Monday, October 9, 2017

Bike the Bear

Jared, Kaleb, Michael and Mark biked around Bear Lake in September on an extremely cold Saturday morning. The night before it was snowing. They slept over Friday night and set out with 140 other bicyclists to trek the 50 miles around Bear Lake.
I am so proud of them. 
Kaleb, of course, biked it in 4 hours! That is him. He has always had the stamina and he rode his bike to and from work all summer, which is straight up hill twice a day. (He came home for lunch every day) Jared did it in 6 hours! It just amazes me how "able" they are.
They were equipped for snow, rain, and wind chill. Jared rode my awesome mountain bike...since he snatches mine anyway. One of these days he needs to get his own.
Kaleb was telling me that at one point he was bouncing over rocks and riding in the dirt along the shoulder of the road while the street bikes were avoiding potholes. He was having too much fun.
At one point Kaleb was singing "The Long Way Home" by Stephen Curtis Chapman on the eastern shore. Jared said, he couldn't even think because he was just focusing on pedaling.
There is a poster in the art room at Hobby Lobby that has a guy standing with his bike up over his head that says
 "Success...there is no greater reward for a job well done
 than the personal satisfaction of having done it"
Kaleb told me that he was going to do that, hold his bike over his head at the finish line and say what was written on the poster...
when he made it to the finish line, he held his bike up over his head and yelled
He couldn't remember the rest. 

Jared said they looked like homeless people the way they were dressed but they were dressed for freezing temperatures, rain, snow flurries, wind chill and comfort.
I am very proud of my boys for setting their sights on a goal and achieving it.
That is SUCCESS!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Biking Mantua

 I am desperate to get as many outside excursions as possible before winter sets in, so Kaleb, Victoria and I biked around Mantua. It was absolutely beautiful with birds everywhere. 
 My extremist son.
Who would know that he enjoys the great Outdoors!
He goes for distance and challenge.
When Victoria and I set out with him we have to remind him that his 50 year old mother and little sister is with him so don't leave us in your dust....Buddy!
I can always see a little disappointment in his face when I remind him that 
we aren't killing ourselves on whatever we are doing.
Victoria has always done an awesome job of keeping up with the rest of us. Though now, she has passed me up. I'm usually last now.
I've earned that bring up the rear.


Cornelius wanted out so Kaleb put his hand in his aquarium and he pitched a fit.
So he ducked his head down and Cornelius climbed right up on top of his hat.
He can be such a finicky guy sometimes.
The reason I took his picture is because of how Cornelius is holding on to Kaleb's glasses and how his tail was curled up underneath the brim of his hat.


Thunder is so cute how she likes to sit in things.

A new Goat House

It seems like we are always in need of something that requires carpentry skills. With Kirk off working and painting a mural for K9's Unleashed, that leaves Jared to build the goat house for the billy goats.
I am so thankful to have boys who can build.
 It probably wouldn't stand up to Jacks headbutting it if I built it. 
 Sven has already taken ownership of it. 
Jared walked out one of the days and found his bracing busted in pieces.
I guess Jacks got a little too wild and broke it apart. 
 I love watching my boys work.
I love seeing them get dirty.
I love that they aren't afraid to jump into a project like this.
They aren't intimidated by hard work.
I hope who ever they marry will be good cooks, 
because these boys love to eat after working hard.
 I also love how they get their little sister to work hard too. 
She thinks the world of her brothers and manages to get roped in to some 
of their projects by challenging her. They are always challenging her to be tougher than what she is even though Victoria is not a girly girl in any way.
Little Sven is trying to let Jared know that he is the boss but little does he know that Jared is the boss.
I don't think he will ever figure it out...that's Sven for ya.

Jared's Tonka Truck

Jared and my Dad finally got Jared's Truck all worked out and running.
There was lot's to fix on it. The electrical was all messed up for one thing.
Who ever had it didn't know what they were doing. Leave it to Poppa to know how to fix it. 
Jared has learned so much working with my Dad.
Victoria loves it when he picks her up from Ice Skating. Though you practically need a step ladder to get in the darn thing, and you can hear him coming down the street with the
 typical drone of the womp, womp, womp of the motor.
It is very fitting for Jared to save his money and pay cash...for an adult Tonka Truck.

Hawk Baby

Our little hawk baby flew the nest. He's all grown up and off on his own.
So now our Great Horned Owl is back.
We can hear him every morning around 4 am hooting from the Norwegian Spruce in the front yard.
So awesome to have so much wildlife out our front door.

Kids for Sale

 We have one little buckling left to sell so I requested that Kirk build me a frame so I can paint a sign to put out front. I came up with this eye catching idea of painting Kids for Sale on it.
We have had so many people stop out front to take a picture of the sign. I counted three cars in 20 minutes once. We even saw a car stop and put their kids next to the sign to take a picture.
Our neighborhood loves it. only sell the cute little buckling named Frederick!

Math or Carpentry?

The fun thing about Homeschooling is that you can incorporate life skills into the subjects you are studying. Kaleb and I got talking one day back in February about angles and such in the Geometry that he was studying. We decided that we really needed some Adirondack chairs to match the one that Jared built a couple years ago. It took us a couple months juggling around Kaleb's and my work schedule but we finally got them done by the end of summer!
I learned so much about carpentry from my 17 year old son. He ran the show. He has gleaned so much knowledge working along side his brother. I didn't know he was so comfortable doing so. We only goofed a couple times that we refuse to bring to anyone's attention. Some things are better left unsaid. I think they are beautiful. I can't wait to get the other three done so we 
can all have one to sit around the fire pit. 
Nothing like a comfy chair to sit around a campfire.

The New School Year

 We started the school year with a bang....
It happened so fast, we were enjoying summer at the lake and then pow!
Time to start school.
The kids were excited to was me who felt like I was dragging my feet.
After some reflection of days gone by and looking forward to the future I slowly became excited about the new school year. Kaleb is a senior. Wow, when did that happen! And Victoria is 7th grade going on 10th if that is possible. 
We are in our 20th year of Homeschooling!
I deserve a few moments to drag my feet.
This is our last year together before it will be Victoria and I for 5 years.
They have plans. I have plans. We have plans together.
 Kaleb is welding part time at Bridgerland and loving it.
We are studying Kitchen Chemistry together, Screen printing, ice skating, art classes, literature through art and American Literature. Oh yea, math of course. That should keep us busy all year. With some hiking, snow shoeing, carpentry and lots of animal husbandry. That should give the kids a well rounded education.
Did I mention animal husbandry?
Can you see Veterinary Medicine is in the future?

Monday, September 4, 2017

Basement Stairs

I know you are jealous of these beautiful "vintage" walls..
 especially with the authentic, plaster and lathe look....
the linoleum on the stairs....
the hanging light fixture....
the wiring on the outside of the walls.....
the exposed cast iron vent pipe.....
 Everytime you knock the wall with your shoulder coming up from the basement, more plaster crumbles, dropping to floor...
The summer project...that literally has taken us all summer was repairing the walls and wiring a light switch and two lights.
 Doesn't this look beautiful?
We still need to sand and stain for floor,
add baseboards on the landing,
add a handrail for when we are old...
 I love this hallway!
Now we just need to work this same magic with the rest of the basement....
I can't wait to do the kitchen!


Jacks was being obnoxious like any billy goat can be so I flipped the camera around on my phone so he could see himself. At first he didn't know what to make of it and then came back and really took a look. He got really quiet. He was probably thinking "who is that handsome dude?"
Recently, he took a night stroll through the neighborhood without us knowing. He showed up a couple streets over in someones backyard. They tied him up and posted him on facebook but then got away and showed up several streets in the opposite direction and bellowed all night on top of someones shed. When we realized he was gone, Victoria set out on her bike and I started driving through the neighborhood. One of our friends set me on the right path until I found out he got away again and was still missing. I immediately called our Animal Control guy who is an awesome rancher guy. He is the nicest guy. Anyway, I asked him about seeing our goat and he said he was looking at one. I asked him "is he grey?"
Nolan said "yes..."
I asked...."does he stink?"
Nolan said "must be him!"
As soon as I pulled into the driveway and Jacks heard my voice he started crying frantically, like....MOM....MOM....get me out of jail!!!!!
I had to entice him with cheerios to pass up the van. He didn't want to leave the van. He wanted IN the van. Knowing that I didn't want the van to stink like him and the animal control guy and I both didn't want to have to pick him up and stink up his truck....I elected to walk Jacks home. We were quite a scene with me walking this brute of a Billy Goat with huge horns along the street with the Animal Control swinging a dog leash behind him to keep him moving. Jacks was so happy to be home he charged down the street when he knew where we were. 
He was exhausted and slept the WHOLE day!
I didn't even have to take the squirt gun out with me when I had to get to the canal to turn on our irrigation pump. He can be so bad! 
I am thankful to have a great, understanding community and a wonderful Animal Control guy!

Camping with Alpiners

5 families from Alpine Church went camping this past weekend.
We try to do it every year and have a great time each time.
 My kids love this guy in the background, Karl. He is so knowledgeable in so many things. His wife Deniece, is pretty awesome too.
 We hung out just talking, playing horse shoes, hiking, fishing, eating.....

 Daphne showing Hayley how to spin wool.

The House that Jared Built

Here is the "cabin" that Jared and his boss Mike built all winter in Bear Lake.
Half the time they had to shovel snow just to get in the driveway when it was 8 ft. high!

 It is a beautiful house. They did awesome work and have lots of stories and experiences to go along with it. I love seeing what he has accomplished in his work. He chose an great profession and is doing it with quality work. 

Many Trips to Bear Lake

We have so many trips to Bear Lake that we have lost count. Long, long ago....growing up, my mom, sister and I would trek and spend our summers at the beach, which I absolutely loved. One of the perks of growing up in Southern California. When we lived in Phoenix, we missed the beach so much it wasn't funny. Now we have Bear Lake which is not the same as the beach but let me tell you! It comes pretty close. Depending on how many speed boats, jet skis or the wind will bring waves. Not anything like the ocean but I don't mind. I love the water. AND....who knew that Utah had Seagulls. 
Yes! Seagulls.
 This is the only place we can stop working and just "be".
We barbeque, laugh, sleep, kayak, canoe, float, read.....
 Kirk kicking back!
If anyone needs a break more than me, it is this guy!
He keeps us afloat.
 While these guys are floating.....
 Daphne is taking cover from the sun. We call her Grandma sometimes.
She looks like my little dolly sometimes with her sun hat and white skin.
She is smart to cover up.
 She does go out and kayak. Kaleb always secretly heads out to keep her company. He is cautious if the wind picks up. Sometimes it is really hard getting back to shore if the wind kicks up.
 Last Saturday we had these guys hangiing out right next to us. So we got to watch them ALL day long. I don't think they ever stopped. This guy makes it look so easy too!

We usually bring Nana and Poppa with us too. Dad hangs out under his umbrella reading his latest magazine or book while the rest of us are in and out of the water floating, kayaking, or getting cooled off. One time the Sheriff stopped us in our kayaks way out there to make sure that we had a whistle. It is a rule in Idaho to have a whistle while kayaking so you can call for help. We always wear life jackets so he commented on that too. He gave us each an Idaho Wildlife and Boating t-shirt saying that you "got caught" doing right. They were all little kids sizes so Kaleb was positive that he could fit into the smallest one size Youth medium. He managed all right and then proceeded to act like a life guard on Baywatch. We never laughed so hard. My Dad kept shaking his head and egging him on at the same time. You never know what Kaleb will come up with next. He keeps us laughing.
We gave the shirts to our neighbors grandkids. I think they fit them better.
 It may be September but we aren't ready to pack up the tubes or towels just yet. 
There is always just more time!!!

Cache County Fair 2017

We spent an awesome 4 Days at the Fair and had a great time!
Three of the kids chickens won blue ribbons and one Second place.
 We talked by Dad into entering some of his model airplanes in an exhibit and the collection won a blue ribbon!
 Daphne was determined for me to enter the stockings that took me forever and a day to cross stitch!
I won Grand Champion!
This will tell a great story down the generations! 
Kaleb's grasshopper that he welded won Grand Champion in 4H and is currently at the State Fair in Salt Lake City. Daphne's famous ribbon cookies won 2nd place and some of her artwork won First. Both Victoria and Kaleb won several first place ribbons and Grand Champions for their art work this year. It is always so exciting to walk through the exhibits and admire the talent that is in this little valley.
For 4H this year we had everyone put their dog posters along the fence so that the community can see them. It was a great idea! Plus the kids loved having their dogs showcased to the public.
 All year Victoria was twisting her brother's arm to come to 4H so that he could show Sammy.
Sam did awesome and really enjoyed doing it.
I think the dogs really like the least Henry and Sam do...and Victoria....and Kaleb!
 All the kids made their own Showmanship leashes this year.
They all turned out awesome.
Henry won Grand Champion in Showmanship and Sammy won Reserve (which is runner up to Grand Champion) They were the old men of the group being 9 and 10 years old.
 Unfortunately, Henry had some weird allergic reaction that started early in the week with swollen ear flaps. On the second day of the Fair he broke out in hives on his face, and his nose swelled up after only running one agility course. So he sacked out on a cooling mat and a portable fan to 
cool him down.
 We had to take him to an emergency vet appointment that cost an arm and a leg.
They put him on antibiotics, just in case, got a shot of steroid and allergy medicine. 
Poor guy was not comfortable and left Victoria without a dog to finish, so she got to choose a trainer dog to run. She ran Kora for the remainder of the Fair while Henry hung out at home recuperating.
Kora ran better for Victoria than for her owner Rachael!
It was kind of funny because she did so well for her. She had to give all the right voice commands and hand signals as well as keep up with her. It was a challenge.
 There were 24 kids this year. I loved that they had so much fun together. We brought a big ball that we play with our goats with. They were playing keep away from Trigger, one of the trainer dogs with K9 Unleashed. Trigger was so fast, I never did get a picture with him with the kids.
 Another trophy and ribbon to add to the collection!
 At some point through the course Sam is so happy he starts to prance.
 On one of the agility trials, Kaleb took a piece of pizza to coat his fingers with to entice Sam to run his best. It sure worked!
Sam will do anything for pepperoni!
 One of the fun things we do is set up a human obstacle course.
This kids had a blast doing it. They get really goofy and just laugh.
It's awesome!

 Sammy on the Move!
 This is a great 4H program. We couldn't ask for a better group!
 The kids always find ways to keep themselves busy.
Here Victoria and Brenden are trying to rope each other.
 This was the drive home on the second day at night.
It was an exhausting week for the dogs...for all of us....but so worth it!