Friday, June 15, 2012


So it's been FOREVER since I posted.  A lot has happened and I am really hoping that if I start posting about our life here in Montana, then maybe my sisters will get the hint and post more! (hint, hint)

So I'll backtrack a little over the next week or so and then be caught up (hopefully).  For now, I just wanted to post some quick pictures of the High School Rodeo Finals we attended last Thursday in Bozeman.  We were a little cold, but it was beautiful!

Excited to go to the rodeo!
Savy dressed Reagan & fixed her hair for the day.

We went with 2 girls from work.  Nicole, one of our nurses, brought her kids.  

They became instant best friends with Autumn and Sidney.  We even went to the pond to swim yesterday because her kids wouldn't stop asking to play with Savy and London.  You like London's Bono glasses?  They came with her nerf gun....  And yes, she's freezing because she refused to bring a coat.

My favorite parts:

1.  The view (as you can see behind Reagan.)  Those are the Bridger Mountains that are on one side surrounding our valley.   My favs are actually the Gallatins (more peak-y with more snow-capped peaks) which lead us to Yellowstone, but these are gorgeous too because they are so close and so green right now.  


2.  The little girls cheering for the little calves during roping.  They thought it was inhumane.

So much fun.

We're searching out things to keep busy this summer so hopefully I'll keep up the posting.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


. . . to my home!


I missed my Chilean pictures. My wreath should be outside, but the other day the wind was blowing so badly it trashed our spiderwebs and I was afraid my wreath would be destroyed, so I flipped it over the door so it was inside. It was easy thanks to a cool Martha Stewart tip to use ribbon thumb tacked on the top of the door to hang wreaths. So pretty and so convenient for me to switch inside when the weather acts up. Plus, this way I get to see my creation and enjoy it too!

The easiest wreath I've ever made: black tool, a wreath form, and a ribbon. I just bought the orange ribbon at Michaels for like $1.50 and had the plaid already that I wove into the orange. Looks like the wind moved it around - it should be formed along the bottom of the wreath and not just hanging down (the perfectionist in me apparently went to lunch and hasn't fixed that yet). I suppose a black bird would look cool in there too somewhere, but I'm on a strict budget at the moment so we're going plain. Maybe I'll get some clearance stuff next week.

I adore my baby pumpkins. They make me smile. Thank you, Pinterest world (my new obsession and another reason I have neglected blogging) for the idea.

I had to remember that I share this house with Nate so I compromised and we hung his elk picture above the couch. He says it reminds him of Arizona elk. The bobcat is over in the corner, and the jury's out on that. He thinks it'd look great in the corner but I have never wanted animals on the wall in my main rooms. I tell him it can go in our bedroom because I want to eventually put an antiqued desk back there for me to use during the day because currently our only computer is upstairs in our room and I'd love to have my own downstairs I can get on without leaving the babies alone if I have to print something. Or, you know, do some important pinning :) I do have bins of toys back behind the couch currently so I need to figure something out.

As you can tell, we're not fighters so the bobcat stays on the floor and the subject has been forgotten for now -- until I have money to get a desk and set up the corner, then game on! Just kidding, I'm a lover, not a fighter. But I will get my way :)

Now, turn around and you see this:

My cute bookcases, Arizona temple, and my awesome blanket basket JoDee brought me for my birhtday! She rocks. This is my favorite corner - oh how I missed my books when they were in storage the past two years! I love having my stuff back again and having my own house. I finally feel at home!

My favorite corner - I love my Tai-Pan deals - the American flag liberty picture and the Abraham Lincoln religion quote:
When I do good,
I feel good.
When I do bad,
I feel bad.
And that is my
Amen. Love it. I also love my "sister's craft" we made a few years ago. So cute and they remind me of my sisters. I lost my "Boo" letters but hand-made cutouts worked fine.

Turn to your left and you have the entrance to the kitchen and this beauty. I love this table and mirror b/c it was in my house growing up and somehow I ended up with it and I love it!


I really want a red garbage can..

can you spot the compromise? I am such a good wife.

Actually, I couldn't say no because he was so excited and thought it was such good "Montana decorating." It may be "Montana decorating," but not quite "Mandi decorating."
Oh well, what can I say, I love him!

I missed my table too. I asked JoDee what to do with these windows and she suggested wreaths. She's so clever - I didn't quite see the vision until I saw this on Pinterest:

Yes, I see how that would be cute with two wreaths to add red accent. I'll update you on that project if I ever get to it. Relief Society, friends, and kids are keeping me pretty busy. For the first time in my life, I'm really having a hard time keeping up on cleaning - and that's absolutely crazy for ME! I've gotta get organized in that part of my life.

Now, wanna go upstairs?

At the entryway are our stairs. Head up and you see this:

More bookcases and the laundry closet with my Chile sign hanging to remind of how hard laundry was to do in Chile (by hand) and that I'm grateful for my machines that do all the work and that starting the machines and folding/putting away really aren't that bad. Can't say I feel grateful everytime, but that's the goal with hanging it there - oh how quickly we forget!

Our bedroom -- always the last thing to be decorated and organized. We do like our new bed though.

Upstairs landing. London & Reagan's room on the left and Savy's room on the right. Then they have a large, nice bathroom. I am on the lookout for some kind of chest or dresser for up here to keep linens and towels. I'll be scouring Craigslist, garage sales and thrift stores because Pinterest has somehow made me think that I can remake anything to be cute. Any ideas? I have no linen closets at all so I really need something here.

London and Reagan's room. My sister-in-law let us borrow that crazy Sesame Street thing. It keeps crazy Reagan in the bed so it stays. She sleeps really well in there which surprised us since she's pretty much slept in our bedroom or bed since she was a baby. Such a big girl....makes me sad...

Savannah's bedroom set has yet to be painted due to our sudden state of joblessness after we moved up here.

we are so grateful, though, that the Lord has been looking out for us and we were able to have work while Nate was looking and I was able to babysit Ethan and Morgan and that Nate found a "real" job so quickly (which he's in Texas training for this week). We really feel like Montana is the right place for our family and the Lord made it possible to for us to get here and has looked out for us ever since.

Thanks for visiting! We hope you liked our house as much as we do!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Keepin' Busy

I told Amy today that I would (finally) post again. Pictures of the house. So I faithfully got on the computer tonight and uploaded my pictures only to discover that when I took pictures when we first moved in I didn't have any of the main room. So I'll snap some tomorrow and post - and you'll all be lucky enough to see my awesome Halloween decorating skills (ha!ha!).

We have just been busy with life -- soccer, babysitting, callings, funerals, weddings, and fun things like JoDee visiting and the fall festival in Belgrade (not to be missed).

London loves her soccer team. "Blue Lightning" lights it up every Saturday. I am grateful this weekend is her last game because (a) I am starting to get cold at practices and games and (b) I'm tired of lugging 5 children to soccer practice twice a week -- a baby, 2 toddlers, Savy and London.

Let me introduce you to my new children, Morgan and Ethan. Well,they are mine Mon-Thursday from 8-5 at least.

These two toddlers keep me busy all day!London adores Morgan and always spends time with her after school which really helps me out. She can't wait to be a mom. Reagan has begged and begged me to have another baby. I just tell her to talk to daddy about it.

A few weeks ago, we went to the Fall Festival. Nate was gone and so I went with the girlies alone, but luckily met up with a friend from church and we hung out all day together. I was amused as she complained about the heat because it must have been in the 70's, maybe low 80's that day. I thought it was perfect!

Me and Tracey, with her daughter, Eliza.
Waiting for the parade to start (which, by the way, made the Cedar parades seem super awesome and dare I say, professional? Yeah, it was that bad. Nothing compares to Cedar), Reagan wanted to show her favorite place in Belgrade (besides the old run-down church she thinks is a castle) -- the doughnut shop! I like it because (a) it's a log cabin (b) not open on Sundays and (c) I went there once and didn't have cash, not knowing they didn't take debit and the guy just said I could come back later and pay him -- only in a small town! I happened to have my checkbook so it worked out, but still, such a cute old man!

I just think Reags looks old here -- of course she pulled her pony out so she's wild woman as usual -- I can't keep clothes or ponies on this girl! I don't know what she'll do when it's freezing outside!
She so wanted to pose next to this Halloween-decorated poodle.
Everyone in Montana has a dog (except us!). Savannah loved this one that was as big as her!

So each of the girls got to choose one thing they wanted. The two things chosen were:

1. Bungee jumping/flipping on trampolines
2. Getting a feather in your hair

Gosh, can you guess who chose what? Not hard if you know my girls.

London literally waited in this line for about an hour and a half. She was hilarious trying to flip. I'll see if I can upload a video.

Savannah chose the feather in her hair, which, incidentally, is still in there and doesn't want to come out despite the fact that the lady said it would last two weeks. Will it ever fall out???

Oh, this was the tasty meat cooking outside the firehouse where we had lunch. The meat was so darn tasty!

I have to edit my pictures from JoDee's visit so I'll work on that tomorrow too and bring those and house pictures. and.....possibly pics of my first snow in Montana - if it gets cold enough tonight, our rain may just turn to snow. We'll see. Poor Nate will miss our first snow as he's in hot, humid Dallas, TX this week.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hiyalite Canyon for Labor Day

Yesterday we decided to get out and see some of our beautiful surroundings that are so close. So we headed to Hiyalite Canyon and within about 30 minutes we were here and it was gorgeous! We actually drove up to this beautiful reservoir but it was warmer up there and very crowded so we headed down where it was a little cooler and not as populated.

I am definitely the wimp of the family when it comes to weather. I even put on a coat after this and the girls were calling me crazy. I wasn't cold, I just like to be comfortable... The coat did come off as did the long-sleeve shirt eventually when the sun came out.

The girls had gotten up early and made lunches for each of us. We all had our own decorated lunch bag and while the girls got pickles in theirs, Nate and I both got apples along with our sandwiches and granola bars.

Then it was time to play in the creek and boy did these girls have fun while Nate and I sat back on our camp chairs and enjoyed the beautiful scenery, weather, and the happy squeals of our three little girls. It was a great day.

Pookie loved splashing.

This is one daddy's girl if I ever saw one. She is constantly asking where he is and I know it's going to be hard for her when he goes to the academy next week and will only be home on the weekends. We were spoiled when we moved up here and had him to ourselves for three whole weeks. But now it's down to business and he had his last week was his first week full of fun. It started with two grueling days at the shooting range - yes, grueling - holding up a pistol and shooting literally ALL day can make someone's arm mighty tired. Not to mention, you have to be accurate in various situations and stances they put you through.

Then on Thursday he got tasered - not something he ever wants to do again. I thought taser guns just shocked you, but there are actually needles that go into your skin with a barb at the end and then you can shock them from there. Two of them went into his back and he said it felt like he was dying (mind you, he's never had a baby naturally). He and another guy did it in front of a group of firefighters who watched as part of their training and were there to catch them when they fell. I suppose now he'll be responsible with his taser gun now that he knows what it does. I wasn't too happy about the holes in his shirt and blood on his undershirt (you know).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back to School!

Last week the girls started school. Savannah 3rd grade and London 2nd grade.
They were excited to get back to school and meet new friends.

London was sure that everyone would know how much she liked monkeys due to her monkey shirt and space-monkey backpack (plus she wore another monkey shirt the next day just to make sure). Savannah was thrilled to have a purse-bag instead of a backpack.

This is the oldest part of their school and other buildings have been built-on over the years. I love it! It's hard to see, but there's a school bell on the top and that's what rings! So classic and historical -- in fact, Nate and I were at the bank and saw an old picture of our town in 1908 and there, amongst the farms and Main Street, was this building, standing tall. Very cool. The girls were also thrilled to have their own lockers although I'm not so sure they'll think it's a good trade-off when they realize they're for snow pants & boots when it's FREEZING. I'm interested to see how the whole weather thing goes with them.

Savy's teacher - I think she'll be great for Savannah because she seems more old-school (no groupings of desks - yeah!). Savannah seems to really like her so far.

London's teacher is the one with blonde hair and the light blue sweater. She is the sweetest lady from Kansas and the best word to describe her is "cozy." I think London will love her.

Is that a metal slide I see?

London was afraid to go down it because she thought it'd burn her, but I assured her it wasn't that hot in Montana at 8:15 in the morning. I laughed but it did bring back childhood memories of me burning my little bum on a slide like this and literally having to stay at home because the peeling was so bad I could even wear undies! Oh the memories. And who could forget my lovely brother, Tyler, telling the whole school that it was me who burned my bum after the principal made a warning over the announcements about the slide being hot.

Anyway, Reagan and I have been busy still getting the finishing touches on the house and garage done. She and I both have missed the girls a ton! She's lonely and I miss my little babysitters. I swear, you don't see her for two minutes and she comes back like this. . . notice anything different? (not her band-aid from the ER trip)

Let me give you a hint:

She wanted to be like London who just got her hair cut for school. It looked really bad that day, but once it was washed, it curled right back up again and just looks like a cute ringlet bang.

She's the first child of mine to do that, the first to go to the ER --- I wonder how many other parenting firsts she has up her sleeve for us....

Tomorrow I hope to have pictures of the house because I know everyone's dying but my room is still a mess so we'll see what I get done today.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Montana!!!! Lewis & Clark Caverns

We are finally (after 2 years of waiting on various options) in Montana!

This is one of the first days we arrived with some excited but worn out girlies!

Nate started his first day of work today. He's excited because instead of sitting at a desk he'll be at the shooting range and being tasered. Well, he's not so excited about that last one. I suppose they figure you'll be more careful with a taser gun if you know what it really feels like...

The girls started school last Wednesday and are loving it. Tomorrow I'll post about their first day and then I'll work on getting pictures of our house. There was so much stuff (junk) to go through that's been in storage for two years. We had a huge garage sale the second weekend we were here and did pretty well. The leftovers went to the Salvation Army. We still have organizing to go through in the garage, but I figure it'll get done eventually and I just need my house in order.

Last Tuesday - the last day of summer for the girls - we decided to do something fun so we went to the Lewis & Clark State Park Caverns. They were awesome!

We took our nephew, Ethan, and if you didn't know better, you'd probably assume he was our fourth child since he and Savy look a lot alike.

It was a 2-hour 2-mile tour and the kids did great. We actually had quite the hike up to the entrance. It was about 15 minutes of switchbacks and it was quite warm that day (maybe 90), but the kids did great. Can you tell the girls were a bit scared to stand on the edge of the trail up that high?

The entrance to the cave after our hike.

This is my favorite picture. Reagan did really well in the cave and even walked most of the way except the wet, slippery parts where Nate held her. She was so cute holding onto the rails and going down the stairs with me in front and dad in back. She kept asking, "Daddy, you ok?" At one point, deep in the cave, she asked me if we were in outer space.

Oh, and if you are wondering about that band-aid on her forehead - we took a little ER trip on Sunday night. She tried to walk down the stairs with a princess dress, shoes and sunglasses. Didn't work. She went tumbling down and had a nasty gash in her forehead. In a small town, all the Urgent Cares closed at 5:00 and it was 5:30 (of course) so we headed to the ER. Gee, I can't wait for that bill.... The nurse kept saying she'd need stitches, but the doctor came in and super-glued her head back together. What excitement. I told Nate that's pretty good -- 8 years of parenting and that was our first trip to the ER.

They are standing on the "mile-high step." They are a mile-high but inside a cave. Pretty cool.

The blasted out exit tunnel which was very cool.

Did I ever mention that Montana is gorgeous?