Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Goodbye Sweet August!

August has been a great month. Between a prairie dog hunt and getaway at a beautiful sanctuary/lodge, a trip out to the Black Hills to see Cody's entire immediate family and surprise his mom, puppies being born, rodeos, an earthquake, lots of visits from our parents and grandparents, DIY projects at home, nice weather, hot weather, and friends over for BBQ's we couldn't have rounded out the last month of summer more spectacularly!

We we're blessed with some fallish weather, and have then been brutally awakened to the fact that it's still August with days in the 100s. We had a few of those recently. How have we been staying cool? With water and lots of ice cream from Zesto's and Schwan's of course!

Grace did great in the water this summer. By the end, she was a pro! Here are a couple videos of her swimming away at the face of the Oahe Dam. Sorry for the quick "dam tour" in the first video. I must have been compelled to capture the "beauty" of the power structures!

Doesn't Grace have excellent, elegant diving skills? I'll say!

And of course, we cannot enjoy August without a little backyard water adventure! She got this crazy fun sprinkler ball for her birthday from our friend Pat. Fun gift!

Happy September to you all - we hope that you were able to enjoy August as much as we were. It was a grand month - we hope and pray that next year will be more of a "normal" summer so that we can enjoy the water recreation in Pierre at its finest!

Gator Love

My girl is a huge mix of major princess and tom-girl.

She's been enjoying her "Poppa's Kind" Gator, and always asks to go for a Gator walk. However, most of the family know that it's really not a Gator walk - it's a Gator run. She knows how to kick that baby into high gear and take off. She's usually knows her route pretty well and is quite far ahead of us. She's great about stopping at corners and watching for cars. One of my favorite things is when she pulls the lever up to go from low gear to high! She takes right off! That can be seen in the second video.

Don't mind our obnoxious comments about cars coming and crashing into the curb... :)

She can usually jump the curb, but sometimes, if it's a steep one, she'll ram into it and get stuck! Wow - what a maniac. She also has no fear about going downhill extremely fast or plunging off the curb - talk about whiplash. I can't wait until she's 16 - not!

Grace and her neighborhood besties...going for a ride! I love how Cienna is riding in the back. HOLD ON!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Snoozing Puppies

Most of these photos are all of sleepy puppies. At this stage in their life, they are a lot easier to photograph when they are sleep. They don't stop moving when they're awake. We'll try to get some cute ones this week.

A sleeping puppy is like a sleeping baby. You just can't stop looking at their scrunchy face. I love our scrunchy face skunky breath puppies.

They've been eating solid food consistently now for a few days. We've decreased the amount of food Remi  eats in hoping to get the puppies weaned off her soon.

Scrunchy face...

 Tiny face...This pups name is Tiny.

 That was GOOD! Loving lunch time.

We'll be back with more awake playful photos soon, I'm sure!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Project Weekend!

I'm stuck at home. With 10 puppies. One dog and one cat. Oh, and a four-year-old. Yike. Oh, and a husband (jk, Cody!!!).

We had a busy, lazy weekend. Saturday morning we buzzed around the house and cleaned stuff up. I also finished on a project I haven't shared with you yet, and started a new one. I'll keep ya wondering for now, only because I haven't taken pictures of the final product.
These are all the terrible befores.
It's not too hard to figure out what I've got going on...

Summer Veggie Lovin'

One of the best things about the month of August, as I mentioned before, is the produce. We've enjoyed many BLT sandwiches, corn on the cob, green beans, fresh cherry tomatoes, cherries, summer squash, and now, one of my August favorites - Zucchini Casserole.

All the details about making it are on my "Recipes" tab, close to the top. It was a recipe that Cody's Grandma introduced me to - and we cannot get enough. Silly me, I forgot to take pictures after it was done, I was too busy chowing down.

It's funny how easy it is to be healthy in August with all of the few veggies. But of course, most of the time it's ruined by making lime-butter to saturate the corn on the cob, spreading mayo on the toast of BLT's, and of course, topping all of these great veggies with cheese and bacon for zucchini casserole! Why not?!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Come on Mom!

One of the first things that people ask us when we tell them that Remi had 10 puppies is "are they loud?" I was responding promptly with a "no." Typically we only heard the occasional bark, whine and growl. Of course, during play time it was heightened.  However, today was an exception.

Remi had the whole group riled up. She was teasin' them! She was standing just a few feet beyond their area and they could see her. They wanted brunch! She wasn't havin' it. You can see her appear occasionally in this video.

Wow, huh? Drama, DRAMA!

Haha, the last one makes me giggle. They are sooooo serious!!! Puppy drama.

Now it's time to go clean up the puppy area. I swear, I watched the same puppy poo three separate times (decent size piles) in less than one minute. Seriously. Sorry, that may have been too much information. But, that's why you're here - to see the pups - I'll give you the good, bad, and ugly. 

Snuggle Pup

Back to your regularly scheduled puppy programming...

Surprise, surprise...Grace is infatuated with the pups. She's very good with them and knows how to hold them, how they like to be snuggled, AND she's even offered to help clean up their poo. She's a fabulous puppy caretaker - I cannot imagine how sad she's going to be when they start finding new loving homes.

Here's a couple snuggle pics...

Love them.

Surprise Wiggle Grandma!

(Still taking a break from the regular scheduled puppy programming - we'll be back shortly with more)
Keeping a secret is hard - especially for a four year old. We knew for months that we were going to be surprising Cody's mom for her 50th birthday. Of course, we didn't tell Grace until the week before. However, that made it difficult to call Grandma on her birthday - so didn't allow her to call - we figured having Grandma suprised was worth it.

Ashley, Cody, Grace and I packed up and headed west (just a few days after the pups were born) to suprise Wiggle Grandma at a cabin in the Hills. And surprised she was! We were all in the cabin when Grandpa and Grandma pulled up. About 12 of us snuck out of the house on to the deck on the second floor and SUPRISED the heck out of Grandma - all the kids (okay the adults too) thought Grandma's surprised face and scream was hilarious!

We had a good time enjoying all of the family together.

Thank heavens for the DVD player in the car. As you can see, all the girls love it.

We saw Alvin & The Chipmunks at the Chubby Chipmunk in Deadwood!
Love their chocolate goodies.

:) Grace enjoyed Grandma's cake

Uncle Dean, Baby C, Erin & Grace enjoyed the deck on a nice afternoon in the Hills

Family picture - I love this one!

Sunday before we left we had a little photo op session. There were lots of cute ones, and I especially love the one with the grandkids & grandparents.

At war in nature! :) Of course, Grace had to tag along with the boys and their quest for finding weapons in nature. She stuck right beside them, skirt, flipflops and all. She's one tough cookie.
Cousin Connor, Grace and Levi

^ This is photography by Grace. She did a pretty good job! I'm so lucky to have 3 sister-in-laws who I can consider sisters! Love them all!
It's fun when the whole family can get together and enjoy each others company. We're fortunate to have everyone within reasonable driving distance. Grace loves her aunties (& uncle dean) and cousins. She's always sad to say goodbye.

Until next time!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


We saw our fair share of wildlife while up "fairy dog hunting" on our vacation to the pastures of South Dakota. Grace made friends with a toad, we had a garter snake in the house (when the boys were out hunting and the girls were home alone...we handled just fine) and of course saw antelope (and prairie dogs) in the pasture.

It's known that there are plenty of rattlesnakes in central and western South Dakota. In all the years that my Dad has been out there hunting, he's never seen one.

Until this trip. This guy was not but 30 feet from the place we stayed. Kind of scary that it was so close!

We didn't really want to make friends with this guy. And we certainly didn't feel comfortable just ignoring him in case the next visitors to the sanctuary weren't so lucky to see him before making him mad. Options were to shoot it (wasn't going to work with all the rocks and being so close to the it's a sanctuary after all) or find something to cut it's head off with. Option 2 was voted in. Luckily, it wasn't huge, and it wasn't too mad...yet. We did hear it rattle though.
Certainly a boy job. Cody and Steve took over (note my hubby's flipflops). They got it taken care of and threw the head and body over the edge of the cliff. No one is going down there - it drops off into some pretty rough terrain. We just hope his hole isn't a large nest!
Cody - AKA Jack Hanna - and Steve - Jack Hanna II

We were glad to have it taken care of. It blended in so well that my Dad wonders how many he has been just feet from while he's been out there. He's wearing his snake boots for sure now - even in the hot summer months. It's a long ways to go before you find someone who can give you medical attnetion in this part of the state.

Prairie Dog Hunting

We interrupt this regularly scheduled puppy programming to get back to the "old Richter life" ... the life without 10 pups. This post is awfully long but full of neat pictures. Stick around if you'd like!

My dad has been prairie dog hunting in South Dakota for about as long as I can remember. He's been wanting to show everyone the places they go, what they do, and how great of a time they have. He's been especially itching to get Cody out there. Early August we packed up our bags and headed north! Weird to say, because my Dad always says they're going out west. We just had to go north!

Grace thinks it's called "fairy dog hunting," I think she thought she was going to see little dogs out there with tutu's and wings. Not the case.

My parents and my dad's "fairy dog hunting" partner Steve and his family picked us up in Pierre. We were headed toward the Moreau River Sanctuary. We didn't know what to expect, but it certainly was above and beyond my expectations. Words can barely describe the beautiful facility we stayed in. It had more than 13 bedrooms, a HUGE double kitchen, a large living area, bathrooms in each bedroom, laundry room, a massage table, the most beautiful furnishings, and anything that you could think of wanting in a home away from home. More on that later.

Here's why we came...

beautiful skyline on the first night

the boys getting the equiptment prepped the first night

my pretty girl

short gator ride the first night

grace and the chickens

Finally! The boys were itching to get out into the pasture to find the "fairy dogs." We weren't sure how long Grace was going to make it - we were actually expecting just a few hours. She surprised us and had great time and was a great girl! We only had one meltdown...tired + hungry + impatient momma= super cranky.  We all had a great time crossing rivers and streams (only got stuck once! good thing we had 2 gators and one four wheeler along).
this was my favorite part of the weekend - just trail riding

just happy!


beautiful land

Poppa's Littlest Girl

YES - Grace shot FAIRY DOGS. She was far from a girlie girl. Poppa helped her line up the shot, and she even pulled the trigger. My cousins in the cities will probably think we're crazy. :) This is our beautifully crazy life!

Brita & Grace - Grace loved her new friends Brita, Clay, Steve and Cindy. Of course, she talked their ear off! :) What's new?

Here's the beautiful place we stayed in.

We lounged, of course AFTER hunting...

And just enjoyed the beautiful facility

We dined together - what a room!

Bierman's + Richter's


All in all we had a great time trail riding, hunting, lounging, cooking and eating good food together, we went to a rodeo in Timber Lake and cheered for the cowboys. Grace even got to bring her Gator along. Fun! I have one follow-up post on an interesting fellow that joined us on our final day at the Moreau River Sanctuary.