Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Gathering

I was hoping Clint and Rachel would be around for this event, but they missed it by 2 days!  Every summer, the cows on the ranch go up to some land that is in the Snowy Mountains (one of the mountain ranges that surrounds Lewistown).  They graze that area all summer while the hay is being cut, and pasture is growing at the ranch.  Its about a 45 minute drive up there, so they hire big trucks (like the 18 wheeler cattle trailer ones you see....and smell on the highway) to haul the cattle up there. The night before the trucks come, we have to gather the cattle and get them down in the pens/chutes so they will be ready to be sorted and hauled early the next morning.  Clint, Sydni, Sayler, and Hayven came from Bozeman to help. Its always fun when there's work for the whole family.  It was a BEAUTIFUL night, the work went smoothly, and we all had a great time.  It was just our family which made it extra fun.  Even though we were scattered in all sorts of different vehicles/animals it was fun to all get the job done together.  

  The beauty of the sky/grass and the horses pretty much took up all my picture space on my phone. I couldn't stop snapping pictures.  

Sydni on Strawberry and Kory on Cash.
*These colors aren't filtered or photoshopped.  Thats good ol' fashioned GOD'S CREATION ladies and gentlemen.  Ain't no filter in the world that can beat this.  And as vibrant and beautiful as the pictures are, they don't even do it justice.*



I was in the Rhino with these 2 cuties.  They were a little bored at first, but they enjoyed the speed and crazy driving when things really got going. It was fun having them along for the ride.  I am always totally scared I'm gonna mess up and cause the entire herd to turn, run, and stampede in the wrong direction.  Then everyone is angry at Kory's dumb wife who ruined everything.  But I was able to make it out of this without any crucial mistakes, so I call it a win.  


I wish I could've gotten better pictures of this scene. I was up at the top of a hill and a big bunch of the herd was already headed together towards the gate we were trying to get them to, so they were walking in a semi-line.  Those little black dots looked so pretty sprinkled across the green grass.  And the clouds were putting on quite a show too! 



Kory and Cash 





Once we got them out of the big pasture they were all moving pretty good through the lane down to the next pasture.  I was bringing up the rear and got a nice view of the cows and our many modes of transportation: Tye and Rachael on 4 wheeler, Syndi on a horse, Wes on a dirt bike, and Kory on a horse.  Not pictured: Me and Susan with Rhino/Ranger full of kids.  We are equal opportunity transporters around here.  







Once we got the cows/calves in close to the corrals we let them chill for a little bit. A great chance for the kids to get to ride the horses a little bit.  Q was LOVING it!  He watched Kanyon ride a horse every week for 4 years and never got to do it, so I was happy he was able to ride around.  




As you can see in the pictures, he was GIDDY with excitement while he rode. 




Kanyon got on Cash and immediately said, "Hey! This is like Windridge!" (That was his hippotherapy place where he rode horses back in Longview).  We had to walk right beside him and remind him that this was NOT Windridge so he had to hold on and he couldn't do any tricks like turn around backwards! 


Any time the whole gang is together we have to get a picture.  Pardon my awkward stance. I was the one hitting the timer button on my camera and running to get in my spot. I didn't have time to stand normal.  My hand is giant.  Also, if you don't know, the pretty lady by Tye holding Jaylie June is our soon to be Aunt Rachael Phillips! Wedding in October! Wohooo! 


And just when we thought the night couldn't get any better, Gram said she wanted to spend the night in a tent in the yard. I thought she was crazy and gave it a VERY low chance of making it all night. I am happy to report that I was proven wrong.  The kids slept great even with a little bit of early morning rain.  They had a blast!  Yay for Gram! 


The men were up and working in the early EARLY morning hours sorting cows and calves getting ready to load the trucks.  The rain that morning made things pretty muddy for the hauling up to the mountains, so we (the Moms) decided not to go up to the mountains and try to keep kids out of the mud.  So I have no pictures of the cows unloading and stuff up there.  But while that was happening we were eating pizza together out at the ranch.  Somehow Chief ended up outside with all the kids.  No wonder my meal was so peaceful inside.  


Uncle Clint giving volleyball lessons.  


It was few days of family time together!  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Between Visitors

Though we have had a blissfully busy summer of visitors, there have been a FEW days here and there where it was just us at home.  We were usually changing sheets, cleaning up, and getting excited for the next bunch of company to arrive, but here's a few things we've done while we waited! 

I had been feeling like Jaylie could potty train, but I was worried I wouldn't have any time this summer to do it since we'd be busy with friends and family in town.  But I had a 3-4 day window between when Kanyon got out of school and when our first crew of people arrived so I decided to use those days to see what we could do. I didn't know if we would just get in some good practice and then for real train after summer or if she would actually do it. The good news is she did great! So we have kissed diapers goodbye! (other than sleeping).  

This was the first day she wore her panties and I told her to smile REALLY big and pretty for the camera so we could send Paw Paw a picture of her being big in her panties.  This was the REALLY big and pretty smile I got: 

Haha! We sent it to Paw Paw and when I commented on her "beautiful smile" his totally grandpa appropriate reply was "Any picture of Jaylie is beautiful but this smile does leave room for improvement. haha"  


I just couldn't stop snapping pictures of that cute little hiney.  


Wearing panties is a big rite of passage...followed closely by the next one: Your first wedgie.  



We spent LOTS of time with this green sand stuff Gram gave Q for his bday.  They love it and so do I! It feels so cool! 


The Briscoes gave this KU tshirt to one of the boys so I had to send them a picture of Jaylie June wearing it too.  We love our KU gear (and the Briscoes!) 


Y'all this chick is bad news.  Gay Gay gave her a water gun and it took her about 2.3 seconds to find her brothers on the trampoline and torture them with it! Haha! They were screaming and squealing and she was loving every second.  


Q was "reading" to them one day.  Just stare at this picture and pretend they're always so sweet, calm, nice, and peaceful when they're together.  Maybe I'll do the same and forget all the screaming, picking, fighting, and torturing.  


In early summer, the mornings were still cool, so here's my baby girl wearing one of my sweaters from when I was a baby. 


Yogurt mouth+dirt+naked baby was too much for this camera ready mama to pass up.  


June LOVES to call my mom.  Anytime I'm on the phone she says "Da Da?" which is Gay Gay in jjp language.  She begs to call her or face time her multiple times a day. I love Face TIme and all, but with 3 kids all wanting to talk/show off/see/be seen with one of those 3 being almost blind so he has to be SUPER close to the iPad.....sounds fun huh? But sometimes it all works out and we get to do it.  Here's jjp propped up on the iPad talking to her "Da Da".  


Now that June has *some* hair, I've tried to clip some little bows in her hair. She didn't like them until I showed her that one of her dolls wore a bow so then she was all of a sudden interested in a bow in her hair. Here she is saying "bow" pointing to her bow in her.  (and wearing another one of my old shirts....it says "Jaymie" on it.)



Leonardo (or some other 2 sword carrying tough guy) showed up for lunch one day. This boy and his weapons.  


We had gone to the ranch to pick some pretty wild flowers/weeds (I never know the difference....but who cares? They're pretty) but they were all gone. So we just played on the hill and picked a few little flowers here and there. 


Speaking of Quinn and his weapons,  it seems as though his sister likes to arm herself as well.  Even when she sleeps.  This picture was NOT posed at all. This was the real deal....she's armed and dangerous even when she sleeps.  


For my birthday, we went to this hole in the wall place in the middle of nowhere that has yummy burgers.  While we were there, Chief was teaching his granddaughter to dance on tables.  


Now that Juney has the hang of the potty thing, she's making sure her dolls get it too.  She said, "Mommy!!! Baby TT!" 


This was the inside of my birthday card from the kids...they told Kory what to write to  me. Quinn said, "Tooties McDoodies" and klp said, "Dear Daddy, I love you." 
Its always so nice to hear heart felt words of love and appreciation from your kids.  hee hee.  


We have ridden MILES on our bikes this summer. Its been so great. We have lots of great places to ride and several parks that we can ride our bikes to. Its been lots of fun for all of us.  This is my typical view. Its a good thing there's no pictures of us crossing major (for our town) streets. Its quite a circus...me, stroller, Q, and klp who needs help getting across the streets with ramps, etc.  Its a spectacle and it makes my armpits sweat.  Oh well. Its worth it. 


It was July before we were HOT.  I took a picture of Q riding with no shirt because this was the first day he complained of being hot.  WOHOOOOO!! FINALLY! June was a little frustrating to this Texas girl because I felt like I was being robbed of my summer as I wore jackets,jeans, and was chilled by a cool breeze.  I was ready for heat and all that goes with it. July has been nice. Hot, but not oppressive, which has been perfect! 


First day of HOT summer??? We better go get a snowcone! 


I'm typing this as we prepare for our visitors of the summer season. It has been a BLAST having so many people come through. We have LOVED IT! So don't wait around for an official invitation, you're always welcome!! COME ON!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Clint and Rachel's Visit


After our last Longview crew left, we had almost a week to get ready for our next visitors: Clint, Rachel, Roselyn, Nolan, and Marion! About 6:45 am Saturday the 21st I got the best wake up call ever! Clint, Rachel and their crew were in our driveway! They had originally planed on stopping at a hotel in Wyoming but they were all full, thanks to a Lady Antebellum concert so they just kept driving through the night and made it to our house by morning! They were just in time to do a little work.  Clint and Ro changed clothes and jumped in the car with me and Kanyon to go help us moves some cows.  Rachel stayed back with mine that were still sleeping and hers that weren't interested in getting BACK into a car!  

We had the boring job of holding the road while we moved some cows down the highway.  So, while we waited, Ro and Clint picked some lovely flowers.  




Here we are leading the herd down the highway.


Meanwhile, Jaylie June woke up and Cousin Marion was happy to join her in her crib! 


This picture is pretty accurate of these two.  Marion was very interested in being close to her cousin, but June was quite skeptical.  


Clint stayed with Kory and helped move the cows a little more, but once my job on the highway was done, I headed back to the house.  Clint and Kory came home with lunch and we were all thrilled to finally be all together.  Aaaaaand this next picture depicts a habit Jaylie June has developed. If she's nervous, shy, embarrassed, excited, in the mood to show off, etc. she raises up her shirt. RAISES UP HER SHIRT! Not sure why this is her "go-to" move, but we're hoping she finds a new one in the next couple of years. Here she is seeing Uncle Clint for the first time and doing the obvious greeting for him. 



Sunday evening after church we went out to the ranch to eat and watch a World Cup game.  The poppies were BEAUTIFUL so I couldn't resist trying to get Juney's picture.  Key word: trying.  



I bet you can guess what's coming...........


Yep. Raise her shirt. That's what you're supposed to do when someone takes your picture?


Marion joined and was much more photo ready.  Jaylie? Still scowling. 



I found these little shorts on clearance and they just kill me.  Anytime a kid wears a tiny version of grown up clothes, I almost die.  



 Ro and Q climbing a tree 


Ginger and Ro



2 sweet cousins



Monday,  Kory and Clint worked and so me and Rach took the kids to the park to eat and play.  Kory and Clint took a work break and met us there to play for a bit. Group picture on the tires.



The park where we were playing is right by the city pool.  I talked Rachel into trying the pool with me the next day. I wasn't real interested in braving the pool with my 3 all by myself, so this was the perfect chance for me to try it with a little back up.  Plus, we were thinking MAYBE the water would be a little warmer since the sun had been shining and the rumor around town was that the boilers were fixed so they could heat it a little.  

Here's the crew ready to go!  


And here's a representation of the crew about 45 min after we got there. 


 Ro and Nolan got cold pretty quick.  jjp was in and out of the pool and more interested in trying out the potties there than the swimming.  Kanyon was happy to be swimming but devastated that I wouldn't pay money to let him go down the slide.  It was a little lame on my part but it would cost $6 for ONE slide since I'd have to go with him and he would want to go over and over and be mad when I said No. And maybe I didn't want to FREEZE MY BRAINS OUT! I promised him a trip down the slide later in the summer. We finally had to drag Q out of the pool cuz the rest of the crew was basking in the sun waiting for him! ha! So the first trip wasn't a total bust, but it reaffirmed my belief that it is NOT hot enough here to swim! SHEESH! 
This is what happens on the way home from the pool, so it was totally worth it! 





 I think this picture was taken the morning they got to our house.   Kanyon woke up, was so happy to see them, and wasted no time playing in the playhouse. 


Sweet Nolan hugging Jaylie when she woke up. 


We have so many sweet pictures of these 2 and I'm afraid its an inaccurate depiction of their relationship.  While they did have their sweet moments they spent quite a bit of time picking at each other.  They were quick to learn how to get to each other and were very consistent hitting each others' hot spots.  Oh well, its all part of the cousin game.  



Wednesday we went up to the Snowies to show them the mountain summer pasture. Here is the natural rock canyon corral.  Its a really neat spot owned by a neighbor up there that allows us to unload cows into the corral when we ship in/out.  

There's a cool rock "cave"thing that you can crawl under and play in.  The kids had a big time running around in there.  

They were all good flower pickers!  






playing in the "cave" 


Jaylie has a smilar problem as Quinn when it comes to showing a little to much rear end.  




This child is cray cray. 


Sliding down the side of the canyon! 


We got Ro to take a picture of the grown ups. Its nice having kids around that you can trust with a camera. 


The photographer demanded a silly picture....


We drove up a little ways to see the view from up higher.  It ain't half bad. 



Speaking of Jaylie being cray cray....I think she got it from Marion! Sweet thing. I could eat her up! 




The kids all enjoying the view (klp enjoying smelling Ro's hair....thats how he rolls) 


We had tried earlier in the week to go up to The Butte at the ranch but as soon as we climbed up there, it started to lightning so we had to come down. That ruined our cookout too, so we tried again Wednesday after the trip to the Snowies.  Other than the swarming bird sized mosquitos it was a perfect evening for a cookout!
Marion gathered firewood like a boss. 


While the others climbed trees. 





There was a fire a few years ago near where we were so there is still soot on the trees.



Kan Man loving on his his Aunt Rachel.



She won't smile at a camera, but she'll sure smile at her Aunt Rachel! 


Why not eat the hotdog from the middle??


After hot dogs, everyone started putting marshmallows on their sticks to make s'mores.  We looked up and June was standing by the fire with a little stick and she'd put a marshmallow on the end.  When I told her to show it to me, she didn't bother to turn around, she just threw it back to show me.  


She was so proud and ready to roast that marshmallow! Funny girl doesn't miss a thing. She did this all on her own! ha!

Clint made a near perfect one...




This is a combination of soot, dirt, sticky marshmallow, and CUTE NOLAN BOY! 







The whole gang! This picture makes me so happy just looking at it! 



Nolan and Q had the all important job of putting the fire out. 


Kory and Clint went off in the Rhino to look at some more of the place. Rach and I decided that we'd rather cram in the other Ranger than wait around for the guys....so here we are with all the kids in the Ranger!


Sweet little ones.... 


Goofy little ones....


 Nolan was SO SWEET to Jaylie.  He just hugged and kissed her all week.  One time he said, "Aunt P, Jaylie loves me because she loves my hair". Probably won't be the first girl that loves Nolan for his hair.  

Clint got baby girls out of the bath


Rach got them all PJ'd up.  And SOMEONE got Jaylie to SMILE AT THE CAMERA!!! I'm not sure who, but whoever it was is magic.   


Cousin sleepover! (black trash bags over the windows to keep the sun out...since it comes up at like 5am!)



 Ro reading to the crew...(Kan's arm around her *sigh*)


 Lunch with the crazies! 

More eating and trampoline time! 


This is a picture of jjp's monitor.  Marion got in her bed and "read" to her.  Pretty cute. 



If you know klp you know he LOVES getting to ride in other people's car so he was PUMPED to be riding with Ro!


Nolan was happy to switch and ride with Q. 


One afternoon, the other kids were resting so me and Ro got to paint. 




 June and Marion helping Clint with his GoPro footage. 

 A little Wa-Hoo for the grown ups after the kids were in bed.  




At some point in the week, the kids found a Lego Movie game on the computer. They loved playing it/watching each other play.  It was annoying for them to be asking about it all the time but it sure was funny to watch them when they got to play. 


Ro literally moved klp's fingers for him so he could play too! (*sigh* again)





We played hard all day every day. You know kids are tired when Q turns down a cousin sleepover.  He opted to sleep in his own bed this night, but klp enjoyed sleeping with the cousins. 
  


Morning TV.....CUTENESS



klp mentioned he was cold and next thing I know we looked up and saw this: Nolan had gone to klp's chair to share his blanket.  This boy couldn't get any sweeter.  


One afternoon we let the big kids paint some wooden peg people.  They had a good time.  Jaylie June looked way too old sitting up there with the big kids.  


Busy little painters...


Ro showing Uncle Kory all the peg people they painted. What started out as 1 or 2 for each kid ended up being the whole bag of wooden peg people! Ninja turtles, babies, princesses, super heroes and such! It was a fun thing to do!


Not sure what was going on, but Juney girl was chillin' on her Uncle.  


Which is funnier.....Jaylie clinging on for dear life or Nolan's "college girl" pose?


I'm sure she was having fun, she just has a hard time showing it. 


SUPPER TIME!


One night we walked/biked/carried kids to get ice cream.  


klp decided to leave his helmet on while he ate his french fries.  


Marion gives Dash-In's ice cream 2 thumbs up! 


The kids. (Pardon my impossible daughter...but PLEASE notice klp and Nolan's voluntary hug!)




The whole gang.  I've said it a million times but my 2 brothers are 2 of my most favorite people in the world.  And then they go and marry girls that I LOVE and am so very close to. THEN they go and have kids that I love more than I knew possible.  Put all that under one roof for a week and it makes for an awesome week!  It was so great.  



So....we took the group picture, then walked to get the kids candy from the candy store and said our goodbyes.  It was my birthday....them leaving was the worst present ever, but them being here was the best present ever!!!  We were all feeling sad, so we decided throwing some rocks in the creek would make us all feel a little better. So we drowned our sorrows in the creek.....meanwhile Clint, Rachel, and crew started the LOOOOOONG drive home.  Thanks for coming! We love you!