Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday Thoughts

While we were home the last few weeks, we unearthed the chicken tractor. Now, this is not your ordinary chicken tractor - just look around online and you'll see our's is a fair bit larger than those commonly displayed on farming/homesteading sites. Yes sir'ee we've got ourselves the Taj Mahal of chicken tractors - nothing's too good for our yard birds! Not even a riding lawn mower will move this thing. We hook it up to the back of the truck with a chain and drag it (s-l-o-w-l-y). I sure do miss our chickens - we had to give them all away before we began this traveling journey two years ago. But oh have we got some precious memories of our little ones caring for baby chicks, gathering eggs, dodging roosters, and catching/petting their favorites.

I finally resolved the issue with my pictures and got all 200 of them downloaded this evening. Because I like my blog to be in chronological order, I'll be posting various things from our time at home, then Thanksgiving, and lastly our Montana adventure.

Blessings from a Texan in snowy Montana ~

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Tag

I've been tagged again. This time by my friend at Doe Hill Homeschool. I should make a category for these things and call it "Boring Things About Angela"....One can't possibly think this is interesting, but here goes.....

* I HAVE to wear my tennis shoes during the day. ~ Can't stand to go barefoot around the house; I'm just not ready for the day without them.

* I have to have clean feet. ~ Like when we're camping, I cannot (!) get into the tent unless my feet are clean. Sorta the same way at home before I go to bed, but I have slippers. Ironically, I'm not a fanatic about clean floors. We live in the country and dirty floors are part of the territory.

* I HAVE to have my sunglasses when I'm outside or in the car. I guess maybe during my thyroid issues something happened to my eyes (long story) but outside light irritates me terribly.

* I reproof-read my posts for typos and grammatical errors several times/days after I've posted.

* There's a certain way I load the dishwasher. I load all the plates, glasses, flatware, etc., but if there's larger items they never go in with them...I wash them by hand.

* The backspace on my keyboard is a memorized key right along with the rest of them. I don't type it all out and then go back and edit. Very weird, I know, but if I see the mistake as I type it I cannot (!) let it go!!

* I have naturally cury hair that I straighten most of the time. I get tired of the big-fuzzy-ball look.

A New Day

I am thankful this morning for fresh mornings, new and different perspectives, and the Lord's mercy. He is so faithful to teach and guide us along the journey. His Word is Truth and it does not fail. Ever. Living a life pleasing to Him is such a peaceful place. There are no worries or confusion when He is our guide.


This is a picture of the sunrise in northern New Mexico as we saw it driving home from Denver. There is something very awesome (and wordless) about experiencing the magnitude of each new day the Almighty allows us to live. The children were asleep and there was no traffic so Phillip and I just soaked in the sunrise as the day woke right before our very eyes.

This is the thankfulness I'm pondering this week.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Psalm

I will lift up my eyes to the hills -

From whence comes my help?

My help comes from the Lord,

Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121: 1-2

Saturday, November 17, 2007

An Autumn Walk

Having a five year old in the family sure keeps us young. The other day we went for a walk looking for things that reminded us of Autumn. When we got in, we waxed these leaves and made an all-natural centerpiece for our table. After taking dozens of pictures, this is the one that seemed to be the best. I really need some photography lessons on lighting. Try as I may, sometimes I just can't get it right.


I am sad to say that my dial-up connection is preventing me from corresponding as I once did with our cable connection in Denver. Please know that I still try to read comments and visit your blog when I'm able but it's taking an enormous amount of time to load all the windows. Not only is it frustrating, my family is my first priority.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Musings From Texas

We made it home safely and all is well. We decided to leave Friday evening and got as far as Northern New Mexico. It was a long haul Saturday, but we were able to make it to church on Sunday morning, so for that we are thankful. We were blessed to worship with our church family and visit with them afterwards during our monthly fellowship dinner. Thank you for all the prayers lifted up on our behalf for our packing, trip home, and for our future. We do not have any information as to where Phillip will be assigned next. We continue to pray for the Lord's faithful guidance and know that He has the very best for us in mind. Meanwhile, I will share thoughts and images of home. Home-home as Laura says...

The Big Oak Tree.

This is the tree from where our swings hang. I was hoping we'd get home before all the leaves fell off but, as you can see, I missed it.

All three cows are present and accounted for, two of which are expecting, bringing our herd to a grand total of FIVE! Woo--hoo....God is building our herd. Seriously. But that's another post for another time. This is Laura with Helen.

This is our newest addition. Her name is Patch. She was thought to be a bull at first, so the name stuck. To give it a bit of feminine flare we add a 'y' at the end. How's that for simple?

They were so happy to see us. Yes, they know us. As soon as we stopped the truck and got out Bess, the mama to the other two, briskly walked toward us with Patchy following. We haven't had the opportunity to handle Patch very often so she's a bit skiddish. Eventually, our "wild child", Helen, showed up. She was Bess' first calf. She never stays in her own pasture and even when Phillip and Douglas work all weekend to mend and fortify the fence, she still finds an escape route into the neighboring pasture. It's been frustrating, but also pretty comical.

Blessings to you from Texas ~

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Packing Day

Today is packing day. If all goes as planned, we'll be heading for Texas early Saturday morning. I don't have a lot of time for a wordy post so I thought I'd give you a glimpse of our life in pictures. Not toooo surprising, huh? Just click the picture once to activate the control, then you should be able to click each one for a closer view.

Phillip will be bringing the U-Haul trailer home this afternoon and tonight we plan to stock up on some new reading material for the trip home. Oh, and it's time for another Hank the Cowdog CD. Good ole Hank has helped us make it through hundreds of miles along the way.

Blessings to you ~ Angela

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sparky The Wildfire Elk

(story continued from previous post)

While Phillip was paying for our wonderful lunch at Mildred's, Laura and I walked next door to check out this big blue elk. It was standing tall outside a little shop called, Born of the Flames. As it turns out "Sparky" tells a story of the largest wildfire in Colorado's history. You can read more about it here, here, and here. Apparently, the fire was started by a forest service employee who was trying to burn a love letter. She had actually given out several violations that very day. The shop owner (shown below) lives on 40 acres which burned in the Hayman fire and documented, with photos, all the various stages of the tragedy. The first picture is the side of Sparky when the forest is burning. The artist used the original photos to depict, with amazing accuracy, all the various stages of rescue, recovery, and restoration efforts. Many of the workers she [the shop owner] knows by name.

The other side of Sparky (below) shows how the recovery effort has paid off over the last 5+ years. The grass is now growing in the forest and the Aspen trees are fully restored as they only take three weeks to recover. The Pines and the cones all burned so they had to be replanted from seedlings. One of the hazards of a forest fire is what's called a root pit which occurs when the pine tree burns all the way down to the roots. When a pine tree burns, because of it's sap, it can explode causing the entire tree to become like a rocket shooting up as high as 300 ft. in the air. Upon landing, the tree then begins a fire in another area of the forest.

The Aspens, on the other hand, will fare much better because of their root system. They are all connected underground in what is called a colony. The offspring, or shoots, is the exact clone of the parent tree. When one tree catches fire it forces all the sap to the root system which protects the tree, leaving it without any "fuel" so to speak. After the threat of fire, the Aspen will then replace its sap naturally. For more about Aspens click here.

Sparky now goes to schools all over the Colorado Springs area and educates the public about forestry, wildfires, and fire safety. The shop was literally "Born of the Flames" and now features all sorts of handmade items, some of which are hand carved from Aspen trees. The lady who spoke to us was very knowledgeable and incredibly passionate about what she was talking about. As we have traveled West in the last year, I've become keenly aware of things I once only knew as places "over there". And though I may never jump on the extreme environmentalist bandwagon, I do have more of an appreciation of God's creation. I said a little prayer as I was standing there, thanking the Lord for our little study on wildfires.

BTW: As we said our good-byes and thanked the lady for the educational story we soon discovered that she was from TEXAS! ~ She went to school in Athens (which is just 18 miles from our house) and moved to Colorado to continue college. She never went home. >

The Denver Zoo

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007



Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not the we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

IJohn 4:7-11

I think that's a pretty incredible statement, "He who does not love, does not know God." Hmmm... We can have knowledge about many things. We can be knowledgeable about the Bible, prophecy, End Time events, doctrinal issues, politics, the "latest silver bullet", children, homeschooling, health remedies, gardening tips, home decorating and the like...

However, the Word reminds me that it is nothing without love.

"Thou shalt have no other gods before Me." Exodus 20:3

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Decent

I saved the best for last. This is one my favorites from the whole trip. It turned out very clear, the road below adds interest and the panoramic view is breathtaking. Needless to say, going down was much more enjoyable than going up and, believe it or not, I actually rolled down my window and hung my head out to take a few pictures. We were very fortunate; the road to the summit is usually closed this time of year due to snow, but as you can see the snow has been scarce this year.

Two frozen lakes

I think this one is very interesting because it gives a good visual of the road. Do you see it? It looks like a narrow snake-like line in the dirt. Not all parts of the road have you gripping the seat or hiding your eyes. Some of it, in fact a lot of it, is very beautiful and enjoyable. Especially going down. I might add also that some parts of the road are paved and others are not.

This ends the Pike's Peak postings. Please feel free to email me to chat some more about our trip.

The Summit

As we passed mile marker 19, I was d-o-n-e, but we still had not reached the top. Somewhere along the way, those mile markers became preT-Ty important so when I saw #19 I had my heart set on stopping the moving vehicle and putting my feet on solid ground! LOL...On up a bit further, we finally saw other forms of life ~ people, a gift shop, an observation deck, and the Cog train boarding passengers heading down.

It was bitter cold up there! The wind was very brisk, but the views were spectacular. You probably can't see it, but in the photo of Colorado Springs in the distance, you can also see Garden of the Gods. It was amazing to see both views in one day. *Pike's Peak from Garden of the Gods and vice versa.

Climbing Pike's Peak

Since Photobucket will only allow so many pics in one slideshow, I'm dividing up the trek in segments. This post is about the actual climb itself. It was thrilling, but scary is some spots. By the time you reach the top you're at 14,000+ ft. with only half the oxygen available at sea level. Phillip got a little light headed and I was pretty shaky, but I think that was more out of anxiety than altitude symptoms. Thankfully, Phillip was able to drive back down and all was well. The temp at the summit was 34* with a brisk wind. You'll see in the next post, titled "The Summit", the children aren't thrilled I wanted pictures.

As I reflected on the day, it finally hit me why there are NO GUARD RAILS (!) in most places. (I was surprised at this revelation at Rocky Mtn. National Park, too) ~ If there were guard rails, the public would have a false sense of security and probably travel too fast. Having NO guard rails forces us to be extra careful. PreT-T-y wise, I say.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Day Trip to Pike's Peak

We woke this morning with no real plan, but since this is our last weekend in Colorado we knew we wanted to do something we'd not done before, so with a lot of consideration (and a bit of hesitation on my part, to be honest), we decided on Pike's Peak. It's the most visited mountain in North America and second to Mt. Fuji (in Japan) as most visited in the world. I've downloaded lots of pictures and will be posting them in separate segments. Our first leg of the journey landed us at the entrance of Garden of the Gods. This was not part of the plan but, as some of you know, taking the scenic route is our forte.

Since I'm fairly picky about my pictures, I don't have many of Garden of the Gods because the sun was directly in front of me at some of the most interesting points. Just so you know, it looks exactly like the pictures you've seen. It's a 'park' of interesting rock formations. We didn't stay long. We knew the trek up Pike's Peak was going to be a long one. Just before the entrance to Pike's Peak Hwy. we stopped at Mildred's Cafe. It was a 50's sort of diner/cafe. The kids loved it because there was a jukebox! Very rarely have they ever seen one of those. The food was deeelicious!! Afterwards Laura and I walked next door to take a look at the big blue Elk.....

Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Didding Deeper

Today is a sad day for our family. It will mark a time in history and be a scar on our hearts forever. This afternoon, my beloved sister will stand in a courtroom by herself and say good-bye to the love of her life. We all feel a sense of great loss. I have lost a long-time, high-school friend, but more importantly someone who is like a brother to me. My children are losing a dear man, their uncle, who was an example of integrity and valor. Without a word, we say good-bye. Forever trusting in the Lord. He is sufficient.

Even in this.

Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart,

All you who hope in the Lord.

Psalm 31:24