Monday, August 24, 2009


This past Saturday we had the chance to go help with Chae's (Tom's brother) branding. Well, I'll have to admit that I really only took pictures and kept Carter from being trampled... I wasn't any help! After 8 years of being in the Bybee family, I finally got to see my first branding. So.... get ready for a ton of pictures:

Do these calves have any idea what is about to happen??

My cute cowboys.
One of the great things about Chae's branding is that the missionaries come every year! Can you even imagine how fun/exciting/scary it must be for them? Look at them.... do they have any idea what is about to happen??

I have to say I thought they did an awesome job. Most of them just jumped right in and worked REALLY hard! Below: calf being branded. The smell of burning hair is HORRIBLE might I add!

The calf has to be branded, vaccinated (Linda is doing that below), and then castrated.

Here was a tiny calf that they let a little kid help with. The guy in the blue shirt is one of the missionaries. He was so funny.... he really wasn't interested in helping. Not sure if he was scared or grossed out...but he helped with this little one! Hey, he did better then me!

Way to go TOM! Wrestle him down!

Aww Carter... he sat in this chair for a long time when we first got there.....he didn't even move! You just have to imagine all the action going on and LOTS of loud "mooing" and chaos. He was in shock.

This will be a GREAT photo to send to the missionary wearing the white t-shirt. Won't his family get a kick out of it? haha Chae is the one helping him.
Gotta make sure they can't move, kick, or get away! That cow was looking at me like ,"HEEELP!" lol

I think Travis (middle guy in the photo) should win an award...he did almost ALL of the castrating that day. Now that is a nasty job!

Tom's dad getting ready to rope. He looks mad, but he didn't know I was taking his picture!

Dang this picture would have been awesome. Travis' hands were all bloody from castrating...but I didn't know my camera was set to black and white!

The brands in the fire.

Some good ole action shots!

Look at Ninny getting in on the action!

All done!

Wow, I can't even imagine how tired and sore these guys were! They worked pretty much non-stop from 9am-3:30pm.... it was 96 degrees out... and they branded 150 calves. We wondered if the missionaries were wondering what the heck they got themselves in to! Pretty fun day.... for me at least! :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Tom and I are not very spontaneous people... at least since we've had kids that is! But last Friday, Tom was home for lunch and we decided we were going to drive to Rapid City, SD and spend the night and just have fun! So, I had the afternoon to book a hotel and pack our stuff by the time Tom got home from work. Rapid City is only two hours away from us and it's where everyone in Gillette goes to shop and do fun things. It's also only 30 min. from Mt. Rushmore and has tons of touristy things to do!

We got to the hotel and the boys probably could have just played there the whole time. We hardly ever stay in hotels, so they thought it was awesome! We were just walking to our room and Evan kept saying,"I'm so excited!"

The next morning our first stop was glow in the dark miniature golf! I love a good game of miniature golf... it was fun! We did have to chase the kids around to keep them from interrupting other people games... but we managed alright. Oh, I forgot to mention that Tom's sister, Linda, and her husband, Travis, came to Rapid City for the weekend too, so we met up with them for most of Saturday. Photo below is Travis and Clay posing during the golf game with Homer.

Next stop.... go carts! Carter drove we with me in my car and it was hilarious! He just held onto my arm and had this blank stare on his face the whole time. I think he was a little scared, but when we had to stop he started crying! Photo below is Linda and Clay taking off.

Third stop was Reptile Gardens! Very cool place! The photo is me, Jordyn, and Carter in the "rainforest" where the cool birds are. We don't look excited, but we were :)

Probably my favorite picture of the whole trip...LOVE Evan's expression!

ALL of our kids even touched a real snake.... like it was nothing! Jordyn even felt it! Yuck...snakes give me the CREEPS! Below you can see a snake in the left of the photo... can't see much of him but he was HUGE.

Evan and Cole posing for the "tourist" picture!

Loved the turtles. I think this one was around 130 years old.

Travis in the gift shop.... yep, he's the only one who will actually pose for my pictures! We had a great time .... a fun weekend with no worries! We even made a stop for shopping at Target and Scheels and dinner at Olive Garden....all in 24 hours! We'll be headed back soon, there's still tons we want to do there!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A little over a week ago, we headed up to Billings to visit family. My sister, Susan, and her family were in town visiting my parents. She has a new 3 month old little girl, Sarah, that I hadn't even met yet... so we were excited to see them. We did a lot of fun things in just a few days!
(Just a side note: My brother, Dave, and his wife, Mel, had their little baby boy on August 9! Congrats to them... can't wait to meet him!)

One day we headed up to Red Lodge, MT for a picnic at Wild Bill Lake. Then we drove up Beartooth Pass (so beautiful!) and then back down to let the kids play at the park in Red Lodge. That night we made a stop at Softies... always a must!
The next morning Susan and I went to the YMCA with my mom and dad to work out... it was really fun all going together. My parents participated in a weight loss program awhile ago and have done GREAT at losing weight. So, it was fun going and having them show us the ropes!
Then we took off for the Montana Fair. Lots of food, sun, and fun. The kids LOVED the rides! After the Fair, Susan and I went and got pedicures.

It was a quick, but really fun trip! Click on the photo below to see more!

Billings Trip 09

Monday, August 03, 2009

A few days ago, Jordyn lost her two front teeth! I think she looks pretty cute, don't you?

Look at her feeling the space between her teeth with her tongue. We wondered if she would really notice that they were gone....but she knows!
We had some friends move recently. They have a special needs child and needed to be closer to a larger hospital. They just spent about three months in Denver because he was really sick. He is only 2 yrs. old and it seems like they are just beginning their "journey" into having a special needs child so, you can imagine ALL of the things we had in common with them and had so much to talk about. We tried to help them by watching their 3yr. old for some of the time they were in Denver and the week they moved. So, to repay us, they gave us a ton of their stuff that they didn't want to take with them! I get all excited when I get free stuff! The kids got a wagon, a play slide/swing for the backyard, an art easel, & sandbox (all in fantastic condition!). They gave us two older Lazy Boy recliners, two end tables, and two lamps. So, this weekend I gave the end tables a makeover! (pic. below was after I sanded it)

The boys wanted to be in the picture! I think it turned out really cool. Now if I could just be a little more creative and not paint every thing black! :)
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