A Good Attitude

If at first, you don't succeed...
...try, try again.

Tardy Tidings

Biggest Loser

Our PE program this fall has pretty much consisted of family Biggest Loser sessions using the Wii.  I love it. :)

Funny dialogue from this morning:

Jillian Michaels (Biggest Loser Trainer):  Now is the time to give me everything you have!

Amos:  No!  Because then we wouldn't have that stuff anymore!


New Toy

I got a new lens.

It makes me smile. :)

Canon 50mm f/1.8


Judah’s reaction when he found out we wouldn’t be able to enjoy Thursday Night Football, because we don’t subscribe to the NFL Network.

What a football day!

I am fickle when it comes to football.  I am not loyal to any team…I am loyal to certain players….until they do something I don’t like.

This season, I am a fan of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, Danny Woodhead and the Patriots, Tim Tebow and the Broncos, Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers….

In seasons past, I have cheered for Brett Favre and his various teams.  Then, Brett Favre got creepy, so I stopped rooting for him.  See?…fickle.

Tim Tebow and the Broncos entertained me quite well today!  Wow.  What a game!  Is anyone with me here??


Teen Mania

This article on  has captured my attention over the last couple of days.

Here is a video of the documentary: Mind Over Mania

When I was 20, I spent 2 months in Kenya on a Teen Mania missions trip.

I had some major issues with Teen Mania.  And, I felt all alone for the entire summer...I struggled through with just my Bible and my journal...working out some pretty major stuff....stuff that I'd been needing to work out for quite some time, and that summer was the point when God forced me to study His Word and get to the Truth of many matters.

I watched the documentary last night, and I think it paints Teen Mania in a truthful light.  One thing I take issue with is that MSNBC likely DID approach Ron Luce under false pretenses.  And, I feel bad for Ron....because he seemed so upbeat about sharing information with the network, and I'm sure he felt betrayed when he saw the show aired last weekend.

There's so much I could say and share about my experience and how I saw the same problems that the girls expressed in their recovery meeting.  But, rather than do that, I just want to reflect on the reality that my experience with Teen Mania had overall good results.

God used an organization run by confused people, guided by false doctrine, and corrupted by greed and power to further my relationship with Himself.  The following areas were challenged and developed in a way that no other experience could have been the catalyst to do:

  •   My faith in Scripture ALONE as the foundation for all truth.
  • My confidence in Christ as the only One whom I am to be pleasing. 
  • An assurance that God sent me to Kenya for the sole purpose of being the object of His blessings.

I am heartbroken that so many, according to the documentary, did not leave their Teen Mania experience with anything more than heartbreak, anxiety, and a seeming assurance of Christian hypocrisy.

So...I'm praying for them.
And I'm proud of them for going public.  

A Joyous Day!

October 27, 2011
2:00 pm

We welcomed Asher Joseph to our family!

He weighed 8 lbs, 2oz. and was 21" long.

We're in love!

Dinosaurs and Antelope

Amos has his heart set on discovering some dinosaur bones.  Here, he's digging away in the back yard, telling me that we need to have a whole bunch of kids, so that the whole family can help him in his dinosaur bones pursuits. :)

On another, pretty unrelated, animal note: The nice family who provided the adorable kitties...They have a very friendly baby antelope on their property also.  She was abandoned at a young age, and this family nursed her to health...and now she follows them around everywhere.  And she followed us around while we were there too.  It was sort of a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I think.  So...I'm sharing with you. :)

A Worthwhile Purchase

My parents went in with us this year on a birthday gift for all the kids.

My mom and dad wanted to get a jungle gym.  I liked that idea too, but it was a bit more expensive, and I was afraid it might require more maintenance.  So, we decided on the trampoline.

I am so glad we did.  The kids love it.  I often say, "Go outside, and jump on the trampoline!", and I don't think they have once complained about the idea.

That's pretty great.

Our new additionS!

We are semi-patiently awaiting our new addition.
But, while we wait....we've adopted a few "babies" into our family.

See bottom left of photo.

Meet Meriwether, Drake, Dricoll, and Periwinkle.
We got them from a friend, and they've been pretty entertaining.  We're told that the 2 females will start laying eggs at some point, and I'm excited to see how we like them.

The second night we had them home, we decided to try out their free-range-ness.  They tried to waddle their ways back to their previous owners' house.  Morgan had to "herd" them back.  Thankfully, ducks are easy to round up....who knew?

They were ready to be free range a few days later, and they haven't wandered once...they're pretty easy.

Meet Temptleton and Charlotte.

They are adorable in my opinion.  Last winter we acquired a couple of kitties...and that experience ended in a tragic fashion.  I've known that I wanted to try the cat thing again...and this has been our best opportunity.  

I think I'm a cat person.  They are just so dang cute.

Baby Steps

I uploaded and edited photos tonight.

Now, I'm uploading them to Flickr....this takes a while, and I need to go to bed, so I shall wait to post any new pictures to the blog.

I had a nice Saturday.  We spent the whole day together as a family...sometimes doing nothing, sometimes doing "stuff".  It was energizing for me... I feel "up".

Goodnight. :)

Friday Night

I blog in my head often....  I do not blog on my blog nearly as often.

Part of the reason for my procrastination is that I want to include relevant, edited photos in every post.  It turns out, I'm not so much in the season of life which allows for a lot of photo editing.

So...no photos in this post.  Stepping outside my comfort zone.

Our new baby is due to arrive 4 weeks from today.  I've been feeling less than super great for the last couple of weeks.  It's hard to tell if I'm ill or if I'm displaying the symptoms expected when there is a quickly growing bundle of joy in my belly.  I'm anxious to meet him/her....

I will share more later.  I do have some pretty great pictures to upload, edit, and post.  Pictures of all of our farm animals, of the kids, of the beautiful autumn we've had here in Wyoming, and the nearly finished mini-barn that my handy husband has invested the last several months in.  I have some exciting updates and some personal thoughts and ponderings as well.

Things are going well though...

Will post again soon.

Amos is 5!

5 is such a milestone, isn't it?  Since we homeschool, he has technically been a kindergarten student for at least 6 months already.  But, there is something about that magical coming-of-school-age.

My Amos is so precious.  His smile is genuine and contagious.  I think he might be the most photogenic of all of my children.  I wish I could capture his laugh as easily as his smile.  It, likewise, is from the heart and catchy.

He is smart.  He focuses so well on school work.  He has an outstanding memory.   And, he loves history above all other school subjects.  One day, I told him we didn't have to do history because we had finished all of our history for the week, and he started to cry.

He also loves dinosaurs.  Our local college has a geological museum.  I took the kids there about 9 months ago, and Amos has been begging to return ever since.  I have put it off....but I thought it would be fun to go on his birthday.  I bought him this plush blue dinosaur at the museum store.

Then, we had Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousin over for dinner, cake, and presents.  We also had our neighbors over...they're like family too. :)

Birthdays are fun.  I'm sad that he's not 4 anymore, but I'm proud of the 5 year old that he has become!

Our Grocery Bill is About to.....


As of today, we have fresh laid eggs in the back yard!


This photo makes me happy.
Our baby is really turning into a Daddy's Boy.  It warms my heart to hear him call out "DahhhhDeeee!"

Homeschool Curriculum

I mentioned a couple months ago that I would post some information about our homeschool curriculum.

I have finally fulfilled this promise. :)

I provided a complete list (with photos) that can be accessed by clicking on the tab labeled "Our Homeschool Curriculum" at the top of the page.

Check it out if you'd like. :)

The Help

The task:
Description:  Fill in the holes around the fence posts with well-packed dirt.

The wages:
A sip of "gook"
Translation: Koolaid

My "Find" This Summer

My mother-in-law, who lives in North Central Nebraska (i.e. "a place where it rains"), has a wonderful garden every summer.  We might covet it... She also has a cute, antique gate leading into her gorgeous garden.  Here is a picture of it from 2 winters ago when we got snowed in for Christmas.

When we were visiting about a month ago, Morgan said, "I'd really like to a get a gate like my mom's for our chicken run."

So, a couple weekends ago, Hubby and I set out on our respective ways.  I headed out to garage sales, and he went to the local farm supply store ("the cowboy store" according to the kids) to get the remaining materials for the chicken run.

After I had exhausted the money in my "Garage Sales" envelope, I headed to a second-hand store that I love to drop into occasionally. In the front of the store, leaning up against a tree, was A GATE!  An old, antique garden gate.

I called Morgan right away, but it went to voicemail.  So, I took a picture with my phone and headed home.  We both arrived home around the same time, and he told me the story of the gate he ended up being forced to buy...the one that wasn't exactly what he wanted and cost more than he wanted to spend.

I told him my story, showed him the picture of the gate that was exactly what we wanted for less than 1/2 the price, and we were ecstatic!

We managed to get back to the second hand store before someone else snatched it up, and the new, expensive gate was promptly returned.

And HERE....is the new "old" gate!

Now that I've retrieved that winter photo of the other gate, I see that they are almost identical!


I'm excited and thankful for our gate.  :)

A Summer at the Lake

I love summer...but I get easily fatigued in the sun.

It's easier to stay in the air conditioning, but air conditioning doesn't build childhood memories. :)

SO....this summer, I set out to create memories.  I wanted the kids to remember this as "the summer we spent at the beach".

Amos has been intrigued by "the beach" for a long time.  I long to take him to the ocean, but until that becomes a more practical option, we'll settle for the State Park about 5 miles from our house. 

We purchased an annual pass for only $33.  I figured I'd have to visit the park 8 times in order to pay for the pass.  We will easily reach that goal number of visits next week.

We sometimes go by ourselves.  Sometimes we meet friends.  A couple times, we've met other moms and kids from church.  We always have a blast!

The photo that is currently on my computer's desktop.
"My Beach Bum"

He looks unhappy...but he's not.  He's basking in contentment.  Trust me.

You may think that going to a lake with four children who are 6 and under is likely to be quite stressful.  It's not for us.  I'm so proud of my kids.  They all wear their life jackets, and they're all very cautious on top of that.  It's a relaxing and refreshing time for us all!

The Other Animals

An update on my other "animals":

I took this picture the Friday before Father's Day.  I uploaded it to Walmart.com, ordered it at the local 1-Hour Photo, framed it, and we delivered it to Morgan at work as part of his Father's Day present.  I think he likes it. :)

Sadie turned 3 on May 30th.  She got her ears pierced as part of her present.  I was nervous, but she did great!  And, she looks SO cute with her little pink flower earrings.

Amos continues to be oober-photogenic.  He just looks so cute in so many pictures!  He'll be 5 in a couple months...I can't believe it!

Jobey is 6.  He's become an expert bike-rider this summer.  We managed to fit his and Amos' bikes into the van for our summer trip to Nebraska.  I'm so glad we made room!  They had a blast riding around without a care in the world.

Judah is still our baby....for a little while longer.  He hasn't done much talking.  It might be because I let him keep his pacifier in all the time.  It's my way of keeping him young. :)  

This one is my sister's little animal. :)  He just turned 2.  I like this picture of him. :)

A Self Portrait

My First Pregnant Picture

24 weeks

Home Decorating

I love to look for home decorating ideas.
I get lots of inspiration from Kevin & Layla at The Lettered Cottage and Ree at The Pioneer Woman.  I also love Country Living magazine.
When it comes to ACTUALLY decorating my own home....I'm lazy or reluctant or afraid or cheap....or all of the above.  We've lived in our home for just over a year, and there is still NOTHING on the walls.  In fact, there are still nail holes and smoke marks from the previous owners' wall decorations (candle sconces?).
We've recently discussed the possibility of going with a sort of "local"/Wyoming theme.  I like it, but we don't have a lot of genuine interest in popular Wyoming decoration themes (Horses, Cows, Cowboys).   But, I've been going through my photo archives, and I've set aside some pictures that might be worth framing and hanging on the wall.  They're personal to us, and they're all related to a Wyoming-type theme.
I love this picture of the bluebird.  There was only one day this spring that I saw bluebirds.  A whole flock came through. What a treat!  I'm glad I got some pictures, because they must have just stopped for a rest on their way somewhere else (probably a location with 
 trees :) ).  I have edited this photo in a number of ways.  They are all on my Flickr, and if you click on my Flickr link in the sidebar, you can view them.  I'd really appreciate feedback on the edits.
This is a picture of Casper Mountain from our front deck.  Are the clouds too much?  I like them...but maybe they cover up too much of the mountain?
I have a few different shots of Pathfinder Dam...I'm not sure which one to choose. I like this one, because of the blue sky included on the top.  I have a couple closer shots.  Which ones work best, do you think?  Again, if you click on the Flickr link at the top of my sidebar, you should be able to find them easily.
I know there is a "Rule of 1/3's" in photography.   I'm not sure what the rule states...but it has to do with the composition of a photo.  I think I've come up with a new "Rule of 1/3's".  A good photograph has 3 elements:
  • 1/3 Creativity/Vision-Having an "eye" for a good picture.  I'm not so great at this.  My little sister is awesome!
  • 1/3 Quality-This involves having a decent camera and knowing how to properly use it.  I'm working on this. :) And, this probably is less than a third.  I've seen some really awesome pictures taken with phone cameras! :)
  • 1/3 Editing-  This involves knowledge of software and an element of personal creativity (like the first 1/3).
So....as a person who is not naturally creative, I'm at a disadvantage from the start. :)  But....I'm really enjoying learning what I can!
Any decorating or photography advice for me?
FYI:  For photography inspiration, I go to Donna at Quiet Life and Ree at The Pioneer Woman (in addition to some others. :) ) .