Friday, December 21, 2012

Birding after a Blizzard

We have had snow the last week.  Most recently the last couple of days have been yucky with rain, heavy wet slush and heavy wet snow.  We finally have clear skies this morning and shovel the driveway for the last time (for awhile anyway).  After we finished the driveway this morning, I decided to go fill the bird feeders since I've let them sit empty for way too long.

I got my buckets of seed, and walked out through the snow (and frozen slush) and find that a couple of the feeders are pretty iced up, and I just took those down to bring into the garage to thaw a bit.  The one feederis a wooden platform type .. so I was able to knock off enough snow and ice to make it still usable, and filled it up with Sunflower seed.  I was hoping the birds would find it.  I hadn't seen many birds in the yard for a month or more (empty feeders .. :(   )

They did! :)  Here are a few pictures from today.

First I saw the Black Capped Chickadee.  Even caught one in flight.  They are fast birds, and hard to get a good photo of because they dart here and there very quickly!

To see the pictures bigger - just click on one.

Then I saw some Mourning Doves....

More Chickadee :)

Then I discovered the Juncos had found the seed as well!

 More Chickadee action.

I think the following few pictures are of a American Goldfinch.

Another shot of a Junco.

Here is a Mourning Dove and what I think is probably a female finch..House Finch maybe?

This one I had to look up, but I think it's an American Tree Sparrow. :)  The bi-colored bill I think is the clincher for this ID. (you can see it bigger if you click on the picture)

I can't remember if this following picture is the American Tree Sparrow or if this is a different bird. 
Most likely it's a American Tree Sparrow .. but if you think differently, let me know by commenting!!

Another photo of Chickadees on the feeder.

A closeup :)

Last - a chickadee in the bush/tree.

Hope you enjoy :)

Snowy Owl in Sheboygan

So, a few weeks back, at the beginning of the month .. December 2nd to be precise... the family drove up to Sheboygan.  I had been hearing on the web that there was a Snowy Owl frequenting the Marina there, and I have never seen a snowy owl in person before (in the wild, I may have seen one at the zoo) .. Anyway .. I didn't hold much hope, because I don't seem to have much luck seeing these birds that others say are "right there".  I love watching birds, and I would love to be able to see and identify many more, but the timing just isn't right most of the time.  Anyway, to make a long story short, I saw it! :)

DH was kind enough to stop the van and we saw this Snowy Owl just north of the marina on some rocks.  The lake was very low from what I've seen before ...  There were also Mallards just south of this, but I didn't get pictures of them.

Sorry for the not so good quality.  It was getting dark and my little "coolpix" camera doesn't do well in low light.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

November Happenings

November had several events in it. Not to mention Thanskgiving! 

First of all, we went on a geocaching walk with some friends.

Seth had fun finding the caches.

Joel really enjoyed walking our friends' dog, Cinnamon.

I think even Rob enjoyed it.  Although he got cold.

I know I enjoy geocaching.  If you are ever interested in learning more .. there is a great website here.  I am looking forward to warmer weather so I can find more caches :)

I made this frame.  I'm not overly thrilled with it, but it's the first time I've done decoupage or painting in a very long time.  So, overall, not a terrible effort.  I need to get a 4x6 print of the boys made so that I can put it in this frame.

Since I had paints out, and had purchased some canvases as well, Joel wanted to make a couple paintings himself.  He gave this one to Gma Stohr.

I finished knitting two pairs of fingerless mitts.  I was going to make just one pair for myself, but the k2tog going in two opposite directions looked .. well, not matching, so I made the exact same pattern twice so that I could have pairs of matching mitts.  I gave one pair away in a gift exchange we did at church.  I can tell you a bit more about that in a later post.

Then of course we come to Thanksgiving.  I'll post just a couple of my favorite pics. 

I think this is a really good one of my sister :)

I love the look of surprise on mom's face. :)

After spending Thanksgiving at my sister's, we drove to Altoona and met up with a good friend.  I finished these two items to give toher as a pre-Christmas gift.

We drove on home after meeting for lunch with Mich. :) 

Right after this, that Sunday, I walked in a Christmas Parade for our church.  Well, that must have been what a virus was waiting for, because I got a really bad bad cold that night and through the next week.  DH was so nice to me, after he realized I was indeed feeling miserable, he brought me a dozen roses :)  They were very pretty.  Just wish they would have lasted longer!

One of the buds had fallen off when I opened the cellaphane, so there were 11 in the vase, and I put the one in the bottom of a water bottle.  It latest longer then the bouquet!

That's the end of November.  Look at me.  Almost caught up!

October Photos

I can't believe I'm so behind in posting to my blog! .. My, time does get away from me!

I've been busy volunteering at Memories Dinner Theater, but I still should have posted something!  I'll try to get caught up!

In October - Joel finally shot through the tomato he's been aiming at ! He's been practicing quite a bit! He was so proud!

The green heart tomato turned red :)

 I also finished a few pouches that I had been working on.  Crochet and Knit.

Dh and I went to the Anita Renfroe / Mark Shultz Concert in Sheboygan with friends.  That was a lot of fun.  I love concerts.

Sorry to say, I think that wraps up October!  There wasn't a whole lot of interesting stuff in October .. but it was a good month. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bible Study: Acts 8

What an opening sentence!

Acts 8:1 And Saul approved of their killing him.

Wow.  Isn't this the same Saul that becomes Paul?  Let's read on . . .

3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.

Well, while Saul was being nasty, others were busy preaching the good news about Jesus.  Most notably in this chapter we read more about Philip.  He did many miraculous things in Jesus' name.  He even impressed Simon who was a sorcerer who was also doing great things, however, Simon was doing them for his own glory, and not for Jesus.  Philip's deeds impressed Simon so much that Simon tried to buy favors from Philip.  This of course was wrong, and so Philip rebuked Simon and said that was sinful to try to buy favors, and that you can't buy God's grace.  

After this Philip continued down the "desert road".  There he met up with a eunuch who is unnamed.  However, it does say that this eunuch/man was  reading the writings of Isaiah.  He was reading the prophecy of Jesus.  Philip asked the man if he understood what they meant, and the man said that he didn't understand.  Then the man asked Philip to explain it to him.  Of course Philip was more than happy to tell one more man about Jesus. :)

After hearing about Jesus, the man wanted to be baptized. 

39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

This is one of those times when I wish the bible had a bit more information.  It sounds like God 'teleported' Philip - much like what we would see in Star Trek. :)  He just disappeared from the eunuch's presence, and reappeared at Azotus.  Interesting, isn't it. ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bible Study: Acts 6 & 7

So I'm reading Acts 6, and figure I'll do chapter 6 & 7 this time.  It's the same story with no noticeable break between chapters.

We start out in Chapter 6 with the Twelve saying they'd rather not deal with the financial day to day matters, and so they delegate that job to Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus.  They prayed over these men, and set them off to do the accountant jobs.

Stephen was "full of grace and power" (Acts 6:8) and many worldly men started arguing with him, but he was speaking with God's Holy Spirit, and so they couldn't win that way.  So, what do they do but hire/persuade others to lie about Stephen.

Since he was accused, he was brought before the Sanhedrin. (into Chapter 7)
Stephen then gave the priests a history lesson. Counting down from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob and to the 12 patriarchs - including Joseph.  On throughthe story of Moses and continuing with Solomon.  He was very brief in the history.  He then called out the priests with...

Acts 7:51  "You stiff-necked people . . . You are always resisting the Holy Spirit; as your ancestors did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? ... You received the law under the direction of angels and yet have not kept it"

This of course made the priests/Sanhedrin very very mad ... Can you say PO'd?    Stephen of course didn't see this, because he was busy gazing on the sight of Jesus on the right hand of God.  The priests attacked Stephen and took him outside to stone him.  And while they were stoning him, Stephen "cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin!" (Acts 7:60).

I don't know if I can do that.  Could I forgive my murderers as they were murdering me?  That would be one of the most difficult things to do. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bible Study: Acts 5

I read Acts 5 today.  I'm not really up to summarizing it though, so please go read it for yourselves :)

The verses that stood out for me today are.

Acts 5:29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!

Acts 5:41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

Any thoughts?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Bible Study: Acts 4

Acts 4 opens with Peter and John being arrested by the Saduccees for what they had done and what they were saying about Jesus.  The next day they were brought before the leaders and asked (Acts 4:7b) "By what power or in what name have you done this?"  They of course say it's because of Jesus. Proclaiming the good news as well.

Acts 4:12  There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.

The leaders were upset by this and ordered Peter & John to leave.  The leaders also said that no one can talk about Jesus anymore. Peter & John responded with (Acts 4:19-20) "Whether it's right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard."

After this Peter and John went back to the followers and reported what happened, and immediately began talking about God and Jesus again.  They also prayed to God for boldness in speaking His Word.

The group then began selling all personal possessions and giving to the group to be used as needed. They held nothing back for their own personal use, but let it all be used for the apostles to use.

My thoughts: I think it took great courage for Peter and John to respond as they did.  It would be very difficult to be told not to do something, and then immediately do it.  However, it would also take great faith and believing that you were the in the right.  An interesting position to put yourself in.  How many international missionaries are in similar positions?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Recent Photos & New Recipe for Breakfast

A lemon meringue pie I made on Monday.

 A weird looking European Starling that's been visiting our yard.  I don't see many starlings here at home, so it was worth a picture.  They used to be numerous at our yard in Iowa .. but haven't seen as many here in WI.
 House Sparrows.
 A White Crowned Sparrow .. These are another bird that's fairly rare to the yard.  I see one once in awhile, but it's been a long time since the last one.
 And here is a photo of what I had for breakfast/brunch.  I've had this quinoa fruit recipe sitting on my desk, and today I decided to try it.  It's mixed with apples and raisins with a little honey and cinnamon and milk.  It tasted ok .. but it's not my favorite.  Probably way to healthy for my taste buds to fully appreciate it!