Thursday, November 20, 2014


I'm not a huge hashtager.  I think hashtags are useful for filtering some things, but mostly they have potential to be hilarious ways to add a little something to the end of a post or picture.  I do have a running hashtag in my head that is #RanchKids.  There have been things over the last few months that my kids have done or said that are unique to kids surrounded by cows and all that comes along with that.  So I decided it might be entertaining for me to post a few of them here. If I can keep track of them, maybe I'll do another #RanchKids post later on.  

Before Jaylie June could really talk, she would want to know where Daddy was.  She would say, "Moooooo" and then smack her lips making an eating sound.  She was saying "Feeding cows?" When she could actually talk KLP asked her what he did at work and she would say, "Feed tows?" 

When calving season rolled around in the spring, she changed from the lip smacking/eating sound to saying "Mooooo Baby".  Daddy was checking calves.  

And when July brought long hours of haying, Kory would walk in the door and she would say, "Daddy cut hay?" 

She learned the seasonal life of the Ranch pretty quickly! 

*I started working on this post a couple of weeks ago. We've since had a big huge cold snap. The attack of the polar vortex.  Because of that, Jaylie June has yet another question..."Daddy chop ice?"*

The cows need some nutrients/vitamins other than the hay or grass that they eat, so Kory puts a bag of minerals and a bag of salt into these buckets so that the cows can lick them and get some extra nutrients.  Quinn has gone several times with KLP to give the cows salt and mineral.  He's got it down, opening the string sealed bags, dumping it out, then using his arm to stir it all up.  

This was Q helping last Spring. 

Here they are just a few of weeks ago.  

So, that background info will help you understand the humor in his comment at dinner the other night.  We were eating and Q pointed to the salt shaker and said, "Hey Mom, can you pass me some of that....uh....mineral?" Only a ranch kid would get salt and mineral mixed up! 

A ranch kid practices counting by counting hay bales. 

Look closely and you'll see the pink footed PJ's on Daddy's hip and the sweet little arm holding tight checking on a new calf.

Early summer was branding time around here. There is a unique smell associated with branding.  Mostly singed hair. A couple of weeks after branding, we were playing out in the front yard and a truck drove by that smelled hot. Like a hot engine, burning oil, or whatever else an old hot truck smells like. Are you with me??  Quinn stopped what he was doing and said, "Hey Mom! I smell branding!" 

Spring calving provided an opportunity for lots of learning and seeing new things.  Quinn watched a cow give birth (plenty of lessons there!), so Kory and Tye put a Q on the back of its ear tag so that Quinn could always remember and know "his calf". Then "his calf" died 3 days later. Another lesson learned.  

Spring was also when I saw more mud than I've ever seen in my whole life.  I never thought about what happens to the ground when all that snow starts to melt.  It gets muddy y'all.  Really really muddy.  And when there are cows around I use the term "mud" very loosely.  It didn't take us long in this ranch life to teach the kids to watch out for cow poop.  So, now, anytime Kanyon sees anything that even almost resembles cow poop he says, "Mom is that cow poop?" And if he ever hears me say anything like "OH GROSS!" or "Yikes!" or anything like that, he'll say, "What mom? Is there cow poop?" Its a problem we cant escape so I guess I'm glad klp is on alert! 

And my kids will think its normal to have a cold calf in their basement. 

The perfect spot to have a chat with Daddy.  If you look closely you can see she's saying "Mooooo" Which is what she did every time she saw a cow.  Every time.  And she sees a LOT of cows.  Now she's graduated to saying "TOW!!!!!" But her excitement has not been dulled by the constant presence of cows in her little life.  She is still as taken with them as she was before we moved here. 

This is the part of the pick up that grabs the side of the hay bale.  Its also the perfect place for a little ranch boy to practice his horse riding.  

If a good day is measured by how dirty you get, then this was a GREAT day! 

The boys especially have gotten pretty good at identifying equipment.  

And driving it....haha. Not really. 

Nothin' like a roll of paper towels in the floor board of the swather when a little ranch kid gets sleepy.  

My kids learned quickly that taking Dad supper in the field was a pretty fun treat. 

Speaking of equipment, this is the swather that they use to cut the hay.  Kanyon may be legally blind, but the boy can spot a swather from a mile away. We will see one while we're driving down the road and he yells "A SWATHER!" 

All 3 helping Dad cut.  

I think one of the greatest perks of being a ranch kid is getting to go to work with the ranchers. Quinn probably gets to take advantage of this perk more than the other two.  Kanyon spends 3 days at school and Jaylie is still a little young.  But more and more every day, she's refusing to be left behind if one of the boys gets to go work.  Speaking of..... her Christmas list even has a little taste of Ranch Kid...Santa is sure to bring tiny work gloves! I appreciate the guys letting the kids tag along sometimes. I know it slows them down and adds to their work a little, but it sure is fun! 

This picture was this past September.  Q was headed with Chief up to the Snowy Mountain summer pasture.  They had a full day of checking on the cows, putting out salt/mineral, fixing corral fence, and eating snacks in the pick up. 

We had a little cold front blow through in late September, so these two cowboys were bundled up and headed to work. 

Its especially fun when the whole family can work together.  Gathering cows is the perfect family work night.  This was our wild and crazy Saturday night a couple of months ago.  KLP with Q and Juney (who thinks she's ready to drive by herself) .

And me and klp on the other 4 wheeler.  klp sees moving cows as an excuse to show them who's boss. He yells bossy commands the whole time we're moving.  They fear the wrath of Kanyon! 

A beautiful evening.  This is a shot over the hill where we were moving the cows.  I love seeing those black dots sprinkled all over the field. 

Here are a couple of things Kanyon the little rancher has done at school this month......

These 3  ranch kids make my world go 'round.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Festivals and Everyday Stuff

 One weekend in early September, our town had the annual Chokecherry Festival.  There was a big street dance with a live band one night then the next day there were several different activities and Main Street was full of fun booths.  The weather was nice and warm and we had fun walking through looking at the goodies and visiting with everyone that was there.  Here's the view from near the top of Main Street.  

We came home with this gem.  A bow and arrow with giant soft ends.  A total craft fair treasure. 

The next day in a town about 20 miles (teeny tiny town) they had their Bale Trails What The Hay event.  There's a stretch of highway where everyone decorates hay bales or makes hay sculptures, etc. and the highway is full of people driving by to look and take pictures.  There's a contest and some other little events that go with the festival, but we missed those. We just drove out that Sunday evening. I LOVED IT! I was cracking up all night at the different plays on words people thought of.  Not to mention how great some of these sculptures were.  We had a blast. I ended up taking pictures of pretty much every single one but I managed to narrow it down to a few of my favorites for the blog.  

This might've been our overall favorite

These were at a little park area so you could get out and see them.  The elephant was attached to a water hose somehow and when you pressed a button, water shot out of the elephants nose! 

See the needles in the hay stack??! I thought this was so creative!   

I think "Haypunzel" won overall. It really was pretty impressive.

 This play on words still makes me giggle. 

Its hard to see the sculptures in the picture but they were great! I think this one got 2nd place. 

These were a few more of the ones we saw at the little park area.  

Juney girl was loving the puppies.

We enjoyed our little weekend of local festivals!! 

Here's a few shots of just our normal stuff: 

Like how much time my kids spend playing in the kitchen sink. Sinks are my best friends.  They occupy everyone and keep everyone happy!  

Even though it wasn't cool enough to need clothes, we figured jjp better get her winter hat ready just in case.

Little Mommy keeping her baby warm after a bath. 

The fall weather has been AWESOME!!!!!  We've loved it. Even our train set had to move outside.

Shaggy haired Kanyon got a haircut.  We've had VERY bad luck with barbers in this town, so I refuse to go to a barber, especially since I wanted to keep klp's hair long.  I called the girl that cuts everyone's hair that I know.  She's so sweet and did such a great job cutting his hair. She kept it long and shaggy, but shaped it up a bit.  The boys got the biggest kick out of going to a BEAUTY SHOP like girls do! They thought it was hilarious.   

Rachael had jjp hypnotized tickling her back! 

Me and Quinn had gone for a little bike ride/walk and he stopped by the creek by our house and said "Mom, I'm just gonna sit right here by myself and watch the creek".

We had to have 2 giant trees cut down in our yard.  It provided great entertainment all day long! 

This was later in the day when they were just grinding up the stumps.  We saw it all happen from start to finish! 

These 2 little monkeys are playing together better and better.  The 3 days klp is at school, they do pretty good playing together and having a good time....with minimal whining.  Win for mom. 

Gay Gay sent some new shirts! They were so happy to put them on and take a picture for her.  Obviously jjp had been crying about something. I'm sure it was a big deal and she screamed loud for a very good reason. Not. 

One day me and Kanyon hit the road to Billings before the sun came up.  He had a Dr. appointment at 8:00 and then another one at 4:00.  After his first one we played in a nearby park then I told him he could pick the lunch spot.  He said "DO THEY HAVE WENDY'S HERE??!" and he was PUMPED when I told him there was a Wendy's and we could eat there.  For a week straight he would randomly say, "Thank you for letting me eat at Wendy's mommy." We at lunch and then ran tons of our "big city" errands and he was such a trooper!  We went to his last appointment and made one more stop after that.  By the time we got home it was almost 9:00. LOOOOONG day, but good.  We liked the Doctors that we saw and I enjoyed spending the day with Kanyon.  

Football and high heels.  She's cray.

Best game ever.  All 3 can play without assistance! 

Kory's mom ran across this awesomeness.  When Kory was in high school his friends called him Phipps.  There for a few years he was the basketball king of the town and apparently there was a Phipps Fan Club complete with Tshirts! Someone gave KLP one and his mom kept it. I'm sooo glad. He's totally embarassed by it, but I think its pretty hilarious! 

Littla Mama has to feed her baby. 

We had a little cold snap, that luckily only lasted a couple of days.  Q went with KLP to salt cows/check cows/ whatever else one morning.  I had to bundle him up. I thought they sure looked sweet headed to the pick up to go to work. 

And this may be my all time favorite thing Kanyon has ever done.  Most of you that know klp know that he has a serious obsession with smelling hair.  He loves it and does it all the time.  Well, he brought home a 5 senses book from school and when I got to this page I almost died laughing.  Truer words have never been written!