Bucket List

I don’t have a bucket list, but I’m thinking I should write one.  So far, since I stopped writing on this blog, I have done a bunch of things I could mark off such list, if I had one.

Last year I went to hunter’s safety course, and passed, so I could go hunting with my boys. Hunting was quite cold and not really on my list of things to do, but I did it. One of those things I never would have thought to put on my bucket list.

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Last December Eric and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary and our gift was a concert.  I had never been to a concert like that in my life. We went and saw Tran-Siberian Orchestra’s Lost Christmas Eve.  It was such an exciting and fun experience! 🙂

TSO2 TSO3 TSOticketsWinter lasted forever last year and I think this coming winter will probably do the same. It has been chilly these first days of October.  It’s a beautiful time of year though!  I love fall leaves!  Their smell, the crunch under my shoes and their beautiful colors!

Photography has been happening, though I haven’t been shooting a lot lately. :\ I did 2 photo shoots in September. One was a wedding and another was a maternity shoot.  Weddings are beautiful and I think I really love SMALL weddings! I’ve never shot a big wedding, but it’s not on my bucket list. 🙂 I get stressed out about small ones enough that a big wedding would just send me over the edge. hehe Anyway, it’s been an ok year as far as sessions go. I would definitely love more sessions.

This past July we went on vacation and had such a great time!  Vacation is NEVER long enough!  We decided to do a sight seeing trip and just enjoy the USA.  Our first stop was Colorado to visit my Aunt Cindy and Uncle Fred.  It was a visit that was too short, but we loved every minute of it!  My bucket list item from there was sitting on the summit of a mountain!  I had been to Colorado before, but never did that.  It was exciting, dizzying, and the road up the mountain was a tad scary!

DSC_0652 copyEric made a snowman in July because he could.

DSC_0496 copyDSC_0561 copy DSC_0582 copy DSC_0630 copyThe kids liked their mountain top experience ok, but Grace was a little freaked out over the heights.  Ryan experienced altitude sickness the worst out of all of us. He and Grace didn’t climb up to the summit of Mount Evans because it was freezing and scary. 🙂  Nathan came along!

We traveled through 16 states total on our trip and the kids still talk about it and what a great time vacation was this year!  I’m so glad!  It was such a fun, family time together!  I hope we can do another trip next summer and make more memories like that!

We started school in mid-August and I am enjoying the school year.  Of course, I was more excited about starting school than everyone else in the family. hehe  We are in Paths of Progress this year and are enjoying learning about different inventors this year!  Nathan is technically supposed to be a 9th grader this year, but i decided to just hold him back one more year.  I figure it’s ok if he graduates at 18.  🙂  Ryan is 7th grade and Grace is 5th grade this year.  These last few years of homeschooling have been so wonderful!  We love the Trail Guide to Learning series, and I am so thankful for them!

Maybe I’ll sit and write out a bucket list of things I’ve already done and things I would like to do in the future and make a page for it on my blog.

God is Good.

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Happenings

Hello, remember me?

Obviously, I haven’t been writing in my blog much lately.  I’ve been in a funk about writing.

Lots of ideas have come and gone over the last month and a half since my last posting.

Winter is really wearing on me this year.

DSC_8661Every day looks like this. *sigh*

Schooling the kiddos keeps me busy during the week.

This past week Nathan came down with strep throat.

Thankfully he is on the mend and no one else has come down with it! Yet. . .

My junk piles are crowding my house and my mind.

Today I managed to almost completely fill a 30 gallon garbage bag with junk from my craft corner.

Also almost filled another 30 gallon garbage bag with clothes and things to donate to the Thrift store.

The other day I cleaned out a bunch of old recipe books I don’t use and threw a bunch of junk paper away.

It’s refreshing!  I need to keep throwing things away and getting rid of thing we don’t need.

It’s amazing how it just builds up over the years.

We can sure stand to get rid of a lot more “stuff.”

Last week we made some maple syrup, but I’ll save the rest of that story for the next post!

If only it would warm up enough to get the sap flowing. . . 🙂

My kindle has many good books on it right now.  So many I don’t always know which one to read.

I decided to read a few of the devotional ones at the same time.

I’m reading one about Proverbs 31 and I’m sorry  the name escapes me right now.

Another one I started reading is a Lenten Devotional and there are hymns and a verse for each day of lent.

It’s really good and it gives a history of how the hymns came to be.

The other one I read from time to time is 101 Devotionals for Homeschool Moms and I love those devos too!

In fiction, I’ve really been enjoying books by Chautona Havig.

I’m waiting to get For Keeps (Aggie’s Inheritance) so I can have all 3 books in that series. The first one was so good!

Photography is still coming along, I guess.  I’ve been so uninspired lately.

You can see what I’m up to on my Photography Blog.

We did lose a chicken a few weeks ago. 😦

DSC_8214 copyCrazy Comb was her name.

It was such a sad and awful day for the kiddos.  I felt bad for them and for the chicken.

The chicken suffered so much and I’m only just learning what it probably was that killed her.

DSC_8658 copyUnfortunately, Grace’s pet chicken, Henny Penny is now afflicted by the same thing.

What I thought was egg bound (which really might have been at first) is something else called Egg Peritonitis.

It’s pretty sad to see.  I’ve been giving Henny some penicillian shots, but I don’t know if it’ll help her.

I haven’t been draining her (I’d have to research how), but she is rather swollen.

I feel bad for her and especially bad for Grace, especially since it’s her pet.

Another hen has a really weird egg bubble near where the eggs come out.  I’ll have to keep my eye on her too.

Ahhh!  Sometimes chickens are too much!

I always wanted to be a vet growing up. . . guess I’m getting my unofficial run at it now.

School is going pretty good lately.

Is it going as I planned?

Nope.

But it’s still going well.

The kids love hearing the stories about Daniel Boone.

They love doing their read aloud time.  Especially Ryan! 🙂

Have I mentioned lately that we LOVE Paths of Exploration?

We do!

Math has been a struggle lately with Nathan and Ryan.  I’m trying to decide what to do.

That’s something I’ve got to talk over with my husband and move forward  with a new plan.

DSC_8325 copyDSC_8320 copyDSC_8318_1At the end of January and beginning of February I took the kids roller skating.

They had a great time both times!

I had a great time chatting with friends at both skates.

We couldn’t go to yesterday’s skate since Nathan was sick.

That was a bummer because the kids really enjoy it!

Hopefully next month!

So that about sums up what has been going on lately.

If you made it through this post, God bless you! 🙂

Thanks for reading, too.

Pedicure

DSC_8033Grace thought my toenails needed painted.

She is quite right.  She should have painted my entire foot.

They are ugly feet.

DSC_8034 copy  She had a present wrapped for me for Christmas

and in it was the color she is applying to my toes.

DSC_8043 It’s quite the color on my oh-so-white feet.

BUT I am wearing it proudly on my feet because my daughter

thinks it looks really good. 🙂

DSC_8045Lovely toes. . .  I know you’re jealous. 😉

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!?!?

Our New Year’s Eve was spent at Cabela’s.  Believe it or not, it was pretty picked over and the food was not that great for the price we paid.  It was a bummer of a trip!  The things Eric wanted were gone.  😦  BUT I was delighted to find a pair of winter boots!  I haven’t bought any in such a long time, so with the money “Santa” left for me, I purchased a pair!  Another thing I bought the day after Christmas was a new purse!  I have never paid so much money for a purse in my entire life, but I love my new purse – it has the glorious smell of leather.

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We rang in the new year with a very sick husband/father.  He pretty much stayed in bed ALL week, except for Thursday, when he HAD to go to work.  He also went to the doctor’s while he was out that day.  They tested him for pneumonia and the flu.  Tested positive for Influenza A.   Eric ran some pretty high fevers, had aches, froze and sweat all week long.  It’s been a really rough week for him.  I’ve never seen someone have such nasty fevers for such a long time!

While the week has been spent battling sickness, I’ve been busy nursing Eric, and now Nathan, and taking care of chickens, laundry, etc.  Nothing overly thrilling.  I made chicken noodle soup twice this week.  Today I also made a huge stock pot of chicken stock because I was using my frozen stock all up.  We’re using it like crazy these days! It’s a necessity.  I’m getting good at making gluten-free noodles.  The family is crazy about it too.  Everyone eats at least 2 bowls, so my normal pot doesn’t last as long as it used to.  Kinda sad, but I’m glad they love to scarf it down and give rave reviews about it the whole time.

We’ve been reading through the Bible, starting on January 1st.  It’s going ok so far.  We’ll just keep pressing on!  I’m sure it’ll be hard, sometimes it’s hard already.  It’s all about priorities though.  That’s for sure! **Update since I started this post** We missed yesterday (January 6th),  and I decided to change reading plans.  I found one that isn’t so overwhelming for us and we’ll be starting that this evening (Jan 7th).

There’s been a tragedy in the family. . . well, it’s nothing that dramatic really.  Grace somehow lost her precious blankie between the boy’s bedroom and her bedroom.  We’ve searched both rooms and can’t find it anywhere!  She slept in the boy’s room on the floor the one night, took her blankets and pillow back to her room and has lost her little blue blankie!  There have been many tears over this thing.  It’s a mystery, really.  I just can’t figure out how it is missing!  There’s no where for it to have gone!

Speaking of battling sickness, both boys have fevers and so do I.  Nathan’s was super high yesterday, but seems to not be so bad today.  Ryan and I have low-grade fevers happening right now, along with aches.  I also have this awful, choking cough and my throat hurts from it.  The joys of flu season!  Thankfully it’s not the stomach flu!

So that is how our new year has gone, so far! 🙂  Eric returned to work today and I think he’s doing much better, thankfully!

Goodbye 2012

It has been a most interesting year!  God has been SO good to us  – again – and  I can’t thank Him enough for all the MANY blessings!

Here was what I had hoped to accomplish through this past year:  Organizing My Life in 2012

I didn’t go crazy and make a bunch of goals and, yet, I still failed at many of them.

Thankfully I can take that list I made from last year and start it again.   Why not, right? 🙂

My goals are still the same.

DSC_3888 My main goal is to be HERE, in the present, with my children.

I feel like a failure in this department and time is getting away from us.

The kids and I have made a goal to read through the Bible this year!

I’m quite excited about starting this with them TOMORROW!!

The thought occurred to me the other day and just seemed like a wonderful idea!

I found the New Year Bible Reading Challenge through Pinterest!

Join us if you’d like!  We would welcome the encouragement!

Another goal for the children and I,  is to memorize Scripture!

It’s been a fail for me/us since just after the beginning of our school year started in August.

Been reading through the book of James a lot and plan on memorizing the rest of it.

I have chapter 1 down pretty good and most of chapter 2, but I need to get busy!

God has much to teach me through His Word, but it does help to spend time in the Word!

DSC_4433 copy

 One goal I have accomplished is taking a photo per day this year!

Sometimes it was hard, but it was such a great experience!

My goal is to do the same starting tomorrow and improve more in my photography.

One of my highlights this year was meeting Tracy and Kristal!

 Such a blessing to meet internet friends in REAL life!

Not sure if anyone follows this blog much, as I haven’t been writing much these days.

That’s pretty sad.   😦

I was thinking about dusting off my pen and start writing in a journal again.

Some of my crazy thoughts I don’t always want to share on my blog,

but writing does help me sort my thoughts out and think things through better.

So while I may not be on here blogging as much, I will do some updates here and

will definitely be keeping up with my Em’s Photography Adventure blog.

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We’ve been enjoying school a lot this year.

I’m so thankful for Paths of Exploration!

The kids are thankful too! 🙂

Now I must close with this last post of 2012 on Strobel’s Happenings.

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Have a blessed New Year!

Still Wheat Free (mostly)

Yes, after the holidays and eating a little bit of bad stuff here and there, I have decided that I am going to remain wheat-free.  My belly can’t handle it anymore, it honestly can’t.  I thought “If I just eat a little here and a little there I’ll be ok.”  Yeah, not even close!   Eric – who doesn’t believe this kind of thing – has admitted (again) that it really does bother him too.

Food and meals are a frustrating thing for me.   I am trying to do better for us, but change comes hard.  We are a serial snacking crowd and it’s hard to get everyone on board.  It wouldn’t be so hard if the hubby fully cooperated, but he finds it difficult to do that completely, as he doesn’t “believe” a lot of things.  Me and my “hippy” ways humor him. LOL  I’ll just keep trying and definitely keep it up for myself.  My belly feels sick for days after I eat anything with wheat and even most grains.  It’s not a good feeling and tired of feeling so blah because of it!

Today I’m going to make some more almond flour.  That stuff is pricey,  but you can get a lot of almonds at Sam’s Club and just make your own almond flour/meal.  I found a bread recipe I want to try and a biscuit recipe I also want to try.  I had tried THIS biscuit recipe last week and while they were fluffy and nice looking, you could taste the coconut flour in them.  Eric has coconut radar and just couldn’t even eat them. It was the slightest hint of coconut, but enough to turn make him not want to eat them.  So I’m going to try that other biscuit recipe today.  While I miss bready things (a little), I don’t miss what it does to me!

Really I’m just trying to find some good recipes that are husband approved so MAYBE I can get him off ALL bad things.  Most likely not, but I can hope, right? 🙂

I must get busy making some almond flour and working on dinner.  Today seems like such a great day for some sirloin tip gravy over biscuits!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Stove

Eric and I bought our first stove back in March of 1999 when we moved into a rental home, it wasn’t a new one.  It has been with all this time . . . until Saturday, when it decided to burn out an element.  It was pretty freaky to see the oven glowing inside, even after I turned it off.  It wasn’t until I unplugged it that the glowing finally stopped.  Last year we had oven issues around this time of year, had to replace the thermal gauge inside the oven.  It would burn the tops of whatever I was cooking and everything else wasn’t done cooking yet.  Anyway, it was a mess, but Eric fixed it.  He’s handy like that!  🙂  Some time  during the past year one of my burners on the top quit working, so I only had 3 burners and even they weren’t the best.

After Saturday’s oven glowing experience, we decided we’d go oven shopping.  Nothing like having to do this before the holidays!  But it was time and I was ready for  a new oven!  Saturday, Sunday and Monday were interesting cooking days since I didn’t have burners to even use.  I used a crock pot, griddle (it is part of this awesome waffle iron that I got many years ago), and microwave a little bit.  I hate microwave cooking, I really do.

Yesterday our new stove came and they hauled our old one away!  Set up the new stove and there it was . . . all nice and shiny, just staring at me.  I stared back at it.  To be honest, I was afraid of it! LOL  I’ve never had or used a brand new stove, so it was a little intimidating!

Anyway, here are pictures of my new stove and some of the things I’ve baked in it already! 🙂

                                                                      

It’s so nice and shiny!  I LOVE it!  It got a lot of use yesterday, its first day in our home!

            

The inside of the oven before I used it.  Then coconut macaroons are the first batch of cookies I made for my husband.  Not pictured are chocolate chip cookies I made for the kids and a butternut squash that I baked.  And then there are the pictures of the Gluten-Free/Grain-Free Almond Scones.  I was drooling and couldn’t wait for these things to finish baking!

                                                                                       

The finished scones!  They are SO very good!  I ate a couple last night and one for breakfast this morning!

The picture of my arm is showing a boo boo I got from my new oven.  I burned it on the top rack putting something in yesterday.  Silly me!

Anyway, it has been so fun to have a new stove/oven!

Not sure what I’m going to make with it today, but I want to try out the convection part of the oven.

I have a chicken I want to throw in there – not one that is walking around my yard though. . .

PS.  My shiny appliances are waiting for their new kitchen to come . . . some day! 🙂