Thursday, December 17, 2009

Life is Good......


Crazy hair mornings must be genetic



Ari in extreme alert mode with her proud Daddy



Gwen striking fearsome pose after convincing Mom she needed her coat on, inside.



Life is good when you are allowed to combine camo, rhinestones and a very pink coat. (We never thought we'd see this kind of combo either - she picked her clothing out this am)





Hello from the coat closet...which is by far the most quiet place in the entire Miller household these days. Okay, maybe we are fudging here a little...but only a little. Today was just a typical day: Gwen falling off the ottoman twice and tearing into chamomile teabags (piling their contents nicely onto the rug while her mom wondered why things got so quiet). In case you are wondering, we don't typically leave teabags just lying around for this very reason, but Gwennie has the uncanny ability to find things you never knew you had. Meanwhile Ari (or Sharky) fed about every 1hr or so in the early morn and then was extremely alert the rest of the day. Which is good when your big sister is giving you kisses and rocking your baby seat when you cry. Maybe we're a little bit partial, but we tend to think that the kids under this roof do pretty darned well together. Parental units are tired but wouldn't trade it for the world (and have even figured out how to answer a work-line sounding very professional despite the 1 yr old running around half-naked holding goldfish crackers) For the sake of family and friends wanting visual proof that we still exist, here are a few quick pics with more to come!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Visiting the Hutterite Colony


This Saturday, the Millers made good on a promise to visit and show off the new baby to our friends at the Hutterite Colony near Wolf Point. The House of Miller had been invited to celebrate Thanksgiving with them but had to decline due to the meal being at 6pm, which put us on bad roads at night for the 2 hour drive home. We haven't mentioned our connection to the colonies much in this blog both because of privacy for them and also because Anne's connection with them is primary through her work with pork producers. However, considering that over 85% of the hogs raised in Montana come through colony farms...it has been impossible not to have a strong friendship with some of these producers.

A good background on the lifestyle, which is one of a communal Annabaptist religious group most comparable to Amish or Mennonite, is here in the National Geographic article. Bill Allard, the photographer in the link, had just finished one of his personal/nonwork treks to visit Prairie Elk Colony several weeks before we came. The Walter family, many of whom were photographed in the article, had us to dinner (which is usually served in the dinning hall/kitchen..but because of the cold and young baby was served at their house). David is both the hog boss for the isowean unit located on the colony (with 2,400 sows) as well as the colony minister. His wife is Susanna and they have several children, including Abby. Abby, her brothers and their cousins have really helped Anne understand the ways of colony life and have answered her many,many questions over the past five years. When Gwen was born, Abby made her a beautiful, tiny version of the traditional dresses like the women in her family wear. Each colony's sewing patterns and styles vary according to which of the 3 religious sects of the group they belong.

Miss Gwennie and Ari both loved their visit. Gwen managed to sample more goldfish cracker in one sitting than in recent memory and thoroughly enjoyed her way through most of Eric's kielbasa sausage made the week before by the families. Ari was held and rocked by Abby, Susanna and cousins Barbara and Julie along with the boys..who investigated her from the couch. We didn't get as many pics as we hoped due to the nature of having two children under 2 for a visit somewhere. Hard to run a camera while you are kid wrangling! In any case, we thought you'd like the sneak peek into the weekend visit.