Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Voodoo. Shopping. And Donuts.

Today I got a chance to meet up with my good friend Laura. Our first stop was Voodoo Donuts. I hadn't been to one before and wanted to know what the excitement was about. When we got there, there was about 20 people standing outside in the rain in line. So glad I grabbed the umbrella last minute! Once it was finally our turn, I ordered a selection to share with the fam (and one for me to eat right then and now, of course!) Laura and I then had fun wandering around downtown Portland. Browsed a rich shop, a toy shop, a craft shop, a book shop, thrift shop, admired the library's architecture, and got some culture looking at this exhibition at the library. It was a fabulous afternoon.

Here are the Voodoo donuts in all their glory. The one on the left with the green squiggles is the voodoo doll donut. The donut with cereal on top is the Captain My Captain donut with Captain Crunch topping. It was actually a lot better then I thought it was going to be! I think my favorite tuned out to be the Portland Cream (Chocolate frosting with Bavarian filling). Mmm.

California and Christmas

So finally back to blogging. December was an adventure of different-ness this year. I got the glorious stomach flu right along with most of the family before we planned to leave for California. Which meant not much happened in the way of decorating or shopping. I think we were just lucky to get a tree!

Our trip to California was a success. Well, kind of. Despite our best attempts to not get sick in California, the people who hadn't go the stomach flu still got sick. And I won't bother you with all the gory details, cause I'm just that nice. During part of our trip we house sat a residence that had been decorated in the 1950's and never updated. I have a special post dedicated to it forming in my mind. We did have fun visiting with family and with the Walkers! Unforntunately I hardly got any photos of hanging out with family as the camera seemed to keep disappearing, but we did get a couple of pretty nice group shots.

On the left we are having our week early Christmas dinner with my grandparents and on the right we are pictured with the Walkers.

Christmas was a success, if you define it by good gifts, good food and good family and friends. I told some of my brothers to NOT wake me up in the morning, but at 6:15 one of my lovely brother's alarm went off (accidentally, I like to think). I was not pleased. *Picture Grumpy Sara Face here.* But there was no way I could go back to sleep right away so I got up with the brothers who were up and watched them open their stockings. We also opened presents (One of my favorites was a fondue pot from my brothers!) and had a delicious breakfast. Later in the day (after some much needed naps) we headed to a friend's house to eat food and play games.

On Monday we visited the Grotto. I had never been there and now I definitely want to go back when it's Spring-y or Summer-y. Our church choir sang in the Chapel as part of the Grotto's Festival of Lights and it was a lovely way to end the Christmas season!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cookies and Cooking

Today Anna and I baked cookies in honor of St. Nicholas day. Jacob didn't get to help make them (he was folding laundry and doing chores) but he and Anna both got to cut them out. It was going to be one batch of cookies, but after making the first batch I realized that I had made the wrong recipe for rolled cookies. So, we started over again. What a shame. ;) More cookie dough to eat!

Sonya peaked in for a very candid shot. Not sure what Jacob was thinking in this shot. Hopefully Sonya will forgive me for including a picture of her...

I also made Pioneer Woman's recipe for Acorn Squash.

My friend, Agata, had posted about it on Facebook about a month ago and I finally made it. It was delish. I forgot until after I had made it that Agata suggested using only half the sugar. I did the full amount, and yes, it tasted like desert!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Stay at home days

Today was one of those lovely stay at home days. It was much appreciated after partying for a week and half with the Walkers.

In contrast to what I posted a couple of weeks ago, here's what I did today.

7:30-8 Get ready for the day. Went to bed to late since Ellen was leaving the next day.
8 - 9 Exercise and change into real clothes.
9-10 Jacob reads to me the Lord's Prayer from our little story book. We also review the fourth commandment. He's working his way memorizing the Deuteronomy 5 commandments. Say good bye to the Walkers. Clean room.
10 -11 Personal Bible time. Read through and study Jeremiah 2-3:5 in Youngs Literal Translation. Facebook and email. Although, I might have done those first. In theory, I tell myself to do Bible first then FB, but often I get, ahem, distracted. Realize that we haven't done family devotions yet, cause I got distracted doing mine. Call Andrew, Daniel and Jacob down (Mom's already there) and we sit down to work on memorizing the books of the bible by singing along to the Jamie Soles song. Dad conveniently walks by right when its time to pray so we all get to pray together. Then it's a Christmas song singing (Jacob needs to memorize some for Newell House) and we read about a saint from Reformation Night. It just happens to be the Pilgrims which ties in nicely with Thanksgiving last week.
11-12 Sewing, listen to Anna telling me about Thanksgiving. She's Sonya's 4 years old daughter. Sonya's our wonderful housekeeper. We couldn't do it without her. Jacob reads to Mom and then he/I work on his math. Mums leaves to go out to lunch with a friend. (She's driving all by herself!)
12-1:30 Cleaning out fridge of leftovers, lunch.
1:30-5:30 Sewing on Marie's dress. Most days I would probably be working on some misc project inside or outside. Alternate listening to Christmas music to Andrew practicing violin, Daniel practicing piano and Jacob tinkering on the piano. Lots of minute interruptions that would make this more boring then it already is.
5:30 -6:15 Work on dinner. Got off super easy. Mums brings home pizza. Made salad and cooked carrots. Supervise Andrew making cake.
6:15-7 Dinner, Couple of Dads arrive to coordinate HOOPS stuff with Dad
7 -8 Cleaning up, talking, finish hand sewing.
8-9 Quiet time. Knitting and watch the Office. Rare. Usually it seems like I'm working until 9.
9 -10 Cake time, internet. Say goodnight and prayers with Jacob. Start episode of Psych with family. Blog time. Laugh. Blog. Laugh. Blog.

The end. Well, kind of. I haven't gotten to bed yet. Who knows what might happen.

Realize that I haven't done my violin practice yet. Sigh.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Outtakes at the Outlet

I think I laughed the hardest that I've ever laughed before in a store.

We should've taken a picture but we were laughing to hard.

Aunt Susan decided to try on a cowl neck sweater...

She thought at first it was too small.

We thought it was put on backwards.

Then we thought it was odd that there was a pocket near the neck.

Then we realized that...

She had put it on upside down.

Yes, there we were in the middle of the store. Four women laughing so hard that they're stomachs hurt. It was just that funny.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Some Snow

Yesterday, all day, there were rumors of snow hitting the Portland area. Usually I don't take them very seriously, as it seems like whenever the weathermen predict snow it never happens, and when it does, they always seem surprised.

We did actually get a little bit of snow last night. And what made it fun was the layer of ice that was underneath. The ice was actually thick enough that I could slide on our gravel driveway. It's been awhile since I've been able to do that!

This morning we went out to explore.. as in I, Andrew, Daniel, Jacob and Ellen, (basically all the irresponsible people who didn't have to go to school or work, mwahaha!) We did some skating, attempted to sled down the driveway, but only Daniel and Jacob were light enough for that, and we walked down to the "pond" to see Uncle Roger.

This is Uncle Roger's Arctic Explorer Look.

On the way back, I took this shot of the house which shows the sheep looking forlornly at me. They hoped I had food when I walked by them the first time, but I betrayed them and gave them nothing.

Doesn't this looks so cozy?
We then all tramped inside and had a marvelous day of not doing much.

I did knit some. I'm in a race with Sally to see who can finish their sweater first. She's undoubtedly going to win as she can knit way faster than me (and play the piano, too). It's all in her fast fingers. I'll post a picture soon.

This evening the youngsters (ie, everyone under the age of 50) took a traditional night time stroll. We always seem to take a walk at night when its snowy, and I think part of the reason might be is that we've usually spent all day cooped up by the wood stove 'cause its warm. So anyways, we were hoping to see more stars but it was so bright because with the the full moon and the white snow the stars were rather faded.

As a side note, Tyler and I decided not to do our barefoot running this morning. Not that we truly run barefoot, but brrrr, I can't even imagine how cold that would be.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Are you in sync?

Last Sunday a group of girls and I were talking (ie, I was monologuing) about Microrhythms (Although I was wrongly calling them Biorhythms. Nice, Sara ).

I couldn't remember where I had read about them first, so I promised to put some links together (not sure if anyone really cares but this is going to make it a lot easier to find them the next time I want to refresh my memory or want to sound smart ;) ...). I couldn't remember where I had read about them first. But after some memory prodding (mine and others) I figured out it was from The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, which by the way, is an excellent read.

And then while searching for a good article to describe it, I found the actual book on Google reader and it even contains the pages where he describes Microrhythms. So lo and behold, The Tipping Point: Microrhythms (Pages 81-83)

One of the things that makes me love the idea of microrhythms is that it ties in nicely with Nate Wilson's book, Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl. Nate Wilson (if I remember correctly!) talks about God singing the world into existence and preserving it through song. Song means beat, and as micro rhythms make clear, we all have a beat. Thus every time we cough, stretch or fidget, not only may we be doing it in response to someone else's nonverbal cue, we are really participating in the grand song of life, God's song.

And if you want to
Microexpressions is the same theory related to facial expressions.

There is also The Wizards project that found people who were adept in telling if someone was lying by looking at their facial and body movements.

Want to know how this applies to marriage and spouses? Then, of course, there's John Gottman. He studied micromovements of couples arguing. Laurie Abraham writes that, "he (Gottman) could pick out future divorcees 91 percent of the time based on coding a mere five-minutes of tape."

And if you really want another link, here's a paper dealing with Microrhythms and empathy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How not to change a lug nut

Herbert needs his wheels taken off.

1. Find cross lug nut loosener thingy mah jingy in the back of the car.
2. Attempt to use it on lug nuts that are very rusted but were taken off when we were inspecting Herbert.
3. Admit to myself that I'm not strong enough.
4. Spend 5 minutes trying to find the perfect steel pipe for leverage.
5. Get confused about which size I'm using and search for another steel pipe.
6. Find 5' steel pipe.
7. Attempt again.
8. Live in fear that I am going to shear off the end of the lug nut loosener thingy mah jingy. (It's late, and I don't feel like looking up the official name. Not that it would take more time than retyping that over and over again.)
9. Attempt again. Success! (x6)
10. Realize that by the time I'm done loosening all of the lug nuts, it will be Spring.
11. Move on to next wheel.
12. Try one nut. No success. These lug nuts haven't been taken of since who knows when. Pipe is bending dangerously.
13. Try another nut. Pipe is bending. "How much force can really I use on it?" I wonder. Afraid its going to shear off.
14. It shears off. With a nice snap.
15. Go tell Dad that I sheared off his lug nut loosener thingy mah jingy.
16. He laughs.
17. Tell family members that are home for dinner about it.
18. Scott and Tyler laugh.
19. Mom looks concerned. I assure her I will buy her a new one.
20. Scott gives me a high five.
21. Tyler and Scott both attempt to tell me in pigeon African-English "that I done be strong mammy" (from Gerald Durrell's books)
22. Yes, we they are just that weird.

Picture of said lug nut loosener thingy mah jingy:

Naked Herbert

Today I got a chance to work on Herbert. I finished pulling out his floor... I feel like he looks rather naked.
If you look at his "eyes" I think he has a "why are you doing this too me?" expression...

Donut Biscuits

This evening I went to make biscuits for dinner and I couldn't find the biscuit cutter.
But I did find the donut cutter...

About to be baked.

Browned Yummy Goodness.
The donut shape didn't work too well for spreading on the jam, but it was a fun!

If you look at the background, you can see the chocolate cookies
that Jacob, Anna and I baked this afternoon...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tum Diddly Dee

Today was another one of those run errands until you drop. Not sure why all of a sudden we are doing all of these. Oh, wait, I know. First, we are having the Walkers up in a week and a half. So we are trying to tie up loose ends around the house. Second, we've avoided doing errands for while. So we've gotten behind. Third, we're crazy. I think I always end up writing posts after these sort of days as a way to decompress. I could sit down and tell the half of the family what happened. But they would probably just fall asleep. As it's not really interesting. And don't worry, I'm not going to recount you with all the gory details either. But I will say that I think I'm over half way done with Christmas shopping!

BUT, at least this morning, we got school done. Well, somewhat. And skyped with a friend overseas. And I made it to the feed mill to pick up sheep and chicken feed.

When we were out running errands, we got a call from Dad saying that his cousin from Alaska would be stopping over to spend the night. Said cousin had let us know that he would be passing through, but we didn't know when. Of course it happens the night 7/8 of us are gone. He's been in Alaska for 20 years and is now moving down to Texas. Talk about climate change.

What made the drive tolerable on the way home was listening to Bob and Ray. If you've never heard of this satire radio program (think The Onion in radio format), here's a small sample of what you've been missing...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Just one reason

Why I love Oregon in the fall... I feel like I live in a Country Magazine article!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Favorite articles from November

From November 2010 issue of Popular Mechanics

Strong Magnets With Printed Poles Have Endless Engineering Applications

Fascinating article about a grandfather who figured out how to manipulate magnetic fields... as in one magnet could have multiple north and south poles.. of differing strengths. Amazing.

Next Gen Digital Sight for the Blind

One day these will be the equivalent of a "hearing aid" for the eye...

Note to self

Today was another one of those crazy days driving around to appointments.

We saw this bumper sticker and had a good laugh!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Paint Particulars

This afternoon, Amanda and I worked on finding the perfect color to paint our church fellowship hall pictured in the terribly blurry photo on the left. This was round two.

There are several things working against us.

First, there are three areas we are trying to paint. In one room, the paint takes on a brown tinge, the second room turns the paint peach and the third room, yellow/gray.

Also, we have numerous things we are trying to tie together with the paint color. Of first consideration is the new floor tiles the church is putting in. And we have to choose the paint color before they're in. The second thing to consider is the wood color in the kitchen area. The wood has a green-y tint to it, which we are trying not to emphasize. Also, the new counter top isn't installed yet. And then don't even get me started on the curtains that line the sides of the fellowship hall. They are a beautiful burgundy-ish color, but it's just one more thing to worry about.

We spent about an hour picking out colors in the fellowship hall part. We basically laid out a quarter of the color wheel book at a time and then compared it to samples of each thing to match. We found about 16-20 that we liked and then moved into the kitchen and took out any that looked to peachy and added a few. We then cut it down to 16 and then again down to 8 at the paint store, plus a couple of ready made sample packets.

So overall its been fun, challenging and interesting. Thankfully Amanda and I are pretty good friends so we can speak our mind about paint colors! Anyways, hopefully one of them will work as they are supposed to start painting on Saturday. Eeks!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Barefoot, Boys, Bands, and Books

A bunch of random notes from today -

Tyler and I went barefoot running again. This morning we ran in the "lowlands" and if we run a certain route we run right by the local fruit stand where Tyler works. This morning, we needed some lettuce so I bought some in the middle of the run. We then took turns carrying it back to the car while we were running, which was pretty darn nice of Tyler. He could have rightfully made me carry it the whole way. Good thing we run on deserted country roads, cause it honestly looked like we were "stealing" a bag of lettuce.

A couple extra boys arrived to spend the weekend with us while their parents are collecting grapes in Eastern Washington. I think by tomorrow night we will have four extra boys, er, young men, spending the night. Which gives us a boy:girl ratio of 5:1 or ten males to two poor, innocent, helpless (hardly!) females.

I then left to go run errands and visited 9 different stores between 11 and 2:30. Whew.

Made it home for a late lunch and then headed out to take Andrew and Luke D to their gymnastic teachers house. He lives about 20 minutes away and from his family's house there's an amazing view of downtown Portland. What's funny though, is that the houses on the property were all built before the land was cleared and none of the them take advantage of the view.

After that went and hung out with a friend for dinner.

Went with said friend to a benefit concert being put on at our church. I enjoyed the lyrics of the first singer and also enjoyed the band because it was so, um, different than what I normally listen too.

Also picked up a book from the library, A Natural History of the Senses. Laura apparently had to read it for her class, so thus it must be good. I liked the introduction... apparently Helen Keller could place her hand on the radio and tell the difference between the cornets and the strings. Who knew.. I wonder if ear buds work that way for deaf people?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Sheepish Excursion

Today Jacob and I went out to give the sheep their minerals and give anti-biotics to one ewe that's doing a little poorly. Here's the man sheeps coming to check us out. i'm sure they're thinking.. "Food! food! FOOD!"

Jacob posing with Violet, our ewe in distress. And no, she's not being choked to death. She's just merely intent on the feed bucket that I'm holding.

Jacob's picture of me in the field that has the ewes... By this time raindrops had smeared the camera lens rather uniformly... but I do like how my sweater matches the trees in the background.

Late Leaves

Notice something odd in this photo? The Dogwood on the far right is slowly turning red, but our orchard trees look just as green in the summer. In fact it seems like around us, the leaves are only just starting to change. We've been trying to remember when the leaves normally start changing and I'm thinking that usually they've fallen by now...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why I didn't make it to Bible Study this evening

Today was one of those days where I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off. Well, not literally. But almost.

First off, it didn't help that I woke up an hour late. I had been tossing for a little bit, thinking my alarm on my phone would go off any minute as I could hear people moving down stairs when it finally occurred to me that I had left my phone downstairs and that it was probably quite late.

Tyler and I went running. It was a beautiful sunny morning. Jacob wanted to come with us, so he did. I don't think it was quite what he expected but he made it. We ran near and through the local elementary school, and it made me a little nervous to be running around with a 9 year old that wasn't in school. At one point, Jacob was behind me by about 50 feet as we were on a quiet stretch and he was catching his breath and a lady drove by in a truck. She drove by slowly and then stopped. I'm pretty sure she was wondering what in the world was going on. It probably didn't help that Jacob's beautiful Indian skin doesn't exactly match my pale whitey skin. We are on our third day of barefoot running and I think its starting to feel more natural. Hopefully I'm going to do a post on it soon.

After we went running we had less than an hour before we had to leave. Managed to have Andrew and Daniel recount the chickens int he freezer so we knew exactly how many were available for our last batch of customers. Thankfully there were more left than we thought. PTL.

Then we left to drop Daniel off at the church for an early piano lesson. On the way we discovered that Jacob was wearing the pants that he had put on for running. They had huge mud stains and a large rip on the knee.So after dropping Daniel off, I then dropped off Mom and Jacob at Fred Meyers to look for pants, and then went to Joann's for fabric for Sunday's costumes. Then it was to Taco Bell to pick up lunch. We had grand ambitions of making lunches, but everybody was behind this morning. Then back to pick up Mom and Jacob at Fred Meyer and then back to church to eat lunch.

Mom had signed Jacob and Daniel up for a mini world history conference at Exodus so we drove up there and I dropped peoples off again. Came back to the church, helped with decorating for Reformation Night on Sunday, had my violin lesson, and then left to go to the mall to get my glasses fixed. However, I got int he car and found out I had a text asking if I could go by Exodus on my way to the mall and drop off the crayons in the car that they were supposed to have at class. So I headed up there, and when I was about 30 seconds away, Mom called to say that they didn't need them but that she was starving. I said, "Me, too" and I picked her up and we went to Roukes hamburger stand. There we grabbed some hamburgers and while they were picking my friend Rebekah from Spokane called, so we chatted outside while they cooked. When I heard the waitress announce that they were called, I attempted to get inside by opening the door with one hand, hold the phone in the other hand, and hold my cup of water with my teeth. Something went wrong, because when I had the door open about six inches the cup dumped about half of its contents down my shirt opening. So my shirt was all dry, but at the bottom all of this water was dripping out and Mom and I were laughing hysterically. Since the hamburger joint was super small, we decided to sit in the van to eat and that way we could talk by speaker phone to Rebekah. After about 20 minutes, Scott tried to call and I answered it, and found out that he had just driven by us and his way to another work site. I read my Agatha Christie for 10 minutes while Mom tried to sleep for a minute and then it was time to go back to Exodus to pick up the boys from class and head over to gymnastics. Mrs. A had graciously already taken Andrew and her son to gym from church so that Andrew could get there on time. When I got home I found out that they had driven by Mom and I as we were eating and Andrew had even taken a picture of us.

We got to gymnastics, where once again, I dropped people off and back tracked to go to United Grocers. Grabbed a few things there and then headed back to the Gym. Sat at the gym for half an hour trying to attempt a few math problems and figure out my knitting buttonhole. Mom and a Mrs. A left to go run errands and meet us back at church. Gave up and then read my Agatha Christie until it was time to go.

I drove the boys back to the church where I had arranged to meet someone to finish up their costume for Sunday... He's coming as Saint Valentine. ;) By this time its almost 7 and everyone's getting hungry.

We had arranged the day before for the whole family to meet at the little airport cafe near us for dinner. Dad came from home, Tyler came from school, Scott came from a church family's house were he was working, and the rest of us came from church. So we had four cars for eight people there. ;) At the restaurant we had some pretty amazing BBQ. Yum. Yum.

Afterwards, we all made our way home. Andrew and I had still had to give some antibiotics to a sheep so that was done in the darkness, cause that was another thing that didn't get done in the morning.

Lessons learned today:

1. No matter where I am in Portland, there is a good chance that a sibling will drive by.
2. Do not open doors while trying to hold a cup of water in your teeth.
3. I really should be in bed. Right now.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Today I used this recipe to cook Romanesco Broccoli or Roman Cauliflower. Is it just me who's confused? Somehow that doesn't translate right...

I left out the lemon juice and red pepper flakes and then sprinkled some Smoked Spanish Paprika from Penzey's Spices as an accent.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Insides and Outsides

On Sunday I read a list that was compiled by the Notes from the Trenches gal about what she's learned in mothering. My favorite piece of advice was...

"9. Don't compare your insides to everybody else's outsides."

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Accomplished today with the help of Mums and Jacob:

Cinnamon Rolls for brunch as a friend came over to cut the menfolk's hair

A four times batch of caramel corn made for desert with friends at their home tonight

A four times batch of scalloped potatoes made for church tomorrow and later on in the week

Lunch was successfully made and randomly eaten at various times by various people

A large salad for dinner with friends tonight

Home made salad dressing for said salad

Long conversation on phone

Some laundry done

Kitchen left a mess in order to get out the door on time. Tyler and Daniel graciously cleaned it up since they couldn't go anyways...

Some sewing done after visiting friends house as I need to bring it to church on Sunday.

No pictures taken.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Afro Duck

My mums posing with one of her favorite duckies... I just think Mom needs a matching afro!

Chocolate Souffle

Made my first Chocolate Souffle today... Didn't quite know what to expect as I had never had one before, but if you've never had one before, it tasted like chocolate pudding with more of the texture of a cake (but no flour was needed). I used the Best Recipe Cook Book which called for Grand Marnier. I didn't have any, but used Contreau. Not sure if it made a difference, but next time I would love a little more orange-y flavor.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Herbert gets a Clean Sweep

Today I had a little extra time and got to work on Herbert. I was able to finish tearing out the board separating the storage area, swept up all of the debris and pulled up a few floorboards.

The floorboards are amazing... I get the feeling that they were soaked in some amazing non-environmentally friendly 1940's era toxic solution. Kind of like the wall panels that appear to be coated in thick lead black paint. The panels are definitely original and they are so well coated that they've only just begun rotting.

While sweeping up the debris, I kept finding turquoise paint flakes... and I was playing around with painting part of the inside turquoise, so now I am definitely leaning towards using it. :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Herbert

Herbert got moved to a new spot today. Previously he was residing near the orchard. We (read: Scott) finished spreading the new gravel around the barn, and Herbert now has a spot near the Charlie the tractor, and more importantly Scott's welding tent, which means easy access to tools. :) I think Herbert looks pretty happy now.

Lawning: Success!

The green grass is growing grandly! Yay!

If you look at the flagpole you may notice that a certain person's bathrobe is hanging from it. Standard operating procedure around here for repeatedly left out clothing items.

Monday, October 11, 2010


They are two and a half weeks old. Their wings are as small as ever.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Herbert looks on

Since I didn't get a chance to work on Herbert this afternoon, (Go away sore throat!) I thought I would post a picture of Herbert watching the drainage ditch digging yesterday. I can't decide if he approves or not.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day Ramblings

Went to watch the musical of Les Miserables with some girl friends this afternoon. Last year we attempted to read Les Mis all at the same time. It kinda worked. One friend cheated and read a lengthy (but abridged!) version, and the other friend and I read the same version. We may have started within weeks but I think we all finished months apart.

Came home to find that Tyler had cooked an amazing dinner of Cajun Chicken Sausage & Corn Stew.

Lately we've been using hand motions to help memorize Bible verses during school devotions.
Tonight, after dinner, we sang "The Son of God" for family devotions. Someone started using hand motions to match the words and as we came to the word "train" (as in "procession"), you could see half the family's thoughts turn to what clever hand motion they should use for the word "train". Three people did a chug-a-chug (think punching motions) and someone went Woo-Woo! with a hand pumping motion.

After dinner, Scott entertained us with the account of a empty nursery flat bed truck that took about 20 tries to get up the hill on our road. The hill isn't steep at all which made it all the more amusing of hearing Scott imitate the whiiiiiinnnnnee of the truck going up the hill and then it zooming backward to wind up for another attempt. Scott happened to be working on the tractor in the field near the road at the time and asked them if they wanted help. They turned him down, but later he saw them using a Ford Escape to drag the truck up the hill.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Fall Cake

With the help of Anna (5 years old), I made a second attempt (maybe the title of the post should be fail cake?) of Gâteau de Mamy à la Poire from Chocolate & Zuchini, which is an awesome French cooking blog. The first time I made it, the cake turned out to be more of an over-baked-eggy-pudding-sort-of-smush. Not what I was going for! It did get devoured, however, and Daniel wants the mistake version for his birthday desert. Not sure how I am going to manage that...

Going over the recipe again, I figured out where my mistakes were...

I did not add anywhere near the amount of fruit she had, as there's no fruit measurement on the recipe. You have to figure out by the photos, which wasn't obvious to me the first time.

And I have a sneaking suspicion that I put in baking soda instead of baking powder. Oops.

Also, I lowered the oven temp by 25 degrees.

But, anyways, I made it this time, with lots of pears* and it turned out quite delicious. I think next time I could put in a smidgen less fruit, to make it slightly more cake-y, but then again, it might just depend on my mood!

*From our own over-bearing (in a good way) pear trees!

Friday, October 1, 2010


Yesterday I spent about an hour helping Scott finish smoothing the dirt and then two hours finishing it off by seeding and setting up the sprinklers, while he left to go jet skiing... aren't I nice?*

*Of course, I don't mention that he's put about 400 hours into the project whereas my great culminating total is now at, um, 4? But I cook him dinner.


So today I spent about 1 1/2 hours on Hubert. Took out about 20 bolts on the side panels and the rotting wood panel between the horse area and the storage area. Also, first time ever using the grinder to ground off about 8 rivets on the side panels.

Last Friday I mostly focused on getting the wood off of the ramp piece. The piece is littered with rivets. Since the trailer was built in 1947, I now have a deeper meaning for Rosie the Riveter. Apparently, 1940s manufacturers were very fond of rivets!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Got Duck?

We do. Mom got ten baby ducks last week and they are growing quickly. Last week they were about half the size.

The duckies got their first chance to explore the yard today. They didn't stray more than a few feet from the yard as they would hardly walk more than a few steps without sitting down to nibble at the grass or preen themselves. At first they all look the same, but eventually you can begin to see how the puffs differ. Some are bigger, some have a micro puff or two, and some are even lopsided.

Jacob gathering the duckies for their second bath (they had their first one on Monday).

In the turtle tub!

Duck Soup

Monday, September 27, 2010

David & Dorrit

Went on a walk today and took pictures of our latest bummer lambs who were named after the Charles Dickens characters, David Copperfield and Little Dorrit.
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Courtesy of Miss Pickwickian

Press Quote

Reading from Tintypes in Gold by Joseph Jackson published in 1939. Concerning press reports of the notorious stage coach robber, Black Bart:
"It is not the first time, nor the last, that The Press has confused itself with The Almighty."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Pictures

Hopefully over the coming weeks (um, do I dare hope it will be that quick?) I will post pictures of Herbert being transformed.

The othe side of Herbert. You can see the electrical line that Scott used to hook up temporary lights.

Inside with a removable divider.

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Sunflower 2

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