Monday, September 29, 2008

The 9th Annual Leavitt Fair was a couple of weeks ago. They really went all out this year with a cool banner, and yes, that is me turning hot dogs.

They always have the candy jar counting contest which is the most popular table at the fair for the kids. Let me tell you, there are a lot of little candy pieces, believe me. I counted over half of those 20 some odd jars which made it impossible to even participate. Oh well. Do I really need that candy? I think not!

What is this you ask? These are candy corn on the cobs that the Achievement Girls made. I think it is quite clever myself. Those are Jelly Belly's I believe on top of three cupcakes.

Oh the ever popular lawn mower race. Next year Mark and Neal are going to enter.

What is he cooking that corn in? I asked the same question and do you know what he told me? An old water heater tank. Yah, go figure. Who would have ever thunk?

You are seeing that right. Dipping corn in a pitcher of melted butter. Another great idea!

Look at that pretty blue sky. It only lasted about an hour and boy did the wind kick up. In a matter of minutes the fun moved to the church cultural hall. Those cultural halls are sure handy aren't they?

There are always baked goods to sample and buy and vegetables to show off at the country fair. There is always a homemade quilt that is raffled off as well. Nope we didn't win it but the most deserving elderly couple in the ward did. Lucky ducks! Brother Leavitt (that would be our plumber's dad, yah, I know) just celebrated his 90th birthday so I think it was only fitting that he and his wife won it.

Surprised to see your self on my blog Kelsey? Congratualtions on baby#2!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hiking in Glacier

Clark emailed these photos to me of a hike he went on when he was visiting home a few weeks ago. It was a short visit, but he packed in activities for every waking moment. He is very good at that! No lie!

"This hike was to Mt.Siyeh in Glacier National Park. It has 4,000 foot sheer cliffs at the top and is one of the highest peaks in the park. Before getting to the top there was alot of shale to get past which made the hike more interesting."
"We started the hike at about 8 am after after driving an hour from home. We made it to the summit around 12:30 and stayed up at the top for about three hours just hanging out, taking pictures, napping and eating. It was a blast!" "The other guys in the pictures are Nate who is out here (BYU-Hawaii) going to school now and the other guy in the stripes is Tyler. It was such a great time and I hope to do it again."
After Clark got home he said it was a n awesome hike with some very exciting moments. He does do a lot of hiking and said that this was a tough hike. And he was pretty sore for a few days. I can't imagine there being too many simalarities between hiking in Hawaii (Oahu) and hiking in Glacier, but I am sure specatular just the same!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy 13th Birthday Neal!

Neal has always liked the song,"In The Summertime" by Mongo Jerry. Have you even heard of Mongo Jerry before? Neal has found the music video so yesterday morning he watched it before school. He really does love music but he will tell you he doesn't if you ask him about band. He is playing the trumpet and man does he fight it. He has such a natural talent that if he would just "let go" and "go with the flow" he would enjoy band and the instrument.

Oh yah, he is looking at those John Deere tractors and vehicles. That is what he requested so that is what he got. He also requested spaghetti, ceasar salad, and french bread(no garlic) so that is what he got also. See that chocolate cake? It is homemade from top to bottom and it is yummy. Lou Lou has made this same cake for her families' birthdays for years so since we are in our home I am adopting a new tradition. The kids and husbands picking their own birthday meal is another tradition I have picked up from LouLou.

Lighting the candles is almost more fun than opening gifts. This is Lawrence, a relative. He is our neighbor and good friend. He is the same Lawrence who plows us out in the winter, takes Neal ice-fishing, and also lets Neal ride his Kubota. Lawrences birthday was Saturday.

"YES, I blew out all the candles on the first try"!!!

Birthdays mean spankings too!

Lou Lou's husband is staying with us until they can sell their house in Saskatchewan. He is super helpful and so patient with Neal. He gave Neal some guitar strings so he is stringing the guitar for Neal. Neal "just knew" that Uncle Chris was going to get him guitar strings!

Neal is a great boy with lots of personality. He loves helping others and having fun. We haven't had TV in our house since moving in and he doesn't even complain about it. If he can be outside helping our neighbors bale, or cut, or stuke the bales, he is hap hap happy! We love him!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fun on the Horse Today

I loped! It was very exciting. I had a long riding lesson on Monday and I am still so sore but it did not stop me from learning more. I learned how to stand up a bit and lean forward and boy did that make the difference. We were in the outside arena today and was on my own a little more so I basically was trying to do the things I was taught. I guess you call that practice. Anyway, I don't want to take away from my long post below, but just wanted you to know That I loped today while holding onto the reins (no horn today) and it was a blast!!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Great Date

The weather has been so warm lately that I decided last week that today was the day that Mark and I were going to spend the day in Waterton. After going on the hike with Neal's class last week I kind of have the hiking bug now. This is Cameron Lake. In the summer you can rent canoes and if you are adventuresome you can row across the lake and step on U.S. soil and touch some snow. (Notice the docks on the far right side of the lake.)The round trip hike to Summit Lake takes about 3 hours and is 5 miles. This hike has several switchbacks because afterall, you are climbing a mountain side and so five miles on a mountain side seems much longer. There are a few berries that are in this area. Service berries, Choke Cherries, and Huckleberries. Mark is picking Huckleberries and they are delicious.

September in Waterton Park.
Can you see those dark berries sitting side by side? We picked them and ate them by the handfull all the way up the trail.

I am looking for bears. I am thinking about bears. I am asking Mark what he would do if a bear were to appear. All along the way every once in awhile Mark would give a loud whistle just in case a bear was near. You never know! We didn't see a bear but look what we saw when we got to Summit Lake.....

My camera video option is not the greatest, especially when I am not up close to begin with but look, can you see them? The bull moose is in the back and the cow moose is in the front. He was trying to get her attention but she was too busy bathing so he grunted and moaned (no kidding) and left. I think he will be back later when there is not so many "looky loos". Tis the season!
Here are some still pictures. Can you see the huge rack on that bull? We counted 10 points on one side. See how disinterested she is?
Heading back and looking for more Huckleberries. Mark is probably whistling behind me.

This photo on my blog really does not do justice with the colors and picturesque scenery but believe me, it was beautiful today.
Ahh, lying in the dock just relaxing after a yummy lunch and a soak of the feet in the lake.
This is what I was looking at front my vantage point.
And this is what Mark was looking at from his side of the dock.
And this picture? It was taken by a photographer from Georgia. Yah, we were just relaxing and we heard this man behind us offer to take our picture with our camera for us. Nice huh? So I just put up my hand and handed him my camera. And so there you have it. A perfect picture taken after a perfect date.

Well, to make this date the very very best date we headed into the townsite and went to The Big Scoop and had an ice-cream cone. Not just any flavor though. My favorite flavor of all time. Peanut Butter Chocolate!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Field Trip

Tuesday was hike day for all of Mountain View School where Neal attends. I volunteered to help drive kids and go on the hike and let me tell you, it was a perfect fall feeling day! The hike was in Waterton Park which is only about 25 minutes from here.

Neal is smack dab in the front with the orange jacket.

We hiked almost 7 miles round trip to Bertha Lake which is considered a half day hike according to the Waterton map guide. I didn't take my camera and boy did I wish I had, of course. This photo was taken by a teacher and the secretary at school emailed it to me just moments ago. The whole school went on some kind of a hike the same day. The K -3 went for a walk around the school and town, the 4-6 kids hiked to Wall lake and then the 7-9 kids hiked Bertha. I kind of have the bug now and want to hike more trails in Waterton. Next week Mark and I want to maybe try Summit Lake hike which is only 5 miles but I hear it is pretty steep at the beginning. The weather has been so perfect for hiking that I want to get the most out of the outdoor weather before you know what flys!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Man I Love Our Neighbors!

We really do have the best neighbors. In the winter, Lawrence, who is a distant cousin will plow out the snow on our road. He also takes Neal ice fishing in the winter and even lets Neal drive his Kubota around his property and even across the highway to our house. Brother Little, who is our home teacher let Neal mow is whole lawn a few weeks ago and then gave us lettuce from his garden. Naida, his wife, loves Neal. One of the first Sundays after we moved here she asked Neal his name and he said it was Bill. So now every time Sister Little sees Neal she calls him Bill and gives him a great big hug! And tonight our neighbor Brent let Neal do this.....

I know I know, another view outside my kitchen window. But if you look real close, say by clicking on the picture and examining it, you will see a tractor and my boy Neal is driving that tractor.Here is a closer view. Cool huh? Neal is in total heaven. Our neighbor Brent hays. I think that is how you say it. He grows hay, cuts hay, bales hay and then sells some and uses some for his horses. Just a side note- he is the rodeo caller in town and he is good. It is his wife Marge who does all the costumes for the summer theater. Boy, I am sounding like I know everything and everyone around here. "So and so married so and so." "So and so lives here." "So and so used to live here but now so and so lives here- you know, the daughter of so and so." Anyway, Brent is getting ready to bale but wants to lift the hay a bit so the air can dry it beforehand. So while Brent was burning stuff in his yard he let Neal do the fun stuff.

This tractor is old. It once belonged to Brent's grandfather. I would guess that it is around 75 years old. I'm just a guessin' though. It has no power steering so if Neal looks like he is struggling a bit to turn it, he is. But just a tad.

Watch for Brent and Meg. Meg is the greatest farm dog. If you remember from one of my first posts, Meg was up in the back hoe bucket with Neal. That would have been two years ago when we were digging the foundation. Ouch!

When your neighbors love your kids, it is the best! Really, what more could you ask for in neighbors? We have the best three around!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Month of Laurel

Rusty thought he might catch a ride to Idaho with Laurel. Rusty showed up on our doorstep about a year ago and he is the best cat ever. He hangs around and eats our mice.
Laurel is off to another year at BYU-Idaho. She starts her third year as an Art Education major. She would like to be an art teacher.
It has been so fun to have her around for most of the spring and summer. We will all miss her!
Yep, Laurel can't forget her passort when going down to school. Ya gotta have it!
And another thing she thinks ya gotta have is a car. Not any car. Her car. The car Michelle wants and Brad wants and I want. Bye Bye Laurel, drive safely!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Birthday Girl!

Laurel is now out of her teen years and into the roaring twenties. Saturday was her birthday and we(the family) were out of town to a wedding so we didn't celebrate the traditional way with a song and candles on the cake. But last night we made up for it with friends and family over to help celebrate with two yummy cakes and homemade ice cream!

Laurel is a peacemaker and always cheerful. She will be the first one to make things right and change an undisireable situation around to something more uplifting. She loves music, singing, art, sleeping in, thrift stores, get togethers with her friends, her family, watching movies-old and new, taking pictures, quotes, journals, and traveling. She is also kind hearted, looks for the positve, and is gentle in her nature. We love you Laurel and will miss you when you go back to school.
Happy 20th Birthday!