Wednesday, December 29, 2010

EndInG 2o1o

WOW....  I guess it is time to say goodbye to 2010.  This year has marked some major changes in our life, and as I watched a video about Lot's wife this morning, I realized I need to look back less, and await what is in store for me in the future.  I mean, I don't want to turn into a pillar of salt! 
So, here is to looking back one last time, before we focus in on the future:

Mike: What can I say about this man.  He took a chance and some good council, and opened his heart to an opportunity that we might not have ever considered.  His faith and positive attitude is what kept us going through some hard months, and the end result was what are family needed.  He now has a job he enjoys, it challenges him, he wakes up every day with an "I love my job attitude".  He has helped us to already make some great friends and has shown us as a family what "togetherness" truly means.  He also took me on a business trip to New Mexico, which scored big in my eyes.

Me: The beginning of this year found me enjoying time with great friends, starting my first semester back to college in over 10 years, becoming a certified group fitness trainer, and in a great job.  As the summer approached I was trying to be a willing party in our changing life, but on the inside I was literally kicking and screaming every step of the way.  Through my tantrums and pity parties, I have overcome one little step at a time and life's quality is improving.  I have renewed my love for being out on the ranch working with my ever patient husband.  I have re-broke in my roping arm, improved my tractor skills, learned to bale hay, and learned a new respect/fear of wildlife.  Most of all, I have learned to appreciate my kids even more, and though there are days I still need a break, I don't know what I would do if I couldn't be here for them on a regular basis.

KwinLee:  Her loving spirit that is always trying to please others, has made her into a special young woman.  Her talent on the piano is growing, her love of music is prominent in her life.  By the end of the 4th grade she had made wonderful friends and loved everything about school.  She has taken this move in stride and has loved being out on the ranch.  She learned to bale hay, pick lots of rocks, cook more, and has become an even better "cowgirl".  This move has not been easy, and making friends is a slow process, yet she continues to be the happy girl that she is and one that we can be proud of.

Spencer:  Not only is he maturing, but physically he is growing like a weed.  His dry sense of humor and wit can surprise you at the craziest times.  He is a hard worker and this year has proven his love even more for ranch life and being outdoors.  He is a great help to Mike and can handle a horse quite well.  He finished up 3rd grade with great reviews and charged into our new life with a positive attitude.  He has adjusted well and made some great friends.  He had his first baseball season ever, and improved so much as the time went on.  We were proud of his sportsmanship and hard work.  He loves to shoot his gun and found a new love of shooting a bow.  He is all about hunting and killing things. 
Hyrum: The character.  He finished up Kindergarten, which he absolutely loved, and headed into the summer with excitement.  He had a few break downs over leaving his best friend, sense pretty much birth, but is adjusting.  He loves school, playing with very simple things, and teasing.  This year has found him quite toothless as he is losing a lot of teeth.  He likes being outside and working with Mike, yet enjoys hanging with me as well.  He can entertain himself for hours, and is just a happy-go-lucky kind of kid.  He is great to play with his younger brother, and this summer became quite close to him.  He too is loving the new life and the new school.  He adjusted quite well to the 1 room atmosphere, and is like a sponge when it comes to learning.

Reed: The baby of the family, may be a touch spoiled (by Mike).  This year he finished up pre-school, which he loved.  He has learned his letters and numbers, once we associated them with cowboy "stuff" and learned to write and read a little as well.  His passion for the ranch life has only intensified.  He spent hours horseback, in the tractor, and any other work he could get in.  His life is about work, roping, cow punching, anything to do with cowboys.  He struggled with the move, and still has his moments, but he is beginning to understand the new life and what it means for him.  He misses those we left in Helena, but is getting to know that life here means a lot of fun "work" for him. 

So, this is the Briggs Family party of 6, wrapping up the end of an eventful year.  We can't wait to see what 2011 has to offer, and we hope that it brings all our friends and family some kind of excitement and a lot of happiness.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

SomE FirSts

We had to go to Missoula on Friday for Mike's 6 month review, go over the three year projections for the ranch and the current budget, and to get his computer working better.  We also had the Boone and Crockett Employee Christmas Party at "The Keep" that night, while the kids stayed at one of the employee's houses with a baby sitter.  We loved the dinner and conversation, and the kids loved the pizza, movies, paper projects, and being away from mom and dad.

We missed out on any kind of family vacation this year, no promised trips to Lagoon, no trip to see family and stay in a motel with a swimming pool (swimming doesn't happen much for our kids), and not a lot of time getting to do much outside of moving and the ranch.  So we splurged (not unreasonably I might add) and had a great time staying at the Wyngate with 2 water slides.  Our 2 younger kids had never been on one, and our older ones were 4 and 3 when we went once in Billings and tried to seriously drown Spencer.  It was a night mare experience for a mom who could see it all happening but couldn't do anything about it (good thing for a life guard who heard my screams from way up above!)  Anyway, so this go around we had two experienced, older swimmers and two in life jackets.  It was a blast and we tried to wear the slides out.
A style all her own!

Mike getting ready to shoot out like a rocket!

Kwin and Reed Loves
  Another first, a Bloomin' Onion from Outback.  When Mike and I were poor college students/ new parents, we snuck away once or twice and ate at the Outback, and loved their Bloomin's.  Well, we ate lunch/dinner combined there with the kids and let them try.  They all seemed to really like it, but it made me sick.  I just don't have an iron stomach this last year, which is probably a good thing.
We then let them do their shopping for each other and Mike and I, then called it a day.  The roads home were not so good, but we didn't let it ruin our trip.  That is the beauty of Red Box and a mom with foresight.  All in all, it was a great 2 days.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It'S aLmosT HerE

I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that Christmas is just ten days away.  Time has just been flying with all the wind that blows.  We missed going to Utah for Thanksgiving, which was a big let down, due to real bad weather and roads.  We made the most of it by having friends over and combining efforts for a fun day.  The next week found Mike and I on a plane headed to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Mike enjoying being out of meetings!

Our rental car and Me

Our Hotel/ Home for 4 nights.
We have not been on a trip for two (for more than a 22 hour stint) since we had KwinLee.  So, it was a little over due, even if it was work related.
When we got home, we were happy to be home with our family.  We celebrated Hyrum's 7th Birthday, had an excursion to find Christmas Trees and sledding.  We took a trip to Helena, decked the halls (or house), and I finished my semester of college.  So, bring on the Jolly ol' fat man, Christmas programs, parties, and the special time to celebrate the birth of our Savior!
We have so much fun Sledding

About Me

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Ranch born and raised, we love the lifestyle that ranching offers. We also enjoy the oppurtunity of passing on the tradition to our four children.