Monday, September 30, 2013

new neighbors

Exciting new news in our neighborhood..... my aunt Mary and uncle Bill (ie. Sheena and Ian's parents) just bought a house 2 blocks from us!  Yep, they've got keys, half the family's got keys and she's got lunch.  Yep, aunt Mary came into town, got a bed and started cooking!  She invited us all over for lunch on the 2 days she was here.  I think she will be here and at the farm on and off- but it was exciting to go for a little walk around the bend....

and come across some familiar faces.  We are looking forward to getting to know them more and hearing all the stories (aunt Mary is the family storyteller).  Here she is with her daughter Andrea and dog Jenny and of course not so little Emora.

The kids were quite impressed by their yard full of leaves...

and all the ladybugs in the leaves.

We even walked Saba by one day.

And look at what Brian found!  So his little secret is that he used to play French horn- in fact that was his instrument when in music school.  He hasn't played in a couple of decades, but Arwen decided to play this year and had this laying around at Aunt Mary's.  First time I'd ever heard my husband play the FRENCH horn ;)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

fort addition

Brian had one last part to the play structure to add once the fort was built.  He had wanted to add a shingled roof to protect it from the cold.  This thing is HUGE ok and everything he put on it kept getting bigger.  He asked, is it too big?  I said, "yes, but then you are TEXAN!"  Seriously, we could all sleep in it at night.  The kids had wanted to, but it's gotten cold enough at night that they are not asking anymore.  Maybe next summer.

He was having fun making the roof trusses.

Nearly every night the pelicans fly over, so it is lots of fun to eat supper outside.  I love how my kids freak out right with me when we see big flocks of geese or pelicans go over.  They also flip out over the seagulls.  So fun!

Ivan has always enjoyed "working" alongside his daddy- or at least he enjoys appearing to be working.

Dominique didn't even feign working.  She just liked being adventurous.

 And of course I couldn't just leave it all blank like that now could I?  Brian asked if I could paint it, so I did and then I did some more.  The front ended up not how I had imagined it, but it's ok and I'm not doing it over.  We love the backside.
 Do you see the letters?

Friday, September 27, 2013

a little fall hike

Janet had invited us for a little climb up the "Canada hill" Saturday.  I knew that it would be worth it, but a part of me was hoping she'd cancel.  We had a bottle drive for Dominique's dance group and spent hours sorting bottles.  The work wasn't too hard and it was fun to be doing it together, but by the time the afternoon slipped away, I was feeling like not heading out again.

But she called "we're ready" and another part of me was so glad, because I knew it would be beautiful.  I knew the kids would have a blast and I knew I would like the exercise and we would get to connect with each other again.

At the flag- the girl gang.  The boys had run off ahead and back down and back up again while we took this pic!

Beautiful Janet and her beautiful Neve.

It is a bit weird to come up the hill to flat prairie.  That is Mission lake in back.  Our town is between Mission and Echo lakes.

Mission lake and the giant Tipi and Treaty 4 governance center.

The girls invented a game of disappearing in the grass by flopping down on their butts.  It was cute.

Here is Echo lake to the left and our house is just to the left about 2 blocks from that red building.

We like to try to spot our house, but even in winter with the green gone, it's pretty hard to see.

I would love to climb each one of these hills.  Anytime I go up a new part, it looks just a bit different.  And it's also fun to go up a familiar one and for it to feel well... familiar.

The hill is not that high, but I quickly realized how very out of shape I am.  I really need to get in gear with exercise and not be so willy nilly about it.  Thankfully some ladies are working out regularly in town together and I went once and it was so great.  Maybe that will help me stay motivated!  I feel so much better when I'm active- physically, mentally, spiritually- it's just good for me.

I guess we overcome one little hill and one little excuse and one little lack of motivation at a time so that we can come out on top and be renewed.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ayu & Emora

The light is so amazing this time of year and it dances in the changing leaves and trees- you just have to get out and drink it all in.

After Story and Rhyme time, we all decided to enjoy the day, forget our needed to be cleaned houses and let the park and friends stir our hearts instead.  There were quite a few of us and I didn't didn't think to take pictures, but then I saw these two bonding here, so before I answered her "help me get down", I told them to sit still a few more seconds so we could record these moments of joy and remember the beauty that drew us there.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


The garden is in it's last stages.  We actually had some frost and forgot to cover it, but it seems that most everything survived it ok.  The sunflowers are dropping.  And our little trellis is doing all right for our first year with it.  Next year I will plant closer to the bottom of it and be better about training the plants up, but it did help.
All summer, Ivan has been waiting for the okra to grow.  We did get one little bowl full of harvest, so in good Texan style, I fried it up and friend about everything else for supper that night while I was at it.  Made us miss Big Buddy and our catfish suppers with fried okra.  I'm glad Ivan remembers treasures from our time there.

He is always saying that his favorite food is fried okra- well, enjoy buddy, because you get to eat it about once a year now!
Fall is here all right.  The big kids are out on a combine tonight, the trees are turning gorgeous colors, the mornings and evenings are crisp.  I was thankful for time out on the lake yesterday in the kayak and so thankful for my wet suit.  It is the perfect thing to wear in the kayak and then I swam for a bit in the cold water and practice exits.  I've been wanting to experiment with tipping it and seeing how hard it would be to exit.  It is fairly hard to tip, but once unstable and some water goes over the lip, it gets full fast.  Slipping out was easy (although I didn't try with the spray skirt), but I realized that I would never want to capsize.  I could stand where I was playing around and it's hard to break the suction of water, turn it over and get in, even with touching and if done wrong- it all just fills up and sinks!  I decided the best bet if it turned over is to pull it in to shore upside down or get help!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Treaty 4 parade

Here are some pictures from the Treaty 4 parade.  There are 2 parades in town each year.  The July 1st parade and the Treaty 4 parade.  We weren't used to floats throwing out candy, but they do here and the kids LOVE that as well as the floats and horses...

This one was pretty amazing, when do you see a tipi with elder floating down the street?

Emora sees these pictures and wants you to know that they were trying to get more candy!  Ugh, I don't like all the candy actually.  They are always wanting sugar! But I often let them have a couple pieces as their "desert" if they eat supper.

They were more careful about handing candy to kids so that it wasn't all over the road with kids racing out into the street.

This purple float could be seen from our backyard that morning, so the kids were excited to see it being built, then ride down the street and be disassembled again.

A buffalo head!

I always like the horses the best.  Emora also loves the jingle dress dancers.

See the loot!

I should make a pinata again for Ivan's birthday and let him share this wealth of sugar with all our friends!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

our "preschool" ultimate day

When I got my kayak, I realized that it had a big enough cockpit to fit a kid in front of me.  In fact, I realized that I could not only fit Emora in front, but I could with the spray skirt on us too.  It was a bit hilarious getting in and required some creative gymnastics, but we did it.  I'm glad we got it on, because you can get fairly wet inside from the water dripping off the paddle and this kept her dry.  We'd been watching the days because I didn't want to go out when it was too windy.  This day was perfectly still- and she didn't want to go, but I forced her.

And she loved it!  We were out about an hour and a half.  We just went to the closest beach.  Everything looks different from on the lake and we wanted to see what the dam looked like from this side, then we headed across the middle of the lake.

There were fish jumping and we saw several of my favorites:  pelicans!  We chased this one down for a while.  He was keeping a watchful eye on us.  We got pretty close, but it was a bit tricky getting the camera out at the optimal picture taking time.

Cozy together in there.  It got pretty warm actually.  In the full heat of summer, I can't stand the spray skirt on, but it's nice now.

We kayaked over to some friends' house to see if we could locate it from this side.

It was so still out there!

Emora paddled some, but her special power is to go in circles.

Heading back to shore- as you can see, the trees are starting to turn colors a bit.
Life can be so grand at times and it's so fun to get to share it together!