Dec 27, 2012

Christmas Day Sledding

It was 20 degrees, there were no hills, and we were all still wearing pajamas, but Matthew made us all get our gear on and go out sledding.  We were not out for very long, but it was superfun while it lasted.

I love looking at the beautiful Bridger Mountains

Much more fun to sit on the tracked 4wheeler than in the sled

The neighbor dogs all joined in on the fun

Dec 22, 2012

Our Boy Doody

The Elf on the Shelf craze hit our house early December.  I spent a lot of time looking in our limited stores for the little guy that goes with the book, but everywhere was sold out.  A saleslady told me to use any elf, and she had just the right one for us. 
Tyler bizarrely named him "Boy Doody" and we all laughed but the name has stuck.  We've taken pictures of some of his clever resting spots.  I can't wait for next year when he comes back from the North Pole and both boys can laugh at his positions. Thanks to Pinterest and other websites for ideas for this tired mom.


this Elf would never sit quietly on a shelf

Dec 19, 2012

We are in trouble until these are out of the house.  I am taking some on our Christmas trip and giving the rest away ASAP! 
Getting Crafty::
I was asked to make stockings for the new people in Shawn's office.  I had a great time closing the door to the kids and sewing these in the evenings.

Pants Tightening::
More sweets that Tyler and I made. These are disappearing rapidly.

Pre-School Christmas Performance photos::
(in which my son displays his preference to wear a baggy shirt UNTUCKED)

This is hard work

I need to take a breather

Hi Mom

Dec 17, 2012

Sunday brought a frosty morning, where all the trees and shrubs were coated white.  On the way to church, Tyler asked why the branches held the snow, and so we had a conversation about dew and frost and fog.  
It all shimmered for a while, and then disappeared back into the air.
After lunch, the sun was out, and Shawn took us to a nearby hunting spot where we looked for pheasant, geese, ducks, rabbits, deer, monsters, and other things. 

Before we let him out of the truck, Decker was a pile of vibrating muscles.  He couldn't wait to put nose to ground and begin smelling.  With all the walking and bird hunting he's been doing, he is becoming a muscular Lab like in his younger days.

It's hard to be cold when the sun is so warm.   I am allergic to pretty much everything in this photo.

Tyler has become a champion at walking, hunting, and looking for creatures.  He has entered the stage where questions are difficult.  Some make me laugh, like "when will Cash be older than me?"  And others make my heart hurt: "why do those kids get shot?" 

I wish I had all the answers. 

Dec 12, 2012

Snow Day

It's no surprise that I was bitter about the winters we had in Lincoln.  They were too long, cold, and windy for my preferences, and I felt so far removed from any cultural experiences.  Ask me how many movies, plays, or concerts I have seen in a theater in the last 10 years; I can count it on one hand. EDITED: I was thinking about this statement, and it is totally wrong.  I make us sound like dullards!  In the winter, we went to tons of school plays and sporting events, and had great times with friends, tried contra-dancing, and made a point to go a couple times a month to something new and interesting. Phew! We're not that boring!
Now, where we live snow is not very common. I admit I was excited to watch out the window and see it pile up, and Tyler had plans to go sledding after the first flakes began to fall.

There was a heavy fog layer overnight, and the morning started out COLD. 

When the fog burned off and the sun came out the boys and I headed out to play.  This is the first year that Cash will enjoy winter, and he was bending down to touch it all afternoon.  Since we moved here in June, this part of the Bighorn Basin has had sun almost every day.  A blinding sun in the huge sky.  No Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder here...

our house, from across the road.
 In our wanderings, I opened up the Christmas beer cooler which still had some soldiers in it.  It didn't fare so well in the below-freezing air--the solid chunk of beer, ice, and 7up was so intriguing to these kids.

Dec 8, 2012


We've been wonderfully busy; our social calendars are not too full to be stressed out, but there always seems to be something to do, somewhere to go, or someone to see.
Tyler spent a lot of time on Santa's lap this year.  After the token photo was taken and Cash bolted, they talked for quietly for a little while.  Parents and kids in line behind us were pacing and wriggling, impatiently waiting their turn, but as you can see in the photo, Santa had a tight grip on my boy.  I'm ok that they have secrets, it feels kind of "Polar Express" magical.

A few friends came over recently to decorate cookies, which ended up being organized chaos and fun.  There were a lot of sprinkles flying, and I apologized to the moms for providing more sugar than any kid really needs.  Luckily the friends left before it kicked in and before they began bouncing off the walls.

The finished cookies didn't last long before they disappeared into little waiting bellies.

I have been so happily watching out the window at my birdfeeders.  For two months I've been supplying fresh seed in hopes that someone would be hungry enough to stop by.  Visitors, Finally!

The neighbor horses lined up to watch a show, or say hello, or look for food.  Or maybe they were just noticing their neighbors across the road....

Dec 5, 2012

Getting out there

Lately I’ve been feeling a little soft around the edges.  Blame it on the holidays, or all the good shows on TV, I don’t know.  It takes its toll every morning, to step on the scale and not see what I want, or have my clothes not drape nicely when I put them on.  I decided to try and do something about it, after realizing that I do not have willpower to avoid sugary treats, second helpings of buttery squash, or a splash of creamer in my coffee. 
I started changing clothes after the evening dishes are done, and I force myself to go out in the dark and walk three times a week.  Decker intuitively knows what is coming; he is always waiting at the door for me to come out.  Maybe it is the different vibrations he can sense when I put that certain pair of shoes on, or maybe his ears perk up from outside when he hears me mumble the word “walk.”  He always goes and I’d like to think that at the end of the leash he is reflecting on his good fortune.  Wag Wag! After a few minutes I feel like I have enough energy to jog a little, and before I know it I am at my “turning around spot” where all the yard lights end and it becomes a little scarier. 

It isn’t like it comes naturally; this going outside in the wind and cold and shadowy night, and jogging especially is something I will never be good at.  It just makes me feel like my heart rate is up for the right reasons, and maybe my clothes are not fitting any better, but the slight soreness I occasionally feel encourages me to think something is happening.  One emotional evening something that seemed small and insignificant happened, but the more I thought about it, the more it became something I wanted to write about.  And so I submitted it to mamalodemagazine.  And they published it today, which is so pleasing and scary at the same time.  My name and blog are out there for the world to see, and I think I will be smiling all day and into the night, when I go out again for some fresh air.
Please check it out and share it and leave a comment, and thank you mamalode for putting it on your amazing website!

Dec 3, 2012


I love getting out during the holidays, seeing big cities and little towns dress up in their sparkly finest is something that puts me in the Christmas mood. 
Since we are in a new region this year, there is a thrilling number of festivals to check out. 
Last weekend was Red Lodge, Montana's Christmas Stroll, and we met up with friends to walk around downtown, drink cocoa with vodka whipped cream, and sample all the small business snacks.
Tyler and Eliza :: instant buddies

Santa was so friendly, and short.

What great escorts we had.
High on my get out of town list: A visit to the local brewery, Red Lodge Ales.

Cash felt right at home wallowing around on the brewery floor.

Dec 2, 2012

Our Holiday Home

We had a little party the other night, and I used it as an excuse to get irritated at everyone, throw a few fits, eat too much sugar, and get the house "clean."  Luckily the guests came after all my rants about messes in the living room and spilled crackers in the kitchen.
I thought the Christmas beer cooler/wagon was a classy touch

 I tried to spruce up the place, inside and out.
These oreo truffles were a hit.  As always, I am skeptical about recipes I find on Pinterest, but these were worth the little time and effort.


This is the first time we have a stair railing to decorate.  There is a total lack of evergreen trees near us so I used tacky garland and lights instead.

Oh yes, Shawn's first successful Wyoming pheasant hunt (don't most people carry around their dead birds?)
  They decided to not move out of the way while I took a photo of our fake trees.