Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Burp, now that is how we celebrate a holiday.

Nothing says Thanksgiving like overindulgence. We had no less than 4 holiday meals in the course of a little more than a week. In a way I feel a little guilty spending so much time stuffing my face. Is that all holidays are for anymore? That and buying lots of junk we don't need?

We started out a week early with a community meal at the Pleasant Hill fire station. I enjoyed it except for the fact me and the kids picked up a cold while we were there. Somehow Amanda managed to not get it to the same degree I did.

Thanksgiving day we made a quick stop at my Dad's parents in the morning to see them and the Fletchers and Ecksteins. A very brief visit sadly. "Places to go, things to eat..." Had a dinner with my parents and mom's parents. On to Texline for supper with that part of the family. And one last dinner on Friday at Dumas with my mother-in-laws family. We had a great visit with everybody. And back to the original topic, I couldn't help feeling very thankful for all the family we have, and especially thankful our kids will become part of our family.

What is the deal with Facebook? It is interesting looking at all the connections everybody has and where everybody has gone. But it isn't really a blog, and not as customizable as myspace. Just wondering what the attraction is?

Cold here and we have had a little snow on Sunday. Supposed to be cold and unsettled the rest of the week. I'm pretty much all caught up farming, I will hang around the house more and bug Amanda.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Balloon Fiesta in Qwerky




We left Thursday afternoon to go to the Albuquerque balloon fiesta. We enjoyed it a lot. We tried to get the kids to bed by about 8pm so we could get up at 5:45am to go to the morning session. After a quick breakfast at a close by Waffle House, we headed up to Coronado mall to catch a bus to go out to the Fiesta. That is the best way to go by far. We didn't have to wait but 10 min or so to board the bus and the ride was pretty short to the grounds.

At the Fiesta grounds it was still dark when we got there, but there were thousands of people already there. It is set up really well with lots of picnic tables and large grassy areas to sit down. It was really cold, but not unbearable since the wind was calm. I would guess about 40 degrees or so. The kids didn't seem to mind too much, and if you walked around it was ok. As the sky started lightening up the balloonists started filling their balloons. That was lots of fun to watch, it is amazing how big they are. When they start shooting the hot air in it feels good if you are close enough, and you can get just about as close as you want.

At 7am local time they launch the Fiesta balloon with the flag while somebody sings the national anthem over the P.A. system. Then it is a flurry of activity as the rest of the balloons start launching, starting at one end of the field and working to the other. After the mass ascension as it is called, they have a ballooning event where the balloonists try to maneuver their craft over targets and drop a flag. It is amazing when the wind is so light and variable they can change their direction by changing their altitude. They also have prize envelopes on top of PVC pipes stuck up in the air they try to grab as they go by. It was lots of fun to watch.

We headed back to our hotel room for naps and the kids were sure ready for one. Later that afternoon we headed back once more to the mall to catch our bus again. This time there were a lot more people, which should have been a sign of things to come. Wow, there were even more people there for the evening 'Glowdeo' as it is called. Also there was a long fireworks show. It was neat, but not quite as fantastic as we had hoped for. If we missed it next time it wouldn't hurt, since the crowds were so bad. I was so tired of hauling that big bag of bricks --->Mr. "D" around. There was a much longer wait to board the bus to leave.

The weather was really nice and sunny the whole time we were there, it was a shock to come home today. COLD, cloudy, drizzly.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What to pray for?

Things are pretty stagnant with the kids and knowing their future. We have heard absolutely nothing in a several weeks. They are still waiting for a home study on the great-aunt where they are likely to go. Once that is completed, I am thinking the process will go pretty quick.

I have had quite a bit of a conflict in my mind about what to pray about. We are trained to seek the reunification with family at all cost. Maybe not at all cost, but it is supposed to be our highest priority. As most of you know that is not something we would be happy with. Amanda and I have had some discussion on what we would really like and if we should be praying very specifically for that. Of course what we all would like is for us to be able to adopt them. Basically we would be asking God for a miracle. Asking Him to influence the judge to go against precedent and not grant the Aunt the adoption rights. Is it presumptuous to assume we could make a better home than this Aunt? Is that too much to ask? I have been thinking about James ch. 1 and how we should pray and ask without doubting, because if we doubt we are "double minded". Wishy washy. Unreliable. Weak. Not serious. You get the picture.

On the other hand I have to wonder what is God's will in all of this? Does He want these kids to go to a home that seems (to us) unstable and immoral? Who knows? I have always tried hard to accept things that happen no matter how good or bad as part of God's eternal plan. Even when bad things happen aside from the dangers of the world we live in, it is often a bad decision on our part that causes heartache. God cannot always stop the natural consequences of the bad decisions we all make. Is this drama we are forced to be a part of the playing out of natural consequences? i.e. M and D's grandparents have not laid the foundation for a stable family, so naturally their mom has never had a stable life, and now the kids have not had a stable life.

IN CONCLUSION
We have decided there is nothing wrong with praying for this cycle to stop. I have no doubt it is within God's power to do so. And we would hope getting the kids this early in their lives, and raising them in a Christian home would stop this vicious cycle.

Now if you will turn in your Hymnals to.....

*************************************************************************************


Funny story: Amanda said the cordless phone started ringing the other day and as usual we couldn't find it. D was announcing, "Phone! Phone!" While she was looking for it D said, "over here!" and was pointing at it. It is good to have extra help around.

I have been working a lot getting ready for wheat pasture later this month. Me and my granddad did a lot of trenching and putting in waterlines for stock tanks. We are almost done, but wouldn't you know it my neighbor is needing help with corn harvest now. That will go on for a couple weeks. I also will need to build lots of electric fence. Need to be ready to turn out cattle about the end of the month.

We are going to the Albuquerque balloon fiesta the end of this week also. Bad timing, but we really want to go. And figure the kids will really have a blast. Expect some pictures and a blog about it soon.

Blogger seems to be a little buggy today. I can't seem to put in new page items. I have also noticed some other silly things. This kind of stuff is why I quit Yahoo 360

Friday, August 14, 2009

My latest welding project



Quite a while back I mashed the bed on my pickup. I'm not going to go into details other than the estimate to fix it was $2300. We have a $1000 deductible, and I had been thinking about a flatbed. Everybody that has one says they like them so I built one. I have been working on it off and on the past week or so. Finally got it mostly finished today. I still want to put some pinstripes down the sides and I am going to put a paint-on bed protector stuff on the deck. It was a fairly easy project, it just took a lot of time. These are cell phone pictures so the quality is so-so. We had a little rain shower this afternoon.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hitting the trail


We made a quick trip to the Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico again. We hadn't been up there since 3 years ago. (picture at top of blog) We were not in the same area this time. We were completely on the other side, South side this time. And I think I like the North side better. It is too crowded and the trails are too busy down there. It really doesn't matter because it is still a beautiful place all over. You don't realize how much country and scenery there is up there that you just can't get to. Unless you hike or take horses. A athletic hiker could spend days up there traipsing around and never see it all.

We went on Friday morning, rode a trail Saturday while Amanda's mom kept the kids at camp, and came home Saturday. The rest of the group were going to pack in Saturday and stay a few more days. I really wish we could too but it is dangerous for kids.

Well, this is the week the kids are supposed to have some kind of final decision on their situation. They have a court date Thursday, and the judge will decide if they are going to go back home or not. I don't know how soon they would leave after Thursday if that is the decision, but I suppose it would be pretty soon. I really dread sending them off, but that is how it works, and what we trained for. They have been a blessing for us while they were here, and I hope they will remember us. I would think M. would be old enough to remember. Maybe the trip to ride the horses will be in her mind. I remember trips we took when I was 3-4 years old. I'll keep all updated as news breaks.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Corn Harvest


We have been munching on corn out of the garden for a couple weeks now. There wasn't a huge crop this year. It was too hot back earlier and the ears are a little small, and some didn't pollinate very well. I picked the last of it today and fixed it all in bags. That works better for us since we don't have much freezer space. Also it is easy to just whip a bag out and microwave it. We have more than we can use so I will give some away at church tomorrow. I hope they appreciate the work cutting it off. It is really yummy sweet corn. Almost like candy. "M" was watching me fix it and I would let her have some to eat now and then. I said, "Yum, this is almost like candy." She promptly said, "That's candy? I want some candy."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lazy blogger

I haven't been blogging very good lately. It seems like we don't have much to report on. You would think with two kids I could find something to write about.

We went to Black Mesa Bible Camp for the third year in a row last week. We took my granddad Donald's RV so we would be able to take the kids with us. That worked out great, lots of room and quiet, a little bath tub, etc. I think they enjoyed it, except for the fact most of the other camping kids were older. Mostly 8-13 year olds. I taught class and Amanda helped with laundry and various other run around tasks. She normally is a cabin counselor but couldn't do that this year of course. I enjoyed my students this year. I was very impressed how hard those 9 year old boys worked, considering it was a summer camp. One thing about BMBC, they are going to really emphasize learning the Bible. That is the only reason I feel like helping there every year. It was extremely hot the first part of the week, but cooled off later on.

We have been finally getting some good rains. It is actually sort of wet right now, it is supposed to dry out and warm up later this week. It was so cool Wednesday I needed a light jacket to ride the 4 wheeler.

The only update I have on the kids is they are doing great. We got D. a haircut and that was a screaming fit, but he looks a lot better. No more panic attacks over bugs or flies now since they like running the fly swatter. M. is doing better on the potty training, she has actually gotten out of bed several mornings in a row now and went to the bathroom without us telling her too. That was a huge breakthrough. Getting to watch the Elmo video helped on that. We can't really say how long they will be with us, but it looks like it will be at least past the month of August, so anybody coming to visit then should be able to see them.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Modeling good behavior

I get so tickled watching the kids imitate us. I never really realized how perceptive they are, and how they pick up on the littlest things. This afternoon I was sitting at my desk paying bills and of course Miss M. was there watching and asking 100s of questions. So I let her help, which they love to do. By helping I mean she could stick the stamps on and the like. I told her she could write on the old envelopes while I was writing checks. The funny thing was after I would use the calculator to figure the bank balance she would imitate me. She would tap on the calculator for a few seconds, write on the envelope, tap, tap, tap, write. It was funny. Then she pretended to lick the envelope and set it in the stack of paid bills. If I could just get her trained to really pay bills....

For the holiday we went to Amarillo to celebrate with the Crum Klan. It was hot and muggy in town, with no wind. Mr. C cooked hamburgers in an old truck brake drum, and in the Crum tradition we didn't eat lunch until after 3pm. The kids had lots of fun playing with their cousin Connor and we also went to the zoo. The zoo apparently puts up the monkeys for the night early, so they missed that. Otherwise they saw lions and tigers and bears, oh my. They ate lots of junk food and watermelon, it was heaven for them. We didn't see any fireworks, because we wanted to get home and put the kids to bed. And by then we were shot too.

Not doing lots of trucking or farming at the moment. Pretty slow, and we haven't had enough rain for a big milo crop. The only summer crops I have is about 140 acres forage sorghum, and 50 acres milo. I plan to put in lots of wheat this fall, for grazing this winter, and with 2 bad years in a row, this next year will be a bumper. Mark my words!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

We're finally parents!

Wow! It has been a long time since I posted. Too much goofing off, and not much to write about until now. I think really since I have seen about 95% of my blog audience in the past couple months it seemed pointless to write. Also I have been updating through email on our foster kids.

We got our 3 year old girl (M.) and 18 month old boy (D.) on Tuesday. They are lots of fun right now. We lucked out in some ways because at these ages this is right when they are the funnest. M. is really cute, and she wants to know what everything is, "what's that?, what you doing?, where you going?" We finally have to just ignore all the questions to keep from going crazy. D. is starting to talk a little he says things like, "I eat" "puppy!" "shoose" (shoes). They love meal times and snack times. So far we haven't had any trouble with bed time.

They are scheduled to go back home in August, but that is if nothing really drastic changes.

Meanwhile back on the farm, looks like I will have to cut most of my sorry wheat. It probably isn't going to make more than 5 bu., but has to be harvested so the insurance company will know how much to pay. We have had a little rain, and I planted some haygrazer last week. That is a sorghum/sudan hybrid that I plan to have baled, if it makes anything this summer.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Orthopedics, a new skill learned.


We had our goats over at my folks house, and one got her hoof hung in an old tree stump. It broke her leg close to the bottom. We splinted it the best we could, and if it doesn't get infected probably will be OK. This particular goat is still pregnant and should have her kid(s) soon. Not a good time to be breaking bones.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Got a little rain, hauling um...fertilizer

We got a little rain this weekend. All last week I have been hauling manure for my neighbors. Good work, but boy is it stinky. Tuesday and then Friday I am supposed to haul some cattle down to the Decatur/Ft. Worth area. One of those days we are going to try to slip over to Carrollton to see our new little cousin! That is the plan anyway.

Our wheat crop looks terrible. It was so drought stressed, then we had a blizzard a couple weeks ago that did a lot of damage. Too cold too late in the season. Only time will tell how it will come out.

We have 9 baby goats now, with a couple young nannies that are a little late. We are not sure when they will kid out.

Finally posted a new audio file: 'On the road again' Fits pretty well huh?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Time for baby goat pictures.



We are starting to have baby goats. It has been going pretty good so far, except the first nanny had triplets and one died. After all the stress of having three big babies she was not too interested in letting the other two nurse it seems. The first couple days we had to hold her while the kids nursed. She has finally started letting them eat now. We had two more sets of twins today. They were uneventful births. One more nanny is showing signs of "nest making" so we may have another set today. (twins I hope)

It is amazing to me how God puts so much instinct in those little creatures. Today the weather was perfect for birthing goats and not 15 minutes after they take their first breath they are wobbling around, getting on their feet and trying to nurse. I was just out there right now and 3 hours after they are born they are butting and kinda trying to play with their siblings. Amazing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Auto-steer, cool technology

In the past several years GPS technology in agriculture has really caught on. Like most new technology the price has dropped considerably from it's introduction. Now I have jumped on the bandwagon with auto-steer. For about 7-8 years I have been using a GPS unit that only "guided" me through the field with lights helping me do a better job spraying or plowing. Now I bought another different (used) system that will actually steer the vehicle for me. They have several brackets that will fit different applications, but I had to build a bracket for my sprayer pickup.

Once it is installed, you go to the field and lay off a pass. Everything after that is in the system and all you have to do is turn your equipment around at the end. Once you are going pretty straight on the next pass, just turn it on and let it do all the work!

In this video I am spraying wheat. If I could I would like to show a whole video of me turning around, getting lined up, and turning the auto-steer on. But I can't do all that and hold a camera at the same time.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Y'all come on in for breakfast

I don't have any idea how many miles I drove last week but I was on the truck every day.

I just wanted to tell an interesting story from Friday. We were supposed to load cattle for some folks down at Portales, NM. It turned out to be a family I had played music with years and years ago when Dawson and I were first learning how to play. Talking with them they remembered Dawson much better because he was so young and could really pick good. They have gone on to perform more on a professional level and they are GOOD! They do festivals and fairs all summer now. www.triplelband.com



Also when we were waiting and waiting for the NM brand inspector to come, they had the whole roundup crew and all the truck drivers come in for breakfast. It was quite a spread, biscits, bacon, sasuage, gravy, O.J., coffee, etc. Pretty cool family.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Now to Practice



If we don't flunk the CPR and first aid training Saturday, we will be fully trained parents. It has been a long two months, with all the trips to Amarillo. Jonathan and Samantha (Amanda's sis and b-i-l)have been generous enough to let us stay with them some and even eat with them. This weekend they are going to let us take their son and practice being parents! Saturday evening we plan to go to a EMS fundraiser and go up to Texline for the weekend to see Amanda's folks and let our nephew Conner see his grandparents.

The roofing project got put on the back burner due to windy weather, a head cold, cow hauling, and general laziness. I finished last night at dark. Now to just clean up the mess. It was actually hot yesterday with no wind and temps in the low 80s. We had to open windows in the house to cool it off last night. I am NOT going to run the a/c in FEBRUARY! (Bill from Michigan will probably marvel at the thought of our weather right now!)

Is it just me or has Blogger been a little buggy lately? Slow loads, trouble leaving comments, or today my blog posts didn't want to show up for a minute.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Half started or half finished?


I have one side torn of and the new steel put on. It looks pretty good IMHO. It is a lot harder putting it on than I was expecting because of the pitch. I can't stand on the new roof because it is too slick, even with rubber soled boots. I had to lay a ladder down on the roof and anchor it with a rope so I could work on it. Very awkward. Now I have to get myself all psyched up for the other side.

The foster care teacher lady came by the house yesterday and gave us a thumbs up for our initial home inspection. Good to have that out of the way.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Our foster care classes

I have had several folks here locally ask how the classes are going, or even asking if we have started yet. So I realized that maybe I needed to update the folks on my little blogosphere.

We are gaining about 1/2 inch per week. That is 1/2 inch of paper work and training material every week. Georgia Pacific has to be very pleased with the Dept of Family and Protective Services. We had a class Tuesday and Wednesday, so we stayed in Amarillo overnight. I feel like I am learning a lot, and there is a lot about the foster care system I had never realized. Most of what we have learned up to this point has been about the emotional and relationship aspects of being foster parents. How to deal or not to deal with birth parents, behavior problems to expect, developmental delays to expect, your foster care team, etc.

Next week we have another Tuesday-Wednesday class and it will be discipline. Tueday: what you can't do, Wednesday: what you can do. Later this month we will do all our first aid and CPR training.

We have done our fingerprints, and fire inspection, and we have most of our paperwork turned in. (birth certificates, licenses and such) Our trainer is coming to look at our place next Thursday, and we are supposed to have all our stuff like locks, and safety stuff ready. We need to buy a crib and some basic baby stuff soon because we are supposed to have that ready also.

Feb 28th is the last class, and after that they will transfer us to the Hereford office and hopefully there won't be so many trips to Amarillo after that. I'm not sure what will happen after that because we will get our own "home developer" and that will be who we work with. I really think that will be about all the training, and we will have to wait until April until we are certified Foster Parents.

Monday, February 2, 2009

This Old Barnhouse Phase 1



I finally bit the bullet and decided to put a new roof on the old barn. The weather has been nice and I haven't moved the truck in a week. So today I called the metal place and got a quote and ordered the new roof. It is going to be the same color and style as our house. By the way steel prices have come down I am guessing about 20% since we did our roof last summer.

We are not really sure if we are still going to do the barn to house conversion, but one way or another if we are going to save the old thing it needed a new roof. When it did rain it would get awfully wet inside. It will be a good investment in the long run I hope. My back is already sore from just the little bit I have done in the picture. A couple of rotten places in the decking will have to be replaced, but mostly it will be a simple tear off and replace.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Typical Sears.....



Years ago after many upsetting and frustrating episodes with Sears appliances and their service, my family fell out with Sears. Then through the years I have slowly worked my way back to the dark side, and started thinking they were mostly, OK. My change of attitude had more to do with Craftsman tools than anything else. You break one, take it back and they give you another one free. No questions asked. (hand tools only, power tools are another hassle) I love Craftsman tools!

About 18 months ago Amanda came over to the dark side with me and bought a Kenmore sewing machine. She bought the extended service plan because it included two free cleaning/adjustments. One per year. Well, we missed the first year, and after all her Christmas sewing the last couple of months, she decided it was time to cash in on the free tune-up on her machine. We dropped it off and all the associate asked us was:

Associate: "What is your last name?"

Us: "Embry, is that all the info you need?"

Assocate: "Yep" and like a flash he was gone.

After stopping at the store last week to check on it, and finding it wasn't back yet, we started calling this weekend. After Amanda put in about 20 frustrating minutes on the phone talking to their stupid service department headquarters in-who-knows-where probably Egypt or India or China or Omaha, I decided to call the local store again. I decided to trick the phone system into letting me talk to a sales associate in Clovis. "AH-HA gotcha! Let me talk to your manager!"

Come to find out they had sent her machine off and they sent it back because they DIN'T HAVE ANY INFO ON IT! Go figure! 3 weeks and nothing to show for it.

Typical SEARS!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wish I could sign a couple of executive orders

Aaron and Holly for months now have been agonizing over their unborn child. Doing everything possible to make sure she makes it into this world healthy and alive. She even has a name already. For an agonizing 6 months they have been seeing numerous doctors and praying constantly for their strength. The whole family is looking forward to bringing a new child into this world, and all the opportunity she will get to experience.

It took less than a week for our new President to sign an executive order freeing up federal money that will undoubtedly be used to pay for abortions.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090124/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_abortion_ban

This is the change we have all been looking for I guess.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

How to get from Point A to Point B, Murphy's Law part Deux


View Larger Map

Not only did we have to deal with Murphy on Tuesday, he rode with me down to New Orleans on a milk run. First it is about 9,000,000 miles to New Orleans, or something like that. Before I left I looked up the milk plant on Google maps, and even checked out the street level views, which by the way is REALLY cool. I thought I had it all figured out and there wouldn't be any trouble finding this plant. Turns out I missed it on my first shot into town by 1 block. Then I messed around 45 minuts being lost. See map for a somewhat accurate portrayal of my tour of downtown N.O.

Well, when I finally got to the plant and put in my normal 2 hr wait, the plant employee said, "Where is yo' scale ticket?"

"My what?"

"I's can't unload yo' without a scale ticket. Gotsta go to the pilut out of town."
(Pilot truck stop for you non Cajun speakers)

Rrrrrrr after talking to another driver I find out I have to go 30 MILES out of town to get weighed and come back! (Stop and go traffic both ways) I can't believe this, but have learned that is the way it is in the milk hauling business. Everybody is supposed to know everything, but nobody knows anything. So my grand scheme of getting there about 9 am and leaving by lunch turned into an all day ordeal, and leaving town about 4 pm. What a mess. NO more milk hauling for me.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Remember, be safe this New Year!

My question is this, do you think they had to add the warning after some bad feedback?