the birthday girl revisited

 and finally {musical interlude}...
part two of the first birthday coverage coming to you
from this shamefully late Mama

{be forewarned, ladies and gentlemen, you are about to embark on quite the photo adventure...in other words, I wanted you all to feel just as if you were really there at the party... it has absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with the fact that I am a crazily adoring fan of the birthday girlie...
moving on...

this is our kitchen...oh, that's right, this isn't a house tour is it?
let's try that again
this is the center of all delightful goodness...this table right here...mmm...mmm...good...

white cupcakes with buttercream frosting for the little ones
and a coconut cake with cream cheese frosting for
the rest of us

we tried to get a picture of all of the little cousins...
but, alas, you with small children know
sometimes these things do not turn out as one would hope... {smile}

ellie did really well the whole time, though in this
picture she certainly looks like a grumpy birthday bunny

she actually blew her birthday candle out herself!!


she didn't much care for the frosting at all...
but it didn't take her long to figure
out how to dispose of it...

and get to the good stuff!!

there is no way to explain
how much this mama loves her little girlie

she gave me the cutest kiss all of a sudden,
and Rachel caught it on camera for me  {happy}

Daddy had to leave part way through the party
(just thought I ought to explain why he isn't in any more of the pictures...
we really love him...we really, really do!!!)

time to open a few presents...

"Ellie, say 'thank-you' for the gift" says Mommy;
and this is her reaction...my silly, sweet little girl

enjoying some fun time in her toy basket...
all her idea, by the way
with Auntie Ashley's approval, of course {grin}

all of the grandparents
from left to right:  Jay and Tracy Rickel, Ellie's great-Grandpa Schmid and his wife Donna, and my parents there on the end...ah yes, and a "happy" little granddaughter in the middle of it all  {smirk}

getting silly...

absolutely exhausted, as I'm sure you are too by now...
having finally made it through all these pictures

{by the way, this is how miss ellie falls asleep these days, by 
rubbing her bunny's soft ear up and down her cheek, until she
lulls herself to sleep.  too cute. just too cute.}

it was a wonderful, happy day altogether! 
and I hope you enjoyed being a little part of it too...


A Montana Nature Walk

Last Sunday, one crispy fall day, the family went for a walk.   But not just around town . . . We went forty minutes away to West Glacier and found this path.

Ah, maybe this is why we're here in Montana . . . Oh, wait . . . Nope I just remembered.
It's because of this.

Aw, she's just so cute (when she wants to be)  Huh?  Who me?  I didn't say anything!
Anyway, moving on.   This path we took was beside an exquisite turquoise river.

Tres jolie, mais non?  You can type that in Google Translate or come up with your own caption if you can put words to the beauty of God's creation.

So, so amazing.  This path also had a bridge, which used to be the main entrance into Glacier National Park.  (Which everyone just calls the Park up here; handy info for your back pocket if you want to sound cool when you come up to visit us - which I'm sure you are all dying to do about now.)  Ahem, let's get back to the bridge.

The story of this bridge is that in 1964, a major flood of the river swept over aforementioned bridge and destroyed it leaving behind one well-designed concrete arch; which you can see clearer below.

Now the bridge is a pedestrian walkway for people like Ellie to walk over.

Or stomp/stretch over.  She tries so hard to be just like us :)

And she just loves her mommy.  And daddy too, but daddy couldn't come with us because he has a big test tomorrow and was trying to get some studying time in.   So we took pictures to make him jealous.

She loves her Grandma too.   But she loves it even better when Mommy and Grandma team up and say "1, 2, 3, wheeee!"

Let's get a better look at that expression . . . 

Note the anticipation in her expression getting ready to once again, "1, 2, 3, Wheeeee!

Sheer joy as she kicks her little feet up into the air.

Ah, Ellie, you've stolen all our hearts.

Ultimately though, there was a meltdown by her royal highness, and we scurried back to the car to keep her screams from echoing across the river.  

The wonderful time ended at the local pizza place where we order a pizza appropriately named "Glacier" and feasted to our hearts content.

The End. Finis. La Fin.  В конце.   结束. (Google Translate, Baby!)


Front of House

Mary asked to see the front of our house.  Well, we aim to please at the Franks' house and since my resident photographer was in a good mood (which is most of the time), I have some pictures for you.

You must remember, though, that we bought a fixer upper.
A fixer upper that we haven't fixed up yet.
The garage has taken precedence.  

Without further ado,
below is a photo of the north side of our home.

The aluminum siding will go.
Not sad about that at all!
 We will be installing insulation in the walls when we add the new siding.
The staircase is still there (behind the chimney).  
It might disappear as well.
I mentioned that in a previous post.
It's ugly.  Yep.

Next is the south side. 
 Again, the siding will be replaced.  

The first bump out you see closest to the porch is the window seat in our dining room.  
The second is in the eating area of the kitchen.  
The grouping of 4 windows up top are part of Ashley's room.
 She and Rachel just spent some time getting them all sparkly. 
 The two windows toward the back are part of Rachel's room.  
Yep, they are sparkly clean as well.

Ok and now for a "straight on" front view.  
That would be west facing 
(according to Rachel as I am severely directionally challenged).

The windows that have the shutters around them look into our game room.
The trim will be replaced and I'm not sure if the shutters will stay.
That area used to be the other half of the porch.
The space under it needs ALOT of work as well as the area under the porch.
The trim color will be what you see partially painted on the porch.  
The light tan color.

Last is a close up for you of the front door area.

There you have it, Mary.  And as the sign says, you are welcome any time!


Garage and Fall

It is about time for a garage update. . . I know you all have been waiting on the edge of your seats for this!

Let us start from the beginning.  Of the garage, that is.

Here Steve is setting up some forms.

Then, we pour us some concrete.

Then Rachel updated you some on the framed walls in this post.

Now, Steve has really made some progress.

This picture is taken from the back of our house.  Why would we have a garage door opening from the back.  Well, I don't quite get it.  But, boys do.  I guess it is nice to have a drive through garage, you know.  One just never knows when you will need a car in the back yard, huh?

Steve and Rachel have the apron almost ready for pouring in this next photo.

This is not a covered bridge, mind you.  It is the back of our garage from the alley way looking into our back yard.  Wow, I still can hardly believe it.  That we actually have a drive through garage.  Heart be still!!!!!!!

There has been more progress. . . even as we speak Rachel and Steve are putting up the trim work.  It is all coming together so nicely.

AND, the trees are changing.  The streets around here look just lovely.  Here is a peek.

Happy Fall to you.