Friday, September 16, 2016


I went to the school district office this week to do some paperwork for substitute teaching and when they asked for my driver's license and I went to get it from my wallet, it was gone.
 I remember I'd had it the previous week at the police station when I got finger printed. I remember handing it to the lady there and her handing it back to me,  but I couldn't remember where I'd put it after that.  I was shuffling girls and had finger print cards in my hands.  I re-traced my every move the following days, calling the police station, going over there  in person, calling the high school where I dropped off my application, the school district office, checking at  the condo in Billings, and I prayed about it a lot.  It seems like a trivial thing to pray about, and I felt sort of silly/selfish praying for Heavenly Father to help me find it when I know there are bigger problems in the world than my driver's license, but its been hectic this last month and there's a lot going on the it would have been a huge hassle to get a new one.  I felt like prayer was my last resort since I'd checked everywhere.  A few days went by and I was driving to Lovell to get my hair cut and I heard a clunk between the driver's seat and the console.  it was my cell phone that had fallen out of my pocket, but when I reached down to get my phone, I felt a hard plastic thing and it was my driver's license!!  I was so happy and was  thinking today how Heavenly Father is mindful of each and every prayer offered up and that its such an amazing privilege to get to pray to him whenever I want and for however long I want.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

fishing at Willow Basin

 Last Saturday we took the expedition up to the Big Horns for a fishing trip!  Stetson said he wanted to do do 2 things this summer: go fishing and see the Angry Birds movie  I guess my kids have been in the city too long because they are all practically deathly afraid to hold the fish but had fun catching.  Stetson probably did the best of us all.  Grandpa is super patient and wants everyone to catch a fish.  On the way home we stopped Bear Lodge for lunch

1st day of school 2016!!

So here we are in my dad's basement in Cowley.  Yesterday marks 2 weeks we've been here.  In spring of this year, Michael started hearing word of a possibility of a job for him in Lovell covering ER and walk-clinic.  At first I was excited for a couple reasons, one being that change is always kind of appealing and exciting, and it means moving out of our little condo and buying a HOUSE!  We started looking at houses pretty quick and found one on Zillow that was on Lane 11 1/2.  Michael said one of his brothers said it was sold, so we kind of forgot about it then I thought I'd call the realtor to find out for sure and it actually was available, so we went and looked at it along with a couple of other homes and decided it was our best option.  4 bedrooms, 2 baths, almost 3000 sq ft, beautiful, large landscaped yard and a minute from the hospital.  We made an offer and were under contract to close August 23rd and then about a week prior to that, the appraisal came back 23k below market value, so unless the seller dropped their price, we couldn't get it.  After weeks of the realtor sending comps to the lender to amend the appraisal and nothing coming of it, Michael and I scheduled an appt with the realtor and said we needed to make a plan and move on.  We proposed that the seller pay for another appraisal and we would pay the appraised value up to the dollar amount we were under contract to pay.  That afternoon the realtor called us and said no deal, they didn't want to pay for an appraisal so deal was off.  We started looking for rentals and the night we were pulling into a house to look at in Cowley, the realtor called and said they seller did want to pay for another appraisal after all.  UGH.  We weren't sure what we were going to do and are feeling really stressed at this point.  After lots of thinking though, we feel like even though we feel like we've been dragged along here, this house would be the best option for our family.  So the 2nd appraisal is supposed to take place today or tomorrow and we should get a report back 3 days following that.
We're grateful to dad and Brenda for letting us stay with them while we get this figured out.  It definitely isn't an ideal situation but life is like that sometimes!

It was hard to leave Billings.  Hard to leave our ward family that really does feel like family.  Hard to leave the YMCA where I got the best workout classes I've ever and had childwatch so that I could workout, the temple, the Billings Symphony Chorale, which I'm still going to do but will have to drive 1 1/2 hr every week but its worth it to me.  Hard to be used to living so close to everything and then being back out here.  The kids are loving school, they both seem to have great teachers, Stetson has Mrs. Newton and Kandace has Mrs. Hinckley.  Girls are supposed to be doing gymnastics and hopefully Stetson can do flag football soon.

Bon voyage

Here we are in front of our T & E realty sign.  When we listed our condo with a realtor, we sold it in about 2 weeks.  This was the day we took off, but all we took was our clothes because we still hadn't closed on our house.

Good-bye Billings

Goodbyes are the worst!  The Larsens hosted a little farewell on our last Sunday in Billings.  Our ward was the greatest!  I have such a strong testimony of ward families and the role they play in Heavenly Father's plan of happiness.  Every ward I've been in I've loved and West Park ward was no exception.  The Steiners were our main babysitters and Janelle and Kandace would go sit by them almost every Sunday in sacrament.  Living away from family really makes you rely on friends, especially ward members.
Bonnie Haerberee and her husband Miles and son Clay moved into the ward right before we moved,  Miles was in the PA program.  Their son Clay was friends with Kandace.  Norm and Margie would visit us every month, even thought they weren't our home teachers or visiting teachers.  Margie was a little piece of heaven on earth and I love her to pieces.

Fork lake trailhead

Any time we have a free day and Michael is home, I want to hike.  We're still kind of new at it and not that familiar with the trails but I knew there were more trails by the one to Lake Basin, which is one we did last year.  We finally found a trailhead that was supposed to take us to a lake (forgot name) 5 miles from the trailhead, but after 5 plus miles one way and no lake, we decided we'd better turn back since we were low on water and the kids were getting tired.  Carrying Stahle in the kelty is not nearly as fun as it used to be.  She's gotten lots heavier since last year and we carry lots of our stuff in there.  We also need better hiking shoes because our feet were pretty sore by the end.  The kids were real troopers though, hardly complaining the whole way.  On the way home we stopped at the Pizza Factory in Red Lodge.  It was absolutely beautiful scenery and I love to hike with my family.

Spa days and zoo days

I tried to plan some fun stuff for this summer and write it on the calendar so we'd remember to do it, and one of them was to have an Ooo La La fancy Nancy spa day.  We barely squeezed that in right before we moved but it was fun!  We bought a face mask from TJ Maxx, put cucumbers on our tired eyes, had sour gummy worms for treats, did hand massages and painted each other's nails and hair.  A couple days later, Kandace and Janele (mostly Kandace) set up a spa in her dora tent in her room with all her beauty supplies and gave me a round 2 spa day.  Having girls is pretty fun and fancy. :)  On one of the last days of summer we went to the zoo.  The weather was nice and cool so I was glad we waited til the end of summer.  Stahle LOVES animals.

Summer 2016

Probably my favorite summer night was the night we had to drive to Lovell to do something with the house we're trying to buy (inspection maybe).  We stopped in Bridger on the way home and ate at this little steak house that used to be a garage.  It was yummy food and a treat to be together with my family.  We took a picture of Stetson in Greybull on the way home from one of our family reunions.
Lots of days were spent at Rose Park pool.
And of course almost every day we hit the Y and the library.  Every Friday the Y has open gym in their rock tumble roll room and the kids love the rock wall, zip line and bouncy toys.
We hit up the OASIS a couple times and that was a huge hit with everyone!

Foulger family reunion July 2016

L-R: Stetson, Mckenna, Tatum, Kandace and Anna.  These guys had fun playing cards, among other things.  The Foulger Family reunion this year was in Heber City, UT which is a really beautiful town I'd never been to.  There's a nice lake close by that's a popular recreation area. We did that on Monday.
Sara, Carma, Joelle and me and Stahle
The 2nd night there was Janelle's 5th birthday.  Mom brought a chocolate cake from Costco for her which was a lifesaver because we got there kind of late Sat night and didn't want to have to drive into town to get her a cake.
Sunday night we had a talent show.  We did the same pirate act from the ward lip sync. We didn't have all our props (or participants) but the 4 of us pulled it off and the kids were so cute, I think everyone loved it.
Monday morning we did a scenic train ride on the freedom train through scenic Heber valley.
We usually tye dye shirts every year.  We did that Sunday afternoon and took family pictures Monday.
Janelle and her cousin Kamryn, who is Joelle's daughter.
Monday night we had a little jam session.  Here Morgan and I are singing the travelin soldier.
And here's the whole clan!

Janelle's 5th birthday

I hadn't originally planned on a birthday party for Janelle this year because we would be at the Foulger family reunion during her birthday and I just planned on having cake with everyone there, but I decided kind of last minute to invite a bunch of her friends to Rose Park pool with is the 3rd time in a row we've done her birthday there and its been a blast every time. It was kind of overcast and rainy right before her party but  we headed over anyway and it was nice enough to swim and you can tell by their faces they had a great time. L-R: Harlee (she was in Janelle's preschool class was was her best friend this year, partners in crime, those two) Janelle, Julia Croft, Henry Jacobsen and Niko Grill partially submerged.
After swimming we went back to our house for a water balloon fight, hot dogs, cake and presents.  What a super fun night!  In the background here you can see Mariah (and her older sister Jadah), who was a neighbor friend that Janelle and Kandace spent a lot of time with this summer.
At 5 years, Janelle has personality and energy bursting out of every seam.  Michael and I definitely have hard days with her trying to channel her energy and silly nature but we love her to the moon.  She's a great eater, loves her baby sister, loves to read Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious and Mercer Mayer books with mom  and loves to play with her cousin Chloe.

Cub scout day camp 2016

One of the first things of our summer activities was day camp for Stetson.  I traded babysitting with another scout mom and went to help with skits the first day.  It was fun to go watch all the skits on the last day because Stetson really shines in that area.  He was really in his element and I think he overall had a great time.

roommate reunion

On the way back from our Asay family reunion we stopped in Chubbock, ID to see one of my best friends from college, Mandi Jo.  She has a daughter and son now and she's an elementary teacher and has her masters.  Mandi was so fun to live with in Rexburg.  Friends are a blessing and its sad that we have to grow up and live far apart but  I will always cherish our time together.  We actually stopped in Rexburg on the way to Utah and it was fun to be there again for the first time since I graduated over 10 years ago