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Preview: Keiser Family

Keiser Family

This is a family friendly blog. Where we chronicle our life raising 6 kids.Please do not leave comments that are inappropriate, rude, crude or otherwise unacceptable. Thank you.

Updated: 2018-03-05T21:37:07.160-07:00


I've moved .... for while at least


Hey peeps (ya know that's me thinking people actually :) come here to see what's up)  well I'm kinda out of photo storage here on blogger so you can find me over here!  Please come by for a visit and leave a comment.

Foto Story Friday #135 -- sledding MT style!


Last Tuesday we took the kids, the 4-wheelers and the sleds/tube out to the OHV (off highway vehicle) park for a little winter fun.  Cody was the first victim!  He had a blast..... who wouldn't sliding behind the 4-wheeler with snow flying into your face?!  :)  It is tons of fun!  Although there are no pictures to prove it, I did take my turn on the tube and the sled!
 Then Robby took a turn....
 But they had little bit of trouble....
 And had to untangle the tow rope.
 Then Emmy was up.  She had a blast as well.
 Scott was to follow Em.  Look at that grip!  He had fun, but when he took a turn on the sled behind the 4-wheeler, he flew off and was less than thrilled with that ride.  To me the fling off is part of the fun! :)
Savanna was having a bunch of fun too... can you see the smile?
Now I had tons more photos I wanted to share, but Google tells me my free picture storage is all used up?! :(
Have a series of Cody getting suck and rescued by his dad.  Have a bunch of the kids flying down a huge hill on the sled. Some fun ones of Cody acting as a horse and pulling Scott behind him.
Go here to see the rest of the photos, thanks.

Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Foto Story Friday #134--


Christmas pajamas!Well ya gotta be good or ya just might get a surprise in your sock! Some breakfast...... fruit smoothies and homemade cinnamon rolls! Guess they were good enough for gifts after-all. Now for a few shots of what's inside...... A My Twinn doll.  She was very excited!  Now she doesn't have to ask her sisters for their twin dolls.  She dressed her up and brought her to church. Cody helped Grampa customize this board for Shantel and he will be adding graphics soon. What little boy doesn't want trucks and cars?  Cody's gift is a little ate in arriving..... so he got a picture of it!  Robby wanted to get a pictuer of all of his stuff..... wish he had made his bed! Teenagers are talented.... texting with both hands?! Savanna also wanted to have a photo.Sunday morning the trees were covered in frosty beauty!Hosted by Cecily and LolliI think I've stayed up too late with my kids watching movies and playing games, this week for my brain to work properly.......Wishing you all a happy new year![...]

Foto Story Friday #133-- wrestling and strange sights


Wrestling season is in full swing round here and Cody is having a good time.  He has improved 500 times since last season.  His first match of the year was won with a pin!  I wasn't able to be there to see it, but I am so proud of his accomplishments.  While we were gone to Vegas he had 2 big meets and a dual.  Since we've been home he's had 2 home duals and a big meet in Dickinson North Dakota.  His first home dual against The Hardin Bulldogs brought him another pin in 48 seconds!  We were cheering our hearts out! Shoot Going for a take down Going for an arm to roll him Drive Looking for a hold. Working the head and arm. Sucking up the cradle. And PIN!!!!It was so very cool to watch them raise his hand for the win!The big Invite at Dickinson we were unable to attend (it is tough to get the crew out for 2 full days of wrestling with school and the drive and the cost of food and admission for 6 people!).  Cody texted as soon as his first match was over, another pin!!! And then Saturday he texted with 2 more pins!  Bringing his total for the season thus far up to 5!  Last year he ended the season with just one pin.  This past Tuesday they had their second home dual against the Glasgow Scotties.  They proved to be a tough team.  Every guy had to fight hard for his points and or pin.  The shake oh no, being taken down fighting to free his arms not looking good, but still he is trying to free himselfStraining to get an arm out.... but he eventually was pinned.  There were many guys who wrestled all out and didn't come up on top we are very proud of his efforts and how he has grown this year.  His next dual is the 4th against the Miles City Cowboys, and it's a home meet so we will be there screaming and cheering our boys on!!The other day we were out running errands, when this farm truck pulled onto the main drag with a large animal on the back.Upon closer examination, we determined that it was a horse.  I guess his ole horse passed.  Not sure where he took it maybe to a vet or the stockyard for proper disposal, but it was a very odd sight indeed.On Tuesday, we took a little drive over to ND to deliver some secret Santa gifts.  We stopped at the truck stop and saw this:I don't know what this guy is plowing into or through, but that is a serious grill!Also on our drive we saw this pretty light wrapped in greenery and nature's frosty touches too. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and may the spirit of the season dwell in your hearts daily.Hosted by Cecily and Lolli[...]

Foto Story Friday #132--flying home


Friday we spent our last few hours in Vegas (and the rest of the day trying to get home).  I started it out with this fabulous breakfast.Then it was time for goodbyes and a photo or two with Aunt Claudia's beautiful Christmas tree.Our best sides! :)Thank you Aunt Claudia and Uncle Byron for having us in your home.  We really had a great visit with you and your family.Cris drove us to the airport where we saw a bit of what runs the Vegas economy -- gaming of course.The lights and colors beckon to the weary armed bandit stand neatly in rows calling out...with their promises of big moneybe careful or you too will be sucked in!Our plane is ready for boarding to Denver.the next photos were all taken from my window on the flight from Vegas to Denver.On the runway we see the big casinos and hotels  as well as some helicopters.The waiting line behind our plane.In the air we get one final glimpse of Vegas.The water levels have sure dropped on Lake Meade.Just really liked how the clouds looked off the wing.It is amazing how the earth looks from above!The Colorado River winds off in the distance.It's so different from the ground level views one normally has.The earth is a very beautiful place!Canyon landsapproaching the Denver airport we flew over a high school.On the ground in Denver.We were supposed to board the plane for Glendive at 5:45, but there were several delays.  First we heard there were weather issues and a few flights to the general area were cancelled.  Then our plane had troubles and they had to switch it out twice!  Finally at 9:30 we got to board the plane home.  We flew from Denver to Gillette, WY to drop two passengers, fuel up and de-ice. The pilot told us that he slid the plane into the disembarking area and then warned the ground crew that if we were unable to land in Glendive we'd be back!  Thankfully we landed in Glendive without a hitch the big storm slated for the area had missed us!  We got home about 12:30 AM to a house full of sleeping kids and one grateful sitter who could go home and sleep in her own bed!  We are ever grateful to those who watched our kids for the week so we could both go to Vegas for Nana's services and that we could visit with family and friends while there.Hosted by Cecily and Lolli[...]

Foto Story Friday #131-- Trip to Vegas


If you're a regular reader, you know that Nana returned to her heavenly home 2 days after Thanksgiving.  Nana lived most of her life in North Las Vegas, Nevada and so back to Vegas she went to be laid to rest next to her husband.  I greatly desired to accompany Troy and his parents to Vegas for the services, as I was unable to attend Papa's services a few years before.  Anyone with kids will agree that finding a sitter for your kids is stressful work and to find one willing to spend a week with your children is near impossible.  I fretted for a couple of days and talked it over with Troy about who we could ask to take on such a daunting task, finally we came up with the perfect person to ask.  Right after we settled on her, another friend called to say that she would be willing to help us out (after-all her husband did volunteer her).  I told her I thought I had another friend who could stay the night with the kids and I'd call her to work out the details after I chatted with the other friend.  I called the lady we had settled on at work and she said she would love to help us out and could stay with them for the week!  I had a third lady who stayed the first night with them and made sure they got to church on Sunday.  Yay!  I could go!  I set to the task of figuring out my life and the kids' lives for the next week..... I kid you not, I had a stress headache for 2 days and was pretty sure I couldn't ask so much of these ladies!  They assured me they were up for the challenge.So bright and early Saturday the 4th of December, we set out for Vegas, a mere 1,276 mile trip - by car. One never knows what one will see driving down the freeway~  this train was hauling 3 planes. Off to the other side the road, we saw these guys discussing the problem of a stuck truck.Getting closer to Idaho we saw less snow.  I loved the old barn up on the rolling hills and quick snapped a photo.We only got as far as Pocatello the first day.  The worst roads we had were within 2 hours of home.  There were a couple of patchy ice spots in Idaho.  Troy was razzing his mom the whole way down, we will laugh for a while because of those "icy" spots in ID and UT! :) The next morning we got up had breakfast and headed out for the second leg of our journey.  We had to make a pit stop somewhere south of Salt Lake.  As we walked back to the car I saw how the flag hung with the mountains in the background and composed this shot. The farther south we went the nicer it became.  We met Troy's uncle for lunch in Beaver, UT.  He was headed home from his trucking run.I wished we could have come in to Vegas in the dark, it is such a dramatic sight to come around the bend and see the lights of Vegas, but we hit town at about 4. There was a haze hanging over the valley :(  This is the view most people are expecting to see when in Vegas,but if you've lived there, this is a better more appreciated one!  I do love the rugged mountains that surround Vegas.  There's a certain tug on me for the desert...... especially when I know how cold it is at home in Montana!After a wonderful dinner with Aunt Claudia, Uncle Byron and Troy's parents, we settled in for the night at our gracious host's house.  (Thanks again for everything Aunt Claudia and Unc!)The following morning after breakfast, showers and visiting, we went shopping with the fam and then set out to see if we could remember how to get around in this town!  So much has changed in 10 years!!The first place we checked out was the home Troy grew up in.  Not quite how he remembered it...... the grass was always green and boy have those trees grown!  They were planted for our wedding reception 17 1/2 years ago!  It is kinda sad, the house is being foreclosed as the current owners haven't been paying the mort[...]

Foto Story Friday #130--- honor choir


The one event of last week that I failed to post about was honors choir.  Last Tuesday we had the District Eleven Gala Honors Concert. Two weeks before the concert, Shantel came home from school and said, "I gotta tell ya something." Thinking it might be grade related, I said, "You can tell me after the others head to bed if you want to." She looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Mrs. S called me into her office during choir and I thought I was in trouble.  She closed the door and said, 'If I had an opening in honors choir would you like to fill it?' I told her I didn't try out, but she said, 'I have an opening and I need a strong alto.' So I said yes I want to be in honors choir!" I thought that was pretty cool.  On last Monday the schools in district 11 descended upon Dawson High and practiced  all through two school days, and then performed a fantastic concert! This is the Treble Honor Choir, which is an all girl choir. Shantel kept giving me dirty looks while I was taking pictures!  They sang 5 songs:  To Sing, Abendlied, I Am the River, Things that never Die and Cedar swamp.They were fantastic.There was also a Mixed Honor Choir and they sang 6 songs:  Gloria in Excelsis, Ave Verum Corpus, We Rise Again, Loch Lomond, Nigra Sum and Walk in Jerusalem.They were also impressive.The last the perform was the Honor Band.  I didn't take an photos of the band, I find it rather difficult to capture a band in that auditorium.  The played 3 pieces:  The King Across the Water, Lux Arumque and Black Horse Troop.  The first was very cool because half the band were playing "drums"  The woodwinds all had a bucket and drum sticks, it was an outstanding way to get them going and it sounded fantastic!  Of course, I am a drummer and really do enjoy a good beat! Hosted by Cecily and Lolli[...]

Foto Story Friday #129-- the week


Last Friday a very special baby and her bran-new parents came over for a little photo shoot. Just love baby toes and little shoes! Such a precious blessing..... given to make this wonderful couple a family. Daddy loveMommy kisses!Last Saturday, was the girl's choice formal, Co-Ed.  Shantel really REALLY wanted to go and we discussed it and said she could go to the dance but not with a date, as she is too young for dating.  She bought a solo ticket.  I did her hair and her nails, she just stayed home and ate dinner with us, then we took her to the school to meet up with her friends.  A princess ready for the ball! Kicking it before the dance with one of her buds. And yet another bud.At formal dances here, they have a grand march..... right out of a fair tale, like Cinderella.  They announce each girl and her escort.  Shantel was escorted by the neighbor kid.  They march across the stage meeting in the middle and he hands her a flower, takes her arm and they march down the steps. It was pretty cool!  I'm fairly sure this was the first of many formal dances we will attend the Grand March for! Shantel and her besties! This sweet girl has recently had to move to another town and she was able to come back and attend the dance.This bud came to the grand march but not to the dance.Of course we had a few pilgrims round here....Don't ya love these outfits?  Freshly made at school!  Em was worried about having to dress up as a pilgrim, so she wore an Indian dress to school! :)Tonight, we had the light parade, cold but fun. The reason for the season.  A float sponsored by one of the churches. A classic Christmas story.I loved how they covered this old truck in lights.After the light parade we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  It is time to let Nana know it is OK for her to go home, if it is time.We gathered together this evening to tell Nana that it is OK with us if she is ready to return to her Father in Heaven.  Before we entered the room, we sat down in the living room where Grandma and Grandpa explained how Nana has not really eaten the last few days, despite their efforts to feed her and that she is unresponsive to touch or talk, and that it just might be time for her to return Home.  Some of the kids were not really hip on going into the room and basically saying good-bye.  I was able to convince them to step into the room for a photo.  (Robby was sleeping over at a friend's house.) The big girls quickly left as the "it's OKs" were said. Em loves her Nana and she stepped up to the bed and took Nana's old frail hand in her young strong one and just held it for a few minutes. Scott stepped up next to her, but didn't touch her.  She was breathing and sleeping and we're not sure she knew we were there.  I think this helps us to let her go, when she is ready. As I type this I am having to do as Shantel and wipe my tears.  Shantel's friend was there to comfor her and Savanna.EmmaLece grabbed a tissue and snuggled up.  When Grandpa went in to check on her later, Em was right there to see if her Nana was still breathing.  Life lessons are hard on the young and the old.  Each of us is allotted our time here on earth, we must love and cherish those placed in our timeline.P.S.  Nana was called home today, 11-27-10.Hosted by Cecily and Lolli[...]

Foto Story Friday #128-- The helper


I know that I have talked about EmmaLece and Nana in the past, but I'm going to revisit the subject with a few new photos of the two.
EmmaLece has a special love for Nana.  Anytime we are over to Grandma and Grandpa's she always makes sure to go say "Hi" to her and have a little chat with her.  After that she runs off to play or watch tv or whatever else she can find to do.
 Once it is time to eat, she magically reappears and is ready to get Nana's bib on her and to help her to the table.
Last Sunday evening, as we were all getting up to the table, here came Em beating Grandma to Nana's chair and holding out her hands to help her up.  It is so sweet that we nearly have tears spring to our eyes.
Together, they make their way to the table.... the young and the old!  Each one thinking she is helping the other.  EmmaLece gets her settled onto her chair making sure she is in the right chair and properly clothed in her bib before she finds her own chair.
As they made their way to the table, Grandma and I were walking behind and We both saw what a precious photo this will be in future years.  I quickly got out the camera to record the moment.  One day EmmaLece will look back at these photos and the tears just may spring to her eyes as they did ours.
Never underestimate the power of youth!  or the wise council to be like a little child!

Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Foto Story Friday #127-- Family photos


It's getting to that time of year when people starting thinking about a family photo to send at Christmas time.  We don't often do such things, we normally type up a letter and include some pix.  This year we wanted to do family photos.  What I learned is that it is much easier to photograph someone else's family!

We went to the museum and they have some outdoor stuff like a caboose and this old rail cart.  The twins wanted to sit up there so we gathered around and I set it up, put the timer on and ran back to get in position.  I can't tell how stiff or relaxed I look until after the shot is taken!

Then we headed to my favorite bridge for a few more.  this one is my favorite.  I like photos that show personality or family goofiness.

When we turned to face the river the other way, we saw this scene and I liked it as well.

Can't resist a quick couples shot also done with the timer.

Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Foto Story Friday #126--


A few shots from our Halloween festivities From Trunk or Treat ......
1st we have Shantel and her friend
aka Pocahontas and Emo Grunge Girl.... or is she just your average high school girl?
Moving on to Cody and Pocahontas
You can't really tell in this photo, but he happens to be wearing skinny jeans..... not just any skinny jeans, his sister's skinny jeans!  Don't know how he moved in those things!  It was pretty funny!  He was an Emo Skater Guy or Asian style according to his Aunt!
Next we meet Captain Jack Sparrow!
She makes a great Jack Sparrow, wouldn't you agree?
On Saturday, I realized that I didn't take a picture of myself dressed up, so I had to remedy that.  I drug Savanna up to my little studio space and set the camera up on the tripod had her stand there so I could adjust the settings and then had her snap a few photos of me.
So who was I?  My sister guessed The Lady in White, a kid at the trunk or treat guessed Cleopatra, a few others guessed a Greek goddess and one thought I was Aphrodite.  Any of those are just fine with me, but the costume said it was a Roman Princess.
Savanna and I carved a pumpkin Saturday evening.  She picked the patterns and we each tried our hand at it.  Isn't our pumpkin spider cute?

Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Foto Story Friday #125-- scary faces


Halloween is just around the corner...... we'll not be Trick-or-treating this year since it falls on Sunday.  We will be attending trunk-or-treat tomorrow night at church.
 We are practicing our scary faces....
and carving some too!
Happy Halloween to one and all!

Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Foto Story Friday #124-- delicious family time


Need something fun and yummy to do with the whole family?  Make doughnuts!!  Monday night we did just that!First cut, by Scott.Fry sister, Savanna!It is kinda messy but worth it!Buttermilk Doughnutscombine:2cups buttermilk, 2 eggs & 1 cup sugarbeat in sifted dry ingredients: 5/12 cups flour, 2 teaspoons soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1teaspoon nutmegstir in:1/4 cup melted butter or shorteningroll or pat out on well floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickfry in hot oil/fat (375). when starts to brown flip. we like to roll then in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. enjoy!!Even teenagers will get in on the fun. Especially if you don't get to eat them if you don't help!Don't forget to play in the flour!Shake it well in the cinnamon sugar!keep your eye on the doughnuts :)Taste!Look yummy huh?Yeah they are super yum!!  Go make some you know you want to!!Hosted by Cecily and Lolli[...]

Foto Story Friday #123--5th grade social studies projects


Four kids through the 5th grade and four projects on the indigenous people of north america. (Six years ago I was using a borrowed camera, because I was between cameras and trying to make a decision on what kind to get.  Please forgive the quality of these first 2 photos!)  Cody made his first real project for school and boy was it a project for both of us!  He did a cliff dwelling.  We got a shoe box and covered it with paper mache, then painted it.  We made bricks with a bake dough and painted them.  We visited the hardware store and got some tiny fake tree branches and cut them down to size.  It really did look pretty cool, wish the photos were better so you could see.His teacher entered into the fair and he got a purple ribbon!It is amazing what 6 year will do for a person:Five years ago, Shantel wanted to make a dwelling like Cody had and she wanted it to go to the fair and win a purple ribbon!  She's not competitive! :)  She worked very hard on her Long House.  First she and Grandma went to the dump and wallered around searching for bark to properly cover her house.  We needed to build a pole structure and skewers lashed together with twist ties work nicely.  Thank goodness for hot glue, as it held her house together.She was able to take it to the fair and it got a ribbon, not the purple but at least she placed!Fives years can really change a person!Two years ago it was Savanna's turn.  Her teacher said she would like them to not make a dwelling so Savanna opted for a Coup Stick.  After researching it on the net we did our best with what we had on hand.  some string to pass as leather and beads and some collected feathers.She brought antlers to display it on in class. Just look at what even 2 years will do for a body?  Getting pretty!Now this year is Robby's turn.  He chose to follow Savanna {I see a pattern here :) } and make a Coup Stick.  He also had to do some internet research and then set to work.Robby chose to wrap his stick a little more tightly with the selected strings in school colors.  and place several beads on for some added flair.  Now he didn't have any luck hunting feathers outside so he had to settle for some recently removed pink ones from a dress-up boa!  He teacher loved the pink feathers.We didn't get a finished photo..... will have to take one when he brings it home I guess.It will be 4 years before these two will make their own social studies projects, wonder what they will make?Hosted by Cecily and Lolli[...]

Foto Story Friday #122- shower remodel


In August we remodeled our shower.  it was in major need .......We had some nasty mold growing in there.  We also put in a fan/vent to help with the moisture.First we had to get all the nasty stuff out.(sorry some of these are not the best quality...) We put up some concrete board around the shower area.Painted it with some moisture barrier stuff.Since that is our only shower, we needed to work fast and hard..... no shower means washing my hair in the kitchen sink! :)Measure twice and cut once.....Our first tile job....Clean up day 2Mix up the grout.Clean up day 3Finally sealing the grout!We had to use the shower at the in-laws for the few days it took to re-do the shower.  It is SO nice now that it is finished though!Hosted by Cecily and Mary[...]

Foto Story Friday #121- Fall is in the air


Round here the leaves are changing color and falling to the ground.  That is not really a surprise since we have already had snow!  I am glad that the sun has returned and that the snow has left for a while.  I'm glad to enjoy the cooler days but not at all ready for the cold of winter.  We have a very weather sensitive tree, I've no idea what kind of tree it is but it is always the first to release it's leaves every year.  On Monday after school the twins and I went out to enjoy the perfect day.  They were SO excited to have the leaves on the ground that they WANTED to rake them all up!Who would argue with free happy rakers?!  So once we located the shed key and got those rakes out, they went to work, raking their little hearts out! Don't you just want to join her in the raking duties?  Once they got all the leaves raked up, the neighbor kid even came over to help, because the plan was to jump right in!And jump they did!  Running and splatting or butt bombing, it didn't matter as long as they ran, jumped and had fun!!Fun they had!  They played for hours and hours!  from 3pm to 7pm when I convinced them to come in for dinner.Tuesday was just as perfect a day and the tree had given us a blessing of way more leaves to rake up and jump into!Some of us took it easy in the hammock!  Every once in awhile he needs to take a break! :)  Plus he has good ideas, like : "hey. go get your bikes and plow through the leaf pile!"You only have to tell them once!  they ran for the bikes and squabbled over who would go first.  Em won as Scott remembered that he had a flat tire :(Thankfully Em was nice enough to share her bike and he got his chance to play leaf plow!Fall is defiantly in the air and on the ground and all around..... enjoy it because it is fleeting!Hosted by Cecily and Lolli[...]

Foto Story Friday #120-- Navy Band Country Current


On Monday, the United States Navy band, Country Current, came to Little 'ole Glendive to perform.    They were outstanding!  They played todays country hits as well as a few from back in the day.  They really kicked it up in their blue grass songs as well.  Most of those songs were written by the band members.(all these pictures were taken w/o flash)We had good seats in the high school auditorium and I attempted to take photos from my seat without the use of the flash.  In order to do that one must have a steady hand and bump up the ISO. (you could have a tripod and that would be easier.... but I didn't bring any of the 3 I own....) My kids left the flyer behind at Grandpa's thus I don't know anyone's names..... Went to Grandpa's and got the flyer!  MU1 Kenny Horton emcee-ed sang lead and played the guitar.Now, MU1 Joseph Friedman, he really got into the music.MUC Patrick White plays a pretty mean fiddle.About half way thru the concert, I couldn't sit still any longer, but the problem was that I happened to be in the middle of the row.  My feet were antsy and I really wanted to get up front and take pictures from there.After stepping on some poor little old lady's foot, I got out of the row and down front.  He posed for me, and as luck would have it, the photo actually turned out!!  A few years ago another military band came and performed, but you weren't allowed to take photos, so I was excited to be able to take pictures at this one.It was very difficult to take a good photo of the drummer as, MU1 Christina Catalanotto, was behind this partition.  She is the only female member of the band.  The rose among thorns as she was introduced.They were fun to watch and listen to.This one is a bit too grainy, but I still like it.A mandolin played by the guy who also plays the fiddle.  I liked it but again it's a bit grainy.    My Grandpa played both of these instruments.  He passed away before I ever met him but my parents had a recording of him playing the fiddle, he was good.Lead VocalMulti tasking!As well as playing the electric  bass guitar, MU1 Jeremy Middleton, plays the biggest cello like thing.  When they were playing the blue grass music, he traded his guitar for this cello thing which is actually called a string bass.  I so wanted to be closer at that time to get some shot of the string bass, but he was towards the back of the stage and I couldn't get any good ones. :(MUCS Keith Arneson was always so serious while he was playing either the guitar or the banjo.  When he was introduced, they said he is the comedian of the group!  He was kinda funny when he took a few mins to chat with us.  They played all the songs for each branch of the service and had those who have served, are serving or had family members who are or had been in each branch stand when they played their song.  It was very cool.    I took pictures of the crowd, but they were very VERY grainy so I'm not posting them.  Afterwards they came down and visited with any who wanted to visit.    I got a few decent shots of the kids shaking hands.All in all, it was a good evening and I would recommend you attend a concert if  they come close to you.MU1- Musician First ClassMUC- Chief MusicianMUCS- Senior Chief MusicianHosted by Cecily and Lolli[...]

Foto Story Friday #119--senior out takes


I had the opportunity to do senior photos for a beautiful young woman this past Saturday afternoon.  We had a great time and got some AWESOME photos of her!  You know that I can't just take photos of her face though, so here are some of the fun ones or the out takes.Watch your step!  there are these old crumbly debris filled steps that she began to traverse, but decided there were just too many bugs.... In an attempt to get real smiles her mom was making her laugh and teasing her about a boy she finds attractive.  She was so funny!  "He is SO hot!""Ohhhhhhh he's so so...."This is so Kenna! :)Either the engineer or the conductor on this passing train I guess felt we were out of bounds and dumped water on her as they passed! She said: "there's this really cool place, but it's kinda slippery......"  We got there, no problem, even snapped a few photos, then she was heading back and slipped and splash and sliding around!  I thought she might go over the edge and fall into the river!Couldn't quite cover up the mud splatters!Balance and steady hands.... she was trying to get up in the tree!Just playing with the editing tools.To see more of this lovely young woman click here and here.Hosted by Cecily and Lolli[...]

Foto Story Friday #118-- flora and fauna


I know you are all tired of my Yellowstone trip so I thought I'd share some of the flowers and berries and even one mushroom that I found camping and a few while we hiked trails in Yellowstone.I've no idea what kind of berries they are, but they caught my eye because they were bright red.A delicate purple bloom.Indian Paint Brush.Just a cool looking flower explosion.Huckleberry bush!! Oh how I love me some huckleberries! :)Pretty in purple~!Lilly pads have the coolest blooms~!It is hard to take pix of these without falling into the pond!This huge shroom was growing out of a tree stump.  It was pretty cool.not sure what it is but I liked the way it looked.A delicate blue bell and more of the climbing purple ones.Some neat little blue flowers that were along the boardwalk.Hosted by Cecily and Lolli[...]

Foto Story Friday #117-- Family Gathering/ Trip to Yellowstone 2nd half of day 3


On our way to the van for lunch, we came across this funny sign and so of course, I had to take a picture!While eating lunch, I tried out my sister and brother-in-law's LensBaby.  The focus is all manual on a LensBaby.  So these next few are my attempts at using it.Just a tree stump.The beautiful blue sky.A pinecone.My sister, Colleen, waiting for us slow pokes!We were still at the Norris Geyser Basin on the other trail.  This one was also taken with the LensBaby.  The steam added an extra element to the effect.This geyser is the worlds largest.  It is completely unpredictable though.  It shoots up often, but doesn't REALLY go off on a regular basis.  There is a park ranger who tell ya all about it.Another view of it. It is actually 2 geysers.The above geyser's water flows down the hill and it rushes after it's small blasts, I couldn't really imagine what it would be like when it actually goes off.  I think the ranger said the last time it went off was in 2007.Same area through the LensBaby.Just walking along and I liked the way this formation looked.We headed over to see the falls.  It was a bit of a drive and we were supposed to be back to camp for dinner but it was our last day to see the park, so we went anyway.  We hiked down to the lower falls.  It is quite the hike down and not much for rails or protection should you slip.  The trail zig zags down the mountain.  I couldn't believe I saw people carrying kids on their shoulders and even a guy pushing a stroller.  I was glad my little kids were back at camp, it was making me nervous!This is the upper falls, but we didn't have the time to hike over to it.  Look at how much water comes rushing over the edge.  In case you are wondering why Yellowstone is called Yellowstone.......The lower falls spills over the edge and into the valley below.The mighty Yellowstone River cuts its way through the valley.In case you were wondering IF I really was there! :)  My sister took this photo for me and her husband and daughter joined me in the photo op!As we were headed back towards camp, I saw this scene and we HAD to stop.  In Yellowstone, if one car stops, everyone behind is sure you see wildlife.... we did trick a couple of cars ..... joke was on them as all we were seeing was this beautiful sky! The closer we got to camp, the worse the weather got.  By the time we arrived in was pouring!  Colleen's tent looked bad..... there was quite a bit of water inside.  Both of our tents were good, little to no water.  Ryanne's tent also suffered, broken poles and floating sleeping bags.  Colleen and her family drove to a motel for the night.  Ryanne and her family stayed in Mom and Dad's RV and we roughed in in the tents!  The kids tent got some water in it but they were dry enough.  The next morning it was time to pack it up and head for home.Breakfast first..... Mom brings the cereal over.Dad prepares the RV for the trip.It was strange seeing him walking around up there.The sky was beautiful all the way home!Hosted by [...]

Foto Story Friday #116-- Family Gathering/ Trip to Yellowstone first half of day 3


So day 3 dawned bright and clear and promised to be warm.  We split up this day.  Some stayed in camp and others went back into the park.  Ryanne and her kiddos stayed behind to find a stream to play in.  My kids really wanted to stay and play in the water as well, so Troy said it would be fine if I wanted to return to the park.  My parents had also had enough walking in the heat and kicked it in camp.  Troy's parents came up to camp and hung out with the kids and enjoyed the day.Here's Ryanne preparing to capture the day while her husband, Aaron, our sister and her family and I head back to capture the wonders of Yellowstone.  The first place we went was Norris Geyser Basin.There is SO much to see and it is so hard not to overwhelm you with all the photos I took. The park is like an ever changing, always creating other world.Nearly everywhere you look there is something spectacular to draw your eye and camera to.So many textures and colors.The contrast of the brightly colored waters and the grey surroundings, begs to be captured.The sky was also wonderful with it's bright blues and big white fluffy clouds.  After I took this one, I checked it and realized that I had a pretty good reflection in the water.I really liked the cool bubbling waters in the foreground and the majestic mountains in the back.  I'm pretty sure I was laying on the walkway for this shot.The bright blue of this water was SO amazing!  I really wish I knew what causes it.I just loved these twin geysers.  They were continually shooting up the tiny streams of water.Don't you just want to reach out and feel these textures?Looks like a hot tub..... little too warm for a dip though!Think we should head back for lunch?  That is just what we did.  Colleen chose to walk back with her husband and the rest of us headed back to the van.  We had a little snack of cookie dough while we waited for them to catch up.  That's where I'll leave you for this week. Be sure to come back next week for the rest of my views of Yellowstone.Hosted by Cecily and Lolli[...]

Foto Story Friday #115--- Family Gathering/Trip to Yellowstone, 2nd half of day 2


Day 2 continued..... Our next stop was Lower Geyser Basin. As you head over to the basin you must cross over this river. It has two big runoff areas and they are amazing beautiful.  The sun was high and harsh, things were getting blown out until My sister and I conferred on how to fix the problem and I learned a little more, changed some settings and played until I was pleased with the outcome.Across the bridge you get a little closer to the run-off and you can really see the bright colors.Loved this green.Ryanne did some teaching and Savanna got the chance to play with her camera and the Lensbaby.These guys stopped for a photo op.  It's Uncle Cary, and cousins: Maja, Scott and Javin.I just Loved the bright orange with the blue of the water.Little Photographers, we start them off young round here!  Javin was kind enough to share his camera with his cousins.Such a cool rippled effect nature has created.  I so wanted to run my fingers along the ridges, but I resisted and left things as should be.The wind has made victims of several hats. This one looked like a recent acquisition.This cool formation is located in the middle of this huge pond like area (I was way too busy taking pictures to remember what it is called) that is so deep and very wide.  The last time the geysers got working and shot out of it must have been spectacular.  Wish my brother-in-law were here to give me the details, he read the signs and watch me lay down on the walkways and contort myself in order to get the "perfect" photo.  The steam was so thick that getting a good shot of the many bubbling spouts was difficult. This area was not a favorite of Scott's he told me it was WAY too hot and kinda stinky too, poor kid.  All the younger kids were tired and some of the adults also had had it, so those who were done went back to camp and the others kept on seeing the sights.Back at camp Grandpa got some Orissa time.  She likes her Grandpas and they are pretty fond of her as well.A bunch of us went in search of huckleberries..... and we found some too! :)These three were thick as thieves and enjoying every moment of their time together.  Javin is sporting Em's hat that I made her.Huckleberry yumminess!ummmmmmmmm dinner!  It was fabulous!  We had two kinds of chicken:  Panda Express orange sauce chicken and Sweet Baby Ray's bbq chicken.  They were both super nummy!THe twins really enjoyed spending time with Grumpa and Grammie.There's nothing like a campfire!Stay tuned for next weeks installment-- day 3.1!Hosted by Cecily and Lolli[...]

Foto Story Friday #114--- Family Gathering/Trip to Yellowstone, half of day 2


So the week almost got away from me (we have been busy all week re-doing our shower) and me not do a foto story.... I've not missed a week since the meme was started so I may be a day late and a dollar short and no one may come to read it but here it is:We ate breakfast and split up into vehicles and headed into Yellowstone National Park for some sight seeing family fun.  Many of the group had not been there ever and for some it had been a very long time.Random out the window shot of a river.  By the end of the day we were all wishing for some cool water to jump into.First off we went to Old Faithful, I think it is required to hit this spot when visiting the park at least the first visit.  We got there is good time and didn't have to wait long for the water show.  This shot is not at its peak, but I liked the way it came out considering I had a perfect place until the rude guy stood in front of me.... grrrrrrr!Afterwards Grammie had two young guys to escort her to the gift shop.Our next stop was Midway Geyser Basin, here some of my crew wait for the rest to catch up.My parents were so cute holding hands that I couldn't resist a quick shot!The colors at Yellowstone are quite breath taking.  A photographers dream!The hot waters run down into this river or creek, not sure which.  The call of the water was too great for some to resist, and Javin HAD to go touch it.  All the kids wanted to jump in for a swim and there were many people doing just that.Once again the colors begged to be captured.The depth and beauty of nearly every sight drew me in and I walked slowly crouching and sometimes lying down to get just the right shot..... or trying at least!My dad made the loop and came back to await the blast of a geyser.  We stood there and chatted and shared pictures and enjoyed the short wait together it was nice.We were not disappointed.  It would shoot up and then you would think it was over and it would launch up again, while we clicked away.A little farther down the walk was this cool bubbling spring.  I liked how the water bubbled right out of the rock.Slowly but surely my sister and I  made our way around and headed back to find the rest of the crew.  They were setting up lunch at the recently vacated picnic table.  I took this from across the water and as we made our way across the bridge we were met with a sight that should not be seen......BUTT, he appeared to be perfectly comfortable in his Speedo and orange crocks!more of day 2 next week;Hosted by Cecily and Lolli[...]

Foto Story Friday #113--- Family Gathering/Trip to Yellowstone, day 1


We had a family gathering this week near Yellowstone National Park. Unfortunately, not all the family could make it.  None of my 4 brothers and families nor my youngest sister and her family were able to attend.  In addition to all of them, we also had to leave behind our oldest, Cody.  He had to attend a defensive driving course as a result of his hitting a parked car and failing to report the accident by quickest means...... as in he pretended it didn't happen until the damage to his car was seen by Grandpa!  Hopefully lesson learned and we won't have to repeat this!Here he is in all his 6ft1in glory, ready to head to work as we head to the family gathering.Of course with kids you have to stop often for potty breaks.  While everyone was taking their break, I was taking photos.  This one is looking west, the direction we were headed...... looks like rain,Looking east we see the sky looks less threatening.  The views of the Yellowstone river are often breath taking and I found this view rather pleasing to the eye.  I was trying to get the sun rays, they are faint, but there.We saw some very cool cloud formations.As you may know, I like to snap pictures out the window as we travel .  These billowing clouds over the hills screamed out to be photographed.We passed many the rafting party on our way to Yellowstone.We also saw some kids cooling off in a daring manner.  Right after I snapped this one as we passed, he jumped into the Gallatin River, not something I'm brave enough.... or is it stupid... to try.The much awaited Park.and this is what happened, Em fell asleep!  She spent the whole time asking: 'are we at Yellowstone yet?'Her partner in crime and fun also fell asleep.Then we weren't quite sure which way it was to the campground and finally decided to head towards the national forest service visitors center and hoped we would run into a sign pointing us in the right direction.  My mom called to see where we were and then lost service so we headed into this storm and found a campground to ask for directions and turns out we were close.  We continued on and found the campground, but my parents were not there yet.  We set up camp and eventually we see my parents RV pull up without the vehicle they were towing.  My mom was worried about us and they decided to go looking for us.  She called Troy's parents and they got worried about us and put the highway patrol on the lookout for us!  The cell service is spotty at best in that area.  Next morning when we had service again we both had many messages from them and Troy's co-workers worried about us!  :)  we got a good laugh about it! :DAfter the tents were set up and Dad got the RV leveled out some of us went for a walk and found huckleberries!The last to arrive also had an adventure.  They were not quite sure of the location either, we were all thinking it was closer to the park.  The campground was nice and it was very pretty there, but it did happen to be about 1/2 hour from Yellowstone.  Anyway they drove all the way to West Yellowstone and then came back.   We had a nice dinner of hot dogs and sausages with Bushes grillin' beans, then topped it off with S'mores. Indian Paintbrush is in abundance and very pretty.don't eat the red ones!  I don't know what these berries are but they are pho[...]

Foto Story Friday #112-


We had to spend a week in Billings after Troy surgery, so this is what we did:Saturday morning he was released from the hospital.  There was a youth temple trip so I met the kids at the temple and Troy went with his dad to walk around a few stores and just take it easy.Savanna in front of the Billings Temple on her first temple trip!After the temple I asked one of the other youth to take our picture.Saturday night we spent with friends and went to church with them Sunday morning.  Troy's parents got us a motel room for the rest of our stay.Troy kicking back in the room.Monday we just lazed around, washed laundry and took in a movie, Toy Story 3.Tuesday we went to the pictograph caves right near Billings.  We saw some wildlife.  These two birds were just handing out on this rock, waiting for me to capture them.This bunny thought it was hiding.The ancient cave drawings are starting to fade which is kinda sad.  Boy is that quite the little hike, very steep, but pretty.That evening we took in a Billings Mustangs triple A baseball game.  They played the Casper Ghosts.  The mascot hyped up the crowd in his ghostbusting gear while they played the Ghostbusters song.  we had good seats for watching the game but the fence sure got in the way for taking pictures!Mustangs at bat.  the game was going right along until the 4th inning when the Mustangs put the Ghosts in their place scoring 9 runs.The clouds started rolling in and threatening our evening.  We felt a few drops, then the whole other side of the stands started running.... hail was coming down.  It wasn't long before our side was hit as well.  We pulled out our umbrella and started making our way to the truck.  We were soaked before we made it half way there!  I threw my camera bag over my shoulder and ran for it!  Dried off my bag and went to rescue Troy from the downpour.Wednesday we met up with our friends and went out to look at their property.  We spent most of the day with them and then headed back to the motel to pack up.  Thursday after meeting with the drs and getting the OK to head home, that is what we did.  We met up with Troy's parents and some cousins for dinner and a movie before getting back to real life.  We saw Grown Ups and it was pretty funny!Standing outside the theater just chatting and the clouds were looking pretty cool.  The lightning was flashing and I was sure we would get dumped on again.We didn't though.  Looks like I got lucky and caught a bit of the lightning though!Hosted by Cecily and Caitlin[...]