Kid Updates

{If you don’t want to hear all about the adventures of my kids, please feel free to skip}

Lately it seems like continues to hold me captive with busyness!!  The kids have been super busy, in a good way, but we are looking forward to a few weeks of no contests, interviews, etc!  Maybe we will stay home and get some real schooling done!!

Jacob and Peter continue to spend a lot of time advertising for Texas Brigades – trying to earn their way back as a leader to the camps next summer, earn some scholarship money, and earn an early-bird hunt!!

IMG_5543So we have been running around from the Wildlife Committee’s Fall Rendezvous, the Fish Hatchery, 4H clubs, and more that I am certainly forgetting!

Each time they do this they share their Brigade experiences and encourage other youths to apply.  This is an amazing program and you can read more about it on Jacob’s blog post, Peter’s blog post, or my post.

4H has kept us running too.

IMG_5506The kids did Plant ID at TVCC, then at the East Texas State Fair.

IMG_5696Then we did Livestock Judging at the State Fair of Texas, followed by the Interview competition there as well.


All have been great competitions and great experience!

Peter brought home 2 ribbons from the East Texas State Fair for photography entries!


Peter also bought a goat with Calf Scramble money from Henderson County.  His first show the East Texas State Fair – we have a long way to go, but we like Harvey (after the hurricane) and look forward to a great season of showing with him!!


Jacob earned the Gold Star award through 4H


Meanwhile Anna has gotten back to sewing.

IMG_4353 She completed her first quilt over the summer, and it working on some table runners for Christmas presents now!

IMG_4387Her Dudds to dazzle team met for their first practice too and they are excited about this year!!




Peter put the first batch of meat in the freezer with this sweet 100+ pound doe from a hunt in Kerens.


And of course, while there share about Brigades!!

IMG_1213And there we are, a few updates of the boys.  It’s been a busy few weeks, and we are excited for cooler temps and a reason to stay in a relax a little!!


Beekeeping Classes



As summer is winding down, it is time to start thinking about taking Beekeeping classes starting January and adding bees too your own place!!


We have thoroughly enjoyed teaching beekeeping classes at our place the past two years!  It is a family affair as our oldest 2 boys Jacob and Peter help teach.

IMG_2497Jacob is an Advanced Master Beekeeper and Peter is an Apprentice Master Beekeeper, while my husband is also an Advanced Master Beekeeper.


Both boys are East Texas Beekeeper Association Ambassadors as well – they speak all over East Texas about the Honey Bee, so they have a little experience under their belts!


I try to help out as well, and Jacob, Peter and I are all Master Gardeners in Henderson County.  So somehow all that makes us a little qualified to share about bees and plants that help the bees out!


We start classes in the classroom with the anatomy of the bee and finish up in the classroom extracting honey in June.

IMG_3100In between we spend a number of classes in the bee yard going into hives, identifying queens and pests.


Our classes go into a lot of detail about how to manage your own bees, what to look for and how to help keep your hives as strong as possible!

Through our class you can order everything from suit & gloves, to boxes and bees!


If you have any questions about taking classes with us, please feel free to email us at

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Review : The Stray



We were pretty excited to get a chance to watch the movie The Stray as a family and let everyone know what we thought.  Our family of five, Eli opted to hang out with grandparents that day, headed to Tyler to watch the movie!

We were all in agreement that it was a great family movie!  We enjoyed the humor in the story and were intrigued to find out the story was based on actual events.  Of course as a family who loves animals, we enjoyed the main character of the dog, Pluto – the wonder dog!

These days it is hard to agree on a movie that has a plot worth watching, and is family friendly enough to be willing to go see.  The Stray was a movie that met all our requirements and expectations!!  We really enjoyed it and recommend it for families!!

I want to thank FrontGate Media for providing tickets for our family to check out the movie and share our thoughts with you!!

Brigades (by Peter)

Buck-ees 2 007This is Peter Cole and I recently attended a leadership/conservation camp called the North Texas Buckskin Brigade.

Buckskin Brigade Logo

There are eight different Brigades around the state: Rolling Plains Bobwhite, South Texas Bobwhite, North Texas Buckskin, South Texas Buckskin, Coastal, Bass, Waterfowl, and Ranch. Each brigade focuses on a different subject of Texas wildlife, their needs in a habitat, and their anatomy. They also teach leadership skills, how to be a better public speaker, and how to work together with a team.
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For the past two years I have attended the Texas Brigades. When I turned thirteen I started by going to the Bobwhite Brigade. This year I was able to attend the North Texas Buckskin Brigade, and went back to the Bobwhite brigade in  a leadership position. One thing that is stressed at brigades, other than wildlife, is public speaking.

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At every brigade there are four main ways that we learn public speaking. By power point presentations, silver bullets, mock radio, and TV interviews. Today I will write about the first two.

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The first way they teach public speaking is by assigning all of the groups a power point presentation. The presentation has a slide for every single thing that we learn while at the camp. Each cadet gets to pick two slides, so they present on something that they liked to learn. On the last day each group gives their presentation, and each presentation is judged to help determine the top group.

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The Silver bullet is another way that they teach public speaking. The very first day Every cadet, Assistant leader, and group leader is assigned a silver bullet. A silver bullet is a inspirational quote that is sometimes by a famous person. The individual gets up, introduces themselves, and says their silver bullet. They finish by saying what it means to them, and giving their best war cry. The war cry is in place to help the cadet to learn to speak using their diaphragm helping them speak louder.

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The last way that way that we practice and learn public speaking is by doing mock TV and radio interviews. One activity we do involves the  instructors impersonating a TV host and  asking us questions while we answer them. This way we learn proper TV etiquette, and some questions that may be asked.

More details are here : Texas Brigades 2018 Camp FlierTexas Brigades Logo-Bar