Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's Here

My brother's cookbook is ready to be purchased.

Following the guidelines set out by Body for Believers my brother has lost over 30 pounds and has come up with three weeks worth of recipes to follow so that you too can loose the weight.  I am purchasing  the book today and eagerly waiting for its arrival. 

If you want to know more check out the link to his website on my sidebar -


I just finished reading the book Hansi, The Girl Who Loved the Swastika.  Before you begin to think I have jumped off the deep end, read the back cover.

"Don't ever forget Jesus!" This tearful admonition of her foster mother followed the teen-aged orphan girl as she began her trip to Prague.  Maria (Hansi) was the envy of all in her little Czechoslovakian village because she had won a scholarship to the Nazi school in the capital and would be able to serve the Fuhrer. 

Thus Maria began a long journey in 1940 which was to lead her into the darkness of blind devotion to Hitler and the atheism of the Nazi system.  The path led to a storybook romance ....cruel disillusionment at Hitler's suicide...a traumatic awakening to the swastika's scourge across Europe and upon the Jews....a breathtaking escape from the Communists...and a reemergence into the love and lordship of her mother's Jesus.

Maria Anne Hirschmann tells her story of becoming part of the Hitler Youth, surviving the Russian occupation of Eastern Germany and her daring escape to the West.  She also shares how a girl who was raised by a Godly foster mother accepted Hitler's atheistic views and then how God brought her back to faith in Him. 

It was a great read and will definitely be part of our literature when we study modern history again in a few years.

Friday, July 29, 2011


The kids are at camp this week!

This is our children's first camp experience and they are loving it.  Yesterday was Parent's Day.  Todd, Bryce, and I went up to visit Bonnie and Brian at camp.  While Bonnie and Brian were busy with their cabins, Todd, Bryce and I checked out all the fun stuff to do.

Of course, Todd had to challenge the camp counselors to a round of foos ball. 
Behind the main lodge, you can busy yourself with pinp pong, volleyball, putt-putt course, and more.

After checking out the facilities we all gathered in the meadow to eat hamburgers, slaw, and beans. Yum!

Than back to the main lodge where all the cabins put on skits that were based off a Bible verse they had learned about. 

Bonnie's group showed a dysfunctional family that encountered God.  Bonnie played the part of a the clepto house maid. 

Brian's group did the Bible in song.  Their counselors played instruments and the boys danced during the music and then froze to share key events and people in the Bible.

It was fun and encouraging to see the kids.  Brian was the most reluctant about going to camp and yet he seemed to be having the most fun.  Bryce heads off to camp in two weeks.  After seeing what camp is like, he can't wait to go.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Offer

We got an offer today on our house in NC.

It's not a good offer.

In fact, it's a terrible offer.

I am trying not to get angry.  I was prepared when I saw the feedback response from the buyer's agent that a low offer was coming in, but this offer is downright insulting.

Part of me is really feeling angry with life, and wondering why we can't seem to get a break.  You see, when we started this whole process of putting the house up for sale I had a "dream" number in my head of what I would like to sell it at.  If we could sell our house for XX dollars then we could be debt free.  No more student loan, no more credit card, no more mortgage.  When our real estate agent came over to assess our house and put a price on it, he named my "dream" number without me ever revealing it.  I knew then that my dream was possible.

Since that day we have had to come down in our price and I have had to slowly let go of my dream of being debt free.  I have also accepted the fact that we may have to settle for only paying off the mortgage and not make any money from this sell, just be glad we have no more mortgage payments.

Today's offer, if we were to accept it, would have us stilling oweing the bank over $30k.  Oweing the bank!! 

Todd and I sent back a counter offer.  We lowered our asking price $10k not the $55k that they want us to.  I doubt they will accept.  In fact, I will be very surprised if they do.  Someone out there will buy this house, though. 

Please, SOMEONE buy my house!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Todd has been taking every opportunity he can to go up into the mountains and get our firewood for this winter.

The other night he wanted me to go with him so I can see where he goes and enjoy the view of his surroundings.

You can't quite catch the awesomeness in pictures.  You have to imagine that you are thousands of feet above everyone else and far from civilization. 

 This view is looking off to the east towards Spokane and you can see how the area transitions from the mountains to a flat, desert area.  Many people don't realize how many climates are represented in the state of Washington.  We have the wet, rainforest climate that is seen on the Olympic Pennisula and Seattle, the mountain climate, and the dry, arid desert climate near Spokane.
  In this view you are actually looking over Leavenworth.  There are two canyons that you can see in the picture.  The one in the back is Icicle Road (the Leavenworth Golf Course is down that road) and then the canyon in front of it is Tumwater Canyon/Hwy 2.  It is really hard to see the front canyon because the ridge is pretty dark.  That is why I said pictures don't do the view justice, but it is the best I can do to show you the land without actually driving you up the mountain.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ready or Not

Ready or not I started ordering our school books for next year.  I don't have it all figured out yet, but I figured I should buy what I can when I can.

So far I have ordered Tapestry of Grace Year 2 Unit 1.  This year our tapestry studies will focus on the fall of the Roman empire, Middle Ages, Dark Ages, Reformation, Crusades, all the way through John Adam's presidency.  I am pretty fuzzy on the time line of all of these events so I probably got them out of order.  I am, however, excited about delving into this part history.  I don't have a very good background in it so I will be learning a lot with the kids.  I already started reading Famous Men of Middle Ages to give me a head start.    I also ordered Saxon Phonics Intervention Kit.  My nine year old is still struggling with his reading.  It frustrates the both of us.  He knows all the sounds, but to put them all together quickly and read a word is hard.  I see him wanting to read swiftly and fluently and yet not everything connects that quickly in the brain.  I am hoping this intensive phonics program will help.

Two other items in my online shopping cart our Apologia's Exploring Creation with Physical Science.  I am looking at getting their DVD series that has an instructor teaching the textbook.  My final cart item for this week is Saxon math.  I was thinking about getting Geometry but after talking with a friend I am leaning on Bonnie doing Algebra again.  I don't feel confident in her having mastered the subject. More than anything I want her to feel confident in the subject.  Saxon has put their math on a DVD interactive program that will have a video teacher (like Teaching Textbooks, but more affordable).

Next  month I will get our English as well as the boys' science and math.  I am open to suggestions on our English.  We have been using Abeka for years, but the kids are tired of it.  I don't want my kids hating a subject, so I will be doing some more research on what is out there.

Four more weeks left of summer.  I am not ready for this time to end, but, ready or not, school is just around the corner.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Cave

A few weeks ago my mother in law took the kids to a cave she discovered just off Hwy 2 in the Tumwater Canyon.  Ever since then, Brian has wanted to go back.  He has begged and begged, but it just wasn't convenient to go.  Yesterday, I ran out of excuses.

We all piled into the truck and headed west on Hwy 2 to play at the cave.

Unfortunately, a few miles into the canyon we ran into road work.

Cars were stopped, engines turned off, people and their pets were out playing on the side of the road.

Autumn could care less.  She is just here for the ride.

The boys, however, weren't thrilled at all.  I had finally given in to take them to their cave and now other factors were preventing them from their adventure.

 The line of cars seemed to go forever, but after ten minutes, engines were turned back on and we slowly made our way westward again.
Finally we reached the turn off.  The Swift Water picnic site is the place.  Trails lead  you to all sorts of rocks and scenic views, but the boys had one place in mind.

The Cave

It is one GIANT rock that has landed on another giant rock resulting in a God-made lean-to.  It is really a cool place.  The kids climbed in, around, and on the rock. 
We lingered for a little while and then headed back home for supper.  Brian was happy to share his new find with Autumn and me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


It is cherry season in Washington.

Bings, Rainers, and Lamberts are just a few that I know of. 

Todd's mom surprised us with a box of Lambert cherries.  They are a sweet cherry that make a great snack.  I not big on canning sweet cherries but not wanting any of them to go to waste we decided to dehydrate them.

Pat loaned us her dehydrater and we went to work.

 Bryce pitted the cherries.
 I sliced the pitted cherries in half.

 Mom placed the sliced, pitted cherries on the trays for the dehydrator.
We filled up seven trays with our cherries.  Twenty four hours later we had nice dried cherries.  Talk about yummy.  I had intended to use the dried cherries for protein bars, but we have eaten them all up. 

I have several bags of frozen cherries.  I wonder how well they would dehydrate if I thawed them out.  hmmm

Worth a try.


Behind the town of Leavenworth is  Black Bird Island.  If you follow the trails through Black Bird, go over the bridge back to the mainland and then follow the trails on the far left you will end up at the kid's fishing pond.

Ever since we discovered the pond the boys, especially Bryce, have been wanting to go fishing.  With Mamaw and Papaw here, it seemed the time was right to try out their fishing poles and test the waters.

We all headed down and were rewarded with seven fish!

 Bryce and Brian caught three fish each. 

Bonnie caught one and Autumn, well, Autumn caught at least two but they both got off the hook before she could reel them in.  She did catch a nice stick though.

Dinner plans were changed to fried fish for that night.  Todd and the boys filleted the fish, while Bonnie made oven french fries, and Mom and I made fried onion strings.  Yum!

I think we need to make this a weekly tradition. 

Mamaw and Papaw Come to Visit

 My parents are here. 
The day after everyone left from VBA, my parents showed up after traveling five days to get here.

Naturally, we had to take them to all of our favorite Leavenworth sites - trails, beaches, lakes, and stores. 

We decided to venture down one trail that we had heard about but had never been on.  Just off Hwy 2 in the Tumwater Canyon you can park your car and hike down to an old bridge that will lead you to the other side of the Wenatchee River.  If you follow the trail for a mile plus you should end up at an old train tunnel.

We didn't make it to the tunnel.  You can blame me.  We didn't realize how far back the tunnel was and it was getting close to eight o'clock in the evening.  I really didn't want to be out there in the dark so we decided to turn around and head back.
The water here is still really high, much higher than normal for this time of year.  It was pretty awesome to just sit and watch the power of the river.

Since it was still light out we decided that before we headed home we would stop off at the dam located in the Tumwater Canyon.

The roar of the water is deafening.  I wish you could hear Bonnie singing at the top of her lungs while she stood at the fence.  The boys had fun yelling over the noise of the water and getting wet with the spray.

 Fish and Wildlife keep someone at the dam around the clock to monitor the fish that swim upstream.  Every fish that comes up the dam is taken out, inspected, weighed, measured, and scales are taken for samples.  The fish are then returned to the river to continue their journey up stream.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Trailer

We just got word that Von Piglet Production has just posted the trailer for the Ira Finkelstein's Christmas movie.  You can watch it at this link:

Bonnie and Bryce made it in the trailer.  When you see the scene with all the kids sledding down the hill, you need to pause it and look at the bottom left corner.  Bonnie, in a light blue coat,  is having a snow ball fight with her friend, Chris.    Bryce is on a sled just past Bonnie in his orange coat. 

Ok...they are in there for a split second, but they they made it in.