23 June 2009

crazy cousins

Last Tuesday night we had the pleasure of hosting some pretty fun & awesome people...Arlan's sister Amber, cousin Kaleigh, and the one & only, second-cousin Josh. The night started out with us all going out to eat at BWW in E. Peoria and then heading back to our place to play games. Unbeknownst to the rest of us was the fact that Joshy was about to split early to go visit his new fiance'...yep, he got engaged/announced last weekend to Julie Kaeb from Tremont. Below are pictures of the night as we got to "assist" Josh in picking out his first flower for his bride-to-be! It was great fun & thanks for the memories!

Kaleigh, Amber, Josh & I at BWW

Congratulations Josh! We are excited to meet Julie!

19 June 2009

2nd Annual Garden Party

Last night we hosted a few friends over for our formal garden party. It was great fun!
The guests were even troopers enjoying their meal outdoors despite the pretty warm temperatures & high humidity. Here are a few shots from last night...

our lovely guests

17 June 2009

Western Excusrion II

In true A & K style, we LOVE traveling but one cannot travel without having a title to their adventure! Thus was launched Western Excursion II (W.E. I being 2 years ago to Rocky Mountain National Park, the Badlands, and Mt. Rushmore).

My husband has taught me a lot since marriage, but one thing I never really experienced was the great outdoors. Growing up, my family didn't take all that many vacations, and if we did it was more than likely inside. Visiting National Parks has/have been great! It really does give you a sense of appreciation of our country, Mr. Teddy Roosevelt (one of my favorite presidents & founder of many of our great parks...there is your history lesson for today), and last, but not least, God's beautiful creation.

We took off the Monday after Betsy's wedding & our itinerary included: Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, visiting the Battle of Little Bighorn site (better known as Custer's Last Stand), entering Yellowstone National Park via Beartooth Pass (I felt like I was going to meet Father Christmas from Narnia), Grand Teton National Park, hiking, living off of PB & J for a week, and then visiting Devil's Tower in Wyoming.

Here are some photos including maybe the highlight of our trip...we videotaped a grizzly bear chasing a herd of elk! It was pretty incredible! Scroll through our pictures...it's at the end.

Teddy Roosevelt National Park

the Battle of Little Bighorn site

Beartooth Pass...it had just snowed the night before & made the pictures beautiful!

One of our first sightings, but certainly not last, of a bison & her calf in Yellowstone.
We also saw elk, bison, prong-horn deer, yellow-bellied marmots, bison, moose, big-horned sheep, and oh, did I mention bison?!

My Meriwether Lewis...doesn't he look like a good explorer?!

At the top of our first hike in Yellowstone, Bunson Pass.

Old Faithful is still "faithful"....exploding every 92 minutes on average.

One of my husband's favorite things to do on vacation is wake up REALLY early to see the sunrise. I usually go kicking & screaming and then after seeing some pretty amazing colors, regret all my reluctance (shh-don't tell him though). This was sunrise at the Grand Tetons. Our heading picture was also taken that morning.

Devil's Tower in Wyoming

And last but not least, our amazing bear chase..."Bear" with us as we had just purchased a new camera, and in the midst of the excitement, had to figure out how to run the "record" feature. (I simply couldn't resist the pun!)
He/she wasn't successful & went away one mad grizzly!

Betsy is married

June 7th saw us whisked off to Iowa to attend my cousin Betsy's wedding in Lester.
Let me tell you a bit about my special cousin...

Betsy was born 6 months before me putting us in the same class & pretty much sealing our life-long friendship. Her Dad is my Mom's twin brother & our families have always been pretty close. She is more like a sister than a cousin. We are opposite in so many ways...not only is our physical characteristics of height, eye/skin/hair drastically different, butwe are different in the way we process & analyze life. Yet our differences aren't as strong as our similarities...being cousins has/have brought us many ups & downs, tears & joys in life, but it has made our relationship stronger. We have so many memories: dressing alike from little until teenagers, playing barbies & beauty pageant, rollerskating competitions, volleyball, color guard co-captains (she would make friends with the girls, while Katie yelled and made the girls work), cheerleading (same situation as color guard), prom, and college years. We both repented within a year of each other & have since grown even closer as Christians. Betsy really is my AnnE and I, her Diana from Anne of Green Gables.

Betsy married a nice guy from Kansas and we/I wish her the best in the wonderful world called marriage! John, you are one lucky man...love you Bets!

Betsy & her man

the bridesmaids

my handsome photographer


Life has been crazy busy the last several weeks...you are probably thinking at this point, "wait, they are both school teachers, how could the last several weeks be busy?"

Well, that's because summer is FINALLY here and that means we speed up! Yep, as of June 3rd, the Mr. & Mrs. are FREE!

Here's a quick update...

May 8-9: We flew back to Iowa to see family, attend my cousins' (one Doorneweerd & one Kellenberger) high school graduation from good ole' West Lyon, meet my cousin Betsy's finance', and celebrate Mother's Day. It was a quick weekend but good!

Memorial Day weekend: saw us bidding farewell to another graduating class at PCHS. For some reason this class was pretty special, and not seeing many of their faces in the hallways next year at Pekin will be difficult. A myriad of graduation parties kept us hopping most of the weekend.