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.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I love this girl

This morning she put her outfit (purple with hearts) on that matches her glasses (also purple with hearts) and I took a picture.  She asked to see it and when I showed it to her she said, "Mom!  I do look smarter!"

She is a pretty smart kid.  And sweet.  I love her!

(And yes.  That is a very large pile of snow out or livingroom window.) 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

And another pair of glasses

Calla wasn't the only one who turned out to need glasses.

Seems little miss Grace also has a bit of a vision issue.  And her new glasses are purple.  With hearts.

She's pretty excited.  But what seven-year-old girl wouldn't be excited about purple glasses with hearts?

She has an outfit she's been saving for these glasses.  It's purple with hearts, too.  It's been on her bed for over a week waiting for her glasses to arrive.

I love this kid. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

A little bit more snow

The last couple days we got about a foot of new snow.  And a bunch of wind to go with it. 

And the snow blower threw its chain again. 

I love this guy.

And we both appreciate the neighbor who happened by with his big snow blower and took care of us.  I hope he liked his oatmeal raisin cookies we sent him home with.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

DOG DERBY TIME! (Saturday)

We managed to get up and geared up and out the door in time to catch the majority of the dogs going by our house. 

We brought hot chocolate.  In a mason jar.  Because that just works.

Proof that I was there. And Carsten--warm and asleep in the pocket of my Amauti.  I love that thing.

The weather this weekend was actually perfect.  It wasn't too cold, but not too warm.  There wasn't any wind or driving snow.  And it was overcast so the dogs didn't overheat.  And from what I understand, the snow was fast.

I think the mushers like having spectators along the route.  The majority of them waved.  Many of them even said thanks for coming out.  Lots of little short conversations as they went by.  "Thank you Dog Sled fans!"  one of them said.  It made me happy.

This next picture makes me giggle.  There is a pass going on there in the middle.  A husband passing his wife.  Brent told her to catch him and she responded that she couldn't pass him, he's her husband and he's faster than she is. 

When the last musher headed on over the hill, we hooked up and headed back so we could get all pottied up and head to town for the rest of the fun.

My mom made us that nifty sled harness.  It's so handy.  And it'll hook to just about any sled.  A little twisted here, but just as awesome twisted.

Here's the rest of the fun.  Grace and Calla wanted to do the mutt race this year.  And they got the fun dog. 

The majority of the dogs are thrilled to be out and pulling a sled with kids on it.  But this one just seems so darn doggy happy about it.  And he goes fast, but not too fast.  All by himself.  (Some of the dogs are ones the mushers bring over from their teams.  That's pretty fun and I love that they do that.)

Now, the mutt race isn't really a race at all.  All the kids who participate get a button, but there aren't any winners or losers.  It's just a bunch of dogs and kids and sleds and fun. 

And then there is this:

I'll let you come to your own conclusions on that one.

This cracks me up.  The girls HAVE to play on this big pile of snow.  I don't really know why. 

It was one of the two major things they remembered from last year.  The big snow pile and the flags. There weren't any flags this year, but there was a big snow pile.

I don't understand the big snow pile fixation.  Frankly, we have more amazing piles of snow at our HOUSE.  Like this one that they use to climb on the shop roof.

But the dog derby is so awesome.  Great small town fun that certainly didn't happen where we moved from. 

Winter is fun.  Snow is fun.  I keep hearing talk from people looking so forward to spring already.  Well, it's only FEBRUARY and we have a few months of winter left.  And I'm gonna go out and take advantage as much as I can because it's awesome.  On Monday (President's Day) we're going to head up the road and see how far we can get snow shoeing and maybe give that big ole sledding hill a try.  It'll be great!

Friday, February 18, 2011


I caught wind of a group snow shoeing and skiing out to the course to see the dogs running.  And so I totally crashed their party today.  Took three of the four kids down the road about a quarter of a mile and totally crashed the party.  (Don't feel bad for Grace.  Her class walked down and spent the morning at the races.)

That's my little Calla out front waiting for everyone.

Miss Violet doing what she does best these days--just sliding along.  She's getting better at it--staying in the sled that is.  (My mom made us a nifty harness for the sled that just buckles around our waist.  SO handy!)

This is awesome.  Her twins will be one in a couple months and she has one twin on her back, one twin in the sled with one of her older kids and the oldest on skis.  She rocks.  (Moms do that!)

The first team by.  By the dog count, this team is probably in the 100 mile race.

This is all of us. Well, everyone except me and Carsten because someone had to take the picture and that someone was me and he was asleep on my back. 

No wonder we could see the mushers smile under all their gear as they went by!  I think by their comments they appreciated that we were supporting them.  It was a good time and if the weather cooperates like it did today, we'll all (our little family) go out tomorrow morning and see what we can see!  Then we'll head into town and see what we can see there, too.  But somehow snow shoeing out to the course is a bit more serene. 

Breakfast conversation

A breakfast conversation with Calla:

When I'm grown up will you save Carsten's clothes for when I have a boy?  Because I'm going to have a boy and then a girl.  I'm going to name her Essen.  Essen Joyann.  Is that a good name?  We can call her Elephene for short.  I'm only going to be blessed with two kids.  Two kids until the boy is grown up.  And then . . .

Sometimes I get the feeling she knows a whole lot more than she lets on. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some things just make me so happy on the inside

Grace brought this home from school today:

My Writing Journal

I believe that's a picture of a mountain on the front.  It's her journal for the whole year so far.  I read through it and every page made me smile.  So I thought I'd share a few of my favorites. 

At scool I like to lurn.

At home I like to play wiht my sisters. 
(It looks like her sisters are on their faces on the sidewalk, but they are apparently just walking.)

I can help my sistrs if thay git hrt.
You can see the tears on the sister on the right.  Apparently there was a bike wreck.

Now I can read boocks.
I love that she loves to read. 

At potato harvest I got to ride on a potato truck.

I blogged that here.  Her picture is really quite accurate!

My pet is a horse.  I like to ride my horse and I like to feed my horse.

My animal is a moose and it can loose its anlers and it can run fast.  It is brown.
Notice she said antlers, not horns.  That's a lot of Yellowstone Park right there.

In the woods I saw a fish jumping up a waterfall and we taueck pichers of the fish and to get there we walket.

This kid is a future blogger!  She's got stuff to say and she says it well!  And her fish is great!

For Thanksgiving we had a big diner with only the familey.  We had terkey and stufing and rluos and auother thanksgiving food.

Turkey, stuffing, rolls and other food.  Yup.

Last year I went to my Grandmas for thanksgiving and it was a lot of fun.  My ants and unkls came.

I love this kid.  Ants.  We have ants in our family.

I have changed.  I have grown it is fun to grow.  I am not in kindrgortin.  I am in first grad it is fun to lern in first grade.  It was not close to winter and it is now.  It was not close to my moms brithday and it is now.  I am not six cose I trod seven.  5 sentisis!!!!!!!!

A proud moment!

I can teach my sister Calla to read.  I can teach my sister Violet to ride a bike.  I can teach my brother Carsten to crol.  I can teach my sister Violet the alfobet.  I can teach my sisters Violet and Calla to be pashent.

Grace is a very patient girl.  VERY patient.  She had her birthday in September and her birthday party in January.  That's how patient she is. 

My room is peschielue becuse my room is just for me.  I love my room I think it is the best place in the hawse.

Her drawing is really very accurate.  And her room is clean and her bed is made.  Yes, her room is special.  And yes, she really likes it.

This weekend I went ice skateing with Francie.  Then I went to her howse and we played.  It was fun.  My Gradma and Gradpa came for a cuple days and we went snow shoeing.  It was a lot of fun.  We also had my sisters Birthday while they were here.

My pet is a huorse.  In the spring it is fun to ride him.  His name is Shmire.  But this year we founb someone to take caer of him.  I miss Shmire.  He likes carrits so if we had carrits we bring a carrit to him every time we go to see him.

We miss that horse.  He's spending the winter at a different place with other horses rather than snowed in our barn.  Violet has been asking about him lately. We need to go see him.

In the morning I get up.  I lik to jump rope.  My mom thinks I'm cute.  I have a nose.  I can play a tune on the Panow.  This morning my sister did a shout!

Yes, her mom thinks she's cute.  And yes, she does have a nose.  Her mom thinks her nose is cute, too.

This teacher-turned-mama is proud of her little girl.  She's such a reader and writer.  And she rocks the math thing, too!  Maybe she got the best of her mama and her daddy!  GO GRACE!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The neighbor called today

He was a few minutes East of us--coming to our house in his Snow Cat. He thought he'd stop by for a bit.  I went out and there he was.

Not everyone gets a visit from the neighbor driving across the field from his house in a vehicle with tracks on it.  The girls and their daddy also got a ride.

It wasn't a long one, but they had fun.  I heard something about screaming.

I wasn't too worried.  I don't think the Snow Cat goes that fast.  Nothing like a snow machine.

But pretty darn practical.  And a great time on a gorgeous day like today.

Our nighbor came in for a bit and visited.  It was a nice little visit.  He's a nice guy.

And then off he went. 

If my Valentines' Day cookies had been done, I would have sent him home with some.