Monday, August 30, 2010

Family Pictures

It is Murphy's Law that when you have family pictures taken something immediately puts them out of date, right? Well, unless you're the type of family that has this done regularly. I think the last time we had them taken was when Megan was a baby; she's now seven. Last year I ordered the pictures we had taken in Minnesota and one day later we had a China referral. Very frustrating! I should have had them taken and ordered three years earlier if that was all it took! ;P
Let's face it, as a mom it is no small feat to get everyone in clean, coordinating clothes-especially when you're on vacation!
It is especially fun to try and maintain all those lovely smiles when you're ready to reach out and touch one of your kids during those pre-picture hassles.
I know this picture is almost corny the kids are so smiley, but don't they look like such a happy little crew?
I really like this one, but I wish the kids' faces were centered and Megan's dress was cut off. However, it's a good pictures of all of them.
Kenton and I noticed that Kaitlyn has been looking at our family picture on the piano-and she's not in it. Thus, family pictures two years in a row. I don't know about Kenton's family, but that HAS to be a record for my family. :D
Now I just need to get them ordered.


Jamison and Kenton ran a 5K yesterday at our church. I think there were 70+ runners.I got a laugh when I attempted a Holly-version of Chariots of Fire.
Almost done...I don't remember exactly, but their time was 29 minutes something. Not bad for a nine-year-old.
This is what the other kids did.
(Kenton could have done better but held himself back for Jamison.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

School Started

Davis began kindergarten on Monday. He looks pretty happy about it, eh? Several of us were a little worried that our resident farmer-in-training might be pretty cranky about being held captive away from his chosen habitat. He actually asked to do two pages of math today. What do you think the chances are that this type of enthusiasm will continue?Jamison is in third grade this year.
Megan is in second grade.
Kaitlyn doesn't want to miss out on all the excitement....
Well, actually she's been the cause of lots of excitement this week. I don't know if we're seeing the beginnings of the terrible twos or if she's just reacting to a lack of attention because I've been canning and the big kids were doing school. So far she's colored in several school books, used scissors to destroy several new diapers, colored on several treasured, but unprotected art projects, hidden an uneaten, moldy hotdog in her little kitchen, dismantled several photo albums, used watercolors as finger paint on her clothing, attempted to help herself to cheese every time the kitchen was unoccupied, redressed herself every two hours leaving discarded clothing scattered all over the house, and unfolded an entire basket of freshly washed and folded clothing.
Last week her big project of note was dumping ALL the kids puzzles and games together in a big pile and leaving the empty boxes scattered all over. Words fail me....

Canning and Chaos

They do go together for the rest of you, right?
Now that life is returning to just the normal amount of chaos and confusion I hope to blog a bit more.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wisdom from a Five-Year-Old

You have to be able to snore to be a farmer. If you snore you instantly become a farmer.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Iron Range Country

Open pit mines fill with water unless they're being pumped out. Here's the Hawkins Pit near my hometown.

Another pit near Hibbing.We took the kids to Ironworld.
Riding the tram
Big old dump trucks
Dad said my grandpa used to operate a Marion Shovel like this one.
Big kids in the Marion shovel give you some perspective how big this is.
Conveyor system
Minnesota has a lot of ethnic groups. The iron ranges are sometimes called the melting pot. Many immigrants came here early in the century to get jobs. One thing I miss about home is the celebration of ethnic heritage. I also miss Finn jokes.
Gotta love the Norwegian rosemaling and carving in this cabin.
Wouldn't this be the perfect fireplace for a gnome?
Mom loved this thing. She wants to try and make one. I don't want one. Ever. This is one piece of ethnic heritage I'll pass on, Finn or not.

Lots of Family

One highlight of being up north is there's lots of family around. My sister Kim and nephew Logan were able to spend a lot of time with us. Logan enjoyed watching the fish in the livebox as much as Kaitlyn did.The boy cousins are 9, 8, almost 6, and 5. They had a pretty good time together playing with legos. Tyler, Logan, Davis, and Jamison.
Jaycie is the oldest cousin. Megan loves her and Kaitlyn took a real shine to her, as well. She was a huge help taking care of Kaitlyn during my dad's retirement party. It freed me up so I could visit.
Wow! Here's a rare shot of my brother Jeff. He entrusted the new pontoon boat to the driving inexperience of Skipper Jamison.
There were lots of other family around, both local and those that made a special trip for my dad's retirement party. Family friends also made an effort to be there. It was really special to be able to catch up with so many people at one time and place.

We had dessert one night with Bill Helmuth's family. His dad, Perry, a true craftsman, did their kitchen. If I could have any cupboards I wanted, these are the ones I would pick, except I'd like a little more red in the stain.
This is one of mom's many landscaping projects. Obviously I did not inherit any of the landscaping gene from her.
Skipper Jamison at the helm.

Home, Home on the Range

The Mesabi iron range that is! The kids and I drove for two days to arrive in northern Minnesota. Mom and Dad have a beautiful house on Crooked Lake. This side faces the lake. The brothers own an arm shaped piece of property. Mom and Dad have a house at the elbow. Here's the view from the house.

Here's the other side of the elbow.The kids and Kenton did some fishing with my dad. I have to admit my favorite way to fish is with a good book. I didn't have a book along, but I did take some pictures.
Kaitlyn liked to squeal about the fish in the livebox.

Davis pulled in one.
Megan pulled in another.
Ordinarily Megan's the least squeamish of my kids....but she wasn't wild about the idea of kissing him like grandpa offered.
Jamison actually did more than pull in something that someone else caught, but it took awhile. He was getting discouraged when he finally caught a few and then lost them. Here's his first fish.
A few seconds later, he caught #2. If you look closely, you'll see that it's NOT bait.
It was a beautiful, lovely, typical night in northern Minnesota.
The kids also spent a lot of time swimming. The older three loved running and jumping off the dock. The older two were confidant enough in their doggy paddle to go out to the raft.
The leech population was abnormally populous. I've never seen so many. Ever. Not a big deal but gross.
Kaitlyn played in the water and the sand. Her current favorite word is "wawer".

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Daddy's Dream Come True

The night before we left for Minnesota, our county had their Black and White show. I guess from the picture you can guess what's black and white.All three older kids showed. Kenton looks forward to the shows every year and is thrilled that the kids have started looking forward to it. I like to sit in the stands and catch up with whoever is available. This usually means I have no idea what class is showing, how anyone did, etc. I try to be more enthusiastic when my kids are involved. I figure I deserve a merit badge if they've had a picnic lunch to eat after the bovines have been washed, made sure everyone had show clothes (Washed and clean wins me extra merit!), and purchased milk shakes for the family from whoever's been conned into handling the food booth. I occasionally have gone way beyond the call of duty and led obstreperous and unappreciative bovines(who look, smell, and taste better as burger), performed washrack duty, and even deserve the whole eagle scout badge for cleaning manure beads out of cow tails. Those days are over! However, one job I have consistently refused to perform, without exception, is toilet paper duty on bovine bottoms. Ugh!

Here's Kenton in a dream come true with his three kids in the ring. Davis has no idea what he's doing, but walks along and thinks he's contributed. :PNotice that white pants are required for showing. Obviously that rule setter never did laundry.

We got a bit lucky. Our calves should really have been worked with more, but no one got taken for a ride. Those calves behaved beautifully.

Jamison's cow placed (third?). Last year his calf also placed. Megan took it very personally that "she" didn't place. It was a challenge helping her understand that it was about the cow, not her.
Davis was a riot. This was the March calf he helped lead last year. Kenton has been really excited about how she looks. He "helped" by carrying the halter end and being oblivious to what was going on, but flashing a beatific grin when "his" cow placed. The cow did very well and was shown in numerous classes. Every time the cow won, Davis would be off in la-la land until he was handed a prize. He would get this delighted grin, wiggle his eyebrows, and swagger off with no clue as to how HE had just accomplished this great achievement. It was truly a riot!
My great achievement is that all the show pants are washed and together for next year....although I don't really know what's become of their farm shirts....