Mother’s Day Joys

We did something new this year for Mother’s Day and woke the kids at 6:00 to go out for breakfast. It was a challenge for Indy, who had been awake since 5:00 (consequently so had his mother) and wanted to sleep, but he trooped through and won the heart of our waitress anyway.

We tried a new restaurant renowned for its waffles, which turned out to be pretty good. The atmosphere was kinda neat, the music kinda annoying (especially for 6:00 in the morning), and the portions, while tasty, were small.


Posing in front of the train cars.

In the end it was fun to try, but not a place designed for feeding large families. I might go back again sometime for coffee and pastries, though. They had some impressive looking cinnamon rolls.

The morning set the tone for what came later, namely the arrival of my parents. Continue reading


11 Years



11 years of happy marriage to this guy.

Picture is from our 2nd anniversary in Silverton, Oregon. LK was about 8 months old.

Rising to New Heights

The Dearliest rented a 30′ scissor lift for a job, and when that was done he decided to bring it home to give our massive hedge a badly needed trim.

It was quite an occasion. The boys (the girls too, but mostly the boys) always get very excited when new equipment comes home (even temporarily), and when the Dearliest announced rides for everyone LK didn’t hesitate to give his opinion of the event. Continue reading

Level 1: Once Upon A Time, We Met Online

My 11th wedding anniversary approaches, and so I thought I’d take a few posts here and there to tell the story of how I met and came to marry the Dearliest. I meant to do this last year, it being the 10th anniversary and all, but I got, shall we say, preoccupied.

A few of you have been following my blog since the beginning of this story (and well beyond…oh, those days of LiveJournal), so much of this may seem familiar.

The Dearliest and I met online. Really. It wasn’t through a matchmaking site, but a forum for homeschool grads. I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but I did look for good writing, and he had it.Hddnis_Avatar

He also had the most hilarious avatar, which captured my attention before his words ever did.

In fact, he captured the attention of a number of the females on the forum (and the males as a result), although he didn’t seem to let it go to his head. Nobody knew his name, age, location, or what he looked like, but his presence on the forum gave a pretty clear picture of his character.

I liked it.

On a whim I wrote a one-sentence note of appreciation on his profile. I was certain it would get lost in the numerous other posts he seemed to regularly receive, and I didn’t expect to see a reply.

Life got busy. I graduated college, my part time job at the printing shop became full time, and I didn’t check the forum for weeks. When I finally did, I was genuinely surprised to see I had a PM (private message) from him.

Fogwood_AvatarUnbeknownst to me, my avatar and writing had caught his eye too, and he’d been watching me on the forum the whole time, looking for an excuse to start a dialogue.

We began corresponding over the forum with general, little stuff at first. I was pretty guy-shy at the time, still mending some heart wounds from recent years and not at all interested in revisiting romance.

Something about the Dearliest, though, made me feel relaxed. I felt like I could be myself with him, he got my sense of humor, and when he sent me the PM with his name and two pictures, I had thoughts to match.

“He’s tall. Uh-oh.”

A small part of me knew even then what was going to happen, but I did a pretty good job of ignoring it. For a while. He was in Oregon, I was in California. I was totally safe.

Yeah, the things girls tell themselves.

Our messages got longer and we moved to emails, and over the next couple months several things happened.

1) I realized he was more mature in his Christian walk than I. No other guy I’d been around knew as much Scripture as he did, and not just knew it, but applied┬áit. He inspired me to grow in my own relationship with Christ, and that had never happened before.

2) I found myself checking things off my List left and right. Yes, I had a List. I started it in my teens and added to it as I learned more about myself and the opposite sex. Some people said it wasn’t fair to have expectations or standards that high. I disagreed. But maybe that’s another post.

3) I suddenly found myself struggling with the previously firm notion of never having children. (Why no kids, you may ask? It stemmed from two things: years of heartache where my brother was concerned, and some selfish attitudes where I was concerned.) At the time I thought it was entirely disconnected from what was happening with the Dearliest (or Fox, as he was known back in those days). Now I know better.

My position on kids bothered the Dearliest, and he knew he couldn’t and wouldn’t pursue me without a change of heart. He also knew it was a decision I had to make on my own, so he said nothing and prayed for weeks.

God is good, and when I posted on LiveJournal my epiphany about having children and changing my mind, the Dearliest let out a loud “Hallelujah!” from his side of the internet, taking it as a green light to move things to the next level.

Level 2: The Dinner and the Other Dinner

Pokado’s Globes

Shops aren’t only for boys, as this little gal can tell you.


Four decorative globes (made from the metal bands off of wine barrels) needed to be repaired for a customer, and Pokado asked to help. Given her flair for the dramatic, a hot rivet gun seemed right up her alley.


She was very proud of her work. I’m pretty sure the Dearliest was too!


Many thanks to SuperC for taking the work-in-progress photos.

Of Milk and Dandelions

The Dearliest and I decided it would be beneficial to my and Pokado’s health to drink raw goat milk. My mother-in-law raises dairy goats, so there is an ample supply (the other kids drink it, Princess Saucepot demands it).tmp_27818-IMG_20180501_144248572705045

Pokado and I hate it.

The smell, the after taste. Even the freshest milk is difficult, so I’ve been experimenting with ways to hide it and get it down quickly. Smoothies became our preferred method, sometimes using goat milk, sometimes using plain goat yogurt from the store. The after taste was still there, but it was manageable.

It helped knowing we were doing this together, bonding in our time of trial…

I’ll stop being dramatic.

Fast forward (or rewind, I suppose) to a couple weekends ago, wherein Aunt TW introduced me to Dandy Blend, a caffeine-free, gluten-free barley/ rye/ chicory instant drink. I LOVED it because it was just like the Cafix I grew up with, only with dandelion root added. Dandelion has a host of health benefits, the most common one being liver support (here’s one more link, which goes into more detail).

I bought 2 pounds of it for myself.

The Dearliest heard about it and got curious, because he has some health things going on and research said dandelion helped. He wanted to try Dandy Blend in milk, but as it happened we’d just run out of cow, so he used goat.

And he discovered that something in Dandy Blend cancels out the goaty taste. Completely.

I’ve been adding it to our smoothies ever since, and it adds a wonderfully similar-to-coffee flavor and gets rid of the goat flavor. Pokado and I actually like it now!tmp_27818-IMG_20180501_144620440121103


Further notes on Dandy Blend:

For the first 3 days I drank it, my liver ached. I backed off on how much I was drinking for a while (in addition to smoothies, I was mixing a heaping spoonful in hot water with a little half and half).

I can only assume my liver was de-toxing, because by day 4 my liver felt fine and several other things that had been bothering me for weeks were greatly improved or gone altogether. Read more about signs of a stressed liver here (there are other, more detailed sites, but this one is a little more stream-lined and not littered with ads).

Lastly, here’s one more link on the positives of goat milk, because I like the nutrition information at the beginning.

(These opinions are my own, I wasn’t paid, and the Dandy Blend company doesn’t know I exist. I’m just sharing stuff. Also, I am not a medically trained professional, I just do a lot of reading and research. If you have health issues or concerns, please do your own research or seek professional assistance.)

Apple Crumb Muffins (honey adaption included)

I am, on the whole, not the biggest muffin lover. The one exception is the apple crumb muffin I used to find at Costco. Sadly Costco doesn’t sell them anymore, at least not here. It was a very mournful day when I heard this.

On retrospect, it was a good thing, because otherwise I would never have made my own!

These are pretty close to Costco’s, but unfortunately it’s been so long since I’ve had one of those I can’t say for sure how close. They are mighty good either way. Adaptions for honey are at the bottom.


Apple Crumb Muffins
(makes 24 muffins) Continue reading