Wednesday, November 15, 2017

changing seasons 2017

It's that time of year, or it was before the dratted time change, where sunset began right when I was making dinner or driving to youth group. 

The moon and some National Guard equipment.

We were on our way to youth group on October 25, the clouds started turning amazing colors so I yanked the van to a stop atop the hill by Stevens and snapped this picture. What was crazy was that the next day in my Facebook Memories, I had done the exact same thing in the exact same place last year! It's just that time of year I guess.

 I have to throw in some chronological animal pictures no matter what I'm posting about... This is the evolution of a kitty falling asleep on my lap one morning. 

Two nights later we were going to get a very hard frost and so we cleared the garden out.

The strawberries just started actually really producing this summer so even though it was nearly November they were still growing every day! They were amazingly delicious, even the pale ones! The cantaloupes, which I have already posted about, were also amazingly flavorful and juicy, and really, so were/are the carrots (we're still pulling them up now halfway through November!). 

The following week I caved and let the kitty snuggle with me during my quiet time. He purred so incredibly loud! 

Evie was sick again the following week so I stayed home with her one Wednesday night even though everyone else was at the church. Cute kitty...

...and cute puppy. :) And of course that's a cute Evie. 

For the final weekend in October we took a break from hikes to tackle some projects that needed to be accomplished. First off Terry cleaned the fish tank. I thought Ezra was funny running around with his little net so I told him to show it to me. He misheard me as requesting him to show me his "neck" and that's exactly what he did. Ha! What an obedient boy. ;)

There's the normal net accompanied by his usual shy smirky expression.

Didn't it look so good when Terry was done? I always says those fish are getting so big that we'll eat them at the end of the world. 

While Terry was working on the fish tank, Noah and Samuel were sent outside to begin raking the innumerable pine needles up. I took a quick picture of the mess and then headed outside to help. We cleaned up the yard and the gardens that day.

I had made up my mind to change the flower garden surrounding our back deck and started digging stuff up. My purple salvia flowers that came along with the house, and which I had already moved around when we made the path, are completely out of control. I cannot stand them. They make babies absolutely everywhere and are worse than weeds. Our brick path is absolutely overrun with them as is all the grass adjacent to the path. I hate them! So I dug them all up and got rid of them. It was a lot of work as you can imagine from the white arrows indicating how many there were!

Here's a before and after picture of all my hard work. My back was seriously tired out that night.

Perhaps you can see here better that the dirt is free of most plants. I'm going to plant some other things next year (I'd love dahlias like my sister has in Washington or perhaps peonies). 

I seriously considered keeping all the salvias and sneaking out onto the national guard land to plant them back there. They wouldn't be bad growing wild in an empty field, but hopefully the lilacs they planted back there will grow and fill the space. (This is the road behind our house and those little plants are the lilacs that I hope will survive the winter. We shall see...)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Halloween 2017

 About six days before Halloween we carved out the time to carve up the pumpkins (see what I did there? ha!) that Terry's dad annually gets the kids. Here Terry is trying to take in Samuel's many words about what he wanted his pumpkin to look like. I tell you what, Samuel has come so far from when he was three years old when he could hardly talk at all. Now he probably talks the most, though it's not always clean speech. And he gets super anger if you interrupt him talking, he will yell out, "Quit taking my words!!" 

Ezra actually didn't get his pumpkin carved into a face or anything because he just wanted to paint. And paint he did for over an hour. Layers and layers of green, blue, and yellow paint. 

Samuel is showing his dirty pumpkin hands. He was so brave this year and just went after those insides.  

I was gonna skip this shot except Evie's disgusted face was so funny. Ha!

Everyone hard at work. 

When Daddy finally finished carving and scooping the kids went to work on painting their pumpkins.  

Samuel of course chose red, his very favorite color. Also his pumpkin has a bunch of eyes with one big mouth. 

Noah's was a Yoda face with Star Wars carved into it. 

Paint, paint, and more paint for Dwidgie. 

And Evie starting on her stripes.

We set the finished pumpkins outside the next morning. 

The following week on Tuesday Evie fell sick and didn't really have it in her to walk around in the cold for hours and hours. And Noah is 12 now and has actually never enjoyed dressing up. So Terry took just the littles out this year. Ezra was obviously Spiderman but Samuel is a completely new character that Evie made up this summer, Dark Bubble Lord.

Sometime this summer Evie and the littles filled their time by making up a play. Evie of course is the mastermind of it all and made it all up and told the littles what to do. It's adorable.

So here's Dark Bubble Lord and Spiderman with the pumpkins right before they headed out with Daddy.

Bye bye! I only included this photo to show that there were others out and about too (across the street). But actually the night seemed a lot quieter than normal. 

Ezra hated his mask because it was too tight so Terry wore it a bit at the beginning. 

Going first to our next door neighbor. 

And then two doors down.

His daughter was present with him, whom we actually know from Terry's dad's church. Terry was calling me the paparazzi right here.

One more shot before I went back home. They were out almost an hour and a half! They got two big bowls worth of candy, which was super duper good.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Roughlock Falls 2017

 The week after our Dalton Lake hike, on Friday, October 20, we finally drove up to Spearfish Canyon, which is what we meant to do the weekend before. We hadn't been to visit Roughlock Falls since 2012 when Samuel wasn't even two years old! Plus, Terry had never hiked this actual trail and I hadn't gone since 2010 when I was pregnant with Samuel, Noah and Evie were tiny, and Terry was on some youth trip in Nebraska. You start from just after the Spearfish Canyon Lodge in the canyon and walk west up and down a rolling path until you reach the falls.

Not far along we came to a bridge over the dammed water and the littles tried to find rocks to throw in. 

Same shot without the kids and Luna.

Pretty white flowers in the gross seaweed to the rightmost portion of the bridge. 

View of the bridge and water from the hillside where the path descended from. 

Unfortunately we had missed all the fall color up there, but it was still very pretty.

Green mossy water. 

Hike hike hike.

The littles rode their bikes, which makes our pace quicker than it would be without them, but it made it a little tricky once we got to the falls since Samuel couldn't ride the very steep hill next to the falls. We hid his bike next to the boardwalk and it was fine, though Terry was worried about it. 

Pretty light through the trees here as the boys rode ahead.

Just over a mile later we reached the falls, though you can't see them here, they're to the left. 

This is taken from the above bridge and looking to its right. It would have been a pretty magnificent sight a few weeks earlier. Still pretty enough in late October. 

Turning around, this is the view of Rocklock Falls. 


I set up my camera with the self timer on a post and snapped away. Ezra is adorably hiding here. Awww.

There he is. And of course, this is exactly where my sister got married in 2011!

Then I took a few of just the kids.

Evie's face is cute. 

I leaned out over the fence and snapped one of more of the stream. At least that was still green.

From there we hiked up the steep path to view the waterfall from above. This is the part Samuel wouldn't have been able to handle on his bike. I was quite worried about Ezra on his bike when we came back down, that he'd wipe out and break his face, but he was fine. 

That little person below is where we took our family pictures. Also I was describing to Terry and the kids how when I was little we used to be able to climb down that opposite bank and into the water, and even behind the waterfall if we wanted to. I have pretty vivid memories of hiking down there and into the water. Obviously you're not supposed to do that anymore.

Ezra rode over the creek to the other waterfall viewpoint and I spotted one last bush with red leaves still clinging to it.  

Daddy and Evie across the creek at the first viewpoint. 

Evie made it over and they're checking out the waterfall. 

We spent a lot of time playing with these "helicopter" seeds. The kids thought they were great.

From there we hiked up past the parking lot and I took a bunch of pictures. It was still very pretty for no fall color!

I also have a lot of memories of playing around these upper pools as a kid. I always wanted to play in them but boy is that water cold, as Ezra found out later...

Same view from before with a different perspective.

Out on the road after it turned into gravel. We drove down it a bit once we got back to the van and then turned around. There were a lot of people in those 4WD vehicles like 4 wheelers that looked like they were having a blast. But we turned around for dinner.

I wandered up past this little waterfall, squatted, and tried to get it all in the shot.

Oh I guess there was yet another waterfall beyond that. Evie is gesturing dramatically. Ha!

They all climbed out onto the rocks next to the boardwalk and I walked closer to get their picture. It was getting dark in the canyon even though it was only 3:50pm!

It was insanely windy and Evie's hat blew right off her head into the creek!

Daddy saved the day with a stick. Yay!

I love this shot from the day best and made it my Facebook cover photo.

I turned around and found that I just missed Ezra falling off one of those rocks into the water. Look at those wet footprints! Ha! Soon afterward we started back down the path to make sure Samuel's bike hadn't been stolen and to leave for dinner.

When I reached the bottom of the hill I found the kids all piled on this rock. They do this every time, though like I said it's been years. We've only ever had two kids on it before but now there's all four!

An up and down perspective to show it's not as massive as a rock as it appears when you can't see the bottom of it. 

Look at these tiny adorable children at my sister's wedding in 2011! Look at them!! Noah was six,  Evie was three, Samuel, pictured in that linked post, was only four months!

And again in 2012 after we had just moved back and come up with Samuel in a stroller when they're all a year older, though Noah hasn't changed much. Gah! STOP GROWING UP!!!

Hiking back down from the falls.

Evie waiting and waiting for me to stop taking pictures. Some of us were a little grumpy...and it wasn't me!

There was a family out in that golden field taking family pictures. I could tell they were going to be gorgeous.

Around the bend, when the family was out of sight, I climbed down to the creek and took a few pictures.

This is the same place but with my cell phone and I actually like it better!

Looking the opposite way downstream.

Overlooking that bridge and water we had played at before.

From there we drove south to Cheyenne Crossing and indulged in a sit down dinner as a family, quite a treat. I had done it once summer of 2016 and were eager to have these burgers again. Drool.

Terry posted this picture on Facebook and asked where people thought we were at and had many guesses. We didn't get home until well after dark and ever since Samuel has been telling me over and over how he doesn't want to go on a far away hike because he doesn't want it to get dark outside. Okay Samuel, we'll try to stick closer to home, though now it's been a couple weeks since we've ventured out. It's getting cold out!