Thursday, May 31, 2012

Morgan's Camping Buddies

Not wanting to miss out on doing fun stuff, we crammed both the wedding and a camping trip into Memorial Day weekend! We stayed at the reception until about 7:45pm and left directly from there to make the 2 hour drive to the camp site, where we were meeting a group friends. This particular group was dubbed the "Yee Haw Gang" years ago, so you can understand why we wouldn't want to miss out on the fun!

Morgan was especially excited to be camping with this group as two of his favorite playmates were going to be there. He plays with these two for hours. He gets up in the morning and can't wait for them to come out of their campers!

Morgan looks a little out of sorts sitting on the beach in jeans and a long-sleeve shirt, but keep in mind it was mostly cloudy and in the low 50's. The rain ended up chasing us back to our campsite. I had my winter jacket and a blanket, but we were determined to sit on the beach!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Our first activity of the busy Memorial Day Weekend was a beautiful wedding and fun-filled reception.

We usually go camping over memorial day, but we hate to miss a good wedding.
There was dancing, of course. Glenn's got lots of willing dance partners in this family. Ellea purposely wore black leggings under her skirt because she wanted to be flipped. She got her wish. That daddy of hers flipped her a couple dozen times, I think!

Morgan's flip is going all wrong. You can't see it very well, but he knocked Glenn's glasses off! He's lucky that's all that happened--looks like Morgan could've easily kicked him in the nose!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mother's Day Card

The hubby made me a Mother's Day card this year. That was a first! I've received plenty of homemade cards from the kiddos, but never from Glenn. This is what it said:

Amazing, Beautiful, Caring,
Determined, Eager, Fun,
Great, Honest, Interesting,
J?, Kool!!!, Loving,
Mom, Nice, Outstanding,
Positive, QT, Responsible,
Stylish, Totally Awesome,
Under-appreciated, Very supportive,
Wise, Xtra cute,
Young, ZZZ's [I like my sleep!!]

Besides all that,
you are the best
mom anyone
could have!!!

Awww. How sweet is that? It melted my heart when he denied having the kids help him. He made it all by himself!! Not bad for a guy who used to say, "Mother's Day? You're not my mother." !!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Beautiful Girl. Gifted Artist.

Ellea's been taking lots of pictures since I got my fancy new camera. She got these great pictures of Nicole the other night. I hadn't told her how wonderful light is as the sun is going down, but now she knows.

It's nice to have a cooperative subject!

She even has an eye for composing a shot well, without any help from me. I think we might have a photographer on our hands!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pig Nibble

Ellea talked me into hanging out in the pig pen with her for a few minutes when I went outside to try out my camera for the first time.

I was snapping photos and caught this great expression. . . .

Pigs tend to nibble on everthing. She nibbled on Ellea's leg. No blood, but obviously it didn't feel good!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Don't Mind Me

Hey. Don't mind me, little pony. I'm just trying out my new camera.

Whatever. Can't you see I'm eating?

Hey, Ellea, come stand in front of this horse to make his ears come forward.

Nevermind. I'll just take a picture of you. You're cuter anyway. No hay hanging out of your mouth.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Day!

It was like Christmas around here yesterday. Only better. More like Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and my birthday rolled
into one . . . .

What, pray tell, could be that wonderful, you ask?

My NEW Big-Girl camera!!!!! Yup, it's true. After lusting, drooling and blogging over other people's fancy digital SLR cameras, my husband told me he wanted me to order one of my very own for my birthday. And so, by golly, I did.

It didn't hurt that at the recent family baptism we went to, the hostess let me play with her new camera. And her dear mother gave Glenn grief about needing to buy me one. (Thanks, Cynthia!! You're the best!). Glenn said he could see by the goofy grin on my face that I was enjoying that camera an awful lot! Thanks, Glenn! You're even better!

It's a Canon EOS Rebel T3i, for those of you who know about these things. It's just a great camera for those of you who don't.

And, here we have my very first picture with my nifty new camera. I talked Nicole into making dinner (waffles!), so I could go outside and play with my new toy! When I went back into the house to help finish dinner, Ellea played with my toy. . . . I think she's as in love with it as me (almost). I don't know how well I'm going to share, though!

My poor children: they thought I took lots of pictures before when I just had a point and shoot. They're not going to know what hit them!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Riding Double

Nicole and I talked Morgan into going for a horse back ride with us last weekend. We have three horses, so I wanted him to ride his own, but he opted to ride double with Nicole.
Bless her. She's a saint. He didn't want to ride behind the saddle, so she volunteered to. Do you know how hard it is to control your horse from the back seat?!

I assumed he'd be going for a full-fledged trail ride, but he was happy after about 15 minutes of horse-time. We dropped him off with Glenn and Ellea who were fixing fence nearby and away we
went. I'm just grateful that at least one of my kids is horse-crazy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day After

Glenn and I played hooky from work and went to Lewiston together the day after my birthday.

It was a beautifully warm spring day.

We had lunch at Red Lobster. Broiled scallops and garlic shrimp scampi. It was yummy. And we split a strawberry pina colada. It was extra-yummy!
We did a little shopping and had a good time. Or, I had a good time, and Glenn was a good sport. We got home and some of the kids had eaten already and some hadn't. I figured they could fend for themselves.

Close to 8pm, Ellea asked me what was for dinner (we normally eat around six!). Told her whatever she made herself. She looked a little startled at that information. She left with Glenn for a little while and when they returned she told him she thought mom had dinner ready. He told her he didn't think I was making dinner. She asked me again what was for dinner when she came in. Apparently, she didn't believe me the first time!

I might have to make them feed themselves more often! They're a little spoiled!

Monday, May 21, 2012


I turned 39 last week. My last year in the 30's. Not sure how I feel about that. Mostly, it's just a crazy high number. I really struggle to remember my age these past few years. I spent part of the past year thinking I was turning 40 this month. Math's not my forte, can you tell?

Ellea was confused, too. The day before my birthday, Glenn mentioned how old I was turning. Ellea wasn't buying it.

E: You're not 39, you're 40.
L: No, I'm 39.
E: No, you're not.
L: Yes. I am.
E: No, you're 40.
L: No, Ellea, I was born in 1973, so I won't be 40 until 2013.
E: Hmm. I still think you're 40. (She's normally much better at math than me, but in her mind, math had nothing to do with it.)

She was still talking about it the next day. I think I finally convinced her, but it wasn't easy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I blogged a year ago about my friend, Candi, breeding her mare to a donkey.

The proud papa. Not really. I don't think he keeps tabs on his offspring.

Meet "May." How cute is she? Thankfully, mules tend to look more like their horse mamas and not their donkey dads so much. Except for maybe those ears!

Nicole and I fell in love with her sweet personality. She seems much more inquisitive and friendly than her other horse baby that Candi has had. And she has this adorable tendency to kick up her back legs when you scratch her rump. Not sure how cute that would be when she gets older...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mother's Day, 2012

Mother's day this year was spent in nearby Palouse, Washington with some of Glenn's fine family. We were invited to participate in the baptism of the newest member of the clan, William Henry Kaufman. Sadly, we missed the church services due to our pig emergency that morning, but we made it just in time for the celebration afterward.

It was a beautiful sunny day and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. There were a lot of people competing to hold the beautiful (and incredibly sweet) baby, but Ellea was by far the biggest threat to me getting any baby time!

This girl sure loves babies. She even has the touch to put them to sleep. She's had many offers to move in with her cousins and become a nanny. She's tempted, but I think she should finish school before she moves out.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cold Bed

After the fun Survivor-esque challenges at Nicole's birthday party, the girls were determined to sleep outside around the campfire. After all, contestants on Survivor don't sleep in camp trailers, right?!!

They were fully informed of the predicted low-temperature of just above freezing, but they were not to be deterred in their quest to suffer on the hard ground in the cold air. Not me. I helped pile them sky-high with blankets and happily retired to my comfy bed.

Zoey's in there somewhere....

Nicole being the smart girl that she is, eventually moved into the camper. Later, when she came into the house to go to the bathroom, she couldn't resist the pull of her bed upstairs. She thought she'd sleep there for an hour or two and then go back outside. (Yeah, right! Didn't happen.)

The other five girls all stuck it out by the fire for the few hours that they actually slept. I was impressed. They're either tough, or dumb.

Despite exhaustion, Nicole was her (mostly) delightful self the next day. I only received a couple of eye-rolls. Not bad for a thirteen-year-old.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Snow Day

We finally had a "snow day" from school yesterday. No, we didn't get three feet of snow (thank the Lord!), but the power was out and wasn't going to be restored until about noon. One would think they could do some school work with natural light and even do some stuff outside, but apparently not. The Elementary school concert was scheduled for today, so Morgan was the tiniest bit disappointed that school was cancelled. He got over that feeling pretty quickly.

Ironically, power was back on just after 8am, before school would've even started. Don't know why it took so much less time than predicted. Officialls were probably kicking themselves, but we enjoyed a lazy day at home.

You'd think I would've caught up on some future blogs, or given my dog and my son (not necessarily in that order) a hair cut, or organized the messy areas in my house, or one of another million things I should do. But I didn't. And I'm glad.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Birthday Island

Nicole's theme for her 13th birthday party was Survivor: Birthday Island. We're good parents and we've succeeded in getting our daughters hooked on reality television. Survivor is one of our weekly rituals!

The kids had a great time. They had "buffs" (matching team bandannas), built shelters, made tribe flags, competed in tribal challenges and went to tribal council. If you're not a Survivor fan, all that means nothing to you.

This was the "immunity idol." Again, that will mean nothing to you if you're not a Survivor fan! She bought this beat up old horse for twenty-five cents at a yard sale. Nicole is wearing her "buff" that we got from the dollar store.

The first of many Tribal Councils. Glenn got to play "Jeff" (the host of Survivor). He had a good time with it, as you can imagine.

One of many challenges. They had to do a relay race with an egg in a spoon. They walked down the log and had to duck through the soccer goals. Ellea (and a couple of her friends) got to participate also, so that they'd have enough players.

A fun time was had by all. No one actually got voted out, they just voted for who would lose points. Ellea's team had the most points at the end of the evening, so they won.

Nicole told me after it was all over that she and her friends enjoyed it so much that they were going to have individual Survivor competition over the summer.

We'll see about that!

Monday, May 14, 2012


Sadly, we are down to one 4-H pig. We had pig weigh-in on Saturday when every 4-H pig is taken to a scale downtown to be weighed and tagged. Nicole's pig, Pickle, somehow hurt his back in the process. We talked to the vet yesterday and she said to give him aspirin and hope for the best. Last night he could no longer stand up. This morning he was dead.

It's always sad to lose an animal, but unfortunately, it's also part of the process of having animals. Nicole has been given the option of getting another pig or switching to a lamb project. Lamb was really what she wanted to take in the first place, so I think we'll be in the lamb business soon.

Rest in peace, Pickle.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Not my favorite photo of myself, but one of the few I have with all three kids crowed around their mom. Don't I look refreshed and relaxed in this photo?

Those were the days.

I actually do miss them sometimes. Our kids are growing up too fast.

And then I think about how much I like sleeping through the night.......

Happy, happy mother's day to all my mother friends and family out there!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lucky Number Thirteen

As I write this we have 10 kids running around our house. It's 9:30 pm Friday night and we've been birthday-partying for the past 6 hours. I'm tired, but I don't think the party is going to wind down for awhile!

I remember that I wanted at least one girl and I figured if my firstborn was a girl, I'd be all set! Everyone told me that they thought I was having a boy so I convinced myself of that too. It was such a thrill to hear the doctor say that we had a girl when you were born!

It seems impossible that it has been thirteen years already. I'm afraid time will move even faster as you mature into the beautiful young woman you are already becoming. I can't imagine life without you. You're so kind-hearted and easy-going. Thank you for your beautiful smile and great sense of humor.

Happy 13th Birthday, Nicole!!
I love you!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Young Scientists

One of the requirements of the federal grant that I coordinate for our school district is that the kids go on a campus tour every year. This year, I took 35 seventh graders to the University of Idaho in Moscow (my Alma Mater).

My dear friend, Candi, works at U of I. She's the Human Anatomy instructor. She graciously opened up her lab to us. (Thanks, Candi!!!) She had two fun activities planned. They made working lung models with balloons, straws and cups. They also learned a little about forensics. They learned how to look at a human tibia bone and tell if it was from a male or female, and how to measure the bone and calculate the original height of that person. Candi did a great job with the kids and the lessons fit right into what they're learning in science right now.

Our other fun stop was the Museum of Entomology. It's a room full of (dead) bugs and the guy who takes care of them. It doesn't sound as great as it was. It really was interesting. There are so many different bugs! There were also a few live insects.
That blurry green thing on Nicole's hand is a "walking stick" bug. And not your typical stick-like walking sticks that you might be familiar with. They are from New Zealand and they live in brambles and look very leaf like. The boys are brown and look like dead leaves and the girls are green. They are very cool in a buggy-sort-of-way!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Life is good on the home front. A little busy, but very good.

1. Glenn just finished his last track meet of the season. He coached 7th/8th grade girls and boys track for the first time this year and was in his element. He did an outstanding job with the kids and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. He can talk about track for hours. He can spend hours pouring over his clipboards full of track meet results.

2. I just got back from my second meeting for the Idaho Leads Project. They put us up in the fancy Coeur d'Alene resort again, but some of us got their less-fancy rooms. Sadly, I was one of those, but since I mostly just slept in the room, I tried not to be too bitter about it. Just a little bitter. At the first meeting they gave each of us a Kindle Fire. This time they gave each school district $5,000 to spend on something--anything--to improve their school. Now we have to figure out what that will be.

3. There are only 15 more school days left, but who's counting? The kids and I!

4. I am a college student again! I've been accepted at the University of the Southwest in New Mexico in their online program to get a Masters in Education as a School Counselor. I am registered for my very first graduate school class. It starts June 3, and it's called Educational Research. Sounds exciting, no? Maybe not. We'll see. Sounds scary. It's only been 16 years since I was in school and I've never taken an online course. Piece of cake.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bloomsday, 2012

Glenn ran in Bloomsday again this year.  The past two years, the kids and I have tagged along for a  mini-vacation in Spokane with him.  This year, he had a track meet the day before so we were going to be in Spokane for less than 24 hours, so he was on his own.

The poor guy came down with a terrible cold just a day or two before the race, so I was impressed when his time was really close to last year's (just over an hour).  He said that lots of people were struggling with the heat, so he tried not too push himself so hard that he'd be unable to finish.

I considered walking it this year.  I walked it with friends a couple of times in college, but it is 7.5 miles which is quite a hike for my lazy-self.  Maybe next year......

Good job, Glenn!  I sure am proud of you!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Somewhere, Over the Rainbow.

On the way home from picking 4-H pigs, we saw this beautiful little sliver of a rainbow in the distance below some serious rain clouds. Of course, I had to stop and snap a picture, although my crappy little point-and-shoot barely does the view justice.

Hope someone found the pot of gold!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fire and Friends

We've been making very good use of our fire pit this spring. Have I mentioned the new fire pit we have thanks to Glenn's ingenuity? It's made out of caterpillar track. It's welded together between each joint to make a solid ring. Glenn figures it only weighs about 1,000 pounds, so we won't be moving it around much!
We had some friends over for another fire and hot dog roast at the end of one of our recent beautiful sunny days. Nothin' better than sitting around the fire with friends!
Except maybe sitting around the fire with friends and a Mike's Hard Lemonade!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Another Date

Glenn and I have done remarkably well with the whole "Date-a-month" plan that I dreamed up back in January. In April we even managed two dates on one day! It was crazy!
I had planned a day off from work because I had worked extra hours that week and he offered to take me out to lunch. Then we were discussing that we should go out to dinner sometime soon with some friends. He asked me when we should schedule it and I said, "tonight!" No time like the present, right?

Dinner was at a Mexican restaurant which was fitting since this couple joined us on our favorite (and only!) trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was just like Mexico, except the weather wasn't as warm, we didn't drink as freely, and the food wasn't quite as fabulous. Other than that, it was exactly the same!

Friday, May 4, 2012

16 Hands Tall

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved horses. . .

She looked so little next to these big animals.

Now she's so darned tall that she can actually see over them. She was startled to realize this just the other day. You know you're horse-crazy when you measure how much you've grown compared to the horses in your life.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

G for Girl

This was my favorite piggy at the pig farm. She was longer and taller than all her siblings. It didn't hurt that her markings were unusual, but mostly she was just well put together.

Ellea prefers girl pigs. Pig lesson of the day: Girl pigs are gilts (g for girl), boy pigs are barrows (b for boy). Got it? There will be a quiz. So I thought I could convince her to pick this gilt by pointing out all her positive attributes. But, alas, Ellea is a little discriminatory when it comes to pigs. She's convinced that "pink" pigs are meaner. As you can see this pig is only about half pink, but that's enough in her mind, so the answer was no.

Well, it turns out, we were enjoying the pig barn without Glenn for the first 20 minutes. He was meeting us there after track practice. He gets there and tells Ellea he likes this particular pig and what happens? She picks it.

Now, one might think I'd simply be pleased that the pig I liked was going home with us. But, mostly I was wounded that when mom suggests a pig the answer is no way. Dad suggests the same pig? Oh, okay, I'll take that one.


Maybe I should grow up.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Piggy Time

The girls picked out their 4-H pigs a couple weeks ago. If only I could share the smell of pig-farm with you. Count your lucky stars that I cannot. And don't tell me you know how stinky pigs are until you've been in a smallish building with a few hundred of them. Then, and only then can you truly know the joy of a pig farm.
So after the pig-picking process is over, it's time to load up the cute little guys in the stock trailer and drive home. At this point, you're grateful to be away from the pig farm smell, but realize quickly that you can hardly stand to smell yourself. We've learned to bring clean shoes to change into because you don't want to track anymore piggy smell into the vehicle than absolutely necessary. But it doesn't seem to matter because the odor has permeated every article of clothing and every strand of hair on the body.

So you just breathe shallowly and run for the shower as soon as you get home. I had to wash my hair (with liberal amounts of shampoo) three times before the smell of (wet) pig went away. I kid you not. Three times!

I am eternally grateful that Glenn raises cows rather than pigs. Next time I am tempted to complain of his cows stinking (and I will be tempted), I will try to remember how lovely they smell in comparison.