Sunday, October 29, 2017

Surprise visit from Ro!

 My brother Clint wanted to hunt a bear this Spring so as he was planning his trip to come up here we decided that Ro should come with him! We didn't tell the kids so it was a SUPER FUN surprised when we found her at the airport!  We took Kanyon up to where she and Clint were waiting. We knew that the other 2 kids would see her faster so we wanted him to get his chance to be surprised.  When he saw her he was SPEECHLESS.  Like stunned.  Then he said "Are you coming to play with me?" It was hilarious and sweet. Then we hopped on the elevator and Quinn and Juney were waiting at the bottom so when the door opened and they saw Ro they were sooo excited.  About 10 minutes after it all sank in, Kanyon had ALL THE WORDS and SQUEALS about it. It was so fun! 

Here they are in the airport all smiles! 

Looking around a little at the ranch when we got back to town.  

It's not a trip to the ranch without some fun on the hay bales.

My Aunt P signature move has become a trip to McDonald's.  Since we only had one extra kid we were able to borrow a neighbor's bike and ride our bikes to eat lunch so that was an extra treat we don't get to do with the big group.  We did lots of bike riding all week and it as SO MUCH FUN! 

We also played a lot of GaGa Ball! Ro had never played and I think we got her hooked on it! 

 We have a sweet little old lady that lives in our cul-de-sac and one morning she knocked on the door and said she had something to show the kids.. It was a TINY BABY DEER in her bushes! Look closely under the round bush and you can see the spots.  

It was SO TINY and so sweet.  We left it alone so that it didn't run off.  We knew Mama would come back for it. Later that afternoon we saw it in a different spot on the driveway were there was shade and then later in the day Mama came back and we saw the baby eating.  Such a neat thing to see it up close! 

I had a meeting at school one day, so Clint packed the kiddos up for a hike at the ranch complete with backpack snacks and all sorts of cool discoveries along the way! 

Last day of school!!!!!! 
This is Kanyon's trio of teachers...
Mrs. Alex is his aide.  She is with him all day, therefore she is underpaid.  She loves Kanyon and wants him to do well. This goes a long ways with a kid like him. It can be complicated and hard, but she loves him and laughs with him and we are really thankful for her.  

Mrs. Udelhoven is his 3rd grade teacher.  She graciously includes him in her classroom and makes sure that he is learning and building friendships with his classmates.  She is so good with him and a valuable part of our team.  

Ms. Murphy, Kanyon's special ed teacher/case manager.  She is THE BEST.  Fun, smart, hard working, and willing to do anything for Kanyon.  She really "gets" him. 

We are so thankful for these 3 and everyone else that works with Kanyon.  I hear about so many people who have to advocate and fight for their kids and I have not had that experience at all.  Everyone has welcomed Kanyon and been flexible, understanding, and excited to meet his needs.  It is most definitely a gift.  

 Goodbye hugs from his buddy Maddie on the last day.  

We celebrated with Dash In lunch and ice cream! SUMMER!!!!!! 

Tye and Rachael's dog had 8 puppies! I was so worried she was going to have them while we were gone. She had them the day before we left so we got to see the tiny bundles of furry cuteness.  

Clint had no luck with the bear, but I think he was a little too generous with his time hanging out with all of us to get in much hunting.  But it was a great week and really just the beginning of summer fun!! 

We got up bright and early the day after the last day of school and headed to Texas! Ro and Clint were brave to take this on when they were going to make another drive to Montana later in the summer.  The trip was fun except for that one day we were forced to eat at McDonalds for breakfast and lunch.  Poor planning on our part. SHEESH! 

We made the all important Chick fil-A stop as soon as we could which is in Colorado.  That meant we didn't eat supper until like 9:00 but it was worth it.  

Sweet Ro FaceTiming her mama while Kanyon plays with her hair.  It's like she doesn't even notice it anymore.  She just carries on whatever she's doing like he is a permanent hair attachment.  

Travel sleep at its finest (worst). 

We had a fun hotel stay and got up and burned the road again. By the end of the second day we were nearing the home stretch! We had promised the kids early on that one of our stops they could go in the gas station and get treats.  So in Oklahoma City we opted for gas station supper!!! Candy, chips, "spicy" drinks, ROLL ON!

 We crossed the Oklahoma/Texas border to screaming, cheering, and "Texas our Texas" songs and very shortly we were pulling into Paw Paw and Gay Gay's driveway for our Texas Summer fun!!!! 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Things Happening in May

She makes the biggest messes in the house but she's also my most willing and semi-actually helpful cleaner.  I guess that's a good balance.  

Santa brought Jaylie this doll for Christmas last year and then her Great Aunt Cookie (my aunt Nancye) got her a matching shirt.  We did our best one day to go all out matchy matchy.  June's pigtails really do just do this.  I twist them around my finger once or twice and *boing* there go the ringlets!  

Welcome home Daddy!!!

They made a car out of a box complete with detailed controls "rely fast' and "rely slow" included.  

Kanyon had a couple of Dr. appointments in Billings and a field trip to their wildlife zoo the next day.  Quinn had a baseball game so he stayed home but me and the other 2 headed off to Billings for Dr. appointments, a fun hotel stay, and a field trip to the zoo.  

Kanyon's class

Here is Kanyon petting a goat or something...but his favorite part was getting pecked by a chicken.  Shocking, kinda painful, but mostly hilarious for him! 

klp and a few pals by the tiger. 

aaaaaaaand thats a wrap.  Zonked out on the way home. 

I lied...I did take a few pictures at the 3rd branding of the year.  Here's a shot of the Phillips Men present that day.  Missing Uncle Clint of course.  

They let the gals join in.  

Q branding 

The whole group took a quick break for lunch.  This is all of us that day including Tyler, a guy that works for us that has become a part of the family whether he likes it or not! 

Some friends gave us their hand me down roller skate.  *great* 

Cousin Jona came to Q's baseball game!

It's so fun having her around!

A sunny bike ride for this gal. Boys not pictured because they refused to slow down for a picture. 

Speaking of not slow down....Kanyon LOVES the jeep at Kory's parents' house.  He is way too big for it but he loves it so much. He rides that thing until the batteries die.  That is the only way he would ever stop.  I think he looks just like what Kory looks like when he has to drive a little car...knees to the chin and GO! 

He'll gladly take Jona for a spin! 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Branding Time!

In my mind branding is the final ending to calving season.  I don't know if that is rancher accurate information but it is rancher wife accurate.  This year we did 3 separate brandings but I only have photos of 2.  

It was a BEAUTFIUL day to get the first big bunch branded.  We had lots of friends helping and it was a lot of fun! 

Tye, Rachael, and Rachael's friend Ali. Ali is a musician (with her 2 sisters..they're amazing if you don't know Joseph go look them up!) so she just had couple of days off and it just happened to fall on branding day.  So we handed her a vaccinating gun and told her to get after it! :) 

Jake and Matt working the chutes, taking a much needed water break.  It was HOT! 

Hey look! It's me and Kory! Together! In a picture!

Quinn taking his turn branding. Kory is the best on days like this.  He's so patient and gentle and relaxed.  It's a busy day for the guys and he manages to get a lot of work done and include a lot of people and help the kids try new things all without getting caught up in the stress of it all.  3 cheers for KP! 

Lunch break in the shop! Hayven and Jaylie June 

Sayler and Kanyon 

Here's Sayler having her turn with the branding iron! 

Our friend Aiden, Quinn, and Hayven helping push the calves through the alley. They keep them moving so that the guys running the brands can always have a calf ready to go. They also send heifers to one side and bulls (about to be steers) to the other side so we can sort of streamline the things that have to be done to each one.  They get a little bit different vaccines and the bulls get banded.  Its a big giant team effort. 

Oh man this picture makes me laugh so hard! Tye was working on this giant nasty cyst that one calf had.  He was cleaning it out and doctoring it up and it was SO NASTY! Here's Ali and Rachael's face  looking on...far enough away not to get splashed by whatever is going to come out of that thing.  It ain't a glamorous job y'all. Of course Tye handled it without batting an eye. 

We got a new preacher at church and he came to help us with the branding so we thought it was appropriate to give this guy a shot to brand his first calf.  He's originally from Kansas so we've gotta introduce him to the Montana life.  

When the kids got sick of branding, they headed to Gram's house to play. Sweet little Jona was checking things out with her (backwards) binoculars.  

Quinn and Hayven who seem to be loosing teeth way faster than they can grow new ones! 

We went back to The Lund's to check on the chicks and other animals we saw back when my mom was in town. Quinn's chicks had grown so much and they weren't really interested in cuddling in his lap anymore.  

But he did have one cuddly friend left.

This is one of those pictures that will probably always make me get teary eyed.  Daddy carrying the baby girl across the field.  They'd spent the afternoon on the tractor getting some ground ready to seed and she was reluctantly leaving her post on the buddy seat.  This whole ranching thing is still relatively new to me and we are still figuring out how to make it work best for us. It doesn't take very long to realize that it's not all the romantic, charming, simple, calm life that is sometimes portrayed.  It is long, sometimes impossible to balance, hard work, unforgiving demands, physical and never ending (work hours? work days? work weeks? what does that mean?!).  But it is also so many other wonderful things and one of the things I'm so thankful for is that even when Kory is working 14 hour days and we don't see him much, if its the right kind of work, a kid can ride along and spend a little time with Daddy. It helps balance things for us and allows them to have some fun time with dad working and learning what he does.  Sometimes they love it, sometimes they complain about it, sometimes they beg NOT to go and other times they beg TO go.  Like most other things in life it's a mixture of the good the bad and the ugly but at the end of the day, I'm really thankful we get to do this.  And I'm really thankful to have photos like this that will remind us of the sweet times.

A few days later we branded another smaller bunch of calves.  Sayler did a great job vaccinating with me! She was great help! Yay for growing kids! 

Nothin' like father daughter time! 

Speaking of.....father daughter time with the branding iron too.  

This day we branded on a week day so most of our friends were working.  Several of our kiddos in youth group are homeschooled, so we hit them up to help us push calves.  They were fun to have around.  One kid lives on a ranch, but the other 2 were doing this for the first time so that was kinda fun.  They're great guys and we enjoy having them around that day.  

This is what happens when mom leaves the corrals to go get lunch ready and leaves Dad in charge..... my daughter ends up in a head catch.