Celebrating Sixteen With Balloons

On September 5th, Kenny and I celebrated our sixteenth wedding anniversary with hot air balloons!  We have some friends who own a balloon and participate in the local balloon festival every year.  This year, they needed some extra hands and asked us to help crew for the day!  Typically, all of the balloons launch from the same location.  Because of COVID this year, the balloons launched from many different sites around town.  We really enjoyed interacting with maybe 50 people versus the thousands that usually attend this event.  

We’ve been attending the balloon festival for many, many years and have some wonderful memories.  See previous posts here:  2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. Working up close with the balloon was so much fun and we thoroughly enjoyed it!

Setting up before sunrise…

Checking winds


Drake, in the cowboy hat, has been a classmate of Anna’s since Kindergarten. His family owns the balloon.


Burning off some steam

Chasing the balloon around town…

Landing and packing up…Landing involved quickly pulling over to the side of the road and racing through the field to help hold the balloon down as it landed.  

Tailgating afterwards…We all met at a park afterwards for some yummy food and a balloon ceremony.

All of the kids chasing geese.

Drake & Anna

The balloon glow that evening…Due to wind we couldn’t inflate the balloons but we still enjoyed the beautiful sunset and time with friends.

Way to go James!


Our weather changed drastically this week – Swinter has arrived!  Summer and Winter have collided and I’m not sure who will win.  We’d been having very warm weather – in the 90’s – then the temperature dropped significantly and along with it came snow!  Autumn is supposed to arrive in less than two weeks so hopefully we’ll still have a fall this year and get to enjoy some moderate weather for a change. 

While the snow was a complete shock, hopefully the moisture and cooler temps will help the fires in our state.  The smoke and air quality have been so poor lately. 

Our mountains have been hidden many days recently from smoke.

Monday night we were celebrating Labor Day with our small group at an outside BBQ wearing shorts, tank tops, and flip flops.  The next day we had to dig out winter coats, hats, and gloves.  I still can’t quite believe it!  On the plus side, the weather change inspired me to get cozy.  I spent most of Tuesday baking and cooking and we turned on the fireplace that evening.  We moved our thermostat from A/C directly to Heat – not sure we’ve ever done that without some days in between needing neither.  

We’ve been in school two weeks now and so far so good!  We continue to pray for health for our school community so we can remain open.  We’re slowly getting used to our new school routine – getting up early, homework, packing lunches, and fitting in drums and ballet.  We’ve all been tired but we’ll be in our rhythm soon.  With Kenny still working from home, we can now have day-time dates!  We had lunch out together last week and enjoy lunch together at home most days.  So fun.  We continue to split the carpool duties – Kenny drives in the morning and I pick up in the afternoon.  It works very well – we both enjoy the time in the car with the kids and listening to them talk about their day.

Goodbye, flowers!

As the snow begins outside, Anna is trying to get used to the new temps while doing homework.

2020 continues to keep us on our toes – and knees – trusting our Heavenly Father who knows and plans all.  

Cave of the Winds

The day before school started Kenny took the morning off so we could do something fun with the kids.  We visited Cave of the Winds; a local attraction that the kids and myself had never been to.  It was amazing and we so enjoyed the tour.  The cave opened in 1881 and the tour at that time cost $1, was 6-8 hours long, and you crawled through the tunnels mostly on your stomach.  There is one spot called Guide’s Rest, where the space was large enough for the guide and participants to sit upright.  Not big enough to stand up, but to at least sit up and rest before continuing.  We were so thankful the tour today is a walking tour!