!


PS - Happy Birthday, Kaydee!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

So Many Great Things, So Little Time.

Top of the list:
Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta: A+ Paired tasting: La Casa Sena and Ridge Vineyards. Just say mmmmm. Great company, great food, great wine, and I could actually tell the difference between two red wines of the same variety. Who'd a thunk it?

The Greek Festival: A Yet another annual tradition that is becoming one of my favorites. The annual pilgrimage to St. George's Orthodox church with the Kidders was wonderful, car accident not withstanding. The food, deserts, jumpers, and general atmosphere made for one of the kids favorite things so far this fall.

Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival: It seems like quite a few of my favorite and some new exhibitors have taken the level of the festival up a notch this year. I walked away with only one new painting (Claudia Young), and a couple of bars of cinnamon soap from Sage Mountain Soap. Mom's out of town guest seemed to enjoy this this year.

Dixon Apples: A+ products; A+ Customer Service - my MOM and DAD; D+ Customer Service @ the orchard: This year it appears they are sorely in need of an industrial engineer to keep the customers around. Long wait in, long wait at the orchard. The constraint = the cash register and parking capacity if I'm not mistaken. I have a great story, though. How I miss the early days - a nice little known secret and fun day trip.

State Fair: A - consistantly good stuff - people to watch, food to eat, animals to see, stuff to buy. Best part was watching Grant throw a dart to pop a balloon on the midway and have him almost hit the carnie.

Fall Football: Ouch, we lost to BYU. The Lobos play Wyoming this weekend. Oh yea, the Aggies lost again. I am starting to feel bad!

Philadelphia Eagles are up to C+ after a 56-21 victory over the Detriot Lions, and a bye week since.

Chicago Bears have moved up to a "D" after beating the Packers this weekend. After the Bears started off the season giving the gam to the Packers, they recovered enough to warrant a passing (but not great) grade. They automatically got an F when they lost to the Dallas Cowboys, just cause I said so.

Extra for my bro: Chicago Cubs are in the playoffs, but the run is over!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Pool Table needs a new home!

Its official - contact us through the comments section. Really nice, but takes up too much space right now! Will post a picture after soccer.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Kiddo update, and the best burritos in abq

We've only been to the fair twice so far - but have no fear - there is plenty of fair time still to come . For those of you, who, like me, couldn't find my pictures in the amateur photo exhibit, I have posted them @ flickr. We have a new favorite burrito in Albuquerque - Burritos Alinstante - mmm mmm mmm - and the people watchin was great. New photos up on the flickr site.

Brett is loving school this year! He has new friends, loves the playground this year, and has a spring in his step like I haven't seen in a couple of years. He is a fierce chess master, having spent all summer tuning up his chess skills on Lego Chess. (they teach you the moves I never learned about like "en passante?" He is also playing AYSO soccer again this year, and excels at playing halfback and defense. He made some great passes last week that resulted in goals scored. I had the honor of running like a crazy person up and down the field as a referee.

Grant has his good days and his bad days. Academically, he's in good shape, but his impulse control continues to be something he is learning. He hit someone yesterday at Explora with a wooden block, and today had his play time cut short because he pushed someone when he wanted the ball. So instead of hanging out with Lindy tomorrow night, he may well be at home in bed. *sigh* I just keep thinking "at least its preschool - we have some time to figure it out before he goes to kindergarden."

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Fall in New Mexico - Clearly the best time of year

Okay folks - maybe the calendar doesn't say it but Fall is here.

First Lobo football game (Go Lobos). State Fair time. Green chile roasting. Corn Maize open. Wagner's Farm. Dixon's Apple Farm. Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta. Windows wide open at night means mornings are crisp.

School's in session. Principle's office. Kid sent home from school. *sigh* Okay - maybe not the highlight of my week, but part of the transition for Grant from flying solo to being part of a team. I need a couple of prayers here - he's not really getting the whole "hands off" thing quite yet.

Busy last couple of weeks. Work assignment has been really tough (trying to create order out of chaos) and many of colleagues from past lives at Intel have moved on, as a result in reduction in force at the plant, making it a littler harder to be onsite this week.

Had a WONDERFUL afternoon last Friday with just Carmen and Brett - lunch at Wimpie's Burgers, a walk to Explora, where we closed down the place, and then a jaunt over to Tiguex park for ice cream. (Pics to come). We played in the Rio Grande last weekend, and made a number of trips to Pop-Pops Italian ice this week.

New addition: Scott and Ronda added Jaedon Scott Welton to their tribe Wednesday at 12:15 am - on Emmy's birthday. 8 lbs, 2 oz; 20 inches. Black hair. Rumor is - he's really cute! I'm sure I'll edit this over the next couple of days, but I have 30+ pounds of wriggling Grant flesh in my lap asking "what are we going to have for breakfast!" Get out and see NM - see you at the festivities.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

It took a Los Lobos concert to remind me: I am a New Mexican

To look at me (except for the sun damaged face) you would not pick up any appreciation for the Latin rock / Tex Mex rhythms of Los Lobos. I am 5'10", freckled, 40+, and as white-bred looking as they come. My parents were from Kansas. However, it is tonight that I am reminded that I am New Mexican, through and through

Its 91 degrees at 7 as we pull into the Albuquerque Zoo parking lot. The kids are loaded onto a beatup old wagon, and we make our way to the entrance. Its an interesting mix of mostly sun-damaged faces - young professionals, retired engineers, hippies, vatos, matching his and hers ponytails. We all want the same thing - a shady spot to park our gear and hunker down for the Los Lobos concert. The usual jockeying for position, smell of KFC, barbeque beef, and the slightly acrid scent of zoo. As the sun drops closer to the horizon the shade gets longer and the crowd unknowing heaves a collective sigh of relief. Lines queue up for a beer, burger, bathrooms, but its a relaxed, it's going to be alright kind of attitude rather than the corporate hustle and bustle, let's git this thing moving kind of line. Strangers chat with others, musing whether its a better idea to buy a bottle of wine or a glass. The band comes out, starts to tune up, lets lose with a couple of Santana riffs. Obligatory announcements - "don't block your neighbors view - dance over there, please..." and we settle in for the music. Shoes are off, blankets spread, cicada are singing, cottonwood umbrellas obscure a slightly hazy upper atmosphere. A bass guitar starts to tremble, just different enough to hear that its a live show. soon there is an agglomeration of guitar notes overlayed with drum, a flute, even an accordian. In an interesting juxtaposition, a graceful swan swims in front of the stage while the crowd starts to get up to dance to the pulsating rhythm.

The absolute best part of the night is now, watching my boys burst into dance. It is in this moment I realize that I am truly content, a rare occasion. Since we picked a spot with a view that was slightly obscured by the biggest cottonwood at the zoo, there was an oasis of grass in the field of blankets. The strip of grass ran about 20 feet. I think Brett is inspired by watching "High School Musical 2" last night - his solo performance included hat throwing, bows to the crowd, and flying feet. I watch with surprise as Brett tries to do some of the same spin moves with Grant that I have done with him in the living room. Grant laughs as I pick him up and spin him around in circles until I get dizzy... I wish Frank is here. They dance their hearts out in bare feet, finally collapsing on the blanket. Finally, with the encore in full swing, the boys are loaded sweatily back into the wagon and ride in relative silence back to the truck.

I realize part of why I am happy. My family is close - my brother came with us tonight. I also know my sons are growing up exposed to a culture I have come to love. At my college job, we listened and breathed and danced in the back room to cumbias, salsas, rancheras. I realize that I know the words to "la bamba" from elementary school and state fair, not from the movie. I eat chile on my burger, and revel in the funkiness of the cars driving down central on the way home from the zoo. Low riders, beat up pickups, and a red scooter parked next to the Sunshine Theatre.

In my 30's, I read a Georgia O'Keefe biography. I remember identifying with the sentiment "New Mexico is a hard place to live." For tonight, that is definitely not true. I hope it stays that way for a long time to come.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Change is in the air

Transitions are constant this month, and we approach them with mixed emotions, but one of the emotions is a sense of loss. By far the biggest transition coming for us is Lindy, our beloved nanny, moving on. I know millions of moms who take care of their kids without the assistance of a nanny, but I know my kids are better because Lindy has been part of their lives, and ours. I face the coming weeks mostly with trepidation, as I know how much I have come to depend on Lindy for her part in our lives. I also know she has continued to be part of her other charges' lives, and look forward to keeping her in our network as well.

Another big transition has been Tally's move. Brett's buddy Tally and his family have made the big leap to San Antonio, and Brett and Tally have been close friends since preschool. While it hasn't hit home too much with Brett yet, when school starts, I think he will feel it acutely.

While Rusty has been a GREAT addition to the family, his transition hasn't been perfect either. He apparently has some elements of fear aggression that we are working through. In the house with us, or on a leash, he is the sweetest dog. However, if he gets out in the front yard off leash, he is highly likely to run after cars or other dogs. While he hasn't gotten in a fight yet, I am sure he has scared a neighbor or two. We are working with some dog handlers to understand how to modify this behavior. They say it's common, but I still wish I knew better what to do to make him less fearful outside the house.

On a happier note, our little social butterfly Grant is going to start polishing his social skills in preschool at Sunset Mesa this year. We did a trial last week, and think he is going to blossom around other kids.

Other than the transitions, our last couple of weeks have been fulfilling. Frank is in Vegas with his brother, we've gotten to do Biopark Music, movies, neighborhood walks with the dogs (and cats, much to our neighbors amusement), housewarming at Heather's, and even ITZ as a back to school present for the boys. We took my mom's sister Vicki to the major metropolitan center of Ma-drid New Mexico, and regaled her with second hand stories of the shooting of the movie "Wild Hogs." The boys, I, and Bruce are going to the Zoo to see Los Lobos tonight - which should be a hoot.

All in all, life is good.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Brett gets muscles

Brett had a hard week this week, but he grew in stature and wisdom. His summer's been pretty light - blast camp a couple of weeks where he got to swim, some vacation bible school, a couple of trips to the library. This week was different - he went to the Danny Granger basketball camp. When he came home Monday night, he was sore, tired, and discouraged. The camp was for kids 7-17, and many of them had played in the past. He got pushed around, stepped on, and had to use muscles he hadn't used since soccer.
Frank and I talked, and felt the best life lesson for him was to push through and gut out the camp. So with some encouragement (all right, bribery) he went back to camp on Tuesday and Wednesday, with similar results. On Wednesday night, he was practicing jumping in the kitchen, and much to our surprise, he was jumping super high. I noticed, commented, and he proudly showed me several more times how high he could jump. Since he was in better shape since starting the camp, I asked to see his muscles. Boy what a treat - when he flexed, you could see his bicep. He was so surprised he put his arm down and back up again, like he wanted to see if it would disappear. It didn't and his excitement level rose. He showed me his other arm, and then proudly raced upstairs to show Frank. Frank promptly tested his jumping ability and sure enough, he's much more agile than he was before the summer. He's even excited about soccer now - "mom - I can make the biggest rainbow kick ever over all the defenders." He actually went to camp with a spring in his step Thursday.
To celebrate his successful completion of camp, we took everyone, including his best friend bowling.

Life is good.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wisdom of a 3 year old

this excerpt was taken from a conversation with Frank this morning.
" Water makes the fire go away, and fire makes the water go away.
Clouds make the sun go away, and the sun makes the clouds go away."

How Zen and smart is that? (From the same kid who was trying to ride a grasshopper statue...)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Summer Goodness update - Happy Birthday Dad!

Its been a really nice couple of weeks. Grant is becoming quite the fish, thanks to his continued time in swimming lessons. Brett has attended blast camp and the Danny Granger Basketball camp, and got to have a sleepover with his buddy Tally. I have to tell you - Danny Granger is one tall guy! But the biggest highlight of the summer so far (besides florida) was the Welton Family road trip to a restaurant called Rancho de Chimayo in Northern New Mexico.

Now everyone knows that some of our most exciting travel experiences happen when we trave with my dad. This trip was no exception. As three trucks with all the Welton kith and kin pulled out of the parking lot in Bernalillo, the sun was shining, the kids had smarties, and our path to dinner was a fairly innocuous route through the Jemez mountains to a small city called Chimayo, New Mexico. Unfortunately, as we approached the town of Jemez Springs, we noticed that the creek next to the road was an angry red, roiling opaque river, even though the sun was shining in our neck of the woods. Then we started driving over some wet road, a few mud puddles, a small stream of red water, and then we knew we were in for an exciting ride. On the outskirts of town, we had to wait to go down the road because there were a few rocks the size of VW bugs sitting in one lane, effectively making the road a single lane. However, all of us had our "big trucks" and safely navigated towards our final destination.

As we approached Battleship Rock, the clouds got angrier and darker, and Frank and I looked at each other - maybe we would see some rain afterall. As we rounded a corner by Hummingbird music camp, there were emergency vehicles roadside, with folks looking puzzled. A quarter mile further, and there was a tow truck with his cable extended far over the side of the road, surrounded by emergency vehicles. I think there were more emergency personnel along the road that day than the entire population of Jemez Spring.

By this time, the skies had opened up, and it was just raining buckets. We continued the drive to Valle Grande with rain, sun, heavy rain, drizzles, heavy rain, and the glorious smell of wet pine and aspen. Then at Valle Grande, things turned ugly! Pop! pop, pop! Rat-a-tat-a-tat! Pea and marble sized hail bombarded the trucks as we crossed that expanse. But weather will not get between the Weltons and their food, and what's a little hydroplaning between family members?

The hail cleared on the outskirts of Valle Grande, and we drove like Banshees toward Los Alamos on a twisted, slopey, windy road. Whether the motivation was to find a bathroom because we'd just listened to it rain for an hour, or to make sure we didn't lose the reservation for dinner, I am sure we slipped and slided our way through the Bandolier background at a rate higher than legally acceptable. When we finally stopped in Los Alamos, ostensibly for one person to take a potty break, I think over the course of the next 15 minutes, almost every family member hit the bathroom, of course, one at a time. We called and reset our reservations from there, and then started the final leg of our birthday sojourn.

When we finally arrived, the restaurant was wise enough to set us in a room off to the side. The kids found the mud puddles in the patio amazingly fascinating, as they did a giant grasshopper sculpture. Dinner was marvelous - red chile enchilada, hot sopapillas, flan for desert, and even a little hike or two for those interested. Dad was at the center of attention - with all his admiring children and grand children celebrating the fun afternoon.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, although sooner for some than others. When we finally left around sunset, we all went separate ways - some more separate than others. Frank and I took the Nambe Fall's route back to Pojoaque, Scott and Ronda raced out the way we came, and Dad and mom went for an evening cruise through Espanola before returning home. I'm sure his black headband helped him blend in.

Alls well that ends well - and it was a marvelous day!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Kidder Corral Update- Vacation Week!

Brett performed Friday night at church in his VBS production "Game Day." Great time last weekend with the cookout. Next time I'll give everyone more advance notice. Rusty (aka Rambo according to Grammy) is working out splendidly. He is so good with the kids, but still nice and protective around strangers! Our neighbors love him already, and especially like watching us walk around the neighborhood with him on a leash and the cat following closely behing.
Happy Birthday to Susan - 29 and holding - the audio is an homage to her!
Coming week: Since we're on vacation most of the week, we'll be spending lots of time at the pool. I'm also going to hook up with a college friend of mine on the 4th that I haven't seen in probably 20 years!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Cookout at the Kidder Corral - 5:30 pm Saturday

Come one, Come all - No reason needed, just show up! (Scott, Heather, Rachel, Marty, Mary, Nick, , etc.)

5:30 pm, 12312 Camino Arbustos NE

Kids will be making and cooking pizzas, jumping on the trampoline, maybe slip n slide- bring your suits.

Adults will be grilling, cooler on the back porch.

Likely a movie after dinner.

Meet our new mate, Rusty, and have fun.

Drop me a line at kfwk.mkt@comcast.net if you think you're coming!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Blessings on Father's Day

This has been a week of blessings. My brother Bruce knew I'd been going through some tough times at home and work. He dropped by with a book called Life Coach in a Box, which is proving to be really helpful.

My sons have been missing Ulysses since we last September, so we have been blessed with the addition of a new Aussie named Rusty. He is fitting in famously, and I think Arrow is acting about 4 years younger since Rusty's shown up. His previous owners have been so phenomenal to work with - its been a joy, even when he went fishing for the first time.

My brother Scott instigated a Father's Day trip to watch baseball @ Isotopes Park with my Dad and our family - which makes me and the boys really really happy.

Finally, its Father's day, and I've been blessed by many of the wonderful dads in my life, starting with my husband, Frank. Thank you Ted, Don, Tim, Marty, and Rob for helping our family be better people for knowing you!

Lots of love from the Zoo - Kristi

Monday, June 11, 2007

A new buddy for Arrow and the boys

Just wanted everyone to know we are welcoming a new addition to the family. Rusty, a miniature Australian Shepherd, will be moving here soon. Since Ulysses passed away, the house seemed a little empty, and the boys and Arrow still miss him. Rusty is a little over a year old, been raised in a family with 3 young girls, and needed to find a new home when his family had to move back to Australia. I put his link on the side. The family we're adopting from is great - people I'd like to meet in person. We're working the details over the next couple of days.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Boys grow up so quickly!

This weekend was spent in Red River, NM. Frank, I, Brett and Grant went up to do nothing, and failed miserably. We had a blast, though. Brett has discovered a skateboard/scooter called a Fuzion, and we took it up to RR - he rode up and down the town like he owned the place. Grant rode his little bike (with the handle for the adults to keep track of him). Brett caught his first fish, an 8" rainbow trout. He was also the first Kidder Uno Attack Champion.
Grant did one of the craziest firsts I've ever heard of. Frank and I signed up for a 2 hour sunset ATV ride (with the boys) up to Cabresto Lake (~18 miles, round trip). Frank spent most of his time with Brett hanging on for dear life behind him, and I spent most of my time with Grant in front of me. He would either hold onto my arms, or push the buttons when I told him to shift gears. He did great most of the way to the lake, but needed me to slow down every once in a while when the road got too bumpy. He did typical 3 year old stuff, including throw rocks in the lake. When we started to head back, he just kept getting quieter and quieter. About 2 miles in, he dropped off completely. After that, I drove the ATV with one hand until we got back to the bottom of Mallette Canyon. What troopers!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fabulous Fridays!

I started taking Friday's off without pay to spend time with the kids. Its been great! I spent the first Friday at Brett's school with him, helping with the class obstacle course. This week, during Brett's first Friday off school, I took Grant, Brett, and Brett's best friend Tally to the Coronado State Monument for some good old fashioned fun. We had a picnic, threw rocks in the river, toured the ruins, and then let the boys play with a sword, a musket, and some Spanish Armor. Life is good.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Summer is coming - what to do with the Kids?

OK, in my inaugural post, I'll highlight the perennial battle working families have. Do we let our kids do like we did when we were little (which was absolutely nothing but play with the other kids in the neighborhood), or plunk them down in a series of camps to keep them occupied - since they need child care anyway? Short version of the story for now -

  • University of Santa Clara family camp for week, Vacation Bible School basketball camp and inventor camps for the oldest.
  • Gymboree and athletic camps for the youngest, lots of free story time and mighty mites.

I hope the money doesn't run out. Wish me luck, and we'll check in a little later to see how we're doing.

exercise ticker

weight goals

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