November 2016


We had the privilege of being invited to go on vacation with a Nick’s uncle (who was celebrating turning 50) and some of his friends. It was over Thanksgiving which is a holiday we usually try to stay home for, however this was a great opportunity. I flew down with Ivan the day before his birthday to squeeze in one final free flight and Nick joined 2 days later.

We stayed in Playa Del Carmen at a resort.  I felt very pampered staying at a resort. I didn’t have to cook, clean, drive or really entertain Ivan for 12 days!!  He loved the beach, so all we really had to do was take him and he would dig and dig and play for so long.  We of course enjoyed playing with him, but it was also such a joy to just watch him having fun. Nick really challenged him to get in the water with the waves as well as conquer the “big slides” at the Aqua Center. Ivan also loved all the animals that we found on the resort: monkeys, donkeys, chickens, roosters, bunnies, ducks, birds, raccoons, macaws, peacocks, and coatis.

Ivan was such a blessing to others with his smile and pleasant demeanor.  We made quite a few friends of the staff from cleaning to building to restaurant workers. The resort had different evenings with shows telling about the Mayan culture, and legends. Ivan saw parts of some of the shows and really enjoyed the “dancing owl”.

We were able to do a day excursion to Tulum, a Mayan Ruin site discovered in the 80’s.  We had a private tour for our group which was nice. It included free time to walk around and shop as well.  We also had a terrific day on a private boat that we all pitched in together to rent.  So Thanksgiving was spent on the water! We swam in the ocean, ate on the beach at Isla Mujeres, snorkeled at some reefs, held (photo opportunity) a shark, and just relaxed in the sun on the boat while it coasted along!  What a great way to celebrate and be thankful for our so many blessings.

Here is a video of our highlights!

https://vimeo.com/193652365

wp_20161116_16_14_23_proWe are so excited to celebrate Ivan’s 2nd birthday today, November 16th.  While everything with him is really a highlight, some memorable moments of the past year of his life include the 2015 holidays with Reimer family in Michigan and Hostetler family in CO.  We traveled to see other family including Great grandparents in Washington and Kansas.  The summer time saw us thoroughly enjoying hiking with Ivan and camping (both as car camping and backpacking).

In all, Ivan has stretched us; but we have enjoyed watching him grow physically (walking and talking), mentally (understanding and communication), emotionally (loves for mom/dad, trucks, kitty), and spiritually (bible stories at night, praying at meals, our church family). He is a happy, social, joyful, good son.  We love you Ivan, thank you Lord for giving him to us.

Below is a video montage showcasing some highlights of this year!

https://vimeo.com/191677771

img_0042This fall has been the 5th warmest in CO history.  We have taken full advantage by getting outdoors and enjoying all the parks and playgrounds near by.  Ivan would still be swimming if it were up to him.  He loves the pool and water.  Thankfully we have indoor ones to enjoy. Anyway, we were able to take a trip up to Bellingham, WA to see my parents and grandparents for a week the end of September. We enjoyed mostly sunny days up there.  We also went to the CO Mennonite Central Committee Sale in La Junta, CO to see Nicolas’ family.  Nick had a great idea of carving a pumpkin so Ivan could sit in it.  It turned out really cute, then it got a happy face, thanks to our neighbor.  Finally I took him trick or treating with some friends in their neighborhood for Halloween. He enjoyed the idea of collecting treats, even though he doesn’t know what candy is and didn’t get to eat any of it.  😉  I can still control that, for now!

Check out the video below for some fun pictures.

Or Click here to see the Video at Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/189885440