Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Note to Self

Do not feed child highly squishable watermelon cubes AFTER carefully bathing her and putting her into a onesie. Better luck next time......

Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekend in Review Part I : The Wedding

This Saturday, the whole crew drove to Circle (about an hr away, depending on who drives) to help marry off the last daughter of the McRae family. Kristin married Cord in a beautiful ceremony, followed by the traditional bash at the local banquet room. The McRaes have known Eric since he first set foot in the county and have known Anne since she worked at the MSU Wool Lab and met Eric. It would be safe to say that they have kept a kind watch upon the Millers from the very beginning. In any case, a good time was had by all. Newell, the character you see on the top right, had introduced the couple and therefore was presented with the Honorary Hat. Be sure to note the special tira and (you can't quite see them) sparkles.

Below is our friend Scott and two of his kiddos, Haley and Adam. Scott "piped Anne in" at the Miller ceremony and was pressed into duty again this weekend for the McRaes. We guess you could call us bagpipe band groupies! The cake above was decorated, in part, by two of Eric's 4H program current & former participants, Shiloh and Nikki. Gwen enjoyed all the festivities, getting to stay up late, eating roast beef and cake and letting a young gentleman take her out on the dance floor (Eric isn't worried....yet).

Best wishes Kristin and Cord!

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Domesticated Suburbanites

And so it goes, the Millers (especially the Mrs.) have officially been domesticated. Earlier this week, the silver Camry went out the door and in came the new-to-us 2000 Suburban. The joys of living in a small rural area include being able to call the local dealership and arrange for the owner to meet you sometime around 6pm, have your good friend who happens to be a mechanic ride along for the 90 mile (one way) trip and run diagnostic tests on the potential purchase right then and there, and AFTER buying the rig driving it home when the dirt road to your house has had an inch of rain and the 4WD is a MUST! As you can see, it was tested last evening at the lake and we are headed out the door again for another evening session. Gwen gave it two thumbs up, so we must be doing ok. In any case, the vehicle needs a name and, dear readers, it is your job to come up with one. The prize? Getting your name plastered all over the blog and House of Miller using it to refer to said new purchase! :)

PS - Although domesticated now, Anne does plan to add some detailing...something along the lines of stick on (and off) flame decals or something else that allows her to pretend for a little while that it really is an Austin Martin.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Visit from the ID fam

Gwen and Anne were highly motivated to make all the airplanes back from Rhode Island earlier this month because Granddad and Marnie Konen (Anne's folks - Bruce and Sally) were coming for a visit the next weekend. Since their schedules are so busy, this was a rare opportunity to show Bruce the house for the first time since he had walked her down the aisle three years prior.

A primary activity (aside from holding Gwennie) was also shooting prairie dogs. However, they first paid their dues, in Garfield County style, by accompanying the Miller fam to the fairgrounds to weigh, tag and slick-shear 4H lambs in prep for the August Fair. Kids hustled and bustled from horse trailers bringing animals in and out of pens and sending them to Brandon, our shearer for the day, with his handpiece roaring at the end of the alleyway. A brief attempt was made to weigh Anne The Pregnany Lady on the scales, but was quickly averted by "Jumper" the sheep (thank goodness). Gwen attempted "mutton busting" by getting her first (and highly supervised) ride on the back of a lamb.

Then, it was off to the dogtowns and out for some shooting practice. Sally, Gwen and Anne stuck around the two Jeeps, a tarp tied up over them and enjoyed the wee one's antics and iced tea. It was somewhat like being in Egypt at the local watering hole, with the mini-oasis complete with sandwiches, cookies and the like. Anne typically would have spent more time camped out on her shooting mat with the guys (hey, when you are preggers, you definitely get a mat, ok?!) , but a full day of morning sickness happened to coincide that particular Saturday..rendering her somewhat ineffective although she did wander out later that day. Meanwhile, Eric and Bruce put their guns through the paces, running through enough ammo to sink a small ship and grinning the entire time.

Although far too short, it was great to catch up and show them where Anne & Eric make their living. Sally brought a VERY large bucket of peonies from home to share, so Sunday morning found the girls cutting and arranging flowers throughout the house. If there is any one simple thing Anne misses most from day-to-day life at the ranch, it'd be going out in the mornings before company comes to gather buckets of fresh flowers for bouqets. Not that she has anything against the grass that was painstakingly planted around the new house here...but it just doesn't look the same in a vase (and the man of the house would be horrified that she pulled up his grass)!

After one week of getting thoroughly spoiled by both sides of grandparents, Gwen crawled aimlessly through the living room after everyone left. Her own parental units were very nice in feeding, clothing and bathing her...however it just isn't the same as a grandparent!

Can you see the two heads out in the dogtown?

Sally investigating the terrain

Gwen mutton-busting

Granddad getting lured in......

Monday, June 15, 2009

And the May/June Whine Winner Is.......................

Congrats and we will be dropping it off today at the Cohagen Post Office before high noon as we head to Miles City for Anne's tooth repairs (somebody may as well have a good afternoon.... :) ) Peonies, lace tablecloth and coffee pot not included.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rhode Island in Stealth Mode

This past week, Anne and Gwen headed off to Rhode Island on a spur-the-moment trip handcrafted by Eric's mother, Nancy. You see, Nan already was flying "across the pond" from England to visit her mother in East Providence for several weeks. Now would also be the time to mention that Eric's grandmother, Gertrude, is 96 years old and still happily lives on her own with only mild anger at the thought that she can no longer just hop in the car and drive to Boston, etc. She does still drive, however is relegated to the local roads. In any case, a plan was hatched to bring 2 of 3 in the Miller clan to Rhode Island (Eric held the fort out West) and surprise Gertrude with the arrival, being that Gwen had not yet met her great-grandmother. So, Nan promptly picked up the two travelers over at Green Airport and headed for her front door.
The surprise factor was excellent, with Gertrude squinting at her front door, which appeared to have a mirage of the Western segment of family on the other side.

After catching up.....the group headed out to conquer the state. It would help our Western readers to know that RI is roughly 30 by 40 miles. As in several individuals out here may have cow pastures comparable (just lacking the license plates on the cows and wealth of state regulations). Here's a map to help (click on the X in the Address bubble to get rid of it):

View Larger Map

One day was spent touring the coastal areas, including the mansions of Bellevue Ave in Newport, along with the "summer homes" over on Ocean Drive. Anne even hopped out of the car for a particular camera shot that required stuffing her lens through the gilded gate on the "castle's" driveway...all the while knowing that she was right across from an intercom system that, if a particularly mean-spirited caretaker decided to use for a sudden vocalization, would probably startle her right into getting her noggin stuck in the gate. Talk about potentially making a scene. Fortunantly, arrest was not tempted for long before the group of women found other recreational activities, like shopping, feeding Gwen ice cream (when the great-grandmother asks to give her a little, can you really say no?!), and getting to see some of the homes that Nancy grew up in prior to Gertrude's current Cape Cod style home. All in all, it was a great trip and we apologize for not letting our readers in on the little secret until the House of Miller was whole again. Getrude has been known to head to a close family friend's to check the blog, ergo posting something might the blown the surprise.

Gwen traveled quite well as a young hoodlum on all four airplane flights with her 4 month preggo mother. On two legs of the trip, God supplied the pair with young kids ready and willing to entertain and play enough guessing games to make Gwen feel like she really just needed a nap and quiet time. The 6 year old taught her all about the intricacies of kindergarten from Billings to Chicago, then on the way back the 8 year old kindly allowed her to listen to his MP3 player from across the aisle and told her all about Disneyworld. Not a bad deal, considering that they kept each other busy. Going through airport security as a lone parent with infant was a little more tricky. Here's a brief synopsis: Insert child into stroller, show id card/tickets, unload backpack nearly completely for security agents to see the 3-1-1 bag (3oz liquids in one single quart bag), the formula mixes and all the baby food, collapse stroller and grab kiddo, swing purse, shoes, aforementioned backpack and the stroller into conveyor bins, wait patiently barefoot with squirming offspring for the go-ahead to march through the X-Ray scanner, return to conveyor and attempt to redress self, grab all possessions and reconstruct stroller while opening the single bottle of premade formula for the agent to test for drugs/explosives. This proved to be decently managable with a little experience, but complicated by the fact that the mommy was pregnant and so distracted by the restroom and Pretzel Annie's signs that she could have done better. Fortuntly, she had purposely worn the shirts that tastefully screamed her "condition" with the hope that sympathy might get her to the gate faster. In all truth, people were saints when it came to making the trip easier, from the woman that helped fold the stroller on the gateway, to the three grandmothers that offered to entertain the baby, to the stoic looking businessman that made faces at her over his New York Times.

Since pictures are worth a million words (and we already are getting close), here are some shots of the Thursday-Monday trip:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Prayer Request

Readers, we need a favor of everyone. Anne's childhood friend Amy (Altmiller) Eddy is very ill right now at Tri-State Hospital in the Lewiston Valley. Any thoughts and prayers you can beam over there to help her would be VERY much appreciated by House of Miller. For updates, you can go to her twin sister Jen's blog.