April 2009


For those of you who do not yet know, Nicolas’ sister and brother-in-law (Abby & Jason) got a puppy a couple of month’s back.  Here is a short video of one of their first interactions, which is pretty cute.  We had to forcefully pull Bean from her hiding spot in order for them to meet! Enjoy!

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This past weekend, we traveled to Kansas with our friends, Blake and Sarah Lehr, to participate in the 41st Kansas MCC Sale.  This was the Lehr’s third year coming with us for the two day event.  We were joined with Abby & Jason, Lynn & Lisa, Mom, and the Grandparents.

For those who do not know what the MCC Sale is – Started over 40 years ago, the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale has been an annual event of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a relief organization formed in 1920.  Some 70 Mennonite, Brethren in Christ, and Amish congregations in Kansas, and their friends, donate their gifts and services for this annual festival and benefit auction.  All proceeds from the sale are used to provide for material needs and community development in North America and across the world in the name of Christ.

We help run a booth that sells various items – hats, yardsticks, children’s books, magazines, popcorn, and sometimes fresh/dried fruits and nuts.  Nicolas has only missed one year helping, over his entire life.  The typical routine is to arrive around noon on Friday and chow down on a fresh hamburger…with lots of chopped vedalia onions (Nicolas only).  Then we get the booth setup early, so that other volunteers who want a yardstick or hat can get one.  While setting up is easy, it is quickly time for a break, so we head out in search of some new years cookies.  The sale officially begins at 4:00, but since we’re not too busy yet, we’ll get a Russian pancake which conveniently next to our booth!  Then back to helping in the booth…until its time to eat verenika, bohne berogi, borscht, and German sausage.  Yum!  Oh, and more new years cookies.  We eat alot at the sale.

On Saturday, the sale begins with a pancake breakfast.  But we didn’t make it this year 😦  chose to sleep-in instead.  When we did arrive, it was closer to 8:00, just in time to begin selling stuff and making popcorn.  Oh, and new years cookies for breakfast.  Our booth has always been in the same building with the quilt auction, so it is fun to watch the activity. Though the amount of people who come each day is about equal, it definitely feels like there is alot more people and things going on and alot more to sell.  Around about 10:00 we sold out of yardsticks, which the first time ever!  We hope to do that again.  Normally we’ll have the German meal for lunch, but this year we opted to have the BBQ chicken, which is also wonderful.  The sale finished around 4:00; it always finishes so fast.  We look forward to a return trip in 2010!

Gloria H. chatting

Gloria H. chatting

2009 Yardsticks

2009 Yardsticks

fat gretchen

fat gretchen

Reading the fairgrounds map

Reading the fairgrounds map

abby chowing on russian pancake

chowing on russian pancake

Virgil - Man of Yardsticks

Virgil – Man of Yardsticks

homemade soap

homemade soap

auction items

auction items

Pleasant Valley MC quilt

PVMC quilt

general auction

general auction

general auction

general auction

quilt auction

quilt auction

ukranian egg painting

ukranian egg painting

little Mikayla Maury

little Mikayla Maury

russian pancake flipping

russian pancake flipping

Enjoy this short video on my more artistic side of our Arizona trip…

This is a brief synopsis of our AZ vacation.  Below that is a 6 minute video of pictures from the week’s visit!

  • Monday night we flew into Dallas and spent the night.
  • Tuesday we arrived in Phoenix and got a tour of Southwestern College campus.  Kara’s parents (Kent and Jan Reimer) are living on campus in exchange for volunteer work and of course recruitment. After lunch we drove up to Cave Creek, Carefree and Bartlett Reservoir in Tonto National Forest – looked at huge Sagurao Cacti and others.  Mid afternoon lull required a stop at a coffee shop in Scottsdale; Nicolas then had dinner with a college friend Brian Erwin.
  • Wednesday – Dad and Nicolas got up early for a morning hike up the mtn near the house in the North Mountain Park.  Mom and Kara went out to wave at them from the campus when they reached the peak.  We took a picnic lunch and drove to Apache Junction(site for Old Western movies) Tortilla Flat and experienced Prickly Pear Cactus Ice Cream – very yummy – berry flavor.
  • Thursday – Nicolas went golfing nearby while Kara shared about special education and alternative licensing in an education class at Southwestern College.  Before Nicolas got back from golfing we went for a short walk through the neighborhoods.  The climate is so different and thus the architecture and landscaping. After lunch we went on another walk and exploring through part of the North Mountain preserve area.  We had dinner with former Reimer neighbor’s from Kansas City Arlyn and Kris Deberg, at Logan’s Roadhouse.  Yummy steak!
  • Friday– We got up early and packed a picnic lunch and headed out 87 through Payson and Pine to Montezuma Castle National Monument and Montezuma’s well.  Montezuma’s Castle is a Cliff Dwelling area that is very well preserved, the well is a We explored quite a bit and enjoyed the scenery then headed over to Prescott to stay with Uncle Mel and Kris Jantzen for the evening.  Kent and Nicolas helped Uncle Mel set up the Wii so he could play tennis and then we all crashed.
  • Saturday – We got up and headed out on 89A to Jerome, Cottonwood and Sedona.  We enjoyed a lunch in Cottonwood and a bit of hiking and photos in Sedona (red rock formations).  We headed up to Flagstaff to check into the hotel and headed to a 50’s diner where we were entertained by a swing dance lessons right in the diner.
  • Sunday – We were up early and after some coffee drove up to the Grand Canyon National Park.  We rode the shuttles and walked a long the rim some to get the full experience.  It was beautiful but at about 50 degrees with a very gusty wind it was COLD!!  We hit all of the major overlooks and even hiked below the rim a little way.  Nicolas wanted to stay for the sunset, so we did, in the frigid wind.
  • Monday – We found Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Wupatki National Monument.  It was neat to see the Lava fields hardly touched for hundreds of years.  Wupatki monument was some Native American ruins of villages and homes.  We then headed back to Phoenix after lunch and enjoyed getting back to the warmth.  Nicolas and I packed and then went to meet Brian again for dinner.  Great sushi at Zen32, then we headed over to old town Scottsdale to the Tortilla Factory for probably the best margarita we’ve every had.
  • Tuesday – we got up at 3am to fly home to cold cloudy weather.