Monday, May 23, 2011

Goats, Grass, Grandkids and cabin.....

Thought I'd touch on just a few of the things happening in my life lately.

Our latest addition, we have around 25 kids on the ground.

And we have several acres of grass to care for, including 
cheat grass needing mowed.... here's Sue of on her antique Craftsman to do the job! 
(didn't happen, it blew up!)

This is Sue trying to get the goats interested in their new toys!

On to the grandkids in NM, this is Kadence...

...and this is Sophie, her new sister!!

And the two of them watching Alice in Wonderland!
(scary moment?)

Now our new (to us) cabin. We have cleaned it top to bottom, 
now it's time to paint. Before pic....

...and after painting. I really hate to paint but it came out good.

Life is darn good right now. Quite a change, going from long haul trucking to homemaker and goat tender! Not used to staying home but sure have a better appreciation of the work to be done at home, especially if you have about 3 acres of grass and 50 goats, 5 dogs (plus 5 new pups), 3 peacocks and 1 Llama to go with it! Plus 4 step kids and 4 step gkids! We have plenty to keep us busy!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The best come in small packages......

April 6th, 2011; for the Malarsie/Church/MacLeod/Murray families this date is one for the books! At about 8am my niece Sarah Murray gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. After having 2 wonderful boys coming up with a little girl was a dream come true. I am so happy for them!


So Sarah had beat my daughter, Jesse, to the punch! They were within days of each other on due dates but everyone expected Jesse to win as her first came early and Sarah was usually late. Well, the day was not over!!

At about 9pm that same day Jesse gave birth to her 2nd girl, Sophie!!

Anyone else notice the resemblance? 

Mother's and babies are doing very well and we are all overjoyed! One of my bestest days!! Alice and Sophie, welcome to our families!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Bread Machine; An American Tradition

I was over at my mother's the other day and noticed her old bread machine in the corner. I asked her if I could have it and she was delighted to have it leave the counter. I have, in the past, used a bread machine with very good results and thought since I was at the moment the homemaker of the family why not? Unfortunately upon trying the machine I found it hopelessly froze up (it was at least 20 years old). I told Sue of the death of the machine; she said, "oh, we have one somewhere around here...". 

A little side note here; I have been very busy cleaning out the cupboards in a very nice kitchen and have found all sorts of wonderful devices sharing room with the dust and..... Just hadn't run across the bread machine yet!

Well, after a little searching we found it!

Now, this one is also quite old BUT it works, and works well. It is not fancy, not very configurable, but it gets the job done. So, off I went to the store and bought 3 "in the box" bread machine loaf "kits". (well, what do you call them?). Tried a couple and had good results but it wasn't much fun. Soooo, off to the computer to find out what I could find out about honest to goodness HOME MADE BREAD MACHINE BREAD!! LOL! Well, good old to the rescue (I just love that site!). I found a wonderful book, down loaded it to our Kindle and then linked the Kindle to my computer and away we went! 
Well now! Everything you ever wanted to know about bread machine bread but were afraid to ask!! Using the machine, knowing your terms (gluten?), and just like that brand new cell phone of yours about 3/4 more than you will ever use!! Ha! 

Breads from around the globe (ciabatta, pagnotta, pane toscana to name to many). I am in heaven now!! Not only breads but pizza, cinnamon rolls, fruit cakes (NO!), jams and preserves you can do in your wonderful bread machine! Need I go on? (ok, quit the yawning!).

Many loaves later, guess what I discovered? Now, listen up, this is the quote of the year!!!


That's right folks! A good 'ol down to earth recipe for bread machine bread has them all beat (so far!). But, it's still going to be fun to keep trying to disprove this!  Stay tuned!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What We Can Imagine Will Never Equal The Reality That Surrounds Us: Looks like we may have a home bought....

What We Can Imagine Will Never Equal The Reality That Surrounds Us: Looks like we may have a home bought....

Looks like we may have a home bought....

After countless houses looked at, week after week of running up into the mountains and offering on several homes; today we had an offer accepted!!

Not bad looking! Lots of trees!! (obviously a listing photo)

 We have had quite a time! Got our Kia stuck on the first run. Have worked with 3 different realtors and each have had a great sense of humor! Running up and down the snowy roads laughing and telling stories, looking through home and after home. I've never "shopped" for a home before and we sure have learned a lot about the process! 

Still a fair amount of snow around yesterday

In this bear market the prices on all homes is way low, but that brings with it it's own problems! Most homes are either repossessed or are a "short" sale where the owner is asking their bank to let them sell for less than what is owed, with the bank getting the "short" end of the stick!! Either way it isn't a quick way to buy. The banks can take all the time they want to make up their collective minds! So it was very lucky for us to find a home all paid for and listed at a price we feel is a steal. AND to have the owners grateful and extremely happy with our offer!! AND for it to be almost perfect for us!

Ladies and Gentlemen, our view!

All in all it has been a blast! We have seen lots of homes, lots of beautiful views and met and made some very good friends.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


On February 2nd my son, Sean, returned from his 2 year mission to Chile. All my family gathered including my daughter Jesse, her husband Mike and their daughter kadee. To say we were excited is an understatement!!

 Sean and another missionary both came out of Chile to Boise Idaho together. My family is on the left, the other's on the right.

 And here he is!! (hint: he's the one in the suit) 

Greeting Mom and Dad

 Felisa, Jesse, Sean and Chris. Jesse had the poster made.

The whole group! Glad to have him safely home!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Update on the house hunting

Well, we lost out on the first house we bid on. Since then we have looked at quite a few homes from Garden Valley to New Meadows, Idaho, about a span of 50 miles. Just spent today (Saturday) viewing 2 homes in McCall, 1 in Donnelly, 2 in Cascade and 1 more in Garden Valley, all in the Idaho central mountains.

2 of them stood out; 1 in McCall and the 1 in Donnelly. First, McCall:

The first 4 were off the web; the last shows the back yard today. This one is located near the end of a culdesac in a nice sub west of McCall proper. 

And then the Donnelly property:

3 buildings on a narrow and long lot of 1 acre. The middle garage has a fully contained apartment above.
But look inside the home:
This is one "stick out" looking at the outside of another, two on each side of the house. Different!

This one is a fair amount more than the first and the local is not as good. Coming home our Realtor called and advised us the McCall property, at the listed amount, would not be a short sale and would not need bank approval so could move quickly if we offered at the list price, which we did! Keep in mind the economy has all properties at or below half price; we are happy with the price of this home!

So now again the waiting game. But not being a short sale (where the bank has to okay as they will loose money on the deal) or a repossessed home where due to the economy again the bank owns the property and also stands to lose money, this is simply up to the owner to accept our offer. so we will see!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A home in the mountains.....

 My new wife, Sue, has always wanted to live surrounded by evergreen trees in the mountains. We have talked  about buying a place in the mountains later when we retire, but have realized NOW is the time. The prices of property are way, way low and so are the interest rates. Sooooo, we have spent the last 2 weekends looking at places to buy now!

The last one is an older home in good shape right on a river! It has a 3 car garage one of which will fit an RV, a small outbuilding good for crafting, gun room or guest room. We are bidding on it right now. The second to last is another one we are interested in if the other fails.

House hunting in the mountains is a lot of fun! And we have a real estate broker who is pretty much as crazy as we are! Wish us luck!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

We must remember......

     My family and I have had a wonderful holiday time! All my siblings were able to get together (a rare thing) and it really made my mother's season. And it was cool for her to attend my first Christmas with my new family (we had deep fried turkey, ham and spuds!). And we are all very excited as my son will return to us on February 2nd from his 2 year mission to Chile!!

      But with the happy times comes a sadness. Tomorrow (Jan 3) is the 1st anniversary of our losing Sgt. Joshua Lengstorf in Afghanistan. He was my daughter's husband and father to their 1 year old daughter. He was more than a son-in-law; he was a son to me. I didn't realize this until he was gone. Be he and I hit it right off; we speak the same language and the times we had together, though few, were good. It hurts now like it did a year ago; it will hurt always. But at the same time I'm so glad I had those times with him. He was special, really special. He was one of those who looked to the needs of those around him. In his service to our country he truly was a "Soldier's Soldier". He was the type to take the point, to be out front; that's how we lost him. 
     Josh was also doing so well as a husband and father. That did not come from the start; Josh had to do some learning, as we all did, to go from me to we. He got to return for his daughter's 1st birthday and it was so cool to see him with his wife and daughter; they were a family. 

     "Josh, I know where you are; I know you are watching all of us. I know you want us to be happy. And we will be. But we will never forget you, and your daughter will know you always. As she grows she will learn of you from us and from your family. I promise this. See you later, son. I love you."