Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rachel's Last Day at Starbucks!

This being Rachel's last day at Starbucks, we decided to stop by this afternoon and be paying customers.  I haven't been to Starbucks since we were in China during Joshua's adoption back in 2011.  Not a big fan of coffee here at all..............., but Rachel told me I would LOVE this drink that she recommended - and she was right!  It was a Cookie Crumble Something and was most delicious.  As expensive as they are, I can't imagine stopping by there several times a week like some people do.  Give me a Diet Mountain Dew any day.

And since there was more than would fit in the cup, the boys got to sample the extra.

We sat there for awhile and admired Rachel as she dealt with customers.  She came by with a few samples that, of course, we had to try.  Dinner at Starbucks for me!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Wild and Crazy Monsoon Weather!

Arizona's weather is fairly constant for most of the year.  You can usually predict beautiful blue skies and abundant sunshine most days, with the occasional rainstorm that moves through. 

However, and that's a BIG HOWEVER, all of that changes during monsoon season, which begins every year around July 4th.  This year was no exception - we watched our town's spectacular fireworks
 display  sitting in the rain.  Isaac and Joshua thought it was great fun!

We get to enjoy beautiful puffy clouds against the deep blue sky! 

This wall of dust is called a "haboob" and many times precedes the rain.  When you see this coming
 you make sure your windows are all shut very tightly!!

With the heat and humidity (ugh) of the day, the storm clouds build.  The interesting thing about monsoons is that they are so localized.  There can be a downpour a mile away, and we stay completely dry.

If we still lived in Nebraska, and I saw these particular clouds, I would be in the basement cowering for shelter.  I truly suffer from tornado-phobia from all my years of dealing with tornado warnings.  Living in Arizona has been very freeing for me!  I can enjoy these spectacular thunderstorms as they move through, sit out on our covered porch, and have NO FEAR THAT MY HOME WILL BE BLOWN TO BITS!!

Of course getting all of this rain in a short period of time means that the water has no place to go.  So yes,
we get standing water all over until it eventually soaks in.  Which results in a muddy driveway........and then the question "Can I get out?"  Sometimes yes........and many times no.

And we have heard that this was supposed to be a drier monsoon year..........not so far!

All of this rain does great things for our valley.  It replenishes the underground water supply, gives all of our plants and trees a jump start, and then turns everything GREEN!  In another couple of weeks the mountains and fields will turn a beautiful green and we all get to enjoy it while the rain lasts........usually until September.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Jonathan's European Adventure!

You may remember that Joe went to Ft. Rucker, Alabama, last February to see Jonathan graduate from 
Air Traffic Control School.  On the last day of their visit, Joe took Jonathan and his buddy to the airport 
as they headed for their assignment in Germany.

Jonathan is at the US Army base in Ansbach, Germany.  He has posted quite a few pictures on
 Facebook, which is where I am getting these from.  Hopefully, I am accurate in what I explain!!

Here are some pictures of downtown Ansbach from a few weeks ago.

Other pictures of Germany - 

Now I do need to add a comment to the picture below.  Ever since Jonathan was a little boy, he
has suffered from what I call "cold head and ears syndrome".  It could be 62* outside, and he
would put a hat on because his head was cold...............looks like nothing has changed!

Being stationed in Germany, Jonathan is getting to visit places the rest of us can only dream of.  Several weeks ago he spent some time in the Czech Republic.  I think most of these are in Prague.

Last weekend, he got a four day pass to Berlin.  How fortunate he is to see all these
 great historical places!  And yes, that is the Berlin Wall!

This is Jonathan and his good buddy, Jordan, who is from Oklahoma.

Words fail me on this one - how can he do this?

Jonathan says that one of the problems he has, is that with the last name KRAUSE, many assume he
is German, or at least speaks German!  The Krause family village is not too far from Ansbach, so
we are hoping that Jonathan will go visit there while he has the opportunity.

Next stop for him?  He leaves for a five month stay in Poland in late August.

He is truly on an adventure!!