Sunday, June 30, 2013


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"Hey mom, she is not sharing her ice cream. I think Bully gets ice cream."
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"See?? She is just eatin' it in front of me!"

This is Max, our neighbors dog who spends much of his time here. He loves to play with Bully and he hangs out in the house on hot days or rainy days. Nathalie and Tad make homemade ice cream almost every day from our goats milk, and Max is CERTAIN its good for dogs. 


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Tad has wanted a dirt bike for many, many years. Eric taught him to ride a 50 when he was 8 and he loved it! Of course Eric encouraged us to get him into it... He has several times since rode dirt bikes, as large as a 100. On vacation he did great on the 50, but the brand of 100 that my best friend has is too tall for him. It did not go well. So he did his research and found that the Yamaha TTR 125 is a bit shorter than some models, but with enough power for him. He and his friend spend days last week each finding a bike, his friend is 13 and bought an identical bike yesterday!
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Tad found the bike on CL, it had been ridden only a few miles. A Native man was selling it, he is very short. Not much taller than me, so he needs a short bike but as he said, "I am a fat guy now" and so is going to destroy the bike. So we got a pretty good deal on it price wise, as it is barely used and we paid a lot less than new price. 
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Tad is paying for this himself. He has jobs with 3 different people over the summer doing lawn work, barn mucking, rock hauling and dog care. He also is doing a number of jobs around here that I attached a value to and he will spend the summer working off the bike along with enjoying it! He will have plenty of riding time. We are not schooling much this summer. He is crazy excited and insanely happy about this bike! The neighbor's son is a 19 yr old bike mechanic, self taught, and he came over yesterday to help Tad unload it, check it out and make sure it was ready to go and then he took Tad home to fit him with helmet and boots. I would not let him ride without, and Clay had some smaller gear he had grown out of. Which was awesome because a lot of what I was finding online was questionable, and I do not want a helmet that is internally cracked, or poor quality boots.

I took a video but having some trouble with video uploads. I got some of them to work, but not all.


I have several more videos but blogger says some have errors...My favorite one will not upload and Nathalie took 2 of me-both upside down. The phone flips them, computer does not. So I can post one for Frank, and he can turn his computer upside down! Anyway, so ok bowling is something none of us are good at. Nathalie is a riot to bowl with because she "dances" her ball the way she wants it to. Sometimes she gets a strike or a spare.

Bowling is our Saturday thing while Frank is gone. All four of us like it, and none of us are good at it!


Nathalie's back dive

This is her back dive. She actually had this skill before her front flip. She has a certain number of skilled dives in order to be at a level. She just made level 5, of 8 levels available. 2 more skills away from being level 6 which will put her at JO (junior Olympic) diver level at meets.

Nathalie's front flip

Nathalie says, "Daddy I got my front flip."

She does dive 3 x a wk during the summer, 4 x a wk during the school year. The coach says she has a huge amount of potential. She was afraid of dive, we made her do it and Tad was the one who wanted to. After he broke his foot and ankle, he had to stop. we are hoping he can start again in August.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bully Girl

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So Bully MIGHT be spoiled! A little... This morning Nathalie spent a lot of time whining and complaining about how we had gotten her up, she had to make her own breakfast, her life is simply hard and miserable. Bully has gone to see about her girl hanging upside down and fussing. 
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She saw no aid could be given, so she turned around, stood on Nathalie's hair and stuck her rear in Nathalie's face. Nathalie carried on and wanted us to call Bully off, Tad half-heartedly called her but Bully ignored him. I think she saw we wanted her to squash the whininess that Nathalie was exhibiting. I love how Bully is looking back at her, Nathalie is pretending to be injured and upset and of course, she is laughing. 
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Tad is doing a summer research paper, 5 pages, 3 sources. He has 6 wks to complete it, I think he is doing it on moonshine. Bully could see that she was not getting any attention and was seeking it. 
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"Mom..I is getting no attentions. Help please, make him play with me."
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"I can lays on the 'puter. That will make him loves me."

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"You cannot make me smile. Its impossible."

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Really...what happened here??? 
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"Please give me a treat. I just wants ONE blueberry!"
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"Hey, help. Please. She wont gives me a blueberry. I is a starving girl, I has had nothing in 5 minutes!"
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Right after Frank left, Bully could see something was amiss. Tad is still on crutches here so this was day 1 or 2 after he left, because on day 3 Tad came off of crutches. She continually came to love each of us in turn, whoever was dealing with it the worst. 
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"See? Dogs make things better...See I made him almost smile. And mom, please cut the boy's hair, he is scruffy." 

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Dont remember if I blogged this one already. This was my favorite from our last fishing trip before he left. She is nearly as long as him!

We are doing pretty well, it has been 2 wks exactly, well tonight at 9 p.m. makes it 2 wks. We had a very rough first wk, the 2nd wk, I guess we have lost the underwater drowning feeling. Today has been a hard day being father's day but Frank did call and that was nice. He is able to call us for a few minutes each day. I remember when they were small and had less to say, they would get done and hand the phone off. Now, they have so much to tell him we all 3 have to split up the time. I miss him and life is easier with him.

Today the kids are playing LEGOs, jumping on the trampoline, doing their math homework (we do math and french all summer) and working on their research projects. They did well on their state tests this yr, but writing was a little low. Just because at this age, I have not made them do a lot. We are using the research project for this and of course, spelling/grammar. I am cooking gluten free snacks, doing laundry and weeding the garden. Nathalie is making homemade goat milk ice cream and Tad is telling me why people used to kill themselves using old radiators to condense moonshine. Oh, its the antifreeze if you were wondering.

Why Not Tri

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This was the kids first year to run a triathlon! Here in Wasilla, Ak, sports are very important. Health is something that everyone seems to work on, most people have a sport(s) and so do their kids, many have several sports! Tad has a number, but not pinned to him yet. 
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Yes, he is purposely not smiling! He had not expected to do the bike or running part because of his broken foot/ankle, but he was able to do the bike part after swimming. Nathalie was more excited about new clothes (shirt and shorts-they owned no running clothes...they own swim gear!) than any part of this running/biking nonsense. she is a swimmer through and through!
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Finishing the run! Tad was disappointed that he was not able to do the run. A friend of ours who is one of the 3 ladies who coordinate this tri came over and asked him to walk through the finish anyway and he said, "No thank you, the finish line is for people who finish, or small children." So he did not, she still took him to get a t shirt and a participation medal. The child who won the tri got a new bike, I think it was neat that they had 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes. Sometimes everyone gets the same thing and I think the children who worked hard and made it in the first few should be celebrated. 
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Nathalie total thought she was going to die...The run was super short, she said 5 yr old's were passing her on the run and bike ride! Many of these children came from hrs away and have practiced and prepared all year. It was a fun first time experience!  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Smores in the rain

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Frank agreed to make smores with the kids the last wkend he was here, and naturally on Saturday (day before he left) it started raining. Heavy enough that no fire was going to work out. Sunday-still raining. So Nathalie tried to cover the fire area, and I suggested the bbq grill. 
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It took Tad and Nathalie-with a little help from Frank-about an hr to get a small fire going. 
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But I guess its worth it right? If you like smores. 
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You like this nice fashion statement my love is making? Yes he wears his jeans rolled up because otherwise he has "short people jeans" in the house when bare footed. Meaning-they drag. 
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They discovered that a resees cup  in a smore is yummy. Eww.
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Standing in the rain in pursuit of processed sugar.
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Just ONE more to make SURE they are not poison! 
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"I never gets ANY smores! I never gets any treats at all... "

Monday, June 10, 2013

A dog's life

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Bully has so many trials. We expect her to be on guard, and other than that she gets free food, good water and enough love for 3 dogs. 
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This has been a huge work in progress. Most of her life Nathalie has wanted to be able to turn a flip. she started diving a few months ago and can do back and front dives, and a front 1 and almost a front 1.5. It has given her a lot of confidence. 
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Frank leaving caused her to be determined to get a flip within a wk so I could video it. Each time I video so far, she does not land on her feet. But sometimes she does when I DONT video! We will get there... 
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She finally has a rotation!
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She wants to land more straight up and also learn a back flip, something that Tad has been doing for awhile. 
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He is so excited still over being able to walk, he calls it his "walking trick" and says its a magicians dream.
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I would personally be afraid of a back flip, he has several ways he can do it, including coming out a roundoff like he is going to do another cartwheel, but going backward instead. 
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He gets a lot of height and it really freaks Nathalie out! 
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This is how she wants to land... He is steadily coaching her through this, giving her valuable feed back. 
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Just a cool upside down shot! 
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start of a back flip, I did not get the complete set but I still love the photo.
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These area actually out of order, this one came first. 
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getting ready to try her back flip. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Its Friday!

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I know, not a great title but I mean, its Friday! I am trying to blog regularly for Frank, and I do not really have a subject here. This is a photo I found on the card, I assume Nathalie took it.
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Excuse the laundry... We can hang laundry this yr in Ak, we have a sunny summer! Last summer we had 8-10 days with no rain and it took days and days for any laundry to dry if at all. 
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Haha I guess he is all done... 
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And now the camera is in Tad's hands? My best guess, unless the dog had the camera.
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"Hey guys, come over here and help me."
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We had a great plan this winter, put some frozen hides in the loft of the shed... we forgot about them. 
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"Daddy can I stand up right now?"
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"Not yet baby girl, get the door first."
"Um, daddy? Something smells bad here!"
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"Daddy, this is vile! Smells like something died..."
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She climbed in and there the photos end for she changed her mind and came RIGHT back into his arms. She wanted to be helpful but that smell... I do not have smell issues and was not actually aware of what she was trying to help him with at first, once I saw I put down the camera and climbed up myself to fetch the hides. They were in bags, but had rotted because we forgot! Yes, I know that is super gross. But really, there are worse events. on a farm, nothing is really all that gross. We learned our lesson, make SURE yout an the hides over the winter!