Saturday, December 19, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear?

So today I got the hugest surprise of my life. It was bigger than when Brad and Michelle surprised us with a visit awhile ago by driving all night, bigger than Texas, bigger than the snowstorm we had two weeks ago, and even bigger than...Well, you know-it was BIG!

Let me explain. We were all downstairs this morning, looking at a video that Clark documented of his trip in Jerusalem along with his "favorite christmas song" by two "close friends". The song started and I was thinking to myself- HEY! Brad could sing that. After listening to it once through, the kids all laughed and said that it was Brad, and of course I put my hands over my face and started to cry. THEN after the second time listening, they told me the girl voice was Michelle's! Then I really lost it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gingerbread (graham cracker) Houses

Monday night we were invited to Connie and Jamie Quinton's house for their annual gingerbread house making contest. They like to use graham crackers with glue guns to make the houses. It is a smart idea because who eats the gingerbread afterwards anyhow? We were in groups according to age, yet age did not matter with this contest at all. We had all kinds from tall and skinny, short and stout, traditional, name it.

We had Karma & Kevin Beazer and 2 of their kids, Larry & Carolyn Leavitt and 5 of their kids, Quintons with their 6 kids plus a son in law, and of course, us. We all had a great time!

This was the "old" group with an average age of 50+.

The newlyweds.

The young girls, about 12 years old and very creative! (the far left house)

The older teenagers. Can you tell what they used for the "thatched" roof? Shredded Wheat.

The younger teenagers. (Neal's group) A soon as this group used a sifter with powdered sugar this became my favorite one. It's the detail, like snow!

Who won first you ask? We all were awarded our own special mention so we were all winners!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Visual

I really don't mind the snow at all when it is fresh and looks like this. We have had very cold temperatures for the last couple of weeks and so right now it is very picturesque outside. It makes Christmas feel like Christmas. (last night while driving home from a Rotary Festival the temperature was -16 F. Yah, COLD!)This is our road that leads from the highway to our house. You can see our roof just behind the trees.

This is the road leading from our house to the highway.

Now you can visualize what we get to drive on, through, over, however you want to look at it. I like it!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Winter Has Arrived in Alberta!

Leaving the garage door open all night long with a north wind due to a blizzard is what you don't want to do!

Our good neighbor, Brent, called to see how "the Cahoon's are doin'" and with in 5 minutes he was up helping Mark shovel snow from the garage. We really do have "neighborly" neighbors!

A bad storm moved in yesterday with practically zero visibility. Neal had a basketball tournament in Lethbridge(45 minutes away) yesterday after school and was not able to get home after the games so the team spent the night with relatives of the team members. They played two games today and are on their way home......It will be nice to have him home safe and sound. Just a side note, to add to the bad weather conditions, Brad was in a fender bender(in Utah) this morning. A lady lost control and broadsided him. He is fine, but his car might be totaled.

I am betting on no church tomorrow. There are two factors to getting to church. One is that you have to be able to get out of your driveway, and two, be able to see the road you are driving on. With living in a rural area these are very important elements. I'm telling you, it's bad up here!

This picture is not indicative of todays a long shot.
Just wanted to leave you with a pretty image of winter.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Separating Cows and Calves

It's that time around here where you gotta separate the calves from the mommas.  Cattle ranchers breed their cows in late summer so they calve in the spring and then the calves are sold at auction in November.  It's a real sad thing for those mommas because you know what happens when you all of the sudden stop nursing right? 

Here are the mommas.

Here are the babies.

Here is a momma with all the babies.  She really thinks she is smart because she wasn't separated from her baby. But guess what?  She is a mean, disobedient and defiant momma so she is going to the auction too. She just doesn't know it yet.  

Just loadin 'em up.

You might think that this process is going smoothly, but not so.  If you look at the the door of the trailer there is a cow turned around.  It is probably that mean old momma cow.  See what I mean?  So disobedient!  Actually, I just enlarged the photo, and it is not the mean old momma cow, just another calf who really doesn't want to be first.

That's Lou Lou making sure everything is running smoothly.  She is a regular ranch hand.

Transportation to the auction.  Twenty-three calves and one mean momma will fit in that trailer.

Ahhh....those poor momma cows.  They were just a moo'in like you wouldn't believe when that trailer took their babies.

See?  It's sad.

Balog Auction in Lethbridge  That is Mr. Balog on the right.  You should hear him do his thing.  I like it.  

Here is a little informaton for you all because I know you are all dying to know what all those lit up numbers are for on the back board.  

The number on the left that tells you how many calves were in the last group that just went through, the middle number tells you the gross weight of the group of calves and the number on the right tells you how much per pound the calves were sold for.  That info. is all under the left board.  The board on your right tells you how much the next set of calves weigh.  The middle number tells you how many calves are in the group, and the number on the right tells you the average weight of the calves. 

The whole view from the bleachers.  See the guys at the fence line?  They are the potential buyers. They buy these calves, fatten them up, then , well, you know.  Some might be kept for breeding but most are not, poor things.  It's just the life of a cow.

I drove by the pasture the day after the auction and the mommas are still there just waiting for their babies to come back.  Good news though.  They are all pregnant and ready to go for the next go around.  It's what cattle ranchers do here.  



Every event around here serves roast beef.  I'm not even kidding.  I have probably had more roast beef in the last three years than I have had in my whole entire life.  Ok, that might be a bit of a strong statement, but you get it right?  It's all about the beef in southern Alberta!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


An ordinary weekend suddenly got funner when we woke up Friday morning to find Brad and Michelle frying bacon for breakfast. They stopped by BYU-I to pick up Laurel, but she had work and class on Friday so she couldn't come. We'll just have to wait a few more weeks until Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fruits of our Labor

This spring Michelle was motivated to have a garden so she asked her dad if he could build her a garden box and while he was making one for her I figured I might as well join in.

That is our neighbors dog, Meg. We love Meg. Michelle is holding Rusty the cat. Sad to say she got sick awhile ago and died. Such is the way of cats around here but if we want another one we just make a few phone calls. It's that easy.

After the boxes were leveled and the soil placed inside we decided to make the area around the garden pretty. We planted Marigolds and Petunias and pretty much ignored them and they still grew nicely.

We planted spinach, carrots, green onions, chilis, tomatoes, and peas. It took awhile before the garden really took off due to snow in June! It was fun to make salsa with my very own tomatoes.

Maybe next year we will put flat stones around the garden to cut down on the weeds!

Michelle's carrots are on the left and mine on the right. Hers are perfect. She left for school before we picked them but I managed to smuggle them across the border. Not really. I was honest at the border when the officer asked what I was mailing. I told him, "candy bars and carrots". He still needed to look in the package to make sure there was no soil and I was good to go. Michelle and Brad loved the goodies.

When we took Michelle's things down to school in August we stopped near Brigham City to get some peaches so I could can. I hadn't canned peaches in over 20 years and learned quickly that organization is very important. Next year I will more efficient for sure.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Michelle's blog

Mark is out of town and he has the computer that I know how to use, thus no posts from me lately. I am using a MAC, which is nice, but I don't know how to use it like our PC so for this post you have to go to Michelle's blog here.

Laurel drove down from Rexburg with some roomates for conference weekend and Michelle has posted some fun pictures. I still can hardly believe I am old enough to have four children this old and in college. It is crazy! By the way, Clark is having a great time in Israel and loving every minute of it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Neal is 14

Saturday, September 12, 2009


The weather here has finally smartened up around here and the whole week is suppose to be really nice. Hope the weather man is right. Karen, Mark's sister, is having a birthday tomorrow so she wanted a little get together in Waterton Park today. Cameron Lake was perfect for canoing!

This was taken at the head of the lake which I think is in the U.S. Feel free to correct me if that is not true.

Nice! Isn't Mark funny?

From the dock to the other side is about 1 1/2 miles. The water was calm with a slight breeze, perfect!

This is taken as we headed back to the shore.

Gary, Pam, Kelly, Karen, me and Mark.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Trip to Provo

Last week Mark, Neal and I drove to Provo to drop off Michelle's things for school. Michelle had flown out to DC a week prior to drive back to Provo with Brad while stopping at church sites along the way. They stopped for a night in Ohio and stayed with the Mitchells who used to be in our ward in California. (thank you Terry and Cheryl for letting them stay with you, they had a GREAT time and said you guys are SO fun!)Michelle and Brad had a great time driving together with stories to tell which makes for fun memories. Road trips are fun. Laurel also just returned from a road trip as well, with her roomates to the west coast from Seattle to Oregon to the Redwood forest and San Fransisco where they were able to get super great seats to Wicked for 25 bucks! Lucky ducks!

We love to hear Laurel sing so before she took off for the fall we had her do a mini concert for us at Grandma Cahoon's house. Pam, Mark's sister is always to willing to play the piano for us. It is nice to have a piano player in the family to call on.

While in Provo we stayed at Jamie and Rob's home (Pam's daughter) which was nice. They live right off of 9th east so it was close to everything. One morning Jamie put on her second annual "cousins breakfast" which was fun. She made crepes with all the fixings. The gathering was small this year as there could be close to 30 or so or more or less. Lots of them anyway.

Move in day for Michelle.

Her apartment is on 300 North, away from the hustle and bustle of BYU which is a little farther than we intended,but she has nice roomates(who are a bit older)and the apartment is not too shabby. She has her own room and shares with one other girl.

I think Michelle is going to miss me and I'll miss her too. Little Michelle in college? I still can hardly believe it.