Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wild Life Spotting

Guess what? We saw some elk in RMNP...

And some pretty great moose!


Then at Custer State Park, we saw some Buffalo...

And antelope...

But I think the prairie dogs are going to get their own post!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rocky Mountain National Park


One of the highlights of our trip to Colorado was driving and hiking around Rocky Mountain National Park.


We found great settings for photo opps and even spots with another traveler willing to take our family pic.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Love Thursday

John & I in Rocky Mountain National Park last week
Photo by Maria

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

High Altitude

Snow Mountain Ranch is at almost 9000 ft. altitude so I really needed to get acclimated. I went on a quick hike up 9 Mile trail with Edward which wasn't really 9 miles.

colorado 2011-8171.jpg
The aspen trees were cool.

The next day Bridget & I spent a couple of hours in Hot Sulpher Springs soaking in some minerals. Then I somewhat negated the effects with a 2.5 hour hike with the girls up to a waterfall wearing bad sandals, ie. no cushion. Live and learn is what I always say! John & Edward went to see the Colorado Rockies play in Denver.

The long hike was worth it for this pic however!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Snow Moutain Ranch

colorado 2011-8139.jpg
When we arrived at Snow Mountain Ranch, we went to see Maria at work and were greeted by a friendly face! So awesome to see her!

colorado 2011-8144.jpg
The lodge where we stayed is on the left and Maria's lodge is in the distance.

colorado 2011-8155.jpg
The whole ranch is surrounded by mountains. Many of the trees that were on the ranch were destroyed by the pine beetle a few years ago so it is quite open.

colorado 2011-8178.jpg
I went for a hike up Nine Mile Mountain with Edward and you can see the ranch sprawled out below.

Monday, August 22, 2011

We Made It!

We arrived back home Saturday from a very eventful trip to Colorado. I was so glad to be home after a long trip squished in the car, BUT I am sad our maybe last vacation is over. We managed to see 7 more of the 1000 things you're supposed to see before you die on this trip - we had already seen several in Colorado on other trips, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

On the way out, we stopped in DesMoines to see our friends, the Karadsheh's. We had a carrot cake there from Trader Joe's that I shall never forget. Oh, and of course, it was AWESOME to see them!


The next day, we stopped in Nebraska to see some trail ruts from the Oregon Trail. The ruts are still in the ground from the wagon trains. A small walk along them was enough, I am glad we have cars now.

colorado-00028 colorado-00053

Friday, August 12, 2011

Flash Back Friday 215

emb 98 colorado
1998, the Original Smilde trip to Colorado. Tomorrow we are leaving to pick up Maria in CO! Hopefully coming back in a week with lots of photos!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Love Thursday

John & I went to visit baby Miriam in the hospital last night. So precious. She still had her little hospital hat on! Congrats to our friends Mark & Abby!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jesus Calms the Storm

mcc outdoor kids-7719.jpg
Performed at the MCC Outdoor Service on the Riverfront. Bridget is the sail in the front, Gayle tells the story, Cotter is Jesus in the boat, and Jordan & Lucas churn up some waves.
mcc outdoor kids-7721.jpg

mcc outdoor kids-7722.jpg

mcc outdoor kids-7720.jpg
He said to His disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
They were terrified and asked each other, " Who is this? Even the wind and waves obey Him!"

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Bubble Blowing Contest

Even though the bubble gum they used for this contest wasn't the greatest, they still had fun just because they were together at a picnic in the summer. Things like that are always true of the people at Monroe Community Church.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

We Saw an Eagle!!


We were up by Wabassis Lake last weekend and John, who is always on the lookout for wildlife, heard about the eagle there. We found the nest first, and then spotted the eagle in all its glory! Amazing!


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

More Fun than Taylor

So here is a little taste of the things moms do to pass the time downtown when their daughters are at the concert. This was after supper and before the checker game that we played with stuff in our purses. Seriously though, we had fun hanging out!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Swift but Unforgettable

t swift-7389.jpg
Last week Thursday, my friend Cathy and I tried to pull a fast one on our daughters, Emily & Bridget. We took them out to a restaurant NEXT to the VanAndel Arena where Taylor Swift just happened to be having a concert. We told them we were going to go look at the tour bus. Cathy gave an envelope with tickets to the hostess at the restaurant who surprised them with it. I don't know if they look stunned or not.

t swift-7391.jpg
Anyway, they were beyond excited to go! Cathy & I walked around downtown and ate a leisurely supper during the concert - something we hardly ever get a chance to do! We ended up hearing all about the concert at a midnight-ish trip to IHOP! We even talked about our very first outing, cooking chili.