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.

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The beginning of February we headed for our first road trip to Kansas. The trip had a twofold purpose: one to watch Nick’s brother Alex play soccer with the indoor Wichita B52s team and two to surprise Nick’s dad with a birthday dinner and visit.  We were successful at both and enjoyed the family time that we got through the weeke

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Every year since I have known Nick we have returned to Kansas in April to volunteer at the Mennonite Central Committee relief sale. It is fun to reconnect with more distant family and family friends. We have in the past talked friends into coming with us as well.  This year some friends of ours who have come in the past were able to make it again.  It is always a fun time of eating great food and giving to a good cause.

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We sell: hats, yardsticks, snacks, books, magazines and whatever else we can find.

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Nick’s niece, Alexa.

 

 

 

 

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Grandma catching up with friends and family.

 

 

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The Lehr family.

 

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Kansas Scenery

This year Nick’s brother, Alex, had 3 home games with the Wichita Wings (professional indoor soccer) surrounding Christmas, so we decided to go back to Kansas for 10 days of “vacation” and visiting family.  We started out Thursday afternoon once Nick got off work and drove as far as we could. Friday we made it in town and headed to the stadium for the soccer game.  It was a great win against the MO Comets.

Saturday we headed up to Hesston to visit with a college friend of Nick’s then took Alex out for lunch and to see The Hobbit.  Saturday night we went to Nick’s dad’s house for dinner and had family time with them and Nick’s step siblings and their families on Sunday.  It was nice and relaxing.

Monday we headed to Harper, KS for Christmas with the grandparents.  We attended their church for the Christmas Eve candlelight service and caught up with others from Harper.  It was bitterly cold so we couldn’t do much other than play games inside . . . Nick continued to win at Rook and Dominoes.  I cooked a simple Christmas dinner for the 5 of us and it was fun and relaxing.

Wednesday morning we left early and headed to drop Alex off in Wichita then went to Kansas City to visit some of my “family”. We went to the McKeefery’s and played and hung out Wednesday, including another game of Phase 10 which I finally won.  Thursday we met up with some friends at a local coffee shop owned by friends, the Friendly Bean. We then went for lunch as well before Nick and I headed out.  After having some car troubles driving on Wednesday so we’d tried to spend some time looking at vehicles.  We played a bit with kidos then headed out for a night on the town.  We hit the Liberty Memorial before sunset then went to 75th Street Brewery for some local beers.  Then to the Plaza to enjoy the holiday lights and dinner at Jack Stacks Barbeque.  Said to be one of the best in KC.  Nick of course was not that impressed with the sauce, but the quality of the beef was terrific.

Friday, we headed back to Wichita with a pause to look at a car on the way in town. We relaxed a bit before heading to the 2nd Wings game for a win against Syracuse. Saturday we hung out and did a bit of car “shopping” online from The Donut Whole, before grabbing a burger with Nick’s mom then to the 3rd Wings game with another great win against Chicago. We drove back to Denver on Sunday and overall it was a relaxing fabulous way to spend the Christmas week hanging with family and friends with no stress about presents/food or anything other than just enjoying being together.

For New Years, we had a small gathering with friends at our home – hors d’oeuvres, games, and staying up late enough to see all of the continental US receive the new year!

Every year we attend the MCC Kansas relief sale in Hutchinson, KS. . . This year we tied it to our declutter project and doubled our number of items reduced in just one weekend. . . More pictures and stories to follow.  If you want to check it out for yourself, visit Kansas MCC Sale and click on the Sale results or live coverage for some details.  It brought in more than last year at just under 1/2 mil.  Wow, Way to go!!!  We enjoyed selling kettle corn, caps and yardsticks, trail mix, books and magazines!  Busy weekend, but always fun.  Pictures coming soon.