Thursday, October 27, 2011

Totally Fall

Our fall peaked this week and most of the leaves have fallen. It was GLORIOUS over last weekend and the first of this week, though! I am glad to live in a city with so many trees! [warning: this post is a little Niles-heavy--sorry other kids]. Also, we got our hughchair back from friends that borrowed it, so here is Niles giving it his first test drive...
He's a lot happier with it now than when we took these pictures because now he's conditioned to know that highchair=FOOD and that boy loves his rice cereal and mashed bananas!

He's rolling over and getting around on the floor better. He, like James did, tends to loathe floor time or "tummy time" and rather than strengthening his muscles and learning to move around, he has heretofore spent floor time screaming at me in anger to pick him up. But he's coming around and getting stronger.

Sleeping on daddy's should after a serious floor workout

Last week the kids had a Fall Break from school (thur & Fri off) so on Friday, Gram and I took them to the Museum of the Rockies and out to lunch at Famous Dave's and they loved it!

James went fishing in the Yellowstone Discovery room

The girls made Yellowstone bear puppets

This found-art-fox watched curiously.

Addie making her bear

Heidi making her bear

Gram took a breather with Niles. It was a FUN day!

We love having Great-Gram with us--Niles gets a lot of snuggles!

We love sink baths after dinner!

nice & clean!
Here are some amazing fall shots taken Monday around town, just blocks from my house...

on the way to the kids' school


Livingston from the hill where our church is

Follow that yellow riverof cottonwood trees all the way south down the valley to the ranch...


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Catching Up with October

Time is flying! It seriously feels like it has accelerated exponentially since I had Niles--like each day has only 18 hours or something because I just never get done all the things I used to get done. But it's okay because I am keeping up with my family, having fun with the kids and enjoying my Gram(who arrive on 10/7), so blogging is on the back burner for a while. Here's a little photgraphic update: I took this out the window of my van on the way to Bozeman on Sept 25th--our first little hint of fall colors. We haven't had a real hard freeze yet this fall, so the leaves are changing VERY slowly...I remember in past years if I didn't get some pictures by conference weekend, I usually missed the peak. Now it's mid-October and the colors have yet to peak. Climate change!


I am working on a little video of our conference weekend at the ranch with The Postums (who joined us there from Helena). But in the mean time, here are some still photos of our super fun time...

On Saturday morning we got up early and made raspberry-stuffed french toast with bacon and orange juice. We made the toast from Sister Purcell's dreamy wheat bread and Papa Jim's beautiful raspberries and it was DELICIOUS! This pic was snapped just as breakfast was winding down and conference was starting up.

Heidi says, "YUM!"

That's my plate...a thing of beauty!

The opening song for the conference broadcast was "The Morning Breaks" and I couldn't help but think how well the music went with our view.

James played Legos with cousin Sam during conference

Addie and Aunt Amie took some fun pictures out on the deck between sessions.

two cute girlz!

Addie played with the fish-eye setting on my birthday camera--

look at Big Nose Matt!

Amie The Chin!

Freaky Addie!

Here's the deck view in the camera's ultra-vivid setting--
so pretty!

On Sunday morning, Rich made us ham-and-cheese and banana-and-nutella crepes--so good! Here Little Emily, Aunt Amie, Uncle Matt, Addie, me, and Jacob enjoy some crepes before conference.

After lunch, the Postums had to head home, so we took some parting shots out on the deck

Matt & Emily with me & Niles

(Niles looks like he is striking some Blue Steel pose here, but he's really just freaked out by the wind)

Cousin Emily sure did love her baby Niles! (even though he weighs 2 pounds more than she does--and she turns one next week!)

Happy Conference Weekend from Our Gang

Amie, Jake, Matt, Emily, Addie, Jamie, Niles, Heidi, Sam, & James (Rich took the picture)

The next week, I went to Idaho to meet up with my brother Sam & his family to pick up Grandma Lyn for another visit. I took Heidi and Niles and slept over at my dad's house again, then we all went to lunch at Chili's and Gram switched cars. It was a lovely, sleety drive! We got home Friday night to tacos and gingersnaps made by my sis, Laura, who came to visit from Helena. Saturday the 8th was Rich's Big Show-- the Energency Preparedness Fair at the Stake center in Bozeman. We all went and had a great time, and we all went to church together on Sunday, too. After a really nice dinner, Laura and Gabriel went home and we all napped. It was such a nice time-seeing Laytons in Idaho and Lehmans here--I am sorry I don't have any pictures (unless you send me some, Laura!)!


Last Tuesday I made chili and we had fresh corn AND jalapeno corn bread with it--YUM!

I made these cake balls over the weekend for the kids to decorate because ever since James saw them on the cover of Family Circle this month, he's been carrying the magazine around going, "Mom, can we make these? Mom, when are we making these?" So we did. The making was easy, but I left the decorating to the kids.

Pretty cute.

Heidi hid her special jack-o-lantern in the fridge.

It made me smile every time I opened the door.

Later Wednesday night I thought it would be fun to just show ya what the kids do in the evening...

James played wii "Buck Hunter" for 20 minutes before bed

Addie put the game on for James & played with him

Heidi watched" Bambi" on my bed while Niles had a bottle, and Gram and I cleaned up the kitchen.


On Thursday, hubs and I had our much-anticipated and very-belated birthday trip to the Billings Temple. It was super fun as usual, as was our traditional dinner at HuHot.

Life is good.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Death of Me

Heidi went missing yesterday.
She took her regular habit of wandering off at Target (they know her by name there) and broadened the field to the entire town of Livingston (and/or beyond...yikes!).

Here is how I described the experience to a friend today in an email:

"It was such a crazy experience. I have to say I was totally comforted through the whole thing because we prayed before I went out to look for her. Every time fear or anger would well up, I could totally feel/hear the Spirit telling me she was okay, but that was definitely a stretch of my faith!

She rode her regular bus with James from Winans to Eastside (although that bus driver told us she never got on, which misdirected our search for a while), but instead of waiting for Addie to get on and riding home as usual, she jumped off with a friend from her class and then got on her friend's bus and rode out to Green Acres and told the mom that she had permission to play at their house until 7pm but then she (the mom) had to drive her home and that I wasn't home so she couldn't call me! (----WHAT!?!----)

Meanwhile, on my end, when she didn't turn up at home with James and Addie at 3:50, I called the insurance office because that's where she is supposed to go if she misses her bus. Rich was out at the ranch, but Robyn was working and hadn't seen her. So then I called the principals at Eastside and Winans and they started searching the buildings and grounds for her. Her teacher was just leaving when I called, so she offered to go over to Eastside and check the playgrounds because she was pretty sure Heidi got on the bus at Winans. Jim Huntizicker called the bus barn and had George ask all the bus drivers if they had seen her. I headed out in my van and started checking around Winans and the drive between the schools and then around Eastside. By then it was 4:40, no sign of her, so I just pulled over to the Police Station and reported her missing. I gave a description and two officers went out--one to look for her, one to interrogate the bus drivers--and the fire dept, sheriff, and highway patrol were given her description as I sat there. Rich was on his way in from the ranch and Kim Strupp (who had been at my house to pick up Jason, whom I was babysitting, when Heidi turned up missing) was cruising the neighborhood looking for her, too.

I remembered she had some allowance money in her backpack, so when I left the police station, I checked Washington School then headed to Town & Country and Pamida to see if she went shopping. While I was driving between the stores, the police called me and said they found her and they would bring her home and I should meet them there.

So the officer who interrogated the bus drivers gave her description and asked if any of them had extra kids on their buses that afternoon and one finally piped up and said Heidi had been on her bus with this certain friend, the bus driver knew her name. So they looked her up, went to the house, and brought her home.

I sent her to her room and finished making dinner, then went and had a long talk with her and grounded her. She took it surprisingly well and I am really proud of how humbled and helpful she has been today. We spent the morning writing "I'm sorry/ Thanks for looking for me" notes to about 10 people and we will deliver them on Monday. Hopefully her little ride in the police cruiser was memorable and this won't be repeated. As for me, I made it through the evening, but then about 9:30 when everyone was asleep, I just started bawling uncontrollably...delayed reaction...tears of relief, I guess. But we survived!!!!"

Heidi at lunch today. She's been FUN since day one (remember THIS or THIS or THIS?)

James and Addie at lunch today with Halloween decor in the background.


Dear Loved Ones,                                                                                                                         1...