Sunday, August 23, 2009

Brooks Family Adventures

When we last left our adventuresome family they were planning a float trip down the White Water River.

Last spring Bri and Luke floated down this same stretch and had a grand ol time.

The other night the phone rang with a potential customer wanting information about taking a float trip with 16 people. So we decided to do a test run with our family and make sure it would be good.

Saturday morning we had our usual hearty breakfast burritos,packed the dry bags with lunch and water and headed out. Bri and the boys took the inflatable Mariner to our put in spot while I went on ahead to the recycle bin in Augusta and wait for Bri to meet up with me to take a vehicle to our take out spot.

Back at the put in place we waded through grasses taller than the average adult. Bri had Nathan on his shoulders. Settled in the boat,we happily go on our way. Luke and Bri navigate us around some logs,turn the bend,take some pictures, ooh and awe over the beauty.

The water starts to ripple up ahead. Careful of the rocks that are causing that pretty ripple. Not careful enough! All of a sudden,"POP". Air spews out of the side chamber and it quickly deflates. We find a place to pull over and figure the best way to go back. Climb the 5+ foot bank and walk back through the field? Wade back along the edge of the river? Everyone climbs back in the boat and all six of us sit on the remaining air filled edge and paddle back,against the currant. Praise God it wasn't very strong.

We make it back. The kids and Bri head back through the grass jungle while I try and pull the boat up the bank. Bri returns after getting the kids to a safe spot to wait. "Why haven't you got it up any further than that?!" Well the bottom was full of water that came in hole coming back against the currant. He drags it up a bit for me and we proceed to drain the water. Did I mention the bank was steep and muddy? I was so thankful for strong root systems on those tall grasses and small trees!

We load everyone and everything up in the car and head for home. We all spray off and enjoy our picnic lunch at the picnic table in the small barn. Bri patched the hole and the boat is as good as new. Need to call the lady back and postpone her trip till the river is a bit higher!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him,and he shall direct thy paths.

Such a short couple of verses. Easy to memorize. Nice to give in plaque form or on a card to graduating seniors.

I've heard them all my life. Have been a Christian for most of my life as well.

But am just now really chewing on them and digesting it.

I've been trying to lean on my own understanding. Bri's job is really stressful for him and the company is in debt so deep there is no way they can ever get out, not to mention his co-workers.

Anyway,loving my husband as much as I do, I want to make everything better for him. They are to have massive layoffs. So I pray God will let him be among those. One day it looks like he will,the next,he won't.

Bri has a dream to own/operate a campground on a river. We would have steady income from the campers and still be able to run the kayak/canoe business as well. One day, I'm ready to pack up and head to the great unknown. The next, we see how wonderful we have it right where we are.

Ok, so what's the point of all my rambling? My own understanding just puts me on an emotional roller coaster ride that gets real old real fast.

God loves Bri so much more than I do. He is PERFECT and has a PERFECT plan for my husband and family. I need to butt out and TRUST in HIM with ALL my heart. Just let him lead and relax and enjoy the journey on the path of his choosing.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bread and Butter Pickles

Bri said at the beginning of the gardening season, "Plant lots of cucumbers, I love cucumbers"! So we did. Because of this I have since made two batches of bread and butter pickles for a combined total of 15 1/2 pints of pickles sitting prettily on the shelf downstairs.

Here is the recipe and pictures.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Canning and Preserving

4 qts sliced medium cucumbers (about 4 1/2 pounds)
8 medium white onions,sliced (about2 1/2 pounds)
1/3 cup pickling salt
3 cloves garlic,halved
cracked ice
4 cups sugar
3 cups cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed

1. In a large bowl combine cucumbers,onions,salt,and garlic. Add about 2 inches of cracked ice. Refrigerate for 3 hours;drain well. Remove garlic.

2. In an 8 or 10 qt dutch oven or kettle combine sugar,vinegar,mustard seed,turmeric,and celery seed. Add drained mixture.

3. Bring to boiling. Pack cucumber mixture and liquid into hot,clean pint canning jars,leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles,wipe jar rims,and adjust lids. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (start timing after water begins to boil).

4. Remove jars from canner;cool on racks. Makes 7 pints.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to School

We actually started back to school last week. Luke was chomping at the bit, and I saw no reason we should wait to start with the local public schools. So we jumped in. I was a little nervous about starting this year because most of our curriculum this year is new to us. I had bought it at a home school used book sale back in May. So far things are going great. The boys seem to really like the new stuff. Luke and Jacob have more notebooks for writing so we can save the text books to pass down. We are also doing Bible differently this year.

Before we have always had a Bible curriculum. In addition to that,last year, I would read the Proverbs chapter of the day out loud and then the older two would each choose one verse from that day's chapter and write it in a notebook. Then we would talk about their chosen verse. This year we are using the Bible Broadcasting Network's memory verse of the week. (Click on the BBN in the right side column of the blog) On day 1 the boys print the verse in their notebooks. Day 2,the copy it in cursive. Day 3, I have them draw a picture of what they see in their mind when they hear the verse. Days 4-5, we work on finish memorizing it.

Here is each boy's list of subjects.

Nathan,age 3: Jump Start Preschool cd on the computer, Little People workbook from Dollar Tree,doodling in HIS notebook while his brothers do their work. Nathan spends his free time running trains on the Thomas track,riding his bike,or just following his brothers around,copying their every move. What else are three big brother's for?

Caleb,age 5; grade 1: Writing part of the week's verse each day,Jump Start 1st Grade cd on the computer,finishing Phonics and Math from last year.Both from Christian Liberty Press.
Spelling: published by Association of Christian Schools International
Science: Our Father's World Published by Christian Liberty Press
History: History For Little Pilgrims Published by Christian Liberty Press
Readers:Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book 1;Meeting New Friends;Noah Webster's Reading Handbook;Lessons From the Farmyard. all by Christian Liberty Press
Giant workbook: Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills Grade 1 published by School Specialty Publishing
Comprehensive Quickies: 3 minute reading comprehension activities Published by Remedia Publications

Now he doesn't do ALL of that each day! The readers, we'll go through one at a time. Some books we'll get to later in the year. The others he just does a page or two each day. The rest of his day is spent outside dinking in the garden,riding his bike,building yet another sling shot or anything he can think of with the scrap wood out back.

Jacob,age 8; grade 4: Writing the Bible verse of the week,
Readers: all by Christian Liberty Press:Boys and Girls of Colonial Days,Children of the Covered Wagon,Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader Book 4,Stories of the Pilgrims
History: A Child's Story of America,published by Christian Liberty Press
English: English 4 for Christian Schools,published by BJU Press
Math:Saxon Math 5/4
Spelling: Spelling,Vocabulary,Poetry 4,published by A Beka Book
Science: Understanding God's World,published by A Beka Book

As with Caleb, we'll go through the readers one at a time. Each subject is about 2 pages a day. Jacob loves being outside working with wood,shooting his bow and arrows, shooting BB and pellet guns with his Dad,and knife/tomahawk throwing.

Luke,age 10;grade 6: Writing the Bible verse of the week,
Readers:Mountain Pathways,Voyage of Discovery,Of America II,all published by A Beka Book
Spelling: Spelling,Vocabulary,Poetry 6 published by A Beka Book
Language Arts 6 published by Christian Light Publications
Geography: World Map skills published by Frank Schaffer Publications
Science: Observing God's World by A Beka Book
Math: Math 6 For Christian Schools By BJU Press

Luke is my voracious reader. He read the first two of his school readers this summer while camping. Can't find him? Check his bedroom,there he'll be on his bed with his nose in a book. Usually with a biography from the library. He also loves working with wood,knife throwing,bike riding,and is an indispensable help with our family canoe and kayak business.

So there you have it. Our home school for the year.

Have a great day!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Today is Bri and my 15th wedding anniversary! Where has the time gone? We were talking last night about how fast it has gone and about how much we (mainly I) have grown and changed since then.

We laugh (now) about our first dinner as a married couple. The Taco Tico drive thru. Being the young romantic, I thought our first married meal should have been well, in a more romantic setting!

We laugh (now) about how I served him raw meat loaf for dinner one night.

We laugh (now) about me giving him his first hair cut. Said it was too short!

But with four amazing boys,learning to give and take,when to speak up and when to shut up, I wouldn't trade any of these past years for anything,and pray God blesses us with many,many more wonderful years together!

I love you Bri!!!