Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hunting and Halloween

In an incredibly unpredictable and unlikely turn of events, my dad drew a bull elk tag for this fall.  We thought it would take YEARS to get one (if ever), so we were all quite shocked when he drew one his first year.  So, we spent all of October looking forward to Gay Gay and Paw Paw coming to visit! 

We enjoyed nice weather and walked to the park (in the dog vest of course)

Quinn, fresh out of the bathtub, lookin' like Alfalfa from Little Rascals

Good ol' Gay Gay!!!!

When Gay Gay picks you up from school, its treats for everyone!!!

As I mentioned, the "point" of this trip was for my Dad to shoot a bull elk.  And boy did he and Kory put in the miles!!!!  It was incredible how much walking and looking we did.  At the end of the first week, we'd had a few spotting of nice elk, and one close call with one that haunted Dad for days. He was close enough to shoot but decided not to because there was a tree branch in the way.  He spent a few days regretting that decision, wondering if he blew his chance at one, but it turned out to be even better! 

I got to go with Dad a lot during the evenings.  It was fun and exciting and I appreciated my Mom's super human-ness keeping the kiddos so I could go with him.  

Lots of glassing from on top of The Butte. 

This was one of the first evenings, Kory was showing Dad some of the routes and different places that might be good to go.  

After a long day hunting, Dad would teach the kids how to use his CamWow! app and take silly, distorted pictures of themselves. 

When the first week proved unsuccessful, Dad called his office, canceled his patients, and made plans to stay till he got one!!! 

After 8 days  and MILES AND MILES AND MILES of walking, guessing, and hoping, the hunt of a lifetime came to a successful ending!!  
Dad and his guide! We were SOOOOOOO excited! 

My brother Clint and our family friend Marty came for a little visit and got there Friday night and he Dad shot it Saturday morning.  Clint and Marty got here just in time to help gut the big ol' thing.  Its MUUUUUUCH bigger than an East Texas whitetail! 

Saturday morning, we got a text from Dad and Kory saying they had one down, so we all went out to see them.  Here they are retelling the series of events.  If you know my dad you know he CAN NOT HEAR.  Luckily Kory can because he heard a branch snap and that little sound ended with the kill! (eventually).  They would've never seen them had KP not heard them. So literally, Kory was my Dad's ears for him that day! haha! 

In a very handy stroke of luck, the elk dropped right where he shot it and Kory was able to drive the bale bed pick up right up to the elk. I for sure would've played my "girl card" if we were gonna have to drag that thing out of there.  This pick up was VERY handy.

And a nice cozy ride down the mountain.  ha. 

They got it skinned and to the taxidermist and processor.  It was an all day ordeal! But the excitement made it so much fun!! I think the fact that it took so long and they looked so hard, and even the drama of the one he passed up, made it all that much sweeter! Dad made a LONG shot and hit him perfect.  Quite the skilled marksman!

Quinn was pleased with "his" elk. 

Clint Spencer, DDS couldn't stay out of the elk's mouth.  Haha. 

Did I mention all of this happened on Halloween?! 
J was pumped to be Murphy (Gram and Chief's dog) and Clint brought the old Toto costume that Jaylie wore to be Nana at Kanyon's birthday party.  Who cares if it was made for an 18 month old, Jaylie June was pumped and she thought it went perfect with her dog vest.  Had I known we were going to have the dog costume, I wouldn't have bought the vest, but there was no turning back for her so we doubled up with furry costume and furry vest.  

Kanyon wanted to be a Skeleton Doctor.  He initially said he wanted to be a Doctor.  Then he thought it would be cool to wear Quinn's skeleton costume from last year.  He just couldn't decide between a skeleton or a Dr.  So he said, "I KNOW! I can be half skeleton half doctor!!" and so the Skeleton Doctor was born!  Quinn was Zane the white Ninjago ninja.  Juney girl took her role as Murphy very seriously.  She carried her bucket in her mouth all night.  Where does she come up with this stuff??!!

We trick or treated at Gram and Chief's so we had to take a picture with Murphy the costume inspiration. So here's Murphy and Murphy! 

She loved her "uncle" Marty. 

Phillips Pham trick or treating! 

Murphy got a little tummy ache and Kanyon doesn't last long trick or treating (walking is hard and he doesn't like candy) so me and mom brought them home early and Kory and Dad let Quinn keep going.  

The ninja returned with a bucket full of candy! 

Juney girl helped Gay Gay with the eggs for supper. 

We cooked some chicken fried elk one night.  Mmmmmmmmm 

Mom and Dad were here for 2 weeks! It was SO MUCH FUN!!!

We took a separate picture with Marty and Clint since they left a couple of days later.  We had a blast with them and enjoyed showing them around.  We had almost 3 weeks of company and it was so wonderful!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hiking, Gathering, Work, and Home

When Fall hits, I have a hard time enjoying it at first. All I can think about is how I didn't get enough HEAT! After a few weeks I settle into the beauty of fall and try not to think about how short it lasts and how soon winter will come.  It sort of brings out a panic inside me to make sure and be outside as much as possible.  It is sort of my last chance for outdoor least outdoor fun that doesn't require the tugging, pulling, pilling, whining, and sweating of getting everyone's snow stuff on to play outside in the winter.  So, in the sprit of Fall Fun, we tried out a little hike we'd been wanting to do.  We didn't leave till late afternoon, so time was short, but we had fun taking it easy seeing what this place was all about.  

The backpack is a total WIN.  We found one that holds more weight that the normal kid pack and its been great. I mean....its still a 40 something pound kid on your back, but it beats the heck out of carrying him! He hums with the rhythm of my steps and plays with my hair.  

Kid hoods make me laugh.  

Quinn the Indian.  

June's baby was hungry.  

After I took his picture, the Mommy life continued for her.  She brought me a blanket to tie her baby to her back. She took her baby on the swing and even the trampoline.  She's a good, attentive Mommy.  Obviously on the side of attached parenting.  

At the end of September, it was time to bring the cows out of the summer pasture.  It is up in the mountains, so its a day of gathering for the guys.  I was doing the mom/school thing all day, but Kory sent me some beautiful pictures. He was riding our new horse Howdy. It was her first big ride, so that was good.  
I always love pictures where I can see all the black dots (cows) sprinkled out across the hill. 

Beautiful fall Aspens. 

The cows were lined up and headed somewhere together.  Which is usually a good thing.  

Late afternoon, Susan, Rachael, and I went up to meet the gang and (of course) bring food! 

Chief was already down so he let Cash give the granddaughters a ride! 

The kids ate while they watched the cows come on down into the corrals.  

Chief, Cash, and The grandkids (minus tiny Baby Jona who was sleeping/crying in the car). 

Kiddos having supper 

Tyler bringing a group into the rock canyon corral.  

The next day is a FULL day for the men getting the cows shipped back down to the ranch, and a bunch of other stuff I don't know about.  Kanyon was at school, but we had fun with Sayler and Hayven out at the ranch.  They get to skip school on big ranch days! 

I got this awesome picture and almost fell over with an exploded heart.  Clay and Maurine were out at Camp  for a retreat and they spent the night in Jayde's cabin. It is the cabin that we raised money for and built in her honor.  If you donated to it, know that nights like this happen for our family that mean the world to me.  So, 2 years later, and many more years to come, we say THANK YOU! 

Miss Mommy had her cat paws on and was taking her baby for a ride.  

Quinn played soccer this fall! It started off a little rough. (crying the first game and a half).  But he ended up having a great time.  I think he was a little unsure about the whole "other team" thing and that they were trying to get the ball away from them and stuff.  It was an interesting start, but we're glad he ended up playing and liking it.  We will continue to work on his "killer instinct"/aggression.  So far it hasn't shown up yet, but we've got plenty of time! ha! 

Quinn and Lorado celebrating a goal! 

Serious about saving the world!  

We started a small group with our church about this time last year. Our first meeting was a pumpkin carving party, so this was our 2nd annual! We have had a great time with these people and have enjoyed building these relationships and encouraging each other. 

Kanyon's 2nd grade school pic.  Doing what school pics seem seem to do.....add 10 years to their age!

 Jaylie and Ellie face timing on Ellie's birthday! 

Quinn did a little work with Kory one afternoon and it ended with an impromptu riding lesson with Chief on Cash.  

I guess it got cool and Daddy gave him his sweatshirt.  

We went back to that trail that we hiked a few weeks earlier. We wanted to make it all the way to the top where it overlooks the whole town/valley.  It was longer than we expected and we were cutting it close with daylight hours, but it was fun!  
Towards the end of our climb up, we got a little desperate for speed and somehow Kory ended up carrying Jaylie while Kanyon was on his bike.  Q couldn't be left out, so he was hanging on to the back of the backpack.  I guess he didn't think Daddy had enough weight to carry.  haha.  I helped out, but I couldn't help but snap a picture of how brutal kids can be sometimes! 

We made it to the top and I'm so glad! It was beautiful! The sunset was pretty and BRIGHT. We decided we might advise people to do it in the morning because the sun was so bring it sort of blocked half of our view.  

We had a quick snack and headed down to get to the car before dark. 

I die laughing when i look at this picture.  It looks like a picture you see in People magazine where they put pictures of movie stars they catch coming out of starbucks or the yoga studio.  Haha! We were just drinking smoothies on our way to the Homecoming parade. 

It's no secret that Kanyon's aide is beyond amazing.  She and the PE teacher got Kanyon this basketball goal to play with outside. He was SO PUMPED!  She took this picture the first day the goal was out there.  He attracted quite the crowd with his skills!  

Nolan and Q Face Timing.  Nolan was showing us how loose his tooth was.  I was about to pass out watching.  UGH.  I don't like wiggly teeth.  

Juney girl's morning GLAM.  

She wanted to be her baby cousin Colbie in the swing.  I guess this is the face she thinks Colbie makes.  

Kory was fencing one day and we took him lunch.  J begged to stay, so when her daddy said YES she was as proud as I've ever seen her.  
This picture melts me.  Her arm wrapped around her Daddy so pleased and proud.  

she bounded off to the 4 wheeler SO EXCITED! 

 I got this picture a couple of  hours later...A lovely deer.  
 A pretty shot Kory took while riding Howdy one day.  I think this might've actually been his first ride with her.  

When Kanyon has therapy, Daddy gets "help" farming! And the kids get dirty faces.  

K had a blast with the water hose while they cleaned out trailers.  

This girl loves Murphy dog! 

Our first dusting of snow. October 4.  

The vest is a preview to her Halloween costume.  She wanted to be Murphy (Chief's dog...pictured above) and when I suggested a brown shirt and brown pants she thought that was crazy because dogs have FUR! So when I saw this vest at the thrift store, I knew it was the perfect FUR for the costume.  She wore it every single day.  Over her PJ's even!