Sunday, September 23, 2012


(Autumn speaking) Usually I love September.  The days are cooling off, the leaves are changing, the deer are a sight to see, and the elk a beautiful sound at night to lull you to sleep.  Plus, it’s my birthday month!  Who doesn’t love that?  Yeah, right.  Not this year.  I don’t know what we did, but we both agree we must have done something to tick the world off because this has not been a great month. 

Honestly, I don’t even remember much about this month, except work, work, work, and bad luck.  Chris has been extremely busy this month.  It seems everything happens at once.  Not only has he been busy with major projects at work, but he’s had deadlines on the farm that he’s had to meet.  I think he’s now a professional fence builder!  And thanks to his family.  Without their help, we would have been up a creek without a paddle.  Because this school year has so far proven to be especially time demanding for Autumn, Chris’s family was out there many times pounding posts or nails with him, while she had to be doing school work, and feeling guilty for not helping.
Fence building isn't the only farm work that's made everyone busy this month.  They've also had to get all the haying done, and it doesn't help when something goes wrong with the baler.  Even Tip is tired of Chris and Shawn working.

Before I get to the bad luck, here’s a bit about the normal happenings:
Our friend, Ammon, who went to high school with Autumn came to visit over Labor Day weekend.  We’ve been trying to get him to visit again for years, so when he agreed we were very excited.  It was lots of fun playing games and just catching up.  We even got him out there, pounding fencing nails!  (Cautionary note- The work on a ranch is never done.  If you are going to be a guest at our house, most likely you will be put to work at some point.)  Okay, that cautionary note is just a joke, but right now I can’t think of a family member or close family friend for which that hasn’t proven true!  Anyway, on Labor Day we took Ammon to Blackfoot to the Eastern Idaho State Fair (it’s a tradition for us to go), and had a good time there too.

I guess September has been full of canning, too.  Autumn used to get 2 weeks off for potato harvest when she worked in Grace.  Now, she wishes she could just get one week off for canning. J So far, she’s only bottled peaches and pears, and made grape jelly.  But there’s more jelly juice in the freezer, berries and apples to pick and juice, and another box of peaches that needs bottled sitting on the kitchen table.  See, that’s why she needs a week off!

The best thing about this month was receiving our letter from LDS Family Services, stating that we were approved for adoption!  Now, we wait.  But we are not just going to wait, we are going to do what we can to help get the word out.  Including, asking you to not only keep us in your thoughts and prayers, but also to help us get the word out.  Also, Autumn participated in the Footsteps For Fertility 5K in Draper, Utah.   A special thanks go to Kimmy and Allison for supporting her in this.  This race not only supported the cause, but there was also a drawing for a free IVF cycle, offered by our doctor.  We didn’t win, but it was a neat, feel-good experience.  Plus, there’s another race in October, Pound the Pavement for Parenthood!  Hope to see you there!
Autumn and Kimmy at the Footsteps for Fertility 5K.  Allison somehow got out of a picture.

Now we’re to the good stuff, or rather, the not-so-good stuff:
Actually, the bad luck has mostly come in a two week stretch (as I’m writing this I realize we have 1 more week of September, and I pray the bad luck streak is over).  Here’s how it went: 1st bad thing to happen- Chris slices his arm open on barbed wire on Labor Day (that’s what he gets for not taking a day off).  We go to the Emergency Room to get stitches.  #2- Let’s just say we can’t use our dryer anymore and we are lucky to have a house still.  #3- (2 days later) It’s Autumn’s birthday (not the bad part).  She has a horrible day at work, Chris has to work late, and…here it is…he hits a deer on his way home.  #4- (4 days later) A deer hits Autumn and wrecks the car, on which we had just put 2 new bumpers and gotten it back from the body shop less than 2 weeks before!  #5- (4 & 5 days later) Autumn goes to the E.R.  Dang ovarian cysts!  (Don’t like sharing this, but it helps prove my point) #6- (same day) Chris’s dog, Wrangler gets shot by a neighbor.  Or so we think (stay tuned).  
Clearly, the deer hit me.

Ugh!  If it weren’t for being able to see how we were blessed in all this, we would cry.  But you have to recognize the blessings.  #1- Chris’s arm only took 6 stitches, and really wasn’t bleeding too bad.  It was just too wide to heal on its own.  It could’ve been a lot worse.  #2- My house didn’t burn down.  Need I say more?  #3- It was a fawn that Chris hit, so it only put a tiny dent in the bumper and the license plate.  It doesn’t even need to be fixed.  #4- No one was hurt.  So many things could have happened differently that would have changed this outcome.  #5- Well, it’s annoying but not life threatening.  #6- (see P.S.)

As September comes to a close, we say, “Good riddance, bad luck!”  And we welcome October and the better circumstances it will bring.  We hope.  :)

P.S.  As I was writing this, Chris got home from a 4-wheeler ride to cow camp.  Guess who he found there?  Wrangler!  See, things are looking up already.

Random Pics
 A smoky sunset
 They've been a little elusive lately, but they're still here.


As I said earlier, July ended with a family reunion in Oregon.  It was carnival themed and lots of fun.  There were carnival games, snow cones, and even cotton candy.  But Autumn’s favorite part was meeting two new members of the family.  Well, not really.  Chris’s uncle had 2 orphan goats that he brought along because he had to bottle feed them 3 times a day, and Autumn absolutely fell in love with them!  He would’ve sent them home with us, but we were worried about the long drive being too hard on them.  As fun as the reunion was, I only took pictures of the kids and the goats (imagine that), so that’s what you get.
Hannah and Harley

Upon returning home, it was immediately fair time.  Chris’s parents were in charge of the Education Foundation food booth, so helping them out kept all members of the family busy if we ever had free time.  In addition to helping them, we also helped with activities on Farm Bureau day.  Chris loved M-C-ing the kids tractor pull, and Autumn helped with the pie-eating contest and free ice cream social.  We think we have one of the best county fairs in the country, and so we love to go to as many events as possible.  We enjoyed the Lil’ Buckaroo rodeo, in which Chris’s cousins took part, the PRCA Rodeo (can’t miss that!), the Demolition Derby, and we even both took part in the Pig Wrestling contest this year.  This was Chris’s second year to be hired as the announcer at the Pig Wrestling, and his first year announcing the Demolition Derby.  He thinks he would like a job as a rodeo announcer some day.  Somehow Autumn’s friend talked her into being on a pig wrestling team.  Her team, which consisted of Chris’s sister, Aubrey, 2 friends, Allison and Mara, and herself actually won 2nd place!  And she has to admit…it was fun.  Chris even got in on the dirty business, as Autumn snuck in for a kiss after her team’s turn and got him all dirty!  Actually, there were other girls (whom he didn’t even know) hugging him to get him dirty, too, and he later found out it was because the gate keeper (a guy he knew) was putting them up to it. Ha ha!  Oh! We can’t forget the final race in the Caribou County 5K circuit. Yes, another 5K.  Autumn and Chris’s sisters participated in the Soda Springs 5K fun run on Saturday morning.  Only, it was less run and more walk, and so we didn’t do so hot this time. :)
Aubrey, Allison, Mara, and Autumn after Pig Wrestling

Well, everyone around here knows that summer ends with the fair, and then it’s back-to-school time.  But we had one small task to accomplish first.  Okay, it was a large and very important task!  We had to get our house ready for our Adoption Home Study.  Talk about stress!  But we did it, and it must have been okay because we’ve since got a letter saying we were approved! (More about that to come in September’s blog)  After that was over, Autumn had one week left to get her classroom ready before Teacher In-service Days started.  Now I guess you know how August ended.  That’s right, with school starting.  After one week of school, Autumn’s assessment of how this school year would be was this: I love my beautiful, smart class, but boy, are they going to keep me busy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Who wouldn’t want to dress up and scare a bunch of teenagers?  Well, that’s exactly what we did, TWICE!  Okay, I’ll explain.  The Chesterfield town site (of which we only live 2 miles away) is a popular place for youth group pioneer treks.  They dress up as pioneers and take hand carts over the mountain and camp.  We (along with others from Chesterfield) dress up as mobsters and Native Americans and try to give them an authentic experience.  Now, don’t get worried. Their leaders actually asked us to do it and even planned it.  The mob was first.  As they lined up with their hand carts and got ready for their trek over the mountain, our mob came through, yelling at those “Mormons” to “get out of our town.”  Then we grabbed a boy (he knew it was coming), and tarred (chocolate syrup) and feathered him to reenact the tarring and feathering of Joseph Smith.  The next morning they were camped on the other side of the mountain.  We dressed up and painted ourselves and our horses as Native Americans and rode into their camp, trying our best to sound as they would have.  We took a few people a little more nicely than they would have kidnapped them, made them walk out of sight with us, and then let them go back to their camp.  We had fun being renegades, and were thanked for giving them two moving experiences! 
 Chris ready for the raid
I feel like we’ve been going a hundred miles an hour this month!  But then, isn’t July always a month for vacations and family reunions? Something we didn’t expect to be doing this summer is doctoring Cricket, Autumn’s young horse, every day.  Unfortunately, though, she must’ve gotten into some wire in late June and she really did a number on her knee.  However, we are happy to report that she is healing well and more quickly than we imagined, thanks to a miracle spray called Vetericyn (Seriously, if you ever have an animal with a wound, check this stuff out).  We’ve even seen her running around on it some!
Back to the family stuff, our month started with having Autumn’s 14-year-old nephew, Darin, come stay with us for two weeks.  Darin likes to come spend time on the farm whenever he can, and this year he was a great help with some projects, including tearing down an old fence and putting up a new one. It wasn’t all work, though. While Darin was with us, we enjoyed attending the Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher annual rodeo.  Here, Chris got to rope a couple calves in the team branding event, while Darin got to brand his team’s calf (with paint, of course).  However, Darin said his favorite part was catching chickens.   
 Dustin, Darin, Chris, and Shawn playing Ladder Ball

We also got to celebrate Independence day with Darin.  This was really a fun-packed day, starting with the 5K race in Soda, in which Autumn and Chris’s sister, Aubrey, participated.  Next, was the parade.  Darin said this was much better than his at home because there was so much more candy!  After the parade, we went to 24 mile reservoir for a picnic and some water fun.  Most of Chris’s family joined us, and we all enjoyed taking a turn in the canoe, raft, or tube.  For dinner, we went to a BBQ at some friends’ house , then we met back up with the family for fireworks in Lava Hot Springs.  The highlight of the fireworks this year was actually the glow-in-the-dark sticks a couple of us brought.  The kids had a blast with them! We had glow-in-the-dark jump-ropes, roping ropes, and even glowing kids! 
 Chris helping Rachael get candy during the parade. Darin chilling.
Darin, one of the kids, and Shawn at 24 mile reservoir
Glowing Rachael and Autumn!

We headed up to the Sawtooth Mountains the first weekend in July for a camping trip with Autumn’s family.  Activities included campfire visiting, a 3 mile hike (which actually turned out to be 9 miles), playing in the lake, and of course, eating.  While on the camping trip, we exchanged Autumn’s nephew for her sister’s two girls, and brought them home with us for a week.  With our nieces, we enjoyed horse-back riding, swimming, watching movies, and playing games.  When it was time to take the girls home, Autumn took the opportunity to stay with her parents for a week.  While at her parents’, Autumn helped her mom paint a room, engaged in some retail therapy, and caught up on some visiting with high school friends.
 Chris on our hike to Bridal Veil falls
 BEAUTIFUL scenery on our hike
 Hanging around the campsite
 Sydney's favorite part of her visit? John's puppy, Blue! Morgan watches from behind.
Finally, Autumn came home and things were back to normal. But only for one full day, because the next day we took off again, headed for Yellowstone with Chris’s family.  We travelled through Jackson Hole, Wyoming and got some great shots of the Tetons on the way there.  Then, we travelled through Yellowstone and on into Cody, Wyoming, where we stayed 2 nights.  While in Cody, we attended their famous “shoot-out,” explored the Buffalo Bill Museum, and toured the Buffalo Bill Dam.  On the third day of this vacation, we went back to Yellowstone, travelling on different roads to make sure we saw all the beautiful country.  We went into the park near Lamar Valley, hoping to see some wolves.  Well, there was one wolf who ventured out and crossed the road in front of the cars, and everyone got to see him.  That is, everyone except those in our car.  We were a bit behind the rest of our group and were disappointed at the next stop when we discovered they had all seen a wolf, but we had missed it. However, we did see a lot of bison, elk, and waterfalls.
 Chris and Shawn at Buffalo Bill Dam
 Artist Point
Even though we got home from Yellowstone late, Autumn, Chris’s sisters, and Chris’s aunt still got up early the next morning for the Pioneer Day 5K.  Our big accomplishment here was showing up late and still not finishing last!  Autumn and Aubrey also received medals for participating in 3 Caribou County 5K’s.  After the race, the rest of the family joined us for the parade.  Later, we attended the rodeo with Chris’s siblings.  Finally, the day ended with neighbors and a hot dog roast in the back yard.
Two days of normal activity (Chris has to work sometime!), and now we are off again for another family reunion.  This one is Chris’s mom’s family and so it’s back to Oregon we go.  When we get back, we’ll head right into the fair and finish July off and start August with it.  So stay tuned for August’s blog to see how the reunion, the fair, and the start of school pan out!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wow! It's been a while since we've updated this blog. Let me try to catch you up on what we've been doing this year. 


We got the opportunity to go to Boise for the Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) conference.  We are our county’s YF&R chairmen.  This conference consisted of meetings, workshops, dinners, auctions, and Autumn’s favorite part- a tour of the state capitol.  Chris’s favorite part was lunch at Tucanos Brazilian Grill.  Another fun aspect was that Autumn’s sister and brother-in-law, Amanda and Roderick, came to the conference with their county, so we got to visit with them.  Okay, I’ll admit it, Autumn and Amanda even skipped out on some of the workshops and went shopping.  You can’t go to Boise and not go shopping, though!  


It was cold!


Chris and I, along with his parents, made a mad dash to Montana for a bull sale. We travelled part of the way and stayed in Bozeman, MT one night.  Then we went the rest of the way to Lewistown the next day, bought a couple Gelbvieh bulls, then turned around and drove home the whole way that day.  The second day’s travel time totaled 17 hours. Boy, were we glad to get home!
At the end of the month, Autumn got the opportunity to go to Lewiston, Idaho for the Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Conference.  She attended workshops and got to know more women from around the state. Her favorite part was the tour of the sea port, as Lewiston is the most inland harbor in the country.

 Autumn (right) standing in front of Lewiston, Idaho             


We celebrated our 8th anniversary!


May has been our most exciting month this year. It began with Chris's youngest brother, Shawn, coming home from his mission! It was an awesome day, and the whole family got to go to the airport to meet him, then go to an aunts house in Salt Lake for lunch. We are having fun getting to know Shawn again. He and Chris and even working together this summer!  May continued with Tip's (the dog) surgery, branding, Shawn's report at church, taking the cows to the range, the last day of school, and finally Memorial Day. 
Happy at the airport!

Tip's surgery was actually the last week in April.  He had a 2 1/2 pound tumor on the top of his head that we had removed.  They used a laser and everything went will until the next week when we were branding cows. Given that Tip's head was stitched up across the whole top, we probably shouldn't have let Tip help us with branding.  Whether Tip got kicked or whether he was just being too active, we aren't sure, but somehow his stitches popped open!  We called the vet and Chris’s sister, Kimmy, and Autumn hopped in the truck with Tip and lots of rags and started the hour long drive to the vet.  Of course as soon as we put Tip in the truck he got excited, which made his head really start to bleed!  Autumn went into panic mode, and was so grateful for Kimmy’s calming effect and effort to minimize the bleeding.  Thankfully, Tip is recovered and doing well now (but that sure wasn’t fun to clean up).  He’s actually a lot happier and active, but can you blame him?
Tip, right after surgery.

Shawn did a great job with his report in church, but the best thing about it was all the family that came to listen and support him.  Several families came from Eastern Oregon, so it was a fun and busy weekend spent with lots of family.
This year, the cows actually went to the range in two different groups, on two different days.  But of course, Autumn had to work both days and couldn’t go.  Chris said the cows went easily and it was a lot of fun, as usual (unlike last year, which was a disaster).  And Autumn did get to go help move some from one field to another at Cow Camp another day, so that appeased her a bit.
Kimberly, Dustin, Aubrey, John, Shawn, and Chris take cows to the range.

As much as Autumn enjoyed this school year, she was still happy to see it go.  She had a great class this year and will miss her kids.  However, by the time the end of the year assessments are finished, students and teacher alike are beat and ready for a break.  Autumn plans to work in her classroom a little bit throughout the summer, and by the time it’s back-to-school time, she’ll be excited for it.
Autumn’s last day of work brought her family that night.  Her sister, Ginny, and her family, Frank, Morgan, and Sydney, came Friday night and stayed until Tuesday.  Highlighting their visit was the Memorial Day festivities at the Chesterfield Townsite.  We enjoyed touring the houses, making butter and handkerchief dolls, visiting the bake foods sale, and of course lunch!  Autumn and Ginny even participated in the 5K race that day.  They didn’t win, but we were close…to last place, that is. 
Kimberly Banks, Autumn, Ginny, Giny Knox, Chelsea Holbrook, and Aubrey Banks enjoying the 5K race on Memorial Day.


Chris’s birthday was the next week, so while Autumn’s parents weren’t able to come for Memorial Day this year, they did get to come the next weekend for Chris’s birthday.  It was actually his 30th birthday, so Autumn threw him a surprise party.  Family, friends, and coworkers enjoyed a wiener roast at our backyard fire pit, followed by cake and ice cream of course.  Well, we are already well into June and summer is going by fast!  It’s only going to get busier, too.  Right now, evenings are filled with building fence on our property.  It has been fun to see a well being drilled there and now we wait for the power company to get us power to run it.  The well is for livestock, but is where we will eventually put our house.  We look forward to Autumn’s nephew, Darin, and nieces, Morgan and Sydney, staying with us for a few weeks this summer.  We also have family reunions to attend and camping excursions to plan.  Hopefully, I will keep this up better and fill you in on all our summer fun as it occurs!

Monday, December 19, 2011

IASCD Annual Conference

Autumn and I, after I had been presented the award

I was surprised this year at the annual Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts meeting held in Boise, as I was presented with the IASCD Agency Employee of the Year Award.  The Caribou and Portneuf Soil and Water Conservation Districts nominated me for the award.  They also were able to get my family there to the awards banquet (a surprise to me) without me even knowing that they were there!  I was so appreciative that they were willing to come to support me, it was a long quick trip for them.  I was honored to have been nominated for this award.  I get to work with some really great people that make my job easy!

Round Up!

I love this picture!  This is us driving the cattle out to our field.

Tip and Wrangler scouting the trail, hoping to find some cows to chase!

Thursady of roundup!  It snowed 12 Inches.  This is the most snow I can ever rember on roundup!

(Dave Tschida, Autumns' Dad)
As you can see we were all bundled up pretty good!

I just wanted to share a few pictures from this years round-up.  This is my favorite time of year, I love to get out and ride the mountains and taking the cattle to cow camp.  It is one of the weeks of the year I live for.  Growing up as a farm kid I have always had the deepest respect and admiration for Gods' great creations!