Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Colorado Visit

After the rodeo, we stopped at Elry & Carol's for supper.
Sarah just had surgery on her foot, so she was teaching Anna how to be an invalid! ;)

I packed a little backpack for Isaac on this trip and he thinks it's the coolest thing ever! He kept it on during church and looked so cute sitting there, I couldn't resist taking a picture. 

One afternoon we went up to the Baldpate Inn for pie. It's an old, historic (is that redundant?) inn on the top of a cliff. Their pie is delicious. President Roosevelt stayed there once, as well as other famous people. The kids enjoyed watching the humming birds and chipmunks. 

It's a gorgeous setting!

Monday we took the kids to the miniature golf course. They had so much fun!

This kid...he would hit it once from the start and then he would pick up his ball and put it inches from the hole. He had such a wonderful time!

Mr. Len & Miss Kathy gave Anna some lessons. 

She caught on pretty quickly to the whole concept. 

They're convinced she'll be on the LPGA before long. ;)

On the way back from golfing, we saw a herd of elk just grazing and lounging next to the road. 

We had to make a special detour and stop at the Anders Farm we discovered last year! Such delicious produce!! We loaded up today with corn, potatoes, onions, green beans, peppers, honey, salsa, pickles......mmmmmmm!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cheyenne Frontier Days

We got to go to the rodeo at Cheyenne Frontier Days again this year. This time grandpa & grandma and Mr. Len & Miss Kathy (longtime family friends) came with us! Saturday morning, as we got ready to load up, Aaron couldn't find the van keys. We looked everywhere we could think of to no avail. Luckily the van wasn't locked and we had just enough seats in Grandpa and Grandma's vehicles to fit everyone. The boys rode with Aaron and I in grandpa's little pickup. Isaac car seat barely fit in the "jump seat" and I had to have my seat so far forward that my knees hit the dash. His seat wasn't reclined back as much as usual so when he fell asleep, his head would flop forward and he'd wake up crying. So I sat sideways the whole way to Cheyenne to hold his head back! Hey...whatever it takes to keep him from screaming! We're just thankful everyone could fit in their vehicles so we could all go!!

Mr. Len gave Jacob a piggyback ride into the stadium.

Of course Anna sat in rapt attention the whole 4 hours. She even asked Mr. Len for his program so she could follow along (even though it was all up on the big screen). 

The most surprising (not to me) was that Isaac sat the entire 4 hours and watched. He was enthralled with it all. His favorite part was the calf roping and steer wrestling! 

The cowgirls ;)

One tired cowgirl after a long day at the rodeo!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Clean Rooms...It's a Win for Everyone!

The massive toy clean out was a huge success! Anna is so happy-it's much easier to clean up her room when she doesn't have so many toys to put away!

And every morning this week, the boys have gone back into their room after breakfast and played with each other! On their own! Without Anna telling them what to play or how to play! It's a miracle!! Less truly is more...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Too Much STUFF!

I have been so frustrated with the kids not keeping their rooms clean. It doesn't seem to matter what I try, none of it works for very long. Today I decided they just have too much stuff. So I went to the store and got a couple of storage containers for each of them. Then I made them take everything but books out of their rooms and pile it all up in the living rooms. Yes-I believe this proves they have WAY too many toys!!!!!

This is Anna's pile. ONLY from her room!! Good grief!

This is from the boys' room. Oh my stars. And they still have their train table and workbench in their room! Ugh. 

Now-off to make them sort out their toys! I'm only letting them keep a very small amount of toys in their rooms. The rest is either going in the shed to rotate in, or we're getting rid of it! They only have one tote to fill for the shed, too. Wish me little hoarder isn't going to like getting rid of some of her toys! She had a pile of paper scraps that I had to convince her she didn't need to keep!!! She might wind up on TV.....!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Middle of Nowhere

I wish I had taken my phone with me this evening (or had a good camera!). The views were stunning, the beauty of God's creation surrounding us. The sounds were peaceful and brought back childhood memories of evenings at Grandpa & Grandma's farm.
We're spending the weekend with our friends who live in the middle of nowhere. The kids love it out here. Aaron and I love it out here. We spent a couple hours in a remote pasture digging snakeroot (don't ask...Aaron is crazy). Once the kids changed their attitudes, they had a blast exploring and just playing. I took them over to a ridge and we watched the sun set. When we got back to where the others were, Anna ran up to Aaron and said, "Daddy! Daddy!! We watched the sun set up close!!!" 
Tomorrow, even though I have no cell service out here, I will take my phone along and try to capture the beauty God has created up here (though a cell phone will hardly do it justice!).

Monday, July 8, 2013

65 Years

Last month, Grandpa & Grandma had their 65th anniversary. We had a celebration last weekend for family with about 40 people. They have 17 grandchildren and over 20 great-grandchildren, so only about half of the family was there! Grandpa & Grandma wanted it to be low-key (as low-key as it gets with my family! ha). It was a wonderful time, sitting around visiting, laughing, and spending time together. As Uncle Alan shared, he remembered as a kid looking forward to the times they would go to spend with cousins and all they did was sit around and visit. It's so much fun to walk down memory lane and hear the stories from 3 generations (well, I guess only 2 generations really shared stories). Even after 32 years, there are still stories I've never heard before!

Mom and Dad brought down BBQ brisket and rolls and everyone else brought sides, so it was a plethora of delicious food, as always.

Lovely cake and beautiful flowers.

The boys with their parents. Carolyn wasn't able to come-they live near some of the fires in Colorado so they had to stay home and keep an eye on their home. They have also been helping take care of the firefighters.

 6 of the 17 grandchildren. So many fun memories with these guys!! (Teresa, Susan, me, Scott, Jeremy, & Megan)

 15 of the 21 (I think?) great-granchilren! Back: Hunter, Kaedyn, Anna, Parker, Rhys, Mia Middle: Daniel, Jacob, Addison Front: Isaac, Grandpa and Anika, Grandma and Ella, Asher, Leah, Bryce

 Anna and her "new" cousin Audrey. Fellow horse-lovers are best buddies now :)

 Grandpa's nieces, sisters Vicki and Cherie, came down from Iowa.

 Another of Grandpa's nieces, Shirley and husband Bruce, came as well to celebrate! I love this picture :)

 Cousins with Uncle Elmer and Aunt Mary. Oh the stories they told! So much laughter.

 The "outlaws" haha! Alisha, Dusty, Warene, Nona, Dona, Aaron, and Amy

 Dusty and Anika (who looks exactly like her Mama!!).

 Rhys and Papa (Anna took some of these pictures)

 Audrey loved holding baby Ella!

 Silly Bryce!

 Is he on a roller coaster??

 Siblings Asher and Addison

 So Dad asked Uncle Randall and Grandpa to re-enact a story from Randall's childhood. The story is that Grandpa and Randall had a race from the house to the mailbox. The first race, Grandpa won because Randall got to laughing at something and couldn't run. So Randall wanted a rematch. This time, Grandpa was losing! So he tried to grab Randall's shirt...only he missed the shirt and wound up on the ground with a tear in his suit pants! 

 We sat around for quite a while taking turns sharing memories.

 There was a lot of laughter as the children and nieces told stories about growing up!

 What a legacy these two precious people have! A legacy of love and faith, in the midst of happy times and times of sorrow. I can only pray that one day we have the same legacy to hand down to the next 3 generations!

Summer Thus Far

We always seem to have a busy summer. Little trips here and there to see family and friends. Harvest, family celebrations, short weekends away. And of course, the gardening!

 We got a tropical pack last time in our Bountiful Baskets. We all tried coconut water for the first time. Anna loved it, Isaac thought it was okay, Jacob gave it 2 thumbs down!

 This year we planted only tomatoes in the garden at home because we got a plot at the community garden. I put 12 of them in, all but 2 that Stacy & I started from seed! Most of them are doing pretty good. One of them died and I replaced it, but all the others are looking good. My cherry tomato plant looks like it's going to give me a hefty yield! 

 The first tomatoes of the year! Only one of them lasted til morning. :)

 We've had a busy few weeks with lots of late bedtimes. Which means Isaac has been falling asleep at the pool! Works out okay-he doesn't fall asleep after we get home at 4 or 5 and then is up til midnight, and he only gets a short nap in. He does miss out on all the fun of the pool and I don't get to do anything but sit beside him, but that's okay. Anna and Jacob have a great time. We love the pool!

 The other day I found Anna teaching Isaac about his letters. He was content to sit there and let her do her thing and would throw out guesses here and there. Jacob joined the mini school time, too.

 The most exciting thing for me this summer is that we got our Bountiful Baskets site opened here in town!! It's been a long time coming and we're all so happy not to have a 4 hr. trip anymore! It's not exactly fun to get up before 5am for the drop, but it's well worth it for what we get right here in town!! Mmmmmm!

 Some family came down and Anna got to meet a "new" cousin. They had a lot of fun riding horses at Scott's and playing at the Wetlands! I told you we would be going back again!!

 After the water park, we went to a playground while we waited and Isaac took a tumble. He fell flat on his back off the equipment and hit his head pretty hard on the gravel in the play area. He cried for quiet a while but it didn't bleed too much so I knew he didn't need stitches. It's in a terrible spot for car rides though! Poor kid. 

 Anna was a bit tired! A long day of horse riding, water park, and playing with Audrey (all with an early start to the day). After the water park, we headed out to the farm for a weekend of fun with extended family as we celebrated Grandpa and Grandma's 65th anniversary...those pictures up next :)