March 27th

March 27th was our 26th Anniversary!

The girls decided that we should celebrate in San Diego
where there are  a "few" more options.

They arranged a dinner for us at a restaurant we enjoy.
We were to show up at the Chart House at 6:45 on Sunday night.

We followed our instructions (no questions were allowed to be asked).

The hostess was seating us and I noticed that she walked past the last vacant table.
She was taking us to a table that had other people sitting at it.


I know those people!

The girls arranged for two couples that were an integral part of my life and part
of the beginning of our marriage, to meet with us there!


A total surprise and blessing to be in their company.
Thank you, friends, for giving us your time.
You are a treasure to us.

There was a lot of years of marriage represented there.
John and Terry = 40 years
Mark and Jan = 32 years

It was a lovely evening, girls.

We both thank you very much.

Mom and Dad


Friday's Adventures

Friday we went to SeaWorld.
Thank you friend that made this happen for us.

Ellie got a new hat for the occasion.
Her head needed some protection from all the
fantastic sunshine we have been enjoying.

You can't tell from this expression,
Ellie was really enjoying herself!

Sunday had us enjoying lunch at a family favorite!

This little white skirt Ellie is wearing 
was yours, Rachel!

It was a great weekend here in San Diego.



Oh, the memories!

More memories to share with you all.  

We have been going through some boxes of saved memories.
This little outfit that Ellie is wearing was a birthday present for Rachel on her 4th birthday.
Ellie loves wearing it and it just touches a very soft spot in this grandma's heart!

And this sweatshirt...another lovely from the memory box!

Maybe when I get back to Montana, I will put up the pictures of Rachel wearing these things for comparison for you all to enjoy!

We are off to Sea World this morning!  
Yeah for sunshine!



Wee Rickel

Ellie refers to the newest Rickel as Wee Rickel.

That wee one is growing.  (Picture from Kacey's instagram)

Ellie has been praying that you would feel better.
She is sending this picture in hopes that it would give you a happy heart.

It is a gloomy day in San Diego today.
Absolutely no sun to speak of.
In fact, the temperature here is 61 and when I checked Kalispell it was the same at 61!



A Bed with so many good memories!

Ellie has been sleeping so well here in San Diego!

All the sunshine and fresh air makes for restful naps.

When I was a little girl, I slept in this same bed at my grandma's house.

I have many lovely memories of sleeping at grandma's
and listening to Paul Harvey while falling asleep.

Rachel slept in this same bed for many, many years!  She looked as adorable in it as Ellie does.


for all you non-instagrammers...

Here is a picture of Ashley, Dr. Kirk Milhoan, and Lauren.

Looks as though they are having one fine time.
They flew to Papua New Guinea yesterday and will be there for 5 days.

Until tomorrow, folks!


Friends and Food

Yesterday we were able to see many of our friends at church

Hi there Lisa!

Then we went out for some Mexican food at Casa de Bandini.

It was a lovely Sunday.


The Fickle Spring

It was only yesterday after a morning of rain showers, that I sat on the stump in our backyard, closed my eyes against the sunlight, and felt warmth thrown across my shoulders like a blanket. "Finally," I thought.

Then, creeping across the sky, a cloud; but not alone, soon he was joined by another, darker; now another, darker still. Then came the torrents of rain into the night, filling the house with the sounds of thunder.

Still, I never expected frosty snowflakes 2 inches deep.

This spring has been tough. No one in our family can seem to stay healthy for long: Hudson and I being the latest two suffering maladies. 

Day 3 of Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) = Not Fun
But what I've been attempting lately is to not let circumstances take the smile from my face. Sure, life's not fun and I don't want to smile at you and pretend everything is okay. I might want sympathy or someone to say "Wow, so sorry." But then I want to be Jesus to people. And if I'm down and out of the fight because of a cold, that doesn't bode well for the war.

So yes, I'm tired. Yes, it's miserable outside. Yes, my eyes burn. BUT, I have a warranty that good will come from these things. So I'm not going to let my smile cower from the light of day.

With that said, I'm thankful to spend the rest of the day in the basement, alone and by a warm fire.


Loving the Truck

Hudson has enjoyed playing with all the San Diego toys.

Thankfully we have a few down here that are not pink.

Thank you to Rachel for that!

The sun shineth again today!

We are thankful.



Our Friend

Last night we had Kyle over for dinner.

It so happened that our trip coincided with his furlough.

Kyle serves Jesus and others in China.

He has an incredible skate ministry and prison ministry.

What a blessing he is.

Go Kyle!


(And for those wondering, Ashley made it safely to Australia and will be on her way to Papua New Guinea soon)


Drive, drive, drivey, drive drive!

Have any of you read the Gerald and Piggie books?

Fun stories for children.  The title is a quote from one!

We drove all the way to San Diego!!!!

Hudson and Ellie did well on the drive.

I thought I would try to post a picture every day of our time here.

Sound like a good idea?

Here is photo number one and two.

is it roseola?
He definitely has something.
Until we are sure about it...
we are hunkering down at Mt. Gaywas.



April 17th

What does April look like in Kalispell?

Our first steady day of sunshine; just in time for pictures.  The rain has caused green growth overnight, though the last three nights below freezing have stunted flowers.  But everyone is smiling in the sun, knowing we are getting closer to summer, closer to warmth.

However, it is not the time to shed your jacket. Bracing winds keep the 40 degree temperature days colder than I would like. I want a day to lie in the sun and kick this cold messing with my life. 

I visited the local urgent care up here and got the happy news that I have some form of otitis media that can exist for up to five months! Hooray! And there is nothing they can do for it as it is not a infection treatable by antibiotics. 

So this has been my crashpad for the last five days. The entire left side (as you face the house) has been insulated and wrapped (Thanks Dad!), and we are ready to start the back. So maybe we will actually have a summer yard next year.  This year it will be a mud pit/ dust bowl/ construction zone.

The critical eye will notice there are still no leaves on the trees, there are brown patches in the grass, and snow on the upper mountains. But I feel like a High School Musical student sitting in my desk, watching the clock, whispering "summer, summer, summer, summer!"

Summer seems another world, though, hunkered down here in the basement next to the fire. Takes me the day to get the house warm and for every hour I sleep the house gets one degree colder. Hmmm, maybe we should finish that insulating.

C'est ├ža! All the words I have to throw at you. Oh, other than this. Go help Evan Wickham reach the goal for his new cd on Kickstarter! I'm super excited to hear it! Only seven days left to help out, so hop to it, as Bramble would say!


It's a...!!!

the results are in...

thank you for having some fun with us!  {grin}

Ellie gets her second brother, and Hudson gets his first!!!  So happy to welcome another little boy into the family!


a poll

hi friends,

just wanted you all to know that tomorrow is the big day!  the one where we have our ultrasound, and if all goes well, find out what the gender of our newest addition will be!!!  Yay!!!

we are taking Ellie who is extremely excited about " wee Rickel" as she affectionately calls her new sibling  {grin}

so, just for the fun of it, I put up a poll on the top of our sidebar to the right here...your votes must be cast before noon on this Saturday, April 06.

cannot wait to see what you all think! and even more, what the test results will show!!!

thank you for participating!


hudson lad turns {one} !!!

as you all surely know by now, my little baby is no baby anymore.  He is officially a little one-year old!!! {as of February 28}

this event was marked on its occasion by mommy's Instagram and two happy celebrations held here at our house. sadly, it has taken until now for me to blog and write and share pictures for all of you to enjoy...{ I could blame prego sickness, and tax season, and general busyness that seems to be my life, but I won't...suffice it to say, my blogging consistency is severely lacking}


Wow, my little boy, you are one! Sorry, but you are still mommy's baby until the new one comes along. I have to get my snuggles and you give them willingly.  Thanks, buddy.

you are officially finished with all baby food, and you want the yummy stuff on mommy and daddy's plates.  you are usually pretty easy-going about trying new things, but there are days you refuse all food options other than your happy dappy oatmeal...mmm...mmm...  Let's see, what do you like most of the time?  cheese, yogurt, strawberries, apples,pasta, potatoes, any kind of delicious soup, cheeseburgers, and hot dogs...you really do love your meat, just like your daddy!  snacks are always good too...puffs are still a favorite, honey nut cheerios, and baby mum-mum's...

my poor little guy, you have been so sick these last few months.  I think you have really only had a week that you were free from nasty cold ick.  no fun.  and teething all at the same time, too!  I think you have a total of eight teeth poking through now.  Good work!

you are a continuing to be a wonderful little sleeper for mama.  Still taking a rest in the morning, and an afternoon nap before you head to a nice early bedtime of seven.  guess it takes you so much energy to grow, grow, grow like you do!

walking hasn't been your main focus until the last few weeks, but now you can walk all on your own!  with several tumbles, and wobbling.  So cute!

you are such a little Guy, and I love it!  you love to put things together and take them apart.  you figure out how stuff works, and you try to help so much already {grin}  daddy and you put together stuff for mommy...I know that he loves having you as his side-kick, and is counting the days until you can tag along with him and help him on the job.  I keep telling him that is a long, long way away!  I like having you here way to much!!!

you jibber jabber a lot....but you do say several words very clearly.  "Hi there" "bye-bye" "Da-da" "Ma-ma" "uh-oh" , "nigh-nigh"  and you understand so much of what mommy is saying...

"let's brush your teeth" and "bathtime!"  are your favorite announcements of the day.  A close second being "are you ready for night-night, hudson??"  {grin}

you have changed our household so much in just a year, and our family wouldn't be the same without you.

Happy 1st Birthday, my son!


 {p.s. birthday party post soon to follow...please bear with me}