Monday, February 29, 2016

Thunder Basketball 2015-2016

In early fall, Riley jammed his middle left finger while catching a basketball at open gym. It tore the tendon and healed into a crooked drooping mallet finger. He got an x-ray, splint, and instructions not to play basketball for 6 weeks, just at the beginning of season.

Needless to say, he didn't get much playing time until January. These are some of the better pictures from the last half of the season. Our home games are at the Municipal Building and Blythe Fitness Center. We can do concessions at the Municipal games...chili dogs or nachos, anyone?

We traveled to Beatrice, Nebraska for a 2-day tournament. Riley was in the starting line-up for one of those games.

Recently he tied as the second high-scorer with 11 points one game. He has come a long way since the summer of last year (videos tell the tale)!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Random Photos in January

Some photos just don't need any description...

And some need a little more explaining...

Ohio cousins come to visit! The game of "occupation" occupied the morning.

 A walk-through of the Pratt Historical Museum filled the afternoon.

Coloring books and baths were the evening routine.

Our resident painter finished white-washing the garage ceiling and walls. 

He also added color to dear daughter's room, on a turquoise accent wall.

Christmas coupon redeemed! Ice cream sundae party night was a tasty event.

 Flowers from friends made a refreshingly-lovely table centerpiece for most of the month, reminding us of God's love through relationships: family, spouses, and new friends. Marriage. It is well worth investing time to learn how to improve, and a blessing to share it with others!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Winter Field Trip

Our family took a winter jaunt north to Nebraska for our son's high school basketball tournament. We stopped halfway at a park to have a picnic in the snow (because it was a beautiful bright day) and watch a little plane taxi and take off above us.

The official Kansas day stop was at Pawnee Indian Village Museum, a building encircling a large excavated Indian winter home.

Before entering we had to play in the snow some more, shoving each other into the large drift. There was no snow in our part of Kansas, so we were indulging in it here!

The museum guide was very helpful and interesting showing us a painting of what the Pawnee village would have looked like in its day, overlooking a river, positioned on a bluff above. It was a neat vantage point! Apparently over 2,000 natives lived here, but in 20 years were gone, with 20,000 white settlers replacing them in Republic County. The current population in this county is only about 4,500 now.

We giggled at the buffalo chart that showed how all its parts were used by the Pawnee, some as strange as water bags, paint pencils, and baby rattles. They used up blood in soup. ick.

Our next historical visit was to Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice, Nebraska.

The entrance to one main building has states hanging along the wall showing how large of areas were homesteaded by the part that is missing. 

The girls worked on their Junior Ranger badge booklets, filling in information from the various displays. We watched a short film and peeked inside a replica cabin of those determined homesteaders of long ago.


They did it! Even Meg received a pack of trader cards telling the story of different families starting out on a land claim, a bracelet, and a badge. This is the National Park's 100th year, so the Jr. Rangers got an extra centennial badge!

As for the basketball games...we have an entire post dedicated to the basketball season coming up here in a couple weeks, as the season concludes...

Monday, February 8, 2016


If you don't like looking at dead animals, this is not the post for you!

A few snapshots of this year's hunting days...

Riley sighting in his gun.

The field-dressed doe hanging until we're ready to butcher. 
We put 16 pounds of meat in the freezer from this yearling.

Bucket of parts saved for luring traps.

Jerky in the making. Thinly sliced meat in a pan ready to be coated with marinade in the bowl.

Deer Jerky
3 lb deer roast or loin, sliced 1/4"
1/2 c soy sauce
2 Tbsp liquid smoke
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
several dashes of hot pepper sauce
Mix marinade ingredients and pour over meat. Soak at least 8 hours. (I have left it in the fridge, covered, up to 48 hours.) Lay meat pieces on cooling racks placed in jellyroll pans. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Bake 10 hours at 180*. Jerky should bend, not snap apart. I have also put the strips in a dehydrator, but the jerky had a slightly different flavor our family didn't like as well.

Little sister gets to take a turn sitting, waiting, watching, reading, and possibly videoing.

Two turkeys, just in time for Christmas dinner.

The second doe, shot in January, was the last chance for meat this season. We kept 30 pounds from this one, mostly canned chunks for soups and casseroles.