S: Andrea Lynn McDivitt (January 2008-May 2010)
BC: "People are more important than things." -Andrea
FC: January 2008-May 2010 Spring Break in Australia Masters Degree from CC Hiked 7 more 14ers Bought a Townhouse Hiked and Biked in Glacier Park Family Christmas in Colorado Spring Break in Moab, Utah Skied a lot New Car: Toyota Rav4 Taught 5th Grade Ran first 1/2 Marathon Thanksgiving back East
1: Brian came down to Colorado Springs for his Spring Break. | We went to a Nuggets vs. Suns game. Shaq's feet were huge, even from the second level!
2: Copper Mountain, Colorado March 2008 | Copper Mountain is one of my favorites. | The day was a bit cloudy, but we still had tons of fun. There was lots of fresh powder and we found huge moguls-up to my hip!
3: Vail, Colorado We planned on skiing 2 days here, but since we got so sunburned, we just did 1 day. It was also quite expensive-$98.00 a piece! The views were gorgeous though!
4: Over 24 hours of travel on a double decker Boeing 747. I even saw Paula Abdul getting into a limo at the LAX Airport! | Spring Break Brisbane, Australia The land down under...
5: My kindred spirit Amy Hook and her husband are living near in Australia for 5 months while Jono does a PT internship. Amy keeps an amazing blog. Here's what my family had to say: well i was told to keep up with the blog and the adventures. it sounds like everything is going good and you guys are having a lot of fun. I am jealous that andrea gets two spring breaks, one skiing in colorado and one down under. well i had a good time back home for easter, ryle my roomate even got to come for two days and we enjoyed the home cooking. andrea, try and keep your swimsuit on, don't get sunburnt, and try and be a little tougher when encountering the native animals. love ya, brian Looks like you guys are having a blast. Happy Birthday Amy!!!Have fun on your adventures and dont drowned in the ocean (Andrea) Love reading your updates, keep us posted. The McDivitt Family P.S. Tell Andrea that I made varsity in tennis:) i am so glad that you two girls make any and everything fun, and an adventure. you got that from your dad. Hope your birthday was extra special with your kindred spirit by your side. thanks for the great documentary of your days. it is almost like being there. love and miss you all. mom vaughn I love reading your blog and it must be fun to have your beloved friend Andrea with you. I am so glad she gets to visit and take in many varied adventures. Thanks for taking the time to write it down. Hello Andrea. I miss seeing you. I'll make you both choppies if you come over sometime. dad vaughn I love you forever dad
6: Today was quite the day. Due to the extremely busy holiday weekend, it was a big cleaning day at the Chateau Royale. I agreed to clean today and then asked for the rest of the week off to spend time with Andrea. Since Jonathan had the day off, I offered for Andrea to sleep in or hang out with Jonathan. Instead, she said she wanted to clean with me! | And oh, what fun we had as cleaning partners. Although tempting, I'd never brought a camera along to work in order to document my ventures :). Since Andrea is the picture taking queen, she made sure we captured each exhilirating moment. Almost as great as the rain forest pics, here are some of us in action... | After spending a big portion of the day cleaning, we headed on the Buderim rain forest hike to the waterfall. It rained this morning so it was a bit of a muddy trek. Kind of like how the Rockies never lose their majesty (even when passing the continental divide views each day for work they never lost their "wow" power), the forests here continue to amaze me. | Of course Andrea was equally "wow"ed. We only had one minor catastrophe when she saw a jumping lizard and screamed, scaring me to death. I guess we had just been talking about the most poisonous snake in the world living in Oz, so she was a bit jumpy. We'll work on that:).
7: Everything is the same...but not quite. Here is the crosswalk sign. | Yes, who knew that lawn bowling was actually a real sport! | Watch out for those koalas! | A real Aussie sheep shop where Amy picked out Uggs for her b-day. | Getting ice cream cones at a "spoof" McDonalds. | Following the hike we went for a run and made some amazing chicken curry as well as lamingtons, an Australian original coconut and chocolate-covered cake. | Eumundi & Ginger Factory Although we don't have any great pictures to give you an idea of the magnitude of this place, let me tell you that this outdoor market is amazing! | We spent a few hours enjoying the local crafts (including these Aboriginal instruments). We stopped by the ginger factory on the way home for a bit more shopping and some delicious ginger cinnamon ice cream.
8: Amy turns 25 on March 25th: Her Golden Day The 25th will go down in history as one of those days. You know what I mean. The kind of days that you look back on years into the future as pretty near-perfectI will proceed to tell you about the golden day. Yes, it was "golden" because the sun was shining. It was also "golden" because I was with my friend, whose presence is worth more than gold:). But what really made it "golden" was quite literally that it was my golden birthday...turning the big two five on the 25th of March. Pretty exciting stuff. We set off on our day of gold at 4:30am, trekking north towards the Mount of Coolum. Using but one headlamp between the two of us, we scaled the cliffs with anticipation (There is nothing like the "beat the sunrise" mentality when it comes to making a climb quickly). Thankfully, we made it in just enough time to find the perfect rock to absorb the brilliance of God's creation. .
9: After sunrise, we headed north to Noosa for a breakfast on the beach. Beach front view + coffee = paradise! After enjoying our fabulous breakfast, we took a hike in Noosa National Park. The path took us along the ocean and through the rain forest. We even spotted a koala in the wild (actually some other people pointed him out - I doubt we could have made the discovery on our own). We then enjoyed an afternoon on the beach. After at least a week of cloudy weather and rainy conditions, it was amazingly clear! I wish we could have captured some of our body surfing feats on the camera. We spent hours in the water, trying our best to catch the waves and ride them to shore. We were actually quite successful a few times. We were even more successful, however, at being tossed and flipped by the waves, flailing about as we tried to distinguish up from down. Andrea, especially, was pin-pointed as a "tourist" and was kindly guided by an older Australian gentleman to "duck the waves since she didn't know what she was doing". When she staggered onto shore a few waves later complaining of a bleeding shoulder and a headache from hitting the sand with her head, we decided to call it a day (Don't worry McDivitts, I will not jeopardize the health of your daughter).
10: Darcy McMurray said... Love seeing Andrea! Maybe the sweetest human on Earth! Everyone who comes in contact with Andrea just adores her and her sweet heart always shines through. Happy Birthday Amy! | Australian Meat Pies & Fig Tree Park Andrea experienced her first ever Australian meat pies yesterday. We went to Beefy's, a recent winner of the Brisbane pie contest. After eating the frozen Wooly's 80 cent pies and practically gagging in repulsion, I was happy to find these pies quite tasty. We both agreed that meat pies might not make it onto our list of "must have foods" but they were still quite good & certainly no Aussie experience could be complete without them. Oh, and I'm convinced that all food becomes infinitely better when consumed in this fig tree park (I forget the name) in Buderim. Amazingly beautiful.
11: Groceries on the Scoot We took a little trip to the grocery story (Woolworths) on the scooter. It was wonderful to share this experience with another American who can appreciate all of the differences & nod in agreement at some of the ridiculously expensive prices! Andrea insisted on posing with the vegemite (basically the equivalent of spreading soy sauce on bread) - and when it was all said and done, we used our excellent spacial skills to fit all the items in the two storage compartments:).
13: Mt. Ngungun = Fabulous Today we hiked one of the Glass House Mountains, Mt. Ngungun. The humidity in the air here makes for some incredible sweating opportunities and the overcast weather didn't inhibit this in the least bit. It was yet another quick, steep climb and the view from the top were gorgeous. Australia is so green and lush! | Yes, there are two flushes, depending on your duty! | Bird of Paradise | Road Construction | Pregnant Parking??? | Burger King??? | Fresh, juicy, yummy pineapples for $1.50 each! | Really, a CO store in the land down under???
14: Andrea had been dying to pet a koala, so on Saturday morning we found ourselves heading down to Brisbane to the Lone Tree Koala Sanctuary, the largest koala sanctuary in the world (I guess it would only make sense that this place is located on the continent of Australia). We spent the earlier hours of the day petting koalas & kangaroos and learning about various Australian animals.
15: I know I've said this before, but who wouldn't want a pet koala? They are low maintenance: all you'd need would be a little perch to place him/her and an endless supply of eucalyptus leaves (not that difficult). Your little furry friend would continuously sit there and look cute and/or sleep at the same time, without demanding your attention in the least bit. Okay, so there are probably pets out there that are more interactive - still...a koala would make a great "introduction pet", maybe a pre-dog for those who are two steps away from children. They are just so stinkin' cute!
16: At first, moving cautiously...then VICTORY!
18: The Hooks (Jonathan's parents John & Kathy) arrived this morning early and spent their first day with us on the beach as well!!! We all went to the wharf for fish & chips this evening and experienced the most AMAZING sunset on our way home. In fact, stopping to take pictures on the way home led to the world-record-breaking 8 minute shower & turn-around before heading to church tonight. It was most definitely a day well-spent - and both a sad & happy one, as it marked the last Aussie day with Dre, yet the beginning of our time with the Hooks (who will be here until next weekend).
19: After spending the morning with Aussie animals, we made our way (bravely, I should add - driving in the heart of the city on the wrong side of the road, round-abouts and all!) to the south bank of Brisbane. | There we enjoyed lunch at a little cafe before walking along the river and eventually spending the afternoon at the art & history museums. | Today, Andrea's last day here, was an all-out beach day. She & Jonathan awoke in the early dark hours to make it to the beach for a final sunrise. "Beach" was our theme today as she had to soak in as much sun as before heading back to the winter/spring/summer/winter weather of Colorado.
20: Garden of the Gods Cousin Matt Walter, currently of Castle Rock, CO came down to spend the afternoon with friends Arnold and Jamie.
21: The Incline. Long. Hot. Steep. Enough said.
22: Colorado Christian University May 2008 | Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction
23: Mom flew down for my graduation ceremony up in Denver. (Morgan was at a tennis tournament this weekend.) After the ceremony in Denver, we had a picnic reception with close friends up at Fox Run Park in Colorado Springs.
25: #No. 3 Mt. Bierstadt: June 2008 Cousin Matt Walter and friend Bari Parkhill and I hiked up 2,770 feet in 3 miles. There was lots of snow, probably too early to hike, but we made it. The views are always breathtaking.
26: The Royal Gorge Matt and I took a little road trip to go rafting down the Arkansas River.
27: Vessels for Honor June 2008 Arkansas River | The water was so high that we couldn't go through the gorge. 13 boats tipped in one area that day...but thankfully not us. Friend Jonathan Johnson was our personal rafting guide.
28: Scenic Point Glacier National Park | Dad and I led a hike for about a dozen Cut Bank kids through the local summer fun program (GPA). Our first hike was in Two Medicine. It was a hot July, so we definitely went in middle Two Med Lake afterward. It was fun to do a favorite childhood hike with my dad.
29: Piegan Pass on Going-to-the-Sun Highway | Bear Spray Dad brought in the can from the garage into the kitchen to "test" it over the kitchen sink. I was at the fridge and suddenly started coughing and my eyes watered like never before. We had to quickly evacuate! Dad wiped down the kitchen before we left (or at least he thought he did). When we confess our accident at dinner, mom was less than happy. She had baked some casseroles for a church group. She felt like her eye and lip were on fire. As she was grocery shopping, they burned so bad that she had to get a popsicle to hold over her lip while shopping! New house rule: Always tell mom about accidents.
30: Sierra Schildt & Ryan Taylor July 2008 | East Glacier Park childhood friends: Aileen, Sierra, Sienna and I. The wedding was at the trailer park in town and the reception out at Ramsey's at Firebran.
31: Summer fun in Cut Bank | Tennis tournament, painting the house, rock work on the front of the house, Brian in the Glacier Electric bucket truck.
32: Iceberg Lake Many Glacier, July 2008 | Mom, Dad, Morgan, her friends, and I hiked through grizzly territory. There were many icebergs in the water. We had fun fetching them and then breaking them over our heads!
34: Full Moon Bike ride up Going-to-the-Sun Highway This was one of the harder things I've done...maybe ranking up there with hiking 14ers. I was so cold on the way down. I swear my hands were ice cubes.
36: ASD20 Summer School | July 2008 Adventures on the High Seas | Grades 3rd/4th at Mountain Ridge Elementary campus
37: The Craigs The inaugural Frontier Hiking Club makes its debut. The day was beautiful and company wonderful, though we spotted a twister on the way home.
38: Home Sweet Home: August 15, 2008 I bought my first place, a 1,000 sq. ft. townhome 0.4 miles from work on the 3rd day of school. In hindsight, it wasn't the best timing, as I moved classrooms from 4th to 5th grade last week too. Thank goodness for Mom and Brian, who loaded up the mini van, drove 15 hours down from Montana, and came to work for a whole week.
39: Scraping the popcorn ceilings was the messiest job. Who would have thought I'd have a garden hose running into the dining room while my ceiling was''raining?'' 15 gallons of paint later, the place looks amazing and feels quite homey.
40: Spokane, WA I made a quick trip to visit my dear friend Amy. We had a brilliant idea to make 1-hour skirts after we saw a pattern at Target. It turned into a 9-hour project that involved Mama V. We were not made to be seamstresses, that's for sure! I also snuck out to Coeur d' Alene to visit the Moore family on the property.
41: Coors Field Denver, Colorado Cousin Matt's engineering firm had box tickets to a Rockies game. He invited me up for the game and the catered food before the game. It was an awesome evening!
42: Grays and Torry's Fourteeners No. 4 & 5 This was my first double 14er action. The weather was windy and rainy. Cousin Matt was my adventure buddy.
44: The John Moore Family visits Colorado Springs | The Moores were my first house guests. My place slept 7 quite comfortably. We went to the Olympic Center, Garden of the Gods, and Focus. | We had spaghetti dinner and I had to work the next day. Come to find out, Robbie "might" have seen a mouse run in my kitchen. This led to a month of paranoia, buying every trap under the sun, and borrowing Frontier's shovel to carefully dispose of the rodent. Just when I thought the coast was clear, I found out the age old saying is true, that mice never live alone. I caught two and then life was much better.
45: Cut Bank Volleyball, October 2008 I made a quick weekend trip home over Halloween to watch sister Morgan play, so I wouldn't be the delinquent sibling who never saw her play volleyball in high school. She is a stud.
46: Again, my little place stretched to sleep 6. All was well, until Dad started snoring! | December 2008 My family (and Kyle Lewis) came down for Christmas in Colorado. We did the normal tourist attractions, though the big event was the Broncos vs. Bills game on Christmas Day.
47: The Buffalo Bills came back and beat my Denver Broncos! Everyone (but me) was happy! Though it was sunny, the temp felt like -2 degrees! We made the Jumbotron in our matching santa hats!
48: We skied at Copper Mountain and night skied at Keystone. | The Leyba family also gave us their Avalanche tickets, so we watched them play the Phoenix Coyotes, who were coached by Wayne Gretzky.
49: We didn't exchange a lot of presents, instead we spent Tons of quality time together. It was the best Christmas ever!
50: Spring Break 2009 Moab, Utah Teacher friends Traci and Rebecca and I drove across the state for some outdoor adventuring in the mountain biking mecca. Dad donated to our travel fund, so we stayed in a cute place on the river. We did have a minor catastrophe involving my bike and Rebecca's car. Other than that, the trip was outstanding!
51: Canyonlands National Park | The first day, we saw the famous Mesa Arch. The rest of the day, we spent exploring around Canyonlands. The next time I go, I definitely recommend renting an ATV.
52: We hiked to the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. It was a hot hike that felt uphill both ways. I couldn't believe just how big the arch really was.
53: The Double Arch is famous in an Indian Jones movie. We had fun doing poses on top. The park as over 2,000 natural sandstone arches.
55: We hiked from the Devils Garden Trailhead to several arches, including: Double O, Navajo, Partition and Landscape.
56: My new car! My parents bought back my 2007 Camry (Black Beauty) and Brian helped me shop around for a more adventuresome Colorado mobile with 4-wheel drive...a 2008 Toyota Rav4 with 28,000 miles. Bud found it in Billings, MT as a lease return and drove it down to do the exchange. Black Beauty was ready with a bow on it for Tub when she got back from her Close Up DC trip.
57: Friends Aileen & Mike Kindsfater were in the state and came down to Colorado Springs for Memorial Day weekend. They were my biggest fans at the Bolder Boulder.
58: Bolder Boulder 2009 Race Day | My adventure friend Bari Parkhill was my running partner this year. | Running this race is my four-year Colorado tradition. The treats afterward are the best.
59: Project Backyard Mom came down for 5 days in June. With her, Jake, and 19 trips to Lowes, I now have a beautiful backyard.
60: After the purchase of patio furniture, plants, a tree, bark, and my homemake Trek steps...project completed!
61: Moore Ohio Farm, June 2009 We flew back East for 2 weeks. There is always work to be done on a farm! | Nana and "Baby Ben" (cousin Jen & Jason's son) who is almost 6 months old at this point.
62: Papa does meticulous work. He has been hand scraping, priming, and then painting the old barn white for several years.
64: Ruth Amelia (Pentz) McDivitt "Grammy" passed away this February after complications from a carbon monoxide leak in her home. She and Grampy were married for over 50 years. 5 boys were raised in this 3 bedroom/1 bathroom house. We went through the house and had a garage sale.
65: Grammy and Grampy were very devoted to the Church of God, which my great-grandpa helped start in the valley. Olin was shy, but sharp as a tack. Ruth liked to tell stories. | It's not a trip to Barnum without a picnic up at the cabin with the whole crew!
67: We also love to go 4-wheeling up to the Rocks, where my dad would hang out as a kid. Uncle Boyce has a new shed for his "toys" build by the Amish. Dad and Cousin Evan tried out the recumbent bike. We always eat breakfast at Sprague's, where they make real maple syrup from tapping some of the trees up on the Lease.
68: It is also tradition to watch the 4th of July fireworks in Olean at Bradner Stadium. It's slightly white trash, but a good time is had by all!
69: Brian has been accepted to University at Buffalo for the two-year MBA program. He'll be staying with second-cousin Nate (Blanch & Glenn's grandson), who will be a dental student. Mom and I took up a truck and trailer loaded with some of Grammy's old furniture and an extra TV.
70: Santa Fe Trail Bari and I mountain biked over 10 miles from Colorado Springs through the Air Force Academy up to Monument and back one afternoon. It was beautiful, though it definitely seemed like it was uphill both ways!
71: Lincoln No. 6 | Democrat No. 7 | Cameron No. 8 | Bross No. 9
73: July 2009 Matt and I hiked all four 14ers today. The conditions were pretty good and it took us just under 7 hours. One guy hit a golf ball off of each summit. My tradition is eating a Cliff Bar on top.
74: Priest Lake, Idaho Before school started, I had to get up to Spokane to see Amy and Baby Clara. We spent several days up at the lake kayaking, reading, napping, and picking huckleberries.
75: Jack Quinn's Irish Pub in downtown Colorado Springs. Every Tuesday night, they have a running club for a loop that is a 5k. After 10 runs, I earned a dri fit shirt! | It only took me just over 2 years to make it downtown 10 times. Bari has a few more to go for her shirt.
76: Castle Rock Rodeo Matt and I like the bull riding and mutton busting the best!
77: Climbing Pike's Peak: August 2009 No. 10 | The weekend before school started, we hiked up from the Craigs. Matt ran 13.1 miles down the front side and we met him in Manitou Springs. We saw famous local runner Matt Carpenter at the top and the bottom getting ready for the Ascent.
78: I've been to the top on the COG Railway, but never hiking. | Here's Matt Carpenter...barefoot runner extraordinaire. | 14er No. 10...only 46 more to go!
79: Rebecca and I took former student Rachel Dinkel to see Greg Mortenson and Pennies for Peace. She wants to teach over there someday. | Concert at Red Rock Amphitheatre
81: Frontier Elementary 2009-2010 5th Grade Friend Cathy Van de Casteele and I tag teamed 56 kids, since we didn't have quite enough for three classes. Dear friend Jill Evans stepped down to prepare for her family's move to Virgina. Us two "youngins" did pretty well, especially considering that Cathy was pregnant the whole year! Thank goodness she made it through the end of school and promotion. There were definitely some sweet kids, but also some handfuls, which is to be expected when they can't be split into 3 classes. Cathy and I were nicknamed Batman & Robin by Belinda after we had a good idea one day. The names stuck!
83: Fall 2009 Matt and I took in an Air Force game on a beautiful sunny fall Colorado day. I love living here!
84: Muller State Park Colorado | Matt and I drove up to see the fall colors.
86: Loveland 1/2 Marathon This was my first half. It was pretty low -key, as far as races go, and there were lots of "real" runners. I was proud of myself for running the whole way without stopping in just over 2 hours. It took several months of training, new running shoes, and lots of experiments with "goos" and lime-flavored Gatorade jellybeans.
87: The Incline: An Epic Experience (6+ hours)
88: Thanksgiving 2009 I stayed with Bud for a few days and even went to class with him!
89: Morgan flew back earlier this fall for a Bills game, so of course we had to go to one too. The Bills lost in an OT nailbiter to the Miami Dolphins.
90: Bud and I were actually in Barnum for Thanksgiving dinner. We helped with the meal, ice skated, and hauled wood. | Nana & I made applesauce with apples from the farm. It was a special time!
92: Christmas Eve Service | Matching Shirts! | I drove 15 hours home. Tub helped me correct lots of papers.
93: I gave my first "Keep Christ In Christmas" shirt to Good Will, and I had to buy another before coming home. We got a new family ping pong table. Bud got us all UB clothes. We watched a lot of TV/movies on the new big screen and leather furniture.
94: Brian, Tub, Brianne and I spent the day cross-country skiing. There is something majestic and peaceful about skiing in the woods on a crisp winter day. | Issac Walton Inn Essex, Montana
95: We also spent a day over at Whitefish Mountain. Last year on the way home Mark put his truck in the ditch. This time we got a flat tire in Dad's car. Thankfully, Bud had just changed his own flat, so he totally knew what he was doing!
96: Happy early 27th Birthday Andrea! | The theme of this birthday was "re-gifting." Tub gave me one of her I-Pod covers (I did get a new I-Pod though) and Brian gave me a blender he got from high school graduation, though he claims he never used it. This was the winter dad was in his cast from getting "bucked" off his mountain bike in the snow by a sneaky curb in front of Albertson's. He wasn't able to ski with us this year.
97: Baby Shower for Cathy and Hudson Lorraine Keller and I hosted a shower for my dear friend. Jenna helped me make a sign, which had one of Cathy's favorite childhood poems on it. I was quite the "Martha Stewart."
99: State Singles Tennis Champ: Morgan McDivitt! I made a quick trip to Missoula to see Tub play. Amy and Clara drove from Spokane for the big event, which turned out to be stinkin' amazing as Morgan rocked it...just like big brother champ Brian!