Friday, February 28, 2014

Family Fun

These are just random snapshots of some of our fun.  I only take pictures of the fun.  No need to document the bad and the ugly, right? 

One afternoon Quinn was with Gram and Jaylie was asleep so me and klp got to go on a nice walk.  (Kory was home with sleeping Jaylie).  I had full intentions of quitting my coke drinking habit once we moved.  I figured without a Sonic around the corner (or within 2 hours for that matter) it wouldn't be that hard since I don't buy any cokes to keep at the house.  Weeeell, I soon discovered the gas station at the corner of the block sells fountain Cherry Pepsi. Its not QUITE as good as Cherry Coke, but its close. And its good enough to lure me in way more often than it should.  Walking distance Cherry Pepsi seems to run a pretty close race with driving around the corner for Sonic Coke.  Kanyon asked me for a drink and I let him try it because I knew he wouldn't like it.  The boy doesn't like sweets and I figured the fizz would be a no-go since he's never had carbonated drinks.  I was wrong.  Very wrong.  I ended up sharing my drink way more than I ever planned on it.  Maybe its his way of trying to help me drink less cokes.  Its kinda fun to have a little secret treat with Kan.  A few sips of coke won't hurt him.....he used to get caffeine through an IV when he was a baby! haha! 

I thought he looked pretty cute sippin' my drink.  

This is the creek that runs through town. Its close to our house and this was the first time klp had ever seen it. He LOVED it.  We threw snowballs and sticks in it for the longest time. His giggles were perfection! 

Quinn has discovered the camera on my phone and likes to take pictures of himself.  Selfies at 4. Kids these days. So just as we were snapping a picture Little Miss Don't You Dare Leave Me Out jumped in just in time.  Photobombing at 18 months.  Kids these days.  

We just let her in the next one.  Check out the grin on that girl!!!  

Q wanted to do a silly one.  Looks like we all did the same thing.  

Uncle Tye wanted Q to show him his muscles.....and ribs apparently.  

The Catholic church is just behind the building thats behind our house (make sense?).  Our house used to be owned by the Catholic Church and was a Nunnery.  When we are out walking somewhere we usually stop and play on the side of the church where they have some steps and a fun place that the kids think makes the perfect Castle. 

This is my crew.  

klp cuddling with Uncle Tye. 

Jaylie June batting her eyes at Chief. 

Here's klp's black eye. He got hit with a ball at the gym and his glasses bruised his face and gave him a shiner.  

Just a regular ol' Sunday drive to church with the Lone Ranger. 

We live on a corner and across the street is a house owned by the people that own our house and it has a HUGE yard.  The snow melts slower over there so when our yard is out of good snow its a great place to play.  It made me pretty happy to look out my dining room window and see this view.  Not only are they cute bundled up playing together, but let's face it. Its cold out there and I didn't have to go out! 

Another view from the window. 

Nothing says sibling love like a little cuddle up with the iPad. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jaymie and Kory Time

It sure is nice having Kory's parents in the same town for lots of reasons.  But one of those reasons is his mom has done exactly what I'm doing and she knows lots of things to make it easier and better.  I am thankful to have her wisdom and experience. She's told me since before we moved here that one of the keys to making it through winter was getting warm clothes and going feeding with Kory.  She'd done this the last few years with Wes and has enjoyed it and its helped her fend off cabin fever!  So one evening she offered to come over in the morning so I could go feed with Kory.  Thankfully, Wes made sure I had a good pair of Mucks within the first week of me being here. My dad sent me with his warmest old hunting coat for the days my Carhartt wouldn't be warm enough and Wes threw in some work gloves with my boots. I was warm and ready to go! Good thing because I think it was about 12 that day.  As you can see though it was a beautiful clear and sunny day so the temperature didn't seem bad at all.  

During the winter months, feeding is the first thing the guys do every day.  Since there's no grass to graze thanks to permanent snow and frozen ground, the cows rely on hay every day as well as minerals and salt they put out every couple of days (I think.).  They guys know how much to feed the cows based on how many there are and how much hay each cow needs per day.  They also take in to consideration the weather.  The colder it is the more they need to stay warm.  Or so I'm told.  SOOOOooo they use these flat beds with the hay picker upper thingies (thats the official name, by the way) to carry 2 bales of hay at a time. They can raise and lower the arms with a hydraulic switch inside the pickup.   There are haystacks scattered all over and the guys in all their Ranchy smartness have reasons for using certain hay from certain stacks.  Once the hay is on the truck they take it to the cows and lower the first bale.  The net wrap has to be cut off the bales, pulled off, then rolled up and put back on the pickup to burn later.  Then the driver rolls out the bale of hay in a nice long line and the cows immediately chow down.  Actually, they've been chowing down since the second they get near the truck. If they can get close enough, they'll nibble while you're cutting the strings off. Greedy girls.  Once that one bale is rolled out, driver drops the second one, cut the strings/net wrap, and then rolls out the second one.  Then its back to the hay stacks to reload.  As the passenger in the pick up your job is to cut strings and open gates.  The driver drives and runs the hay thingy.  If it sounds like the passenger has the cold job...IT'S TRUE.  I'm nowhere near driver status so I take my rightful place as string cutter/gate opener and just hope I can get the gates opened and closed without any help. Some of them are TRICKY.  

Side note: They grow their own alfalfa hay and cut, bale, and stack it in the summer.  Its a key part to the operation because they have to have hay all winter, so if they can grow enough of their own they don't have to buy it to make it through the winter.  Seeeeeee its ALLLLLLLL connected.  

This lady greeted me at my door.  

They know this cow because she's super gentle and will let you touch her face.  The other ones are calm but aren't necessarily interested in cuddling with you.  This one seems to kind of like a little pat on the nose.  

We joked that it was "Take your wife to work day" or was it a date? Not sure. Either way I enjoy it! 

After we had been here a couple of weeks, we were in desperate need of a trip to WalMart to get all those things you need when you move in to a new house.  So, Kory's mom came over one morning and took care of the kids all day so we could go to Billings (about 2 hours away) and go to WalMart and a few other stores we needed to go to.  It was a nice day but LONG.  

While the boys were playing ninja turtles (using couch pillows as shells) with Gram....(yes klp has a black eye)........

We were eating at a BBQ place (we REALLY miss our Bodacious BBQ).  They had lots of sauces to choose from.  Forget the taste, I chose this one based on principle alone.  

This picture could be called "My Happy Place". Billings has a Sonic and a Target! I got to enjoy both at the same time! I didn't get to aimlessly wander in Target like I would've loved to, but it was still fun.  

I've been hangin' around Kory for quite a while now and there's still nobody else I'd rather spend the day with.  Even if that means I come home smelling like cows.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Jaylie June at 18 months

Spunk, busy, with-it, bad, hilarious, cute, cute-and-she-knows-it, jealous, greedy, big stuff, Miss thang, ......all words we use to describe Jaylie June on a daily basis.  She is so much fun and such a ball of spunk. The following series of pictures could also be described as "Reasons why her parents are IN FOR IT" 

She plays a mean sax

Don't be deceived. She hated the bow.  


Playin' it cool 

Carhartt cutie

She thinks shes SOOOOOOO big.  

Winter baby

This is her distant stare, serious model look

Showing off her furry house shoes from Uncle Tye. 

This picture can be titled "Why her DADDY is in trouble" 

She looks guilty, huh? I don't recall what was going on here, but I'm sure she was guilty. 

Irresistible carrying her purse and baby. Its funny what a little girl just knows.  She holds and rocks her baby and carries that purse on her arm like she's a grown woman.  She also defies the gender stereo types and knew what to do with a toy gun, runs in the room with a sword and says "AAAAA-YAAAA" like a ninja, and just yesterday she was pushing her breadstick across the table making train/car noises.  

She loves to wear her brothers' vests....and run from the camera. 

These big brown eyes'll melt ya if you're not careful. 

It seems playing with weapons and cars isn't the only thing she's learned from her brothers.  Quinn seems to have taught her how to wear her underpants.  

Smocked and Carhartt....its all the rage, right????

The girl can give some dirty looks.  

She's quite the talker and has lots of words in her little vocabulary.  She is totally obsessed with animals and loves toy horses.  She often carries one around with her which means she naps/goes to bed at night with a horse in her hand almost all the time.  If its not a horse its her elephant or babies.  She's becoming quite the mommy/caretaker.  Just in the last couple of weeks she's started calling me "Momeeeee" instead of the baby talk "Mama".  Its so fun being her mom and watching her grow! She's a blast! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kanyon starts school!

After months of planning (on my part and the school's part) and several meetings once we got here, Kanyon was all set to start at his new school.  The principal has been extremely easy to work with and, in a lot of ways, he's gone out of his way to make this transition smooth.  He has been accommodating and eager to provide for Kanyon the way his school in Longview did.  In Longview he spent part of the day in his PPCD (preschool for disabilities) class and a couple of hours in a Kindergarten room.  An aide went with him to his Kinder class and all of this was on the same hallway.  This school year they had to move the PreK (including kids with disabilities) to a different campus so that changed our plan a little.  But it has worked out fine.  He goes to PreK in the morning until 11:30 then the bus takes him to the school where his Kindergarten class is and he stays there until 3:00.  An aid from the PreK class (who I'm 99% sure they hired just for Kanyon) goes with him to Kindergarten and is his one on one helper/teacher.  She is so wonderful.  The first time Kory and I met her we knew she was going to be perfect. She is calm, diligent, and excited to be working with Kanyon.  I spent the first couple of days with them to see what things were like and help them "get to know Kanyon".  The great thing about that was they ASKED me to do that.  They wanted me to come and give my input and help them do what was best for Kanyon.  I know not all schools are like that so we consider it a blessing.  His Kindergarten teacher called us before we even knew she had been assigned to him.  She heard his last name and knew Kory's uncle so called him to get our phone number! haha! Small town life!  She has been teaching Kindergarten for 20+ years and is GREAT! She was excited about him joining their class and has done a great job helping the students get to know Kanyon and make him a part of the class.  There are a few things that are a little tricky about this, but the reality is, its probably gonna always be a little tricky! Overall we are very pleased with how things have gone and so thankful for the way they have loved Kanyon.  We had our final IEP for his program and feel like we are on the right track.  Here he is on his first day! 

January 28

Quinn wasn't too happy to loose his buddy after almost 2 months of him being out of school, but he and Jaylie keep each other entertained.  

Quinn feeds her (and opens his mouth too)

And they played in sleeping bags

With the way Kory's schedule is now, he's been able to take Kanyon to school in the mornings so I haven't had to wake up the little ones.  Some afternoons he or his dad have picked him up if they were able to. Its been nice.  Its been funny to adjust to all the "Montana" things about school.  Like snow clothes.  All of the kids take them every day and they have to put them on before recess.  Can you imagine getting 23 kindergartners in snow pants, coats, hats, and gloves??? The amazing thing is....the day I was there the teacher just said, "OK get ready for recess" and they all went out to their lockers and did it THEMSELVES!! Haha.  I guess by kindergarten they've been putting on snow clothes for a long time.  I feel bad for klp's aide because she has to get him in and out of those clothes and recess time is not very long! Its often times not much longer than it took to get him dressed! I was spoiled in Longview with curbside pick up and drop off service.  Not here. We have to get out to take him in and get out to pick him up.  It was also quite a change sending my kid to school when it was -26 outside!!!! SHEESH!  

Its been a good first few weeks of school and we are so thankful.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Stick Horse Rodeo

The first Saturday we were in our house, the boys were all working, so Susan came over and we got the kids ready for the Stick Horse Rodeo at the Winter Fair.  The boys had practiced the night before and were ready to go!  Susan took Quinn early to register and was gonna come back and get me and the other 2 kids.  When she got there it was evident we had our dates wrong! No one was there!  Upon further investigation,  we learned that the Stick Horse Rodeo was the NEXT Saturday.  No problem at all, that just gave us a WHOLE WEEK to get excited about it!  So the next Saturday FINALLY rolled around and it was time for the rodeo! 

Q and Gram walking in/Quinn practicing. 

They had all the cowboys and cowgirls sit for a picture. There were something like 64 kids that were there! 

64 kids makes for a LOT of stick horses! 

Here's my 2 cowboys waiting in line.  That was the only down side to the whole thing.  They let each kid do each event (they had 4 total) one at a time. So there was LOTS of waiting.  LOTS.  We only made it through the first 2 events which were bulldogging (they went and pushed over a bale of hay) and roping (bale of hay with a steer head on it).  After their event, they got a ribbon and got to pick a prize from the prize table.  There were lots of goodies and of course Quinn picked gun sets both times. 

We looked around at the fair some and I couldn't help but take a picture of Jaylie in her excitement watching the working dog event.  She was loving the dogs and the cows!  I think she might actually be "mooing" in this picture. 

Q takin' his stick horse for a spin outside.  

Shortly after this picture was taken he bit it.  Fell face first in the MUD.  He was covered and so was his horse.  He eventually recovered and got back on.  

A random Emu 

Chief and Jaylie June enjoying the sheep. 

The weather was perfect that day. Unless you were wanting to watch the snowmobile competition because it got canceled due to lack of snow.  This Texas girl ain't complainin'.