Montana 2008
August 5 - 12

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Here we are on our annual summer trip to Montana.  Eric often goes back for Christmas as well, but I haven't been brave enough to make a winter trip for a long time.  Last year we missed our summer trip completely because of our time in Cambodia.  So it had been 2 years for me since I'd seen everyone - there was a lot of catching up to do!  We had a great time with our family, they really spoiled us with royal treatment.
Our first night we spent with Jeb & Amy in Columbia Falls.  Most 
of the family came over for a cookout.  Here's Eric with little Aubrey.
Tanner - he is such a cute dog but he was stinky so he didn't get much love.
Kristi & Amy making Aubrey smile. Coulter teaching Braden some new bad habits.
This is on the list of things that Coulter is not allowed to do. This is on there too.  I wasn't a snitch!  He told me to take the pictures. 
He even looks guilty in this one. Braden is a bit obsessed with water, here he is
"watering Amy's flowers."

 Handsome Casazza boys - Jeb on the left, Dallas on the right holding Aubrey (Jeb & Amy's daughter)

Madison - smiling for me!  She used to always stick out her tongue.
Her & Kaitlyn were hanging out.
 Coulter, building a more challenging bike ramp for him & the other boys.
This is doggie heaven.  They didn't mind that he was stinky. Dan's tan line from the ball cap he wears all the time.
Dan must be telling a story on Rose.  Dan & Tracie, trying to ignore Tanner's pitiful face.
 Grandma with her newest grandbaby, #13 Now it's Grandpa Dan's turn.
Aubrey & Cooper are only 5 weeks apart. Now its Braden's turn in Grandma's lap.
I like getting shots of people at their best. The view from Jeb & Amy's back yard.
Everyone watching the kids on the trampoline. On Wednesday we headed up to Eureka.  Here I am on our land.
A view of some land we wish we owned. A view of some other land we wish we owned.
Now we're down at the ranch, visiting Mark changing pipe. Two deer on the ranch who were not afraid of us at all.
 Eric improvising a hat while he walks some land with Mark A fawn we saw along the way who was not afraid of us at all
 Talking over yet another land deal Rose's new entry into her house - isn't it beautiful?
We spent a peaceful afternoon at Pigeon Bridge where 
Dan & Rose have some land
The guys "cooling their heels"
Looks like Eric's about to cool more than just his heels!  
 A view of Lake Koocanusa at sunset Eric and Jeb visiting with one of their old elementary teachers
Dillon & Amy raiding the raspberry patch  This has the look of a violent scene, but I think it was just a big story being told
 Madison looking pretty in the window Amy, helping Coulter get ready to go fishing
 Coulter peeking at us as we head for Lake Costich He can hardly wait - what a fisherman he is!
 And look who we found on the lake - Trevor & Amber on their anniversary Eric couldn't stand being away from us so he rode up to join us.
 Here we are back at the ranch, enjoying some laughs with the family  
   Eric needed some flip-flops and the only ones available were these
 of Rebecca's in a lovely shade of copper
 Here, Eric models the shoes by
 doing an excellent toe-point pose
 The ladies loved it

 Here we are back on our land at Costich.
 There was an eagle circling overhead.

This is the view from the end of the lake (not ours, but we wish it was!)


 More cooling of heels - Eric on the left and Dallas on the right.  
It was very hot weather by Montana standards.

 Larry, Jeb, and Peanut on a walk Mark, Eric, and Dan watching the water & Dallas across the way
 They caught me sneaking around taking pictures But Jeb & Amy haven't seen me yet.
 Isn't this the sweetest thing?  Like Father, like Son - little Eric looking a lot like Dad Lucas.

Cody got stung by a wasp on the lip.
Can you believe the swelling?!  It got
even worse later in the night.

He got stung twice in the 7 days we
were in Montana, the poor kid.


Lake Koocanusa from the bridge
as we crossed to go over for the Amish dinner

Cooper making friends with one of the adorable Amish babies Casazzas putting away the grub - it was really good!
 Kaitlyn Eric and I took a little walk in the area, this is one of their old barns
 Grandpa with his fan club.  Those boys two adore him!! Here I catch Cami & Rebecca in mid-laugh
 Cooper, looking way too smart for his age Back at the Ponderosa - Dallas & Eric swinging away the evening
 The girls - in a rare moment when they weren't playing dress-up Jodi & Kristi enjoying the rockers and the flowers on the front porch.
 Dan & Tracie - now expecting grandchild #14! An evening view from the Ponderosa
 Girl talk on the front porch A view of the sunset from Rose's back deck
 Another sunset view with the lake in view It's story time:  Mark tells em', Lucas (and everyone) enjoys 'em
 Here he has the whole gang cracking up Yes, it's dress up time again!
 Saturday morning, Bubba wanted breakfast first thing The other kids wanted to play
 Cody's swelling had gone down a lot by this time Uncle Eric with Aubrey
 Mark seeing if he can make her laugh like he does everyone else He did!
Now we're at Therriault Lake on our way to a hike in to Bluebird lake. Everyone enjoying some jerky made from a Casazza cow
 One more view of the lake before our hike Amy with Peanut (Aubrey) strapped on for the ride
She is such a good baby, she mostly just slept and ate the whole time Amy is such a great Mom!

 Beautiful sights along the hike


 This was a pre-lake, an unnamed lake right before Bluebird - but it had better fishing according to the guys.




   Here you can barely see the guys fishing across from me
 I'm hanging on to Eric like he might get away! The wildflowers were so beautiful, I couldn't really capture them in a picture.
 Here's some rugged outdoorsmen for you. Casazza chow line
 Bluebird Lake Me & E
 Here we are in perspective Back to the other lake!  They want to catch more fish.
 Peanut slept while Jeb fished - I told you she was a good baby! Dan & Eric looking pretty serious coming down the trail.

 Headin' out

 Some wise-cracker put up this sign on the roadside.
When we got home Rose had gone all-out on a 40th birthday party for Eric.
 Eric - trying to take it all in A quick look at the lake before the party really starts
 Larry & Eric checking out the prime rib. It's my party and I'll snarl if I want to...
 Larry was a happy camper.  Or is that a wince?!! Mark & Jodi catching a few moments together with Cami in the background
 Part of the band Rose hired


Mary Beth & Larry.  Sadly, shortly after this picture was taken Mary Beth
got the sad news that she lost one of her sisters.  The family all gathered
around for hugs and prayers and then they headed off to Butte, MT. 
 Trevor & Dan discussing the deeper meaning of life. Here it looks like Phyllis tells Dan a good one!
 The Hansberrys and I were particularly fond of the ribs. Rose - cutting a rug.  She's always the life of the party.

Eric's cake
  Marion Knorr sneaking up on Larry
 Eric & Mark with Dan & Rose's nearest neighbors
And the surprises just keep on coming - they bought Eric this beautiful
canoe for his birthday!

Hugs for Mom
 Here we have me with the paddle and Eric with the fishing pole.  

And for Dad as well (with a member of his fan club included)
  Trevor and the twins - Amber & Amy.  They are such sweet girls!
 Water war - boys against the girls.  Here they are arming themselves.  Dan & Rose having a dance
 June giving the "thumbs up" The boys preparing their weapons for the water war.
 Dallas - looking handsome in the living room
Mark Utter and Eric - high school classmates.  They are examining 
a picture of the whole family taken two years ago on our last visit.
   Direct hit!
Having a dispute over the rules - it was decided to end it at this
point in order to keep the peace.
Lucas, admiring his sweet boy Cooper
It is hard to catch Jeb without his finger in his nose.  
Here Amy was joking about that and I caught her at it!  
Everyone gathered around after dinner.
 Cousins It's my party and I'll smirk if I want to...
   A finer group of ranchers you'll never find! 
 Are these guys cute or what? Joy, Rose, and Me.  Joy is a good friend of Roses and now of mine too!
 Me with my birthday boy
Four of the boys with their women & babies

Now we've found Dallas, Dan, and Rose to join us too.


Dan loaned us his truck to haul our canoe out to the lake.
 Eric carrying the boat on the LONG walk to the water. And away we go!
 The lake during sunset was just amazing. I think he liked his present!
   A shot for my "put your feet up" series.
 Eric, chillin' as we drifted around the lake. The next morning I found Dan out napping after church.
 Hanging out  Aubrey crashed out on the bed.
 Here we are back at Lake Costich We brought Marion and her cool daddy hat.
 She was trying to avoid getting her picture taken
 but I'm relentless!
This was the battle ring for the crawdad smackdown
 Construction in progress Here Dallas gets two of them wound up for a fight.
 Rose, watching over the little ones Me trying to show how big the trunk of this tree is - it was huge.
 Dallas - walking the irrigation ditch The boys, making mud pies.  (Digging irrigation on our land.)
 Back on our land, looking at the kids out in the water. They were so sweet to bring their camper over so we could spend a 
night on our land.  We had a hot dog roast and a really nice evening.
 You know it was chilly if these Montana
 girls are cold!
 Solving the problems of the world...

A view of our boat, the camper, and the view.
  Amy, Amber, and the kids came along for a visit.
 Amber & Trevor's younger daughter Alyssa
Most parents tell their kids not to play with fire.  Casazza parents say,
"Kids, go build us a fire!"
A weird storm we got where the rain was on the back side of the clouds. Everyone watching the storm.
 The girls watching the fire The boys burning hot dogs.
 I was no good at this, my hot dog was 
 barely lukewarm.
Sunset over Costich - two nights in a row.  Someday this will be our 
view every night.
 Early the next morning Eric was out with his shovel again. Dan & Eric in front of their favorite mountains.
The old Barnhard ranch home area - part of the drive to our land. The ranch house

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