Sunday, August 31, 2008

Summer Family Update

A peek at our summer:
  • Shortly after arriving home from our late spring vacation to the Midwest, our good friends and former neighbors, the VDs, came back to town to finish packing things up for the sale (finally) of their home. Their oldest daughter stayed at our house almost the whole time. Much fun was had by all - but now they're really gone. *sigh*
  • Dh drove to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in July, to spend a few days with the "clan" during their bi-annual reunion. I bet not many other family reunions include a day of everyone going to the hospital for blood tests and eye exams as part of an on-going, University of Iowa study for Macular Degeneration.
  • We said goodbye to yet more close family friends this summer. Two other families. *another sigh* One of which had left town before we were back from our trip because of an unexpected moving date change. Thankfully, we were blessed with spending a few days together with the other family before their departure: a picnic and hike at a beautiful park outside of town; a wonderful night of group Psalm singing (with some of the songs accompanied beautifully by violins, cello, and oboe) and ice cream socializing; and a 4th of July get-together at our house.
  • Erin's broken arm (from trying out a Ripstick) has healed! We're happy to report that Brady has managed to stay free of broken bones since bringing two boards back from Iowa. He has gone "ripsticking" all over town this summer with his friend, J. They have the honor of starting a Ripsticking trend in our neighborhood.
  • Brady had the opportunity to be with other student designers/artists for a full day of art workshops at the local university.
  • Play rehearsals are in full swing for Erin for Fiddler on the Roof. Please pray for her these next two weeks of final rehearsals and performances. She's doing pretty well, health-wise, so far. She rests up all day until she needs to leave for practice at 6:00 pm. But now the hours get longer and the last week will be seven days straight - not what her body will like.
  • We've been eating lots of farm fresh eggs, vegetables, and a little fruit from the Farmer's Market. One of the farmers grows the best English cucumbers! It's all deliciously yummy. We've also been blessed with farm fresh goat's milk. I make our 24-hour fermented (to take out the lactose and change the casein) yogurt, which we are finally able to handle, with this. And someone gave dh a birthday present of a bunch of precious huckleberries she had picked.
  • Many gorgeous summer days with reading breaks outside watching Peter, a little baby bunny, growing up in our back yard. Sunny, warm, and bug-free outdoor lounging makes up a little for my non-napping ability!
Above photo: Patriarchs and matriarchs of the family (from right to left,) Brent's dad, Dorothy, Norma, Lowell (3 siblings are deceased.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lentil Fest

Kicking off the festivities

Preparing salads to sell
Country band across the bridge
Coloring fun for the kids
This cutie was helping her mom greet people at their booth.
Pretty pink petunias!
Free chili made with lentils (the guy stirring the big pot of chili is standing on a ladder outside of the pot.)

Near the chili line

How you spell a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!
I enhanced this photo, as it was a little dark, because I liked this girl's expression after being lifted up to shoot a basket. Who knows, maybe she'll grow up to be on the college women's basketball team someday and will sign autographs (see the gals below) at a future Lentil Fest.

Can you guess how Pullman got its name?

Erin dressed as "Chava" telling about the upcoming show. Go here for more pictures and a report of the fun Erin had previewing the show that night.

Cheery church friends
Art exhibit: Central Core, Artist Richard C. Elliot. This piece consisted of 51, 32x32, reflective panels - each panel consisting of 1000 bicycle reflectors.
Climbing the cougar.

Looky Looky! I passed this on the way out of town, along with the sounds and sight of the college marching band practicing their turns. Driving home as the sun was setting put a perfect cap on a fun evening.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I needed music today

A few reasons why -
  • Dh was working 9-7 today with no lunch break and not a day off in sight until Tuesday.
  • When Brady moved his computer out of the kitchen and downstairs this summer, he took along our iPod speakers, creating silence where it hadn't been found for awhile (which seemed nice for a time).
  • I way overdid yesterday and while I had a book on tape just waiting to reveal its thickening plot, there was no way I could listen.
  • Oh come one, there doesn't need to be a reason for music.
So I needed refueling while trying to keep up my responsibilities in the kitchen (translate: so the kids and I would have something to eat today.)

Music that kept me going:

A bunch of selections of this season's American Idols' songs. Digression: Yes, I watched American Idol when it reached the final ten this year, for the first time ever. (Our first year with satellite TV, so we could get the channel.) Erin, her friend C who'd come over for the show, and I had a great time cheering and crying and going to YouTube after the show to listen to our favorite performances of the night as the two teens voted. But sadly, we weren't together for the season finale. C was traveling in a foreign country and Erin and I were heading north to stay overnight near the airport to fly to SD the next day. Erin and I calculated what time we'd arrive at the hotel and realized we'd be able to catch the last important hour. So in order to still make it a special night, Erin and I downloaded favorite songs of the season's final 7 Idol performers to listen to in the car during the drive.

Anyway, I re-listened to them all today. Lots of fun. What's cool about many of the songs is that they are ones I grew up listening to, except these very talented contestants made them "their own," which gives the songs a fresh, new sound. For instance, I discovered this season, that I really enjoy Neil Diamond songs if he is not singing them. (Sorry to any fans who are throwing tomatoes right now, this may be a sad fact, but true.) One song that we don't have yet, but need to is the song David Cook sang on his "crowning" moment, "Time of My Life." That is a good "fuel-up" song.

Here's some of our other iPod selections that kept me "keeping on" today:

It's Only Life, Kate Voegele
Hold On, KT Tunstall
Take a Bow, Rihanna I get such a kick out of this song ;)
Fearless, Daechelle
On the Radio, Regina Spektor
Us, Regina Spektor
Viva la Vida, ColdPlay
Violet Hill, ColdPlay
Home, Vanessa Carlton

I would have listened to some Lifehouse, too, but Brady just has their songs on our Dell DJ Ditty (whatever you call it that came free with our laptop).

However, even the fuel from music isn't enough to keep Brent from coming home to some dirty dishes. I still have music to listen to, but my battery has run down and needs a major re-charging.

Stranger than fiction

With the passing of my grandfather a couple of years ago, who was in his 90's, and having another grandfather enter that decade of life last summer, I've desired to know more about what life was like when they were young. I enjoy hearing stories when I'm back to visit, but living so far away means not a lot of visits. Their both being from the town I grew up in makes me even more curious.

I've found that my small town South Dakota newspaper is available on-line ( It isn't a complete archive, at least for my hometown paper (I can find 1915-1949 and then the last few years). The current issues are actually about a month and a half behind, date-wise; but a "new" issue is posted every week.

So I've been reading the 'Years Gone By' column - 75 years ago and 100 years ago- of the recent papers. I've been meaning to post about a shocking something that I learned early this spring about a couple who were raised and married in my hometown that became...ahem, rather famous. (I promise I'll tell give you the scoop soon.) But for today I just had to share this from The Wilmot Enterprise:

July 11, 1908
'South Dakota holds the tornado freak record: A barn in the vicinity of Armour was lifted bodily from its foundation and deposited in a field 50 feet away. Another tornado visited the scene, flirted with the barn and placed it back on the old foundation. It is reported that the only insurance claim that will be allowed is for the loss of two nails and a screw.'

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fun with Scarves

I treated Erin to a shopping spree today. (Summer clearance sales will do that to you.) A couple of her new t-shirts came with scarves. She was having fun with them, so I set my laptop down and grabbed my camera. (Yes, we have a ladder standing in our living room right now, long story.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Western humor

One of the sights we see on our drive to our doctor's office is an old range, with its oven door open, sitting alone in a rancher's pasture. Who knows how long ago it was relinquished of it's kitchen duties to provide an attraction to passers-by; at least nine years (since we've lived here.) A sign on top instructs any confused Easterners with the words "Open Range."

But today when we drove by, the range no longer stood by itself. A herd of goats had surrounded it closely, all of them lying down. The goats blocked the view to the open oven door, but you could still tell they were resting by an old stove top oven. They seemed to be contentedly waiting for their dinner. So cute! We decided the sign should now read, "Home on the Range."

Friday, August 08, 2008

Afflictions work for good,
as they make way for glory (2 Cor. 4:17).
Not that they merit glory, but they prepare for it. As ploughing prepares the earth for a crop, so afflictions prepare and make us meet for glory. The painter lays his gold upon dark colours, so God first lays the dark colours of affliction, and then lays the golden colour of glory. The vessel is first seasoned before the wine is poured into it: the vessels of mercy are first seasoned with affliction, and then the wine of glory is poured in. Thus we see afflictions are not prejudicial, but beneficial, to the saints. We should not so much look at the evil of affliction, as the good; not so much at the dark side of the cloud, as the light. The worst that God does to His children is to whip them to heaven. from All Things for Good by Thomas Watson

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Let me take you on a walk in the woods...

Last Sunday night, I drove to a park about 5 miles out of town. I took a lone, slow walk up a pine trail. Good medicine!