Saturday, August 22, 2015

Surprise Visitors!


One evening I left the house to go sign the boys up for T-Ball.  When I got back, Kory told me to go check out the sand castle the kids built.  When I walked around the corner, I didn't see a sand castle, I saw MY PARENTS!!!!!!! I was absolutely shocked. I had been talking to my dad off and on the past few weeks about when they were going to be able to come. Just that afternoon, I had talked to him and he told me he just didn't think they were going to be able to come.  I totally believed him because we'd been talking about all the things that had popped up or that were at just the wrong time that didn't allow them to have a chunk of time long enough to be in Montana for a week.  It turns out when I talked to him that afternoon, they were in Billings! Haha! They realized that if they were going to come, they better hurry, so less than 2 days after they looked their calendars, they left Paris and drove to us! 

It was the best surprise ever.  Dad videoed the whole thing and I was the most boring surprised girl ever. I just stood there with my hands over my mouth.  Frozen and stunned. Haha! It was GREAT!  So a normal week turned into a super fun week! 



This is Jaylie June when Kory tried to take her picture..... 

This is Jaylie June when Kory offered her a skittle if she would smile.  





Not sure what was going on here, but these two guys had it covered! 


Just a little piggy pack around the block before bedtime! 


I just think this is a sweet picture. Daddy and Juney girl having a little talk before bed. 


This was happening with our small group kids outside while the adults were inside doing the lesson. Ha! 



When my parents are around, my kids head straight to their room when they wake up....I wonder why?! 


No visit is complete without a trip up the Butte.  This was my mom's first time. 


Juney showing off her rock treasure. 


Still proud, but just a little less sweet about it. 



The Butte crew! 


Q was lost in his own world building with his rocks. 










Dad took this picture when they unloaded heifers into their summer pasture. 



Chief and Paw Paw 


These geese and goslings were in the creek by our house trying to swim up the fast current. 


My #1 potato peeler! 






Sweetness after her bath. 


Bed head. 


Yay for a porch picture I didn't think I was going to be able to take! 



Great week! Great surprise! Great parents! Great Grandparents!!!!  

Friday, August 21, 2015

May: Ranch Stuff and a Few Other Things

There's a little bit of everything going on in the month of May around here.  

These first few pictures are from different times we gathered/moved cows.  




Quinn went with Kory one day to move bulls.  Q got to throw a rock to move this big guy along.  (not necessarily AT the bull, just throw it around him to keep him moving)


Branding day at the Home Place beautiful and busy! 


Kory's grandpa Bob showed up.  I love seeing him out there working with his boys and knowing what all he's seen and done in all of his ranching years.  And also being very aware of all he did so that we could do what we're doing today.  




Here are the brands being used that day.  One is an Apple, that was Bob's (Kory's grandpa) brand back in the day.  Now Tye uses it.  The other is the Bar Diamond that Kory's Dad uses.  


Bob couldn't help but brand an apple or two for old time's sake.  



Its quite noisy down in the corrals where all the action is happening. Q and J spent much of the time closed inside the Ranger so they could see without all the noise.  


4 generations all working together. 
I know I have nothing to do with the heritage of this place, I just married into it, but the gift of it all is not lost on me.  Phillips men have been working on this ranch for a loooooong time and I'm thankful our little family gets to play a part.  Grandpa Bob was 3rd generation to run the ranch, and our line trickles down from there......
Jaylie (6th generation), Wes (4th generation), Tye (5th gen.), Bob (3rd gen), Kory (5th), Kanyon and Quinn (6th), Clint (5th)


 Jaylie June and Chief wrapping things up late that afternoon. 



June used to sleep with her booty in the air all the time.  I thought she stopped and I was so sad.  Every now and then she'll sleep like that again and I have to take a picture.  


Kory took Kanyon with him one morning and when I met them out there, I had to play "Find Kan Man". 


Its the cutest little Carhartt blob I've ever seen.  


All of a sudden Quinn just decided to start writing. Phonetic spelling is one of my favorite things in the world. I got a kick out of it as a teacher, and I love it even more as a Mom.  I'm also amazed at how bad of a "teacher mom" I've been (As in.....I didn't even teach them the ABC song...oops) and they still pick this stuff up. I'd like to think his cute little writing is a product of my time spent reading to them and laying the foundation for reading and writing, but instead, I think I just witnessed the brilliance of the Creator who made these little minds to learn and soak up everything around them....almost like they just accidentally learning things.  

Leave it up to Quinn, my weapon loving boy, to write weapon sounds. This says, "Slice Zap" When I told him to read it to me he said, "Slice! ZAP!..you know like...[and then he started doing sword fighting moves]".   


Since we don't get enough of cows in real life, we play with cow toys in the car.  Quinn is making this bulls fight and Jaylie is keeping her cow/calf pair together.  


Jaylie always makes sure her calf gets a drink of milk from its mama.  


A few days after the big branding, there was a smaller bunch of cows that had to be branded.  It was a slower paced day and so we all got to try things we've never done before.  Q got to brand his first calf. 


While the branding rolled on, Chief and the kids were sword fighting with the sorting sticks.  


Another brand for Q. 


Sometimes this chick decides she wants to help cook...apron and all! 


She's gotta earn her keep around here! 


When kids go to bed, I always love finding their toys and seeing what they've been doing. Its not uncommon for me to find a calf nursing.  (The gobbled up apple isn't uncommon either.  They're obviously too busy to take it to the trash). 





Kanyon had a couple of appointments in Billings, so with calving FINALLY slowing down, we felt like it might be good for the whole fam to get out of town and have some fun.  So we went over the night before and stayed in a hotel and these kiddos were PUMPED! 



LOTS of swimming! 


More writing from Quinn (prepare to see it from here on out.  Until he learns to spell correctly and then it won't be as cute and I'll be sad).  This says, "Colbie Marie" (The newest Spencer Cousin) and then he wrote Quinn with a heart pointing to Colbie Marie.  He said it means Quinn loves Colbie Marie. 


Kan's new bike is still a little big for him, but its got a sweet basket so Q takes everyone for rides in the basket.  


Here's Kanyon on his bike that has a smaller basket....but still plenty big for Q to cram himself into it.  

OUR LAST CALF WAS BORN!! This year we only kept up with the cows that calved in April.  Every day we would fill in how many were born.  Q especially liked making the dots every day. The other 2 lost interest pretty quickly.  Fair enough...it drags on and ON AND ON! Here is Q putting the last dot on the Calf Count. 


Sometimes the first kid up gets to go make the morning check with Daddy.  And sometimes all Daddy does is throw on a Carhartt.  PJ's, House shoes, Carhartt.  Done. 



Just making herself as comfortable as possible while she eats.  


The fun with boxes never ends.  



2 boys riding around with Daddy in the Ranger tagging calves and such.....they fell asleep on the job.  


We moved bulls one night and it blew in a little rain. I wasn't prepared with sweatshirts and stuff for the kids, but J just wore Daddy's sweatshirt...she wasn't going to let a little chill in the air keep her from riding with Chief.  


These little monsters sleeping in the same bed.  


Phillips cousins in town for one more branding! This was the one Kory was in charge of and I was in charge of feeding the whole work crew so I didn't get to take many pictures. Thanks to Syndi, I have this one of Jaylie, Hayven, Quinn, and Sayler watching the action. 


Kory made the kids this cool sandbox! 



At the end of the school year, Kanyon's class went bowling. I met them there and it was so great! The bowling alley had shoes, balls, and even the score board with their names on it ready to go when they got there.  2 kids per lane and they bowled as many times as they wanted till it was time to go.  It was so fun. This is Kanyon's biggest school buddy, Carmen. She is an absolute angel.  She takes such good care of Kanyon and he loves her. She was her usual helpful, sweet, fun friend that day bowling.  




Kanyon with Mrs. Shelley on the last day of school.  She is nothing short of AMAZING.  We love love LOVE her. She is a walking, talking picture of God's provision and faithfulness.  She "gets" Kanyon and interacts with him so perfectly.  She works SO hard and she also gets a kick out of him which makes it even more fun.  She spends every single minute with Kanyon and I know that isn't easy. She juggles a lot during a school day with him and his crazy self...and his crazy schedule.  She does it all so well.  I have informed her that she is locked into this job for the next 11 years.  And I've already told the school that if anyone ever decides to take her away from us then whoever had the idea has to take Kanyon.  And I have no doubt they would change their mind and get Shelley back ASAP! haha!



This is his 1st grade teacher Ms. Armstrong. She was wonderful, flexible, helpful, and encouraging.  And I also ended up on a volleyball team with her and had a blast.  Fun! Kanyon LOVED that I was on Ms. Armstrong's volleyball team! 


Here he is with Ms. Lee his special ed teacher. She did so much for Kanyon's planning and making sure his needs were met. She is a go getter and we were so thankful to have her.  We "loose" her when we move to 2nd grade so I'm very sad about that.  


All 3 of these ladies (and others) have made school such a great place for Kanyon, not to mention...THE BOY IS LEARNING LIKE CRAZY!!!!  


WHEW!!! May was a busy one!