Friday, September 27, 2013

And so the School Year Begins. . .

I am blessed to have a flexible job that permits me to attend the grandkids events during the day.  Josh and Amanda were notified this week that Maddison would be getting an award at school and her family was invited to attend.  I tagged along with my camera and enjoyed an outdoor awards assembly with all the 3rd graders at the school.  Maddison got an award for "Academic Excellence" in all subjects. We are proud that Maddison does well in her class.  She is a sweet little girl who rarely causes any trouble and has a bit of a competitive streak in her.  Maddison seemed very pleased that her dad and I got to be there.  Josh got a big old hug and kiss as he congratulated her on her achievement.  I love attending the kids activities (well, I have to admit that sometimes the sporting events get rather old for me. . . I spent so many, many years following Josh's wrestling, baseball and football activities I may be a tad bit burned out).  We try to make as many events as possible because we know just how quickly these years race by. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Rhocc and Roe

We recently dog sat for two of our grandpuppies.  Sad to say, the larger dog, Rhocc, was hit by a car on our gravel road while staying here.  Randy took him to the vet, but they had to put him down.  Jessica and Scott were 600 miles away when it happened, so that made it even worse.  For some reason, animals are naturally drawn to Mason, and he is drawn to them.  This photo was taken the day before the accident.  Rest in peace Rhocc.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Estes Park Colorado

On our way home from South Dakota, we detoured to Estes Park.  I have been to Colorado many, many times but never to Estes.  It was magnificent.  I loved the Big Thompson River and could not seem to get enough of it!  We were there right after Labor Day and just two weeks later they are experiencing a great deal of flooding in the area. 

Some of our friends and family suggested that we check out the YMCA of the Rockies.  I was impressed with their facilities and especially the pets (see above) they had roaming around the grounds.  There were a herd of elk just wandering around the tennis and basketball courts.  This fellow just slowly made his way towards us.  I think he wanted his picture taken!

We decided to take the Trail Ridge Road up the mountain at Estes.  It was a rather long and often frightening drive to the highest point in Colorado.  The scenery was amazing, but for a girl who is afraid of heights, it was a bit overwhelming!

We finally made it to the top and were rewarded with a great view and a nice visitors' center.  Randy experienced a bit of altitude sickness, so we didn't stay long.  While we were there, we watched a herd of elk make their way up the side of the mountain.  When we left for the drive the temperature was 83, when we arrived at the top it was 54 degrees.  I loved the experience, but I was glad to get off the mountain!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

South Dakota 2013

 We recently returned from a road trip to South Dakota.  This is our third trip to the area and will probably be the last for quite a while.  Although we love the state, we have seem most of it and have quite a few other spots on our "bucket list".  If you have never been to see Mount Rushmore, you really should put it at the top of your vacation list.  It is beautiful and inspires a patriotic feeling that is hard to match outside of the D.C. area.
 Randy and his brother Jim rarely let us take photos of them.  I am not sure why, but I have very few of just the two of them.   Jim and Randy have very different likes and lives, but they have remained close over the years and are truly good friends.  We manage to see Jim and Joanne once or twice a year, even though they live 1500 miles away!
 A wonderful surprise on this trip was a scenic drive through Custer State Park.  We took the Needles Road, which was beautiful and was named after this rock formation that looks like the eye of a needle.
 A trip through Custer would not be complete without seeing the buffalo roaming around.  We got caught in a hail storm during this drive, which seemed to make the buffalo rather motionless.  They are majestic animals and I love to watch them.
I love to photograph the changing skies in the West.  This was taken in Custer on the Needles road.  Shortly after I shot this the hail started coming down!