Shabby blogs

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Writer in the House!

Last night when we got home, Elisha had some official mail. She recently sent in a poem and piece of artwork to Rural Montana Magazine (Mag. of the Flathead Electrical Co-op) for consideration. They accept drawings, photos and poetry from kids in the Flathead Valley. In the envelope last night were two copies of this month's issue containing BOTH her poem and drawing and a note saying "Elisha, Usually I pay for either the art or the poem, but yours were so terrific, I had to use both". It also contained a check for $20!! Wow. Since you won't be able to read it from the photo, I am including it here. She did it completely on her own. When she brought it to me to send, I offered a couple of suggestions but she told me that she wanted to send it just like it was. We are so proud of our little author/illustrator!!

The Barn
I like to play out in the barn,
Up in the fragrant hay.
I like to call it my special place,
And play there every day.
I like to hear the horse,
Below me in the stall.
And see the leather harnesses,
Hanging on the wall.

I like to hear the crunch,
Of the oats in the horse's mouth.
And look out my little window,
That faces to the south.

And when the day is over,
And the time to play is gone,
I look forward to tomorrow,
When I can play out in the barn.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Potato Gleaning

Yesterday the kids and I went to glean potatoes with the Rickels, Millers, and Mallerys. My friend, Tracy Rickel, asked the farmers as they were plowing, if she could glean from the field after they were finished harvesting and then she invited us along. I guess this is nothing too unusual here. It was really a fun thing. We harvested about 100 pounds of potatoes. We may go back next week when they finish the rest of the field.
And lest you think that everything we do with the Rickels involves dirt, here is a photo of them at our house for dinner tonight - no dirt involved!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

When in Rome....

You know what they say.....when in Rome, do as the Romans do. It isn't fine food, historic sites and romance for us - it's more like skeet, shotguns and ammo!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Homeschool on the Range

Remember what I said a few posts back about staying home for a long time? Well, scratch that. I THOUGHT we were staying home for a long time, but I have come to understand that I never really know what we are doing - I am just along for the ride. And ride I did - all the way out to the ranch for 3 days. The weather was icky at first - rainy (rain is not good out there - because rain on the eastern front of the Rockies means cold!), but after the first night, it was beautiful - Another couple of days in paradise. As much as I whine about my crazy, inconsistent, and all-over-the-place life and wanting to stay put for a while, I hate NOT going to the ranch - especially when the weather is perfect. But, it is hard to do laundry, unpack boxes, get organized, and HOMEschool when you aren't ever HOME. On the other hand, when it is going to be 80 degrees out there, how could I POSSIBLY stay home? See my schizophrenic dilemma?
We stayed in the Shepherder's Wagon and schooled in there. We also went on great walks and fed about a zillion grasshoppers to the rainbow trout in the ponds. The kids are impressed with my bravery and daring when I catch grass hoppers in my hand. The secret is that I can handle the squirmy things when they are completely contained, because by shaking my hand all over while holding them, I cannot feel them in there. However, when the little varmits (the grasshoppers, not my kids!) find a little opening and start worming their way out, I throw all impressions of the courageous mother to the wind and come unglued.
On Thursday, our friends, the Millers, came out for a field trip. It was such fun having friends see what we do. Generally, when you tell people that the ranch is near Browning, they get visions of "ick" running through their head. Browning is a reservation town with a bad rep.... for good reason. You have to see the ranch to get those preconceived notions out of your head. It is all WOW. We gave The Millers the tour, picknicked out at the Curry side, shot skeet, and watched the bison. No one fell in the creek or got lost......which is nice, although Titus did get wrapped up in barbed wire and the kids had to cut him out....not so nice.
So, our little trip was a great event. We were sorry to leave. But then again, I was glad to get home......and I hear that the weather next week in Browning will be perfect! Oh no! :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Three Ring Circus

Today was our first day back to school. NEED I SAY MORE? Those of you who homeschool know just what I mean. Lots of activity, noise, nonsense, protestation, procrastination, NON-work, and arguing, but not much stimulation to the brain of the good kind - at least not for me! We did take "first day of school photos" and that was the hightlight (and only fun, non stressful, happy event) of the momentous day! You'll have to go here to see them all. I had to include one photo here to maintain that homeschool image.

Here's the real one

And it was Micah's very first official day of school....she is in kindergarten - and so excited!! We aren't doing anything new - the same stuff as last spring, but she hasn't figured that out yet!
Interestingly enough, the KIDS say that we had a pretty good day.....I am not exactly sure if they were in the same house as I was OR what that says about what's to come? I dare not ask.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bread Fiasco

Some days I wonder if I have any sense at all and I wonder how in the world I will ever impart wisdom to my children other than the "what not to do" kind. Today, Elisha, Micah and I were making bread. We measured out all of the water, oil, yeast, dough enhancer, honey,....all the liquid stuff and had it in my Bosch Universal Bread Mixer. In retrospect I am thinking that I must usually put the first couple cups of flour in first before I start the mixer because today I did not and it was not good. I turned on the mixer and it started slinging liquid out all over the counter. In a moment of panic (I don't do well with panic, obviously), I reached over to turn it off and turned it to high instead. The mixer then likened itself to a carnival ride spinning out of control. Bread ingredients began hurtling all over my kitchen plastering everything in sight including the girls and I! When I finally got the thing turned off, we all stood there open mouthed. They turned to look at me and we all burst out laughing. We cleaned (and cleaned and cleaned AFTER we changed our clothes) and agreed that getting oil and honey off the kitchen floor was not so funny. We did make bread, but our bread making experience took us about 1 1/2 extra hours today. Now, we have been reading a lot about wisdom lately, "Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore, get wisdom" (Proverbs 4:7). Maybe God allows us to do brainless things in order to remind us not to get upset when our kids do them and also to help us show them how to react when things go awry. Maybe I am the one that acquired a bit of wisdom today.....the Lord knows I need it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

GONE, like yesterday is GONE

.....Like history is gone, The world keeps spinning on, You're going going gone, Like summer break is gone, Like Saturday is gone...(a little Switchfoot for you!)....but it is GONE.
There are some things that we have been trying to find since we moved in - important things: brown shoe(s) things, curling iron things, down pillow things.....and more. We have looked and looked and looked and finally yesterday all hopes were dashed. We finally opened the last box and they were not there. So, we figure that all of my necklaces (eeeek!), all of Brad's shorts and board shorts, the above, and who knows what else are GONE. I do remember that week seeing some things in the middle of the highway when I was driving into town. But did I even think about them being mine? NOOOOOO, even though we were moving all of our things to the new house that day? I just thought "Bummer, SOMEONE lost a bunch of their stuff!". I did see it however, and wouldn't I have noticed if it belonged to me? I guess not!!! So, anyway, it is G-O-N-E - GONE.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Tonight, we got home from our Labor Day Weekend in Plains with Olsens at their river house. We have been so busy and not-home lately that driving to Plains did not have the same "Wow, I am so excited to go" feeling as usual, but I knew that once we got there, it would be the usual fun. It is always a great time. We had one good weather day in which we water skied/boated. Micah tried the skimmer board for the first time - it was a hit. The girl has a bunch of spunk and isn't scared of much - which makes ME scared. We went to the Sanders County Fair and the rodeo - where they actually have a real PVR bull riding event. Not bad for a little town. We let each kid ride one ride and Josiah chose the Zipper....the biggest one there. No one wanted to go with him and so guess who got elected? Yep, me. Now I love rides, but the ones at little fairs - you know, the ones that they take apart and put together like Legos each weekend at a new location - seem a little sketchy to me. As I was 3 stories high being plummeted backwards and twirled upside down I was thinking those thoughts. And I was also thinking that I ought not look too close at the inside of the cage we were in.....they are kind of gross (kind of??). I screamed the whole time and we laughed hard. We also went shooting skeet (not at the rodeo, but in Plains. Josiah is a sharp shooter!) and just enjoyed the time with friends. The May and Kassity families from Bozeman joined us all as well. We wish that the Olsens lived closer. Bozeman is just too long of a drive - even for us.

Pack, Unpack, Rinse, Repeat.

I am so happy to be home for a while. Since July 4th when we got back from Plains, life has been a blur. We went to the ranch for 10 days and then when we came home we had a notice that the house we were living in sold and we had to be out in 30 days. So, while the kids and Brad went back to the ranch, Micah and I started packing and looking all over for a new place. There are slim pickings here in the valley. We were looking for something on a bunch of acreage in an area where we wanted to be. I initally found a lovely place in Columbia Falls on 20 acres....perfect, so I thought. However, there was one "applicant" in front of me and they got it. argh. I looked at a ton of places (many were not even worth more than a drive by). I saw one that should have been condemned, one that looked like the Brady Bunch house, a bunch of small ones for big prices, and some with scary 70's everything. As the time started getting closer, I began freaking out. Then one day, Peggy Sue found one in the paper just down the street from her house!! We went immediately and looked and it was great....and big. Some funky things for sure (especially in the area of painting. Bright purple and pink in Brad's office is a little weird), but the house itself is large and nice. Once we signed the contract, we began the frantic packing. Then, the weekend before we were able to get in, we had a family reunion in Billings (pack to go, drive there, stay, drive home, unpack). We got back on Sunday and started moving on Monday. Brad went back to the ranch with some of the boys on Wednesday while I stayed with the girls and cleaned the old place. Brad came back for three days to unpack some more and then we all went to the ranch for two days (pack, drive, stay, drive home, unpack). THEN, the next day we left for Plains for Memorial Day Weekend....we are just plain dumb, clearly. But now, we are HOME, HOME, HOME. I am so thankful to be here and I never want to leave again!! .........SURE!!!!