Steph told me I needed to get on the computer, and finally post some videos she's wanted on here for a while. Plus, we got another tonight, so it only makes sense that I should finally do this thang! To lead off, here's Avery making her first snow angel ever. (It's a little long, but we think it's cute, and we don't know how to edit these videos after we take them. Anybody know of a good, free video editting program?)

This next one is from a month or so ago, when Bob was visiting. He loved this little thing Avery had started doing, and we agree. She's quoting a line from this new Winnie the Pooh show she likes, but the motion is just Cute with a capital C! (For those of you that don't watch this show all of the time like we do, Avery's saying "I slap my hat. We're on the case." Just like the Super-Sleuths do!)

And this last little gem is from tonight, when Avery was singing along with the beginning of the "Circle of Life" song from Lion King. Steph and I have thought this was hilarious for a while, but we just captured it on video for the first time tonight. So here's the thing: This song starts with some African chant thingie, and Avery just sings right along, as if it's a language that she speaks, with words that she actually knows. We love it- hope you do too.

So there's your video-show of the month! Hope you enjoyed it. I thought I'd also throw on a couple other fun pics... Avery exploring Steph's skis, Steph at the Colorado Springs zoo (with Avery and Erin and giant giraffes!), and Steph and Erin after a loooooooooooooong bike ride. Lata'.

Thanks to Jeff for updating you all on the last few weeks in words... now I'm going to show you the last week-ish in pictures! I'll also be sharing some really random quotes that have come out of my daughter's mouth in the last couple of days that I find humorous!

Jeff had last Friday off of school, so we took the opportunity to go to a farm up by Boulder and have some fall fun! It was crazy windy, so Avery didn't really enjoy being out in a wind-swept field and actually picking the pumpkin-especially when she could see the play-land off in the distance... so that job was really left to Jeff and I. No pictures about that.

At the play-land, they had six huge, inflatable jumping things, a petting zoo, hay rides, a straw-bale maze, a hay jumping pit- it was great! So Avery got into the harvest spirit on these straw bales.... she really just crouched down on her own... Being a go-getter and going down the giant slide all by herself....
Climbing on stuff....
Looking a bit mischievous in the hay-jumping pit....
Looking wind-swept and peaceful on our private hay-ride... we apparently picked a good time to go- between school groups and before the after-school crowd!
More hay-ride fun....
Goofing around with daddy....
And that about sums it up!! Our knowledgeable friends told us we can't carve pumpkins yet because the crazy-dry Colorado air shrivels them up really fast... who knew??? Then we had a lovely day of 75 degree weather where we went on our first family bike ride. It was great.

Then this day came!!! The next day it was in the low 30's all day and lots of snow! Avery got all bundled and was excited to go play in the snow! This was monumental, folks. Last year, she used to cry when she had to walk on the teeniest bit of snow just to get to the car!!! She NEVER wanted to go out and play in it! So we were iffy on how long it was going to last... but alas, she surprised us again by loving it! Avery making her first snowball...
Who knew sand toys were so useful year round??? Avery did! Check out the background people... This is October 21!!!!
Making her first snowman that never progressed beyond the first level....
Forcing out a smile for the sake of mommy.... but really, she wants to be concentrating on her snow-task at hand....
And finally, progressing all the way to full-blown playing in the snow with daddy! We have some great video of her making her first snow-angel... but I don't get how to put video on, so Jeff has to do it!
And now for the random quotes:

Here's the scene: I'm trying to get Avery to do something- get dressed or something, I can't remember....she really, really needs some completely random object in her hands before she can even think about attempting my request- and really, she just doesn't feel like complying in my time frame... she's walking down the hallway away from me-with a little too much sass in her step- glances over her shoulder and says, "lax, mommy". Yes, those of you who speak toddler got it right- my 2 1/2 year old just told me to 'relax, mommy'!!!! Yikes, 13 years old, here we come!

Scene: Anyone who knows Avery knows that if she could have an IV of milk into her arm, she'd love it. So, we've been cutting her supply down to morning, nap, and night. So today, I'm bustling around getting ready for Erin's visit tomorrow (YAY, can't wait!!!) and Avery is bouncing around me verbally trying anything she can do to get some milk. Repeatedly she says, "mommy, we'll have some lap time, some chill down time, some tv time..." Over and over again she says she needs some chill down time. Now that I see it in print it doesn't seem very funny- I guess it's funny because we don't say chill down time- never have- we've told her to chill out, but not chill down-she just made up that little expression on her own.

Scene: Mommy on couch, Avery on ottoman. Playing catch with choo-choo ball. Every time Avery makes me stick my hands out to catch the ball- she apparently doesn't know my skills- and every time asks if I'm ready. Then, one time she bust out with this one... "you ready, mama-riffic?!!!" What??? Are you kidding me? Again, not an expression that has ever been said in our home- ever... where does she come up with this stuff??

Well, its very, very late and I got really wordy- so to borrow from my hubs- congrats if you actually made it to the end of this post!
Hi there, all you blog-checkers out there. Sorry that it's been so long since we updated this thing. I've been sitting here on a lazy Sunday morning (where it's snowing outside in beautiful Denver), and I've been reading blogs of friends, and I've realized that Steph and I are pretty funny when it comes to what we choose to blog about. To be honest, our blogs are mostly fueled by when we got good pictures of Avery, and when we didn't. Well I decided to buck the system and write about some stuff that has been going on in life - EVEN THOUGH WE DON'T HAVE ANY PICTURES. (Note: On Friday we did go to the pumpkin patch with Avery and got some cute pics, so for those of you only interested in Avery's cute little smile, we'll get you covered soon, too.)

So anyway, I think our last blog was Steph talking about Bob and Jo's visit, but I never wrote anything about it, so here goes. It was SUCH a fun surprise to have out of town friends waiting on me when I got home from school on my birthday. I've got such an awesome wife who loves to plan big fun stuff for me, and such great friends to want to visit me, and such great in-laws to help fund the whole deal! In addition to just the hangin' out and talking with old friends, which was super-fun, we all drove up to Breckenridge when I took the day off on Thursday. It was great that Jo and Bob didn't really have any designs on what they wanted to do, so we decided to at least try something "mountainish" while they were here. Breckenridge is a cute little mountain town, and we got to enjoy a nice drive in the mountains, though the only hiking we ended up doing was up and down Breck's main drag.

After Jo had to leave, I really enjoyed just hanging with Bob and doing some of our old stuff. We ate Taco Bell, watched 30 Rock and Office, saw a movie (Live Free or Die Hard is definitely the coolest guy-movie I've seen all year!), and talked critically about pop/rock music that we like. It was just such a nice slice of home, brought to me in a convenient Colorado-birthday-surprise package. How great!

When Bob's trip had to come to an end, we didn't have much 'regular' life before Steph and Avery got ready for their trip to Indy the next weekend. I'm speaking from my perspective, of course, but I could tell that Steph really enjoyed her trip to visit old friends and family, and of course attend the annual Taylor Alumni Softball Extravaganza! She got to hang with lots of folks in Muncie, which she loved. She got to see lots of old players and co-workers at TU, and her old team as well. And I was sooooooooooooooooooo jealous of her when she got to hang with other Colts fans and watch the game on Sunday. I know it might seem silly, but having relaxed Sundays with friends in the fall was one of my favorite things each week, and it's just not the same watching the games at home without a full house of pizza-roll-munching Colts fanatics, making it personal! So anyway, Steph had a great time being back in Indiana, and I can't necessarily give a play-by-play of everything she did, but she loved seeing everybody, and I wish I could have been there too. Avery also loved it, coming home talking about friends and family and Daisy-dog (Adam and Stacey's pooch), and what a great time she had.

While Steph was out of town, I was having a bachelor's weekend in Colorado, and I had a nice time. In addition to just some quiet time at home, I also got to hang with a couple new friends from Arapahoe. Jeff, who's also a new teacher at AHS in the foreign language department, took me for a tour of some spots in the mountains, which was great. He's a big outdoors guy, and he loved having the opportunity to share his love of the great outdoors with a new guy to the area. I enjoyed getting to spend some time with a new friend, and also getting some insight into some outdoor things to do on weekends that really aren't that far away from my house. I also just loved getting out in nature for a short hike- it's been far too long since I've really been in nature. Praise God for what a beautiful world he's made for us- and especially in Colorado! My goodness is this place pretty! I also had the chance to hang out with other new friends on Sunday. I met Jon, another new guy at AHS, and his wife Ann(e?) at a sports bar to watch football and grade papers. It was a fun time. By the way, if I haven't mentioned it in the blog lately, I'm enjoying people at AHS a lot in general, and I'm really optimistic about those relationships. It's so much different than it was at Pendleton- not because the people are nicer or anything, but because I live so much closer and I'm really in dire need of new friends. Everybody's been so welcoming to me- I had two other offers for hanging out over the weekend that I didn't even have time for. I think Arapahoe's going to be a good fit.

So that's what's been going on with trips lately. As far as regular everyday life, Avery's still doing her tumbling class which she loves. Steph and I have decided on a church to invest ourselves in a little more. (It's not necessarily our long-term decision yet, but we like Mountain View well enough to try getting involved a little more and see what happens.) I got a bike yesterday- literally only the 3rd bike of my life, and I haven't owned one since middle school- and we went on a fun family ride. I've been tutoring a few students for some extra cash, and it's fun (and lucrative!), and it's freeing Steph up to request a few more days off work. Oh yeah, and Steph's suddenly become a coffe drinker! Weekend mornings are somehow more cozy because of that, believe it or not. And we're gearing up for more visits in the next month, as Erin (Steph's friend and former assistant coach) comes next week, and as Adam and Stacey get to come out over Thanksgiving!

So I hope that catches you all up to date on the lives of the Smiths, and we'll try to blog again soon with some pics and not so many words. (Congratulations if you actually made it all the way through this. Whew! That Jeff can sure be wordy sometimes!)