thursday thanks

 - family - a usual one i know, but always good to take time and appreciate... this afternoon really thinking about how lucky jon and i are to be close to our family - to talk with them often throughout the week.  to be able to spend the summer with my brother and sister.  to work on a daily basis with jon's parents in our business.
-road-tripping in a semi-truck -- high above the road - biggest windshield (which became completely covered in bugs on the eastern side of north dakota and our couple hours in minnesota) - bed + fridge (hotel on the road) - truck stops (especially truck stops at that have 24 hour Mcdonalds for midnight snacktime).

-not getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere on a really super-soft stretch of a road construction dirt road while fully loaded at 2:30am.
-vacuum cleaners
-watermelon -summer yumminess on sale at our little grocery store this week
-Scheels --sporting goods store-- why have i never been to one of these before - definitely a new favorite "summer store"
fun to be had at scheels

- veggie burgers (i love love love them) - which is why i ordered this cookbook:
"the best veggie burgers on the planet" - really excited to try new recipes out this summer

-magazines -- favorite road trip item -- well, besides my camera, but it doesn't really count
-air conditioning -- it was 93 degrees yesterday - which would be fine if it hadn't been a high of 69 two days before
- summers in montana - sometimes this is a really hard one for me, but this year, instead of focusing on what i don't have or miss (fresh summer produce, farmers market, a lawn, bbq's + socials with friends are just a few)  i am really working on embracing the joy that is living in a different place for a season -- as ali edwards says:  be "present" in the season and enjoy + know the "deliciousness of summer."
 -- two little articles on the summer season:



- we took trip to walmart  -- yes, back here traveling to walmart takes about ninety minutes vs. three...
- i bought plants to attempt a garden (let's cross our fingers the weather loves us this year)
- there was a giant lightening show -- it never ceases to amaze me how you can literally see storms 100 miles away like they were just down the road from you -- we caught the edge of it, and the guys were out working in it...
- jon came home at 3am with a tick crawling up his arm (yesterday mike picked one off of his neck).  we all went to sleep a little paranoid.

bringing home a new laundry room door 

- library visit.  love. love. love this library + i came home with a borrowed puzzle to do over the weekend.
- jon pulled a tick out of lulu's ear at lunch time.  we are not excited.  it is crazy tick invasion this year.  i am hoping that they all sizzle in the next week or two
- looks like we are going to have another "light show" in the next hour to go along with dinner...which...
-i have no idea what i am going to fix for dinner - which means i'd better post this and hop to it before the hungry ones invade.
oh the things one can do with a tractor -- as seen this afternoon

have weekending!


thursday thanks

- surprise packages are the best!
- the ability to act on a idea - create a new project, a new passion
- watching disney movies with my sister
- good weather that lets the boys work all day - we. love. sunshine.
- email updates from my bff
- clean sheets
- finishing a good book...even though part of you wishes it would go on forever
- haystacks
- calling your mom (or dad or a friend)
- dental floss


monday night tacos

any evening that has tacos in it is going to be good.  
these hit the spot last night.  a nice break between work sessions -- right now the boys are working most nights moving the bees to various locations...they come home and eat + relax for a couple hours and then go out for a few more hours of work -- 
yummy grub usually means happy attitudes - which is good as michael got soaked by a torrential downpour  at the first stop of the night and jon had to use his mad driving skills later that evening to keep them from sliding into the ditch -- yes, in case you were wondering...it's been a little wet around these parts lately.  one storm after another.  but we aren't complaining.  nope.  not when you look at the radar and see the crazy business happening a few miles east of us and in the midwest and south.  nope.  no complaints here about the weather... at least for today.  

so back to taco night...

i love these two more than they love tacos and salsa - and that's a lot

we've just about made it through our first week of family dinners --- jon and i talked about it last week and made a commitment to dinner at the table (no t.v. or phones or laptops) this summer.  we haven't told these two kiddos, but i think they might have caught on.  no complaints yet.  

and our dessert...

pre-storm clouds + sunset light

right now:
today is supposed to be the day.  the day that i read my book.  the book that i've had since november and have been saving and saving and saving for just the right day to read it -- today is supposed to be that day.  but it's noon already and i haven't read a page.

instead i have been doing dishes, playing with pictures on my computer and absently watching "princess protection program" (an original disney movie of course) and "alice in wonderland"...

-- kate just came in and made a grilled cheese sandwich - it smells delicious.  i might not be able to resist...that's right - this summer i might be living off of pb+j's, grilled cheese, and tacos of course!


pretend it's still sunday...

because that is when i was supposed to post this -- however, i was nicely sharing the computer with my brother, who really needed to maintain his civilization  -- and i went to sleep before he was finished.

so. this morning is still sunday.

happy fathers day!!   

did it work?  

(probably not because you are most likely at work or some form of it and it is difficult to pretend it's still sunday when you are having to be amazingly productive)

this is my dad and i:

i like him quite a bit.  i could write and write about all the wonderful things he has done for me and how much he loves me but i would start with the tears and then i'd never get this posted.  so -- i will just say.  

this is my dad.
i love him bunches.
i love that i could see how proud he was of me when he handed me my diploma.
i love that he walked me down the aisle and "gave me away"the day i married jon.
i love that he used to let me play multiple rounds of dutch blitz when i was young to see if i could get myself "ungrounded" by winning.
i love that we can go walking in the mornings and i can learn about his busy life.
yep.  i love him bunches.

this is my papa joe (aka my father-in-law):

i'm not sure when or why i started calling him that -- but it seems to be sticking.
papa joe's been in my life since 1999.
i can count on him to make sure that all situations are under control if jon is gone.
i can count on him to make sure that i get a picture of all important food moments for the scrapbook.
he is often one of my road trip traveling buddy -- i think he is even getting used to all the stops i have to make (like trader joe's in bend, starbucks, and a few others)
he is kind and generous and took me to disneyworld-- for which i am very appreciative (if you know how much i love disney you will know how big that "very" is) 
he makes my life better in lots of little ways and big ones too.
love you papa joe!

a little bit ago:

lulu ate jon's pb&j sandwich this morning - baggie and all...  i'm not sure if this is a sign of how the rest of the day is going to go or not -- 

--- ok --- 

i now give it permission to be monday
--as long as lulu doesn't start the day by eating any more sandwiches--


four things. -- the last is the best one --

-- i have forgotten sandwich bags twice now - both times they were on my grocery list -- excellent

-- this morning i came into the trailer to find jon with the covers over his head...hiding the fact that lulu was snuggled up next to him

--last night i had my first alerts with my weather radio.  two tidbits about that -- first.  it's quite neat.  second.  it's quite loud.

  • a big thank you to my very tired husband and father-in-law who traipsed down to the corner bar with me to wait out the storm with a basket of shoestring french fries, ketchup+ranch -- p.s.  there is no other ranch like montana ranch -- i don't know where they get the stuff, but it's ridiculously good.  a close second to my mother-in-law's homemade goodness which is beyond amazing.

 -- the highlight of today:
this little poochie -- the one who we all were feeling sorry for because her eye is just a little bit swollen-- this little poochie -- the one we were all chuckling about because she is spoiled and gets to hide underneath the bedcovers -- 
yep this same little poochie -- the one who you can smell her stinky a mile away now -- 
this little poochie -- the one who visited the neighbors' field and rolled in the manure -- 
yes this little poochie -- wagged her tail all the way home...

covered in horse poop

precious one?


tuesday -- the day i got my...

lulu just wasn't sure she wanted to face the day yesterday...or she just remembered how much fun it is to lay around all day in the truck and decided to try it out in the trailer -- she stayed there until afternoon when she decided she might be a little bit hungry...

she went out with jon last night while he was moving bees
 had a great time, minus a couple stings--one of them was above her eye
she has a little swelling, but she's a pro beekeeping-pooch and is ready for the next night-time venture

a reminder of all of our wet weather - muddy-ish trucks  
but not anymore - because they had a nice wash today - 

the boys filling totes with delicious sweet food for the bees 
it's been so cold, wet, and rainy that they aren't able to find enough to eat yet

and last, but definitely not least...

yesterday we picked up this fabulous little thing

happiness is me.
i have turned it on today just for the joy of knowing i have it.
hello weather radio - we are friends.

we are now tuned in (with battery back-up) to weather alerts
think: tornado watches + warning
the ones that come in the middle of the night when you aren't looking at the weather channel
don't get me wrong -- i don't think this little device is my saving grace -- but it definitely could be helpful

or obnoxious if it wakes me up in the middle of the night for a non-life-threatening alert...
happy. happy. joy. joy.


and so it begins

we made it -- 16 hours in the car and all is well in our little summer-time world
once again we rolled in with the rain --
 (as the costco gas attendant said - you must always come in june -- yes, yes i do)
some light rain showers + some i-can't-see-the-road-but-the-wipers-are-as-high-as-they-go showers
...and don't forget the 360-degree lightening storms--which to quote arline
 "Fireworks, celebrating your arrival?"  
-- yes - let's just think of it that way

a few snapshots of the back seat 
lulu loves katie + katie loves lulu

today i worked on cleaning the trailer + went to town with jon
a few lovely surprises:
  •  the grocery store had sweet peppers -- the little mini kinds in the bag at not a ridiculous price and also they carry the betty crocker gluten free baking mixes -- at maybe a ridiculous price but exciting for us to have close at hand
  • delicious tomato soup from a local cafe (can you say cream?) - excellent with grilled cheese and carrot sticks -- maybe jon might have bought a slice of fresh strawberry rhubarb pie too...which him drowned in half+half before eating it all up
  • these cutie-pie fluff balls were at the local supply store --- so cute --- i also found something else that was beyond exciting for me - but i'm not going to share that until tomorrow - stay tuned..

melissa - i immediately thought of you...

our day has been good
how was yours?


friday! -- the one where my summer began...

today was my last day at work for awhile - it was almost my last day at work ever -- but then i last month we (jon+i) decided it wasn't and so back again in the fall i'll go -- why oh why - well here is what my last week at work looked like:

-rainy day monday movie - coloring included
- watermelon day + sunflower seed spitting and rolling in the field
- pink lemonade + paper puppets + a few minutes of pixar short films
- sandwich + ice cream cones on the playground - play outside all day
- picnic in the field 

i know you're jealous - everyone should have my job - with the requirement of you can happily survive having your name (or teacher teacher) called every 15 seconds by multiple children, don't mind having boogers picked and wiped on your sweater or coughing in your face, and can productively, creatively and kindly (at least most of the time) break up sharing, pushing, and "so-and-so said they aren't my friend" disputes while teaching social skills and loving your friend...  to which you will be richly rewarded with the funniest comments you've ever heard and the sweetest smiles you'll ever see.  it really is the best job ever  -- the one that i am finished with for a few months -- now to put on my other career hat -- to which i need to find a creative name for besides cook, trailer-keeper, errand runner, dog catcher (well- one that also includes hulu-watcher, blog-reader, bookworm, scrapbooker) -- hello it's montana time.

our pacific northwest sky was trying to confuse me the other night with a montana-style sky

 this is one of the things i've been doing instead of packing

 but today, as my summer officially began, i decided i'd better hop to it -- so i made my list -- see....
and i completed much of it with about 3.5 hours of errands

now that all but three of the errands are done, i just have to pack it up - and that is another list that is even longer than this one.  significantly.

but for right now-- it's my time.
as in mY time.
the time where i get to do whatever i want.
wHateVer i want.
are you scared?
you shouldn't be -- don't you know how responsible i am?

all i want to do is eat my Cars shaped mac and cheese and read a book .
that's it.

that's what i am going to do right now.  
as soon as i hit the "publish" button

p.s.  did you know that before tonight i never knew photo booth had this feature...

shows you how much i've toodled around with it -- but nOW i know -- beware...

the other sign my summer has begun - the weather channel is an online favorite - tonight i read that 
it really should be summer now - for reals - "la nina's reign is over" -- which gives me a little more hope that i might have a few less tornado warnings this year -- which would be good -- did i mention i dreamed about tornados again last night - second time - survived both times. this time with a sturdy piece of cardboard, a pair of hand cuffs and metal hand rail -- i woke up thinking that it was just a little too final scene of twister-ish  - and also wondering where my brain comes up with this stuff 
-- maybe i was a police officer in my other life -- 

--ok you can stop laughing now--


on a more serious note -- it isn't as expensive (a relative term i know - but i was thinking like a really big number) to have a safe room or storm cellar as you might think -- i checked --  if you want to check you can go here:    FEMA: Safe Rooms or High Wind Safe Rooms


may merriment

just a select few from a month that flew by so fast i can hardly remember what happened...good thing i have pictures to remind me ---

melissa graduated -- she's going to be the best nurse practitioner ever
kim and i bought cupcakes from cupcake jones to celebrate the occasion--
one of each kind of course

it's beginning to feel a little like summer - sandals and starbucks frosty frappuccino goodness

 a girl weekend with my favorite kellie and alecia - insane amounts of fro yo and non-stop chatting -- literally -- i think it was like 8 hours before we slowed down.


starbucks - quality "alone" time --  i should make this a regular on the calendar this fall

so many things to do - jon calls me to see if i am packing every five minutes (well, not quite, but close-- actually his last call was to tell me that i didn't fill out the address on my latest online order - but he took care of it -- what a good husband)

last night i came home and put the packages on the table, ate copious amounts of chips and salsa, and sat in my comfy chair.  it was good.  i think the dishes might be getting stinky in the sink though -- i should probably do them tonight.  along with pack.  which means i'd better make a list.  
i'll get right on that...


graduation - part I

our little nephew, nikolas - all grown up...

friday night program -- proud families documenting their graduates

our family

a good looking bunch 

nik, jon, and i

we are so proud of this boy -- he surprised us all and got himself baptized on sabbath.  it was lovely and we cried some tears - it is amazing and awe-inspiring when you can see the power of prayer and the love of God working

right now: 
i probably should be packing - or at least that is what jon thinks i should be doing...
i think i am in avoidance of montana storms and i just don't know how much longer i can hold out -- probably til monday and that might be it...  hmm...


graduation - part II

first of all, i know you are wondering where graduation part I is -- well, you might be crazy, or more likely it would be that i haven't posted it yet -- but i will.  pinky promise.  soon.

this was a few days ago ---

the whole family 
-jordan, i have no idea what you are doing in this picture, or in half of the other ones we took-

after graduation we had a lunch for friends and family - i think our count was somewhere in the 35 zone
good to know how many people you can fit in your house -- mine doesn't quite fit that many (well unless we are all getting really cozy) -- but thanks to nice weather and a porch we did quite well

haystacks, of course

the boys took over the porch

i have more pictures - actually between the past two weekends i have about 1,250 more pictures - that's what happens when you shoot in multiples and lots of them - these are just the "in short" choices

it was a good good weekend - this boy worked hard this year and i am proud -- he took his gpa from a ridiculously low slacker level to a 4.0... 
i always knew he had it in him and am thankful he finally pulled it out.  

in other news:  
this weekend we were all broken - saturday jon woke up with an extremely sore neck and back, lulu blistered her paws and was completely lame, and my hip popped (or pulled a muscle) and i wasn't enjoying walking much from evening on -- we just had to chuckle about it.  

update:  jon had a massage that put him almost back to rights, and me a tiny massage, that combined with pain killer and rest has almost put me back to rights, and lulu went to the vet on monday and has pain killer, bandages, and ointment and is getting back to right.

right now:  watching pirates of the caribbean: dead mans chest 


family time

let the festivities begin...

you have no idea how hard it was to get this boy to "dress up"
but i think he still enjoyed most of his night -- 
he definitely enjoyed the end of it,
the part where all of us went out to mexican
we like this particular venue because they are open late (as in we walked in the door at 9pm)
and we are almost always the only ones there (no-we've never gotten sick)
they have delicious salsa (we eat a lot of it)

it was good.  family is good.  having us all together (minus jordy's husband, ben) is good.
the loud, talk over each other, 5 conversations going on at once is good. 

i have to go clean my house now to make ready for the big after-grad lunch -- i have one hour.  yikes!

oh -- and i wanted to share this quote --  

"Up to a point a man's life is shaped by environment, heredity, and movements and changes in the world about him. Then there comes a time when it lies within his grasp to shape the clay of his life into the sort of thing he wishes to be. Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate. Everyone has it within his power to say, 'This I am today; that I will be tomorrow.'"

-- Louis L'Amour

p.s.s. - jon and i have both broken out the country music - let summer begin!


the kitchen sink

all you need is a dirty kitchen sink (or a whole kitchen) + sponge + a bottle of soft scrub

it's like a therapy session.  for free.

i clean when i have angst in my life -- or when i feel that way --  or at least i used to before i found some roommates -- now i talk to them about it all -- now after reading this they are going to be handing me a sponge and a bottle of soft scrub...shoot.

when you clean you start with something that is usually kind of yucky and and end up with something that is usually kind of not yucky.  and maybe shiny.  and smelling of soft scrub.  --have i mentioned my love affair with soft scrub yet?  it is long lasting and never ending --

today -- today -- well, today was a good day.  everyday that i'm alive is a good day.  but today was also a little obnoxious in a lot of small, intermittent ways.

this evening consisted of complaining about it (sometimes i say telling stories about it or venting -- but tonight was just plain complaining because i was mostly all over it but just wanted to complain about it anyways in an annoyed and sometimes exclamatory way -- that is a main point in the differences between telling a story and complaining) -- kim very nicely listened to me.   she doesn't say much.   she rarely complains.  i tell her it is good that i love her so much.  tonight i told her at least i wasn't complaining about her -- she agreed.

this brings me back to the kitchen sink.  i complained too much tonight (and maybe some other nights in the more recent future)... shoot.

kitchen sink think.  free therapy while scrubbing the sink (counters+cupboards+stove)

unfortunately, it's not a brand new think.  i wish i could say that i was a more perfect and uncomplaining person --- i blame it on being an almost only child for the first part of my life and on my grandma spoiling me (that doesn't really count as a good excuse does it...)  i don't think that i am the person who complains the most -- but if i am the one who complains the most in my house what does that mean...shoot.  does it make a difference that everyone else just says it in their head and i just say it out loud? ...shoot.

our kitchen sink is going to be the shiniest one in the neighborhood.

p.s.  didn't you know that i plan all my character building just in time for spring cleaning?

p.s.s. i do reserve the right to point out that daily end of the year program practice with kiddos --who have spring fever, raging hormones, and less than a double digit number of days before summer vacation  -- is enough to make anyone just a little bit crazy