Lake Ahquabi State Park

Today we went for a hike with the Reagens. The hike was fun, and a little longer than we had bargained for, then we (the Lieslands) got stuck on an icy hill trying to leave the park. A nice man in a pick-up truck stopped to dump some sand and the Reagens came back to help push us out.

Hikers
Sledders
Sisters

Not too many pictures of the big kids as they were well ahead of us. Maybe I can get Andrew to share some of his pictures. . .

Snowy Day Fun

Taking Louie for a walk. Louie is the neighbor’s dog.
Playing with Louie
Susan’s Pink Snowsuit

Lake Life – in December!

The weather was awesome this week, so Mary Connor found a lake house for Gary and Kathie to stay at for a couple of nights. Mary, us and the Reagens came out for a day to enjoy the warm weather.

Sun deck
lake loungers
Kayaking
Susan
Kubb
Kubb
Susan & Rose
Andrew & Ian
Mari after getting in the lake
Elliot, Cam, Andrew, and Ian, after getting in
Susan, Mary, and Erin
Mari and Hope, sunset photo shoot.
Craft time

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.

Return to Pumpkinville

It was a nice day today so we headed back to Pumpkinville to find some more clues in the maze. You would think it would have been much easier in the daylight, but we actually only found the same number as we did in the dark.

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Pumpkinville

It is not very often that I post without pictures, but tonight we went to a pumpkin patch and corn maze in Mitchellville, just outside of Des Moines, and had a great time. We are celebrating Andrew’s birthday tomorrow night and we were looking for something to do on his actual birthday. The Reagens recommended the corn maze and we all met up just before the entrance closed at 8. We spent a little over an hour in the maze before sitting around a fire until a little after 10. When our cars were the last ones in the lot we felt it was probably time to leave. The funniest thing is that the boys group, Andrew, Ian, Cameron, and Elliot, spent a long time doing the corn maze blindfolded. It was a challenge under normal conditions and I am not sure how they did it.

Oh, and Happy Birthday, Andrew! More to come on that. . .

Howell’s

This afternoon Susan and I took off work to take Lucia and Rose to Howell’s Pumpkin Patch. I am not sure they got the apostrophe at the right place, but we all had fun anyways. Lucia and Rose loved every minute of it! We used to have more opportunities to do things like this with the older kids, but their schedules create more conflicts that we have to work around.

Jumping Pillow
Bath Tub Train
Pumpkin picking
Susan wanted to get in on the action.
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Categorized as Outdoor

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.