Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Last Earthly Birthday

This picture was taken two years ago on my Grandma's 80th birthday. Isn't she a knock out? Today is her 82nd birthday. We were all hoping she would make it to her birthday and she did! I didn't post a current picture of her because I know she wouldn't want me to. She is extremely thin and frail now. This last year her COPD had taken its toll. She started smoking when she was 18 and was never able to stop even though she tried several times. If it wasn't for smoking, I'm sure my grandma would still be riding dirt bikes with us down in the Alvord Desert. 

Just after she moved into my mother's house a couple months ago, she started failing fast. She now needs 24 hour care and hospice is helping out. What a blessing that organization is! Please pray for my mom who is juggling a full time job and all of grandma's needs. They have found a good care-giver during the day while mom is working. That has helped a lot. It has been a real eye-opener as to what I should expect when my parents are going to need this kind of care. 
As I've gone to visit my grandma during her last days on earth, it certainly has helped me see death in a whole new light. I see that it can actually be a blessing and not something to be feared. I'm so grateful Grandma is a believer and I know that I'm going to see her again someday in a beautifully restored body. I have my moments of grief, but overall I'm learning to see the preciousness in the last days of a person's life. It is such an opportunity for us to serve and love on her. She is maintaining her sense of humor through it all. 

"Thank you, God, for these memorable moments spent with Grandma. Thank you for the opportunity to be able to tell/show her the love I have for her. Please don't let her suffer a moment longer than she needs to on this earth, but don't let her go until you've completely finished what you want to accomplish through her life. God, I pray that as you prepare that special place in heaven for her, that you will include a dirt bike in your plans. I can just picture her riding through the streets of gold on a motorcycle. What a special time you've given us with her. Let us not squander a moment of it. In the meantime, until you take her home to be with you forever, please sustain her. In your precious son's name, Amen"

Now go hug someone you love!

God Bless, 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Family Photos at the Ranch

All my parents wanted for their 25th wedding anniversary, as far as a present goes, was to have a photo of all us kids and grandkids with them. My brother and SIL granted them that wish and had a professional photographer friend of theirs come and take some shots out at the ranch. What a patient guy! He also took a bunch of shots of the kids playing and individual families. We haven't had a professional photo taken of our family since Josiah was about a year old, so I guess it was about time! 

This is such a natural Hailey look! I'd show you pictures of Josiah, but apparently the photographer didn't have much luck getting him to stick around for a photo shoot. Not so with Hailey!

I love this one! I thought it looked very artistic.

Our family with Dad and Diana.

Dad and Diana with all the grand kids.

The whole family. Nine grandkids so far!

All the grandkids.

I loved this pic of Dad and Diana by their license plate collection. Awesome pic! So glad the my Brother and SIL found a way to make their dream come true.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Abandoned Cook House

While we were camping at the ranch out of Heppner, my sister, Stacie and her son, Jacob, and Hailey and I, had a chance explore of one of the old buildings still left standing on the ranch. We visited an old cookhouse built for the loggers when they were logging the area probably nearly a 100 years ago. I have a thing for looking at old buildings and wondering what those old walls would say if they could talk.

I kept thinking of the movie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Did any of the cooks who worked here marry their customers? Yep, I'm a hopeless romantic! 

The stove was still in the covered porch area.
The fireplace was still standing.

They sure had a pretty view from the once-covered porch.

 What a welcome sight this cookhouse must have been for hungry, weary loggers.

Hailey and Jacob.

You could tell this was the kitchen/pantry area.

I don't know what these metal signs were used for. They were sticking out of the fireplace chimney. They must have acted as some sort of a barrier, but I'm not sure how or why. Anybody know?

Monday, July 18, 2011

4-Wheelin' Fun

Instead of bringing horses to the ranch, we all opted for off-road vehicles this time. We could cover a lot more ground of this 5000 acre ranch. Between all of us, we managed to bring 6 ATVs and one dirt bike. Man, did we have fun and get dirty! The area has some of the deepest pockets of Mt. Mazma ash (resulting from when Crater Lake blew up) I've ever seen. The elk love to wallow in it. We would come back from rides, just covered. 

Michael on our 1970's dirt bike that he restored. It used to be my dad's motorcross racing bike.

My brother, Jerry, with their son, Noah. His wife, Sonya, is behind him, with Uncle Kenny and my Dad bringing up the rear.

Aunt Terry and Uncle Kenny. 

We went on a ride Sunday morning up to a lookout where we could see several elk across the way. My sister is pointing them out.

Taking in the view and the elk. The day before, they saw a herd of 400 elk come off the hill and settle into this area. I was bummed to have missed seeing that!

Partial view of the valley as we were coming in from a ride. You can see the cabin to the left of the picture. Can you see why we love this place?

Another piece of the valley. The wildflowers were in full bloom, a month later than normal. The smell of the wild roses was so wonderful!

Picture of our camp. I'll be posting pictures of the old cookhouse next. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mountain Creek Fun

The kids played for hours in the creek that ran below the cabin. I don't think it gets any better for kids when they have a creek to play in. It was a shallow creek with cold mountain water, so we didn't have to worry about them staying in for long. But they had fun wading, catching snakes and fresh water mussels and attempting to pan for gold. Hailey and her cousin, Jacob, hung out together at the creek for awhile. They are only six months apart in age.

Love this picture of them looking at each other with funny faces.

Look at the view behind them!

My sis looking on as the kids play.
Yes, I feed my son and he eats like a horse, although this picture makes it look like he's malnourished, LOL. He's stretching out quick, now if we could get a little meat to stay on his bones!

Hailey and Josiah panning for gold with their cousin, Marcus. 

I spent an hour looking through all their diggin's. Only found "fools gold" and mica, but was definitely fun to try. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Camping with Family in God's Country

My dad is blessed to be a ranch manager to a man who has several ranches. We were able to camp on 5000 acres of some of the most beautiful land I've ever seen. It is right next to Forest Service land and we were given access to ride ATVs on all the old logging roads around the ranch. The pictures I took don't do justice to the view that we saw. It is impossible to capture it on camera. We had such a great time as we met my dad, stepmom, brother and his family, my sister, Stacie, and her kids and my aunt and uncle. The above picture is of the rustic hunting cabin. It comes with an outhouse and no running water. It does have a propane stove, which is nice for cooking on. Here is most of the crew! 

Josiah with his cousins, Marcus and Josh. Dad would fire up the generator at night for a few minutes and turn some lights on in the cabin, other than that, no electricity. Do these boys look like they care about electricity?

The kids had so much fun playing in the little creek that runs by the cabin. They caught water snakes and fresh water mussels, panned for gold, and used their imaginations. Here is Josiah with is cousin, Jessica, and Aunt Terri. I got them to show off there "mussels". Yep, one even bit Aunt Terri's hand right off, it was so big! Just kidding, it really got caught in a meat grinder when she was a kid. I told her I'd make up a really good story for the blog though, LOL. I love watching how she doesn't ever let one hand stop her from doing anything. She road an ATV on a really rough road(trail) and can even tie her shoes with one hand. She is an inspiration for sure!

Camp from a distance. Our family camped in a tent on the nice flat deck. It was awesome. Very cold at night though. We all froze that first night!  It was so cold there was frost the next morning. We listened to wild turkeys gobbling to each other at night.

Hailey and Josiah enjoying the fire, waiting for their turn to roast marshmallows.

This picture of my nephew, Jacob, cracks me up!

Here is a partial view of the gorgeous valley that the cabin (nestled in on the left) lies in. There are so many awesome logging roads to ride on and of course it is private, so you never have to worry about someone coming at you in the opposite direction. Nobody got hurt and we had a fabulous time riding.
View of the valley looking south of the cabin. I've got more pics to come, so stay tuned...


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Renewed Passion - Creation Ministries

I've never given my testimony on the topic of Creationism before. I'm praying that even if you don't agree with me, you can read this post with an open mind. This is a topic near and dear to my heart as I was a former Evolution Theist but now I'm a full-blown Creationist. 

Ever since I was very young I've always been interested in knowing how the world around me was ordered. Unfortunately, being a product of the public school system, I graduated from high school completely doubting the validity of the Word of God. I was a baby Christian with very little understanding of what the bible really said. I got good at picking and choosing parts of the Bible as to what I wanted to believe, especially when I went off to college. I definitely didn't want to be different from what other scientist believed, so I subscribed to the "no I haven't evolved from a monkey, but I believe a year in the bible could be any length of time"  I totally took the "year is like a thousands years" verse from 2 Peter 3:8 completely out of context and used it to justify my stance of being a Christian, yet still believing in Evolution. 

I became a soil scientist and worked in the secular world doing soil mapping for about 5 years before my world was rocked by a woman at a women's retreat who had enough guts to challenge me on my thinking. She patiently listened to all my excuses for why I believed in evolution, but then she simply asked me to research Creationism myself before I made up my mind. I got home and my sister, who was just starting to homeschool, gave me a couple of books, and I was scared to death to open them, because I knew I would never fit into the secular science world again. 

When I started researching Creationism, I was overwhelmed by the fact that Evolution is just as much a religion as Christianity or any other religion. Having been a soil scientist for a few years then, I had begun to see how subjective science was and realized how much of science was based on opinion. I think that is what I liked about Creationism the most is that it was so simple. It was so easy to take apart the theory of Evolution with real science. The kind of science where things that have been tested over time and proven to be true over and over. Anyway, I could go on and on, but my point is that I felt really jipped. I didn't understand why I hadn't ever been exposed to this theory. I found out later it is because 98% of churches in this country don't teach a literal 6-day Creation or of a fairly recent global flood. No wonder I hadn't ever been exposed to it! 

I've done some research over the years and studied many different Creationist's teachings. While they can differ in some of the more subjective issues that aren't clearly taught in the bible, they all agree on a literal 6 day Creation, and a global flood as well as many other points. When I finally understood that the bible really was true, front to back, it kicked my faith into gear and sent my spiritual life into over-drive! I've never be the same. I don't care if people call me crazy because I believe there were dinosaurs on the ark. Soon they will know the Truth when "every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord". God is proving himself as year after year, new archaeological and scientific evidence is coming to light.

Our community was recently blessed to have Creation Scientist Russ Miller visit us. We managed to go to three of his sessions. It sparked not only a renewed passion in me for this topic, but also in my son, Josiah. He is a lot like me, very scientifically minded. He is 7 years old and he wants to go to a college that teaches Creation. Sadly there are only 6 colleges in the country that do. I could totally see Josiah doing what Russ Miller is doing someday. The kid is great at public speaking and extremely passionate. I think he'd make a great Creation scientist! Maybe his mom could be his side-kick, LOL ;o)

One thing I really appreciated about Russ Miller was the fact that he kept to the main point. He didn't get sidetracked with things that can't be proved scientifically or biblically. He recognized where we need faith but also points out where Evolutionists need a great amount of faith, too, to believe the things they've been taught. I'd love for you to visit his website, www.CreationMinistries.org . He does rafting trips in the Grand Canyon, showing evidence of a global flood as well as other field trips. Our family is hoping to go on one of these trips in the future. 

If you have never even heard of a different theory of the earth's origin other than Evolution, I hope you will be brave enough to check out this video on YouTube. It is the 50 Facts vs Darwinism video by Russ Miller. Please pray your heart will be open if these are new concepts to you. I understand that it is hard to have an open mind to these things if you've never head them before, but we seriously have to decide whether the bible is true or not. If one part of it isn't true, than it is all worthless. Personally, I'm siding with Truth! My prayer is that the Church will wake up to this issue and start taking it seriously. That we will hunger and thirst for the true, undiluted Word of God! I hope that is your prayer, too. 

I bought his DVD series, which are not copy-righted. If you are looking for a good arm-chair ministry, you can buy these at his website www.creationministries.org and copy them for friends and family who would be open to watching them. You can also learn how to help get the word out. Look for him on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/CreationMin.  I had a good friend who was a "scoffer". I encouraged her to come to one of his sessions when he was in town and her world-view was completely changed. Her heart was open and her spirit was receptive. It was a precious thing to see! 

There are many different books out there by Ken Ham, too. The picture above shows several books I bought from Ken Miller's table. My kids absolutely love the "D is for Dinosaur" and "A is for Adam" children's books. I liked what Russ Miller had to say about teaching kids bible stories. He said, don't just teach kids bible stories, show them the scientific proof behind those stories! I've been noticing lately how many publishers are watering down and even flat-out changing the bible stories to make them more "kid-friendly". Not cool!

As Christians, we should not be afraid of this topic. We should be actively teaching our children the truth and reliability of God's Word, no matter how you chose to school your children. I believe when Christians can know and understand these truths, that it will help plant the seeds of the huge revival that is prophesied to take place before Jesus returns. Let us be mighty warriors for Jesus and live out his Word in our lives. 

"Lord, let your Word be alive and active in your Church! Do a good work in us, please! Don't stop until your purposes are fulfilled on this earth. Break us, mold us, use us, holy Heavenly Father! Let us never be tempted to water-down your Word to fit what the world is teaching. In your precious Son's name, Amen."

God Bless, 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

Hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July! Amidst all the barbecues/potlucks and fun, don't forget to contemplate the sacrifice of those who helped create our country and those who are still working to defend it. May God continue to bless America. May America never forget how it was God's providence that created and sustained us through the years we've enjoyed being a nation.

Happy 235th Birthday, America!

God Bless,

Friday, July 1, 2011

Healthy German Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

This recipe has moved into my top 5 cookie recipes of all time! It is one of the healthier cookies that I make, but trust me, it doesn't taste healthy. That's the way I like it ;o) My son, Josiah, won a blue ribbon for these cookies at the county fair!

Healthy German Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe:
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sucanat
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp Celtic sea salt (optional)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 c flax seed meal
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup organic chocolate chips
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix first six ingredients together well (I use my Kitchen Aid). Then add the next four ingredients and until mixed well. Then add the next 3 ingredients and until mixed well. The dough should be fairly thick. Drop the dough by small spoonfuls, two inches apart. If you want to make these fancy, you can sprinkle tops with more coconut and pecans before baking. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until tops are just starting to crinkle and crack. Remove from oven and let set 1 minute, then remove the cookies to cooling racks.    

Note: You can omit the flax seed meal, but I found that when I used it, the cookies held together better (for days afterward). Usually whole wheat cookies fall apart by the next day. I'm going to start adding some flax seed meal to all my whole wheat cookie recipe and see if they will hold up better. 


From My Kitchen to Yours,



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