Monday, April 02, 2007

Camping - Day 4 - FRIDAY

The forecasted storm finally hit Thursday night. Wow. It was loud.

Friday a.m. the host drove around and told us all to take down awnings etc....

We waited a couple of hours...and were tired of being cooped up. I suggested a walk. I billed it as an adventure. It was great. We began the walk.... there are some really great nature trails in the park. It did begin to drizzle...and sort of thunder. We walked faster. Jared and Josiah went fishing instead. Stacia decided she needed a hood - so she pulled her shirt up.

All of a sudden it POURED.....we raced to the shower house and thought we'd wait it out.....before we could make it to the bathrooms it began to hail....
Josiah pulled up in the van. What a nice guy. He and Jared decided to come find us when the hail started and we still weren't back. We spent the rest of the day playing games, reading and using Mike's Christmas gift of a portable DVD player.

Random Camping Photos

Camping - Misc sights
Not sure where this came from...but it ended up in the trailer...
While I took a photo of a butterfly, Stacia climbed the top of this wall..... She's a scamp

Tree with honey bee hive in our site...

Camping Day 3 - Fishing Derby continues....

I think I'll just throw all the fishing photos here. In TX you are allowed to fish in the state parks without a that is the only spot the boys and Mike have fished. I'm not sure why...they love to fish but haven't taken the time to get a license etc.

This little fishing hole had Crappies, Trout and even bass. I know as we caught some of each. All but one fish was released. A memorable quote from the trip was a comment by Nolan. He was explaining that he'd caught a Crappie but what he really wanted to catch was a Trout because "I have never caught a Trout - only King Salmons". ::snort:: We set a whole day aside for fishing and exploring the nature trails....and every spare moment was spent down at the fishing hole. Mike has the patience of Job to take this crew's amazing.
Total fishing derby scores: Josiah - 57; Jared - 37; Mike - ? pretty high; Arielle - 15; Nolan and Jamin - 6; Zander - 7; De'Etta - 1;

Zander first tries to catch baby fish like a bear....Then settles for cathing an "aligator snake"

Even I caught a fish - I'm sure it can't be my first but it's the first I remember...a benefit of my thyroid fog is that I get to experience lots of things as firsts over and over. ::snort:: Most the time I read and went on exploring hikes with Zander and Stacia.

Jamin read, sketched and shot a bow
Josiah is a fishing is Jared...
Stacia was constantly eating the fish bait (velveeta)

Campfires....Camping - Day 2 and 3 and so on....

We missed sitting around the campfire the last time we took the trailer out. We made sure we had that experience this time. We don't want to become one of those families that go camping and then spend their whole time sitting INSIDE the camper.....not sure that is a real possibility...but we're guarding against it just the same. LOL

Stacia did NOT like the smoke....

Camping - Day 3 - Thursday

We went to bed Wed. night with dire warnings from locals of a big storm heading our way from OK. Supposedly, there would be cantaloupe sized hail. That's big. It did rain Wed. night and I was glad. I love the sound of rain on roofs etc. We did not see hail - this day. ::snort:: I thought of Liz and wondered if she were enduring cantaloupe hail....I chose to have a pity party and be disgruntled Wed night. I knew I COULD choose joy...but I chose a pity party instead. I missed the girls. Mike and the older kids had gone out fishing in the afternoon and I knew if Bre and Krista were here one of them would have watched the youngers and I would have gone hiking, or we would have had a craft or scavenger hunt for the littles...TOGETHER....I was lonely....and I chose to savor it. Bad choice. Mike's a good husband. He understood but didn't pamper me or allow me to stay at my party for much more than an hour. ::snort::

Thursday it was drizzly. We decided it would be a good day to go to the Zoo.
This zoo is on the small side...but is great. We had been trying to get up there since last fall when we missed a chance to go with a group of friends. We discovered that the cost for our family was going to be $ made sense to buy an annual pass for $35. I'm sure we'll go at least one more time this year. LOL It DID rain on us a few times...but we had the zoo to ourselves and the animals were happy with the cool weather. It was a great day. Now that I know where it is, I plan to run up for day trips with the younger ones....fairly often. It's only 100 miles away.

Zoo photos in no particular order:

This guy wanders the grounds....

Stacia is not impressed with the peacock...

Pacing Black Bear - it was really nice not to have to worry about Grizzlies while camping...though I fulfilled my worry quotient by worrying about rattlers and water moccasins
Me and my Zander-Man!

Giraffes......feeding to feed Feeding Frenzy - Tropical Source Chocolate bar
Yes, I went IN the Reptile House this time - amazing what a day of rain will drive one to....

I LOVE her smile... Meercat

Menus -Week of 2 April

Posting here, as well as in the side bar, so that I can save it in the category. I forgot last week....

Fresh Fruit, Salad and Steamed Veggies @ each meal

Monday - Chicken Divan
Tuesday - Steak/Burger Burn
Wednesday - Pasties
Thursday - Spaghetti, garlic bread
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Beef Stroganoff
Sunday - dine out
*The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down* by Neta Jackson

Yeah, I know, this book is OLD. However, the series didn't interest me until I received the book in a great package from Chris of Read It Again Books.

If, like me, you've not read this series you are probably wondering what the "yada" thing is all about. Ms. Jackson writes that "yada" is a Hebrew word meaning "to know and be known". Cool. This led me to thinking about the whole idea of intimacy and what a blessing it is to find those people who you can truly yada.

Reading this book was TIMELY. I hear the first book was about grace. The theme in this book is forgiveness. It's a quick read. However, the thoughts shared by the characters of forgiving when hurt, forgiving when you don't understand why there's a distance, forgiving when you've wronged others...was powerful. I loved seeing the theme fleshed out. I especially appreciated the reminder that it isn't "all about me" when I've been disappointed in a relationship. I need to continue to pray and be concerned about what God is doing in the other life as much or more than I worry about "fixing things" so that all is well with my world. ::snort:: I was very impressed with the themes in this piece of "fluff" - pardon me - my bias is showing. ::snort::

I liked this book enough to add the first one to my PBS wish list.

*The King of the Reid* by Jamin G....

The first time I picked this up to read, I found it slow going. First, there were TONS of punctuation errors as Jamin let me see the "rough" copy....Second, I was in "school teacher" mode - and I really get bogged down grading writing assignments....Third, I was desperately trying to sort out and remember all the characters in the first 30 pages. . .

THIS TIME......I realized that there were several main "settings" in the book and that I wouldn't need to remember all those characters because they would go away. Jamin had gone back through the manuscript and taken out commas and worked on dialogue was an easier read. I DID point out spelling.....and figure MIKE (he of the RED PEN) will bleed all over the thing; I didn't need to worry to much more about grammar. I focused on the plot line and such.
After the first 25 - 30 pages I was HOOKED. This book is full of non-stop action. I finished it and SCREAMED. I hate HOOKS. I hate books with no resolution - but this is set to be a trilogy - I should have guessed! Jamin loves JRR Tolkein - I should have guessed. I told him he'd best not take 4 years to write the sequel. I did find it to be a fun read - once I got use to his way of introducing characters.
There were several times when I stopped and thought, "Wow - what a great worldview this child has" and other times when I thought, "He could strengthen this theme".
The book is set in the middle ages - sort of a mythological has knights, lords, villains, witches, flying beasts, animals I've never heard of before, battles.....but he did fairly well at staying away from cliches. It doesn't read like "Tolkein or Lewis with new names". I'm not really into the fantasy genre but this one did hold my attention to the very, very end....once I quit trying to keep the hundreds of characters in the first few chapters straight. He told me he did that because in a small town "everyone knows everyone". LOL You DO get that feeling.
Mike is reading it now for grammar/structure/themes. We began reading it last night as a family read aloud. Becky has it and is reading for inputs and themes etc. Jamin is starting to rewrite again.....and has begun book 2. The series will tentatively be called "The King, The Key and The Genie".


We spent a chunk of this day geocaching. Josiah downloaded the coordinates for about 20 caches before we left home. We also discovered that Dollar General is "near" the state park and carries milk and eggs (along with paper plates). We found 6 caches this day.

Our first cache was INTERESTING. Did you know that there were POW camps for German prisoners in America during WW2? We've studied this time period several times over our 17 years of homeschooling and had never unearthed the fact that there were POW camps here. There was at least in W TX. This first cache was hidden at the site of the camp/training field. The historical marker was interesting. We then drove back on the old road to see what we could see. The land has since been bought by ranchers, but you can see the old roads, some foundations etc. The cache itself was TEENY TINY and a bit of a challenge for us to find. We'd never encountered a cache smaller than a pill bottle. LOL We plan to do some specific research on this site and the topic in general. We'd like to know if there were other such camps during the war. We'd only heard of the Japanese Internment camps before this.

Our Second Cache took us to an old cemetery. One of the strange things about Mike and I, is that we enjoy visiting old cemeteries. Mike found in our very first pastorate that spending some time in a cemetery was helpful in maintaining perspective. This one was up a tree. The older two boys hammed it up - t-poisoning revisited...but this time we all looked for the pulley system. ::snort::
Found this marker for a confederate soldier to be interesting....
And this one struck me as well
Much to the children's relief, we eventually moved to our next cache. We found caches at old playgrounds, beside roads, across fields, and of COURSE, in the ever-present cactus patches....
I'm known for my "from the back of the pack" photos - why fight it?
Do you see the cache? We love big ammo boxes...we're able to load them up