"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Monday, November 26, 2012


 Last Wednesday our three year old turned four :)

 It was a pretty low-key day, being the day before Thanksgiving.

We took him to dinner, opened presents and visited Papa and Bugga.

 I kind of cheated this year as far as gifts went.  I had these three in the closet most of the year, so I didn't do any shopping right before his birthday.

 It didn't matter to him.

This truck and trailer are toys I won at a fund raiser for some friends.  I tucked it away in the closet, figuring it would be a good gift for one of the boys.

 The turtle mixer was a toy he picked out himself.  We took him to our local pharmacy/gift shop, and he got to pick out one toy.  He had received some money from his Sunday School teacher, and we paid the difference.

 Grandpa sent a card that had money in it too.  I took him to the Cowboy Shop and let him pick out a new pair of boots with that money plus some.  This has become a tradition for him.

His brothers all enjoyed playing with the new toys too.

On his birthday, he suddenly developed an interest in drawing.  He wasn't real interested in it before, but loves it now.  He always wants me to get him the box of markers, and then only uses the black one.

 You can see his new boots (sort of) in this picture.  The tops are a dark green color.  Very classy.

We didn't do a birthday cake, because this kid doesn't eat cake or ice cream.  We have this problem every year, and one year even made him birthday cookies ... which if I remember right, he didn't eat.  And since the next day was Thanksgiving, I just made a dessert for him to take to Papa and Bugga's for the big dinner.  The four year old picked it out (from a picture online).  It was a brownie mix made like a cookie, with cream cheese and fruit on top.  He didn't eat it, but everyone else thought it was good.  Oh well. There are worse things than a kid not wanting to eat dessert.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Nut Allergy, Treats for Troops, and My Crazy Life

First let me start by saying it's been crazy around here.  Actually I should qualify that.  It's always crazy around here.  But lately, it's been much crazier than normal.  It all started with the baby having a bad reaction to peanut butter - which put us at the emergency room Saturday morning a week and a half ago.  Since then we've made a quick trip to Jackson Hole and Idaho Falls all in the same day for four different doctors appointments in one day.  (It's challenging to get a fill-in for the daycare, so we bit the bullet and did everything in one day).  Anyway, long story short, the baby is now highly allergic to nuts, and we will have to be hyper-vigilant to make sure he isn't exposed to them. I took my camera along on that mad dash, but never took a single picture.  So in other news...

 Our eight year old has had a great time lately making pictures and writing letters to his brother overseas in the Air Force.  He even decorates the back side of the envelopes.  I got in trouble for mailing this one because apparantly he wasn't done - there was supposed to be a whole shark feeding frenzy on this envelope.  Oh well.

 The eight year old spent yesterday making cookies for a 4-H project.  The 4H club is doing "Treats for Troops" so he made a batch of peanut butter cookies (I know - we just said we have a peanut allergy here, but we're trying to rid the house of peanut butter... and being very careful about crumbs and such.)

He had a little side-kick helper.  Nothing gets done without the close observation of the side kick ;)

 ... especially when there is a camera at hand.

 We could take his oldest brother's mailing information to them to have treats sent to him as he is in the Air Force overseas, but he is coming home soon, and will be home before the goodies could arrive.  So we'll just have to make some treats for our own troop when he comes home.

 It's impossible to get a "normal" posed picture of the eight year old.  All the somewhat normal ones looked like he was either half asleep or bored to death, so you get this one...

 Last night we played a family game.  We've been doing this a lot lately.  Different games each night - Sorry, Dominoes, Tetris Link, and so on.

 We have a lot of excitement with this too.

 It's called two very "helpful" brothers that think they need to play too.  The three year old (who will be four tomorrow) usually gets extra pieces - in this case, the yellow pawns, or when we play dominoes, he gets the extra trains.  The baby will grab anything he can reach.

 That includes the game board or anything else he can reach.  That's one major disadvantage to the shorter daycare table...

 Last night, the eight year old went to get the baby some soymilk.  He managed to splash it on his head... don't known exactly how that happened, but if you think this is bad, you should have seen the counter.

 Our daughter is doing well at college.  We hear from her once in awhile.  She's having a great time as you can see, and putting to good use the colorful socks I sent her in a care package.  Glad she's getting good use out of them.  (By the way, she told me this fun experiment was a flop and she ended up having to wash the crazy curls out of her hair before class.)

I recently got a new phone and had to transfer the pictures I had on the old one to the computer so I wouldn't lose them.  I came across this one, which is about a year old now.  We were shopping for Christmas gifts last year and the mall we went to had these car strollers.  The three year old had never been in one (we never go to malls) and he was really impressed when he saw himself in the three-sided mirror.  Anyway, I didn't want to lose this picture forever, so here it is :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Full Freezer

 I can't tell you what a great sight this is.  My freezer is full, and it's mostly meat!  I have room at the top for just a little bit of stuff, but mostly this freezer is full.  We finally processed all the elk (two of them.)  We split the meat with my husband's parents.  So here's the tour.  I have boxes in the bottom of the freezer to keep things somewhat organized.  Starting with the top left, we have frozen vegetables, then the top middle is miscellaneous meats - store-bought chicken, steak, pork, and a cheapo bag of fish sticks (which the kids love).  The entire right side is elk burger, with a bag of homemade breakfast burritos for hubby's work-day breakfasts on top.  Center front is all elk steak and roasts.  (The grocery bag on top holds ice packs, which we use in coolers). And the front left is full of potato products - french fries, tater tots, hash browns, and a couple frozen pizzas on top.  We're well prepared for winter... and then some :)

 While we were cutting up elk in my in-law's basement, my three year old found this wire thing.  My mother-in-law asked if I knew what it was.  I had no clue.  Do you know what it is?

 It's a handle for a milk jug.  We use a ton of soy milk (for my baby and one of the kids in the daycare), and they fit perfectly into this.  It sure makes it a lot easier to pour!  Thanks Bugga *wink*

 The other night I was in the mood for this yummy parmesan chicken (you know, the kind that uses mayonnaise and parmesan cheese).  Sorry I forgot to take pictures after it had baked.  Anyway, this is not an approved diet item, so I was out of luck...

... until I realized that I could substitute mustard for the mayo!  Woohoo  - the only cheat in this was the parmesan cheese, which has no carbs and is pretty low fat, so it wasn't a bad cheat at all.  And, I will add, it was amazingly good :)  Speaking of the diet, I've lost a total of 92 pounds now.  I'm creeping up on that big 100 pound mark, which I'm determined to get to before my oldest son comes home from his deployment :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sunrise, Sunset

 We've had some spectacular sunrises and sunsets over the past week or so...

This was a sunrise.

And the rest are sunsets - all one day, but the sky changed so much I had to take a ton of pictures.  I don't know about you, but I never get tired of looking at beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  And I always end up taking 20 pictures because the sky changes so much in just a few minutes.

 This was the view out the front door.  Can you see the mountains peeking out from behind the house across the street?  We do have a mountain view from here if you really look for it, but not a clear one like I'd love to have someday.

 We just get to see the snow-capped mountains through the gaps between houses.

Not bad, but not as amazing as it could be.  My in-laws have a beautiful, unobstructed view... and lots of trees in their yard, which we are also completely void of.

This is the view out back.  When the colors were so gorgeous in the front, there was no color at all in the back, but then it switched and all the color was in the back, and none out front.

 Amazing, don't you think?  And the camera doesn't even come close to doing it justice.

 While I was out taking sunset pictures, my husband came home from work.  The baby spotted him right away and hurried out to walk him in.

 He's getting really good at walking now, and he LOVES his Daddy.  He comes running as soon as Daddy gets home, and makes him pick him up right away :)

You can see the amazing sunset in the background on this one.  
 Speaking of the baby, awhile back, he tried to get me to let him take his nap in the living room with all the other kids.  We have these blue cots we put out for the napping kids, and he crawled right up on one and settled in.

 Er... Sort of...

 I helped him lay down on the cot the right way, then gave him a blanket.  That lasted about 3 minutes, then he was down and playing, so we headed to his crib instead.  It was a fun little game for a little while though.

 Bugga and Papa invited us over to watch the bull riding finals a couple weekends ago.  Since then the three year old has been all about bull riding. 

 Let 'er buck!

Nevermind that this is a motorcycle guy and a Holstein cow (for those of you who didn't grow up on a farm like I did, that's a milk cow).  That's what imaginations are for, right?