Thursday, July 21, 2011

Right Now...

Here's what's happening 'round these parts...

We got back Monday early morning from a quick trip to Utah to see Rob's little brother Greg. After two years serving the Lord, he is home from his mission! It was SUCH a cool thing to see sweet, quiet little Greg transformed into this remarkable, self-confident, well-spoken MAN. And ultra cool to watch my usually-stoic husband tear up as he heard this grown-up version of his little brother bear his testimony of the Savior! :)

Rob just took his last final of the semester today and he is FREE from school for at least seven weeks. Probably more like 4 months because he is "off-track" in the fall. {They operate on a trimester system here with students assigned for only 2 semesters.}

We are looking for work for Rob and internship and shadowing opportunities for him for his off-track term. If anybody has the hook up on that in eastern Idaho, I wanna HEAR about it! {We're looking for shadowing opportunities in the medical field. Jobs...I'm pretty sure he'd take anything.}

I woke up yesterday by literally gasping and sitting straight up in bed because it suddenly hit me that we are moving in 10 days! {Did I forget to mention that? We aren't moving far, just to a housing complex across the parking lot to manage a different set of apartments.} And I haven't packed a single thing. Not one single thing. In fact, I think I just pushed it out of my mind and thought that since we are just moving 100 yards or so, I'd just carry stuff over in my arms, ya know, like in a couple of trips with a laundry basket. My head has obviously been swimming in the clouds and I am back on earth, filled with anxiety about our desperate need to purge.

My last batch of GIRLS is headed out this week, so I am busybusy getting rooms checked and paperwork and keys all filed away! From here on out {part of our move} I will be dealing with BOYS! That's right, we're switching to men's housing, with almost twice as many men as the ladies we currently have. I am simultaneously excited for the lack of drama that gets me out of bed in the middle of the night and the estrogen charged cry-fests I will have to endure, and nervous about the number of broken windows and bones I will have to call for people to fix.

Just a few more days and my mom and daddy will be here! It's been almost a year since we saw them, and I am so super pumped to have them up here. Lucky for us {but maybe not so lucky for them}, they just so happened to plan their trip for when we got our moving date...which means HELPERS! Even if they just play with the kids while we haul stuff, it will be a blessing, and the kids are GEEKED to see Grandma and Grandpa. Of course, aside from the move, I am super excited for time with them, a visit to Yellowstone {and possibly the Opal mines} and lots of good family fun and Mom's awesome sewing skills.

We got some frisbees from the donation pile. Rob taught the kids to throw them, and now they constantly ask us to play with them. The best part is that Squirrel asks us to "Come play roast beef" and Little Bird asks us to "Come play Fresh Beats." And I just can't bring myself to correct either of them because it is so painfully cute.

Life is good. The air is warm and sweet, the days are long, and we spend our days with windows and doors open, eating popsicles, and basking in little moments. And now we are SO excited that we'll get Daddy back from his loooong weeks of finals and papers and study groups. Things could not be better.

Hope all is well with you!


P.S. I have a real post in the works...something on my mind but I'm having trouble processing it. I'll get it up soon, I hope!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"I have always cultivated a garden..."

While the rest of the world has already started harvesting their summer garden goods, we are only just planting. (We aren't frost free until at least the end of May or early part of June, but even in June, there were a few nights I had to haul in my pots.) Here are some shots of our little garden, or at least part of it. We have a plot in the community garden, but somebody keeps stealing our water, so it's suffering. I think we have finally brought it back from the brink, but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed.

At any rate, I've been keeping several things potted here at the apartment, and I'm grateful, as my little potted garden is currently doing better than the larger plot in the community garden.

I've got onions, cherry tomatoes, larger tomatoes, bell peppers, and strawberries.

This is a makeshift strawberry jar Rob created for me. I wanted something with extra space for the strawberries that might give them the chance of surviving through winter, so we came up with this idea of a larger pot with drilled holes for the strawberries. So far, they are enjoying their little home! 

And even finally started sprouting. Keeping my fingers crossed that we see some 
scrumptious berries soon! 

Are you growing anything this year?


Tuesday, July 12, 2011


When Aunt Lindsey came to visit, she brought the kids a super cute handmade gift--super hero capes!

Little Bird loves running flying around in his, with his arms thrown back behind him. We had a fun evening playing superheroes...

I don't know what this face is...weird fish? :) 

Rolling down the hill...

And tickle fights! 


Monday, July 11, 2011

{Lemonade for Sale!}

Since summer began, and even long before, Squirrel has been asking if she can "make a lemon stand." She plays lemonade stand often. A couple weeks ago, on our way out to the nursery to get seed potatoes, we passed a yard sale where they had this little beauty for sale. We could hardly say no to such an adorable bargain, and Squirrel was over the moon. In fact, when we realized it wouldn't fit into Rob's car, we made arrangements to come back for it with the van, and she started to sob. It took us a minute, but we realized she was devastated because she thought we had decided not to get it, and her little heart had broken at such a prospect. We calmed her down, and did return. 

Now, she likes to roll the stand to the sidewalk and peddle her goods. Usually the price is different for every person, and often it's just free, but somehow, she still manages to earn a few coins for her piggy bank! 


Friday, July 8, 2011

{My little mutton buster!}

Okay, admittedly, for someone who loves animals and animal welfare as much as I do, I shouldn't love the rodeo. But I do. It's nostalgic for me (Rob and my first's date was to the rodeo in Lexington, VA). But there is more to it than that. Watching those girls and their horses race around those barrels, seeing a cowboy jump from the back of a bronc to another, seeing those lassos fly out and catch a calf...there is just something so rustic and deeply American about the rodeo. I can't help it. I love the rodeo.

Last year, Squirrel saw the mutton bustin' at the rodeo and kept asking when it was her turn to ride a sheep. We told her maybe next year, and I'll be darned if that girl didn't remember. A few weeks away from the fourth, she started asking if she'd get to ride a sheep this year, so Daddy started practicing with her.

Rob already has the habit of giving the kids a "horse ride" to bed every night--he walks the long trail from the living room to their beds on his hands and knees after prayers. So when mutton bustin' came up, he decided he could add that to his repertoire--each night, the kids got on his back and bucked around until they went flying. He even trained Squirrel to lean forward and would take off at high speeds to see if he could toss her. (He even has what may turn out to be permanent rug burns to prove it!)

When the big day finally came, Squirrel was as excited as could be to go "Mustin' Button," as she calls it. So, off she went to the chutes at the start of the rodeo in her jeans and t-shirt, her bike helmet in one hand, and daddy's hand in the other. A few minutes later, the event began.

Let me insert here that although I have seen the Mutton Bustin' event on several occasions, this was my first time seeing it, knowing that my daughter, my precious 4 year old, would also be IN the event. I don't think the sheep had ever shot out of those chutes as fast as they did at this rodeo.

As the kids kept coming out, each one bigger than she, in their bonafide chaps, vests, and western hats, each shot out like a rocket and flew off those sheep at speeds fast enough to make a mother's heart stop beating. I thought, as one little cowboy got dumped by a sheep that proceeded to jump, literally, 8 feet in the air (!!!), "Oh my gosh...these kids have grown UP doing this and are flying off these sheep!" I tried calling Rob to get him to back out, but it was too late. I could see them in the chutes, loading up my sweet baby...

On the other side of the arena, I have since been told, Squirrel was all business. Rob tells me that when her sheep would bleat at her, she would look him squarely in the eye, point a finger and "Baa-aa" right back. She was the boss, ready to put to good use all that training. She was lowered onto that sheep, leaned forward, and the gate was opened.

If not for the video, I don't think I would remember what happened. All I knew is that Squirrel came careening out of the chute on a sheep that must have thought he was being chased by the devil himself. The crowd went wild, and I heard remarks like, "Look at her go!" and, "Oh my! She is so little!" The sheep steered her right into the loose herd where she finally made a dismount (graceful or not, I can't say, as I couldn't see). The rodeo clown ran to pick her up and lifted her for the crowd to see. My heart quit racing when I heard the announcer say, as he did after just about every ride in every event, "She's all right. She's just fine."

She was one of only three or four kids (out of 15) who managed to ride the whole eight seconds (though in mutton bustin' all the kids get scores), and she scored a 91, just one point below the buckeroo who took first (and apparently regularly rides a sheep named "Millie" at home). She was presented with a trophy half as tall as she is, a gift card to the local feed store, a one dollar bill, and a roll of smarties. When all this was presented to her, she, in typical Squirrel fashion, said, "Ooooh! CANDY!"

She spent most of the rest of the evening taking pictures of her trophy (nearly all the pictures in this thread are actually hers, since I could scarcely get the camera back from her).

And when I asked her if she wanted to do it again next year, she informed me, "No. I think I would like to race a giraffe at the next rodeo."

THOSE will be some good photos, and in spite of myself, that's one rodeo ride I'd love to see!


"As I preferred some things to others, and especially valued my freedom..."

Our fourth of July in pictures. We had a wonderful weekend--Rob's family came to visit, we saw fireworks, watched the parade, ate delicious food, canoed at the river, and Squirrel even took second at the Whoopie Days Rodeo in the Mutton Bustin' (sheep riding) competition (--more on that one coming later)!