Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So Fresh!


Check out these Beauties!


These are fresh from THE garden.  Aren't they beautiful?  Everything you need for salsa (except for the cilantro). 

I was kinda wantin' you to think they were picked fresh MY garden.  Were you?  If so, don't read on.  Just keep on thinkin' that thought. 

So... you are still reading.  That means you didn't believe it.  Umm, well they are - kinda sorta from "my" garden.  I don't have a garden (I wish I did) exactly in my backyard but my parents have one in Salt Lake and they share the harvest with us.  So, in a way, it is like mine.  I just don't do anything.  Nothing.  They plant, weed, water, pick and deliver.  We prepare and eat!!  Now that is what a call a great way to garden!  (Well, not really)

Sidenote: Brian says someday we will do a garden in a greenhouse.  That is really the only way to do it with a short growing season in the mountains. 

They brought these and much more on Thursday.



On Saturday, we made this.  And lots of it.  YUMMY!


7-8 medium size or roma tomatoes

3-5 green onions

cilantro (add to your liking)

2-3 garlic cloves

1 green bell pepper

3-4 pepperoncini (add to your spice liking)

1 t. salt

1/2 t. lemon juice 

Blend in cuisinart (or blender).  Voila!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

4 Weeks to Go...

That is, if I were still pregnant. 

And for the record, I have never delivered on my due date or even before.  So, in reality it is more like 6 weeks.  However, we will never know.  So, I am going with the date given - October 23.  Wow!  Who knew that this journey would be a mixture of so much sadness and at the same time so much sweetness!?

So, let the question be asked again - - How am I doing?

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all of their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."    Psalm 34:17,18

Ahh.  The closeness of God!  He is ever-so-present in my life.

I cry for the loss of our Jeremiah, somewhat often.  They are not uncontrollable tears but tears nonetheless.  I miss not feeling him kick in my belly.  I miss not feeling his hiccups when I am trying to go to sleep.  I miss the elbows poking me in the ribs.  I miss watching him grow as my belly grows.  I even miss the uncomfortableness I would be feeling at this point in the pregnancy.  My belly aches with emptiness.  I just plain ol' miss him.

When he was born, it felt as if the world stood still.  I soaked in the moment of holding my son.  Crying.  It was like a lifetime of love and memories all packed into one moment.  Oh, to have him in my arms again - I can't wait!!

I remember my prayers to God the night before we were to pick Jeremiah's body up from the mortuary.  "Oh Lord!  I am not asking you to fix this.  I just ask that you be ever so present in my life."  Within moments of asking that, I felt like I was drowning in His presence and His love.  I remember that night vividly.  Peace came over me.  It was as if He wrapped His arms around me, tightly.  And has never let go since.  God has shown me that when life seems so empty, He fills it up.  He does!  Really.  I have walked a journey with Him in a way that I could have never imagined.  What seemed so difficult at the time, has become such a blessing.  I am soooo thankful for our little Jeremiah.  It has been (and continues to be) an honor to walk this path with my Lord.


We continue to praise Him!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Guide

Last week, Caleb packed his bags and loaded his 4-wheeler for a week of hunting with the Big Canyon Outfitters.  He helps them guide, scout, cook (scary thought), clean and carry the wildlife off the mountain (if they get one).  He was helping 3 guys fill their tags for a bull elk with bow.  One morning got pretty exciting.  I asked him to write about it...


It was about 6:00 am as I was hiking up a mountain peak to locate some elk for our three hunters . I was minding my own business when I stopped for a quick breather.   That is when I noticed some sort of bird on a rock 5 feet from me.  It looked to be a grouse (its like a chicken) and it was hurt or sick.  I figured if it was still there on my way back, I would kill it (end its misery).  I threw my 100 lb pack (that's what it felt like) back on my shoulders.  I had only taken about three steps when I heard a loud screech and I looked up.  There was a falcon diving right towards me. I instinctively pulled my machete out of its sheath, just in time to knock it away before it snatched one of my eye balls.  BUT, she did grab my hand with her talons and left three deep cuts. The falcon then flew and landed on a dead branch nearby.  I looked down at my hand and it was bleeding. It stung like crazy.  Then I thought I heard the falcon leave her branch.  I immediately looked up and sure enough, she had left her branch. The problem was... she was headed right at me again!!! I held my machete up as a shield of defense.  I really didn't want to kill her (falcons are my favorite bird).  I swung my machete and barely hit her. She grabbed my arm with her beak and held on tight.  Her powerful wings were beating on my face and leg.  I gave her another whack with the flat side of my machete.  It knocked her off, finally.  She flew back to the branch.  Now I had a minor hole in my arm along with three deep cuts!!!  I watched the falcon ruffle her feathers and look around. I thought she had finally had had enough, but, nope!! She came at me yet again.  This time I brought my machete down onto her head.  She went to the ground and staggered.  I am sure she was seeing stars.  She managed to fly back to her branch and she sat there in a trance. I took some long strands of grass and wrapped it around my minor wounds to stop the bleeding. I hightailed it out of there before the falcon regained consciousness.  I was afraid she would come back at me with great revenge.  I was confused at the falcons weird behavior. Then I realized the falcon had dinner plans for the grouse and saw me as an intruder and interference.  When I finally reached the peak I heard another screech.  I looked up and the falcon was doing circles  above me - making sure I had left for good. It will probably be one of the hunting experiences I won't forget, if I do forget, I have some scars to remind me.     Caleb

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tears to Laughter

So, we are weaning Tess off of her morning nap.  She doesn't mind it so much but boy howdy does she get fussy about an hour before her afternoon nap.  Well, that was the case yesterday.

Tessa was a fussin' , so I asked Elizabeth to try to make her happy.  She said, "Ok mom!".   About 5 minutes later I hear continuous laughter.  Here is what I found them doing...

Thanks Elizabeth and Dani Rae for making your sister happy!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Some Goin's On

A few random pics of things going on around here.



Abbi and Weston out for an evening ride.  Of course, Weston took along Ole Betsy, his rifle.


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Tess loves to go "bye bye" and she doesn't get to do it that much so when she does, she is thrilled.  This is her waving bye bye to me.  Couldn't be happier to be the one leaving instead of being the one left behind.  Caleb gave her a little spin around the yard.  Cloud 9!


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Patsy is my 17th wedding anniversary present.  Isn't she cute? 

Rodeo.  Our hilarious (but cute) looking dog.  A Lab/Basset mix.  It is a new and upcoming breed - Blab!  Everybody wants one!  NOT.



The New Kids on the Block

I am thrilled to have gotten this picture.  We have watched this mama Turkey raise her babies.  They have been around the Lodge all summer but I have never had my camera with me. 

As you can see, Brian was working on the saw ( I don't know the real name but that is what it looks like to me) and they came by on their morning walk.  Mama is in the lead and then her 4 babies following.  They are not afraid of us or the noise.  They like to be around the action. 



Hmmm... I wonder if she would be interested in our Mr. Tom

Afterall, he is a nice guy and mighty fine looking ~ for a turkey.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Music Festival

Big Canyon Music Festival has come and gone!  What a weekend.  We had a blast.  So fun to be a part of something so big with great potential.  Thanks to all of you who came by ~ even in the bad weather.  Thanks for all of you who prayed for this event.  We appreciate each and every one of you. 

We had a very full weekend and we are exhausted.  Looking forward to a good nights rest.  I will tell all -- later.  I can no longer hold my eyelids open.  Good Night!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Thumb and a Happy Place

This is Hudson reading a book to Tess.



This is Tess sucking her thumb.  This is a very happy Tess.



This is Tess after mommy told her to take her thumb out.

"You are kidding!?  Right, mom?"



This is Tess slowly taking her thumb out.  Not happy.



This is Tess trying a different finger.  Still not happy.  But still reading.



This is Tess without her thumb. 

Ah Ha! I knew she could find her happy place without her thumb.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

For Crying out Loud!

Any guesses as to what this is a picture of....?

Yep.  It is our outdoor kitten IN the house, on MY bed curled up in a cowboy hat.  I have referred to him in an earlier post.

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Another picture of our outdoor kitten (in the house) laying in a bed made for a King.  He doesn't seem to mind that it is pink.  He just loves the special attention and cush-cush life ~ especially considering that he is an outdoor kitten.


Are you seeing a bit of a theme here?  Outdoor kitten, inside!  I think I may have lost this battle.

I will say, he is a sweetie!

Oh and by the way, he finally has a name... Pumpkin.

Friday, September 12, 2008

15 Horses!!!

I was sure I had misunderstood her when Abbi's horsemanship instructor told us that Abbi needed 15 horses.  I looked at her in shock.  She then went on to explain herself, " Abbi loves to ride fast. She will wear out any horse that she rides."  (She is kinda like her mama ( when I was younger, of course))  This is a video clip of her riding bareback with a used (new to her) bareback saddle blanket.  Oxymoron, I know.  Let me explain... it is a blanket with a girth and cinch around the belly.  Helps the blanket stay on.  Our wonderful vet gave it to her. 

For now, Chief works great for her.  What a pair!!

A Barrel o' Fun

Papa and Nana came last week.  Always a treat for all of us.  Papa organized a group of men (+1 woman) to help Brian with some projects at Big Canyon.  They cleared underbrush out from the trees, spread wood chips, started clearing out the new paintball field.  Then Papa took Chief and Princess (horses) to get their teeth done.  Chief needed his 7 yr molars filed down and Princess is so old that she has hardly any teeth left.  Her teeth squeak when she eats.  Poor thing.  Nana helped us around the house.  She helped with school and a few cleaning projects.  We got the school room and mud room organized and cleaned. 


We love to color with Papa and Nana!



The "Lefty" pair.  Papa has 26 grandchildren and not one left handed child ~ as of yet.  Dani uses both.  I am not sure which one she favors but Papa has picked up on it and makes sure that she uses her left hand whenever he is around. 

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Thanks Papa and Nana!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Up and Running!

Big Canyon Updates

We now have a blog for Big Canyon.  We will keep it updated with the all the latest events, activities, and additions.  Bookmark it and stay updated.  Coming soon will be a link from our Big Canyon Web site to the Blog.


Since you, my readers, are the only ones that know about it, please spread the word. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ewww Gross!

Am I the only one with a fly infested home?  Tis the season of flies and they drive me crazy!  Don't ask me why we have so many.  Hmm? Maybe it is because we have 35 animals eating and pooping in our backyard.  Anyways, I don't know why they choose to come into our humble abode when they have everything they could possibly need and want with our animals.  It could be that they are looking for warmth now that the days are getting cooler.  Well, let's get on to my point - - I hate flies and I hate fly swatters even more!!  We have never owned one until last year.  Odd, I know.  Here is my thinking, fly swatters squish fly guts all over the counters, table, stove, sink, fridge - I think you get my point.  To me, that is nastier than having flies flying around.  So, I just never have bought a swatter.  Well, last year Hudson said to me with great excitement, "Mom, Nana has a swatter.  I think we could find one in Salt Lake."  It was as if, he thought it was a luxury and a rare commodity.  As if, I had been looking all over for one.  Well, Brian bought a set of two for last years infestation of flies.  Yes, the children loved it.  Open Season on flies and that is exactly what it was.  I finally had to draw the line.  I was finding dead flies and fly guts everywhere.  If you are going to kill the enemy, it must be on the window.  THE WINDOW ONLY!!

All to say, that has worked great.  BUT, I think I have even found a better solution.  A spider and its web!!!  A novel idea.  FYI - I do not like spiders either but this one has a purpose and I think I like him more and more each day.  He does not harm any of us and stays in his little window sill ~ catching flies all day long.  No guts.  And no dead carcasses laying around.  He wraps them and fills his little tummy. Thank you Mr. Spider!

This is a photo of the magnificent web and 7 DEAD flies.


Monday, September 8, 2008

My Fair Ladies

A favorite past-time around here is "dressing up". These 5 girls came parading through my kitchen looking oh so beautiful.

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Abbi is the maid servant and Maggie is the Queen

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Dani Rae is the Fair Maiden w/ a horse and Elizabeth is the Princess.


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Tess thinks she is the queen but she is the younger princess with a missing green heeled "slipper".   She is a real hoot and hilarious to watch as she plays with her older sisters.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Two Weeks Until...

Big Canyon Music Fest

September 19 & 20

Mark your calendar.  It is going to be a great time.  Come and listen to a variety of bands from the Wasatch Front, take a tour of our new Aspen Lodge, join in some of the fun activities we do here at Big Canyon Ranch, enjoy food/snacks from the Alpine Cafe, spend an afternoon with friends, and enjoy God's magnificent creation in the mountainous meadows of Big Canyon!!

Hope to see you there. You won't want to miss out on this one.

For more information visit:



Thursday, September 4, 2008

On Wall? Wall On!

Wall-ing! Wall on!

Yet another addition at Big Canyon ~ The Climbing Wall. We had the rappelling wall finished and ready for use this summer. Now we are finishing the climbing wall side. There are 3 levels of climb--- Easy, Moderate and Difficult. The Easy climb is done and the Difficult is 2/3 of the way done.

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First Panels going on.


Easy climb - Done!

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Working on the Difficult climb. Amazing guys! Thanks Terry (the brains behind it all), Scott, Brian, Duane and Joe.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

In the Trenches

Last week, Brian, Caleb, Hudson, Weston, Tex (Hudson's friend) and Brett (a neighbor) carried and laid water pipe in a trench that goes from Big Canyon Creek all the way to The Lodge.  Lucky Guy Tex, got to experience work at Big Canyon. The trench is for the electric wiring and the pipe is for future water use from Big Canyon Creek.  Did I mention that the trench is just short of a mile long?  That is a lot of trench and pipe ~ ask the boys.  They were troopers and put in a long days work.  As you will see in the slide-show, Weston's work consisted more of "stirring" up the dirt. 


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

The Lodge was booked this weekend.  We had friends and friends of friends packed in there.  What fun!  They all started arriving Saturday afternoon.  On the menu, was grilled fresh Salmon from Vancouver ~ yum!  And all kinds of sides.  Then there was the fire and of course s'mores.

Sunday morning, we had a worship service in the main room of the Lodge.  Another first!  Scott H. and his son lead us in worship and then Brian gave the message. 

That afternoon, they helped Brian with some projects.  And then, the clouds rolled in and with the clouds came rain and lots of it.  Then came the hail and lightning.  No worries.  Big Canyon can accommodate whatever comes our way. 

That evening was our Dutch Oven Cook-off.  Every family was in charge of cooking something in a Dutch oven.  We got the ovens going, the men stood watch while the women prepared the tent and tables for the feast.  Fun Times!

Here is the campfire ring with all of the dutch ovens.


Here is the place where the fire ring is BUT where are all the people?


Oh, yea! Remember it rained, really rained? Did I mention that it rained?  This is where all the people are.  In the tent.


9 Families total in the tent packed like sardines happily eating.



The table of trouble kids patiently waiting for dessert.

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Cute Tess and the empty Dutch Ovens. Verdict ~ Thumbs Up for each recipe.  Tummies full, ovens empty!


 A Labor Day not to be forgotten!