Sunday, December 5, 2010

Why We Don't Hear Well....

We trade childcare back and forth with several families. Last Friday, Everett joined the excitement.....his ears are probably still ringing. And so it goes.....

Monday, October 25, 2010

When All Else Fails.....

And Monkeys Big & Small Are Going Crazy......


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Morning

On cozy Fall mornings, with the woodstove burning quietly, we Millers make biscuits and watch CBS Sunday Morning. Or at least that is the goal. This morning it actually happened and the sisters enjoyed some time together.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

First Haircut (That We Admit To Anyway)

After two years of either resembling a very cute version of Cousin It or sporting the "Mom Can't Draw A Straight Line To Save Her Life" cut, we finally took Gwen in for a professional do. Miss Melissa came along for moral support. Ice cream was had afterward with various friends at the local soda shop to lessen the blow - she was most interested in Rex's chocolate cone, especially after eating her vanilla one.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Thing About Mini-Vacations

Yesterday's 5am found the House of Miller driving for Billings - to have breakfast. No, dear readers, our coffeemaker and toaster did not implode, causing a stampede for the nearest department store (yes *sigh* Billings). We took a "mini-vacation," which is code for somebody-had-a-meeting-and-we-made-it-an-outing. Anne had a breakfast involving various Ambassadors and Montana's ag know, the Livingston on Sunday morning at 8:30am. For those of you not familiar with the territory out here and to remind those living in places they could throw a rock and hit 100 plus people, Livingston is roughly 5hrs away. Making the assumption that our Highway Patrol friends are not reading this post, it can be 4.5hrs.

So, we were off yesterday for a breakfast at Denny's in Billings of all places, where the hoodlums could make the most of piles of eggs, sausage, bacon and the like. Ari is big on grabbing as much as possible, stuffing her mouth full and then pocketing more for later. Anywhere is fair game but she most favors the pantline right above her diaper. Meanwhile, Gwen is quite preoccupied these days with "bubbles" and "ice," peering into our coffee cups to check on the bubble situation, while stirring around ice in a kid sized glass with her index finger. Needless to say, we rather amused various customers. Fortunately, the vast majority had grandchildren and we're sure the moment reminded them of how nice it is to have them around, and then give them back when things got a little out of hand. 

The Miller Sideshow then canvassed other locations, such as the mall. In brief, because your coffee cups are only so deep and patience only so much for posts sans pictures:
* Toys R Us has not changed that much since we were there as kids. Except we can now understand price tags, batteries and better gauge which tiny pieces will hurt more than others at 2am on the living room floor. Gwen received an early birthday present, a wee and very pink bike that works on gravel. We also stocked up on band-aids, a helmet and antiseptic.

* Asian food (Grand-Marnie and Marnie avert eyes until next asterisk) for a one and two year old that haven't had it before is not the best of choices when you plan to be in polite company later. Especially when your one year old also appears to be sporadically shedding brown rice from various clothing items more than 2 hrs after the event. 

* We decided we need more vacations. The weather was perfect. The ducks were friendly. The hotel pool was warm.

*Anne's inner hippie was satisfied only after stopping at Town & County Foods (T'n'C to those in the know) where you can buy Burt's Bees, emu in the meat case and a full selection of various ice creams. The hippie again cheered for the stop at Coffee Crossing this am. 

* Our car dropped mud from the time we left until we pulled back into the driveway tonight. Think mud-bogging-pay-to-watch type coating. Needless to say, it was rather wet when we left. At the hotel, some German tourists made sure to tell Anne, when she had to roll down the window to even see them, that the car was "VERY dirty, very dirty indeed." Unfortunately, the town car wash was broken, which meant at the Ambassador breakfast, Anne pulled the whole "I have NO IDEA whose car that is across the street from the restaurant." Fortunately, the New Zealand Ambassador at her table didn't press the issue and no trade relations suffered because someone tripped in all the mud leaving the area. It also meant waiting to exit for the hotel until the majority of the group left...

*We made it through Costco in well under an hour, counting the foodcourt. No purchases were made off-list other than the adult-type sippy,ahem, travel cups. Two for $20 total is a  good deal, no matter how snobby you are. We are not snobby...we would have bought more if it was not for the formula, diapers, and wipes in the cart with the kids. Did we mention they don't spill? That's half the family no longer dumping drinks in the car! 

* Feeding kids  "Whirled Peace" Ben & Jerry's ice cream at 8pm is also not the best of choices (yup, we bought it at T'n'C). Especially when you buy a pint because it is on sale. And spoons. And then proceed to wonder why on earth these things always sound fun until about 2am in a hotel room, with neither kid sleeping. 

The thing about mini-vacations is that it reminds you how important family is in the big picture. Things like seeing Eric's face as he loaded the pink (VERY pink) bike into the Suburban, realizing with a big grin that he was officially a dad (not that the juice stains on his otherwise clean shirt didn't already indicate that). And things like letting both kids splash and swim in the pool (with a tight grip on them). And things like letting them eat oodles of "Whirled Peace," knowing it might not be the best idea in the end but you gotta live a little. :) 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Video: Daddy is the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

Video: Now That's Service

PS- Hit pause as it starts for about 30 seconds to let it preload, then push play to see one of the many amusing daily scenarios here at House of Miller.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Car (Kid) Wash

"Oh no...I couldn't possibly........"

"Well, maybe...."

"But no pictures. I'm way too dirty right now for all my fans. Just think of the tub ring Mom"

"Geez, I didn't know the Surburban could look so nice!"
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Party Like a Rock Star

Meet Gwennie R. Miller...

She parties like a rock star...

Tips back a few bottles with the fans...

Trashes a few nice rooms.....

Nearly passes out in strange places.....

And just as you think she's down for the count, she gets a second wind

We'd buy her album, but we bet it's pretty loud.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Tricycle Motors

More, as usual, when we overcome the sleep deprivation but here are pics from this week. We want to note that Gwen is actually wearing Anne's hat after finding it quite delightedly on the hall shelf. She felt is would adorn her head quite nicely and we agreed...
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Video Hello

Life is ambling right along here at House of Miller...Gwen is now standing unassisted for decent chunks of time and took her first two big steps this past Saturday while we were on the road in Choteau. The whole family has been on the road a lot lately, with the girls touring Bozeman and the Western side of the state over the past two weekends. Thought you family members (especially those of you in AZ and England right now) might appreciate a word (or two) from Gwen. What can we say...she's related to Anne. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010


For the curious (potentially mildly-appalled) family members......

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day from the Sisters

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New Lurker Contest

House of Miller is announcing a February Lurker drawing. The winner will be drawn March 15th, with the last allowable sign-in at midnight on the 14th. That lucky duck will receive a packet of sheep pen and ink notecards from local artist Kathy McRae.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Truths and Lie - Anne's Quiz Answers

Okay, while we are eagerly awaiting the appearance of a baby for Jen and Joe hopefully well before the Feb 16 induction...we might as well entertain you with more answers to quizzes. Here are the ones for Anne:

Has logged multiple takeoffs & landings in small engine plane - 6 of 11 voted Lie:

TRUE. As a birthday present in early college, her friend Nate from Lewiston stopped by the dorm room door one memorable May morning and asked if she would like to take a "Cessina for a spin." Nate was going through commercial pilot school at the time and was already a certified flight instructor. One requirement for him was a set number of takeoffs/landings each year at the local airport. Now, airplanes have been near and dear to Anne's heart since she used to play around her Granddad's airplane hanger and went to local airshows. That day, she logged 3 takeoffs and one a stall. Nate now works as a pilot based out of Mumbai, India and Anne still counts that as one of her best birthday presents ever...especially considering that she waited to tell her parents about the adventure until afterwards. Funny how that is....

Was once asked to play ice hockey for Washington State University - 4 of 11 voted Lie:

TRUE. Anne played intramural sports at the good 'ol U of I, including serving as captain of a co-ed floor hockey team for two years. She also likes to ice skate and WSU (a mere 8 miles from the UI campus) was short on players at one point for the women's ice hockey team. They must have been desperate (or very kind) in assuming that understanding and affection of ice hockey + the same for ice skating = ice hockey player. Anne decided that she didn't want a disfigured (insert any appendage here) at graduation, so respectfully declined.

Has presented the Gifts at the downtown Denver Cathedral of Immaculate Conception - 1 of 11 voted Lie:

TRUE. Blame aforementioned Joe's little brother for this one. During conferences several years ago in Denver, Steve successfully convinced several friends to attend Mass with him, since the beautiful Cathedral was only a few blocks from the hotel. Those in the group concerned with the lack of formal attire, after assurances that it would be inconspicuous, shuffled quickly toward the back pews. They were met by a friendly usher explaining that the church picked members of the congregation each Sunday to offer the gifts at the FRONT of the alter and would they be willing to do so? Shaking in their flip-flops, the three chosen obliged, with Anne vowing to always pack something other than the "I am fresh out of college and I stole this dress from a sleeping Hawaiian's closet look"

Slept illegally in the Everglades while in Florida - 0 of 11
TRUE. While working on hurricane recovery efforts with FEMA, Anne's Montana Conservation Corps crew took a little R&R time in the Everglades. Problem was, the group was having a hard time finding somewhere to bed down for the night. No matter. Utilizing the roof tarping materials on hand, the lot of them constructed various scary looking tents in the back of their pickups after pulling into what seemed to be a decent campsite. Come morning, the discovery was made that the campsite was abandoned for good and baby alligators had taken over the bogs within 20 ft of the parked vehicles.

Is officially a Class C certified sawyer - 0 of 11

FALSE. Although definitely a landmark goal, Anne is not Class C, although she has attended various classes and cut her first tree while in MCC leader training on the MT/ID border. Since then, many more trees have toppled over like popsicle sticks...but none have given C status. Partly due to needing even more experience and partly due to not having a certifying instructor there to witness some of these cuts...which is probably a good thing.

Now, if you have made it through all these and, by chance, happen to be an insurance agent offering life quotes, odds are good that you'll thrown all the apps out by now. Be assured that, since domestication, Anne does not fly airplanes or play hockey at this time. You will find her, demurely dressed and well prepared, sipping tea and watching babies. And only 2 of those statements are true.......

Monday, January 25, 2010

Movie Alert - Sisterly Nutrition Program

1) No Aris were hurt during the production of this short film
2) Aris DO receive a bath afterward

Enjoy life as it is in House of Miller!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Truth and Lie: Part One of Two

So, it probably is about time to reveal the answers to 4Truths and a Lie about each of us. We were going for the suspense factor but, as mentioned by Farmer's Wife, the suspense factor kind of goes when the quiz has been closed since the ice started forming on Ft Peck lake. Here are the answers:


Attended the Signing Party for the band Rage Against the Machine - True. Believe it or not folks, when it came to California's music scene, Mr Miller had his chips all in. As the story goes, band members had mutual friends that served as the connection. Rage was just starting (ie not yet famous in the mainstream) and Eric was at their small show the night they were signed in LA. Two things he specifically requested be in this explanation : 1) Technically, he wasn't around for the wild partying afterward. 2) This was the only concert in which he didn't think the earplugs for hearing protection were enough.

Worked at a pub in England - True. Pint anyone? Eric spent a year tending pints at Pope's Grotto on the bank of the Thames in Twickham. His favorite drink there? Young's Special Bitter

Competed in rodeo while in Wyoming - False. While Eric did work for the Faddis-Kennedy Cattle Company just prior to grad school, the only cattle wrangling he did was out on the open prairie without an audience. Growing up, he first learned English, then Western.

Body surfed before (and sometimes during) am high school classes - True. A significant amount of time was spent at the beach while living right near San Diego's shorelines. Eric learned to swim with his dad in the ocean at the ripe old age of 2 and never stopped. The surfing also extended to various locations in Hawaii with "double-overhead" surf. Those of you landlocked readers will need to look that one up.

Was the first engine on the scene of the '06 Black Pulaski Fire - True. The Garfield County Fire engine crew driven by Eric was the first on the scene at about midnight that infamous evening. Followed moments later by CMR and BLM crews, the group arrived to the first chunk of what would become a vast complex of fires covering roughly 125 thousand acres before containment. Anne and Eric tried to sleep in a pasture populated with several cactus patches before getting the go-ahead at daybreak to start putting in lines. The fire that was first estimated at 40 acres shortly after crews arrived (but due to various safety concerns they were not allowed near) had expanded significantly. By noon, it had blown completely out of the coulee and up over ridges on either side, along with multiple other lightning-caused fires.

Whew! Now we've gotten half caught up on the aging poll. 4 voted that lie was the Rage Against the Machine party, 4 believed it was WY rodeo and 2 voted the Pulaski Fire. Stay tuned for Anne's side next!