About Me

"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."
— Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Monday, September 29, 2008

My First Kill...

Ok, so I didn't actually kill it, Jeremy and his boss Jim hit it on the way to a meeting. An interesting note, I drive at least 4 times more then Jeremy does and he has hit two animals already and I have hit none! (knock on wood) So Jeremy called me and told me to go and get the TURKEY that was on the side of the road. In Nebraska, you are allowed to take home whatever you hit with your vehicle. Of course if it is a deer, you have to call the sheriff first and then take it home. So the joke of road kill cafe is totally true here! So I brought it home, did some frantic calling to Jeremy's bosses wife, Becky, and even sprung my plight on an unsuspecting mom - Ann! Thanks to much help and the all too useful Internet, I finally skinned it and just cut out the meat. So to save all those with weak stomachs I will post the before and after pictures. Also, while I was out with my hands full of - well - turkey, Uncle Jed called to see how it was going and had a very nice and lengthy conversation with Haydn and Weldon. Thanks Uncle Jed for keeping them occupied for a bit!

For a first time... I thought I did really well. With NO HELP from Jeremy.

Our Nebraska Weekend!

So it all started Sunday. After we returned home from our church potluck, and visited with family on the computer, a rather quick and powerful storm blew in! I looked out the window to see the flag pole in our front yard bending in the wind, and ran to get the dogs in. In all the opening - and slamming shut- of the exterior back door, the wind blew the interior downstairs door in! Following are some pictures from that adventure. Oh, and did I mention that when I was outside with the dogs I saw a large gray animal running towards me. I couldn't figure out what it was at first until it got 10 feet away. It was a raccoon looking for shelter! Jack barked and barked and scared it back to the field, but I was quite amazed at its no fear attitude of me!

Here is a bad picture of the door that was blown in. It is supposed to swing towards me but it blew off the molding and ripped out the hinge!

My hair was quite amazing after I rescued the dogs from the storm. I had to document it!

And NO! my hair doesn't always look like this...
Here is Dad and Haydn watching the storm- Jeremy's shirts is wet, but not nearly as wet as mine was.

Here is an awesome picture of the lightning once the storm had passed us and was off to the southeast. Thanks to Tina for the use of her fantastic camera!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Haydn's New Haircut

I gave all the kids haircuts last night. Weldon lost some curl and Emma doesn't have hair in her eyes any longer. But Haydn was the most dramatic. She refuses to let me do her hair... and even combing the rats out is a chore. So I figured why fight it, cut it! So I gave her an "A" line cut like her aunt Sharmy, just shorter. It is sssssoooooo cute! And much easier to maintain right now. Don't look too close, I am not a professional by any means!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Emma's Dance Party

Here is some amateur raw footage of Emmaline's latest Dance Party!

"Poka Dot"

This afternoon, after Jeremy was done with work, we all went over to the ranch to give "poka dot" some much needed exercise. Weldon threw a horrible fit when it was time to give someone else a turn... perhaps we need three horses!Haydn insisted that she learn how to do it all by herself. So I taught her the basics and shut all the gates so there was nowhere for that ancient horse to go. I must say, Haydn is a natural. She would have stayed up there all night if I let her.
Getting Emma to smile on camera is almost impossible. Kelli can attest to that! But somehow, riding just brings out the best in all my children! Haydn was such a big girl by holding Emmaline on and even tried to teach her how to hold on with her legs! It was a wonderful afternoon!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Most Romantic Husband Award

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the privilege of presenting Jeremy Steele as a nominee for the Most Romantic Husband Award. The story is as follows. Jeremy came home on Friday and asked me to find a babysitter for Saturday... needless to say it was a little short notice for finding a sitter in the area. But, luckily Tina, the most amazing babysitter on the planet!-was available to watch the kids. Jeremy was acting quite mysteriously all day Saturday, running off to town and off to do other chores. I even told his mother that he was up to no good! When Tina showed up with her cute kids, David, Malcolm and Cassandra - we headed off to the ranch. At that point I was pretty sure what Jeremy had in mind. We took the four wheeler out to catch Miles and Tigger - two very handsome bays, not boys - bays. We saddled up and headed out west on the ranch. Of course, the minute we got to some open country, it was a race! Tigger and Miles have a mutual dislike for each other and there was no way that Tigger was going to let Miles win this one! Of course, I wasn't exactly prepared for the all out race and had to really hunker down and hold on! After Jeremy got the boys settled down, we meandered along with the creek. Of course, I thought Jeremy was lost, but he insisted that he wanted to let me get as much time in the saddle as possible. I still think he was lost! We had a few more races in the open range, but I was prepared for these ones. We startled a mom with three, yes three, fawns down near our destination. Our destination? A secluded section of the creek with a small waterfall covered by a thick canopy of trees. The wind was still in the opening and we could hear some raccoons scratching around for some grub. Jeremy had set up earlier in the day a fire with some chairs, which were waiting for us. Jeremy had cooked up some foil dinners at home and so he just had to heat them up on some coals. We had a wonderful dinner with some of the "bubbly" (sparkling grape juice) and sat by the fire enjoying listening to the crickets which really was our peace and quiet. As it started to get a little darker, we decided that riding home would be a good thing to do, even if it was by moonlight. As we started back up to the house, we startled an entire herd, buck and all, of white tail deer. Tigger was not so into them and snorted his dislike for the interruption. As the last of the sunlight faded, Miles was content to just trudge along with Jeremy. Tigger was not so willing. The smallest sound or even a fence post would startle him enough to make me hold on. As we rode out of the trees and into the open, the wind picked up and added to Tiggers apprehensions. Jeremy and I held many conversations to calm Tigger down and it helped, until he heard something in the cornfield and he began to be tense all over again. I even tried singing to him. I don't think he enjoyed that so much... We finally made it back to the house and gave a very high-strung Tigger a good brushing and sent him off to join the safety of the other horses. The evening was one of the best of my memory and for that I have nominated Jeremy for the Most Romantic Husband Award.

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Family

Weldon is 5 1/2 years old! I can't believe that he is an "official" kindergartner. He loves his school, he attends everyday, all day! He doesn't go to an elementary school, he goes to what is called a learning center in Nebraska. It is a special school where children that cannot function in a "typical" classroom setting are given more attention and specialized teaching from a number of different teachers. He receives speech therapy and physical therapy there at the school and has many wonderful friends. To say that he loves it is an understatement!

Haydn is 3 years old and you could swear she is going on 12! She has had to step up and be a big sister to Weldon at an early age, and unfortunately has made her grow up very quickly. Sometimes I forget she is just a three year old and I should make her enjoy being a three year old! She started preschool this fall and can never seem to remember what they learned that day in class. She loves to sing, she will ask me if I know some song. I ask her to sing it to me and she will proceed to make up a song about shoes or something else random. She loves being here in Nebraska and if you ask her about polka dot, she will tell you all about "her" horse.

Emmaline just recently turned 1 in August. She has such a unique personality, she surprises us everyday! She loves to dance and will start dancing around to any music she hears. She hasn't started walking yet, but has a good vocabulary and is quite the problem solver. She loves to tease her brother and her sister is her best friend. She has the cutest giggle that people think is fake, but she really is laughing. I will have to get it on video. She loves to be the center of attention already, so we are worried what the future may bring!

I love this picture of Jeremy. He looks like such a thug, but he is so NOT! Jeremy is loving his job in Nebraska on the ranch. He has been called as the Elders Quorum president in our tiny branch. He has only 4 active elders to work with and he has a lot on his plate. We have felt since the day we moved here that the Lord wanted us here for a reason, and everyday a new reason is revealed! We love the people here and they make the separation from our families so much easier to bear. I am the new music director - or in other words, anything that has music or is supposed to have music - I do it! I was able to get an electric organ at the building working and the members are so excited to finally here some good classic church organ every Sunday. I of course sing as loud as I can when I play and I LOVE IT! We hope that everyone that wants to - and we hope you all do - come and visit. You will be pleasantly surprised what Nebraska has to offer, wonderful people, beautiful country and a lot of peace and quiet!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The ranch had a great swimming hole just past a big culvert. The water was warm and shallow, all except the little pool that Jeremy would jump into. Later we put a fire pit on the sand and has a cook out with too many flies to help out. The dogs loved it and even tried to chase a deer that came to check out what was going on. Gracie always came with us and we had a great time! Emmaline had no fear of the water - which made us a little nervous. Weldon would throw the toys into the creek to watch them float away and watch us run after them. That was his favorite game.

Left to Right: Kellie with Haydn and Gracie, Becky, Jim, Jeremy and Emmaline, Gina with Weldon, Ashlynn and Raina was hiding!
Emmaline's first birthday was a fun, but small gathering. We invited the Carr's, Jeremy's boss, Jim, wife Becky, daughter Kellie and granddaughter Gracie. We also invited a friend from Church. Gina and her daughters Ashlynn and Raina. Emma wasn't really impressed, I don't think she really understood what was going on. Much to Kellie's dismay, we didn't let her destroy her first birthday cake! But she did steal some of Ashlynn's cake. She sure was pretty in her new dress that Nana, my mom, made for her. Haydn and Weldon also received presents from Becky and they were in heaven! It was like christmas in August.

Here is a collection of photos from Nebraska. Some are from the ranch but some are just from the surrounding country side. We have lots of turtles, most are quite a bit bigger then the picture here. The country here has lots of trees, mixed with some sand hill type desert with cactus. It really is a different bit of country out here! There is always something interesting to see on a drive. Of course the most interesting things we miss getting on camera, because we forget it. We are at least a 30 minute drive to anywhere, including school, church and shopping. But we love it and it is everything we wanted.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

This was a full double rainbow at our house a few weeks ago. It really made me want a better camera!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The kids sure love our new kitty - Libby. They usually fight to see who gets to hold her first. I am not sure that Libby enjoys that, however!
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