Monday, March 31, 2014

Phone Picture Randomness

When we moved, we drove to Montana in our Avalon with plans to buy a suburban once we got here. After weeks of searching Kory found the perfect one and we drove to Billings to get it.  On the way to Billings I decided to clean out my wallet.  Here are a few of the things that made me really sad.  Customer cards from some of my fav places to eat made me sad and hungry.  But the sweet note from Mabry just about broke me down.   

We went to Billings on one of Kanyon's school days so Uncle Tye picked him up from school and he got to have a special day with Uncle Tye all to himself! This is the picture Tye sent to let me know he did NOT forget to pick up Kanyon.  Uncle Tye even had animal crackers ready to go for him when he got him!! What an UNCLE! 

We got the car thing done and then Kory and Wes went to some ranch show so me and Susan went to Costco. (Wes and Susan came separate from us to take family to the airport)   I love the double carts!! 

Juney girl loving her brothers packpack.  And her drawer of sippy cups.  

Grocery store.  I try to go on days klp is at school so that I actually have room in my cart, but sometimes I have to take the whole gang.  Yes they're wearing scarves.  klp got on a scarf kick where he would want to wear my scarf or Gram's scarf or anyone else's he saw.  So I went to the fabric store in town and bought a little strip of fleece and called it a scarf.  Quinn picked the print.  He couldn't resist the deer on this print.  ha.  And yes, juney girl is wearing a spider man watch.  She's in charge of keeping me on schedule. 

jjp's favorite spot in the kitchen (maybe even the whole house).

Her first clip!!!!  She's finally growing hair.  She refuses a head band these days and if she's gonna wear boy PJ's and boy clothes half the time I guess we'd better figure out a way to make sure people know she's a girl! 

Same day, same clip, less clothes, more accessories.  

One night the boys wanted to take a shower instead of a bath.  Jaylie June wasn't interested in a shower so she got the rare treat of a bathtub all to herself.  She sat and played so quietly and intensely for the longest time. It was pretty sweet.  

I think I took this picture because I was melting on the floor with her cuteness.  Bed head, necklace, blanket around her baby.  And that HAND ON THE BABY IS TOO MUCH!!!  

Before you go thinking she's all baby dolls and jewelry, let it be known that she splits her time evenly between dolls and cows in squeeze chutes.  With her necklace.  

Since this post has been mostly pictures of Jaylie, I'll end with this little smirk.  I sent this picture to Mindi because this jacket used to be Addison's. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Kanyon is 7!

This blue eyed pistol of a boy is 7 years old today.  I haven't thought much about what I was going to write in this post, but klp is home from school, requested to watch Peter Pan and drink "apple juice and orange juice mixed up together".  What Birthday boy wants, birthday boy gets, so the TV is on, I served up his interesting drink request,  and I have a few minutes to sit down so here I am.  The day has been pretty heavy. I feel really far away today.  Usually around this time of year in Longview it "felt" like their birthday.  Its hard to describe but the weeks around March 26 have a certain feel to them. I think its a combination of the Spring weather, trees, grass, flowers, and the familiar paths and places I was that time.  It takes me back to their birth, hospital stay, and all of that.  I guess to some it might seem like a good thing to not be able to "feel" that, but I actually liked it.  So in some ways, today hasn't felt like their birthday.  On the other hand, I could be in China and have a great time celebrating this boy! No matter where or how, its fun to spend the day celebrating The Grand Kanyon!  We've come a long ways in the last 7 years and every year I feel like I know Kanyon a little better and I'm getting a few more things figured out. Of course, every year I'm thrown new things to figure out too! Ha!  

He has requested Ketchup, cheetos, and grapes for his birthday supper.  So I plan on fulfilling those 3 things and maybe a main dish or two also! I got to take snacks to his Kindergarten class today.  We made a trail mix of his favorite snacks since he's not a cupcake/cookies kind of guy.  He came home from school to a bouquet of red balloons and couldn't wait to get one down to play with.  He can't quite remember how old he is, but he'll figure it out soon.  He's asked me several times today, "is it STILL my birthday?" 

This kid will knock your socks off.  Funny, charming, sweet, cuddly, fierce, determined, wild, friendly, loud, and giggly.  I blame him for all my gray hair, but I should also give him credit for making my heart swell bigger than I ever thought possible. I hate so bad that he was born so tiny and that he deals with that every single minute of every single day. If I could change that I would in a heart beat. I would take away all of the things that make his life hard, but since I can't do that, I figure I'll spend the rest of my life watching in awe of the way this kid barrels through life with excitement, strength, and some good ol' fashioned gumption.  

I can't help but reflect on the whole situation we were in this time 7 years ago. I think about the people we were surrounded by.  Our families, our friends, Doctors, many people circling around us and pushing through with us.  To feel that sort of support is something a lot of people live their whole lives and never feel.  7 years later, I'm still humbled and moved by the love of the people around us. I still think about certain people that came to the hospital, sent cards, read our blog, called us, prayed for us, and loved us the way they knew how to love. I STILL can't get over it. I still can't believe it. And I still can't imagine how different our whole lives would be without that. Also, here's the thing: Those same people are still doing it! STILL! Surrounding, loving, helping, encouraging, remembering, empathizing, laughing, and carrying. And I am still humbled, thankful, blessed, and carried. The Twinkies we passed out at the hospital when they "twinkies" were born made the move to Montana.  I had 2 left and they've lived in my fridge every since.  We moved them with us and they are now in our fridge here.  Weird the things you attach yourself too, huh?  

In all his 7 year old glory, here are a few of Kanyon's favorite things: 
  • Red.  Anything red. 
  • Ketchup.  He's also really loving any kind of dip. He will dip ANYTHING in ANYTHING. 
  • Seeing other people in "eyeglasses like me!" 
  • Playing "I Spy" goes something like this "I spy........A RED BALLOON!" (maybe by 8 he'll hae it figured out)
  • Rocking in his big rocking chair.  
  • Sleeping in my Tshirts. 
  • Taking baths. Playing in my bathroom sink. Swimming.  Water water water. 
  • Apple juice. 
  • grapes, chips, Cheez Its, Animal crackers, apples, spinach leaves (with dip of course), meat. 
  • Ninja Turtles. Especially Raphael (the red one) and Splinter 
  • His Wendy (from Peter Pan) action figure ....can I call her an action figure? He always wants me to be Wendy and he'll be John (the boys with glasses) or Peter.  Speaking of I can't find a John action 
  • Riding in someone else's car. 
  • Smelling other people's hair. (weird but least he usually tells you that your hair is pretty and then asks you if he can smell it) 
  • Swinging.
  • He loves any of his "guys" or action figures. He gets carried away playing with them and its pretty sweet. 
  • Drawing with markers.  
  • Giggling and laughing (I happen to think he has the best laugh in the whole world). 
  • Lamp Lights. 
  • TV's in cool places (like a hotel, store, restaurants...)
  • French Fries. 
  • Watching shows on the iPad
  • Playing outside
  • He gets a kick out of slapstick humor.  The louder and sillier something is the better for him. 
  • Witches.  Yes, witches. He's seen a few cartoons with witches (most recently a Sophia the First episode).  He always wants to be a nice witch and say "abra cadabra" and make your hiccups go away or let you pick what animal he will turn you in to. He's already told me he wants to be a witch for Halloween.  Is there such a thing as a boy witch? 
  • Asking people their names.  And he's not too worried about whether or not its a socially acceptable time or not.  If you come within his line of vision and you're within ear shot he's gonna say "What's your name?"

We are thankful to be able to celebrate another year with Kanyon Luke Phillips!  

*pictures taken by my lovely and talented cousin Paige Pearson at Thanksgiving

Monday, March 17, 2014

Let The Calving Begin!!!

One of the busiest times of year is in full swing.  All the cows are having their calves!  Here is a picture of the first calf of the "season". It came on February 20 and this is the 3rd year in a row that the first calf has come on Feb 20! Seems to be a lucky day! 

A few days after that we had a good ol' fashion cattle drive.  Not really.  It wasn't old fashioned by any means, but it was a cattle drive I guess.  We had to move a group of cows from one place to the next and it was about a 3 mile trip down the county road. But before we even left the first gate 2 trucks had already gotten stuck in the snow, so the tractor had to come to the rescue! 

Once we were up and running again, we had the feed pick up in the front leading the cows with the magic bale of hay that they'll follow anywhere. Behind the cows Wes and Tye had another pick up and the Rhino (kinda like the Mule).  It was a slow walk but there was no major trouble, so thats always nice.  They keep all the cows together in one place affectionately known as "The Calving Lot",  so we had to get them there.  Let me just tell you that if someone made me walk 3 miles down a windy, hilly, county road when I was a week away from having a baby I'd be MAD.  But these ladies kept the pace pretty good and didn't seem to upset by the FULL TERM  PREGNANCY WORKOUT.  I couldn't get many good pictures from the front of the "train" but here's one out the window.  

We rode in the feed pick up with Kory and Jaylie got to try her hand at driving.  

Quinn got to stare at himself in the side view mirror.  And if you know Q, you know there's not many things he likes more than seeing his own reflection.  

It was a beautiful sunny day and we were glad we got to ride along.  

Now switch gears to the opposite of beautiful and sunny.  Below freezing temps, relentless winds making for wind chills in the -30s.  Not cool.  And as you can imagine a snow covered ground in -30 temps is no place for a newborn calf.  So Kory and Tye were literally watching the cows 24 hours for about 4 days.  The kids and I packed up and headed out to stay at the ranch (Tye's house) so that we could at least be together and the guys could eat (that's where my value lies at a time like this....meals).  Thankfully it was early in the calving and only a few were born during those crazy cold days.  
I went along for the ride to check with Tye the first night the storm blew in and Kory thought we looked so good he wanted to take our picture.  This picture is proof that all bets are off when it comes to fashion in this kind of weather.  And I also wished I had a beard like Tye because my face almost froze off.  Seriously.  If they thought a cow was close to having a baby, they'd get her into the shed/barn where they were out of the wind and had lots of straw to keep everyone warm.  A couple of times a cow had one before they could get her in so they snatched that baby up and brought him in to the shed and brought mama in after him.  It was an intense weekend for the guys. Hopefully no more of those temps this year!

While the raging wind blew like crazy, we stayed inside and my kids got to watch enough TV to turn their brains into mush.  And jjp decided to give her big brother a nurturing, loving, back rub while they watched Dora.  She really was like "mothering" him.  Hilarious. 

Rewind to January, a few weeks after we moved here, Kory and I went to Billings to get some stuff at WalMart and other things we needed after the move and stuff.  We were about an hour from home that night on our way back and we got pulled over.  The deputy gave us a warning for having a head light out. Kory's Texas driver's license sparked a conversation that led to ranch talk.  He asked if we were calving yet and we said no that we did that in March/April.  Then he looked at me and said, "Ma'am have you ever had a calf in your bathtub?"  That was his welcome/preparation/warning/joke to me as I'm entering my rookie season in this ranching game.  We all laughed and I assured him that I was fully aware that saving a calf's life trumped just about everything else....... Now back to the super cold weekend......they had a little guy that got too cold so they brought him in to the mudroom and filled the sink  up with super hot water and warmed him up.  (This room is built just for stuff like this so no one had to share their tub with the calf that night) 

klp got to go on a night check with us one night.  He stayed warm and toasty in the pickup. 

In between checks, we decided to play a game of Wa-Hoo.  We couldn't find the marbles. So we played with trail mix.  Blue and orange M&M's, peanuts, and raisins.  It worked quite well.  I texted this to my mom and told her what happened.  Her witty reply was "Y'all have lost your marbles." ha! 

The kids were all snug in bed so we all 3 went out to check late one night.  

This picture was taken upon Kanyon's request.  "Mom! I'm holding her, take our picture!" 

We made it through that weekend fine and hopefully have kissed those nasty temps goodbye.  One day it was pretty and sunny so after we picked klp up from school we headed out to ride around and check things out with Daddy, Uncle Tye , and Chief (....and Gram was there too! PAR-TAY!) 

Jaylie took her nap inside, but the boys took theirs in the back of the pickup.  I didn't know they were asleep until I heard Q snoring.  

This picture was taken upon Quinn's request.  I think they've caught on to the fact that I always take their picture holding Jaylie or something cute like that.  Now they let ME know when the photo-opps happen.  

This has been a very busy time for the guys but I think despite the stress and intensity, long LONG  hours, lack of sleep and non stop action, they are enjoying it. I'm just glad we can be along for the ride some of the time!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Work, Play, and a Bad Idea

I guess the title of this post should've been Play, Work, and a Bad Idea, but it just didn't have a good ring to it. So i'll leave the title as it is and post pictures in the wrong order.  

Here's some fun PLAYing in the snow pictures: 

I took a picture of klp's "footprints"/scoot track in the snow.  Makes me smile. 

Speaking of smile, this picture (another instagram repeat)  makes me smile too. Its klp's snow angel.  Look closely and you'll see a crystal clear perfect wing and leg on the right side of his body, but the left is a nub of an arm and a hole for the leg.  His left arm doesn't do much and he has a hard time working his left leg too. But he was working SO HARD to flap his arms and legs to make that angel. I love how it turned out.  Perfect.  

I got the kids these snowball and snow brick makers and they've been so much fun.  We built a house for their animals...

(again, you'll notice that when klp doesn't want to take a picture he just lays down.  And Quinn just doesn't look at the camera.  I've trained them well.  *sigh*)

Our finished product! 

Its not all play, somebody's gotta WORK around here.  So everyone has to do their share! 
KLP was looking over a catalogue for a bull sale he and Tye and Wes were going to the next day.  June helped him pick out the perfect bulls.  

The guys were gonna be "working" some cows one day (translation: bringing them in and running them through the chutes giving them vaccinations and stuff like that).  klp was at school, but me, Q and jjp decided to go supervise the operation. And make sure they had a good lunch.  We don't want those guys making any mistakes and we sure didn't want them to work on an empty stomach.   

The clanking of the pens and the "mooing" was quite loud in the shed so jjp learned to cover her ears pretty quickly. 

Q watched in amazement. He was a little nervous with all the noise and stuff, but he did great. 

Kory, Tye, and Wes all busy.  

When we headed out to the ranch it was nice and sunny.  We got there and I dropped off lunch stuff in the house and when I came back out towards the car I heard Quinn say "MOM! There's smoke and its coming at you!" I turned around to literally watch a blizzard blow in on us! It was crazy.  It was coming in off the mountains and around a group of trees.  By the time I got in the car it "hit" and the wind was blowing so hard I could barely close the car door!  We were especially glad for the shed to work the cows in that day. I know the boys actually working were REALLY glad for the indoor set up and I was glad because we woulda high tailed it back to the house if we couldn't be inside watching.  

This is Jaylie June panting like a dog when she saw the dogs come running towards us. 


I wanted to get a picture of jjp in her winter sweater dress and moccasins after church.  I realized the boys shirts kind of matched her dress so I thought it would be cute to get a group picture. Honestly, group pictures these days are pretty much a waste of time anyways, but today it was a group picture at nap time.  With no coats. in 10 degree weather.  Thats not good for any kid, but with a baby, a sensory kid, and 4 year old even when he was giving it his best shot, it was unsuccessful.  But they tried so very very hard.  

They're like "Seriously Mom? You're really making us do this?"

This was the best I got. klp's face is doing who knows what. I think he was trying to smile. 

jjp just gave me dirty looks on her way back in to the house. 

Then I started barking like a dog and she SMILED. I'm just sad the snow is covering up her moccasins! 

This is her "heeeeeey girl" look.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014


klp woke up early one morning and I wasn't quite ready to get out of bed.  But he did want to take pictures.  He chose the poses.  haha.  

If you follow me on instagram you already saw this picture, but I call it "Quinn was here"  The boy loves his guns.  

This really happened.  Feels like -46.  Yep.  I did my best to stay out of it. I do think I went outside to see if my spit would freeze but it didn't. My nose hairs did, but not my spit.  Days like that I'm glad I'm the wife at home and not the husband out in that cold weather feeding cows or whatever else they do. 

jjp crashed in the car. 

The boys were playing with a fishing toy and Q caught one and wanted his picture taken. I guess he knows thats what you do when you catch a fish in real life.  

My linen closet=bunk beds for the boys.  

This is me going outside just to file papers in our storage shed.  I had on like 97 layers to FILE PAPERS.  haha! But I've learned quickly that its better to just take the time (and annoying feeling of being bundled) and put the clothes on so you're not miserable the entire time you're outside.  Even if that is to file papers for 5 minutes. 

So our master bedroom has a real door.  This house we are renting used to be a nunnery so it has some funny little quirks.  klp took a nap in my room one afternoon and when he woke up he tried to open the door and couldn't. So he did what any reasonable person would do and turned the DEADBOLT.  I didn't even know the door had a deadbolt.  We don't have a key to that door.  So I spent forever trying to tell him how to turn the deadbolt again. He would try but it was kind of stuck.  Then he said, "Oh Mom! I have a GREAT idea....You go get the key!!!"  I didn't have the heart to tell him I didn't have a key.  I eventually got him to turn the deadbolt and he got out.  Sheesh.  

Jaylie is OBSESSED with horses right now.  And wearing her brothers' vests.  

This is a set of pictures of the record board at the high school gym.  Kory still holds the season records for rebounding and points scored.  Woooohoooo! 

One of Kory's best friends growing up is a missionary in Peru and she was home for a visit.  We got to see Kami and meet her baby Kyla. It was a fun day.  She married a guy we knew and is on a mission team with people we knew.  Its a crazy small world! 

klp still loves to draw and spends a lot of time talking and playing and drawing (all at the same time).  His pictures literally come to life.  Its hard to tell what things are because he gets so carried away playing and stuff.  Then when you ask him he usually makes something else up all together.  He can't quite describe what he's doing.  But one day I saw him drawing this and I said, "OH COOL!" and he said "Its a rocket with a window and another window".  Haha. I think it was inspired by a Little Einstein they saw on the iPad.  I was so happy and love his little rocket with windows and people sitting in their chairs.  

June watching the basketball game. 

Since we moved here, the boys have decided they like sleeping together.  Its pretty cute. 

Kanyon has started water therapy.  He LOVES it and we are really glad to have a facility like this in our town.  I think its going to be really good for him! 

Quinn learned to write his name.  Here is his handy-work and also the progression of me trying to get a picture with his eyes OPEN and SMILING.  

I love that sweet handwriting.