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Hey February, where’s your winter?

By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sunday was February 8, a mere six days after good ole Phil saw his shadow and decided we'd be having six more weeks of winter.

I don't mean to be cruel, but I don't think that rodent knows what its talking about.

Look at that picture above. I took that on Sunday while Bill and I were scrabbling around the Colorado National Monument. I wasn't even wearing a jacket.

Sunday we hiked, we rode the motorcycle, we even stood around outside drinking cocktails with friends at Peach Street Distillery. It was glorious.

It was a beautiful spring day ... but it's not spring, it's the dead of winter. Only winter didn't get the memo or decided to take off early because we aren't having a winter anymore.

I feel bad enjoying our temperate climate and am thankful that we aren't suffering below-freezing cold and snowy driving conditions but there will be a price to pay. No snow = no water. No water = no good.

Instead of celebrating our lovely days, I feel like I should be doing a daily rain/snow dance and working on new compounds for seeding clouds. But since my dancing has only inspired pointing and laughing and my science is no better than my dancing, I'm just going to go ahead and enjoy the good weather while simultaneously worrying about what's going to happen this summer.


Throwback Thursday: First Day of Preschool

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Thursday, January 29, 2015


The Book Report News

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Soren came to me last weekend and said he had a great idea for his book report project. He wanted to be a TV newscaster and I should video it for him.

On the designated night, Soren came down in a suit and tie. He even found some dress shoes. I tried to keep my motherly guidance to a minimum. At one point though, he started going on and on about valium. I sat behind the camera, eyebrows raising and raising as he gave a very strange description of the mother in this book who apparently took valium a lot. I nixed most of that part of his speech. I mean, what the heck is his teacher going to think? He insisted it was an essential part of the plot so we compromised as you'll see in the video.

I let him help me do the editing last night. He really likes transitions and made sure there were many fancy extras. Who doesn't love a good transition to jazz up a newscast.

Anyway, here's Soren presenting The BRN (Book Report News).


Throwback Thursday: Baby Kip

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Thursday, January 22, 2015


January update

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January is so ... ew.

We're just plugging away at daily life in the Ashcraft household which doesn't make for interesting blog fodder. So, here's an update on the mundane at our house.

Swimming lessons

Swimmng lessons continue this winter. Soren has been stuck at the top level for months. He works on endurance now and fine tuning technique. I love to watch him swim. It's strong and graceful. He didn't mind being stuck at the top swimming laps, until Jonas made a sudden push toward the top. He passed two levels this winter until now he sits in just one below Soren. Which put them in the same class this session. Jonas is working so hard to out-perform his brother. With a little strength, he'll easily surpass Soren soon.

Marek has been in the last beginner level for months. He doesn't pass, over and over again, mostly because he often prefers to play rather than swim. He doesn't have much interest in reaching another level or trying harder. He just wants to laugh and play in the water. That's okay with me.


Of course, we have this daily school thing. Between the three boys, it seems we're constantly working on some kind of homework. There's reading logs, book reports, spelling words, math facts, and science projects. Times threeeeeee!!! I've never done so much homework in my life. Yeah, I know, I shouldn't be doing their homework. But, who do you think has to monitor all this at home schooling? Good parents. Last weekend, I was wondering around Home Depot looking for the right stuff for the famous "Egg Drop" project. I tried to keep their homework at arms length by handing over the supplies and telling them to create on their own. But still there's quite a bit of parental obligation when it comes to this homework thing.


All this time I kept thinking that when the boys got older my housework would get easier. That's because I'm an idiot. Housework does not get easier when your kids get older because having them help or teaching how to clean is a royal pain in the ass. It takes three times as long to empty and load a dishwasher with the help of an 8-year-old. A 5-year-old is great about bringing things like sticks inside and then adding duct tape and poster paint to them. Kids who are 7-years-old refuse to throw anything away and like to keep wrappers and school papers. All of my boys have discovered that sometimes shoving everything under the bed works, other times mom figures it out.

The Other Stuff

The other stuff is football, hiking, and too much television time. It is January after all. It's not stuff to write a blog about. Let's hope that life gets more interesting soon.




By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Friday, January 16, 2015

I've read quite a few articles lately like the one trending today, "Parents Under Investigation for Neglect After Allowing Kids to Walk to Playground," and of course they are worrisome to me as a parent.

I think a lot before I make a decision regarding the boys. And I always, always consult Marty to make sure he agrees with my decisions. I'd describe myself as the parent who errs on the side of caution. That being said, I don't feel as though I'm nearly as cautious as some parents I know.

The rules of parenting these days certainly have changed. Children don't walk anywhere by themselves. They aren't sent into stores to buy something on their own. They aren't left at home alone. They aren't trusted with sharp things or moving parts. They live on very, very short leashes.

And that's okay with me. I make my decisions based on my kids abilities and my own comfort level. What really bothers me about these kinds of stories is not so much whether or not I agree or disagree with someone's "free-range" parenting decision but that these parents are judged to the point of criminal offense.

These kinds of stories are bothersome to me because they undermine a normal parent's ability to make decisions based on their own judgment and not on the judgment of others. Parents should be able to call the shots. They should be able to determine when their child is capable of handling a certain situation on their own and when they're not. And they shouldn't have to worry whether or not their decisions about their child's independence will be judged so harshly.

I think most parents make reasonable and appropriate decisions regarding their child's independence. Those decisions should be judged on actual danger to a child, not perceived or potential danger. And, I don't think we should be so hard on parents who may believe in a different parenting style than our own.

This kind of media attention toward parents makes a momma paranoid — is all I'm saying. What do you think?


New year, new cold

By Robin Dearing
Friday, January 9, 2015

Hey y'all! What's up? What are you doing today?

According to Facebook, Richie is delivering guitars and ice to school children. Never a dull moment with that Haute Mama.

Me? What I am doing?

Oh, I'm just lying here in bed with yet another cold.

If you are counting, that's four colds in five months. I haven't had that many colds in the last four years. Poorly done, immune system, poorly done.

I've been trying to figure out why this is happening. I wash my hands and eat my fruits and vegetables. I exercise. Well, there are a lot of stairs in and around my house and I walk fast whenever possible.

I want to cry about how unfair it is that I keep getting sick. But that seems futile and my nose is already on overdrive.

I want to get over this cold as soon as possible. In the past, I've tried powering through it. I've tried total bed rest. I've even tried over-the-counter cold medicine (which resulted in my nose becoming dry and arid like the Gobi Desert. I thought it was going to crack and fall off.) I've tried denial and then pure acceptance.

I've tried drinking lots of water. I've tried drinking lots of Vitamin Water Zero. I've tried drinking lots of gluten-free beer (with that I ended with a cold and a hangover — not recommended).

Nothing works.

I'm giving up. Today, this gorgeous Friday, I'm lying in bed watching "Broad City" on Hulu (those girls needs to move to Colorado) and eating Glutino bread and ham sandwiches. 

What would you do if you were me? What are your fool-proof, make-me-feel-better, common-cold remedies? Or at the very least, what should I be watching on Hulu or HBO Plus?


Wordless Wednesday: White Christmas

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Wednesday, January 7, 2015


A Christmas that I enjoyed

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Monday, January 5, 2015

We had a great holiday season at the Ashcraft house. There was something about this year that made it better than previous years — my attitude.

I didn't stress about much this year. I didn't put any pressure on my self to find the perfect present for anyone. (Ask Julie — easiest shopping trip EVER!)

I truly tried to enjoy the experiences of Christmas and not just the few hours of Christmas morning. I savored the tree cutting. I laughed when Marek accidently flung flour across the kitchen, then we ate warm cookies together. I sat down and watched Christmas movies with the family, ignoring a mountain of laundry to be done. 

Any stress that might have built up was released with a Christmas Eve soak at Glenwood Hot Springs Pool.

Of course, there was Christmas morning ... and despite my relaxed efforts at shopping — everyone was very happy with what they received.


All these year I think I've been doing it wrong. I was always so stressed. Pressured to find the right present for the children. Worried their Christmas dreams would be dashed and it would ruin their childhoods. I worried the cookies wouldn't be pretty. I worried my house would be dirty and people would judge me.

Somewhere along the way, I guess I forgot that I should enjoy Christmas too.

This year I remembered what it is all about — making the holidays a time for everyone to enjoy.


Merry Christmas to all the Haute Mamas!

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Phew, I'm finally done. The gift shopping is done, the tree is up, the cookies are baked. Granted, I have the last minute house cleaning and the cooking left. Okay, face it, Christmas stuff for moms is never really done, until it's over.

Regardless, here's wishing my fellow bloggers Robin and Randee, and all our Haute Mamas readers a very Merry Christmas.

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