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With Ivan born right before Thanksgiving the holiday season was a blur of activity. We started off with Reimer parents and Nick’s dad for Thanksgiving, then most of the Hostetler clan for Christmas and finished with all the Reimer family for New Year’s. We had a blast with everyone, and everyone loved holding and loving on Ivan.

Highlights include:
– playing games
– playing in snow
– Avalanche Hockey game
– beer and wine
– delicious food
– day of skiing and lotion making

 

Here’s a video of pictures from the time with family.

Email readers click here to see the video: https://vimeo.com/117427091

 

This year we were both thankful to be able to help our grandparents, though separately from each other.  A few weeks before Thanksgiving Kara’s Reimer grandparents were in a car accident and both ended up in the hospital.  She flew up to WA to help the transition back to home, while Nick drove to KS to help his Hostetler grandparents transition from their home to an independent living place in North Newton.

Nick was only in KS for the extended weekend, he had the camera and took more pictures.  Kara was able to spend two weeks in WA and enjoyed the extra time with her Aunt, who was also helping the Grandparents. We continue to be thankful that we both have our grandparents still and are grateful every time we get to see them and spend time with them.

Reimer Grandparents

Reimer Grandparents

 

Hostetler Grandparents

Hostetler Grandparents

This year Thanksgiving week was bookended by both of us getting the flu. . . not fun. But we did have a great 2 days off together before Kara managed to get sick.  It started with a wonderful walk on Thursday after watching the final half of the Macy’s Parade, we headed outside in the beautiful weather to wander around our neighborhood.  I think about 5 miles later we got home to grab our food and drinks to head to the Curry Family House for lunch.  We enjoyed a traditional lunch with this wonderful family, who is an extension of our family as they have known us since before we got married and are a part of our church family.  Laughter, games, drinks and yummy food: it was a great afternoon.  Then we headed to Nick’s sister’s house where her husband’s mom and sister were also there. We helped make a fondu dinner, though not being hungry at all enjoyed a few yummy bites.  Enjoyed watching some football and holding baby Alexa, then headed home.

Friday, though we did not really feel the need to go shopping, after our fridge purchase from Sears, we had some “free” rewards money to spend, so we headed out to Sears and purchased a pizza cutter.  Fun and exciting I know.  We came home to put of the Christmas tree while watching the traditional White Christmas, then take a nap. We had decided to go check out the Downtown Littleton’s Christmas lighting events that evening before Nick’s brother, Alex’s, soccer game with the Wichita Wings was on.  We didn’t realize the actually lighting didn’t happen until 6:30, the time the game started, so we had to see it later, but headed home to watch the game online.

It was nice not to travel this year but just be home together and taking care of each other.  Happy Thanksgiving!

On July 4 we were blessed to have Kara’s Sister-in-law and nephew come to Denver to hang out on their way to Seattle.  My brother, Josh, was supposed to come to, but last minute work denied his request off, crazy comcast.  Oh well, We missed him, but we had a great time play with Silas and showing Teresa around Denver and the mountains.  We started off by getting them breakfast since they’d gotten up at 4am MI time, then we headed to the Butterfly Pavilion.  I’ve always been curious so it was a good excuse.  There were tons of bugs/spiders/beetles other than the butterflies.  Teresa was brave enough to hold the tarantula, Rosie. We then headed home and to the pool and splash park nearby our house. Silas and Nick had a great time playing together.  Due to the dryness of our summer, all fireworks were cancelled, so we headed to some friends for a barbecue and yard games, then crashed in bed pretty early.

Thursday, Nick had to go to work, so Silas and Teresa and I decided to escape the heat and go to the Denver Aquarium. Of course we took the train downtown and walked over to the aquarium and ended up with a picnic lunch outside between run through’s of the aquarium.  It was pretty cool, but I don’t think worth the price.  There is a bunch of tigers who live there, which was thoroughly UN-expected.  Silas then found a water squirt thing that he had a blast getting wet and getting others wet.  We then headed over to REI and he played on the “bear cave” while we took turns shopping and just talking enjoying the AC.  We then left and found a self-serve frozen yogurt treat to get us through the walking before we got back on the train to come meet Nick for dinner. We enjoyed pizza at our new favorite place Mod Market. Home for more swimming and homemade Popsicles.

Friday we decided to try to find Silas some snow in the mountains and once again escape the Denver heat. Though our first stop on our way up had to be Red Rocks, so we walked around on the stairs and through the museum area. Then we headed up to St. Mary’s  Glacier and it started raining.  We sat in the car for a bit, till it kind of slowed down then with rain coats on, we headed up the 3/4 mile hike to the base of the lake and glacier.  Silas wasn’t up for the walk around the Lake as it continued thundering so we headed down to the car and the rain became heavier.  It was an adventure and we were at least prepared with additional layers which were warm and dry in the car.  We stopped for a picnic lunch, which also got rained out so finished eating in the car. Java Mountain Roasters has the best coffee in Idaho Springs, so we warmed up with some coffee and hot chocolate.  We headed back to Denver in downpour and made it home to grill with Nick and chill out with books and blocks while it rained. Nick also had to wear out Silas with some playing: hog tying and capturing him under the laundry basket.  They had a great time playing together.

The rain disrupted plans a bit, but here in CO we were very glad to see it come and stay a few days.  It was enough to give firefighters an edge to contain most of the wildfires across the state and give moisture to needed areas. Though there was also major flash floods and mud slides all over as well.

Saturday we made breakfast and Teresa and Silas packed up, then we headed to Cherry Creek Arts Festival for some fun and to find Teresa free sunglasses.  😉  It was pretty toasty so we all enjoyed the spray tents to get misted.  We got some yummy lunch and then headed to REI in hopes that Teresa could do the climbing wall, but it was closed, so after some shopping and Silas playing again on the bear park we left in more downpour to see where we wanted to spend the last few hours we had together.  Alas, we found a thrift store on the way to the airport, so we stopped and shopped and I think found something for everyone.  Fun way to chill out in safety from the crazy storm outside.  It did lift enough for them to fly to Seattle.  We had a great time and look forward to more adventures especially as Silas gets older, then we can take him camping!

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It seems unreal that this time off is already ending.  Nick and I had a fabulous time getting away to Michigan, where my brother, Josh and his family live in Ann Arbor.  We were on the same flight as my parents, who flew up to Denver from Phoenix on Christmas Eve.  After dinner we headed to a Christmas Eve service at their Vineyard church and then home to hang out, wrap presents and enjoy being together.  Christmas day we made homemade sticky buns for breakfast and enjoyed sharing gifts together.  The Reimer family has always tried to celebrate Christmas for Christ Jesus’ birth, not for presents, so the focus is there, but we do enjoy giving gifts.  This year the adults exchanged names, which was fun as it was a surprise and then Silas received a few small presents, from Aunt Kara, Uncle Nick and Grandparents.  😉    One of the Reimer traditions that dad continued to a point was various scavenger hunts through the house.  Most of the time we would have exchanged names for stockings between the 4 of us and then hidden the stocking Christmas morning.  It made for fun memories as well as this year, Nick got to scavenge through out the living room, with the help of Silas to find various clues for his gift in a “hidden” compartment of the box.  Very creative.  We played games and enjoyed each others company and then headed to Teresa’s family Geyer Christmas dinner.  It was a very busy house with her 6 sisters and spouses and kids a plenty.

Monday we enjoyed going to the park, baking peppernuts (with Silas and his cousins),   sharing games, conversation and the evening, my parents got to babysit Silas while the four of us went to dinner and then hit up a local brewery.  We had a lot of fun playing Monopoly Deal and watching all the many people come and greet Josh and Teresa at the Corner Brewery.  Tuesday it kind of snowed and I had arranged with a college friend, Sandy,  to get together with her and meet her son, Joshua. She picked us up, visited with my parents for a bit and we headed out.  We were recommended to a cute little local cafe called Beezy‘s in Ypsilanti.  Sandy dropped us off at home and then Josh took us out to shop at Trader Joe’s and their local Asian Market.  One of the biggest most diverse Asian Markets I’ve been to.  There was a whole room of live sea creatures, you could have killed fresh to eat for dinner: ells, lobster, crab, turtle, and all kinds of fish.  We bought some crab and ingredients to make a creamy curry crab dish for a special celebration of Josh graduating with his Bachelor’s in business finance from EMU.   Wednesday morning, we got up and played more with Silas, until it was time for lunch and then it was time for Nick and I to go to the airport.  We had a great visit with family, but we needed to get home as well.

Nick headed back to work Thursday after being able to watch his brother, Alex play with the Wichita Wings Wednesday night.  Friday was a short day of work for Nick and another game to watch on line.  We got to see Alex score his first goal and the team won against the Missouri Comets, after a very exciting, intense game.

New Year’s celebrations began Saturday morning with a trip to REI, we didn’t make it to the garage sale, but we did go to breakfast with our dear friends, the Sellars.  After catching up with them for a while, back home for a nap and then getting ready for a causal dinner with neighbors and friends.  We had 11 for dinner and one more join us for games later.  We had a blast chatting and although it was a very random group of friends, many of us had traveled internationally, so it was fun to connect in a different way.  We laughed as the men battled the women on Gestures and Catch Phrase, and ended the evening with a pseudo countdown and a champagne toast.   One of our friends spent the night so we invited others over for breakfast Sunday morning.  We ended up with 5 for pumpkin pancakes and eggs, and Mimosas.  It was a great time of sharing together.

 

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