Saturday, June 25, 2011

Craft Night

Results of an impromptu craft night with my brother:

Beginning of the hack job
Measuring for accuracy

Modeling the finished product

Jorts and cut off camo's....classic
My new jorts

John's new work pants

8 days, 8 dogs, 1 house

Last week I house sat for a family and took care of their 8 dogs. Seven were under fifteen pounds and one, Lucy, was....bigger. It should've been a psychology experiment to see how a human changes after being surround by so many canines. Overall, it was a good time. I got to cook my own meals, take naps, and I was fairly productive in getting my summer homework done. But I wanted to dedicate a blog to the dogs and try to explain their different personalities.

Rocky: obsessed with his ball, if he was a human he would be a marathon runner

Maya: one of my favorites. Alwayswantedtobethisclosetoyou. Super cute

Lucy: "the big one". Bark but no bite. Loves naps

JoJo: quiet, likes her space, afraid of storms

Jamie: huge ears! loves to be outside, jumps really high
Suzy: super protective but still sweet, doesn't realize she's a minpin

Penny: blind as a bat but full of love :)
 I forgot a picture of Elsie, but she was always the first one out and the last one in. Didn't go anywhere fast.


Once upon a time, a friend (who will remain anonymous) and I decided to pull a prank on our youth group leader. Sadly, the event was not documented, but it included a bikini-clad plastic Santa lawn ornament, a kiddy pool, and shredded paper "snow". All of which somehow ended up in my youth leader's front yard. I love pranks, and I was pretty proud of this one. But we got found out....I didn't think anything of it for the past 3 years until two weeks ago when Santa decided to make an appearance while I was house sitting for my sister.

What's missing from this garage? Oh yea, MY CAR!

It was at this moment that I knew to expect the worst. The key on the back door was just the beginning

This guy was laying across my front seat. My youth leader kept it for 3 years waiting for a change at revenge.

Along with Vaseline under the door handles, there were more then 30 golf balls in and around my car.

Well played.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I love teaching others about what I know, which happens to be how to ride a horse. Last summer, after 2 weeks of training, I spent 9 weeks teaching riding lessons at a summer camp. Don't get me wrong, it was very difficult at times. I had different horses in my lessons each week and a wide range of rider skill level. My lessons varied from riders who were cantering (3rd speed of a horse for those of you who are wondering) to campers who had never been on a horse before. However, the reward outweighed the frustration. Watching the rider have their "lightbulb" moment when they were able to get their horse to do what they asked was worth every hot day in the sun.

This summer I'm still giving lessons, but on a much smaller scale. My horse, Hoss, is getting leased by a 6th grader and I give her lessons on him twice a week. She will show him in 4-H in July and possibly go to the state fair in August. This girl is awesome. She showed Hoss last year without riding him before...not an easy thing to do. It's also nice because I know what my horse can do. I've had him for 8 years after all.

Last week she came over from her lesson and her mini 4-H'er (3rd grader) came too. I had her doing some crazy weaving exercises where she had to trot Hoss in a serpentine pattern around some cones. Let me explain something. Hoss is 13 years old and lazy. Sometimes its even hard for me to make him go, so imagine how hard Cassie has to work at it. Yet she never stopped until I told her she could. When I asked "you got it?" she would glance over, smile, say "yea" and make Hoss do the pattern again. Adorable.

Then it was her mini's turn to ride....for only the second time. I asked her if she wanted to trot for the first time and she very quietly said yes. First trot is a big step because the trot can be super bouncy and hard to stay in the saddle. If it doesn't go well then it can take the rider awhile before they feel comfortable to try it again. I told Audrey the cues to use to get Hoss trotting and we were off. I jogged by his head to make sure he wasn't being ornery.  At one point I glanced back at Audrey to see how she was doing. She was gripping the saddle horn with both hands and bouncing like crazy, but with a big smile on her face. We slowed to a walk and then did it again. I was excited to see her so excited about riding and I can't wait to teach her more.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Coon Killer

I live in a rural farming area. As in, my yard is surrounded by fields on three sides. I don't remember living anywhere but where I currently live. This time of the year its common to see lots of critters running around. Bunnies, raccoons, groundhogs, deer. The usual Hoosier wildlife that like to run across the road at dusk. I've gotten used to subconsciously scan the sides of the roads as I'm driving to keep an eye out for four legged creatures. 

Last night was one of those nights. It was dark and I was driving on a local highway, just minding my own business. All of a sudden I saw a flash of movement by the ditch, which proceeded to run across the road right in front of me. A raccoon, of course. After a slight increase in my heart rate and a short tap of the breaks....THUMP!! Roadkill. I felt horrible. Seriously, I just killed an animal. There was nothing I could do to prevent it either. If a raccoon could make the decision to commit suicide, this one was there. Poor little thing. Even though it isn't cute like a bunny or Bambi, I was still made at it for running in front of my tire.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Be Happy

My brother likes to spread happiness when he mows the yard

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bruised Bananas

No one likes bruised bananas. You know what I'm talking about. The bananas whose peels have turned 50% brown and are slightly mushy to the touch. They never get eaten and usually sit in the fruit bowl until someone decides its time to throw them away. Yet it's the bruised bananas that you want if you're going to make banana bread. 

There were some bruised bananas in the kitchen a few days ago. My mom told me to throw them out and as I was walking to the trash can the idea of banana bread came to me. In case you don't know, banana bread recipes call for mashed bananas, and its a lot easier to mash bananas that are already soft. Another fact, the bananas usually aren't bruised below their peel. 

So I made banana bread (or attempted to, I'll explain later). As I was mixing and baking, the idea came to me that Christians are quite similar to bruised bananas. We are battered, soft-[hearted], and people may not like us. Yet God sees us as a key ingredient to do awesome things. He uses us to reach other bruised, broken people because we all struggle with the same things. We may stand firm at the beginning of the day, but it only takes a few hardships before we look like everyone else.

The banana bread batter closely resembles baby food when it goes in the oven. But what comes out is this great smelling, warm, delicious bread that makes people happy. We may enter challenges and hardships as one person but when we get through them we have been changed for the better by God's love and grace. 

The next time you notice your bananas aren't as yellow as you would like, google a banana bread recipe and bake some happiness :) Just don't fill the pan too full or it will overflow like mine did.