Monday, August 24, 2015

Dave's First Day of School and Other Happenings

I can't believe we are already at Dave's 3rd week of school!  He did super great the first day, then struggled with going for the first full week.  He told me, "school is fine, it's just a lot longer than I expected!".  Kind of what we figured would happen :)  He was also not fond of lunchtime so I am just now getting him to eat actual food for his lunch! (You know, besides just a granola bar and some slices of cheese!)  Anyway, he is loving it now and really likes his teacher and has even made some new friends, yay!

Ready for his first day.  We were running late (of course) so this picture was a tad crooked because I was rushing!

Hurry up mom!!

Picture from school.  I have a friend on the inside :)

My mom came to visit for the weekend two weekends ago so we could go out and celebrate our anniversary (well really just so she could see the boys!).

One their date with Gamma.  They ate at Applebee's and saw Shaun the Sheep.

Ike enjoying some time to himself while Dave has been at school.

It has been really fun to hang out with Ike by himself these past few weeks.  We have been doing things that Dave isn't really into anymore, like playing toys and puzzles at the library and taking daily walks to chat with the maintenance and lawn crew guys on campus.  Ike is obsessed with those guys!

Dave earned a prize for having a good first week-a Labbit blind box.

A tree was cut down by our house and it has provided hours of entertainment for Ike and his buddy Bennett.  It was really cool to see them cutting it down!  Ike even got to help measure how tall it was after they cut it down-100 feet!

Notice he has his gloves and his play chainsaw-all set for work!

Bennett was working hard with the hatchet!

So that's what we've been up to the past few weeks.  Lots of changes for our household but I think we have all adjusted to Dave's new schedule now.  He is already looking forward to Labor Day and an extra day off  :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Last Days of Summer

I can't believe it, but summer is winding down already.  Dave starts kindergarten in 3 days!!!  The reality is setting in.  We have certainly packed quite a bit into this summer, and here is what we did that last week or so.

On Sunday we went to Logansport to see Josh's aunt Amy who came to visit from California and to a church cookout with Grandma Mary and Grandpa Dave.

Ike and I hanging out at the cookout.  Here is a video of Dave doing a zipline!

The kids photobombed this picture with the Bowyer ladies.  This is Josh's great-aunt Jo, Aunt Gayle, Grandma Bertie, and Aunt Amy.

Last week we all went up to Wheatfield to check out the new White's North West facility.  Josh has been going up there overnight every Tuesday, so it was cool to get a picture of the place.  Also, my friend Katie and her family have moved up there and we were really excited to see all of them!

Sprinkler time.

We went to the county fair for dinner.  It was huge!  The kids loved the animals as usual, and the grownups got to chow down on delicious fair food.


Dave found a Puerto Rican food truck, so he had to get some potato balls.  They were really good!

Wednesday morning Katie and I took the kids to a splash area in Valpo.  They of course had a blast.

Sam running around.

Ike got a little too close to this sprayer.

All of the boys running around.

Now we are just counting down the days until Dave goes to school.  We have had dentist and doctor appointments and all of our school supplies are loaded up into his backpack.  It is so crazy to me that we will have a kindergartner!  They grow up way too fast.  Not sure yet what Ike and I are going to do all day without big brother around :)  I am sure he will think of something!

Tony and Ben's Wedding

First of all, congratulations to Tony and Ben!  Last weekend we had our final car trip of the summer (thankfully!) as we went down to Evansville to celebrate my brother Tony and Ben's wedding.  They were married on Friday morning, so we weren't there for the actual wedding, but they held a reception at their house on Saturday.

Great picture of the grooms!

We had some good eats...this was the cupcake and candy area.  Delicious.

Dave went around taking pictures of people.  He doesn't do too bad of a job!

Dad and I setting up.

It was super hot out, so Ben went out and got a mister.  Huge hit with the kids!

Ike took control of it pretty quick.

My stepbrothers Justin and Tim.

My cousin Sabrina playing with Ike.

Aunt Kathy making some mud pies with Ike's help :)

Dad's brothers who could come out for the reception with Tony and Ben.

Gamma and Dave.

Liam doing a little yardwork during the reception.

Ike and Liam chilling poolside at my Dad and Kyra's house.

It was awesome to see lots of people we don't get to see very often and to celebrate with Tony and Ben.  Wishing them lots of love and laughter in the years to come!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Campfire Breakfast, Hikes, and a Picnic

This is the last of my posts from our vacation!  We spent the rest of our time out in Estes Park with Josh's mom, dad and sister.   One morning we decided to have breakfast via campfire!  We found an awesome spot right next to a little river and started cooking (well I didn't, I had the kiddos!).

The boys playing in the river.

We had to document us with the fire!

Josh expertly cooking over-easy eggs.

Just down the road from our breakfast spot was the alluvial fan.  It was more like a waterfall when we were there because of all the rain the area had gotten this year.

The kids LOVED this area.

Barry and Divana.

The boys had a blast throwing rocks in and climbing around.  This was a perfect spot for young kids.

We saw a couple of big horn at Sheep Lakes on our way out that morning.

I had heard that one of the trail heads (Lumpy Ridge) in RMNP had some really cool boulders to climb on, so I convinced Josh and the boys to check it out.  The rocks and boulders were really neat at the beginning and so I thought it would be fun to take a "short" trail to see if we could find some more.  Mistake.  Turns out the easy loop I picked out gained quite a bit in elevation.  We lived to tell the tale, but it was not pleasant!

Dave having fun at the beginning of the trail.  This was not the attitude he had at the end, haha!

On our last morning we decided to take it easy and do an actually easy hike in the meadows.  It was gorgeous out and the views were stunning.  Also, the kids found some pretty awesome walking sticks to use.

Ike and I heading out.

Super cheese.

Looks like Dave didn't feel like being part of the family in this one  :)

We then went for a picnic lunch with everybody at Hidden Valley picnic area.  I loved this area, very peaceful and calming.  We took a hike up the mountain to see where the trail went-had to cross a little river using a log, fun stuff!

Grandma D and Ike celebrating the end of the trail.

After lunch, the boys turned in their Jr. Ranger packets and were sworn in as rangers.  Funny story, when asked if you can feed animals, Dave emphatically said  "yes!!".  We sort of fed chipmunks at one point during our trip...guess that was not allowed.  Josh and I were frantically shaking our heads no to Dave and he finally got the hint to say the right answer.  Parents of the year!

Getting their badges.

We were so sad to leave Colorado, but I was definitely ready to be home after being gone for so long.  We stopped in Kansas again to break up the trip, then made it home by Saturday afternoon.  Love Colorado and can't wait to get back again soon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Trail Ridge Road, Bear Lake, Rockies Game

After hiking on Friday morning, we drove Trail Ridge Road over to Estes Park (which was our base for the last week of vacation).  This was a very stressful drive for me, with all of the switchbacks and intense heights!  The kids had fun, and I think Josh enjoyed driving it again, so at least some of us liked it! :)

At the visitor's center.  Had to get the kids' national parks passports stamped (the passports are super cool by the way, thanks mom!).

Just a tad above sea level!  It was about 40 degrees with some wicked wind up at the top.  Chilly.

We finally saw the sun!  It felt so fantastic.

Dave had to play in the snow.

We saw a huge herd of elk way up there.

Once we got to Estes Park, we had some time to kill before our house was ready (story of this trip!), so we found yet another nice playground where the kids burned off some energy.  We settled into our new home and hung out until Josh's parents and sister got into town.  Saturday morning we were up bright and early and went out to Bear Lake.  It is a super popular spot so you have to get there really early to get a parking spot, or you have to take the shuttle which we did not want to do!

Walking around Bear Lake.  Gorgeous scenery.  Picture is a tad crooked-the rock I sat my camera on must have shifted a bit  :)

Sprague Lake.  I can't get enough of lakes with mountains in the background!

After our hiking adventure, we just hung out the rest of the day.  Enjoyed some beautiful sunshine, had dinner, etc.  Sunday morning we headed to Denver to spend the day exploring and to watch the Rockies game.  We tried to go to a restaurant known for its biscuits, but it had an 1.5 hour wait in both locations...eek!  So we found a different place for brunch then went to a really nice park.

At the game.  Can you tell we were roasting?  Soooo hot.

Love this one of the Bowyer boys!

The ballpark was awesome for kids!  They had kid-sized concessions (which were really just regular sized in my opinion) for cheap and they had playgrounds to keep the kids entertained during the game.  We stayed through the 5th inning, which was just enough time with the kids plus the heat.

After the game, we drove through Boulder and ate at a fantastic restaurant called Blackbelly Market.  It is owned by Hosea Rosenberg (any Top Chef fans?  He won season 5!).  Super delicious, and they were great with the kids!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Wildlife in Grand Lake

I am pleased to report that we saw quite a bit of wildlife, especially while we were staying on the west side of RMNP.  On our way into Grand Lake, we found these fellas on the side of the road.  We thought they were goats until we asked a park ranger, who informed us that these are bighorn sheep!  And she was shocked that we saw these along a major road, so we were even more excited to have seen them.

Their horns weren't very big yet-she said that it takes about 10 years to get really big horns.

There were so many!

On our first morning in the park, we saw two moose hanging out by Coyote Valley Trail.  Josh was really looking to spot a moose on this trip, so he was especially pumped to see one so soon!

Here's a video of the kids talking about the moose.

Later that afternoon we were driving down the road from our cabin when we spotted a female moose with a baby.

So cute!

A little ways from them we saw a bull moose!

He chilled in this spot for about 4 hours.  We went to town and back and he was still there!

On our last morning in Grand Lake, we tried to take a trail and were surprised to find a ton of elk blocking our way.

These guys were posted up and I was too timid to try to shoo them away!

We saw a couple more crossing the trail we ended up going on.  Look in the background to see one.

One last baby moose and its mom after our hike.

We think that we may have seen more wildlife than typical due to the less-than-ideal weather we experienced while in Grand Lake.  At least, that's what we are telling ourselves :)  It was so awesome to get to see so many animals in their natural habitat and the kids really got into trying to spot them.  They loved carrying around their binoculars!