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.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Potato Harvest!!!

Last year due to timing issues, we left town before the potatoes came out and when we got back the potatoes that were left in the ground had frozen.  I was quite disappointed that we missed potato harvest our first year here.  But, seasons come and go and we are here again!

This year is an odd year though, according to most people around here.  We had a double harvest going on across the road--wheat to the west and potatoes to the east.  Check it out, potato truck coming out of the field, combine just over the hill on the right.

Now, as I'm thinking I'm a total dork taking pictures of the harvest because I'm so fascinated with it, these people pull into our driveway.

I went out and visited with them.  They're driving through from Texas.  Really nice folks.  And I'm out there with three kids--the two-year-old only wearing a diaper. 

After daddy got home and we had dinner, we headed over for a little harvest of our own.  The kids got a ride over because daddy's a softy.

This contraption digs a few rows of potatoes and dumps them out into the middle of some more rows.  Makes things a lot faster.  (And I wish I knew the names of all these machines, but I don't. Sorry.)

We took advantage of the above machine and picked our potatoes from that freshly dug row.

Calla stuck them in her shirt.  We filled our wheel barrel full in no time.

Later I called our neighbor.  Her daughter is driving truck for Mr. Potato Farmer.  I asked if it might be possible for my kiddos to catch a ride the next day.

And sure enough!  Look at these two excited kids!  She pulled in and gave a little honk--though it's an air horn and there really isn't anything "little" about that honk.  Those two bolted for the door faster than I've seen them move in a long time.  I think they may have even gotten up with their shoes on today.

Grace and Calla went with her out in the field, got a load of potatoes and headed for the cellar.  That's where I met them.

The cellar is HUGE.  They don't look that big from the outside.  Yes, they look big, but not HUGE.  I'd say that's 2 stories of potatoes back there. 

The trucks take anywhere from 7-14 minutes to unload depending on the capacity.  And there are 8 people standing on the contraption the potatoes go through to the cellar picking out vines and dirt chunks and such. 

Of the eight people standing there, three of them are kids.  Not little kids, middle school and high school kids.  I think that's awesome.  Especially since our district gets two weeks off for the harvest.  Lots of teachers get in on the action, too. 

My kids are excited about potatoes.  And they just soaked it all in like a couple of little sponges.  Later, we got a handful of heads of wheat from across the road and I showed them the wheat kernels and we ate them.  

Grace told me that harvest if fun.  I totally agree!

And for anyone wondering, the potatoes are Russets destined to be seed potatoes. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Oh this horse . . .

He's so great.  And the husband is great, too.  So great that he's building a round pen.  I've wanted one (very quietly) for YEARS.  And now we're getting one!

For around $200. 

The husband is learning to be super thrifty!  And while he's calling it "rustic," it totally fits this place.

And the horse is excited.  So excited that he's getting all chummy with Brent.

Brent thinks it's pretty funny.

The horse is also getting to know the newest member of the family, too.  Another future riding student.  

I have a feeling that as these kids get older, the round pen will be getting quite a lot of use.  And the horse will be getting quite a lot of lovin'.  (Not that he doesn't already . . . )

I love living in the country.  For SO many reasons!

Hey! Your baby is a month old! It's time for FORMULA!!

Yes, apparently it is time to feed my baby formula, especially now that he's a whole FOUR WEEKS OLD.  At least according to Enfamil.  I got this in the mail last week:

Open it up and I can read about prebiotics and how they are in breast milk to support my baby's immune system.  But, now I can get them in Enfamil PREMIUM. 

"So, when you give your baby Enfamil PREMIUM, you're giving him a formula designed to support his natural defenses, which is one of the best things a mom can do."

And there are attached checks for my "next" purchase. 

Really?  Because being the crazy lady I am, I thought the BEST thing I could do was nurse my baby????  And what do you mean my "next" purchase?  I haven't purchased formula in the whole 7+ years since I birthed my first baby . . .

Maybe I'm doing something wrong . . .

Oh wait.  That's what they wanted me to think!!

Then this week I got this one . . .

Now of course if I had been feeling inadequate about my ability to breastfeed my little man, I may have gone out last week and tried the promising new formula and now my baby boy would probably have all kinds of tummy troubles.  So the timing of this one is very interesting. 

"Is  your baby crying, cranky or fussy?"

"Put your mind--and your baby--at ease with clinically proven, problem-solving formulas from Enfamil."

"And you'll have a happier baby (and a happier you)."

Uhhhh . . . my baby is the happiest baby around.  And, at four weeks, he's chunking up nicely and is approaching TWELVE pounds!!

These ads make me cranky, and I don't think there is any formula that is going to fix my cranky.  First, they are telling me that I'm a smart mom who knows what's best for my baby.  BUT, did I know that I could be doing better??


They go on, insisting that not only will my baby be happier, I will be happier, too!  All I have to do is feed my baby one of these three formulas.

Yes, I'm still cranky.  And I'm still not going to buy their formula.

But their marketing strategy works for a reason.  And that is even a bigger battle that mommies who know what's best for their babies fight.  No, I'm not anti-formula.  I'm anti-marketing to vulnerable and/or naive folks to make them feel inadequate so they buy crap they don't need, whether they are moms or not.  (I hate that if my kids do watch television, they think they need crap cereal and crap toys and other crap.  It's why we don't pay for cable.)

Dear Enfamil, your strategy to make me feel inadequate only made me mad.  Bad move.  News flash, I'm going to continue to nurse the kid, just like I have the previous THREE babies.  And, anyone I meet who seems to be falling for your horrible marketing (that should be illegal) will not be encouraged by me to use formula, whether it's yours or not.  They will be gently encouraged to continue nursing their baby and they will be pointed towards resources that will also gently encourage them to continue nursing.  It's how it should be because breast milk is infinitely superior to the stuff you are selling.  My mom always told me that people try to make themselves feel better by making others feel inadequate.  And based on your strategy, I think you know your canned powder is inadequate and you certainly are trying to make yourself feel superior.    Maybe you should consider some counseling to get that fixed. 

Friday, September 10, 2010


I don't like to get up in the morning.  At all.  But if Grace is going to not miss her bus every day, I have to get up and get her breakfast and make her a lunch.

Ironically, she's my little alarm clock, which is much nicer than one of those darn mechanical buzzer stupid things that I loath.  Who wouldn't prefer a little person coming in and snuggling rather than a stupid beeping noise? 

Another benefit to me actually getting up in the morning is this:

This last week the sunrises have been gorgeous. We've lived here over a year now and I still look outside at least once a day and marvel at how gorgeous it is here.  Idaho is so beautiful.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A beautiful thing

Grace keeps asking to have her brother wrapped on her.  And of course if he's happy and fed and changed, I am happy to do it for her.  So last night when we were working on dinner, she had him all wrapped up in her wrap.  And this time I actually got a good wrap job on her so he was nice and high and snug.  They looked great.  And now this is officially my favorite picture of the two of them.

A while ago I blogged here that in our culture we aren't raising our kids to know about babies and raising kids.  I'm trying to fix that, at least in my family.  This little girl gets it.  You should have seen her walking around, holding his little head, swaying and talking to him.  And he was just eating her up.  Both of them were thrilled to be where they were doing what they were doing.

It's a beautiful thing these babies and siblings.  A beautiful thing.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I'm hoarding Oreo pie

I love Idaho.  Around here when someone has a baby people bring a meal.  It's awesome.  Between my mom here the week before the baby was born, the week after the baby was born, and friends bringing dinner, I haven't cooked dinner in three weeks!  (Actually, one night we did cook dinner and after lots of chaos and some yelling, we sat down to a cold dinner.  It was very sad, actually.  I think we're getting it together now, so there is hope!)

We've had super yummy food.  Including an Oreo pie the kids don't even know is here.  No, I'm not planning to eat the whole thing in one sitting.  It's been going a piece at a time.  But it's one of those things Brent doesn't want to eat and I don't want my kids to have.  I do try to limit the amount of sugar the kids get, especially before bed.  If they have something like a piece of Oreo pie or even ice cream before bed, they don't sleep until some ungodly hour.  So, I just don't keep stuff like that around and it saves a lot of whining and sleeplessness. 

So, what's a mom to do?? I certainly don't want it to go to waste. The things we are forced to do as parents. 

Speaking of ice cream, I had another million dollar idea the other day.  I was wishing for ice cream and at the same time pouting that I didn't like having it in the house for the kids to devour and it hit me.  What if ice cream came in a bag like frozen vegetables do, only they were individually frozen scoops and the bag said something like, "Liver and Onions."  I would invest in stock for something like that.  Ice cream disguised as something kids don't like. 

And frankly, I don't like liver and onions either, so if they asked what that was, I'd have to tell them that they wouldn't like it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Preschool for Calla!

Today was the first day of preschool.  Or rather "Pre-K" since that's what she is in now.

She met a new friend. And he's a boy. (Don't tell her daddy.)

And a "tiny girl named Daisy." But she was shy to Daisy. I told her to tell Daisy that Calla was a flower name, too.

My beautiful Calla! (About that outfit--she picked it out, as she does all her outfits.  And that hat came to us yesterday in a bag of hand-me-downs.  She hasn't taken it off since she set eyes on it.  Yes, I tie-dyed that dress.  Typical Calla outfit, red shoes and all!)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Seven years ago . . .

She's the one that started it all.  And she must be a good one because now we have four kiddos. 

Such a kind, loving little soul.  She loves on her mom and dad, her sisters, her brother, grandparents and her friends.

Happy Birthday to our beautiful little girl who turns SEVEN today!