Saturday, March 25, 2017

boats and hikes

Just two days after my cold walk with Luna, the weather was back to being beautifully spring like and Terry decided to take the old Chrysler New Yorker boat to church for youth group. It was two Wednesdays ago and was the first time it had been driven that far since Christmas Eve. The dash vents still don't work despite Terry replacing the blow motor and removing a ton of nasty mouse nests inside, but at least it wasn't freezing cold winter anymore. He could cruise with the windows down to cut back on the terrible stench inside.

Due to the gorgeous weather I took the kids on a walk nearly a mile down the road to the nearby City Springs park. After playing on the playground for a while, I led the kids to the northeast where I discovered a hiking path that led up to the water town tub thing behind them, pictured below.

It was a very short climb, but worth it. I love being outside and the kids will appreciate it someday. At the time they did some complaining. 

Throwing rocks. 

"Samuel get away from the edge right now! Okay time to go." 

Selfie smelfie. 

Heading down the other way. 

Meanwhile at work, they discovered that Paul had also recently acquired his grampa's huge (less) old Lincoln car. Russ made this sign for Terry and Paul's huge cars. HA HA HA HA! 

Russ snapped these few pictures and sent them to all of us. Oh yeah, living the dream guys. 

I love it! That evening Terry took his youth leaders to dinner (like usual) but the three of them rode together in the front seat of the boat. How fun! 

poof, walkies

We have given Luna weekly baths ever since we got her nearly three months ago. In the beginning she was little enough to fit under the bathtub water faucet but she's outgrown that capability now. Anyway, her fur has been getting very long and you can see how curly it is when it's wet. She's entirely covered in little ringlets!

But once she starts drying out I brush out all the curls and POOF! SHE'S SO FLUFFY!

Gah! She's so stinking cute! 

A couple nights later while Noah was at Moses' house after CC (so they can take him to BB gun shooting and save me a trip), I brought his two sisters Abigail and Julia back to our place for Evie to play with. We had some yummy spicy soup on that cold night. 

That weekend we had bought a few things from Scheels with the money we made after we sold some auction drums we'd acquired. The gloves were a replacement Christmas gift from my brother and the watch was not something I was planning on getting since Terry was the one who wanted one. But the sale price was just too good to turn down. Terry got his watch too. 

While Evie played with her friends that evening I took Luna out for a walk to test drive my new watch. It has GPS and is amazing. I love it for mountain biking - I have always wanted to be able to track distance and route. It does other things too, even heart rate! Anyway, I ended up on the hill above our house and when the city and its lights came in to view, my heart soared. How I love living here! I love the hills so much!

A fluffy Luna and coat swathed shadow of me. 


Two and a half weeks ago we visited the Fire Department for a tour. Terry was already there for a ride-along in the hopes they got a call. He's been attending a weekly fireman bible study with two of his youth leaders, Steven and Ryan.

I took the littles to an eye appointment (I had a stye) and on the way back home called Terry and asked if the guys thought it would be okay for me to stop by as well. They do tours so it was no problem. Look at how big those wheels are! As tall as Ezra.

Samuel quite enjoyed sitting in the backseat of the biggest firetruck. It had a fold down seat so perhaps that was why. 

Ryan sat with him too - that was actually his seat with his stuff loaded next to it. 

Adorable Samuel in Ryan's hat. You can see the scrape on his face from a few days prior when he fell on his face while running down the sidewalk. He still has a big lump on his chin though all the bruising is gone.

Ryan and Steven look on while Samuel tries on Ryan's coat. So cute! 

Next Samuel sat in the front seat. 

Ezra liked the look of the monster truck looking firetruck but wouldn't go up inside. Steven helped Samuel climb up. It was huge! 

We finally got Ezra to go in the original truck. Look at his pouty face. Ha ha.

Got a smile out of him though!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Luna being cute, van mishap

Nearly a month ago we had a night off from Awana so after eating a special dinner with daddy and his Youth Group leaders, we hung out at my parents house for a while. It was the first time since the day we brought Luna home that she had been around another dog, specifically Bo, my dad's dog. There were a few tense moments but after she smelled each other's butts sufficiently they were friends. Poor Bo is getting very old though. He can hardly walk up and down the stairs anymore, has gained weight, and breathes so heavily all the time.

For several days Luna had been coming into the house with her front paws and face all muddy. After cleaning her off one nice day I took a look around for any kind of holes in the yard. Turns out Luna had been digging up what was left of last fall's carrots to eat them! She might have been in a growth spurt and was extra hungry because she seemed to grow a ton after this.

Evie asked me to take a picture of Luna and I did because she's so cute! 

One Saturday after talking to my sister for like an hour and a half I came downstairs to see Luna keeping a napping Terry company. 

Yeah, so I had a mishap with the van... Notice how I slipped this story in with innocent pictures of Luna to throw people off? Yeah, this is NOT something I'm proud of. The day this happened I purposely drove the Envoy afterwards so the youth leaders wouldn't see what I'd done. I sent Terry several funny gif's all about how ashamed I was and they all thought it (the gif's) was hilarious. I was so embarrassed though.

I had had a bad day with the kids and was all stressed out but still somehow decided the kids had to have new books. I had the thought many times that I shouldn't go because I was just too upset. We made it through searching, checking out, and loading up without me losing it completely. However, when I went to back up from my parking spot under the sort of garage under the library, I rammed into the pillar/column on my right side. I cranked the wheel left and missed the pillar, didn't see it at all, and scraped the passenger door right against it. Darn it! Curses! I stinking knew I shouldn't have gone to the library that day. In my defense the pillar was nearly in my blind spot, very awkward placement, and I definitely wasn't the first person who had done that. Just this last week we were back to the library and I made sure to park in between two pillars with an extra parking space on either side of me. But you know what went wrong that day? I stinking forgot my keys in the van! The library is cursed for me!!!

Evie's list, Evie's cakes, sick Evie

Nearly four weeks ago now, Evie started to get more heavily into her to-do lists. Even now she's done one every day for several in a row. She's won't do anything unless she first writes it down so she can have the satisfaction of crossing it off.  It's so funny to me because I'm just not like that at all. Anymore I prefer to just coast along and make plans at the last minute. Anyway, I happened to take a look at this particular list and burst out laughing. She's so desperate to cross things off that she included things like Finish this list, Be bored, Burp, Go to the restroom five times, Poop, and Fart. 

Later that same day, Noah and I returned from his Classical Conversations Essentials class to find the deck decorated with approximately 117 snow cubes. 

When we had left, Evie and the littles were just heading outside to play in the snow. Grampa let them stay out there until she was all done with her "cake shop" made by a square ice cream bucket. Yes, apparently those cubes are little cakes. 

Ezra contributed by filling a cup with dirty water from the downspout and pouring it on as many cakes as he could.  

The following weekend Evie had caught a cold and was all downcast about it. I had her sit on my lap and cuddle to cheer her up and snapped this rather pitiful profile of her moping.

She appeared even more dejected when she attempted a smile. Awwwww. 

We looked as all the funny pictures on my phone and then snuggled with Luna. That cheered her up for real. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

sanity maintenance day - Custer State Park wanderings

I don't know what it was but two weekends ago I had just had it. Well, okay, perhaps I do know why. Because I stay at home full time, the place which is also my work, and never leave. Ha! Yes, teaching, eating, sleeping in the same place as four insane children with no break takes its toll. They don't leave during the day. They're there on the weekends. There's no summer or school year break! So really, it's understandable. Most of the time I'm fine but sometimes I start feeling so cramped and trapped that I have the urge to just run away, far away. This particular Sunday morning did me in. I absolutely had to get away. So I did. 

Terry and I (and even friends) had discussed how I might need to get away more often for my sanity. Once home from church, Terry loaded up the kids to go four wheeler sledding at the ranch and I loaded up only myself (oh joy!) and Luna and drove off in search of adventure. I took Highway 16 past Mount Rushmore because that's nostalgic for me. Five summers working there plus my dad's 30 years makes for quite a deep groove in my memories.

I love taking pictures and then reliving the experiences later on (hence this blog), so I pulled over and snapped of pic of George's profile. 

I drove slow, soaking in the familiar wilderness. I stopped at Horsethief, remembering the many times I've cliff jumped there. Perhaps again someday... 

I took Highway 87 towards Sylvan Lake zooming around those curly roads. Perhaps I should have zoomed less or not fed Luna lunch because she puked on the seat next to me shortly after getting onto this road. Poor Luna. She has a bit of a sensitive stomach I think. 

I didn't even originally know what I would do but I ended up at Sylvan Lake. I thought I'd take a hike and take some pictures. I was a bit surprised by the amount of snow though.  

The last time I was there was in June after Noah's first middle school bike trip. It was hot and we got sunburned after only like thirty minutes of sitting on the beach. What a difference a few months makes right?!

Solitude. Peace. Quiet. Ice fishermen. Snow. Cold air on my face.

Sun, warmth, noise, crowds. So different! I prefer summer at all times, but it was so lovely to be on my own. 

Luna was a trooper and climbed up the big iconic granite rock in the middle of the lake. She had no problem. When I wanted to go higher than she could I tired her leash to a little tree and stepped up for a lovely view in the cold wind and a few photos.

Took the same exact photo last June! 


Took a selfie for good measure. Who cares what those fishermen think? I don't have any children with me!!! 

Did the same thing before too. Ha ha ha!

Looking back towards the beach. 

I kept Luna on the leash and tried to get a good shot of her. 

"Dog takes in the view" He he. 

She's so cute! 

I really wanted to hike but didn't know how feasible that was with all the snow. I started around the lake and kept going because others had gone before and stomped out a path. 

Behind the lake. 

Just me and Luna. 

These are the big rocks holding the lake in. The dam is that small brown bit between the two bigger walls. 

I really couldn't go farther so I climbed back out on the other side of the lake and kept walking along the path. Look at all that beautiful snow still stuck on the tree limbs. Love it. Luna hadn't peed in hours and she went for me on command! She a good dog. 

The dam and rock wall I was just behind. 

A bit further away. 

Panoramic from June. What a difference! 

Lots of granite, snow, and ice.

And I'm back. There's like three rows of rocks here but it's hard to tell. The middle one is where I was on top of in the beginning. 

I had thought it would be fun to drive Needles Highway but the dang thing was closed. I didn't realize they did that in the winter. So I continued on 89 to Custer. I stopped and took this out of the sunroof shortly after leaving Sylvan.  

I did the same thing in June. Apparently I like this view. Ha! 

What I wanted next was a great sunset shot to finish the day. There were enough clouds in the sky that for once I thought we'd get a decent one. I remembered a fire tower sign that we passed during our staycation in September but could only remember that it was on the way to the Custer State Park Wildlife Loop. I drove passed it (yet again) and didn't realize it was the place I was looking for. I noticed it was closed for the season also so it wouldn't have worked. I will visit there again though. 

I ended up thinking the fire tower was in the wildlife loop so I drove down it for several miles until I was sure I was wrong and the sun was getting too low. Then I turned around. I saw two buffalo though!

I stopped where the wildlife road emerges from the trees and realized I had a great view right there. 

I drove back up Highway 87 looking for another good place, but realized the one I had just been at was superior so I turned around. I caught a beautiful sight of pink on the hills where my passed up Mount Coolidge was located. 

I went back to the wildlife loop road and sat for longer than I thought the sunset would take. It was worth it.  


Once the colors were gone I turned around and made my way back to Highway 16 and home. This photo was just around the bend from that Mount Coolidge Fire Tower. Next I went out of dinner with my friend Katie and didn't get home until the kids were in bed. What a great day it was.