Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Summer Trip to Iowa

Our final stop on our three state summer tour was a park in Spirit Lake, IA where we met up with a large group of Michele's relatives.

The above photo was taken after a very competitive game of bocci ball.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Summer Trip to South Dakota Part 5

These photos were taken outside of Sanaa's, which serves Mediterranean cuisine. I wasn't along for the meal, so I didn't get to taste the food firsthand, but the group had nothing but positive reviews.

Summer Trip to South Dakota Part 4

One of the things we did during our last visit to Sioux Falls was listen to a couple of bands at Rib Fest. The first band was called Cracker. These guys sounded fantastic, and they played an assortment of catchy tunes:

We also listened to a band called Big Head Todd and the Monsters. These guys were also fantastic to listen to:

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Summer Trip to South Dakota Part 3

One of our favorite things to do when we visit Sioux Falls is to patronize our favorite restaurants. A new discovery made on our last visit was Lam's Vietnamese Restaurant. Hands down the best Vietnamese food I've ever had, and that seemed to be the consensus view among our group entire group.

We'll definitely be visiting Lam's again on our next trip back to Sioux Falls.

Summer Trip to South Dakota Part 2

No trip to Sioux Falls is complete without a trip to the falls of the Big Sioux River. I swam there regularly as a teenager.

The following photos are just a small sampling of those taken at the falls:

Summer Trip to South Dakota Part 1

One of the joys of returning to South Dakota is meeting up with old friends. Pictured below with Michele is Lesley, a mutual friend of ours from our college days:

Another long time friend is one of the many Michele's that Michele has met and become good friends with over the years. Strange how these Michele's seem to find each other. Pictured below is Michele and her husband at Rib Fest, along with a photo bomber:

Also ran into our old friend Erin at Rib Fest. She was in town for a family reunion, having traveled all the way from Alaska:

Couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit our old friend Gary. This picture was taken in the bar that Gary owns:

And last but not least, Michele's best friend Lisa. These two are like two peas in a pod:

Summer Trip to Minnesota Part 3

While in Minnesota, Michele's brother Kim pointed me to a tree in their back yard that had been struck by lightning a year or so earlier. The pattern of damage created by the lightning was unlike anything I had ever seen before.

Starting on a branch at the very top of the tree, there is a distinct pattern of missing bark that zig zags down the tree and ends about eight feet off the ground. The only part of the line that looks burnt is the last foot or so. Here are a few shots of the lightning pattern:

This final shot gives a bit more perspective of the totality of the damage by showing most of the tree:

The owners of the tree believe the damage ends where it does because the lightning jumped from the tree to the shepherd's hook holding the bird house at the base of the tree. I didn't see any damage to the bird house or the shepherd's hook, but that hypothesis seems reasonable to me.

More Softball Tournament Photos

A few more photos of Jen from the softball tournament yesterday:

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Summer Trip to Minnesota Part 2

During our recent trip to Minnesota, we crossed paths with my brother Steve and his wife Cathy: 

We had lunch at a place called Urban Bistro. The service was painfully slow, but the food tasted so good, we decided that it was well worth the long wait. Would definitely patronize this place again.

Softball Tournament

Normal is hosting a softball tournament this weekend, and our good friends Mike and Cheri coach one of the participating teams. Their team is known as the Angels, and their daughter Jen both pitches and plays 3rd base.

Michele and I have been attending the Angels' games, and naturally, I've been recording the events with my digital camera:

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Trip to Minnesota Part 1

A few weeks ago, we traveled as a family to Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota, and naturally, I took many pictures:

This is just a small sampling of the photos that were taken in Minnesota. More to come soon.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bob's 80th Birthday

A few weeks ago, we drove up to Owatonna Minnesota to celebrate Michele's dad's 80th birthday:

Happy 80th Bob. I hope I look as good at 80 as you do.

Peeps at Prairieland

Local peep activity has gone up significantly since Alex and Nick returned from college for summer break. I took advantage of a large gathering at Prairieland recently by snapping lots of photos.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Pineapple Whip

When we travel to Springfield to see Alex, we always try to stop at the Pineapple Whip. Michele is a huge fan of their ice cream.

Pictured below is Alex, his future roommate Tanner, and their friends Sara and Molly:

On our last trip we actually made two stops at the Whip, which is unusual. That's Michele and Alex below getting their Whip fix:

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Alex is Going to Ireland

Alex has been accepted into the study abroad program at Missouri State, which means he will be studying in Ireland this coming fall.

Alex worked very hard to make this happen, proving that persistence and dedication can reap amazing rewards.

Congratulations Alex!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

She's Gone

But never forgotten. Rest in peace Samantha Jo! You'll always be our little princess.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

In Search of Deer

Just before dusk yesterday, Michele, Cody and I went in search of deer at our favorite walking spot:

We walked the wide groomed trails, and even ventured into the deep thicket:

All in all we spotted about a dozen or so deer. Some were startled by us, which made them difficult to photograph, but there were others, like the one below, that didn't seem to be bothered in the least by our presence: