Saturday, November 27, 2010

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Beaneath the Streets, Havre, Montana (Part 1)

Poker table in the Sporting Eagle Saloon

While we were on vacation last week, my in-laws took our family on the most interesting homeschool field trip to date.  We got to go under the streets of Havre into shops that had been built in the early 1900's.  An arsonist set a fire in the business distric of Havre in 1904.  The fire destroyed a majority of downtown Havre.  Building materials were scarce and expensive, so the proprieters moved their businesses underground.  Think of it as an underground mall.  With nearly 20 stores in the tour, there was a lot to see!  Each room contained authentic pieces from the time period, and many that were original to the stores represented in the tour. 

One of the Bordello rooms

The Bordello was first used as underground living space for the Chinese railroad workers.  Racism was prevalent in this area and time period, so most of the Chinese workers "hid out" in their underground rooms to escape poor treatment from the white and Native population.  After the railroad tracks were completed in this area, the small rooms were converted into a "cozy" bordello.  The guide didn't go into more detail than this due to the large number of children (mostly mine) in our tour group.

Some of the equipment in the Casady Blacksmith Shop

The Casady Blacksmith shop had more tools and equipment than I ever would have guessed!  (Check out the huge bellows in the bottom left of the picture!)  There was also a tack shop (Bruce Clyde, Dray and Tack Shop) attached with an old Singer sewing machine, an Antique Stetson hat, and a saddle that was handmade by a local leathersmith. 

Boones Drug Store was my favorite stop on the tour.  When taking a prescription in to be filled, you could pass the time in their department store shooping for fine china and toiletries (like the toilet waters and egg shampoo in the picture at right).  You could also settle in at the soda fountain (pictured above) for an ice cream treat.  Each summer, there is an event held in the city beneath the streets and they actually serve ice cream and sodas in the little fountain area, baked goods in the bakery, and deli items from the meat market!

We had a great time, and this is just the beginning!  I will get another post ready with more pictures next week.  Come on back.  I'd hate for you to miss the Opium Den or the Holland & Bonine Mortuary!

Monday, November 22, 2010

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Vacation Doesn't Always Equal Relaxation

My husband somehow managed to get the entire week before Thanksgiving off from work.  This is a first for us.  We started getting ready to leave last week.  You know, washed clothes, cleaned the house, and packed bags.  On Thursday, our two year old daughter threw up twice.  Not good.  Later that day, our six year old did it too.  That's when I started to get nervous.  After all, we were leaving on Saturday to go to my in-law's house for the week.  It's normally a four hour drive, but with the snowy conditions all the way, we knew it would take longer.  Then Friday came, and all was well, so I stopped worrying.

The Road, I think

Saturday morning, we packed the bags, the kids, and the dogs into the car and headed out.  The four hour trip took more like seven because the road was snow packed the whole way.  The good news is, the trip was vomit-free.  The bad news is that the days since haven't been.  In fact, three of the four kids have been sick since we got here.  They all made it through church yesterday, but dinner last night was a series of unfortunate (and messy) events.  And the ten year old boy was up sick last night, which means I was up last night for about three hours. 

Did I mention that I had a migraine all day Sunday?  Of course, I did.  I always have one the day after traveling.

In the middle of all the sickness, one of our pups escaped the back yard and went for a little neighborhood jaunt.  I knew there was a reason I felt compelled to write their names and my phone number on their collars before we left town.  Don't worry though.  She only made it about two blocks before my father-in-law and son spotted her, in the Police Chief's yard, no less.

I'm very happy to report that I slept in until 10 this morning.  The kids are all vomit and diarrhea free so far today.  The dogs are contained, and have learned to use the doggy door.  And the temp has climbed up to 0degrees.  Yes, I said UP to zero.  It's cold here, people.

Now we will just sit back and hope things continue to go smoothly.  Two days down, five to go...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


One Month Health Update

I know I just told all of you last week that I was starting an exercise program, but I've actually been working on my weightloss goals for a month now.  I'm not anywhere near reaching my goal yet (it's a BIG goal), but I am proud to say that I have lost 10 pounds!  I am at a weight that I haven't seen in about three and a half years, not since before my last pregnancy.  I'm excited!  You probably can't tell by looking at me, but I'm OK with that as long as I continue to make progress.

My next goal is to lose another 15 pounds by the end of the year.  That'll put me at a weight that I can't even remember for sure when I last saw it.  It's obviously been a while.

The biggest hurdle for me is going to be that my workout buddy is going to be in Canada for the next month.  Add that to the suddenly winter temperatures and a week at my in-laws' house for Thanksgiving, and see where I will be struggling.  I'm still going to stick with it.  I will find a way to get the workouts in each day.  I'm not going to fail this time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

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One of THOSE days...

I know today isn't even close to being over, but seriously.  I has already been one of those days.  The kind that make me wish I was a drinker, or had to travel for business, or that it wasn't illegal to lock my kids in a dog kennel for rest time. 

It's almost as if our house couldn't exist without drama, so we have to keep it at a max in order to stay grounded on Earth.  With five kids in the house, there is never a shortage of drama.  Today, #1 had schoolwork meltdown, #2 was suddenly unable to read, #5 was fascinated with hitting the dogs with their own chew toys, and #4 was obsessed with every single thing #5 did.  #3 was pleasantly easy to coexist with.  It must be his day off.

Now add a basket of laundry, numerous conference calls, two wet dogs, and three sleep deprived adults.  Do you see what I'm getting at here?  My question is this:  WHERE. IS. THE. CHOCOLATE???

Monday, November 8, 2010


Week 2 Day 1, and no I'm not joking

The temperature got up to 46 degrees here today, with constant 30mph winds. I don't even want to think about the gusts. After not getting any exercise the last few days, I decided I'd better go do week 2 day 1 of C25K anyway. Heh.

This happened 2 weeks ago...

I set out dressed in running pants, a T-shirt, a hoodie, cozy socks, Nikes, my ear buds, and a BSU stocking cap. (Have I mentioned it was cold and windy?) My water bottle all but froze to my hand.

My first running interval was, of course, uphill and into the wind. As if that wasn't enough, about 30 seconds into it, I was attacked by a Pomeranian. I didn't hear it come up behind me because of my music. It was 3 inches from me and barking before I knew it was there. I jumped, felt like an idiot, laughed at myself, and prayed no one was watching.

The next interval made me think I should cut my loop short because cold weather, jogging, and asthma don't mix. Then I got headed downhill with the wind behind me and changed my mind.

During the running portion of the 3rd set, my underwear slid down and settled atop my thighs. I would have straightened them, but I was directly in front of our new church at the time, and there was a crowd of teenagers in the parking lot. From this point on I literally froze my a$$ off.

The last running section was also uphill into the wind while dodging high school students returning from lunch. Did I mention my underwear were trying to escape my body?

But, I did it. I was frozen. And tired. And felt naked. And was so proud of myself and thankful to God for getting me through. Look out, week 2. I'm ready for you!

Week 1 of Couch to 5K

I am happy to say that I lived through the first week of the C25K.  The first day was a little boring because I downloaded a program on my BlackBerry to keep track of my intervals, but it wouldn't work with my music.  I spent the quiet time praying for my friends, my family, other people like me who are afraid to fail, and therefore never try...  I watched the horses in the pasture and the kids at the high school.  And then I realized I had made it through.

Days two and three I used music from here that had already been set up with the intervals for week one.  I'm not a fan of techno music, but it was nice to have something to listen to.  It also helped that I had some great twitter friends who were willing to start on this adventure with me.  We all have our own issues, goals, and approach, but the support system is wonderful!

Look out Week 2!

Taking the first step

I know you've heard me talk before of hating my current shape, wanting to adopt a healthy lifestyle, starting an exercise routine...  Same old story.  This time is different.  I've been thinking a lot about all of the health issues my parents have dealt with, a majority of which stemmed from their obesity.  I'm not getting any younger, and I'm extremely out of shape.  I don't want to deal with diabetes and heart issues.  I want my kids to have a healthier outlook than the one I grew up with.  I don't want my kids to live by the idea of always having to clean their plates, whether they are still hungry or not.  And I want to change my thinking as well.

I'm not saying I want us to be wasteful.  I do want to be more aware of what and how much we eat.  We will offer healthier options.  My family loves fruits and veggies, so we should be eating more of them.  The kids have plenty of opportunity to exercise, but I need to make more time for me to get moving.  I will do my best to keep you all informed (and me accountable) of my progress.  I'm too young to be obese and not try to change my circumstances.

The first step: Couch to 5K... Lord help me.