A different Christmas

On November 14, 2013 my mother Judy Lane, went to be with JESUS.

041313151356.jpg                                          Mother helping plant the garden this year.

I am glad for her, no more walker, 20+ pills a day plus insulin, or aches and pains.  I know that we will be together and worship our creator for eternity, but Christmas without mother… was different! Mother loved Christmas.  She would shop all through the year for stocking stuffers for the kids and other gifts.  She really enjoyed all the activities and family traditions. The decorating of the tree, she loved this.


We have a tradition that started in 1984, each year we get a special ornament.  As kids were added they each got a special ornament each year, so this year we have 95 special ornaments plus others on the tree. Making Christmas cookies.

Grandma loved being part of the process in making them.


And eating them.


Christmas Eve was always very special to mother.  We always would get together have our traditional snacks and open 1 present.

Christmas Day dinner was always the most special.

This year we had folks over and mother was with us.  We light a special candle and put it in the center of the table.

Mother we all miss you very much and Christmas will never be the same without you.

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Wood fired pizza oven

I have wanted a wood fire pizza oven for a long time, so today I built one.

102613121232I found a video of a simple design on Youtube, so I thought I would try it.

I had all the supplies here at the house.

1. clay brick

2. angle iron from old bed frame

3. scrap wood to make a door

Here is a video to let you see the finished product.

First, I laid down 7 bricks wide and then 4 bricks deep on top of my existing brick top.

Second, for the side walls I layered one brick on it side on both sides, and then one layer of bricks on end to make the side walls.

Third, the back wall.  I made a two layered wall with 2 bricks deep for extra strength.

Fourth, I made a door.  I had some old lumber from a counter top and I cut a small piece of it off the end and it was perfect.

102613141910Then I cut 6 strips of angle iron from an old bed frame to lay across the top of the bricks to support the bricks for the ceiling.

Next I started a fire.  It took about 2 hours to get a fire hot enough to cook with.  I would suggest getting a thermometer so you can test it before cooking.

Here is a look at cooking the pizza.

The finished product.

102613142141The other thing that is really awesome about this oven is the fact that if I want to move it or take it down and redo it, I can.

I am very pleased with the result and can’t wait to have some friends over for a, “make your own pizza” party.


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Lake house on Beaver Lake

What a way to end this vacation.  We have some new friends who invited us to come to stay at their lake house on Beaver Lake in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

2013 Family Vacation 005Such a peaceful place and so secluded.  15 minutes off a main road and 8 minutes was on rocky road (path) on a mountain side. No cell phones, e-mail, or any other communications, we did have a satellite for TV though.

2013 Family Vacation 011They had a really nice boat dock complete with ski boat, Honda wave runner, canoe, picnic area with sink and running water, and a BBQ grill.  WOW!

2013 Family Vacation 016Swimming was the number one attraction.  The water was a great temperature and very refreshing.

2013 Family Vacation 020Little Amy having a great time, along with Emily and Michael.

2013 Family Vacation 075They all loved it when daddy pulled them on the wave runner.

2013 Family Vacation 029On Friday morning we got a tour of the lake.  Ross and Janet Marsh were awesome host.

2013 Family Vacation 028Pontoon boat is a great way to travel.

2013 Family Vacation 051Ross dropped the kids off at the base of the cliff.

2013 Family Vacation 052They had to work as a team and figure out how to climb the side to get up to the top.  Good activity.

2013 Family Vacation 054This was the goal.

2013 Family Vacation 057Jumping off the cliff was great, but then they got to get a ride home on the tube.

2013 Family Vacation 042Beaver Lake is beautiful.  One of my favorite sites on the boat tour was the natural cliff.  We actually pulled the boat up underneath it and the water was dripping on the boat.  Awesome!

2013 Family Vacation 092Emily enjoying the tube.  I have to say this was one of my favorite activities, I got to get one of these.

2013 Family Vacation 121We had a very nice place to stay.  Thank you to the Bell family.

2013 Family Vacation 122It was very cute and very well equipped for guest.

2013 Family Vacation 221This is along the trail that we had to drive for 8 minutes to the payment from the house.  Beautiful.

2013 Family Vacation 264This is Inspiration point on the way home.  I believe this is the White River that comes off Beaver Lake.  It was a breath-taking view.

2013 Family Vacation 280On the way home we found a great little hamburger place called Carters in Anderson, Mo.  Great hamburgers!

We had a great time and it was a wonderful way to relax and refresh.

Sorry it took so long to get the pictures posted.


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Amy turns 12

ImageToday my little girl turns 12.  My baby is growing up and it seems that just yesterday she was a little toddler running around the house.  She has grown up to be a beautiful young lady who loves the Lord and is very talented in art, dance, and singing.

This picture is of her with her birthday pudding.  She didn’t want cake or pie, she wanted chocolate pudding with whip cream.  ?

Also notice that a major event happen.  She got her ears pierced.  Aren’t they cute!

We just spent the day getting ready and enjoying our baby.

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Back room disaster

081913085148I told Laura last night I didn’t feel like I have accomplished much on this vacation.  I spent all week piddling and doing a little here and there, but the big projects on my list have not been started yet.

This is what I woke up to this morning in our back room, breezeway.  WHAT A MESS!

I had some wonderful helpers, Emily, Michael, and Amy, so we emptied the backroom and the well room, then cleaned them thoroughly.  We started filling the well room back up, but much more neatly and organized. Now we can actually find stuff.

Then I was able to start prepping for painting. Doug at Joplin Paint Center is an awesome guy and he told me how to check to see if the walls were painted with oil or latex before.  I just put a little turpentine on a rag and rubbed the wall.  He said if it got gummy then it was latex, if not it was oil.  My walls were an oil base paint, so the recommended using a primer such as Kills first, then painting so the latex paint would adhere better.

081913154617 This is what the screen windows to the garage looked like before I painted them.

081913154627This is how nice and clean they look after a coat of paint.

081913154355This is how nasty the walls looked.

081913183722081913085148This is the first wall and it is all done.  Quite a difference from this morning, isn’t it?

I have to finish painting the walls and the back door in the morning.  Then I have five screen windows that need all new screens.

I am thinking about staining the floor, anyone have any experience and advice on how to prep this nasty peeling painted floor?

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Wildcat Park trails

Saturday- First thing I had to water the garden and flowers.  I mowed a bit, and did some other little tasks.

I have to get over to the herb store before they close and get tested.  I have been having leg cramps at night and I think it is a lack of Potassium, I was correct.  I was very low on Potassium and I think it is a result of a new blood pressure medicine they put me on about one month ago.  Emily needed to get some driving time in, so I let her be my driver, she is doing well.


Church was awesome!  After lunch I thought it would be fun to go exploring at Wildcat Park and go on the trails.  So the kids and I went over to check it out.


At the beginning of the trails they have a really nice rocky cliff that has a trail that leads up the side and into a little stream.


The kids were having a ball.


I thought this was really pretty.  You can’t tell very well, but there is water flowing there.


This is at the foot of the trails where the water goes out to Shoal Creek.


Shoal Creek.


This part of the trail you are walking under the I-44 bridge, I didn’t really like this.


We say lots of pretty flowers along the trail.


This is just before the low water bridge, it is very pretty.  This was far enough for me so it was time to turn around and come home.

We got in the car and Amy say’s, this was the best day of the week.

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Garage Sale Challenge

Friday was a good day.  Got to sleep in and I woke up to the smell of Folgers in my cup and Laura fixing breakfast.

The consensus this morning was it is, GARAGE SALE DAY!  So we all went.  The kids had a contest to see who could get the best deals.  Whatever it was marked they bargained to get it as cheap as possible.  Amy was the winner, she saved 12.50 off the asking price.  I guess being little, cute, and blond has its advantages.


The project of the day was planting Mums in the flower bed.


Wal-Mart had mum in 2 in pot for .96 each.  This is the perfect time to plant them so they can grow and be nice and big this fall.


Laura picked this color because it is really fallish.  I plan on putting down some cedar mulch and that should really make it look nice.


Tomorrow, Amy has a birthday party planned, I have 3 birthdays coming up; Aug 20, Aug 30, and Sept 12, lots of PARTIES.

Have a good weekend.

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Day 4 – Vacation 2013


I have never had these before.  My kids said they are called a toad in the whole??

Remember I made homemade bread earlier this week, so i just sliced my bread about 1/2 thick.  I heat my skillet, add a little butter. then lay the bread on it.  Get it nice and brown and then I used a jelly jar to cut the whole in the center.  Turn the bread and the whole and butter the other side.  Crack your egg into the whole and cook the way you like it. Yummy!

081413162859My flower bed really got out of control.  I thought I would spend a little time cleaning it up and getting it ready for fall plantings.

081513190204I think it looks a little better.  It is now ready for planting Mums.  I am going to go to Wal-Mart today because they have Mums for .97.  Laura really enjoys the yellow one and the rust colored one.  I will see what they have, but I got to get them in the ground.


As I am taking this time to do some relaxing and refreshing I have been working on doing some self-improvement.  I took the DISC behavior and values index test and then worked through the workbook.  I was not surprised by the results, but it did help bring some clarification to several areas.   I have a friend, John Garfield, who is the author of Releasing Kings, and a mentor.  Part of his program is called the Heart Plan, learning how your life’s purpose, goals, hearts desire, work, family, and ministry all work together.  It is a very intense study, but it has been very helpful.

Tommorow is Friday, GARAGE SALE day!

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Day 3 – Vacation 2013

PotatoesThese are Yukon Gold potatoes I harvested  from my garden today.  I have never had much success with growing potatoes, but this year I tried something a little different.


My old neighbor used to just lay his potatoes on the ground and then cover them with 6 inches of straw.  He said that when the plant tops die, just uncover the straw and you have a ton of potatoes.

I thought I would try it, and I think if it had not been so wet, I would have had a great crop.

I will do this again next year.

By the way, these tasted awesome.  I simply heated my pan, melted some butter, and fried these potatoes.  Then I covered the potatoes with the onions until they are tender, then added some green beans.

Emily was not feeling well today, she had a fever and so the doctor says she had a virus.  We ended up with Emily not feeling well, Laura had a headache, and Amy said her throat was hurting.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

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Day 2 – Vacation 2013

167446_10200333504087020_275017168_nTuesday was for the cat!  This is Rukia on the left and Tiger on the right.  They are brother and sister, and part of our family.  Rukia just had 6 kittens that are now 4 weeks old, and she started acting weird Sunday night.  We looked some information up online and it said the problems were life threatening, so I took her to the vet.  It was not life threatening, but really needed to be addressed.  She is going to be fine as well as the kittens.

It really was a good day of just relaxing and no pressure to do anything.  I got to take a little nap, work on some self improvement assignments, and just be at home.

I am really enjoying this weather.  It is 9:42 at the time of this writing and we have the windows open because it is 68 degrees.  WOW! Thank You Lord.

I think I will play outside a bit today and I am looking forward to church tonight.


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