Montana 2019, (part 2)

We were blessed to tour the new Potter’s Field Ranch and see their beautiful new property.  We were even allowed to go horse back riding, which was a blast.  I have not been on a horse since I was dating my husband, and Xavi had never been on a horse… I think I’d have much better posture if I took up horseback riding!

We spent the afternoon swimming with Uncle Brook before enjoying dinner and a campfire.  Brook blessed us with some snow peas and beets from his garden.  The kids and I snacked on a few because we couldn’t resist, but saved the rest for the next night’s dinner.  Bald eagles and Osprey joined us for the evening!

Before church Sunday, we had to go to Farmhouse.  Tradition.  The breakfast is just amazing… I had a pork belly skillet with Kale, and it was absolutely delicious!  I love having things I could never make at home.  Two things the kids always do:  1)  Climb and jump off the big rock outside, and 2) order hot chocolate.   Good times.

After church, Carol, Gary, and Mary took us out on the boat.  Being pulled is such a treat for the kids!  They stayed for dinner, and then it was time to clean up and pack up. I didn’t want to say goodbye!  Thankfully, the next day we were headed to Idaho for a couple days to spend time at Silverwood theme park… pictures to come!

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The Cowboy Club

Since returning from Montana, guess what the favorite new game is around here?  Yup. The Cowboy Club made its debut this weekend, recorded by Natalie, with lots more episodes planned.  I  LOVE it!!!  These kids are ready to move to the wild, wild west!!  Wish I could show you the video…

Montana 2019, Part 1

For the past 3 out of 4 summers, we have been blessed to spend time in Montana… it has become so special that the kids can hardly wait until the day arrives for us to fly there.  Generously, our aunt and uncle have allowed us to stay at their cabin.  Arriving there is like a breath of fresh air.  After an early morning flight, lunch and grocery shopping, we headed to the lake where the boys immediately went down to the water to fish…

For the first time, I actually planned meals before we left, complete with a grocery list and a Costco list.  No matter how busy I am before our trip, I will always and forever  do that from now on… it was so nice to not have to think about it!!  (Huckleberry jam was not on my list, yet we were able to consume an entire jar over our stay!)

Paddleboarding, swimming, kayaking, skipping rocks, nature walks, trips to town for DQ, hikes, games, late nights, family time, horse back riding, souvenir shopping, wildlife spotting, Montana Coffee Traders, buffalo jerky eating, Mudmans, fresh cherries, Girls’ Night Out play in Big Fork with my aunties, and so much more.  Some vacations feel like work.  Our Montana time is all fun and rest.

Hiking Sunset Trail with the boys and Allison… Taking the “Help, I’m falling” picture of Malachi… and then hopping into the lake to cool off…

Montana Coffee Traders, a trip to Kalispell’s Western Store to buy boots for the girls, then a visit to Potter’s Field’s new Ranch!  And that is the end of Part 1!

4th of July 2019

Aw, July 4th… always a favorite holiday for so many reasons!  This year we had friends coming over mid-morning for some biscuits and tea, so the kids had some good ol’ Cap’n Crunch to tide them over….

We had just taken our first annual 4th of July photo when our friends arrived… So, it turned out to be our only one!  With all of my summer organizing, I  found these old poppers tucked away in a cabinet from who knows how long ago!  Thankfully, they still worked great!!

Tea. swimming, then lunch…. wonderful, but never enough time with our dear friends!  Thankfully, we had part 2 of our celebration to look forward to — our 3rd year going to the Strattons for dinner, ice cream, and fireworks!!

It is so special having friends who are like family.  We are blessed and filled and thankful for another year of freedom!!

Good-bye, June!

June: the start of summer!  It was a relaxing start… chilly mornings… VBS… girls’ night face masks with my girlies… sleepovers and birthdays  galore; (is everybody  born in June?)… countless otter pops… swim dates with neighbors and friends…

The start of the tomatoes… (and the end of the peaches!)

Our first zinnia blooms of the season…

And plums!!!  I just ate my first one this morning.  I should have eaten the first couple ripe ones yesterday, but giving them one more day to ripen meant they either fell or were eaten by another creature.  I won’t be making that mistake, again!

June, you were good to us!!  Welcome, July!  Can’t wait for more barbecues with friends, celebrating The Fourth, and our family vacation!!!

Summer Dinners

Summer at the Yeh house means swimming and friends… swimming and friends… more swimming… and more friends… Most of the time, we end up with a few extras for dinner.  My go-to dinner with friends in the summer is usually barbecue or pizza.  Though summer has just begun, I have already been trying to think of something new.  Foccacia bread has been a long time favorite around here, and so simple to make.  I decided to just bake some bread and have the kids build their own sandwiches.  In general, my kids are not huge sandwich fans.  However, thanks to the focaccia, this dinner was a big hit!  So, I decided I had to document it for future reference.  Next time I don’t know what to make for a simple summer dinner, please remind me of this post!

Biscuits and Tea… and Peach Jam!

Normally, once summer hits all routines and structures fly out the window.  This summer, however, we are still gathering a few mornings each week to read together and to enjoy our Thankful Thursday tea parties.  It’s an opportunity for devotions, discussions, drawing, and devouring yummy treats.

One of our favorite new tea party treats is biscuits.  Though I didn’t get a chance to pick as many peaches as I would have liked before they started rotting off the tree, I was able to make a few jars of peach jam this year.  (Sadly, one broke in the sealing process, so we literally only have 2 left now that we’ve consumed one!)  Anyway, biscuits, tea, and peach jam on an overcast summer morning surrounded by my favorite people… lovely!

Here is my favorite biscuit recipe that I literally have taped to my baking cabinet for quick reference:

3 cups all purpose flour

1 TBSP baking powder

1 TBSP sugar

1 stick butter (cold)

1 1/4 cup milk

Mix the flour, baking powder, and sugar.  Cut in the butter abut 1 tsp at a time.  Add the milk.  Mix to form a dough ball.  Roll out the dough about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut out biscuits with any cookie  cutter.  Bake @ 420 for 12 – 14 minutes.

ENJOY!

Father’s Day 2019

We had a wonderful Father’s Day celebrating my awesome husband and dad to our kids!!  Before church, we had peanut butter muffins and sausages while opening the kids’ homemade cards.  Sierra made a “fortune teller” and the first fortune he picked read, “Today you will go to an Escape Room.”  Since he had so much fun at Allison’s birthday, we decided to do a family escape room for his special day.

Wow.  We did “Grandma’s Surprise” and escaped with 4:53 remaining.  I have never had an hour go by so fast!  What a great family activity… it was a blast!

Happy Father’s Day to the best dad we know!!

Allison turns 14!

Allison’s birthday just so happens to fall on National Donut Day… Unfortunately, she is not a huge donut fan, but she is a huge pastry fan!  She was the first one up on her birthday, so I got to have special time with just my girl, opening her “under-the-bed-present” before she sent me off for pastries!

Her party was on her actual birthday this year, so after breakfast we got right to work cleaning up and preparing for the party.  The theme was “science” with 2 activities:  First  was “Guess the Concoction.”  The girls were able to raid our refrigerator and pantry and make up a 3-ingredient concoction while one girl was out of the room.  When that guest returned, she had to see if she could guess the ingredients.

Some concoctions were pretty bad, while others were super sweet.  They really got into this, which made it super fun to see!

After the game, we rushed through dinner, cake, and presents before sending the girls off to their second activity: an Escape Room.  It was called “Sector 13” and took place in a chemistry lab where they had to find an antidote to save one of the workers…

The girls came home so excited about their Escape Room adventure.  They were able to escape with 1:55 to go!  I was so impressed, as none of them had ever done an escape room before and this was an intermediate challenge.  The girls wandered outside with the animals, picking strawberries and peaches, and sharing all the cool things that took place on their adventure.  I see another escape room adventure in our near future!!

Allison declared it one of her best birthdays…. hooray!  Happy birthday, to my very favorite 14 year old!!!

Piano Recital 2019

We have four kids who take piano, but only three who participated in the recital.   The fourth is a lot like I was; terrified of recitals.  I go back and forth as a parent as to whether I should force the situation, but ultimately decided to let her have this year off.

This recital was my favorite to date.  Our piano teacher this year is so incredibly gifted at finding what makes each kid tick, and then encouraging them in their strengths.  We call her Mary Poppins.  Never have my kids been so enthusiastic about piano.  (Even our sweet S who didn’t play in the recital really enjoyed learning piano this year!)

They each have some music for the summer, and have already started practicing, even though we take a break from lessons.  By fall, I am usually longing to hear them practice away, but this year I may actually grow tired of so much piano; and I am ok with that!!