June 30th we headed out to Wyoming. We drove to Casper, WY and spent the night then headed to Livingston, MT for an overnight before entering Yellowstone National Park through the north entrance in Gardiner, MT.

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Friday and Saturday we enjoyed a relaxed drive with stops to eat and play at playgrounds. We ate delicious dinners at Silver Fox steakhouse and Neptune’s Brewery! Ivan loved the sushi and the server was delighted that he would order himself and enjoy sushi so much! We also ran into a car show in Sheridan, WY, with many diverse cars to look at.

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Great food, entertainment, atmosphere, and beer

Sunday: We entered the park and explored along the way to our campsite at the Madison campground. We hiked all over Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser and Artists Paint Pots.  Due to the danger of the geysers and hot springs I wore Ivan on my back the majority of the time. It was good to let him get out and play when we had picnic lunches or back at the campsite at the end of the day.

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Monday began with a Ranger led hike around Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin. We then hiked up to an overlook point and around to Solitude Geyer. We saw many hot springs at Biscuit Basin and then took the short hike to Mystic Falls.

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We decided that on Tuesday we would explore the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, so we took a ranger led hike along the rim. We trekked the 328 steps to see the Upper falls on Uncle Tom’s trail.  After getting showers, clean clothing, and lunch we headed off again to drive along the Yellowstone River to Mud Volcano where we saw 2 Bison enjoying themselves near the steam.  We went to Sulpher Caldron to see more hot springs and bubbly water. Ivan loved the stop in at Lake Village Visitor’s Center to play in the sand/water of Yellowstone Lake. We continued the drive around the lake and found a picnic spot with a view and ended the day at the Midway Geyser Basin to view Grand Prismatic Spring.  Nick and I both agreed that it was a bit disappointing since there is currently no trail to a higher vantage point. After a long day we were glad to be back at our tent to sleep!

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Wednesday was our final day in Yellowstone and we decided to take it easy. We also ran out of coffee so Nick was dragging. We headed to the original store near Old Faithful and got some coffee on the large patio with wooden rocking chairs.  We toured the old turn of the century Old Faithful Inn and watched the eruption from the balcony. After lunch we then headed over to watch the video at the Visitor’s Center. We then headed out to the Firehole River area to do a scenic drive and just happened upon an erupting geyser. This was the only other one we saw fully erupt.  We paused at Firehole River Falls before finding an area in the Firehole river that Ivan and Nick could swim. We ended the day with a campfire and hotdogs and meeting new camping neighbors.

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Moving day was Thursday. It rained overnight so we packed up a soggy tent and headed to Grand Teton National Park and to the Colter Bay tent cabins. Thankfully ours was clean so we could “move in” and set up the tent to dry. After lunch and repacking our tent we headed to do the drive all the way through the park to the south entrance and visitor’s center. After exploring the visitor’s center and catching the park video we headed out to do the Jenny Lake scenic drive. We took in the view at the top of Signal Mountain and ended the day playing at the Jackson Lake beach area at Colter Bay with a picnic dinner.

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IMG_1805Grand Teton does not seem to have many varieties of small hikes so we meandered along the Lakeshore Trail then arrived at the Colter Bay visitors center in time for a lunch snack and a National Geographic Documentary about the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone in 1995. It was interesting and Ivan did great throughout as well.  We then decided to go check out Jackson Lake Lodge and get coffee. We drove out to a scenic lake a bit away from the main area of the park and ended up back at Jackson Lake Lodge to go swimming.  We all enjoyed the pool and shower before getting on a boat tour for dinner.  The boat tour was a fun last splurge and we enjoyed the steak and fish dinner on Elk Island.

Saturday we were on the road by 6am and with only a few stops made it home in about 10 hrs.  It was a long drive and Ivan did great and we were all glad to be back in our own bed.

Highlights of the trip include:

  • Seeing wildlife: bear, bison, birds, moose, deer, pronghorn
  • Experiencing Ivan spreading joy to multitudes of strangers
  • Watching the thermal features and learning about the geography
  • Playing license plate game and spotting all but one of the 50 states and many Canadian Provinces as well
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May was filled with Nick’s family coming to help his sister and her family move to Phoenix, AZ.  His dad came to help with the moving truck then after Memorial Day his mom flew in to help Abby take the girls down to AZ.  In the middle of all of that Nick took Ivan camping in the Great Sand Dunes National Park over Memorial day weekend and I had a wonderful relaxing quiet weekend by myself and with friends.

Here is a short video about the adventures. https://vimeo.com/223233531

 

 

While Nick has been busy with work travel, Ivan and I have been traveling our own share.  Right before my birthday Grandma Karen came to visit for Spring Break.  Ivan enjoyed time with his cousins and Grandma.  A couple weeks later we headed out across KS by ourselves for a road trip to Hutchinson, KS for the Kansas Mennonite Central Committee relief sale. Ivan did great on the road trip in the car! My mom was in surgery that same day in AZ so Friday I booked a last minute flight from Denver.  We enjoyed the sale and more Hostetler family time celebrating Dewey and Bernie’s 65th wedding anniversary.  Nick flew into meet us then flew out from Wichita for another work trip.

 

We drove back home to do laundry and repack and headed to AZ Monday morning. It was a very short turn around as we had a 6am flight, but Ivan did fabulous and was pleasant and social as always. We spent a little more than a week in AZ helping with cleaning and food and giving smiles and spreading joy to help Grandma Reimer recover from her surgery.  Nick was able to combine a work trip and meet us up for the Easter weekend. It was great to spend some time with him in AZ.

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Ivan and I flew home with a few days to recover before heading back out for a combo work/pleasure trip to Seattle.  The three of us flew to Seattle Friday evening and stayed with family by the airport before heading up to Bellingham to see my grandparents.  We also met up with my cousin and her fiance and an adopted Grandpa.  We went to church with them and after church hung out for a bit with my aunt and her husband.  We headed back to Seattle Sunday evening so Nick could be there for meetings Monday.  Meanwhile Ivan and I met up with my cousin Jana and went to the Boeing Museum and checked out the tulips of Skagit Valley in Mt. Vernon.

Check out the video of more pictures and some videos of our adventures.

My Birthday was this week so I celebrated like I wanted to.  I went out to brunch with a friend on Saturday then after dropping off Ivan with my Sister-in-law Nick and I went on a hike. WP_20170318_13_27_03_Pro

With my current food restrictions I decided it wasn’t worth paying to eat out a simple meal, so instead I found delicious recipes and Nick and I spent the evening cooking together.  It was terrific and very tasty.  Here are some picture and links to the recipes.

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Iranian Eggplant Dip was both of our favorite!  This was amazing and I will definitely make it again.

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Lamb Shawarma was very tasty, but our chunks of meat were a bit too small so they were a bit over cooked. We did roast veggies with this and made the tahini sauce. The mint was an interesting addition to the roasted veggies.

Herb crackers was for me to be able to eat the eggplant dip. Though these are delicious and I will be making them again.

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On Sunday we celebrated with our church family and I made a special dessert that I could share with everyone.

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On Monday, I made a special breakfast with my hand at homemade hollandaise sauce. Ivan and I met up with Grandma Karen at the library for story time and mask making after I got a walk in with a friend. After Ivan’s nap we went to Caribou Coffee for my free drink then to a playground.  In the evening, Nick watched Ivan so I could go out with friends to InTea as well as Wahoo Fish Tacos. I was so excited to see spring flowers for my birthday. In 11 years of being in CO I don’t think I’ve ever seen early spring flowers.  I have been enjoying all the blooms this year! Nick as super creative and sneaky and bought us tickets to go see Jim Gaffigan.  He presented it in a fun way with the tickets inside his book so we can read that together for now.  Here’s to a great 35!!!!

 

Ivan and I were able to take a trip to AZ to see Ivan’s Reimer Grandparents for a week.  My mom actually was waiting for some news from the Dr so it was a great distraction to be there. Ivan loved going to the pool to splash Grandpa. We also enjoyed going to the train museum, library, playground and mini golf. The RV place they are parked at this winter has a great facility of pools and mini golf and live music.  We delighted all the people living there on walks and then were able to sweetly ask for rides on golf carts a couple of times.  One couple even let Ivan pick some grapefruit off of their tree, and it was delicious! As always Ivan was a great traveler and spread love and joy every where we went.

Check out the video here https://vimeo.com/209444307 for more pictures and watch Ivan jumping into the pool and playing golf.

After a hectic week of floor remodeling we enjoyed a visit from the Reimer family for Christmas.  The guys hit the slopes on Christmas Eve and we had a delightful fondue dinner for Christmas. The visit was short and sweet, but Ivan loved the time he had with extended family.

The week after we spent time with local cousins and Grandma Karen who lives in KS.  He loved the warm days to jump on the trampoline!

 

All the Moseley siblings got to go to the Raiders vs. Broncos game on New Year’s Day.  It was a fun week of celebrating with family!

I would have liked to read so many more….but this is my season.

books

Here’s the list for 2016

  1. Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents need to Know to Do it once and Do it Right by Jamie CLowacki is a funny and informative book on potty training. Interesting tid bits on toddler brains and reminders on training, teaching and behavior in general.
  2. Engaging Islam by Georges Houssney is a very informative book written by a man from Lebanon who converted from Islam to Christianity as a teenager.  He discusses how to engage people from a Muslim background, mostly from an American perspective.
  3. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter is a novel that flashes from 1962 Italy to modern day USA to tell a story of a few lives intertwined.  I don’t often read romance novels so this was a different read for me, but I did enjoy it, especially the look at Italy in the people and culture.
  4. Smart Moves: Why Learning is not all in your head by Carla Hannaford, Ph.D. is a book on how learning should happen.  It is based on whole body so looks at the brain, emotions, stress and movement.  She highly encourages using Brain Gym activities to stimulate learning and grain growth.
  5. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo is an amazing nonfiction narrative of stories in the slum.  The way these people survive is an incredible testimony to the human spirit, or not, when they choose otherwise. This book is very well written and artistic in a manner that speaks deep.
  6. Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk is a great book on relationships.  Direct and simple that in order to have healthy God honoring relationships one must choose love no matter what the other person does.  Interesting perspective on tough love.
  7. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver is a novel with pointed discussion on climate change and the monarch butterfly migration.  I learned a lot about butterflies and enjoyed the book. But it was not a favorite.
  8. Hope for Health: Functional Bio Analysis by Dr. Scott Monk is a very scientific and cited book that describes muscle testing and how it works with Functional Health.
  9. Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is a marriage book pointing out that the Bible tells wives to respect their husbands and husbands to love their wives.  He give practical tips as to how that looks and tons of stories of real people.
  10. How to raise a Mondern Day Joseph by Larry Fowler is a book that mostly encourages churches to get on board and work together with all their age groups. I took away a few things from this easy read, but mostly just skimmed it.  It is interesting to note that this is a person in AWANA.
  11. Power of a Praying Parent is a book I started and continue to read. Technically I did not finish it as it is not really a finishing book, but instead an ongoing read. Stormie Omartian discusses how to really pray for your kids.
  12. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer is a modern history story of the manuscripts of Timbuktu, Mali. Amazing story of the liberal and jihadi extremism of Islam.  Interesting read about the ancient history of Mali and more modern war.
  13. A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller is a classic that I’ve read before, but I enjoy going back to.  He brings out nuances of what David meant by discussing modern day shepherding. I love the way it makes me think about God differently.
  14. The life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo. This is a quick read about the author’s own method of tidying up. Keep only what sparks true joy and give everything a home.  I like and agree with these practices; she does get a bit mystical and spiritualizes stuff, but if you can look past that, I think this method would be great!
  15. The Littles by John Peterson is a childhood favorite that I read to Ivan. Story of theses little people with tails who live in the walls of a house of regular humans.
  16. The God Shaped Brain: How changing your view of God transforms your life by Timothy R Jennings, M.D. Is a great book of the paradigm shift of setting God of love. This book combines brain science with scripture to look at truth and our relationships.
  17. Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters was a great beach book to sit and relax.  It’s a mystery novel of art and history in Germany.
  18. The Food and Feasts of Jesus: Inside the World of First Century Fare with Menus and Recipes by Douglas E. Neel and Joel A. Pugh is an informative and entertaining book.  I would love to get this book again and follow some of the recipes and feasts.
  19. The Bible by the Trinity of God through humankind.  Ivan and I had a combination of listening and reading together this year.