Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Bachelor Pad

Finally - a post all about Daniel E. Stone III!!
Dan in front of his new Phoenix, AZ condo.
After finishing medical school, graduating in Milwaukee last month, and a fascinating trip to Peru and Machu Picchu, our son Dan (aka Danny, Daniel, Dan the Man, etc.) moved to Phoenix, AZ, where he will be doing his residency at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital in OB/Gyn.

He packed up his car and sold what wouldn't fit,
which meant that he brought almost zero home furnishings with him.

That's where I come in!

He invited me (and I happily accepted) to come down to Phoenix and help him choose furnishings and decorate his condo/apartment.
So, last Wednesday, Jessica and I loaded up our van and made the relatively short drive (less than 7 hours in comparison to 26 hrs. to Milwaukee) to Phoenix.
We arrived in the evening and set up camp in his very empty apartment.
We had a little travel food, some paper plates and plastic utensils, 1 air mattress and 2 sleeping pads, 2 camping chairs, and 3 laptops between us.
Sadly, we didn't have internet yet. The adventure was well under way!

Thursday we started with Costco, Target, Ross and TJ Max for some
of the smaller stuff and some food.
Kitchen is shaping up!
We had to stop at a Starbucks for lunch and internet.
We checked out Craig's List (something we'd do a lot of in the next few days) and got some addresses and made some phone calls.
After unloading the loot at his apartment, we headed over to a furniture liquidators to look at some bedroom sets.
We got one!
Making those final adjustments.
We were pooped and hot, so we headed back to Danny's place again to take a nap and wait for the internet stuff to be delivered.
Internet still wasn't working so we made our first visit ever to IKEA.
Love that store!
We did lots of walking and looking and wishing there.
Back home, dinner and the purchase of a pretty sweet queen mattress that Dan let me sleep on instead of the floor mat.
Isn't he the nicest?
Oh, so comfy BED!
Next day - Friday was more of the same - with a little less frustration (we had internet finally) and more spending.
We went back to IKEA and bought plants, pillows, and tables.
We drove out to Mesa and Gilbert to look at other Craig's list posting -
bought a nice table and chairs,
then went to Target again for pots, pans and small appliances.
We moved things into the apartment and began some decorating.
If all bathrooms were this clean!!
By now, the bathroom and kitchen were looking pretty dang good.
We had a unexpected visit from Greg and Misty & their cute family!!
SO glad they stopped by!!

Saturday - the big moving day!!
We hired my cousin's son, Tyler, and his truck to help Dan go get all the furniture that he had purchased - the sofa set and bedroom set.
Jess and I went to Wal-mart and to IKEA again.
We got back to Dan's pad and began to madly clean up and get ready for the sofa set, as the bedroom set had already arrived while we were gone.
After putting the bedroom together, Dan and Tyler arrived with the sofas.
Okay, things were really starting to look sweet by then!
Dan went and got a killer deal on a used flat screen, hi-def TV and
we were really looking good!

We chilled on Sunday, hanging out with cousins and
having some yummy food with them.
Thank you!
Fun day, just visiting and laughing and eating!

Monday morning we took a tour of my cousin sisters photography studio and interior design firm. Beautiful work places! I just love these girls - they inspire me!
Then, can you believe it, we made a 5th trip to IKEA!
We got what we needed and hauled it back to Danny's place where we assembled and did our final arranging.
We had so much fun and worked so hard. A very satisfying weekend!!
Jess and I were on the road by 4pm and made it home before midnight!
Thanks Danny for an unforgettable weekend.
Anytime you need me to come spend your $$ again - just let me know!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Graduation Pictures are here!

Thank goodness for daughters with cameras!!
Yep, even though we lost all those pictures when our camera was stolen,
Amelia had her trusty camera going too, so all was not lost.
Here are some of the graduation pictures of Daniel's big day.

In front of the Medical College where he spent most of the last 4 years!
Siblings!! (minus Loren the missionary)
Daniel & Hippocrates. He took an oath....
It's REAL!! He's a Doctor now!!
After Graduation, we all went to a traditional Wisconsin Fish Fry. They had this fun arcade upstairs, where we played while waiting for a table.
Danny and Emily - and I think Emily's winning!!
Breakfast in Emily's backyard. It was delicious!
Touring Sprecher's microbrewery.
We got to sample all the soda we wanted!!

A BIG thank you to Meli for taking some pictures of that weekend. We are all really pleased at Daniel's accomplishment and wish him the VERY BEST as he goes to Phoenix for his residency.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

To There and Back - Part 4 Colorado

Beautiful Colorado!!

(Warning: This post has tons of pictures!)
Well, after another full day of driving, we arrived Saturday evening in Brighton, CO where my oldest sister lives. We were so glad to be there.

My sister Karen, and her husband, Jerry.
it's like a home away from home with familiar and friendly faces
and good home cooked meals.
(Thanks again!!)
I don't get to spend much time with my sister or her family, so this was a real treat!

This is my very smart and beautiful niece, Julie. I hope she likes this picture!!
instead of staying just one day, we decided to stay 2 whole days and 3 nights.
I was so excited!
I'm really starting to like Colorado!

So, after a good night's sleep, we all went to church on Sunday.
Then we took it kinda easy during the day;
watching Mary Poppins with my niece Julie, visiting with family,
and getting a nap or two.

The next day was Memorial Day.
We made a picnic lunch and headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park.
This is seriously one of the most beautiful NP's in the country.

Every turn of the road or path was breathtaking!

3 girls on a log!
The second lake we went to was still FROZEN!!!

We finished off the day with a traditional Memorial Day BBQ
at my nephew's home with his cute family.

Plus, Julie and her kids, plus Jen's kids were able to join in the family fun!
My girls had a good time with everyone -
even the ones that were hanging on their legs!
My sister really has a great family.
I've always looked up to her and have admired the person she is.
Their home has a great spirit in it of love and warmth.
It was so very good to be with them.
I'm glad they were willing to put up with us!

Last day of our trip was Tuesday.
We stopped in Idaho Springs on our way through the Rockies so that
Dan and Rachel and Jess could do a gold mine tour and pan for gold.

A lifelong wish of Dan's has been to pan for gold and find a real gold nugget!
Well, he got to pan to his heart's content (almost) but...
there were no nuggets to be found.
This was our guide! Isn't he so cute??
Finally, we hit the road again and made it home 9 hours later.

I love how Mary is so happy here!

Even though we had an awesome trip, there's no place like home.
I wouldn't mind, however, if Colorado became "home".

Saturday, June 5, 2010

To There and Back - Part 3 Missouri

I thought I'd never be saying this, but,
Missouri is really one of the prettiest states I've ever seen.

Green, green, green!
Rolling hills and large forests.
Rivers everywhere.

You get the idea!
But, first things first.

Wednesday, after leaving Nauvoo we stopped in Hannibal, MO, famous for the setting of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Also famous for the author, Samuel Clements, aka Mark Twain, who lived there.
We didn't have alot of time, but thought it would be fun to stop and visit the Mark Twain Cave, where Tom and Becky Thatcher got lost and were chased by Injun Joe.

After this little stop, we continued on to Trenton, MO where we were staying in some more cute cabins - right in the woods! They were very peaceful and comfy.
The Fam - at our "Cabin in the Woods"

Next day, we were in for some more driving - but not too much.
We headed south to Haun's Mill - or the approximate site of it. Not much was left there, except this stone marker. We're still not even sure this was the real site.
Site of the town of Haun's Mill. (The girls are looking for tadpoles and frogs.)

A little detour led us to this cool old iron and wood bridge spanning Shoal Creek.
Even cooler, we came across a great big snake shedding it's skin!
Yeah! Awesome, huh?

Back to the trip.
Next stop was Far West. This is where the Saints came after being driven out of Kirtland, OH. They thought this would be the place they could live and worship in peace. Sadly, it was less than a year and they were being driven out again. We could feel the sacredness of the temple lot there - hard to describe - but almost tangible.

A side note: the world is a very small place. I met some distant cousins here at Far West. We discovered through casual conversation that we were all related through the Eagar line. Crazy!

After some pizza in Gallatin, MO, we drove on up to Adam-ondi-Ahman.
I'm glad we saved this for last on this day. Words can't describe the special-ness of this spot. We walked around a little, read from the scriptures and wrote in our journals. So incredibly beautiful there!

Next day.
We got up early, packed the car, said goodbye to our cute cabins and hit the road again.
First stop was Jamesport - a darling Amish town. We stopped at a bakery for some of the most delicious cinnamon rolls EVER! Then we spent some time at a country store. I wish I'd taken pictures, but the Amish don't like their pictures taken.

Heading south, we visited Liberty Jail. Another sacred spot.

Finally, we went to the Independence Visitors Center. It was fun to chat with the Sister missionaries and see their presentation.

That's all for Missouri.
Stayed the night in Kansas City and heading to Colorado next!