Ivan and I were in AZ for Thanksgiving and about 2 weeks around the holiday.  Nick’s sister and family moved down to Phoenix this summer so it was fun to visit them and the cousins had fun playing together.  While we were there we visited the zoo, Christmas lights on Natal Circle in Mesa, train park and lots of time swimming and playing outside with cars, trucks and the trampoline. Nick and his Dad joined the family for the holiday.  We had fun being together! So thankful that we have family and places to travel for all kinds of adventures.


click here to check out a video https://vimeo.com/246902749

We started the month off with celebrating 4th of July in Buena Vista, Co with Nick’s immediate family. We camped in the backyard and Ivan even got to be in the parade with Nick. I think he enjoyed watching it more, but it was fun seeing him in it.  We then camped and attempted to summit Torrey’s Peak one of the 54 14’ners in Colorado. We didn’t make it to the top due to some health safety concerns, but we were close at 13,600 feet. Ivan was a trooper: being carried for a long hike and still he asks and desires to hike.  Ivan and Kara had a rare opportunity to meet up with Grandma Reimer in Pennsylvania to visit family and friends from elementary school and college.  It was fun to meet their kids and watch Ivan play together.  We took a day trip to the shore and visited Point Pleasant Beach. Ivan loved the sand and liked the water, until he got a bit too wet.  It has been a fun filled month all over the country but we are glad to be back home together.

Check out the video of pictures at https://vimeo.com/177501806.


After the busy fun with family for Christmas, we decided the last minute to invite neighbors and friends to celebrate New Year’s Eve with us.  My parents ended up getting stranded in Denver with a cancelled flight, so they were staying with us. I cooked up some yummy lasagna, and friends brought appetizers and drinks.  We had about 15 people and 2 kids. It was fun to hang out, relax and play games.  We made it till midnight then started cleaning up as everyone left.

New Year’s Day we woke and with one other overnight guest made french toast for everyone.  My parents got a ride to the airport, and we headed out to pick up a friend to go snow shoeing. We headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park and did a 3.6 mile hike up and across 3 lakes.  It was fun to be out with others on the trails in the snow.  We ended the day with seeing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It is a fun, clean and entertaining movie.

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This year for the 4th of July weekend we enjoyed the time with Nick’s family.  The Coates clan, who live out in Buena Vista, CO hosted us for the 4th for BV’s parade and family fun. We enjoyed hanging out with the girls and sleeping by the sound of the creek. Fireworks were banned again this year, so the kids enjoyed glow sticks.  I enjoyed working on a puzzle that had been started.


Nick’s Grandpa Hostetler’s side was gathering for a family reunion in CO Springs for the weekend, so Friday we got up and headed to do some off-roading before going to the reunion.  We went up from St. Elmo to Hancock Pass then back down to Highway 50.


We didn’t plan well and ended up missing the gathering Friday evening. We found a forest road and set up tent for the night then headed back to hang out with the family Saturday.  We went on a walk around the Garden of the Gods then got lunch at a local Greek Restaurant. Nick’s sister, Abby and Jason and Alexa joined in the fun at this point of the day.  We then went back to the hotel and jumped in the pool with the twins while the younger girls took a nap. Saturday afternoon was an auction for raising money for the next reunion.  Someone had taken some old photos of the family and the homestead and turned them into puzzles for the auction. While we were waiting I enjoyed assembling one of them and chatting with whoever else sat down to work on it.  We then all met up a the Memorial park for pictures and a picnic and getting to know others. We headed home after the park, overall it was a good weekend.

Video of the weekend – https://vimeo.com/70368676