Fresh flowers. Oh, my peonies make me happy! Right now all 5 bushes are in full bloom!
Fresh raw milk. My friend texted me and told me she was watching her sisters’ cow and asked if I was interested in some fresh raw milk she squeezed that morning! Malachi was in heaven.
Fresh bread. Immediately, I made some bread dough so we could have fresh butter with it that night! Unfortunately, I messed up the butter, but the bread was still yummy. We used the milk to make a cheese fondue instead.
Fresh buttermilk pancakes. For breakfast, I used some of the cream in my coffee and some of the buttermilk in my pancakes.
I had wanted to go with her many times, but somehow didn’t make it before the snow came last year. This year I was determined! The first hike of the season was on Allison’s birthday, but I made the second hike.
I knew her reputation… everyone warned me that my friend flew up the mountain! But, I didn’t know that meant straight up. I assumed there would be switchbacks. “That’s for the bikers,” she told me. Ha!
Somehow I made it and actually felt pretty good! There was still some snow patches up top, which made me feel even more accomplished.
We returned to her house at lunch time, but even their hunger couldn’t stop the boys from going in the pond before we left. It was a hot day, and the cold water felt amazing, I am sure. They even caught a frog!
Looking forward to more hiking this summer since we no longer have to spend the summer unpacking! (And did you see the bald eagle??)
By now you may have noticed that many of our visitor pictures look similar. We definitely have our favorite activities when friends come… going to the lake, visiting the Western Store downtown, saying “hi” to the cows, having s’mores. But, there are always unique adventures that are unpredictable, as well… like discovering a herd of elk at sunset!
The Western Store. (They should start paying us commission for all the visitors we bring!)
Mudman! Allison was working that night and took our order for us.
And, look what arrived when our friends came! (Daniel was so thankful to have the help putting it together). Sierra already has her front handspring down, and Malachi is busy teaching Natalie how to land a front flip.
The cows. Of course.
It rained 2 out of the 3 days our friends were with us, but we took advantage of the one sunny day to head to the lake. Brave children and adults jumped into the freezing water. I happily remained in my cozy sweatshirt and skipped rocks.
Ping pong tournaments, tetherball, volleyball, basketball…we ended our last day with a campfire and lots of activity. It was such a blessing to be visited by our dear friends!
First we had Allison’s birthday. The next day was her party. And, the next day our friends came from California. All good things, and we had a wonderful time! But, on my run this morning, I just soaked in the quiet. I had to stop a few times to capture the beauty of the sky… Quiet + Outdoors = Refreshed!
How does something that takes weeks to plan only take 48 minutes to finish? Aw, but it was so worth it! After weeks and weeks of anticipation, the big day finally came. Three teams of four girls and one adult all arrived on time, the weather cooperated, and the race was a blast!
Malachi was our host, and did a fabulous job. With the Amazing Race theme song playing, he came running out and read his spiel with the best accent. All the girls had big smiles! As soon as he said, “Go,” the teams ran into their cars and some drove off, only to discover the first challenge was right in our own yard; stacking wood! (Free labor — bonus!)
Daniel and I stayed back to prep food, while three awesome moms took of with the kids. Here are some of the pictures they sent:
Daniel created the final “Pit Stop.” Allison’s team won, coming in at 48 minutes! (Not nearly enough time to prep all the food, but we made it work.)
Just like I had done 7 years earlier for Daniel’s Amazing Race birthday, we had an International Feast after the race. Our basement provides the perfect set-up for a party like this!
One fun thing about teenagers… they will come up with their own games! No need to do any additional planning. 🙂
I’m not going to lie… I am glad it’s over! I am also so thankful it went so well. My sweet girl is blessed with such amazing friends! Happy birthday, Allison!!!
My baby turned 16! For her birthday breakfast, we went to a local breakfast favorite; Sykes Diner. I had talked up their cinnamon rolls since we moved here, but this was the kids’ first time going. We ordered their last 2 cinnamon rolls, along with lots of other yummy food. It was a great start to the day!
That afternoon, Allison and I had a date. We went to the craft store, the make-up store, and out to get milkshakes, which we enjoyed while walking around downtown. It is a rare treat to get one-on-one time with my girl!
Finally, we picked up Daniel from the airport so he was able to join us for dinner. After dinner, I was all about party planning for her celebration with friends the next day. Up next: Her Amazing Race party!
Our sweet friend recently broke her arm and needed help “mucking stalls” for her horses. In my mind, I saw us in a dark, smelly stall cleaning up yuck.
In reality, we raked and tossed the manure in the horse yard with an incredible view on a gorgeous spring day. We also cleaned out the three drinking troughs with fresh ice cold well water. It was a lot of work and took a few hours, but it was amazing! The girls got a workout, sunshine, fresh air, the joy of helping someone in need, as well as horse time. The blessing turned out to be ours!!
When my friend was over last week, she told me how she and her husband would wake up early and hike Lone Pine from their backyard.
“From your backyard!?!?!?” I exclaimed!
Naturally, I had to invite myself over to do the same. Up at 5:15am, I snapped a shot of our backyard sunrise before throwing on some clothes and driving to her place. Immediately, I turned the radio off in the car. The quiet of the morning was too serene to be interrupted.
Throughout the horizon, lightning flashed. I was so excited! Spring thunderstorms are my favorite. It never did storm, but it was spectacular. I passed a herd of elk, and smiled big. God, you are so amazing!
We had a wonderful hike! I realized that although I run every day, hiking legs use totally different muscles. Ah, but it felt so good.
“How can I pray for you?” my friend asked before I left. And that is how you know your friend is a keeper! I am so grateful for her heart for the Lord and for people and for her prayers for me! I can’t think of better way to start the day!
I was going to end there, but I have to say one more thing for the memory books… when I walked back in the house, the boys were sitting at the counter with eggs and a raspberry white chocolate muffin and a big glass of milk, courtesy of their big sister. “Mom, I made the boys breakfast!” Sierra exclaimed. And, that made my whole day!
We got our shop! After a year of allowing the previous owners to stay in the shop, they finally moved out, and we moved in. To say we played a lot of basketball this weekend is an understatement! PIG. Lightning. Around the World. Repeat.
Nice lunch spot, Natalie!
Look who learned how to ride a bike!!! And rode and rode and rode and rode… and rode!
Tether ball. Jumping rocks. Spicy Uno.
And, friends for a barbecue!
And, I just love this cartoon, which sums up Memorial Day: