Shabby blogs

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Birthday dinner with the Burkes 

Isaiah is my very favorite 14 year old. He stepped into the position yesterday on his birthday.  14?  14!!!!!  Wow.  This year, he wandered around in those size 12 jeans for about a week and then settled into the 14s.  At the end of each meal he asks me what’s for the next one; we are thinking that he must have little side pouches somewhere, like hamsters have in their cheeks, where he hoards food because we can’t figure what the heck he’s doing with it.  No one could eat that often and stay so skinny.  And of all the kids this year, he has changed the most physically – it’s just that time!  I’m not sure how it got here but KABOOM – he’s a young man.

homemade warrior of some kind helmet
 Isaiah is a great kid and a blessing.  Something that has always been evident in Isaiah is how thankful he is. One of our favorite Christmas home videos features him when he was four.  We all crack up, because every single thing he gets (and I mean EVERY SINGLE THING….toothbrush and toothpaste in his stocking, a little Matchbox car,  a kazoo, you name it) he gets all excited, jumps up and shouts “YES!  I’ve been looking for that!!!” like he just got a new puppy.  He requested pecan pie for his birthday yesterday so pecan pie it was.  He thanked me three different times for making them and thanked Elisha just as many for making the crusts.  The Burkes got him a book light and an iTunes card and he was beside himself – he thanked them over and over and was so excited.  I was just really blessed to see such sweetness in him at 14.  

Isaiah is also super motivated, not easily discouraged, and cheerful most of the time.  I know that when I ask him to do something it is as good as done.   Because Isaiah is finished with his work and responsibilities so quickly he often gets more work than the other kids.  I really have to work at not taking advantage of that, because what a bummer it is to get more work for being diligent!  Hm. 

I am so grateful for and proud of my young man.  We are looking forward to the things that are to come with him.  We cannot be more thankful that the Lord has entrusted him to us to raise and love and that he loves us back.  Happy Birthday, Isaiah.  I love you more than you will ever know – my life is infinitely richer because of you.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Favorites Addendum

I knew I'd forget someone.....Samestate.  Another Skull Church offering.  We bought their album and even though we started out really liking them, they have even grown on us more.  They are in the CD tray rotation a lot lately.  I was feeling very un-loyal leaving them out, so now I feel better.  Thank you for listening.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Favs

The past two years have been very fun musically.  I was involved in the music/talent industry for a number of years, but once kids started arriving and life became sort of blurry around the edges for a few years, my music repertoire was reduced to the likes of Judy Rogers, Silly Songs with Larry, Go Fish, and Classical Kids (all of which we enjoy!).  About two years ago, with the help of one certain teenager who happens to live here and who lives, breathes, eats, and sleeps (actually, he doesn't do much of that!) music I was happily escorted back to that musical thing that I had been missing.  I am so happy to be home.  It has been a wonderful year of discovering some new musical favorites.  It really started last year at the Crown of the Continent Guitar Workhsop here in the Flathead Valley.  Josiah received a scholarship and we were introduced to Joe Bonamassa....oh my.  Gotta love him.  At the workshop, he played his acoustic and quite honestly, we totally prefer that to his electric stuff.  Amazing.  Then, our lives were changed forever on that fateful Skull Church night in March when Eisley was the guest.  Oh, Eisley,'s always an Eisley day in my world.  I love all their songs, all their albums, and everything about them....even Sherry's pink hair! Eisley is a 4 sibling + 1 cousin band who is way beyond creative and talented (and they toured with Switchfoot for a time....that's worth about 400,000 bonus points).  At the dentist's office this year, we discovered Dave Barnes and he makes me oh so happy!  The two albums of his that are my favs, "What We Need, What We Get" and "Stories to Tell" contain not even one un-great song.  Love them all.  Some other favorite discoveries this year include - Down Here (awesome lyrically, musically, performacely - I know, not a word - don't care),  Drew Holcombe and the Neighbors (no idea how we found them, but we are glad that we did!), Needtobreathe (gotta love them), and Ben Rector.  And, I know I probably don't need to mention this, but a Favs list wouldn't be complete without Switchfoot.  I know they aren't a new fav, but every time I see or hear them, their favoriteness is renewed.....again.....weekly......daily.....hourly.  We love their music, their lyrics, who these guys are and what they are doing - what's not to love???  So, there you have it.  There are others, but these are our/my current top picks.  I have been spending all of my Swagbucks Amazon gift certificates on music this year....gotta love free music!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Taking a ride on the Crazy Train

I did something just a little crazy the day before we left San Diego.  Some of you won’t think its crazy at all…it wasn’t a tattoo or those crazy ear hole things. I have one friend who might just have a different hair color every time you see her AND she has tattoos.  If there are any more of you like that out there tuning in, then just go ahead and laugh at me and my idea of crazy.  I'm okay with that.  So the story is that I have started to get some gray around my temples.  My mom grayed the same way – racing stripes, like Flash Gordon, at her temples.  I have talked about dying my hair for a while when the gray gets bad.  It hasn’t gotten bad yet, but one of the J girls is just about finished with cosmetology school, so it was a good excuse to color my hair while we were in CA.  Brad has always said I ought to dye my hair red just for fun.  He saw some gal on Balboa Island who was a bright red/dark pink that he wanted me to try….um, I screamed and ran away.  instead, Jeriel and I picked out a demi-permanent dye (it will fade over 4-6 weeks) that was my own base color with red undertones.   What we actually got in the end was more mahogany/purple – probably because of how dark my natural hair color is.  So, I now have sort of purple-y hair in the sunshine.  And I really like it (Sharon and Carla – no need for the Oops)!!  So, for someone who hasn't dyed her hair since she was young and single and did if for fun, it feels like I am taking a ride on the crazy train.  Maybe I’ll try pink next time!  Just kidding, Mom!  Maybe green would be better. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Long Trip to CA

For those of you who don't know, twice a year, we deliver grass fed/ grass finished bison (and this time beef and Icelandic lamb too) to wonderful people in Southern CA and then stay in our old stomping grounds of San Diego for couple of weeks.  This June, we left Kalispell in a downpour that had already lasted all night and most of the previous day.  We (well, not all of we, actually) loaded the rental truck, our trailer, and the Dunham fun bus with beef, bison and three weeks worth of our stuff in the pouring rain.  Super fun trip already, huh?  We headed out in the rain, got snowed on in Marias Pass, about blew over near Browning, and finally hit sun (and wind) in Valier. Welcome to MT.
After loading up the other 10 ½ beef still at the butcher's (cut and wrapped, of course) we blew into Butte, MT (pronounced byooooooot, but everyone affectionately calls it butt - who could resist?) for the night.  The drive between Valier and Helena is beautiful.  Josiah took these photos of Wolf Creek pass (I think that's where it is). Beautiful.  You probably can't tell in the photo above, but there are little white specks...that's snow blowing sideways.  Then, below, look how sunny it is. Crazy? Yes.

Day 2 we drove from Butte to Cedar City, UT, and then after day three on the road (there are no good photos between southern Utah and our destination unless you like cactus, shrubs, and billboards that I won't let my boys look at) we arrived at "the resort" - the home of our good friends the B's.  More on that later. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Where are we again?

This would be weird just about anywhere in America except for a zoo, but Elisha and I saw this on a property while driving down a back road between Whitefish and Evergreen.  For those of you who are out of towners – that’s in MT.  Weird or what?  Pretty sure there isn’t snow in the areas where zebra and camels usually live.  Not sure how that will work out for them in winter!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dress Up Wars

category: wizards
It started out with just three of them; they amused themselves Saturday with a great idea of Elisha's.....Dress Up Wars. Eventually, Elisha herself jumped in. The idea was to put dress up categories in a hat, draw one out, dress up the best they could and then have Mom judge the best costume. You gotta love it when they get creative and have fun for hours without the use of any technological devices. Here are the categories and winners.
winner: Elias
winner: rockers
winner: Isaiah
category: Medieval
winner: Princess Elisha
winner: Isaiah
taker of blurry photographs: Mom
and an honorable mention: Elisha from the Revolutionary War
category: Star Wars
winner: Micah as Princess Leia as she looked in "The Empire Strikes Back"
category: western (3 cowboys and 1 indian)
winner: tie between Elias and Isaiah
category: rangers (inspired, I believe, by the Ranger's Apprentice books)
winner: Elisha
The category: business people
the winner: Elias. The tie and briefcase sealed the deal
Category: NERDS
Clearly, we have been watching a bit too much of Blimey Cow.

Monday, March 12, 2012

16? How did we get here?

With Micah
And Elias - they were big buds
Elisha and Isaiah, his other partners in crime
ye olde fire guy
rope swing action.
I have no idea why all of these photos say "Elias's" in the corner....reason 74,249 why not to give the kids the camera.
with the Curles on Black Friday this year in San 3:30 in the morning.
Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop this past summer
Below - at the church talent show last year
Yep, the boy is 16. Today. Wow. I loved every minute (well, okay that is a gross exaggeration, but I did really LOVE it) of my kids' baby and little-personhood. I would agree to live it all over again without a second's hesitation. But there is something really wonderful about having your kids get older and watching them develop into the people that God designed them to be. With that said, we all think Josiah is the bomb. One of our little family birthday rituals is (along with your choice of dinner and breakfast on your special day) that everyone in the family tells something that they appreciate or are thankful for about the birthday kid. Tonight, it was really fun hearing the kids are go on and on about what they loved about Jo. Most of them had more than one thing to share that they were bubbling over with. You gotta love that. Some points shared by us all are that Josiah is a thinker who considers what he is doing (even the rotten things, and even if he isn't real quick about changing them, he is thinking about them and trying to go the direction of what is right). He is okay with who he is (meaning that he is just who he is and he is okay if other people aren't okay with that. He knows what he believes about a lot of things and will stand up for those things). Josiah is talented, funny, fun, faithful, and loves his family. He is also really great to be around and we all love to listen to him play guitar....and piano. I am thankful for Josiah and for the man that he is growing into and I am going to bawl like a baby when he moves out one day - but we aren't going to think about that now. Son, we are proud of you and love you to the moon and back, over and over and over and over again.

cheater cheater

So, I am a cheater....and a very lame blogger. This is not new news to any of you reading this. It is always my intention to, at the very least, blog on each of the kids' birthdays. But, somehow, it is only the ones that have birthdays in Feb. and March that get a post. It is not that I love them any more or love the others any less, but that my world is a blur from September through December when two birthdays take place. I have a little better grip on life in Feb. and March. Not sure what my problem is with the July birthday, but pretty sure it relates to the second part of that first sentence above. So, that said, here's the cheater part. I am going to try to do those birthday posts in the next week and post them as if I WEREN'T a lame blogger and have them appear on the actual birthday dates on this blog. Hence the cheater part. So, Dad, this is for you - in the next couple weeks, you can start looking at previous months, and posts may miraculously appear where there previously were none. Or maybe you just missed them while you were wearing out your computer going to the blog to find NOTHING NEW EVERY DAY. Or maybe I am a cheater....but I never cheated on tests...just at blogging. In case you were wondering.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nine - and Ready to Rule the World

Nine very short years ago our lives were changed forever. Our little Micah, who is now NOT little and nine and way too big and able to rule a few small countries if we'd let her (but we won't - it'd be a dictatorship), was born. She is such a fun, happy, crazy, sweet, darling, snarky, sarcastic, sensitive, kind, wonderful little person. I had a great time taking photos of her baby pictures in the albums so that I could upload them here. Here are some favorites - they make me want to cry. Actually, I did cry. And then I gave her a big, fat hug.
Welcome to the world, darling baby!
Here she is, just minutes old, still wrapped in the blanket she was received in. She was very alert and looking all around her. Micah was 9 pounds, 13 ounces (amazing considering how skinny she is now) and 23 1/2 inches long. Her labor was a very short, wild ride - and I whined the whole way. Brad, my Mom, Michelle Freund (my most wonderful fabulous midwife in the world), Kelly Gonzales, and Pam Wilson were there for the triumphal entry. Jennifer McDaniel missed the show by about 5 minutes. She came with Curan who was three weeks old and we played "pass the babies" and compared how much longer and heavier Micah was than Curan and how much bigger her feet were.
Here she is, brand new with big brother who was very proud. This was her first morning.
brand new with her big sister. The beginning of a best friendship
She wasn't so sure about we invited her to join the club - which is still in existence
Micah was super smiley right from the beginning. She smiled way earlier than we thought humanly possible and she's been smiling ever since. Here she is being a Daddy's girl...still is
Micah was always (was?) super busy. From the time she was tiny, her legs never stopped moving. She held them straight up in the air and kicked them around. She would put her legs up under the bar on this bouncy seat (see how she has them in the picture?) and push and she would send that bar hurtling across the room
I love this cute and bright-eyed!
The gymnast nursing baby....remember what I said about those legs? This was typical.
These were her first steps by herself - she walked at 10 1/2 months
Dancing with her buddy, Elias.
We start 'em out reading young....she fell asleep many a days "reading" with books all over her bed
Just say it - she's yummy.
This was a photo taken for our kids' musical at church in San Diego.

don't you just want to pinch those cutiie-patootie dimply cheeks? I do....I did.
These were her very favorite jammies.

Always a big goofball

Elisha made a cake for her little sister this year. Isn't it great? AND, I didn't have to do it - which was even greater.

And here she is - in all her nine year old glory....and her new birthday hat.
Oh Happy Birthday, Micah. We love you so much.