Sunday, December 31, 2017

Courtney Comes Home!

It's always a special treat when Courtney makes a trip from Huntsville!
Anticipation is high.......and the trip always goes too quickly.

Target practice - in a dress!

Beautiful daughters!

Making a batch of Christmas cookies!

Spending time with siblings!

It was a great visit!  Thank you for making the trip out here!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas 2017 - Family Photos!

A big thank you to Courtney, who rounded everyone up when the lighting was just perfect,
 got us all outside (no easy task), got out her tripod that she had brought from Alabama, and proceeded to get absolutely wonderful pictures of everyone!!!

Even Willie the dog  is in the picture!

Now for the men of the house.....

Now for the ladies.....

Hope all of you had a very blessed Christmas and are looking
expectantly to 2018!!

Monday, December 4, 2017

David - A Dream Come True

David has lived and breathed the military since he was a young boy.
He has always loved history, and I can't tell you how many documentaries
he/we have watched about the Army, Special Forces, Army Rangers, etc.

So, he left in late October for Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
I check out the Facebook and Instagram pages fairly regularly, so I was
overjoyed when I ran across this photo......

Yes, I think he's having the time of his life!

Celebrating Jonathan - 23 Years Old!

This is the first time we have been able to actually celebrate Jonathan's birthday, in person, in a number of years!  Being in the Army prevented that from happening!

But this year worked out great.  He didn't have classes on this day, and
Joe was able to rearrange his work-week to be here.  
Rachel wasn't working at the hospital, so we were all here -  celebrating in style!

Joshua was so excited for Jonathan to open his gift!

What we didn't get a picture of, is that after both boys gave Jonathan candy, they
also presented him with some new toothbrushes!

It's not everyone that gets a gift in a laundry basket!

Every young man's dream - TOOLS!

Elenna continues to think it's her birthday, and nothing will convince her otherwise!

Love this young man beyond measure.......

We had a fabulous meal, and sent him home with plenty of leftovers!


You are much loved!

Wrapping Up our Trip!

With the temperatures getting colder and colder, we wrapped up 
our Nebraska trip rather quickly.

We spent a day with our good friends, the Jamesons.  Joe and Dan were in
engineering college together, and we all ended up at the same church while we were
having babies and raising them!

It was great to catch up on everyone and enjoy Runzas!
I have made a recipe similar to these, but there's nothing like the real thing.

It's so hard to believe that we have all the big kids who are living adult lives!
Time has certainly gone by quickly.

Christopher, Evan, and Thomas.
Michaela  is a nurse in London, and Andrea got married this past summer.


On our way SOUTH, thank goodness, we stopped in the small town of Wymore, Nebraska,
where Joe's mom grew up.
Joe and I, and our young children spent many a weekend at the farm of his grandparents.

And yes, we went to the local cemetery, which is just about a mile up the road.
There was many a Thanksgiving where a number of family members would all walk up the road
to the cemetery to settle their stomachs after a big meal.

We certainly did visit quite a few cemeteries on this trip!

Joe's Grandma and Grandpa Boettcher.


So we high-tailed it home and were so glad to see the blue skies of Arizona once again!

Thank you, Lord, for such a great trip!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska

Joe's dad grew up in Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska.
After the deaths of both his mother, and then later, his father, the five children
were divided up among relatives.  Joe Sr. stayed with his step-mother, an English
teacher, from the age of five until adulthood.

She raised him in a tiny second floor apartment in one of these buildings.

Joe always likes to stop at the football field at the local high school where his dad attended.
The boys loved climbing all over the tank that is on display there to honor veterans.

Joe's dad is buried in this small country cemetery.
St. Mary's Cemetery is full of many generations of Krauses.

This is the original Christian Krause, who immigrated from Germany.
He died in 1898.

Here are a Joseph and Anna from days gone by.
The original spelling was KRAUS.

It was so cold and windy that day!  
Oh my, we were FROZEN!!!!

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Omaha Zoo !!

We always knew that the Omaha Zoo was fabulous, but the last several
years it has been  #1 or #2 in the United States, and also in the world!

One of the first stops was the Tropical Rain Forest area.
The standard joke in our family .......for years......that Isaac and Joshua have heard about
is how Joe will need to rescue them from the monkeys that will attempt
to carry them off. Ha Ha!

Monkey Rescue #1 !  Whew!  Joshua is saved!

Another monkey rescue!

Thank goodness both boys are safe and sound!

Now that that craziness is over, we can move on to other parts of the zoo!

Joshua, our future marine biologist, has such a fascination with sharks and
other creatures in the sea.  He was so excited!

Look at that smile!

We went to the IMAX showing of "The Great White Shark".

We saw gorillas.......


We whizzed through the Desert Dome because we were running out of time,
and besides, we didn't need to spend any time looking at the javelinas......
all we have to do is look out the back windows at home to see them!

We ran out of time because of the shortened winter hours, but
we will be back - hopefully in warmer weather!

We ended the day with a fabulous steak meal at Gorat's Famous Steakhouse.
This is one of Warren Buffet's favorite places to eat in Omaha - they
even have a life-sized cutout that you can have your picture taken with!
So much fun!