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Amos and Abby’s wedding.

20 Oct

I managed to make it late to the wedding of Amos Garcia and Abigail Guerra, clinic but I still made it before the kiss! lol. The back drop was beautiful…


…But I think that the bride was even more beautiful!


The Bridesmaids.


The Groomsmen.


Saying their vows.


The kiss!




Some of the little girls who are related to Amos.


The guests mingling.


Nathan Hyde, cousin of the groom.


Their picture board.


The guest book.


Snacking on chips and salsa while waiting to be let in to the reception area.


The Pepsi bottles noted here are glass bottles, and the Pepsi was made in Mexico, and they used sugar instead of corn syrup.


The dessert bar.


More of the dessert bar.


The cake.


All Miniature desserts..


…made by family and friends.


And a dear friend holding Lydia…Angela Baggett!


It was a beautiful wedding, and we had a good time! May God Bless the marriage of Amos and Abby!


Hunting Camp – Day 4

14 Oct

The last day of Hunting camp (for those of us who had gotten our elk). Sunday is the day of the community breakfast, so Angela and I started preparing our dishes for the “potluck”.


Her fruit salad.


My Bacon (yes, that is a whole pound in the pan. She taught us that you can dump the whole pound in, and if you turn it evenly, it will cook evenly and faster. It will be curly though.)


Just a random glimpse of the coolers that we had brought with to hunting camp. Part was food for us, part was food for the potluck style dinners, and part was room for elk meat!


After breakfast and “camp church”, we started breaking things down and packing things up so that we could make the long trek home.


Jordan and Jeremy ended up moving our tent out into the sun so that any leftover moisture would dry out and we wouldn’t have mold or mildew issues later on.


Here is a lot of our stuff in containers and such, ready to go, but note the jeep in the background. Our neighbor took his girl and some of his nieces mudding. I would have to say, I think that they were very successful!


This is the last of the kitchen stuff to be loaded up. It was a little sad to load up, but I needed a shower to wash my hair, and to do laundry. Needless to say, everything reeked of smoke afterwards, and all of the sleeping bags spent a few nights on the laundry line, just to air out.


After loading everything up (and everything fit, just barely), we got in the car and headed the long drive to TUCSON…to where we begin the next step of the great Elk Hunting Experience…



oh dear! 😮

Hunting Camp – Day 3

13 Oct

I awoke to the most brilliant flash of light that I had ever heard, followed by dead silence, and then the most ground shaking, deafening roar of thunder that I had ever heard. Needless to say, my neighbors could probably hear me calling out “Oh Lord, have mercy on us!” As humorous as it sounds, I was serious! I was also starting to wonder. All of the day before was windy and raining, and at a few points I wondered if the tent was going to pick up and fly off, or surely collapse on me! Now the lightning and thunder? Oh my!

I had a second puddle that day as well, in which I sopped up with the towel. The tarp that we set the tent on apparently collected water underneath it, and leaked through.

Should I remind you that the water was probably 40 something degrees?

We had laid the towels out to dry on the camp chairs that we brought, and we awoke to this (okay, I awoke to that as Jordan had already left for hunting). Our chairs and the towels had frost on them.


Fortunately, by the time that I had gotten out of the tent, Jeremy and Angela had already gotten up and were attempting (more successfully this time) to make another fire. I guess there is another perk to staying in bed as late as possible, regardless of how bad you have to use that rustic, thin fabric-ed, zip up the door, plywood base with a real toilet seat camp bathroom!


Ahhh…the woods!


Oh yeah, and the rest of the camp. Note the green tarp on top of the one tent. Yeah…it was because of the rain.


We ended up inviting over for breakfast one of the guys who had come by himself. Noting how much he enjoyed the food, when Angela and I did a food experiment, we knew just who to look for! Brother Jared!


It was supposed to be like a Banana S’mores kind of deal. You split a banana in half, put in graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate chips, wrapped it in foil, stick it over heat to let the marshmallows and chocolate chips melt, and then open, cover in whipped cream, and enjoy!


It didn’t turn out as wonderful as I pictured, but it was still tasty.

Please note, for those with sensitive stomachs, I am about to post some gory pictures, as Jordan shot his elk that morning!




…For people like my Mom…


…Or Anyone else…


…I am giving you the opportunity to hit “page down” Once or twice to be over and done with it. There are about 9 pictures, and I will try to provide something to let you know that you are past the pictures. I do apologize, but it WAS the whole reason why we went up there.

Besides, Mom, you don’t see this aspect of your meat, but it happens non-the-less.

Jordan came bouncing up in the truck that morning announcing that he had shot his elk. I was THRILLED! We were going home with meat. He and a few others went to pick it up later that morning.


They attached the pulley to it (Which was rigged to a tree) and pulled it up out of the truck. Yes…I watched. LOL


When they got it as high as they could, Zachary Wallace CLIMBED UP THE ELK…yes, you heard me right, he climbed up the elk, and sat on the bar between the legs of the elk and cranked himself AND the elk up higher.


He decided that it was high enough…


…and then he slid down the tree next to it.


Seth and a few others promptly jumped right in and started skinning it. They had already gutted it in the field to get it to start cooling off.


Uncle Russell was holding Lydia and trying to show her the elk, but she didn’t trust him all that much, and with her Daddy around, she knew who she wanted!


Jordan was trying to get Lydia to touch the elk, but I didn’t want to have to clean her hands, and she was a little reluctant to touch it, much to my relief!


Within a very short period of time, they had the elk mostly skinned.


It was so very nice that everyone pitched in and helped like they did! It made work a lot easier!!!

Jordan had me help clean some of the innards (liver, heart, etc) for people who would enjoy them. We gave the (huge, enormous, massive, gigantic) liver to the Brother who had taken Jordan out hunting that day and who had helped bring the elk back in. We weren’t…okay…I wasn’t interested in cooking it up, and Jordan had already said that the Brother had wanted it, so as we were washing it up, the Brother was standing right there and asked us what we were going to do with the liver. With a serious face, I jokingly replied “Oh, we are just going to dump it somewhere in the woods.” His eyes got real big, and a look of shock and disbelief crossed his face as he asked “You aren’t REALLY going to do that, are you?” I then laughed and told him that we were planning on giving it to him and his family to have, as we knew how much enjoyed elk liver.

Jordan was having fun encouraging the kids and other spectators to help wash the liver, and to hold it and touch it. (Jordan is all about encouraging people to expand their horizons! LOL). Angela and Jeremy eventually held it, and of course I helped wash it up. That was heavy. It probably weighted 10-15 pounds, and was a weird rectangle/triangle shape.

We ended up taking the rest of the “innards” to Jordan’s parents.

Needless to say, I did learn a whole bunch of new things at camp this year.




The elk pictures are done


So you are safe now.


Until we get home. haha!

After that we got to sit around and enjoy the company and the warm sun, without having to stress about getting the elk!


Some of our neighbors enjoying the fire and sun, but avoiding the smoke.


Later that evening, while setting up for dinner, Jordan decided to help out and get the fire in the wall tent (the community tent with the chairs and tables) cleaned up and burning bright and cheerful, to warm things up. Like a trooper, he scraped out the ashes and loaded up the little stove. Within a short period of time, not only was the fire burning brightly, but the tent was filling with smoke! We realized that the ashes had all been scraped out, and now there was no insulation between the little stove and the piece of wood it was sitting on, so it was starting to burn the wood, and causing the tent to fill up. We helped clear the tent of smoke, but this picture doesn’t do it justice of how intense the smoke was.

2012-10-13 19.36.48

Next time…we will leave ashes!

Hunting Camp – Day 2

12 Oct

All through the night, I was very aware of the rain that was pouring down the side of the tent right above my head, along with the blowing wind, and early that morning (in the rain), Jordan crawled out of bed to go meet his hunting partners. I snuggled further under the covers, thankful that currently I was warm and dry, but I did have my doubts as to how long being dry would last.

I shouldn’t have wondered too much, as when I eventually got up, I stepped in a puddle of water.





While Listening to murmurings of the conversation of Jeremy and Angela Baggett (our neighbors who rolled in after us the night before), and listening to their laughter as they discovered the outside world, I started cleaning the puddle of water, which was partially under the air mattress. I guess not all of the tent is water proof.

Good to know.

Fortunately Jordan  had suggested bringing bath towels just in case, so I used one to sop up the water.

Angela was calling to me by this point, asking me if I was up, and when I was going to come out to see the snow!

SNOW?! Really?

No wonder why I was so cold! :O

She and Jeremy started getting a small camp fire built, and I struggled into my clothes (all the while needing to use the bathroom, so that helped motivate) and helped Lydia get ready to go outside.

When I arrived, the campfire needed a little help, as the wood was wet.


The snow was starting to melt a little quickly, so I decided to take pictures of the piles that was there. It was probably more like sleet, but it was still cold enough to stay on the ground for a few hours!


After using the bathroom, I decided to help start making breakfast. Angela and Jeremy had brought a folding table AND a tent for the kitchen, so the night before we had set up all the kitchen stuff under the tent.


That was so nice!

Meanwhile, Lydia was hungry, and I had made some muffins a couple days before, so I passed Lydia a muffin to munch on while we worked on breakfast. She had just sneezed when this picture was taken.


Here is Angela, camp apron and all!


We decided to rig up a canvas as walls to help keep the water off and the wind down.


Cooking eggs for breakfast. (I think we had Egg McMuffins for breakfast).


A fruit plate that I set up later for Jordan. Okay…well, I had some too, but mostly it was for Jordan, as he LOVES fruit and whipped cream!


Oh yes, and for those of you curious enough, this was the camp bathroom (behind the tree) with an extra toilet seat…maybe just in case the bathroom is full? LOL! 😀


Jordan came in later that morning, around the time we were eating breakfast, with the news that Serenity (his cousin) had gotten her elk, but he had not seen anything to shoot at just yet. Knowing we only had a few days in which to fill the tag, it made me a little nervous, but I kept praying that Jordan would get his elk, and soon!

Cassia Fraijo Bridal Shower

22 Sep

Lydia, Hadassah Peterson and I went to Phoenix for Cassia’s bridal shower. (She is my Sister in law’s sister.) It was very beautiful, and so I handed the camera to Hadassah to capture. (She’s much better at taking pictures than I am. 😀 )

The setting was outdoors. What beautiful furniture to have out on the lawn! I was impressed.


The Drinks Station. Well done.


The cake. Don’t be fooled. That cake was massive! And Delicious!


The Food Buffet. The flowers on the stems were all handmade.


A Mommy and Lydia shot. We don’t get to do that often!


Playing a younger ladies vs. older ladies Pictionary game. I forget who won.


Candace making friends with Lydia.


Lydia Playing with Candace’s camera. (No wonder she liked Candace so much!)


The Beautiful Bride-to-Be! Cassia Fraijo (Clayville)


Lydia Capturing the event.


It was a beautiful shower, which concluded with a live shower, as the sprinklers in the yard came on, and it was a mad scramble to remove all of the furniture out of the reach of the sprinklers. Shortly after, Hadassah and I headed home, tired, but thoroughly glad that we went.

A Garden visitor and visiting a garden

2 Aug

I saw this flower outside of my garden, and decided it needed to be captured in digital form. 😀


And then discovered that I had a garden visitor: a desert tortoise. I was concerned that he was stuck and wouldn’t be able to get out, but when I came back later he had disappeared. No issues there!


I told Jordan about it later, and he was very surprised. He said he had never seen a wild desert tortoise in all his years of living in Arizona.

Then later in the day, I went to go help a friend of mine (Sharon) pick her green beans. She has a beautiful garden so I brought my camera along. 😀

Here is an heirloom variety of corn growing behind her tomato plants. The corn was probably a good 10′-12′ tall!


I think this was the carrot going to seed. Looks like Queen Ann’s lace to me!


More tomatoes. You can see the green tomatoes hiding inside the foliage.


Under the shade that is set up are lettuces. They are being protected from the heat, as lettuces really don’t like heat very well. They enjoy frosty weather. To the right of the picture is a large strawberry patch, and behind the lettuces on the fence are the beans that we were going to be picking.


A good look at the strawberry patch.


Look at how luscious and green that this garden is. They have it on a drip system, but for those of you not used to desert views…this garden is gorgeous.


While Sharon and I were working on the beans, Lydia and Sharon’s children were playing together. They were following her around.


I’m very inspired to make sure to grow a good garden next year! I need to plan ahead what I want growing and focus on making it work! Sharon says that during the summer, the only produce that she needs to buy is bananas. Wow…that’s amazing!

Yearly Branding at the Isaacson Ranch

30 Jun

This year the Branding was held before the 4th of July (As the 4th of July was a wednesday night.) If you remember, Jordan and I attended last year ***POST LINK TO PREVIOUS POST***  and we really enjoyed ourselves, and because we live right next door (literally) we decided to get there in time to see the actual branding part.

BTW…if My mom is reading this: You might want to skip this post if you don’t want to see pictures of the poor little calves getting branded.


As we pulled up, we saw the first attraction of the day…Donkey rides!

We arrived at the cow pen and saw that they were allowing the little guys to rope the calves! It was great!

“I think we roped one!”

Dragging in the calf.

Tagging the ear.

Preparing for the Antibiotics.

Administering antibiotics.

Branding the first part of the brand.

The first brand.

Branding the second part of the brand.

Dragging in another calf.

Even the girls are involved!

Wrasslin’ the calf to the ground. (he fought.)

Amid the clouds of dust, he succumbed to the stubborness of the greenhorn cowboy who wouldn’t be bested by a lil ole calf!

Ride ’em cowboy! After the calf has been tagged, antibiotic-ed, and branded, they took a rope and put it around the calf’s middle, and let a little guy (or girl) get on for a little buckin’ bronco ride. It was fun to watch! The little guys loved it!

And he bites the dust!

Jordan had Lydia as I was taking pictures, and decided to let her ride the donkey.

I think she enjoyed herself! 🙂

The bull of the herd. They separated him out from the rest of the herd to make it easier to do what they needed to do. He looked very bored and disgusted at the whole process, and couldn’t be bothered. (Look at all of those flies all over his side!)

Creating a new ear tag for one of the cows.

The branding irons heating.

The girls helping out!

Oops! Got him by the hoof!

Another Greenhorn cowboy determined not to be thwarted by a calf! 😀

We ended up leaving the branding part early as I had food I needed to finish up. We missed the castrating of the calves (ha! not sorry!), and the rest of the immunizations of the bigger cows, but made it in time to bring the food. After wading across the very low river (won’t do that again!) we got to the picnic site and laid out our food. We enjoyed a nice afternoon of fellowship and food.

I wish I had emptied my camera pictures, as I would have loved to have gotten video of the mad scramble of kids when the pinatas broke open. All in all, it was a long, but very enjoyable day! I know better how to prepare for next year!

The garden (and yardwork) pt.3 – And company

2 Jun

Finally a free Saturday! Jordan decided to make a few measurements and such to get my garden going. Austin decided to take a brak and hung out with us so I put them both to work. lol Just kidding. Here Lydia is helping them figure out dimensions.

For those of you unfamilliar with such a tool, this is a post digger (I think lol).

This view is taken from the garden. The bedroom window is the master bedroom. That is the back of the house.

My tree trimmimg job.

Before and after raking  pictures.

Around on the west side of the house.

Lydia taking a break.

The back of the house.

btw…there are just 2 doors in the back. The door in the top picture (closest to the right) is the same door in the bottom picture (on the left hand side).

More tree trimming pictures. Demonstration 0picture of an untrimmed tree and of a trimmed tree.

Then later Jordan invited Steve and Esther Hyde over for dinner. They brought the two youngest, Adam and Lincoln. I had had a chocolate lasagna recipe that I was wanting to make, so I decided to go ahead and put it all together. It was supposedly a copy cat recipe of Olive Garden’s Chocolate Lasagna, but it didn’t taste ANYTHING like the real deal. I halved the cake recipe part, and here is what I ended up with.

Yeah, still a 4 layer cake! And the icing was WAY sweet! I need to find some better buttercream recipes to play with.

I do like the chocolate chips though. 😀

It was set to be a nice evening. We had pizza that the Hydes brought, and chocolate cake.

And…unexpected company.

Austin had noticed a mouse earlier in the day. The mouse came to visit at dinner. We were eating and talking about the mouse, when Steve looked over and casually remarked “oh, there he is.”

Commence shrieking and fainting and climbing up on chairs.

Okay, not really.

The mouse scooted under the refrigerator, and so the men all joined hunt.

Austin (leading the charge) started bringing out everything he could to get to the mouse.

Boxes, glue traps…

…Poles, etc. This must be a male dominated sport.

Most of us returned to dinner to finish. Meanwhile, Austin chased the mouse from the refrigerator to the stove, and managed to capture it after it headed back  to the refrigerator and out again. He trapped it in a box, and took it outside where he disposed of it with a good African tribal death…death by the metal pole pounding.


We all enjoyed the chocolate cake.

Poor Squeaky.


Not really.

Back to Ocala, with Grandpa Phillips and my parents and Abigail

20 May

We stayed for service on Sunday down in Sarasota (Reuben and Candace stayed as well), and after a really nice service, we stayed for leftovers (at the request of the Doucettes), and enjoyed a couple more hours of fellowship with our dear friends.

Afterwards, we headed back up to Ocala for the night, as that was our last night in Florida, and Grandpa Phillips was in town, something we didn’t know was going to happen until after he had already flown in! Dad arranged for grilling steaks with baked potatoes, and when we showed up, we found that Grandpa Phillips was there!

A short bit later, Reuben and Candace showed up with their two dogs. The dogs had been cooped up for a while, and they don’t have much of a yard, so when they were let loose in the roomy fenced in yard of my parents, they let loose and ran all over. It was so much fun to watch them.


Lydia, being more their size, was a bit inclined to either be jumped on or ran over. 😀 She had fun chasing the dogs…

… as us *cough* adults sat around and talked and watched them having fun.

Lydia here with Great Grandpa Phillips (L) and Grandpa Tamblingson (R).

Later, Dad started a bad habit with Lydia. 😀 He showed her the “flying bear”. She lays on the bear and is flown through the air by the Father figure. 😀 (aka…when Grandpa Tamblingson isn’t around, Daddy Jordan gets to do it.)

Needless to say, she thoroughly enjoyed herself!

We really enjoyed getting to spend some time with my parents, Grandpa Phillips, Abigail, Reuben and Candace. Alas and alack, to the airport the next day to fly home.

Leah and Jonathan Mayl’s wedding

19 May

Jordan, Lydia and I met Reuben and Candace (Brother and Sister in law for those of you who don’t know) down near the Gulf of Mexico for a few hours of jet skiing before whisking off to the hotel to get ready for the wedding. It was lots of fun, but then we had to get all serious and be grown up.

After getting ready to go, we headed to the beautiful church where the wedding was to take place. As it had been a long time since I had been around the Sarasota church group, it was a lot of silent “HI! I Didn’t know you were going to be here!” and “Good to see you!” exchanges while the pre-ceremony music was playing.

Looking around, I was impressed with the beauty of the church. Chandeliers…

…Stained glass windows…

…And beautiful young lady playing a beautiful grand piano. I wish I could have gotten a good recording of it. The acoustics in the church paired with the lovely playing just made the event very elegant and wonderful.

Aahh…the moment we all waited for. The Beautiful Bride on her father’s arm.

Leah and Jonathan. Leah had told me that she wouldn’t be the emotional one, but Jonathan would be. Sure looks like it to me!

The beautiful bridesmaids. Left to right, Hope Doucette, Hannah Doucette, Becki Doucette, and Kira Prentiss.

Leah and Jonathan join Bro Tedd Doucette in prayer.

The kiss!

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Mayl!

Lydia had been such a good girl up to that point, so while we were waiting to be dismissed, Jordan took Lydia out of the pew and let her stand and stretch and wander within arms reach.

We spent the rest of the evening at the reception (where Jordan and I had our reception) enjoying ourselves with Reuben, Candace, and whomever happened to wander near our table. The reception was beautiful, and the food was delicious! The company was very fine, and the hosts were most gracious. Thank you so much to Bro Tedd and Sis Suzanne Doucette! You did a fine job. The Cake turned out wonderful! Everyone enjoyed themselves! I look forward to seeing you all again sometime soon! 🙂 God bless you all!