Monday, June 30, 2014

"Shooters" in Rifle

Chris and I enjoy many aspects of living in a small mountain town, but one of which is epitomized by this newspaper article printed in the paper of our neighboring town recently.  This article is re-printed from the Glenwood Springs, Post Independent.

Shooters in Rifle serves a big helping of Second Amendment

RIFLE — When waitress Ashlee Saenz takes your order at Shooters Grill in Rifle, she not only carries a pad and pen — she also packs a loaded Ruger .357 Blackhawk handgun holstered on her leg, Old West style.

It’s loaded and she knows how to use it.

Saenz and her co-workers, along with customers who come into Shooters, are encouraged by Shooters’ owners to pack heat in the restaurant, as allowed by Colorado law.

The restaurant also hosts concealed carry training — the $75 price tag includes dinner — that qualifies customers for Colorado and Utah permits.

In a nation torn in recent years by emotional Second Amendment debates, fueled in part by mass shootings, there’s no such controversy in this town of 9,200 that’s centered in ranch and natural gas country.
“We called it Shooters and started throwing guns and Jesus all over the place.”
Lauren Boebert
Owner of Shooters in Rifle
A sign on the front door of Shooters Grill reads, “Guns are welcome on premises. Please keep all weapons holstered, unless the need arises. In such cases, judicious marksmanship is appreciated.”

Shooters owner Lauren Boebert of Rifle said she is simply allowing customers and employees to exercise their constitutional right.

“We encourage it, and the customers love that they can come here and express their rights,” Boebert said. “This country was founded on our freedom. People can come in carrying their gun, and they can pray over their food.”


Boebert was born in Florida, raised in Aurora and moved to Rifle in 2003, where she met her husband, Jayson. They decided to open a restaurant a little more than a year ago and tried to come up with a good name that would suit the town.

“I consulted with my Christian friends and everyone said ‘Shooters’ sounded like a bar or a strip joint,” Lauren Boebert said with a laugh. “But I thought, this is Rifle — it was founded around guns and the Old West. We called it Shooters and started throwing guns and Jesus all over the place.”

The decor of Shooters — which offers American and Mexican fare and does not serve alcohol — is decidedly Old West, with guns and cowboy art on the walls, a rough-hewn woody look and three large silver crosses that reflect Boebert’s strong religious faith. 

Customers on a recent morning had no problem with the gun presence.

Wayne and Martha Greenwald are from a small town called Grand Marais in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and come to Shooters whenever they’re in town. The couple fully support allowing people to carry guns in the restaurant.

“We think it’s just fine — we’re very positive about it,” Wayne Greenwald said. “We carry guns ourselves and own a rifle, shotgun and handguns. We live in a very small town and we take care of our own crime problems. No one comes to Grand Marais to break into someone’s house.”

Said customer Madison Potter of Rifle, “It’s safe and it fits the town well.”


Violent crime is rare in Rifle — the name, by lore, comes from when a cowboy surveyor left his gun leaning against a tree alongside a creek. The town had its first-ever bank robbery in May 2011, and reported no homicides and one robbery in 2013.

Police Chief John Dyer said the last shooting death was in 2001, when Michael Steven Stagner shot seven people, killing four. Stagner, who targeted Latinos and ranted about illegal immigrants during his rampage, was found not guilty by reason of insanity and is confined to a mental institution.

Dyer is OK with Shooters’ business model. “If it was a bar, I might be saying something different. But I have no problem with it,” he said. “And besides, they make a really good burger.”

The 55-seat restaurant also offers regular classes to qualify for a concealed carry permit — complete with dinner.

Held every other month, the five-hour training seminar is conducted by Utah-based Legal Heat, which offers the classes around the country, usually at sports shops. The event hosted at Shooters qualifies people to obtain concealed carry permits in Colorado and Utah. The May class drew 25 people; the next session is July 22. Boebert said she will offer the deal monthly if demand is sufficient.

To get a concealed carry permit after the training, residents must fill out an application and be fingerprinted. Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario decides whether to issue permits after reviewing applications and background checks.

“I encourage people to get a concealed handgun permit,” Vallario said. “I think there’s this misunderstanding that we can always be there. But I’ve got about one deputy per 1,000 people. People have the absolute constitutional right to protect themselves.”
He said the county’s number of permits and applications has been steady for several years. Through June 20 this year, the sheriff’s office has issued 124 new permits and 190 renewals (a permit is good for five years). That pace is down from 534 new permits issued and 277 renewals last year.


The sheriff urges leaving guns at home in some situations.

“Guns and alcohol, just like alcohol and driving, are not a good mix together,” Vallario said.

Certain people, including convicted felons or those with known substance abuse or mental problems, are not allowed to possess firearms.

Colorado gun-control supporters say they favor concealed carry over open carry because of the permitting requirements.

“We stand behind the Second Amendment, but we don’t encourage people to carry guns as a public display in places like stores or restaurants,” said Jennifer Hope of Golden, the Colorado chapter leader for the national Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, founded in 2012 after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut. “If there was a problem in a store and it got robbed or something happened, how would you know who were the good guys and who were the bad guys?”

It’s unlikely a whole lot of bad guys will visit Shooters, but the guns the workers carry are the real deal. Some people think it’s all part of a costume.

“No, they’re real and they’re loaded, and we know what we’re doing,” Boebert said with a smile. “I fear for anyone who tries to rob us.”

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Saturday, June 28, 2014


Tracey Ann and Zivah are cousins, and six-and-a-half months a part.  They met when Tracey Ann was a month old, but didn't interact very much.

Now, they are five months, and almost a year old... and they are exploring the world of friendship.  I'm sure this is just the beginning of the challenges of trying to take cute, happy pictures of the cousins together.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Get Use To It

Tracey Ann and I have some thing to get used to this summer.

Tracey Ann has to get used to traveling and entertaining herself in her carseat.

Sometimes we get smiles...

Sometimes she entertains herself...

 Sometimes she and Lloyd sleep...

Sometimes she plays...

I have to get used to many people taking turns holding and carrying Tracey Ann.  She has been passed around to more people in the two days we've traveled between Vail and St. Louis than she has the past two months.

My second-cousin, Roberta, in Denver

My dad's cousin, "Aunt" Ann, in Denver

Lunch with family who knew my sister, Tracey -- Tracey Ann's namesake

Chris' friend

This lovely couple has five grandsons and NO granddaughters -- they LOVED Tracey Ann

Seeing Chris' family, and meeting Great Grandma and Great Grandpa for the first time

Great Grandma was nearly in tears... and Cousin Zivah, was wide-eyed

Grandma Miller was in heaven with her two granddaughters

Great Grandma couldn't get enough of Tracey Ann

"Will she let me hold her?"

The best picture of Grandma and her girls

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

3rd Anniversary... and Birthday

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful Hubby.

It is crazy to me to think that we have now been married twice as long as we knew each other before we got married.  It feels like no time, and it feels like forever.  I whole-heartedly believe that God knew exactly what He was doing when He brought us together.  We balance each other out, and complement each other.  We support one another, and encourage one another.  We have common dreams, and we have different dreams.  Most importantly, we both look to the Lord every day to better serve one another, and be a better husband and wife than we were yesterday.

I wrote these words once on our blog, when I wrote about our wedding... but when I think back over the incredible change, and joy, and challenges, and blessings of these past three years, I remember our vows.

"I, Brooke Sanden, take you, Christopher James Miller, 
to be my lawful wedding husband.  
To have and to hold, 
for better or worse, 
for richer or poorer, 
in sickness and in health, 
to love honor and obey, 
as long as we both shall live.  
Where you go, I will go.  
Where you stay, I will stay.  
Your people will be my people, 
and your God, my God.  
May the Lord deal with me ever so severely 
if anything but death separates me from you."

Three years later, and now Mama and Daddy as well as Hubby and Wifey, this is still my promise to you, and I love you more, today, than I did the day we were married.

 ... Also Happy 3rd Birthday to our wonderful puppy, Lloyd.  Often his birthday gets overshadowed by our anniversary, but he is such a good dog.

He is so gentle with Tracey Ann,

and he is learning how to run/walk along with the stroller while he is on a leash.

 He has adjusted so well to this new member of our family, and I think they will become dear friends.

We love you, Lloydey.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tracey Ann - 5 Months

FIVE MONTHS -- this has been the month of change!  Since the day she turned 4 months, things have been changing with our adorable baby girl.

  I'm not sure... but at her 4 month appointment, she was 13 pounds, 13 ounces (in the 39th percentile)-- she has officially doubled her weight since birth.  So, she's probably a little over 14 pounds now.

At her appointment, she was 25.6 inches (in the 88th percentile)... but the doctor said that length/height isn't really reliable until the child can stand.  But I will say, she's longer now than she was at her appointment, because she has grown out of more sleepers -- in the length -- since that appointment.

Clothing size:
Officially out of almost all her 0-3 month clothes.  She can still wear a few 3 month outfits, but we're beginning to transition to 3-6 month/6 month clothes.

She is still fed exclusively with breast milk (I really don't know how much, because we're off of bottles since I've been home for the summer), but she has had a few tastes of solid foods this month.  We have let her suck on a slice of pear, and a dill pickle.  For both, she made a very disturbed face at first... but then liked the second taste.  We think she didn't know what to make of the texture.  At some point we have to actually begin feeding her solids... but not this month.

This month was a little different with sleeping because very soon after she turned four months, we took her out of her bassinet, and she's been sleeping on the lower level of her pack-n-play... not the bottom, but the lower level.  She LOVED the freedom of being out of the bassinet, and we had a few nights where she had trouble going to sleep.
All of a sudden, she could play with her feet and roll side to side (we saw a huge jump in her development when we removed the bassinet, because she was able to really play, and grab her feet, and start to roll, and sleep on her side).  This meant that the nights of seven straight hours of sleep disappeared as we adjusted to this new world stretched-out sleeping.
This month, with sleeping in the pack-n-play, we have worked on teaching Tracey Ann to soothe herself and be able to put herself to sleep.  We have opted to NOT make her "cry it out"... which means much of my evenings have been spent trying to help her learn how to soothe herself.  We are definitely making progress, and we're working on a regular bedtime routine -- bathtime, feeding, pack-n-play.
It has been SO sweet to watch her learn how to soothe herself -- she likes to sleep on her side, and she likes to pull a lion toy or a blanket up to her face.  She generally falls asleep between 7:30-9:00 depending on our night, and sleeps until around midnight/1:00am when she awakens for a feeding.  Then, once or twice she has slept from midnight-8:30am... which was A-MAZING.  But usually, she wakes up again around 4:00 or 5:00am, and then sleeps until 9:00.

She is still sleeping in our room... and now we are traveling for the summer, so she is in her travel pack-n-play/play yard, and she has done great transitioning from home to this.  The travel pack-n-play will remain in our room as we travel... then at the end of the summer, once she is six months old, I will have to bite the bullet and begin to transition her into a crib in her own room.

New things/discoveries: 
  • She has officially discovered her feet.  She had started grabbing them just as she as turning four months, but now she LOVES them!  She is grabbing them, pulling them, and trying to chew on them all the time.
  • Sleeping in a pack-n-play -- not a bassinet
  • Blowing bubbles/raspberries with her mouth -- it is adorable, and she does it frequently
  • Reaching for things, grabbing them, and trying to put them in her mouth -- trouble is coming
  • Reaching for our faces/mouth/eyes, nose -- sometimes depending on the angle, it seems like she is turning our faces to look at her
  • Playing in her jumper/swing

New Accomplishments: 
  • Reaching for people when she wants them to hold her -- sort of flapping her hands when she sees them, and leaning their way
  • Riding along in the jogger while Mama is actually jogging -- she had been in jogger walking, but we got the go-ahead from her pediatrician at her 4 month appointment that we could start jogging with her in it.  :-D
  • First time riding in the jogger, with Mama jogging... and Lloyd on a leash (yes, her Mom is wonder woman -- and modest)  :-D 

  • Sitting up steadier and steadier... she still falls over, and needs to lean against things... but she also puts her little hands on her feet and can sit for a minute or two unassisted.

  • Rolling from tummy to back, and from back to side
  • Holding her own bottle -- although we don't see that very often because she never gets a bottle when I'm able to feed her
  • Tasting solid foods for the first time -- just tastes... not a real introduction yet 
  • Playing with her feet
  • Being high in the air
  • Bathtime/showertime

  • Blowing bubbles
  • Playing in her exersaucer
  • Playing in her jumper
  • Swinging in her jumper
  • Looking in the mirror
  • Lloyd
  • Being worn -- like in my Mobywrap, or Backpack
  • FaceTime
  • The song "Let It Go"

  • Her pascifier these days -- it still soothes her, but I have to sort of trick her into taking it
  • Being in the car seat for prolong periods of time (yes, this summer road trip might be interesting)
  • Being cold
  • A sore leg from her 4-month inoculations

Places She Went:
  •  Go-Pro Mountain Games in Vail
  • Attended her first wedding
  • First trip to Cabela's

Special Memories:
  • First time hosting dinner parties for friends since Tracey Ann was born

  •  Met a few of my students at the end of the school year

  • Meeting Olympic Skier Gold Medalist, Lindsey Vonn

  • Going back to the Go-Pro Games with Tracey Ann wearing the onesie we bought last year at the games, when we had just found out we were pregnant

  • First Fathers' Day celebrating Daddy (and Grandpa and Papa -- but we were only with Daddy that day)
  • First time staying in the Vail condo for an actual vacation (she had spent the night there before, but not when we were on vacation)
  • This is definitely the month when I feel like she went from an infant to baby -- in church, she used to sit quietly, sleep, and nurse -- this month, suddenly she is chattering, and blowing bubbles, and squirming around.  She is such a source of joy.
  • This is the date, exactly one year ago, that Hubby and I saw Tracey Ann for the first time at the doctor's office, and heard her beautiful little heartbeat.  In some ways it feels like yesterday.  What an amazing, blessed year it has been.

  • Tracey Ann
  • Tracey
  • Baby Girl
  • Beautiful
  • Pumpkin (pronounced Punkin)
  • Punky
  • Little Spitter
  • Fuss-o (when she's fussy)
  • Munchkin
  • Munchkers
  • Pretty Girl
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