Saturday, September 4, 2010

Piper's Homecoming

Here are some more pictures of the newest McMillan and her family. No doubt, these little gals are pretty cute.
These pictures showed up out of order, but no big deal. Here's finally a good one of Piper by herself, followed by one of Annie with her, and pictures of everyone arriving home.

Now comes the exciting part of parenting--preparing little Piper to leave home and be on her own! Paisley is almost there! . . . so she'll be a lot of help.
Have a great day!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Piper Ann McMillan

Piper Ann McMillan arrived this morning at 7:58 a.m., weighing 7 pounds, 7.6 ounces, and measuring 20 inches. She's a sweetheart, and big sister, Paisley, is just as excited as the rest of us. These first two pictures were our first glimpse of her, even before being weighed and measured.
Grandpa's turn came a little later, but he's just as proud.

This is in her mom's arms, after having her hair brushed. Those Traudt granddaughters are famous for their full, dark locks. Annie is doing well and we'll have some pictures of her next time.
Here's a sweet one with David and Paisley.
Have a great day!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Summer Adventure 2010--Glacier to Yellowstone

Our lunch stop between Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park was near Three Forks, Montana. This park, designated as the headwaters of the Missouri River, memorializes many of the stories of Lewis and Clark expedition.

But, prior to Lewis and Clark's discovery that the Missouri River began at the confluence of three rivers which they named the Jefferson, the Madison, and the Gallatin, Sacajewa's tribe, the Shoshones, were gathered at this spot when, as a young girl, she was kidnapped by an enemy tribe. It was not until later during the Lewis and Clark expedition that she was reunited with her brother and the Shoshone tribe she called home.
This cliff is the place where Lewis came to scout the path his travelers would take. It gave him an overview of the beginnings of the Missouri River and the three rivers which joined to make one.
Here's Jacob on a neighboring cliff looking over one of the forks. You can guess the heighth by looking at the trees below him.
Here's that same explorer announcing our entrance to Yellowstone.
Our first night was spent at Mammoth Hot Springs, a fascinating place. Since I can't understand it myself, I won't begin to explain the hydrothermal (?) dynamics of this part of God's creation, but it is truly amazing.
Even more amazing to me, was this little killdeer walking around on this hot water on these hot rocks. Another tourist suggested the springs contain some kind of bacteris these birds love.
On our second day we had two goals--waterfalls and animals and geysers. Doesn't this picture look like a fake postcard? It isn't!
Probably our highlight was seeing this mother grizzly bear with her two cubs walking alongside us on the road. They were oblivious to all the cars and tourists stopped so close to them.
And, here's a buffalo right next to the car. Fortunately, he didn't charge!
And, down the road was this elk just resting near the side of the road. All were exciting sights for us. We were on the lookout for moose and bighorn sheep as well, but didn't have that privilege. Next time!
Our stop for the evening was Old Faithful, and true to its name it erupted like clockwork every 90+ minutes. Just down the boardwalk through the geyers was the Grand. It is the largest predictable geyser in the world. It was predicted to erupt sometime between 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Jacob and I sat down to watch it at 5:00, Jacob deserted me at 6:00, and it finally took off at 6:20.
I thought it was incredible, but when I asked the Ranger to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 for what it can do, he gave it a 6 1/2! Again, maybe next time.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Jessie spent most of her summer in the Two Medicine General Store in Glacier National Park. This was her "day" job as a part of the ministry of A Christian Ministry in National Parks During her paid work week (usually a full 40 hours) she helped open the store for the season, ran cash register, kept shelves stocked, worked in the cafe/snack area, sold bear spray, and visited with workers and tourists from all over the world.

Her store is a registered national landmark because President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once gave a fireside chat in front of this fireplace, and after him, President Herbert Hoover visited.

On Sundays throughout the tourist season, Jessie worked with a team of 2-4 other college students who provided worship services for park workers and visitors. They had both Sunday morning and Sunday evening services with worship music and a short devotional.
This dapper gentleman is "Jammer Joe," a special friend on the support board of the ministry. They are adults either working in the park or living nearby who provide prayer and encouragement for the students working away from home, sometimes in rather isolated situations. He is a dear man who worked in Glacier as a college student then returned when he heard they were hiring seniors. He drives a "jammer," one of the refurbished red buses in the next picture.

This last picture was taken on the last night of our visit when the other students on the team and a couple friends joined us for a cookout. They are all great kids who love God's creation and serving His people.
So. . . if you know an adventurous college student who needs a great job for next summer, encourage them to check out the website above and start the application process. I would have LOVED this job as a college student. The ministry started in 1951, but no one ever told me about it!
Or. . . if you're ever visiting any of our national parks on a Sunday, be sure to attend the worship service in the park and tell the kids there how much you appreciate them. Most people are not aware the services are available.
Have a great day!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer Adventure--Nebraska and Montana

We are back from the latest part of our Summer Adventure 2010. We were so thankful Jacob was able to go with us, and we hope he had as much fun as we did. It is certain that he was able to see many places he'd never seen before.
Here he is in front of a greenhouse of thousands of pine seedlings at the Nebraska National Forest in Halsey. It is a great stop for a picnic lunch on the way to northwest Nebraska. The Nebraska part of our trip was a re-visit to places we had vacationed to when our children were at home, so it was very special to take Jacob to some of those same places and do some of the same things.
After Halsey our next stop was Chadron State Park. We truly enjoyed our time there. It was probably our favorite cabin of all our stops, and while there we fished, hiked, and had a campfire. And, one of Jacob's favorites--he and I went horseback riding. His horse was Socks, and our wrangler took us on some of the same steep trails that Steph and I had taken many years ago. The difference was that she was much younger and had to ride double with me. The wranger told us they don't allow that anymore!

While staying at Chadron, we drove over to Ft. Robinson, which stills looks just like it did when we were there about 27 years ago. We went on the Chuckwagon Cookout again, and they still serve buffalo stew!
The Nebraska sunset on our ride back to the fort was one of the best we saw during our trip.
Our next stop after leaving Nebraska was the Little Bighorn Battlefield, also known as the place of Custer's Last Stand. On the way, we read a book about Custer's life, so we were familiar with the details of the battle when we arrived. The book made the scenes come alive for us.
This is a stunning wire sculpture honoring the indians who fought there.
These gravestones mark where Custer fell with his men around him.Our next stop was Glacier Lodge in East Glacier, Montana. John and I are enjoying a few moments on the porch of the lodge on our first morning.
Here is a picture of part of the lodge. It is a beautiful hotel built in 1912-1913 by James J. Hill, the railroad baron of St. Paul, Minneosta, who wanted to bring travelers on his trains to the park. His work was successful and travelers still visit the several lodges throughout the park.
None of my descriptions nor any of my pictures do Glacier National Park any justice. The beauty cannot be captured, but must be enjoyed in person. But, here are a few of my attempts.
The trees are magnificent. Here's Jacob inside one of the bigger ones.Jessie, Kevin, and Jacob enjoyed white water rafting down the river and we enjoyed watching them.
This is a picture of one of our many hikes. This is the hiline hike near Logan Pass. You can see it is quite steep, but amazingly beautiful. And, notice how the kids are dressed. The temperatures were in the 40's some of the time!
This is the only glacier that can be seen from the Going to the Sun Road, the only road that crosses the park.
I love this picture of the hike to St. Mary's Falls. You can gain a perspective of the heighth of the trees--the Douglas firs.
This next picture is one of the kids picking huckleberries. Unfortunately, I don't have a good picture of the berries--not sure why, no excuse. They look like a blueberry, but slightly smaller, on the outside, but they are juicier and tastier and the juice is red. They are the main food for bears at this time of year, but we enjoyed them just as much as the bears do. Fortunately, the bears let us have some without bothering us about it. Notice, we had a warmer day this time.
This was taken on our hike to Aster Falls at Two Medicine, where Jessie worked.
This is the lake and mountains at Two Medicine. I just had to try my hand at one of those classic reflection pictures.
And, of course, my blog entry would not be complete without a flower picture. I was pleasantly surprised at the numbers and beauty of the wildflowers at Glacier. This is my favorite photo of indian paintbrush.
Next time I'll blog about Wyoming.
Have a great day!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rainey and her Featherweight Singer

This was my first opportunity to have time with Rainey one-on-one, and we did some really fun things. One of the first was, of course, have a tea party. Check out our hats, and don't forget to notice the flowers on the table. Before the tea party we had to make magazine paper flowers, like the ones I made with Paisley. Those are so cool.

But, my main project with Rainey was teaching her to do a little sewing. Her mom and her grandma both have one of these darling little Singer sewing machines--called featherweights and made in about 1955. Michelle's belonged to HER grandmother, so it is quite precious.
Rainey had never done any sewing before and was very excited to learn. Here she is making her first stitches on paper without thread.

She already knew she wanted to make a quilt and she knew she wanted it in rainbow colors. So, we had a fun trip to Joann's Fabrics to buy a 1/8 yd strip of each of the rainbow colors. It took some time, but she had a good eye for what pieces would go together, even though she felt Joann's had a bazillion to choose from.
She did most of the sewing herself. She was a very quick learner and a hard worker. Here she's about halfway done. I thought we would get it started, then she could finish it after I left. BUT, we completed the whole project in 2 days!
This is when the top was finished. Her dog Abby insisted on being in the picture. We had cut out all the squares, then Rainey arranged and rearranged them until she came up with this plan. I think she did a great job.
This is the final showing after we added the back and binding. Isn't it cute?

Another thing I've enjoyed doing is exploring a couple of Austin's nature trails. Brian took me on one yesterday and today Michelle and Rainey took me on a different one. Both were in wooded areas along a creek--different, but similar.
Yesterday we girls went to a farm to buy some local produce. It was rather rustic, but the veggies were great. We bought okra and eggplant, both of which we grilled for supper (yummy!), and red sweet peppers.
Not sure why, but I loved this picture of the workers' gloves hanging on the porch to dry. I just had to share it with you.
Have a great day!