Shabby blogs

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Buffalo Rapids

On Monday, we all went rafting with the Nelsons, Cassens (Happy Birthday, Weston), Maders and some of their friends. We started in Polson and rafted the Flathead River and the Buffalo Rapids. Karen and Doug Nelson and Steve Mader are pros. Doug and his brother owned a rafting company years ago and still have all the gear and expertise. I hadn't been rafting since I first visited Montana 20 years before, and I was with Doug and Steve on the Buffalo Rapids back then too. So, it was a blast from the past for me. We had so much fun. The day was perfect, the water warm and the fellowship even better. Forest was along with us on a kayak. I found out a few hours after we started that he had never kayaked before!!! He was amazing. Okay, well, he had gotten in the kayak on the Lake the day before because he figured he had better know how to flip back over if he went under. Yeah, good idea. So, I cannot technically say that he had never been in a kayak before, but in my book, jumping in the lake with the kayak to learn to flip doesn't count. We have some hard core, outdoorsy friends. He was so impressive - you'd have thought he had done this for years. All the kids did great. Doug has a great vision for teaching the kids to be proficient all these activities so that as they get older they will be has partners in adventure. He goes about it in a really fun way. On rafting trips, he gives them Pirate and Princess tests. They are fun "tests" that the kids have to do in order to steer the boats or earn other privileges. They are based on situations that they really might encounter, and his goal is for them to have already been though those situations in fun so that they can navigate through them during a possibly stressful time. For instance, one of the tests is for the kids to get in the water on one side of the boat and go under the boat to the other side. With a life jacket on, you can't swim under, so you have to dive down and then walk your hands along the underside of the boat and across to the other side. It is a very claustrophobic situation, but if a boat turns over while you aregoing over rapids, it could very well end up on top of you and you would have to "walk" your way out from under it. So, this Pirate/Princess test would make them more comfortable and less likely to freak out in a possible future situation. Jessica Cassens (13) steered her own boat. She did a great job manning her boat and hitting the rapids perfectly. The kids were in the smaller boats and really got to rock and roll on the rapids. Only one boat went over and Elias and Isaiah happened to be in it. There were bodies and paddles everywhere. I thought that Elias would freak out, but when we dragged him in our boat, he said "that was awesome!".

We stopped at two different cliff jumping spots. After doing the car shuttling back to where our cars were parked, we drove into Polson for dinner at the Burger Barn. Nora and Dan were in town visiting from Encinitas and bought ALL of us dinner.....there were 23 of us!!! We were all ready to go back and do it all again. Being on the water is such fun. It has been a fun summer for us being in the water much more than usual. We have missed that about San Diego.

Some Friends

We recently received a flyer in the mail from some of our "friends" in San was an In N Out Burger flyer with headlines reading "Fresh is Never Far Away", listing all of the In N' Out locations in the U.S. (not enough in my book). Right next to the headline, these so-called "friends" added a personal note which reads "However, in your case I think you would have to drive pretty far. We are only 20 minutes away. Are you jealous?"

Hm. Did I mention that we LOVE In N' Out Burger? Does that sound like a very "friendly" note to you? I didn't think so. So, here is my public rebuttal: Dear "Friends", you may be only 20 minutes away from In N Out Burger while we are appx. 15 hours away, however, even though you live in San Diego and we are in Montana, WE are much closer to the water than you!!! See photo below". LOVE, The Dunhams. Is there a way to blow a raspberry in writing? If so, consider it done! ;)

The Return of Bitty Baby

Bitty Baby has been on vacation in San Diego for the past 3 months, along with many other items that decided to remain at the Curles' house when we came back to Montana...."the box" arrived yesterday. Micah was so excited that Bitty Baby was home that she didn't leave her side all day long.....she was pushed in the stroller, fed lunch and dinner (she arrived after breakfast), put down for countless naps and woken again, and in the evening we even had a tea party in her honor. Such festivities for a doll. Welcome home, Bitty Baby!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Milestones

About two weeks ago, I tried teaching Micah to tie her shoes. We were going somewhere and she wanted to know, so I gave her the quick tutorial. She was frustrated with the push-the-shoestring-through-the-loop part, but I told her that we'd keep working on it. Two days later she put her feet up on the seat of the car and said "Look, I tied my shoes". I looked and they were tied. So I, being the kind of mother that has great faith in her children, asked "Who did that for you?" I was amazed when she answered that she indeed had done it herself and proceeded to show me just how she did it. WOW!! Too bad everyone isn't that easy. I think one of my kids (who will remain nameless), didn't get it figured out until,, let's just say we have issues there.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Make Hay When the Sun Shines

...........well, that's the idea at least. It is cherry season in the Flathead Valley (well, everywhere, I guess). Our new place has 4 cherry Rainier, one Bing, one pie cherry, and one that we can't figure out. My fingers have been black for about a week now. In the midst of moving, it is that time of year when you have to process your cherries or lose them. So, we did what all narcissistic people with boxes everywhere do.....we did cherries!! Tracy Rickel was my partner in crime. One evening last week, she and her girls came over and we all processed some pie the tune of 19 pies worth. Then, this Saturday at her house, we processed 84 pounds of Bing cherries.
Today, we all met here again and picked the rest of our pie cherries and after pitting them all, we ended up with cherries to make 24 pies. It is a good thing that I love cherries....or maybe it's a bad thing. I guess I'll let you know after we've eaten all those pies. HA!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The New Digs

We just did what we do every summer.....MOVED. As much as we hate doing that, we cannot believe our new place. The house itself is great, we are on three acres, there are fruit trees everywhere (3 cherries, 2 apricots - big apricots, an italian plum, a 'regular' plum, 7 apple, and a pear), and we have a spectacular view. We are right across the street from Flathead Lake with a view of the Mission Mountains just beyond the lake. Amazing. We are water people - Brad is a surfer (avid) and we miss the beach in California, so it is great being so near the water again. We didn't realize how much we missed it until we moved in here. We are thankful and hope that we can be here a while - hopefully until we buy our own place. I am ready for a new summer plan.
The view from the back (which is really the front from the road)
The front (which is around back of the house)

Welcome! The living room.

The master bedroom. I love it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Elisha

Oh, our sweet Elisha is 12 - unbelievable. There are so many things that I love about Elisha. She is just a gem of a person. People have always loved Elisha - for as long as I can remember, they have lined up to be buddies with her. I have had more requests for "play dates" with her than all of my other kids combined - times 20. Not that the others aren't loved, but there has always been something about her that draws people in mass numbers. Even adults love to be around Elisha. She is such fun; she is witty and oh-so-creative. Elisha is a great mix of tom-boy and femininity....I love that. She loves skirts and dress-ups (still), and tea parties, but one of her favorite places to be is up in a tree. And she wields a sword with the best of them. One of the sweetest things about Elisha, and one that blesses me as a parent, is her tender conscience. When she lies, loses her temper, or does something that she knows she shouldn't, she can't live with herself until she comes to tell me or apologizes. I am so thankful for her in my life. I love seeing God work in her life and I look forward to what He has in store for her. Dear Elisha, I love you - you are one of my favorite people - I want to be just like you one day.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Where there are no oxen....

Proverbs 14:4 says "Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strenth of the ox." Hm. So, the natural correlation in my mind is that where there are no children the house is clean, but what would life be without our children? I needed to hear this today (and tomorrow, and the next day, and....). Bring on the dirt - it doesn't look so bad now.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My view from the front seat

Have guitar, will travel. It makes for really nice background music - USUALLY! ;)