October Photo Challenge ~ My Month in Pictures

1. Where You Stood ~ At school, and the hike we did the day before.

2. Lunch ~ while on a hike. 

3. This happened today! And our power was out for 15 hours because of it! Yikes, winter!

4. What I read ~ to my kids     5. What I'm thankful for ~ The Big Salad and the family. 

6. Shadow     7. Light

8. Angle   9. Red

10. Emotion ~ fighting with his little sis.   11. Something Close Up ~ snuggles 

12. On the Table ~ Yes, I woke up, walked into the kitchen, and there was my baby's scoot - car, on the table.   13. Landscape ~ We don't usually need to use this road. It's much longer and gavel the whole way home. But our road was having work done. The last of the face lift. And they closed it that weekend! 

14. Makes Me Laugh ~ and did we ever when I showed him the pic and told him I wanted to put it on the Internet for all to see. He's such a good sport!   15. Dinnertime ~ in Little Town.  16. Something I Wrote ~ and yes, "Blow out candles" is on the job chart so they will quit fighting about who blows them out. We light candles at dinner, no mater what we eat, because the table wobbles and it makes the flame flicker and that reminds them to SIT STILL! 

17. Fruit ~ at bedtime!   18. Made Me Smile Today ~ A total impulse buy, but I LOVE Hello Kitty! Check out my Pinterest Board!    19. Letters

20. 4 O'clock ~ At the hair salon, and was it ever over due! It's been a year! (Scary!)   21. Calm
22. In Your Town ~ I love this old drugstore sign.   23. The View From Here ~ snow again.

24. Weather ~ Oh yeah, winter is messing with us! It's all melted now and yesterday was in the high 60's.  25. People ~ having lunch.  26. Listening To ~ The New Pooh Movie. Bunny's most used word is "Pooh!" as she dictates what we watch… all the time!

27. Morning    28. Looking Back ~ this great old sign is seen as you leave the Cut Bank, MT area. I just had to snap a picture, the front says Ranch.

29. Moon ~ the moon was full, but the clouds were playing hide and seek. I thought it easier to share this lovely pastel work my dear Lulu made. 30. Clothes ~ Bean trying on her costume. We added more tulle to the skirt. I will share the finished product shortly. Can you tell we like owls around here?

31. Whatever You Please ~ This Halloween day turned out foggy and spooky looking! And the Yellow Giants that surround the house are not helping at all! 

Can you believe it  is November tomorrow? Catch the November list here!


Winter, Whether we Want it or Not

Winter is playing tricks on us this year. 
She snuck up quick then melted away. 
She sent an icy wind.  

She took our autumn leaves in one breath. 
She loves to do that.

I as prepared. I wore my warm boots. 
But that day warmed up and I was too hot. 
She's tricky like that.

She leaves her dustings everywhere.
It makes the world look like a wonderland.
A grey wonderland.
With powdered sugar on top. 

The mountains play hide and seek in the clouds.

But there is always hope. 
A chinook will come. 
The warm air from the north.

See, the ice is already melting. 

I'm linking up with these Great Blogs today! 

Ni Hao Yall

Don't forget to join us next Sunday for a Sunday Potluck Blog Hop! 
Grab the badge and let everyone know! Thanks!  



Jr High Basketball

The last 2 months have been crazy! 
My daughter was on the Jr high basketball team. 
That has meant I have been driving. 
A lot! 
 I estimate that I drove about 2100 miles in the last month and a half. 

They were a really good team. They came in 3rd over all. 
I'm so proud! 
It was worth ever mile!  


A Lasting Impression on My Girls or My Waistline?

This is not a diet blog. But I do remember when I was a kid….

When I was a kid my parents would sometimes get on a diet kick. They were into health and fitness and would try new fad diets now and then. Like the fruit diet. Nothing but fruit before noon!

It is through my parents trying to start healthy habits that taught me to make healthy habits and I am hoping that these will be passed down to my own kids. So far it seems to be working. Somewhat. My kids will eat salads, brown and wild rice and it's really not very often that they get white bread. Although they do love it.

I have followed in my parents footsteps and have read a fad diet book or two. In fact, I tend to enjoy health books more than a good novel. And I love a good novel! But I wonder what impression this is making on my own girls. I have seen the ugly part of diet and food obsessions first hand through roommates and friends. I myself have never had a poor self image. Until now.

After each pregnancy I have worked really hard to get my body back in shape and to my post pregnancy size. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) long before we started having kids and I knew from the start that diet and exercise was critical to my bodies ability to fight for itself, against it's self.

Spring 2010
But after the third child, I went bonkers to get in shape for our 15th anniversary trip to the Caribbean. I wanted to be able to wear a bikini. Which I did. And I looked great (for having 3 kids).

Now, this was 2 years after I had given birth to Bear. I worked hard for 2 years to get where I was. But I can't stop hating myself now, a year and a half after having the fourth kid, for not being bikini ready. Even though I am not giving myself the same time frame as before. Nor am I working as hard… if at all! It's harder to give myself the time to workout with the number of kids around here.

This has made me worry, after all, I have never been so hard on myself. But I also worry for my girls. I remember my parent's fitness and diet efforts. They still work hard in their 70's to be in shape, fit and healthy. So how much of this self loathing are my two Tweens picking up? And what affect is it having on them? My parents weren't about the skinny. It's always about health. As it really is to me too. So why am I being so hard on myself?

Adventure Man and I have always been very careful. We love to workout but have only referred to a diet as "A Program" and it has always been for the sake of being healthy. Not to be skinny. Although that result is nice!

Now I have a new program. I have been looking into the concept that my food can affect the reaction my body has to the MS. This concept makes perfect since and I can feel the results almost immediately. But the changes this program suggests are more lifestyle changing than I have ever dealt with and that has brought on a whole new rang of emotions.
The Veggie Diet. No Gluten, no dairy, no eggs. Oh My!

This morning I was morning the loss of the egg. Something I have always had each morning. Is it really a trigger? Well, for now I am eliminating all so I can reintroduce and test. We shall see.

And right now. I'm not even hungry. So I'm going to quite complaining, and remember how blessed I am to be healthy. Even if I am still a few sizes away from my goal.

My kids don't care what I look like in my skinny jeans.

No, this is not a diet blog, or even a fitness blog. But this is something that is going on. And it's changing everything. SO I guess I can't really help it if I talk about it.


Reflections ~ One Year Ago

I always like to look back at the photos on the computer and see what I took pictures of a year ago on that dates. I felt it was time to share another post about it. 

When you have small children it's always amazing to see the difference.  

Remember when all the toys just fit in one basket? 
And she was fascinated by the simple ones. 
She would sit and play. Not toddle and destroy!

 "One Sock" 

And there was the afternoon I asked the older kids to watch the baby, 
only to find that they had put her in the linen closet.

 It made since to them, after all, it is their favorite place to play! 
They were just sharing their hiding place. 

Now it is her favorite place to hide too. 


Sunday Potluck ~ I'm Starting it up!

OK folks! I've been wanting to have a blog hop party for a while and I'm actually going to attempted it! (Yikes)  

Here's the idea, now and then, at church they announce that they will be having a potluck and if everyone could please bring a main dish AND a side dish OR a dessert

Easy enough, right? 

Well, as you can imagine, the menu will vary immensely from potluck to potluck! Sometimes there is a ton of jello salads and other times there are what seem like a hundred brownies. But every time is a lot of fun, yummy food and great visiting. 

So, no, you don't have to go to church. 
You don't have to bring a dish, recipe or even pictures of food. Remember, this is NOT a cooking blog. However, if you ARE a cooking blog, you are still welcome. 

Everyone is welcome!

I want this Sunday Potluck to be a chance to just link up your blog, visit other blogs and make new friends! If you follow along with my Ramblings then you know I link up lots of my posts with lots of other blogs, and I have met some pretty awesome bloggers. So I would love for my followers and your followers to get a chance to meet each other. 
And have FUN! 

A Word From The Management:
(Order, Order!)

1. Follow me, please, it helps me keep track! 
2. Link your blog's main page, not a specific post.
3. Visit as many new blogs as you can and leave some comment love. 
Let people know if you are a new follower!
4. Be nice! We are all in the Blog World for our own reasons! But we all want support, "If you can't say something nice, don't." Be constructive! Thanks!
5. Post the badge on your blog! 
(It took me ages to figure out how to make the darn thing! LOL)

Lastly, this is a Monthly Blog Hope and will happen the first Sunday of each Month. So our first link up will be November 4th. If you plan on linking up, please add the badge to your blog side bar so we can get the word out! 
See You There!



The Dollhouse Diaries

When I was a kid my Dad made me a dollhouse. It was beautiful and huge and he hand shingled the top and wired it for electricity and had a handmade staircase and…. well, it was just really special. But when we were newly married and living in a little town home and had our first sweet baby girl, they brought it all the way out to Utah to us with all the beautiful (and expensive) furniture. Shortly after that my niece who was a toddler reached in the front door and broke the staircase. It was just too delicate to have with such little kids around. Plus, it was huge!

We sold it in a yard sale. It was one of the hardest things I've ever gotten rid of. 

For some reason I thought I had gotten rid of the furniture too. But the other day my Mom called and asked if she could send it to my older girls. At first I said no! Because I'm always trying to get rid of stuff! But then I started thinking. 

Lulu still likes to play with dolls sometimes. And this stuff is fun to just set up and move things around. She has her own room here but it's really small and most of the toys have been put in the other kids room's. She has complained about not having anything to play with. Or she takes thing into her room and has to take it all back to put it away. I had a DVD shelf in the living room that I couldn't keep DVDs on anymore because Bunny was getting into them. Lulu could use that to set up the furniture! 

Lulu loved the idea, and she asked if I would take pictures of them and share them on my blog! Well, of course I loved that idea! And it's so fun to see the way she sets up the sines and the memories they hold for me! 

So this is the start of the Dollhouse Diaries! 
It's just us having some fun! 

Today, Mama is making dinner down in the kitchen. 
(The lower shelf)

 While Grandma, Grandpa and Papa visit in the parlor. 
Apparently they are discussing their next world travel. 
Grandma is sitting by the fire, which Lulu made herself and put one in every room! So cozy!

The children are playing in their room. The poor little boy had a mishap (see the crutch Lulu made him from toothpicks? Tiny Tim anyone?) before my children learned how delicate the dolls were. 
They are 30 years old after all!  (Oh my! Really???) 

 I wanted to share the master bedroom aswell. Lulu hung a picture of Christ on the wall and she also put the kitchen sink in the corner. That's going to make it kind of hard for Mama to clean up after supper. However, it will make heading off to bed much easier. 

Next time we will share the bathroom! I know you just can't wait! 
Hope you enjoyed our Dollhouse Diaries! 


Fall Concert in Little Town

The Fall Concert was this week. My Lulu is in choir. She loves it! I'm so happy because I was in choir.

Since I was in 4th grade, I have sung in a choir. Well, up through high school anyway. I'm not all that musically inclined and I'm sad to say that none of my kids have had much music lessons either, so band was a little much for her. But choir is fun. And she loves it! And that's all that matters to me!

I wanted to share the night and thought it would be fun to Embrace the Camera at the same time. So here is me and Bunny waiting for it to start. 

Our school is small and the high school and Jr high are in the same building. So the concert included both schools. First the Jr high choir sang, then the high school choir. Next the the Jr high band performed followed by the high school band. Everyone did so great. It was such a great night. 

Bear and Bean, and "baby Dinosaur, Sophie" being so well behaved. For the most part! 

Jr High Choir. They did so great for their first concert! I'm so proud!

Jr High Band. I'm so impressed with these kids! They must put a lot of time in to practicing. And I know so many of them do sports too! Way to go!

And Lulu, it was her night after all! I just can't get over how fast she is growing! She is an inch shorter than me and her feet are bigger! (That's good because I got most of my shoes back… most of them anyway!)


Keep'n Our Poop in a Pile

That is one of my favorite "funny mom things to say." My mom never said that one, but she has some really good ones. That is something I say, a lot. Every time we go anywhere, I see coats and shoes and what not all over someone else's house, or at church, or the lodge. I start saying, "Keep your poop in a pile, People! Poop in a pile!" The kids know, it means keep your stuff together. So that's what we're doing here at the Ranch. We're get'n the poop and putt'n it in a pile!

As I have mentioned before, this Guest Ranch is 82 years old. We just finished our 82nd season. Not that we have been running it that long. No, the original owners have past away. Their only son didn't want to continue in the business. Before they retired they sold the property to a company who had "keeping it up and running" in their dreams for the land. They bought the property in the 1980's. We now work for that company.

For the most part the property is the same as it was back in the day. Well, since the flood that wiped most of it away, but that was in the 60's and the owners were the ones who dug down in there boots and rebuilt it. Unfortunately, for us, not them, there have been a few building code changes since it was built. That happens to anyone who is running a business in or living in an old building. Or in our case, a lot of old buildings. So we've been making some changes here and there, over time. We've gotten tin roofs on all the buildings. I think it's just the outbuildings left to go. We've got to get rid of the diving board. The pools not big enough for the size of the board. The dinning hall needs a new floor. You know, things like that. But there is this one thing. This one Really big thing. I mean Big. We're talking poop sized!

So the day after the guests left, and the season was officially over, we started the most dreaded of the upgrades. The septic system. Up until next month, each cabin has had it's own septic tank, even ours. But now we will be up to code with a commercial drainage systome. And a centralized well, to boot! Woo hoo!

Even in the snow!

Why do you care? Well, you probably don't. But for us, it means this place is a mess. A loud-crazy-covered-in-construction-road-full-of-wholes mess.
Clearing a place to start the well

That's getting deep

Now every time little Miss Bunny hears the well drilling or the backhoe hit a rock, she leaps into my lap with fear. Poor little mouse!

I know, your life is better knowing this is what we're up to. Your welcome!