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, March 27, 2013

IN the World Doesn't Mean OF the World

Blogging over at the KJV Blog Directory today.  We live IN the world everyday, but we sure don't have to be OF it.  Come by and check out how to be different!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review of Famous Dave's in Casper, WY March 19, 2013

My husband and I visited the new Famous Dave's Barbeque in Casper yesterday.  We were part of the late crowd, strolling in the door about 8:30, checking the sign to make sure we weren't cutting it too close.  They close at ten, but when we walked in there were only a few occupied tables, while servers were busy wiping off others and putting the dining room to rights. Since it was Monday night, it wasn't too surprising that they weren't still hopping, but the nearly empty dining room did cause us wonder if the food was any good.

We were greeted shortly, as a hostess in sparkly pocketed jeans wandered out from a side section and gathered menus before seating us.  The table was nice, actually roomy enough for two people to sit next to each other without smashing shoulders or elbows, and solid enough I think it could even stand up to our family!

We looked around for a moment, taking in the decor.  The wood paneled walls and the old metal signage on the walls, it was  rustic, but not an overwhelming hodge podge.  The restrooms were at the rear of the dining room as they often are in restaurants, but they didn't require passage through the bar, which is a really high point when you're trying for family dining.  They were clearly marked without any kitschy gender names that are difficult for small ones to identify, and the restrooms (well the women's at least) were clean and well appointed, with several stalls, two sinks, and enough space to pass by others who might be waiting.  It was painted in soft golden yellow, with regal Native American Princesses gazing down from their paintings hung on the walls.

A young man came by, introducing himself as our waiter, and explaining that he was in training, and we would in fact have two servers, so that he would be able to practice and learn.  They brought Paul's soda and my water, and let us peruse the menu for a few minutes.  When Paul asked them for suggestions, he wasn't quite sure what to recommend since he'd only been there a short time, but she stepped right up with her suggestions, which included her favorite, the mac n cheese, and the "amazing" ribs.

We decided to order a variety of things, and started with Dave's Sampler Platter.  This huge platter came with Southside Rib Tips, Fried Chicken Strips, Center-Cut Cod Strips, Onion Strings, and Traditional Wings tossed with Dave's Pineapple Rage sauce... Sweet and tangy but with a kick of spice - "booby-trapped with habanero peppers" as their website states.  While we were waiting for the appetizer, our waiter brought out a dish of barbeque chips and sat down to explain the sauces.  He was knowledgeable about the flavor of each sauce and had suggestions of what you might try them with.

The original "Rich and Sassy" barbeque sauce is their original sauce, and is bold, tangy and rich, with just a touch of sweet.  I didn't care as much for the "Texas Pit", which didn't have quite as much tang, but the "Sweet and Zesty" (which was recommended for kids and those who wanted a milder flavor) was absolutely amazing.  I loved the sweet, vinegary tang of the "Georgia Mustard", and smiled a little at the full flavor and spicy kick of "Devil's Spit".  If you a lot of heat, then you will enjoy "Wilbur's Revenge",which will sear your taste buds into submission, but packs great flavor along with that fire. 
 Soon the manager himself delivered a huge silver tray filled with all kinds of delicious goodies.  There was a variety of sauces in the center for dipping, which we identified as "Rich and Sassy", "Georgia Mustard", tartar sauce, and ranch.  Their ranch is thick and creamy, tasty and perfect for dipping.  We dug right in, quickly discovering our favorite combinations as we sampled, dipped, combined, and tasted again.  The rib tips were yummy, the onion strings were decadent and delicious, and the fried chicken strips were crispy on the outside with perfect white meat in the center, not too dry, and not greasy at all.  The wings were good, but I quickly decided as much as I liked the sweet of the pineapple, I wish I would have made a milder choice.  I quickly fell in love with the beer-battered fish, and determined that it will absolutely be one of my entree choices for our next visit. 

Soon after we nudged the still half-full platter to the side, our supper plates appeared, again borne by the restaurant manager.  He asked how we were doing and if we needed anything, and we let him know that we were doing fine, and were enjoying our meal so far.  Our servers also checked on us several times throughout the meal, and we thought the service was absolutely wonderful. 

Paul had ordered "The Big Slab", which is a full rack of St. Louis Style Ribs, served with a cornbread muffin, and two sides.  He chose the delicious famous fries, as well as the mac n' cheese, which was definitely not a huge hit with us.  The ribs, however, were simply divine.  They were so tender that the meat just fell off the bone into our mouths, and the flavor was just beautiful.  My husband, who does not like cornbread, savored a few bites of his muffin, then tucked the rest away for breakfast the next morning, but he would not part with any of it!

I chose a Two-Meat Combo, which I filled in with Georgia Chopped Pork, and after a small debate, Texas Beef Brisket.  I filled in my choice of sides with Wilbur Beans (baked beans with smoked pork, brisket, hot link sausage and jalepenos), and their Creamy Coleslaw, which was zesty sweet with a small horseradish kick, and of course a fabulous cornbread muffin!  My meat choices were served on Texas Toast, which unfortunately was a little soggy by the time it arrived.  I tasted the bread, which was buttery and good, then tucked it aside to concentrate on the other flavors.

The Georgia Chopped Pork was phenomenal.  This is my hands down favorite menu item from this restaurant, and can run with some of my all-time favorites.  It was tender and fragrant, and had absolutely fantastic flavor.  I would and will order this again and again.  The muffin was moist and wonderful, not hard and dry, but melt-in-your-mouth delicious.  I enjoyed the tang of the Creamy Coleslaw, and I will absolutely order it every time I visit.  Unfortunately, the Texas Beef Brisket was completely unimpressive, and actually rather bland.  I will definitely not repeat that menu choice. 

Overall, we really enjoyed our first visit to Famous Dave's, and are excited to take our whole family soon.  We were able to eat our fill, and still take home three takeout boxes of leftovers to share with the kids this morning.  The food was fantastic and the service was wonderful.  The restaurant has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and the music was great.  I felt like I was sitting in a barbeque joint on Beale Street in Memphis, listening to the legends sing the blues.  I highly recommend a visit to Famous Dave's in Casper, Wyoming.

*I did have a little trouble with their website, notably realizing that once you've chosen a location you can't go back to their main site unless you use another browser, so if you're checking out the details online, be aware of this challenge.

Famous Dave's Barbeque
5900 E. 2nd Street
Casper, WY 82609
To Go:

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Willy Wonka presented by NCHS

At first I was rather irritated at $10 a person for tickets with no student discounts and no daytime student showings, but I got over that soon after the show started, and I became lost in the magical wonder of Willie Wonka.

I asked each of the girls what their favorite thing was, and Laramie's reply was "All of it."  I smiled and asked her if anything stood out or if she liked any person the best, and she said she loved it when Charlie got her golden ticket.  Yes, I did say her golden ticket.  Charlie was played by a senior at NC, Ruth Levine.  While it might have been a bit of a surprise to see a girl in the role of Charlie Bucket, Charlie can be a girl's nickname too, and she did a fabulous job!  I was very impressed by her performance.  She has a great voice and wonderful expression as well.  She made me believe that she really was a little kid, skipping through the streets and "thinking positive" through all the tough times that her family was facing. 

Becca said she loved everything, and when I asked her if anything stood out, she said "All of it", so I'm glad to see that she enjoyed the entire event :).   Hannah and Laramie sat forward in their seats, arms on the backs of the empty chairs in front of them and leaning forward, completely absorbed for the entire play.  When I asked Hannah what her favorite part was, she said she loved the Violet (Kiki Rochelle) part, when she blew up like a balloon. 

Justice also loved the whole thing, but thought the Candy Man did a great job and really enjoyed his song especially.  The young man playing the Candy Man, senior John T. May has a great voice and really brought dimension to his character. 

I enjoyed the performance entirely.  It was wonderful to see the way that they handled the effects and costumes, the set changes ran quickly and smoothly, and the set itself was simple, but absolutely fabulous and easily adapted to scene changes without a lot of time and visible effort.  I know there was effort, because it would not have appeared so effortless if they had not put in a lot of time and preparation before hand and were not working hard at every moment.

All of the young actors and actresses were very good, from the Oompa-Loompas in the chorus, to Willie Wonka himself.  Several standouts to me include Phineas Trout (Junior, Jesse Marvel), who has a great "broadcasting voice", and Senior Emily DiVita who actually raised my anxiety level two notches with the great portrayal of the easily agitated and ever moving Mrs. Teevee.  Caleb Phillips (Junior) did a fabulous job in the role of Grandpa Joe, though when he first got up from the bed he seemed more like a zombie than an old man who was stiff after sitting there for so many years. 

My favorite two roles had to be Ruth's portrayal of Charlie Bucket, and Senior Soren Engstrom's role as Willie Wonka.  In his interview in the Casper Star Tribune earlier in the week he'd mentioned that "getting into that slightly insane vibe" was difficult for him, but he did a fabulous job, and Roald Dahl's mysterious character really came to life on the stage Thursday night. 

That particular tick-tock rythym of the chimes when Willy Wonka appears and "I've Got a Golden Ticket"are still running through my head, and I highly recommend catching the last showing of this play today, at 2:00 PM at NCHS.  Plan on taking $3 extra dollars to buy a chocolate bar, because they are also an experience not to be missed, and you never know, you might find your own Golden Ticket!

I wasn't able to take photos during the play because of the agreement with the original theatre company, but I do have some pictures of the girls in their seats and checking to see if they have golden tickets!  There are also photos of the cast and some rehearsal photos in the Casper Star Tribune Article.