After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"It's pretty now"

This was going to be a post about yo-yos. Yesterday I told you about Grace's yo-yos. Today I was going to tell you about Calla's yo-yos. The ones she found in the cook book when we were looking for cookies to make. The ones that were actually made out of peanut butter cookies that we couldn't make because grandpa can't have peanut butter and I don't want to kill him on accident (or on purpose for that matter). And I was going to tell you about how we substituted ginger snaps and white chocolate and made these great yo-yo cookies and she didn't even know the difference because she can't read and how fun it was and how it took all day, but that was okay because it was fun and they are good. And I was going to show you these pictures of the girls helping.

But, then as we were getting ready for bed Calla came into the living room and announced:

"My hair was bothering me, so I cut it."

"Where did you cut it?"

"Here and here and here and here and here."

Says the little girl with fine frizzy crazy hair that was just getting long enough and even enough to do ANYTHING with.

And did I mention she has a HUGE cowlick in front????

And that I've been NOT cutting her hair in the front on purpose so that the cowlick doesn't stand up? And that I endured about 2 months of daddy asking when I was going to cut her hair before he understood that I wasn't going to for that reason?

I think I'm going to throw up.

I told her later that I think if her hair bothers her she should come tell me and I will cut it.

"But I did a better job. It's pretty now."

Did I mention that Easter is coming? Did I mention that we are MOVING to a new community and I now have a three-year-old with a bad 70s hairdo?

Everyone keeps saying, "At least it's just hair. It'll grow back." But if she was a BOY I could just shave it all off and pretend nothing happened! But no. Now I just have a little GIRL with a terrible hair cut.

Crap. Somehow a bad haircut trumps a batch of good cookies.

Proof that sleep deprivation accelerates the aging process

Grace has had a long last few weeks. Moving is tough on kids who aren't real good sleepers to begin with. It's safe to say that she is very tired. VERY tired.

There are all kinds of fun things at grandma's house. And this time grandma got little gadgets that make it easy to make these little yo-yos:

Grace made all those--with a little help from mom and grandma. She also decided she needed to see what she was doing.

We'll have to come up with something to do with the yo-yos. She's getting to be quite the seamstress.

I love this kid. She makes me smile.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I love this picture

We arrived at my mom and dad's house on Saturday. Mom always has new fun things to show us. Last time it was her new window treatments. This time it was her new Ipod. Yes, my mother has an Ipod. I don't, but I'm pretty proud of her.

So she was showing me her little gadget and how she put pictures of all her grandkids on it, and this is the one she has of Grace:

I hadn't seen it before. Mostly because it was taken when I was in labor with Violet. But, I love it.

I love it for lots of reasons. Obviously it's my little girl who's getting big. You should see her ride that horse. She is really getting it. She makes him go where she wants him to go. With purpose. She looks so grown up sitting there. And she looks like she belongs there on top of that horse.

That saddle, even though it's still big for her, was mine when I was that age. And it was my mom's when she was that age. Runs in the family I guess.

And that horse. My dad traded two bull calves for him when I was about 12 years old. My dad helped me break him to ride and that horse and I spent countless hours together. We rode the hills. We chased cattle. Once we got hit by an angry bull and even though we ended up on different ends of the field, neither one of us was hurt and we left the bull to his maddness and went home. Sometimes I think he loved trying to see how many times I would fall off in a day (neither of us liked the saddle much, so sliding off was rather easy.) He may be the reason I'm even on talking terms with my mother. I was a hormonal mess in my teens. But what girl isn't?

Shamere is his name. He's 25 or something around that now. (Shoot, I don't even know how old I am.) Mom and dad brought him over to us when they sold the farm. That was three years ago. Recently, with the move looming, we didn't know what to do with this horse. We threw several ideas around, listed him on Craigslist, talked about donating him to a local organization that works with at-risk youth. He'd be great at one of those places.

Then, I watched Grace on him in the back field. She had that look. That look like she was really getting it. Like she was really enjoying riding him and she was falling in love with him. I know that look. So I called my dad. He has a soft spot for this horse, and his granddaughter. And his daughter for that matter.

"Dad, we need to keep this horse."

"Let me make a few calls," he says.

And he did. And a couple weeks ago when I was watching Grace in the field with Shamere, brushing him because she decided he needed it (she was right) and watching Shamere watch her and enjoy every moment of his brushing, I called my dad. He wasn't home, so I left a message.

"Dad, I just wanted to say thanks. I'm standing here watching Grace and Shamere and I think they have something good starting. He's got another little girl smitten. Talk to you later."

Sometimes, life is just good.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

From crazy to just as crazy, only different.

After nearly a week of the craziness that moving to a different state creates, we made it to our first destination--grandma and grandpa's in Montana. We left the lush green hills of Southwest Washington, watched the terrain flatten out and turn brown, went over a few mountain passes and then arrived here to this:

It's March. The end of March no less. Right now there is about 8" of snow out there and it's still snowing and blowing with no sign of stopping before April.

And yes, those are little girl bare-foot prints in the snow. I packed all their winter clothes in the moving truck because I figured they didn't need them. Obviously I was wrong.

For the record, they do OWN shoes and, yes, they did wear them here. I even brought an extra pair or two just in case. They just find it more fun to run around in the snow with no shoes on. I think it's a bit of a rush, actually. Maybe I ought to try it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What did he do with her?

Last Wednesday was gorgeous around here. Sunny and 60 degrees. Perfect. On the way home from picking Grace up from preschool I was plotting how to get them outside for a long period of time so I could pack and clean and all that stuff I must do.

But my thoughts were interrupted, like they usually are. You know how it is. But this time it wasn't by a kid wanting something or two kids arguing in the back seat or whatever it is that they could possibly interrupt me with. It was a tandem bicycle. Not too uncommon, except this one only had one person on it. It was odd to see, and then I got kind of scared. What had he done with his wife?????? Was she somewhere in a ditch and he didn't know? Did he put her there with sinister intent?

Then I realized it was late afternoon and he was probably just going into town on the bike to get her from work and have a leisurely ride home. That's what I decided to believe anyway. He looked nice enough. I hope they enjoyed the sunshine and had a lovely afternoon.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Do kids really NEED this many?

What is it about stuffed animals. The dumb thing is I think we got rid of 2/3 of them before we moved in November. Geez.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fairy Friends Forever

A few weeks back when I was at the sewing expo I ran across a book that I just had to get for the girls. I don't usually do stuff like that, but I just had to get it for them. It is called "Now I am a Fairy" and it's full of all sorts of fun fairy facts and information. There's a chapter about fairies, one about fairy spells, one about making fairy crowns and wings and shoes and even fairy dust. How to make fairy food, and even fairy spells.

The fairy spells are cute. One is a spell for good luck. You need a handful of uncooked rice, ten tiny pebels, a handful of dirt, an acorn, a feather and a bright green leaf. You mix all the ingredients in a jar with a fork, dig a little hole and pour the contents into the hole while whispering:

Shooting stars and magic wands
Wishing wells and fairy dust
Fairies big and fairies small
bring me magic fairy luck!

The other spell is titled "A spell to stay best friends forever and ever." That one made me smile and it made me think. Grace is so into her friends and she's had three in particular so far for most of her life. She got excited when I asked her if she wanted to do this with her little friends. I decided I needed to make it happen.

W came over today for a while, so I figured it was a pretty good time to do it. We all piled in the car and went to get the ingredients (flowers and a magic wand). We were quite a site all four of us trapsing around the store.

The first thing they needed for a spell like this is rain water. You'd think around here that would be easy to find, but not today. Daddy had taken EVERYTHING that normally holds water, packed it in the horse trailer and taken it to Montana with the horse. So I settled for a piece of plastic I found with some puddles in it on the far end of the lawn. I tried not to get dead bugs and the worms in the jar.

Then they made a circle of green leaves outside. They ran back and forth picking leaves off the bushes and piling them up. I helped them make it into a circle.

Next they need rose petals. Technically they need four roses, two for each friend, but I only did one rose for each friend because I wanted to send the other one home with her friend. I hope that didn't ruin the spell.

They picked all the rose petals off and stuck them in the jar.

Then they cut green grass with silver colored scissors and stick it in the jar. And add a handful of daisy heads.

After all the ingredients are in the jar, they put the lid on it and took turns shaking.

I think this is an important part. They used their wand and tap the jar lid three times saying, "Fairy friends never end."

But this is the most important part, I think.

These two have been fast friends since the moment they met. I remember it clearly. My shy little girl suddenly finding her best friend. This is them almost three years ago shortly after they met that first time. (No, Grace hadn't wet her pants. She was jumping in puddles.)

They're growing into such beautiful little girls. I love this picture. We'll miss you W.

While we were at the store, E's mom called and said they were going to have to go out of town this weekend and wouldn't be back until after we were on our way to Idaho. Could they come by today and say good bye? These two have gone to preschool together and been in the same class since for three years now. They were our neighbors and we carpooled until we moved to town in November.

E was pretty excited.

Add petals.

E had a little trouble with the petals, and it was starting to rain a little.


Fairy Friends Never End.

They are such fast friends that the preschool teacher actually had their pictures taken together on picture day. Darned if I could find the thing. It's packed up somewhere. So this will have to do. They've still grown a ton. Grace is in the back in purple. E is in green on the left by the teacher.

E, we're going to miss you and your little giggly self.

Fairy Friends Never End. Fairy Friends Never End.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Here she is!

Okay. It's just Amy.

But here you have it.

In living color.

Proof that I do try to take care of the crazy little dog.

And I have to admit, she's pretty cute when she's all groomed up and has bows in her hair.

Darnit anyway. I have a foo-foo dog and kinda like it. Don't tell anyone, okay?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yogurt in the crockpot!

I'm sitting here eating frozen blueberries mixed with some plain yogurt. Yogurt I MADE in my crockpot! All you need is milk, some plain yogurt to use as starter, a crockpot, and a big towel. Super easy. It's my new favorite thing. Makes me feel healthy and thrifty and smart all at the same time.

Found it here: 365 days of crockpotting. It's totally a great site.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The insanity begins--9 days to the MOVE

My husband got a job. A real job. With a salary. It's a first for us. He's never had a real job for as long as I've known him. Now before you get all weird and wonder what I'm married to, let me tell you that he's always owned a business or worked on commission. That's what I mean by *real* job.

Two years ago we were happily bouncing through life supported by his mortgage business as we had been for the previous seven years or so.

About eighteen months ago the rug was pulled out from under us. We were essentially the first to be hit by this mess of an economy we live in currently.

Now we are moving. To Idaho of all places. For a job with the government that pays a salary. Leaving so many things we love, leaping into the unknown, praying it will result in stability for our family. We don't even know where we are going to live. We're just going. Call us crazy.

One of the many things I'm going to miss is my mom friends. They are awesome. I've never experienced a group like this. You think of a group of eleven women all in one place and all the stuff that women tend to do, and that is NOT our group.

Over the past few years we've had a tradition of tie-dye. I started tie-dying when I started to use cloth diapers with my now three-year-old. They were boring and white and I decided needed to fix that with tie-dye. So I tried it. I loved it and I decided to have a tie-dye party because I thought my friends would love it, too. It was crazy fun and we just kept having them.

Today was one last hurrah before I move. Sara's idea because she loves me, but mostly because she loves tie-dye. (Just kidding Sara) I love Sara.

Here's everyone getting here. Julie brought me coffee because she's a sweetie and she knows I'm a sucker for coffee. I love Julie.

Lisa doing her best National Geographic. I love Lisa.

Check this out. Ian is 14. And even he knows babywearing is cool. Beth is raising a pretty great boy there. I love Beth.

Diaper changing party. I love diapers.

Oh. Woops. Sorry. Got a little carried away with my lovin' there.

This is Ian again. Those are vintage Elton John. Actual perscription lenses in there. Bi-focals no less.

I think I probably would have worn those back in the day. They would have gone great with this outfit. Don't ya think?

Apparently a leg man.

While the girls are in the other room having a tea party or something, all the boys are watching Cars. (And Amy found someone to love her. Yes, she needs a haircut. It's on my list. I promise)

This is all of us, plus some kids. Isn't this a fabulous picture??

Cozi, who without her friendship and bookeeping skills Silly Goose would be nothing. Even if it was nothing, I would still love Cozi.

Kate, who interrupted her St. Patrick's Day festivities to come and get her picture taken because it was important. "Really, I'm dressed in drag," she said with a snicker. Apparently only men wear kilts but it's all a part of the Irish drummer get-up. I love Kate.

Christine, who without her this group would be nothing and she took a day off work to come be a part of it today. I love Christine.

Regina, who I met for the second time today and she has two more of the sweetest boys in the world and I'm totally sad I'm not going to be able to get to know her more. I love Regina.

Katie, who I met last year at that tie-dye party when we were both pregnant and then little A came way too early but is beautiful and happy and healthy. And Katie is addicted to tie-dye like I am. I love Katie.

Layne, who told me today she's going to come see me this summer. WOOT! I love Layne.

And not in the picture but I'm going to tell you about her anyway, Carol. She brought me tupperware as a going away present. She's brilliant. And she's lovely. I love Carol.

Do you know how much tie-dye a group of this size can do? Even when four of them don't bring anything to dye??

And that's not all of it. TWO people had already put theirs in the car. And they had A LOT! We're out of control. I'm telling you. But it's crazy fun!

And something happened today that has never happened at one of these before. Or rather something DIDN'T happen that has ALWAYS happened before: Nobody asked to borrow a Goose! Why??

Because they brought their OWN!!

Obviously the babies love them. Obviously the babies are used to them.

I love you my mom friends. You know how much I do. Even if you didn't love my crazy Geese idea, I'd love you. Because you are real. Keep it real. Keep it going. Keep on keepin' on. Finish well. Come visit me in Idaho. I'll tell you how fabulous it is when I get there.