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Mother's Day

Mother's Day (a little early)

A couple days ago I was sitting at the breakfast nook and CJ brought this to me and said "Happy Mother's Day".  He said he didn't know how he could hide it from me so he just gave it to me early.  This is the first time CJ has ever used his own money to buy me anything.  Do I care that it's a tool kit?  Of course not.  I love it.  It's a great gift, very practical.  Something that I will definitely use.  How thoughtful of him.  Thank you so much CJ!  I am a blessed mom!


Time to update again with the latest news and happenings.  Last Friday Cassidy was given her restricted driver's license.  She completed the required 30 hours of classroom training and 6 hours of actual driving time with the instructor.  This allowed her to walk in to the DMV, present some paperwork and get her license without actually having to drive.  That was really nice.  We are really proud of her, but I am still a little hesitant to let her drive without me.  I did let her drive herself and the kids to tennis lessons last week and she did fine.  I guess it's just a part of a mother's nature to worry a little.  I better get used to it since I have three more children coming up in the ranks. 

The other piece of news is we now have Cassidy's horse Ebony living on our property.  Last Saturday we fixed the fence and electrified it.  Sunday Mike and Jackie, the previous owners of Ebony, delivered him to us.  It was very exciting and Cassidy has been riding him almost every day.  Here's a few pictures.

NOT April Fools!

This is no joke.  March of 2012 has been the warmest month on record in the history of weather records in South Dakota.  The weather has been amazing!  We have been having temps in the 60's and 70's for probably three weeks or more.  The trees are budding and I already have some things growing in the garden.  Look what I found yesterday.

This is rhubarb that I planted last September or October.

I also found this:

This is asparagus.

Today I was hooking up a sprinkler for the boys to play in and I found these:


I've never had pansies self-seed themselves.  What a pleasant surprise!   I can't believe this is April 1, and my kids are playing in the sprinkler?  Unheard of.  Usually we are still wearing our winter coats this time of year.  I'm still a bit skeptical though.  We're still not past the risk of a spring snowstorm.  We had a snow dump in May one year.  But I think I'll plant some spinach, lettuce and carrots and see what happens.  If we get too cold, I'll just replant in May!  I'll keep you informed.  Hope all of my readers(all two or three of you) are having as wonderful and great of a spring as we are! 

March News

It seems that things are picking up around here.  We sold our motorhome on Friday, March 16, so that is a financial relief.  Not sure what we will do for traveling and family vacations, but I guess we'll figure that out as we go.

The boys started swimming lessons about a month ago and their enthusiasm was high at the beginning.  They are doing pretty well but Charles struggles with putting his face in the water and jumping into the pool.  If I can figure it out, I am going to attach a short video I was able to get. (I couldn't figure it out.  Maybe I'll try later.)

About three weeks ago, the decision was made to pull CJ out of public school and homeschool him once again.  Because of his continuous struggle with grades, he is starting over in three of his subjects, and hopefully he will be able to find some success in working at his own pace and getting help from his dad and myself.  Having CJ around more has actually been very beneficial to the family.  I am working two afternoons a week now, and CJ is the chauffeur now for the other kids, which has freed me up to work more at the store.  This has also led to getting Cassidy signed up for a driver's ed class, which started this week.  She goes to class three nights a week for three hours, then  7 hours on Saturdays, for two weeks.  Then she will be doing six hours of actual driving in a car with the instructor.  Once she's done, she will be able to get her license and we will have two licensed teens in our home.  Whoa, that's scary!  But nice, wahoo!

The last tidbit of exciting news is, are you ready for this?  (drumroll, please).  Cassidy is now the owner of a horse!  Yes, horse!  We have finally taken the plunge, found a really great horse and purchased it.  A neighbor of ours gave me the name of a great couple north of Rapid City who are selling some of their horses.  The wife, Jackie, also gives riding lessons.  They let Cassidy come out and ride Ebony, a black 16 year-old quarter horse, to see if they were a good match.  Right away they were instructing her, telling how to do things, what not to do, and they were impressed at Cassidy's confidence, and putting into practice what they were telling her to do.  They said she was a natural.  I am glad because that makes me feel better about commiting to having a horse around.  The horse will stay where he is until they feel that Cassidy is comfortable with saddling/riding/grooming, etc.  Then they will bring him out to our house. 

I think we will keep the riding lessons going for awhile so Cassidy can gain some experience and have a purpose with her horse.  It's not like a dog, where you just take them for a little walk, play with them for awhile,  and then they go take a nap.  We don't want a horse to just be existing in the field, eating and getting fat.  I think Cassidy will be riding him every day.  She is very excited. 

The very first day she rode Ebony, she rode around the corral for awhile, then Jackie suggested she get off and walk him around for a little bit.  Then Jackie told her to let go  of the reigns and just start walking and see if the horse would follow her.  She did, and it was so cute.  Ebony just lowered his head and started following right along beside her.  He is really gentle and seems to be a good match for Cassidy's personality.  Horses need a leader and Cassidy is not afraid to do that with Ebony.  I think what she's learning about being a horsewoman she will be able to apply to her whole life, especially parenting!!!!!! Until next time, happy spring! 

Sleeping Like A Baby

You've heard the term "Sleeping Like A Baby". Here's my baby living it out.

Eating can be hard work.

Here he is, a little older now.

Playing can be hard work too.

Let's take a closer look at this.

And most recently,

I guess some things never change.  Don't you wish you could sleep like Connor? 

January 2012 Update

We are in the slow time of year where not much is going on in our lives as far as activities.  No camping, swimming, hiking, gardening, traveling, etc.  Just school, working (for Curt and CJ), eating, errands, cooking, cleaning, etc.  You know, boring stuff.  It seems like the boys are bored ALL THE TIME, so I am constantly trying to find things for them to do.  Sometimes it's work, or just naming off all the things we do have available that they could do.  Charles is really into jigsaw puzzles so I recently picked up a few of those, but it's hard to find some that aren't too easy, but not too hard either. 

For school I'm not really following a set course plan with the boys, I'm just re-using little books I've accumulated the past few years for history and science.  So one day we read about Betsy Ross and the American Flag.  I thought re-creating a flag out of construction paper would be a fairly simple, do-able project for us so we did it.  Here's a couple pics.
Charles working hard on the stripes.  

The boys with their newly finished flags.

Recent News


Many of you know that CJ is now working at Scheels, a sporting goods store. He works as a cashier and is required to wear khaki slacks, a blue uniform shirt and a tie.  Can you believe it?  CJ actually had to go shopping for a tie before he started work.  Too funny.  Anyway, he seems to be doing well there.  I just wanted to share one positive experience he had recently.  One day he came home and shared with us that a secret shopper had come to him to pay for some items.  CJ did everything right, asked all the right questions he was supposed to ask, and the shopper commented on his report that CJ had been smiling which is why he chose that particular register.  (As for the smile, I'd like to see the camera footage of that!)  As a reward for doing a good job and getting everything right, CJ was given an extra $10, just to keep.  I think that's pretty cool.  What a nice little surprise for CJ, and a great incentive to keep up the good work.


This year, Cassidy participated in a Christmas violin concert.  Her teacher, Katie, has been having extra practices the last few weeks for several of her violin students.  Several of the students would get together and practice several songs in preparation for the concert, which was Thursday night, December 22.  Of course, when these things come along, there's always a clothing crisis!  We never seem to have anything appropriate to wear.  Cassidy's teacher requested she wear black and white, or black and a Christmas color.  So off we went to the mall.  The boys got new dress shoes, Caitlyn found a couple of nice outfits, and Cassidy found a nice black skirt and a pretty red blouse.  She tried on a cute little black, strapless dress, and it fit her perfectly.  I can't believe how grown-up she's getting!  We decided it was probably too formal for the occasion, so we put it back.  The concert went really well and lasted about an hour.  I think it was a really good experience for Cassidy to play with other people in a group setting, and to play before an audience.  She seemed to enjoy it.  Here's some pictures.

Oh, and I almost forgot.  Cassidy passed her driver's permit test last week and has successfully driven the family car a mile and a half.  More practice is to come, once the snow is gone.  She's pretty excited.  .


Catching Up

Hello loyal blog readers.  Finally a day when I have the time and I'm in the mood to update my blog.  I really enjoy sharing what's been going on in the life of the Beatty's, but when I am this far behind, it's comparable to climbing Harney Peak (a favorite and rigorous hiking spot here in the Hills).  But ready or not, I am going to climb this "blog" mountain or never blog again!  (How's that for drama?)


Back in September, from the first through the twelfth, all of us except CJ went on a trip to Polson, MT.  We always have the hardest time deciding where to go for a "vacation", whether it's worth it or not, should we spend the money, etc. etc.  So this time we ended up in a little town on the western side of Flathead Lake.  It's a really large lake, fed by the glaciers and it's a really pretty area.  We found a really nice campground where we had a view of the lake and the mountains, and there was a tiny airport right at the base of the campground, which was on a hill.  Our main goals on this trip were just to relax, do a little sightseeing, and relax some more. 

After a few days of settling in and "hanging out", we did make a day trip up to Glacier National Park.  All national parks have their own beauty, and to see a lot of the beauty in this park requires hiking.  There are many, many different hiking trails to go on to be able to see the wildlife, lakes, etc.  We took the Highway of the Sun through the park, refueled at a little town on the other side of the park, and made our way back to one of the few visitor centers that had a ready made trail we could walk on.  It was very beautiful and we all made it 3 miles round-trip to the Hidden Lake.  Here's some pics of us.

There were a couple times the kids and I went off to the lake by ourselves.  There was only one place we could find that had an actual "beach" of sorts.  There was a boat launch, a grassy lawn, and a dock.  There were also a couple of platforms that were stationed out a ways in the lake so people can swim out to them and jump off or sunbathe.  The water was a little bit too cold for me to go swimming, but it sure didn't stop the kids.



Another local spot we visited was Kerr Dam, which was just a few miles from Polson.


Last, but not least, Charles is finally riding a two-wheeler bicycle.  He finally figured it out one day and I was able to catch a couple pics of the action.

August 7, 2011


"Darling, you are not here in this world for yourself.  You have been sent for others.  The world is waiting for you." 

A quote from Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army.  She would whisper this into the ears of her sleeping children.  I just came across this quote in a new book I am reading and I thought it was really powerful.  It kind of puts life in perspective.


I have a few pics from the garden.  They're not actually the very first fruits from the garden, but pretty close.  I know, I know, you've seen one zucchini, you've seen them all.  But these are the first ones from this years garden.  Feel free to skip ahead if these pics are too boring:)

I have since picked this tomato, as it was mostly red.  Can't wait to cut into it and taste it.  Nothing like a fresh garden tomato.
One more picture.


As you know, we have had several animal visitors to our property.  Here's a couple pics of the most recent visitors.

One last picture of the boys playing.

July 2011

I can't believe I've let so much time go by since my last post.  I have to admit, we have been pretty busy, but honestly, if I'm not in the mood, I just don't do it.  I guess I'm finally in the mood.  Or maybe I feel the pressure building up from all the things I want to share, and the longer I put it off, the bigger the pile gets, the bigger the pressure, etc.  I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about.  Well, let's get started, shall we? 

June found us jet-setting down to AZ for Curt's sister's wedding.  It was quite the momentous occasion because she is 44 and she's never been married before.  She married a great guy named Andrew Taylor.  Andrew has two boys, named Jake and Joey, and our kids had a great time swimming with them and getting to know their new cousins.  Here's a couple pics of the fam.

This is some of us at the airport waiting for the plane to arrive.

Cassidy, Caitlyn, Charles, Jake and Joey in the hot tub.

The Beatty bunch all dressed up at the wedding.  It was a really pretty outdoor wedding.

The bride and groom, exchanging vows.

Finally hitched! 

Here's Charles and Connor helping Dawn and Andrew open their wedding gifts.

Six days after we got back from AZ, Curt and I left for Dallas, TX for the lighting market.  My dad came out to stay with the kids.  They had a lot of fun.  They rented a boat and went out on Pactola Lake, visited the car museum in Murdo, SD, and hauled compost from the local landfill for adding to the garden.  A great time was had by all.

Here are the boys standing in front of Elvis' motorcycle.

The day after Curt and I got back from market, Caitlyn headed out to Rainbow Bible Ranch for Ranch Camp.  She's been excited about that for a long time. 

Can you spot Caitlyn in this picture?  Hint, she's the one with the pink shirt, leopard jeans, and pink cowboy boots.  Yep, that's my Caitlyn.

Here she is waiting for her turn to do the obstacle course on her horse, Okie.

Here she is weaving through the barrels.  She did great.

Two weeks later it was Cassidy's turn to go to the same place for Legacy I camp.  It was for older kids, a couple days longer, and involved a lot more horseback time.  Here's some pics of her during her rodeo.

Cassidy's horse was named Majesty.

Cassidy is a true cowgirl at heart.  She wants to grow up, have her own horses and lots of cats.

Garden update.  This was my garden in my last post.

Here's the same bed now.

Believe it or not, there are two rows of carrots hiding in between the rows of lettuce.  Note to self:  next year don't plant so much lettuce.

Did you notice all the moisture in these pictures?  For a couple days there was so much rain, fog and humidity in the air it did this to my ornamental grasses.

Last but not least, here's some pictures of some special wildlife visitors we've had recently and some pretty flowers.



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May 2012


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