All of todays photos are from the hike I took on Sunday afternoon just before the polar vortex hit.  As it is -20 ish as I type, I’m thinking my timing was pretty great.  I’d love to get back up Cottonwood Canyon with my camera and document the changes over the past three days, but . . . I’m just not crazy enough to do that in this frigid weather.


So instead I’ll focus on being grateful and maybe if I’m lucky I’ll go for an indoor walk at the mall.

I do have much to be thankful for and a loving and caring God who provides so very much.  These details are absolute assurance to me that he loves and cares for me specifically – how else would all these blessings come into my life?


3676.  Live in housesitter so we can take a trip and the animals will be cared for

3677.  Dinner and photos share with Brett and Roberta

3678.  Safe travels to and from Cody with no car issues.

3679.  Beauty of two different parts of Yellowstone seen on weekend travels through the park.

3680.  Sharing time with the Becker clan.


3681.  Good meaty discussion with J in the car as we travel.

3682.  Arriving home to a clean house.

3683.  Beautiful sun drenched morning photographing Julia

3684.  Walking and talking with Elizabeth on the phone.

3685.  Beautiful fall weather

3686.  J’s grades holding steady where he wants them.


3687.  Phone call with Daniel and Stacy

3688.  Danielle likes youth group.

3689.  Freedom for a client who sat in jail a long time before justice came his way.

3690.  Strength shown by Miss M. in a difficult situation.

3691.  Chance to learn more about photography.

3692. Great inspiring blog post by Ann Voskamp


3693.  Homemade apple sauce for breakfast.

3694.  Friendships in the school community

3695.  20 young chickens for free

3696.  Unexpected evening home watching game 7 as a family – and the Giants won making my boy so happy!\

3697.  Beautiful sunsets several days in a row.

3698.  Tank’s ability to help find missing little chickens


3699.  Looking forward to Advent

3700.  Variety of little chickens and how much Tank loves them.

3701.  Success in court for dear friends.

3702.  Referral of a new case that highlights Andy’s skills and faith.

3703.  Supportive phone calls from friends on a down day.

3704.  Second visit with the Becker clan – this time at our house.

3705.  New cases to replace those that are wrapping up.

3706.  Honesty/transparency character of the folks in our Bible Study group


3707.  Warm clothes to wear as the weather turns.

3708.  Fun watching the chickens around the yard.

3709.  Great positive feedback from teachers at parent teacher conferences.

3710.  Misty sunrise

3711.  Chickens surviving in bitter cold

3712.  Hike up Cottonwood Canyon before the snow flies.

3713.  Paul not injured in an accident sliding off the ice.

3714.  Having enough to get bills paid without stress.

3715.  Significant progress on over coming debt burden


Categories: Autumn, berries, Blessings, chickens, Cottonwood Canyon, Daily life, Extended Family, Faith, Fall, Fall leaves, gratitude, Hiking, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, Thankful to God, Weather | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Been a while since I did a five on Friday so thought I’d go for it again.  And it has been a while since I’ve focused on my boy, so this time, five photos and five facts focused on my so.




It was weird to take photos during  a worship service, but what mom could resist memorializing her son’s participation as part of the worship team.  This was actually his second service participating.  It isn’t every week that he plays his cajon, but he really looks forward to it.  He’s working towards playing the full drum set in a service, and since his drum teacher is also the worship leader for the service we attend, I think he’ll get there.


TWO:sm-6J is a very social guy – loves to be with his peers and loves to attend family orientated activities.  He’s got friends from our Bible Study/church group, friends from his current school, friends from his old school, and friends from karate.  Some of his friends (as above) are younger, especially at karate.  But at school many of his friends are older (he eats lunch with the Juniors).  And since he moved up to the adult class at karate, he is putting his ability to relate to adults to good use and has lots of adult friends.  Just this week he was the only under 40 invited to a birthday party for a woman turning 75, and she was very specific she wanted him there.  Socially he’s in good shape.




Although he doesn’t have a girl friend, or date (or even express an interest in actual dating) he has consistently shown himself to be a gentleman with the girls his age.  Here he went back, got his shoes wet, and helped his friend from Bible Study across when she got nervous about balancing over the creek. 

I know I recently posted about how he has a friend from kindergarten – well, he’s known the girl in this picture and her sister since he was three, and we did a couple of hikes with her family this summer.





J is playful and competitive.  These four kids are the four who went to the Karate National Championship competition together back in July, and they love to play together – and most of their play includes some sort of competition.  But we are blessed that J is generally a well-rounded competitor. 

He does not like to lose, but he is gracious when it does happen.  And he’s learned in the last year or so not to be so discouraged by a loss that he gives up.  In fact, we saw it at the National Championship tournament – he did not place in the Kata competition on Friday and was very disappointed in that, but he held it together




J will tell you that he doesn’t want to “hike” but once you get him out there he does pretty well and enjoys himself.  What he really likes are extreme sports like ice climbing, snow boarding fast, rock climbing, mountain biking and things that generally give him an adrenalin rush.  So when I take him hiking he does things like scale the cliff along the trail (see above). 

Categories: Family Fun, Five on Fridays, Hiking, Hyalite, J, Karate, kids, Montana, Outdoors, Photography | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment


sm-3852The Beaten Path is a well used path from Cook City Montana (North East corner of Yellowstone) to East Rosebud Lake Montana through the Beartooth Mountains and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.  It is usually backpacked in a couple or three days.  But we felt up to the challenge of doing the whole thing in one day.

We got to the trail head at 6:20 a.m., took a few photos and started walking.  It was barely light outside.

sm-3855This hike was a jubilee – celebration of 7 x 7 years – but some of us were older than 49 (not me).

sm-3862Much of the trail was mucky from the rains the days before.

sm-3869There was morning mist on the meadows.






And above 8000 feet the wild flowers were still blooming on August 16th.



sm-3896The lakes were stunning and often dotted with the endless circles of fish jumping.

sm-3897But we didn’t have time to wet a fly, had to keep moving to get it all done in a day, since that was the challenge.


Sometimes it was hard to tell where the lake ended and the river began.


Sometimes I was ahead of others . . .


And sometimes I brought up the rear.








It was 10 miles up to the highest pass – where we had lunch at a little after noon.  Only 16 miles to go!



There was snow way up there at 10,000 feet.




One of us may have learned that snow in August is not particularly soft to plop down into, but a snow angel was made regardless of the hard landing.





It was all beautiful! And then . . .sm-4022

We ran into two of the ladies’ husbands who were hiking the whole thing in reverse.  It was a nice little short visit – we didn’t even sit down.  They still were headed up and we were about a mile into our downward trek.







Waterfalls were a theme on the 16 mile down hill section – I lost count, but I bet it was more than a dozen waterfalls, some of them so large that I couldn’t fit them into the view of my 50mm lens.  I selected this lens because it was the lightest weight one I have, and mounted on my camera it all fit into my fanny pack worn turned to the front for easy access.


Along with the waterfalls, the views on the down hill section continued to be breath-taking.  If we had more time I’m sure each of us would have jumped in a lake and/or river, and would have just sat on a rock and contemplated the beauty of God’s creation as it was being revealed to us.  But we were trying to be done by dark (which we were, but just barely).


The last 4 or 5 miles were pretty rocky on the down hill, and it was a bear to deal with as by that time the knees were hurting pretty bad.  Nothing 800 mg of ibuprofen couldn’t address, but the going was slow as the trail was steep (lots of stair-step type trail with uneven landings and rocks galore!)  With about 2 miles of this left my Andy met us on the trail.sm-4091

By the time we finished the sun was gone from the canon, but the peaks were still glowing.

When we were all done Andy had ice cream sandwiches waiting for us kept frozen with dry ice, and then he took us all out to a famous burger place called the Grizzly Bar in Roscoe Montana.  It was delicious.

Amazingly, not as sore as I expected the next day, and by 48 hours later, not sore at all.  Those knees recover quicker than I think they will.

So, this hike was the reason I hiked and hiked and hiked all summer long – I was in training.  Now just back to daily walks, and the 4 – 5 miles seems like such a small endeavor now.

Categories: Bear Tooth Mountains, Beaten Path, flowers, Hiking, Montana, Montana summers, Outdoors, Photography, River, snow, Summer, Travel | Leave a comment




































































Categories: Andy, Andy's Family, Cottonwood Canyon, Daily life, Family Fun, flowers, Hiking, Hyalite, J, Karate, kids, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Summer, Tahoe, Travel, Vacation | Leave a comment



Matt and Lisa (Miki) bravely brought their girls up the trail a full mile to get to the first crossing of Cottonwood Creek in late May.  The water was rushing, but the trail just before the bridge was a fantastic spot for a little family fun.


This fun family serves as the leadership for the CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) organization on the Montana State University campus here in Bozeman, and I met them through church.   Not only do they provide great connection with young people learning about Christ, but Matt is a talented musician who generously shares his gifts with our congregation.


And then there are their beautiful daughters!  Oh my!  They are cuteness defined!  And so happy and easy to take on a little photography adventure.


It was my pleasure to spend an hour or so of time getting to know them better, watching them play together and capturing it to share with the world.  Truly it was a blessed morning!






Categories: Black and White Conversions, Cottonwood Canyon, Family Fun, Family photographer, Hiking, kids, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Spring | Leave a comment



J is out-of-town – on a trip to the East Coast with a group from his school, so Andy and I were alone (except for Paul, who lives in the basement).  Anyway, part of my training for a big hike in August is to do long hikes on Saturdays.  This week was scheduled for a 12 miler, so Andy joined me.  It was very fun!


We actually joined up with some friends by accident – the wife of that couple is doing the same training I am, but we thought they were going at the crack of dawn, so when we saw their car at the trailhead around 9 a.m. we assumed we’d see them hiking down while we were still on our way up.  So we had some company almost the whole way because we saw them just past a mile into the hike (we caught up with them, which suggests we were at a faster pace? Oh wait, it’s not a competition).

These two photos were taken about five miles in.  If you look closely you will see a dog (our friends’) chasing an elk at the edge of the meadow.  But the view in that meadow was just breath-taking! 

IMG_3021smOther than that big hike there were some hours at the office, some house keeping, gardening, photographing of flowers, bbqing and other cooking, and general relaxing.  Nice to have a start on the weeding done. 

J comes home on Tuesday (late) and we can’t wait.  It is a busy week at the office, but I hope to post some more flower photos. 

Gotta find a real live person willing to model for some photos – got some ideas to try!

Categories: Andy, Daily life, flowers, Hiking, J, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Spring, Summer | Leave a comment



Categories: flowers, Hiking, Outdoors, Photography, Spring, Summer | 1 Comment


IMG_2071_8409smLife seems to be just barely hanging in there these days, but the point is it is hanging in there.

Andy’s client was convicted – but the jury told the judge, who told Andy that Andy did a great job and they really liked him.  Some consolation in that.IMG_2077_8415smLeo made what seems to be a bit of a comeback last week, and avoided being put down – now he’s struggling again, but I think the issue is the extreme cold.  He just needs us to move to a tropical location.IMG_2066_8404smLast of the Christmas packages got mailed today – yeah!  Why is such a simple task such a bear to accomplish every year?IMG_2055_8393sm

J and I were down for the count to a cold virus for the last week, but both seem to finally be on the mend. 

Just a couple more days of the crazies and then I think things will slow down for a week or so – and that includes Christmas day.


Categories: Daily life, Hiking, Leo, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Winter | Leave a comment



IMG_9332_6643smFor those who know me well, this is sort of headline making news because I do not like mushrooms – at least not as a food item.  Yuck!  Sorry, I know that offends some, but since childhood I have not enjoyed them.  And no, this experience, while very cool, did not inspire me to want to try mushrooms.  I repeat: “Yuck!”

IMG_9419_6730smAnyway, I joined Daniel, Eva and their children for a romp in the woods up Hyalite Canyon to look for mushrooms – they asked me to come take some photos.  It was a wet morning, with clouds hanging low over the canyon walls, and I loved it!  Reminded me of my days up in the drippy foggy north coast of California – temps were moderate too, all that was missing was the smell of the ocean nearby mixed with the unique smell of redwood trees, and of course the occasional banana slug.  But since I feel about banana slugs about as I feel about eating mushrooms, I was perfectly content to be here in the Rocky Mountains.

IMG_9048_6359smFall was evident all around us – although we haven’t really had a hard frost yet, so things are still a contrast of green and yellow and brown all around.  The decoration of the water droplets just enhanced the whole visual experience!

IMG_9201_6512smWhat this experience did inspire me towards is to squeeze in a few more morning hikes in the mountains before the snow flies.  I think this weekend I’ll be heading up to Lava Lake one morning for a vigorous walk and some photo taking.  Hopefully it will be a frosty or drippy morning because that just makes it all the better!

IMG_9385_6696smAs a general update (since I’m not finding the time to blog as regularly as I’d like) wanted those far away to know we are doing well, school continues to go well for J, Andy is busy preparing for his three jury trials this fall (one in particular), Leo is getting along well with his blindness, I’ve got more photos to process than time to do so, and we are all content in our different activities and having fun together when we can.

Hopefully at least a photo posted a day this week – we’ll see.

Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Fall, flowers, Hiking, Hyalite, J, Leo, Outdoors, Photography | 2 Comments


IMG_8842smFall has pretty much arrived here – still get some warm days, but the trees have yellowing leaves and some have even begun to drop to the ground.  We don’t have those real hot days, and most days a sweat shirt or sweater are appropriate during at least a portion of the day.

So, the Breuner family is thinking of things like getting fire wood (we always start later than we should on this project) and do we want to take a photo for our Christmas card while the weather is still decent.  To that end we drove up into the mountains last weekend and took some photos.

IMG_8896smAfter a summer of light available well into the evening, we realized we had miscalculated how long we would have light, so that when we got to our goal destination it was already into that pink glow time of evening.

IMG_8894smWe rushed a few shots and enjoyed the time together.


Then we got the bike out of the truck and J rode down the hill – in the ever-increasing darkness and the sprinkling rain.  6 miles down the hill on that bumpy dirt road.

IMG_8942smSorry for the poor quality photos, but this is what you get when you are sitting in the dark in open back of the truck bumping along in the rain trying to keep the camera dry but get the boy the photos he wants – grainy as can be, but what he wanted.  It was fun to watch him ride, scary, but fun too.

IMG_8933smWe are definitely raising an adrenaline junkie!

Categories: Daily life, Family Fun, Hiking, Hyalite, Outdoors, Photography, Summer | 1 Comment

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