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, September 23, 2011

Yay for play!

A few days ago the kids found a ball in the yard.  One of those $2 balls that you get at the grocery store.  And it was thrilling.  Until they realized that there were four of them and only one ball.  Then they just ran around kicking eachother and crying. 

Not so thrilling.

Yesterday was one of those days that was so beautiful that I kind of wanted to just go get all the kids out of school and go play with them.  I refrained from taking them out of school, but after school I did go play with them.  And the ball.  And there was no crying.

We divided the lawn in half, Grace and Calla on one side and Violet, Carsten and me on the other.  I kicked the ball to Calla, Calla kicked it to Violet, Violet kicked it to me, I kicked it to Grace and Grace kicked it back to our side, where Carsten would "run" and get it.  And he also got to kick it, which was mostly mom using him as a croquet mallet. 

Everyone was running around not fighting and having a great time.  Including mom.

Then they discovered the mud.

V got her game face one.

C & C were distracted beyond return.

It's amazing how fast they can go from dry and clean to wet and muddy.

Grace was still into the kicking thing.  And now she got to be on that side all by herself.

V decided she didn't want to kick any more.  She was going to throw it.  Which was okay since there really were no rules anyway.

Mr. C just got in deeper and deeper (as did Miss C).

Later when daddy came home, they all went out and showed dad the new game--minus the mud--while I got dinner finished up and on the table.

Yay for play!  And beautiful, sunny fall days!

And yay for ignoring the giant pile of clean laundry in the living room!  (That is still there!)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Shoes!

The little bugger got some new shoes thanks to his grandma (with the black fridge).

He's pretty excited about them, actually.

Yes, he's wearing them in that picture--along with a pink heart beaded necklace.  But for the record, I asked him if he liked his new shoes, and he gave me this grin.

Thank you, grandma (with the black fridge!  He is pretty pleased with them!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


It's something I've always wanted to do.  But somehow every time the huckleberries were ripe, something was going on.  Last year I was super pregnant/had a newborn and the year before we had JUST moved to town.  And before that, it would have taken an entire days drive just to get to the huckleberries.

So I pulled out all the stops this year.  I called one of my friends who grew up around here and seems the generous type (as opposed to the 'don't even mess with my huckleberry secrets' type, which I've heard is a pretty common thing since huckleberries are small, hard to find, coveted, and take forever to pick).  I think I said something like, "I have a HUGE favor to ask . . .

She was excited to take us.  And I was excited to go!  Woooo!

And yesterday we picked the kids up from school, fed them cold dinner in the car and headed out to find some of the little gems.  Really, I would have been thrilled to get enough for breakfast in the morning. 

The first patch we found was apparently an "average" patch.  But I was thrilled with the success.

Can you tell how happy I was??

I asked Grace to get the camera out of the car, and she took a few pictures.  Here's another thrilled huckleberry hunter.

She was actually the champion huckleberry picker of the whole short crew.  I think she got about a cup.

She's like that; gets in a groove and just goes and goes and goes. 

The little Mister had a good time, too.  He figured out that the little purple berries that were right there in his reach were pretty good. 

Oh, and did you know that a mom can nurse a baby while sitting in huckleberry bushes and still pick huckleberries?  And then the baby is happy and goes back to what he was doing, leaving the mom to pick more huckleberries.

He also fell down and kind of rolled down the hill a couple times.  But he was no worse for the wear and got back on the wagon again.

Here's what a huckleberry bush looks like, if you didn't know.  They really aren't tall at all. 

I get why some people just don't enjoy it.  But we had a good time.  The kids were loud so all the wildlife knew we were there.  That's good.

Shameless cute baby shot--right before we were headed down the hill and off the mountain.

A shot on the way home.

Another shot of the way home.

This is what my hands looked like--though I'm sure if we'd picked all day they would have been more purple.

I was actually hoping to get a shot of all of our huckleberry-stained hands, but when I asked to see the girls' hands, they told me they licked them clean.  It made me giggle.

The fruit of our labor.  That bag on the top is full of Calla's efforts.  She did a great job.

What fun.  I think we'll take daddy up there next week to show him the fun.  I was sorry he missed it, but sometimes that happens.  Now I know what to look for on these kinds of excursions!  A huge thank you to my friend (who I shall not out here for fear that the secret huckleberry police might come in the night and take her away) for taking us and being such fun company! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The letter B

Yesterday was Violet's second day of preschool.  She came home with this:

I asked her what it was.

"It's a B!"

I asked her what was on it.

"A bandaid and a banana and a ball and a butterfly and a bird and a bee!"

I asked her what colors she colored on it.

"Umm . . blue and brown."

And I asked her what sound a B makes.

"Ummm . . . it goes Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"

Thursday, September 8, 2011

School girls

This year we have three in school.

A second grader, who is old hat at this school thing and super excited to be a second grader. (Her teacher already has her pegged as smart, sweet and responsible.)

One started Kindergarten:

This is one excited kid.  Today she got up at 5am, got dressed and woke the second grader up.  The second grader told her it was 5am and she should go back to bed.  So the kindergartner went back to bed, kind of.

The preschooler:

After school today I asked the preschooler what her favorite part of school was.  Her answer?  Criss-cross Applesauce.

(On a side note, said preschooler and her older sisters were out examining the plums on that tree today.  They are not to play with the tree or touch the plums.  But the plums are beginning to turn purple.  The preschooler announced that they were "getting ripe on the back of their heads.")

The three school girls all ready to go this morning.  Gosh they are happy.

And after getting up around 5am and spending a day at school, getting put on the bus even though she wasn't supposed to be on the bus, having her mom come and get her off the bus after a short ride, coming home to a snack, a walk, some relaxing and some dinner, this kindergartner is plum worn out. 

And she's excited to go back tomorrow.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Some Labor Day fun

Eight years ago on Labor Day we had a baby girl.  Personally, that's probably the best Labor Day yet.  But today we had some fun, too. 

After we cleaned the house, we went to the river armed with some lunch, some fishing poles and some worms. 

It was a beautiful day at the river.  Calla got off to a good start.

As did Violet.

Look at all of them there just fishing away.

 And Grace got the first one.

Followed shortly by Calla's catch.

And then it was Violet's turn.  I did the holding, she did the reeling.  Kind of.

But no matter, she got a fish. 

And Calla got the honor of letting it go.  Because she isn't scared of slime. 

Unlike her older sister who wouldn't touch the worms. 

Violet was thrilled to have caught a fish.

And daddy even got to catch one.  Though I think it was the littlest one of the day. 

What a great day.  And the house was clean and we were home before 3 o'clock, well before anyone melted down into a pile of tired, hot and cranky. 

I'd do that again.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

She's EIGHT!

Yes, our big girl is EIGHT!

I made her a shirt that said so.  And today she had people wishing her a happy birthday all day long.  It was great! 

Happy Birthday to our favorite eight year old!!