Saguaro Cactus

There are two things that I have wanted to see for a long, long time. I guess when you live in a rainforest, or nearly a rainforest, you long to learn about the desert. Anyway, for a long, long time, I have wanted to see a Roadrunner and I have wanted to see Saguaro Cactus. When we went on our trip several weeks ago, I finally got to check both of these things off my list. I was quite excited about that.

This little Roadrunner came right up to beg scraps from us while we ate a picnic lunch. We were so excited, that we stopped eating for awhile just to look at him. I mean you just don’t see one of these guys in the Pacific Northwest.

Road Runner

Just a few feet from where we ate our picnic lunch, we saw these special Saguaros. These aren’t just plain ole’ Saguaros, they are crowned Saguaros. There are only like 200 of them in the world. I don’t know if that’s the exact right number, but it’s something like that.

Crowned Saguaro in Sabino Canyon

And then a shot of some just plain ole’ Saguaros. They just look so neat, I think.

Sabino Canyon

I enjoyed my visit very much to the Saguaro National Park and Sabino Canyon and the whole Tucson area in general. I was so thrilled to finally see the giant cacti and the famous Roadrunner. But I’m going to be terribly honest, I was very happy to come home and see the towering trees around my house. I guess rain does bring blessings to our home. And besides, it was cloudy the whole time we were in Tucson, so now I’m wondering if the rumors about the sun always shining there are true or not!

The Garden in May

My brother moved in with us last year and one of the very special blessings that we have gained from that is that he is just amazing with the garden. The garden is his best friend, I think. The boys, especially, enjoy learning from him about the garden. I love eating the produce that they bring in. We have eaten some of the best lettuce imaginable from our garden. Unfortunately, we already ate that kind up. Next year, we will definitely plant more. And the greens have been wonderful. We covered our grow beds during the winter, so we were able to start picking greens a couple of months ago. And we have had a fairly steady stream of greens since then. JD Boy never liked greens until he tasted garden greens. Now he only eats garden greens–he turns up his nose at store-bought greens. Fortunately, he’s been able to eat quite a few greens already this year. And so have I, and I’ve loved every bite!

Here is a nice shot that Zippy took of the greens. Makes me want to eat them right now!

Our Garden

And here is a shot she took of some of the lettuce. Salad, here we come!

Our Garden

Now, I just can’t wait for the rest to come on!!

Here is another quote from Adventist Home, since that is fresh in my mind right now.
“The germination of the seed represents the beginning of spiritual life, and the development of the plant is a figure of the development of character. . . . As parents and teachers try to teach these lessons, the work should be made practical. Let the children themselves prepare the soil and sow the seed. As they work, the parent or teacher can explain the garden of the heart, with the good or bad seed sown there, and that as the garden must be prepared for the natural seed, so the heart must be prepared for the seed of truth. . . . No one settles upon a raw piece of land with the expectation that it will at once yield a harvest. Diligent, persevering labor must be put forth in the preparation of the soil, the sowing of the seed, and the culture of the crop. So it must be in the spiritual sowing.” Adventist Home, 145-146

Knitting Projects

This is an overdue post. A lot of my posts become overdue before they get posted, but since blogging isn’t my whole life, sometimes life gets in the way!

I have been busy knitting ever since November or so of last year, when Zippy asked if I would teach her how to crochet and knit. Anyway, I’m just a little proud that I’ve managed to knit so many things and learned several new techniques too. Here are pictures of some of my completed projects.

First up is five of six matching scarves that I knitted. The missing one was in Germany when this picture was taken. I started out knitting these for Zippy and her three very close friends from church, then I ended up knitting two more like them, because I thought the yarn was so pretty.

5 matching scarves

Then two matching scarves for two brothers.

Matching Scarves for the Brothers

And a scarf for my six-year old, who thought he needed to have a scarf that didn’t match anybody else! He just wanted to make sure that I thought he was special, I think!


Then a hat for Baby. This was the first project that I knitted in the round, so even though it looks kind of beginner, I’m rather proud of it. I also crocheted the purple flower so that it would match her coat.

Baby's New Hat

And last was a hat for G’tums, who picked out this yarn himself.

My First Knitted Hat

I have found that knitting is a hobby that I really enjoy. I can throw it in whatever bag I’m hauling around, i.e. the diaper bag. I can knit while my husband reads stories to the family in the evening. I can knit in the car. I can knit during the midweek Bible study at church. I can knit while watching videos with the kids. Knitting goes everywhere. Right now I’m working on a knit-for-charity project, but that will be a future post, probably a way in the future post.

Innocent Recreation

I am rereading the book Adventist Home and found this quote to be great counsel: “While we restrain our children from worldly pleasures that have a tendency to corrupt and mislead, we ought to provide them innocent recreation, to lead them in pleasant paths where there is no danger. No child of God need have a sad or mournful experience. Divine commands, divine promises, show that this is so. Wisdom’s ways ‘are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.’” Adventist Home, 498

I was very happy when my husband announced the other day that we were all going to take the kayak out. I could see the sparkle in my children’s eyes and I knew that we were going to have a nice day that would provide “innocent recreation” for my children and hopefully be another nail in the coffin for worldly pleasures.

Trying Out the Kayak

First Day of Year Out With Kayak

It was definitely an enjoyable day!

Mother’s Day Service Project

Zippy and I have been working at developing a new hobby–card making. We purchased a few things from Stampin’ Up and dug out some stuff out of the garage and away we went. We’ve been having lots of fun, even though we’re beginners for sure.

We came up with an idea to turn this hobby into a service project to bless others with. We made Mother’s Day Cards for all the female residents in an assisted living facility.

Mother's Day Cards

And here are some of our favorites.

Mother's Day Cards

Mother's Day Cards

Mother's Day Cards

Mother's Day Cards

JD Boy and I went around and delivered the cards to each of the residents in their rooms.

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Big Bend Pt. 3 – The Family

Pictures. Pictures. And more pictures. Pictures of the people rather than just the scenery. From oldest to youngest.

Grandparents in Big Bend

Grandparents in Big Bend

Quite a View in Big Bend


Zippy (age 11) in Big Bend

Budding Phtographer

JD Boy (age 9) in Big Bend

G'tums (age 6) in Big Bend

Rock Climbing (Gtums age 6)

King on the Mountain (Gtums age 6)

A Big Boy in Big Bend

Camping Baby (age 20 months or so)

Our tents

The last picture is just because I wanted to record for posterity that Nana and Papa went camping with us and actually slept in one of those tents! They had quite a thrill and promised us that this was the last time that they would do that. They had some creature, what it was nobody knows, come scratching at their tent in the middle of the night. Different possible guesses that were made were: humanoids, bear, javelina, skunks, you name it. Whatever the case, neither of them appreciated the visit one bit and are now in the market for an RV, just in case you have one to give away. Thanks Nana and Papa for all that you went through to make a fun vacation for us!

Big Bend Pt. 2 – The Stars

My husband did some experimenting with photography while we were in Big Bend and got some interesting captures one night of the stars. I just think these are such neat photos, I decided they were worthy of a whole post.

First is a picture at dusk from behind our tent.

Stars at Big Bend

Next is a picture when it was completely dark from behind our tent.

Stars at Big Bend

Then a thirty minute or so exposure. Isn’t it interesting how far the stars travel in such a short period of time, I mean how much the earth rotates? Even leaving the shutter open for 5 minutes showed movement in the stars.

Stars at Big Bend

Then the grand finale picture. This picture comes with a story. My husband set the camera up right outside our tent for all of these photos. This one he started just as we crawled into our sleeping bags. I was quite concerned about his leaving his camera outside. I mean, what if a javelina came and bumped it over, or what if the neighbors snuck over and took it as loot. Needless to say, I slept light, ever so often I would open my eyes and see the little LED on the back of the camera and know it was there and go back to sleep. Well, sometime in the middle I opened my eyes and there was no LED. My fears had come true, or so I thought. I sat up and woke up Nathan and whispered with more than a little urgency, “Something has happened to your camera.” He sleepily stuck his head out the tent and shut the shutter. The battery had died. He as able to just get the shutter closed and the camera was dead. We couldn’t look at his picture until he recharged his battery. All in all, stress included, it was worth it – it made for a very neat picture. My husband wants to go back to Big Bend just so he can practice more night photography. Stars in the Pacific Northwest avoid us too much to be able to take pictures like this.

Stars at Big Bend
So there you have our star photography and our star photography experience too.

There is a reason why there was a such a delay between this post and the last: I have something I really want to share from Big Bend, but it’s lost, so how can I ever take a picture of it. It is my son’s nature journal. He did some really nice entries. But I’ll have to just share that whenever it appears. I’ll go ahead and share the rest of the photos we got though over the next couple or so posts. I’m rather distraught over losing it though. He’s been adding things to it for three years and it shows some beautiful growth in artistic ability.