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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An Update On The Girls

 I suppose that it is time for an update on our flock of chickens.  They are, beyond doubt, the most spoiled hens around!  Before he left for Oilville, The Wood Artist moved the TajmaCoop into place  using 6" PVC pipe.  This was quite an operation as he had built it at our garage and the garden was a few hundred yards away.  He had to roll it on the pipe all the way.
 They didn't know what to think about the green grass and approached it cautiously.  I wish I knew my camera better and could capture the birds better.  They are so pretty.
 Later in the summer, we decided to show about 1/2 of them at our county fair.  So we gave them each a bath and  spruced them up.
 This is Laughing Water's hen, Truffle Hunter.
Mr. Blueberry Eyes with Spike, our one and only rooster.  Everyone of them took a blue ribbon and we learned a lot about poultry!  Now they are hunkered down for the winter are ramping up the egg production.  I must say, we are going to have to sell an awful lot of eggs to pay for all we have into them, though!

In recent news, the children had their big holiday choir concert lastnight.  They just loved it!  Their director does a wonderful job of coming up with fun songs for them.  Laughing Water is also in the select choir and they will perform with our community choir in December.

The kids have a piano recital coming up, too.  Mr. Blueberry Eyes is already just sick with fright.  I don't know how far to push him on this one.  I'm trying an incentive (read: bribery), but I don't know....

We've had a super busy week and I'm looking forward to some down time soon.  - Nanette

Friday, November 11, 2011

1000 Gifts

So now I'm feeling embarrassed.  So many of you have written after my last post.  I thank each of you.  Your words, prayers, thoughts expressed  here on my blog and elsewhere have truly lifted my spirits and I can see how silly it was to feel alone! Thank you! 

A few months ago I read a book by Ann Voskamp called One Thousand Gifts.  It started me on a journey of noticing the blessings, the gifts that come my way from a God who actually loves us.  I thinks its time I started noticing again....
 The Wood Artist worked with Mr. Blueberry Eyes on a play fort the last time he was home.  They're starting to trick it out with finishing touches.  Mr. Blueberry Eyes had me park our car near so he could use the sound system to play a story about the Revolutionary War while he painted.  He spent hours being a kid.  Peaceful gifts.
 Here is my first, home-grown-to-perfection watermelon from my hoop house.  Yummy gifts.
 This lil' nuthatch hit our window so hard one day, he was convulsing and twitching.  I knew he was dying, but didn't want him to feel cold, so I gently put him on a cloth in my bathroom.  When I checked to he if he had passed yet, he was sitting up.  I took him outside and offered him his freedom, but he didn't want to leave my hand.
 So I went into the bathroom again and slid to the floor, offering him my knee.  He looked at me for a long time.  When his eyes cleared and he fluttered around, I again offered him the forest with my cupped hand.  This time, he looked at me for a brief, heartstring moment and siezed the day once more. Nature's gifts.
 Sometimes you just have to be goofy.  Making pineapple cupcakes with chocolate frosting late at night seemed like a good idea at the time
Bonding blessings.....


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Digging In

 I think our life can best be described as "digging in" right now.  We are in limbo.  There is just no other way to describe it.  There's no work here and no housing there.  We're spending a small fortune on train tickets just to keep our family together a little.  Last week, the kids and I went to see The Wood Artist.  He is living with my grandmother, so we at least had a place to stay for the weekend - a true blessing.  (That's where Mr. Blueberry Eyes found this little donkey to play with.)
 Being separated is tough stuff.  How thankful we are for the work, though! 

My social network has really come unravelled the last few months due to numerous circumstances, leaving me feeling shattered and insecure.  I guess its just a time of life to dig in and not think about it.  The only thing that is keeping me from giving up is my husband and kids.  It bothers me because I usually try to be a positive person, but I'm really down right now.  I guess the only reason I even feel like I can write this here is because hardly anyone even reads this anymore.....
 The kids loved seeing The Wood Artist's truck
The day we left, he had a run that took him right by my Grandmother's Farm.I had to park the car way off of the drive because there were so many oilfield truck driving by me on the driveway.  What struck me was that he was just one of so many, many trucks.  Just one.  But so very important to us.  I guess it was the moment my shield got a crack in it.  I got back in the car and just broke.  I cried so hard I embarrassed Laughing Water.  She asked me to please stop because the truckers on the drive were going to think something was terrible wrong!  I guess I just needed the release.

That load of pipe, by the way, is worth over $100,000!  All in a days work. 

Sorry, if anyone is actually reading this.  Its pretty disjointed and emotional.  I'm done now! - Nanette

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hiking and More Camping

 One morning we made chocolate pancakes and had some of the first eggs from our chickens.
 On one of the camping days, we took a seven mile hike to some waterfalls.  The terrain was pleasantly flat and the scenery varied quite a lot. 
 We had to cross a swinging bridge.
 I wish I could remember the name of these falls.  We hiked above what you can see in this picture.
 We had to cross a log to get to the other side so we could hike above the falls.  Laughing Water is crossing in a cloud of mist.
 It was a hot day and the kids found relief by dunking their heads in the glacial waters.  Brrrr!
 Back at camp, Mr. Blueberry Eyes found a buddy of the squirmy kind to play with.  Later in the day, they joined a group of Blackfeet children and played happily with them for quite some time.  Their favorite story to tell is that the native children said, "Wanna know how Indians fish?  Butt naked!"
 The camp store had some huckleberry soft serve that we couldn't pass up.
 This little black bear hung out for several days on the mountainside above our tent, feasting on ripe huckleberries and elderberries.
S'mores on chocolate graham crackers....perfect ending to an outdoor adventure.  - Nanette

Our Summer Camping Trip

 Camping for a week was a high priority for us this summer.  It became obvious that The Wood Artist would have to leave for work in the North Dakota oilfields before we could do it, so I realized if it was going to happen, we would have to do it without him.  We had never camped in the Two Medicine region of Glacier National Park and were intrigued with its wild beauty.  So we packed up and headed out for the adventure.  We were not let down!  The water and the rocks in the water were just amazing!
 The kids took Stratego and had fun playing it at the picnic table.
 We situated the tent in the trees, but if you looked through the trees, the view was truly magestic!
 On morning I left the children sleeping in the tent and snuck a couple hundred yards to the lake to meditate and pray.  Its pretty hard to beat a church like that!
 We visited a little restaurant in East Glacier that had this huckleberry French toast.  They said it was world famous and I believe it.  I ate only about half and I'm pretty sure I still have it with me!

 We found a new game we fell in love with. Its called Moose Farkle and played it everywhere!
Sorry if this seems odd.  You'd have to live here to see the humor in this  This was the most beautiful bear poop I've ever seen!  It was a deep, rich purple from the huckleberries in season.  I'll have to do another post or two to get in all the pictures I want to share. - Nanette

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Uh-Oh! I blinked!

 They always told me not to blink.  If I did, my children would grow up!  But I must have blinked, because Laughing Water grew an astonishing amount over the summer!  When did that happen!
 Here they are at the start of a very long swinging foot bridge The Wood Artist took them on while he was home.
Chillin' by the river on a gorgeous fall day. - Nanette

Daily Life

This year, I enrolled my kids in several classes offered to homeschoolers by other homeschool parents.  One of their favorites is an Anatomy and Physiology class.  They are in different classes since they are in different grades, but they are using the same curriculum.  One of the experiments they did was to soak eggs in vinegar for a week.  They chose to add food coloring to their eggs, hence the strange colors.  They have graduated to more technical experiments since.  Today, for example, they extracted DNA from their cheek cells and make necklaces out of them.  They are really enjoying it.  Mr. Blueberry Eyes was even pretending that the cell phone was a centriole.  The resemblance was so striking, I burst out laughing when I heard him chattering on about it!
 So Mr. Blueberry Eyes has decided he must have a horse.  He is working like crazy, doing little jobs here and there to earn money for a horse.  He actually has well over $100 saved.  But he got a bright idea to give others the opportunity to help him out and this is what he came up with! 
And this is the rough life he has at school!  -Nanette

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I'm Back

I knew it had been a long time since I'd added a post, but I was surprised when I saw that my last post was the last day of May.  There are a lot of reasons for that.  Our family came to a place where we had to make some tough decisions and I just couldn't break through the stress enough to write.  In all honesty, we aren't dealing with anything that millions of other Americans aren't dealing with right now, so I feel like a bit of a weakling to admit that it really took me down a bit.  I guess its just that I don't like change and change had to happen.  I never really dreamed our life would look like it does now, but its all good.  God will see us through.  I can finally say that.  I haven't always had that much faith.  But now I know He is good and He will bring good out of it all.

We had to close most of our reading therapy business and The Wood Artist had to go to another state for work.  Since I actually like my husband, this has been hard.  But, we are thankful for the work!  He is home right now, but will soon leave again.  We have so much to be thankful for, though.  I'm blessed that I live in a safe place and have family and friends at my fingertips should I need them, and I do!
 I'm posting some pictures of a hike I did with a dear friend in Glacier National Park.  It was 19 miles of pure majesty and we had a lovely time.  I have so many pictures to post of our summer.  Be prepared for a lot of posts soon!
 The views were breathtaking and awe-inspiring.

I'll try to catch up soon. - Nanette

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Farewell School Year 2010-11!

Today was the last day of school.  Its a little bittersweet.  We are so looking forward to the "lazy days" of summer!  But we had so much fun.  We made wonderful friends.  We learned much about numbers and words and stories and letters and rhyms.  We learned about ourselves, too - good things and ugly things.  Most importantly, we were a family and enjoyed every minute of it. I'll miss it.
 A couple of weeks ago, we had a huge track and field day with 500-600 kids.  I was the team leader for the 2nd grade home school boys and girls.  I don't usually post pictures of my kids with others for privacy reasons, but this one was so cute I decided to block faces and post it.  Mr. Blueberry Eyes had so much fun and he won a 6th place ribbon in the sack race, too.
 A few days ago, I told the kids we were done with school for the day and I put on a book on tape by Henty called "The Cat of Bubastes"  Mr. Blueberry Eyes got out his cars to keep his hands busy while he listened.  Apparently, a candle makes a great anchor for a race track.
 Mr. Blueberry Eyes was invested with some honors in his scout club by a dear friend. Laughing Water also earned several honors.

We're starting to make it out into the mountains a little for hikes.  The snow pack is huge, so I think it will be some time before we really can get into the back country.  Can't wait.  I need to chill out in the wilderness for a while.
 One of our last science projects was to make rag doll seed testers for 100 domestic seeds and 100 wild seeds.  So far (at 5 days), the corn tests have boasted 93% and 94%.  The wild mill weed is only at 10%, but I'm sure it will increase.
In other news, I feel like the rug is being yanked out from under me.  We're having some big decisions to make and the options aren't my favorite.  But,  I trust that Providence is in control.  This blog could  have some interesting adventures comin' up!  More later. - Nanette

Friday, May 27, 2011

Drama and Cross Country

I suppose one can take too many pictures of a mortal pooch, but really, this one takes the cake.  The kids have taken to carrying her around in an infant tummy pack and The Might Hunting Hound seems to love it.  All seems mostly forgiven, or at least ignored regarding her terrible deed with the ducks!
 The school year is fast coming to a close and we've been busy with end-of-the-year activities.  Laughing Water had her final performance with the home school drama class.  She was in a cast of the Wizard of Oz and played the part of Dorothy. 

 She loved drama and would like very much to do it again.  She made some great friends and looks forward to spending more time with them soon.  Here she is with "The Scarecrow"
 The same day, both children had their last cross-country meet.  Jalen took 6th place in his age group.  He was so excited! 
Brooke took 6th place, too, but she says it doesn't really mean the same since there were only six girls running in her class!  But, I was very, very proud of her committment and I think she did great at racing against herself and not giving up!

I have about half of the garden in.  It is proving to be an interesting start to the garden year with the cold and wind.  We shall see how it all turns out.

We had an amazing blessing this week.  A friend of my Dad's had a like-new set of furniture (sofa and love seat).  She GAVE it to us!  It is quite beautiful and very good quality.  The love seat rocks and there is a beautiful rug to go on the living room floor that compliments it.  I was wondering when we would EVER be able to replace our old furniture!  It was getting embarrassing when guests would sink to the floor when they sat down on the old love seat, to say nothing of the fact that I had stitched up the holes in it more than once! 
The rocking love seat has been a huge hit already!  TTFN - Nanette