Friday, December 31, 2010

A Wake Up Call

I stumbled upon a new blog this week. I was led there by a tragedy that this family experienced. Their experience has really woken me up and reminded me that while the blogging world is fickle and difficult, blogging is also precious.

As this family remakes their earthly home, I know they find comfort in the digital memories that remain. How precious to have pictures and a story to reflect back on when all your earthly possessions are gone!

So, I am determined to blog every week. I hope I can blog most every day, but I know I am out of the habit of blogging. I started this blog to update family, but my family (save one - hi Josha!) rarely reads this blog. Now, I have turned my heart toward blogging for the sake of memories. I have had this idea before, but have not been hit over the head with it like the story of Edie and her family.

I like to be serious, silly and a bit sarcastic at times. Here's to a new blogging year. Watch out 2011 ... you will be well documented. So be nice.

Over and out.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas in Texas - cargo shorts and crocs and nary a fire in sight. Our fireplace has never even been lit.

Monday, December 13, 2010

What I Saw Today

I think I'm going to start a new topic on my blog called, "What I Saw Today". I think I will do this weekly. Some times I see things that make me rant, or maybe I'll see something cool. It's fun to share new ideas or acts of kindness.

I can tell that I will get some of my best material for this topic at Walmart. And there's no better time to people watch at Walmart than the holidays.

1. To the lady in the parking lot: If you need to floss your teeth and you cannot wait until you are at home in your bathroom, please remember that your car is not totally private. You may feel like your car is private, but really? It's like being in a glass house. There is a reason that home builders make bathrooms without glass walls.

2. Today, at the intersection of two lanes in the Christmas section of Walmart, two ladies bumped into each other. One of them saw the other first and gasped as she pointed. The other lady saw her and this dawning came over her face. You could tell that they had not seen each other in a very, very long time. These women had shared something emotional - you could just tell - because their reunion was cause for many expressions of "Oh my God!". I was standing next to the first lady as this all went down and as I maneuvered my cart around their embrace, I couldn't stop smiling. While I am not a huge fan of using God's name flippantly, their exclamations made my day. As they hugged, I thought to myself - this is what heaven will be like. We will recognize each other and embrace with laughter and joy. Some of us will be suprised to see each other (ha ha), but it will be a wonderful time of reunion. This is the reason for the season. May Christ be glorified in heaven and on earth!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bathroom Dreams

I only wish I had thought to get a picture of the restroom in question.

So, it all started with a lot of peach tea before bed, a tired Queen and a distressing dream at 6:00 a.m.

I dreamed that I was searching for a restroom and when I finally found it, it was not in the most private area. The long awaited restroom was in an overflow dining room of a restraurant. Every time I tried to sit down, a group of diners would come in to sit at one of the tables nearby. I keep ushering people out and then more could come. I was so glad to wake up from that dream.

Later that morning, I drove to a town about an hour away to a specialty bakery/diner. While there, my large cup of coffee it me. After delivering my bakery items to my car, I went back inside the tiny little restraunt. The bathroom was literally sharing a wall with the dining room that seated - oh, about 15-20 people.

As I pushed open the door to the restroom, I was about 12 inches from the lady at the table by the restroom door. Awkward.

The restroom was a one hole joint. As I was trying to push the door closed to lock it, I couldn't because something was preventing the door from closing. I was pushing to close it and something was pushing back and finally, I let go of the door. Now, I needed to go, badly. And the large cup of coffee I consumed on the hour's drive was not making my wait very pleasant. So as I was trying to close the door and lock it, I was already unbuttoning my jeans. It was an emergency, after all.

When I let go of the door, a woman pushes the door open and walks in. ??? Uh. Excuse me. I'm not about to share my one hole potty with anyone.

Do. I. Know. You?!! I barely squelched the Steve Martin that rose up in my mind. (name that movie.)

So I looked at her like, "ummm, what are you doing?". Trying to be nice, but I'm thinking, "Lady - it is pretty obvious that you need to leave." I think after I composed myself, I said something like, "uh, can I help you?". I mean, I had already reached to unbutton my pants. She had walked completely in the room and was looking around. She looks around the one room/one stall potty and says in a thick European accent, "rrrhest-rrrhoom???".

Ah, okay. So, she's not from around here, obviously. I pointed to the only potty in the room and said, "uh, yesss, but ... um ...." and I pointed at myself. I felt like a toddler. Few words and possessive. Sorry, but it's my potty. I found it first. And I am not sharing.


She graciously backed out of the room. I slid the lock in place and remembered my dream. Here I am, just like my dream, trying to go to the potty in a restaurant while people are walking in on me.

I really felt bad for her because she was in a different culture, but not bad enough to let her go first.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Dixie's first camping trip was exhausting.
There were so many new experiences and smells.

When she was not being neurotic about being separated from me, she rested.

My very favorite part of camping is relaxing by the campfire.
I could sit here for hours.

King makes wonderful fires.

Of course, snuggling with my family is the best part of the camping.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Fall Camping

We went camping this weekend. What glorious weather!

We brought two of Princess' friends with us.

Much silliness ensued.

The soccer fan.

Even Dixie got in on the action.

The swimmer.

King made some great campfires.

We ate lots of delicious food.

The girls hiked to the lake with King while I took a nap.

They took peanut butter and oreos for nourishment.

But the best food of the whole weekend was, of course, the beloved S'More.

You ate HOW many s'mores????

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Random Thoughts

I just returned from Target. I desperately needed hangers for the clean clothes laying in my floor. The clothes have been laying there for ... oh ... a week. Embarressing.

While in Target, I had to wait for a prescription to be filled, so I went to get the other things on my list. While looking for a flashlight, I passed two women with a 2 year old-ish child in the cart. The younger of the two women was testing lunch boxes to see which one she wanted. When I tell you that she was testing lunch boxes, you might think she was testing the lining, the compartments, etc.

No. They were Shrek lunch boxes and when you hit it, it belched.

Yes. The lunch box burped a loud, disgusting burp.

The women thought it was hilarious. So, they kept getting lunch box after lunch box and boxing each one. BUUUURRRRPPPP!

You know how the sound of a burp just seems to carry forever? I kept trying to get away from the burping lunch box, but I heard that stupid lunch box 10 aisles away. Gross.

Now, in all fairness, I must insert here that I know a good burp when I hear one. I, and a good friend, won a burping contest in high school at an overnight lock-in. (I am, afterall, the younger sibling of two older brothers.) The key is good diaphram control and some hot Dr. Pepper.

But, like I said. That was high school. I have set aside that talent.

Oh, except for one time recently. Princess is 11 years old and, true to my professions, she had never heard me burp. I don't know what came over me, but I thought it would be funny to do a high school burp to see her reaction.

You had to be there. She literally did a double take and dropped to her knees. At which point she began laughing out loud.

So, maybe there is a time to burp. Especially if it keeps people guessing.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Our volleyball champ and her dad. A winning combination. :)

Princess is pictured nearst on the back row. She is the tallest girl on the team and the third tallest in her grade.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cosmic Craziness

Observed in the Costco parking lot. 3D vehicular artwork. Someone has a little too much time on their hands, me thinks.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First day of 6th grade

We are so blessed that Princess can walk to and from school. Everything went smoothly for the first morning of school. So smoothly that I forgot to take her picture. Here she is walking home from her first day of school. Her last year in grammar school.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Submit My Resignation

So, you know I have been milking the goats twice a week. During the summer, Princess helped me clean. Now that school is back in session, it's all me. Along with milking comes cleaning. Cleaning a lot of poop.

Since I love goat milk, it's been okay.

This week, my love of goat milk was overcome by my aversion to poop.

Actually, my fall/winter morning paralysis episodes have started, making it hard to get to the nature center to care for the goats. But, my experience on Monday just sealed the deal.

So, what happened: I milked both goats. I swept the central walkway in the barn.

I swept Ginger's stall.

I started cleaning Sugar's stall. It was a mess. Just .... gross. I picked up a mini-feeder that the goats had knocked off onto to floor. As I flipped it over to hang it back on the wall, water poured out of it. All down my leg (wearing shorts) and into my boots. I wondered, "How did water get into the....."

It wasn't water.

It was pee and poop.

And it was now all down my leg and in my boot.

I began to draft my goat care resignation letter right then and there.

I still need to clean my boot, but I'm still not over the creeps yet.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Joel Rosenberg

We were blessed to hear Joel Rosenberg speak on the current events in the Middle East during our Colorado trip. He's a very funny guy!

Note the body guard just behind him. He was very professional - never smiled the entire night. :)

We also enjoyed hearing his parents speak about their ministry called Ministry Architecture.

We stood in line a while to meet Mr. Rosenberg. And when we met him, he was so personable. In 30 seconds, he made you feel like there was no one else in the room - just the three of us. What a gift for communicating!

We got there early enough to have front row seats. This was only 1/2 of the room of people. There were guests there from Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Canada and all over the United States!

Monday, July 26, 2010

milking a goat

We have the blessing of a great science and nature center at our school. Part of the nature center is a barn with animals. We were recently invited to be part of the goat co-op to help care for and milk Ginger, a Nubian/Alpine goat.

We were already helping with Daisy, a cute little pony. Daisy is very easy to care for, but the goat pen is another story.

This beautiful girl is Ginger. I have never been a goat fan. I raised sheep in high school and have always considered goats to be beneath me. Ginger has changed all of that.

Before we let Ginger out, we make our preparations. Princess puts some feed in the bowl and gets the udder wash ready.

Princess goes into the goat pen with Ginger and the kids.

To distract the kids while she lets Ginger out to be milked, Princess feeds the kids some feed.

Poor Ginger is so full of milk in the morning that she cannot walk. She walks with her front legs and hops in the back. She runs straight for the milking stall and...

hops right up onto the milking stand. She sticks her head through the gate and begins to eat.

Princess locks the gate to keep her head in place while she eats.

The udder wash is made from super warm water, lavender oil, baby oil and gentle soap. Some people add tea tree oil to the wash. Princess washes the udder, giving special attention to the teats. The warm water wash helps Ginger relax and enables her milk to come down.

Princess squirts the first 5 squirts of milk from each teat to clear out any impurities. This initial milk just goes on the ground. If there were a kitty around, we would give the kitty the first 5 squirts. :)

Then Princess begins to milk. Notice how she squeezes with her index finger and thumb to create a block at the top of the teat. This creates a bulb of milk in the teat. She then squeezes with her tall man finger, then ring finger, then pinky finger. Release and repeat. She also raises her hand up as she is milking so has to not pull on the udder. It is handy to milk into a tall container with a handle so if Ginger kicks, Princess can quickly pull the milking container out of the way of the hoof. The kicking is minimal and is mainly a high step up and a stomp down. No big deal.

After she finishes milking both sides, she sprays a liquid on the teats to seal them in order to prevent bacteria from entering the udder. This spray is cold and after the warm lavender bath and Princess' warm hands, Ginger is less than thrilled with the temperature of the spray.

After milking and while Ginger is still eating, Princess brushes her and loves on her.

There's a bit of affection to go around.

From goat to milking girl. From milking girl to goat.

After turning Ginger out in the pasture, it is time to clean up with water and bleach.

After cleaning the milking stall, it is time to clean the goat pen. This is one night's activity from one Ginger and three kids. They are quite messy.

The finished goat stall. Much better. Clean goats make good milk.

After cleaning at the barn, we go home to put our milk away. We take a double stainless steel container to the barn. The outside container has ice water to create an ice bath for the milk. As soon as Princess milks into the pitcher at the milking stand, she pours the milk into the inner container in the ice bath. This immediately chills the milk. Goat milk needs to be chilled to 38 degrees fahrenheit as quickly as possible after collection. By pouring the milk immediately into a stainless steel container in an ice bath, I reduce bacteria and wind up with sweet, rich milk with no goat taste.
Next, we filter the milk to remove any impurities like hair, dander, etc.

Then, we fill our jars and bottles. The plastic bottles are handy for a rich protein snack on the go. Add a bit of protein powder and you can have lunch or a hearty snack. I also hear that Ginger's milk makes excellent ice cream. Can't wait to find out...