July 30, 2009

Our Resident Snaggletooth

Jacob lost his first top tooth last week! :)

July 22, 2009

Briarwood Ranch

So, today we went on the most memorable field trip... EVER. This will be one the kids will never forget! Candace and I are studying African animals and took the kids to Briarwood Ranch Safari Park. It is home to 55 species of animals from 6 different continents, but not your normal "zoo." Oh no.

They have two options for animal viewing, well, in addition to the safe and controlled petting zoo.

You can ride on a tractor-pulled wagon and experience this:

(I must say, I was quite proud of Granny!)

Or you can drive your own car and have an experience more like this:

It is not a trip for the faint of heart, though we got much more brave as the day went on. By the end, we were posing for pics with the llamas!

Here's some of what we saw. I am not zooming in on these pictures. I have my lens as wide as it will go! I tried to leave some of the car parts in the pictures for perspective.

This was one day I wish my pictures included audio. We were quite a noisy bunch for a the first part of the trip! It really was hilarious, but you had to be there, I guess.

These horns are amazing. He's some sort of sheep from the African coast.

God made this guy with a built in football helmet.

The first African animal we saw!


We quickly gained a following. (We had food buckets the first time around.)

Our second trip around we followed the wagon even though our food was gone. (The scene reminds me of Noah's ark.) It was actually much more realaxing to not have food. It's pretty stressful when wild animals are fighting at your door for the goods you have in your hand!

The llamas were my favorite. They were very friendly and let us pet them a lot!

Mattie loved them too!

Look at my brave girl! (If only we could make this progress with the Chick-Fil-A cow!)

I think the guy with the shears thought this one was a poodle.

Nothin' like inviting yourself in for a bite to eat!

Hannah and Emily enjoying the petting zoo.

The emus were my other favorites. They'd just come pokin their heads around to check things out!

Candace was not so convinced about the nosey ostriches.
(Here are some more pics on Candace's blog.)

Not an animal I ever thought I'd have within arm's reach.

Just so feel like you were there, that's not rain on the window... it's elk slobber.

This is Sampson, a watusi bull from Africa. I like him 30 or 40 feet away. Those horns are 3 feet from tip to tip.

Ummm, yeah. Here he is right next to the car.

So their horns are cool looking...

This is what they do to the side of one's car.

I had these scratches all up and down both sides of my van. Thankfully my helpful neighbor knew what to do and pointed me in the right direction. The scratches aren't totally gone, but 3 hours of polishing compound and turtle wax later, they're probably not noticeable to the average bear. (Praise the Lord!) And I have no intention of going into auto detailing anytime soon. Lesson learned: take the wagon ride! (Or let your friend drive!)

It needed a good vacuum too... animal feed is not the scent of choice for my automobile!

Don't you wish this was you?

July 19, 2009

Some more favorites from Luke 14

Here are some more of my favorite pictures from the Luke 14 event we had in April. I uploaded these in May and forgot to finish the post!
Amelia checking out the animals.


Just hangin' on the grass having ice cream.

Tyler feeding the calf.

Makin' friends with our guests.

Some hokey pokeying.

A younger, courageous volunteer.

A courageous guest!


How can you not grin at that?

July 17, 2009

One of the best things I could have lost

In the chaos of the move, I lost the index card that had Mattie's (wheat-free) sandwich bread recipe on it. That first week I was frustrated as I needed to make her bread, but couldn't find it anywhere! I finally got desperate and tried to replicate it as best I could. I knew the ingredients, but wasn't sure about the ratios. So I based it on my wheat bread recipe. Well, I'm so glad I lost that old card! I've made bread three or four times since we moved in here and it's getting better each time! Today's batch was the best it's ever been.

Here's my recipe...

4c brown rice flour
1/2 c potato starch flour
1/2 c tapioca starch
1/2 c ground flax
1t salt
2T xanthan gum
3 packages yeast

2 1/2 c warm water
3 eggs
4T honey
4T oil
1T apple cider vinegar

I whisked the dry ingredients together, then added them to the liquids. I stirred it up by hand until it was well mixed, put 3 loaves in the warmed oven (turned off) with a few spritzes of water to let it rise. Waited till it almost doubled, then cooked for 25 min at 300 in my convection oven (cook at 325 if not convection).

It is so good! The texture is the most like wheat bread I've ever had. It's always exciting to have success in a food allergy kitchen!!