Look at these beautiful Red Angus mamas. I love the color of these cattle.
We were up in Ashton, ID for a 3 days - the kids were playing in the snow and riding snowmobiles and loving all the great construction toys at Grandma's house. Jared (and Ashton and Isaac sometimes) worked with Jared's brother Brian and family to help with the annual Loosli Bull Sale - they loved the chance to jump in there and help with everything from tagging and vaccinating bulls to welding parts of a broken fence to wiring up the Sale Barn so that people could bid on cattle over the Internet. I helped all I could with the food (feeding lunch to the 150 people who came to the sale is no small task) and tried to keep Jared's mom off her feet when I could (she's really suffering with some knee and hip problems right now but she's so tough - she just kept going). It was so fun to chat with Jared's mom and hear her talking on the phone with various friends, offering rides and comfort and help and friendship to so many. And the kids loved all the extra attention and great food from Grandma. She's one great lady.
The kids were so excited about the food at the bull sale, the fast-talking auctioneer, and the twins were enamored with all the "cowboys" in attendance plus they thought that climbing around under the bleachers was very fun (they came out covered in dirt and manure - does it get more fun than that!).
Here's a little glimpse of the actual Bull Sale:
All the kids loved seeing newborn baby calves as they took their first wobbly steps and learned to eat from their moms. Those baby calves are about as cute as a baby can be. The three big kids and Jared and I even got to see a calf be born - and that was probably the kids' favorite thing about the trip. There's nothing like the miracle of birth. There was such a sense of reverence as the kids quietly and respectfully watched that mama cow struggle in that holy-feeling, dimmly-lit late-night barn. They worried that she was pushing the baby out into a wall and were so relieved when she moved. They were in awe when that baby finally emerged and loved seeing how the mama knew to lick her baby off and how the baby knew how to eat. Birth is such a miracle and it was such a bonding experience to be there with the kids.
This little guy on the right is just taking his first steps. How cute is he!
We brought Jared's mom back with us to SLC so that she could see her knee doctor and we were glad we'd been there to help and support her during a hard time. But as she does some physical therapy and works to get those joints working better, she'll have some more hard times ahead of her, unfortunately. Portia will get through this. She's got the strong will and spirit she needs to plow on through and come out stronger than ever. We just wish we lived closer so we could help more.
As the final leg of our trip, we got to hang out with Shawni and family and do lots of sledding and be with beloved cousins at my parents house in Park City. These cousins are so cute together and couldn't get enough of each other.