Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Little Bit of Sadness In Our Life

Spark went out to start the chores this morning and found that Phillip, one of Millie's new babes, had died during the night.  Spark went right away and dug a hole in the middle of the yard, not sure why the middle, for him to be buried in.  We had a few tears and words and covered him up.

While we are sad that he died we were not surprised.  He was so much smaller than his brother so we were thinking that for some reason he wasn't getting all he needed while in the womb.  He also didn't walk well and when we would have them outside he would lay down often like he was just exhausted, eating seemed to make him tired as well.  He also breathed like a little steam train engine.  We wonder if he had some sort of a heart problem and when he was born, and had to eat and breath on his own, it was just to much for him.  Whatever happened, we loved him while he was here.  I try to stress to the kids that we praise God when He brings us babies and good things and God is good and we still praise Him when He takes from us.

Out Exploring

King of the hill

The ball that Dad's hat is pointing to is an eagle's nest.  The sticks it made it's nest out of are just huge. 

The white spot in front of the branch going straight up is the eagle's head.  She watched us the whole time we were there. 

Dad said, "I'm a lichen that rock."

Flintstones furniture

This is a city park that isn't too far from our house. This is not the normal landscape for our area, in fact, I have never seen rocks like this sticking out of the ground and I have lived here my whole life.

Perfect fit.

A mini Mount Rushmore.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wood Scrap Block Mirror

This project came from the book "The Big-Ass Book of Crafts" by Mark Montano.  Yes, that is really the name of the book.  We got it at a book store that was going out of business for a couple of bucks but have found that it is full of great projects and would have been worth more than the price we paid.  Spark made this mirror for a fine arts and crafts project for 4-H.

The project requires:
  • 12" X 12" inch beveled mirror.  We could only find these in packs of six so there may be more mirror projects in our future.
  • 2' X 2' piece of plywood
  • Scraps of wood.  Not having any scraps Dad cut a bunch on the table saw
  • Wood glue
  • A can of Krylon Acrylic Crystal Clear spray
  • Sand paper if you want to sand all those little blocks of wood.  Spark said "no thank you" to that part, it would have taken days to sand them all
  • A hanger for the back

Measure where the exact center is on the board and glue the mirror down.  Start arranging the wood pieces around the mirror.  This is some what of a puzzle to get as many pieces on as possible.  Spark started by the mirror and made sure that the edges of the mirror were completely covered and the pieces were flush with the edges.  It took a good couple of hours to get the whole board covered as well as he could with the pieces.  Working out from the mirror worked the best.

This is just a few of the wood pieces, it took a whole lot!

After all the pieces are put down with only small gaps here and there glue them all to the board starting at the mirror and working to the outside. 

Let the board sit at least over night to dry.  Spray the board with the Krylon spray to make it shiny.  Do this OUTSIDE because this stuff smells awful.  Spark brought it back inside awhile after he sprayed it and the smell was still to much for us.  Give it a couple coats of spray being sure to get all the surfaces of the wood because now they are jutting out at different levels. 

Put a hanger on the back and you have a one of a kind masterpiece!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Millie's New Babies

Millie was due to have these babies on Saturday.  We kept checking on her but no babies.  We thought having them on Sunday would be cool because it was Easter and my mom's birthday.  Nope.  Yesterday was the most beautiful day, warm and lots of sunshine.  She just layed sunning herself out in the corral chewing her cud.  We even left her out until dark in case she would go into labor it would be easier for her to have them outside.  Today is rainy and cold.  We went into town so the goats stayed in the barn, they hate the rain anyway and would have been crabby and miserable outside.  This morning when we left she was laying in the hay looking as non in labor as could be.  When we came home a couple hours later she had had two little boys.  They were still wet and the placenta was hanging out of her so she couldn't have had them much before we got home.  She is sneaky about giving birth, in four years we have never seen her have a baby.  As soon as we saw that they were boys the kids named them Niko and Phillip. 

This is little Phillip getting his bath from his mom.  He is really tiny.

The other boy, Niko, is really big.  This picture shows Phillips on the left, Niko in the middle and Giles, who is three weeks old, on the right.

Niko is bigger than Lola who is also three weeks old.  Millie has never had two babies before, she has only had single births and they have all been huge.  This year, not only we were surprised that she had two but they were such different sizes.  Niko doesn't even act like a newborn, he stood right up and started walking with steady legs.

Phillip has one floppy ear.  Sometimes that happens with Saanens and people will tape them on a piece of cardboard to make them stand up straight.  Both were floppy for a couple of hours after he was born so we hope that the other one will follow suit without us intervening.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Out Hunting for Tupperware in the Woods

Schools around here didn't have school today so we hooked up with some fellow geocaching friends and went out to a wonderful county park to find a few.  We have been amazed at the great parks that are near us, ones we would have never gone to if we weren't looking for caches.  This park is several  square miles with woods, prairie, rivers, lakes and the usual park grassy areas making it seem like we were in a lot of different places all in one day.  We brought lunch with and had picnic so it seemed like we were on vacation without the cost of a vacation.

There were a few of these hand pumps around the park the kids thought they were just the coolest things.  If this had been a hundred years ago they would have thought it was work.

One of the lakes we walked by had downed logs in the water and there were turtles sunning themselves on all of them.  If we got to close to them they would slip off the log and float in the water looking at us waiting until we left and then climb back up on the log. 

One of the hazards of Geocaching - prickly ash.  This is just one of the scratches we are sporting.  Dancer and I wore long pants and that really saved our legs but Dad and Spark look like they got in fight with a barbwire fence or something equally as evil.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Scientific And Natural Area

For Easter afternoon we thought it would be a good time to check out a Scientific And Natural Area we have been wanting to explore.  These areas are part of the state Department of Natural Resources.  They are usually out of the way spots of land that have remained completely untouched by humans for the most part.  The one that we went to doesn't even have a parking area, you just pull off to the side of the road and park part way down in the ditch so passing cars don't hit your car while you are off hiking in the woods.  There are no trails, or other facilities, so you just wander about enjoying what it would have been like it you were going through here on horseback or covered wagon.

It is nice to do these things now because it is finally warming up but the mosquitoes haven't come out yet, just the ticks.  It was really cool in here, it reminded me of a movie set.

A red mushroom fungus thing, these were so pretty popping up among the brown leaves.

I look back and Dad is laying on the ground behind a log.  I call back to Spark if Dad has had a heart attack.  Nope, he is just taking a picture.  You really should tell someone what you are doing before falling down on the ground like that.

Moss, I love how it makes it's own miniature world.

All the animals trails..... 

lead to the watering hole.  It was really muddy in here I don't think they will have this water source for much longer. 

The trees were so, so tall.

We did see one bit of wildlife, a snake.  He is the horizontal striped line right behind the branch.  I don't like snakes and everyone always tells me that they are more scared of me than I am of them.  I don't think so but thankfully he slithered in one direction as I ran in the other.  Dad, who is not petrified of snakes, ran after him like paparazzi to get his picture.

A few spring flower are starting to pop up.

Captain Barbosa was looking out of the tree.  No sign of the Black Pearl.

Everything is working hard to break out of it's winter covering of leaves.  Soon, soon spring will be upon us.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Weather

It has been dark, dreary, cold and raining all day.  It seems so appropriate for Good Friday.  Dancer said "I think it is tears coming from heaven for Christ today."  I think she is right.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Snow, Snow, Go Away, Don't You Know It's Almost May?

Seriously?  This is the second time in the last week we have woken up to snow.  It's April 20th for crying out loud!

Funny Odd or Funny HaHa?

A huge camping chair, it was actually for sale not just a display.  This thing had six cup holders on the arms.  Who needs six cup holders?  You would have to get up to use the bathroom before you got through six cans of beverages. You could grab a cold one on the way back, couldn't you? 

I think they are serious when they say no smoking in their truck.  What they need is a sign that says no bird pooping on the door (that was what the white stuff down the side was).

Monday, April 18, 2011

Welcome Home Jason

Whenever we go any where Spark brings a couple of his little animals with.  This last Saturday we were out and about and Dad had Jason stuffed in his coat because he didn't fit in his pockets.  We stopped at the grocery store on our way home, Dad unzipped his coat when we got in the store and Jason must have fallen out unbeknownst to Dad or any of us.

That night Spark realized that Jason was missing.  Thinking back over the day the only place we thought, or rather hoped, he could be was at the store.  So all Sunday no Jason :(

This morning, on his way home from work, Dad swung by the store and asked if they had a lost and found.  "Sure we do," the girl at the service counter replied, "What are you looking for."  Dad told her he was looking for his son's little tan dog.  "Is it this cute little guy here?" she asked and held him up, he was right under the counter. "Yep, that's the one, that's Jason" said Dad. Whew, the where is Jason mystery was solved.

Now we wonder what he did most of the weekend.  Did he hang out in the meat department?  The dog food aisle?  It is a 24 hour  store so he wouldn't have opportunity to get into to much mischief.  Jason is really good at math so Spark's thought was he probably helped people balance their check books.  Whatever  he was doing we are just glad he is home!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pictures by Spark

Geocaching Highlights

We spent a lot of the week out geocaching and taking pictures of the all the ones we found and other interesting things.  Spark is making a book for 4-H about our adventures to enter under the geospatial category.

Spark is hanging over a flooded area at a boat landing.  Dad is hanging on to him so that he can lean farther out.  Didn't find this cache, think it was where the flooding was and we would have needed hip boots to find it.  We will come back later in the summer.

Dad found our first micro cache.  It is the little black button next to the quarter.  It is magnetic and was stuck way on the bottom of a picnic table among a couple of bolts. There is only a very slim piece of paper rolled up in it for the finder to sign their name.  We signed the very end not brave enough to unroll it because we didn't how we would ever get it back in that little container.

We were at a park that we have driven to before to see where it was but never hiked around it.  It was just beautiful the more we got into it.  There were lots of bird nests that aren't visible in the summer when the leaves are out.

This park also had two ponds like this.  When we walked up to the first one it sounded like ducks when they talk to each other in their mumbling quacks.  When we got closer we could see that the water was alive, jumping with frogs, and what we thought were ducks were really thousands upon thousands of frogs.  I have never seen anything like it before.

We went to this man made lake that is in the middle of the nearest big town to us.  The ice was already out on this lake but a lot of the lakes around still have a ways to go before they are thawed.

We got right down into almost the heart of downtown.  Thousands of people drive right by this cache every day and have no idea it is there.

The absolute coolest place we went was this old stone building.  It is very close to a monastery and there is nothing else even close to it so it must have been built by monks.  We wondered what kind of things had happened there over the years.

This is all that was left of the windows. Some of the windows didn't even have the arch left on the top anymore.  It made me think of Jesus as the keystone.

Dancer took this picture.  It is looking up one of the two chimneys that were on each end of the building.

It looked like they tried to do some cementing over some of the stones.  We saw 1910 had been written in the cement on the door jam before it had dried.  1910 was probably the last remodel.

This is another park not to far from our house that we had never been to.  We were surprised by how big it was, we had no idea it went back so far into the woods.  It was very wet and muddy so we had to walk a long ways around to get to where we were going.  This part is a disc golf course. 

Spark down by the river.  The river snaked back and forth through the whole place.  The water current was running really fast so we threw sticks in and watched them float around the bends.

The best part of geocaching - marking the cache found on the GPS!