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.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy Birthday to the BOY!

Fastest year of my life. And the little bugger turns one today.

He's such a sweet boy.  Always good for a giggle.  And a snuggle.

He doesn't toddle.  He careens around the house. 

And as my friend Melissa says, he's so pleased with himself. 

So fun to have a boy.  After a year, I think we're going to figure it out.

Monday, August 15, 2011

And she's off!

This spring I told Calla that one of the things we should do this summer was take the training wheels off her bike. 

And then we moved and she didn't do a lot of bike riding and we kind of forgot.

Until yesterday.  We were camping in Yellowstone and she was riding all over having a grand time at the camp ground while we were all packing up to leave.  I mentioned that we should take her training wheels off pretty soon.

Apparently she heard "now" and went to tell her daddy that they needed to come off.  Now.

After a brief discussion about how once they came off they weren't going back on and she needed to try them first NOT on the pavement, daddy got to work.

Calla got on.  Daddy gave her a little push . . .

And . . . .

. . . Calla was off . . . 

. . . through a campsite . . .

. . . onto the pavement . . .

. . . around the bathrooms . . .

. . . back off the pavement . . .

. . . through another campsite . . .

. . . and . . .

 . . .back onto the pavement and stopped without even so much as a wobble.

I was laughing so hard I was crying.  But honestly, I had an inkling that might happen. 

She's thrilled and now there is one less thing stopping her. 

Two years ago we threw that bike in the back of the truck and her first attempt at riding it was at Yellowstone.  And this week she got to take her training wheels off at Yellowstone.  Yellowstone is good for this kid. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

My hippie tie dye kids

Last week we got to tie dye.  The results are all washed and ready to go. This morning I woke up to Calla sporting hers.  I'm thrilled.  And so are they.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lone Star Geyser--worth a day of my life

A couple weeks ago we decided to head north to Yellowstone.  There has been a hike on my list for a while and we decided to make a day of it.  So after breakfast we packed up and headed out to see if we could see Lone Star Geyser.

We were about 45 minutes into the drive and Calla was suddenly starving.

Good thing we had packed lunch.  But she was going to have to wait.  So she did.  Kind of.

Nothing like a lunch before a hike.

Even for daddy.

Now this particular hike is a couple miles in, but the trail is mostly paved and bikes are allowed on the trail.  We came prepared.

Carsten didn't get wheels to start, but he was plenty happy.

The scenery was beautiful.  The trail went right along the Firehole river for quite a ways.

Looking for fish . . .

It was such a glorious day that Calla had to get out of the stroller and skip along for a while.

We finally arrived, but had missed the eruption by FIVE MINUTES.

With a three hour cycle, we had some time to kill.  I certainly wasn't going to miss it since it had been on my list and we had come specifically to see it erupt.  And this is likely our last summer in Yellowstone since we are moving by the end of the year.

So we played in some water for a bit.

Jumped over it to the little island.

Headed down the trail further and found some wild flowers.

Came across a back country camp spot.

Wandered around there balancing on beams and such.

Perched on the seats around the fire pit.

Discovered an interesting sign and followed it.

Yes, this resembles a toilet.  With a little stick for TP and everything.

Bison obviously are not toilet trained.  Even if it is available to them.

Then we found the river and by the river there were a couple hot pools.  It was pretty fun to poke around there.

There were hot spots in this little pool by the river, too.

Carsten just sat and watched.  He's pretty good at that.

And then we headed back.  When we got back to Lone Star, it was starting to gurgle and spurt.  And then it went for a little pre-eruption eruption.

Carsten thought that was pretty neat.

The water rolled down the hill and the girls went to check it out with daddy.  Carsten was intrigued.

He just had to join the fun.

We continued to wait and the girls pulled out their Junior Ranger stuff.  I had come prepared to wait for three hours.  I was not going to miss this. 

I had even brought snacks.  Carsten was intrigued.

And then Lone Star started in earnest.

Water is so appealing to children.

Obviously it's appealing to children of all ages.

The eruption built and built and is really quite impressive.

It ends with a steam phase where it just blows steam for a while.  It's pretty powerful.

Carsten ended up just sitting in the water.  I'm sure geyser water has some sort of amazing properties that are beneficial to babies.  He was certainly happy about it.

The eruption got his attention for a few moments here and there.

But mostly he liked the water and the rocks.

He's such a ham.

The major eruption lasted twenty five minutes.  And it was worth waiting for.  The one we missed lasted seventeen according to the log.  And we'll be going back in a couple weeks with my family.  They want to check it out, too.

Grace needed to see the mud pots on the way back.  So we stopped.  I asked if she wanted her picture by them.  She said yes, but couldn't handle the sun in her face.

While it was funny, I did get her a better one.

It was a great day trip.  I am going to miss having Yellowstone Park in my back yard.  But I also fully intend to take advantage of it while we're still here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Yesterday was a rough day.  I was trying to get something specific done and get my kids and myself extracted from my parents' house after staying there for a week.  Not an easy task.  Especially with tired, crabby, uncooperative, feverish kids.

I was very frustrated

And then I strapped them in the car, finally, some five hours after my goal time, and drove in the rain for four hours. 

Yes, I was frustrated and tired.

Then we got home--to what we are currently calling home.  Our 28' 1986 travel trailer.

And daddy was here. 

I began to unwind.  It felt nice.

And then . . .

Rainbows continue to pop up when we are in the middle of some sort of a chaotic decision  or life change and I feel my life beginning to lose the ground I once had.

A visual reminder for me over and over that it's going to be okay.

A sign of promise.  A sign of hope. 

A reminder of the stability we find in our God and the faith he gives us.

Needless to say, today is much better.