J

Welcome to the New Year (just a little late)

 

 

I’ve been busy this new year and am just now getting around to posting here.  Fortunately for me, some of my busy status has involved my camera.  So I’ll share a few photos along with a few update facts.  Hope you enjoy.small-4305Spent the morning of the first day of the year on the Gallatin River – cold but beautiful!

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Looking to a year of growth in professional life for both Andy and I – he as an attorney, me as a photographer.  This starting to identify myself as a photographer is hard – I envision a full schedule and a fully developed business is necessary, but the fact is those things will not come until first I identify myself as a photographer.  Sometimes I struggle to get things in the right order, but I’m working on it!

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My “one little word” for this year is Photography.  Yep, trying to fully integrate this identity.  Plus, it just brings me great joy!  I have so many photography project ideas and I’m (well, really, Andy and I) am/are working on a way to get me the time to implement those ideas.

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J has started back to karate team practice with a big goal/dream of going to nationals again this year.  His skills I think will qualify him.  What he really will be challenged by is raising the funds to get to the actual event, which is all the way in Florida, and he can’t go alone.  We placed the responsibility on him for that, and he’s thinking through what that might look like.  But right now he’s a bit distracted by the pending “final exams” which he will take for the first time in less than 10 days.  He’s growing into so much so quickly!

 

That is it for the updates today.  Hope to be back again soon!

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Categories: Andy, Blessings, Daily life, Family photographer, Gallatin River, J, Karate, Montana, Montana weather, My Backyard, One Little Word, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Winter | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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We got the star on the tree – Aunt Elizabeth knows it was missing for a long time.  It was set (poorly, but set) last night after 9 p.m.

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But we never got the nativities sorted beyond the flash mob status.  A reflection of some of the unique characteristics of this particular season – good season but always on the go!

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Even Miss Sophie needs a bit of a nap after all the rushing around.

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Papa needs a nap because he got up early and plowed away the new fallen snow for us and the neighbors (Merry Christmas neighbors), and he went for a run – all before we were opening gifts at the crack of dawn.  Get rested up Papa we still have a movie to catch!

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The goggles and flannel shirt are new, helmet is old.  But this seems to be the chosen attire for the day – threatening to go to Unbroken wearing this later this afternoon.  We’ll see.  I bet he selects this outfit instead:small-4032

New jacket is from Grandma and Grandpa – thank you!  He’s in love and I love the idea that I’ll be able to spot him on the ice flow or the ski hill.  He’s wearing it right now (flannel shirt under, helmet and goggles still on) while listening to music by Lecrae.

All this colorful fun to celebrate the best gift in history – birth of Jesus.  Can’t forget that without that best gift we just wouldn’t be the same – not the same at all!

Categories: Andy, Blessings, Christmas, Daily life, Faith, Family Fun, J, kids, snow, Thankful to God, Winter | 3 Comments

WEEKLY GRATITUDE FROM THE HEART

There is so much to be thankful for in this life  and I don’t ever want to forget it.

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3628.  A day at home doing chores as a family.

3629.  Good family walk/talk.

3630.  J joining the adults to celebrate a 75th birthday party after being specially invited by the birthday girl.

3631.  Studying the Christmas story in detail.

3632.  Forgiveness from friends after a mis-step.

3633.  Support from Andy in an emotionally difficult time.

3634.  Connecting with Alicia.

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3635.  Plenty of rain to keep the countryside fresh and green well into the fall.

3636.  Bumper crop of apples – enough to share with friends

3637.  J getting to participate in homecoming traditions for first time.

3638.  Good advice from Jeremy.

3639.  Knowledge that God is in control when things seem to be flying out of control.

3640.  Paul’s good music leadership at worship.

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3641.  Cooking with fresh eggs

3642.  Beautiful place to live all year-long – stunning views of storms coming in.

3643.  Family who lives close enough to visit for a weekend.

 

Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Extended Family, Faith, Fall, Gallatin River, gratitude, J, Montana, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, River, Thankful to God | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BRINGING BACK FIVE ON FRIDAY – MY J

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.

ONE

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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.

 

THREE

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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.

 

FOUR:

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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

 

FIVE

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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

FRIENDS SINCE KINDERGARTEN

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Right away, lest a mistake be made, let me say these two are just friends.  They have been buddies for years and years – since kindergarten.  They are super comfortable with each other, and when one of them has a crisis in life, they call each other and talk it through – been that way for years. 

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Because they are buddies she felt comfortable asking him if he wanted to attend the “Swing Ball” the last Saturday of August.  You see, if they bought tickets together she saved quite a bit, and she knew he’s usually up for trying something like this.

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Not only was he up for it, but Andy and I joined as well – not pictured here because, well we didn’t have anyone to take our photo and frankly we were so poor at learning the dances that if someone else had a camera we would have avoided it like the plague!

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At the real deal in the evening (other photos are from the morning teaching session) it was revealed that she is really quite the swing dancer already – way ahead of him and us!sm-83

But she taught him and he caught on pretty quick.  They enjoyed it.

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This event was put on by a couple of young siblings who grew up home schooling and run a pretty tight ship on this event.  And they taught the dances too!  I think the brother is like 21 and the sister is just getting out of high school, so they really are young.

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By the way, that man in the gray vest?  That’s her father.  When she met J in Kindergarten he was in Afghanistan with the Army National Guard.  J was super impressed because she told him that her dad was there fighting the Taliban with a giant bull-whip.  J believed every word of it!  Every word!

Categories: Daily life, Dancing, Family Fun, J, kids, Photography, Swing Dance | 2 Comments

JUNE AND JULY PHOTOS – SO FAR BEHIND!

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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

WEEKEND RECAP

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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!

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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

SPRING HAS

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I know it probably seems a bit late to most people across the country to be saying “spring has sprung” but here in Montana it is right on time – at least for our little corner of Montana.  Heck, there are still areas nearby that are inaccessible for hiking because the snow is too deep, so we are happy for the green areas!

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This week school ends for J, so summer is fast approaching!  He’s got his 8th grade project to finish up, and that is about all.  So excited for him, but also in a certain amount of awe at the concept that he will be in high school.  Seems impossible, but it is true!sm-2711

We are doing a bit of planning for summer, each of us creating a “bucket list” of what we want to do.  While there was a great variety, there were also several points of cross-over, which is fun to not.  Looks like we’ll all be fishing and camping some over the next few months, and maybe, just maybe, there will be some dance lessons thrown into the mix for the Mrs. and Mr.

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The office, always a factor in our lives, is coming up on a busy time – several jury trials in July and August, which means lots of preparation.  Also have a jury trial this Wednesday if the prosecutor doesn’t come to his senses.  So that summer bucket list has some competition for our time, but that is normal, and we will find a balance!  I promise we will!

Categories: Apple blossoms, Daily life, Family Fun, flowers, J, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Spring, Summer | Leave a comment

DOWN-SPOUT RANDOM

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These photos are from a month ago when I went out on a bitterly cold winter morning – deep into the single digits that day.  I was visiting a spot I’d seen the week before while going about my regular errands.  But as I was driving down main street Bozeman I saw this down spout on the porch of a small law office.  So after considering whether I could get close to it without violating any boundaries I went back and took some photos – I never stepped onto the porch and stayed in the parking lot/sidewalk transition area, so I was pretty safe.

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I would love to have one of these copper down spouts on my back porch – they are beautiful whether ice encrusted or dripping with water during a rain storm, and even when dry in the summer with the patina of winter wear.

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Last night when we came home we found one of our little hens hiding under a tree wounded.  So she’s spent the day in the downstairs bathtub.  Seems to be surviving, and hopefully we’ll be able to doctor her through this.  We were all surprised at how it impacted us emotionally to see her hurt.  We think a bird like hawk got to her.

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J is recovering from his concussion well, which is good for all of us – no more worry.

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These photos are a full month old, and we’re starting to see some melting here.  It has been a long winter, and folks around here are ready for spring.  But still most mornings we’re met with some fresh crusty ice on the walk ways or a little bit of snow. Usually by afternoon the new snow and the ice have melted and the ground under, while mostly brown, is starting to have blades of green grass.  No leaves on the trees yet, but the buds are swelling and we can be hopeful.

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Much of my family is coming in two weeks, and we are so excited!  Looking forward to sharing time and meals with them, lovin’ on little babies, exploring a few places and just hanging out together.  It has been a long time since so many of us were able to get together.

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To keep from going insane with this winter, I planted some cilantro and basil plants, and the little devils are growing very well.  So well, I’m afraid they are wanting to be planted in the ground when the ground is still 6 weeks from being ready for them.

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I found some carrot seeds that can be planted even though we aren’t done with frost.  My goal is to get them in the ground by the second weekend in April and every couple of weeks after that until the end of May.  It won’t be frost-free, but the package doesn’t require that in the directions, so I’m willing to risk my $1.70 investment with this plan.

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Don’t know if anyone still reads this blog since I ignored it for so much of the past couple of months.  Hoping to get back into the habit of posting more often, but still need a week or so to get some projects under my belt.

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Categories: Daily life, J, Photography, Spring, Winter | Leave a comment

WHEW! WE’RE STILL HERE

sm-7162Actually, probably better to say “We’re back.”

Took a four-day trip to the Coast – well to the Portland area, which is very close to the coast when thought of relative to where we are when home.  The purpose of this trip was to attend a karate seminar and tournament for J.

The seminar was with George Kataka, a two-time world champion at sparring in the karate school of martial arts.  He was amazing working with the kids, and super fun to watch.

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It was a great trip:  visited with a nephew who goes to college in the area; visited with a college friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in over a decade; and visited with a college friend of Andy’s we hadn’t seen in about 8 years.  The weather was beautiful, no rain.  And the meals were really good!  All went very well!

Except of course for the concussion that J picked up at the end of the tournament.  Now, over a week later, he’s just about back to normal, and hasn’t complained about a headache all day.  We learned a lot about concussion and how to manage life while recovering from one.  Some surprises in that, but generally, just don’t do anything – no physical or cognitive activity.  Makes for some long boring days!bw-sm-7225

Now we are doing all the catch up at school and looking forward to clearance from the doctor for J to get back to physical activity, including karate.

Because, you see, prior to getting concussed, J qualified for the national tournament in July, and he has work to do to prepare!

 

Categories: Family Fun, J, Learning, Photography, Travel, Vacation | 1 Comment

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