Friday, October 14, 2011


Just a quick note to let everyone know I have moved my blog to a new platform. If you want to follow me, go to Hope to see you there!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

the happy dance!

About twenty years ago, I asked my Dad where I could help in doing our family history. He chuckled, and said something to the effect that he would give me something easy- and handed me what little information he had on our Drake family line. That information consisted of my grandma's name, and her siblings, along with a "We think her Dad's name was Albert Cleveland Drake, but that is just rumor; he took off and left the family when Mom was a little girl." I spent the next 20 years looking for this elusive relative of mine- to no avail. A few years ago, I was at our local family history center (fhc) and was able to locate Albert and his wife, as well as Albert's dad.  Since then, I have found hints of Albert Sr here and there, and a suggestion of HIS parents' names, but nothing really concrete.

Ten days ago I was at a friends house where we jointly homeschool. She was heading to the Salt Lake area for some business, and I was able to hook a ride with her. We left in the late afternoon, and drove all night, arriving around 5 am. After catching a couple of hours of sleep, we jumped in the car and headed downtown. She dropped me at the Family History Library where I spent the next 12 hours. Previously, I was a little skeptical of what further information I would be able to gather that was not already available on the internet. Oh buddy!! Was I wrong!!

Family History Library in Salt Lake. Thank you Google images
I was able to locate both Alberts, as well as Greenbury- Albert Sr.'s dad, qne his wife, Martha. Also Albert Asbury's wife, and her parents! In addition, I found the obituary of Albert Cleveland which named both of his parents, his siblings, and the names of his married sisters and places of residence!! Was I able to maintain my calm and dignified composure? Uh......NO!!! I was literally doing the happy dance in the middle of the FHL in Salt Lake City!! The joy I felt was unlike almost anything I have felt before, and I knew that these ancestors were just as joyful on the other side of the veil.  This discovery was so worth the 24 hours of sleepless traveling, and I can't wait to go again. The most interesting thing was that after I had transcribed and made copies of this information, I decided to do some work on my mother's side, as I have some holes in my Jewell ancestry. But it was as if a cement wall had dropped over my mind, and I was unable to locate any further information. It was like Heavenly Father was saying-" My daughter, I have given what you came here seeking, now go home and search anew. Your prayers have been answered".  What a powerful example oh His love for all of His children! And what a testimony of prayer I received- it was an experience I will always remember.

In other news on the catch-up front, when Paul and I took Josslin to Rexburg for school, we decided to do some camping/hiking in Glacier National Park. I had never been there, and neither of us had ever driven The Road to the Sun, so we decided to hit that too. Holy mountains batman! It was a sight to behold! The flowers were amazing! 

These pics were taken on the Road to the Sun. There are straight dropoffs on the side of the road that fall for up to 1000 feet. In some places we could see a waterfall start high above us, then follow it all the way to the valley floor. Truly a sight to see.

I took this photo from across the valley- I don't know the name of the butte, but the mineral striping was gorgeous. We could see this butte from many places in the park.

 < More flowers- Indian Paintbrush, wild lupine, and a type of bee balm? So pretty! It is amazing how living things can find any little spot of soil and not only grow but thrive! I think there is a lesson there!!

And here is our home sweet home! It made camping so easy to just pop the tent and fill up the air mattress. We had to keep the food in the cab of the truck because of the bears, but it still was the cleanest and easiest camping we have done.

This is Bowman Lake. We went on a long hike on which we were to hike about 6 miles in and end up at Numa lookout. Apparently there are lots of wildlife that can be seen from this area. I recently hiked this distance and was pretty comfortable with the distance. But. I forgot about the 3000 ft increase in elevation,and when you start at 4000 feet, 7000 feet makes quite an impact on how efficiently one is able to use one's oxygen intake. So we made it in 5 miles, missed out on anything other than squirrels and chipmunks, and the bear scat, but it was still a wonderful way to spend the day. It was so peaceful up there, the Spirit of the Lord was abundant. As I contemplated on the creation of our world, I was overwhelmed with the love Heavenly Father has for us, and for all of His creations. It was such a treat to spend time just enjoying them and discovering all the beauty around us.

This weekend is General Conference. It has been wonderful to listen to prophets and apostles teach us how to draw closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ. There were so many great talks, I am going to have to watch each session over and over. What a blessing to have this access in our home!

For those of you that are wondering what that blank patch of denim is at the  top of my blog, eventually it will be cute; I am just having some difficulty figuring out how to put some pics on it to personalize it and cutify it.

Well, thats it for me- have a great week everyone!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Where did all the summer go?

 So, the other day I decided to spend 45 minutes blogging- trying to slowly catch up for the last 6 months of ignoring my story. But after typing for 10 minutes, the rest of the time was consumed in waiting for my pics to upload. Then I forgot to save it before logging off, and so here I am again- reblogging!

I thought I would give you a quick look at the projects we have been working on this summer, so here goes a photo tour! To the left is our house before we began resided it. Residing sounded pretty straight forward to me- I mean, you take the old stuff off, and slap up the new stuff, right? WRONG!!  Yes, first the old stuff had to come off, but then the insulation (basically nonexistant) had to be installed. Then plywood sheets go up, then the vapor barrier, then new front window, then new doors, then trim around the windows, THEN the siding. Whew!! It was a big job but it is done, and the house looks so much better!

Catching some rays! Never pass up a chance to be moral support!!

And Voila! 

The flower beds took a major beating, so their improvement is on the list for springtime. If Paul only knew what is in store for him! :)

Paul got the goat shed and tool shed built, now it just needs some siding and hopefully paint before the weather gets cold. He also installed fencing around our pasture, as well as pipe and pump so now we have irrigation to our ground!! Yay! It has made keeping things green so much easier.

In other news, we got a beehive! It is so fun to watch the bees, and I have a whole new appreciation for them. Did you know that bees build their combs in a row by row format? They are very organized, even their queen lays the eggs in rows. You can follow how old the larvae is by where it is in the nest, and when the larvae hatch, their little cubicle gets cleaned out and eventually the queen comes back and starts a new brood. 
 This is a frame from the bottom box of the hive. The purple is all the pollen the bees have gathered and placed in the foundation comb. The pollen is different colors depending on what flower it was harvested from. Some of my pollen is purple, some is red, some orange, etc.

Somewhere on this frame is the queen. There are always a lot of bees with her because she has to be fed and cleaned.All she does is lay eggs, and mate with the drones. If she starts slacking off in her duties, the bees will start a new queen growing and when she is ready to hatch they will kill the old queen. You can see that my hive has 2 big boxes. The bottom one is where they raise the brood, and the top one is where they store their honey. I have a feeder box on the very top that I have been feeding them with. Because I got them late in the season, they haven't had time to build enough stores for winter on their own, so I have to help them. Now they are making honey and storing it in the top. Next spring I will add smaller boxes called supers, and they will store honey there which I will then harvest next fall. Yummy!!

Well, I guess that is all the pictures today, since Blogger seems to be on overload. I will try again tomorrow to catch up some more.

Friday, March 25, 2011

from God's arms

A few years ago, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints introduced and rolled out an improved and updated family history program. The Bishopric did a presentation on it, and said that our Stake would be having classes on how to use the program, and that those who took the classes would then teach the members of our ward how to use it to do their family history.After the meeting I volunteered to take the classes and get to work finding my own ancestors. Since that time, over 200 of my ancestors have had their names taken to the temple, and saving ordinances were done for them.

I started working in the stake Family History Center every Thursday, and I really enjoy it. Last night was an amazing night, and so rewarding! I was on a high for several hours afterwards. When I got to the FHC, an elderly couple who used to live here were in town
visiting, and decided to spend some time looking for some ancestors. We found lots of information for them, pushing one of their lines back to 1752!! It was such a wonderful experience to see how much it meant to the couple to find information that they had been seeking for many years, and the gratitude they showed touched my heart.

While we were working with the couple, a new member of the Church who happens to be in my ward came to the library. She is of hispanic origin, and because she is a first generation member she has lots of family history to do. I sat with her for several hours, and it was really exciting to help her enter the information she had so carefully gathered. She has been interviewing her family members for hours every Sunday, writing down stories, dates, places, names, and events. Then last night we found a little girl that she didn't know about, and added her to the family. By the end of the night she had added many names to her file on the new family search, and was excited and a little overwhelmed at the responsibility she faces to get all the temple work done for her family members. She was able to locate the region of Mexico that she came from, and as she looked at the trek her ancestors had undertaken when in their early sixties, I could see the appreciation on her face for their sacrifice.

One  of the benefits of doing family history research is that you find yourself becoming familiar with these people, their stories, and their experiences. By this you develop your own relationship with them. It sounds kind of weird, but it is almost like they know you are thinking about them, and so they come a little closer to you in spirit. I can't explain it very well, but it is like a increasing bilateral awareness of each other, and then I get and increased desire to keep searching, and sometimes a prompting of where to look for a family. It is an incredibly spiritual but exhilarating  feeling, and I wouldn't trade it for all the $$$ in the world. Last November we took >90 names  to the temple and had them sealed to their families. We ran out of time and have another 90+ to do. Since that time, I have been researching more, and am preparing more names for a baptismal trip with the extended family. Some of my favorite memories are those family temple trips, watching nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters being baptized in behalf of our deceased relatives. WOW!!

On another note, the new goat shed is well on its way to being completed, then the pigpen needs some repair work, and then the siding on the house gets replaced. Then the pasture gets fenced,and the water is on its way to our ground!! Some exciting changes comin' our way!!

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Monday, March 14, 2011

mucus form of mucking out!!

So, Paul caught this horrible cold from his bosses, and then shared it with the rest of us. All I can hear throughout the house is:"sneezzeee, cough, cough,snort, Is there any more kleenex?, and Is there any more juice?" Yuck!! I was feeling pretty safe since I got through the winter with out a cold; I thought so anyway! But here we go, the infamous spring cold. It amazes me that the human body can produce so much gross, slimy, icky snot! I mean SERIOUSLY???!!
Okay, enough with that shtuff.

I have been studying up on the Constitution lately, something I should have been doing long ago. You know, when you read the original Constitution, it takes only about 20 pages. The founders felt strongly that if the Constitution were left alone it would not only serve the agrarian lifestyle of that time, but the modern age as well. Thomas Jefferson studied the Bible extensively when he wrote the Declaration of Independence, focusing on the ancient Israelites form of self government. He sought to  implement these truths into the Declaration, and later into the Constitution. The founders also studied Plato, Cicero,Blackstone, de Montesquieu,Polybius,John Locke, and other great minds of the centuries. John Adams agreed with Thomas Jefferson that Plato was at best terribly disappointing, and at worst disgusting, but Jefferson described Plato's writings as "utter nonsense"!

You are probably wondering why I am writing about this today. It is because even now, the leaders of our country seek to remove the freedoms we now enjoy. It is only through studying the founders individually as well as those thinkers that they respected can we come to understand what it is we are allowing our government to do. Today, I want to challenge you to muck out those cobwebs in your mind, and go find out what the founders knew. I have been amazed at how my mind has "woken up" since I started stimulating it with some history and paying attention to what is going on in our nation. I say, no.....I shout...WAKE UP AMERICA, AND LIVE!!!! Blow the slime and snot from your brains and fill your brain with light and knowledge. Our government is sick, but it can be healed. We must get to work and make it happen!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A long time comin'

It's been a long time since I was here last! As you might guess, not only have I been busy busy but emotionally overwhelmed. A lot has happened, but most of it I can't talk about here in order to respect others' privacy. As a result, I have decided to have a private blog where I can talk about those things, and at the same time keep this blog.....maybe. I'm not so good at keeping this one up to date, so what makes me think I can do two?

In a quick synopsis, the first quarter of the year is gone. Brianna and Brannick are back with their mother, so things here have really calmed down. Dylan is on the last step of submitting his mission papers, so we will be in the "waiting for a call" phase, hopefully by Monday. Yay!!  
Oh my goodness!Where did this big handsome guy come from? It seems like yesterday I was trying to  get him dressed for church, and now he is an independant, hardworking, "fire fightin' farm boy"? 

Adam is finishing up his eagle project, so that is way exciting! He and Dylan are the first Eagle scouts on both sides of the family! We are so proud of them. He is still attending Kimber Academy, and making progress.

Josslin is at home, looking for work. She is a joy to have around, and a big help to me.

Paul and I are just keeping on keeping on. We are planning on some house projects beginning here in the next few weeks, among them being : new siding on the house, fencing and irrigation to the property, improving the pasture, adding some pigs, and building a new goat pen.  Then of course, we will be putting in the garden. This year we are going to try elevated garden boxes on the west side of the house, and hope to start a small orchard. Whew! I am really excited about it all, and can't wait to get started.

Over the past several weeks, we have been repainting the main living areas, and I am really happy with the results.

The front room is a off white with blue trim, one wall is done in brick red, and the dining room has one wall that is the off white with a glaze ragrolled on over it. The entire kitchen is done in the rag roll technique except the ceiling. Don't you love the feeling that a fresh coat of paint brings ? Everything feels new and clean! Next up to paint are the bedrooms!

Well, I think that will some it up for now, everyone have a great weekend!
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday

1. Generous, caring friends
2. Amazing, loving, intuitive husband
3. Blue sky this morning
4. Gas in the gas tank, defroster that works
5. Great counselor who gets autism