Family

Every Christmas Eve (or just about every) we get to spend the day as a family with Robert’s brothers family, my in laws and us.  So fun to have so many years of memories of that day. Our kids at Candlelight service, eating somewhere, and lots of smiles.

 

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This year, there was no Jacob, as he was not feeling great.  It was a last minute decision to stay home, he was dressed and ready to go.  Before we headed out, he did open one present early.  This boy was DYING to get his hands on a CD of the Hamilton play.  I made sure his Grammie got to see the delight on his face when he opened it!

 

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Even got a picture of us. With an adorable photo bomber.img_0959

Sweet girl cousins.

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Boy cousins.

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The birthday boy – with a sweet Bloody Mary made by sister in law, Lisa.

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Betsy getting a pic of the treat!

It was a fun day, and another year of family memories!

Bass Brigades, by Jacob

My son Jacob wanted to share about his Brigade experiences.  I can attest to the changes this camp has had in my son’s behavior and maturity!  I highly recommend these camps – they are amazing!  Now, here is what he has to say:

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The Texas Brigades is a wildlife conservation camp, where they teach the cadets leadership skills like public speaking, team building, and how to perform interviews.  At the same time they are also teaching them about wildlife habitat, animal biology, habitat management, and everything in between. There are six different brigades : Bobwhite, Buckskin, Bass, Ranch, Waterfowl, and new this year is Coastal. I have been to Bobwhite which focuses on quail, and recently attended Bass Brigade which focuses on freshwater fish. Each camp focuses on different plants, trees, animals, and habitats and I learned something different at each camp.

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Last year was my first year to attend a brigade camp, and I went to Bobwhite as a cadet. Prior to this camp I knew next to nothing about a bobwhite quail. Over the course of a week, I learned all about radio telemetry (tracking animals), habitat needs for quail, firearm safety, and much more.  Some of the activities that they had was a mock stake holder meeting, where each group was assigned a viewpoint to represent and then present their viewpoint in front of a board of representatives; and while at the camp, each cadet designed and assembled a trifold for presentations. I especially enjoyed media training, where we practiced giving radio and television interviews.

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While at camp, they told us that we could return as assistant group leaders. The requirement was that you went out into the public and educated people, whether that was thru a speech, or a trifold presentation. To help encourage the cadets to get out and educate, they had an early bird hunt, where if I did ten things before November 1, then I would get a free hunt. I was determined to return to camp, so I completed as many things as I could. I earned the early bird hunt in November, and was able to return to Bobwhite Brigade camp this year.

At camp they have three positions for the youth to perform, cadet, assistant group leader, and special agent. I was a special agent, so my job was to help the whole camp out in any way I could. I helped fill water coolers, run errands, helped cadets work on projects, scored quizzes, and help with the trivia contests. Since I was returning to help out, I attended the camp for free, and I received a scholarship while there. I loved getting to meet new people, and make new friends.

I was especially looking forward to Bass Brigade, and was wondering how it would compare to Bobwhite Brigade. While at camp I learned about fish anatomy, habitat requirements, how to tag and track fish, different casting techniques, and how to make lures. We also practiced fish collection methods like electro-fishing, where we used electric currents to stun the fish for easy collection. I enjoyed the media training, and the stakeholder meeting as well, and it was really neat to see the differences in the camps. I hope to return next year as assistant leader.

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Through the Texas Brigades, I have become more confident and sure of myself in front of a group, and I have become a better leader and team builder as well.  If you are interested or know someone who would be you can find all of their information at www.texasbrigades.org, it has all of their contact info, as well as information on all of the camps. The fee for the camp is $500, but scholarships are available, and they encourage you to solicit some or all of your funds from your local soil and water district, wildlife committee, and local outdoor supply stores.

Day 1

Yep.  It’s time.  My addiction to sugar is out of control.  We have been letting gluten creep back into our diets in little ways.  But mostly its the sugar!

So today is Day 1.  Whole 30 here we are and yeah!!

I hope to journal better through this, our 3rd whole 30.  We both need this.  Robert has not been losing any weight since before Christmas, and my jeans are getting tight.  So time to reset.

These first few days will be the worst, but having done this before we know what to expect and that it won’t be long before we feel amazing again!!

While so many people are taking supplements to feel good, we feel like managing our diets is the key component to feeling good.  We know this works.  We know medically this lifestyle rocks!!  Our cholesterol numbers were amazing after our Whole30 last year, our sugar numbers were great, and we were thinner, had more energy and overall knew life was better!

If you are confused about what the heck I am even talking about, here is a LINK to some great info.  Whole30 is a reset for your body.  You eliminate sugar, wheat/gluten of every kind and anything processed.  You eat whole real food for 30 days.  At first you are starving your body of the carbs and sugar that is LOVES oh so much.  But after about a week you will start to have more energy, feel better over all and if you are like Robert or me, you will lose some weight.  Weight loss was never my goal, getting my sugar addiction under control was, but I got back to my college weight on my last Whole30 and college was 20+ years ago!!  (at least that weight was :))

So, here we go!  Hope to share more info and our results in the next 30 days!!

Storm Impact

Wow.  It has been a week at Milk & Honey Meadows!!

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On tuesday about noon-ish as the rain hit our area, a tornado went through our property.  They have determined that is was in fact an EF0 tornado.  I did not need the confirmation, I knew it was a tornado that we watched go by.

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We sought shelter in the hallway, and I was not sure we were going to still have our house standing once it was over, but we did!

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The craziest part of the story is that my middle son was not in the house at the time, but I thought he was safely in the metal shop in the back.  Little did I know that he had gone out to put the calf back in the barn.  So, he was in the most dilapidated building on our property.  Had I known he was out there I am sure I would have been crazed!  Instead, we prayed that it would pass fast and that Peter would be safe in the shop.

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When he made it in and told me he was in the barn the whole time I could not believe it!!  The best part, there was hardly any damage to that building, and I know it was because Peter was in there.  Seriously. I know that our prayers covered that boy and kept him safe.  Had he left the building he may not have made it since chicken coops were flying around as well as metal parts, roofs, tree limbs, etc.  He told us that the steer and heifer in the paster could hardly stand up.  It was crazy!!

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But we all made it.  House is still standing.  There is damage for sure, but nothing that we cannot fix.  All the animals made it too and that was a huge blessing!!

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