Freshwater Academy

Fresh Water Academy was founded in 2010. It is home to four lovely young ladies of learning and their dedicated teachers. Located in the wilds of Wyoming, the name Fresh Water Academy was chosen as a Western analogy to Christ. Just as He is the Living Water, and we must have Him to have eternal life, any desert dweller knows the importance of fresh water to life, both for self, and the nourishment of crops or livestock. By taking nourishment in God and His word, we strengthen our own relationship with Him, our faith, and the quality and abundance of our fruitfulness.

Our keystone verse is from Jeremiah, Chapter 17, Verse 8: "For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

The fruit that we speak of is mentioned in Galatians 5:22
"22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

And the heat could be anything we experience that might test our faith in God; trials and tribulations, relationships, anything that focuses our love and attention anywhere but on Him...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Slacker

I know.  I have been completely slacking!  Things have been very busy here.  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family, a crazy busy work day at the Haven where we accomplished so much, and are sliding back into our routine, just in time for more craziness! :)


All of our Christmas cards are written and addressed, the letter is written and needs to be printed, along with some family photos.  I think I'll take up a blog entry with the publishing of the letter as well!  I'm settling the kids down to watch some DVR'd Christmas movies in front of the TV while I take the folding table in our room to wrap some more presents!  I've been trying to prepare the FlyLady way and do a little at a time, ahead of time, instead of staying up till midnight three nights in a row to get it all done (like I could stay up till midnight anyway)!


Headed grocery shopping on Friday, we'll be able to start making potica, a batch of Christmas cookies to mail, and FlyLady's Mocha Mix.  


Always remembering, that the real reason for the Christmas season is Jesus Christ, and the gift of eternal life. It's important not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, the "I want this, Gimme that!" mentality, but to remember why we celebrate at all!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

I started to write this Tuesday, and set it aside for most of the week.  I've just been rather lazy, enjoying my family time, playing with the kids, cooking...blogging took a back seat.  I have just compiled all my random thoughts for the week about Black Friday ;)...various comments from facebook statuses and CafeMom posts, not necessarily put together or in order...

Do you?  This has been a family tradition for years.  I have always loved the challenge and excitement of finding a great deal, and the camaraderie of enjoying the event with my family.

I haven't decided if I'm going.  I have been looking forward to it, but the whole midnight thing has thrown me for a loop.  I started to write a blog entry about it today, but never actually finished and posted it.
My husband works W-Sat.  We get up at 4AM, and we spend an hour together before he heads off to work.  If Kohl's opened at 4, I could get up at 2 and drive into town, still getting to spend most of the night at home with my family.  If I go at midnight, then I leave around ten or ten thirty, when the rest of my house is headed to bed.  Then I stay out all night, rather than just having an early morning.  I am also worried about driving home, that even if I'm awake enough to go to town in the middle of the night, I may not be awake enough to come home the next day!
I know I sound like I'm whining, and maybe I am.  But I think I may just wait and see how I feel Thursday night.  
I've been excited about going for over a year, since I found out we were getting a Kohl's!  I used to always go with my mom, but haven't gone for the past couple of years since we haven't spent the holiday with them and my husband has to work...
I guess I can always go online!  Yes, someone did mention I could just go at 4 and shop, but if I do that, will there be anything left?  I would rather go at midnight and go for the gusto if I'm going to drive all the way into town to shop, and stay home and hit the online shopping pages if I'm not!


I hate going to WalMart anyway, and haven't been on Black Friday for several years.  It is scary!

I like going early in the morning, 4 or 5 is often a nice time to be up, just before the sunrise, enjoying a cup of coffee, getting finished in time to go have a nice breakfast before the crowds come out.  

I wanted to go, but we live an hour from town, and the all night raid plus a drive home was just too much for me.  I don't mind getting up early, but I'm too old to stay out all night!  I shopped online, then rolled over and went to sleep when I was finished! ;)

I was going to go, but midnight was just too much. I don't mind getting up early, but I don't want to stay out all night!

I bought lots of stuff online though!

Now on to the Christmas letter so I can put it into the cards which are all addressed and waiting.

My Letter to the Editor was in Thursday's paper!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day of Rest

Yes, I took yesterday off!  We had a lovely day of mostly relaxing in the morning!  I got stuck when I went to pick up a friend for church, but we got out, practiced, and had a nice worship service.  We came home and emptied out the fridge, eating leftovers and cleaning it out!  


The plan today was to work at the Haven, moving and storing stuff, cleaning up, building shelves, and other assorted projects, but there was an emergency this morning.  My poor Sister in Law has no water because a pipe broke this morning!  The guys have gone down to work on it and we haven't heard anything for awhile.


Today, I am mailing eleven more letters to various newspapers in our region, hoping to get the news out about our Post Office!  


I hope Monday sees your week off to a great start!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Snowy Saturday!

We had a beautiful, relaxing Saturday! :)  Well, all except for Paul, who had to drive to work in the foot of snow that was already on the ground when we got up this morning, and home in more of the same.  The rest of us watched the last episode of the new Clue miniseries, and a few episodes of 7th Heaven, the Final Season.  Justice wandered around town, shoveling porches and walks, and David started building the carpetball tables at the Haven.  


The kids all ran out to play in the snow this afternoon, and they looked like they were having a ball!  Now they're playing Wii, and homemade pizza dough is rising as I write!  Paul will be here soon, and we'll have a nice family weekend :).


Here are some snowy pics!





















Friday, November 18, 2011

Snow Falling!


I made a lovely video this morning!  As you can see, it was snowing.  And it is still snowing.  And it is beautiful!  I love snow, and that's probably a good thing since I live in wild, wonderful, Wyoming!  We're heading to the library and the post office in a little while, to mail our first batch of letters.  I'm even sending one to the local paper!  Have you written your letter today?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

“Mail Call.  Mail Call.   Mail Call.” Resounded through the crowded room, leaving a hushed silence in its place.  All eyes turned to the speaker, standing straight and tall, even though his uniform was long retired.  “How many of you have heard those words before?”  He went on to share about the long and lonely days of a deployed soldier, and the joy and excitement of receiving that long awaited letter.  There were tears in his eyes and passion in his voice as he spoke of the importance of our Post Office.

If you live in my community, you know what I’m talking about.  The Edgerton Post Office is one of 44 throughout the state of Wyoming, and 3700 across the nation that have been slated for discontinuance.  In other words, the Postal Service has started the process for closing them.

The Post Office is under the gun, and is hoping to find ways to conserve money.   Their projected loss for the 2010 fiscal year was over eight billion dollars!  Now imagine the difficulties and reproof when the actual loss equaled more than ten billion!  Costs have to be cut and revenue earned somewhere, which is undeniable.
Closing the entire contingent of 3700 Post Offices across the nation would generate one to one and a half percent of that ten billion dollars.  One to one and a half percent and small and rural communities across the nation would lose the social and business center they depend on daily.

Until you‘ve lived in a small town, you don’t understand the value of that epicenter of human contact.  Minutes of the Town Meeting, the Community Newsletter, Upcoming Community Events, are all gathered at the Post Office.  Members of the community wander in throughout the day, eager for a friendly face and the latest news.  Older citizens who no longer drive walk through the doors, looking forward to the welcome and the chance of mail from family or friends.  Young children eagerly await replies from pen pals, packages from grandparents, and the latest toy catalog.  Business owners ship packages, send invoices, and pay bills every morning.  Families purchase money orders and provide their families with light, heat, water, and other amenities, by using the services of the Post Office.  It is such an important part of our community that my heart swells up with emotion as I try to write these words.

Another interesting thought, is that the Postal Service is fully prepared to move to a five day delivery system, Monday through Friday, which would save an estimated five to eight billion dollars each year.  Five to eight billion dollars?  That’s a pretty cool chunk of the ten million dollars they lost last year.  So what’s stopping them?  The change from a six to five day work week takes legislation. 

So what can you do about it?  Write.  Write.  Write.  Flood your Senators and Congressmen (or woman in our case) with letters, urging them to keep rural Post Offices open.  Suggest that they take initiative and bring legislation to move the Post Office to a five day week, and save billions of dollars.  In this instance, please don’t send them a quick email, or fill out a comment box on a web page.  Inundate the Postal Service with letters and revenue.   Send your Christmas cards through “snail mail” this year!  I know I do and will continue to do so.  There’s nothing like reading the greetings and seeing the smiling faces of my friends and family on a card that I can hold in my hands, pin up on my refrigerator, and tuck in my scrapbook.  Speak out!  Let your voice be heard.  Continue to write, and to share through this period of public comment.  The Postal Service is looking for feedback and this is your chance to save our Post Office, to support our community. 

As I heard said over and over again at our Town Meeting, “We’ve got the tools.  Write the letters.”  “Don’t give up, don’t quit.  Let them know we’re here!”  “Keep the support going.” “We can’t stop the push and communication.  We have to let them know we’re still here!”  Our family has committed to write at least one letter per week per family member to the conclusion of the comment period.  Won’t you join us?
One thing is for certain, if we choose to do nothing, we will most likely lose our Post Office.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Officials to Contact:
Senator Michael Enzi                   Senator Barrasso           
P.O. Box 33201                              P.O. Box 22201                
Casper, WY  82602                       Casper, WY  82602  


Representative Cynthia Lummis
P.O. Box 44003
Casper, WY  82602


Postal Representative:
Marcela Juarez Riviera
7500 E. 53rd Pl RM 2214
Denver, CO  80266-9631





Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Competitive Spirit

Do you have one?  I am sorry to say that not only do I have one, it sometimes gets the better of me.  Now I don't see anything wrong with wanting to win (or at least make a good showing), and I don't see anything wrong with a little healthy, all in good fun, sportsmanship filled competition, but there's just something about making it a contest that sends my competitive gene into hyper drive.  And since I am such a clutzy, sales challenged, unathletic dweeb, the contests where I can shine get revved up to a fever pitch, and sometimes, I just can't let go!


Let me share an example.  I love CafeMom.  Some days I think I live there ;).  Most months, one of my groups has a contest.  The two Mods (Moderators) who make the most posts in the group win a prize.  I love winning, and I could certainly use the prize money, but I almost think I need to disqualify myself for at least a month, because I think I'm out of control!  During the month of September, I went on vacation with my family.  I knew there was no way I could win that month.  In fact, I was sure I wouldn't even make my Mod goals, and shared that with the Group Administrators and my fellow Mods.  


I was at least going to post some photos while on vacation, but I wasn't able to because of a slow internet connection at the hotel.  Upon our return from vacation 3 weeks later, where I returned to the group, almost 200 posts behind the leader, and well toward the bottom of the pack.  Fast forward two weeks to the end of the month when the posts and replies were tallied...and I had 864 entries, over 200 more than the next highest participant.  Do you know how much time I must have spent online in order to generate that?  I love CafeMom and I love posting, and I love participating, but I think I need to just post to post, and not be in the competition, because sometimes I feel like I am not giving anyone else a chance, but I just can't stop myself!

Monday, November 14, 2011

To Save a Life

Have you seen it?  Released in 2009, this movie is a powerful voice for the devastation of teen suicide and how it can affect families and friends.  Even more importantly, is the thought that one step, one friend, one voice could make a difference, and that each of us have the power to take that step.


I cried at this movie.  It was profound, and it was powerful.  I urge you to take the time to watch it, to encourage your children to take a stand against the bullies of this world, to not be one with the crowd, but to be courageous enough to stand for what is right, even if they stand alone.  


I do caution you to preview the movie first.  We watched this movie as a family, not knowing that there were some age inappropriate situations.  There are several parties where there is a lot of drinking, drunkenness, too much visible skin, and one scene with implied sexual activity (there was sex,  but it was not shown).  It did give us opportunity to talk with our children, but are situations we would not have shown them.  There is also a boy who is cutting in the movie, and provides an opportunity to talk about what that is as well.


It is a movie full of choices, and second chances.  It reminds each of us that we always have a choice to do the right thing, or to stand by and do nothing, and shows some of the possible consequences of each of those choices.


http://tosavealifemovie.com/

Safe

I knew I forgot to blog yesterday!  We had a lovely Sunday of hanging out and getting some home things done in the morning, then were ready to roll on to practice and church in the afternoon!  I love having afternoon services :).  We even had the Powerpoint ready, which we had been getting lax about, sadly enough.  


This has become one of my favorite songs, and is one we did yesterday...

It reminds me that no matter how bad I think things are, no matter how low I am, God is always there.  He has always provided, He will always provide, and He has a plan.  It's my job to follow the path He's laid out...

Psalm 119:105  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.



Jeremiah 29:11-13
 11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
 12Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
 13And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

He has plans for my life, plans for me.  Plans for good, not evil.  And He says that if I call on Him, he will hear me.  If I seek Him with all of my heart, then I will find Him.  There is no greater comfort in this life than to know that I don't have to worry and fret, He's got it all taken care of.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Town Tripping

I am headed to town again this morning!  This has been one of those weeks, where I think I've spent more time on the road to and from town than at home!  Today I'll be picking up some lumber for the carpet ball tables we've been wanting to build over at the Haven, and some plywood for the floor in the living room!  The wind is blowing about 50 miles an hour (without exaggeration), so I'm not completely excited about the trip, but I get to drive my awesome truck and enjoy time with my wonderful Sister-in-Law, Colleen, so I'm sure things will go well.  


If you have no idea what I'm talking about when I mention Carpet Ball, here's a peek of the tables at camp, and the fun the kids (and adults) have there!

Our nephew, Yeshua, celebrating after a great shot!

Niece, Taylor, pondering her next roll.

Spectators  lining the sides of both tables, awaiting their turns and cheering on favorites!

Nieces, nephews, other youth, and my hubby lining up to take a turn.

Six of the people I can see in this picture are either nieces or daughters of mine,
and I think the seventh might be my nephew!


Nieces, Diane, Taylor, and Cecilea rocking the table!

My hubby, Paul, and our niece, Cecilea, going head to head, 
with nephew Yeshua, nieces Kayla, Diane and Taylor, 
and another youth, Michael, cheering on their favorites!

Friday, November 11, 2011

As I sat down to write this morning, my beloved canine companion came and laid her head on my knee.  When that didn't get my attention quickly enough, she wiggled her nose underneath my wrist, and threw my hand up in the air, gently but insistently bouncing it until it my fingers rested behind her ears in the optimal scratching position.  Yes, I did get the message :).  And it got me to thinking about some of my most wonderful friends, who just happen to have been furry.  


Meggie is my buddy.  She's been with me through thick and thin, good times and bad, every little twist and turn of life.  She's got Cleopatra eyes, and a gorgeous smile, a heart full of love, and a joyful spirit.  She's the official greeter at the Community Outreach Center, and I've seen people who looked so sad, lost, brokenhearted and dejected, respond to her antics by petting her, or just holding onto her, and even the faint glimmer of a smile.  


Have you hugged your furry friend today?


Here are some furry friends who have touched our lives...You won't see Tab or Shorty, because I don't have any digital pics of them, but here are a few...




Megs...
















My brother's cat, Frank.  He's even older than Meggie!  He's got to be 17 or 18 years old  by now!
 This is Cactus.  He passed away last spring, but was a special friend to our whole family.  Here my niece and youngest daughter are playing with him.  He was a snuggler too, as you can see below.



My husband riding my dad's horse, Billy.


My cousin Tandi's horses, Razz and Hershey, 
with my youngest daughter and niece aboard.

You can see my two Maids of Honor, one furry, one not :).
And Kayla, our family beagle, didn't want to feel left out...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!


And goodnight!

High Aspirations

I had high aspirations and great plans to blog when I got home last night, but by the time we made it through the door, I was so tired that I practically crawled into bed!  We had Thanksgiving Potluck last night, and our family cooked and baked all day to prepare!  


One of the really cool things is that we timed the culmination of our unit, and our Medieval Feast to coincide with potluck, and the girls spent the day helping to prepare some of the recipes from our lessons, such as beef barley stew, and peas porridge (pea soup).  We baked some pies and brownies also, and had a good time reading recipes, measuring, and talking about spices and foods from the Middle Ages.


Today we should finish our read aloud, Adam of the Road, and the girls have been working on projects, memory verses, letters, maps, and other assorted things!  We're ready to head on to the Renaissance and Reformation as early as next week!


I will double blog today, and be back later to write more, but at 5:30 in the morning, this is about as intellectual as it gets! ;)


I'll leave you with this picture of my fashionista, Hannah, all dressed up and ready to model yesterday!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

eBay

Do you? Or don't you?  Why?  I've had mixed success on eBay, both buying and selling.  Sometimes you find things, sometimes you don't.  Sometimes, if I'm not careful, I end up way undercharging for shipping, like the time I sold a book to someone in England for $27, and it cost me $28 to ship...I think I listed it as media mail for two or three bucks.

I have also seen people go completely crazy with bidding wars, and end up spending two or three times what an item is worth!

That's all I have for today.  I have to tell you, as I've sat here and started and restarted 3 different topics, I have been visited no less than 18 times...oh make that 19, by various children who are having a little trouble being independent this evening.  I am not sure how I can help with "go to the bathroom and put your jammies on", but they seem to need me very much, so I'm signing off for now, and off to spend the few precious minutes before bedtime with my children!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Really? I forgot again?

Yes, I know, 2 days does not a habit make...I'm getting there!  I had dozens of ideas flash through my head today, but I was of course running 90 miles an hour and they fizzled out just as quickly as they flittered in.  My husband and son have worked incredibly hard today, and we now have overhead lights in the living room, for the first time EVER!  We also have a really big living/dining room!  It's an exciting process to watch, and I'm so thankful for them!  I don't have the finished (so far) pictures because my camera ran out of batteries before uploading, but here are some "during" shots!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chuck Black's Knights of Arrethtrae Series

It's no secret that I love to read.  My husband is always teasing me about being "in a different world" when I'm reading a book, and my mom and dad know exactly how true that is, having experienced the exact phenomena for at least 18 years.

Lately, I've been immersed in two series in particular, one of which is The Knights of Arrethtrae Series by Chuck Black.  Set in the Kingdom of Arrethtrae, Knights of the Prince and the good, Silent Warriors, constantly battle Lucius, the Dark Knight, his Shadow Warriors, the Vincero Knights, and other forces of evil they encounter.

These books first drew my attention when I had difficulty getting one of the teenage boys in my youth group to lower it long enough for Bible Study.  He'll sit and read a good book, and become involved in it, but he's more of an action kind of guy, and he's not going to be captivated by that book for long, unless it's truly captivating, catching and holding his interest.  I picked up his  book and leafed through it, and had difficulty tearing myself away to begin the lesson!  

I checked out the first book in the series from the library the next week, and before I was halfway through, I had the audio book on hold for my husband, and and told my teenager she would be reading it when I finished.  I want my younger girls to read it as well, but I think it will have to be a read aloud at this point, because I am not sure they have the vocabulary and comprehension to truly run with it yet.  

This series grabs and holds your attention from the very first line of the very first book.  Sir Kendrick rides boldly into the very lair of evil in order to share the message of the Prince and defeat the forces of the Dark Knight.  The steadfast faithfulness and valiant courage of these brave knights shines through in every situation where they find themselves.  A perfect parallel to the gospel, these Knights of the Prince share the Message of the King and the Prince throughout the land, urging people to turn away from their own desires and live for the Prince, to turn their lives over to him.  Their battle cry itself shows their unwavering faith in God's (the King's) message..."The King Reigns! And His Son!"

Here's a link to the author's website, and some more information on the books.  There is another companion series, The Kingdom Series, which I have already put on hold at my local library and will begin reading soon, so stay tuned for more!


The Knights of Arrethtrae is a medieval action/adventure series allegory. Building upon the Kingdom of Arrethtrae as created in The Kingdom Series books, these stories fit within the time of the waiting years, between books 3 and 5. This is analogous to the Church Age or the Time of the Gentiles. This is not a chronological series like the Kingdom Series, for each book stands alone and tells of the adventures of individual knights during this time period. The Knights of the Prince are recruiting and training all who will follow the Prince as they wait for His return. During these years, brave knights rise up and take the story of the Prince deep into the heart of the kingdom and to the far reaches of the land. They encounter great adversity and peril as they fight against many strongholds established by the Dark Knight as well as those influenced by his power. Each title allegorically teaches a biblical principle such as loyalty, compassion, courage, humility, and faith while warning against the tools of the devil such as rebellion, greed, doubt, and apathy.







Saturday, November 5, 2011

Oops!

I know, officially up four days, and I've already missed half of my posts...I had intended to write two blogs today, to make up for forgetting yesterday, but after I spent the morning reading to the girls, cuddling up to watch Smurfs, and the afternoon in my room, wrapping Christmas presents, my kids needed some face time with Mom, so blogging took the back seat.  I will have wonderful words of wisdom (or at least some blarney) to share tomorrow!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reading is Controversial?

I had to share a little from one of my CafeMom replies this morning.  I went to one of my groups, to see that a post called "Reading" had been added to the "Controversial Topics" Group.  Trying to figure that one out, I opened the post, and began to read.  The poster theorized that reading is a totally unnecessary skill that people don't really need to have, that it causes stress and stated "learning to read is a painful, humiliating and unnecessary experience for a significant proportion of people."  


This is my reply:


When I saw this post, I was trying to figure out how Reading could be a Controversial topic.  Of course, then I thought of the ongoing battles between "Whole Language", "Phonics", "Sight Words",  "Balanced Literacy"...
I never thought about Reading being dismissed completely as an unnecessary skill.  I believe that Reading is an integral life skill, and I can't imagine being without it.  Yes, I can see where it can elicit frustration if children are pushed beyond their readiness, or forced into a "learning box", but I think everyone needs at least some functional knowledge of reading skills and strategies.  Even if you don't read for enjoyment, there are just some times when you might really need to know what's going on!  What about reading a map?  Or reading signs ...traffic signs, directions signs, street signs...signs in airports, restaurants, shopping malls, banks...How do you pay your bills if you can't read a billing statement?  How do you know how much money you have in the bank or balance your checkbook, write checks or money orders, etc?  
When I was a little girl, my dad traveled all over the state for work.  I went everywhere with him, especially in the summertime, but there were a lot of times that my mom went too, and we enjoyed the time together as a family.  I remember one trip in particular.  I don't remember where we were, but we were staying in a little motel in a little town somewhere in Wyoming.  Mom and I stayed in the room, or in the play area at the hotel, or walked down the street to the library every day, then spent the evenings with Dad when he was finished in the field. 
There was a Country Kitchen or similar restaurant right next to our hotel, and we would walk over there for supper each night.  One night, there was a man in the restaurant, who ordered a country fried steak.  But the restaurant didn't serve country fried steak.  He was really embarassed, but we got to visiting, and it turned out that he ordered country fried steak in every restaurant, because he couldn't read the menu, and it was something that most of them had.  My folks helped him figure out what was on the menu, and he asked my mom if she would teach him to read while we were there that week, because he hated not knowing how and having things like that happen, or having to ask for help all the time.  I remember sitting at a table outside our room looking at the newspaper with him, playing reading games, and helping him learn some of the basics.  I don't remember the man's name, I have no idea what he looked like, but that story has stuck with me for over 30 years, because it was such an important lesson to me about the importance of Reading.