Sunday, November 16, 2008

Reflections of a Basketball Mom

For as long as I can remember wintertime has meant basketball season. We have spent our time from mid-October through February and sometimes into March consumed by basketball. Dave has coached. All three of the boys have played pee-wee ball, middle school ball and high school ball. Last year we had one at each level! This year though things are a little different and I am still trying to figure out how I feel about it! Dave decided this past summer that he was not going to coach this year. Between teaching, his responsibilities at church, department chairing, coaching, fathering, and husbanding he was feeling that something need to be released and he opted to let go of coaching. That was not too big of a deal because the boys would still be playing so there would be lots of basketball games to go to. But as the Middle School season approached Micah decided that he would do drama instead of playing 7th grade basketball. They practice at the same time so he was forced to make a choice. He opted for drama and will have a large part in the upcoming Middle School play. He has been very happy with his decision and is looking forward to his starring role. Shortly after that decision the time came for the high school season to start and Caleb also decided he would sit out this season and cheer on his team from the stands. This has probably been the hardest for me to take because I love to sit in the stands and watch him play. He felt like he wanted to try his hand at some other things and that basketball simply did not allow him the time to do that. He loves photography and is seriously considering pursuing a career in photography so he is hoping to work with the Art teacher at school to put together a portfolio and possibly start an online photography business. He is also performing in Harvey....the fall play at the High School as well as taking some pretty tough classes. I of course completely support him in his decision not to play ball but I will miss seeing him on the court this year! Joshua is our lone basketball player this season. He has been waiting to play Bear ball for 3 years now and is very excited. As most of you know he has some challenges to face in academics and in athletics but he is out at practice every day working as hard as he can with a great attitude. He will find out on Tuesday if he made the C team. I hope he makes it. I can't wait to see him in a Bear uniform!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Random Pics Explained

Have I mentioned on here that my camera was stolen? Well, in case I haven' camera was stolen off of a picnic table in Leadville, CO last August when Dave and Josh were on the Youth Road Trip with our church. This frustrates me. I like my camera. It is simple. I could point and shoot and get some pretty good photos. I could plug my camera into my laptop and download those photos pretty easily. I could then upload those photos right onto my blog or facebook page....all without any issue. I liked that...but camera was stolen...hence the lack of photos on my last few posts. Now Caleb is a budding photographer and he also has a camera. is not a nice simple camera that allows me to just point and shoot. I like taking pictures with his camera but getting the pictures from his camera onto my computer has not proven to be a simple task. And since it is not simple it is a task I have not spent time trying to achieve. However, this weekend Caleb was doing some work with some of his photos on Dave's computer and I saw my opportunity to get some photos of things I have blogged about from his camera to my blog so I seized the moment. However in my seizing of the moment I did not take the time to caption the photos I got thinking I would just go back later and do that. However that was not a simple task either and thus avoided. Instead I just decided to do a new post to explain the photos in the old post....the simple way!

From top to bottom here is your friendly photo explanation:

1 - A family photo taken last June at Horn Creek....our family camp. My boys are getting taller than me!

2-4 - These pictures were all taken at Sylvan Lake. Sylvan Lake is south of Eagle. We had never visited there before but found ourselves there via a Geocache. It was a beautiful fall Saturday. We had to go to Vail for a soccer game and decided to do a little geocaching on the way home. This is where we wound up. Wow! It was so beautiful. We will go back and hopefully do some camping there soon!

5 - Dave leading the Victory chant at the Rifle High School homecoming game. The Bears did go on to victory....beating Battle Mountain by a score of 53-6!

6-7 - On Monday of Homecoming week Caleb came home thoroughly disgusted that he had been nominated by his class to be on the homecoming court. He was not looking forward to any of it but I think as the week went on and the homecoming spirit took hold he did become more excited and decided to have fun with it. It helped that he got to ride in the homecoming parade in a Solstice. He ended up being chosen by his class as the Junior Attendant on the Homecoming Court. The girl with him was also chosen by the Junior class as the attendant. It was fun to see him get all spiffed up. I believe he was quite dashing :). For those who have asked....not a girlfriend....just a friend in his class...and his partner for the Homecoming court....placed together alphabetically and coincidentally both chosen as the Junior attendants.

8 - Micah as Arty the Alley Cat in the community play "The Floating Princess". He was fantabulous!

9 - Josh at the Homecoming football game cheering the Bears to victory.

10- Josh as the Gingerbread Man in "The Floating Princess".

There you have it...captions to go with the pictures...just a little late and a little more wordy! Oh...and if anyone is wondering what to get me for Christmas....a camera would be nice!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Who Am I? by Caleb Ziegler

Caleb recently had an assignment in his Junior English class. The assignment was to write an essay entitled Who Am I? I wanted to share it with you.

Who am I?
Who are you? she asks.
Am I supposed to answer that question? Any judgment or opinion that I give about myself is going to be flawed because, just as I believe that I sing well, the sad fact of the matter is, I sing terribly. So, in order to answer this question, I must appeal to a higher authority. Society might be able to offer some insight into the matter. However, upon further examination of society as a whole, I find that it is flawed as well. The words of popular opinion bring condemnation upon themselves. Society would not be willing to answer this question in the first place because it believes feelings to be higher in the moral hierarchy than truth. Also, the basis of society’s definitions of truth, ethics, and morality cannot be traced back to any authority except that of the opinion of man. As a result, I will not appeal to society to answer the question: “Who am I?” Instead, I choose to appeal to an authority that is definite, constant, and higher than any other authority. A power such as this is able to answer this question definitively. I appeal to heaven and to God.
The one true God of the Christian faith has, in His infinite wisdom, left His followers a book that intentionally and explicitly answers the question above, the Bible. Since the Bible is the inspired word of God, it can be used to find His opinion on the matter of who I am. First, He says that I was created in His image but, unlike God, I have a sinful nature. This inherent wickedness was brought about by God’s willingness to give mankind freewill and its abuse of this privilege. As a result of my sinfulness, my just punishment is an eternity in hell. However, because of God’s awesome grace and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, as a Christian I have been gifted with an eternity with God in heaven. Now, because of the gratefulness I have, I have an aversion to sin and a desire to serve God and to do His will. This influences everything else about me. The actions I choose to participate in are first interrogated by the question of whether or not they are in accordance with God’s will. My concern of other people’s opinions is regulated by the knowledge that God is sovereign and that people have no eternal authority over me. My fears, from the fear of death to the fear of spiders, are dampened by the assurance that God’s will prevails and his plans cannot be changed. The value of my life and of other people’s lives is increased in my eyes because I know God created every one of them and that He loves them. I know that whether I am blind, deaf, and unable to walk, or I am strong and able to run for ten miles straight, it doesn’t matter because I have the same value in God’s eyes and when I reach heaven, I will receive a perfect body. Finally, the eternal future of other people is brought to my attention and my life goal is to see as many people into heaven as I can.
Who am I? I have appealed to the highest authority and He has said that I am His child and that I am going to heaven. Everything else that comprises who I am is used by God to glorify Him and to do His will. My values are concrete, my physical characteristics and my social status are unimportant, and my purpose is divine.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rifle's Secret Mountain Treasure maybe it is not such a secret but it has been unknown to us for the past 7 years. Who knew that Rifle had Colorado mountains only a few miles away? Now for those who have visited Rifle I know you are rolling your eyes thinking right....there are no mountains in Rifle...only hills and lots of sage brush. Mountains have aspen groves and tall pine trees. That does not exist in Rifle. Up until a week ago I would have agreed with you. Don't get me wrong there is a lot of beauty in Rifle but I would never have classified Rifle's beauty as being the beauty you find in the is more like a desert kind of beauty but better. But I am here to tell you that there is mountain beauty in Rifle...or at least close by.

The boys and I first experienced Rifle's secret mountain treasure a couple of weeks ago. The boys had a Friday off from school while the teachers worked so we decided to get out on a beautiful fall day and explore a little trail we had just heard about...the Beaver Creek Trail. We headed south of Rifle up Taugenbaugh Mesa onto a little dirt road that led us straight from the desert into the mountains in about 20 minutes. We went from sagebrush to aspens that were arrayed in their full autumn glory. We found the trailhead and set out hiking through aspen groves and huge pine trees on a trail that was littered with golden leaves. It was beautiful! Glorious! Caleb enjoyed being out in the woods taking pictures. The dogs had a blast running free in the hills and the rest of us just enjoyed being outdoors taking in the day.

We had so much fun in fact that we decided we needed to take Dad to experience our treasure. He was all for it so yesterday morning we decided to head back up to the trail again. We knew some weather was coming in but decided if we headed out right away we would beat the weather and get to enjoy the day! Our friends, the Johnsons joined us and off we went. The aspens were a little more bare. The leaves were a little more brown but the beauty was still awesome and the adventure was spectacular. The adventure began when Joshua, who has provided us with numerous stories of adventure in his short life, got ahead of us and took a wrong turn on the trail. We actually found him fairly quickly but not before Dave had taken off and jogged about 2 miles along the ridge in search of him. Dave did not find him but he did find a large fresh print on the trail that belonged to either a bear or a very large mountain lion. After we finally were all together in one place again we stood on the ridge overlooking the valley below for miles and watched the storm move in. When we begain to feel the snow we decided it might be best to head back to our vehicles. As we were making our way back down the trail a huge microburst of wind swept across the mountain. We could hear the wind coming long before it reached us. The trees were groaning and banging against each other so loudly that it sound like thunder rumbling through the hills. When the wind arrived we could see the trees bending and swaying and groaning and suddenly about 100 feet in front of us one huge pine tree could withstand the wind no longer and with a huge crack came crashing down in front of us taking an aspen tree out on its way down. It was amazing. We stood there in shock and awe to see this majestic mighty tree lying across the path in front of us and praised God that we were not under the tree when it fell! We all made our way over the tree and finally arrived at our vehicles thankful that none of the pine trees surrounding our vehicles had come crashing down. There were other trees that did not survive the burst of wind though....3 that fell across the road that we needed to take to make our way back down into Rifle. Thankfully working together we were able to remove the trees from the road and get back to Rifle before the storm hit! It was a wonderful time with friends enjoying the beauty of God's amazing creation in our own little Rifle mountain treasure!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

God is in Control!

This landed in my email box today. I am not sure where it originated by I wanted to post it on my blog as a reminder that my King is in control. It is He who appoints and removes leaders! He has a plan and I WILL trust in Him!

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Wow! I just realized that the last post I wrote was before school started and now here we are...2 months later! Hmmmmm....where did the time go and what happened to my blog...clearly my blogging has gotten lost in the whirlwind of activity that has swept us up with the beginning of a new school year. So for those who do actually check my blog to see what is happening with our family I thought I would jot down a few of the highlights of the past two months.

The Floating Princess!! The weekend before school started Josh and Micah got to perform in a community theatre production. Josh was the Gingerbread Man and I believe definitely had the best costume in the play. His head however did prove to be somewhat of an impediment in getting on and off the stage! Micah played the talking cat that belonged to the evil Princess Viv. From a very objective perspective this mom believes that Micah as Arty the talking cat and his buddy Chris as the other talking cat stole the show....completely objective mind you!

Caleb Ziegler....Junior at Rife High School....Caleb started his junior year with a tough schedule and lots going on! He started out playing soccer but was injured early on and has not really been able to practice or play in any of the games. He is hoping to be healthy and ready for basketball season which starts in November. He also decided that he would go out for the school play and landed the role of Dr. Sanderson in the play Harvey. He is pretty excited and looking forward to his moment to shine on stage. He is also now driving which I have to say that as much as I dreaded it I am now loving it! So nice to have someone to send on errands and to play chauffeur to his brothers!

Joshua Zieger....mighty Bear at Rifle High School! Josh started his freshman year at RHS and even two months in he is loving being a Bear! It has been quite a transition and adjustment for all of us but I am so glad that he loves it there and is making friends. We have slowly tweaked out some of the issues of communication with his teachers and home and he is doing well. Thankfully Dad and Caleb are both there and a huge support to him. I think it helps a lot that he is Mr. Ziegler's son!

Micah Ziegler....7th grader at the Happy Heart Homeschool....hehehehe....he hates it when I call it that :). Micah is doing great with all of his classes and we are really liking all of the curriculum so far. Since there was not a soccer team for his age group this fall he opted to join a Boys Gymnastics class which he is loving. He is also getting ready to try out for the drama at the Middle School and he is loving his first year in youth group.

Well...that is a quick update for now on what is happening in the Ziegler home. We are enjoying a beautiful Colorado fall and have managed to get out and take in the amazing colors and sights of the season. God is SO amazing. His creation is awesome. He is a mighty and glorious God. We are so greatful that He is our King!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

It's a New Year! Happy Homeschooling!

For as long as I can remember my life has revolved around the school year! So mid-August is really my January...the beginning a new year of school and all the promise it holds! I love summer and all the fun things we do and having Dave home but by the beginning of August I find myself getting antsy for the new school year to get back to a have things feel a little bit normal. One of my favorite things to do to get ready for the new school year is ordering new curriculum! This year both Caleb and Josh will be at RHS and so it will be only Micah and I at home. I am looking forward to the time I will have with him and I think he is excited to be the only one home as well. He has been pouring through our Rainbow Resource catalog circling all kinds of things he thinks would be cool to do this year. Who needs the Sears catalog when you have your Rainbow Resource catalog handy?!! We finally narrowed down our school list and put in the order last week. Now we are pins and needles waiting for our big box of new books to arrive in the mail....Christmas in August! There are a few things I have used in the past that we are sticking with this year:

Math: Finish Transition Math (Pre-Alg) that he started last year and then start Jacob's Alg. 1. Caleb used Jacobs in 7th-8th grade as well and it really helped prepare him for the math he has had at the high school. In fact it almost prepared him too well as he has been a little bored in math and his teachers have decided to have him skip Pre-Calc this year and take AP Calc as a junior.

Science: Apologia General Science Caleb did both the General Science and Biology through Apologia and really enjoyed both courses and learned a lot. He is a science guy and Apologia really fed his thirst for Science and made him want more.

For everything else with Micah, we are trying new materials. I am excited about this becaue I like to try out new things.

Bible: For Bible last year Josh and Micah and I did "It All Begins in Genesis" from Answers in Genesis. We all loved this curriculum and learned SO much. This year Micah and I are going to try Discovering our Amazing God which studies the character of God from the OT and teaches the kids how to do Bible study Precept style!

History: We are going to do History Odyssey: Level 2 - Ancients. Micah helped choose this...he is wanting to get into the ancient civilizations. We did the Ancients with all 3 of the boys a few years ago through Learning Adventures which I really loved and we will probably pull some material out of that again. Micah was pretty young at that time so it will be good to go through it again.

Reading/Spelling/Vocab: Total Language Plus. I am looking foward to trying these out. I have not used them before but I have perused them at Curriculum Fairs. We are going to read Call of the Wild...Micah's choice. and The Bronze choice since it will coincide with Acient Rome and we will probably do the Christmas short stories around Christmas time as well.

Writing: Jump In from Apologia.....I am excited about this as well. Micah wants to be a writer and loves to write stories so I think this will really give him some good tools to use.

Foreign Language: Elementary Greek Koine ....this is totally Micah's choice. I was thinking Spanish but he thought it would be cool to learn Greek and be able to read the NT in its origianal language. Maybe our pastor was onto something we he said he thought Micah would grow up to be a preacher.

Grammar: Analytical Grammar....I can't honestly say I am excited about this because I just don't get real excited about anything Grammar but from all I have read I think it will be very good for him and really help him improve his grammar.

That is our main stuff. We now just need the big brown box to arrive so we can get everything out and ready to go! I am looking forward to a great school year. I will let you know what we think of all the new stuff once we have been in it for a while!!

Happy New Year!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Quotes from St. Augustine

"You made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you."

"How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose!...You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Born to Climb!

I am part of a wonderful Bible study called Faithfully Fit. We meet every week to work out our bodies with a walk together or exercising to a video. We also work out our souls through the study of God's Word. Last night we met for the last time until school starts back up and we decided in celebration we would venture out on a hike up to the Rifle Arch. There were 5 of us in the group along with two of my guys...Josh and Micah and 2 other boys. It was a little warm when we started and truth be told I don't think any of us were very excited about hiking on a hot afternoon but we were a determined bunch and we set off on our way. For the most part the hike is not too bad. There are a few steep climbs that gets your heart pumping but there are some nice stretches in between those places that allow you to catch your breath. We did find several shady stops along the way that allowed us to pause and take in the view of the valley below. The stopping was really all about enjoying the had nothing to do with resting or catching our breath or giving our tired legs a break....nothing to do with that whatsoever! Really! There is a place near the end of the hike where the terrain suddenly changes. There is even a bench at this spot and some nice rocks to sit on. You can see the arch from this place and the temptation to just call this the end of the hike is a great one because beyond this spot there is no more path....just lots of rocks to crawl over to make your way to the final destination....beneath the arch itself. We thought for just a second about not completing the hike but the thought only lasted a second. We knew we wanted to complete the journey. We were not satisfied with just seeing the arch....we wanted to touch off we went....scrambling up over the rocks...tredging ever onward. The boys of course were off ahead of us. They decided to take a little more adventurous route and proceeded to climb up a rather steep rock that had some footholds in it. Micah is my monkey boy and he scampered up that thing like it was nothing. Josh on the other hand got about half way up it and decided he could not go any further. The only problem was he decided he could not get back down either. The other ladies proceeded on up the somewhat of a path to make their way to the arch while I stayed behind to encourage Josh that he could do it. He was however fairly insistent that he could not so I being the brave adventurous mom that I am climbed up that same rock so that I could give him a push to the next foothold. It all worked great. Josh got up off the rock thanks to my little heave ho. The only I was on the the same place....and suddenly I also felt fairly insistent that I could not get off of that rock. Climbing up to that problemo....climbing back down from that place....big problemo! I did recognize that if I lost my footing I probably would not die...maybe just break a bone or two and scrape myself up so that was a bit of a relief but I was not looking forward to any broken pieces of my body so I opted not to go down. Next option...up! place for my big feet. In the meantime Micah is scampering up beside me....Here mom you could go this way....scamper, scamper scamper.....Or, mom, do it this way....scamper, scamper, scamper. I have never wanted to strangle a monkey before but at this point the temptation was great! I finally decided that it would have to be done sideways so I began to stretch out my leg....and stretch and stretch until I felt like I was doing the splitz. My legs were probably only at a 90 degree angle but it sure felt like the splitz on this 43 year old body! worked and I was able to slide across the rock sideways and make my way back to the path. Phew! I seriously was wondering there for a few minutes how I would ever manage to get off of that rock without sliding down it and taking off a layer of skin! I joined the other ladies under the arch to take in the beauty of God's amazing handiwork....the rock formations, trees growing in amazing places. As we sat there chatting Josh walked in and with a fist of victory in the air shouted...."I WAS BORN TO CLIMB!"

After resting under the arch for a bit we set off again to make our way back. The sun had set. The sky was pink and purple, an almost full moon was making its way up into the sky. There is only one word for the whole of the experience.....GLORIOUS!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bring the Rain by Mercy Me

Tonight I was blog surfing...a new favorite pasttime of mine! I was blessed to come across a blog that brought tears to my eyes and a new song to my heart. It is a song I have heard before on the radio but until tonight I had never REALLY heard it. Here are the lyrics:

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

The line that really struck me was
"Bring me anything that will bring you glory"

Wow! Anything Lord??? But what if it hurts too much? Wouldn't full complete healing and restoration bring you more glory?? Will I trust You to know the answer to that and rest in You? "You are much greater than my pain....Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty"

Angie Smith...the author of the blog,Audrey Caroline, wrote something that has stayed with me: (you should really go read her blog...there is a link to it on my page)

"In the span of a few minutes, I committed to God that I would stop praying for sunshine and start welcoming whatever made the soil rich."

As I read that and listened to the Mercy Me song it hit me that that has been my battle in many areas but especially with my Joshua. I have been praying for the sunshine. I have been praying for what I believe will bring God the glory. Even though I always finish those prayers with...."not my will but yours be done" my heart of hearts I have been pleading for the sunshine to be His will. I am not sure what the future holds for our family but I know that the prayer of my heart needs to be just that....the prayer for whatever makes the soil rich.....the prayer for anything that brings you glory. "If thats what it takes to praise you, Jesus bring the rain."

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Simple Moments

I have been experiencing blog freeze which in layman's terms is something along the lines of brain freeze when it comes to blogging. Everyday I sit at my computer and I open up my blog and I think to myself "I really should write something for my blog" and then I don't....I get distracted....I read someone else's blog.....I go eat something....anything but write. I wonder what brings this on? Is it the broken finger that makes typing a little more cumbersome? I think it is more than that. I think it is the fact that June was so jam packed full of big things that I don't know where to start. I feel like it all deserves space in my blog but the idea of trying to fit it all in is a bit what do I do instead? Raid the cookie jar of course! Tonight though...or rather this morning....I was laying in bed awake reflecting back on June and everything we were doing and I realized with all the big stuff it is the simple moments within those huge events that have imprinted themselves in my mind. Simple moments like sitting around with my family laughing over homemade ice cream made with $3 vanilla beans or watching my husband cast a fly on our 18th wedding anniversary and realizing how truly blessed I am to have this man as my very own. Simple moments....snapshots of time really. One of our big events in June was The God Rally Project...a 3 day Christian music festival that our church was heavily involved in organizing. It was a consuming thing for weeks ahead of the event and it is hard to believe now that we are on the other side of it. There were times leading up to God Rally and during God Rally that I felt like I couldn't breathe because there was so much to do but now that I look is those pauses in the chaos that have marked their place in my memory.... Rick Wise taking a moment to look a young girl straight in the eye and tell her that she is a princess....daughter of the King of Kings.....precious and special and that because of that she should wait for a man who would treat her as such and not settle for anything less. That was a divine moment orchestrated by God to reach a young girl's heart and give her words to live by.... A break in the action at home and hearing music from the God Rally from my house way up on the hill and realizing that the truth of God's Word was being heard not only by those enclosed in the Fairgrounds but by people throughout Rifle. Praise be to God.... Sunday morning community our Praise Team led by Kenny and with Caleb playing bass guitar...seeing people all around...from different churches....different backgrounds....different doctrinal viewpoints...coming together in unity, some with hands raised in praise....others with heads bowed in worship....but altogether standing on the truth that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life....that He alone is our salvation and that He is worthy of praise! It was an awesome moment that will forever be stamped on my heart! There are other things too about God Rally that I will always look back on and laugh...especially the overabundance of chickens and turkey drumsticks in our concession stand....seeing whole families work and serve together beyond the point of exhaustion in the name of Christ! It was a great event! The exclamation point was hearing a man in church last Sunday share that he had accepted Christ at God Rally. That alone makes it all worthwhile! To God be the Glory!

We left from God Rally to head straight to Horn Creek for a week of family camp. I love Horn Creek. It is such a part of my favorite memories all through my life. We missed last year so it was especially sweet to see the Sangre de Cristos come into view and to pull into the parking lot of Mountain Meadows. We had a great week there with family and old friends and new friends. There are so many simple moments enclosed in that action packed week that I cannot even begin to share them all but a few of the highlights for me were....Hiking to Venable Falls as a family....I had forgotten just how beautiful that hike is....the millions of wildflowers in forests of aspen trees, the creek....the falls...God's amazing handiwork!... Playing Cranium late at night and laughing ourselves silly....the great tv or video games....just time hanging out together....the kids getting to rock climb, ride horses, go on the waterslide, explore in the woods....the great teaching from God's Word each evening.....Communion service on the last night. It was an awesome week. I am so thankful that we were able to go! Thanks Mom and Dad! One of my favorite moments was this conversation between myself, my 4 year old niece Natalie and her 3 year old buddy Ali:

Aunt Kathy....getting down on the floor to chat.....So what are you girls doing?
Natalie: We're just drawing in our book
Aunt Kathy: are both doing such a nice job...I like your drawings
Ali: (looking up at Aunt Kathy very seriously) Ummmm, could you please give us a moment?
Aunt Kathy: Would you like me to leave you alone?
Ali: Yes please. Natalie and I need a moment.

I love 3 year olds!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lotsa Happenings

The past few days have been so full of happenings in our family that it is hard to know where to begin to write about all that is going on. Each event deserves its own blog entry but for the sake of time and actually getting it done I thought I would tell you the story of our weekend in pictures! We started the weekend of celebrations with Caleb's 16 1/2 birthday. Yes, we celebrate 1/2 birthdays...a little quirky I know....but it is a great excuse for another opportunity for fun, family and food! We started celebrating 1/2 birthdays because Caleb was born 4 days before Christmas so we wanted him to have his own time a little more separated from Christmas. We still celebrate his birthday but he gets the bulk of his gifts on his 1/2 birthday...and of course once we started doing that for him 1/2 birthdays became a tradition for everyone! This year Caleb got backpacking gear, a tripod for his camera and some cash for the new lens he is saving up for. He also got to choose the menu for the day which included Ribs ala Dad, Potato Salad, watermelon, chips & guac. We had beans as well even though that wasn't his choice but how can you have potato salad without beans....they must go together...I am sure there is a rule about that somewhere in someone's book! For dessert we had homemade ice cream and fruit. I like to try new recipes so when the request for ice cream came in I set off on a quest to find the best vanilla ice cream recipe on the net. I came across a recipe on Food Network from Good Eats called Seriously Vanilla Ice Cream. It called for real vanilla beans!! I have never cooked with real vanilla beans before so I had to give it a try. Now, once something is decided and a path has been chosen there is no turning back....not even when the vanilla beans are on sale for a mere $3 and change per bean. The gal who was helping me find them in the store assured me that that was a deal! Hmmmmm...I sucked it up and bought 2 was for Caleb after all....I was supposed to use 4 but opted on a compromise....2 beans and vanilla extract. I explained to Dave that it was all good because I had saved all kinds of money between the sale and the compromise! The reviews on the ice cream though were very good!
I don't know how often I will splurge on vanilla beans but the ice cream sure was yummy! Hmmmm.....when is the next special occasion...surely someone is having some kind of celebration that warrants $3 vanilla beans soon! Here's to hoping!

Josh, Micah and Nicole decided that they would continue the celebration by braving a cold Colorado night and sleeping under the stars on the tramp.

Here is how they started the night

and here is how they finished

On Sunday we got to celebrate Father's Day with both my Dad and Dave. It was great to have two wonderful Dads in the house for that special day. After a wonderful time at church where the highlight was of Caleb's good friends...asking her stepdad to adopt her in front of the whole church. What a special Father's Day for him and a great reminder of our adoption by our Heavenly Father. It was a special moment. We came home to watch some golf on the only time we ever watch golf is when we are with my parents but I have to say that we all sat around the tv glued to the US Open like we loved it. We followed golf with more food of course...steaks, asparagus, grilled corn, chips and salsa and blackberry cobbler accompanied with gifts for the Dads!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day to my Dad! It was great to be able to spend the day with my Dad on Father's Day. I appreciate so much all he has taught me about integrity, honesty and hard work.Thanks Dad for being a wonderful Father!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Summertime and the Living is Easy

My boys are home safe and sound!! Yea! They had an amazing time hiking, fishing, enjoying God's beautiful creation and spending time together. Caleb took some beautiful photos which I will share as soon as I get them onto my computer. From the stories I have been hearing they learned a few things up on the mountain:
1. When partaking in a freeze dried feast...forego the Cajun Chicken
2. Beef Strogonoff makes the best freeze dried meal
3. Brown bears can run really fast....thankfully the brown bear they saw ran really fast away from them and not towards them!
I was very happy when they decided they were ready for a warm soft bed and came home a night was great to see them again and have everyone under one roof! I like it like that!

The day after Dave and Caleb got home my Mom and Dad and my niece Nicole decided that they would bring some of their Nevada heat to Rifle. We are enjoying having them very much. Here are some photos of some of our summertime action.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Backpacking vs. Control Issues

I have known for a while now that I have a few control issues....or maybe more than a few if truth be told. This is especially true with my family! I like to know where everyone is and what they are doing all the time. I even send a cell phone with my kids to the park so I can check in on them at any time. I often wonder how parents did this before there were cell phones. My hats are off to them! This week though my hubby and my Caleb are off backpacking. They are somewhere along Elk Creek up in the mountains! I really have no idea where exactly they are and this bothers me! Nor can I reach them on their cell...there is no service. This bothers me even more! I am sure they are having a blast, catching lots of fish, enjoying great conversation with each other, taking in amazing displays of God's glory in His creation, watching the night sky without any interference from city lights. I truly am so glad they got to go. They have both been so excited and I am excited for them! They have been planning this trip for several weeks....buying all kinds of gear including freeze dried food in a bag...just add hot water to the bag and you have gourmet meals like Beef Stroganoff for 2! They have been pouring over topography maps and Google Earth to map out where they wanted to go. So they know exactly where they are....I hope....but I am here at home and I have no idea where they control. This part of it, I do not like! It has been a great exercise in faith and trust for me because even though I have no control....I know the One who is in complete control. The One who sees exactly where they are and knows exactly what they are doing all the time! I am learning to take every thought captive and I am having a lot of opportunities to practice what I am learning! When my mind begins to wander to the "what ifs" I have to go to my knees because I know there is nothing I can do....but He can do everything and He holds them in the palm of His hand! Because of that I can rest and be at peace even though I have no control.......but that doesn't mean I have to like it!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

In the Name of Education

I discovered something about myself this week. I find it easy to spend money in the name of education! It is easy for me to admire cute clothes,very cool kitchen stuff, fun furniture and yet walk out of a store with my hands empty and my money in tact....although the very cute ocean tablescape at Pottery Barn did give me pause for a minute.

You see, this week I have been in shopping heaven...and eating heaven as well but that is for another blog. Dave and I spent the week in Denver and for a small town girl who was excited when Wal-Mart finally made it to our town, 3 full days in the big city is nothing short of sweetness! Dave was working during the day so I had long days stretching out before me where I could do whatever I one else to boys ready to be done and move one waiting for me to get back...just lots and lots and lots of stores...each one different from the next! Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrell, Chicos....all in one place! Amazing! I meandered through these store feeling very proud of myself that despite my salivating over so many cute things I did not drop a dime! I am so good! My husband will be so proud!

You do know that pride cometh before the fall...and my fall started at The Bookies! The Bookies is my most favorite store in Denver. It is not in any of the fancy malls, it is not even located in the nicer parts of town. It is found in a little strip mall on Colorado and Mississippi. Its marquee is very humble but when you walk into this store....ahhhhh the joy! Books everywhere, new books, old books, used books....books and books and books and teaching stuff....curriculum.....planners.....math games.....puzzles.....maps. I can get lost in this place for hours. There are new discoveries to be made in every nook and cranny. This is my kind of store and here is where all my best intentions to just browse without spending any money are shot down. After all I NEED this stuff. I am a homeschooling mom and so books and anything educational is very important to our home and our family....thus the floor to ceiling wall to wall built in bookshelf in my basement! Even though I could probably open my own store with what I already own...there is always something in The Bookies that has my name on it although I usually don't know what it is until I see it. After all anything I spend at The Bookies is is in the name of education after all and there is nothing quite like it in Rifle....or in Grand Junction for that matter so I must take advantage of this amazing opportunity. It would be a crime to walk out empty handed. Surely my husband would not expect so great a am sure he would be even disappointed if I left that store without spending any money! I'm sure of it! And so to keep my hubby from being disappointed I had to finally break down and open up my wallet and let the money flow....and once it starts flowing it often times does not want to least not when the buying being done is in the name of education. After my meager purchases at The Bookies I found myself at Hobby Lobby. This time though I was with Dave and together we were able to drop quite a few dimes in the name of education....more rockets to launch....a paper airplane launcher....crafts and art supplies to help keep the kids busy on hot afternoons in the summer....all in the name of education. As I was making these purchases and finding it a little easier each time to open my purse and hand out my credit card I began to think about that cute tablescape at Pottery Barn....hmmmmmm....lots of different colors....we could talk about the science of color....oh yes....there were some shells and fishing net on the tablescape as well....that could lend itself to a discussion of oceanography and the fishing industry....maybe I can give in and buy the tablescape.....all in the name of education of course.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Rockets & Snakes

Summer in Colorado can sometimes take its own sweet time in getting here but I believe it has officially arrived. Sunshine, blue skies, dandelions, hot weather, water fights, popcicles....all mark the arrival of summer days. This weekend we enjoyed some summertime!

Yesterday, Dave and Joshua launched the rocket they have been working on all spring. They attached an altimeter and an egg. The altimeter recorded a height of 264 feet and at such height the big question was....would the egg survive? The actual launch itself provided a summer thrill for all the spectators watching in awed enthusiasm as the rocket shot into the air...there was a pause of bated breath to see if the parachute would open and then the joy of victory to find the egg intact without even a crack! It was pure success! The only downside was that Caleb missed out because he was in Denver at a basketball camp....but I am sure he will be present for the next great Ziegler launch!

One of the other marks of summer at least in our household is the acquisition of reptiles....namely snakes. I am not a big fan of snakes but being mom to 3 boys has made me be able to at least look upon them without too much trepidation. Thankfully, the snakes around here are primarily of the friendly type if there is such a boys assure me there is nothing to fear and so I look with pride upon the snakes they bring to show off...I just make sure I am looking from far away!
Here is Micah with hs buddy Chris proudly showing off their latest acquisition. I can thankfully say that Hugo is now safely back in his home under our front least until the next time....

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Gift of Joshua

Eight years ago a journey began. One week ago that journey at least in part ended. It was at about this time of the year 8 years ago that Dave and I began to seriously throw around the idea of homeschooling. It started with a comment on my part...."Maybe, we should keep him home next year and I could homeschool him." Followed by Dave's comment...."I have been thinking the same thing." With that our homeschooling journey began. Caleb was finishing up 2nd grade at Evergreen Elementary Scool in Sedro-Woolley, WA and Joshua was finishing up Kindergarten. It had been a tough year of school with Joshua.....some teasing, many tears on his part and much anxiety on his mom's part. There were positive things, good things as well but the highlights were often clouded by the hard things. Through it all I believe the Holy Spirit was nudging us towards homeschooling. So we began the journey with Josh in 1st grade. Caleb continued on at Evergreen and Micah started preschool twice a week that year but it was not long before both Caleb and Micah joined us at home. The four of us with lots of input from Dad at the dinner table had 5 years of learning and growing together. I would not trade those years for anything. I loved learning with my boys at home....incorporating the Word of God into everything we were doing, being able to have so much input into their lives. It was an amazing time for this mom. If it were up to me I would have probably kept doing it all the way through high school and beyond. But it was not up to me and 2 years ago Dave and I both knew that it was time to send Caleb back into the public school setting. We believed it would not only benefit him but that he had gifts and abilities that God wanted to use among his peers in the high school setting....and so our journey took a turn but did not end. There were still 2 Ziegler boys left at home.

We took another turn in our homeschooling last week when our journey of homeschooling Joshua ended as we closed the final book on the school year. There have been many many ups and downs....much frustration on Joshua's part and on mine.....laughter, tears, raised voices, great hugs, conversations, concepts presented in a hundred different ways, struggles, victories, defeats. It has all been part of this road and much has been learned along the way....not only on Joshua's part but probably even more so on mine. Joshua is my special gift from my Heavenly Father. From the time he was 3 years old and we realized that he had some speech and language delays through all the years of trying different techniques and therapies to help him overcome his learning challenges to last year when he was diagnosed as MMR he has been a gift. I love all 3 of my boys to distraction. I am so proud of all of them. They are each unique and different with their own special gifts and abilities. Joshua....God gave me a special place in my heart where I hold him. He has had more of an impact on my relationship with my God than any other person in my life. I have prayed over him, cried over him, wrestled with God over him until I have finally reached a place of surrender....knowing that he is God's child....created by God with a plan and a purpose.....knit together.....fearfully and wonderfully made....used by God in the lives of so many. He is a gift. Next year he will be a Rifle High School Bear. He is so excited to go to the high school. Dave and I were not as sure that this was the right turn to take with him but Joshua has known that he wanted to be a Bear for the past two years and he has held onto that dream with everything he's got. I do not know what lies ahead for him there but I do know that God is with him....that there is plan and a purpose for him at RHS and that his God loves him even more than I do. It is hard for me to let him take this step in his own journey but I can do so knowing that I release him into the hands of One who is able to do more than I can even think or imagine in my Joshua's life. I entrust him to our Lord knowing that He is the one who holds tomorrow and because of that I have no cause to fear. Praise be to God Almighty!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Baseball camp

Blogging is very new to me and I am still learning the ins and outs. I am very much a learn by doing person so I thought I would push a few buttons and click a few clicks and see what I could get to come up in my blog. Hopefully, there will be some photos for you to see of a few things that are happening in our lives this spring! Sports camps are our current camp for Micah in the mornings and basketball camp for all 3 guys in the evenings. We have not been involved with organized baseball before but Micah has been wanting to try it for a while so we thought a week of baseball camp would be just the thing....maybe get it out of his system. However, he is having so much fun playing baseball that I have a feeling camp is not going to quite satisfy his urge to hit the ball out of the park or to run the bases.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lazy Days of Summer?

School is out! Summer vacation is officially here. It is time for the lazy days of summer. Time to sit out in the sunshine with a good book and a glass of iced schedules....nothing to do....nowhere I have to be. Isn't that what lazy days of summer are all about? Whoever coined that phrase clearly did not have 3 boys and a whole neighborhood of kiddoes running around! Today was the first official day of summer vacation. Micah had baseball camp this morning. I dragged myself out of bed and raced to get ready so I could drop him off at camp and go straight to work! Wait! Isn't summer vacation about sleeping in? What happened to that part? This afternoon Dave and all three of the boys had basketball camp. There was no great family conversation and time together over the dinner bbq. There was no dinner at was just grab something out of the fridge before you go to basketball camp so you don't get hungry type of dinner. I believe that will be the protocol for dinner this whole week since Micah has basketball camp from 4 - 5:45 and Caleb and Josh have camp from 6-8 and Dave is there for it all! Now I am not complaining....I am just wondering what happened to the lazy days of summer we have all been waiting for....maybe they'll get here in July!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I am here at 1:00 in the morning facing an empty white board on my computer hoping that facing this board will help me to sleep. I have insomnia. Thankfully, it does not strike every night but tonight it is here brought on by the rambling thoughts running around my brain. I thought possibly if I could capture those thoughts and spit them out into my blog then possibly....hopefully....sleep might come! As I lay there in my bed trying to force sleep to come I was thinking about choices and consequences and parenting. I believe these thoughts were brought on by my husband. His school year is over but instead of feelings of relief and satisfaction he is facing feelings of frustration and discouragement because of choices students made and consequences they don't want to deal with. Many years ago I had the wonderful opportunity to sit under the teaching of Dr. Mark Bailey. He is a wonderful Bible teacher from Dallas Theological Seminary. During that time he taught many great truths but there is one thing that he said that not only has stayed with me but that I have used over and over again in my life and in my parenting. I have repeated his words to anyone who would listen because I beleve they are powerful words of truth. They are these words:

"You can choose your actions, or you can choose your consequences but you cannot choose both!"

Such a simple idea but so profoundly true and applicable to all of life! These are the words I want to yell out to these students and parents who want to have it both ways. They want to choose the actions they feel like taking in the moment....not showing up to class, partying instead of studying, not turning in work but then they want to choose the consequence as well....passing....getting the A. They don't get it! To add to it when they cannot have the consequence they desire they want to throw the responsibility onto someone other than themselves or their kids. Now....I am a mom and I get it. It is hard to see my kids go through a rough time. It is hard to see them disappointed. It is hard to see them have to walk through the consequences of their actions...but I do them a huge disservice when I try to manipulate the consequences of their actions to help them get out of it or when I cast the responsibility for their choices onto someone else. How will any of us learn if we never have to face the consequences of our choices?

God in His infinite wisdom gave us this very concept in His Word:

"See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You shall not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and you descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them." Deut. 30: 15-20

What is the consequence I want in my life? If I truly want it then I must choose today to take the actions that will lead me there. If I can instill this truth into the hearts and minds of my kids what an amazing tool for life they will have! If they can see their choices today in light of their consequences tomorrow it will give them a huge advantage in making those choices in the moment. Through the work of the Holy Spirit in them they can choose life and set out on a path to victory!

Will we fail and make poor choices as we walk down this road? Yes...absolutely but Praise be to God that even in the failures....even in the poor choices....even in the wrong actions there is forgiveness and grace! But He in His eternal wisdom has us face the consequences of those actions and poor choices knowing that it is in facing the consequences that we will find growth and maturity. As a parent I too need to allow my children to walk through the consequences of their poor help them to take the responsibility for their actions for in doing that I help them walk down a road to maturity and growth.

That is my vent for this late night...or early morning. That is the rambling in my brain that has kept me from sleep on this night.

As I read through what I wrote I want to shake myself and yell at myself..."Do you not hear what you are saying? When are you going to start living this for yourself??" If I truly want the consequence of weight loss and health in my life then I have to start taking the actions that will lead me there! I can't have it both ways! I can't eat whatever I want and live without moving and expect for the weight to just fall off. Isn't it funny how God works at times? These midnight ramblings were not about me! They were about other people and the changes they needed to make but at the end of the day I am the only one I can do anything about. What will I choose? That is the real question!

Monday, May 19, 2008

This Week's Menu

Menu planning is one of those things that I know makes a big difference for the better in my life. It helps me stay organized in the afternoon. It helps me save money. It helps me be much more effective in the grocery store. So many would think that it would be a part of my life....but alas it is something I think about each week but rarely do. Instead I find myself scurrying around at 5:00 to see what I have in the pantry and what I can throw together. This does not make for stress free, peaceful, healthy meals together and often results in a fast food run which really does not work with our budget! So imagine my excitement when I discovered and Menu Planning Mondays!!! I am jumping for joy! So here is my first go at Menu Planning blog style. Hopefully with the new found fellow menu planners and accountability, I will actually do this for more than one week!!! So here it is....this week's menu:

Monday: Goulash, Salad, Bread
Tuesday: Mexican Tacos, Chips and Guac
Wednesday: Rice and Chicken with Broccoli
Thursday: French Dip Sandwiches
Friday: Company 4 dinner! Grilled Pork Chops, Rice & Beans, Tostones
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: We're heading into the big city to see Prince Caspian and eat at the Genghis Grill!!! A celebration for the end of the school year!

Friday, May 16, 2008

An Early Morning Meeting with El Roi

My blog woke me up this morning. There was stuff I needed to write! But it seems that my writing ability is much better when I am in that place between asleep and awake. Because now as I sit here I am wondering what it was that was so compelling that it pulled me out of my sleep at 5 in the morning. Not that I am upset about it....I love this time of the day. It is one of the few times in my day that the house is quiet....even the dogs are still sleeping. I have spent this time in the quiet thinking about El Roi....the God who sees me. I love that name for God. He sees me. He sees my joy. He sees my hurts. He sees my laughter. He sees my tears. He sees me. Yesterday He saw me as I sat in the Rifle High School award assembly watching Caleb receive awards for Anatamoy and Physiology student of the year and for Sophomore Science Student of the Year. I am so proud of Caleb. He has made the transition from homeschooling to public school with such grace. He stands up for his faith. He works hard. He is salt and light in his school. I am so excited to see what God has for him in the future! Yesterday El Roi saw me also as I sat in a planning meeting with the special ed. department at the high school and lots of other people planning out what next year would look like for my Joshua. He saw me fighting to hold my emotions back. He sees how hard it is for me to make this transition for Josh from homeschooling to high school. I know it is right and truthfully I walked away from that meeting with peace in my heart about next year. It is time but it is still hard to let him take this step. But I know that my Joshua too is a child of El Roi....the God who sees. God has big plans for my Joshua and I am so proud of Josh and all that he has overcome. There are many challenges yet ahead for him but I know that the God who sees him is also the God who will give him the strength and the power he needs for each day. It is because I have a God who sees me....who sees my uncertainty, my insecurities, my fears that I can do this thing......because at the end of the day it is El Roi....who not only sees me, but saves me, strengthens me, loves me, holds me, shelters me.......It is the spirit of the living God in me......not me.......Him! Praise be to God!

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From whence shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will prtect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forever.
Psalm 121

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What will I choose?

The morning is over. We are on lunch break. I have to say that it was not a great morning for this teacher. I can definitely tell that the school year is winding down for all of us and we are ready to be done....but there is so much yet to do before we can close the books on this school year and know that we finished our course! It is amazing to me the ups and downs that sneak into my day just in the course of a few hours....the downs of yelling at my son cuz the math just wasn't clicking and I really felt like it should be many different ways can I explain the concept??? The ups of that same son coming to me an hour later having chosen his Bible for his Silent Reading time and asking me some questions about what he was reading. Which one will I choose to focus on? All too often I see the bars and not the stars. It really is a choice. Where will I let my mind dwell? I choose joy this morning! I will focus on the many many blessings my Lord has filled my life with and I choose to rejoice!

My First Blog!!!

OK! This is my first blog ever and I am excited to begin this record of the journey God has me on!! I just have to say to start off today that my Mommy heart is very full this morning! I got up early to spend some time with my Lord and when I came out into the living room at about 6 am I found my 16 yr old son up, ready for school and reading his Sword! And now even as I type this my 12 year old son is across the room with his nose stuck in his Bible. My heart is overflowing with gratitude to my God who has blessed me with these! Now just to share a little about my life....I am first of all a daughter of the King of kings, second a wife completely in love with her husband, Dave and mom to 3 fabulous boys: Caleb (16), Josh (14) and Micah (12). Caleb is finishing up his sophomore year at Rifle High School where Dave is a Chem and Physics teacher. I homeschool Josh and Micah. We are all looking forward to summer and a little more relaxed schedule. I will fill you in more about the boys in my life in later posts. Today I am just getting my feet wet.....I thought if I don't put something on here now....I will never get started! So here it is my first post.....hopefully with many more to come!
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