Thursday, December 16, 2010

Assessment Time

A little glimps

Brothers and Sisters

What do you do with this much help. Not sure if this leads to really clean or just really scared.
Helpful sisters

This is like a hot where no one leaves you alone

Big brother's pride

He made it

She looks pretty good for just having a baby huh.

"Word peeps, I'm here"

"put me back!!!!!"

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Isaac!!!

Isaac turned 9 on September 14th. It's hard to believe in some ways that he's been with us for over 4 years now. In other ways I can't remember what it was like without him. He's a good boy and he is a wonderful older brother to Rylan. They have a great time playing together. Isaac is really excited to have another brother on the way.

Fall Apple Picking

We had a lot of fun this year picking the apples from our own apple tree. (The simple things that make you happy- having your own apple tree!) Anyway, each of the kids took turns going up the ladder and picking the apples.

Our little Rylan-boy thought he was so big to climb up the ladder. I think he looks so cute up there in his little man chore boots.

This is what we ended up with in the end. We were pretty pleased. I canned 55 quarts of applesauce and 14 quarts of apple slices from these.

My Little Laura Ingalls

Jessica went to Heritage school at the beginning of the school year. They take a lunch that they would have had in that time so she took hard-boiled eggs, a cucmber, and a piece of fruit. She took it in that little pail that she has in the picture. I think she looks adorable! I felt like Caroline Ingalls sending her off to school that day. That is, of course, until the bus drove up to take her, but whatever.

First Day of School

Maleah is in 6th grade this year. She has changed a lot in the past year. It's fun to see her growing up. This is her last year in the elementary school.
Jess is in the 4th grade this year. She is really liking Milford school now and making lots of new friends.Isaac is in 2nd grade this year. He is starting to pick up on reading and we are really happy to see that. His teacher says that he is doing really well in math which is fun to hear also.

Lewis and Clark Caverns

This summer was a little crazy. Cody was gone for 5 weeks to officer training. We did fine at home. We had a few mishaps, but we had so many people that helped us.
A week or so after Cody left our favorite dog, Soka, (yes the one we got the goats to keep her around) was hit by a car and killed. We were so sad. We just don't have very good luck with dogs. Anyway, she was only about 7 months old, but she was a big dog. I didn't know how I could dig a hole big enough and deep enough to bury her so Bro. Brezenski from our ward came and did it for me. It was a wonderful act of service to me and my kids. The kids wanted to bury her so that night after he had dug the hole we went out and buried her together. I was proud of my kids.
Anyway, a couple of weeks before Cody got home the kids and I drove out to Idaho to spend some time with my family and then he flew to Salt Lake to meet us after his training. We were so glad to see him!!
We went to Montana after he joined us. This was the group of us at Lewis and Clark Caverns.

Cody, his mom, Jess, Rylan, and Isaac coming up the trail. It was a beautiful view from up there.

Tired and waiting to enter the caverns at the top of the trail.
It was a good time for all of us and the caverns were really cool.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mother's Day

Well, I have some serious catching up to do. There are a few things that I just don't want to leave off the record. So you'll have to excuse my backing up about 6 months. I started getting behind in my blog (and in the rest of my life for that matter) when I got pregnant. I'm about 7 1/2 months along now so 6 months ago was about when I was starting to feel sick. So as you see my pictures you may notice a house in total disarray and that is the explanation as embarrassing as it is.

This was Mother's Day. My kids did the most thoughtful thing for me. Back in April Diantha let me borrow her shark mop so I could try it out. Well, having a house with all hardwood floors, I fell in love with it. My kids knew this and they went to Cody and told him they wanted to get me one for Mother's Day. He told them it was kind of expensive and he asked them how they thought we could pay for it. Well, I guess they thought about it for a couple of days and they came back to Cody with their solution. They said they were willing to give up their hot lunches for the rest of the school year to pay for it. This probably would mean nothing to kids who get hot lunches every day, but my kids don't. It's too expensive for us to let them all have hot lunch every day so we let them choose a few per person each month and it is a highlight for them. They love it. So to have them make a personal sacrifice to get me a gift they knew I would like meant so much to me. When Cody told me what they did I cried of course. I have very thoughtful, wonderful children. Thanks for being great kids!!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Little Eastertime Jingle Bells

Happy Easter!

When the Easter Bunny visits our house he leaves notes that lead the kids on a little scavenger hunt to find their baskets. So here are pictures of the kids after they found their baskets.

This was our Easter dinner. Not very traditional, I know, but we ate around a fire out in the pasture. The Talbots joined us and we had a great time. The weather was perfect, which is a first for Easter in Nebraska. Here are the kids eating peach cobbler out of cups. It was happy!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt

Cody said this is disgusting and I agree, but the only element that I think he's missing is that it's funny too. Diantha and I hid the easter eggs in the back pasture for the kids. We hid them in waves where the little ones started first and the eggs were easy to find and then it got harder as you went up the hill. Anyway, Diantha hid this camoflauge egg in a lovely dried pile of fertilizer (I'm using my good manner words today.) This was for the older kids to find. And actually the camo eggs were quite the challenge to find. I'm not even sure we found them all.

Here are the big kids waiting their turn to get started.

This was Rylan's first easter egg hunt where he really participated. The first egg he picked up and shook it, then he sat down on the ground and opened it. As soon as he realized there was candy inside he was on a mission. How is it possible that we can think everything this little man does is adorable?

This is Precious

On Easter Jess took Rylan out to feed the chickens. (These pictures are out of order.) I was doing dishes so I watched as they took a little detour to the swings before doing their chores. At first Jess was pushing Rylan in the baby swing, then I looked out and they were swinging on separate swings together giggling. It was so cute. But this grabbed my heart when I looked out and they were swinging like this. You can see that Jess is talking to Rylan while they are swinging and I thought it was adorable. She adores her little brother and she is a great big sister.
Here they are in the mudroom before they went outside. Gotta love the chore boots on Rylan! He loves to go out and help with chores!!!

This was just another cute picture of Jess. She's growing up so much and she's such a good girl. She loves the animals and is really coming out of herself out here on our little farm. She's very conscientious of taking care of the puppies. She makes sure they are safe in their kennel before we leave the house and she really watches out for them. It's fun to watch her grow up.

I'm mostly posting this for our moms. I thought these pictures would be fun to see. This is Cody being sworn in as a chaplain in the Air National Guard back in October. It's still a little weird to think that we are a military family, but we felt strongly about the decision and I feel that Cody has a lot to give in this position. So far he has just attended guard drill here in Lincoln once a month and has done a couple of things outside of that here and there. He will be going to officer training in August for a month and that is the first time that we will spend that much time apart. I guess it's nice that we can ease into it kind of slowly even though his deployments really won't be very long compared to some. We were told that they would be 4 months at the longest so that feels do-able. Anyway, he's really enjoying it so far so I'm grateful for that.

Here he is in his uniform. Personally, I think he looks hot!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


We had a really fun April Fools Day! This morning when I was packing the kids' lunches I put carrot sticks in some individual size chip bags, wrote and April Fools note and resealed the bags. The kids were disappointed that their chips turned into something less desirable to them, but they were good sports about it. They thought it was funny.

Then tonight for dinner we had dinner at The Crazy Cafe. (All these ideas came from the idea room site and the family fun site.) Anyway, I'll explain the menu later as I loaded these pictures in an odd order. This was the main course. It was the greasiest cupcake I have ever eaten! They were meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potatoes colored with beets on top. I thought they were awesome! (except the only thing I think I would make sure to do next time is to use the foil cupcake liners like the recipe called for. I didn't have any.) Anyway, I used my Grandma Stewart's meatloaf recipe in place of the one on the site so they actually tasted really good. I hope Grandma is proud of the way I used her recipe!

Doesn't that look tasty?

These were supposed to look like french fries with ketchup. The fries turned out okay but the ketchup wasn't very convincing. They were breadsticks that I cut really thin and rolled in butter and then sugar. The ketchup was homemade strawberry jam. Cody made the "McDonalds" bags and it even looks like the grease is leaking through just like it should be. They were pretty cute.

Here is one of the menus. I'm not a fancy computer person so I just did them each by hand and had more fun that way anyway. And, yes, some of the words are backwards. It seemed to fit with the Crazy Cafe! Anyway the "menu choices" were the food, utensils, and drink mixed up and given different names with a letter to go with each. When they ordered they had to put a letter in the box for when they wanted that thing to come to them even though they didn't know what it was. So they ended up with some interesting combos.

Pictures of my kitchen. Interesting, huh? Come join me for leftovers!!!!!

Actually, the brownie leftovers are pretty good. They rest will be eaten at your own risk.

April Fools Dinner

Here are the pictures of the kids eating the dinner at the Crazy Cafe.

Here's Maleah's first course. She got garlic green beans, a fork, and a spoon. She didn't have her utensils for the rest of the meal and she chose the one time she had them to eat with her fingers. Go figure!

Isaac's first course turned out the way Cody wishes he could eat all of his meals. He got a brownie, invisible Kool-Aid, and a napkin. All the sweets at the beginning of the meal!! I think the girls were a little jealous at this point because they both had green beans.

Rylan kind of got whatever he wanted when he saw what everyone else had. Here he is with every option and, of course, he's eating his brownie. He was in heaven!!!

This is when we brought out the second course. They all happened to order the meatloaf cupcakes at the same time so it was fun to see their different reactions. Maleah
got her's with a brownie so she thought she was getting all desserts. She was celebrating. Jess was excited until we put it in front of her and then she stopped and said, "I smell chicken." Then she bent over and sniffed her cupcake and this is the face we got after she sniffed it. And Isaac? Well, it took him a little while to catch on to what was going on. He was just confused.

Here's Jess eating her third course. It was actually on of her favorites. Her only mistake she made when she was filling out her menu is she didn't pay attention and she left out one of the letters and put one of the other letters twice. No big deal except for when the one you omit is the brownie!! She couldn't figure out why she didn't get one until we were almost finished eating!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Animal Update

Diantha brought it to my attention that I never finished our story about the dogs. Well, first I should explain why dogs is plural now. Around the same time we got the other puppy from Albian (actually it was a little bit before we knew about that puppy) a friend of ours called and told us her friend had 10 puppies to find homes for. We made the terrible mistake of going to see them when they were 2 weeks old and since they were so tiny and cute we told them we would take two. They told us we would get these puppies the first part of March (we saw them the end of January.) Anyway, a few days later Cody found the puppy in Albian and decided we had to have her. So we thought we would just take one of the other puppies, but when it came down to it we didn't have the heart. So we ended up with 3 puppies. We are so weak!!!!! And to add to it the mother of the 10 puppies dried up and wasn't able to feed them so we ended up getting the puppies on Valentine's Day when they were only 5 weeks old. They were too tiny and the weather was still terribly cold so I had to go against everything in me and keep them in the house. I kept them in a big rubbermaid tote in the kitchen and they weren't allowed to leave the kitchen area. Well, I only lasted 10 days and I couldn't take cleaning up poop and pee any more so they were moved out to the barn. We put them in the kennel with straw and there was a heat lamp so they survived. They were more likely to survive out in the winter cold than in my kitchen because they just about lost their lives every time they would poop on my kitchen floor. Anyway, I learned to like them once they were staying in the barn.
So back to our dilemma about the dog names. After a lot of conversation and, yes, some fighting between the kids we decided not to use any of the names we put on the blog to vote on. The kids decided to give each of them Star Wars names. The big puppy from Albian is Asoka (and by the way I don't know how to spell any of these names.) The little black lab is Padme. And the black and white spotted one is Sateen. Can't tell us we weren't creative.
Here's Rylan watching the puppies have breakfast.

Our second animal update is about our bunny, Joe. We had Joe for almost 6 years and he died the first part of March. And of course he died on my shift. Luckily Diantha was with me when I found him so she was the one that had the guts to pick him up and haul him out of the barn. The whole stiff, dead thing is still a little too much for me. I think I would have thrown up. So, thanks Diantha! Anyway, long story short, we told the kids that we couldn't bury him because the ground was still frozen so we decided that he could go out like a Jedi. So here's a picture of Cody and the kids at Joe's funeral. And, yes, I did wait until Cody was there to help in this part!

Just Another Day in Paradise

I don't know if we are still just in the honeymoon phase of farm living, but we absolutely love our little farm. Sure we have some interesting things that happen and I am learning a lot, but we are having a great time. I feel like a tourist. Any time we are out doing something together I have to take a camera because everything is still interesting and fun. Here are some pictures of us going for a walk in the back pasture where the kids have made their own Terabithia. They are having a great time exploring and playing and we feel blessed to be where we are.
This is overlooking the back of our place where Terabithia is.
Just thought this was funny!!! To me it looks like Cody's tongue is really touching Rylan's boot Nasty!!!
This was a happy day at our house!!!!!! After waiting several months for our chickens to start laying eggs Jess came in and proudly presented our first eggs. We were so proud of our hens! It makes my day to go out and collect eggs from the chicken coup. It's like an easter egg hunt for me! It's so therapeutic!!!