Saturday, January 28, 2012

Almost a month into 2012!


It has been a bit since we've sent out a real update.  Amazing to me that this blog used to be my lifeline to everything.  I used to feel this almost obsessive feeling about updating it.  Now, it doesn't cross my mind daily, and it is nice to know that Kurtis fighting off cancer probably doesn't cross your mind too often either.

Life in northern Colorado is treating us well.  This year, so far, winter has been insanely warm and mild.  In some ways that is really nice, but a small part of me misses the large piles of snow...and we've yet to have a snow day this year.  That is one of the great things about working in education...the chance for a snow day doesn't go away when you become an 'adult' :).

Here are what the three of us have been up to -

Working more and more as a substitute teacher in PSD.  He spends all of his work days at my school (Polaris) which is great!  He gets quite a few calls from the other members of the staff and enjoys getting to know the kids better each time he's in a classroom.  I think he enjoys being able to be a teacher a few days a week and still spend some time working around the house on his days 'off'.  When at school, he covers for almost any class ... French to math and back again ... and the kids seem to really like him.  He's also done some major work around our house including cleaning up and organizing our office so that I have a nice place to work which is beyond awesome.  He's started to work out now that his body is finally recovering from his treatments.  Unfortunately, normal person mode can still wear him out, but it is NOTHING compared to where we were a year ago.  In February, we'll be celebrate SIX MONTHS clean! Whoop whoop!

I've been working and working.  And working.  I'm teaching two US history classes and one English class right now and I love them all.  I was initially a little worried about my English class as there are thirty-three kiddos (!!) but the class has been structured in a way to accommodate all of their learning and it is going quite well.  My US history class is making their own history books and loving it.  My classroom constantly looks like a pinata exploded due to the construction paper scraps, etc. but the students are really performing well.  Lacrosse is about to start up and I couldn't be more excited.  We've started our winter season, lovingly referred to as 'winter ball' and the kids are 2-1.  Winning doesn't matter in this league, the point is for the girls to remember how to play before we start having games in the spring, and they are doing a mighty fine job.  There is a group of them participating in a speed, agility,  and conditioning training program that my assistant coach and I are taking with them that is really fun.  Butt-kicking, but fun. 

Chauncey is looking forward to his birthday that will happen in February.  On 2-22 the puppy will be two!  We can't believe we've had the little (well...kind of little still) guy for two years!  He's been enjoying going on runs with me and making a mess of the house by dragging out all of his toys.  The snow and ice are finally melted in the back yard and he seems to like that better than when he struggles to run on it.  He's claimed one of the upstairs bedrooms and spends a lot of his time laying in the sun on one of the beds and staring out the window.  Often when I come home from school his little cute face is waiting for me in the window :)  When it is warm outside, he gets to go to the dog park that is not too far from our house.  There are usually a lot of dogs there and it is quite funny to watch him try and get all the other dogs to chase him.  We also got him a 'zipline' for the car.  This is a system that keeps him in the back seat via a cord that runs across the handles in the back and then a tether clips to his harness so he can go back and forth, but not forward.  Chauncey doesn't understand it yet, and it's pretty hilarious to watch him try to jump out of the car only to be completely thwarted.

We're hoping that everyone is doing well!

Sending our love!

Liz, Kurtis, and Chauncey

Monday, January 16, 2012

Snowy January Day

Nothing new or interesting to report here.  Kurtis is doing great! School just started for me, so nothing extremely exciting, but we do have this picture to entertain and amuse everyone.  Chauncey doesn't really have any fur that is good for snowy days.  He freezes and shivers and it is always rather pathetic.  However, we were able to score a REALLY nice Ruffwear jacket for him for only $15!  Since it was snowing today, we made him wear it.

He's adorable and we love him...seriously the greatest dog to have around when someone is fighting cancer.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Throwing Away Cancer


Kurtis and I have been all into celebrating mini things as time has been passing. 

Today, we did something that I really found significant, and made "cancer" even more a thing of the past. 

Since we've been home from Indy, there have been cancer pills in our fridge.  They were part of the chemo that K was taking after his big treatments. 


Not that Kurtis has been taking them for months, but they've been there...just as this little reminder.  "Cancer's here"....

Yea, not so much.
It's 2012 now! :)

Love to all!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

We've gotten out of the routine of posting often, but know that there are many of you out there who might be wondering how we're ( Kurtis is...) doing.  The answer - great! Here is a run down of what we've been up to the last few weeks ...

The end of December meant the end of school for me, and it was busy (as the end of quarters and semesters always are).  We went a week longer than 'usual' or than many other schools are currently going, and even though the last week was a little rough and the kids were a little ragged, I am REALLY enjoying being off of work a week into January rather than being back at 

In late December, Kurtis had another tumor marker check and an appointment with the doc.  Everything is looking good - tumor markers are still normal and he is set to have another CT in February.  The fact that his markers are still good made for a good birthday for me (yes, I'm 25 now...and officially old...I think...) and a good Christmas as well. 

We spent the first part of my time off of school in the Springs with my family.  My little sister (Christina) was home from her college in Spokane, and it was great to see her while she was home.  We got to go out to one of my favorite brew pubs - Phantom Canyon.  They make an excellent pile of steak fries, cheese, sour cream, and bacon that I absolutely adore...and the beer is great :).   We enjoyed catching up with my family and hours upon hours of board games (including ZERO, Ticket to Ride, Bananagrams, Phase 10, Chronology, Buzzerwezzer, and...maybe a few others).  We celebrated Christmas with my family a day early - and although Timmy and the Donkeys didn't pull off a "W", bit was a wonderful day filled with love and great food.  On Christmas day we took a trip up to Denver to celebrate with my Mom's side of the family.  We had a wonderful time with all of them and Kurtis even won the BIG PRIZE! For Christmas, we all purchased a $15 dollar gift, and then put $5 into the "big" gift.  They were all wrapped in similar sized boxes in the same wrapping paper and we drew numbers and gifts.  Although Kurtis drew #13 (the last number) he won the prize and walked away with $80!  We spent a few more days in the Springs hanging out with my family and trying to help Chauncey understand why Luke and Quincy (my parents' labs) didn't want to play with his psychotic self. 

From there, we headed up and out to Holyoke where we had Christmas #2.  We enjoyed hanging out with Kurtis' parents, sister, brother-in-law (what is that to me? brother in law-law?), and niece.  The days were pretty low -key and I was able to get some work done for school and we both just enjoyed some 'down time'.  Christmas #2 was great - although I think the highlight for both Kurtis and myself was the elephant toy we got Aubrey (niece) for Christmas.  The elephant toy shoots balls out of his trunk and then they fall into his stomach through his ears. After about 500 hours of wrestling it out of the box (apparently toys for kids need like 100 little tie things and small odd pieces of cardboard), we finally got it working and Aubrey was quite excited.  She jumped up and down and exclaimed "WOW, WOW, WOW! Amazing!".  She's getting pretty big now (about 1.5 years) and is a lot of fun now that she can talk and play.  After a good few days in H-town, we headed home with a very tired dog.

The last few days have been both busy and relaxed.  With money my grandparents and Kurtis' parents gave us along with Kurtis' BIG PRIZE  money, we were able to take a trip down to IKEA and re-do one of our rooms.  For Christmas, we got ourselves a new bed and nightstands (the Malm), and were hoping to be able to re-do our dining room next.  So, earlier this week we headed down to Denver and picked up a new dining room table, four chairs, two "square" storage units and three floating shelves.  and two bar stools.  If you're not familiar with IKEA, they are a furniture/home store.  We love it.  The furniture is reasonably priced and modern...when you pick up what you want, it comes in flat boxes and you assemble it at home.   I love that part - it makes me feel like I am 'making' our furniture...that and I like building stuff so it is fun for me.  We've spent the last several days moving old stuff (big bookcase into our storage room which is now, thankfully, a lot more organized...old squeeky table is disassembled and in the basement too), and putting together and hanging up new stuff.   We are insanely pleased with how everything has come together.  Our new table is a lot smaller than our old one, and the room feels a lot larger now that we've taken out a bookcase that was just too big for the space.  Chauncey is having a hard time as we've moved his 'house' (kennel) and when we ask him to 'take a time out' (go in his kennel) he gets really confused.  Currently, he just goes and sits in the corner where his house used to be and we've got to help him find his's rather amusing. 

I head back to school on the 9th and Kurtis has several sub days already lined up.  He has really been enjoying coming in to Polaris and will be coming to help me (well, my kids really) as I have about thirty-three kids in my English class.  K is feeling stronger and better all the time.  In the last few days before school I've been getting in some new recipies(Thai last night - and Madelines, Indian tonight!) which I really enjoy.  In addition, we're both  huge political junkies and have been getting increasingly excited about the 2012 election.  We enjoyed watching the updates on Iowa yesterday and were amazed to see Romney win by EIGHT votes (that makes it easier to tell kids that EVERY vote counts!).  Other than that, we've just been relaxing and hanging out with the pup who is sleeping hard right now due to this afternoon's visit to the dog park. 

Here is hoping that everyone had a great holiday season and is enjoying the start to 2012.  We're counting the days until our wedding (June) and Kurtis' one-year cancer free mark (Aug).  Sending love from all three of us to all of you!

Liz, Kurtis, and Chauncey