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...

Monday, April 22, 2013

El Talisman Tortillaria and Taqueria

The window read "El Talisman Tortillaria y Taqueria", while the receipt simply reads "La Tortillaria".  Tucked away in the middle of North Casper, this tiny gem resides in a corner of the old Oil City building, next to Set Free Church on K Street.

And a gem it is!  The staff was warm and welcoming,  the service absolutely excellent, and the food...the food was phenomenal! 

A friend had been talking about this place the day before, and remarked how moist and flavorful their tamales were.  He also mentioned that the green chili was HOT!

We did order a large bowl of green chili, which we were not only able to share, but to take home at least half of the 32 oz take out container to share with the kids!  It was really hot, but it was still full of flavor.  Sometimes when things are hot, either there is just heat and no spice, or the heat sears my face off and I just can't taste any flavor, but this was not like that.  This green chili was still full of flavor that you could taste even with the mighty kick.  Our waitress suggested trying it with some sour cream, and that eased the burn quite a bit.  We'd ordered two old fashioned glass bottles of Coca-Cola, which were fun, but when I glanced over at the counter and saw they had horchata, I had to order some, which completely made the sting of the chili go away, and made it quite enjoyable!

The chili was served with fresh tortillas, made right there in the back of the restaurant, and oh they were delicious!  It's been too long since I've had authentic, homemade REAL tortillas and tamales.  And now we come to those tamales.  I haven't had tamales like that for years, since a friend of mine used to make them and bring them to work with her.  Moist and soft inside, not dry and crumbly like most restaurants, they had just a little bit of spice, but were so full of flavor, and just plain yummy.   We bought an extra dozen to take home and share with the girls, which they absolutely loved!

They only serve tamales on Friday and Saturday, and they were almost out of both tortillas and tamales when we stopped in for lunch on a Saturday afternoon, so make sure you go early and order a lot!

La Tortillaeria
300 N. K Street
Casper, WY  82601

Friday, April 19, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful

We decided to take the family out for dinner and a movie last Thursday, and after perusing all of the available rating appropriate movies and the starting times, we decided that Oz the Great and Powerful would be a good movie to see on the big screen.  After seeing several trailers for the movie I must admit that I was looking forward to it! 

I was a little worried that it would be too long for the kids to sit through without a bathroom break (141 minutes), and sure enough, Hannah and Laramie both had to go, but it was a quick trip and we didn't miss much!

After supper we zipped back down the road to our favorite theater, where we used our Rewards Card to earn a free date pack by purchasing admission to the movie.  I hustled to the theater to find some seats, while Paul took restroom duty.  I whipped around the corner into the room, only to find that it was completely empty!  Thursday's early showing must not be a very popular time slot, because we were the only people in the movie that night.  We were able to laugh and joke through the movie just like we might have at home! 

The movie itself is definitely great.  I can absolutely see why it is one of the most popular movies in the world.  It is well written, well played, and the special effects and camera work are absolutely stunning.  I don't want to go into too much detail and spoil the movie itself, but it is a great story of the human spirit.  You learn a lot of things about how all the legends that we know and love from The Wizard of Oz  came to be.

There were a few parts where I jumped, and I felt Laramie, who was sitting next to me, jump a few times.  Even Paul jumped at least once!  Overall, I didn't feel it was scary, though there were a few pieces that were startling.  If you have a phobia of witches in general, especially the creepy, green witch from The Wizard of Oz, then you should probably steer clear, as she's a major character, and we even learn what made her such a heartless monster. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Famous Dave's and the Family

Ever since Paul and I visited Famous Dave's the first time, we've been waiting to take the girls, and they've been looking forward to it! 

Last night we made a family evening of it and traveled to Casper where we enjoyed supper at Facmous Dave's, followed by a movie, which I'll tell you about another day.

We strolled through the revolving door in single file, and I could see the hostess counting as we came into the restaurant.  We were greeted immediately by two very friendly hostesses, one of whom already had our menus.  She asked if we needed kids' menus, and I asked if we could have them just so they had something to color and she said "You bet!" 

The staff was friendly, as several other servers greeted us on the way to our table. Our waiter was visibly busy, but the service was excellent.  He came by within moments to take our drink orders, and returned shortly with our fountain drinks and water.  He made sure the kids had travel cups with lids, which I am always thrilled to see after having one too many huge, uncovered restaurant sodas land in my lap. 

We knew that we wanted to order the All-American Feast for the kids to share, and we also ordered Dave's Sampler Platter so they could try a variety of things from the menu.  I had taken my Wilbur Beans home to share last time, and we all thought they were gross, so he let us substitute Mashed Potatoes for the Wilbur Beans that normally come with the feast.  He also brought out a bowl of chips for tasting the sauce and asked if we had had a sauce tour when we'd visited before.  Since we had, he left the chips with us, and we walked the kids through the six flavors.  Justice had been waiting and waiting to try Wilbur's Revenge, and the fire did not disappoint.  Each of the girls wanted a taste of it, even Laramie, who actually had a second taste.  Hannah burst into tears at the burn, and decided she didn't want any more of that! 

I had the melt-in-your-mouth Georgia Chopped Pork again, with the Beer Battered Cod, which is absolutely blissful.  Paul had the full rack of ribs, which are very yummy.  I stuck with the Coleslaw as a side, because they have absolutely delightful coleslaw, cool and creamy with just a bit of zing.  I also decided to try the fries, which I didn't really care for.  They were kind of bland with a "doughy" center. Paul had the Down and Dirty Rice, and Potato Salad for his two sides.  The Potato Salad tasted like any other potato salad to me and wasn't anything special, and I forgot to try the rice, but Paul said it was very good.

The All-American Feast comes with a whole chicken, a full slab of ribs, half a pound of Georgia Chopped Pork, (or Texas Brisket), fries, six cobs of corn, four muffins, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes (substitute for Wilbur Beans).  The wheelbarrow to roll you out the door is not included. 
This feast is designed to feed 4-6 people, and it easily could (and did).  Each of the girls ate her fill of the appetizer platter and each food included in the feast, and we took home box after box of leftovers, which we ate for breakfast and lunch the next day! 

Two separate managers stopped by to check on how our food and service were, and to ask if we needed anything, and our waiter checked on us periodically as he wove through the dining room, checking on all of his tables.  Overall, the price was a little steep, and this would definitely not be someplace where we would take the entire family very often because of that, but the atmosphere, the food, the service, and the experience were wonderful and we will absolutely return!