Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Such a Cute Couple!!!

After I took this photo of my sister Tawna and Ammon posing, I laughed so hard!!! It looks to me like it could be an engagement picture, wouldn't you agree?!! Except that Ammon is 9 and my sister is in her 20's (she's a little on the short side and he's just growing so quickly).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Goodbye Summer

The leaves are changing colors, the mornings are colder, the days are shorter, the smell of autumn is in the air! Fall is my favorite season, but at the same time I hate bidding farewell to summer. To help me with the transition of welcoming the fall, I have to formally say goodbye to the wonderful summer we've had. I do so by reiterating my completed Top Ten List. So, here's my
Summary of Summer 2009:

1. Tolman Reunion at Mantua

2. Corbett Reunion in Salmon

3. Perkins Reunion at Yellowstone

4. Visit G & G Perkins in Spokane

5. Take boys to swimming lessons

6. Host our annual BBQ with friends

7. Raise pigs and take them to the fair

8. Weed, Water, and Watch the garden and pumpkin patch grow!

9. Go camping and fishing at Iron Lake

10. Lay around the yard and enjoy the sunshine

Sunday, September 27, 2009

First Day of School

School started on August 31! Ammon entered the 4th grade and Jonah and Micah are big Kindergartners! For the first and last time ever, Ammon, Jonah, and Micah began their first day of school at the SAME school. Our school district has outdated, smaller schools and the community here continually rejects any plans of a bond to build a new school. So, our elementary is a K-4 and the Middle School is 5-8. I enjoy being able to see all 3 boys in one building when I volunteer, as I'm still the school's PTO President (for the last year, I swear)!

Ammon has Ms. Schauss this year, with 21 students. He already loves this school year! Most of his friends are not in the same class as him, but his teacher is young and energetic and fun, and he loves being in her class! He still sees his friends at lunch and recess and enjoys playing football with them on the playground! He still excels in reading and math and attends G&T weekly.
Jonah and Micah are in the same afternoon class of 19 students. They love their teacher Mrs. Casterson (who was also Ammon's Kindergarten teacher). She already knows their names and they respond well to her. They are the oldest kids in their afternoon class, and are doing SO well! Three years of preschool has really paid off for them! They like afternoon snacks and recess time and seeing their friends at school.
Kanyon was very sad to leave Jonah and Micah at school the first day. He didn't understand what was happening. He copied their whole morning routine, following their every move. When I took them to school, he insisted on being in the picture with them and screamed when I wouldn't let him go into the classroom with them. He was a sad boy all afternoon and was so excited to finally see the bus and the boys get off of it! Now he takes a backpack with him everyday we drop them off. He puts his backpack in a cubby like they do and likes to walk them to the door of the classroom. He's getting used to the quiet afternoons, but he's still just as happy to see the bus come in the evening, and excitedly welcomes his brothers back home!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fair Time 2009

Our county fair was the last week of August. It was finally time to take Phineas! Ferb was actually a little bit bigger and had a longer frame, but Phineas was the nicer one and easier to handle. We got his stall prepared Monday night. On Tuesday, we took Phineas in, and got him weighed and washed. Wednesday morning was the swine shows. Ammon was nervous because this was his first time time showing, but he did so well! We were so proud of him! He got a blue ribbon in Showmanship, and a blue ribbon in Quality.
For weeks prior to the fair, he thought about and worried over what he was going to wear. He's never put in so much time on an outfit in his life! He wanted to wear something nice, dress according to the showman standards, and look good too. The "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" campaign encouraged the youth to wear pink, which Ammon did--in his pretty pink belt! He also got new black boots and new jeans to wear. Grandpa Tolman gave him one of his older cowboy hats, and Ammon picked out a dress shirt that he thought coordinated well. He was a sharp-looking cowboy! And mighty cute, too!!!

Wednesday night was Family Fun Night, and the boys loved climbing over the large inflatable toys, Jonah and Micah enjoyed a petting zoo, and Ammon was thrilled that he got to shoot a gun. On Thursday, I took the boys to exercise the pig, and while we were there, they went on some of the rides. Ammon and Micah really liked the rides, but Jonah was brave enough to only go on one, during which he wailed the whole ride!

Kanyon's favorite part of the fair was seeing all the different animals! He loved poking the chickens and rabbits, climbing on the cow and sheep stalls, playing with the pigs, and petting the horses.

On Friday evening, we gave Phineas a bath again, and took the boys around the fair. We ate cotton candy, watched Kanyon scream on one ride he insisted going on, walked through all the buildings and booths, and had a great time as a family!

Saturday morning was the Livestock Sale. It was long and hot, so thank goodness for this:A few businesses and families sponsored some sandboxes for kids to play in right next to the sale. Jonah, Micah, and Kanyon all played in it with so many other kids. What a great idea!!! Ammon sold Phineas to the Tolman Ranch and Dairy for $2.55 a pound, which was above average! We are so thankful to our Stake President Beyeler for bidding on the pig and upping its price, and for Grandma and Grandpa who purchased it! Saturday night we cleaned out the stall and said our final farewells to Phineas. It was a long week and were happy to see the end of it! The fairgrounds are 15 miles away, and we had to go there at least twice each day to feed Phineas, clean out his stall, and exercise or wash him! But it was also a good experience, and Ammon looks forward to doing it all again next year!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Livin' the Farm Life

A day in the life of...
the Tolman farmer boys:

Exercising the Pigs,

Petting Grandpa's Calves,

Feeding our Horses,

Watching Cows in the Chute,

Ahhhhh, the smell of farm life is Wonderful!!!
We'd love for you to visit us; come and have a sniff for yourself!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

in sickness and in hell

In August I got strep throat. I haven't had it since I was a teenager. It felt like I was dying. I was down for 3 days with fever, chills, lack of appetite, pain, extremely swollen glands, nausea, lethargy, and a very SORE throat. I couldn't believe how bad it was. Thank goodness for drugs (I'm talking about the strong antibiotic kind). Needless to say, my kids were like orphans during those few days while I laid in bed recovering. They dressed themselves, fed themselves, took care of themselves. My house looked like a train wreck: the kitchen counters and tables were covered in food debris, their bedroom floor was so covered in toys that the carpet wasn't visible, the bathroom was filthy. It was awful. I was wishing during those days that my mother would magically appear and come to my rescue, but alas, all the prayers didn't make that miracle happen. And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I discovered this:

Luckily for Micah, I was too sick to get really angry with him. But even a new school haircut the next week didn't cover up that one!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Floating, Swimming, Jumping, & Goal-Achieving

We live just 10 miles away from Williams Lake. And yet, we seem to visit it only once a year. Why is that? I really have no idea; it just doesn't make any sense! But I do know that this year's afternoon trip there was probably my favorite one yet! When we first arrived, we unloaded all our stuff onto the dock, and spent time lounging and floating, soaking up some ultra-desirable summer sun rays.

But naturally, after warming ourselves up, we needed to cool off. And what better way to do that than by jumping in the lake?!!!! Josh did it first, then me, and then Ammon decided to join in the fun! After doing it over and over a handful of times, we persuaded Jonah and Micah to try it. They bravely attempted dipping in the chilly waters with dad's helping hands.

After jumping in repeatedly and getting used to the bitter cold water, it was swimming time. My whole purpose in planning the trip to Williams Lake was to complete a goal of mine: to swim past the rock island. Last year I swam to it, and surprised myself by how much I enjoyed it. I wanted to surpass what I did last year. It was more difficult than I remembered! The lake is full of moss (in the lower left of the photo below you can see some just under the water surface) and the whipping waves are so much harder to swim in than a swimming pool.
I started on the furthest dock this year, which extended my swim by 25 yards. I swam to the little rock island (in the right of the photo below). Josh drove the kids over to that area, and they watched from the mainland, as he swam a little ways to meet me at the island. Then we climbed up the rock and jumped off! This was a feat in itself for me because I don't even like the high-dive at my natatorium! I jumped off a 15-foot cliff and Josh jumped off a 20-foot cliff. It was exhilerating!!! After the jump, we swam back to the mainland, hiked up to where the boys were waiting, and walked another 100 yards uphill to the truck (I did so barefoot). We were both exhausted, but I felt great! It was exciting to have outdone my goal expectations as well as have a bit of a thrill! I think maybe next year we'll go more than just once...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

16 vs. 30

I am a Leo, with an August birthday.

During my teenage years, having a summer birthday meant that I never got my locker decorated, or sung to at school, or got balloons in front of my classmates. Because I am one of the youngest members of my class, this also meant that I was one of the last ones in my grade to go on dates. My sophomore year I had the hugest crush on a senior, and I was tortured daily by the fact that I wouldn't be able to date him or attend dances with him because by the time I turned 16, he would have already graduated. I watched on the sidelines as all of my other friends during my sophomore year went to Homecoming, and Girl's Choice, and even Prom. For every friend that turned 16 before me, it was just another reminder to me of my inability to date. I know it sounds lame now, but really, it's what soon-to-be-16-year-old-mormon-girls think about all the time!

In due time (and LOTS of it), my classmates and I have all approached our 30th birthday during this past year. My feelings during my 29th year have been the exact opposite of the feelings of my 15th year. Throughout this year, I have been blissfully gloating as each of my friends that I graduated with turned 30 before me. It was so fun to see birthday reminders on Facebook, and I knew that classmates were turning the dreaded 30 so far ahead of me!!! I felt younger than them, and I loved being able to rub it in their faces that they are older than me!!! It really cured me of my self-induced torture I felt when I couldn't date and they could 14 years ago! And so, in my own little immature way, I have loved being younger than them for that very reason!

But now that I'm actually 30, the truth is....30 doesn't feel any older than 29. It just sounds like it. So all of that blissful gloating this year, in retrospect, was really all for nothing. Absolutely Nothing. Because, the real truth is, it doesn't even matter how old you are. Once you graduate high school, and you move on, age really has no boundaries anymore.

Monday, September 21, 2009

PYE Favorites

Our Family Favorites from the Perkins Yellowstone Experience...


Mammoth Hot Springs

the Grand Canyon and Lower Falls

the Dragon's Mouth

Sizzling Grease (I can't remember the real name) by the Echinus Geyser

the hot steam from the Black Pool blown into our faces by the wind

Buffalo &
Old Faithful

Hiking with the family &
"the stinky concrete-mixing pond" (aka the Mud Volcano)

Buffalo &
Yellowstone I-Spy bags made by Grandma

Fishing Bridge Visitor's Center museum

and "guy-guys" (geysers)