Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On the Road Again

 My Grandma Stahl (my dad’s mom) passed away unexpectedly right before Nate’s Spring Break week. At first we thought maybe I would just fly to AZ for the funeral, but then we decided that since Nate didn’t have class we would make the DRIVE to AZ.  The only way we thought we could manage that many hours in the car with the kiddos was to take our time and make lots of stops! On the way there we stayed the night in Carroll to visit Nate’s family, then made it to Highlands Ranch, CO to spend another evening and pick up my mom, then to the middle of New Mexico for another night…and then we made it to Tucson! The girls actually did pretty well considering the number of hours in the car.

I am so glad that we made the trip.  With us there it made it so that ALL of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren made it! Obviously a funeral is a hard time, especially when nobody was expecting it.  I am glad that my grandma was able to meet each of my girls (even if not all together).  I am glad that I traveled to AZ with my mom in November with Camille so that she had the chance to meet her great-grandma and that I was able to visit with her.  

Here are a few pictures of our trip…it was great to be able to see lots of family that we don’t normally get to see.
Swimming with Grandma Deb at the hotel in NM

At the service...all of the grandkids and great-grandkids (my girls)

The family...everybody is looking, except for those trying to get my children under control (imagine that!)

Camille and Great-grandma Bowen...cuties!!!

Lounging at the pool with Kristi

Hannah playing with Papa

And Alli joining in on the fun!
Yes, we are in the desert! And the ground isn't covered with snow and ice and we can wear shorts...

Posing for the camera
Our family :)

Loving her daddy time

Cute girls enjoying the sun!
Alli's turn with Daddy!
Mommy and her girls
This is more typical of our family pictures. Cammile is trying to escape,  Allison is upset that  Hannah is on Dad's shoulders and we are ALL having fun!

Our original goal for Spring Break (before the road trip came up) was to head to Omaha and attend the temple a few times. Instead of the Winter Quarters temple, Nate and I took turns attending the temple along the way.
First up was the Mesa AZ Temple.  Nate met up with his brother, Wade, while I took my turn in the temple.  The girls loved seeing Uncle Wade!

Thanks for breakfast Uncle Wade!

Checking out the visitor's center
I had to take this picture of Camille in the grass at the temple because is was  her FIRST time sitting in the grass. That is what happens when it is winter and you live in Iowa!!!

Then we had to make a short detour to visit the Grand Canyon.

At this point I'm pretty much exhausted! But at least the view is nice!
My girls!
Our family
They are on the top of the world

See...we were really there!

Next up: Monticello, UT and Nate’s turn at the temple!

Hannah's pouting...and daddy is helping!
Hannah's a photographer

Last stop before home…the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument! It is the huge bridge thing over I-80 that we drive under EVERY time we head to CO and we always just talk about stopping.  It is about at the half-way point on our usual drive from IA to CO, but they have weird hours and it has just never worked out.  So, even though we were all super tired, we decided to check it out since it was finally open!

The entrance

You can kind of see the arch behind us-bad picture!

Here's the arch with Interstate 80 running right underneath!
Inside the arch is a museum. It is all about American History and the Midwest area. They had a whole big section about the Lincoln highway, which was the first highway from coast to coast. It is kind of neat because Carroll, where we used to live, and Ames, where we are at now are both on Highway 30 (or the old Lincoln highway.) In fact, Nate's dad's carwash is Highway 30 Carwash.

AND THEN WE WERE HOME! And my baby was 9 months old.

School Lunch

On our way to a Spring Break road trip adventure (back in March), we stopped by Carroll for a quick 8th birthday celebration with the Nate’s youngest siblings, Gabe and Grace.  They invited us to come eat lunch with them at school, too! Hannah was thrilled!

Mom and Camille
Alli and Grace

Hannah and Gabe

We also got to see their classrooms.

Grace and Camille
Alli "writing her name"

Say "cheese!"

Pretty in Pink!

These pictures were taken back in February…so Camille is 8 months old. Thank you Nana and Papa for these beautiful dresses!!!