Friday, July 30, 2010

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. - Amanda Soule

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bear Encounters

This last weekend, we took a trip to a part of our local National Park that we have never ventured to. It was a blast!! We actually left to late on Friday to get a camp spot in the Park, so we stayed at a KOA Kampground right outside the entrance near St. Mary's on the east side of Glacier. On our way there, we happened to see a black bear playing around in a field... it was kind of far away, but we could tell it was a bear at least :)
We hung out the first night at the campground, settling in and exploring
around. Saturday we got up and ready mid-morning. We decided to head the Many Glacier area, and found the Swiftcurrent Nature hike to be what we were looking for: easy hike for me (knee); easy hike for the kids; still a nice walk; and pretty populated. Three different groups had told us at the KOA that they had seen grizzly bears the day before in the Many Glacier area. And actually some of the trails in the area had been closed due to bear activity! BUT this was a popular 2.5 mile hike... so what the heck. It was a beautiful hike that just followed the lake with nice views and lots of wildflowers to look at. Ayla had been having a hard time staying motivated, but we were using a pop as a bribe. A little over half way on the hike, we crossed a creek that flowed into lake. After we crossed, I had a funny feeling to be on the lookout. Sure enough, Colton and I were in the lead, and we rounded a corner, and about 100-150 ft in front of us was a GRIZZLY BEAR!!! I backed up around the corner and said "Tyler, there is a bear." We immediately turned around and headed in the opposite direction (She was headed towards us on the path!) I stupidly told Tyler he could take a look around the corner, if he hurried and was careful. The kids and I headed for the bridge, and warned some other hikers headed that way. They continued with wild fascination! (Stupid?) I saw Tyler headed back in a hurry... he later told me that she was 40-50 ft from him when he rounded the corner!!! (why did I send him???)She is at in the middle of the picture, at the top of the trail!
There were two other groups of people near us, so we informed them of the bear, and she started walking on the bank on the opposite side of the creek. Then she came up to the bridge, and started rubbing her neck on it! Oh, and she had two of the cutest little bear cubs!!! They were so curious and fearful of us... adorable! While she was rubbing her neck, some of the other group was halfway across the bridge!!! Can you believe that people would get that close to a wild grizzly bear?! (about 20 ft.) She was smaller than I imagined a mama bear to be... but I still wouldn't mess with her! She started across the bridge and we took off the way we came! The trail branched right there at the bridge, so we headed to the lodge. But the other hikers didn't, so we waited to see what would happen. She decided to take the other trail. So after she was a safe distance away (maybe? there were other people between her and us!) we decided to continue on the trail the way we were originally going. We let everyone headed that way know that we had just encountered a bear and whatnot. I felt like I had a secret and I had to tell everyone... it was a weird feeling! But I really couldn't believe the timing of it all. So happy that we weren't a couple minutes later and ran into her AT the corner! How scary would that have been? But there is a reason for people to carry bear spray and wear bells and just talk and warn the animals of their presence. This bear didn't seem scared of us at all, and she was on a mission to go across that bridge! I feel so lucky that we were able to witness this beautiful wild animal and her young!
After that, we went to the ranger station and reported the sighting (only one other group had reported it, and only with one cub!) so this is important too!
Headed back to camp after we ate lunch and relaxed in the pool and hot tub.
Slept awesome Saturday night, and woke up early for a drive through some more uncharted territory. St. Mary Entrance all the way through to the west side. It was beautiful!!! We stopped to take a hike at St. Mary Falls, and decided to head to Virginia Falls (3 mile total hike) and had a great time. No bears this time.
It was really unbelievably beautiful, and I fell in love all over again with Glacier! As I tend to do at each visit!
Lunch was at Sprague Creek at the lake (McDonald). Lots of flies. And Ayla busted up her lip riding her bike. We decided to stop at the ER on the way into town to see if she needed stitches. She didn't. But, her front tooth is loose, and she is busted up in the lip area pretty bad. Poor girly. Poor Tyler too.. he tried to catch her, but missed her, and blamed himself. Accidents happen.

All in all, we had a great weekend. Full of adventure and full of life! I hope yours was fantastic also!

Friday, July 23, 2010

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. - Amanda Soule

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My most treasured handmade item

I guess it is not your traditional handmade item, but it is my all time favorite: a journal my mom has kept for me, and only me, since I was about 2 years old. Each of my brothers and sisters have one, and my mom let us read them when we were interested. We read our own, each others. I remember laughing and crying at most of the entries. I absolutely LOVE that my mom did this for us.
And I have kept one for each of my kids since basically the day we found out we were pregnant. I read back through and it helps me remember just how great my kids are. And reading back through mine, it makes me remember just how much my mom really does, and always has loved me.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I've been away (obviously!) from the computer. Had a problem with the internet. But that is fixed now.
We had a successful garage sale, or Garbage Sale, as we put signs out for this weekend. Got rid of quite a bit of junk! Just catching up on my mid month stuff now, so later this week, more posts and pictures!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

last weeks visitors

We had so much fun with our 4th of July visitors! Granna and Papa; Jaden my niece; and Noel (my brother) and his boyfriend Justin. The kids loved having an older cousin to play with (she's 7), and of course, grandparents here is always great. Throw in a couple uncles, and you get some spoiled kids! But we had a lo of fun! I hadn't seen my brother in about 2 years (!) and had never met Justin. Also, having Jaden around was great... she is such a sweet, thoughtful little girl.
A trip was made to Glacier... too bad the weather wasn't cooperative! We drove up the going to the sun road, and it was rainy and very windy. Still beautiful though!
We also ventured to the Stumptown Art Studio in Whitefish, and painted some pottery... more on that later.
For Wednesday WIP, Kellen has some new drool handkerchiefs... so cute! I also made Jaden and Ayla matching skirts, and some banner parts for Colton's bday! Jaden even got some sewing in while she was here, and made herself a banner for her room. sp cute and sweet to teach her a bit about sewing!

Look for posts in near future from Colton's bday and our 4th of July! Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Truthful Tuesday

This is our garage. We emptied our storage unit because we felt we were paying for storage for no reason really. Plus our house is not really having a lot of interest in it right now. But it has also made us go through our belongings and decide what we really need... that pile of stuff is for our upcoming garage sale!
This is what the organized part looks like! Tyler is awesome at organizing!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Camping at Bull Lake

We took a neighbor up on his offer to "camp" at his cabin in the woods near Bull Lake (which is between Thompson Falls and Troy in NW Montana), and headed there on Saturday morning. Actually, we had no intention of camping this weekend, we were only going to clean out our storage unit... but, we got that done on Friday! So away we went!

On our way there, we saw a huge bull moose on the side of the highway, just munching on a tree. I think we may have been the only ones to see him, and subsequently, I scared him by trying to snap a picture of him!

The cabin was so cute, and Tyler and I both commented on how we would love to have a place like that someday. We went to the lake for a swim (one state park there is seriously redneck), then headed to Ross Creek Cedars (which is a really cool hike), and checked out a very nice campground called Bad Medicine campground (which apparently is where a major landslide occurred and killed Native Americans in the area) ( here is a link for some info... just thought it was interesting :) )Sunday, we left at lunch time and headed to Kootenai River Falls for the third time and did a little hiking there too. Here is the bridge.... Here are the kids and Tyler in the middle of the bridge... I go across without stopping!This is us with the falls behind us. We have taken a picture from about the same spot every time we come here. ( Here )
All in all, a great camp trip and look forward to our next one!
Colton being sweet and giving his mama a flower

Kellen getting his first taste of cantaloupe! He loved sucking on it...but I don't plan
on delving into daily solids until at least 6 months!