Friday, July 25, 2014

Hay Season

July on the Ranch was busy with hay.  They guys worked long long LONG days (and sometimes through the night) to get the hay cut, raked, and baled.  There was a stretch of a couple of weeks where we had no rain which meant non stop haying for the guys.  After most of it was cut, there were a few days of rain which meant they had to stop at least for a day to let the hay dry out again.  After so many non stop days, I was kinda glad to see the rain, catch our breath, and have Kory home for a little bit! I was glad for Kory to get to sleep instead of having to wake up before the sun.  

I don't have a ton of pictures of it and the ones I do have aren't that great, but here's a few...

I LOVE when the hay is baled and the green grass is underneath. I just love seeing the bales sprinkled out across the fields.  It's like this everywhere you look in our town/county/anywhere in Montana probably.  Hay Hay Hay. I know they have to stack it and put it up, but I hate to see them disappear from the fields. 

We "bought" a girl at the youth group servant auction so we had some free babysitting! She came over and played with the kids while I spent a few hours on the swather (the big thing that cuts the hay) with Kory.  I got to keep practicing my driving skills.  My rows were VERY wobbly.  

Thankfully the swather has a nice comfy buddy seat for a passenger to ride.  Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.

Holidays don't mean anything to the guys in the field, but we went ahead and celebrated July 4th! Susan, Rachael, her friend Natasha, and my crew walked to Main street (only 2 blocks from my house) for the parade

This outfit Jaylie is wearing was one my mom made me (and my cousin Julie) when I was little.  She looked so cute in it! 

Gram and Juney! 

June was waving like a crazy girl through the whole parade!

We grabbed some lunch and ate by the creek.  Squatting little kids make me weak in the knees.  Too cute. 

More hay

Kory had to grease the tractor and baler so we rode along in the Ranger.  Q drove and actually didn't do too bad! 

While Dad did his work, the boys climbed all over the tractor. 

...and of course they drove the tractor too.  

We've been needing some cats around the ranch to keep the mice away.  Someone gave us these 2 little kittens and they are SO CUTE!  We were initially worried the dogs would hurt them, but now I think that my kids are more dangerous to them than the dogs! haha! 

With Kory working so much we try to keep busy. We walk to the park any chance we get.  This particular day, jjp was having a little trouble with her outfit.  

And Q had some new tattoos he was pretty proud of.....and there were at least that many under his shirt. 

The swather has a really big cab so Q spent about 5 hours with Kory one afternoon. He eventually crashed on a roll of paper towels.  Haying is hard work.  

We took supper to Daddy one night.  He needed food, we needed to see him, the weather was glorious, so it was a perfect little dinner break for us all.  

And a good chance for the kids to ride a long for a minute. 

Kory took them a few rounds

These are the perks of this job.  Its fun seeing them get to be with Dad even in his busiest times. 

Daddy & Jaylie June

During our busiest hay weeks, with our longest stretch of no company (almost 2 weeks), Quinn had swimming lessons at the city pool.  One day I saw this car in the parking lot and knew there must be another southern girl around here (there was another bumper sticker that said "Southern Belle"). So that means at least one person in the pool wouldn't laugh if I said "y'all".

Q had a great time with swimming lessons.  He tolerated some cold water days, learned a few things, and did great.    

This is the cool chick I get to cruise around town with:

There have been some GIANT dandelions around here! They're so huge! This one took all three to get it blown away.  

klp and Bea 

We are thankful for the hay and the cows it will feed this winter! 

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!