Sunday, July 27, 2008

Relaxing week

I wanted to show you a picture of our fence. I believe this is the first house project that is complete! Most others things are in various stages of complete. Ed got this all finished and stained while we were gone. Doesn't it look nice? It completes our yard!

We spent most of this week just catching up - relaxing, playing, housecleaning, laundry, cooking, groceries, errands, etc. It was a very nice week.

Tuesday we got 2 big thunderstorms. The first storm hit about 3:00. Lots of wind and rain. In some parts of town, hail. The second storm hit about 6:00. With it came lots of wind and rain and even hail. It was a big news story around town. Lots of hail/wind damage. The only damage we got was the flower bed ...

and the garden. They was doing really good before the storm. They have perked up some. I even harvested some lettuce yesterday. We still have bean pods and tomato flowers. I think the cucumbers are gone and I'm not sure about the green peppers. We'll just have to wait and see. That is how gardening goes sometimes!

Wednesday and Thursday we rode our bikes to the park. Hannah has been doing really good on her bike. She asked Ed to take off her training wheels. I suggested only one for now because she gets so scared about things. She is doing really well. She uses it to start off, but then can keep her balance most of the way. Turns are still nerve racking for her. I think we'll leave that one on for a while till she gets more hang of things.
Saturday we FINALLY got the raft out and floated the Madison. It has been 2 years. The last time we went, Halee cried the whole way (which is about 3 hours). This time she did great. She enjoyed holding her fishing pole and catching seaweed.

Hannah has always been very good on the raft. Well, this time, since she is older and more aware of her fears, it was a different story. She just wasn't too sure about things. In the front of the raft we have 2 seats. She wanted to sit securely between the two. Then she wanted to sit in the middle. Then she decided that the way back, down on the floor was best.

But as time went on, she became more comfortable and by the end was hanging over the edge and putting her hands in the water! It just takes her time to realize that we will keep her safe.

Ed is almost always our rowman. (2 years ago I had him teach me because I needed a break from Halee. Also, I don't fish and he does, so in the future, when the girls are older, I see myself doing more of the rowing so that he can fish.) He didn't actually row too hard on this float. In fact, the last half, he laid on the side of the boat with his feet in the water! If we needed repositioning, he would just kick his feet a little and then we were good. We mostly just floated.

It was a nice, relaxing family outing. We started the float around 10:30 and were done around 1:30. We headed home, did a few things around the house and ran a few errands. We all watched a movie together and then off to bed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Big Trip

Here is the account of our big trip! We left Bozeman on July 9th and headed to Billings. We spent the night there.

We got up early on Thursday, July 10th and headed south. We drove all the way through Wyoming...

... and finally ended up in Colorado.

We stayed the night with my cousin. As usual, her whole family came over for dinner. It was nice to visit with all my cousins and aunt and uncle. The kids had a great time playing. On Friday morning, we headed to the zoo. My cousin, Jennifer, came with us along with 2 of her kids, David and Aiden, and my other cousins kid, Conner. We had a great time looking at all the animals.

For lunch we went to Chick Fil-A. Jennifer had been there the day before and found out it was cow appreciation day. They gave her some stickers for the kids to dress up as cows and then they could get a free kids meal. So, it cost me $6 for my 3 and $7 for her 4! After naps, we headed over to my other cousins, Ginger, for some water slide fun. Their cul-de-sac went together a few years ago to buy this water slide and a bounce house. Chuck has "adopted" them as he works from home and is the only dad at home during the days. They are quite heavy to set up and take down, so he's the man! Wow! The kids had so much fun. We all went to pizza for dinner to close out the day.

Saturday morning, July 12, we headed for New Mexico.

And just in case you are wondering what New Mexico looks like, this gives you an idea!

There we stayed with my Granny Dot for 2 days.

I learned something new about my Grandpa. He was one of 2 men that "broke" the ground for the hospital at the Air Force Base. My Granny had this shovel in her closet since 1965! A few months ago, she decided to donate it to the base. They made this shadow box and hung it in the main enterance.

Finally on Tuesday, July 15th, we made it to Texas.

And just in case you are wondering what the scenary in the Texas panhandle looks like ... here it is! Lots and lots of feed lots! This picture was taken outside of Herford, which I believe is cow capital of the world. And if I could send you the smell, ... well, you get the idea. It's a good thing we have the button to have the air recirrulated through our car instead of getting this fresh air!

The kids have been dieing to go to Chuck E. Cheese's. They hear about it every morning on PBS kids. My dad took us there for some pizza and games.

My birthday is Saturday. My mom wanted to make me a birthday cake while I was there. She had the girls help.

But Hannah thinks that you HAVE to have a party too! So, she planned a birthday party for me. They even went to Walmart and got decorations. I had to stay out of the house so that she could decorate. So mom and I went shopping and Hannah, Halee and Dad did the decorating - streamers and balloons. We also had to play some games. Mom had this game of pin the tail on the donkey, so it worked out well. We all participated. Hannah and Dad were the closest. We even have party favors for prizes!

Then we played a game of soccer.

Oh yes, we had party hats too, ...

.... and birthday cake and presents! It was fun!

Thursday night was Wonderland night. This is the local amusement park. I think there was only 3 or 4 rides that Hannah could not ride on and of those we went on, only2 that Halee could not ride on. We stayed until close and rode everything we could!

Nana always gives them a new book. Here she is reading them.

2630 miles and 12 days later, we are home! Now just trying to catch up ... which is why it has taken me so long to get this posted!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Camping at Pine Creek

We went camping this past weekend at Pine Creek with Ed's parents. It was a nice, relaxing time. I especially like camping because I don't have to do the cooking! I get all the groceries and decide the menu, but once we are up there, Ed (or in this case his dad) does all the cooking. It was decided that on this trip we would do the breakfast and his parents the dinner. However, his dad is always the first one up (he normally rises between 4:30 and 5:00 am!) and is ready to cook breakfast way before anyone else. So in the future, he will do the breakfast and we will do the dinners! As it ended up, we "donated" very little groceries on this trip because his dad just did it all!

Mike cooking

Ed cooking
Halee's favorite pass time is swinging. Gramma and Poppa brought a swing. The girls spent a lot of time swinging or pushing in the hammock.

One of the treats Poppa brought were fruit roll-ups. These particuluar ones had "tongue tattoos" on them. Here are some $$$ on Hannah's tongue.

Saturday morning Ed built this fort for the girls to play in. Then his dad joined in. It was a neat place for the girls to play in. They had a cash register, 2 firepits, and a bench inside.

We also went for a hike up to Pine Creek Falls. Hannah and Poppa were hiking partners the whole way.

Here's the rest of the crew. I was generally in the back.

This is what it looked like! Isn't God amazing???

Ed's parents

A good family photo in front of the falls!

That afternoon after we got back and about dinner time, it started to rain. Ed's dad had already started cooking dinner on the fire. So, he set up this umbrella over the fire so that it wouldn't go out and we could finish dinner. It worked pretty well and we had a good dinner of pork, potatoes, carrots, onions and zucchini all mixed together.

After dinner we had a special dessert. When I was a kid growing up my grandparents had these cooker things that we made pies with. You butter 2 pieces of white bread and put them in the cooker with a spoon full of cherry pie filling inside. Close the cooker and cook in fire. The bread toasts (like a grilled cheese) and you have a cherry pie. My mom had some of these cookers that they never used. After about 30 years, she decided to give them to us! We opened the packages up and read the "cookbook" inside. It was dated 1976! It had lots of good ideas in it. One of them is to use pizza dough and put pizza toppings inside. Another was to make cornbread. Another was to use pie dough and put stew inside. I think it would be good to put cornbread mix and stew in one! This morning, Ed fried an egg in it. It was a "perfect" egg because it was perfectly round and fit perfectly on an english muffin! So, I bet we will get lots of use out of these, now that they are broke in!

As always, we had a great time. So nice to just be in God's creation, away from everything, and just relax in the great outdoors! We didn't hurry to do anything. Now, back to the grind!
We (the girls and I) leave for Texas/New Mexico on Wednesday. So, this will be probably be the last blog until I get back, which will be the 21st. Can you believe summer is almost over? How time just flies when your having fun!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Silly Family

On Wednesday we met a few friends at the park in Belgrade. It also has this splash park. The girls had lots of fun, even though it wasn't extremely hot!

This is a picture of Ed that his mom took when we were visiting in June.

The girls are really into performing for me. Here is Halee's show.

And Hannah's show.

Now we are off to Pine Creek to camp for the long weekend. We are looking forward to it! Happy 4th!