Photo Catch-Up, Pt 2

Happy New Year! I tell ya, with the holidays and the lack of anything open during the season in my new small town, finding time to actually sit and write is difficult! When in Idaho Falls, I’d sit at Shari’s and do whatever I wanted for a period of time. Here? Hard to find places to sit.

Why don’t I sit at home? Well, I would – if there was a comfortable space to sit. I have a recliner (laptop heats me up when sit there), a dining room table chair (ouch on the back) and not much else. Eventually, we’ll get settled and I’ll find my “niche.” Just takes time, right?

Like getting used to my new kitchen. It has been two months and I’m still not overly comfortable with it. I’m not entirely sure why but I’m working on getting there. In time!


When I left you last, I was headed off to Oklahoma. My dad had scared the daylights out of me by being hospitalized. It turned out to be appendicitis and he is healing well. He’s feeling better – or, at least that’s what he tells me!

Right before and as we were headed down, Oklahoma got some ice storms and some snow. Unusual for this part of the United States, that’s for sure. This leaf was found at the border of Texas and Oklahoma, at a really pretty rest area. I thought it was awesome to see snow in Texas (and Oklahoma) of all places! Everyone was worried about our drive down there but Mark did wonderfully. We had no problems getting down and, even when it got pretty scary, he plowed through slow and cautious. We were only a half-day behind our schedule but it was weather-related.


I couldn’t resist getting a picture with the leaf pulled out of its snug little spot. After the picture, I did put it back. I promise.


Could it have been only a few short months ago when we were all here, taking pictures as a family? Brings smiles to my face, I’ll tell ya.


Dad was healing comfortably so I was able to quilt with my mom. This is a first – ever – and I’m still giddy over finally being able to share something with her. This is one of the pieces we created. She was playing with laying out the designs while I was sewing like crazy! Jen got upset because I was making pretty stuff without her but she’ll get over it. I got to do this with my MOM!


A companion piece to the one above. This one will got to a niece of mine when it’s done with borders and quilting. The teal one above stayed with my mom. She’s going to play with the rest of it. I can’t wait to see what she gets out of it!!!


This one was created when I was showing my momĀ  how I make HST (Half Square Triangles). She probably already knows how to make them but I was beside myself with joy at being able to share things with her! We put this one together and had quite a bit of fabric left over but not enough to actually make a back. So, my mom came up with the idea to make the next picture as the back… all I did was sew it together…

(I can’t find the picture. I promise to include it later, when I get back home)

This next one was a jelly roll I had. I just randomly sewed strips together, cut them up and my mom and I laid out a pattern for it. It still needs some borders to make it big enough for a lap quilt but it looks great the way it is.


For the first set of borders, we sewed some remaining jelly roll strips end to end and lay them around the outside, as is. The joins are in strange places but the overall effect is pretty cool. I’m thinking a nice green plain border would set it all off nicely. As for the back? Quite perhaps a solid red.


We arrived in Oklahoma on Monday and were able to take my dad home. On Tuesday morning, my brother and his wife had their fourth boy born – a few weeks early. He is healthy and sound, growing like a weed already. My mom went to stay with the other children for a night while my brother and his wife were at the hospital and I was in charge of keeping my dad in the house and not overdoing anything with his stitches!

I was so overjoyed at actually being in TOWN for the birth of one of my nieces/nephews. Because I live so far away, I miss these events. I’m still giddy over being able to actually hold and love on the newest grandchild to my mom and dad!

Mark was worried about getting home on time and the weather we’d have to face on the way there so we didn’t get to stay long. I was sad over that, after waiting all week to see the baby, having to go so fast. Next time, he’ll be walking, I’m sure!

When I get the rest of my pictures, I’ll show you what my two boys did for their newest cousin. They wrote him a letter and bought him some cute little presents. I have pictures of the letter but not the presents. I didn’t get to see what they picked (I was in Oklahoma, they were in Montana and decided to do this on their own) but my parents (and brother) promised to send me pictures when they open the box.

The trip home was relatively uneventful – until the last 3 hours. We were on back roads in Wyoming (a short cut, pretty clear, not bad) and an elk bumped into our rental truck. This is the first time I’ve ever harmed a vehicle I rented and this is the first time I’ve ever gotten the “extra” insurance on the vehicle before leaving town.


Mark managed to pop most of that out and there was a small piece left. Because I had the extra insurance, it was a no-questions-asked return. However, I ruined my perfect record of returning vehicles in excellent condition! I have to give credit, though – Mark managed to come to a near complete stop when we saw the elk in the road, that’s why the elk only “bumped” into us. We were stopped next to where he was walking – not running. Can you imagine the size of the elk that “bumped” into our truck with his shoulder as he was walking past!? He was huge!

Mark’ll be upset if I don’t tell you that, while the elk was walking past the truck (now nearly stopped), I was yelling “No! No!” at the elk. He thought that was hysterical and laughed for hours afterwards.

Other than that, uneventful trip and we went and came back safely. I feel much better having seen my dad is ok and not going to up and die on me and got to actually share one of my passions with my mom. I couldn’t have asked for anything better!

That’s about it for now – next time, pictures of my boys and their Christmas concerts.


Categories: Family, Holidays, Mother, Photography, Quilting, Trips | 8 Comments

It’s Great to Be Home

We’ve been traveling around for the better part of the last three weeks. We’ve popped home a time or two; however, we’ve been gone much longer than not. A simple weekend adventure turned into so much more – so quickly. We’ve had fun and gotten to see quite a few really nice places and people but it is so great to be home.

The last day at Bishop Mountain was actually Tuesday. We were scheduled to come home on Thursday (yesterday) but I made the “command decision” to leave on Tuesday night. The boys needed their beds and we all needed some down time. Not to mention, we were plenty broke from all the gas we used driving around.



I think Brendan is ready for a bigger bike without training wheels (they kept getting stuck on him) and Caiden is too big for his bike! I’m thinking, Caiden needs a big boy bike and Brendan needs to wear out Caiden’s bike learning to ride with no training wheels. Then, when Brendan is a bit bigger, he can get his own “big boy bike.” Now, to save up the money to get Caiden his “Big Boy Bike.”


I tried making some weird concoction of pancake batter in a cast iron corn bread pan. It didn’t come out quite right. They tasted great but didn’t come out of the pan so good. I’ll keep playing with this one and see if I can’t perfect the process.


They were peeking to see if my creation was done…


On Wednesday, we celebrated my birthday! Yes. I’m now officially 41. And, the odd thing is? I am one of those that does not mind telling my age. It’s all good – it’s part of life. I forgot to take a picture before cutting the cake. The piece missing is a flower identical to the one on the right. It was very yummy! I had a great birthday – it was quiet and peaceful with a bit of fun with my children. I couldn’t have asked for anything else – especially after being gone for nearly 3 weeks from home, anyway!

The following are the pictures of what my boys created and put on the garage door for me…



The part about being “Late” is what they say is Daddy. He’s at work and he’ll get home “late” for the party when he gets back this time. I have to say, I am definitely teaching my boys right in one thing… I have long said that I don’t need a $100 batch of roses. If my man picks me a wildflower from the side of the road, I’m happy as all get out. Well, my boys are learning that. They attached two of the Poppies from our yard to the sign and expected big kisses for it. They’re learning the right way to do things! I didn’t need presents or expensive flowers. The Poppies were perfect!


I’m not sure about the “dresser” drawing.


A red, white and blue flower. My boys definitely know their mama! I love America and Old Glory, the “Red, White and Blue”.


A red, pink and blue bug?


And Caiden drew me an American flag on my banner. It was awesome. My boys totally know their mama. And, not one thing had to be purchased – which is even better. They learn how to give without spending. And, to give from their hearts.


On Thursday, I made some jello in some Mason jars. There is raspberries on top and gummy worms floating in it.


And put some more cookies in Mason jars.


The best part about Thursday is what I made for dinner. I took the beginning of the Potato Soup makings and added that to my chili. Chili with bacon is actually really good!IMG_4945

This was before I added the tomato sauce. Doesn’t that just *look* divine?


Oh, yeah. It was so good, we ate all of it. Jen and I sat around, rubbing our bellies and crying about eating too much for the rest of the evening. I’ll be making this again!


Miss Elaine? This picture is for you. When I went home on Friday, I told Caiden, “Go stand on the swing and swing. I need a picture of you.” He obliged me – of course – and I got that one for you. eeekkk!




You can tell by the smile on their faces that they enjoyed it. The best part is? They don’t realize they have you to thank for being allowed to do that, Miss Elaine. I’m still shuddering. With that last picture, I could just *see* Brendan whacking his head on the swing set pole!!!!


I don’t normally show full pictures of me. However, a friend took me out to dinner on Friday night to celebrate my birthday. He took me to Red Lobster and then we went to see the movie “Man of Steel.” I had fun and this is how I dressed up for it. Not bad for 41, eh?


We put the baby tent in the back yard and the boys have had fun playing in it since Friday.


Sunday morning, we curled up on the lawn in the shade and visited for a bit.


Caiden decided to show Mommy how strong he’s gotten. The trash was pretty much empty but I think it’s cute they have started showing off how big they are getting to their mommy.


And, of course, Brendan had to try and show Momma the same. I worry about his constant need to “keep up” with his big brother. I’ve been told it’s pretty healthy and to leave it alone. I’ll try!


On Sunday afternoon, we took a drive to Twin Bridges to see how the water levels were doing. I believe last year (or the year before), Twin Bridges was flooded nearly the entire summer. We found that the water level was fine, this year, and we’re looking forward to going back with plans on getting wet.


Jumping across the tracks left by cars.


Chewing on a piece of grass like farmers do – but he had to put his plastic straw over it first. I think it’s cute – if a little weird. Boys are weird though, right?


And, of course, I have to post (at least) one picture of me practicing some beautiful photography…


I love the reflection of the deadwood in the water – even if it is standing water right here and pretty gross. What say you?

That’s it! We’re all caught up on pictures since Tuesday of last week. It’s great to be home and getting back into the swing of things. Oh, and a question for all you “older” ladies out there – I’m 41 and I’ve had some interesting body changes the past year. This newest one is annoying. Can you tell me what you think about it?

Instead of a random zit once a month, my entire chin and cheeks break out, now. This is first! I’ve never been cursed with an overabundance of acne until the last 4 months or so. Normal? Weird? I’m not going to the doctor about it unless it gets excessive…

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Categories: Dinner, Family, House/Yard Changes, Mother, Socializing, Trips | 6 Comments

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