All posts by cattailfarm

May 14 – 19 – Missoula Montana

Man we love this place. We all seem to feel very “at home” here. If it wasn’t so far from family and the ocean, we would probably move. 

So why Missoula? Jason has a work conference he goes to every year in Montana. Last year it was Helena and this year it was Missoula. It’s an opportunity for us to travel with him and to do “Road Schooling” with Isaac.  There is so much to see and learn on a road trip. Jason basically worked the ENTIRE trip. He was able to join us at a park where he was on the phone most of the time trying to sort out work stuff. He was able to hang out with us for a bit on Monday before work started getting crazy. He also made it to the Elk Conservation place for an hour on a break and the real adventure he got to go on was the ghost town of Garnet. Other than that it was work work work. Regardless of all that, Isaac and I did our best to keep our chins up and have as much fun as we could. It certainly wasn’t a “family vacation” but it was still worth it to go. 

There aren’t really any pictures from the drive over as I was driving for 7.5 hours, and we really only stopped to pee once and get gas once. 

Here are the three photos from day 1. First picture is the tire issue and the second picture is a game Isaac and I played in the rental house that night. Jason took a picture of me reading Catsronauts to Isaac. 
May 15 – Day two

This orange cat kept coming around much to Isaac’s enjoyment as he adores cats and especially likes orange ones. 

Then it was off to Les Schwab to get our tire fixed. We drove all the way to Montana on our full sized but old spare tire. Thank Jesus for getting us there safely. And the second photo shows what was stuck in my tire. 

Then we went to Isaac’s favorite park Dragon Hollow where I apparently didn’t take any photos other than this one.  

Looking for a place to eat lunch Isaac and Jason wandered down this alley to explore. Isaac really likes alleys. I think he’s an alley cat, and Jason is a great dad. 

Off to Fort Missoula… oh wait the museum isn’t open. Oh well. Look at all this cool logging stuff we can check out! Well basically that was our thought process anyway. 

After the logging area, we visited a park on the property that had this great rope climbing area. Several small batches of kids came and went but before their arrivals I had fun taking some funky photos of my favorite guys. 

At the restaurant afterward Isaac drew a story from his time at that park and playing with a couple of boys that showed up. 

May 16 – Day Three

Our main destination was Garnet Ghost Town. If you are ever going through Missoula save an extra few hours to drive out to Garnet to check it out. It is the most wonderfully preserved mining town.  

On the way up there is an old carriage stop that is still used for snowmobiles and horseback riders today. Directly in front is the currently used building. Off to the right is the one that has collapsed. 

Exploring the collapsed one. If you look closely you can still read some of the words on this old newspaper stuffed into the walls for insulation. 

Next we went into the newer structure that is still used today. Isaac is pretending he’s staying in the cabin and he has a can of soup from the cupboard. There was actually quite a bit of non-perishable food kept there for people in need. 

And then we were back on the road where we soon discovered another spot to stop. In the middle of nowhere there was a sign telling of a gravesite up the hill opposite the sign. So we parked the car and walked across the road. Here men were buried who had died mining. There’s no real explanation of how they died or why the graves are there in the middle of nothingness. There is literally nothing but trees all around. 

Finally we made it to Garnet Ghost Town. It was cold and wet and moods were slipping but we bucked up and checked it out. If you ever go to visit and can’t do the walk down to the town, there is handicap parking down lower. 

Once we got down to the town, we split up. Jason went on his own and Isaac and I went together. Then we reconvened towards the end and went back to the car for some food. 

First I’ll share some of the building photos we each took. As you can probably see in the photos, there are really nice signs with each building. There is also a map you can get that has all the buildings on it as well as a description and history of each place. 

Here are few artifacts photos and one shot of the inside of a building that Jason was able to get through a window. 

And then we were off to the car to warm up and eat snacks. 

After warming up a bit and refilling our energy tanks, we went to check out the mining trail. 

Attitudes were slipping, we were all cold tired and hungry, so we headed for “home.” We took an alternate route back and although it was gorgeous, it is not for the weak of heart.  It was a narrow dirt road that wound all over God’s green earth and to say it was poorly marked would be an understatement as it was rarely marked.  Add to this the fact that there was no cell coverage or GPS working for us and my stress level was up there a bit. However God is good and we made it safely back to the hotel in one piece. Even though our attitudes weren’t the best on this trip, it is still my highlight and favorite part of the entire trip. 

May 17 – Day Four

Woke up to this!

While Jason went to the conference, Isaac and drew creatures in the room.  When Jason got a break, we went to the Rockey Mountain Elk Foundation where we learned about Elk and their habitat as well as how hunters have helped the Elk population return to a decent size from near extinction.  Additionally Isaac got to play in the snow and throw snowballs at his mom!

May 18 – Day 5

Jason was working all day so Isaac and I went exploring on our own. First stop was a pet store where we wandered around looking at animals and discussing what pet Isaac might like.  Then we went to Barnes and Noble and spent over an hour looking at books and managed to somehow make it out with only a $25 purchase which included something like 5 books. 

We then found a bakery with gluten free products and fell in love. Black Cat Bake Shop for the win!

Next we parked and read his new Star Wars book for awhile. 

And then we walked around Missoula touring the town. 

May 19 – Headed for home. The only pictures I took were of this little guy at the rest area where we stopped to go potty. 

This concludes our Montana trip 2017. Hopefully next year Jason won’t have such a busy work schedule before and after the trip as well as during the trip. But as always, no matter the circumstances we do our best to have a good time and give God the glory for the gift he has given us. Cherish every moment. Celebrate every small victory. Give God the glory. 

May 6 2017 – Happy Birthday Dad!

My dad is rarely here for his birthday. He’s usually still down in Arizona, so when I found out he was driving back up with John and the twins starting out on his birthday, I thought “We should do a little dessert party for him.”  Well due to schedules, we still didn’t end up having his birthday celebration until the next month (May instead of April) but at least he actually got a birthday party this year. Here are some photos from the evening. 

May 6 2017 – Taking Jason to Shelton View Forest for his first visit

Isaac, Pip and I fell in love with this forest near our home. It’s really awesome to find such a cool spot nestled in among the massively growing population of the Bothell/Kenmore area. We finally got a chance to take Jason there. Isaac had a great time showing Daddy all the things he and Caleb and Jacob had found, and Jason had a great time looking at the old cars buried beneath the vines and trying to figure out what they were. Pip of course loved being off leash which is extremely rare for her, and I enjoyed watching my family be happy together. 

May the Force be with you… May in Review

Wow. May! A month of travel for Jason, a family work trip to Montana, mini-farm stuff and just all around another busy month for this little family of three. 

May 1 – Isaac’s swimming lesson and a walk with Pip and Pepper 

May 3 – Isaac creates a new drawing space for himself

May 4 – Star Wars Day! We take Pepper to vet for a check up, we met Gloria and crew at Brier Park and then Isaac, Caleb and Jacob attack Sarlac and other Star Wars beasts deep in the Shelton View Forest while Alena, Gloria and I played along. Jason and Isaac watched a lightening storm. Isaac and I dissected owl pellets from Auntie Kristi. And Isaac helped the farm by crushing dried eggshells that we then feed back to the chickens. 

May 5 – Giving Pepper some love and Isaac’s Star Wars Lego photo display

May 6 – Goodbye Pepper. Enjoy your new home! (A separate post on taking Jason to Shelton View Forest and my Dad’s belated birthday party will be coming soon.)

May 7 – Back at Shelton View Forest again! Letting the young chickens roam a bit, nail cutting day for the animals and Isaac crashed!

May 8 – relaxing building Lego’s with Isaac

May 9 – Our crazy shoulder cat Patch and a day of yardwork with Isaac

May 10 – Homeschool field trip to the planetarium (I took a picture of where I parked so I could find our truck again.) Pikced up Jason from the airport again. Played outside. Made some yummy salmon. 

May 12 – Library, Park, GF Teriyaki and Third Place Books

May 13 – Happy Anniversay! Tinkercrate from Auntie Steph arrived. Isaac and I played with the zoo set he got from Paige. Jason and I went to Hopjacks for dinner. I got a socket stuck in my back tire on the way to drop off the dog in the dark and pouring rain. Thanks to Tina Berry for coming to rescue the dog for me. 

May 14-19 – MONTANA! A separate post coming for that adventure. 

May 20 – John and Katie return from their bomb run to Vale, Oregon to pick up Adora Belle their new Corgi puppy. 

May 21 – Pip helps me garden, Isaac and I have a delicious dinner and play Lego’s while missing daddy who’s off on another work trip. 

May 22 – Isaac has me made him a bell pull like Owl from Winnie the Pooh and we have swim lessons. 

May 23 – Cousin Day – a separate post on that. 

May 24 – Gardening and campout with little dude and the dog. Found a baby Bee in the garden. That was crazy. And since we didn’t have any big marshmallows, we roasted mini ones. Jason came home from his work trip just in time to go on a motorcycle ride with some friends. Then he got home from that just as we were going to bed, so he sat out by the fire and relaxed and put it out for us. It was a good day. 

May 25 – Good morning. Who slept? Uhh. Not me!!! Pip and Isaac seemed to sleep pretty well. I got the fire started while Isaac slept in and we made what Isaac called “Breakfast Soup” which was really a bacon and egg scramble. I didn’t get any photos of the cooking process or cooked food because I was a little busy. But I can say cast iron over an open flame makes for some seriously good breakfast!

May 26 and 27 will get their own posts because the 26th was a field trip and the 27th was Leah’s birthday celebration. Stay tuned. 

May 30 – Isaac built Angry Birds stories out of dominoes and little rubber Angry Birds. And this concludes May. 

April 22 – Picking up Pepper

Well I’ve never in my life picked up an international dog at an airport until now.  It was a very cool experience and Jacintha gave us great instructions. Because we got stuck in seriously bad traffic, we arrived just a tad late which actually worked out well. The other dog that had flown in was done being picked up, so we were able to work one on one with Jacintha and Pepper. 

Jacintha and Pepper patiently waiting for us. 

Pepper is very interested in what Isaac brought for her. 

Checking out the toy Isaac picked out for her. 

Isaac listens to Jacintha’s instructions while Jason tries to make a new friend. Pepper was timid at first but she soon became Jason’s shadow and ended up following him all over our house while we had her. 

Warming up already. 

Daddy showing Isaac how to hold his leash. These dogs have to be kept on two leashes at all times as they are a flight risk. 

Here we go! She’s such a happy dog!

Loaded into the truck and ready to roll out!

Unloading carefully at home.  Have to get those leashes on while blocking the exit. 

Bringing Pip out to meet her foster sister Pepper. 

Initial sniffing 

Everything seems to be going well so far! 

Waiting for me to get back with poop bags because these girls were ready to go for a walk!

Twins? Nah. Just foster sisters. 

Checking out the neighborhood. 

Making sure Isaac is still up in the chair. 

Getting ready for her potential new parents to show up. Such a good girl.  

April 16 – Easter

Easter morning was at our house followed by a nice Easter lunch at my Mom’s house with her friends Bob and Paula. Unfortunately my Dad was still down in Arizona and missed out on the yummy lunch my mom made and the jello eggs Paula brought. We had a nice relaxing Easter. Thank you Jesus. 

Easter Egg Hunt – April 15

Every year we host an Easter Egg Hunt for Isaac and his 4 cousins. This year we had absolutely gorgeous weather and 210 eggs!  Often I mix it up and have some Lego bricks, some small trinkets and some candy, but this year I ran out of time due to traveling. So 200 of the eggs were filled with Lego bricks only with a varying amount in each egg. Then there were 10 larger eggs with Robin’s eggs in them. Each larger Egg had a kid’s name on it, and the kids were given the option of ignoring the eggs that weren’t theirs or announcing to the person that they had found their egg.  There were two special eggs per person. Overall it was a great hunt, no one got hurt this year, and all the kids seemed to have a good time.