We are sad to see summer over, but we have enjoyed it as much as possible.

Highlights include: Boys camping trip to Sand Dunes, garden with Ivan and mom, Playdates with friends all over the city, saying goodbye to cousins, family fun, Father’s Day at Tiny Town, visiting family out of town, bicycle rides, camping with friends, traveling solar eclipse, and being silly and having fun.

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p1270148We have thoroughly enjoyed our summer in CO!  We have spent so many weekends out camping or hiking that it is hard to keep track of all the places we’ve gone.  Ivan has also enjoyed helping water in the garden.  On cooler days we bake and cook together. We enjoyed a baseball game and concert by Crowder with some of our church friends.

I found a small bicycle that he can walk around until he is big enough to sit on it.  We also enjoyed a visit downtown Denver on the train with a visit to the fountains in front of Union Station. Here’s a video to show the pictures of our adventures.






We have had a very busy and fun summer already.  June started off with a visit from Grandma Karen Hostetler and cousin Avery’s 1st birthday! We then had lots of time at playgrounds and the splash park.  We have gone to ride the train at Bellview park and enjoyed time at the library as well.  As a family we got out to hike a couple times in Jefferson County open space parks and have gone camping two weekends.  Ivan and Kara also stay busy with the garden and running in the stroller.  Ivan loves being outside and has been sleeping well with all the exercise and activity.


Here is a short video of our adventures.  https://vimeo.com/173000479


Here’s a countdown to tell you about our vacation in a fun way.

Top 5 of Moab:

5. Scenic Drive on Utah Highway 128 through the canyon bordered by the Colorado River!  (Followed up with a hike through Fisher Towers)


4. Backpacking into Elephant Canyon, the 8 mile hike in The Needles and specifically seeing Chesler Park in Canyonlands National Park!


3. Ranger guided Fiery Furnace hike in Arches National Park!


2. Total of 34 miles hiked through Utah desert in this amazing region of the US!  Lots of great photography!


1. Final outdoor adventure with only the two of us!


Honorable Mentions:

  • Being completely unplugged from technology for almost an entire week.
  • Surviving on only one shower in 7 days, yikes!
  • Cold drinks and A/C after hikes on the hot days.
  • Remembering that the tent doesn’t keep the sand out.
  • Cool temperatures on several different days to better enjoy hiking.
  • Kara’s first time pooping in a bag and Nick’s [astonishing] pooping twice in one day at two national parks in two different states (UT/Arches then CO/Black Canyon of Gunnison).

Please watch this 15 minute video which has many of the photos that depict our latest adventure!


After getting the hand me down mixer/blender/food processor from my parents which then proceeded to die while cooking mashed potatoes for 150 (another story); a few years ago we broke down and purchased a Kitchen Aid Mixer. I love it!! We got a great deal and the ice cream maker attachment for free.  I have decided to try to make full use of it this summer.  Earlier in the month I made a delicious non dairy mango sorbet with coconut cream, almond milk, mango, tad bit of sugar and a touch of orange liquor.  Yummy. Since then Nick has been asking for Vanilla, so today was the perfectly hot day.  I found a 4 ingredient vanilla ice cream recipe. With half/half, heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla, I have found my new, favorite, easy, no cook vanilla ice cream recipe. The whipping cream made it light and fluffy and it almost overfilled my 2qt ice cream maker.  I then added some Peppermint essential oil and chocolate chips to 2 cups worth and froze the rest as vanilla.  ImageFluffy and Creamy

ImageAll ingredients organic except the vanilla, at 1/2 the price of organic ice cream and with less ingredients too.

ImageMint Chocolate Chip and Vanilla Ice Cream

ImageKitty cat was begging for a treat. . . I put it down to see how fast she would go at it.  I barely had time to grab a camera and snap a picture before she was totally trying to lick at the bowl.  Yuck, I gave her some on my finger!