Sunday, September 20, 2015

August Happenings

This post is a little of this and a little of that. 
  It seems the older our kids get the trickier it is with them being able to make it to the Cahoon reunion every two years.  It's hard to split their vacation time with reunions and then time with just the family.  We all want to be together for all the events, but it is getting more difficult.  They love it here in the summer because they have been visiting "grandma and grandpa's" house next door ever since they were babies.  It's just what we did when the kids were growing up. Summer without Leavitt is like summer without the sun or the creek with no water or the motor bikes with no gas.  
It just doesn't work!

Not everybody was able to make the Cahoon reunion this year, but this is a good representation for sure. 

Everybody is here for this picture though. 
Smile everyone!
L-R = oldest to youngest
Bruce, George, Pam, Renny, Grant, Mark, Kathy, Karen, Merlene and Orlan
 With every reunion there are always family musical numbers and this year, with no exception, it was Brad and Laurel again. 

 Kelly played college ball and Brad high school ball. 

 Kaden and Neal
 Jack O'Reilly Cahoon
It's just too much for this grandma...just too too much!

 Katie Jo and Laurel
 Grandma loves to sing and has a strong alto voice. 

 Neal and Kaden
 Laurel is a teacher and a good sport.  The only Mark Cahoon family member to go down the slide.

 August also brought the annual Leavitt Ladies Ride. This year we decided to go to Horseshoe Basin near the buffalo paddock next to Waterton.

  See the little yellow sliver of a trail on the left? We came from there.  It was switchbacks up to the top which means there must be switchbacks  down the other side. Scary Beary!

 As you can see, it's pretty smokey due to a lot of fires in Montana and one in Waterton as well. 

 I am NOT relaxed in this picture. At all!
There were 7 of us and 7 horses on a small mountain top. One horse out of control and it would be utter chaos!  Nothing I want to experience for sure. But I had a good horse and she took care of me the whole time.  Tiffy is her name and protecting me was her game. 

 I could not get my head around how we were going to get down this mountain. 
Just one step at a step at a time.

 Down we go.  It was not so bad going down which made me a little more relaxed. 
Had I known what the ride entailed I'm not sure I would have gone.  Dixie had never done this ride herself, but she picked a great ride with just enough "hard" for me and I can say I did it so that's great!

 Lunch in the meadow. Sometimes the best part of a ride or a hike is lunch time.  There is just something about stopping midway to eat! 

 Home stretch... and wayyyy more relaxed!

  Hali was the leader and as we were going down, up and over the mountain trail, she is turning around while talking and visiting with those behind her.  I always hear from Dixie, "trust your horse". Well, Hali trusts her horse.  
Just us girls, our horses and a huge trailer! 

Chokecherries.  The berries were perfect when we decided to pick this year. They are a real easy berry to pick.  You just put the stem between your fingers, pull down and they just come off super easy into the bucket that you have rigged onto your belt.   
I juiced them and then we got the call from Michelle that she was having the baby that night (3 weeks early, again) so I froze the juice in ziplock bags and off we went. Mark grew up with chokecherry syrup so I'm going to attempt making it myself.                  

My attempt at Cameron Falls with manual settings.  The picture on the right is from a hike to Wall Lake. It's still so pretty even with the haze from the fires. 

 Lou Lou and Chris come out this way from Lethbridge (1 hour away) pretty often and it's super nice!
They either do a hike or canoe and sometimes both. 
This is at Crandell. 
 It's been a fun summer doing new hikes and some familiar ones.  Short or longish ones, I like them all! It's just nice to get out, get some exercise, take pictures and visit with fellow hiking buddies. 

 Such a sly one, that Lou Lou. 

 We love our men!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Summer Fun With the Family

We had a great few weeks with kids AND grandkids this summer. Michelle and Camryn came back with me after being in Rexburg for Kelly's baby shower so we had extra time with them which means a few more extra pictures of her.    Jordan was studying for the BAR the last week and a half beforehand which was perfect timing for a longer stay.
We had kids coming and going for a few weeks this summer which was really fun and we even had some extras! I think everyone had a great time this summer, I know I did!

 Baby Jack is the most-est!  He is 7 months here and pretty much the most adorable little boy around!

Brad and Laurel seem to get requests often for sing song time every time they are together.  Laurel also gets asked to sing in church from time to time and this visit was no exception.  Her and her boyfriend, Mike sang and it was superb. 

We have a new spot for wiener roasts.  This one is just outside the back garage door which was super convenient.  The sunsets lately have been so pretty due to all the fires surrounding us these days.  

 Michelle and Jordan offered to wash our windows!  I went and bought the professionals supplies needed and they went to town.  Jordan used to wash windows to earn money for his mission and schooling.  It's been a family business for he and his brothers for quite a  few years depending on who is next in line. It's a great perk for sure!

Kelly always makes something yummy and crowd pleasing when she is here and this trip it was these chocolate chip cookies...a triple batch...two different times during their stay. 
Hi Jack!

I think we are all (plus two extras, Mike and Brandi) here just chattin'. 
The consensus is that we need better and more seating upstairs. 

There is just something about our bed.  It seems to be a gathering spot at times and it always turns into a really fun time.  The four of us will always remember this silly night, especially since Neal secretly recorded a funny (think The Office) conversation. 

I'm telling you, Jack has got to be the most temperate and easy going little boy.  He is always quick to smile for anyone and rarely fusses.  

 We had an afternoon at Waterton which is always a perfect place to relax and the weather was exceptional! 

 We have a couple of paddle boards along with two kayaks so hopefully there is something for everyone, although the paddle boards were the hit this summer. 

 Laurel thought she could go paddle boarding for her first time ever, in her clothes, and not fall off. 
She fell off!  Here is Laurel and Brandi, Clark's girlfriend, doing some yoga. 

A favorite meal is of course, calzones and the pasta salad from Pearl's ( Pizza of Waterton). 

 Lou Lou and Chris happened to be in the area and paddled up to visit. 

 Clark and Brandi.

 It's parade day in Cardston. Since there were a ton of Cahoon family here for the Cahoon Reunion Chris and Lou Lou decided to sit across the street to view the parade.  She claims that she got way more candy on their side, but then again we are twins and the people throwing candy her way probably thought she was me so...

 It was a very hot day so coke slurpees were a must. 

 This is Mike, Laurel's boyfriend. He makes violins. 

 Camryn LOVED the side by side and rides on the tractors. 
She loves animals, machinery rides, the water and the movie Frozen.  I would say she is pretty well rounded. 

Rio loves to catch rocks!
Can you see Michelle's little baby bump?  a new granddaughter coming the end of September!

 Our new creek spot is Cahoon Crossing. 

 Jack is super strong.  He really really is.  He just grabbed this rock and lifted it up and out of the water.  He has super strong legs too. I also think he is the strongest 7 month old baby boy in the whole world.

 We celebrated two birthdays on August 4.  Brad turned 30 and Mark turned 60 so we grabbed our passports and headed across the line to St. Mary's for dinner. 

We then came home to a homemade chocolate cake made by Kelly!  It. was. delicious!

Jack started crawling while he was here. 

 Camryn loves stickers. She is super smart!

I bet you can't tell what these two are talking about. 
Tennis. How they are going to beat Mark next time. They loved playing while we were in Hawaii a couple of months ago and now it has become a family activity. This is serious stuff for these younger boys.  To have a much older person beat them more than once is just not acceptable. 

 I'm not sure if Brad is happy because he beat his dad or if Mark is happy because he beat his son again. Either way, it looks like they had a great game. Neal has been playing and apparently he can play a mean game too. 

 One of these visits the grandkids are going to love the "Say Old man" song with grandpa. Right now the kids just look at him with a funny expression.  Can't really blame them, right? 

 Next summer Camryn will be 2 1/2 and Jack 1 1/2.  Mark and I are sure enjoying them in their different stages of growing up.  I realize we are just starting out with being grandparents, but it seems to me that we are noticing different stages more, being on the outside looking in.    

She kills me with those pig tails!

 This little girl loves her mommy!

Neal can't get enough of Camryn. When she hugs him he melts!

 I'm not sure if Michelle will like this picture posted, but you gotta document these sorts of things. 

 Michelle and Laurel love fishing with their dad and I was the baby watcher when Michelle went this time.  I loved it!
That's a fish wriggling on a line in front of Camryn.  

 Clark had some extra days off after the Cahoon Reunion and decided to hang around so we went to Glacier for the day to look at the fire there.  It was quite visible along the road and then deeper into the area next to St. Mary Lake.  

 A lot of trail heads and vantage points were blocked off, but Mark dropped Clark and I off  at this spot so we could take pictures of this.  Goose Island.   This is from Clark's iPhone.  The pictures I took with my Cannon did not turn out that well, but they looked like this with no spots on the lens. 

 South of St. Mary, or is it West.  Anyways, you drive past St. Mary a few miles and there is a new tourist information area going in with these metal teepees.  There was a man working on the retaining walls and he said we could take a look around.  It over looks St. Mary Lake and the fire as well so when the skies clear up there will be a view of the fire damage.
P.S. The pink flowers are names, Fireweed. 

Clark loves my bear picture so much that he wanted to take a picture of me holding it in just the right spot. It's hanging up in our new bathroom downstairs, right above the toilet if you really want to know. 

A bear in Glacier.  It's actually the second bear we saw in Glacier.
So this is part one of the kids visit I guess you could say.
The Cahoon Reunion post will be up soon.