North Fork Road

The school year is over, but we did have a final field trip up North Fork Road to Big Creek Camp. It was a day of outdoor games and learning for the kids, (as well as a chance to see their friends again, of course.) In typical Montana fashion, the weather could be sunny one minute and cold and rainy the next. Overall, the kids had fun. For me, the best part was the drive. North Fork Road is absolutely gorgeous. We stopped on the way back to take a picture of a waterfall we passed. Apparently, the road goes all the way to Canada and there is a phenomenal bakery with huckleberry bear claws. In other words, we will head back shortly!

More Beautiful!

This is what it looks like out my bedroom door at 5:30am. If you wonder if it’s hard for me to get up, now you know… no… If I had to set an alarm, that would be a different story, But, knowing it is God who wakes me up, then looking out to see this, I get so giddy that it is not hard for me to throw on my jogging shoes and go!

This is the view towards the end of the first half of my run, just before turning around. I normally don’t stop to take pictures, (especially right now when I have 2 dogs since we are dog-sitting), but today I just had to! The creek was running extra hard with the spring run-off, the horses meandered down the hill, and God’s creation just captured me!

The horses, who are normally on the other side of the street in winter, were moved back out to their summer pasture. And, I counted 7 curious baby calves checking out the horses.

By the time I got home, the sun was peeking through. I just had to take another picture!

Just as the pictures can’t capture the exhilarating, chilly morning air, the wild deer and turkeys running around, the morning songs of the birds, or the vastness of the sky, in the same way, the intense beauty of Montana doesn’t even come close to giving us a glimpse of Heaven. Can you imagine more vibrant colors? No sin, death, sickness, or decay! And, the actual presence of the Creator?! Instead of pounding the pavement in my Brooks, I’ll be running barefoot on streets of gold! The melodies of the birds will be joined with the chorus of angels! I hope I can dive into the streams of water and be able to breathe underwater. Heaven is more incredible than we could even imagine.

Last Week of School

Last Tuesday dropping the kids off and having an entire day to myself!

Choir concert and Art Show. The kids did a spectacular job! They ended the concert with America the Beautiful, and as usual any patriotic song brings tears to my eyes! So grateful for America, Montana, and our new community!

Track and Field Day. This is an annual end-of-the-year event between all the homeschoolers, Heritage, (our school), and all the local Christian schools. I was assigned to be with the 3rd grade boys all day. Out of 50 kids and 6 events, Malachi placed first in 3 events — 100m dash, long jump, and sack race. Great job, Chi!

Last day of school! (High school students didn’t have track and field day, but after their finals they did have a pizza party and mini retreat with Pastor Bob!)

Friday Friends! For most of this year, we have tried to make Friday a friend day as much as possible. It’s a fun way to end the week, and provides some much-needed motivation for Monday through Thursday! For our last Friday, we had 4 friends!

And just like that, the 2020-2021 school year has come to an end! I always laugh when people ask me if I homeschool though the summer. Nope!

Bring on the summer fun, guests, and projects!

Alfresco

I didn’t have any dinner plans. Daniel was at work. Then it occurred to me. Natalie had just come back from a sleepover where they roasted hot dogs over a fire. That would be a simple, yummy dinner along with roasted veggies and potatoes. (So glad Natalie doesn’t get tired of hot dogs!)

We had such gorgeous, warm weather last week. It got up to 84 degrees! As I type this, it is 43 and the fire is going. And, I am totally ok with that. I love the changes… keeps it fun and different. Some nights are meant for dinners alfresco followed by play in the yard, and some are intended for dinners inside then cuddles by the fire. Time for me to go cuddle…

Random Photo Dump

The weather is gorgeous, which means riding lessons have moved outside! Yay!

Daniel made this ladder for the boys’ treehouse. I had intended to climb up there several times, but my trembling legs always stopped me until my friend encouraged me. Friends are the best!

Took these cuties to some thrift stores and the Dollar Tree to try to win points for the yellow team. We still came in last place, but it was worth it… teenage girls and thrift stores are sure fun! (Red team won… a certain boy was sure happy!)

When your sister paints your face right before mom yells, “Shower time!” Sorry, dude.

Daddy Daughter Date

These two just melt my heart.

I know it looks like a park, but it’s our friends’ yard! Such amazing people! We stayed way past our welcome, but had a blast… Malachi was especially excited about their zipline!

Love coffee. Love pastries. Love my aunt.

This girl took her first solo flight! She flew to California with her dad… had quality daddy daughter time, went to the orthodontist, then flew back… all in less than 24 hours! Quite the whirlwind.

These girls rocked ’80’s day at school!!!

If it’s not deer or geese, it’s wild turkeys! And, the dog goes nuts. Every. single. time.

And, that’s a rap!

Spring is Sprouting!

I was taking the garbage out the other day, when I looked up at our hillside and gasped. It was covered in purple flowers! I had long since noticed the yellow Oregon berries popping up. I decided to walk around and take pictures of some of the sprouts springing up! Spring is amazing! And, the fresh spring air after a light rain shower… incredible!

We have ordered a greenhouse, which won’t come for a while. Fencing is also backed up for quite some time right now. Crazy times. I have grand visions of a garden. But, thankfully, the wildflowers and organic landscape satisfy my craving for a luscious garden. Hopefully we can lay the foundation this summer and have a dreamy garden next year!

Mother’s Day 2021

Where do I start? It’s obviously way past Mother’s Day, but I had to go back and post… to laugh at myself more than anything! You see, the night before Mother’s Day, I was feeling great… thanking God that my kids were healthy and my life so blessed and proudly thinking how much I had matured in that my husband was going to be gone for Mother’s Day, yet I didn’t throw a pity party at all. I had come so far! And honestly, I felt genuinely content.

I woke up Mother’s Day and went for a jog, starting my day off with fresh air, quiet and prayer. It was glorious. Nothing was going to ruin this day!

I walked in to the house to be greeted with “Mom, ___ said they wished I weren’t alive!” “Can I have cereal NOW?!?!? Why isn’t breakfast ready?” “Can I make this for breakfast? You said I could make breakfast! No, we don’t have the ingredients…” “Mom, I am SICK!”

My responses? “I will talk to ______. ” “Yes, you can have cereal.” “How about you just do the whipped hot chocolate and I will make bacon and eggs?” “I am sorry you are so sick. Yes, you can stay home from church and sleep all day.”

I came out of the shower to find this mess: “Mom, everything exploded and there’s no milk left!”

Everything in me said to laugh… LAUGH! This is hilarious! Everyone is fighting, one is sick, breakfast is ruined, and the kitchen is a disaster… and not a single person has wished me a happy Mother’s Day or even given a hug. I felt emotional. I wanted to cry. But Why? LAUGH!!! LAUGH!!! I commanded myself!

I came home from church and opened my card from Natalie… it was amazing! I also got a note from Sierra apologizing for the morning. I also discovered the reason I was so emotional; my monthly friend paid a visit. I felt so relieved that I was finally able to laugh!

After making lunch, I got into cleaning zone. I scrubbed that kitchen mess, which turned into vacuuming and mopping floors and dusting places that hadn’t been dusted since we moved in. By late that afternoon, the kitchen and most of the house was so sparkling clean that I decided not to cook, so we went out to Frugal’s for dinner, (bringing back a burger to the poor sick child who stayed in bed all day). And, since the house was so clean and I didn’t have dishes to do, I played lots of cards with Natalie and Malachi!

Once again, I went to bed super content. Overjoyed, really. Just look at those faces! I get to be with them every day, and teach them about history and math and how much their Heavenly Father loves them! I get to watch them grow and mature and make mistakes and grow some more. I cherish their hugs, their thoughts, and their fun!

Thank you, Lord, for your grace, and for making me a mom!

Cross Country 2021

Can you tell how fast he’s going? See the sweet girls cheering him on? And little Lily running alongside!? I just love the support of the homeschoolers at cross country. Malachi’s about to pass those boys…

… And he does! I was so proud of my boy on his last cross country meet. He ran against 40 or 50 boys, all of whom had ribboned at some point during the season. He gave it his all and came in 12th!

The boy on his right is one of Malachi’s best buddies and came in first! He is the one who encouraged Malachi to be part of cross country and he comes from a family of runners.

Malachi’s best friend, who is in a grade older than Malachi, also got 12th place in his grade. We went out to froyo to celebrate!

Now that the season is over, Malachi has the running bug. He wants to start running with me and training so he is ready for next year. Looks like my biking buddy will soon be running with me! Great season, Chi!

Spring Mornings

I could write a whole blog post about spring evenings. After dinner baseball and outdoor play are a prime reason I haven’t been blogging! But, if you know me at all, you know mornings are still my favorite. And, now that it is light enough to start up my morning jogs once again, I am thrilled!

The other morning, I was up at 5:30am and looked out to see a clear blue sky. As I began to jog, I noticed that low hanging morning fog hovered over the lower alley. I decided to turn toward the fog, and literally ran down into it, then up out of it several times. What an exhilarating feeling! I came home in awe of the beauty, and took these pictures before the kids even woke up…

Next week is our last week of school! And, to be honest, it is mostly a fun week with our choir concert, art show, track and field day, and class parties. I can hardly believe another school year is over and I will have a driving junior in high school next year! Goodness, I could write a whole separate blog post on all the feels right now. But, all that to say, I will hopefully have some more time to catch up on blogging shortly!

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