Shortly after vacation my nephew flew in to visit from Michigan.  Ivan had a blast playing with Silas.  They had fun swimming together, going to the playground, museum, creek, making and eating popsicles, reading Garfield and building forts.

The three of us flew together to Seattle where his parents and my parents met up and we all spent a week together in Birch Bay, WA.  My cousin was getting married in Bellingham so Nick flew up from work just for the weekend.  The boys really enjoyed the bay especially low tide when they could dig up rocks and shells and splash in the water.  The house we rented also had video games so they enjoyed playing against each other and the adults.

My cousin is an animal lover and her wedding shows that. Instead of attendants she had her beloved pets!  It was unique but fun to experience. Ivan loved watching the animals.

Check out the video of some of the fun memories we created at https://vimeo.com/227995067

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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!