Thursday, October 31, 2013

Carry On Jeeves!

Oh boy.
It's that time of year again.  Time for wrapping up loose winter ends at the Idaho
cabin and packing up the belongings we live with daily in order to head toward
Colorado.  There we have a winter haven closer to AJ's work and where the kids
can take swimming and music lessons more conveniently.

You would think I have a system by now, but even with the familiarity of all this
rigmarole I find it difficult to pack the things we are currently using every day.
It's simply a reality that packing is a last-minute affair.

It's ok.  This marvelous cabin is more and more together by baby steps and
in that regard, easier to winterize.  This year we had gravel put down on the driveway,
some trees cleared, berries planted on the trellis, and a front deck built on the guest cabin.
Log piles cut up to reasonable lengths and piled neatly, rogue firewood moved into
the woodshed, and lots of clean-up trips to the dump.

We played hard this summer.  We also accomplished some forward progress on this
place.  And now the flurry of oil changes and studded winter tires put on, summer clothes
sorted and put away, freezer emptied, pantry cleaned out...
and all this while still trying to live oh-so-daily life :-)

Each of the kids has his own Rubbermaid tote for packing personal treasures and
possessions in.  This year Bryce has his own and it's been rather entertaining to see
what makes the cut.
When poking around in his loot I drew out a couple rattles and baby toys, holding them
up doubtfully for scrutiny.
"Oh no Mom!" he quickly assured me, "I packed those things for Miles!"
And that was the last word on the subject.

In a Year and a Half's Time

Here's a fun contrast :-)

My girl-buddy Jana and her Lucy on the left,
My sis-in-love Hannah and her Samuel on the Right.
Me an' Miles in the middle :-)

Good good fun!  I love you girls :-)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pomegranates on Parade

Gramsie-dear sent a box of round, rosy-hued Pomegranates
from a tree in her back yard in California!

~Such a special treat and welcome taste of familiarity from our native lands.

Weather permitting, I do not allow Pomegranate eating inside the house :-)
Thankfully the weather was glorious today and I was without excuse for throwing on
EVERYONE'S fleeces and shoes.

Once they were all together and preoccupied, how could I not take along my
camera to document the picking of succulent red seeds?

Sometimes learning a new skill (like how to actually eat those seeds)
takes some concentration.

My fearless tree-climber claims this particular model of boot (a different one than we usually buy)
didn't "hold up" as well.    I can't help but raise only one eyebrow at that when my imagination is so
well trained. Haha :-D

This is a boy we're talking about here.

As you can see, it's a very smart move to take family photos when everyone is so happily
preoccupied!  You may feel free to borrow from my awesome ingenuity :-)

Even little brother joined the fun - only, no one offered to share their fruit .

He was forced to nibble on leaves and dirt.

Miss Carolina was just a bit of a Ham today.
That's somewhat unusual for her and I thought she was pretty fun!

I would say this face right here is a great reason for why we don't eat these in the house.

And this isn't even particularly messy for my Olie-girl who has to experience everything with all
her senses (so wearing it on her skin is all part of the delight)!

Believe it or not, Aloria was walking BACKWARDS (!!!)

And believe it or not, she didn't stumble and land on her kiester (again, !!!)

More delicious leaves and sticks :-)

My amazing crew - the Great Eight!  They sure enjoyed all the fabulous Gramsie-sent stickiness.
A bucket of water went a long way in spiffing them right up :-)

Sweet sweet dreams will be had tonight.

Thanks Gramsie!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Special Summer Visitors

This Summer we had particularly special guests to North Idaho.
Grama and Grampa (my parents) came for a visit!

Both Grama and Grampa made themselves instant favorites
and were game for any kind of play my hoodlums and their cousins
could think up.
I was a little afraid the ol' Grampa ride might break down!  Not so, apparently.
This Grampa is not one of those newfangled contraptions, but a properly built model.
On top of that, he didn't even need to be fed tokens!

What fun :-)

The cherry on top of this visit was the tag-along presence of my youngest brothers
and sister.  Uncle Daniel, Uncle Ben, and Auntie Mattie were 6, 5, and 4 years old
when AJ and I got married.
I wasn't a big part of their lives growing up and it is such joy getting to know them
as adults!  A little slice of Heaven.

There were hikes.

And tea parties.

Lots of stories and crafts.

Some music :-)

Oh that Auntie Mattie!  What can possibly be more fabulous than
an Auntie that plays Dress-Up with you?

Autie Mattie Grace~  You are the best!

Grama and Grampa~  What precious memories we made together this Summer!
Thank you for coming all this way, and I hope it inspired you to do it again (after your
batteries and sore parts have a chance to recharge that is).

We love you!