Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Consequences Of Today...

The Consequences of today are smaller today than the consequences of tomorrow.

That is one of my husband's favorite sayings and it is so true.  Yesterday, my boys got to experience that first hand.   At the base of Rattlesnake Hill some large boulders have created a fort like structure.  The boys asked if they could go up there to play and I let them.  They took my cell phone and knew that they had to be back home by 5pm for dinner.  At five they came home on time but with something extra in their hands.  Apparently they were throwing sticks around and in the direction of the road.  A motorist felt threatened by them and called the police on the boys.  A deputy came by and talked to the boys about the danger at throwing things towards the road and wrote them a warning citation. Needless to say they won't be doing that again.  

To be honest, I am glad this happened.  My boys learned a huge lesson with minor consequences.  They learned to think about what they are doing and how they affect others.  They learned that even when they are not under the supervision of mom and dad that they are still expected to abide by the rules of society and they are going to be held accountable.  
Todd told me I should frame their warnings but I think I will just slip them into their scrapbooks.  A nice reminder of how we need to behave properly in public and keep everyone's safety in mind.


Speaking of Consequences ... our renter is facing the consequences of her own actions.  She has not paid rent this month and was placed on eviction notice.  However, before they could serve her eviction papers she has decided to move out.  One of my neighbors called yesterday to inform me that truckloads of furniture were leaving the house.  Shortly after, the renter called my property manager to inform her that she would be out of the house by Thursday.  To be honest I am glad to be done with all of this.  Today I will be calling our real estate agent to get the house ready to go back on the market next weekend.  Houses are selling in NC, unemployment is down, and a thousand of new jobs just came to town.  I think it is a good time to sell. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rock Slide

Todd took our family as well as the boys' friend, Dante, and Don and Susan down the Icicle Road to look at the rock slide that occurred about a month ago.
 It is quite an impressive slide.  The road itself has not been damaged but it is covered in a thick layer of mud, rocks, and tree branches.

Boulders the size of VW bugs have been washed down the mountain side.  It seems that the slide hit the road and then decided to follow the path of least resistance down the asphalt road.

Water is pouring down the mountain and down the slide. 

Susan find this really cool rock.  It is shaped just like a recliner.  It even has its own foot stool.  I think if she could talk the road clean up crew into letting her have that rock she would put it in her yard.

You can see the other side of the slide.  The road goes on another eight miles but right now it is closed for obvious reasons. lol

I am not too great with measuring distances but I would say the slide covers about a quarter of a mile.

I thought it was pretty sweet that Brian wanted me to take this picture of him and Bonnie.

After viewing the slide we traveled back down the Icicle and stopped off at the trail head to the Alpine Lakes.  The kids were awed by all the mountain flowers that are in bloom.  We were probably picking endangered flowers but I know you won't tell. shhh!

The Icicle Creek is an awesome sight to behold and a pretty popular camping spot for the tourist.

 Todd took the time to teach the kids a bit of trail etiquette

Can I just say I had a bit of a panic attack when my kids climbed down to take this picture.  I am learning to just hold my breath and close my eyes.

Check It Out

You need to check out my brother's blog.

Jim has been loosing weight over the last couple of months just by changing his eating habits.  He has decided to blog about what he is eating and his weight loss journey and I am excited to learn more from him about how I too can drop the weight I have put on.  I have been back  in the gym working out every morning and I can feel a big difference in my energy level and endurance but have seen only a few pounds come off.  However, based off past experience I know that if I keep at it, the weight will come off and I will be toned and fit.

I am looking forward to hearing more from Jim and encourage you too to check it out.

Friday, April 22, 2011


I finally found the grit needed to run Bryce's rock tumbler.
After a trip to Black Bird Island, we gathered as many rocks as the tumbler could hold and started the process of smoothing off their rough edges and polishing them.  I forgot to take a picture of them when we first got them but this is the rocks after the first round of tumbling.  

The rocks are now going through round two with fine sand to smooth them out even more.  Round three is a pre-polisher and round four is the final polish.  All in all it will take about another week and a half before we are done with them.

Did you notice the heart shaped rock on the top?  I found that one.  Cool, huh?

In other news,  the saga with our renter is continuing on.

Here is the good news - there is nothing wrong with the well.  The well is fine, the pump is fine, and there is water in the well.  Our tenant is just not managing her water.

Here is the bad news - she is not taking care of our property, she has allowed her sister and her family to move in with her, and is refusing to pay any rent for this month.

  Here is what I am hoping for - I am hoping that she won't pay anything in the next few days so that we can evict her.  Sad but true - I want her out of my house.  I talked with a few of my neighbors and they are not pleased with our tenant. Well, neither am I.

My final hope and prayer - to sell this house and soon. 

Again, it is all in God's hands.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In His Hands

Prayer Request:

I would really value everyone's prayers who read this.  Our house in North Carolina is back on the market.  Our renter decided to move out.  She never paid this month and complained that our well is no longer working.  That seemed kind of odd to us since they have had a very wet winter and plenty of rain.  A tech.  looked at the well on Monday and said everything appeared fine.  We believe she is using it as an excuse to not pay. 

Now the question is to rent it out again or put it up for sale.  I would like to put on it For Sale or Rent and see which comes first.  According to the real estate market, houses in our price range are selling quickly.  Maybe the family who wanted it originally have sold their own home and can now buy it.  Regardless,, this is a huge prayer request for us.  Please pray with us.  Selling it would be the best option for us.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Making Cheese

Yesterday, the kids and I had the opportunity to learn how to make cheese. 

In one short hour, we made cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese.  I couldn't believe how easy it was. The cheese was made with just three ingredients - unpasteurized milk, rennet, and citric acid.  Add a pot and a thermometer and you can make cheese. 

While I was making cheese the kids played outside with Katrina's kids exploring their farm.  Katrina has just about every farm animal except cows (at least I didn't see any cows).  She had baby piglets, rabbits, turkeys, geese, ducks, chickens, goats, cats, and dogs.  After we were done making the cheese she gave me the grand tour and let the kids milk one of her goats.  True to form, Bonnie was right in there milking away.  Brian also got into it.  Bonnie also got to bottle feed a 2 week old kid goat.

At the end of the day we took home with us about 12 oz of cottage cheese, a pound of mozzarella, three goose eggs, and a pound of sausage.  (They butcher their pigs and sell the meat.)

For dinner last night, we used the cottage cheese and the garlic flavored mozzarella cheese to make lasagna.  The boys wanted to take their goose eggs and make deviled eggs with them.

I placed a regular egg next to the goose egg so you can see the difference in size.  They were monster deviled eggs!!

Some gingersnap cookies to round out the night...

and we can call this day good! 

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Coming home from an afternoon of rock picking off Black Bird Island, the boys and I saw a fire truck go screaming by.  We thought it was a paramedic run at first until we rounded the corner to our house and saw a puff of smoke.  I was relieved when we saw it wasn't our house on fire but that relief quickly turned to fear when we realized that our friend's house was on fire.  Actually, the fire was not in their house but in their garage which is separate from the house.  The boys' were deeply concerned for their friends, Geddes and Hayden, but when we made it up to the house we found that the boys were at their grandparents.  Their mom, Jennifer, had been at home alone when the fire broke out.  We still don't know how the fire started but the garage was destroyed. Fortunately it didn't make it to the house.

As you can imagine the whole neighborhood was outside watching the fire.  I was able to reacquaint myself with Gabriella, a lady I met last summer at the pool.   We visited while watching all the action.

Please be praying for Shane and Jennifer and their boys.  Bonnie had been puppy sitting for them for a few days and their boys and ours had been starting a friendship. We have known Shane and Jennifer since our ABR days and I am wanting to renew that relationship now that we are here.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Montage 4/16/11 at

Who could resist the urge to dress up and pretend to be a knight, a princess, or peasant? The kids, along with their friends, the Skays all dressed up and spent the day at the Renaissance Fair in Wenatchee.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stepping Out of our Comfort Zones

I did it!
I stepped out of my shell and took advantage of an offer.

Tuesday, while standing in the check out lane at Safeway I listened in to a conversation between the cashier and the gal checking out in front of me.  They were talking about making cheese. 

I have just recently read about making your own cheese and am interested in it.  The task seemed it bit overwhelming to me and costly so I put it in the back of my brain and left it there until that moment.  When it was my turn to check out I mentioned to the cashier that I had been reading about making cheese but didn't know if I could do it.  Katrina, the cashier, told me to look her up when she wasn't working the register and would be glad to talk to me about it and that it was really quite simple.
Today, while at the store I ran into Katrina again.  I reminded her of her offer and told her I was very interested.  We set a date and next Monday I will be going to her house to learn how to make cottage cheese and mozarella cheese.

 I am really excited. 

It is not my nature to take advantage of people or to take them up on their offers but there is something about living here.  I feel bolder.  I truly want to get to know the people of Leavenworth.  It is such a small community and I want to be a vital part of it.  I can't wait.


In other news,  yesterday was a RED LETTER day!!

Brian wrote an article for me!! 

Not only did he write one, but he also corrected the previous days article. 

I didn't quite brag on that one because it took us hours, literally hours, to get that one article out and I was exhausted by the end of the day.  I mean, school started at 8:30 and we did not finish until almost 7pm.  Ugh!  But yesterday went much smoother and the kids realized that mom was not going to give into their whining and they were going to be held accountable to do their work no matter how long it took.  I am going to have Summer Break so we are going to finish all of our work by mid June come **** or high water.

Here is the article Brian wrote:

Strategy Over Strength

Alba and Rome were fighting over who is better.  Rome is the new city-state filled with robbers, convicts, and rejects of society.  In fear of losing their armies, three men, in fact, brothers, were chosen to represent their country.  Representing Rome were the Horatii brothers.  Representing Alba were the Curatii brothers.  Both sets of brothers were strong and handsome. 

After an intense battle, one of the Horatii brothers died.  The remaining two rebounded pushing the Curatii back, but the Curatii find a way to strike killing the second Horatii.  The one remaining brother tricks the Curatii into a trap.  By pretending to run off, he manages to seperate the Curatii which allowed him to kill them off one by one, giving Rome the victory.'s a start.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring Break 2011 at

Food and Fun

Thursday, the youth from our church came over for some food and fun!

We covered the island counter with taco fixings and chowed down.
After our tummies were full it was time for a game of Spoons!.   Ok...I wasn't in on the Spoons game but it is a card game where while you are playing you are trying to steal someone's spoon that is on the table.  As soon as you see someone go for a spoon, everyone grabs their spoon and the last person to grab is left without a spoon.  Sounds like musical chairs for teens.

While the kids were playing, Susan made her homemade doughnuts.  Yum!
Well, the doughnuts didn't make it into the picture, but they were delicious.  Brian and Bryce got the honors of shaking the doughnuts in the bags of powdered sugar and sugar. 
Of course, you can't come over without playing foos.

We have a great group of kids at church.  I am so thankful for each one.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Day in Seattle

When I think of Seattle, I think of....

and if you go to the Pike Place Public Market you will see...

lots of flowers..bouquets and bouquets of flowers.... 

You can also count of seeing...

fish...tons of fish.  Unfortunately no one was buying fish today so we didn't get to see anyone throwing the fish around.  We did manage to buy some smoked salmon for tonight's snack.  I can't wait.
Of course, if you make it to the fish stand, then you have to stop and pet the pig....
the bronze pig, that is.

Pike Place Market would be quiet without the serenades of the street musicians...

There is so much to see there.  We eventually left the market and wondered down to the water where we had lunch at Ivars and then a quick visit to the Ye Old Curiosity Shop. 
A drive by of the Space Needle...

and then back to the Harpers for a rest. 

Spring Break in Seattle

We are in Seattle and it's raining.

Despite the rain we intend on seeing the sights with our friends the Harpers.  Yesterday, Todd and Mike took the kids to see the Troll under the bridge.
The Troll is in the Fremont section of Seattle which is evidently where all the artist like to live.  I guess it is like the Greenwich Village of Washington.

I guess if you have nothing else to do, go to your favorite overpass and carve out the dirt underneath. lol

After the troll, everyone went down to the locks to see the crab boats and other fishing vessels travel through.

 At the Ballard Locks, they found some more sculptures this an artist representation of waves. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Our wrestling season has come to a close.  
The boys enjoyed it but neither seemed passionate about the sport.  Bryce might want to wrestle again but I think Brian will choose to do something else. 

We made it to one tournament.  Both boys scored first in their matches but neither boy won.
I am glad that the boys had this experience.  They met some new boys and learned some good techniques.  Now they have a lot more fun wrestling with each other at home.
If I had to do it over again we would sign up for wrestling again.

 While cleaning out the garage, Todd came across his army gear.  The kids eagerly put on his hats and wore them for the rest of the day.
In case you were wondering....
 We do actually do school here.
This week I had Bryce working on his penmanship.  He has been getting rather sloppy lately and I felt he needed to focus on his letter writing some more.
 While Bryce was at the table writing, Bonnie was on the couch reading Victory on the Walls.  Brian finally finished it.  He hates reading and will only read exactly what he is assigned. Bonnie on the other hand devoured the book in a day.
Upstairs Brian was on his bed working on his math and language.

We finally had a week with no interruptions.  It was so nice to get all of our subjects done each day.  We finished up our unit on Ancient Greece.  When we start up again after spring break we will focus on Ancient Rome.  I have already ordered my library books and started planning out my weeks.  I hope to end this school year going full steam.  
One last thing..... I finally have had enough.
Enough of being overweight and out of energy.  Last Friday, I joined the local gym.  Every day this week I have been in the gym working out while everyone was still in bed.  My days have started so much better.  I am looking forward to getting back in shape and feeling good about myself again.