Friday, June 26, 2009

Where in the World is......

Uncle Gideon?
(did you find yourself singing the finish as Carmen Sandiego?!!!)

Gideon left this week for a few days, and the boys already miss him. So I wanna play a game. I came up with this poem in my dream last night:

He's in a place known by a nickname for a single star.
From Salmon, you can get there by plane or a long ride in a car.
If you take out 3 letters, the city itself would spell "Luck".
People in the area wear big hats, have big cattle ranches, and drive big trucks.

Any guesses? The first person to get the answer right, or the person with the closest answer will win a surPRIZE! Only one guess per person please! I'll let you know on Monday what the answer is and who the winner is!!! Good Luck!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

with a neigh neigh here, and a neigh neigh there

When Josh and I were first married, the Tolman Ranch & Dairy had beef cows, dairy cows, and almost a dozen horses. In 2001, the beef cows were all sold. In 2008, the dairy cows were all sold. And in between the two, the horses were either sold or given away to family members. The only remaining family horses are our two paint horses that pasture with two of the neighbor's brown horses. Horses are beautiful animals, and I especially like the pattern on our two. QT is the mother (Josh has had her since he was 12 years old), and Mia is her daughter (she was born in 2007). The brown horses are named Bella (she's a year older than Mia), and Dorkus (I don't actually know his name, but he's a dork).
Josh loves working with horses, and he is really good at it, too. His secret dream is to be a Horse Whisperer. I, on the other hand, do not like them. When we were dating, he took me on my very first horse ride on his Aunt Janet's property in Thatcher, Idaho. The only time I had been around horses before that was when I visited my Grandma Perkins' house once a summer when I was a kid, and we'd feed some horses down the lane some apples and sugar cubes. So of course, I had no idea what I was doing, and the horse that I was riding kept running around and kicking and I almost fell off. Now I'm scared of them! But thankfully, our boys aren't.
The following photos were taken while Josh, Ammon, and Kanyon were feeding the horses some oats. I like to think of it as a dessert for them after pasturing on grass! We don't visit them often enough, or take them oats as much as they would probably like. But the boys always love seeing them whenever we drive by them, and shout out in the car "Hi QT!, Hi Mia!, Bye QT!, Bye Mia!".

Friday, June 19, 2009

Beautiful Flowers Planted by Girl VS. Tonka Truck Driven by Boy

I'm a plant killer. I've known it for years. It's a good thing I'm married to the "Greenskeeper", because he is able to keep our grass green and the garden growing. Our yard looks good only because of him! In May, I was given some Petunias for Mother's Day as well as Bagonias and Pansies from the elementary school staff for my PTO service. I wanted to put them all to good use, rather than having them wilt by my kitchen sink (which is how most of my previous flowers have died). So for the first time ever, I planted a little flower garden. I chose a spot between the back porch and an existing Peony plant. I outlined the garden's perimeter, pulled up the grass that was there (with Josh's help), dug all the rocks out, smoothed out the dirt patch, and got to work planting the flowers in a perfect formation. I spent 2 hours doing it all, and it's not a very big spot!!! I was so proud of my work, and immediately took a photo.Right after that, I came inside to make dinner. It is the bewitching hour every day for me. Between food prep, cooking, clearing the table off, setting out the dishes and utensils, and getting everyone to sit at the table, I can be a little stressed and grouchy and I usually start yelling if anyone is a hindrance rather than a help. That particular day, right when we sat down at the table, Jonah informed me that Kanyon had been playing in my new flower patch with his dump truck.
My reply was, "Really? Did you tell him to get out?"
"We tried, but he wouldn't. He killed your flowers."
Deep breath. Goosfraba. Relax.
"Okay, thanks for telling me. I'll have to check it out after dinner."
And I did. And he had. He killed 3 of the flowers. We re-planted the uprooted ones, and the rest are still alive (for now).
The moral of the story: I'm a plant killer. Even if my plants don't die next to the sink inside, external forces will kill them outside!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Sons Day (again)!

We celebrated Sons Day 2009 on Memorial Day this year. For the whole story on how it began, read THIS. For our special activity with the boys, we took them to the Tautphus Park Zoo in Idaho Falls. We hadn't been there in 3 years, and we really enjoyed seeing all the animals! Some of the favorites were:
the giant tortoises (Ammon),the penguins (Micah),
the tigers (Jonah),
and the ducks and monkeys (Kanyon). (NO, those aren't ducks and monkeys-the photos didn't turn out of them.)
And, as tradition, the boys each got to choose a pair of new summer sandals (last year they all picked crocs, this year they all wanted flip-flops):
Happy Sons Day to my own wild and adorable little animals: Ammon, Jonah, Micah, and Kanyon. I sure love you!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Memorial Day this year was absolutely beautiful! We took the boys to the Salmon Cemetary, and put flowers on Grandpa Rex's grave, and visited Uncle Mike's grave and Great Grandma & Grandpa Corbett's headstone. We talked about some of the people we know and love who have passed away, including Grandpa Rex, Uncle Mike, Grandpa Jay, Aunt Candi, Baby Zoey, and Great Grandparents. We are so grateful for all of our family, and we are thankful for this holiday that gives us the opportunity to teach our sons about forever love, physical death, and eternal life.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

School's Out!

Ammon was in a 3rd/4th split class this year with 19 students. He really liked his teacher, Mrs. Livingston. At the beginning of the year, he struggled with all the "extra" responsibilities and work that he said he had to do, but after Christmas break he really started enjoying his class. His favorite subjects were reading and math. His favorite things to do at school were going to P.E. and playing football during recess. His best friends this year were Garrett, Tyler H., and Brogun. He was picked to be the Postmaster for the school's Wee Deliver program, he was in the Gifted & Talented program for the 2nd year, and he earned the 100% Attendance Award for the 3rd year in a row!!!

I volunteered two mornings a week helping the students with their spelling contracts and TimeLine projects. I really enjoyed seeing him at school. In the previous two years that I've volunteered at his school, I've always helped the lower level reading students. Ammon has always been at the top of his class for reading, so that meant I never spent time with him when I volunteered.

School was out at the end of May. Ammon's year ended with different activities every single day during the last two weeks of school, including (but not limited to):
Class Water Party at Mrs. Livingston's house
3rd grade Track Meet
Student Art Show (this is all of Ammon's artwork from the entire year)
3rd grade Picnic at the Park
Way to Go Ammon for completing the 3rd grade and doing so well! We are so proud of you!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Who Won?

Well...Ammon picked the lucky #7, and that person was NICOLE!
Congrats Nicole, you win a gift card to Barnes & Noble with your comment of the book "Ramona Quimby"! Will you please email me at with your address so I can mail that to you?!
There were lots of fun responses; thanks everyone for playing along--it makes me feel validated. I love interacting with people through blogging, and when I have a contest, it's more of an interactive way to keep in touch! I think I will try to have 2 contests a month! I have fun doing them, and I hope you all do too!

Friday, June 12, 2009

'R' You Game?

My parents' home is in a nice rural neighborhood. Right across the street from them live the Greer's. They are neighbors of the best kind: super nice, always helpful, and quiet! One Sunday when I was in Junior High, I was at their house, and their daughters Sue and Carol introduced me to the game Scattergories. I was hooked! I thought it was so fun and I was grateful for any opportunity that I had to play it with them after that.

Years later, Josh and I received that game as a Christmas gift the first year we were married. I was so excited! I am a competitive person and love to win. Unfortunately, my marriage to Josh has been bad for my competitive complex. You see, he almost always beats me at Scrabble and Monopoly and Scattergories (just to name a few). I'm not quite as in love with the game anymore because of him!!! He always finishes his list of items before the timer is done, and shuts it off mid-game, which prevents me from completing my list! But, I've thought of a new contest that would be fun, and I'm not allowing Josh or Ammon to compete this time, which means YOU have a chance to win! next contest: Media Scattergories!

I randomly rolled the letter dice from the game, and I want you to tell me one of three things that starts with the letter "R ": 1. The name of a book you've read, 2. The name of a movie you've seen, OR 3. The name of a song you've heard.

The same rules as last time apply: Please only one guess per comment, and only up to 3 comments per person!

I'll have Ammon pick a random number on Monday night, so if your comment was that number, you win! After that, I'll announce the winner and their SurPRIZE ! GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blossoms Popping Right Before My Eyes

I love the different seasons. I love experiencing the change that each one brings. But sometimes I wish things could last the warm lazy days of summer vacation, or the spirit of Christmas in the winter, or that the changing of the colors of the leaves in the fall would stay longer before falling, or that the blossoms could stay on the fruit trees in the spring longer than two weeks! I LOVE all the blossoms on the apple, cherry, and pear trees in the yard. For days I sat outside just staring at them, mesmerized by their beauty. Even as the blossoms were falling off in the wind, and I knew their time had come to an end this year, it was beautiful to see as the grass became covered in the dreamy snow-white petals. Ahhh, popcorn popping on the trees is just magical!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Meet the Robinsons?

One afternoon in May, this is what Jonah and Micah looked like during lunch:

Micah had spiked his hair that morning (this is why his nickname is Miker Spiker!). Jonah had decided to wear a bike helmet around the house all day. When I was looking at them during lunch, I thought that the scene felt familiar to me, and it suddenly hit me--it looked like something right out of "Meet the Robinsons"!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

So Long, Farewell, Goodbye Preschool!

Jonah and Micah completed their 3rd year of preschool in May. Their birthday is in September, so they missed the cut-off for last year's kindergarten. When they were 3 and 4, they went to the Child Development Center Preschool, and this past year they attended the HeadStart preschool. Both schools have excellent preschool programs, and I'm so grateful that they've had the opportunity to attend both!

I spent a lot of time volunteering in their classroom throughout this past year, and I really enjoyed it! On most Thursdays I would eat with them and play with them and watch them interact with others. Occasionally I had to take Kanyon with me, which was difficult for him in the beginning but then he loved going to play at the school with his big brothers too!

Their teachers were Miss Savannah and Miss Darla. There was 18 kids in their class, and 12 of them were boys! It was such an energetic, active, rambunctious class! Jonah and Micah had a great time and learned a lot, and I really feel like they are prepared for Kindergarten now! Jonah's favorite part of HeadStart was playing outside and playing with toy cars inside. Micah's favorite part of HeadStart was playing with toy cars inside and playing on the playground outside. (Do you hear a common theme there? How funny!)

On the last day of school, the school had a BBQ for all the families to come and eat with their preschool students, and the teachers gave all the kids little diplomas and stuffed animals. It's bitter-sweet to see them grow! It's sad to say goodbye to the fun little toddler years, and wonderful to see them learn and do so well as they grow! When I look at them now, I can't believe they've come so far from being the premature babies that they were!

Jonah and Micah went to Kindergarten Testing in May, and they both did pretty well. They've learned so much and have socially matured a lot in the last 3 years! They are definitely ready for Kindergarten, and they are so excited to go to "Ammon's school" in the fall!