As an add-on for Rose’s birthday, we went to Adventureland. It was Lucia and Rose’s first time going there and the first time they had been to an amusement park for a couple of years. They had a blast on the rides and with their friends.

I think they went on the swings more than any other ride, but their favorite rides were the roller coasters.

Howell’s Pumpkin Patch

This afternoon we took our annual trip to Howell’s Pumpkin Patch with Lucia and Rose. We like to go on or around Lucia’s birthday, but we were a few days late this year. Here’s way too many photos!

Cool Swing
Feeding the goats
Bathtub Train
Jumping Pillow
Ride to the corn maze and pumpkin patch, with zinnias.

After Howell’s we had to hurry home to get to Rose’s soccer practice. With the sun setting so early, it is starting to get too dark to practice, so we had some fun with it.

State Fair Time!

The Lieslands love the Iowa State Fair – or at least Rose, Lucia and I do. Susan likes it, too, but for a few fewer hours than us. Mari went to the fair 2 or 3 times, but never with us.

Gluten free, vegan deep-fried Oreos, homemade for Lucia.
The girls love climbing on this elephant.
Both girls love cotton candy, but none for Lucia this year.
They love this sort of thing.
Susan joined us mid-day, and we got to enjoy a beautiful sunset.
Everybody loves the cold watermelon.
Miss Iowa was super sweet with the girls.
Visiting the dairy cows.
Trying on some western wear.
On the way out.

Late Summer Happenings

Lucia’s first time going off the diving board.
Susan and Shelly in Shelly’s classic car.
We went to a Des Moines Menace playoff game. They lost on PKs.
We went to a car show.
We decorated the sidewalk.
We went for a walk along the Des Moines river while Mari was at soccer tryouts.
Making bracelets was a popular activity this summer.
I was a referee at Keeper Wars, a goalie competition.
The kids made our foam float into a slide for the pool.
The girls played in the creek on a walk with Susan.
We got a cool volleyball net for the pool.
We went for a hike at Greenwood Park.
Rose, Lucia, and I went to the state fair.
Andrew and Susan went to Eatery A for a final meal. College departure is close.
Boy Cousins. They had a final weekend together, spending the night and doing some fun activities.
Mari’s soccer season started, with a new club. She is in the white.
We got a new couch.
8/16 – We had the Liesses and Reagens over for one last dinner before Andrew and Ian head off to college.

July 2021

DSM Arts Festival

This evening we headed to the Des Moines Arts Festival to see some art and lovelytheband. The band just has one big hit, but we all had fun at the live concert.

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.

The saddest fireworks show ever

After Fair Food Friday earlier in the day, we met the Reagens in Altoona for a fireworks show. Normally on this evening we would be on top of a parking garage in downtown, waiting for the Yankee Doodle Pops fireworks show to start, but that was canceled this year. The scene in Altoona was great and the fireworks show was good, but it was overcast by the bad news of N’s dad not doing well. He has been battling cancer for a little over a year and we got news during the fireworks show that he was in the hospital and they thought he might not survive the night. There were many tears shed during the evening and at one point someone did say, “This is the saddest fireworks show ever.” [note: I have the benefit of writing this post a few weeks after the event, and luckily N’s dad pulled through and continues to do well.]

Fair Food Friday

It was decided earlier in the summer to cancel the Iowa State Fair. This was sad news for us because attending the fair has been a tradition in our family for the past few years. Luckily, all is not list because some of the fair’s food vendors set up a drive-through on Friday nights. We stopped by this evening to enjoy some of our favorite treats from the fair before heading to see some fireworks.

The scene
The goods
Lucia trying the deep-fried Snickers.

Black Lives Matter March

This afternoon we attended a Black Lives Matter march and rally in downtown Des Moines. We met downtown and marched to the capitol, with a stop at city hall. When we stopped at city hall we had to lie face-down on the ground for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while they had speakers and others reading some of the things that George Floyd said while he was being held down. At the capitol there were a variety of speakers sharing their experiences and changes they would like to see.