Friday, July 8, 2011

The past couple of days

The 4th of July hike was a big success! It was two miles, round trip, and I loved every minute of it. I was very tired at the end, though. T Jay and Summer raced up the trail like seasoned pros! At one point they played a game where you had to jump from rock to rock. Matthew hiked the entire way except for a few moments of riding on Daddy's shoulders and a short piggy back ride from me. I talked him into walking back down because my belly was so big I couldn't carry him. He and I hiked down together and it was fabulous one on one time. He asked questions, scrutinized nature, picked flowers and leaves for me and threw rocks at every bend in the creek. He sure has a very tight hold on my heart! Lexi even hiked the equivalent of one way herself. She caught a short nap in Daddy's arms on the way down. The hike earned the entire family a much needed nap! The family picnic was nice and the firework show was entertaining. The lawn caught fire a couple times, but Uncle Mike had the hose at the ready! It's kind of surprising what you can buy as a novice from the firework stand. I'm sure the ER was busy that weekend!
Tuesday I spent over two hours at the Honda dealer in Bozeman getting the appearance of my "check engine" light diagnosed. I had T Jay, Summer and Matthew with me. It could have gone really bad, we were only supposed to be there for a half an hour. The stars must have been aligned in my favor, because they were really good the entire time with not much to do- even Matthew!
Wednesday was pretty lazy. The kids played in the glacially cold water and I finished up my book. That evening Jess and I went to Chico Hot Springs for dinner. It was yummy! We had: Caprese salad (my all time fav right now), bruschetta, fresh from their garden salad, flilet mignon, an interesting (gourmet) and yummy version of a potato casserole, and an ice cream pie for dessert. I love great food! I am having my leftovers today!
Thursday we went into Livingston to Sacajawea park so the kids could play. They had a great time playing and I enjoyed watching them from the shade! We lunched at The Pickle Barrel (I always get the mushroom steak sandwich), got the boys a much needed haircut and then headed to the city pool. They have a diving board, so the kids were ecstatic! Luckily the water wasn't as cold as I had been preparing the kids that it would be. It was really refreshing. For the next two hours, the kids wore a path out from the diving board to the ladder and back around again. T Jay got brave enough to try a flip off and I am so glad I got some photos of the sheer joy on Matthew's face every time he jumped off. Cousins met us there, and Summer left the diving board in the dust for handstands and funny hairstyles with cousin Addie. We had a nice relaxing dinner at the ranch with Uncle Mike and s'mores by the river to cap off the evening. The kids borrowed Uncle Mikes tent and camped out in the basement. I am 85-90% finished with the hardest puzzle ever. I swore it's staying here whether I can finish it or not. Hopefully I will have it finished today, I'm not sure I can handle leaving it unfinished, I've got my pride to consider!
Today will probably be a lazy day and tomorrow will be filled with getting the ranch house cleaned up as we have renters checking in on Saturday afternoon. I hope your day is relaxing and fun. Be back before too long!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

Well, we made it to Montana! We are staying at "the ranch house" this time, and it is fabulous! The kids have been running free, like they should be able to, from sun up until bedtime every day with their cousins. The pirate ship tree house and costumes have been well usedand the rach kitty, well bothered! The boys are putting the final touches on our newly remodeled ranch house, which we will be renting out as a vacation rental starting next week. I'll post pictures of how awesome it looks after we clean and "check out" on Saturday.
Since we arrived on Thursday, here's what we have been up to. As we were travelling, Jess and T.Jay both picked up pink eye, so I scheduled an appointment for them to go to as we pulled into town. With eye drops in hand, we headed to the grocery store to pick up some non- fast food sustenance (thank goodness!) and headed out to the ranch. The kids feet hit the ground running, after a very strong lecture to stay away from the very high, very fast moving Yellowstone river. Friday was spent working. Jess, Mark and Rich worked on painting and installing the new deck while Mike continued his amazing rock work around the foundation. He was lucky enough to have a lot of little "helpers" eager to find fillers or run errands for him. I'm not really sure if it was a help or a hindrance, but he was really good about letting them "help" him.
Saturday was a little more deck and rock work, and then into Livingston for the annual fourth of July parade! It didn't disappoint! Lots of candy, vintage cars and plenty of music. And hot, certainly hot! I am now in love with several new vintage cars! There was a convertible Crystler Town and Country that was amazing as well as an old Chevy, a Dodge, a Corvette, Porsche and some amazingly cool old farm and ranch equipment! I need to figure a way to be friends with Jay Leno, it's the only way I can think of to fill my vintage car dreams. There are so many that I love! After the parade, everyone headed back out to the ranch for a family dinner. I stopped at Albertson's to get a few things and some fried chicken from the deli. The case was filled with chicken, so I asked the worker for the bulk chicken prices. He was very leery to sell me too much chicken, "because he needed to save some to feed the other people, but if I wanted to wait 15 minutes, he could whip me up a big batch." Hmmm, aren't I "people,"or at least person with money? And couldn't he whip up more once I was gone and cleaned him out? I guess not. I was able to get 20 pieces of chicken out of him, leaving a heaping mound of chicken in the case for "the other people!" Strange and funny at the same time! After we ate, Grandma had games planned for the kids. They had a three legged race, water balloon toss and a water relay. The kids were in Grandma heaven! They wore themselves out so thoroughly that bedtime was full weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth!
Sunday, we got up and ready for church. We had to head in early so that Jess could borrow a white shirt from Grandpa. Rich, Jess, Mark, Grandpa and a few others participated in the baby blessing of little Niles. After church was a lunch at Rich and Jamie's to celebrate Niles! Food, family and visiting- not a bad way to spend the Sabbath! We capped off the evening with a rain storm (my favorite) and adult visiting on the almost finished deck while watching the Yellowstone and taking in the breathtaking view!
Today's activities include our favorite hike up to Pinecreek Falls, a picnic, followed by another family BBQ, more kids games, s'mores and fireworks! I hope all of the kids can make it through the day, naps may be in order! I hope your 4th of July is enjoyable, leaving you time to ponder the beauty of our freedom! Happy 4th!