Tyler Braveheart

>> Saturday, June 28, 2008

Little Bear Wheeler is an incredible man. He's got an incredible story and he is an incredible person in real life.  We are going back for more this morning, so I'll add more to this later. 

It's later.

And I shouldn't have said that. 

I am overwhelmed with all the wonderful stuff I saw and learned on Friday and Saturday. I've been homeschooling forever  and you'd think maybe I would have gotten  beyond the dumb as an oyster stage. 

Evidently not. 

 These speakers are so gifted of God and speak wonderful encouraging words of wisdom. 
I'm *so* excited to listen to the CD's I got. I'm *so* excited to start putting things into practice.

I'm *so* exhausted.  Good night.


The Great Smoky Mountains. Of California


Scrap the Menu, Boys--We're Having Fish Tonight!

>> Thursday, June 26, 2008

  Jaime--the family's best fisherperson!


Evidence of Things in a "Before" State

>> Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Here is the quilt mess.  There are squares already cut out, the strips of handkerchief material partly cut out, the batting, the backings preshrunk and waiting for whatever is going to happen to it, and jeans ready to cut more squares if I need them.  It is a huge project and I think I'll go to the library and pretend I don't have this mess on my floor.  Making a mess is enough for one day.  Well, that and the fact that I have no idea what I'm doing here.  That in itself is nothing new, but sometimes it makes me queasier than others.

                            The double rainbow that preceeded the storm that caused all the fires.

                                                        The Front Entrance.  (Of Shame)

This is my embarrassingly weedy and unkempt bed. One of many. But it's the first one I'm tackling and I'm making some headway. I need to transplant some daylilies to balance things out and I want to mulch to keep from having to weed so much. 

I don't have a real good idea of how to make the quilt top and bottom match up in size yet, but I think that means I need to mess with the jeans top first.  And don't you just know that God planned it that way!  Sort of an "eat your vegetables before you get dessert" type thing. Not that the back is going to be a piece of cake, but well, putting off the jeans top for 10 years definitely feels like scooting the peas around on the plate hoping they disappear.  

Anyway, there are the projects and now it is up to me to find a way to continue to avoid doing them while still pretending to myself I'm making progress. No! I meant something completely different and totally responsible and full of Legacy and whatnot.  Really. It's going to happen.


Things Don't Always Go As Planned

>> Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The wonderful lady who gives my children riding lessons called this morning at 8:30. Her ranch has been threatened by some of the fires burning in the area  and she needed some help. We love nothing more than to help, so we packed up and spent the day hauling brush from under trees, moving anything flammable to a safe place, etc. We worked hard for a couple of hours and then she served us all the most delicious soup ever and we had a lovely break and some watermelon, then we headed back out and worked until 4:30.  It's impossible to tell where each fire is when you can't even see the mountains due to the thick smoke-it's so amazing.  The last news she got was that the fire was 3-5 miles away but slowing because of firefighters giving it some attention. If it gets closer she'll move her horses, but for now things look good.  We are so blessed to have the time to be available when we were needed!  

I need to pitch a few baseballs to Jason and he plans to sleep out on the trampoline tonight. I'll try and get those pictures posted later tonight. 


Andrea is home from her road trip.  Welcome back, Sweetie Pie!


Throttled, Choked and Shut Down

>> Monday, June 23, 2008

We are throttled here at the ranch.  Using too much satellite gets us choked down for 24 hours and #1 Son just got an iPod and has been downloading things to the tune of whatever it is that is over our limit. 

I'll be back to post pictures tomorrow after 5p when we will try to pretend we run with the big dogs.


Before and After is Getting Serious!

>> Saturday, June 21, 2008

I've gone down and gotten the backing and batting for the quilt. I thought piecing the front together was the hard work. Choosing fabric with a 15 year old boy made the sewing part seem like a vacation. Er, will make the sewing part seem like a vacation. I might be getting ahead of myself. Nevertheless, the point was that choosing the material with another person not of your same kind, was difficult.

Anyway, I kept choosing the most gorgeous materials and he kept vetoing said gorgeous choices. We finally ended up with bears and forests. 

And now the work begins in earnest. Or, we'll just talk about it some more. That's always easier and you don't have to worry about the tension. 

Pictures will be posted soon. 


Header Fixed, Thanks to Vin

>> Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'm not sure who Vin is, but after days of messing with trying to fix the header, Vin patiently went over the HTML code and did all kinds of magic and presto! it's all fixed.   Thanks, Vin!  I tried to put his button on the blog as a thanks, but the HTML code didn't like it and couldn't save it. His address is:  http://betabloggerfordummies.blogspot.com   

Baseball is over as of today, HoneyHusband starts a two week vacation tomorrow, I'm hoping for some time to focus. 

For the before and after thing, I weeded 15 minutes last night and today I got the backing material for Tristan's quilt. I love having a deadline! It is just the motivation I needed. 

I have lots more to say, but I need to go get dinner on. It's 8:30 and we just got back from baseball.  Have a lovely evening!


Before and After

>> Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Boomama has a great idea for motivating us to get some long put off projects finished. She is having a Before and After link so that we can show what we have accomplished by July 25th. I have so many projects I don't know what I'm choosing yet, but I'll definitely be doing something. Maybe Tristan's quilt. That's only been in process for 10-12 years. 

Okay. Here it is:

1) Finish Tristan's quilt
2) Weed garden beds
3) (because I'm nothing if not out of touch)  Lose 10 pounds.  I can make it work with the HGTV thing because I live in my Home. I walk in my Garden, and I don't have TV. Losing weight would totally work within the parameters.  

Oh, wait. Pictures before and after. Ten pounds won't show a thing. Plus I would have to post a picture of myself.  

Okay, I've got it.  I'll leave it and if I decide not to post pictures I'll pretend to have forgotten. I'm so smart I just kill myself. 

Anyway, here's to one more finished project. Or three.  


Catching Baseball Fever

>> Sunday, June 15, 2008

The boy is getting so good! Doesn't he look like a real pro?


Penelope Chinchilla and the Fire Truck Ride

>> Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tyler with Penelope. Isn't she cute?!

Jason and Jaime getting to ride on the old fashioned fire truck. I would have loved to hop on but someone had to be the world famous photographer.  That would be me. 

We're almost at the end of Little League baseball for Jason, another couple of weeks for Tristan and Tyler, then Junior Giants baseball starts up until the end of August. 

Tristan went to play airsoft wars all day with a friend and ended up having a pool party instead, while the rest of the children went for an hour trail ride at Kay's.  It's been a very active spring and we are pretty booked already until August.  The increased pace has had it's good points and other side (ahem).  I like to have special project goals for each summer and I think this summer we are going to concentrate on science and geography.  We love to play Where in the World (Aristoplay game) to learn the name and location of every country, but we'll do more now with our Flat Traveler project.  We've got some maps printed out so we can put our pins where our flats have been and where we've hosted travelers.  It's been so nice to connect with the Flat's families! I love that more than anything. Hello, Bridget!  

Tristan has been weed eating almost 6 hours and will come home in another hour,  just in time to get showered and get to the church youth group.  I'll take my book and have a bit of rest for the couple of hours, and make out the summer schedules and take the computer and check email.  And take my knitting and finish those two projects, then get the rest of the material to finish the top of the quilt I've been making for Tristan for the last 10 years.  Or I could watch a movie on my laptop and eat sunflower seeds.  The choices. They are just too many.

Andrea is about to go on a road trip to Houston--she and a friend are camping on the way down and she will fly back.  She's doing a lot of things, including having lunch at the Hobbit Hole restaurant one day, as well as going to Beth Moore's church. I hope she is blessed beyond words on the entire trip. Surrounded by God's goodness and protection.  Have a great trip, Andree!


Climbing Cecile Bruner

>> Friday, June 6, 2008

This side yard is my favorite spot this time of year. There is lavender and rosemary blooming in the foreground (my picture didn't get it very well), the Coat of Many Colors rose and another spicy scented one that I bought on a whim. The label said it wasn't hardy, but it's lived through five years of snow and ice and is doing great.  The Cecile Bruner is over the arbor and really needs another arbor on the other side. I love the smell of all of these drifting up to my bedroom window! 


What Not To Wear To Baseball

Because strangely,  they just don't let kids play baseball with cowboy boots, even if he has Shoe Retrieval Issues, as has been discussed before.  He's such a kick in the pants!


We have a new pet

>> Wednesday, June 4, 2008

We did, in fact, get the chinchilla. They are pretty amazing little animals. (I'll keep saying positive things about them in case I need to offload her at some point. I'll hold a contest for all two of you reading this. Your odds of winning her may be very good.)  So far she has been way better than we even thought she'd be.  Here are a few pluses:

Chinchillas have absolutely no odor.  (There's not even a quantifier for that one)
They are smart and can be trained to a certain degree.  (I doubt we'll be able to put in that amount of time, but still--smart is better than dumb as an oyster)
They are very, very soft.
They don't eat much at all.
They take the most entertaining dust baths as they don't do water *at all*.  Our canaries drank more water than this little girl does! 
We've learned a lot and they are really interesting.  This is a wonderful place to learn some fun things about them.  
If we kill her, I will no longer say she is interesting. 

 In other news, we finally sent off all our flats yesterday. I'm going to miss them, but it feels good to have them back on their way. My biggest fear has been people thinking we lost them instead of realizing we just couldn't find a stopping spot.  And now we need to stop procrastinating and get our flats sent off. We meant to do that at the original exchange, but well, here we are, still working on it. 

And we need to get the garden done. The tomatoes are doing well but I need to plant the rest of the things--chard (plain and in rainbow colors), bush beans, zucchini and yellow crook neck squash, spinach (oops, too late), beets? I can't remember. Whatever, they need to go in the ground because studies have proven that they grow bigger and better in the ground than left as seeds in the package. 


Current Happenings

>> Sunday, June 1, 2008

Baseball for the three boys has been going remarkably well.  Jason got a great hit on the first pitch yesterday and he also fielded for the first time and made a great throw. All three boys did well in the bat-a-thon a couple of weeks ago so they got tickets to the A's game for June 22nd. HoneyHusband will go with them and they'll have a Guys Day Out.  Jaime and I will do something fun together while they are gone.  Maybe go for pedicures or something. Ideas anyone?

Tristan put up a sign advertising his weedeating business and has been inundated with jobs. I'm so proud of him!  He does such a great job and people have been calling him back and recommending him to others.  It's great work for a 15 year old--builds muscles, tires him out and adds to his bank account. He's been wanting an mp3 player for ages so he used some of his money for it this week so he's happy, too.

Oh, the Flats. I feel so pressed to get them in the mail and last Friday I was determined to do it. I had to wait for 11 days for the pictures from Wal-Mart and it turned out they had filed us under the wrong last initial so I guess the pictures were there all along, but nobody called us like they said they would, and going there nobody could find them until we got creative and asked them to check under other letters.  Sheesh.  So last Friday I was putting the finishing touches in the envelopes when my e-mail program went out and I was on the phone to Apple for over an hour, then other calls to find out what happened. We got a reprieve from Wild Blue to use our mail until the end of the day (less than one hour, thanks anyway) and I *had* to mess with that before it went out forever so I missed the post office.  It was mostly a miserable day. I've got to send them out tomorrow for sure. I've really loved doing the Flat Traveler projects, but getting them sent out has been a struggle. Plus I keep wanting to add one more place to go or one more set of pictures. I can see how keeping them for one week makes sense. It's just a quick snapshot of a place and that's all. I want to send a complete year's visit to each and every person! 

Kimberly (precious daughter 2) came over last night with her honeyhusband and friends just to say goodbye because one of the friends was leaving early in the morning back to Illinois. They ended up playing catch out on the lawn until dark when I brought them out bowls of popcorn. They finally came inside and talked and visited longer. It was so nice to have a bunch of people over, just talking and playing. I wish it happened every day. 

Andrea (precious daughter 1) is planning a road trip with a friend. I'm so happy for her. There is nothing like a road trip!  I hope they have a blast, and I think they will. I wish I could meet her at her destination and do some exploring with her, but we'll have to do that another time. I have such fond memories of the place, but it's been so long since I've been there, besides a restaurant and a mall, there probably wouldn't be anything to show her anyway. 

I guess that kind of catches me up with everything. Now I need to go make more news...


The Lack of Intelligent Life

Our e-mail was suddenly gone a couple of days ago, while I was in the middle of negotiations for obtaining a chinchilla as our new pet. Some might consider that God's blessing. Nevertheless, not having any mail program is an abrupt something or other, wouldn't you have to agree?  Then HoneyHusband tried to fix it and deleted my entire mail--inbox, drafts (where I save anything remotely interesting) and anything else I may have forgotten to dramatize. Everything. Including my right arm and the vacuum cleaner.  Maybe not the vacuum cleaner.  

This leaves me with a naked realization of exactly how technologically stupid I truly am.  Notice the doubles of the mountain lion in two separate posts? I knew I had double posted. Can I delete one? Evidently I am unable to. I can edit things, I can't delete the picture.  Maybe nobody will notice. But how can I live without an email program?  Someone, even if it is just me, is bound to notice. Case in point--I noticed!  I can't hide this one.   Things that seem absolutely impossible are run of the mill, and then things that seem like they should be easy as falling off a log aren't.  I used to think I had taken an exit off the superhighway of the world wide web quite a while back, but now I see it was never the superhighway I was on, it was only the onramp and I left that ages ago heading further into the backwoods. I recognize where I am now and it's Ma and Pa Kettle's.  Welcome home!  Sigh.