Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Salt Lake City

It was a fun little trip.  The driving was easy and uneventful, and we didn't have any trouble finding our way around the city-the streets in the main part are on a grid, so you can navigate pretty easily.  Yesterday we dropped Millie off at the hospital for her checkup and went exploring.  I parked the car back at the hotel and we walked the 2 blocks to the Gateway Center-built specially in honor of the 2002 Olympics.  The three of us had gone there Monday night, too.

Millie and Gracie Monday night at Starbuck's-the coffee house looks out over the Olympic plaza.

Eight years ago, while Gracie was in the NICU, we brought her two big brothers here to the plaza to play in the fountain.  This week we got to take Gracie, something we weren't sure we would get to do back when she was struggling to live.

Then Gracie and I took the train downtown to a brand new mall we heard of.  I told Gracie to pick an activity to take her mom to, since she missed our day's fun, and she picked going back to the mall.

This city has a ton of fountains!

The name of the mall is City Creek and a creek runs through the entire mall, complete with trout!
 We had dinner at the mall-we hadn't ever eaten at The Cheesecake Factory, so that's what we chose.  The mall covers two downtown city blocks and is gorgeous!

We headed home today.  We debated which route to take-the way we went down had been hit with a horrible man-caused wildfire, mere minutes after we drove through on Monday.  Millie kept up with the local news on her smart phone, and found out the road had reopened, so since it's the shortest way home we headed that way.

As of this afternoon, the fire has covered 14,000 acres-quite a jump considering it just started on Monday.  This is the area where the fire jumped the highway and the river.  I took these pictures while driving.  I could have stopped on the road, since there were very few cars going through.

Right up to the road-with lots of active flames.
We drove by a home that had been leveled-outbuildings, garage, etc.  The only thing left standing was a child's swing set.  Made me want to cry.  Imagine my dismay when, after returning home, I find out that this is the home of my good friend's in-laws!  They lost everything.

Lots of rain is surely needed in the West right now.  Keep praying for a downpour.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Road Trip!

Millie, Gracie and I are heading out tomorrow for a short trip to Salt Lake City.  Millie needs to go for her follow-up checkup and Gracie and I are going to have some Gracie/Gramma time.  My Kindle Fire doesn't like to let me update to the blog, so I'll just have to wait til I get back.  I'll try to have pictures, maybe this time Gracie can actually go inside the NICU to see where she lived for the first 4 months of her life.  We should have a good time, though.  I'll be home Wednesday and maybe I can pop in some pictures then.  Then I hopefully will have a post about our Re-dedication of our new sanctuary.  We're all done and it's simply beautiful!

See ya in a couple of days!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

This Week

I don't mean to lump all my week's activities together, but lately it seems to work out that way.  Wednesday we had a quickly arranged potluck of Stan's cousins.  At one time there were 60 cousins-grandchildren of Opa and Grandma Kamps.  Time has gone by and some of the cousins have passed away and we're all getting older.  There are only two of Opa and Grandma's children left, the two youngest boys, Uncle Bert and Uncle George.  Stan's mom was the most recent to pass away.

Gretta hugging Judy.  Gretta and her husband hadn't been to Montana in over 18 years.

Sharing a laugh.

Tressa, cousin John's wife.  John is the oldest living cousin.

Uncle George chatting with cousin Teddy.

Catherine, Aunt Grace (Uncle George's wife) and Judy.  Judy is married to Stan's brother Harold.
How this all came about was an anniversary open house for Uncle George and Aunt Grace-70 years!  Some cousins came to Montana to help them celebrate, so we decided we hadn't had enough gabbing time!

Then Stan and I drove to Great Falls to celebrate Sydney's birthday.  We drove up yesterday and came back today.  Steve went up on Thursday, driving a flatbed truck, minus flatbed, from work.  Yesterday we followed him all the way north to a little town about 60 miles from the Canadian border.  There was a company there that would put a new flatbed on for them.  Lots of driving yesterday!

We returned to Great Falls and had some fun:

Birthday gifts from the cousins.

Grandma and Grandpa gave him the Cars 2 WII game.
 We had a nice dinner at a steakhouse.  (I know-crazy kid!)

Today we picked them up and went for a late breakfast.  We had just about 1 1/2 hours left so we spent it at the "duck park."  A beautiful park with a huge pond and a large playground.  A nice picnic area-there were many families having after-church lunch.


We didn't have any bread with us, but we did have homemade ginger snaps, so that's what the ducks, geese and gulls got!  Hope they didn't get tummy aches!
Then we returned Sydney to his mom, actually his mom's friend who was going to watch him for a couple of minutes, and we sadly drove away.  Steve was pretty quiet on the way home.  Summer is going to be really long.  And his mom wants him to spend next winter in Great Falls, but we are going to fight that-not going to happen!  Pray for us on that one!

Friday, June 15, 2012

He's Eight!

Yesterday was Sydney's birthday.  I texted him in the morning and then he called me last evening, after his big birthday celebration.  Time keeps marching on!

I love this picture-these three kids are inseparable.  L-R-Syd, Sam & Grace.  Grace is already 8, and Sam will be 7 in August.
We're driving up to Great Falls in the morning to have a belated birthday celebration.  He's staying with his mom for part of the summer, but he'll be back before Sam's birthday.  Sam would be devastated if he wasn't here for that!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Think We Have Summer Again!

Montana summers are so unpredictable, but if the weather people are correct, the whole week is going to be nice-in the 70's and not much rain.  Maybe my garden will get a good start!

We did have a bit of big hail one day, but it was pretty sparse, thank goodness!

Just had to show you the two dogs-Chloe was 5 and Merlin was almost 4 when he came to live with us-they're now 7and 6.  They love each other so much, and have gone from being two completely different dogs to doing everything the same, including how they sit!
I've just gone for my third acupuncture treatment and things are progressing nicely.  The first visit, my improvement was pretty profound, so I was kind of giddy!  (Poor Stan!) The subsequent ones resulted in smaller improvements, but improvements just the same.  I am much less stiff, and the sciatic pain is slowly fading.  He wants to work on my allergies, too-yay!

I updated my cooking blog too, but I kind of whined so if you aren't in the mood for a pity party I suggest not going there.  If you don't mind, go ahead, I talk about quinoa for breakfast, too.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Blog List

I added a new blog to my blogroll-Born in the Wrong Century.  This is a young lady that I watched grow up and become a fabulous business person.  She and her mom own All things Italian in Bozeman-a darling shop with awesome, mostly Italian goodies.  I put the link on my main blog because it gets more traffic.  Check her out-she's got tons of great ideas.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Another busy weekend.  A graduation party for my niece (so proud of her, she graduated a year early and is going to nursing school), a cookie baking frenzy for church, our monthly Bible study, and the hardest thing of all-seeing Sydney off for Great Falls to stay with his mom for the summer.  It's kind of hard when we've been a constant part of his life to have him gone so long, but he has his own phone and we'll be making trips up there during the summer.  We'll be going in two weeks to celebrate his birthday.  And we have four more grandkids in the area to spoil.

Got the garden planted-we had the joy of harvesting some things that had volunteered.

Cilantro-as good as the Mexican and a thousand times better that what you get in the US supermarkets.  It's in the frig waiting to be used in cooking.
Spinach-there was enough to cook-yum!
We also had quite a bit of red leaf lettuce-enough for two meals.

And our irises are blooming.

I'm going to call an acupuncturist tomorrow.  The chiropractor helped immensely with the back spasms, but I think I need to deal with the sciatic nerve more aggressively.  The guy I'm going to call is highly recommended.  Maybe he can work on my allergies, too.

Gonna be 85 degrees tomorrow-c'mon summer!