Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Watching Sugar Pop

Kierra had the great honor of babysitting the Kindergarten class guinea pig over the summer.  She loved playing with him (Sugar Pop) her whole Kindergarten year, so when summer vacation time came, her teacher asked me if Kikki could take him home over the summer and babysit him.  We agreed, hoping our cat wouldn't eat him for a midnight snack.

We found that Sugar Pop has a fun personality, and loves to be held.  He loves to eat carrots and celery.  We learned to wrap him in a towel before holding him.  Did you know that guinea pigs cannot be potty-trained?  Yep...we do now!  In fact, it seems to be a sign of affection for him to pee on your lap!  He loved to be hand fed celery and then stretch out on your lap and fall asleep.  Even Treyton and Brenlon enjoyed having Sugar Pop around, and thought he was "awesome" and "cool".

Summer came to an end, and we took Sugar Pop back to school. 
We all enjoyed having him in our home, and go to the Kindergarten room now and then to say hello to Sugar Pop.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ocean Fishing--Day 3

We woke up to a beautiful morning!  It was calm enough that we were able to go out into the open ocean waters.  I was amazed at how beautiful and calm it was!  It felt like we were on a lake! 

We again started jigging for fish, sometimes we anchored and sometimes we drifted.  It was fun to jig and feel the differences in the ocean bottom.  Sometimes it was really rocky and we got our lines hooked on rocks if we didn't jig fast enough.

The highlights of the day:  Brett caught a  pretty big shark (I caught one too, but mine was only about 18 inches long),

Brenlon caught 3 sea cucumbers (they seemed to like him!),

Treyton caught a huge ling cod (49 pounds),

and I caught a huge halibut (110 pounds)!!

  Treyton also caught a huge skate (Bill said it was about 250 pounds).  We let it go, as it wasn't good for eating. 

We also caught a big sunfish.

 The kids loved checking it out.

It was an amazing trip that we will cherish.  Lots of fish, crabbing, laughter, and most important time together.

Ocean fishing, Day 2

On day 2,  we fished for salmon in the early morning.  We then went further out to start jigging for other types of fish.  We had a great time, and caught an amazing amount of different kinds of fish:  halibut, ling cod, rock fish, snapper, and sole.  Brenlon had the biggest catch of the day:  a 46 pound halibut!  It was so fun to watch the kids reel in those fish!

We slept hard, and couldn't wait to see what day 3 brought!

Ocean Fishing

In August, we took our family ocean fishing in British Columbia. We had an amazing time together, and hope to do it again soon. We charted a boat with Bill Stanley (Brett's scout master when he was growing up). He was great to work with, and made the trip really fun. We got on the boat in Port Edward.

Our first day fishing, we caught mostly salmon. The kids got bored fairly quickly, so we went to where Bill docks for the night, and spent the rest of the day exploring the beaches. Bill showed Treyton and Brenlon how to work the crab traps, and they caught crab for us to eat every night. Yum!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Back to nature

Friday evening the kids were outside playing in the back yard. They came in all excited, and told us there was a skunk stuck in our window well.

A what????

Indeed....there it was. We called animal control, who told us they didn't deal with skunks, but that we could call ODF&W (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife). They would be open first thing Monday morning.
Monday morning? Thanks so much!!! That's sooo helpful. Meanwhile, my laundry room window is chuck full of wildlife smell. Whooo Whee!!! We plan to lower a board down there tonight to see if he can climb out on his own. Hopefully he hasn't gotten too addicted to the cat food the kids have been throwing down there to him, and he will go back to the wild.
I love living in the country, but sometimes it seems we are REALLY close to nature!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Travels, All-Stars, and Medical fun

I'm experiencing a strange sensation today. Brett left yesterday to head to Missouri to spend the weekend with his grandparents. I'm excited for him to get to spend some time with them, and yet it's a strange feeling to not have him around for the 4th of July holiday. The kids and I will have a great weekend, though, and I'm sure Brett will also.

Kindra made the Major Girls Softball All-Star team. Their first game is on July 4. Can't get any more American than playing ball on the 4th of July, unless we eat some apple pie during the game, right? She is excited to play. She is playing Center Field, and is great at catching pop flies, and has a pretty good arm to get the ball back in quickly. They have games on July 4, 5, 6, & 7. The top 4 teams then play in the semi-finals on July 8. The final game is on July 9.

Brenlon made the Babe Ruth 15 yr old All-Star team. He plays pitcher and 2nd Base. He has 2 games on July 9, one game on July 10, and one on July 11. The semi-finals and final game are on July 12. Brenlon is a great ball player, and is having a great time.

We've also had a bit of fun balancing medical appointments with their All-Star practices, as well as beginning soccer practice for the other 4 kids. Talk about a busy summer. Kindra had a mole removed from her temple on June 23. We went to a plastic surgeon in Boise to have it removed. Our doctor here didn't like the looks of it, as it looked like it could be pre-cancerous. She got her stitches out (6 of them) on June 29 (happy birthday to me). At that appointment I talked to our doctor about some chest pains Kindra has been having. He thought it was probably just sports-related asthma, but wanted to have an echocardiogram done just to be safe, as she had a hole in her heart as a baby. We woke up this morning to head to her echo, and 1/2 of Kierra's face was all swelled up. She told me yesterday that her lip hurt, but I didn't see anything wrong with it. This morning, however, it was pretty obvious that she has a tooth that has absessed. She was in quite a bit of pain. After an emergency call to the Dentist's after-hours hot-line, we headed into LaGrande, hoping he would call us back soon. Long story short, Kindra's echo went really well. She has slight leaks in 2 of her valves, but we were told that is quite common. He didn't see any holes or abnormalities, or anything that would be causing her pains. Whew!!! Kierra is now on an antibiotic to get the swelling down, and will have her baby tooth pulled on Monday. Hopefully that will take care of the problem, and the permanent tooth will be okay.

As I sat in the room during Kinni's echo, trying to help her not panic and trying to keep Kikki calm and pain free, I felt such peace and calm. I'm so grateful for the gospel in my life. I have those moments in my life when I think (just as that sweet sister in General Conference did): I can do hard things!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Swine Showmanship 101

We just had our big livestock show last week. It's always a crazy week, but this year I actually enjoyed it without any stress. My kids are at great ages. They actually did all the work themselves this year, without any help from me...even ironing their show clothes! They all did a great job in showmanship. All four of them got a call-back, and were in the Championship round for their age division. They also did really well in the Livestock Judging contest. Kindra got 1st place in the Junior division, and Brenlon got 2nd place in the Intermediate division and 2nd place overall!

They have a fun competition called the "Older than Dirt" Showmanship. The kids can sign their parents or 4-H leaders up to show their animals. Well, my boys thought it would be really funny to sign me up to show a pig. I think they thought it would teach me a lesson on how hard it is to get in the show ring and make your pig behave, smile, etc. I finally agreed to do it...much to the kids' suprise! I chose to show Jayden's pig, Frederic, because he was the best behaved pig of the four. Much to our suprise, I did a pretty good job (and Frederic was very well behaved), and I was called back for the final round! There were 5 of us "old people" in the final round. I figured I was doing a great job, and actually had a shot at the Champion ribbon. The judge asked us all a really difficult question, and I was the only one to get the answer right. Then the judge took our show sticks away, and made us come and get them at the other end of the ring along the fence. We could only grab our stick if we still had one hand on our pig. The other four got their pigs over there in a wild stampede. It reminded me of when WalMart opens it's doors for the after-Thanksgiving sales. Frederic, being the calm well mannered pig that he was, wanted nothing to do with the mad dash. I couldn't get him near there for the life of me. Finally, someone felt sorry for me, and handed me my stick. At that point, I figured my chances of winning were gone, but I didn't really care....I was just trying to keep smiling while breathing hard and trying not to fall over with fatigue!! They handed out the Reserved Champion ribbon to some guy, and then handed out the Champion ribbon to....(can you believe it!) ME!!! It was really fun. The boys were excited for me, yet groaned a little that their plan backfired. Now people were telling them how I had shown them up! They also didn't appreciate me telling them that now they HAD to listen to me when I told them how to show, as I was a Champion Showman!! HEE HEE! That part was really fun! Of course, we have no pictures of the whole thing. I asked the kids if they went and got the camera and took any pictures. They said, "No, that's your job, Mom." Oh well. Maybe next year.