Home Life Outdoor

First Snow

We have had a few early season snows this year and this afternoon we were surprised by a few inches that wasn’t even predicted. I think we ended up having around 3 inches by the time it stopped. The older kids aren’t as interested anymore, but Lucia and Rose had a blast.

Andrew Home Life Kids' Activities Lucia Mari Outdoor Rob Rose Sports Susan Travel

Colorado Trip

My uncle Tom, who lives in Colorado Springs, has not been doing well. His mental and physical health have been declining and I had the opportunity to go visit with him for a few days at the end of last week. Susan stayed home on kid duty and I spent my days visiting with Tom, making time for a hike each day.

Susan playing at the creek with the kids.
Lucia chasing after Elliot.
I camped in Colorado. It felt like our RV trip to pull into the campground after dark and have to find my spot.
The view from my office. I worked on Eastern Time, so I had a couple of hours each day to get some work done before heading in to visit with Tom. I was fortunate that the weather was still warm.
My first good view of the mountains.
Uncle Tom, resting
Tom liked to hold hands and one of my primary responsibilities when I was there was to make sure I was available for that.
Meanwhile, life went on at home and Susan had to get all of the kids to their activities. here, Andrew is running in a XC meet , maybe at Southeast Polk.
My first hike in Colorado Springs was to Garden of the Gods. I tried to stay pretty close to town.
Susan also had to get up early with Oreo, who insists on waking us just a little earlier than we would like.
During this time, Mari also submitted her application to work at Coldstone Creamery. With soccer and XC winding down she will have more free time, and she is saving up for a new phone.
Soccer fans.
Red Rock Open Space in the foreground, with Garden of the Gods in the background.
Susan and the kids enjoying a fire.
Holiday Home Life Outdoor pool The Reagens

Labor Day Weekend

We had a fun, busy Labor Day Weekend. The Mary and Casey were in town and it was the last weekend to have our pool up. On Friday we had everyone over for pizza and to watch the Valley vs Dowling football game. On Saturday we did our own thing during the day and then Mary and Casey hosted dinner at the Rafferty’s (their friends’ house). Sunday was the closing party for the pool.

Friday night dinner
Kids’ table
Susan and I headed to the Connor dinner.
Supply organizing to get ready for another year of homeschooling for Lucia and Rose.
Elliot has been working hard this summer to save money to buy a new bike.
Kids in the pool.
Tube flip
See you next year, pool!
covid-19 Home Life

High School Football

No fans at high school football games this year, so we bought season pass to stream the Valley games online. This evening we set up the TV on the deck to enjoy their season opener against Roosevelt.

I am not sure where everyone is at this point.
Home Life School

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for the older kids. Our school district offered either an in-person or online option and we opted for online, at least through January. The kids connect into an actual class where most kids are in the classroom but a few are online. The logistics turned out to be a little complicated to sort out because they are operating on a block schedule, where the kids only have 4 classes each day. In some ways that makes it easier, but we have to be sure we are ready for each day, and there are a few twists that add some occasional confusion.

Elliot at his desk (table) in the basement.
Andrew at his desk.
Mari at her desk.
Home Life Outdoor

Creek Beach

Susan and the little girls made it down to the creek today to play in one of the beachy areas where there is nice sand and pleasant water. The girls love to work on projects using the sand, rocks, and sticks.

Des Moines Home Life

The Derecho

This morning there were some storms moving through. I didn’t think much of it, but as we stood on the front porch it started to get really windy and the sky was definitely funky. It turned out to be a derecho – straight line winds across the state from 70-120 mph. We mostly just lost some small limbs around our yard, there are plenty of branches down across the city, and corn has been knocked down in many places across the state.

This image shows corn that was knocked down across the state because of the high winds. Des Moines is just south of the two arrows on the left. The third arrow points right at Cedar Rapids, which was without power and water for several days.
The Reagens had to come work at our house because they were without power for 3 days.
Home Life

Evening Kombucha

This summer Susan and I have been trying to enjoy a small glass of kombucha after dinner. I say ‘try’ because it doesn’t happen every night, not because we don’t enjoy it. We even have special kombucha glasses, that are sometimes clean. Our intention is to switch to tea once we weather gets colder.

Home Life

New Fire Pit

This year for our anniversary Susan and I got a new fire pit. Traditionally for our anniversary, we get something together, rather than buy things for each other. We actually tried to go shopping on our anniversary date, back in May, but the stores were closed because of the BLM protests.

Home Life Outdoor The Reagens

Playing in the Creek

This summer the kids have been playing in the woods more than anytime since we have moved to this house. They built a fort and jumping ladder, into the creek, and today they took our skimboard from vacation down to the creek and towed each other like wakeboarding.