Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Our winter in the desert

Since I haven't posted since Matt and Janelle's wedding, this will be a "catch up" post! Mark and I have had a good winter in AZ. It was very busy as we completely remodeled our home here, installing new kitchen cabinets, all new flooring, complete remodel of guest bathroom and a new shower in the master bedroom.  It was time consuming and challenging washing dishes in the bathroom sink for several weeks, but the end result made it all worthwhile. I love my new little home in the desert.

The AZ living started with Matt driving out with me at the end of October. It is great having him along for the ride and helping to do the driving. He spent a couple of days here and we took a beautiful hike at the Tom Thumb trailhead. We stopped to see his cousin Aaron in Jerome perform at the Spirit Room, too.

I flew to Peoria for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Mark was still home farming and was going to drive to Megan's for turkey day celebrations, but Andy's father passed away after a hard fought cancer battle so those plans were all changed. Megan and kids took me to the farm as they continued on to Omaha and LeMars for funeral arrangements. Mark and I joined them in LeMars on that Friday for Butch's wake and funeral on Saturday. Following the funeral, we drove to Matt and Janelle's home and spent the night. We left for AZ the next morning.

Mark and I flew to Peoria for Christmas. Matt and Janelle were also there, so we were all together, along with 2 new puppies and Levi. Grandpa and grandma both were ill (flu?) the entire time so it wasn't what we had hoped, but everyone else had a grand time! It is always a joy being with the grandchildren over the holidays.

We spent January, February and the first week in March remodeling but still managed to do many fun things this winter. Our highlights were a visit from Nancy, Rick and Nadine from Okoboji. We drove up to Jerome and spent the night and went to Sedona the following day. We had a great time with these good friends!

The day after Nancy left we went on a trip with 12 other people to Marble Canyon in northern AZ  The first day was spent fishing and boating around Horseshoe Bend and seeing Glen Canyon Dam. The second day we drove to Lake Powell and hiked into Antelope Canyon...just breathtaking! It was definitely a bucket list trip and I will never forget this journey!

Andy and his two brothers came last week for their annual spring baseball trip. They (and we) had a fun time going to the many games and eating foods that aren't exactly healthy for you. :-)

Megan, Andy and the grandchildren come Friday for a spring break visit and we are beyond excited. I will post on that following their visit!
Our beautiful grandchildren in LeMars, IA

Merry Christmas morning!

Uncle Matt sledding in shorts?

Ryan, Drew, Fitz and Sanders

Kayley loves their new puppy Fitz
Old flooring, old cabinets

New flooring, new cabinets

Almost finished, just need countertop
Waiting for new furniture delivery
Finally, comfortable seating!
Spent a day at the Phoenix Open with good friend Alice
Nancy and Moondog at the Spirit Room, Jerome.

Nancy, Nadine and Marla in Sedona
Nancy and Mark enjoy our lazy day in the sun at Bartlett Lake

Boating on the Colorado River 

Finally waded into Antelope Canyon, a muddy, mucky mess!

Horseshoe Bend

Mark and his trout

Antelope Canyon hike was magical

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Matt and Janelle get married!

July 16 was the date. Temecula, CA was the place! We all decided to make a family vacation out of this trip out west and we had a grand time. Mark and I flew out of Des Moines on July 10th to Santa Ana. Megan and Andy and children flew from Peoria to the same airport, same day. We had rented a home 5 minutes from Disneyland and stayed there through Thursday, July 13th. Matt and Janelle joined us all at Disneyland for the day on Tuesday and Matt joined us on Wednesday at California Adventure. Thursday was a "free" day so we took the children to Huntington Beach for the day. They had a blast in the surf and sand with their boogie boards, etc. That evening we grilled at our rental and everyone got in the pool and hot tub.  Drew, Kayley and Ryan loved that pool and we were all thrilled with that home. I would definitely stay there again should a reason arise!

On Friday it was time to make our way to the wine country of Temecula.  Breathtaking beauty, especially at sister Sharon's huge rental home overlooking the hills and vineyards. We were invited there for dinner on Friday night and had a great time with all her kids and grandkids.

Saturday morning was time for wedding rehearsal. It was SO hot during that I was afraid I would melt! (outdoor wedding). We survived and headed to another beautiful winery for the rehearsal brunch. It was such fun, so good, so lovely....a fun memory.

The big event was Sunday at 5:00. Fortunately, the weather was not as hot, the shade was on the guests and Matt and Janelle had a gorgeous wedding. Matt walked me and Joan down the aisle, Drew carried the rings, Ryan and Janelle's nephew carried a cute sign and Kayley pulled Levi down in a decorated wagon. They all did fabulous. The reception area was equally beautiful and a great time. A lovely memory for our families!

Monday we traveled closer to the airport for our Tuesday flights home. On the way we stopped at Laguna Beach to spend the day with Ron and Melissa and children who were on vacation in CA and made sure they arranged it around the wedding. So great to have them there. We had a huge surprise when nephew Aaron and girlfriend Sonia walked up to our beach spot! They spent the day with us.

It was a great trip, beautiful wedding, lovely new daughter-in-law, many memories!  Pics in random order to follow!  :-)
The Thiel at Disneyland

Matt and Janelle at the reception

My handsome son-in-law and handsome grandson!

Janelle with her wedding party. Very stunning group of ladies!

All dressed up and still smiling!

Storybook Land at Disney

Buckle up, Ryan. Matt doesn't go on baby rides! 
Great day at Disneyland, CA

Ryan getting buried alive by his father

Surf's up!

Hot tubbing at the rental

Rehearsal day and a beautiful Kayley

Matt and Janelle and her family...Tim, Joan, Courtney, Jeremy and children.

Janelle enjoying rehearsal brunch with her cute nephew

Mom is is Matt!

Happy trio

Pre wedding beautification


What a gorgeous group of grandchildren!


Monday, April 03, 2017

5 months of our life in one video. :-)

I have been terrible about posting on my blog.  This video sums up our winter with music courtesy of 4 year old grandson Ryan's favorite song right now! There seem to be a lot of repeat photos...sorry about that! I am doing a new version of  iMovie and I don't quite have the hang of it yet!  If the video doesn't play, please click here

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cape Cod

I was invited to go to Cape Cod for a week with my great Okoboji friends Nancy and Nadine.  I am so glad I went...the Cape is glorious!  I had promised Megan I would babysit when I returned as they were going to Florida on vacation, so I drove to Peoria and flew to Boston from there so I could return to Peoria to babysit.  It worked out well.  I was able to spend Oct. 8-13 with the gals in Cape Cod and babysit my grandchildren from the 14-16th.  I came back to the farm on Monday the 17th.

I had never been to Massachusetts, so everything was new and special to me!  Nadine had rented a car and we drove from one end of the Cape to the other.  Our first day was rainy, so mainly car toured Hyannis Port.  We got a glimpse of the Kennedy Compound and it looked as awesome as I thought it would. We then toured the JFK Museum which was quite interesting.  Our resort was in Falmouth and I really loved that town.  Wonderful places to eat seafood, which we did every night!

Kennedy Compound

Kennedy beach

The Kennedy Compound dock

The amazing family

We all three had halibut the first night and it was so great!!!

The second day we took the ferry to Martha's Vineyard.  It was a fun boat ride over to the island.  Nadine had lined up a van tour of the island and we are so glad she did.  It took us all over the island and it was very informative. The island has several towns that are very quaint with amazing homes dating back to early settlement.  What really surprised me was the fact that there were so many farms on the island.  We drove for several miles along side all kinds of farms. The tour also took us to the port where the movie Jaws was filmed, and you could tell that clearly.  I need to go watch that movie again! We drove by Jackie Kennedy O. compound of 280 acres, but could only see the entrance. Her home could not be seen from road or by sea, only by air.  She liked her privacy!  The Vineyard was an amazing place...
Bus ride to the wise friend giving me sound advice, I am guessing!

Our ferry 

On our way to the island

One of the farms

This lovely farm has an ocean view!

Jaws movie location

One of many lighthouses

Driving through Edgartown

Chief Brody's house from the movie

Went to have a beer at this "tavern" but it was a "dry" village...

Ships back in the day used this area to dock

Tuesday we went clear to the tip of Cape Cod to visit Provincetown.  Lots and lots of unique shops and a very artsy place.  We had a lovely seafood lunch and then spent the afternoon browsing the streets and shops.  It was a fun day!
Nancy with her Bloody Mary before lunch

Nadine ordered this seafood salad, It looks great, right?!!

Harbor in Provincetown





My last day, Wednesday, we drove to Plymouth for the day.  So much history!  We toured the Pilgrim museum and it was great.  Then we had to find a seafood place by the ocean with patio seating.  Had a fantastic lunch and a glass of wine.  We toured an exact replica of the was so small.  I cannot believe 104 people plus 40 crew members were on it for 66 days.  We also had to see the "rock".  Really small, but people had chipped away at it for years and they finally had to cage it in before it disappeared.  :-)
Pilgrim clothing made from drawings

Actual bassinet from the Mayflower

Actual beer tankard from the Mayflower

Plymouth Harbor

Plymouth Rock

Lunch on Plymouth Harbor

On Thursday morning the girls drove me to the bus stop so I could catch a ride to Logan Airport. I had a fantastic time and  hated to leave!!
Ready to hop on my bus to the airport

Goodbye, Boston. You were awesome!

Megan and Andy had left for Florida on Wednesday and had their after school nanny watching the kids until I would arrive on Thursday around 5 P.M.  Well...I had a terrible travel day on Thursday, to say the least.  My bus broke down 2 miles from Logan, in rush hour traffic!  I had plenty of time until my flight so wasn't too worried yet, but plenty of people on that bus were very panicked! We finally limped into a station that had buses and trains so we were told to go to the Silverline station and grab that to the airport.  I had no clue where to go or what I was doing, so I tagged along with a couple who appeared to know what they were doing. :-)  I finally made it only to find out my plane had mechanical problems and was delayed, which made me miss my Detroit connection to Peoria.  There are not a lot of flights from Detroit to Peoria, so the only one they could get me on was at 9 P.M. Ugh.  I spent way more time in the Detroit airport than I ever want to do again!  I was so glad when I finally pulled in at Megan's house.  (So was her babysitter, I imagine!)  Despite all that, I had a very enjoyable week-end with my grandchildren.  Drew had a FB game on Saturday, another victory for his undefeated team!  Megan and Andy arrived back home Sunday evening.  Between Cape Cod and my grandchildren, I had a wonderful 8 days and it was a good way to end my time in Iowa....even though I wasn't in Iowa. :-)  I am soon off to AZ for the winter!
Ryan and I went out for lunch on Friday!

This looks like a scene from the Hunger Games...

Ryan was getting a little tired waiting for Drew's game to start!

Our football boy

Kayley and Ryan love the sandpile 

Sunday was a beautiful day for playing catch and digging in the sand