TANK IS IN LOVE!

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The 22 new chickens arrived this afternoon and Mr. Tank could not be happier.  I mean really, he thinks this is the best thing that ever happened.

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He spent all afternoon and evening following them around sniffing their little vents – that is how he’s going to recognize them as he herds them around the property!  He now knows the smell of each and every one of them – probably has named them as well!

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They are his new little babies.  He will watch over them all day while we are gone, and try to help to get them into the coop at night.  Every day when we leave for work we tell him to watch out for the kitties and the chickens and he takes those responsibilities very seriously!

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He’s a bit confused as to why these new additions are so small.  He doesn’t realize that some of them are just very young and others of them are Bantam so they won’t get really big like his other chickens.

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It took Tamara and I almost a full hour to get these ladies (at least we hope they are mostly ladies) into the dog kennel so I could bring them home.  The did not want to leave their siblings and parents or Tamara who is an amazing small farm manager.  She has sheep, chickens, ducks, sometimes turkeys, a horse or two, and lots of dogs and cats.  It is always fun and friendly to go over to her place.

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Tank will have to look out for roosters in the new bunch – we haven’t had one before, and while I would not object to one or two of them, I don’t think we want more than that.  We tried to sex them – have you ever tried to sex chicks/pullets when you really know nothing about how to do it?   I’ll let you know how that went in a few weeks when we find out.

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I hope all their feathers come in soon because . . . well, it is supposed to get cold pretty soon.  They will need their feathers to help them stay warm (although we have put a warming light into the coop).  And I don’t expect eggs from them for at least a few weeks, and for those hatched in late summer, not until after the first of the year.

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Amazingly, when we put the young ones into the coop for bed tonight with the big older ladies, it was relatively peaceful – well, once we got them all in there, which took another hour since the babies didn’t really know how to get into the coop and had to be helped to know what to do.  It was all I could do to keep Tank from trying to go into the coop as his babies were settling down to sleep.  I think he was jealous that they were cuddling together and he was left out.  There were even a couple of babies cuddled up to the warm bodies of the old ladies.  It was pretty cute.

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Tank was so proud to help get the chicks into the coop – he found all the strays that were hiding in the long grasses, barked at them so they go so scared they froze and then I could pick them up and put them in the coop.

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It is going to be a fun transition!  And Tank is just in seventh heaven!

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Categories: Autumn, chickens, Daily life, Fall, Montana, Photography | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

THE LEAVES ARE LEAVING

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Okay, super corny title I know, but this post is about the leaves that are turning color, getting crisp and will soon be all gone.

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It has been a very challenging month at the office and those challenges are taking their toll on our family, my time for photography and building my photography business, and my energy level.  But I haven’t given up. 

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Seems that just when I get to feeling overwhelmed by the negative God gives me something positive.  And it has happened again!

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This time around it was a simple encounter with a long-time friend.  The conversation turned to chickens (naturally?) and suddenly she was expressing her need to get rid of too many chickens (she has over two hundred she hatched out this summer) and I was making plans to get 20 of them – FOR FREE!  Wow!

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So I’ll be packing the dog kennel with 20 young chickens to add to the 8 I have (no new infra structure needed) and contacting those who told me they’d like eggs, but I didn’t have enough supply. 

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I guess this post didn’t turn out to be so much about leaves after all, just decorated by them.

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So please excuse the corny title.  I’ll work on my titling skills.

Categories: Autumn, Blessings, chickens, Daily life, Fall, Fall leaves, Leaves, Outdoors, Photography, Weather | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

15 MINUTES AT MY HOUSE THIS MORNING

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Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Fall, Light, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Weather | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

GRATITUDE ON THE GO

I am not a huge fan of describing myself as “busy.”  Especially not when it becomes part of the “norm” for our daily lives.  Sometimes there are just seasons, but I don’t like it.IMG_5856sm

This seems to be one of those seasons.  Here we are, being busy with little out of the ordinary to show for it. 

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So we are going to take a few days and do something special as a family.  School is out for a four-day weekend and we re-arranged the office schedule some.  Time to slow down, take a deep breath, and just be family together.  A chance to change the cadence of our lives a little.sm-3A refocusing.  As we refocus we are reminded of all the goodness God grants into our lives even during the seasons of being too busy:

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3644.  Family who lives close enough to visit for a weekend – this is new for us!

3645.  Good friend in Eva – listens when I’m babbling on and on.IMG_4828sm

3647.  Money on hand to fix the Subaru.

3648.  Support from a friend.

3649.  Family discussion over dinner – and a chance to eat dinner together

3650.  Email of affirmation.

3651.  One year of our wonderful kittens – now they aren’t “kittens” any more!IMG_0298sm

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3652.  Order from the court signed quickly.

3653.  Safe travel to and from Helena for Andy.

3654.  J signed up for ice climbing clinic

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3655.  A good school for J.

3656.  Fall colors in the treessm-45

3657.  Getting to see the lunar eclipse (or at least the tail end of it)

3658.  Beautiful sunrise – pink clouds over the north valleysm-61

3659.  New walking/running shoes at a great price – and they feel great!

3660.  Enough money to pay bills fairly comfortably.

3661.  Trees with red leaves sprinkled around town.

3662.  Miss M. allowing some help for the abuse she suffered

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3664.  Orders of Protection in place for friends who need it.

3665.  J holding steady on his grades at a place that surpasses his own expectations.

3666.  Hearing the wind whistle and howl while I am safely in the house.

3667.  Subaru fixed after two weeks, and a fair price set for the work.

3668.  Less debt now than a year ago – progress!

3669.  Great photo shoot with a high school senior.

3670.  Donna hearing some encouraging words.

3671.  The hope that comes from planning a few days off.

3672.  Good lawyering by Andy – strategic and effective advocacy!sm-25

3673.  Andy’s detailed knowledge of the law.

3674.  Being able to breathe on the days when events seem so heavy that breathing might not be possible.

3675.  Sleeping through the night – at least once in-a-while.

 

Categories: Daily life, Faith, Family Fun, gratitude, kittens, Photography, Progress, Thankful to God | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

FIVE ON FRIDAY – MISS E

Ellie-45ONE:  This week five on Fridays is decorated by photos of Miss E.  She is 4 and was honored to be the flower girl for Miss Amanda back in August.  The trouble was that Miss E’s mom and dad had a huge job to do the day of the wedding and could not attend.  Mom was crushed – tears and all.  Who could blame her?  Miss Amanda is special to their family and this was a huge deal. 

So the solution was for Miss Susan Beth to hang out with Miss E all day and take photos so mom and dad could relive the day.  What a fun day!

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TWO:  This week was a big jury trial for Andy – after three full days it ended in a hung jury, which is both a victory and a frustration.  Onward!Ellie-118THREE:  This week has driven home a sense of vulnerability in so many ways.  Bringing me back to “Daring Greatly” for assurance that being vulnerable is not a bad thing.  Just have to keep on living with a whole heart, knowing that there will be bumps in the road, ditches to slide into, and crashes along the way.  But that is okay because we may not have all the answers to life’s questions but we know who we are in Christ.

 

 

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FOUR:  Headed out to early morning before school worship team activity for J on Tuesday and thud!  No more functioning in the Subaru.  It broke the timing belt, which took out all the valves in the engine.  Faced the choice of fixing it or having a good start to the purchase of a new to us vehicle.  Decided to fix it and move forward.  This is the danger of having only cars with around 200K miles (truck is well over, Subaru is closing in fast).  Cars are definitely not a source of glamor in our lives, and probably that is as it should be.

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FIVE:  It is October!  Can you believe it?  So many seasonal activities and projects that bring comfort, joy, hard work and warmth.  I believe this will be a very busy month but also, I pray, a very rewarding month.  Andy has yet another jury trial coming up at the end of October and lots to do between now and then, so we are hitting the ground running!

Categories: Five on Fridays, kids, Photography | 1 Comment

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

DOWN BY THE RIVER

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These were taken on the first day of fall, which seems so appropriate.

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It wasn’t as cold standing in the water that morning as I thought it would be, so that was a plus!

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Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Fall, Gallatin River, Harvest, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, River, Rural Thursdays | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HELP! I’M MOLTING . . .

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My beautiful chickens have been so fun this past year!

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They are still fun, but now the Americanas are molting and just aren’t as beautiful as they once were.  The Rhode Island Reds aren’t molting yet, so they are still beautiful.

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Poor little girls!  Poor us, because when the molt, well, they don’t lay eggs!  We really miss their beautiful blue green eggs!

 

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When not molting they are very reliable layers, more than carrying their weight in the production business.

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These photos are from a couple of weeks ago, so they are starting to look a bit better.

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Hopefully that means we’ll have blue-green eggs again soon.

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But then I fully expect all 6 Rhode Island Reds to molt at the same time, and we’ll be missing the brown eggs.

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Categories: Birds, chickens, Daily life, Fall, Photography | Tags: | Leave a comment

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY – TIME TO MAKE SAUCE

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Categories: Apples, Outdoors, Photography, Wordless Wednesday | 1 Comment

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