Monday, August 31, 2015

Hooray For Ouray

Granny was in town. We were WAY overdue for a small getaway - and everybody we know says "Ouray is BEAUTIFUL!"

So we packed up the van and pointed it that direction Friday morning.

We didn't know that even just the drive there would be filled with so much of His awesome and beautiful handi-work!

But it was... we passed all kinds of gorgeous bodies of water (that the picture above does no justice...)...

Multiple times we had to stop and take pictures.

And selfies.

Finally - around 5:30 we rolled into our cozy little lodge in what can only be described as a quintessential mountain town.

Ouray sits on some natural hot springs - and our lodge just happened to have 3 pools fed by them.

Laura had read about this and at the last second packed the swimsuits without anybody knowing...

The goofball gang was pumped to get some soaking and swimming on the schedule in the natural, mineral filled 90+ degree water!

Mountain towns apparently close down all kinds of early - so we had to hustle to the awesome little downtown area to grab some dinner... before heading back to the lodge to grab some zzzz's for the big day tomorrow.

We were up early, dressed, had breakfast and at our Jeep Tour spot by 8:15...

After hearing some pretty tall stories from our fun tour guide and driver, Greg - including some crazy history in this saloon right here...

It was time to load up and head out for some Jeep fun.

And we were ready!

The sun was crazy warm - until ya hit the shady parts of the road.

At that altitude - no sun in the shade equals COLD!

At one point - the driver pulled over and asked all of us for our cameras.

He ran back a bit and took this picture...

To show us how precariously close to the edge we were!

No matter how close we were to the edge - this crew was loving it!

And even though she wouldn't look towards that edge very much - Laura was absolutely loving it too!

We eventually rolled up on some remnants of a "Ghost Town" where they used to mine in the late 1800's!

We even got to jump out and do a little hunting for gold ourselves...

Meron insists this one has gold in it and we need to get it inspected!

We quickly got back on the road and kept on climbing...

to views like this...

and this!

And saw more run down mills and mines destroyed by time and avalanches!

Until finally we saw these twin waterfalls on the Sneffles Creek...

as we rolled in to the Yankee Boy Basin!

Here we were given an hour to get out and explore - and explore we did!

Granny had NEVER EVER seen a waterfall in her entire life - so the goal was to get her down to the water!

And she had plenty of guides ready to get her there!

We had a pretty good buddy system going as we made our way down the sometimes hard to see trail...

Until finally - the twin falls popped out at us!

I love this next picture.

Granny was overcome by the falls, by God's majesty and the beauty of His work and just had to sit down and have a good cry.

Laura and granny prayed some prayers of thanksgiving - and this picture just captures everything I love about the mother of my kids... we're blessed to have been witnesses to this and thankful for my zoom lens!

The girls couldn't get close enough to the water - they were wanting to feel just how cold it was!

While Z-Dogg and I had our own adventures a little further downstream...

That may or may not have involved the throwing of rocks!

Seeing these two together - out enjoying His creations - was truly one of the best sights of the day!

And knowing they were under the watchful eye of Meron made us all feel a little safer!

Too quickly - it was time to hit the road again and head back down to town...

We stopped to pose with the only mountain lion we saw (WHEW!)

And then found a restaurant that allowed for both writing on the walls AND goofballs!

So we were set!

After lunch it was time to wave goodbye to our new favorite little mountain town as we headed back towards home...

Tired, sore... but determined to come back and spend more time here.

Laura summed up how I think the whole crew felt about the day...


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Ethiopian Queens

My three Ethiopian Queens - two by birthright, one honorary!

Looking GREAT ladies!

Saturday, August 29, 2015


I absolutely LOVE going on adventures with this crew.

The last 35 hours or so have been jam-packed with some fun times!

Pictures and story coming soon. But first...


Friday, August 28, 2015


Meron claims that Cider is her "Twinsie" all the time.

Crazy, hairy and fun to love on?

Yep - they just might be!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Taste The Rainbow

I ain't talking about Skittles or any other variety of rainbows this crazy world keeps talking about...

I'm talking about the ones God makes up in His sky.

They are nutty to look at and almost always leave me spellbound!

Today we saw around 6 of them and it was always a mad dash to get outside and stare at them!

We can't get enough...

God... thank you for these un-copyable works of art - and this rainbow-loving family that I get to gawk at them with!

You keep making 'em - we'll keep watching 'em!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Ya ever hear of Guillain–Barré syndrome?

Yeah... me either. Until about 2 months ago when my friend and teammate, Craig, came to me at work and said:

"This is so weird - my feet and legs are going numb and feel tingly and my hands kinda do too..."
I urged him to get a doc appointment - which he did.

By the weekend he was hospitalized - paralyzed from the waist down and experiencing excruciating pain.

Diagnosis? Guillain–Barré syndrome.

37 days later - after some pretty intense pain and treatments and therapy - Craig walked out of the hospital on his own.

After what he'd been through - this was a pretty big deal!

A few days later though - he relapsed and he is currently back in the hospital.

They have put a permanent port in his chest for ongoing plasmapheresis and IVIG.

Unfortunately - he has not responded as well this time around.

But if you've been around these parts much - you KNOW we believe in miracles. And that's exactly what we're petitioning God for.

Would you be willing to pray for Craig with us? He was in the same hospital Laura was for our little scare and he prayed his head off for her. I know we can all do the same for him

Some of the things we're praying for around here every night are:
  • Hope
  • Relief and comfort from pain
  • Total healing
  • Peace
  • Joy
  • Craig's family to be strengthened during this
  • God to be glorified in this chapter of Craig's story in ways we never could have imagined!
Another thing that is happening - is insurance is running out.

Insurance seems to be a great thing here in America until ya need to use it longer term.

As things progress and Craig is out of work and insurance adds stress and worry to his and his family's life - we wanna help him out.

A good friend of his started a GoFundMe campaign to raise some money to help cover some of his medical needs.

If you feel led to give to that - I know it would be a massive blessing to him and his family. We're over half-way to the goal and I KNOW we can hit it.

Craig - every single night we are lifting your name to Him - praying for HOPE, for COMFORT and for an amazing miracle.

You are an amazing creation of God - loved immensely by Him and your family and friends - and we are here to walk this thing out with you.

Here's to a game of kickball or a hike up the Incline - sooner rather than later!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Teeny Tiny Futbol Shirt

Granny came bearing gifts for the goofballs like Grannies do...

And she gave Z-Dogg this EXTRA DOPE Ethiopian Futbol Jersey that she actually got when she was in Ethiopia!

It had him feeling EXTRA TOUGH when he rocked it today...

And it had me feeling extra jealous.

I have been searching and searching for a quality jersey like that for me - but Ethiopians are small and I am pretty sure that one is an adult XL! :)

So - the search continues...

But you? You keep rocking it and looking extra swass Zechie!