Monday, February 10, 2014

Colored Red

Welcome to Colorado Week!  We're leaving the golden shores of California in the rear view mirror and heading back east for some Rocky Mountain High!  Home of countless breweries (the most of any state, per capita!), the Continental Divide, and the (somewhat disputed) birthplace of the cheeseburger, when I first started my research and discussed it with Grant he referred to it as "The Wisconsin of the West".  But Colorado has plenty to offer as it is also the  home of the US Olympic Committee, the United Air Force Academy, and Pikes Peak.  Plains on the eastern side of the state give way to the immense Rocky Mountains that have fifty-three peaks with an elevation of more than 14,000 feet, giving the state of average elevation of 6,800 feet - the highest of any state in the nation.

Along with all these facts and figures we discussed while putting up our Colorado wall tonight, the kiddos also learned that the state bird is the Prairie Lark Finch, the state tree is the Blue Spruce, the state flower is the Rocky Mountain Columbine, and the state is nicknamed "The Centennial State" because it joined the Union in 1876 which was the centennial anniversary of the founding of the United States.  Also, as my post title alluded to, the word Colorado actually means "colored red". Kayla unfortunately didn't get to join us in putting up the wall (oh it's been a long day for Kayla...)  but Noah was especially taken with the mountains and the skiing.  I had a hard time conveying just how large the Rocky Mountains were and what a challenge they presented in the settling of the rest of the country, but hopefully as the week goes on I'll be able to continue to convey this to them.

We also had a dish named after the capital of Colorado for dinner tonight - Baked Denver Omelet.  The origins of the dish are up for debate, but among the legends of why a Denver omelette is called a Denver omelette is  that the name was given by cooks working on the transcontinental railroad. Others credit the Denver omelette's origins as being on long cattle drives.  Regardless of where it came from, my trio scarfed it down tonight.  I also made Colorado Munchies for dessert.  I have no idea what they have to do with Colorado, but they were sure yummy :-p

It's Day 3 of the Olympics and we had our Indoor Snowman Building contest today.  I cut out a whole bunch of pieces that when assembled correctly looked like a snowman.  After scattering them around the room, everyone was timed on their ability to assemble the snowman correctly.  Any guesses as to which Gatchel prevailed today?  You'll have to check out the pictures below :)

Tomorrow we're going to get to open some mail from Colorado and the Olympics will be bringing some Snowball Ring Toss.  I also get to help out in Noah's classroom for a bit in the morning so looking forward to that.  Looks like it'll be another great day at the Gatchel's!  Until then...

Colorado Fun Fact of the Day:  Colorado is the only state in history, to turn down the Olympics. In 1976 the Winter Olympics were planned to be held in Denver. 62% of all state Voters choose at almost the last minute not to host the Olympics, because of the cost, pollution and population boom it would have on the State Of Colorado, and the City of Denver.

Noah assembling the snowman

 He finished in 55 seconds!

Kayla gives it a go

Her final time was 1 minute and 32 seconds

I made it a little more of a challenge for Grant by spreading the pieces around the kitchen first

He finished in 1 minute 23 seconds (I sat this one out as it didn't seem fair for me to participate since I had created the snowman in the first place.)

Celebrating Noah's victory!

Today's medalists

Baked Denver Omelet

A Colorado Munchy

Mound o' munchies!

The Colorado Wall

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