Thursday, August 21, 2014


It seems to take us about 3 weeks to name a baby these days... but this was truly a family effort!  
At last, we settled on a name for the beautiful filly that was born in our back pasture last month!  

~Stormy Morning Star~  

Stormy ... because the morning she was born was stormy, and because her grey and white coat kind of looks like a storm when the clouds roll in ... and because when we do have a storm, she seems to delight in it, with jumps and kicks!!
Morning .... because her mom's middle name is Dawn ... because she was born in the morning (but not at dawn) ... because of the name of our street.... and because "morning star" flows better than "dawn star"

Star... because one very little, very persuasive family member wanted to name her Star... because she IS a star ... because she sports a cute little star on her face!!

Morning Star... because it honors Jesus, who is described as the bright Morning Star (Revelation 22:16)!

tiny at birth

my dog is bigger than my horse!  :)
Aspen: 85 pounds
Stormy: 26 pounds

What a joy it is to have new life on the farm ~ what a precious gift we thank God for!

EVERY good and precious gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  --James 1.17

Thursday, August 7, 2014

July in photos

July is over?  Oh dear!  My favorite month is past.  Lots of 90 degree days, and only a few days of smoke filled sky....Summer is the season that we try to fit a lot of "extras" into our already busy lives!!  It is the short season where we can enjoy swimming in lakes, fishing, and climbing to find huckleberries! 

wild Montana huckleberries!!
~with all this happy help, we picked 1 galon in 2 hours~

overlooking Flathead lake from Blacktail Mountain

Anaconda friends visited!


"Bay!  Bay!  Mo' Bay!"
(translated, "berries, more berries!")

oh, joy!

kitten caboodle!
 Tess & Jace were honored to be asked to be flower girls in our lovely neighbor Rebecca's wedding on July 19!  They got beautiful matching blue dresses and geared up for the day...
walking to the photo shoot

bride groom, flower girls and ring bearer!

our wonderful neighbors ...
....couldn't ask for better people to live next to...
...they moved 4 days after the wedding.   :(
here comes the bride!

enjoying new life on the farm

Adrian participated in a 3 on 3 basketball tournament in Polson are the hoops set up on the street...

Ella & Eden

action shot

double teamed
When you are the tallest guy on the court, the other team assumes they have to be aggressive against you.  The above photo was taken just seconds before Adrian was viciously slammed into by an opponent.  When he bent down and spit blood, I immediately flashed back to March and thought "concussion".  Flying into emergency mode, I ran to his side.  One of his front teeth was obviously out of place.  Blood everywhere, I thought for sure he would lose the tooth.  Anxious to get back to the game (and win), he jammed the tooth back into place when he bit down..  Taking a call at home, the dentist said often a blood clot will form and hold the tooth in place, and will go back to normal... Not the way we wanted to learn, but amazing nonetheless.   

lake fun!

after the bball tournament, what a treat...
invited to cool down at a property on
Flathead Lake at Polson!!

I think I've mentioned this before...
when I am overwhelmed by the mess,
it helps me to just take a photo.
I figure I will be able to laugh about it later.
This was Elmer's glue creatively spread on our leather office chair.
(I didn't get a photo of the tube of toothpaste emptied into the sink ~ Ramona style).

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

June snapshots

We spent Tessa's birthday in Ronan
and enjoyed these mountains at lunch time!

beautiful creation x 2
Tessa was very clear in the weeks leading up to her birthday that the ONLY thing she really wanted was a cat.  She drew pictures of cats, and described in great detail exactly what she wanted.  "Mom, I don't just want a cat-- I really want a kitten.  And not just a plain black kitten, a grey kitten...."  The descriptions went on.  She wrote a note that spent weeks on the refidgerator: "All I want is a cat".  

We planned to get a barn cat to be a mouser, but that would (logically) happen after we built the barn.  I kept telling her, "Sweetie, we will get a cat, after we build a barn!"  Still, she persisted.  Finally, as her birthday neared and we still hadn't built the barn, I repeated that a cat was in the plans after the barn.  She slumped her shoulders and said, "Ok mommy, I will start saving for a barn.".... heart melted...

The day after Tessa's birthday, (*thanks to my friend Heather!!) we found a litter of free kittens!

we got 1st pick from this litter of 5
...we came home with 2 kittens...
I mean, my heart was still melted at that point, 
and it didn't seem fair to take one kitty from it's mama 
and bring it home without a sibling to play with!

I must say, these kittens have been the joy and delight of our home 
for the past 2 months!  They are sooooo cute, sweet, playful, and fun!
Ella giving a presentation on Niagra Falls
at our homeschool group day.
That day, we had 14 kids in the house!
June also meant it was time to replace the carpet that had flooded in March.... while we were at it, we decided to also replace the living room carpet that no longer ever looked clean, and the kitchen tile that was only looking worse with time...

photos to remember how I will NOT miss the 3/16" to 3/4" variations in the grout 

and all the cracks and gouges..
that tile floor was off-white (showed everything)
hard to clean (everything got caught in the grout)
and broke anything that fell on it (which is a lot around here)

the night before the contractor came, the kids got to do some demolition!
then the contractor dug in with big tools!
the kitchen was in upheaval for several days... we (and the dishwasher and the carpet) camped out in the dining room

Jaci was diagnosed with cavities...
...recommended to have 8 fillings and 2 root canals....
....and we learned about oil pulling!
Where have I been?!?!?
I'd never heard of such a powerful alternative therapy!
Two nights after I took this photo,
that black speck fell out!  So far so good!

Jaci "do it yourself" Claire
wanted to help decorate her own cake!

wasn't sure how it would turn out, the way she asked for
sky and butterflies with grass and horses!
(but it was yummy anyhow!)

table all set for a birthday dinner!

I LOVE the way my kids are happy to see toys that had been "archived"
Each birthday, they shop for each other in our storage area,
and choose toys that they haven't seen in a while...

Two grammas, at a Gramma's house...
...what a way to celebrate!!!
Happy 6th Birthday, beautiful!

and another cupcake 'n' ice cream party
with our favorite Montana cousins!

when the tile was demolished, we lived with the original white vinyl floor for about 10 days until the wood could be installed.  It was in remarkable shape, considering it had been under tile for several years!


in between tile demolition and wood/carpet install,
I spent 1 late night and 1 early morning painting the baseboard trim
to give it a fresh look.

contractors installing pine + carpet

circle sawn pine is in!
we considered leaving it this beautiful natural color...

love the look and feel of wood!

Adrian & I hand stained the entire floor one evening. 
we love-love-love the way the stain brought out the circle sawn texture!

2 weeks later, the floor, column and carpet were all done!  

lovin' on Timmy!