Saturday, April 29, 2017

November..Including our 1st Seattle Children's Trip

The school got Kanyon a basketball goal to hang on the wall outside on the playground! YIPPEE! They take very good care of him.  

3rd Grade does a Talking Zoo.  Each student researches an animal and on the day of the Zoo they dress up like that animal and they line the hallways.  They have a sign with their animal name and a button you can "push".  When you push it, they recite information they've learned about their animal. It was SO MUCH FUN!  I got a huge kick out of this and enjoyed seeing the fun home made costumes and listening to the kids talk.  

Kanyon was a raccoon! 

So many of the kids cracked me up, but I particularly liked the coyote.  She had a mouse hanging out of her mouth! They kids were supposed to sit really still until you pressed their button and brought them to life.  The coyote was very still and serious waiting for her button to be pushed.  haha! 

Cousins feeding cows! 
Fall always me nervous because I know winter is coming.  I feel the need to be outside as much time as possible because I know the months are coming when being outside isn't near as comfortable and reqiures a lot more gear and clothes! Me and the kids enjoyed an evening out walking around seeing what we could see.  

When the evening sky looks like this it always reminds me of those sweet tart suckers we used to get at the ballpark for free if we got a foul ball.  Anyone else see the resemblance?? 

We tromped around until the sun dipped so low we started to freeze.  We made it back to the car just as the last bit of light was gone.  

Jaylie found this little deer shed all on her own.  She as SOOOOO excited about that.  Months later and it still holds a prominent place on her shelf in her room.  

Just a couple of days later we found ourselves far from the care free feeling of roaming the woods.  Kanyon had been having headaches off and on for a week or so.  We had been in contact with the Neurosurgeon team as well as our Primary Care Dr.  Any headache worries us as far as his shunt is concerned.  He'd never had a shunt malfunction so we didn't really know what to look for so we stayed in communication with the Doctors in Seattle.  Since the headaches seemed to come and go, we didn't pursue anything until the wee hours of Sunday morning Nov. 20th the headaches were significantly worse.  We were getting dressed to head to the ER and Kanyon threw up.  This was just more proof that we were likely dealing with a shunt related issue.  We got to the ER and they took care of us pretty quickly.  Canyon's pain was not out of control, but he was pretty uncomfortable.  We did CT scans and thankfully were able to find old images from several years ago so the Drs could see Kanyon's ventricles at his baseline.  The radiologist at our hospital was having a hard time seeing those images on his computer at home, so a nurse drove the disc to his house! They were working hard to get things moving as fast as possible and we really appreciated it.  The flight team was called and we started the process of getting to Seattle. I ran home and threw some stuff in a bag, Kory and the kids came up to the hospital to spend some time with us before we left.  We were all nervous, but mostly just glad to be on our way to giving this poor boy some relief.    

The transport team arrived and got Kanyon all ready to go. This, of course, made Quinn and Jalyie pretty nervous and it was an emotional goodbye, but me and Kanyon loaded the ambulance and headed to the aiport.

We flew in a plane that was a little small for my liking and the flight was longer than I'd hoped (almost 4 hours) but the flight nurse had an iPad for me so that helped pass the time.  I was sitting in the co-pilot seat, so it was an interesting perspective.  Lots of buttons and numbers and sticks and stuff.  I fought off the urge to push cool looking buttons and we landed in Seattle safe and sound.  

Meanwhile, Kory took the kids to Tye and Rachael for the evening so he could go home, throw his stuff in a bag and start driving towards Seattle.  Susan was already in Oklahoma for Thanksgiving where we had planned to meet her in a couple of days so that put Wes in charge of the kiddos....with Tye and Rachael's help of course.  This medical junk isn't just a thing for Kanyon. This is hard for everyone.  Its not easy being Kanyon's little brother or sister when he's rushed off like that.  Its hard for them to have Mom and Dad up and leave with no warning leaving them scared and worried. As parents, we are spread pretty thin with the obvious worry of Kanyon and getting him safe, but also the other 2 and how they are feeling.  We were thankful they were in good hands and we didn't have to stress out about where they were going to be or who they were going to be with and how that would all go.  Quinn and Jaylie had a great time and Chief got a giant gold star for his solo babysitting gig.  Plus ranch work.  

Meanwhile in Seattle, they got us to the ER and did some imaging and got us to surgery pretty quickly that night.  I think we went in the OR about midnight and the surgery was a little over an hour.  The recovery was pretty uncomfortable for him.  He was disoriented, upset, and in pain. Its as a hard thing for me to not be able to do anything.  Not to mention that at this point I'd been up for 23 hours straight.  He finally settled in and we got back to our room about 3am.  Everyone got us settled and left us alone about 4:30 am.  Kanyon rested pretty well until all the Doctors started rounding about 6:30! Then nurse shift change, etc.  finally about 8:30 that morning we had some peace and quiet and got a few hours of rest. When he woke up he wanted to watch TV and felt surprisingly good.  He had a sweet new hair-do and a gnarly incision.  The circle stickers on his head that look like cheerios are for imaging markers so they keep everything lined up.  

Kory got to the hospital late that afternoon and we were so happy to see him! Kanyon was feeling pretty good and I know kory was glad to lay his eyes on Kanyon and see him feeling better.  
One of the first signs I knew he was feeling good again was when he asked to play with my hair! yay! 

For a little hospital humor, I took a picture of the elevator that was in our section of the hospital.  All the elevators have different animal names, this one being the Salmon Elevator.  Say that really fast..........Salmonela vator. as in Salmonella.  We joked that we would not touch the buttons on the Salmonella vator.  

The kids went to Tye and Rachaels on Tuesday evening while Chief went to his Bible study.  This assured me that Quinn and Jaylie got a bath and that Jaylie got her hair combed.  Those weren't on Cheif's priority list, so I'm pretty sure Rachael saved Jaylie form having to get her head shaved when I got home.  Haha! 

Technology saves the day at times like this!
Kanyon's recovery went great. I think had we lived closer, they would've discharged us Tuesday, but they kept us an extra night just to make sure everything was perfectly fine.  Tuesday evening we strolled around the hospital enjoying lots of elevator rides and testing out the different views.  This view is by far my favorite.  2 Buddies cheesing' for the camera.    

Wednesday morning we busted out of that place and headed straight for Chick fil A!  Kory and I kept saying we couldn't believe how quickly Kanyon bounced back.  Like he didn't even know he had just had BRAIN SURGERY!!!! We are thankful for a kid who is a total trooper.  Don't get me wrong, he LOOSES HIS MIND when its time for an I.V or a blood draw, but he recovers quickly and goes right back to charming all the nurses around.  

The kid CHOWED DOWN on his CFA!!
This is Kanyon's travel position.  He puts himself under the blanket and zones out. His happy place.  

 Its about 12 hours non stop but we stopped for quite a while at an apple stand in Washington (duh) so we didn't make it the whole way in one day.  We stopped in Missoula for the night, got up Thanksgiving morning and finished out the last 4 1/2 hours.  We got to Kory's grandparents house just in time for Thanksgiving lunch! When I got there the first thing Jaylie did was show me that she could tie her shoes! Apparently in the madd rush of trying to throw kids' stuff together, Kory only packed Jaylie's high top basketball shoes.  So that meant Wes had to put them on and take them off every time they went in and out of the house.  So he decided she could figure out how to tie them herself.  So, thanks to Chief, Jaylie can tie her shoes!!!!!  He didn't even know this, but I don't teach kids to tie shoes.  I don't bathe newborns (they're way too slippery) and I don't teach shoe tying.  I can teach them to use the toilet and read, but not the shoes.  Its just beyond my limits.  Kory 100% taught Quinn and Chief got it taken care of for Jaylie! Yipee! 

It was a unique Thanksgiving and one where we were extra thankful for our family being back together and one where we were blessed by wonderful people taking care of our boy from start to finish.   

Friday, April 28, 2017


Early November is an exciting time around here.  Its when we ship our calves and officially end that ranch year.  Its the culmination of hours and hours and hours of work, physical work, emotional decisions and stresses, long days, short nights, lots of hay, lots of manure, cold windy days, and warm sunny beautiful days.  This year while I was watching the guys working in the corrals sorting and dealing with these calves I was thinking about February, March, and April when these same calves were being born and all the time and energy that went into getting them off to a good start.  Not that long ago, they were getting their ear tag and figuring out how to stand! No they're nice big healthy calves supporting our families and making this whole ranch world go 'round.  Its a rewarding feeling and a time to reflect and be thankful for another year of good work and blessings from God.  

This year Quinn woke up early and went with Kory to get the cows/calves sorted off and ready to roll in the corrals.  When I showed up things were very much under control and he was working hard.  

He was proud to have his own sorting stick! I was proud for him to spend the day working with his Dad, Uncles, and Grandpa.  Thats a pretty good day! 

Here's a nice random selfie to break up all this sweet ranch life stuff.  This child is a maniac and she takes 200 pictures per second if you give her your phone.  Hopefully she learns to take more flattering angles.  

Back to work.....Tye and Kory talking things over. 

Lunch break in the shop with the cousins! Please don't miss Jona's ponytail on top of her head! CUTENESS!!!  

Sydni took some great pictures that day! Yay! 


Kory and Jaylie June having some Father Daughter time at the scales.  

Kory and the kids crunching some numbers.  

Yay for a day on the ranch with cousins! 

Kory's grandpa Bob came out of course.  I am always so happy to see him out there. I can't get over how much he's seen in his life and how much he's seen this ranch grow and change. He was literally born on this place and I just love that he's getting to watch the next couple of generations try their hand at it.  

Mom and Dad here for Halloween!

As I mentioned in my last post, Mom and Dad got here just before Clint and Nolan left.  They were just in time for our 3rd annual small group pumpkin carving party! 

This is their 3rd year in a row to be here for Halloween and its fun to enjoy the festivities together! 
Quinn decided several weeks early that he wanted to be a bat.  NOT Batman, just a bat. Here we are sealing the deal with the bat face paint. 

Long before Halloween, maybe even months, Juney girl decided she wanted to be a baby pig.  

She wanted to make sure she had hooves, so I rolled some cardboard cereal box around her wrist and she thought she was SO AWESOME.  

Kanyon cares ZERO about Halloween.  He doesn't like candy and walking around is hard, so it just isn't really the holiday of him. But he decided to wear Quinn's ninja costume from last year, so here we have a "Baby Pig", a Bat, and a Ninja.  

First stop at our next door neighbor's house.  

His most authentic bat pose.  

What's a pig without a curly tail?! This was taken at the end of the night and her hooves were still on. She was so in character that she didn't care that she couldn't knock on a door, reach in and pick up candy, or anything else that requires fingers. She was completely committed to her baby pig-ness and she did it very well until she could hardly take another step! 

Our new house is near some little ponds in town that they keep stocked with trout. We hadn't fished at them yet, so Paw Paw was the perfect one to go with us to give it a try for the first time. 

Not sure if J is having a chat with the fish or what???

We got the fish we caught home and dad cleaned them so we could cook them later for supper.

Mommy and her baby at the park. 

The Gals.  One gal was having a hard time cooperating.  

Big happy smiles with Paw Paw and Gay Gay! 


Fun Week

My brother Clint planned a trip to come here to hunt and it just seemed right to bring Nolan along for some good ol' guy time.  Poor Nolan is surrounded by only his girl cousins, so we figured he needed to escape girl land for while.  We were counting down the days until they showed up!!!!  

We went to Billings to pick them up and headed straight to Scheel's.  We spent over 4 hours in the store and never bought anything. 

At some point during the week we began referring to it as "Fun Week".  I would say "FUN" is an understatement.  It was full of all things fun, sugary, exciting, and special! 

Its always nice to have unlimited shots at the shooting range.  Thanks again, Scheels, it was a blast!

Since Clint came to actually hunt, we headed to Lewistown to get the hunting started!
I got to go with him the first evening he went out. We had a great time but didn't see anything.

Pictures on The Butte never get old

Kory and Clint got up early Sunday morning to go hunt and were going to meet us at church. I was walking in to church with the kids when I got a text that looked something like this......

They had gotten an elk on Day 2! 

After church we met up with them when they'd gotten the elk all ready to go to the processor.  The kids were so excited to see it and I was excited to hear the whole story! So exciting!!! 

With the elk tag filled, we had the rest of the week to do nothing but play! We were expecting to use up the week with Clint hunting but it was nice to have a whole week to hang out with the elk pressure off!

Just one example of "Fun Week"...a kid drinking a Powerade as big as he McDonald's. 

We had to go out to the sale to pick something up, so Quinn showed Nolan around a little bit.  

Just because the elk was done didn't mean the hunting was over.  These 3 were on a mission to call up some coyotes.  They headed out in the late afternoons til dark to see what they could find.  

We use the term "hunting" loosely.  They'd just gotten new sling shots, so they did some target practice in the pond....

There was sitting and waiting....calling....snacking....whittling with their new get the idea.  

4 kids after a very successful "Fun Week". 

 If we didn't find a house with a porch, i was prepared to ask the owners of our old house if we could still take pictures on their porch.  Thankfully, this house has a great porch for the pictures so the tradition lives on.  

Mom and Dad arrived for their visit a day before Clint and Nolan left, so Mom went with me to take them back to the airport.  Goodbyes are a bummer.