Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, PRINCE OF PEACE. 
                                                                                                                                      ~Isaiah 9:6

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Southwest Vacation - It's warm in Phoenix in July

Our time in Phoenix, despite the bummer of the AC going out in our van, was super fun. 

We stayed at a resort type hotel called Gainey Suites Resort in Scottsdale.  Chad's family was all there and a few of his older sisters in-laws were also staying.  They had an amazing breakfast buffet every morning and also a managers reception each evening that included the standard chips and popcorn as well as some type of light meal, like pizza, sliders, tacos, etc... Our rooms had full kitchens so the first night we went to the grocery store and stocked up on some lunch foods and pretty much had all our meals covered rather than going out to eat all the time. 

Each night after the younger kids were put to bed we had a "family meeting" (in the courtyard where all our rooms had patios to) to decide plans for the next day.  Not always productive but entertaining to say the least, this time together was so very precious and relaxing.

So the low-down on our days in AZ...

1) pool time... felt like a warm bath, but still refreshing compared to the hot temps.


2) 4th of July: We went to see fireworks set over some water.  We sat on a little strip of lawn and the automatic sprinklers went off while we were waiting so we moved back off the curb, ha ha.

3) Graduation:  Chad's sis and family! Congrats to them :) We had a big party that evening at a beautiful home of a friend of theirs, sadly I took zero pictures that night.  (boo on me)
 4) Where Chad spent most of his time and his consolation prize ;)

5) The fastest family picture taking session EVER... (maybe we should always plan family pics when it is 110 out and half the family is needing to leave for a baseball game)


We had such a fantastic time there and look forward to visiting again sometime!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Road Trip 2013 - a rather warmish day

Day three of our road trip brought us to our destination.  First we made one more "touristy" stop at the Four Corners Monument. 

Out in the middle of the dessert, nothing else around it for miles and miles.  It was a quick stop, most of the vendors were not even there yet and we weren't there to shop anyway.  Just a quick photo op and we were on the road again.

strike a pose!
Later in the day the real excitement began.  Our AC in the van wasn't keeping up and we figured it was just too hot out.  Part way through the Navajo Reservation we heard a "pop" pulled over and saw a tube hanging down under the van.  (yikes)  Other than the AC not working inside the van everything else seemed fine and since we were no where near any towns we just decided to keep going.  111 degrees and we have our windows wide open trying to keep somewhat cool.  We had some relief when we went up into the mountains around Flagstaff and the temps dropped into the 80's.  By the time we arrived in Phoenix though the temps were back up to the 110's and the girls were all pretty lethargic and red faced.  They were troopers though and never once complained.  Driving through Phoenix with our windows wide open I am sure people thought we were quite silly or maybe just dumb tourists from Iowa?  ha ha.  Oh well.  We arrived at our hotel and basked in the AC of our room... ahhh. 

Next up: the hotel, 4th of July, Graduation, and the quickest family picture taking session ever :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Southwest Vacation - Road Trip Day 2

We left the KOA after a good night of sleep pretty early in the morning.  Set the GPS on Chad's phone for Mesa Verde National Park, and off we went.  The GPS was not liking the route we had chosen and for hours it kept telling us to turn around.  SO annoying, ha ha. We drove the southern part of the Rockies which was a beautiful drive!  GPS doesn't know what it is missing ;)

In the mid-afternoon we arrived at Mesa Verde.  The cliff dwelling ruins were awesome and the girls did great with hiking.  We witnessed a thunderstorm roll through and a lightening strike started a fire.  So we watched as helicopters and emergency crews responded to put it out.  Exciting!

PICS from day 2:


love this picture of her!
this is the ruin that we hiked down to

inside one of the circular rooms that is thought to be used for religious purposes

the thunderstorm coming through
the fire

Playing Go Fish at the hotel in Cortez, CO.  After eating at a awesome Denny's that looked like an airstream trailer :)