Northern Lights

We received word late tonight that the Northern Lights were visible in Des Moines. The whole family quickly hit the road and drove to a golf course outside of town. We’ve done this before and failed. Tonight was a major success. The pictures are way more amazing than the live experience, but the live experience was still very cool.

From the car.
At the golf course.
Most realistic.


There was an eclipse. We couldn’t travel because of some obligations in town, but we made the most of it. Cracker Barrel came through with some last-minute glasses and we pulled the girls out of school. It was fun.

Snowboarding at Mt. Clive

One of Andrew’s goals while he was home for winter break was to snowboard on Mt. Clive. Mt. Clive is a big pile of dirt the city uses for projects and is located at the back of a prairie near our house. The city recently took a huge chunk off the front, creating a drop that Andrew couldn’t resist. Andrew was out there for a while in temperatures that were so cold it was hurting our hands when we took the video. He was determined, but Mt. Clive came out on top today. Andrew thinks he could have done it if he had his regular snowboard that he uses in Colorado. His final attempt is below.

More snow!

It snowed another 8 inches or so and we now have a lot of snow on the ground! The temperature also dropped to super cold, but that didn’t stop the girls from building a cool tunnel/fort in the snow bank on the side of our driveway.

Friday – Jacksonville Beach

No college visits today, so after an early lunch we headed to the beach.

We made a sandcastle and menagerie.
Elliot and I watching the Xavier game on the beach.
Mari and Susan
Playing ball at the beach.
Family pic
Susan and Rob
For dinner we went to Mellow Mushroom, which had something everyone could eat.

Colorado Visit

This past weekend we went to Colorado to spend the weekend with Andrew. He is on Fall Break at school, which lined up nicely with his birthday. We left Des Moines on Friday, picked up Andrew, and then went to Woodland Park, which is up the hill from Colorado Springs. We spent Saturday and Sunday exploring the area and then on Monday we drove Andrew back to school and headed home.

It was great to see Andrew again and get the gang back together. We all miss having him around.

Hanging out in Andrew’s dorm room.
Touring campus.
The girls and Reggie.
Dinner at In-N-Out
Garden of the Gods.
Andrew worked hard to get to this spot.
Susan and Rob
Family, minus me.
Sunday – We drove up Pikes Peak
We didn’t take the cog railway, but it was cool.
Pikes Peak Visitor Center
Rose and Lucia on a hike.
Susan and Rob on a hike.
The kids, on a hike
Still on a hike
Family pic, with Pikes Peak in the background
Andrew’s birthday dinner at Casa Grande
Andrew’s birthday dessert at Casa Grande
Happy (almost) Birthday, Andrew!

Colorado Getaway

After dropping Andrew off at college, Susan and I got to spend a couple of days in Colorado. We moved to Idaho Springs and hike to St. Mary’s Glacier on Thursday and then Mt. Flora on Friday.

At St. Mary’s Glacier
The view from Mt. Flora.

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.