Friday, May 30, 2008

Simple is good!

We blew bubbles on the front porch last night!
It was amazing to me that Jansse was still so interested! He really enjoyed it!
And after I left he continued for another 15 minutes. Something so simple is so wonderful!

Here is a lay out I did this past weekend. I really like it, but again, it is something so simple.

And a close up at some of the fun:
Off to a design team craft-a-thon this evening and tomorrow. That should be fun!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Summer Goals

Jansse got out of school today. Just have the picnic tomorrow, and then nothing for Petra until September. The vacation is always so fun! So, as we were driving home Jansse and I talked about summer goals. Mine are as follows: Family Exercise at least three times a week. We can go for a run walk, and add Jansse in on his bike along side Andy on the run part. That will help all of us to stay in shape. Jansse to Eat Fruit. I want him to eat at least one serving of fruit a day. He is not keen on this idea as he hates fresh fruit. But I am determined as I have observed that he will eat banana without complaining now that we've made him do it often enough. When we first started out he would gag and throw-up almost every time and take over an hour to eat half a banana. Yesterday he at an entire banana in less than 10 minutes and not one complaint. That is my goal for other fruits. He claims he doesn't like "wet" food, but somehow that rule doesn't apply with ice cream or pudding or other sweets. So, this is the summer to get over it and eat like a normal person! Weekly "field trips." Yep, I would like for Jansse and I to get out on one excursion a week to hike or bike someplace new and different. Next week I'd like to get us up to Headwaters State Park for a hike. It is where the Madison, Jefferson and Gallatin rivers all come together to form the Missouri river. We were there in the early spring of 07, and I think it will be neat to see it this time of year when the snow melt probably makes it a bit more dramatic. And, the views from the hiking trails should be fantastic with all the hills being green! I've got other ideas for excursion too. We don't have to go on the weeks when Jansse has camps (there are three of those this summer), but I'd like to go every other week. And maybe sometimes we can bring a friend. A schedule of chores for Jansse. At least one little or medium sized responsibility a day. For example, on Wednesdays, when we will have Bible Study at our house, he can vacuum the stairs. And, on Tuesdays I'll have him mow the lawn. If he gets the idea that he needs to pitch in more as he grows, hopefully he'll get training for good work habits when he is grown up. Getting together with a friend at least once a week. This can be a challenge living where we live, so I want to make a point of it. Jansse needs it, and we certainly know plenty of boys to invite over. I'm willing to do the transportation to make this happen. Hopefully we'll have a social summer while still having plenty of calm days without constant running around! Math practice. Ugh. I'm afraid we need that in there because although Jansse knows his math facts, he is slow on the timed tests - always gets 100% of the answer correct, but never finishes all of the problems. So, we need to get faster at them. That way he won't be discouraged in third grade. I hope! Jansse had some goals too. First, he wants to learn to cook more. Specifically, he wants to learn to make scrambled eggs with cream cheese. We already started on cooking in general by having him make cookies for the picnic tomorrow. He read and followed the recipe with almost no help from me. I didn't even need an apron. The first batch just came out of the oven, and they look beautiful - ginger snaps, in case you were wondering. He is already pretty good at microwaving burritos and a few other things. I'm glad he wants to learn to cook. Second, he wants to learn to swing higher. There you have it. Jansse's goals. Andy doesn't have any specific goals yet, but I think at this point, just getting through the two trials scheduled for next week is pretty high on his priority list. Poor guy, summer doesn't really bring about a change in his schedule, except that now he has to deal with Jansse wanting to do stuff with him all day long while he has to work. He is on board with the family exercise evenings, and that will be fun. Plus, perhaps we can plan some camping too!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Madison Buffalo Jump Fieldtrip

It was a beautiful day for an "all school field trip."
Actually, it wasn't quite all school because only the first through sixth graders went, but it sure was fun! We went to Madison Buffalo Jump State Park, about 45 minutes away from the school. The buffalo jump is where the Blackfeet Indians would run herds of buffalo off of cliffs to their death, and then the Indians would harvest the meat, skins, bones, etc. for food, clothing and shelter. It is an area with lots of history, and quite a bit of beauty!

This is the group I got to hang out with for the scavenger hunt activity. Notice, it did not include my son. At first I was disappointed, but then I realized that was probably a good decision. None of the parents had their own children in their group - at least none that I noticed. You can sort of see behind them the cliffs where the buffalo were run to their death.

Here are all the kids who went! Don't they look like they are having a good time!

Can you find Jansse in this photo?

Jansse did work hard on the art project they did. He was building a tepee, but first he had to decorate the skin for it. He hates to color, so true to form, his was minimalist in it's decoration.

The teachers had this beautiful buffalo skin and skull to show the children!
They also had a great book to read to the children that was inspired by the very place we were visiting. All of the children got to touch the skin and the skull, and were thrilled for the chance to do that.

The teacher holding the skull will be Jansse's third grade teacher next year. We are very excited to have her! I cannot tell you how blessed with good, no GREAT, teachers we have been at Petra. They are all wonderful. This years teacher taught Jansse so much, and is just the sweetest lady. It was her first year, and I can see that she has a tremendous teaching career in front of her!

Tomorrow is the last day of classes, and then Friday is the school picnic. Then, it is summer!

Hopefully the weather will realize how excited about summer we are and begin to act like it is time for warm sunny days!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Indiana Jones Movies

Jansse came back from Tahoe begging to see Indiana Jones movies. I just happened to have foreseen this issue, knowing that he would be exposed to television commercials. So, I bought the boxed set of the old ones and previewed them while he was gone to see if they were okay for him. I decided there is no way he will see the second one ("Temple of Doom") as it is too gross, frightening, satanic, confusing, and just all around inappropriate for him. Really, it is probably inappropriate for anyone, but that's just my opinion. But, the first one and the third one were okay as long as he had an adult to be with him.

So, we decided to watch Raiders of the Lost Arc tonight. First we talked a bit about the Arc of the Covenant, and I was very pleased with what he knew - the Ten Commandments are stored in there, and nobody except the priests were to touch it or they would die. So, thinking that was a good introduction, we rolled the DVD.

Here are photos of Jansse during the opening scenes of the movie:

Just a little scary.
Oh boy, this is a lot scary!
Maybe I'll take a peek, but I'm not sure I want to watch this.

Okay, I think I'm a real boy, and I like it, even though it is scary.

He did not let Andy leave during most of the movie, and when Andy did step away for a moment, we would hear a little voice saying "Papa, I need you."

But, at the end, he was raving about it.

By the way, from what I have heard about the new movie that just came out, he will not see it for many years to come. But, at least he will have some familarity with what all the marketing is about because he will have seen the 20 year old movie.

They are home!

And the star of the show is Jansse! Just a couple of fun pics of him on the trip to Lake Tahoe.

He fished, but in order to do so, had to first catch live minnows with the minnow trap. Here he is getting them out of the water.
He's pretty independent in the row boat now. I guess it impressed grandpa enough that he went out and bought some proper oars for the boat. That was cool!
They had cloudy skies and cooler weather the entire holiday weekend, but that didn't stop Jansse and Andy from having some great fun.
Uncle Rich taught Jansse some archery skills, and then gave Jansse some equipment. Thanks Uncle Rich! This is going to be so fun this summer! Jansse is thrilled!
And he played some fun games with Grandma, and also with the cousins.
They did some clean up around the cabin as well, raking pine needles from the roof and from the grounds. That is the Memorial Day tradition, and it was good for Jansse to be part of it. He loves Lake Tahoe and anytime he can get there he thinks it is the absolute best thing in the world! I'm glad they got to go, although I missed them and want to go next time.

I am also very glad they are home! Five days without them is just too much for me. I'm a wimp about being away from my husband and my son. Just the way God made me.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Scrappy weekend

This is what I'm scrapbooking today. And other things as well. I don't have my camera
to show you the results of my efforts. It is in California, with my son and my husband. I miss them so much! And I'm consoling myself this rainy weekend with scrapbooking. After two days working at the scrapbooking store I'm inspired and motivated, and I have some "mojo" to boot. I'm excited!

There are several techniques I want to try - like crackle paint with luminart Radiant Rain daubed over it - I think it will be cool, but I haven't tried it yet. And, I bought (with the money I earned working) lots of new Prima "Say It With Chrystals" that I have some fun plans for.

I do have to sneak in some laundry and meal preparation, but until my boys return, my time is free to play.

And, please know, if it weren't drizzlie raining constantly, I would not be spending the entire time in the house. But since it is a chicken soup and hot chocolate kind of weather event, I'll just settle in and make the best of it. My garden will have to wait until next weekend - and then the weeds are going to be honken' big!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Busy little update!

Okay, it has been crazy busy lately, but I want to give an update.

This photo is from yesterday, and it shows the Gallatin River is full! This is the place where Andy and Jansse were fishing just a few weeks ago. Now, everywhere they stood on dry land is under water. Big Change!


Jansse's game on Thursday was rained out, so he has yet to play. And, the next game is scheduled for Wednesday, and I will be teaching a class at the scrapbook store, so I can't go. Boo Hoo!

Jennifer is doing okay, although her last update sounded tired. She is getting chemo into her spine either yesterday or today, which is a painful procedure. She received chemo regularly last week, and it kept her in the hospital until Monday or Tuesday. They are in process of moving to new temporary housing, but that is a good thing at this time. Please continue to pray for her, because although the treatments are offering hope, they are so hard on her!

Working at the scrapbook store happens for me only two days a month, and today and tomorrow are those days. Well, today, one of our customers had a car problem and couldn't stop and drove her late model Corvette right through the wall - fortunately nobody was hurt!! Talk about a hectic day at work! I was there all by myself, and had to call 911 and the store owner. Fortunately the damage to the store was not so bad that we had to close. There will be some serious construction issues in the near future, but since nobody was injured, we'll take that with as much of a smile on our faces as possible.

I am working on the silent auction for Jennifer, and that is not hard, but suddenly involving a lot of telephone calls.

I managed to miss my dad's birthday - Happy Birthday Daddy - and now need to get together a little package for he and his wife (it was her birthday a week before his - Happy Birthday Nell - and their anniversary the day after his birthday). I am making myself crazy trying to figure out what to do for them. I've got to get it figured out by Tuesday so I can mail to them then.

There is so much other stuff going on, but right now I don't have time to explain it all. I'll just assure you that all is well, just busy.

And, thank you for your nice comments about our hard day earlier this week.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Yesterday was ... hard.

Yep, we have days like that. It was supposed to be a really good day, ending with the great excitement of Jansse's first baseball game. But, it didn't turn out that way.
First, we got two "nasty grams" in the mail. One not directed at us, but telling us about someone elses supposed wrong behavior. It just makes my heart sink to get things like that because it serves no purpose but to divide people, and that is never loving or kind or really even necessary. The other "nasty gram" was directed to us and others who participated in a particular court action that the writer did not care for. It was depressing because we had really prayed about what to do in that situation and determined we were doing the right thing by participating. Again, the letter was not uplifting of anyone, and served no purpose other than to tear people down. Useless waste of time! So, that set a bit of a low tone for the afternoon.
Then, we went to Jansse's game, and nobody was there! We waited, and two other families showed up, but not the 14 families of our team, and nobody from the other team. We quickly realized we must be at the wrong ball field, and spent the next 45 minutes driving all around Bozeman looking for our team. Never found them. Jansse was sad. I repeat Jansse was sad. Poor guy! When we got home we talked to the coach by phone and he apologized for not telling us that the game was at a new field - he acknowledged that he had told some families, but not others. Poor coach was really catching bad things from the other families who missed the game, and I felt bad for him because he certainly did not intend to cause a problem. From our end, all is forgiven, and even Jansse understands and wants to be friendly and encouraging to the coach who is being bombarded with negative complaints at this time. So, Jansse ended up playing catch, batting, and doing fielding exercises with his dad at home in our own green field.

I was so proud of him for making the most of a challenging situation. I think at his age I might have cried and been very unwilling to have anything to do with Baseball for a couple of hours.

But not my boy! He is so good at bouncing back and making the best of his situation. I admire that in him!

That was the end of the bad things. Then, it rained. Actually, first there was a huge wind storm. I mean wild! Howling wind! Amazing! Exciting! Knocked out the power multiple times! The, it rained. It has been raining pretty much ever since, which is a good thing because the crops need rain, the grass needs rain, and it is not snow!

I'll take it! It is more like what spring usually is around here.

I started a bit of a project. I took all my scrapbook pages out of the books and organized them in chronological order. I don't scrap chronological, but I decided I want to store that way. It is a big project that takes up a lot of room. I hope to have them all back into books by the end of today.

It is neat to go back and see all the things I've done, and how my scrapbooking has progressed. I am going to have a couple of weekends with lots of crafting (I hope!), so it is exciting to be inspired by what is already done!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunset and Moon Rise

Skies like this are common here in the spring.
I love the glow in our yard at this time of the evening! It just makes all the colors so much deeper and richer!
It is a full moon tonight, and promises to be beautiful!
As you can tell from the past five posts, it was a good weekend for us. Hope yours was enjoyable as well.


The grass needed it!
Jansse loved doing it!

Now, he wants an increase in his allowance.


It's a big drinking fountain Bo!

Leo and Dera (my brother's dog who is visiting this week while he's on vacation) are used to getting drinks from the sprinkler. They love it. Bo, however, was a bit skeptical and just barked at the sprinkler head.
See Bo, this is how it's done!
Or, here is another method to try.
Com'on Bo, you can give it a try!
It was a no go for Bo.

Let's Go Fly a Kite!

It was windy and warm. A perfect day for it!

It takes a lot of concentration and work to keep that puppy up there - actually, it is a spider man. FUN!

Raging River

Last night we drove up Gallatin Canyon to check out the river. With the warm weather, the snow melt is in full swing. The river has not peaked yet, but it sure is rushing and dirty! No fishing in that baby for awhile!
It was loud, and it scared Jansse to be close to it. He even expressed fear today when we were reviewing the photos. I'm glad he's nervous about it, because right now it is very dangerous. Good to know he has some sense of that naturally!


A sign that spring is finally here!

The rest are signs around our neighborhood. I'm afraid they don't make Montanains seem very friendly. So much for "Wide Open Spaces!"

All of these signs were seen on my walk to the east of our home yesterday. The road just became passable for walking, and it was my first walk up there this spring.

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's About Time...

1. It's about time that I get out of the funk I've been in the past 9 days and get on with a cheerful life. I'm working on that! I do feel better than 9 days ago, but I know that I can be better. I'm praying, and God is giving me encouragement, so I think I'm on the way to bouncing back to myself.

2. It's about time that I started to be successful on my diet - and it is finally happening. Almost 10 pounds down - hopefully I'll get to that "milestone" by the middle of next week.

3. It's about time things looked this spring like here:

Isn't that wonderful? The grass is green! And it is getting long enough that I think we need to mow this weekend! No leaves on most of the trees yet, but we'll get there. I'm starting to believe that summer might actually come this year - and that, my dear reader is probably a big part of addressing the issues in paragraph 1 above.

4. It is about time I get crafting and have something to post on this blog. I've got so many ideas and inspirations in my head, and I can't wait to get to them . . . but not until after I don the ten things remaining on the t0-do list that are chores and pains and time consuming and a contributing factor to the funk mentioned above. They just have to be done, so . . .

5. It's about time I stop procrastinating and get to the chores so I can get to the crafting so I can get out of this funk and enjoy the spring weather by being active and burning calories to improve the overall health and appearance of my body.

Yeah! Time to go!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I thought I'd share a couple more Yellowstone shots of birds. Jansse and I were trying to get a shot of a Blue Heron, which was across the Fire Hole river from us. And then I saw out of the corner of my eye a larger bird. I quickly put my camera up and randomly shot, hoping to get something good. Jansse got all excited and said "He has a fish! He has a fish!" Sure enough, that large bird, which turns out to be an osprey, did have a fish, and I got a photo of it.
Pretty cool!

Then, the Blue Heron posed too, which was icing on the cake!

It has been a heck of a week already, and I can't really even tell you why because I'm not sure. It just has been. Lots of tired. Lots of need to withdraw and be at home, but not much time for that. Must be a funk of some kind. These things happen I guess. Just roll with them and get to the other side as quickly as possible is the best philosophy I've been able to come up with about it.

I've got a heck of a "To Do" list going in my head, and now it is time to start checking some of those items off the list. Starting with getting my house cleaned and spiffy. Yeah, that should be a good place to start. Don't you think? I think so. So, why am I still sitting here staring at the draft of this post? Gotta go-go-go!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Big Weekend!

We had a big weekend around here! On Saturday my sister-in-law graduated, with highest honors in two majors from Montana State University. It is/was a very big deal! We are so proud of her and her accomplishment. She's young and energetic, and managed to do this accomplishment while single parenting most of the time - until she married my brother last spring.

This is Stacy celebrating with her daughter and my son after the third ceremony she went through.
And, then with her sweet heart - my wonderful brother! He is so proud of her, I can't even tell you. They joined us for a celebration dinner at our house, and then were up early on Sunday and off to California for a trip to the Magic Kingdom!

Then, for Mother's Day we did our traditional trip into Yellowstone Park. It was a cloudy and wet day, but we had a nice time.

For the first time ever we saw a black bear in the park. Not the best photo ever, but it gives you an idea:
Didn't see any griz this trip (did see two last year when we went to a different part of the park). It was just the three of us this year, and we took our time looking around and seeing lots of fun things.
I'm not all that pleased with this photo of me, but I have to say, the angelic look on Jansse's face makes me happy! We were at Artist Paint Pots for this one, one of the places we got out and walked around.

We did see the typical elk and bison, but we also got an array of birds this trip.

This White Pelican is the first one we've seen this close up. He is in the Fire Hole river, which is one Jansse especially loves because he has fished there with his grandpa and papa.