Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I've felt so anxious, crowded and claustrophobic these past few days, I'm losing my peace....and my mind! Aside from the literal wall of things from the kids room that are occupying my space while we paint, I've felt so trapped by myself and things that hold NO meaning what-so-ever.  So Im sitting here tonight eating bananas and peanut butter and drinking maternal tea, feeling like I need to "let go and let God". 

I have, however, enjoyed this week with my favorite boys. 

Heidi was with Bonnie for a morning this week and they popped over for a bit. It was a scattered morning here, and it was refreshing when Heidi sat down to read Beatrix Potter to the boys. :)

On Veterans Day, the little boys made a flag with Beth, and Coy and I made one later too. Here we are saying 'Thank You' to Papa and all the souls who did, are, and will fight for our beautiful country. 

A new favorite book is "Diary of a Worm", so Coy and Bent are making their own diaries...of a bull and an alligator ;)

Nothing stops whining and fighting faster then a pack n play tipped on it's side and a pile of blankets. They wanted to hunt this day, so I cut out a deer head for them. This lasted for hours :) Win!

These two...so cute, right? Except they love to just antagonize each other till they're screaming and have everyone else screaming too! Gaaaah!!

Now Beth is helping me paint the boys room!! She's a serious pro at it and oddly loves to paint, so I'm glad she's closeby! This blue room is not only annoying me, is also seriously banged up! We've got fun plans for this room!!

Here's after a few hours, and we have more to paint tomorrow. I'm excited!

The boys are camping out in the living room but it's quiet now, so I suspect they've all fallen asleep...including Daddy! <3 My turn now. 

Night all! Sweet dreams and wake refreshed! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Flathead and beyond..

Everytime we go up to the farm, I come back with warm fuzzies...and lots of pictures :)

This Reid. I tell ya! His "Sapling" shirt is from one of my favorite companies, Alpine Baby Co. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I found out they're in Whitefish!!! So a super local company that I love love love! And bugs moccasins are from Starry Knight, which is about 15 miles to the south of us. Montana sure makes good stuff!! :)

Like the new family portrait? Hmm, that must be what we have to do when we book a slot with a professional...b.y.o.p...bring your own pig? Everyone's smiling!

This is taking ones love for bacon to a whole new level! Oink!

We all got to help daddy with chores on Sarurday morning. It's in these guys blood...I'm tellin ya! They have never wanted to help so bad in their life before :)

Even Reid! I set him up so that I could shut the gate...but as you can see, a gate can keep the cows in, but can't keep a little country boy out!

On Sunday we went to Ade and Anna's to celebrate Gramna Mary's birthday! I don't have pictures to show for it, but it was so nice to celebrate a lady who holds a big chunk of our hearts! Happy 50mmrph birthday Mary! <3

Friday night we went to the soccer banquet to celebrate how proud of the boys we were!! A taco feed, 200+ soccer players and their families, and giddy kids made for a noisy evening! They got little dog tags with their name, team and year engraved on them. We already can hardly wait for next season!

We will surely miss this spot during the winter. When we got too frustrated and tense to let a good day happen, we head down to the river. We left the books at home and made math with nature. However, the wind always blows harder there then in our yard, so we are usually in for a chilly surprise when we get down there. Ahhh, bitterroot river, you've pleased us greatly!

It was Beths (and Olga's, who we phoned for birthday singing!) birthday last week, and it happened to be our science museum day...and ALSO just happened to be across from The Market on Front, recently dubbed as the 'best latte ever' place. So here we celebrated a fantastic friend whom we love and appreciate greatly. (The little girl, baby J we call her, is the granddaughter of our neighbors who we meet with on Wed nights. Beth cares for her most days of the week)

It's getting colder now, in fact there's snow here now. But for the Wisconsin readers, I'm sure ours doesn't even compare! I missed my chiro appt this morning bc the van doors were all frozen shut and nearly missed it again this afternoon too bc they were STILL frozen! So, not wanting to reschedule for a 3rd slot, I dumped hot water over the track and it did the trick. Barely. 

This boy, he is a beautiful boy! Ok, so he's pretty handsome too, but his heart is so beautiful and large. He's got a lot of crazy energy to burn off before he gets there, but he is tender, kind and so helpful with his little brothers. He also turns FIVE in 9 days!!

Mmk, we are now a flatbed fam at Costco. And this isn't our usual loot either, we usually have more. However, even though it's a chore to go and tiring; I am so so thankful for a daddy who provides and we can get a flatbed cart full of fruits and veggies for our boys. And a cartful of Kalispell Creamery milk from Rosaurs every week. Hey, does anyone have an extra fridge they're not using? We could really use another... 

I got this sweet SWEET picture in my inbox one morning. Baby Lucas is now 4 months, and those cheeks are driving me crazy, as I want to kiss them! I'm soaking the picture in, because by the time we get to meet him in person, he may have already lost those sweet chunky cheeks!

We made a Fall Treasure board. I kinda really like it :) We learnt during this project, that the hot glue gun is indeed hot. 

Well, baby is done nursing and has entered the land of nod and I really have no reason to let my husband keep doing the dishes by himself out there anymore. 
Just kidding, I'm nice and warm, maybe I'll tell him the dishes can wait..there's a sleeping baby here who will be a bit bigger in the morning. 

Keep warm, all!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Goodbye OCT, Hello NOV

I've slowly been uploading photos and saving them as a draft and I suppose it's about time to publish them :) They're a hodgepodge of pictures from the past few weeks but accurately sum up our good-bye to October and hello to November!

We went to Great Falls to help celebrate Busters 2nd birthday yesterday! It was a pirate theme, which fit perfectly with the boys Halloween costumes this year! Lichen made a super cute cake, made cloud dough to dig for treasuer in (which Bentley is showing his find!), a walk the plank, pirate goodies and a shark piniata.

Here are 6 of the Braaten grandkiddos! Man, are they all cute or what? I love that the younger ones are close in age - but don't let that make you think that the big 6 year old isn't interetsted in being friends with 3 year old Ryla! <3 adore="" her="" p="" they="">

We hit up trick-or-treating in Great Falls too just to ya know, check out the candy supply. Here are our 3 pirates and one little parrot. By this time, they had lost their headbands, eye patch and earring, but those were part of the costume too. Unfortunately, they lost their foam swords WEEKS ago. After a few days of pretend gore and fighting over them, I tossed them dramatically in the garbage. THEN, last night while cleaning for meeting, I just so happened to find out that a big kid-at-heart-daddy saved them from the garbage monster while the dramatically toy throwing mama wasn't looking. I couldn't even be mad at him (daddy), becuase he was happier then a kid on Christmas morning to have found them again. Sigh, boys will be boys, no matter their age!

Ive felt so frustrated and closed in with our office/school room/sewing room/guest room/Reids room all in one small room...so i decided to rally to change that. My sweet husband let me mix it up a little and go shopping, and this is what I came up with!!

Since the big rolley office chair has pinched many fingers and taken up rediculious amounts of space, that went to the dump. In it's place, I put that teal topped wooden stool that I have been eyeing over a year at Logans store. The rug, chairs, and chevron throw are all from World Market. It's hard to see the whole room, these 2 pictures are still missing parts of the room, but you can see the theme anyway. We love using it for the first day for school on Friday!!

We got rid of the guest bed completely...but don't let that stop you from coming for a visit! You can either bunk with rambunkcious boys or we will figure out a bed for you ;)

The boys last soccer game was last week. They had a fun season and they both advanced from their very first practice. Bentley has gotten to be an agressive little player and Coy is a good teammate and no longer runs from the ball ;)

This little Reid, I tell ya, is such a sweet charmer! He's petite for his age and still nursing, so it hit me hard the other day when I realized that he's ALMOST 2! But for today, he's 20 1/2 months. Yes, 20.5...because that half a month is half a month and time is precious!
His little T says "Sapling", and what a sweet sapling he is!

Nick texted this picture from his blind down the road the other night. The big boys take turns sitting out there with Nick, and Kase got lucky enough to get voted in :) The other picture he sent was hilarious....the view out of the blind was about 6 big cows a few yards out looking in!

Ok, so y'all know I love coffee right? And not Folgers either....Imma coffee snob. Starbucks isn't cuttin it anymore however.....and I found the most PERFECT latte ever right in my town!! The Market On Front prepared my honey, extra foam latte better than I could have dreamed.
I know I know....I'm a mom now, these kinds of things excited me ;)

And this, friends, is Montana in late October. Stunning.
Hope you're all enjoying your colder fall days!! <3 p="">

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A family photo

That's pretty close to a 'good enough' family photo, right? 

Every family has one...Logan was one, my brother Ted was one...the ones that silently goof off during family photos and you don't know it till you get the pictures back. Ours is Kase, and Coy usually has the funky attitude. They crack me up! 

I see all these perfect family photos on Pinterest and Facebook...perfectly positioned family members, outfits original and adorable, skinny moms that have had lots of kids...it's saddening what I "compare" ourselves too, then only too late realize that it's pretty unrealistic. Kids were sedated and bribed with sugar, mom spends all her time at the gym instead of with the kids, the adorable expensive clothes were bought on maxed out credit cards. Of course that's not all usually true, but in case it is, it makes me feel a little bit more real. Haha. 

We were down at the river in the first place to take Nick and Beth's pictures since the kids were home from ID. So here they are folks, our bestest friends you hear so much about. Beth, Talon, Abi and Nick. 

Now that is one good lookin real family!

Monday, October 20, 2014


My last post, about our beautiful Saturday morning, ended up to be a dreadful day...attitudes from everyone, a super failure of an attempt at a family photo shoot, a mommy melt down...

Sigh. Life is adventuresome, beautiful and sometimes not quite so fabulous. But by the grace of God, we try again and again, and sometimes get lucky enough to succeed. 

So it's Monday and we are trying again. Again.

 We've taken our classroom outside to the bitterroot river. 

I got my coffee, baby on my back, wandering boys, and sunshine...

Happy Monday, y'all!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's just a plain ole' Saturday morning here on the short range. The morning sun showed off the trees and mountain as I nursed Reid and drank my raspberry tea. The choice breakfast for the  boys was Multigrain cheerios with local whole milk and spinach/strawberry/banana smoothie. I had a hot mushroom and spinach omelet with smoked salmon. Boys are now playing farm with their animals and panels and I'm about to fnish breakfast dishes while Logan is doing his second to last farmers market.

It's not an exciting life, but it's our life. And I love it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

the sewing business

Since I had another creative epiphany and another crazy dream, I had been collecting fabric, cutting (with the help of Beth), sewing organic baby clothes, sewing on cute tags...

Until I made this ad for the new line of clothing from my Brown Cow Cotton Baby Co online store about to re-open. 

This is the quote;

“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it's beauty.”
Albert Einstein

When re-reading my ad, I thought "hm, what I'm about to do does NOT support this quote that I love so much!"

I was about to burden myself down again, chain myself to the requests of others, to the media, and take time away from my kids and the beautiful land I live in.

So, I quit. Before I even started again.

And shoot down my next idea. Please. My REAL JOB right now is my boys! <3 p="">

Monday, October 13, 2014

We've had half the worker set here and the other half has been up the road at Nick and Beth's. Sunday night we met here for amazingly healthy nachos, Dutch Blitz and a little gospel polka! Ha! It was actually just Heidi with her accordion, and a few taught notes from Beth and I. It's really a lot of brain work (at least for a blonde mommy brain!) but oh, so fun! 

Today we spent a bit on the Bitterroot River. It's our most favorite place to go...there's a trail along the river and through the woods and shallow (during late summer) rocky waters safe enough to wade out for a little bit. 

Coy discovered massive amounts of algea!! I touched it (really! I really did! Ew!) and he chased his brothers around with it. 

When we are there...the big boys run off on their adventures but this little guy gets left behind. But that's ok, cause he's as much a fan of cuddling as I am! 

I cut his hair!!! I'm so so sad! I loved his long hair...I braided it (once it twice) and combed my fingers they it which was more therapeutic for me than him I think :) It was getting in his eyes and it was only when we were home that we could put in a "pony hair", so decided to give him a trim. A trim turned into more than that.abd pretty soon there was no going back. Now he looks about 12 :(

Here are the 4 boys. Their current ages are newly 6, coming up on 5, barely 3 and 20 months.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Autumn Awesome

If there were ever a place with year-round fall, we would need to move pronto. So because it's passing quickly, we're enjoying the weather tremendously!

Mom, remember Paddle to the Sea? We've read it more than once and I love it. Still. I read a bit to Kase in this picture while cuddling and attempting to learn to crochet. The cuddling comes more natural for me than crocheting!

Beth, baby J who she babysits, the boys and I went to the pumpkin patch the other week. There was a single stack hay bale maze for the tykes, a petting zoo, obstacle course, photo props and a pumpkin patch, of course!

Kids met kids. 

If it doesn't have a railing, a child will without a doubt launch himself off of it. Within reason, don't worry. 

For his birthday, Nick and Beth got Coy a compound bow and some arrows. His very first shot with it got just outside the bulls eye and blew my socks off! However, since then we've spent most of the time hunting arrows in the field :)

I got to join some ladies and workers from our field for a 5k race! I finished the 3.1 miles in 39 minutes. I love running and hope to get my joint pain under control enough to get more running in! I know I have a running partner in Heidi :)

We measured our pumpkins with the big block Legos after the pumpkin patch. I love that we can find teaching/learning oppertunities in our everyday play!

This boy makes me swoon. Can it be possible he's 3 already?? I missed posting it, but he turned 3 last month. Three and full of fire ;)

The big boys have really done well at soccer! Bentley made a goal and lots of good passes during the last game, and Coy has been a good teammate to the Stevi Seahawks! 

We went to the Lee Metcalf wildlife refuge this week with some little buddies. The trees, the river, the smells of fall were so beautiful and I was so grateful to be out and able to enjoy it! 

Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge
Stevensville, Mt. 
Be there or be square.

We made our weekly hit to the science museum on the day they studied and made fake animal scat this week. That was a fun one to take home. Haha!

We are working on memorizing a poem about the four seasons. We read it all, then work on illustrating and copying a new line every few days until we can recite it all! We tried to get a video Friday but it just was not in the cards :/ 

We buzzed up to Beth's last night for a cozy October bonfire! Nick made popcorn and we brought apple cider fixins. We always enjoy our time with them...we are lucky to have them so close. A mile-and-a-half kind of close!

This morning I got to go to a quiet local coffee shop....all by myself!! Imagine! :) I chatted with Auntie Mary and then ordered myself a plain latte (extra foam) and made the next few weeks schedules. When I got home, the boys were sorting Legos and I got to cleaning for our worker company for the next few days. It's now blustery and raining so it's feeling extra cozy inside. Hope y'all are having a great Sarurday! Cheers!