Monday, January 31, 2011

Deep Thoughts by Dancer

Do people who write joke books laugh while they are writing them?

Texas has nothing on us

Actually Texas probably doesn't have either of these things.

We have big sleds.  Spark got out the sled for the fish house this morning and was going down the drive way in it.  It goes fast compared to his "little" sleds.

We have big snow.  We have snow, snow and more snow.  Sixty inches so far this year was reported on the news tonight.  There was a few days of unexpected warm weather and rain or it would probably be piled up that high.  Today we got about five or six more inches and then it blew and whipped around.  Of course we can't be content just sitting in the house, we had to take a drive this morning and see how the roads were.  Thank goodness we know where the road is because you couldn't see it.  We got through though, just like the mail.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hope "Springs" Eternal

By Dad

You may have thought I seemed a little, shall we say despondent in my last post.  I'll admit it.  I was feeling a little down, watching the snow blow off the roof  and drifts finger there way over the driveway.  But now things are looking up.

Say, what's that under the coffee table?  Ho, ho, a bunch of seed and nursery catalogs.  I have been perusing the fine garden selections available to me via mail order.

Ahh, what wonders dance in my head, the winter garden dream.  A fantastic garden, free of weeds.  Row upon row of healthy vigorous plants, you know, like in the catalog.  Gigantic piles of beans, twenty foot tall cornstalks and endless bushels of tomatoes.

Remember that really old Porky Pig cartoon where he plants seeds, then squirts some fertilizer in the ground with a pesticide duster thingy and everythings grows immediately and then he has to fight the crows for the harvest?  I always liked how the crows ate the cobs of corn like an old manual typewriter.

My winter garden dream is like that, except the crow part.  I don't have any weeds or long dry spells or hornworms that can defoliate an entire tomato plant in one morning.  I am also not bothered by leggy transplants or blossom end rot or striped cucumber beetles.

Considering how my garden actually looks by mid July, I figure gardens are like puppies or babies, we only remember the good parts and eagerly plan another.  For now, please don't wake me lest the garden of my dreams evaporates and drifts away.   

Battle of the Bulge

...or  maybe the War of the Winter Wasteline.  We have all been struggling with trying to be active and eat healthy during these winter doldrums.  Many times when you hear us Upper Midwesterners complain about winter we are weary of the length of the season more than the cold.

Sure it gets cold, like 30 below zero, but how long winter lasts is what gets to me.  The snow that covered the yard in November is still all there and it will be through March.  The driveway and walks keep getting narrower, but not me. 

It's hard to exercise in the winter.  I am too cheap to pay for gym membership or to drive into town to the gym.  Our normal activities include mainly outdoor activities.  There are outdoor winter activities but they aren't things you do on the spur of the moment.  Some of the most popular winter activities aren't even close to exercise.  Things like the snowmobile and ice fishing.  Even activities like snowshoeing are more difficult because it's cold out and dark so early.

Another issue we have is how nice it is to snuggle in the house with some comfort foods.  Most of these foods, for us, are carbs.   Hot cocoa, cookies, cinnamon rolls, crackers, chips, etc.  Tonight we had another discussion with Spark about why you can't scarf down carbs all day.  Topics like the lack of nutrition, unhealthy co-ingredients like fat and salt, and mainly how they don't actually fill you up, rather they make you crave more snacky carbs. 

Tomorrow we are going to all make food diaries to make it easier to see how often and what we eat.  The diary also helps to put in perspective "Do I want to walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes just to eat that?"  Hopefully a little extra attention will mean less seasonal padding.

This just in, 4 to 8 inches of (more) snow by dinner time Monday. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011


A mom asked me the other day if I am worried that my kids might have gaps in their learning because they are homeschooled.  An article that just came out in the paper stated that only 40% of the school kids in our state are proficient in science and that number is statistically high compared to the majority of the United States.  No, I am not worried about gaps.

Spark's First 4th Grade Bastketball Tournament

Spark's team won the first game and lost the next three.  They would start out strong, winning at the half time, and then fall apart in the second half.   The games were all very close which makes for lots of excitement.  I was reminded again that fourth grade boys are aggressive.  The ref would call a jump ball the boys would keep fighting for the ball.  The ref had to tell them that when the whistle blows the game stops.   I remember when Dancer played and now the girls team seemed just dainty compared to the boys.   The picture is of Spark during warm up.  All the other pictures were blurry, we took them with Dancer's little point and shoot.  I will have to bring the big camera next time and use the sports setting.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dancer's Best Ever Cinnamon Rolls

Dancer made a pan of these this afternoon and oh did they taste yummy.  I wish you all could have one.  The best I can do is post the recipe so you can make your own.

4 1/2 to 5 cups flour
1 package yeast or 2 1/4 tsp.
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup nuts

Mix together 2 1/4 cups flour and the yeast.  In sauce pan heat milk, 1/3 cup butter, granulated sugar and salt.  Heat to 120 to 130 degrees.  The butter may not be all melted at this temp but that is okay.  Add to flour mixture.  Add eggs.  Mix on low for 30 seconds and high for three minutes.  Add rest of flour until it forms a soft  dough.  Knead until the dough is soft and elastic, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Cover and let rise until doubled in size.  Punch down and let rest 10 minutes.  Roll out into a 12 X 18 rectangle.  In a bowl mix brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup butter and cinnamon.  Sprinkle over dough.  Sprinkle nuts over the filling.  Starting from the long side of the rectangle roll up and seal edges.  Slice into twelve pieces.  Arrange pieces in buttered 9 X 13 pan.  Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until nearly doubled in size.  Bake in 350 oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  Drizzle with powdered sugar icing. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What we do when we don't blog

The last few days has just been business as usual.  Nothing extraordinary or real note worthy has happened that I want to record for children to remember when they are old.  So I told Spark, I am going to write about our nothingness so you can see how we spent our "regular" days.  Here goes our nothingness.

Spark is usually the first one up in the morning.  He will often get up during the night, watch t.v., go back to bed around 7:30 or 8:00 and then sleep again until 9:00 or later.  I think he needs this time alone.  If Dad is working, Spark will sometimes stay up in the morning and wait for him to get home and then go back to bed.  

Most mornings everyone gets their own breakfast.  Sometimes I will have something planned but that is the rare occasion.  Then we sit around for a while and get our bearings.  If Dad worked I like to chat with him about how his night went, if he didn't we watch some news.  If he worked then he usually brings home the paper and then I do the Sudoku and check emails, blogs etc. 

Chores are next on the list.  All the animals need food, fresh water and a little attention.  In the winter we don't do much more than that because it so cold.  Giving water means that we haul jugs of water out to the barn from the house.  We have to chop the ice, if possible, that formed in the buckets over night.  If the bucket is completely frozen we pour hot water over it and a big ice cube, ideally it works this way, pops out.  If the chickens layed any eggs we gather them up.  If we are out there not long after they lay them they aren't frozen yet so we bring them in, if they are frozen we throw them away so that when it does get warm they won't stink.

After chores we start school, trying to get at least an hour in before lunch.  I like to get math out of the way first.  Sometimes they ride the bike or do other things at this time.  Spark concentrates much better if he has few miles in on the bike before he has to sit down and start paying attention.  Then we have lunch and do more school in the afternoon.  If we are home all day we often study until 4:30 or 5:00.

The above would be our perfect morning and afternoon but, of course, often other things seem to pop up and throw us off.  Dad had a dentist appointment yesterday.  He is going to be the owner of a sparkly new gold crown on a tooth he broke on a old maid in the popcorn bowl.  Today we had to go pick up our produce order that comes every three weeks.  Sometimes other things will take precedence, a package needs mailing, we need to run to town, an animal needs some extra attention (like Eeyore having a seizure), some household chore has to get done, an appointment, etc.  If Grandma Shirley and Grandpa Bob want to come then that is a week day.  We always break for them to come, you can do school anytime but how often do you get to see your grandparents.

On Mondays we go bowling in the afternoon.  Since we have to drive into town we combine the trip with shopping and going to the library. 

Wednesday is AWANA night.  If Dad doesn't work then he and I drop the kids off and go on a little mini date out to eat so we have time to talk.  If he works then I stay at the church and chat with the other moms.  I am way older then most of them and so the talk is of car seats and breast feeding.  All of which aren't part of my life anymore but I still enjoy the chatting.  I am always happy to hold a baby and that alone is enough to make my night.  I just love babies.   Last night Dancer's class went to another town to the DQ for treats.  Lucky them!  Usually I would be panicked to let her ride with someone else but, after our near accident the other day, I realize she isn't that much safer with me.  The kids love AWANA so they are always in a good mood and excited to tell about their nights when they get in the car so that is really fun.

Thursdays we go to the YMCA for gym.  They love this because a lot of their friends are there and so it is a big social time.  This session they hired a person go with the older kids and work out on the gym equipment.  He runs them through a 45 minutes circuit and it is like having a personal trainer.  I told Dancer how lucky she is to have this opportunity, I would love to be able to go with them.   I sit in the lobby and chat with the other moms.  These mom's all have older kids so the topics aren't as likely to be about kids but, if they are, it is about middle school and teenagers.   If need be we make another run to the library and shopping we do it on Thursdays.  Often we are done with the books or videos we checked out on Mondays so we at least do a book drop.

When we are home at night, the kids can use the computer and watch t.v.  We don't watch a lot of t.v., not because we don't like it, but because there just isn't much on.  Tuesdays we watch "The Biggest Loser" but the rest of the nights we will usually watch a movie we already own and have popcorn.  Dancer loves to play games so we play at least one almost every night.  Spark spends a lot of time drawing or playing Legos.  We will work on 4-H projects, make crafts or read.  A lot of days we need to catch up with our bike miles or Wii Fit time.  When it is nice out we are outside until it is dark out.

At night we need to do the barn chore routine again.  The kids also need to empty and fill the dishwasher and other misc. inside chores.  I try to do a load of laundry every day and keep a semi order to the house.

Spark likes to be read to before he goes to bed.  I usually read to him and then get back up and that is when Dancer likes to talk.  If Dad is home he and I sit up later talking.  If he is working then I go to bed at the same time as Dancer so I have time to read a few bible chapters before going to sleep.

That's it, that is as exciting as we get.  Nothing to write home about.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tator Tot Hotdish Recipe

This is the ultimate comfort food, makes you feel like you are sitting right at your mother's table.  I thought everyone knew about this dish, but after talking to some people last week about what was on their families menus I found out that only one of them had even heard of it.  We even had it on our school lunch menus so maybe it is a regional dish.

Tator Tot Hotdish

2 lb. hamburger
1 onion chopped
2 cans French Cut green beans
 (Yes, it needs to be French Cut green beans because that is how it has always been made and to use anything else would just be wrong.)
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
1/2 soup can of milk
tator tots

Brown the hamburger and the onions.  Add the green beans, soup, and milk and give it a good stir to mix it all together.  Put in greased 9X13 pan.

Line the tator tots on the entire top of the dish.  Yes, they need to be lined up in neat rows, not dumped on the top, because again, that would just be wrong.  Bake at 350 degree for a 1 hour.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

There is water in that there lake

Dad got an attachement for the ice auger that lets him put his cordless drill on it.  So when it was so blasted cold we all had to haul down to the boat landing, walk a couple of feet out on the lake and drill a few holes to try it out.

Yep, we struck water.  Hopefully it warms up enough that we can get out there fishing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ambrosia - for immortal gods.

We made this for part of our Greek study.  Eating it was suppose to make the gods strong and immortal.

We made it with frozen fruit, fresh strawberries and peaches are a tad to spendy this time of year and don't look very good in the store.  Put a layer of fruit in the glass and add powdered sugar.  Coconut can also be added but none of us eat coconut.

Spark was in charge of the powdered sugar, can you tell?  This is a little too much sugar, it turned to sludge in the bottom of the glass.

Pour some orange juice over the top.  We put a lot of orange juice on ours and made it more of a drink.

Now that I look at the pictures I think we should have blended it up as a smoothie.  Our fruit was still frozen when we made it so Spark didn't even like his, he said the peaches were too cold.  Dancer and thought it was excellent, very sweet.  We made it the next day too and didn't put the sugar on, just the orange juice, and it was plenty sweet.  But that wouldn't be ambrosia then would it?  Hmmm, just make it how it sounds good to you, this really can't be messed up.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bubble Skins

For Cristina of Home Spun Juggling

Blowing bubbles when the temps are way below zero makes them freeze almost instantly.

Some froze and stuck onto Dancer and her coat.  The others blew away over the top of the snow in the wind.  I wonder how far they will go.  Wouldn't it be unexpectedly odd to come across a bubble perched on the snow.  How do you think the person who saw it would try to explain this frozen bubble phenomenon?

In this picture, and the one on the top, you can see that they didn't all freeze bubble perfect round, some had flat sides.

This is one that collapsed in on itself and Spark said, "These look like bubble skins." 

To see what happens when a glass of hot water is thrown in the air at subzero temps, you can look at our post from a couple of years ago Winter Fireworks.

Better Than Deli Ham Spread Recipe

One of the snacks our family makes fairly often, especially in the winter, is ham spread.  The spread is good on crackers or a sandwich.  This spread is made from those odd 5 lb blocks of chopped ham in the grocery store.  We also make it with left over ham.  The block of chopped ham is cheaper, keeps a long time and you can just cut off the amount you need and rewrap it.  Packs of ham "ends and pieces" are another way to save money on the spread.

Chop the ham in to pieces about the size of dice,  pulse in the food processor until the size your family prefers but not so long it becomes a paste.  remove the ham to a bowl.  Add onion to the food processor, pulse and remove.  If your onion is strong or you add too much, you can get pink onion spread--trust me.  If you do just add more ham.

The spread in the picture has chopped sweet pickle relish mixed in.  Alternatively, you can chop up green or black olives or dill pickles.  Add mayonnaise to the other ingredients to get the consistency you like.  Serve on crackers, toast or on a sandwich (rye or pumpernickel is good).

When I was in high school I worked in a deli, we made the spread from just about expired bologna and other meats from the deli case.  I don't know if they still do it this way but, to this day, I can not eat deli ham spread. 

We have come to this

Dancer got the game Professor Layton's Diabolical Box for her birthday.  She has been burning through the puzzles but once in awhile she gets a stumper and asks for help.  At first she would bring the DS over with the stylus, then it progressed to a Lego sword and now she brought it over with a toothpick.  I laughed so hard when I saw this.  I think her brother playing it has something to do with the declining progression of the stylus tools and he better get busy and start looking for the actual one.

Bundle Up!!

Let's not even talk about the windchill. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

How we digest fat

Spark was reading about the stomach digesting fat and he did this little experiment.  Using two glasses he filled them with warm water.  Into each glass he poured a dollop vegetable oil.  He wanted to use olive oil, but after a little discussion on the cost of olive oil, he made the wise choice to use the vegetable oil and will not be making the mistake again of thinking of using olive oil for a science experiment.  He put a couple drops of food coloring in each glass to make the oil stand out better.

The drops of oil in the glass were really large.  To show how intestinal peristalsis, a rhythmic movement of your stomach that moves food downward, breaks up the fat molecules (triglycerides) he stirred the oil in the glasses.

When the water and oil was stirred it broke apart the oil into smaller blobs.

In our stomachs after the fat is broken down, pancreatic enzymes (in our case a squirt of dish soap) then digest the fat into smaller fragments.

Bile formed in the liver keeps the little fat molecules from separating out of the watery chyme (the semi-fluid mixture of food and gastric fluids that pass from the stomach to the small intestine).  The fat molecules are broken into small fragments, then enter the absorptive cells (villi) of the intestinal lining.  After being absorbed into the body they recombine into large globs and are sent into the lymphatic vessels that deliver them to the general circulation.

In the 1970's Proctor & Gamble developed a fat called Olestra (or Olean).  This is a modified fat that is too large to be absorbed into the body.  Because it is not absorbed the calories of the fat pass through the body.  It is available today in various chips and crisps like Pringles lite and Lay's Potato Chips Lite.  Unfortunately there are side effects when eating olestra.  The FDA required a warning: This Product Contains Olestra. Olestra may cause abdominal cramping and loose stools. Olestra inhibits the absorption of some vitamins and other nutrients. Vitamins A, D, E, and K have been added."

Are there any benefits from Olestra?  Sure, Olestra, like any fats, absorbs dioxin poisons.  Unlike other fats, the olestra and dioxin are not reabsorbed by the body.  The chemical is also used as an industrial lubricant and as a paint additive (don't be grossed out, lots of edible products have industrial uses).

Difficulty digesting fat can cause steatorrhea, that is fatty, or oily stool.  This symptom may help diagnose physical problems such as gall bladder disease, liver problems or pancreatic problems.

Spark thought this was just the coolest topic and experiment, he made sure we all came over and checked out his work.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Step up

When we got Bert, his old owners told us that he would "step up" on your finger.  We have been trying and trying to get him to do it and he never made a move towards stepping up.  Finally, finally, he stepped up on to my fingers.  I have a socked wrapped around them because he does bite and draws blood.  If he bites something, and it doesn't pull away, then he quits biting it.  I want him to bite the sock not my finger.  We think it must mean that he thinks it isn't something trying to attack him if it doesn't jerk back when he strikes.

As he was sitting on my hand he did a little flap and jumped up onto my shoulder.  He is so light weight that I could hardly tell he was sitting there except for the claw he was using to hang on.  We hope this means he totally trusts us now.


That was Dancer's bowling score of her first game on Monday.  She was on fire!  She filled all but two frames. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Watch where you are going!

We were coming home from bowling yesterday afternoon on a township road and we see a car parked on the side of the road about a 10th of a mile away from us.  I thought they were probably checking their mail but they were on the wrong side to reach the mail box from the passenger side and it was MLK Day so no mail.  The car pulls forward and then backs into the drive way, a long one where you can't see the house from the road so probably about a quarter of a mile long.  Again odd, why would you back down that long of a drive way.  We were going along at about 45 mph, thankfully I wasn't going 55, and as soon as we get to the car it pulls forward into the road.  I put on the breaks and lay on the horn but we were probably no more than 20 feet from the car.  I said to Dad, "What should I do?"   As calm as calm can be he says "Put her in the ditch."  I swerve to the right and slam into the ditch.  Thankfully we had have tons of snow this winter and the ditches are full so we didn't roll.  The car though was just buried. This whole incident happened in less than a minute.   I took a deep breath and shoved open the car door as best I could and yelled over to the driver, "What were you doing?!!!!"  I was proud of myself I didn't swear and conducted myself in the respectable manner I wasn't feeling at the moment.  She rolls down her window and says "Sorry, I was looking at a deer and didn't look before I pulled out."  She finally says she will pay for a tow and do we have a phone or do we want her to call.   She can start calling as we can't find the phone book.  I trudge up to her car through knee deep snow and stand at her window.   She has AAA and they are closed because of the holiday.  I didn't even say anything, just looked at her.  She looks at me for a few seconds and says "I will try someone else and I can probably turn the bill in."   She finally gets someone and I go back through the knee deep snow to wait in our car because it is below zero degrees with the wind whipping.   Spark is so upset he is crying and crying.  I needed to get back out of the car so I could hug him and calm him down.  By now I am wet from my knees down.  The tow truck that was suppose to take 15 minutes took over 45.  I took down the woman's license plate number so she knew she couldn't leave, but she never got out of her car.  If I had caused the accident I would have been out of my car so fast and run over to see if everyone was okay apologizing in between every sentence.   

Dad looking to see just how far we are buried in the ditch.  He could barely get out on his side as he was on the passenger side where the snow was even deeper.

The field where she was gazing at the deer instead of looking where she was driving.

The tow truck that finally came.  He dug the snow out of our wheels but the brakes and the engine are firmly packed with snow.  We were less than three miles from home so thankfully the car drove and we didn't have far to go.  Tonight Dad will put it in the other garage and run heater with hopes that it will melt out.

Spark after he calmed down.   I told the woman, as she was calling for the tow truck, that I would have hit her on the passenger side door and she probably, at the speed we were going, would have been killed if not all of us.  At the least both cars would have been totaled and we would have had serious injuries.  She did say yes she realized that but there was nothing she could do about it now.  No, I am sorry or are you going to be alright, is there anything I can do while we wait.  Nothing.  I just hope she learned to look from now on when she pulls out on to a road. 

Tow truck got us out and I said "She'll pay you" and we drove off.  Dad had to work last night so we needed to get home so I could start supper before he left and now he didn't get a nap in.  He and I had sore shoulders on the side that our seat belts were and the kids were fine.  Today we both feel better. 

One good thing that did come from it is the kids will know first hand that when they start driving to be alert.  It also reminded us how quickly our lives could have changed and we thanked God that they didn't.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Really, really low fat Pumpkin Chocolate cake

Just two ingredients - a 15 oz. can of pumpkin and a cake mix (doesn't need to be chocolate, that is just what we use).

Mix the pumpkin and cake mix together.  Get out the hand mixer or your muscles because this is the hardest part to get these two mixed together.  The batter is very think.

Put in greased 8X8 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Party all day long

We hurried to get to Pizza Ranch to meet Grandma Pat at noon.  Dancer was born at 1:32 a.m. and she wanted to stay up until then to be awake for her "actual" birth minute I guess you would call it.  When the time came around we were right in the middle of watching "Chopped" on the food network and so we stayed up until 2:00 then to see who the winner was.  Needless to say, we had a hard time getting up in the morning. 

Yummy buffet at Pizza Ranch as always and Grandma brought gifts.  She gave Dancer a ceramic birthday girl, she gives her one every year, and the game "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?"

The rest of the afternoon we went to the mall, Barnes and Noble, and Walmart to find a movie Dancer would want to watch for her birthday night.  It took us longer to find a movie she wanted than it will to watch it.  Actually she got the three "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies which are each over two hours long.

Opening the presents!  The best part of the birthday celebration.

Spark got her a Webkinz fox, which she named Silky Nicole, and we got her.....a box full of presents!  They would have all be obvious what they were if I had had them all out individually so I wrapped them all then wrapped them in a bigger box.

A quick run down of the gifts, Burt's Bees pomegranate lip balm (she loves this kind), purple glitter nail polish, purple sunglasses, facial mask, embroidery hoop, punch needle kit of a cow jumping over the moon, and a DS game.  She opened and started playing the DS game and we wondered if she was even going to want to watch a movie after we had spent all afternoon looking for one.  She did tear herself away from the game and we watch "The Curse of the Black Pearl."

She choose a cheese cake for her birthday cake.  I realized that we were all out of birthday candles so we lit a votive candle for her to blow out.

Oh, what a good choice she made.  The cake was rich and thick and oh so good.

Dancer and Mom.  Happy Birthday sweet girl - you are the best!!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy 14th Birthday Dancer!


                                                                     Pre-Dancer - November 1996

One month old 2/15/97.  She was such a tiny thing, this a preemie outfit but she was full term.

Second birthday - Dad must have been telling her something she wasn't believing.  This was a Tweety themed party and even her outfit matched, Tweety bib overalls with a Tweety turtleneck.

First haircut on her second birthday.  Spark looked at this and said "we are still using that gray comb!"  Well, how often do you need to buy a plastic comb?  Dad probably had it in high school or college.

Yummy cake!  This was the party we had with the daycare kids.

December of 1998, almost 2 years old.

Third birthday with a Minnie Mouse theme.  This year she had a matching Minnie Mouse t-shirt.  I must have been so much more organized back then!

April 2000 at Grandma's house in Arkansas - 3 years old.  I was pregnant with Spark on this trip and so sick.

Three years old wearing Grandma's straw hat.

Right by the dock at Grandpa Bob and Grandma Shirley's house.  She is in a little inflatable canoe.

  April 26th, 2002 - 5 years old.   I had forgotten it was picture day and she had spent the afternoon in the sandbox.  Thankfully we lived across the road from the studio and I could run home and quick get her costume.  Her hair was in a french braid but you can see it was falling out by this time in the day but I combed it as best I could in the few minutes we had before it was her turn to have her picture snapped.  The picture still turned out cute.

April 15th, 2003 - 6 years old.  This  year we were ready for pictures.

Halloween when she was 7 years old.  As a true homeschooler she wanted to be Betsy Ross.  I made this costume for her and the next  year it turned into Laura Ingalls.

Here was nine years old, the spring of 2006.  This was one of our first baby goats, either Cappy or Panda.  They were Toggenburg/La Manchas. 

Spring of 2008 - 12 years old.  Spark danced that year as well.  Since he had to sit and wait during her two hour lessons it gave him something to do for one hour.  He danced for two years and this was the last year.  I did like having their picture taken together, I think they look cute together in their costumes.