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Jeeping In Our Jeep

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On Saturday, we took a break from the chicken coop construction. Matt has been a member of the local 4 wheel drive club here, called Range Riders for almost 15 years. He finally had the chance to go on a “run” with the group this past weekend. A “run” is basically going out with some like minded 4×4 enthusiasts and having fun. We started out strong, but . . . well, let’s just say they didn’t end the same way. And for the record! Jeeps never get stuck. They just […]


Coop Progress: Days 5 & 6

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I’m a little behind in telling you about our progress. There has been quite a lot of progress, but I’ve been just too exhausted to write about it. We worked on the coop all day Friday & most of Sunday. But . . . we took Saturday off to go play. And guess what? We painted a little more. How fun! We decided on a color for the hen house and it’s RED! How traditional. Here is what we have done so far, plus Matt has installed a bunch more […]


All Cooped Up: Are We Done Yet?

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The days are all starting to blend together. I’m trying to recall what exactly we did on the chicken coop construction yesterday and I got . . . nothing. Granted, I haven’t had my coffee yet, but . . . Okay, things are better now. My eyes are open and my mind is starting to clear. Day 4 of this whole chicken coop operation was spent painting AGAIN! And Matt constructed the support beams for the hen house. We also took another trip to the lumber yard. I think we […]


Chicken Coop: Day 3

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Yesterday ended with some real progress. Truth be told, everyday has ended with progress, but Day 3’s progress was made evident by the appearance of a real chicken coop shape. And I must say, it is rather shapely. Rectangular shape-ity, shaped shape. We were able to assemble the three other walls of the frame before noon. We were able to build the first walll yesterday. The walls were a quick task. Then we laid them out according to their respective locations and attached them to the base. Then the roof […]


Upcycling & Repurposing

About seven months ago I redid a couple of our dining room chairs. The craft shop on base was closing soon and I had no time to waste. I picked out fabric that was almost identical to the other chairs. I had two to redo and really didn’t want to do all of them if I didn’t have to. Prying out staples isn’t my idea of a good time. I completed the two chairs, the craft shop closed, and then . . . the fabric on two other chairs ripped and wore thin. Seriously? Are you kidding me? So, we had two ripped up chairs for a few months. I was weighing my options: (a) order fabric on-line, (b) buy fabric locally, or (c) start using the patio chairs. Option A just ended up being a waste of time. I searched stores, but you can’t really see and feel the fabric and that’s something that I need. I just couldn’t bring myself to do Option B. I cannot in good conscience overpay for something that I don’t want to pay for in the first place. And I ¬†think the patio chairs might be too low for the table. Many months passed and I continued to live in denial. Trying to avoid the ugly chair dilemma. But, we had some visitors coming for lunch and I HAD to do something.

I quickly sprang into action and headed for the basement (where all my brilliant plans are hatched). I decided to just get them covered, even if it meant with little cowboys and Christmas fabric. I was looking for some extra fabric – you know all that extra fabric that you can’t bear to throw out. Hey, if I couldn’t do the chairs right, at least I would make a temporary cover. Immediately, I came across a failed project of mine. I had saved one of Matt’s old long sleeve t-shirts to repurpose. I brought it up stairs, separated the front from the back, and started stapling. When Matt got home and saw the chairs, he couldn’t figure out where I had gotten the fabric from or what type of material it was.

This is just a temporary fix. I do plan on redoing all the chairs once I can do a proper job and pick out the right type of material.


Running in Germany

Running in Germany has its ups and downs. I’m talking about recreational running, not running from a cheetah kind of running. That is a whole different sport. In Germany, for instance, I just love the infinite ways to get from point A to point B. There are so many paved paths that take you where ever you want to go and places you could never see by car. Plus, the countryside can be breathtaking. Like right now, the red poppies are sprinkled in the golden fields.¬†IMG_0506

When running anywhere it is important to be prepared. For some it’s planning the route, distance, or time. Still for others, being prepared means dressing for the weather. Personally, I try on both counts. I usually have some idea of where my run takes me, how far I’m willing to go, and when I’m expected to return. But honestly, my legs usually do their own thing. My mind says, “Hey this is too much work. Let’s turn around and go home.” Whereas another part of me is saying “Shut up and run.” I’d like to think my legs have some say in the matter.

Dressing for the weather. Dressing for the weather in Germany. That one is a doozy. My standard uniform is Nike Tempo Shorts, a mis-matched tech shirt, a hat that used to be white, sporty sunglasses, and of course, running socks and shoes. My socks are so smart too. They tell me which is left and right, so I’ll never have to wonder. Continue reading


Portugal

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We just returned from another amazing trip. This time we ventured into Portugal. We spent a week in the most south-western point in a village called Sagres. Unfortunately, it was extremely windy and on the cool side so we were unable to spend everyday at the beach, as I had envisioned. However, we made some wonderful memories with the kids.


The Last Week

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This was the 34th week of school for the Barker boys. Their mean old schoolmarm even made them do some work Friday – the very last day of school. They only had a few things to do. Earlier in the week they took their big geography test, which they have been learning all year. Tristan is still working on his country report. He wasn’t even assigned a report, but I thought he should do one. Aren’t you glad I’m not your teacher? Anyway, I got him started a little late. […]


Gavin’s New Thing

This school year has been eye-opening. I mean this in an awe-inspiring kind of way. Yes, there have been a few challenges, but not nearly as many as I had anticipated. I have had the privilege to watch my favorite little people grow and make significant academic progress.

Matt and I were blessed with having the option of choosing what the boys studied this year. They each had some input in the decision making process. I decided that among other subjects, Spanish would be beneficial for them both. Given that we hope to someday return to our native land and speaking Spanish is incredibly useful, we thought this selection was wise. Plus, Gavin had some Spanish last year and I was impressed with what he learned.

Fast forward from July to March . . . okay stop. I’m going to be honest here. Brutally honest. It may have seemed “wise”, but it was not a good fit. Ever try to force a puzzle piece into a puzzle shaped hole? Yeah. No.

Continue reading


Update: Salty Science

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It took a long time, but it happened. The water from the salt water experiment finally evaporated. We were left with some serious salt formations. I have to admit that the boys were very patient with this experiment. They checked the progress regularly for many weeks. Honestly, I was ready to be finished two weeks into it. They continue to impress and amaze me. Good work little dudes.