Saturday, October 26, 2013

October snapshots, horses home!

To share our life with those away ~~  I cannot possibly catch up on summer, so will share "October" here!

Grandpa Harold visited!

Cubby calls anything remotely round "ba"
...and throws it, if I'm not looking!

another new pet: Turq

G&G visited!  LOVED having them here!!
love the emotion here!

I continue to take the challenge to photograph
the skies as God paints them for us!
We live in paradise!

field trip!
just 2 families=10 kids!
at Polson

applesauce assembly line!
our girls!

I had to take a photo of the first time
Aaron ran away from home... because I have a feeling it won't be the last.
Poor guy was so distraught!
After I shot a photo and a video, I went and picked him up
and assured him that we love him! 

cross country meet!

because we don't have Culver's...
celebrating at DQ afterwards!

first load of hay---- YAY!!

hay storage for now

Prince Charming

sniff, and goodbye to Taylor!
Her Prince Charming is whisking her off to WA,
and she will be married 1-4-14!

17 kids (+12 adults) at our house every Friday night for Bible Study!
next to Adrian, the mini looks REALLY mini!

homecoming for the horses today, 10-26-13!!

bringing our 2 new pets home was a family affair!  

meeting new friends on a homeschool hike

strange October day today ~
it was foggy like this all day long.  And cold.
I'm never ready for winter, but here it is anyway.
Thankful that God is with us in EVERY season of weather and life!
He has been showing himself SO near lately.
I'm also thankful for warm fires, cute kids and an adoring husband which make it seem warmer!

Sunday, September 8, 2013


huckleberries ~ hours of picking, gems of beauty!
mmm, huckleberry pie
So, Ella... she is a verbal communicator.  She often approaches me and begins to describe something that just happened with so much detail, I can hardly take it all in.  She chatters and chatters with such exuberance and vivid detail, and just when I think it's over (because dinner is coming out of the oven and the baby is crying and the phone is ringing), she will continue on to describing the next part in the play-by-play of this experience, which she seems to wish for me to experience with as much feeling as she did.  I have tried to get better at listening to every word.  It just dawned on me that she is reporting.  This is Ella's report.  To have her write a book report, or write a story, or handwrite a Bible verse takes pleading, nagging and sometimes some threatening.  But this oral report is her report.  And I'm ok with that.
Ella has been making Aunt Sandy's chocolate chip cookie recipe lately.
I don't mind {the sugar}, because she is practicing in the kitchen.
Daddy doesn't mind, because he enjoys a tall glass of milk with a cookie after work!
We are in full on black fly season, swatting dozens per day.  Yesterday Aaron said, "Oh mom, that's a cheese fly"  I replied, "A cheese fly?"  He said, confidently, "yeah, if cheese comes out when you kill a fly, then it is a cheese fly".  Ugh.  So there you have it; description from my 3 year old boy.
Aaron, after our jaunt at Rebecca Farm.
This was after I said, "go ahead and get your face painted, as long as its not your whole face".
(I wasn't there to supervise)
Then I decided a little boy tiger is one of the cutest scenes on earth!
I am loving this school year so far.  A few days in, and we are making great strides.  I love to spend lifetime with my children, and I love to watch them learn.  I count it a great privilege to live life alongside of them.  This week, Ella has spelling/vocab words like 'gaudy' and 'elate'.  What could be cooler than that?  The girls are hand stitching a colonial American paper flag together, because "Prudence", the pilgrim girl we are reading about, did so.  We are memorizing scripture together, so we can remind each other frequently.  We are learning American Sign Language while singing praise and worship songs.  We are learning Spanish as a family.  We are cooking in the kitchen together, and keeping this house a running with routines.  We are going to the library and art class, and planning combined lessons with our homeschool friends.  We have 3 girls who have "lifted off" with reading, and are doing some super fun preschool activities for Aaron.

Yesterday I delegated Tessa's spelling pre-test to Ella when I had to attend to something else.  Then Tessa voluntarily helped Jaci learn how to read the word "know" in the car.  (This is the Tessa who, with tears of frustration, told me she didn't need to know how to read 1 year ago!)  Ella is spending time with the puppy, training her to obedience.  Recess consists of walking with the dogs, jumping on the trampoline, or speeding around on bikes.  We are reading "Little Women" together at bedtime, which elaborate vocabulary adds to the adults' knowledge in this house!  I am so thankful to have time for all of this.  All of the above would be considered "extracurricular" if they were in public school, and I am certain we wouldn't have time for most of it.
Jaci 'n' a mud pie
Do we have a perfect schedule?  no.  Is it all peaches 'n' cream?  No.  Is it easy?  not at all.  But this year, more than ever, I am "seeking the kingdom first" and asking The Lord to fill in for my insufficiency.  I have promised to put my best foot forward, but have learned many times over this is not enough.  This week, I have very tangibly felt the ways in which HE is filling in the gaps for me.   It is AMAZING to rest in Him.  Thank you Lord for making all things possible ~ for holding up my arms when they are weak, and for being our everything.
a little boy and his little dog
That little dog has grown
20 pounds and 5 inches at the shoulder
in 2 months, by the way!
favorite find at the recent Vintage Whites Market

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


black and white:
in color, and in personality!

Monday, July 8, 2013


We brought our new puppy home last night!  She is a real sweetie.  She is a 4 month old Great Pyrenees.  
(From the Pyrenean Mountains that divide France and Spain, this is a large working dog.  Classically a sheep or goat shepherd, they will guard the whole farm, and especially children.  I was attracted to the breed because we would eventually like to have chickens, ducks and rabbits; she will protect these animals from predators.  With 2 coats of fur, she is well suited to Montana winters outdoors.  And who knows, if I get really ambitious when she is full grown, I may train her to pull a sled!)

She has a very different nature than Layla as a puppy, so the kids can handle her without any trouble.  She doesn't pull on the leash, nip, jump.  When I took her on a walk of the perimeter of our property, it was evident she just wanted to be back in the yard with the children.  We have Layla here to help the puppy's transition to a new home ~ but she is clearly more interested in us than Layla! 
She only whined a few minutes last night, and then settled into her bed to sleep.

 Adrian was immediately endeared to her because she didn't lick him!  :)  


proud boy 'n' his dog

name tba!

Thursday, June 13, 2013


We returned home yesterday from a totally amazing trip to Alaska!!  
Uncle Phil treated us to airline tickets that would have otherwise been outside of our budget. 
We managed to visit 3 cities, had beautiful weather, health, peaceful travels,
and God's grace with us the entire trip.  
It was a dream!  
We have over 600 photos of the trip, but I will just share highlights here!

First stop: Juneau
Although we never lived in Juneau, for me, it was a childhood destination to visit grandparents and attend family reunions.  While Adrian & I lived in Skagway, Juneau (100 miles to the south) was the place we often passed through (nearest airport, better shopping options, health care, etc).  Juneau is where we would ferry our car down, load it up with Costco goods, and ferry back home.  Juneau is the place Adrian had an emergency appendectomy when we had been married 6 weeks.  Juneau is where I traveled for every prenatal appointment, where I lived for 3 weeks while anticipating the arrival of our first child, and where Ella Rose was born.  It was the place Grandma Alm came to on a cruise ship so she could meet Ella Rose when she was a few months old.  

We spent time in Juneau before and after Skagway.
I was glad to see the familiar sights on Juneau, 
especially because 
we landed on the clearest, warmest day I have EVER seen in Juneau!!  
(And I knew I'd better appreciate it ~ smile!)
5 cuties at the skating cabin overlooking Mendenhall Lake

Our kids' amazing playground for a day:
Mendenhall Glacier

The view of the beach, lake and glacier ~
When I was a child, the glacier extended to the waterfall you see on the right.
It was nice to learn that while some glaciers are currently receeding, others are expanding.

My grandparents' cozy and memory-full log cabin.

Ella got to see the room she was born in!

Meeting Debbie, the awesome midwife that attended Ella's birth Feb '04
(We didn't imagine Ella would be nearly as tall as Debbie this time around!)

Luscious Wild Lupin in bloom along highways

Cubby began to take more & more steps in Juneau & Skagway.
Here he is being coaxed on by friend Howie. 

We visited Uncle Melvin's grave on rainy Wednesday.

Glacial Ice Samples!

The kids LOVED sleeping in "the little room" at G&G's!