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Tally Lake Hike

My weekly hike with the ladies took us to a new location this week, and guess what? We found huckleberries! Totally common for this time of year, but it takes some true Montanans to point them out to me. Thankfully, the hike came after dropping one set of friends off at the airport and before the next set of friends arrived! Since I was wearing two shirts, I used one as a basket for my berries. Note to self: don’t hike this time of year without bringing a Ziplock!


The Page Visit

Does coming two years in a row around the same time qualify as a “thing?” I hope so, because I am already counting down to their next visit. Our dear friends came to visit and once again we were so blessed by their company! We picked them up from the airport and came back just in time for lunch and relaxing on our new hammocks.

That night we had to take Allison to work, so we ate at Mudman before driving Sierra and Natalie to horseback riding lessons. The fields were still yellow, though fading, so we snapped a few pictures.

The next day, we headed up North Fork Road to Polebridge. We stopped to dip our feet in the river before trekking along the bumpy dirt road.

Once we reached Polebridge, we enjoyed their famous huckleberry bear claws, played some frisbee and badminton, then headed home through Glacier. Stunning drive!

Day 3: We spent the day at Carol and Gary’s cabin and had dinner with Carol and Gary. As the afternoon progressed, the sky got smokier and smokier. It was a bit ominous, but made for some pretty sunset reflections off the water!

The last day I spent shopping with my Deeners. We only snapped this one shot, but totally enjoyed our time walking through downtown. I finally found a pair of Chaco’s, (used), so according to Natalie I am now an official Montanan.

After dinner walks through the backyard to visit the cows are my favorite!

Somehow the days flew by, as they always do. Until next year, Pages! We love you!

Portland Mission Trip

It’s kind of hard to blog about a trip that I wasn’t on. I am thankful to my husband, who faithfully took pictures and sent them, though! I asked my girls, as well as my husband if they wanted to “guest blog.” They said no. So here is my recap without the fun details!

To begin, I really think this should be called an adventure trip more than a mission trip. Lots of fun and bonding!

Day 1: Drive to Portland

A stop at Multnomah Falls.

Day 2: Beach Day

Day 3: Minister to the homeless in Portland, sharing Jesus and donuts.

Food trucks and more bonding games. (Kids were thrilled to get boba again!)

Day 4: Rock climbing and repelling

(Side note: Kids were pretty exhausted this day after camping under the stars, only to be woken up by sprinklers at 2am! Apparently, they did surprisingly well despite their exhaustion!)

Jumping in the river to cool off after rock climbing!

Day 5: River rafting

Back home, we spent one day at the lake, had friends over, went to see “Peter Rabbit 2,” and went out to dinner to give the littles their own sense of adventure. Still, my sweet boy asked one night, “Mom… can you pray for me? I am feeling jealous of their trip.” Of course, sweet boy!

The girls and Daniel came home sun-kissed, dirty, exhausted, and full of joy from their incredible adventure.

4th of July 2021

Good morning! Happy 245th birthday, America! Flag waffles before church…

The annual 4th of July picture!!!

Lunch and play for the kids… Getting ready for company for mom!

We were so excited our friends decided to join us for the evening!

Dinner was awesome! Our friends brought meat to grill, and we did the sides and dessert. They also brought a ton of fireworks, which the boys dug into right after dinner.

The girls just laughed and sang all night! Then it was time for the bike track… Malachi was beyond thrilled that his friends’ parents would bring their bikes to go down with them. Such awesome people!

We walked down to the cul-de-sac, which had a ton of people and an amazing show. They even let Xavi light a few. His favorite was the machine gun, which he held in his hand!

We came back to do ice cream sundaes and decided to stay and watch from our own driveway as well as light off the big stash our friends brought.

It was wonderful… and exhausting!! Great time had by all!

The Surprise Storm

For about a week, we had been experiencing hotter than normal temperatures. This day was no different. The temperature was in the low 90’s as we ate dinner — Daniel was in California, the older girls at a birthday party, and the 3 youngest home with friends spending the night. I looked outside and commented how strange the sky looked. All day long it had been blue, and suddenly it was getting darker. Then I took this picture. (There were absolutely no clouds in the forecast!)

After dinner, I kept hearing a low grumbling and thought a bear was getting into our garbage. I was shocked to discover that it was actually rolling thunder! The kids had been out in the shop, but came running back just as it began to rain.

The next thing we knew, it was pouring. Instantly the temperature dropped almost 30 degrees. The lightning and thunder and rain continued most of the night. It was absolutely spectacular.

Since college I have missed thunder and lightning storms. In fact, these were one of the things I most looked forward to in moving. The kids may have stayed out and played until they were actually chilly, whereas just a few minutes earlier they had been overheated.

And that was our surprise storm!

The Bike Track

“Hey Mom! Have you ever done a blog post about our bike track? I think it would be fun if you took videos and pictures of me doing the bike path for the blog.” -Malachi


(And it was fun! Just ask the dog!)

Next up? We plan to hit a few of the local bike paths this summer. Thankfully, I have a friend who is an amazing mountain bike mama and can show me what to do. Perhaps I should at least try our bike path first?

Hi. Bye.

Whenever we say goodbye, I am relieved to know they will be back… after all, their daughter was in YWAM here. This time they came for her graduation, so our goodbye had no return date. Thankfully, I know they will be back at some point because they did buy land here!

Meet Dodger, their new puppy… and Boba’s new best friend!

You know it’s late in Montana if the sun goes down! Daniel and the older girls pulled in from their mission trip just as our friends were leaving. It was a quick hi, bye.

We love you, Hartwigs!

Rhubarb This, Rhubarb That

Last year, our sweet neighbor blessed us with Rhubarb. I treasured what we had and saved some in the freezer. This year, it seems every friend and neighbor is trying to pass it off. We are gladly accepting. We have done muffins, coffee cake, and pie.

I was commenting to the kids, “Fresh pie. Now it feels like summer.” I think of cherries and rhubarb and associate pie with summer. My kids looked at me funny. Apparently, they think of apples and pumpkin pie and associate pie with fall.

What season do you associate pie with?