Thursday, July 30, 2009


Today I woke the kids up earlier than usual and got them gussied up for some pictures in the wheat field. Had to do it today as they are all home and had to do it early to get the right sun. The combine drivers were kind enough to stop and help us out as well. I haven't had time to work with sepia or black and white yet, but am quite happy with the results.

Today marks the end of week 3 of harvest! We might get done next week!

We've been blessed with a safe and solid harvest so far, we pray it will continue.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lake Trip

Loving the lake!

Yeah, we made it back to the lake this year! Last year we missed it due to the anticipated arrival of our sweet boy. I've only missed the week at the lake three times in the past 38 years, two of those being due to babies being born...Ash and Gage. We all love our week at the lake each year around the 4th. What a treat!

Spent most of his time fishing
Relaxing on the water

Our boy turned one at the lake!

Catchin' some great should see their faces on zoom...priceless!

A great morning fishing with Lloyd...a 5 1/2 and 3 1/2 lb fish in the mix!

He loved the water! Gotta love the turtle toy, too.

The weather was perfect and we were joined by my entire family throughout the week. Leonard was even able to join us for a few days. We spent the week fishing, boating, tubing, laying out, roasting smores, leisurely walks, seeing old friends and having great family time. Leonard and I skiied, mostly for the kids enjoyment and amazment...or should we say amusement, but we won't be posting pictures of that. We are so blessed to have such a great family experience with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas each year.

The boys


Picking out good bait

We have no phone service at the lake, although we do get 12 channels of cable and have a latte stand a short walk away. A bear was a common visitor to the garbage cans behind our cabin each night. The kids finally got to catch a glimpse of him this year as he stayed a long time and thoroughly enjoyed his nightly finds.
Everyone gets very sad when our week is done as it flies by so quickly. We love the setting, the activities, the company and the break. We can't wait for next year!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ash is 11!

Ash and her horse

In late June we celebrated Ashtyn's 11th birthday! Where has the time gone?! We are so proud to be the parents of this sweet, caring, giving young lady! She always tries hard in the things that she does and gives it her all. She means the world to her sister and brothers. She is friends with everyone and always on the go, being involved in everything she can. She loves her horse, her siblings, her steers, sports, cousins and friends, school (except for reading!), being a farm kid, tubing, church, singing, and being a bit of a dare devil. She is always willing to do chores (that don't include cleaning her room), although she drives the lawnmower really fast. She also drives the 4-wheeler and snowmobiles quite fast as well...a little concerning. Her baby brother lights up when she comes in the room, as does she when she sees him. They have quite a bond. Her little sister can't sleep when she's not home. She is very special to so many.

A little luau to celebrate!

How she chooses to spend her free time.

We are so blessed with a darling, beautiful daughter who has a heart of gold. She makes us smile every day and brings us great joy. We love her sense of humor and silliness! We even love when she gets really tired and grumpy! She is growing up way too fast but we are thrilled with the young lady she is blossoming into. We love you, Sunshine!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

We're back!

Ok, I'm sure you thought we fell off the face of the earth! But, we're still here! The past two months have been simply crazy, but great! We've been on a dead run and our computer lost its hard drive just before our 4th of July vacation, and we're finally back in function with a new sweetheart of a computer...yeah! And, the kids are thrilled with mom's computer all refurbished and set for them to have as their own.

Our friends hosted their "Feedlot Frenzy" as we like to call it to celebrate the end of branding season and friendships. Our family looks forward to this every year. Honestly, I think my kids would give up candy just to be able to go to this party. There is branding all day long (you are invited to work or simply watch), and once that is done everyone converges on the feedlot to an authentic Mexican dinner, beverages, music, friends, bon fire, pinata, and so much more. We love this tradition! Thanks, Kim and Shane!
Abree serving Harley some lemonade from Sydney's new lemonade stand which Butch built for her!
Every little girl's dream!

This was such a hit with the kids, they played all night long.
Sadly, Sydney didn't feel well that night and missed out on some of the fun.

Some of the boys, little and big, working on their skills after a long day of branding.

Dinner time!

May was crazy with so many end of the year activities. Abree finished preschool the third week of May. She loved preschool and her friends, but is so excited to start Kindergarten this fall.

Some of the preschool crew on the last day at a picnic in the park.
The weather wasn't great, but we made it fun.

Gunnar got his "man party" to celebrate his birthday by taking his friends to see the "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" on opening day. It was a hit! He got to take all the boys in his class plus another friend. Love, pop, popcorn and a movie and they are thrilled! Oh, we did add a little ice cream in there as well! I'm sure their parents were thrilled when I dropped them off.

The boys in their Darth Vader masks. Gunnar wanted his birthday theme to be Star Wars this year,
thus the masks. The boys had a great time!

The morning after the party, we loaded up the camper and headed out for Memorial Day Weekend. We spent the weekend at Shoshone along the river with Leonard's sister's family. The weather was amazing! We truly enjoy our time camping and are so happy with the purchase of our camper a few years ago. We are amazed at the space we have inside with a family our size. Gage even slept well this trip...yeah! Everyone had a wonderful time!! We were all sad to have to leave on Monday, but that is how it goes.

"Are we there yet?!" and "How much longer?!" was heard every mile by these two patiently waiting in the back seat. As you can see one was a little more chipper than the other!

Daddy's driving pulling the camper scared us!
Just joking, we were fooling around trying to make the trip go by a little faster.

One of the many activities the kids strummed cousin time!


Poor, G! He got a nasty bug on day two. Once we could get his fever broke, he'd be off and running for a bit then he'd crash again. Thank goodness we packed Motrin and Tylenol, we had to use them both.

Little man with Auntie in his favorite location...the back pack!

Ashtyn's class ended the school year by performing a musical entitled, "King of the High C's," only the King's role was given to Ash so they changed the title to "Queen of the High C's." It was one of the best elementary school musical they've performed. The younger kids really got into it dressing in Pirate attire and the 5th grade class did a great job singing, dancing and acting out their lines.

Queen of the High C's

G is on white t-shirt, red scarf and eye patch, on end. He is still singing the songs.

Looking for mom in the audience! hahaha

Gunnar's class hosted a Dinosaur Extravaganza to show case their theme of the year. Each 1st or 2nd grader created and presented a power point demonstration, along with a drawing, of a specific dinosaur. Then the class performed a Dinosaur skit that was precious. Then the families were treated to a dessert social. They all did a fantastic job.

He asked his little sister to dance at Dinorella's ball!

May and June also kept us busy with baseball season. Abree's t-ball game schedule lasted 4 weeks while Gunnar's lasted 6 weeks. Their games were on the same night, but always different towns so that made things very hectic for awhile. A few times Leonard was in the field so I was shuffling kids with my friends and missing a game while attending the other. It just broke my heart to not have someone there cheering for them, but know that my friends did a fine job in my place. Sadly we were relieved when Abree's season came to an end because then we didn't have to shuffle kids, have two kids in different towns across the county, and miss any more games. We could just enjoy.

T-ball star! You know they won every game!? (She doesn't realize that everyone bats no matter what!)

Following her siblings, she knows all about ready position. This was her stance every second of being in the field! She'd get tired on occasion and fall over.

Playing 2nd

G's group had so many kids they were split into two teams. G's team won every game except the game they had to play against his friends, the other local team. It was a great season. He learned so much defensively. And, his hitting really came around.

The last day of school Gunnar had two friends out to play! I looked outside and the water balloon fight had turned into a mud bath. They were completely covered and having a blast! I frantically attempted to get their clothes clean before their parents picked them up. What a day they'll always remember!

Check out those muscles!

In mid-June our local 4-H extension office hosted "Fishing for Kids." I signed Gunnar and Abree up and we went a fishing. For $5, each child received a t-shirt, a lure, hooks, and a pole! Plus, they got to fish on a well-fed pond for 30 minutes and limit out on 3 fish. It was great fun and a beautiful day to boot! We were in and out of there in no time. And, to mom's happiness, the sheriff's office cleaned the fish for us to bring home and eat.

Getting bait!

Fish on!

This was as close as I could get her to her fish out of water. She like to bait it, cast, reel it in, but once that baby was out of the water she ran to the fence behind us!

In late June we had a very crazy week...Ashtyn's birthday, our niece and cousin Bailey arriving for a month's stay from California, VBS (which I did the music and program for), and Ashtyn participated in the WSU Men's basketball camp. YES, men's! The WSU women haven't had a camp for the last 3 years so I called the men's dept and asked if she could join them. After some discussion, they warmly welcomed her...and what a fantastic experience it was. She went with her friend Caleb who is 9. It was open to boys ages 8-14. When she arrived she was pleased to discover that two other girls her age had also signed up, one of them being the new WSU head coach's daughter. The two of them hit it off...she gave Ash her dad's cell phone to call her but we've requested Ash not use that too often!

Last weekend we found ourselves at Relay for Life. This year I was joined by Ashtyn, Gunnar, Abree and my niece Bailey. We stayed until 6 am when Gunnar got a nasty stomach ache. It was a beautiful evening and we simply camped out on the ground. It was wonderful! We walked a lot, talked a lot and felt good about helping other out. My dear friend Laurie who is fighting like crazy against the big C was not able to join us. She just wasn't feeling well enough. We put her name on a chair in our camp to remind everyone that her name was with us in spirit. I just know she will be with us next year!!!!

Bay and Ash waking at 4:30 am!

Our summer has been filled with camps, swim lessons, working on 4-H projects, friends, sleep overs, cousins, chores, and now harvest...yes, we started harvest last week! (more to come on that!) Abree will FINALLY show her first animal at the fair this year. Once again, she has been waiting ever so patiently for her turn. Kim brought her a bottle calf for the fair last week. For two days she couldn't talk about anything else. Abree is in love with peanut, and can you blame her?! Peanut weighs about 50 lbs and is just precious. Peanut got a little sick over the weekend due to weather change and her lack of body heat. Shane came over and dr'ed her, we're giving her electrolytes as she'll take them and she is on the mend, we hope! Ash's big 1200 lb steer Bubba sits right next to his gate so he can be near Peanut in the pen next to him. I think bubba thought he was a horse since all he has to look at is Ash's horse every day. Now that he's seen peanut, I think he's realized he's a cow.

Peanut's first halter experience.

Abree and Peanut

And through this all, we've bittersweetly watched our sweet baby boy turn into a toddler. Not sure where the time has gone. He was such a trooper through his siblings' games and events, traveled well to everything we did. He eats anything and everything, although some times if it is a weird texture he tries it, takes it out and looks at it and then tries it again. He drinks from a sippee cup all day long. Has 8 teeth. He love to smile, giggle and make silly noises. He adores his big sisters and brother and just lights up when he sees them. Toys don't interest him much, but everything he shouldn't be into does. He loudly voices his opinion and thoughts if it isn't going as he wishes. My parents have proudly given all our children nicknames, and after keeping him alone for a recent weekend, he came home with his own name from them...Dennis, yes as in Dennis the Menace! He truly can destroy anything and loves to be curious. And he is loud beyond compare to all of their other 6 grandchildren. He can slide into the slightest hole and get stuck, can find things you didn't know existed. He truly keeps us on our toes. Thank goodness I have older children to help keep track of him and allow me to get a few things done here and there. At the end of each day when we are both exhasuted, I relish in cuddling with our sweetie as he snuggles and falls fast asleep in my arms...there is nothing better! He is such a blessing in our lives and would have him no other way.

Always smiling!


The big kids play on the computer, why can't I?!