Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lumberjack Days

I took the kids, Laurel and Mathew to Lumberjack days in Orifino today and they had a blast. There was a parade in the morning and I think that anyone who had a truck and a sign in the tiny city was in the parade. The kids loved it since they threw candy to the kids. When the Obama/Biden float came through an awkward silence and then it seemed that collectively the crowd refused to acknowledge the floats exhistance. Later the McCain/Palin float arrived to shouts and cheers, it is obvious where this area stands.

Ha-Na was particularly fierce about racing for and obtaining the candy. One time she got a candy and from a distance I saw her look at it, consider for a moment then pop it in her mouth.....there was no wrapper, I cringed.

Carl was very sweet and after getting one for himself he made sure his sisters were getting some and then when he saw they had some he started giving what he picked up to others.

Madison was using her wiles and when she did not get any would put a really sad look on her face and scan the crowd with it. People would quickly scrounge and get her a piece. After that we had a greasy carnival lunch and then took the kids on rides.

They had a blast and especially liked the Ferris wheel much to my annoyance. It is my least favorite ride and I had to go on to accompany Madison. I let them play one game that was a for sure win so they each got a prize and we went home.
Laurel and Mathew were troopers, Mathew stayed in his stroller the whole time and Laurel was a great sport as we walked around.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Who could abandon this?

In true April at her parents style I found a dog. As a kid I was always bringing home dogs I found on my paper route and then we would find their home or find them a new home. This morning when I was running out of the garage with Madison to catch up with the kids who had already started down to meet the bus I step out of the garage and there is the cutest little beagle. She walks right up to Madison and lets her pet her. She then follows us down to the road. My parents place is on six acres out of town, not really close to anything. We called the rescue places and vets in the area and apparently they said that so far no one has reported her missing and that it is very normal here for people to just abandon dogs when they move and that they very rarely have a home. We are falling in love with her already. She is so well behaved and just lets Madison and Mathew pet her all over, I think the cats may even give her a chance. Her ribs are sticking out pretty well so we don't think she hasn't eaten for a while and when dad went and got food for her she gobbled it super fast. Her snout and belly look really red like a rash or scratches or something so we are trying to figure out what that is. I gave her a bath because as much as I love dogs I will not touch them if they reek. She is all shiny now and we will keep her here while we wait for someone to claim her. If I knew we were going to live in Charleston I would take her in a heartbeat, she is soooo sweet and just the right size. I really can't imagine anyone abandoning such a dog but it happens which breaks my heart. I am trying not to fall too much in love with the dog but my dad and mom are taken to her so I think if she needs a home for true they will keep her for their own, although I think they would rather I take her and then they could just see her when they visit. I am going out now to take pictures and I will post them so you can all see her. We are trying to find something to call her since we don't want to refer to her just as the dog, we are all going to weigh in but would appreciate any suggestions.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Your my Huckleberry

Mom bought a gallon of Huckleberries and I was so excited. We planned to make huckleberry pie which I had always heard of but never thought I would be able to make (where to you get huckleberries from ?) They have a really strong flavor so we combined them with some wild apples growing on their property that are really awesome. Wow! That pie was tasty. Ha-Na was licking her plate clean and I didn't even try to stop her. Mom says they grow in the mountains so they can't grow them, but for a woman who found a variety of peach, kiwi, grapes, pecans ect that will grow in northern Idaho I bet she can find a Huckleberry that can grow in the valley of the mountains here.

The smartest kids in class

The kids had their first day and they really were thrilled to be back in school.

Carl came home to let us know he was dubbed the smartest in class by the other students. It has something to do with his talking about stalagmites and the other kids not knowing what those were. He got a project assignment right away, we were to collect ten bugs and mount them. Everyone in the house got in on the collecting and even Madison came running upstairs with a tissue in her hand so excited about catching a spider for Carl's collection. My mom and I helped him put it together and it looked really good. His teacher said she would pick the best three to present at the county fair and Carl's was picked. He was so excited. They also were picking a student counsel and they had to give a one minute speech about why they would be good. Carl came home and told me about it and told me about his speech. He stood up and said that they should vote for him because the scriptures are by his side and he makes his decisions based on them and they are his favorite thing. He did not get picked though showing that religion apparently has no place in politics at any level. I told him he would be my pick though every day. He has also started teaching himself to play piano. I went downstairs and he was clinking on it and reading my old piano book from when I was a kid. Today he came running to me to let me know that he can now read the notes with out the letters on them. I have him set up for piano lessons now since I think I better take advantage of his enthusiasm. He practices all the time on his own.

Ha-Na started school and it came out they felt she should go to kindergarten because of the the large age difference between her and the other kids. She came home and told me what they were doing in kindergarten and I asked her what she thought of it and she said it is all "Easy, peasy, lemon easy." I sure hope this teacher keeps her active for her own sake. She does like that they have a rest time and wants to take her blankie to school with her. The first grade teacher gave me their workbook to do at home with her and is sending work to Ha-Na's teacher to send home for her to do also. She is very busy with all the work but she loves a challenge.

Madison is having a great time at home with us and she loves walking the goats with me. She gave a talk in church today and did a great job, she loves being in front of the people. We saw some mice outside and in the garage and in the grain for the goats so we decided it would be good to get some cats. We took Madison and she helped pick out two farm kittens. They have been hours of entertainment for the girls and they are actually really great cats and that is saying a lot coming from me. I just hope they get to be good mousers so they can earn their keep.


When we arrived at my parents we could see there was a lot to do. My mom is an incredible gardener and the people that stayed at their house while they were gone pretty much did nothing and her beautiful gardens were overtaken with weeds and grass. It was heartbreaking. Carl got right to work helping my dad with stuff around their yard.

We planned a camping trip on the river and had a blast. We fished and tubed on the river. The kids were really great, I was so worried about how they would be for a four day camping trip. I was thrilled to do dutch oven cooking again and mom and dad said they never ate so well outside the house. I was really happy that Carl had such a great time, he was always a little reticent when I would suggest camping. Carl, Dad and I went fly fishing and had fun doing catch and release for trout.

We got out the guns and Lil' Carl had his first shooting lesson and did really well, he takes after his dad, what a crack shot. Carl only had two weeks here he left far too early. While he was here he called work and was informed that they don't want him to stay in Bahrain, he had set it all up and the need him elsewhere. Of course we don't yet know where elsewhere is.

After Carl left Brad and Kim came with Corrie and her cousin Haley. We went camping with the girls and had some fun cookouts. It was a lot of fun tubing down the river with them. I got to spend a couple of days with Brad which was really awesome.

I went down to pick up James and Alice's kids in Pocatello, I told them a story about James about an hour into the ride and the rest of the time they begged me for more. They came to spend the week with us. We took them fishing, to the water park, had cookouts and just had a lot of fun. Carl and Jake really had a great time. Dad made all the kids wooden swords and shields and the kids decorated them and then had great battles. Alissa, Ha-Na and Madison really loved doing all the girl stuff together. Ashley played games with us when the little ones went to sleep and we looked for pictures and things of her dads we could share with her. I had a great time cooking with Ashley, she really loves to cook and we have so much fun experimenting in the kitchen. While the kids were here I saw so much of James in each of them, Jake has his smile and stubbornness, Alissa is his spitting image and has his energy and Ashley his kindness and sense of adventure.

I went to Arizona and got to see Carl for a few days which was really great after a month apart. When I got there we started really considering moving back to the west and maybe even Arizona. We would really like to be close to family again. We went to the temple which was wonderful to return after two years (for me) since there is no temple in Bahrain. We went to see Carl's grandmother and it was really special. Her memory has been increasingly failing and we did not know if she would recognize us but she did Carl and loved seeing the kids. She did not know who I was, I sure miss Grammy. She and I used to go shopping together and then out to lunch at least once a week after Lil' Carl was born. Carl's parents planned a really fun activity for all the family focused around the Olympics, we had a blast and the kids were in heaven. Carl left too soon and I spent the rest of my time shopping and visiting with his sisters. Stacy took us to her water park, Katie took us to her outlets and amazed me with her canning.

I returned back to my parents because I decided to stay here while Carl travels and finishes in Bahrain. The day after I arrive the kids are starting school and my niece Laurel and her son Mathew are coming to stay for a month.

So, we are in flux once again and have no idea of what is to happen but as I taught the sunbeams today in church "Home is where you are loved." I guess I should feel very blessed because by that sentiment our family has many homes.