Thursday, January 21, 2016

Christmas with Family

[ Versión en español abajo ]

Right before Christmas, both kids put on shows for us - Claire at church, and Sean at school. You can watch Claire's Christmas pageant here - she was "God's Angel and had a few lines - but I didn't post Sean's because I didn't have permission from the other parents. I can arrange a private viewing if you would like to see a cute little Christmas tree sing and dance.

Our little angel

Our little Christmas tree 

 And a visit from Santa - yay!

We spent Christmas with my family in Boise this year. It had been five years since we had done so (what with living abroad and all), and was a ton of fun. Many of us were sick in one way or another, but it was still wonderful spending time with family and watching the kids play together.

Some pictures from our trip:

Happy road trippers! They did GREAT both directions, which really helped with a 14.5-hour drive...

Bedtime stories with Nana are the best.

Claire and I got to help her aunt and cousin volunteer for the Salvation Army's Operation Wish Book while we were there. We helped people pick out books for their kids, and even practiced some Spanish!

It was so much fun for Claire to discover all the new books to read at Nana and Grandpa's house...

Both kids also loved all the fun Christmas decorations, too, especially the singing/noisier ones.

For Christmas Eve we have a big sourdough waffle/quiche brunch, and we had some good cleanup helpers this year. The boys cleared...

...and the girls washed. Teamwork!

Opening stockings is always a highlight...

...although Sean's arms almost weren't long enough to reach the bottom of his...

Santa is always so generous!

Boy snuggles for Nana...

...and girl hugs for Daddy... Claire's cousin loved playing with her hair - fancy!

Presenting Nana and Grandpa Joe with their birthday/Christmas family trip - looking forward to spending more time together this summer!

I made more gingerbread in Boise so we would have some - it's way better with help.

With extended cousins on Christmas Eve night.

Christmas morning excitement!

Giving Grandpa Joe a thank-you hug for the cool Magna-tiles.

Christmas morning snuggles from my bunnies.

LEGO girl! She was lamenting that she didn't have any regular bricks - problem solved! She has a new Star Wars shirt on, too - it was a LEGO-Star Wars kind of Christmas this year. We took the kids and Nana to see the new movie, which was awesome!

Every Nana needs present-opening helpers...

Taking a break to snuggle and read a book together.

Shopkins are one of Claire's new favorites - Santa delivered.

Christmas cousins.

Cheering for big cousin's soccer game with Papa Dean.

Candy canes!

The cousins had a sleepover at their house, which was the BEST. It also gave Graham and I a date night (we had TWO in a week and a half!), which was an awesome bonus.

Sean with his new soccer ball. Once we were back in Denver, he wanted to go over to his cousins' house to play with it. Sorry, buddy - not so easy!

En español:

Inmediatamente antes de la Navidad, ambos niños tenían espectáculos para nosotros – Claire en la iglesia y Sean en la escuela. Pueden ver la obra navideña de Claire aquí – ella estaba el ángel de Dios y hablaba un poco – pero no puedo publicar el show de Sean porque no tenía permisión de los otros padres. Puedo mostrarlo a ustedes si quieren ver un lindo árbol de Navidad quien está cantando y bailando.

Pasamos la Navidad con mi familia en Boise. Ha sido cinco años desde visitamos ellos para la Navidad (con viviendo en Costa Rica y todo), y nos divertimos mucho. Algunos de nosotros estaban enfermos de varios maneras, pero estaba muy bien pasar tiempo con familia y disfrutamos mirar los chicos jugando juntos.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Formans! Life is good in Denver – the kids have been reintroduced to snow and are big fans. They love tubing and ice skating and we hope to get them started skiing this year.

Claire is 8 years old and in the second grade. She’s a voracious reader and loves art – her other favorites at the moment are LEGOs and Pokémon. She loves school and spending time with her friends. She’s a great help to Mom and Dad around the house and with her little brother.

Sean is 3.5 and now attends a Spanish immersion preschool. He loves learning Spanish and telling us the words he knows. As he often says, “I speak Spanish!”, which we love. His favorite things are lightsabers, his lovey, and his “pack-pack” (backpack). He also is Mr. Sports and likes to play soccer, baseball, basketball, and tennis, but also loves his electronics.

After dressing as Luke and Leia for Halloween, both kids are really into Star Wars. They also both take piano lessons now (as does Mindee – Graham takes guitar) and love to play. They’re also both in swimming lessons – Claire is learning more advanced strokes now (breaststroke and butterfly) and Sean can now swim across the pool by himself!

Netchemia, the company Graham had worked with for years, sold early this year, so he spent most of the year building his own company, Edovate Capital, and doing some independent consulting. He also is now a member of the Board of Trustees of the Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) and is working hard to move the education needle in a positive direction. He completed his first triathlon this summer and wants to do more. He did get to ski several times last year and looks forward to more in 2016.

Mindee still works with the Kauffman Foundation – it will be ten years this March! She also does quite a bit of freelance work in all sorts of areas – check out for details. Her beloved Aunt Sue died this summer so she had a mini-family reunion in Boise for her memorial service. She also spent a week in New York City with her mom and sister on their first ever girls’ trip – they had an amazing time! She still sings with the Colorado Choir and is also on the PTA Executive Board at Claire’s school (doing Communications – what else?), so stays super busy.

We had two bigger trips this year as a family – a Dr. Seuss-themed spring break cruise to the Eastern Caribbean to celebrate the sale of Netchemia, and a big group trip with Graham’s family to Edisto Island, South Carolina. We love to travel and look forward to more exciting trips in 2016.

Bailey, our beloved kitty, finally left us in September. She lasted almost a full year renal failure, and we’re grateful for the extra time with her. She had a wonderful 14 years with us and we miss her.

The blog hasn’t been as updated lately as it should be, but you can still follow our adventures at or on Mindee’s Facebook profile page.

In a world full of turmoil and division, we pray for unity, tolerance, and peace in the New Year.


Mindee, Graham, Claire, and Sean Forman

P.S. For those of you who received gingerbread this year, I didn't properly adjust for the altitude and they're a bit crunchy. :( Won't happen again.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Fall Adventures

It's been a super-busy fall in our house... Here are some highlights from the last few months:

Sean's 3-year preschool pictures. Love that face!

Claire's school had a roller skating party - it was the first time either kid had skated, but they both LOVED it.

Graham and his brother spent a week biking from Cumberland, Maryland to Georgetown in Washington D.C. along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal trail. They were joined by their cousin's husband who lives in the area for the first day. It was cold but the weather stayed dry and they had a blast.

Mindee's Aunt Nancy had a meeting in Denver in October, so came over for dinner and helped us put the kids to bed. SO good to see her!

The church we've been attending has a new children's bell choir - this was their first performance [video here]. The kids loved it... Sean gets very excited on bell choir days.

Since Halloween, the kids have been a bit Star Wars obsessed (along with the rest of the world). This was Star Wars Reads Day.

Lightsaber fights are now daily occurrences in our house...

 ...they make Sean so happy.

If he can't find a willing opponent, he fights himself looking at the reflection in the patio door.

We had some beautiful colors this fall.

Claire's school class visited a local farm - she liked feeding the goats.

Claire played in her first piano recital in November - "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" by Mozart. [video here]

I think her favorite part was getting to dress up...

Sean is quite the artist these days and likes to draw people, rather than just scribble.

We had Thanksgiving at our house this year and were joined by Graham's brother, Bart, and some friends. I had some good helpers when I made a pumpkin pie - for about 10 minutes, anyway.

Claire loves playing cards with Uncle Bart whenever possible. 

After Thanksgiving we went up to Keystone for a couple of days and went tubing... 

 ...and ice skating. It was the kids' first time ice skating...

...and the adults hadn't done it in 20-30 years (yikes!), so we all enjoyed it.

 The kids are super excited about Christmas and some vacation time.

The church Christmas pageant was mid-month, so Claire was able to participate (Sean was sick). She played God's Angel, so had a few lines and sang with the other kids. [video here]