Archive: February 2012

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Cream Rises 25 ~ Those Giants

by Charlotte

I am in a ladies’ Bible study on Friday mornings.  We are learning about creating peace in the home.  Most of it is really good, but there are some things that my little defiant spirit finds to rebel at.  Take, for example, that we were to memorize a verse for the next week.  I didn’t want to be bothered.  I knew it would be beneficial, but I just couldn’t muster up the desire.  Finally, on Friday morning I opened my Bible to look over the verse I was supposed to memorize, but I couldn’t remember which one.  I knew it was one in Psalm 95, so I read the whole psalm hoping that the verse I was supposed to memorize would jump out at me.  Well, a verse did stand out. It just wasn’t the one I was supposed to memorize.  In fact, the verse says, “Today, if you will hear His voice: ‘Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness…. “

The verse goes on from there…

When your fathers tested Me;
They tried Me, though they saw My work.
10 For forty years I was grieved with that generation,
And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,
And they do not know My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’”  (NKJV)

The lesson continued.   While reading through the book of Hebrews a week later I came to chapter 3, specifically verses 7 – 11 which say:

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’”[a]

Hmm . . . Do you think maybe I should memorize Psalm 95:9-11?  :)

I have been mulling these verses over and over in my mind for a couple of weeks now because clearly they are for me at this time in my life.  I have thought about the rebellion in the wilderness, when the Israelites refused to go into the Promised Land because they were afraid of the giants.  They were afraid of the giants even though they had seen some of God’smost incredible miracles ever seen by anyone.  They had seen the signs and wonders in Egypt that allowed them to be free.  They had walked through the Red Sea on dry ground.  They had heard the voice of God at Mount Sinai.  They had walked with the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day.  Yet, they were afraid of the giants.  “Though they saw My work,”  they actually saw the power of God and still they feared the giants.

It would be easy to say what a bunch of silly people those Israelites were, but I know my own heart all too well.  I know I have seen the work of God.  I have seen Him heal my daughter’s bladder.  I have seen Him keep her health steady even though her heart still doesn’t work properly.  I have seen Him soften the hearts of angry people and change the weather for the benefit of those who have called on Him.  I know that He is a big God and I know that nothing is beyond His power.  But sometimes those giants look really big and my faith sometimes is not.

So what’s a girl to do?  Do I grab my boot straps and try to muster up the courage to face those giants?  Mmm . . . no.  I fall down on my knees and I pray, “Oh, Lord, help my unbelief.”  I admit that I can’t do it and ask Him for the faith of Joshua and Caleb.  And He is faithful.  He will give me all I need to face those giants.  How do I know?  I know because the Bible says so (Mark 9:20-26, Matt. 7:7, and many other places) which is all the proof I need.

So next time you are looking at the Promised Land in front of you but are afraid to enter in because of the giants, remember He is willing to give you the faith to fight those giants, if you will just ask.


The Day You Slipped Away

posted by Robyn

I‘m having a hard time….have been struggling with this post, for quite some time.  I am sure you will all understand by the time you get done reading it.  I hope.  For starters, I ….

#1.Couldn’t think up a title that suited me. (still not happy with it)

#2. Am not sure I can write exactly how much this person influenced my life, fearing it will just sound trivial.

#3.  Wasn’t sure I could actually finish it in the first place.


On August 6, 1922, my Grandad, William J. Butler I, was born in Ontario, Oregon.  While growing up on a dairy, at a young age, he milked and herded the cows on the pastures, the location of which now is where the Treasure Valley Community College and campus sits.  He spent his days with his dog and horse, keeping the cows out of  “old ladies’ yards,” as he liked to say, along Bulter Blvd.  In 1946, he had had enough of milking cows, so in March he sold the dairy and bought a little ranch 20 miles from Juntura, Oregon and moved his family.  Over the years, neighboring ranches were bought up to make it what it is today.

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February 1, 2012, Grandad passed away.

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Grandad and Spotty

I spent hours moving cows on horseback with him.  I’d been staying at cow camp with him since I was 8 or 9.  He would get up every morning at 4:30 and make breakfast for whoever was around.  Most times it was just him and me.  He loved firing up the old cook stove and making thick hotcakes and scrambled eggs, it was an every-morning ritual.  (Not sure why no one has a picture of him in action, but this is the stove he loved to cook on.)

camp stove

Home was a grueling 2 hours away over a very bumpy dirt road, so we might stay in cow camp a couple weeks at a time.  He loved telling stories about growing up on the dairy with Pony Bill and his dog Prince, and the days when they first moved to the ranch.  He told cow stories, horse stories, fishing stories, water skiing stories, stories of when my 2 aunts, dad and uncle were kids.

Crappies caught at the Owyhee Res.



Four generations (Sorry the picture isn’t more clear.)

4 generations

William J. Butler I (Grandad), William J. Butler II (my dad), William J. Butler III (my brother),and William J. Butler IV (my nephew)

I feel sorry for the post mistress, trying to keep the mail straight!


His pride and joy in later years was his beloved horse, Spotty.  Liked by all, Spotty carried him many hard, hot, dry, cold, wet miles.  Together they roped hundreds of calves, chased some “dyin’ ol’ bitty” through draws and over hills that were “rougher than a cob.”  Grandad loved telling anyone who might listen ’bout Spotty Horse.  I dreaded the day I had to tell him Spotty Horse was gone.  Unfortunately that day did come,  but it was at his and Spotty’s favorite place….cow camp.

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In the springtime during calving, Grandad would get up at 3:30 or 4 every morning to relieve who ever was checking heifers at night.  He would sneak in the house to warm up and sip a hot cup of coffee by the stove before anyone else was up.  If he wasn’t sitting there when we got up to go to school, that meant some “ol’ gurl” had trouble calving.



Everyday Grandad brought a lunch with him so he wouldn’t have to go back home to eat.  When I was little, before I was in school, I would snoop through his lunch box to see what goodies he brought.  Then I couldn’t wait for lunch to be over so I could have some.  Never failed, he would share his goodies with me with a smile.

He taught me how to graft a leppy calf onto a cow.  I don’t do this job without hearing his voice of instruction….”Well, Robyn, you gotta do it like this….”

He was one of 4 who helped me start my first colt, and I couldn’t’ve done it without him.

He taught me how to be tuff and not worry about little stupid things.  His favorite thing to tell me was “endure pain” and laugh when saying it.  It became a joke between just us.

He taught me and my sister how to cook on the old wood cookstove at cow camp.  One of his favorite stories was about the old couple that owned it before.  Grandad would say, ” Ione was in charge of cooking the breakfast, and Elwood was in charge of the fire.  Elwood would put too much wood in, Ione would get frustrated and say, ‘Elwood!!! This stove is too d**n hot!!’ ”  Then he would laugh great big.

“I miss you

I miss you so bad

I don’t forget you

Oh it’s so sad

I hope you can hear me

I remember it clearly

the day you slipped away

was the day I found

it won’t be the same”  ( by Avril Lavigne, Slipped Away)

Even though he is gone, we all carry him in our hearts.  He is missed greatly, but the sun will keep rising and setting just the same.  Just as Grandad expected us to do, and not make a fuss over him.


A Birthday Weekend

posted by Chelsea

We recently had quite an extended birthday celebration for our big 3 year old…

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Two Grandma’s and One Grandpa were here to celebrate her big day weekend.  Including the grandparents, it was filled with all the things a birthday should include:


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Dutch babies/popover pancakes…

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Phone calls….

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Polk-a-dot cheesecake…

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and a SUPER DUPER fun day at the ski hill…

(ski photos courtesy of my mom’s cell phone!)

Kate rode in the backpack with Papa and said “Faster Papa faster!” anytime he slowed down in the slightest.  She’s a real drill sergeant this one…


And while Kate enjoyed the ride, her big sister made HUGE progress on her skis….


… (dad not far behind!) which I have to admit, aside from the cheesecake, was a huge highlight of the weekend.  It was a beautiful day and it was SO fun to see Lucy improve so much and have a BLAST in the process.  I just love sharing the things I love with my girls!


Chocolate Caramel Nut Bars

posted by ann

This recipe has been in our family since I was a kid (That’s a loooong time ago, now.) and I can remember how much we loved it when Mom would make these yummy cookie bars.  With only six ingredients, they come together quickly, but the finished product will taste like you slaved away in the kitchen.  If you like the idea of chocolate, caramel, nuts and more chocolate, then this should suit your fancy!  Enjoy.

1 (14 oz.) bag caramels
2/3 cup evaporated milk, divided
1  two-layer German Chocolate cake mix with pudding in mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
1 ( 6 oz.) bag chocolate chips

Melt caramels with 1/3 cup evaporated milk over low heat; stirring until smooth.  In mixing bowl, combine remaining  milk, cake mix and  melted butter; mix well.  Press 1/2 of cake mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 6 minutes.  Sprinkle 1 cup chopped walnuts and all chocolate chips over crust;  top with caramel  mixture, spreading to edges of pan.  Take teaspoonfuls of remaining cake mixture, flatten slightly and place over caramel mixture; press lightly.  Sprinkle with remaining walnuts, pressing lightly into top.   Bake 20 minutes longer.  Cool slightly before cutting into bars.


A Week of Lunches

posted by Chelsea

I often find myself in a food rut.  Lunch is particularly vulnerable to the rut- I make the same things or scrounge together something that “counts” as lunch rather than spend time actually preparing a meal for my children.  So in an effort to dig myself out of the rut I’ve been in, I decided to challenge myself to a week of “creative” lunches.  I set out last week to make lunch creatively and while these meals may not seem like anything uh-may-zing to you, maybe they’ll give you some ideas.  And, of course, I’d love to know what you fix for your kiddos’ lunches, or for yourself, or for someone else, for that matter.

I’ll show you four day’s worth of lunches from last week, because one of the weekdays we snuck out to Grandma Janie’s and were treated to lunch there :-)  If I had thought to bring my camera, I’d be including her meatloaf sandwiches, stew, and pickled beets with you!


Peanut Butter on whole wheat mini-bagel and fruit salad…

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Day #2

Chicken salad with cheddar melted under the broiler, topped with spinach and avocado, on a “sandwich thin” and cottage cheese with banana and cinnamon…

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Day #3

Fried rice leftovers….

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Day #4

Toast, fruit salad, and deviled eggs…

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There you go, that’s what we ate last week.   Thanks for letting me share :-)

What’s  been on your lunch menu this week?


The Burt-Day Girl

posted by Chelsea

Today our baby girl….

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is turning three.

We’re super crazy about our sweet Baby Kate…

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… and all that she adds to our family…

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Her independence…


Her sweet sweet snuggles…

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Her ability to ENJOY life…

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… and to be her sister’s best buddy…

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We can’t wait to celebrate her today…and tomorrow…and, well, all weekend.  We’ll be stretching the fun right through the next few days… double grandparent visits, boxes waiting to be opened… our sweet girl is going to be celebrated!


That Time of Year

posted by Robyn

Yes everyone it’s that time of year……i’ts that time we all wish, it’s that time we all wait, it’s that time we all think that it will never end.  No I’m not talking about Christmas.

We all think the feeding will never end:

that time

We all wait for the babies to be born:

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We all wish it would warm up:

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Then the morning comes that we all been waiting for:

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The sun warms the air and the earth turns green and lush:

that time

that time

And all of God’s glory finally comes to life.

Yeah I know we still have a little more winter left, but I can’t help but dream of the sweet smelling air and the sound of the birds singing their little hearts out.

Joy Killer

by Charlotte

A while back I read this post by Kelle Hampton.  It was very convicting.  Apparently one of Kelle’s commentors told her of all the years of heartache to come raising a daughter with Downs Syndrome.  I, admittedly, have thought the same thing reading Kelle’s posts.  That it is fine and well for Kelle to be bragging about raising Nella and saying it is  just like raising a regular child, only the milestones are slower, but there are hard years coming up, moments where her disablities hit you in the gut and take your breath away.  Where will the joy be on those days?

The truth is that I didn’t like that Kelle found joy where I couldn’t.  I kept justifying my sour attitude by saying she just didn’t know how it really is.  How she lived in a fairytale land.  But she is right and I was wrong.

Kelle is right that we all need to enjoy all there is to enjoy in our lives, whether we are raising a special needs child or not.  We need to cherish those moments in our days that make us smile and we need to store them up in our hearts.  Pile them on top of each other, one by one to hold back the tides of pain on those days that hit us like a brick wall.

And not only should we enjoy the moments that happen along, we should go out of our way to make those moments happen.  We should look for those moments, search for them, set things up for them to happen.  We should get down on the floor, out on the basketball court, in the arena, or where ever we find those moments the most and make them happen.

Now I understand that some kids are more of a challenge than others.  I have a college classmate that has a daughter with Downs Syndrome and she will not walk, or talk, or even smile.  I admit that it would be hard to find joy when your daughter can’t even express happiness, but just because the joy is hard to find doesn’t mean it is not there.  I understand that every one has different circumstances, but even Paul from prison said that he had learned to be content in all circumstances (Philippians 4:11-13).

My point is that I need to stop being sour, stop looking for the bad in what God has given me.  Instead, I want to see the joy.  I want to look for the blessings and dwell on them in my mind.  Not the pain.  Set my heart on the things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2).  Sure, there will still be hard days.  There will be brick walls and tears, but I’m not going to focus on those any more.  I’m going to look for the smiles and the sunshine on sleeping faces.

And I’m not going to try to kill any one else’s joy if they are able to find some where I am not.

A Welcome Sight

posted by Chelsea

When it looks like this outside…

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This Valentine bouquet from my sweetie…

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…is a welcome sight.

I love tulips.  I can’t wait to see them popping up out of my flowers beds.

Until then, this will have to do…

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…and today I hope it’ll work for you, too!


Learning Letters

posted by Chelsea

We’ve been working hard on learning our letters… naming them, writing them, making the sounds of them… you know, the preschool deal.

My girl, my preschool girl, doesn’t like to sit down and be “grilled” to learn her letters.  Who would?  Technically, I guess I would.  But not everyone likes to be quizzed, I’m learning, and so I’ve been trying to find creative ways for my girl to learn her letters.  I was chatting with a friend on the phone the other night and she suggested I post the letters around the house- on objects that start with each letter.  What a novel and creative idea!!  So that’s what we’ve started doing and it’s fun! And it works!  And Lucy likes it!

Here’s a little taste of what our house looks like these days.

First, B for basket…

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L is for lamp….

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C if for curtain…

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D is for door…

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And now that you have the idea, I’ll show you my favorite…

K is for Katelyn…

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