Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Deuteronomy 11:18-19

18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Deuteronomy 11:18-19

New International Version (NIV)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Toad River. Part 2.

Some more pictures of our trip to Toad River to visit B&B and M.. 

Beautiful place. We loved it up there and can't wait to go back and visit again!

All the kids who fit one got a Folding Mountain T-shirt!  

Playing pool with Mr. B. BIG HIT!!

Papa and Mr. B making us breakfast! They are wonderful in the kitchen together!! Mrs.B and I were both pregnant when we visited, and have both had super cute babies since then but thats another blog post, and it was super nice to have the boys make breakfast! 

The lodges main room. Beautiful. 

I'm very sorry this post is so late and not in line with the last one. We've had a lot of stuff happen since this trip and right after. I do hope to keep blogging now a little at a time as my eyes allow but I am sorry this post got waylaid in the mess and stress.. I will try to finish the series soon. I do love the pictures we got and the times we had. (It helps also that I got the password figured out so I can do this on the laptop instead of my iPad. The blogger app keeps crashing on me which is a HUGE frustration. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Chicks Are Out.

Jen asked on Facebook what we do with the chicks so I figured I'd hook you up with our system. 

We have a wire panel fence and inside on the bottom of it is a layer of chicken wire. This keeps the chicks in the panel fence. Around the outside of the panel fence we have an electrified electric mesh fence. This is to keep critters, like cats, out of the pen.

 The shelter is simply a piece of plywood leaning up against the side panel with two rebar posts on the ground side to make sure it stays there. There is a light, outside the panel that shines under the plywood shelter. The second piece of plywood is on the outside of the panel fence and keeps the wind out of that side of the shelter. We only get wind in one direction here normally so this works. 

On the top of the front right corner of the panel fence there is a fence post with a black garbage bag tied to it. This is a crow/raptors deterrent. It works. It works really well as long as you move it every two days or so. 

The plastic owl, his name is Fred, sits on the back corner of the panel fence. He's a good crow deterrent too. He's broken so he head no longer moves, what is with curious cows and owls anyway?, but he still works.  

Chip, the big black dog, loves the chicks and watches over them like a mother hen. He will not warn us if something happens to them though. He will sit and watch a raven or crow eat them. His, self proclaimed job is to  keep them all in the electric fence later when they are excape artists until they grow too big for the holes. He does this all day long for as long as it takes. He tried to teach Tucker this when he was a puppy but Tucker thinks this is boring. 

Tucker, the big white dog, is a LGD. He's half Manama and half golden retriever. This makes him an wonderful kids dog and a fantastic bird dog. He hates Ravens, crows, Hawks etc. He even barks are airplanes. He paroles the chick pen several times a day, sneering at Chips affection for the chicks, on the look out for raptors. If he sees one he chases it off. We've seen him do this repeatedly until we have very few problems with raptors here.  They were our biggest killer of chicks until we got him. 
Right now he and a sneaky raven are duelling it out every morning. The sneaky raven steals eggs out of the hen pen and Tucker chases him off at least twice a morning. 

The trick to keeping raptors off the chicks seems to be movement. So my chair is also out there and moved around every time I go out. When they get get big enough to move around in the electric netting we have way less problems with the raptors as long as we move them to every day to second day. Three days is too long. Something has to move every day or two or the raptors will attack. 

The chicks will live in this fence just like it is in the picture for about a week, then we will open up the panel fence in the morning and let them graze in the electric fence during the day. At night they get shut up in the panel fence again. We add more electric fencing the 3rd week and normally by then they aren't using their heat lamp at night much and we only do have it on when the temp drops a bit but better safe then sorry. When they are big enough not to be a easy catch for the raptors we start moving them around daily on the grass with a different shelter and no heat lamp until butchering day :) The fence post garbage bag goes with them always as does Fred. Fred normally has a lawn chair in the pen and the fence post gets moved during chores every day, even if we move the pen that day. Some of those sneaky Ravens/crows will get used to the pen moving but they don't like the bag moving. 

And there you have it. :) Hope that answers all your questions :)
Have a great y'all!! 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Flowers. I love Flowers.

We had a great visit to our favourite greenhouse for flowers this morning. Papa was with us so we may have to sneak back another time :) The basket L is holding is my Mother's Day present and the rest is for the front sign, but we will keep them inside until we are sure they won't frost out. I love Spring. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Chick Pictures

All my kids love to see baby animals and pet them and hold them. 

J holding a Rustic chick. Check out the coloring on some of these birds. 

L with a Rustic as well. 

E with a Cornish, I love T's face in this pic! 

R with a Cornish. 

J3 with a Rustic. 

G with a Rustic. 

S with a Rustic. He was terrified of it at first because it flapped its wings when L put it on his lap. So the smile took awhile. 

T is seriously wondering if I know what I'm doing giving one to a 14 month old. 
'Hey mom you SURE about this?' 
He's got a Cornish. 

He really loved it a minute later and was a bit ticked off when we put them away. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Auntie Ria and Uncle David have sheep and sheep have babies every spring! They got a bunch of early lambs this year and it just so happened that we were there that same day! Here are some cute pictures of their lambs. The two extra kids are Miss KC and Mr. RJ :) cousins :) The big boys were playing it much too cool to pet or hold lambs. Maybe next time I'll sneak a picture of them petting one ;) 

Can't barely see this well loved lamb! 

The Transit Part 3.

This post should really be called: The Long Wait. 

Honestly it felt like a SUPER LONG TIME. It didn't help that the boys and Papa and I shared the front seat in the travelall and as the boys grew, bigger in all directions, and my belly grew, growing sweet baby JKB, it got harder and harder to climb in to the seat, buckle up and enjoy the ride. It got to the point, near the end of the wait, that J, L and I had to sit sideways in the seat so we could all fit. Can you say uncomfortable? Papa had to drive so he got the most space. Several times I fervently wished I could drive just so I could sit a bit more comfortably. Town trips as a family dwindled. City trips ceased completely. The last couple of months we didn't even have to drive to church, as we were hosting, so the only time we all went anywhere was if someone had a doctors appointment in town or the very rare trips out. Thursday's the kids had piano lessons so we moved T's car seat, and with it moved and Papa at work, the kids and I fit quite nicely. Some weeks the car seat never got moved back as we never went anywhere as a family. 

The week we picked up the Transit was packed full of trips to town and made us even more grateful for the space we had when we finally moved all the car seats and booster seats into the Transit. 

We ordered the Transit right before Christmas and I guess we're a little bit spoiled by Amazon and online ordering because we sort of seemed disappointed when it didn't show up the next week even though the dealership told us it would be several months and it was. Every time we went to town and we'd get near the dealership someone would say 'Look for the Transit!' and I'd slow down and we would all crane our heads to check the back lot as we drove by. Actually after we got the Transit S still yelled 'look for the Transit' when we got to that spot in the road for at least two trips to town :) 

Several emails flew around after we hit the second week of  March. Us wondering if they had a ship date, we knew it had been built March 1st, and them reassuring us they would get it up here somehow. No one seemed too sure on how. Something about retro fitted train cars and a limited supply. Then one day we were told it was on a train! Yay! Our necks got sore looking in the lot, Auntie R got on board and became our eyes in town for the Transit.  Several more weeks went by. We were told it was in Canada late in the month but still 13 hours from us. That's as far as the train went, now it would have to be shipped another way. Because of her height and length we were pretty sure it wouldn't be on one of those car hauler trucks. But, as it turned out, it was. Not a typical one I'd guess as it was only holding 4 Transits. We'd sent a email a day or so before asking if it was moving yet and that afternoon we got one back saying they didn't know. Then I checked my email that night and there she was! The dealer ship was closed, he'd sent it at closing, but we were welcome to come take a look at her. Papa was outside so I opened the door and read him the email. There was whooping :) It was April 2nd. The kids were playing outside so we piled them all in the travelall and headed to town. 

This time when someone said 'look for the Transit' we found it. Papa and I were both holding our breath. I know because we were siting so close I could feel him holding it. We both had the same thought at just about the same time. It was BLACK? Processing, processing. We weren't super happy about it but considering all the hassles to get it here we could live with black. We piled out. Maybe it was green? We both took our sun glasses off... IT WAS GREEN! But much darker then we had expected. It still looks black if it's cloudy out. The Transit had only just been delivered, it still had bags on the seats and we couldn't get into it as it was after hours. But we looked in all the windows and drooled over it. Papa was very pleased that it had the 3 marker lights above the windshield, I remember. That was Friday. 

Saturday Papa went in and took a good look at it and talked about when we could pick it up. I had an ultrasound in the city on Wednesday and we were really hoping to be able to take it for its first real trip just the two of us then. Never mind we had a list a mile high as we'd been avoiding the city for some time. It had to be inspected, and sealed, and they did the seats for us and then there was the paperwork. It was a long process for someone who normally bought rigs by hauling them off farmers fields after handing the farmer some cash and signing a bill of sale. 

Monday they did all their work on it and Tuesday my mom kept the kids for a good chunk of the day while Papa and I did paperwork and test drove it. We ended up taking it home on the test drive and the dogs freaked out a little until Papa and I got out. They adjusted to it quickly and didn't even bark at it when we brought her home to stay. They've both, recently, expressed a desire to get into it, a desire I have hopefully killed with a stern NO!!! They would both fit no problem, even though they are huge dogs, but the hair from Tucker would be found for the rest of the vans natural life. No exaggeration necessary. 

Tuesday afternoon after all the paperwork we got handed a pile of keys, a travel mug for me and a hat for Papa and we officially owned a Transit. Our first new vehicle E.V.E.R. It was a little overwhelming. Papa drove her out of the lot and we passed Peggy Sue, our faithful green travelall, and we both looked at her and knew it would be years, if ever, we drove her regularly again. It was a sad but exciting moment. We went for a ride to get a quote to undercoat her. Then Papa drove me back to the dealership and I got in Peggy Sue and drove her down to my folks place. Looking back I realize it was my last ride in Peggy Sue. She ran perfectly and behaved as a lady as always.  Papa drove the Transit to my folks, a bit later as he had some more paperwork to finish, to show the kids and mom and dad the van and excitement ran high! We looked in all the corners of it. The kids tried out each seat and door. Papa cracked the hood and he and Grandpa peered in at the engine. Something I still haven't seen for myself, come to think of it. After while the kids and I went back in the house and Papa and Grandma and Grandpa took it for a drive. They both drove her. The plan was to do the big car seat switch out at home so when it was time to go Papa and the kids piled in the travelall. Papa had decided he wanted the last ride in Peggy Sue with his kids and I'm still kicking myself for not getting a picture. But it was windy and I was a bit worried about having to drive the Transit in the wind on my very first day in a brand new van! Papa followed me out of town, thru the worst of the windy spots and then passed me on the two lanes close to our house and parked in the yard and watched me drive in. The transit did great in the wind, I hadn't needed to worry. I pulled up near the house and the great car seat swap began almost as soon as I turned the key off. In record time we had them all in and we were heading out for a drive. Papa even took the one set of back seats out before we left. 

We do assigned seating with our kids in the vehicle. There is a big with each little. We've moved a few around since that first drive but it's similar. 

It felt enormous. Papa drove and we did the loop. All the kids were amazed at how much they could see out the windows. There was only one problem. She STANK. That new car smell made a few of us green, and not with envy.  Poor L and I had the worst of it. Neither of us got sick but wow the stench gave us a instant headache and the drive wasn't nearly as fun as it should have been. We stopped at the local pizza place for supper and parked her in the window so we could see her. We had their breadsticks yum! That night we left the windows open in the back. 

The next day we took her to the city and loaded her up. We had over $1000 in groceries including a bunch of boxes of apples/potatoes etc, a bunch of wood stuff for the stair railings, a jungle gym from Costco for the yard, two new car seats, a booster seat and we still could have easily fit all the kids without a problem. She still stank when we got back. We used my EO difuser in her several nights running, with peppermint. We left the windows open. We ate in her. Papa put a couple bags of feed in her for several days. She still smells a little but we are getting used to it I guess. Some people love that new car smell but not this crew. 

Loaded up with groceries and trip stuff on our trip to Toad.   

Papa has been calling her Fiona. The kids and I went to see a local schools production of Shrek and the ogre Shrek falls in love with a princess Fiona who later also turns out to be a ogre. Ogres are large and green. The van is large and green. But I don't know. I keep looking for a better name, but if nothing hits me soon she may stay Fiona. Maybe Princess Fiona. Princess Fiona reminds me of my neice A. She loved that movie as a kid. We recently watched Shrek and Shrek 2 and I think she will remain a Fiona. She's classy and large and green and not afraid of hard work and she hauls around our creative little people with style. Seems like a pretty good fit. 

Here she's hauling a ton of corn (that was stacked on a pallet ans loaded with a skid steer!) and 16 bags of chick supplement and all the kids. That big black thing on top is my van bag/diaper bag. There were feed bags behind my seat too! 

Fiona hauling hay home. Beautiful. 

We've had her now for a couple of months and we are loving her. She drives like a dream but is a bit tricky in a lot of wind or right behind a big truck and trailer. She does this weird wobbly thing if you are right behind a big rig that makes me turn green and Papa laugh. Strangely enough we are loving the air conditioning. Papa has always hated air conditioning but either he's getting used to it or it's different somehow because we use it all the time. The kids love the sound system and I love how easy it is to use. We bought some clear totes to haul groceries in as they tend to flop around back there uncontained. Not a problem we've ever had before. She's fairly easy to keep clean as she's not carpeted and a broom does a decent job in short order. We are slowly making her ours. Papa moved the jack to a less annoying place and we have little totes under the seats for the little two guys with diapers and wipes,food pouches and toys and different colored totes for garbage under other seats. Papa has been experimenting at the car wash trying to get the nicest cleanest look without a ton of work and seems to have figured out the magic formula to keeping her looking shiny. He still wants mud flaps on the back tires so she's not muddy in the back. It's a process but we are loving it and her! It's amazing what we can haul in her and how much less vehicle stress we have now. 

They say it's the little things in life and they are right. One of the things we are enjoying most about the new Transit is that everyone has their own cup holder and everyone can have their own water bottle. Oh and the tinted windows! Even on a very sunny day all the kids can still see! With a bunch of blue eyed kids this used to be a big problem! Another thing we both love is the windshield wipers...they come on all by themselves when a spot on the top gets wet. Very handy and very cool. 

And that folks is the rest of the story of how we got our Transit!! 

The New Transit Hauling Hay

Looking good! Papa is loving the towing set up on it. It's pretty amazing. He said he could barely even tell he was hauling a load! That's FOUR large square bales y'all!  

Jungle Gym

Papa and I brought this home from the city the last time we went in alone. Kids love it. Play on it constantly and even have upside down games now. Lol. Apparently everything is more fun if you can do it hanging upside down. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Oh The Mountains. Toad River. Part 1

Friends of ours, you may remember Mr.&Mrs. B?, bought a guiding outfit 4 years ago in the northern part of B.C. and added a Bed and Breakfast and for the last four years we've had an open invitation to visit them and tons of comments on 'the mountains you will see...are amazing, everywhere, so beautiful and many more. So Papa and I made some time and packed up the new Transit, and our crew and headed up for a couple days of non stop mountains and fun! 

We could only spare 4 days, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Friday the kids had a course, that had been set up for months, and Wednesday our chicks were coming and we needed to be home for that.  It's a 12 hour drive from our house so Saturday and Tuesday were driving days and Sunday and Monday were mountain and visiting days. 

Saturday we left early, for us, at 6:30am, in the POURING rain. The rain drops were so big they made puddles on the windshield and the ruts in the roads were full of running water. At one point we even hydroplaned in the van!! 

Pic of the weather system we drove thru.
We were all in high spirits though and the first 6 hours pasted fairly quickly. We stopped at their nearest largest city to pick up a grocery order for them. Mrs.B was very concerned it wouldn't fit in the van. It did. 

With room to spare. We teased her that was only a small order and she could have doubled it. I think there were 12 boxes. We also picked up some food in the city before driving on. 

The next 6 hours we drove in snow, rain and fog. We could tell we were heading up and down and around and around but could see very little else. We did see several bears, lots of deer, a few elk, a couple of moose and a lot of statues and waterfalls.

We did see a stone sheep at one point. E spotted it. We pulled over and it took the rest of us awhile to see him. 
Mr. B told us about the metal bridges so we counted them and rivers and waited to find the Racing River. Turns out it's hard to miss :) It's got flashing lights and slow signs as the road turns sharply before it hits the bridge. The river is rocky and had a bit of water in it and so beautiful. Right after the bridge is their road sign and driveway. The driveway is quite long and the shouts of HORSES echoed thru the van. Then we were there. Honking lol. We didn't really know where to go you see. The buildings are amazing. 

That night we ate spaghetti and laughed. The two littlest boys eyed each other up. The big kids talked constantly. It was late when everyone went to bed. But morning came soon enough and it brought

Their dogs name is Malone. When we arrived he got so excited that he actually tripped over his own back legs and did a summersalt a top speed. He LOVES kids and after he settled a little they had a blast with him. The kids now play a game called Malone. It involves S being Malone and all the kids yelling at him while he jumps around, goes between their legs or their pretend horses legs/belly while they try to walk and generally makes trouble. 

SNOW!! The thing we dreaded the whole ride up, our Transits tires are not made for snow!, but we were all settled in by a warm fire with friends so it didn't matter any more. It did mean the days plans would have to be put off and we actually never did get to help worm and trim horses. The kids did get to ride horses though, and feed them. We had a hot dog roast for lunch and as the snow was pretty much gone by late that afternoon and Mr. B and Papa took the oldest 5 kids and 3 horses for a walk up the ridge behind their house. 

B&B's house and the ridge behind it. 

Kids and horses, always a fun combo! 

They actually forgot the phone but it just so happened that I ended up going there later on so this is one of the pics I took. There is a lot more to that story but your going to have to wait for it. :) This is part of their place, the fields are their hay fields, when the elk don't eat it all. The big white building is their shop. Horse corrals and storage buildings, summer housing area is all between the road and the shop. That's the Racing River on the other side of the houses there. If you look close you can see the lodge, house and our Transit. But, do you see any mountains? They keep telling us there are beautiful mountains up there somewhere but we haven't seen any yet! 

Mrs.B and I walked a bit and talked a lot and generally enjoyed one another's company while taking care of the younger crew. :) That night for supper we had elk steak, with potatoes and salad. The elk steak was fantastic. A few days of eating elk and at least four of us Griggs were plotting on how to get a regular supply. Steps are being taken :) 

Part two coming soon! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Transit Part 2

After we got back from our trip we were a little sad to see the van go. It was so handy in so many ways compared to our travelall. The first time we piled all back into the travelall we had a bit of a eye opening experience. The boys were growing faster then we realized and we didn't fit so nicely in the front seat all together anymore. Papa realized, somewhere in there, that if all our children stayed the same size as he was they would all fit nicely into the travelall forever, BUT J, our oldest was fast outgrowing Papa's size and he was only 11 years old! (At 12 he now out weighs his father and is as tall as I am!) 

Papa started watching YouTube videos and kept on talking about the van. I stayed mostly out of it but I did mention to him again that unless he was serious I didn't want to hear anymore about it. He kept on talking, and talking and talking. I have to admit I tuned a bit of it out, but it got harder and harder to do. He started talking to the guys at work and church and everyone all the time. One day he started talking about car payments and long term stuff like 'if we have more kids' and 'be so nice for long trips.' He started figuring numbers and I heard a lot about that for several weeks. 

Then one night just before bed he asked me if I was opposed to buying a new van, ordering it just the way we wanted it. I said no I didn't but I still didn't quite believe it. Soon after he went into the local dealer to talk to someone and came home with a web address; a Build your own Transit type webpage. Cool stuff btw. He also found a online transit forum and started reading like crazy. One of the big things that he really wanted, and he's been talking about painting the travelalls all this color, in turns, for years, was the color green as a rig color. But it had to be 'the right color green.' We've been to TONS of car shows looking for just the right green color. Turns out its one of the colors offered for the transit. I think that's when I began to believe it MIGHT happen. 

Papa went thru the webpage with a fine tooth comb, we 'discussed' for some time if we wanted black interior or gray. I wanted gray and I lost. He went thru each step of the website with me and we hammered out the details. Most of it was his ideas coming into play. Tow package, larger back up camera screen, something about the dash system (I still have no idea what that's all about! But I guess he'll figure it out and let me know.), extra long which meant extra tall and dual tires in the back, the color, his seat being powered (they don't make it available for mine) and privacy windows. There was more I'm sure but I've forgotten it now. 

We chatted more and more and he watched more YouTube stuff and then one day, fairly out of the blue he decided we were going to order it. It was right before Christmas. Merry Christmas to me I remember thinking. The next week I felt a little off. I told Papa, 'No he told me it is in your head. Your not pregnant.' HA!! I waited another week. Papa went to town and ordered the van. I still felt off, I was sure he was wrong. (For the record Papa almost always knows I'm pregnant before I do.) A few days later I asked him again. 'Nope not pregnant' he was sure. The next morning I took a test. Waited for it and then climbed back into bed with Papa and whispered in his ear. 'Good thing we ordered a van Papa, we aren't going to fit in the Travelall after August.' And then I giggled as he stared at me.