Tuesday, October 29, 2013


One stormy and very windy night in July, which Cody and I and the girls all slept through, something major happened in the front yard. We woke up that morning to a huge tree branch in the middle of our street. Not just a little branch, it was literally 1/3 of the tree. It was so huge that it completely blocked traffic from passing down the street. That morning, we called the city to learn that we were responsible for clearing the branch, but they would send a tractor to push it to the side of the road to allow traffic to pass until that night when we could chop it up and haul it away. Sigh. 

It looked like a lot of work.

Luckily, we have great neighbors!!! In addition to them wanting it out of their front yard as bad as we did, they are genuinely nice people. A few chainsaws were brought along with some strong arms and it was cleared in a matter of a few hours. Also, can't forget to mention that my intern at work was called and there in a matter of minutes to push Annie around the block while we worked outside. Seriously, it takes a village people. 

Fast forward to nearly a month later. Poppa to the rescue. They were able to make it to our house on Labor Day weekend to assist in cutting the tree down. For the record, Mr. Man of Buchanan Ave thought that we could simply drop the tree whole and all - and the Mrs. of the House was telling everyone that it was going to be impossible to do so. Poppa apparently was listening more closely to the Mr. Man of Buchanan Ave and was thinking it would be a simple project. He pulled up to a beast of a remaining tree. Was not going to be that simple. 

While many people enjoyed beach days, camping, amusement parks, fishing, or simply lounging on Labor Day weekend, I was lucky enough to have my parents willing to come and tackle this project with us. Surely, it would have been nice to get projects done around their own house or relax with family, but instead they headed west to help us out. Along with a few interested neighbors who were quite intrigued at how we planned to accomplish this on our own. 

A good majority of action occurred the first day of the project. But there got to be a point where it just wasn't safe for my Dad or the houses nearby to proceed without machinery to assist in getting higher into the tree to tackle the beast. With a few phone calls made by friends who knew friends, we were able to get this handy lift for the morning. Also lucky for us, that friend was comfortable heading up into the tree with my Dad to control the lift while he cut trees and my husband watched from below! 

Seriously people. There was SO MUCH tree to be taken down still. Loads upon loads of hauling to the dump and cutting and roaring of the chainsaw. It was pretty intense.

Not to mention a few VERY close calls and some actual injuries. My husband has decided (he knew this before, but's it's apparently official now) that my father is a machine. Apple didn't fall too far from the tree there as both of my grandparents on my Dad's side are like the energizer bunnies too.

These two did a lot of water fetching, playing, snuggling, cooking of lunches, and yes, Mom raked and helped haul branches too. So nice to have someone to occupy Little One's time!

And this was the FINAL piece. The standing stump! We actually ended up hooking it up to the pickup and pulled it down with that as Dad cut. Should have done that we a few other branches too. 

And there she is all trimmed down!

A HUGE thanks to my mom and dad for coming to tackle this project with us. Your sacrifice to helping us out around our home is something we are so appreciative of. And, yes, we will return the favor...as long as it's in the tree grove and not around the house. And that we involves more hauling and cutting than it does climbing up and cutting. :)

Carving Pumpkins

Grace wanted to carve pumpkins the moment Wal-Mart started putting them out to purchase, so that means after the 4th of July or something ridiculous like that. Really, she wanted to carve them in September for sure. That wasn't going to happen - tried explaining to her that we needed to keep them good until Halloween!

We promised we would carve them opening pheasant hunting weekend. Thankfully, our best neighbor Susie invited us over to carve pumpkins. I was thinking that we would bring our own pumpkins and a few goodies along. Well, after trekking the girls ALL THE WAY across the street, we discovered Susie had purchased a half dozen pumpkins, and put out a spread of food for us! Her father Roger, who just moved to Pierre, joined us along with her daughter Kelsey and grandson Dean.

It was a blast. So good to have a few extra hands around to help assist with a 6 year old who things she can pick up any old power tool and sharp object and go to town on carving her own pumpkin. Luckily, there were no injuries. And even luckier, we went home with very full bellies.

The kiddos post carving. Yes, this was the best picture. Annie wouldn't sit for anything, and Mr. Dean would have sat there all night if someone would have given him something to eat! :) 

That would be Grace's pumpkin in the front on the left. Sharpie markers seem to add to to the glow of the pumpkin, right?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monkeys at the Park

While the boys are away, the girls will play! Cody headed out to the field last Saturday so we snuck up to the park just up the street from us. It was a pretty nice day! I had forgotten that the playground is covered in pea rock so Annie was fascinated with trying to get rocks in her mouth the entire time while clod-hopping through the piles of rock with her little legs and feet - she had lots of tumbles through the park!

This one was pretty excited to bring little sister up to the playground that she gets to play on every day at school. Likes to show her the ropes! AND she was able to successfully monkey bar across the entire set ALONE this day - a first for her! As you can tell, she was pretty excited about her achievement!

We're trying to soak up these last few days of fall that we have before the snow and wind come making it hard to enjoy the outdoors! 

Tis the Season

In South Dakota to wear orange!

Pheasant opener was last weekend and Remi and Cody were both adorned in orange of course. Grace has been begging to go along - last weekend wasn't the weekend to do it, but hopefully soon we'll get her out there in her orange too. Remi was of course ecstatic to go hunting with her master!!!

Aren't these two the fiercest hunters that you've ever seen? I don't think - they act tough!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sisters Share

It's not always that a mom can write that her daughters share really well with each other. However, I am one of those lucky Momma's who gets to write that (for now).

Annie is Grace's little blessing. Grace is a kid that thrives off of taking care of others. Annie is the little person that Grace has been waiting for. Grace is so kind, generous, caring, and full of a big heart that she loves to share with her sister. There are many things that Grace does that are just like any kid...but taking care of this little person in her life is just one of the things that she does exceptionally and shows me that she isn't like any other kid.

I allowed Grace to have a popsicle on this afternoon. As you can see we were just hanging around the house. Grace threw on her old dance recital costume and was just be-bopping around. Annie noticed she has something that looked good and wanted some. Here's how these sisters share:

Annie loves that Blondie. They are both pretty special little people.

Uncle E

Uncle E visited us a few times in the last year. We were so happy to have him around! I believe in March was his first visit to Pierre since Annie has been around. Of course, both of the girls were simply enamored with him!

Who in the heck is this guy again?

He came back in July again for another visit! We were happy to have him around again for a night of fun with Les and Terry and Heather! Wish that Kerry would have been able to make it too, next time!

Thanks for visiting us Uncle E. Your shenanigans and hilarious stories always make us smile. You light up the room, and keep my kids entertained. Please stop by lots more, and seriously, we will make it to Omaha sometime soon to see you too.

Unfortunately I took nearly all of these photos with my phone, or they were from Eric's phone. Wish I would have gotten my nice camera out - I say that too much! I just need to keep it handy.