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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Yes, I Am Still Here

Lest you think I have fallen off the face of the earth, I am posting.

Been busy with many things since my last post:
1. organized 20 thanksgiving baskets for those in need in the community
2. organized a benefit soup supper for a gal who lost the entire contents of her home due to a house fire
3. preparing for the holidays (christmas program, etc.) with all that entails.
4. Repainted the bathroom (LOVE IT!)

Still scrapbooking and hope to post some layouts from 2006 that I finished last weekend.

It seems to snow every other day here and the wind is bitter cold. Waiting till tomorrow to see if the Christmas program will go on as planned or if it will be postponed due to the weather.

Off to eat supper, but hope to post later this evening.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weekend Crop

I returned home about an hour ago from a weekend crop that I organized (or at least initiated). A couple friends (Dawn and Vickie) and I brainstormed where we might hold it.

We had three requirements:
1. It had to be free
2. It had to have plenty of table space
3. It had to have good lighting

One of the gals suggested our local extension office. It fits the bill perfectly. We all have a 6 foot table to ourselves . There are 6 overhead lights, so that is great and it's free.

We were able to get in there at 5:00 tonight, about half an hour after the office closed. The office has a kitchenette (refrigerator, microwave and sink) plus a bathroom. There is also a large conference table should we need to spread out more or add room for additional scrappers.

This should fit the bill until we outgrow it with the number of people. I was able to complete 6 pages tonight between 7:00 and 11:15 and plan to spend all day there tomorrow while my sweetheart takes the kids on a trip with him (WHAT A GUY!).

We plan to make this a regular thing, probably on a monthly basis. I, for one, am looking forward to it and maybe, just maybe, I will begin to get caught up with my photos! Not likely, as I know that I have at least doubled my photos taken this year and it is not even over (still have Thanksgiving, birthdays, and Christmas before year end!!!)

So if you would like to join us, let me know and we'll make room for you!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Using A Blog Reader

I normally subscribe to blogs that I like to follow through Bloglines. Then every morning I pull up the feeds and can quickly catch up on everyone.

This morning, it told me there were 1489 new messages. Now I suscribe to way less than 100 blogs, so I knew something must be up. Sure enough, a few of the blogs were showing 200 new messages. When I clicked on them, I realized that it was bringing up blog posts from up to 6 weeks ago. Some may have been older, but I didn't keep looking.

I just hopped on my laptop to check email and see if they had gotten it resolved. The message the Bloglines site was that the site was down temporarily. Hopefully they will be back to their regular "programming" soon.

I knew I was behind on this, but 1489 messages.....I don't think so.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tree House (Well Sort of)

One beautiful fall day the kids disappeared from the house and I didn't see them for several hours, except to come in and grab their lunch bags and water bottles. Later I ventured out and they had to show me their handiwork.

Son exploring the stick pile that is always in existence with so many trees and some much wind around this place. He was starting out on an "adventure".

There are several, very old, very large maple trees on our farmstead. We have one just outside of our house and another one that sits about 200 yards to the east. The kids crawled up in the second one, which is easy to step into and proceeded to put boards in strategic locations for shelving to hold their snacks and water.

They also fashioned a swing with baling twine they found and another board. They probably played out there for 3 hours before it was time to eat and then again at least another 2 after the meal. They had a blast and I was happy to see them being creative and not vegging out in front of the television. We have about 10 more days of nice fall weather before potentially colder temps move into stay, so I am hoping they will have more time to pursue these types of activities.

Notice that the dog got in on the action too!

Who Can Resist This Face?????

Evidently not my husband....

He and my oldest daughter saw the pup on a Wednesday afternoon while moving bales home, but figured it was one of the neighbor's dogs. The next morning my husband drove by there to check our cattle and it had started to rain overnight. Cold, 45 degrees, continuous soaking rain....
and the pup was exactly where it had been the day before.

Hubby brought it home and we moved one of the border collies from the kennel to the garage and put her in there. Then we proceeded to call all the neighbors to see if their dog was missing. No luck there. Most likely she was dropped off in the country because someone could no longer take care of her or afford to keep her. She wasn't injured or sick but extremely hungry.

On Friday I thought hubby was going to take it to the Humane Society as he was going to the city where it is located and he called me to see if I had found anyone that could take it. When I told him no, he said I can't take her. I assumed he meant that the Humane Society was full and taking no more animals. He didn't respond.....

I asked, "You fell for her, didn't you?" YEP!! Couldn't do it.

She has turned out to be quite a nice dog and now that she is not starving, she has a really nice personality and even takes herself for a "walk" by picking up the end of her leash and carries it around in her mouth.

She appears to be a 9-12 month old pup of beagle cross possibly. Need to do some online searching to figure that out. Right now, DH still hasn't given her a name, so until such time that he does pick a name for her, she will be referred to as "dog to be named later" or DTBNL.

Any name suggestions are appreciated and I will pass them along to hubby (if I like them....LOL!)

Edited to add: I think she might be a Jackabee (cross between a Jack Russell Terrier and a Beagle). If anyone can help us figure out her breed, that would be great!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dangers of HPV Vaccines


No matter what side of the Gardasil debate you are on, at least read this article. It may be disguised as an anti-fertility or infertility vaccine.

The information listed supports the notion that the chances of developing cervical cancer are relatively minimal compared to the risks from getting this vaccine.

Please read this information and make a better-informed decision for your daughters.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

King's Pointe Waterpark

Sorry, I can't get the writing to move up above the photos and I am too tired to move them all, so you can scroll down to see what we were doing, okay?

We were given 5 free passes to King's Pointe Waterpark last spring. They expired the 31st of August and we were so busy this summer that they nearly went unused. Then a friend and her grandchildren, whom we had tried to go to the waterpark with earlier this summer, got in touch with me and we went a few days before the end of the summer. Another friend, who is a neighbor of hers came with her kids as well.

We had lots of fun. Here are just a few photos of our fun. It went too quickly. Perhaps in dead of winter, we will have to go to the indoor waterpark.

Wyoming on Horseback!!

After a delicious breakfast skillet of sausage, potatoes and scrambled eggs with Green Chili Mix, we are ready to head out to move cattle into higher pastures. We were short a few horses for all of us, so a couple of our kids doubled up with a couple of us or with Ranchwife's kids. A few minutes after this photo was taken, Middle Cowgirl's horse scared up a rattlesnake about 6 feet in front of me. DIDN'T LIKE THAT MUCH! Hate Rattlesnakes! It was scared and went into a hole. Thank goodness!
After we moved through the meadows, we pushed some of the pairs of cattle up over a saddle into a higher pasture. I was thankful for surefooted ranch horses to handle the things that I am not experienced at (on horseback).

A view of one of the higher parts of the ranch.
Oldest daughter with Littlelest Cowgirl
Son and Youngest Daughter

Once again after riding for 3 hours or so, the kids decided to cool off by making their diversion again and splashing up a storm.

Once the work was done, we started a campfire and the kids enjoyed hot dogs.

The adults enjoyed adults beverages and a couple of grassfed steaks (cooked to perfection by the Rancher, aided by a flashlight to test for doneness). We finished off the evening with campfire smores for all. That was a great way to end our all-to-quickly-over visit to our dear friends in Wyoming.

Hope you enjoyed our quick pictorial essay of the trip to Wyoming. I can't wait to get the photos into a scrapbook so I can enjoy them again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More Wyoming Photos

The kids built an irrigation diversion tarp near the bridge you saw in my previous post (the bridge with all the kids on it) and flooded a rather large area to play in. They ran through it, rode bikes through it, played on a makeshift teeter-totter in it and splashed a lot! Great cheap fun. They did this at least 3 times while we were there.

Son enjoying the border collie. This is his idea of a great day!!

Younger daughter with biggest cowgirl, exploring the hayloft of the horsebarn!

Our family on the overlook near the canyon.

Ranchwife's family at the overlook!

The one part of the trip that we could have done with out. But we overcame our fear and distaste for rattlesnakes co-existing with us and took a horseback ride into the mountains the next day to help Rancher and Ranchwife move some cattle to other pastures.

Wyoming Trip

So that Ranchwife won't disown me, as I promised her that I would post these to my blog, without further adue (sp?), I am finally posting some photos from early August and our trip to visit them at their 7,000 acre ranch in Wyoming.

Shot going through the Sandhills of Nebraska, nearing the Pine Ridge.

We made it to Wyoming. After taking this picture we turned around and shot one of the Nebraska sign, so we didn't have to stop on the way back.

The guys starting the morning, visiting over a cup of Joe on the deck.

All of the munchkins (well almost all of them). There were our three, Ranchwife's three and four of the our friend's six. They range in age from 3-11 here. The under 1 year old and the other 11 year old weren't present for the picture. That's a lot of kids, but they sure had fun. My son enjoyed having more boys around and our friend's only girl sure enjoyed having more girls around.

Rancher and my hubby brought in two cows that had recently calved and so our kids got in on a little branding (something that we don't have to do where we live). We had to laugh as we asked our oldest daughter "Are you ready?" She responded, "Yes!" and we asked asked again, "Are you ready?" and she said yes. Then Ranchwife started branding and the calf started moving......She wasn't quite ready for that...... but it gave all of us grownups a good laugh anyway.

Look for more photos in upcoming posts.

Wedding Photos

My handsome cousin married his beautiful bride this past July and computer problems and a busy life got in the way of me posting a few photos. I cut cake and the girls were waitresses. It is amazing how fast my kids are growing up. Just had to get a photo of all of us dressed up for the wedding.

My youngest sister and her daughter. She was about 3 weeks shy of turning 2 years old at the date of this picture. She didn't really make it up the aisle, but she was sure cute. She was cutting a rug at the dance, but I haven't figured out how to upload videos to my blog yet. It is probably easy but I haven't taken the time to figure it out.

Wanted to add that I never did get a good picture of the bride and groom, otherwise I would have posted one.

Color Combo Generator


This is a neat site that I ran across. You can input either Stampin' Up! colors or Close To My Heart colors and it will generate color combinations for you to use. Since I have a ton of leftover Stampin' Up cardstock and have recently been purchasing CTMH kits and coordinating cardstock, this has been great for coming up with color combinations to use on pages.

At the last retreat I went to, I completed 32 pages, many of them double page spread and lots of them using the books put out by CTMH (Cherish and Imagine). They also have out another one called Reflections. While the books are pricey, I was able to get them at Michaels with a 40 percent off coupon, making them less than $20 each.

Hope you enjoy this neat website.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Found the Acura Commercial - Re: Grassfed

I wanted to see the commercial that I happened to catch on TV last night, that referred to a grassfed steak. A google search turned up this link to a blog called Mel's Diner:


The Youtube video is embedded in it.

It is good to see grassfed getting some well deserved respect in the mainstream media. Grassfed meat is healthier, safer and a more sustainable model for meat production. For additional information, including studies and sources to purchase grassfed beef or other grassfed meats and products, go to www.eatwild.com

Way to go, Acura marketing team!!!!!

Traditional Foods Website

After posting the crockpot recipe blog, I realized that I haven't posted the other interesting site that I found. The author posts her menu plans, along with recipes and how to's on cooking techniques including: soaking grains, making kombucha, making yogurt, etc.

So if you try to follow, or want to follow the principles in the Nourishing Traditions, you might want to give this website a look:


Some of her posts are tutorials with pictures taking techniques step by step.

Enjoy and please share some of the sites that you have found helpful in cooking using traditional techniques and recipes.

Crockpot Recipes

Through a series of links (that I can't even remember how I followed, so I can't just tell you), I came across this blog:


The premise of her blog is a challenge to herself to use her crockpot(s) each and every day of the year. She has tons of recipes and I can't wait to try and use some of them. It is for all recipe categories, not just casseroles or other meat dishes.

Check it out and save yourself some time in the kitchen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Grassfed in a Car Commercial

I was sitting here on my livingroom floor surfing the net, reading blogs etc., when I hear a car commercial come on. I didn't catch it all but it was talking about having a choice grassfed steak and going to a concert. I will have to catch it again to see exactly what was said.

I was surprised to hear it in a commercial that wasn't selling or promoting grassfed. The commercial was from Acura.

It looks like grassfed beef is becoming more well known and is mainstream enough that marketing gurus realize that is the "in thing" (something that I have known for a while now, since we raise and market it). Just like organics, grassfeds' time has come (or returned, if you look back through the last 100 years or so)!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Well It's Finally in My Hands!!!

Yes, that is right folks. The wait is finally over.....my laptop has arrived, plagued by hurricane related shipping delays. It took me all of five minutes in the store to get it picked up, with the company having transferred my data to the new one last evening.

I have been downloading some of the free programs I was previously using for antivirus, personalizing my google homepage with all those neat addons so mapquest, Fox News, Google Earth and others are at my fingertips.

I already uploaded a bunch of digital pics to Walmart to get printed and tomorrow will install printer drivers so I can begin printing off lapbook pages for our Apologia Zoology 2 book. Can't wait to try it out for DVDs etc.

If you have been following my blog this summer, its been digital camera, printer, laptop and now cell phone issues (yes,that too!!!). Can't wait till that one is resolved.

Will begin posting some of the hundreds of photos I have taken this summer as soon as I can locate them.

Changes in Behavior with Changes in School Lunches


An article on an experiment that I had heard of previously, but this article provides additional updated information on the experiment.

Good reading.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Latest Addition to my Bookshelf

Yesterday I received my latest book through Paperback Swap. I have received a lot of books I have wanted and am thankful that Wendi told me about it.

My latest book is by Gene Edward Veith, Jr. The title is God At Work, but subtitled Your Christian Vocation in All of Life. I have heard great reviews from various members of my homeschooling list and can't wait to read it.

What is your latest addition to your bookshelf? We can all use great suggestions for that next book. Let's get the list started here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

At Least Now I Know......

Which is to say, that I took my laptop into the shop last Tuesday and today, they were finally able to get to it (busy place, but good shop, so I completely understand). The verdict is that the hard drive has several sectors that are going bad. It has a small hard drive (only 20 gig), so to increase that and fix the other problems (various), would be a minimum of more money than I paid for it used.

So I am waiting to hear back from them on a couple used laptops that they just got in (and haven't been priced yet) and some new ones that they have there. Would love to have some input from those of you who know computers as to what I would want to get at a minimum (particularly if I am going with used to save some $$).....brands, hard drive, memory.

I use it to blog, moderate an email list, am on several email lists, store digital pictures and hope to someday do some digital scrapbooking......

What would you get (on a budget of course)????

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Technology Woes!

Since returning from our quick vacation trip to Wyoming, I've run into a bit of snaffoo. My laptop doesn't have enough space to even start up, so it is going into the shop Tuesday. Hence my laptop doesn't have enough room to let me get my pictures off of the camera. I am going to try to download them to desktop, which I got working again and then perhaps I can post from here. I can't believe that this 9 year old desktop has more space on it than the couple year old laptop, so perhaps there is undetected spyware doing something. I just hope we can get stuff off before I lose anything.

Will post pictures if I get them downloaded.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back in the Blogosphere!

I think things may have quieted down a little around here. We managed to get away to Wyoming for a quick visit to our friend's beautiful ranch and returned last evening. I haven't posted any photos since at least the 4th of July and I have some so will need to catch up on activities around here. Last time I downloaded photos, my laptop wouldn't hold them, so we are using the cards and putting them on hubby's laptop. I will put them on a flash drive and then post from there.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, playing in the mountain stream, horseback riding on part of the 7,000 acres, and a campfire to finish the evening, completely with hot dogs for the kids, grassfed steak for the adults and smore to cap it off. Pictures to follow.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My WOOHOO Post!!

I am happy to report that I now have a working printer!!!! The replacement printer arrived from Kodak quickly, but I haven't had the time until tonight to set it up. It didn't take very long and worked like a charm!!

I printed a few copies of price lists that need to be sent out tomorrow or the next day. I was able to scan and then copy, print from my laptop and tomorrow I will connect to the phone lines and then try to fax from it. I also want to try out the photo printer option. I did print the calibration sheet that you need to do when you set up the printer.

The only remaining problems are to figure out how to situate the printer so that the printed pages don't fall on the floor when they are completed, how to situate the printer on one desk so that I can print from my laptop on the other desk and keep everything straight that I need to print, repackage and return to Kodak. But that will have to wait until tomorrow. I am too tired right now and must get some sleep! Though I am tired, I am doing the HAPPY DANCE!!

Dawn, where is your woohoo post? Are you still painting???????

Friday, July 11, 2008

Warm Weather Update

I am happy to report that although today is supposed to be the warmest one yet this summer, we have been blessed with southerly winds that are helping. It doesn't seem as muggy with with warm (not hot) winds. The cattle are now in a paddock with shade which helps. The fans are keeping the chicks and turkeys cool till we can get them to their more permanent home this weekend (hopefully).

I have been checking on everything every couple of hours and eveyone seems to be content and doing well. The kids are staying cool by playing in the pool this afternoon (2nd time today). I love to hear them squeal and giggle playing in the water. I need to do a little more house cleaning. I'm very thankful for air conditioning today, especially since 9 days ago it wasn't working.

Stay cool! I am looking forward to the cool front that is moving in this evening. The weather for the weekend looks much more comfortable.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Nutritional Merits of Organic Food

While I have believed what this article is saying for many years, it is nice to see that journalists are starting to see the research and other articles that bear out the merits of eating organic food, for the sake of improved nutrition.

Of course, there are always those who say that eating organically is too expensive. My answer to that, is you can pay it now or having higher health care costs. Our medical expenses are virtually nill since we went to a traditional (still working on moving farther on that continuum) and organic diet. We do routine chiropractic care and other natural things, like homeopathy, but as far as going to see a doctor, that is a pretty rare occurence.

Enjoy reading: Organic Foods Really Are Better

Some Cool Chicks.....

How's that for a catchy title?

With tomorrow's temp forecast for 90 and Friday for 93, with high humidity, I decided to put a box fan in to give air movement and keep them cool, while still protecting them from the cats.

As soon as we are done eating supper, I will put it up and then we will have some cool chicks!!!!


While DH is gone, I am in charge of all the chores for 4 days, which isn't difficult itself. He has things set up well for me, so all I have to do is open a gate and the cattle pretty much move themselves to the next paddock. I just need to make sure that the calves follow their mamas into the new paddock or stay relatively close, so they can find her. With only one hot wire, the little guys can walk under the wire and find her as long as their nose works...

We are also brooding turkeys and chicks (for broilers). Since we were out of chicken, we needed to start brooding them earlier this year than we had hoped. Turkeys you pretty much get when they are all hatched because they take several months to mature to the proper size. So we ended up with both sets coming a week apart. Our plan to brood them in the same location went out the window.

The barn cats (ie. resident rodent catchers for the farm) quickly decided that the chicks were an easy lunch, so we proceeded to tighten up security for the chicks (ie. blocking all access in and out of the trailer they are in, with both hardware cloth and then a tarp to keep the rain out (and partially for additional protection from the cats. The first couple of weeks, it was decent weather during the day with cool nights (60s). If you have brooded chicks before you know that you have to keep them warm for the first couple of weeks. As they gain weight, add more feathers, etc. you don't need to heat it anymore.

Hubby is gone for training for a few days or we may have put them out, but time constraints and their size (plus the weather before he left) prevented us from moving them. This week the weather has turned incredibly warm and extremely humid. I am now trying to figure out how to keep them both:
1. cool enough so we don't lose them to heat
2. secure enough so that we don't lose them to cats (for lunch).

Always fun! I keep lots of fresh cool water in front of them and hope that tonight, MIL and I will be able to come up with something that accomplishes both objectives. One idea was to move their location to a shadier spot. What had shade at 11:00 a.m., didn't have any by 2:00 so moving really wouldn't have helped for more than an hour maybe. I will just keep a close eye on them through the afternoon and pray for some cooler weather.

Chores aren't hard, it is just coming up with solutions to the challenges that come up (when your in charge and hubby isn't here to bounce an idea off of).

Monday, July 7, 2008

I Had Forgotten....

How muggy it could feel! The last couple of days have been nearly unbearable with humidity. Thankfully we had a cold front move through and it is supposed to cool down for most of the rest of the week. DH is off to Nebraska for 4 days of Holistic Management Training (leaving this evening), so I helped him get packed and out the door.

Will be moving the cattle, though sweet DH set all the fence for me, so it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes to get it all done. Then we have the brooding turkeys and chicks to take care of.

The summer is flying by, so with nothing much else on the calendar but the chores for the rest of the week, I am hoping to get at some things I wanted to do this summer (before it is over).

1. Cleaning up and reorganizing the school area in the unfinished basement
2. Prep work for painting DS's bedroom and the main living areas of the main floor
3. Work on some scrap booking
4. General decluttering. I got started and haven't made it through everything I have wanted to.

May not get to all of that this week, but at least there is a goal, right? Now that my air is fixed, I am hoping to work hard at these amongst chores and mowing/yard work.

The Saga Continues.........

So time got away from me. What with houseguests coming, not one but two houses to be cleaned and an unexpected delivery to Omaha on Thursday, by the time 4th of July rolled around, I was more into taking pictures and creating memories than trying to get them printed.

We attended the Battle Creek 4th of July parade in the morning, had lunch and then worked with the horses in the round pen before doing chores and grilling hotdogs and brats for supper. When we were thoroughly stuffed, we popped popcorn to take to the fireworks. Thankfully, we only drove 5 miles.

So today (Monday the 7th) I finally got back to trying out the new printhead that Kodak sent me for the printer. I installed it and lo and behold, we still have the same problem. It seems the mechanism that pushes the paper up to the rollers is not feeding it, so I am now waiting for Kodak to send me a brand new printer. If this one doesn't work, I am not going to be a happy camper!!!

If I ever print again, I will be elated!!!! I look at it this way, at least I am saving on printer cartridges!!!!!!!!! It seems a lot of things don't need to be printed afterall!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It's here!

Happy to say that my new printhead arrived today (and didn't need a signature for delivery), so not sure why they called. Been busy all day, but now that the kids are in bed, I plan to install it. Will let you know if it works or not.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Woohoo! It'll Be Here Soon!

Received word that the replacement printhead for my brand new Kodak printer will be arriving tomorrow. Can't wait to start using it. I am especially excited that I will be able to print photos at home. I won't use it for all my photos but for quick projects, and kids stuff it will be perfect.

I am getting ready to create some pages with some of the scrapbook kits I have so may try out the photo feature for that. Hope this new part is the solution to the problem.. I was really bummed to have a brand-new out of the box printer that didn't work.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Is It Just Me or What?

I love new technology as much as the next guy, but I hate having to fight with new items. In the last two weeks, we upgraded our digital camera from a Kodak DX3900 to a Kodak Easy Share Z1012 IS Since I got a laptop, I have been unable to get the laptop to talk to the printer (a Lexmark Z35 that I purchased at Target on clearance for $38.00 3-4 years ago.

Last night my hubby and I went out for our anniversary to Olive Garden and had some time before the movie, so we went next door to the Best Buy store to look at a printer that would both talk to my laptop and his Macbook (and work with our wireless network). We looked at a couple models from HP, Epson and one from Kodak. We decided to purchase the Kodak Easy Share 5500 All In One printer , that will print, copy, scan, fax and print photos. The price was right, the ink cartridges are the most reasonable I have seen, which made me excited to get it set up today.

I followed the set-up instructions exactly and keep getting a paper jam error, however there was no paper jamming the machine. I followed trouble-shooting in the set-up manual. I followed the online guided troubleshooting. Nothing!!! ARGH!!! On a whim, I called Kodak, thinking that on a Saturday night they wouldn't be there! However, they were! We were that much closer to resolution (tried all that she suggested to) and now am waiting for a new printhead to be delivered. I pray that solves the problem.

This is in addition to ordering my Kodak camera online from Kodak. Receiving promptly, I was excited about using it. I took about 100 pictures over the next week or so. The battery was going after shooting a bunch of video, so I grabbed the camera dock that I ordered with it (the one that was recommended when I purchased the camera). Instructions stated to remove the non rechargeable battery and replace it with the rechargeable that was in the camera dock box. Except ((!!!!)) that it wouldn't fit in the camera. Call tech support! That battery was packaged with that dock before this camera was made and is not compatible with the new camera. So, I had to buy a new battery. Charger works, camera works! Yeah, just my wallet is lighter.

At least with the printer, they are sending the replacement part and I don't have to buy it..I pray it solves the problem. I have always been happy with Kodak, so I hope they don't fail me now. Will keep you posted......... I'm beginning to think that it is a conspiracy against me (but I suppose that comes to mind since we are watching National Treasure right now :) )

For the record, when I was looking for the links to these, I was surprised at the listed prices. We got these items on sale at significantly less than they are listed. $50 less on the camera and $80 less on the printer (maybe that is my problem............hope not!)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I Bet No One Else has this Problem......

Although I don't have any pictures because I can't get the rechargeable battery to fit in my new camera, I just had to write.

My youngest got slip and slide from Grandma a few weeks ago. It got initiated on Friday when they had friends out and they had a blast. I took photos and even video , but now the battery is dead!

The kids wanted the pool up, but I wanted to mow one more time (tomorrow), so I suggested they get out the slip and slide. I hear them playing and giggling and having a great time. I walked over to see and I see my oldest leading our milk cow away. We have a milk cow and we stake her in various places over the acre that our house sits on. Seems she saw that there was water available to her and decided to come get some.

Only on our place, would the kids have that problem!!!! OY!!



Angie tagged me and I thought this would be a good way to get blogging again. I tend to go in spurts. I am trying to rearrange and declutter, so blogging hasn't been at the top of my list lately.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

Then years ago I was 3 months pregnant with my youngest and had two 18 months olds. You could say I was up to my eyeballs in diapers, toys, etc. I look back now and wonder how I survived on so little sleep and I thank God that he gave me an understanding husband who helped out with cooking and laundry between working, commuting and farm work. I am very blessed!

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

  • help Tom put a cover on the silage wagon so it is ready to go this afternoon
  • continue with the laundry that has been piling up
  • finish sorting and putting away scrapbooking/craft supplies in the computer desk my sister gave me (finally a dedicated space for scrapbooking
  • cleaning and decluttering my bedroom
  • sort/file/purge and shred papers in my office

3. Snacks I enjoy:

Pretty much anything chocolate, but that is obvious from my blog title. Ice cream is always good. Love tortilla chips with guacamole and also with Frontera Mango Peach salsa....MMM!

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
  • Pay off debt
  • Donate to the church and other charities
  • Help out our family and friends
  • replace flooring throughout the house (it is in dire need)
  • Finally finish the rest of the basement..........

5. Places I have lived:

  • Bloomfield, NE
  • Wayne, NE
  • South Sioux City, NE
  • Cushing, IA
  • Holstein, IA

6. Jobs I have had:

  • waitress in high school
  • checker at Kmart
  • babysitter some summers
  • Dale Electronics
  • Bank Examiner
  • Compliance Officer of a local bank
  • we are now self-employed ranchers, running a meat business and a consulting practice
  • Homeschool Mom

7. 6 Peeps I would like to know more about (in no particular order)

  • Suzanne
  • Kathleen
  • Kim
  • Jamie

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Cool New Feature on Blogger

Perhaps you have already seen this, but in case you haven't, I thought I would share. There is now the capability for you to schedule posts.

Sheduling Blog Posts

I tend to do lots of blog posts in a short time and then don't do any for quite a while, so this will be very helpful to me in providing some consistency to my blogging. People get tired of checking your blog after about a week and some don't come back.

The other idea I had was to make a rough schedule of categories to blog on during the week: ie.
homeschooling, scrapbooking, ranching, kids projects, fun finds, etc. Perhaps I will work on that idea once the kids go to bed tonight.

Hope you find this helpful (well, if you use blogger and not typepad, wordpress, etc.)

New Desk and Chair ????

Every Homeschooler Needs a Cool Desk and Chair

This came in a homeschool newsletter, the Homeschool Buyers Coop
I haven't purchased anything through them, but I do know people who have. They do group buys and negotiate great deals. They had a huge discount on microscopes last year. I will use them in the future, just hadn't had a need to yet.

Anyway, I thought you might enjoy a good laugh.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Spring Voice Recital

It has been a month and I am finally getting things posted from the kids' voice recital. I don't have very good pictures of the kids actually singing (though the video is much better), so I am posting a picture of their teacher Jodi. The girls sang two duets and in between they sang a song with my son. Each had a solo verse in one of the songs.

We started voice lessons in January and because of bad weather and the distance to lessons, it was the end of January before we got started. The recital was at the end of April and I am finally getting around to posting. How pathetic is that?

We are taking the summer off but plan to start up again this fall. Jodi is a wonderful teacher and is not only teaching them inflection, but reading notes, etc. We are looking forward to starting up again this fall.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What Kind of Shoes Are You?

You Are Cowboy Boots

This doesn't mean you're country, just funky.

You've got a ton of attitude and confidence.

You're unique, expressive, and even a little bit wacky.

You wear whatever you feel like รข€“ and you have your own sense of style.

You are straight shooting and honest. You tell people how it is.

Low maintenance and free wheeling, you're always up for an adventure.

You should live: Where you can at least get to wide open spaces

You should work: In a job that allows you to take change

What Kind of Shoe Are You?

I guess this was right on! I just unlaced my Ariat Roper Cowboy Boots in the last hour and spend the entire weekend at an equestrian event. What do you know? These things are accurate!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Over the past several months, we have slowly added to our herd of horses. My youngest daughter purchased her Palomino mare last September. Her name is Lightning, a registered Quarter Horse mare and she'll be going to the trainer to get broken this coming Monday.

Next came, Sam, a sorrel gelding, with 4 white stockings, for my husband. He is also a registered Quarter Horse.

Next we added Malibu (an unregistered Apaloosa) for me.

Then came Honey, a registered Quarter horse, who is a sorrel mare with 2 white stockings for my son.

And last but not least we added Paisley, a registered Quarter Horse mare who is black with a white star on her forehead for my oldest daughter.

Horses are really cheap right now due to high feed costs and the pinch of higher fuel costs has caused many people to rethink having a horse around that isn't earning it's keep. We have lots of grass on our farm (no grain crops), so that isn't as much of an issue for us. My husband put it in perspective like this: We bought 5 horses for less than the price of a new 4 wheeler.

With our grazing operation a 4 wheeler is invaluable around here, with moving cattle every day. However, only one person(or with a rider) can use the 4 wheeler. We'll be able to use all the horses and everyone will be on horseback to get the job done, instead of 4 of the 5 of us on foot. Sometimes on foot isn't fast enough..... Granted we only have 400 acres and not thousands of acres on this place, where horses would be an absolute necessity.

Hope you enjoy meeting the newest members of our place. Look for pictures of our new round pen next week. We hope to have it finished this weekend.

Tree Planting Adventures

A few weeks ago, almost a month now, we planted about 300 trees for a new windbreak on the east side of our place. It was the one direction where the farmstead was not well protected from wind and other nasty weather. Our last snowstorm (not very long ago) was fierce and from the east. And it was not fit for man nor beast with that cold wet wind from the east.

While we won't receive the full benefit of this windbreak for many years to come, the trees and windbreaks we planted before we had kids (1994- 1996) have grown considerably and provide great protection. We planted a variety of trees, some smaller and quick growing (redozier dogwoods and gray dogwoods) and some larger, slower-growing (white spruce and black hills spruce, and walnut).

The challenge has been keeping the cattle and sheep out of them, as we haven't yet been able to get a secure fence around them. That is complicated by the fact that we have steel fencing and yards being installed, so all the old yards/fencing have been pulled out. So if anything gets out, there isn't much to stopping them. This usually happens when I am home alone with the kids (like yesterday). Thankfully we got cattle in easily and put up some gates (where they were going to go anyway). I look forward to seeing this windbreak 10-15 years down the road. We have plans to plant more windbreaks next year and in a few other areas on the 400 acres as well.

Techno-savvy kids......

Given that most of us over age 35 need our children to help program VCRs etc., I am not amazed at what young kids can do with technology (build webpages, upload photos, etc.). I like to read the following blog, as she has great scrapbook projects that she posts. This cartoon just tickled my funny bone and thought you too, might appreciate it.

Just a Minute of My Time

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Door Prize Gift Album

I have been very busy lately. Haven't gotten much scrapping done for myself, but managed to make a couple of gifts lately. The one I made yesterday only took about 1 1/2 hours.

I made it a 4 x 5 inch album that was wirebound. I decided to wallpaper the top part and then leave room for journalling on the bottom part. I went with something generic as I wasn't sure who would receive it. As it was, it went to a gal that I know pretty well and she was happy to receive it. She was concerned that it was paper and stickers and that she had to put it together and make it look pretty. She was relieved to find out that it was completed for her, except adding her own photos and journalling. She said that she had a few gals come over to look at it and one offered to trade door prize gifts with her. So perhaps I could sell some of these online.

These should be rotated a 1/4 turn to the left so you can see how the pages flip up. This is a sample of the pages in the album. Let me know what you think.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thinking of Next Year Already....

Not next calendar year, but next school year. Generally I have made out my curriculum order and placed it in April. Life has gotten increasingly busy for us over the last year, with the addition of DH's consulting business and the growth of our direct marketing and his speaking engagements. Consequently I haven't done it yet.

As we are finishing up various subjects for this year we are looking ahead to next year. Some publishers we will continue on with at the next level. Some subjects, we have decided to try a new curriculum to give us some variation. I am not one to change every year. Generally we go with a publisher for at least 2-3 years. For example Spelling: we started with a Reason for Spelling. While I liked it for the 2 years we used it, it was expensive. Then we used Rod and Staff Spelling. Inexpensive, simple, got the job done. We used it for 3 years. But we didn't feel it was challenging us beyond the spelling lists. We plan to try Sequential Spelling for the next year. It is not laid out like the previous ones and I believe, will transfer to over to words not on the list.

I plan to spend some more time this week getting my curriculum list made and decide which things I want to look at when I attend our state homeschool conference in 2 weeks. Somethings I will order for sure, others I want to get my hands on to decide and compare side by side.

I have determined that with our busy schedules and the amount of time we spend in the vehicle, we could be spending some of that time learning. I plant to buy Story of the World 3 on Audio CD. We already have I Can Do All Things for our art curriculum on DVD. While we won't be able to do the art projects in the car, the drawing and marker portions can be done at our destination or during our in hotel time. I am also looking at math drill and spelling drill CDs to be used on the laptop when we are on the road. This should help us to make better use of our time in the vehicle and not put us behind in our schooling.

What changes do you plan to make with your homeschooling for next year? Who knows, you might give me a great idea I can use.....

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Dessert to Die For..........

I know I have been missing in action. Had a computer issue, but got that figured out. Was on a little vacation and still trying to catch up from that. Kids' recital tomorrow. Picking up Morgan's horse on Sunday. Art workshop Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Then I will upload some photos of what is all going on here...

And now on to the aforementioned post. A friend forwarded me this link and I drooled right on the keyboard. Will be making this tomorrow evening for sure. We'll call it a belated birthday cake for me..


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Breathtaking Easter Photos

I can't seem to find my camera software to load on the laptop, but I was daring today and just hooked the USB port into my laptop. Lo and behold, the computer could recognize the camera and the camera dock (thanks Kodak) and I was able to download them onto Adobe photoshop album to use.

I won't have time today for much but I simply must post these pictures that I stopped and snapped on our way to Easter services Sunday morning. I have never seen anything so beautiful.

When I figure out how to rotate the other photo in my software I will be posting it. The center shows the strong golden light coming straight down. It was breathtaking and I am so glad as I pondered whether to grab the camera on the way out the door (didn't really have a need to as I didn't plan to take any pictures at church), that I did bring it. I used it when we got to the bottom of our lane and turned onto the county road to head to church.

Hope you enjoy it. I know I will be making a special scrapbook page for it....

Friday, March 21, 2008

Gotta Love Maxine

This pretty much sums it up for me...... Have a great day!