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Master Bedroom

My husband is now headed back tp California for work, but we sure had a productive time while he was here. My favorite project was our new wall in our master bedroom. My husband is amazing! Check this out:

When I asked him if he loved it, he was pretty chill. I know he does it because I ask him to and he wants to make me happy… so sweet… but as chill as he acts, I can see a twinkle in his eye. I think he loves it as much as I do! (I’m on to you, Babe!) Great job! I love how much brighter the room feels.


The Jewel Basin

I really was torn as to how to title this post. Here are a few that didn’t make the cut:

“Family Hike 3” (Two girls stayed home this time, so this wouldn’t count)

“Too Many Pictures” (I told myself not to take so many pictures, but every turn was so spectacular! This definitely would have been an aptly named post!)

“How God Spared my Life” (Dramatic, but true… story below!)

“Misery Trail” (That really was the name of the trail we went on, but why? I am still wondering that…)

“Wildflowers Galore” (You’ll see what I mean! Absolutely GORGEOUS!)

Yes, the wildflowers were literally taller than Xavi much of the time!

That red wildflower? Indian Paintbrush. (Thanks for letting me know about the plant snap ap, Sheila!)

That purple flower? Fireweed. It was EVERYWHERE!!

Fireweed, Indian Paintbrush, and… Aster!

The Northern Blue butterfly

These two were always way ahead of us, which was fine… until Xavi and I almost died. (Story to come!)

Xavi had a blast on these rocks!

Can you see it? We almost reached our lunch spot… One of the “jewels” of the Jewel Basin!

Daniel and Boba walked around the entire lake. It was incredible having the entire place to ourselves.

The amount of bees due to the wildflowers was incredible. At certain points, there was just a steady, loud hum as we pushed through the flowers.

And now for the story… It happened just before this picture. But, this picture gives you a good idea of where we were. To the left, the mountainside. To the right, straight down.

Daniel and Malachi were about 10 minutes ahead of us. I moseyed along with Allison and Xavi, who was getting a bit tired. Honestly, he wasn’t too grumpy, and I probably could have found a better way to encourage him. But, I wanted to “treat” him with a piggy back that he didn’t ask for.

We were enjoying our jaunt and I was close to letting him walk again, when out of the blue, my right foot slipped down the hill. As my right leg slid, my left leg bent on the trail until my heel hit my bottom, and then I rolled down the hill a few feet and Xavi went about 6 feet farther.

Now, it wouldn’t have been so bad had it been my right leg that bent. However, since I have had 2 acl surgeries on my left leg, it has never even been able to bend 90 degrees, much less all the way to my bottom. I may have screamed. I didn’t even know if I would be able to walk…

Praise the Lord, Xavi was fine! And, I was able to walk. I had a nice little gash down my leg, and as I hobbled down the rest of the mountain, my knee swelled more and more. But, we made it and I am so thankful to be alive! I guess I could have also titled the post, “God used wildflowers to save my life!”

Boys’ Campout (Sort of)

They were ready. They were excited. They were tough.

After spending the entire day together, they were ready to sleep by themselves in the tent. As Daniel walked out to say good night, they heard the foot steps and let their little minds go somewhere…what was coming? a bear? a moose? By the time Daniel arrived and tapped on the tent…

“Hey guys! Just coming to say good night.”


Daniel thought they were joking. Surely, that couldn’t have been a real terror scream. It was so loud, I got a text from W’s mom. “I’m dying…Happened to be outside and heard the boys get scared and lose it screaming.” (Yes, it was LOUD!)

They came inside, but couldn’t shake their fear. W went home.

He was back the next morning, and once again the boys spent the day together and decided they were definitely ok to try again. They were not scared anymore. I would have said no, but their dad agreed to give them a second chance. Once again, W made it until sundown and then we brought him home.

Today, W’s family is going camping on a lake, and Malachi is invited along. Instead of a tent, they’ll be sleeping in a camper. We’ll see how he does! Third time’s a charm, right?!?!?

She’s Growing Up!

In a few days, she will be applying for her first job. Next week she has an appointment for her drivers’ training. And, all these pictures were taken on various walks, each one with her by my side!

I can see it… time is flying by. I will wake up one morning wondering where it all went. Questions abound. Did I prepare her enough? Will her faith sustain her? Did I allow her enough freedom to spread her wings?

And so, for now whenever she asks… if at all possible… the answer is yes! Yes, I will go for a walk with you. Yes, I will plan a coffee date with you, (though you still prefer the “London Fog” tea drink to coffee!) Yes, you can bake. (Of course you can bake! I will eat it for you!) Yes, you can go to youth group and meet like-minded friends and strengthen your faith. Yes, you can apply for that job and begin drivers’ training and begin to feel the pressures and joys of independence, responsibility, and adulthood!

And, yes… yes, you will always be my baby girl!

Big Fork

Last summer we happened to be visiting Montana at the same time as my aunt Mary. To celebrate, I went to see “Catch Me if You Can” with my two aunts at the playhouse in Big Fork. It is such a cute town right on Flathead Lake. Quaint shops, cherry stands, and gorgeous flower pots all scream “Big Fork!” We had fun shopping, and the play was excellent!

This year, my mom was supposed to be visiting at the same time as my aunt Mary, and so my aunt Carol got tickets for the 4 of us to see “Newsies.” Sadly, my mom wasn’t able to make it. (We missed you, Mom!) But, Allison came instead and after church then lunch at Panera, we dropped the other kids off back home and we enjoyed an afternoon of shopping and the play.

Two years in a row means it’s a tradition, right? What will we see next year??

Her Room. Her Studio.

It’s not that she didn’t get along with her sisters… In fact, she is the peacemaker! But, when we first discussed moving and she began thinking about having her own room, her excitement began to well up inside her. For the last year, we’ve talked about her keeping her window open all night, (not previously allowed by her sister), moving her desk into her own room, and buying a Cricut and creating a sticker shop.

Since moving in, she has had a blast creating in her own personal space. She bought herself a Circuit, (no sales tax in Montana!), taught herself how to use it to make stickers, and has been busy working on a website and plans for her own business. She has blown her dad and I out of the water with all the business things she’s thought of as well as her creativity!

So far, we still have some logistics to work out before she can actually capitalize on her shop. But, she has sold stickers to her Mom and brothers and sisters. It’s so nice to have my own custom sticker maker in the house.

So proud of you, my Natie-bean!

Love Thy Neighbor…

We jog/ walk past this home almost every day. About 2 weeks after moving in, the couple who live in the home stopped us and introduced themselves. They had noticed us and figured we were new to the neighborhood. We talked and exchanged numbers… Turns out the man is from Montana, but his wife was born and raised in the exact city we just moved from! What are the chances!?!?!?

We continued to wave from afar, until one day on my jog, J asked if my kids would be interested in milking their 4 week old baby cows?

“Kids?! My husband would be thrilled! (And probably the kids, as well!)”

That night we headed over. They fed cows, picked veggies, chased dogs, captured chickens, and had a great time! At one point, there were probably 20 deer on the field next door.

We left with an open invitation to come back and feed the cows, hike the property, or go sledding in the winter! They also saved me a trip to the grocery store as I stir fried the zucchini and tomatoes for dinner. Grateful for wonderful neighbors!

A Little Project…

It used to be that whenever Daniel was gone for a “big” chunk of time, I would paint something on the walls. Nowadays, every time he works is a “big” chunk of time, so it just might be that all of our walls get a makeover. 🙂

We’ve now lived in this house exactly 2 months. I can hardly believe it! When we moved into this house, most of the walls were all a neutral gray/ taupe color. The only exceptions were a bright red wall in Sierra’s room, (which is now a light gray/blue), and the laundry room with this huge orange/coral wall. Ironically, I’ve had an orange wall in all 3 of the last homes I’ve lived in. And, though I really liked this coral color, it just was too much in our small laundry room. It took me a little while to figure out how I could keep some of the color, yet brighten it up. Finally, I decided on this herringbone arrow design.

It definitely took more time than I thought. (Who knew that walls weren’t perfectly straight?) Not to mention, I accidentally bought a pant with no primer, so I had to do 2 full coats by hand. But, in the end I love how it turned out! Of course, my kids begged to do the fun part — pulling off all the tape! I said yes!

Just for fun… do you see arrows going up or down?

Lake Day

These two can kayak all day… First you see them… then they’re gone… for a long time!

Yes, that is a snake they caught. Meet Frankie. (Or was it Freddy?) Pretty cool.

Nice stick, Gandolf!

We’re so grateful that my aunt and uncle are so generous about letting us come to their cabin and to use their kayak and paddle boards. The lake felt so wonderful on this day! My brother and my mom’s brother as well as one of my cousins were there also, so it was an extended family kind of day! The best!

Family Hike 2

While we still have lights to hang, boxes to unpack, furniture to arrange, and countless other house projects to do, it is tempting to plow away at them in an attempt to feel settled. But, we have never lived in a climate with real seasons before, and we know colder weather is coming. We also know it’s important to have family bonding time. So, on each of Daniel’s trips home we have been intentional about scheduling some fun time! (And, there’s nothing like a family hike in Montana!)

I couldn’t believe it… Xavi found at least five of these caterpillars! Perhaps because he is closer to the ground he was able to spot them. Nice find, Zoodles!

It was getting pretty warm towards the end of the hike. A few of our kids were ready to turn around, while the boys ran up a little ways. They made it… they were at the to with a spectacular view! They yelled down to us: “Just a little farther… you can do it! You don’t want to miss this!” Oh, to think how many times in life we are tempted to turn around and give in to fatigue when we are nearly to the top of a most stunning view!

Gosh, I love this little guy! All it takes is a little motivation… a pack of dummies, a pretend dose of magic powers, or simply a compliment and he is off and running again, leading the pack!

It’s all fun and games until someone’s eye gets poked — and sure enough it did! I guess sword fights on the hill can be a bit dangerous! We saw so many of these butterflies, I just had to get a picture of one. They are called mourning cloaks. I looked up their caterpillar form when we got home to see if it matched the caterpillars that Xavi had been finding all day, but they didn’t. Boo. But at least I was able to capture one on camera!

Can’t wait for Daniel to come home today so we can start planning our next family adventure!