Thursday, February 24, 2011

West Yellowstone

West Yellowstone really is a natural wonder! What a beautiful place! No matter how many times I have been there, I am always left with a new found love for it. This weekend was riddled with animals on the drive in and out as well. There were Moose and baby calves, loads of Elk, Deer by the handfuls, Big Horn Sheep so close to us we could have touched them, either a bobcat or mountain lion cub (I couldn't tell), and then birds, fox, and the other critters that come standard on every visit! It was a beautiful sunny weekend with warm temps and big snow flakes! By warm I mean 20-30's but if you are from ND, that is warm! We bundled up and cruised the town!

Brayton fell asleep on the back of the sled I used to pull the twins through town. It was actually very funny and he was so content that we just let him ride this way for quite a while.
This is Ally, our babysitter we brought along. She played with us all day and then in the evening Bodie and I were able to grab dinner with friend's minus the babies. It was a very nice treat for me and Bodie to have time together. She lives here in Wilton too so we have really enjoyed getting to know her!
Brayton and Daddy at the hotel pool waterslide. You wouldn't think he would be thrilled about it but he had to go back again, and again, and again.. . . . . He loved it!!!
THe children checking out a Wolf at the Discovery Center. What a neat place! This wolf was quite a poser too and let us gaze at him for a long, long time. What a grand animal when seen so close.
Brayton cathing a little break on the bear chair.
One of our friend's brought along their boy Aiden as well. He was a huge hit with my kid's and proved to be very strong as well. Nothing like an adventure with a new friend!
The Wolves.
Bodie was a big fan of climbing all the snow hills in town. This was a pretty steep one as well but he seemed to have no problem. Guess he might be part monkey after all!
Anna Banana
The two of them really loved checking out the bears at the Discovery Center. They were beautiful so we managed to drag this activity out a while!
Bodie and Daddy hitting the slide as well! Swimming was a big part of our day. Since in swim lessons, they are quite the fish and think they are pretty hot stuff.
More climbing. . . . .they couldn't get enough!

Bodie pulling his sleepy brother through town.
We really did have a great time and although it is hard to get photos of the children while I am trying to wrangle them, this is what we did get. I didn't get the mountains, snowmobiling, the dinner's with friend's, or the journey in or out but it was magnificent! Beautiful place that we love and hope to return to soon!!!1

Joe Cool

No, we don't love him more. He is just quite simply and easy target compared to Bodie and Annelise. He seems to do cute things constantly and will actually LET me take a picture. So here is Joe Cool. a.k.a Brayton!!!


Our shaving kit that Santa brought has been a HUGE hit. This gift was one of the best one's yet! Yep, Brayton is licking it but don't worry, we feed him other things as well!
Cute, cute, cute!
Shaving is great fun for everyone!

Brayton cross eyed as he checks out the lather on his nose.

A soapy mug shot of a boy very serious about shaving.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Big Event!

The Big Event! I actually think the name that would have suited today's activity better would have been "The CRAZY Event". Every year a gathering of local churches come together and put on a "Big Event" for children. We saw the add and knew this was right up our alley! First of all, I love that numerous religions pull together for one event and the other thing I loved was that it was FREE! Yep! Free!! "You had me at Free!!!"
This blurry picture really defines the entire 3 hours we were there! CRAZY!! The lines to get in were an hour long. . . but someone I know may have entered the wrong part of the building and been luckily ushered in by a lovely man who worked there, or not. Either way, we got in jiffy quick on accident and were so happy for not knowing our way around the civic center! We brought a bag of canned goods for the food drive, got to talk about giving and those in need, and played our hearts out! There were far too many people for me to try and make new friends since my eyes were focused on my three kiddos but we had a great time regardless.
The twins are really too old for the stroller but with today's 40 degree temp., the snow melting and all the water in the parking lots made it a must since I can't carry three and they don't know how to avoid a puddle. Plus, I still find it useful for crowds and containing the little peeps! It also comes in handy when the children have reached their end of the rope and need to exit swiftly. I just slap them in and make my brisk get-a-way!
Markers. I, personally, do not like them for children. For children or for my home. I love paint, crayons, play-doh, finger paint, you name it! Markers are different for me. Markers seem so, hmmmm, forever! However, they end up here in gifts or art projects and then we have what you see above. I do think it's funny when they do this so I am also no help. Bodie was having more fun coloring his face than his project.
Brayton thought Bodie had a great idea going and decided to take charge of his own make-over. He was REALLY into it and cried when I had to wash it off. The one thing I realized when I was washing it off of him though was that he still has that chubby little baby skin. The squishy soft kind that always smells so good. I also took note that soon it will be gone. So we decided to color ourselves more often so they can have fun and I can see, touch, and smell that beautiful baby before he is too grown to know I am smothering him!Take note that Annelise has not even a hint of marker on her. Smart girl. When I asked her why she didn't want to join them she quickly let me know it was too hard to get off. Memory of a steel trap and sharp! I knew I liked her!! Our project for the day was rolling out the butcher block of paper and tracing our bodies. Learning to peel stickers was also a great activity for little fingers and we also traced shapes. Annelise loves to sit there and learn but the boys. . . as you can see. . . would rather color their faces!!!
Lastly, today when walking to the car from the Civic Center, Annelise stepped in some water. I quickly said "Oh, shake it off!" and her response was "Like a Po-or-roid picture?" (poloroid) I just got the best laugh out of that and love that my 3 year old is whitty like that!
The sun is shining here, we are loving it's warm embrace on our faces, and are getting excited for more outdoor time!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Flashback Friday!!!

Ok! I just came up with the idea for Flashback Friday since Wordless Wednesday didn't really suite me. Those who know me can guess why. :)
This is where we were two years ago to the day! We are all here believe it or not. I was almost 22 weeks pregnant with Brayton here and the twins were almost 18 months. I love a little trip down memory lane! Thanks for joining us!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A day in our life!

Belgian Waffle beginnings with my helpers.
A hot mess by early morning is pretty standard around here.
The snow "mountains" (as the children call them) are getting bigger and bigger!
Brother's going for a ride on a gorgeous day.
The Professor and his student.
It's going to be a little while before I get back into the barn.
Dance fever is pretty common around here and seems to hit unexpectedly.
When all else fails, grab the kitty cat and ride the day away!
Three amigos!
He's getting so big! 19 months old already!!!
A girl and her dress up are never far apart!
Sliding down the mountains in our yard! What you can't hear is Bodie laughing hysterically!
Stroller races. Brayton get's a free ride!
Jump. . . .jump. . . . baby!
So beyond our weekly swim lesssons, play dates with the neighbor's, and the past weekend's super bowl parties this is what we do on a daily basis. Trips to town (27 miles away) for groceries, get-together's, or places to play and our country adventures keep us hopping. This past weekend my cousin Brandy also came to stay a few nights which was nice for me. As we get to know more and more new people we continue to be amazed at the kindness that welcomes us here in ND as well.

Where did they go?

We drive past houses like this out here all the time. Houses that were most certainly adorable at one time or another and are now vacant. Sitting there lonely and bare. The children and I have been talking a lot lately about who may have lived there, why they moved, and how that must have felt. We talk about it being cold here, the beautiful miles of farm land, and what life might have been like living in these houses.

Something that amazes me about my older children is how much they actually care. They care about where the families are now and why they left. In truth, so do I. We have taken a new interest in photographing these homes when we drive through the countryside. They each love to find new abandoned houses and start the conversation rolling. For some reason, I find them stunning. Beautiful. There is something so interesting about all the stories that remain hidden under the mossy roof. Honestly, I can't wait for summer when we can walk the country roads and take a glance in the windows. No tresspassing signs were meant for good reason but surely a few country folk showering love upon a lonely abandoned home would be more than welcome, right?
They seem so simple and so plain but they have become some wonderful dreaming in our house. Also, a beautiful entry to discovering history for our children.