Hey Folks!! Many of you know that the end of September brings our beloved Jeff's birthday! I thought it would be a great present to fly one of his great friends from Indiana out to Colorado!!! Bob T. was the lucky one- we've been plotting and planning since sometime in August! I got the Davis Family in on the surprise and we pulled it off! We decided it would be fun to have Bob and Jeff talking on the phone while Jeff was driving home from school. Jeff would then walk in and see Bob sitting in our living room and be all confused and surprised. Well Jeff, being the good hubby he is, didn't want to be talking on the phone when he came home because he thought I had a "big surprise" in the works and didn't want to ruin it! So sweet! So he got off the phone right before he walked in, and here's what happened after that!

It was great! He was stunned most of the evening! The real kicker is that the surpriser also got surprised!! When I picked Bob up at the airport he says, "oh, I brought a surprise" and then proceeds to stand there for a second. I looked at his bags to see if he was going to pull something out of them... and look back at Bob... and then.... this girl runs up!!!!!!

What a shock!!! I just kept yelling, "what are you doing here????" in a very high-pitched tone!! It was sooo exciting! It has been so much fun showing them where we live and enjoying our old friends!!! Avery has been eating it up! Jo and Bob are the first people she asks about in the morning!! She'll be sad to learn that early tomorrow, Jo is going back to Indiana. What a fun visit, though!
This is just another little gem... a select few of you will recognize this pose... the remotes, the look of concentration, the look of semi-frustration... that's right- we broke out Mario Kart today. It felt like memory lane! We haven't played since we've been here, but it was fun to remember all of the fun times we had in Indiana playing this silly game!
For those of you who don't quite know, Jo and I won't have to say good-bye for long. Avery and I are coming to Indiana in early October. We'll be hitting the campus of TU and watching some awesome softball and just enjoying our friends in Upland, Muncie, Crawfordsville, and Indy! So look us up!
This is one of those rare "Jeff Actually Contributes to This Blog Too" entries into our Smith Family Happenings blog. I've been inspired to write a quick post because my daughter is, to put it simply, the best new little tumbling girl I know. When I got home from school today, Steph told me that Avery had fun at tumbling class today, and that she learned to do a summersault/somersault (both spellings are accepted, apparently) on her own, going over some sort of pommel-horse thing to help support her. So anyway, when Avery woke up I put down a bunch of blankets on top of each other to make her a little 'gym mat', and thought I could be inventive with some kind of pommel-horse substitute.

But as soon as I told her what the blankets were for, she started to try a somersault without any help... and SHE DID IT!!! Maybe this isn't such an amazing feat for many of you, but I was astounded and thought some video would capture the moment nicely.

This is the best little video of about a half hour's worth. She enjoyed the process immensely. And I think her little bow is pretty stinkin' cute too. She's been doing that lately- we think as a byproduct of her love for the Little Einsteins.

I don't think there's any other big news around here. I just finished up with Arapahoe homecoming week. which impacted the schooldays a lot more than I was used to at Pendleton. It was a fun but hectic week, and now things are back to normal. Steph's asked her Children's Place managers not to schedule her for quite so many hours, so we've actually seen each other for several evenings in a row, which has been a nice change.

I'll leave you with a picture of Avery in one of her favorite activities- playing with water outside our front door. She's spent quite a few hours getting wet like this over the course of this summer.

Apparently, I've been 'tagged'. Which means I'm supposed to write a blog entry about what the tagger tells me to... thanks, Jayne ;) So, I'm supposed to write 8 things about myself. In no particular order....

*I came on down and won the showcase showdown on The Price is Right mainly due to my competitors ever-so-slight overbidding...thanks, girl in black catsuit!

*I sheepishly admit that I've been to two Michael Bolton concerts...one of them opened by Miss Celine Dion. Yeah going to high school in the early 90's!

*My greatest sports memory was in high school. It involved a bit of revenge and smokin' a triple down the left field line, on the coolest field I had played on up to that point in my softball career, in front of some college scouts, off of the state champion pitcher. What an at-bat!

*On a trip to the Grand Canyon with my boyfriend- now the coolest hubs ever... we were walking along as a nice man stared at me for a long time... then said, "you Davenport??". You make the call- me and tennis champion Lindsay Davenport? Twins?

*For five years, I had my dream job with this awesome group of people. Now, I work at the mall. Good for my family, still hard to get used to the absense of softball and team.

*I leave used Q-tips broken in half all over the house. It drove my mom crazy for years and now drives my husband crazy. I don't intend to leave them there, I just forget.

*There's a chance I hold the record for most consecutive days in a row of watching "Remember the Titans". There was a span where roommate and I didn't have cable and I watched it every day after work. My hubs tells me I have a remarkable capacity for watching the same movie over and over.

*I am not a runner- at all. But, I've run a marathon. I can count on one hand the amount of times I've run since that day.

Now I'm supposed to tag people. So, I don't have a ton of blogging friends, so my options are to tag Bob, Amy and Shedd.
Avery had her 1st haircut the other day!! She really had a lot of fun! We went to a place called Lollilocks that specializes in kids haircuts. We thought with her hair, that might be important. She thought it was really fun that she got to watch "Happy Feet" and sit on a pink dragon. Her hair has really been getting quite unruly, so we thought maybe if it had a little shape, it would lie better. So far, so good! Here's her poofy before...

And during... loving the job that Heather is doing....

And here's the after! Zig zag part, sparkles, bows and all!

Then we went to a little historical festival in town. (Adam, you should be proud- that we did something historical and that the place you work at is wayyyy cooler) There was a petting zoo, that was really the main draw. There were a ton of school groups there and Avery got poked in the eye by those hooligans. They weren't really regulating how many people were in the tiny petting zoo at one time, so it was a little overwhelming- hence Avery's red eyes from crying.
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We started tumbling class today! Avery loved it and was a bit less timid than I was expecting! Here's Avery with her teacher learning to do a somersault!

And walking on the tall balance beam! Every time she jumped off, she'd put her hands up in the air like a real gymnast... where'd she learn that??

And her favorite part... the trampoline! I'm afraid she was a bit of a trampoline monopolizer... she did take turns, but she also took a lot of turns!
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...fonder? frustrated? Yes, we have been absent from our blog for quite some time and we deeply apologize. We kept forgetting to bring our camera places, and who wants to read a whole blog full of text, right?

On that note, we'll start off with a bunch of text. Probably the biggest event of note is that Jeff started school! He started with a week full of meetings back in the middle of August and started with students around the 21st. There are a ton of new things to get used to- open campus, shorter schedule, 'unscheduled' time, and team planning just to name a few. But he's enjoying his students and fellow teachers, so that's great. We went to our first AHS football game and it was fun to see even more of the culture of the school. Jeff will probably blog more about specifics later.

Avery's been adjusting well. While she enjoys lots of mommy time, she hasn't really had much yet as we've had all of the grandparents in town. My parents came for a long weekend and we got to go to the Coors Brewery in Golden. Not too exciting for a two year old, but fun for the rest of us!! We also got to spend some fun time celebrating my mom's birthday- I haven't gotten to be with her on her actual birthday in about 10 years! So it was quite a treat! Here's a funny picture of Avery in front of Coors- still hasn't gotten that natural smile thing down yet.

Then Jeff's parents came in town for a week! Avery loved all of the attention and the affirmative responses to her incessant question, "Come play in my room?" Ma and Pa get very tired of it, but grandparents seem to have a high tolerance! Yeah for grandparents! With the Smith's we got to go to the Denver Aquarium and several tasty, strip-mall restaurants. Just by coincidence, we kept researching new places to eat, and they all ended up being located in strip malls. Ya probably had to be there, but we thought it was funny.

And finally, since Jeff and I were both going to be home all day today, we decided to continue marching down our list of touristy Colorado-y things to do. Today was a trip to Mt. Evans. It's Denver's answer to Pikes Peak- only about 50 miles away and 14,240 up! The beauty is that you can drive almost all the way up and then you only have to hike the last 130 feet in about a quarter of a mile. We saw Big Horned Sheep, Mountain Goats, and a Yellow-Bellied Marmot!

We stopped at a lake right before the summit and Avery was a trooper- hiking down to the lake, all excited to be out and about. Then we got to the top and started the final hike- very windy and about 35 degrees- she was not a trooper. But, we made it to the top and had fun, overall! Here are some pictures... Avery at the Summit Lake...

And the Smith family on top of the mountain that you see behind Avery in the above picture. Yeah, the lake you see below us, is the one Avery is sitting next too, neat huh?

Above is Avery faking us into believing she's going to be a great hiker! This is her on her way back up from the lake. And then below are some shots of the Smith fam on top of the mountain!