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Live Richly, Live Free. Embrace All The Blessings From Our Creator and Marvel in His Creation.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lost in the Woods

Today, for the first time ever (in Montana), I got lost in the woods. Let me tell you how it happened. Well, I was on an errand delivering a note to a neighbor lady from my friend Mist. I happened to see another neighbor lady "Howie". Howie is a really sweet lady. She happened to be doing something with a garden hose and generator that had to do with the water supply in her home. Since I'm one of the few here with everything that works like it should (to an extent), I am a little ignorant. Anyway, she thought it would be a great day for a hike too.
Excited, I hurriedly delivered the note and rushed back to her home. I felt almost giddy, doing something with another lady. I am friend challenged and I gotta take em where I can get em. Howie dawned her "Yaak Trax" and we headed off down the road. She didn't even make fun of my "mordic" or "nerdic" walking. We decided to cut through the woods to come to a familiar logging road that we both knew of. Since we entered the woods where I don't normally enter, I let her do the leading. I also let her lead because her "Yaak Tracks" fell off a few times and I intercepted them out of the snow for her so she wouldn't leave them behind.
The more we hiked, the surer we were that we had to be getting close. Only the lump on my back (better known as Moonbeam) had some reservations. On we continued. Soon the terrain became more hilly and we found ourselves walking on ridge upon ridge. We abandoned trails we thought lead to the road and tromped through the deep snow in the directions we thought would lead us there. She wanted to go further right while I wanted to follow the ridge. After a couple of hours I began to wonder if we should confess that we might be lost.
At one time I even thought I saw my house, but alas it was one of those mirages. She brought me back to my senses "that's not your house" she said as I looked at a snow bank. For the first couple of hours we remarked how great it was that we were out getting exercise, how beautiful the weather was and how much fun we were having. Then it dawned on us around the same time. We were not going to have an unlimited supply of daylight. Evening was just around the corner and with it would be our light.
We had come too far to turn around and be out before dark. Who knew if we'd even regain our trail with all the crusty animal tracks everywhere. I started to pray and ask for wisdom. Suddenly following Howie around in the woods didn't seem like so much fun. Scenes flashed in my mind of "lost women" going across the emergency radio channels. Literally almost EVERYONE in our valley would know!! People would raz us for years to come!!! Oh the horror of it! And to think I had a baby with me along in my crazy adventure. I could just imagine us huddling there with her in the dark. Then I wondered which direction to run if a wild animal attacked, or if one of us were injured. Oh the horror of it all. Not much longer after I prayed for angels to direct us the right way, Howie found the main road. We came out just a few miles from home. I was quite relieved. We laughed about what might have happened. We could both imagine our husbands giving us a good talking to!
Howie and I agreed to do some Kayaking and Swimming this summer. We will be keeping the details of this hike clouded amongst the neighbors.

Where to Throw Your Tax Refund Cash?

I'm far from a money guru, so you can stop reading if you want to hear from one. Recently, I've been challenged by a couple of books some girls in my accountability group gave me to read. In all honesty, I don't agree with everything I have read, but God has convicted me about some of the things I read that I believe to be true. It was like a divine set up. God starts convicting me to read this book and its just before we discuss how we will spend our tax refund. In the end, despite the practical things I felt we should do, I gave my husband complete liberty.

1. Give your money to God. If nothing else, tithe off your child tax credits and increase. Sow into orphanages, people adopting children from overseas, ministries, world hunger, the poor right here in America. Pray and hear God where to give, but determine in your heart to sow as God places in your heart. Do it ESPECIALLY if you are having financial problems! There's no better investment than in giving to God.

2. Make sure you are submitted in your investments, bill payments, credit reductions and mad money fun spending. If you don't agree with your spouse you'd better go back and pray again! You need to be in agreement and if your a woman then you should be submitted to your husband unless he is buying drugs! That means believing in and praying for the God influence in Him. He can make good decisions and we should be supportive.

3. Tonight Fox News talked about the run on Ammo. It is now doubling and tripling in value before our eyes. Lets face it, in the economy where not much is doing well Cabelas stocks are doing good (or at least that's what I've heard). You probably won't go wrong if you want to buy guns and ammo right now. At this point, its a solid investment in a shaky economy. As much as I would rather go to the mall (and I will be doing that), if your husband thinks he should invest in that stuff you really ought to let him.

4. My good friend "Much Mother" who has oodles of wisdom is buying grains, beans, etc.. She is laying up a supply for the year to come. Having a good supply of food on hand isn't going to hurt you. Its part of being that virtuous woman Proverbs 31 speaks of. Buying a good supply of bulk resources will save you money in the long run. You will NEVER be sorry you stocked up on the things your home uses. You WILL be sorry if you bought something stupid that is a waste 6 months from now. Ok, ok, I will be very frugal when I'm at the mall. I hope you will be too :-) Lets be wise so we will have plenty to share when the time comes.

These are just a few ideas I wanted to share with my readers. May God give you wisdom (and some mad money too)! I was shocked to find out that my husband had a whole lot more money planned for me than I expected. He believes in us sowing into each other as well. This really is a great cause of peace in our marriage.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Goodwill Garbage

Today, before I had to work, my husband had plans in town. Most of the children went with him. Just my 6 year old and baby came with me to shop. As we began my thrift store regime, I had Moonbeam dawned in my baby backpack and Catman in tow. Catman kept finding these crazy, half broken, dirty toys. Amongst them was an old ratty stuffed dinesaur. He insisted on buying it. Though I protested loudly, he won in the end. As we plodded out to the car, he informed that he had "been praying for one of these". Despite my disgust at paying $2 for it, I had to smile.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Encounter

I love skiing through the forest in back of my house. It makes me feel alive. I find any excuse to be out there, especially on days as nice as these. Today after Moonbeam fell asleep, I took off with skis in my arms to hike back to the snowmobile trail. As I am skiing, frustrations fall off of me like the snow melting around me. The house I can't seem to keep up to my standards, the feeling like I am always barely treading water between work, home, home school, children, friends, etc..
Wonderful things have happened out there in the forest for me. Long meaningful hikes with my husband. We've had fun family hikes with my kids backpacking Moonbeam or pulling Karsten by sled. Our beloved German Shepherd, now deceased once ran through those woods, now buried there. Not long ago, a good friend was skiing with me back there. Out of the blue she started crying. She said that she knew she was missing something. She wanted the kind of relationship that I have with God. We prayed together out there for the Holy Spirit to do His work in her. Even part of my placenta from my miscarriage is buried out there next to our canine guardian, now returned to the earth. The forest is a peaceful place for me.
Deer stand in droves back there. I see scores of them as I ski. Many times they don't even bother running away. They're used to seeing me and know I don't pose them any threat. Some of them loiter around our yard even when the kids are out playing. When I don't see any deer, I suspect that something is off. That's when I get concerned.
Today like all days, I was challenging myself between skiing and hiking out there. Before I got my skis on, I practiced my quick draw (just in case). I grimaced at how painfully slow I was. On I went skiing peacefully. The snow pack had become slushy and it was melting all around me making boots almost impossible to maneuver in the hard packed trail now softening. After a few miles of hiking and skiing I headed back. As I got closer to my familiar path back home I started hearing things. First it was a bird flying over head. Then I noticed that I wasn't seeing any deer. I started to get edgy. I looked around several times. Just as I was about to continue on I heard a sound and saw fast moving brush. I went for my gun....... A second passed as I tried to distinguish with my eyes what the commotion was that I was seeing. My heart was racing. I looked in disgust as I saw a tree had been unearthed from the snow that had bound it. Well so much for that adventure. It was just an attacking, er, tree.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dinner in a One Room Cabin

Yesterday, I had dinner at my friend "Mist's" house. She is an incredible woman. At 22 years old, Mist lives in a one room cabin in this vast wilderness. Mist has no electricity. The running water comes in the form of a creek next to her older A-frame cabin. Its maybe 10 or 20 feet away. Since its spring fed, they just step out their door and fill their cup. Mist cooks with some propane and with her wood stove. Their lighting is wired from a car battery.
Mist was accepted to a prestigious culinary school in Italy, but her scholarship didn't cover it, so she went to one in California instead. She had also lived part of her life there. When she was 16 she fell in love with her husband and after dating off and on, they married after she finished culinary school. It was always his dream to live in the rugged outdoors. She followed him, risking life as she knew it.
For our dinner, Mist baked 2 kinds of delicious bread in a cast iron skillet. She also made home made pasta from scratch. She made spaghetti sauce which she simmered all day long as well. In all the years I've been alive, I didn't think that making such exquisite food was possible without running water and electricity. It was simply amazing.
We all crowded into the one room cabin. We sat on the bed, on a couple of chairs and on the floor. We heard about many of their adventures together. My seventeen year old was really impressed. All my kids were. We had so much fun that we stayed for 5 hours. When my youngest kid was thirsty, Mist's husband stepped out the door and filled his cup again.
People like Mist inspire me. I wonder how she could pull a dinner like that off. She hadn't been to town in weeks. She didn't have any plans of going that week. She knows how to live simply, yet elegantly. I think about all of the people who demand high living standards. I think about my own selfishness and demands. I'm grateful for what I have. Really, I am. I am just humbled seeing my attitude over the years. I've been selfish, and I've demanded things that I really could have done without. I've felt sorry for myself when I should have been thanking God for His Provision. I'm planning to hang out with Mist more often. She knows how to do things I don't. She's been making it. Not just surviving. I've seen so many women. Some feel sorry for themselves in a house with food and water. They don't have what they think should be their standards of living while others like Mist can thrive on what I didn't think possible. Her cabin is clean, well organized and smells good. Its enjoyable to be there.
Let it be a lesson to you, my readers. Take note and learn from her. If Mist can make exquisite pasta and breads in a one room cabin, certainly you can make your hands produce whatever God has placed in them to do.
As we drove away that night, I said "She's amazing isn't she?". There was a loud chorus back in unison saying "She's amazing".

Friday, February 20, 2009


As many of you are well aware, My friend, Silver bell and I started a weight loss group that eventually became an accountability group. At the beginning, not many people showed interest. At our first meeting, one other lady showed up who really wasn't interested in losing weight, but wanted to visit. We later embraced Hazel, whose only obious falt is a perfect figure. Depite this obious, falt, we embraced her into our ranks. With the addition of Hazel, came a new found stability and hunger for more of God. Despite Hazels terrible fault, she is really well grounded in Christ and adds a wonderful flavor to our meetings. We now have another friend, whom I have deemed "Mist". Mist is a very sweet girl whose only obious faults are not only a perfect figure, but a good attitude as well. She smiles a lot, doesn't complain and the worst thing which I have saved for last is that she is a pretty blonde.
The trouble all started when I showed up at work last week. It began my "funk" if you will. A dizzy, blonde nurse walked up to me in the report room. She looked at me and cocked her head. Then she grabbed an appendage on my body shaking her head sadly. She said the word that every woman has grown to fear. Its a word that I almost didn't want to mention, but for the thrill of the story I will tell you if you promise not to gasp and examine my prior photos. This word sent me on a "funk" for a week and may have induced PMS that I am now experiencing. The word was, (dare i say it?!) ....... Clairol. Yes, she grabbed my hair and after examining it said nothing but "Clairol" and then walked away sadly. Needless to say my shift did not go well. Every time I entered a patients room, I had to stop and examine my hair in the mirrors. Patients began to wonder what I was doing. Every time somebody looked up at me, I saw that woman chanting the evil "Clairol" chant and laughing fiendishly in my head. My funk was in full swing.
Silver bell awoke from a deep slumber. She lives in a beautiful log home on a crystal river. She has 2 children who she ushered off to school. She showered, fixed her hair special and commensed to clean her home up. After working all morning to prepare for our "Accountability Group", Silver bell looked at her clock. Ten o'clock came and went with her wondering where we all were. After Ten fifteen and finally ten thirty, she decided we all must be mad at her for cancelling on us last week. She sat down on the couch feeling her own funk come on. It was not until much later that she discovered it was Wednesday and not Thursday, the day our meeting was actually scheduled for.
When I showed up on Thursday at accountability meeting "Clairol" was still screaming at me. The nurse had now become an evil villian cackling inside of my head. I felt as if every one must be thinking that I am much too old and grey to be a part of this group. Completely rediculous thoughts plagued my mind. What I didn't understand was that completely rediculous thoughts plague most womens minds much of the time. Now I am not saying that we are all rediculous. I am saying that we believe rediculous lies that happen to show up inside of our brains if we are not careful. PMS is part of the evil villain who may disguise himself as a fiendish nurse inside of your brain.
I complemented Silver bell on her hair do. Little did I know that she was thinking "I haven't even fixed my hair today!" We went on with the meeting and before long we were all chums and having a good "get in touch with your feelings" and "God" type meeting. We laughed, we cried, we ate some home made lasanga and we prayed together after reading from "The Prayer of Jabez" book.
Later as Silver bell and I were comparing notes, we discovered the plot of the fiendish nurse in my head. Actually, she had no idea. It was more my own personal discovery. I was thinking that since I shared this verse with other people that day maybe it applied to me. Here it is :

2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (King James Version)

4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

6And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Monthly Miracle Memory

I've been trying to write at least "a miracle a month" and tell about some of the good things that God has done for our family over the years. I have a burden to encourage people in general with Gods great love, mercy and abundance that He wants to heap upon His children (if we will let Him). This month I'm going to tell you about how we started our business.

We came from quite meager beginnings. Two rebellious teenagers trying to get through community college classes with food stamps and financial aid with already a kid in tow. After that, we spent about 6 1/2 years traveling with a ministry and living by faith. Nothing about our beginning encouraged any type of financial surplus. The first house we bought was a small, unfinished repossession. We wanted house payments as cheap as possible because we had other priorities. That was years after we'd been married and lived in many cheap rentals. We battled credit card and student loan payments for many years. It really wasn't until the summer of miracles that our physical prosperity ever manifested.

It all started when I felt like the Lord was saying to me "I'm going to pay off all your credit cards". That would have taken years. Was it wishful thinking? I didn't think so. I was pretty sure it was God. I said "thank you". Not many months from then, by a series of miracles, our largest debt credit card was paid in full. I knew it had been an act of God.

The next spring, my husband began building some home made fire fighting equipment. It was done cheaply with some stuff he'd thrown together. When Forest fires broke out in Washington, Kevin and another man decided to go out and see if they could get their equipment hired. The forest service wouldn't even let them in the doors of the building. They literally laughed them out. After driving all that way, they decided they would at least stop by the fire camp and offer their services to the person in charge.

He took one look at my husbands equipment picture and said "these are a dime a dozen, I'm sorry, I can' t use them." Then he looked at the other mans picture. He said "I'll take up to five of them." He had tried to get them, but had been told they weren't available. The man had only one, but knew where another one was. He let my husband go after it, and go after it he did.

My husband called me up and said "I need ten thousand dollars by tomorrow." I knew he didn't have a gambling problem and that he wasn't insane either. The request, however, was crazy. Some years, ten thousand dollars was 6 months or a years income for us. Something about the conversation jumped inside my heart. I knew it was God. I could feel it on the inside of me. I called up everybody I knew (who thought I was crazy). Nobody wanted to loan (or had) that kind of money. I called up every credit card company we had and asked what our cash advances were.

Meanwhile my husband came back by train. He had one day to raise the money. He had already ordered the heavy equipment to be delivered to Washington by faith that the money would come through. He had already ordered a welding shop to begin construction on a massive water tank. He was a man on fire, feeling that he had heard Gods voice. His window of opportunity was now.

That day we visited every bank in the city. None of them would loan us the money. At the end of the day, we visited the last bank. A kind woman listened to our story. She told us that if we could match the loan ($5000), they would come up with the other half. I hurried across to the other bank to get the full amount of cash advances off of every credit card we had. They almost wouldn't give it to me because I had a late payment. I had to argue with the worker by phone and demand 3 times to speak with the manager. Just as the bank was closing, I was able to produce the money and secure the ten grand!

On the way home, we looked at each other wondering if we should stop this huge risk we were taking. We knew we couldn't, it was God. When we got home there was a message on the answering machine. It said "whatever you do, don't answer the phone. They are cancelling your heavy equipment order. If you acknowledge the cancel, your done. If you show up, they will have to pay you at least one days wages."

After my husband returned to Washington, he was horrified to discover that his water tank was only half built and the shop was closed. I called all over trying to find somebody to open it up. So did he. The machinery had to be at the fire that next morning in order to secure the order. I went out into my field by the river and prayed. Suddenly laughter overwhelmed me. Though I knew there was a spiritual fight, I knew God was in control and wouldn't let us down. Miraculously, a worker was found and opened the shop, welding late into the night. The shop even caught on fire from the welding and the fire had to be put out.

As dawn arose, the tank had been placed on the machinery and was being delivered to the location of the fire camp. My husband had never even operated this type of machinery. The summer before had been his first year ever of fighting fires and that was with a small fire truck. Amazingly, they kept him for the duration of the fire. That job paid for the machine and the next job paid for the tank that was built. He even received a commendation of safety for excellent operating skills. This is how our business was born.

You may think that how you live now determines your life in the future. If your poor, you'll always be poor. If you sick, you'll always be sick. Because you didn't get a good start in life, you'll never realize your dreams. But I'm here to tell you that it's a lie you have been believing. It isn't true. If you love God, and trust Him, crazy miracles can happen for you too. I don't encourage anybody to use credit cards or high interest loans to try and make money. Please don't misunderstand me. All I want you to understand is, is that there are no limits with God. If you give your life to Him wholly and trust Him, He will move Heaven and Earth to bless you, the child in whom He delights.

Tribute to My Daughter "The Sock Fashion Expert"

Wow! My daughter actually did a tribute to me!! I think I will do a tribute to her. Here goes :

5 "worst" memories (though i really don't have any)

5. She was the only red headed baby amongst many first nations children in the nursery. She sure stood out with lots of fluffy copper colored hair. She also probably had the strongest sucking reflex of all of them - ouch!!!

4. She decided one day to make it "snow" in her room. She and her brother (probably instigated by her), tore up Styrofoam in tiny pieces and threw it all over her room. We were finding pieces for years to come! Another time, she opened all of her brothers birthday presents when we were outside (luckily he was one and didn't know any better). Oh, and did i tell ya about the time she hid behind the door with the bag of marshmallows right before dinner?!

3. She torments me with her delicious cookies. She may have a secret plan to thwart my weight loss goals!

2. She refuses to be "girly" for me!! She wants cammo and ammo (and other matter of boring boy stuff)!! I can't even get her to wear dresses to church...wahhhh!!!!!!! When I bought her a canope bed for Christmas, she decorated it with cammo colored nets and burlap!!

1. she refuses to be seen with me when I am "Mordic Squashing". I may need therapy for this!!

Top 5 Best Memories

5. She hiked to the neighbors to borrow eggs to surprise me with a birthday cake :-) She is sweet and thoughtful! When I had Moonbeam, she iniated getting me flowers and spent her own money to do it.

4. She is generous and well organized. One day when I didn't have the money to send to our orphanage, she had funds readily available from what she had already raised.

3. She is wayyy tooo smart for her own good!! She is a star student and I can't keep her working in school, because she constantly exceeds my expectations. She does her work days ahead of time. She even helps me with the younger kids school. When she was pre school age, she begged me to teach her to read. After begging and begging, I finally had to do it! By then, she had already memorized her phonics sounds with a phonics machine. She knew it so well, she argued with me over letter sounds!

2. She helps me with the baby often. She can feed, diaper and care for Moonbeam when I need her to - like when I want to go for a walk or whatever, she's there when I need her and very dependable. She was even there for Moonbeams birth. She helps me with Catman too. Though she has been deemed "the nasal passage violator".

1. Though she is ultra virtuous (she takes this as an insult, i don't know why), she is spunky!! She has an independent spirit and confidence about her that I adore!! She's not afraid of offending people with what she believes. She loves God with all her heart and would serve Him whether anybody else in her family did or not!

When she was little, my grandparents asked why she wasn't saying much. She put her hands on her hips and yelled loudly at them "I'm probably shy!!"

Kiana's best remembered foods 1. "Mother Bear Soup", 2. "Taco Pad Soup", 3. "Kiana Cookies"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

MisAdventures of a Pistol Packen Mama

Don't worry, I haven't been involved in any bank robberies, drive by shootings or criminal activity. Its not about that. Its about, well let me explain..............

From the time my husband and I started dating, he strongly encouraged me to carry a gun for my own protection. I was not at all into that idea. Guns scared me, period. Ever since I was a little girl, I heard "never touch a gun". Though secretly I thought it would be fun to look like a spy, just looking at them seemed (and sometimes still seems) creepy. After years of marriage, I began to resent having to carry one. I'd be going off on a walk and he'd want me to carry one along. It was awkward, inconvenient and yes, creepy. What would the neighbors think if they knew I had one??? What if I accidentally shot myself, or worse yet, somebody else??? Every gunshot wound I've ever seen in the ER since age 17 haunted me.
It may have been the time I went off for a walk stuffing my gun into my sweat pants. The neighbor stopped me and started talking to me about mountain lions. Just as I was beginning to carry on a meaningful conversation, the gun slipped out of my sweatpants, fell down my leg and landed on the ground (to both of our horrors). I joked "I guess I don't have to worry about lions carrying one of these". There is no doubt the neighbor probably thought I was a weirdo!!
Another time, I was working a travel job as an Emergency Room Nurse. I walked from a motel in town to the hospital. The motel was a bit run down without the best locks. I slept with my gun under my pillow. I was horrified one day to discover that after I checked out, I had left the gun UNDER MY PILLOW! The owner had gotten to know me by then and found my forgetfulness quite amusing.
I tried jogging with my gun for a while (because my husband insisted). It would bounce around anywhere I put it. I got so tired of metal rubbing on my skin that I wanted to scream!! Yet another time I was picking huckleberries with it and it fell out of my holster. The entire family had to go up to my huck spot and work in a grid like fashion to locate it.
You would think that in all my stupidity I would just give up trying to carry one. It's a creepy feeling, I couldn't keep track of it very well, and I was just never going to demonstrate the finesse of a spy chic!!
All of my family are very pro gun. My kids all learned gun safety from an early age. They target practice regularly and hunt successfully. Every time one takes "Hunters Safety" there is a tradition among themselves that they must score 100%, and so far, they have. My daughter also has spent a significant amount of time encouraging me to carry one. It really wasn't until I started working in that busy ER that I learned to appreciate having one.
I saw drug addicts, alcoholics, criminals, even a murderer. I heard more threats there than I had anywhere else. I also learned more about jail politics. When a person is about to be arrested, he can claim something is wrong with him IE: suicidal thoughts, bum knee, whatever. The cops must bring him in the emergency room. If a hospitalization is involved or expenses that the county does not want to pay for, they let the person off and drop the charges. I've seen this happen many times. I've also seen people in jail released because the jail didn't want the bill. All of these criminals come through the ER to be "cleared" for jail. One time while I was working there, I was even followed out of a restaurant by a man (who was a former patient) insisting that I wasn't married and that he was interested. Enough of all that..... my point is, my husband was right after all these years, carrying a gun was a good idea indeed.
I also have a responsibility to my children to protect them. If I'm going to be outdoors all the time with them hiking, exploring, and having fun, I owe it to them to have a form of protection along with me. We've seen a lot of wild animals. Most of the time they have not been aggressive, but there are times when they can be.
Over the last few years, I've participated more often in target practice with my family. Though I still think guns are kind of creepy, I am a lot more comfortable shooting one, having practiced. I also got this belly holster for Christmas from my mom this year. It's a "Desantis Bellyband Holster". I love it!! It doesn't bounce around, won't fall out of my pants and it doesn't require a pair of jeans with a belt to wear it. After all these years, I finally feel comfortable wearing a gun having this new get up. Its kind of ironic, a few months ago I was hiking several miles from home with the baby in her all terrain stroller. A truck slowed and the window rolled down. It was one of my neighbors. "I hope you are wearing a gun young lady" he drawled. "I am" I smiled. He nodded and after a short conversation drove away. He felt reassured. So did I.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Alien Sprouts May be Attacking My Home (but here are some earthlings)

This lady gave me a link to how she makes sprouts. I found it very interesting. Living far from civilization, its hard for me to keep greens, well green. Here's her link. You need not worry, these are not alien sprouts. Hers come from planet earth.


"Hope for the Best" Hearty Waffles

As many of you may know, I spent an ample amount of time making fun of my own domestic abilities. Every so often, I put up a new recipe involving "dumps" and "hits" of things. I am very rebellious when it comes to recipes and I cannot seem to follow one without some form of deviation. Its a good thing that the recipe police do not come often to this remote place in which I live because if they did, they would find that I think so far out of the box that it will no longer let me back in. They would haul me away on the spot. That said, here is my newest deviation in waffles (for a big family my size).

2 cups Bisquick
2 cups oat flour
1-2 hits of cracked wheat
3/4 cup white bread flour
2 2/3 cups milk
2 eggs
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp baking powder
part of a tsp of salt
a dump of raw honey
2 hits of Saigon Cinnamon
2 dumps real vanilla

Top your waffles with fresh strawberries and real whipped cream.

My 17 year old rarely eats pancakes or waffles and this time he actually did!! Everybody else ate them too. This was a rare but rewarding day :-) Of course he had just spent several hours snow shoeing up a mountain and so he was feeling quite famished.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The End of My Month Long White Sugar Fast

My life has been a combination of home schooling kids, nursing a baby, fitness, work, friendships, relationships and that crazy feeling that everything is mixed up in there leaving me with feelings of a cup running over.............
Last night, by the light of the moon, I became "super boob woman". Really, I just worked a night shift with that ever reminding feeling that somebody small out there was waiting for a meal that could not be delivered until morning.
I've also been cross country skiing. It has felt so heavenly to be out there. The deer are thick behind my house. There is a huge increase in the wolf population here. Something tells me that the deer may be taking refuge in this sparsely populated valley because of them. Today my eldest son found scores of wolf tracks up a nearby mountain. One set of tracks is bigger than his hands! He compared them to the size of grizzly tracks, but they are wolf. He found blood trails from deer after being attacked by the pack.
I have decided to continue my sugar fast for another month. Tomorrow would have been the last day. I have so much more energy. Today Kevin and I hiked a long way in the snow, probably 3-4 miles. The weather is perfect for being outdoors. The snow is packing down, but not too icy. Yesterday I hiked with Moonbeam in the pack carrying cross country skis and then skied down a remote trail with her. Oh it was heavenly. I wish that I could give everybody this new found energy and drive that I am feeling. As much as I love cheesecake and chocolate, I wouldn't trade this feeling for anything I could consume.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I give "Fireproof" a 5 star review!!!! It is a must see for all married people. It is romantic, exciting, entertaining and encouraging. Most movies with action involve killing people. Most romance movies involve adultry or fornication. This one was clean, herioc and displayed what true romance should be. I usually don't buy movies at full price, but this one was worth every penny. It is a must see!!! I double dog dare you to watch!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Very Busy Day

Picture Entitled "Who is This Kid With MY Toy?!"

Today I went over to Hazels for our 3rd weight loss support meeting (now called accountability). We cross country skied with these babies on our backs and got a REALLY good work out. She made a nice luncheon of Venison stew and open faced cheese and onion sandwiches. I brought along a pineapple for Silver bell who is doing "Nutrifast" and can't eat anything with us but fruits and veggies. Unfortunately, Silver bell stood us up but we had fun anyway and the pineapple was good and didn't require any work on my part.
This Evening we threw a private party for my friend Goat girl and her husband whom I will entitle "drummer boy". They have temporary custody of 2 small children which we lavished with huge containers of toys, books, videos, clothes, and everything you might need to stay a while. We put up banners, had dinner and a cake to celebrate their arrival. Being pretty little they were quite pleased with the cake and toys and big tadoo of being in a new place and being the long awaited guests of honor. My favorite thing was the look on their foster parents faces, beaming with pride over the kids that they already have come to deeply adore. I also loved putting fuzzy sleepers on them and feeding them all kinds of good things to eat. Yes, I think I will enjoy this new role as and adoptable aunt!!! My kids liked it an awful lot too.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Proof Sprouts Are Trying to Get Me AND I Am SO Excited I'm An Adoptable Aunt!!

These are real photos!!!! Can you see the Tendrils Reaching out at me??!!! (The Jar of sprouts, not my girl).
You should probably NOT try this at home.... 2 Tbsp of Sprout seeds from the health food store..... A heavy metal screen.... A jar.....soak the seeds for a few hours...... then rinse them a couple of times a day.......don't keep them tilted on something to catch the drips..... don't let them grow.... its like creating a monster in your very own kitchen....aaaahhhhh!!!!!!
I am so excited!! Today i found out my good friend, I'll call her "Goat Girl" is getting some kids!!! She has wanted some for a long time. She and her husband have been working on becoming foster parents for what seems like eons! We have prayed for these kids for years (by faith). I have deemed myself the "adoptable aunt" of these children for however long she has them. I don't know who is more excited...(me or her!).

Sunday, February 8, 2009

W O L V E S expedition

1. stopping for a "uh hem" break. 2. BB gun protection by Karsten 3. Wolf track 4. Arrow protection by Kaleb. (He later told me not to stroke his "eagles" by acting like he was the expert.) He is getting way too smart for his own good!!
Here are some photos of our expedition yesterday. It seems that wolves have been frequenting our little valley in the mountains. Last week our oldest son awoke to hear a nearby dog barking crazily. He could hear wolves howling in the distance.

This past hunting season has been marked by the increase in wolf related kills. Almost everybody has some story about the damage wolves are doing. One man's son was stalked by a wolf. Another shot an elk and by the time he got across the gorge, it had been devoured by the beasts. Many locals are so angry about the problems (including less available deer for harvesting) that they want to take matters into their own hands.
Though we would like to see a season on them (because there are really a lot here), we don't have the "kill them all - let God sort em' out" mentality that many of the locals do. I know better than to mention the "W" word around most people because I will get a new story and an earful.
Yesterday I was hiking on one of my favorite trails. It runs along a ridge between a lake and a river. I got that eerie goose bump feeling when I found fresh wolf tracks in the snow. I won't say what I thought they were at first. I am quite terrible at identifying tracks. In fact, I am embarrassed to say I once ran home because I found fresh unshod Clydesdale tracks from the neighbors horse on the road and mistook the mammoth prints for grizzly. Everybody got a good laugh out of that (at my expense). This time I brought the boys to investigate. These are pictures of their expedition with me. Kaleb diagnosed them as wolf. Later my husband was shown for a second opinion. Yes, the men have determined a wolf has been lurking on this trail.

the elderly woman i want to beat up

photo 1 notice my daughter with an excited look on her face talking on the phone.
photo 2 notice the "men's room" directly beside their table.

Well I did get into the gun and horn show. And as you may have guessed, I stealthily took this photo from underneath a nearby table..... just kidding. I was led through a back door (because I didn't have to pay since they were vendors). I was horrified to find out what horrors lied beyond!!! All kinds of boring guy stuff! Table after pathetic table of EXTRA BORING guy stuff! I have deemed myself as a professional shopper and I was horrified to find that there was not a thing I wanted to buy.
The only table with "girl stuff" on it was what I later found out belonged to a sinister elderly lady. She looked innocent enough eating a miracle bread peanut butter sandwich. She had the only table in the entire place with girl stuff on it. She was directly located across from my husband and son's table which was directly next to the men's bathroom. This pleased them. Not the woman's table, the fact that everybody who went to the bathroom had to go by them. It also emitted an unpleasant odor that they got to sit next to for 3 days. Any how, I viewed this woman's table and didn't see anything I was too interested in. Little did I know, but she was eying my son's beaver pelt from afar.
My curiosity satisfied, after tormenting my family with the "isn't this cute - their first table" pictures, and sitting behind theirs for about 2.5 minutes, I decided it was time for me to run some errands. Little did I know that sweet old miracle bread and peanut butter sandwich lady was about to make a very indecent proposal to one of my men!!!
After I picked them up, they were laughing about this woman trying to get Kevin III (my 17 year old)'s beaver pelt. She tried trading him some pretty rocks. She tried giving him credit for anything on her table. In her final desperation to obtain my son's furry brown beaver pelt, she took out none other than some "vintage" playboy magazines!!!! Had I been there she may have hit the floor with a thud because NOBODY offers my kids pornography and lives to see tomorrow!!!!! In the end he came home with his pelt laughing about the ordeal (and probably my horrified face). He was also grinning pretty big because he made a killing on his antlers.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What I've Been Doing Lately (How Boring)

Hmmmm...... what to blog about today. It's been quite an eventful week. On Tuesday I worked a night shift at the hospital. In the morning, we went out to a nice breakfast. The table was built around an open propane fire pit. It over looked a river. It was very fun and it only cost us about $12.00. Really, we had time to kill because our oldest son was meeting with a college readiness teacher. She was going over some of his work. He's going to be doing that monthly until he finishes the program and gets his GED. Then he will begin Internet college classes. Boring boring boring.
On Thursday, I found out that Kevin and Kevin would get to have a table at a gun and horn show. They were quite excited about this. I was feeling totally excluded. "This is guy stuff" they told me and "no" I couldn't sell some baked goods there, some misc articles and certainly not any sprouts. Karsten was also feeling a little miffed. He tried to sell his brother's binoculars and some of his old fishing lures. Both were rejected by Kevin and Kevin. His other brother was also a bit miffed over the ordeal. Finally, I decided to go shopping in town on the first of their 3 day show table thingy. This worried my husband far more than going along or trying to drum up merchandise to sell.
Karsten had gotten some money from his grandmother for Christmas and he was determined to spend every penny. After selecting 12 items at the dollar store I figured I'd better take him some where else quick! All in all it was a fun day and he came home with a substantial amount of junk along with a new bicycle. Kiana was finally able to get some cookies baked while I was gone.
Today and tomorrow they will have a table at the gun and horn show. I am feeling quite curious about this. The "I Love Lucy" shows I have watched in the past get me imagining all kinds of crazy get ups I could dress up in to check out their table. I could dress up like a mountain man. I could pretend to be an army guy. I could even crawl under other tables with binoculars until I see theirs. Lots of ideas but I'm not sure what I would do with the baby. Perhaps I could come up with a disguise for her too.
Tomorrow I will attend church in the city where the gun and horn show are. Perhaps after the service they will let me come in and see it. I will have to promise not to make a big deal about it being their first table. I will have to promise not to take any pictures. I will also have to avoid displaying my sheer ignorance of these matters while I am there. It sounds like Kevin III has sold a lot of the "sheds" (dead antlers) that he has found in the woods. Wow! People sure buy strange things. He has been quite proud of his finds and is even more excited that he has sold enough to buy some of the guy stuff at the other tables he's been eyeing.
I will keep you posted. I am going to go check out some mountain man attire.........

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Big Old Hissy Fit!!!

As many of you may have feared, we did, indeed have our second "official" weight loss support group meeting today (which we are now calling an "accountability group"). It was hosted at my home. I drove everyone berserk with my incessant need to clean. The children were dumbfounded. They wandered around aimlessly. Kaleb said "It just doesn't feel like home anymore". "I think I will go to my room where it's comfortable" (and messy).
Hazel did, indeed place the 2 TBL spoons of sprout seed into a jar. She placed a sturdy metal screen over the top of the jar for my protection. She claimed that nothing would get out that way when I rinsed it and kept it air drying. I figured it would also prevent the varmints from coming to get me while I am off guard.
I made a whole wheat pizza with bread sticks and spinach salad. I even bought some sprouts for the salad (just for Hazel). She asked me how I liked them. I was busted!!! I had to return my plate to the kitchen to put some on. I told her it reminded me of eating at a health food store. She smiled. Silver bell may have been thinking to herself "get a life! their only sprouts!" but she politely refrained from coming up with such comments. Instead she made up some foolishness about me being a good hostess.
Since they forgot their accountability worksheets, we read a chapter from the book "For Women Only" by Shaunti Feldham, which, by the way, I highly recommend to all women. I even highly higher recommend it to all married women. Its a must along with "For Men Only" by her husband. It would have been a lot easier to concentrate on the meeting at hand had there not been a heard of angry elephants tromping through the dining room every so often. Did I say elephants? I meant children. Hazels 3 girls and my younger boys and baby had a lot of fun together. Just as we'd really get into what we were reading the outlandish gang of outlaws would come with cap guns a flaring chasing one another like hoodlums on the prowl. Screaming, yelling and an array of odd noises would ensue.
We hiked a nice jaunt with babies in back packs since Silver bell forgot her Tai Bo video . I was tempted to bring my poles along but I feared it was not polite to embarrass them on our first athletic outing together. I did work up a good sweat anyway. Just as we were about to climb our hill up back to my house, Kevin drove up with the truck. He had taken the trash to the dump since he had been warned that he wasn't allowed to be around. I was very subtle about it. I told him "Stay in the basement!" Any way, I assumed we would all hitch a ride up the hill. I was terribly disappointed to find out that both women preferred the exercise since, after all, that is what we were supposed to be doing. Humbled, I told Kevin we would not be riding with him after all. I guess going for a hike means you have to do - well that - hike!! Anyway, next week we are going to try cross country skiing at Hazels. I will keep you posted.
I guess you may be wondering about the title. Well I am embarrassed to say that after the spiritually refreshing day, my flesh cropped up!! (It may have been because of the sprouts lurking within). Kiana wanted to make chocolate chip cookies tonight. I am on week 3 of my month long sugar fast. The idea of smelling cookies baking was just too much. I went from 35 to 5 years old and threw a BIG OLD HISSY FIT! She finally decided better of it. She promised to wait till I am out of the house. Heather, I don't want to hear it!!!!! Yes, I know I am supposed to exercise self control. Yes, I know you are waiting for her to mail you some. Yes, I know I'm being ridiculous!!!! Well, now ever body knows about my temper tantrum.

Cat Man Vs "A Bad Guy"

Taken from Kiana's Blog, I decided to post this talented film makers first debut - "Cat Man Vs."A Bad Guy"". I am always amazed at the things that go on in my house under my very nose!!

Proof A Man Can Nerdic Walk!!!!!

Rare footage that a MAN can Nerdic Walk!!!!! I was able to capture this rare finding on video, however the male subject would not allow his face to be shown. He said something about it "looking stupid".

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Weight Loss Support Group Pre-Update

It has been a long time since I updated you all on the progress of my women's weight loss and fitness group. In my November post I dazzled you all with our exciting first meeting. Myself, my friend who I have deemed "Silver bell" and another woman who showed up to visit and really wasn't interested in losing weight at all. Well, our pilgrimage continues. We had Agreed upon January as being our official shopping month. The idea of buying some Valentines lingerie was our original intent (as motivation for weight loss), but as the day approached we unanimously settled on more concealing attire. Christmas took it's toll in even our most dedicated members.
Though we had had intent of eating healthy, a Mexican restaurant called our names and we were found to be gorging on the delicacies within. To make matters worse, my good friend Silver bell offered to buy us Burgers and Fries on the way home. It was almost scandalous! We abandoned the idea that the shopping trip had a weight loss agenda at all.
Not to be discouraged, we gained a new member. I will call her Hazel. She's a very dear friend. Though she has the figure most women would kill for, we have embraced her into our group despite this obvious flaw. She is interested in fitness and God and everything else that our group has to offer (other than weight loss). Hazel, Silver bell and I will be meeting this Thursday to commence progress. Silver bell ordered Jenny Craig this week (God rest her soul). I am over half way through my white sugar fast. I have lost 2 lbs per week thus far. Hazel is planning to teach me the essentials of how to go about constructing "sprouts". This is a good method for fresh food when you are living in as remote a place as we do. The idea frightens me, but I will try to be brave.
Sprouts have been attacking me in my sleep again lately. They curl their evil tendrils around my throat as I snore soundly. The jar starts shaking and they come alive. Oh the horror. Hazel assures me that sprouts are only babies and cannot harm me. I will update you on our progress when the meeting has transpired. I will broach the subject of "Nerdic Walking" but I suspect it may be once again ignored.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The "God" Mission

I'm really coming out of the closet on this one. I hope you won't be too offended. Just like spider man or batman, or maybe a little more like underdog coming out of the phone booth, sometimes God sends me "on a job". I feel a little bit like an FBI agent. A nice undercover mom with 5 kids. A nurse. A Christian. Little does anybody know about my secret identity.
It usually happens when I least expect it. I'm minding my own business trying desperately to behave (though I am not usually successful), I find myself on the uncomfortable conviction of "a mission". Try to imagine spy music about now as you are reading please......
This time it was a woman with 5 kids. She left her husband for "spiritual reasons". The whole mess stunk of foul play. I just felt so grieved over the whole thing I could hardly stand it. To make matters worse, she's an agent too. One I've known for quite some time. Somebody had to do something. As I pondered and prayed over this matter the still small voice of my boss came over the loud speaker. "YOU need to do something". After tossing it around for a few days I knew that to ignore it would be disobedience. Being a good seasoned agent requires obedience, even if you have to put yourself on the line. Finally I caved and called to arrange a meeting.
I didn't give my friends any details, I just asked them to pray for me. Then I spent a night tossing and turning. First I dreamed I was sliding off a cliff. Over and over again as I fell back asleep my car plummeted with Moonbeam and I inside. It was on an all too familiar stretch of road on the way to see this woman. I went to sleep again and dreamed that this time she was chasing me all over with a knife. I couldn't get Moonbeam out in time. She was just insane. After I woke up, I was accosted many times by this otherwise nice lady. Finally I got up to pray. By then I was ready to abort the mission completely. As I prayed that still small voice reminded me that this is what He asked me to do. He told me she loved Him and started out right, but had gotten off the path in this thing. I didn't have any "special lightning bolt word". It was just an assurance from God that I was being obedient.
I went back to sleep and this time I died of natural causes in my 80's. Well, it was getting better anyway. In the morning my husband encouraged me. He gave me some advice on the meeting. Then he drove Moonbeam and I down to our Suburban and blessed me as I drove away.
I want you to know that I didn't drive off a cliff. Nor did the woman chase me down with a knife. She was just a mislead woman stuck in the lifeless mess that her own hands created. She didn't really believe I was an agent sent from God. She was sure that her case was "special". She acted like she didn't have any intention of going back to her husband. She acted like she and her kids were much happier now without him. I felt a wall and maybe a "you sure missed God on this one" though she was very polite. Though I gave the Word I had for her I couldn't help but wonder where I'd went wrong. Then the still small voice reminded me that I couldn't make her choose. I could only be obedient to what He'd given me. Still I felt like I wanted to vomit. How could anybody destroy their home? How could anybody willfully damage their children with such spiritual pride? I don't know. I can't judge her or her situation.
After I left her house I spent some time with a good friend who loves me. We joked and laughed (even though I still thought I might vomit). An old woman who loves to hear me speak in womens meetings saw me in the store. Out of context she told me "your tough - you can take it". I knew it was a word of encouragement. Not long after that I saw her husband. I didn't say anything to him, I just waved. I started to feel very grateful for my life. All the times I thought I had reason to leave, I chose not to. I'm happier than I've ever been in my entire life. The road with God is hard, but it always leads to blessings. I can't say anything else except I know that I know I did what I was supposed to do. When I got home another good friend called to see how I was doing. She told me she had been praying. It felt so good to know that I have friends who love me. I have a husband who supports me. I have a God who trusts me enough to send me on these "missions" and whether I look stupid or I'm "missing it", I know I've been true to the mission and to my boss.
My children were quite pleased that I staked out the grocery store on the way home and did intercept some frozen pizza after the mission was completed. Its not easy being an agent!

Proverbs 14:1The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

What to do about nothing.....

The most nerve racking thing to me is when I'm at work and there is nothing to do. I mean I have to look busy, and I try. I'm good at finding something to do when the boss comes around. Unfortunately sometimes there is just NOTHING to do!! Does anybody hear me? Am I the only one who feels guilty for having nothing to do? One day I did computer in services. The other day I found little things to busy myself with, but still found myself with excess time. To make matters worse, since everybody knew I didn't have anything to do they all hung around me. I mean it's like I'm a social magnet on those days. Somebody finds something to talk to me about. I feel bad enough not working to begin with. Then to add obvious lounging around with co-workers to the equation well its just criminal. I go check on my patients but they are doing the same thing they were 10 min earlier. I pretend to look busy but every body knows I don't have squat to do. They just wait for me and continue on these meaningless conversations. We talk about the weather. We talk about their kids. We talk about how busy we can be at times (though at the moment we're not). We even have the audacity to wish for something to do (though we don't wish ill on anybody). I tell them that I work much harder at home, and many times I do! They just laugh.
One lady has it down to a science. She can sit for hours around me doing nothing. As if by instinct, she points to the plate of apples and peanut butter I have set out for my fellow do nothingers. I pick it up and bring it to the break room. Suddenly she is quite busy and gone all together. I know that I must become busy. An important person walks through looking well, important. "Only two patients" he observes. I nod, "I'm working on my computer skills learning" I smile (trying to look busy). He walks on. I want to scream "None of us are doing squat!!" But I restrain myself. Suddenly the group re assumes its position around me again with incessant chatting. I can't focus on my computer skills. I do them, but with half a brain. The other half is listening to incessant chatting of my coworker friends. I love them all. I love to hear them talk for hours on end. Its a never ending paradox. I feel guilty for being friendly and visiting with them.
What do you in Internet land do when your not busy at work? How do you stay a good worker when there is no work to be done? Am I just square? I want to be a good worker. I just don't always know how to do it.