Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas in Montana 2008

This year, House of Miller stayed close to home for the holidays. Originally, a surprise trip was planned to Idaho (nothing like getting surprised by a baby that doesn't sleep the entire night ;) ) but, due to excessive amounts of snow between Jordan and Lewiston, we decided to stay put. Something about a lack of romance in telling people that we spent Christmas in Motel 6 while our car was getting towed from the interstate ditch and to the body shop! Anne & Eric might have actually found that a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type type of adventure (granted, only if said vehicle had minor flesh wounds) in Before Children days. But its all different now....just like our mothers told us it would be.

We were not lacking in family time in Jordan though. We have truly been blessed with good friends that have become our adopted family. Our neighbors, the Coulters, invited us to a Christmas Eve lunch at their place. As you can see, Miss Gwennie had a great time getting to know Miss Gracie, who is 9 mos. The little ones plotted the trouble they'd get into in high school while their parents stuffed themselves and played a rousing game of Apples to Apples.

Then it was on to House of Pluhar to share in their traditional Eve dinner of waffles with chokecherry syrup that made you think you'd actually died and gone to heaven. Miss Gwennie recieved several packages and was quite busy keeping everyone on their toes. Only one minor meltdown of tears and we forgave her for that, since she was wearing a dress and not her usual tomboy attire. She started with the dress, onsie, tights and ruby red shoes. Not sure if you can tell from the pictures, but her clothing became more minimal as the night wore on. First the shoes went, then the tights and so on....... Miss Maggie was very interested in "Baby Gwen" and announced her arrival at the door much like one would a finely dressed woman to a Reniassance-era ball.

Our original plan was modified slightly on Christmas Day, due to Anne being slightly under the weather and not wishing to share the bug with anyone else. Families here may have adopted us, but we think they'd draw the line at sharing ALL of our experiences together. Anne was thinking the modest bout of illness had something to do with the number of cookies consumed in the past week (butter anyone? ;) ) So, we had a quiet Christmas Day here, with plenty of good coffee (Eric) and water (Anne). Dinner was sirloin steak, rice and green beans before we toddled off to read our new books in bed.

All in all a good holiday!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

She's Wild and Wooly

Fortunantly for Her Highness, her grandmother and a good friend have spent time busily stitching wool fashion statements for a pint-sized model. With our -20 or colder weather, there's nothing better to keep a baby warm! Thank you for the sweater Nan and the hat, mittens and booties Cora! The only thing that give Highness slight displeasure was the fact that parental units hooked her mitten string into the car carrier to prevent their loss!

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Officially Broken In For Winter

Last evening, it hit -30 in town and was far colder here with the windchill. Not that it hasn't been this way before, but its always a shock to the system. Above are some sights and scenes at the house. This morning, with effort, we did get the Jeep to start and have let it run for a little while. Has Anne mentioned lately how much she loves our Jeep? Baby was tucked into bed last night with her parents...we think Her Highness slept very well but Anne & Eric both have sore shoulders from sleeping funny next to the babe. We've burned at least 2 bins worth of wood in the past 10 hours or so but the house (especially upstairs) isn't bad...remember the inside thermometer is in the kitchen near the chilly sunroom and the clock function is wrong (it was 8 am when we took the pic). Also, our backup electric heat only kicked on once last night - a tribute to Eric's diligence at loading the wood stove at all hours.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Merry Christmas From the House of Miller!

Gwen happily snoozing away below the 10ft Christmas tree cut for us by friends

Pip enjoying the same type of snooze later that evening (and no, she didn't get hungry and eat part of the couch behind her...we usually have the blanket wrapping the wounded loveseat)

This is what happens when residents of the house have eaten fudge, decorated a tree at mock three, finished watching a movie and try to capture a family portrait on the floor who tries to hold the camera above and center the image. It's harder than it looks!
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Weekend Activites

We made it! After having snow and wind blowing and the fire whistling cozily, we're hunkered down for the grand finale of the weekend....windchills of greater than -50 below zero. As you can see from the thermometer below (taken around 6ish), we are well on our way there. The unit sits in the kitchen, which is notably colder than upstairs in the main bedroom. Let's just say that Miss Gwennie is throughly enjoying her fleece outfit, layered over a bodysuit, sleeper and more to come this eve. Anne has spent her time making staples of a blizzard diet - namely fantasy fudge, crinkle cookies and snickerdoodles. Eric has spent part of his day happily playing a few online games with friends and family in California (isn't technology great?!) Part of last evening was spent watching the movie Amelie and eating loads of rich potato soup. When all is clear completely, the Miller will coming rolling out of the house....and we do mean rolling!

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Oooo, ooooo! More Gwen Cam on a Stormy Weekend!

Hello all - we're still here and the house has not blown away....yet. To further grease the wheels of the Blog Challenge (We can mention it outwardly, right?), the House of Miller is hereby submitting recent video of Her Highness. Enjoy! (And if this gets disqualified as blatant judge least we made grandparents and great grandparent happy in states/countries afar)

An Explanation (In Mary's Words)

For the record, Mary of Cohagen Chronicles quite nicely summed up what is going on in our little Jordan world - hope everyone outside the county is enjoying this as much as we are!

So the blog readers don't think we've lost our ever-loving minds....
Marisa (of the blog MomentsWithMarisa) challenged Anne (FarmchicksFrantics) and me to a storm blog challenge for the weekend. There were no real boundaries, other than the blogging had to take place between Saturday morning and Sunday night. Anne and I, being competetive to the core and also needing projects to keep us from going insane, took the challenge quite to heart and have nearly filled our camera's memory cards and strained our minds for creativity.
So, if you couldn't figure out why we all have had numerous posts, new quizzes, animated greetings (I mean really, Anne!), that's what's up. It's definitely spurred creativity!
Enjoy! You can read each of the blogs by looking at my list of blogs that I'm following at the bottom of this page."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's heeeerrrrre

And here we go, with high winds and growing piles of snow! Not a true white-out yet but will be with a few more inches. Roads are considered severe driving conditions and some (Eddie's Corner near Lewistown down to Big Timber) have closed entirely. So far, the Miles City road appears to be open....but we pity (and worry about) anyone trying to head that direction without packing their house with them.

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Storm Prep 101

Yesterday was spent getting ready for the storm that was due to hit this morning. Anne awoke to the noise of Eric in the crawlspace, feverishly insulating the task so unfavorable that he declared blizzard conditions the primary and only motivator at this point. Hence, you will see no pictures of the aforementioned insulation - it is finished in the living room/kitchen/entry areas and, once he crawled his way back out, there was not any going back in for a photo op. Can we really blame him?

As you can see above, we made many other provisions. Much needed staples like hot chocolate and teas were restocked. Our water supply was expanded (for those of you outside the area, this is like drinking the tap water as of yet. We are working to remedy this with an RO system at some point). Our beautiful stove is going full blast & the wood is stacked out on the front porch. Our vehicles are backed into the drive, in an attempt to make an exit easier to navigate around potential drifts, if neccessary. Anne has trouble backing in and out of the drive who knows what may be possible with additional obstacles! Keep in mind, this female once got her University of ID Plant Science Dept work subarban so stuck between two passanger vans in the College of Ag parking lot that she nearly needed a can opener to get them separated. Her usually calm, collected boss/friend spent the next 20 minutes with her trying to get the vehicle out from between the parking spaces without any scratches or incidents worthy of telling the Dean.

Moving on (no pun intended)...we've also purchased gasoline for the generator in the case that we need it to run lights and other neccesary household utilities. However, candlelight is much more fun and we think every tealight, column and stick candle is being used. Those of you looking for candles during holiday shopping this weekend to no avail, don't worry, they're all at our house!

In any case, we are prepared for just about anything!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Battening Down the Hatches

Hey everyone! You know you live in a wonderfully tight community system when you get emails like the one below. We knew that this weekend would be bringing cold temps that would make us glad we have plenty of wood, a backup system of electric heat and tons of hot chocolate (Anne call this "survival material"), but it appears that we should be digging out more long underwear and maybe even rigging a Little House on the Prairie style guide-line to get back and forth to the shop! The cameras are ready and will be rolling!

"Hi all,

No newsletter this time around, just a heads up that this storm this weekend is going to be a big one. Snowfall totals of 7-11 inches will be common throughout NE Montana, with some areas possibly seeing up to 12-14 inches (mainly Phillips, Petroleum, NW Garfield, and perhaps the Big Sheeps and Larb Hills).

The cold front will be moving through the region on Saturday morning. The winds with this system will be pretty significant as well (NW 25-40 mph gusting up to 55 or 60 mph), causing blizzard conditions, and snow drifts measured in feet. The snow should end by Sunday morning.

The winds will be less on Sunday, but the colder temperatures will keep wind chills pretty low. We'll see lows of 20 to 30 below on Monday morning and again Tuesday morning with highs on Sunday and Monday in the 5 to 15 below range.

You can keep up on the latest forecast and conditions from your area by going to

If you have outdoor or travel plans this weekend, it would be really good to reconsider those, and stay home, read a book, catch up on movies, or play a game with the family. Those are my plans (and to clean the inside of the refrigerator!). ;-)


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Top Ten Indicators that Your Life Has Changed Forever

1) You will never be "Anne" and "Eric" again. Meet "Mom" and "Papa", whom for some strange reason find themselves referring to one another in the third person...despite whether or not Gwen is actually present.

2) When feeling particularly sorry for herself at the lack of sleep, Mom self-cures with a single episode of "John and Kate Plus 8."

3) Showers are not longer for hygiene purposes only....they are a luxury that goes well beyond the smell factor.

4) You can supply an entire army with food, clothing and undies (although perhaps non-traditional) out of a single bag.

5) You want to whack silly whatever engineer designed every carseat/stroller to be slightly different in mechanical operation.

6) Papa brings home not one, but TWO candy bars after deciding that Gwen might have kept Mom from working in increments longer than 20 minutes, tops.

7) You try to make lasagna and decide that you will merely pour the meat/sauce layer over the pasta and eat it, abandoning all hope of that nicely layered dish shown on the pasta package.

8) You thank the heavenly father for inspiring someone to invent a coffee pot with an auto-start timer (definitely wasn't the dufus that designed the strollers).

9) You suddenly understand those parents that seem to talk in code about objects in their homes (i.e. - lifesaver = rice cereal; spa = shower; cold=less than 70 degrees)

10) You can't remember what number 10 was going to you make due with what you can remember!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gwen Cam Part 2

Hello from the House That Never Sleeps! Here is another video to again stave off pleas of more updates :) We promise more diligence on our part - however, right now the parental units are trying to get mentally organized to the point that the tv remote doesn't get found in the refrigerator, the coffee gets made with grounds actually put into the filter (thank you for the goodie box including coffee for the adults Aunt Molly!!!!) , and there isn't any drifting off the More to come - in the meantime..might we suggest taking a look at beautiful Glory and Kate, the baby twins that arrived recently at the Eddy House?