Archive for August 2014

A Weekend in the Country

My side of the family has established a yearly hayride tradition as of late. This year it fell on the weekend that my sister, Kathy, and her family were visiting from New York state. The kids and I were up on the farm for most of the week, but Ken wasn’t able to join us.

Last Friday evening, once Uncle Randy {my brother} was done with chores for the evening, he threw a few bales of straw in a wagon, everyone hopped aboard, and we were off.

straw ride

Nickolas got to end the ride with a much-anticipated seat in the cab with Uncle Randy.

tractor ride

Miley the dog and cousin Emily saying “cheese.”

Smiling lab

Our hay/straw rides are followed by a hot dog roast.

hot dog roast

And then there are s’mores.

s'more

s'mores

Ella learning to confidently hold a cat.

country kitty

Wood pile as the sun was setting. {I just liked this shot}

wood pile

Rummaging through a “junk” pile with my Dad. He was doing all the work, I was just inquiring of what was there.

rummaging

My brother-in-law agreed to head into the old barn and pull out my Dad’s Montgomery Ward Hawthorne bike–something we’ve talked about for years and just never made the time to do.

bike in barn

Hawthorne bicycle

Soon, a ball game broke out.

country baseball

silo at dusk

girls on hay bales

country slow pitch

Wouldn’t trade these summer nights for anything.

Our Colorado Trip–Final Days

One afternoon we headed to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo–a beautiful zoo built on a mountainside {of course–this IS Colorado after all}.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Ken made a new friend.

petting giraffe

sitting on elephant trunk

feeding birds in aviary

bird feeding aviary

Watching this brown bear was my favorite part of our trip to the zoo. He put on a great show within inches of us. And there were 2 bald eagles perched in a tree above him. We lingered there for quite a while.

watching grizzly bear at zoo

brown bear at zoo

The next morning we lounged around for a bit, enjoying our friends’ great backyard.

kids on hammock

Demonstrating their technique in getting out of a hammock.

kids falling out of hammock

Soon we loaded up and headed north to Boulder, where we visited Dan and Kelly’s daughter, Brittany. In Boulder, we wound our way up Flagstaff Mountain and enjoyed some incredible views. Flagstaff Mountain Colorado

 

DSCN7702

Groh family on Flagstaff Mountain, Boulder, CO

boulders in Boulder

Once we got back to downtown Boulder, the kids kept busy in the dancing waters while the ladies checked out the vendors at the art and craft fair.

Boulder, Colorado dancing waters

On our final day in Colorado, we didn’t go far and enjoyed relaxing with our friends. The kids swam in the hot tub for HOURS! What a great day it was 🙂

hanging out in Colorado

The time came and went all too fast, as I knew it would. I am so thankful that we were able to reconnect with dear friends and create memories that will last, reminding us that we need to visit again when we’re able.

singing hand games

Our Colorado Trip–Beautiful Places

Summer has been so full! The kids and I spent most of last week on my family’s farm and I didn’t get any more of my Colorado pictures posted. I’ll do a little catching up now  🙂

We spent one morning at The Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Here’s a family picture in front of the kissing camels. (See them?)

Kissing camels

Ella getting in a little rock-climbing.

Ella rock climbing

Kelly and me.

At Garden of the Gods

Another family shot. Hard to take a bad picture in this place!

family picture at garden of the gods

The kids exploring and playing.

kids at garden of the gods

Later that day, Dan and Kelly took us to the old Phoenix gold mine in Idaho Springs, where we had a one-of-a-kind tour.

phoenix mine tour

The kids’ favorite part was feeding these friendly {and rather chubby} little guys.

feeding chipmunks

friendly chipmunks

After the mine tour, we headed up the hill for a once again, one-of-a-kind, gold panning lesson.

Phoenix gold mine

gold panning lesson

gold panning lesson

panning for gold

father and son pan for gold

Beautiful country! I’ll end with that for today  🙂

beautiful Colorado

Our Colorado Trip–Colorado at Last!

So we left Saint Louis, drove through Missouri, and spent a night in Salina, Kansas. Then, a little more driving, a little singing of John Denver tunes (to set the mood) and a little more of this:

kids alseep in the car

and then finally, ahhhhh, Colorado!

Colorado lake at dusk

We spent the next 5 days with our friends, Dan and Kelly Spiegelberg. Kelly was my best friend growing up and life took them to Colorado 15 years ago. We arrived at their place on Kelly’s birthday, and were able to go out to dinner with them to celebrate. I hadn’t had a chance to do that in quite a while!

The next morning, these 2 cuties were looking for some breakfast–mule deer fawns. They looked a little different from the white-tail variety that we are used to seeing.

fawns in the morning

It was a rainy day, so we headed into Colorado Springs and visited the Focus on the Family Welcome Center. The kids enjoy listening to the Adventures in Odyssey audio series and have read a couple of the books, so it was fun to have an ice cream treat at Whit’s End soda shop and spend quite a while playing in the different sections of Kid’s Korner. There was no admission charge and the kids were entertained for hours.

Whit's End Soda Shop

puppet show at Kid's Korner

kids with puppets

We eventually headed back to the house and enjoyed a dip in the hot tub. It turned out to be a rather brief dip, because minutes after this picture was taken, a storm blew threw and we were scrambling to get outta there and safely inside.

Colorado hot tub

The next morning, Dan thrilled the kids with rides on the ATV, or “Arctic Cat” as they called it. It’s funny because that’s what it was, but they weren’t familiar with the term ATV, so they just read the words on the side and always referred to it as the Arctic Cat, which cracked us up because it sounded so formal.

Colorado ATV

Ella on ATV

Colorad ATVing

What a great time! We all had a blast every day and it was so fun to spend time with Dan and Kelly (and their daughter, Brittany, on occasion; their son, Taylor, was out of town) and to see them getting to know and enjoy our kids.

More pics and adventures to come!  🙂

Our Colorado Trip–Second Day in Saint Louis

Little Scientists

With “The Arch” crossed off our list of things to do in Saint Louis, we boarded the hotel shuttle and spent a good part of our second day at the Saint Louis Science Center. What a phenomenal place–and it’s free to the public!

St. Louis Science Center

This building had 3 sprawling floors of fun things to explore and experience–hands on!

Ella played a harp with lasers for strings.

laser harp

We sat in on a little electricity lab and Ella dared to touch the plasma ball.

plasma ball

Pretty impressive automated dinosaur display.

dinosaur museum

Fun with mirrors:

fun with mirrors

Three-legged Ella:

fun with mirrors

We spent some time in the Life Science Lab.

little scientists

Experimenting with visible DNA.

little scientists at work

Another shot taken by the kids  🙂

mom and dad scientists

We had hoped to eat at a good St. Louis BBQ place, but everything was either closed (it was a Sunday) or sold out, so our shuttle took us to a huge eatery near Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals play, and we ate at Cardinal Nation. Here we are catching a glimpse of the stadium.

outside of Busch Stadium

We may need to venture back to St. Louis before too long. It’s a pretty cool city with a lot more to discover than we had time for.

kids outside Busch Stadium