Monday, December 30, 2013

Caribbean Cruise Day 5

On our fifth day of the cruise we went to the country of Belize. Due to shallow water and coral reefs, we had to be tendered to the  country of Belize. While we were on the tender boat a man who worked their told us to tell Dion to give us a good deal on a renal van and to say that Big Bird sent us. Doubtful we met Dion and after bartering Dad and our deacon talked him down from $50 a person to $25 for adults and $15 for the kids. Due to our bartering we got Erol for a driver who wasn't completely there. On our way to the Mayan ruins at Alto Hi we passed a sign that said 16 miles to the Mayan ruins at Alto Hi. Erol informed us psychologically it was more like 60. He also said that President Nixon was the most loved President and that "Joe Osteen is his man because he makes the Bible all cozy". This is wrong because the Bible should make you uncomfortable at times such as when Jesus was nailed to the cross and died for all of us. When we finial got to the ruins, Erol decided to be our tour guide and climbed  on top of the burial grounds to get a leaf from an allspice tree for us to smell. While we continued our tour people came up to us and told us not to listen to Erol. After completing our tour, we were driven back to the tender boat where we met a man who used to be a missionary to Belize and was revisiting the churches he had started. Once we got back to the cruise boat we changed unto some formal clothes and prepared for diner.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Caribbean Cruise Day 4

On day four of our cruise we went to Roatan, Honduras. Here we walked around the shopping area and then Dad rented a car to explore the island. We drove around the island and found that beside the expat and tourist spots; Honduras was a beautiful but poor country. During our drive we were turning around in an expat's driveway when a man stepped out of the woods waving a gun and yelling Dad hit the gas and we hurried back to the boat. We ate on the boat and then left to go swimming in the Caribbean Sea. While Laura Ashley and Dad went swimming, Andrew and I went hunting for seashells. I was most excited about a conch shell that still had a crab in it. I was unable to get the crab to show his face, but I was able to get a few pictures. Before I knew it  we had boarded the boat and set sail to  Belize.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Caribbean Cruise Day 3

Departing the cruise ship.
 Our first stop was Cozumel; Mexico, here we rented a taxi to take us around the island. First, our driver took us to a family owned chocolate shop which still used an Mayan recipe. Second, we drove around the city and then to a  less populated area of the island. Then we ate at an Mexican restaurant, walked around the beach on the Caribbean Sea. While walking on the beach a man approached us asking if we wanted to hold Alberto his iguana. Me being the animal lover that I am gladly took his offer.When Dad went to get my picture we were told that pictures were five dollars. After our time on the beach we went back to the boat. While at a gas station near the boat the car wouldn't start so we 
Cozumel means Island of the Swallows.
walked back to the boat and enjoyed a good dinner of Fettuccini Alfredo and Crème Brûlée.

Caribbean Cruise Day 2

Church sermon
On day two at sea my family and I along with our friends attended a church service put on by one of the crew members from Alabama, U.S.A.  After singing a few songs he shared his mission statement which was "I'm just a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody." I hope that everyone who is reading this knows the Somebody which is Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. What I liked about the preacher was that he had a love for the Lord and wasn't afraid to share it. After the sermon we ate breakfast and played Canasta. When we were done, we met up with some of the other members in our group and ate lunch. Once lunch was over my family and I learned how to play a game called Joker.
After mastering Joker, we went to our rooms to get
ready for formal night. When we finished eating an excellent meal, we left to watch a show called "Baby do you want to Dance?" Before we knew it day two aboard the Caribbean Princess had went over board.

Learning Joker

The Atrium

Andrew, Laura Ashley and I on the deck.

Caribbean Cruise

The Caribbean Princess
Last month my family and I went on a cruise with some friends. The cruise took us to Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Belize City, Belize.
Boarding the boat

Saturday morning after feeding all the pets and making sure that they were all okay, Dad drove us to a hotel near the Port of Houston where we met up with some of the people we were traveling with. At the hotel Dad found out that there was a four hour delay. Due to the delay, we went to Target and then to where our deacon and his wife                  were staying. After visiting with them for a few hours, they went with us to see if we would be able to board the cruise ship. Despite having to wait a long time in traffic we were able to board the boat with-out  any problems. 

We found our rooms but our bags hadn't arrived yet so we met up with our friends and ate dinner. Then we explored the ship. I found out that the boat had eight restaurants, a poolside movie screen, a theater, two spas,a exercise room,a casino, a sports deck, Kid's and Teen's Centers, a Library, a café, an Art Gallery, shops, and lots more. It was getting late so we went back to our rooms and unpacked our bags.

The boy's room
The boy's bathroom

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Recently, my mother and I made my one of my favorite foods; pretzels. My mom found the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker but we made a few modifications which are below the recipe.

1½ cups warm water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
4½ cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
10 cups water
2/3 cups baking soda
1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon water, whisked together (for egg wash)
Coarse salt, for sprinkling


1. Combine the water, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to foam.
2. Add the flour and butter. Use the dough hook attachment to mix on low speed until all of the ingredients are combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Remove the dough from the mixer and place in a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and brush with the vegetable oil; set aside.
5. Combine the water and baking soda in a large, wide pot (a Dutch oven works perfect for this). Bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
6. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
7. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 2 or 3 at a time (or however many will fit comfortably given the size of your pot – don’t crowd them), for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large, flat spatula. Place the boiled pretzels back on the baking sheet, brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt.
8. Bake until dark golden brown in color, about 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

If you choose to do a egg wash,make sure you brush the pretzels very light.
Otherwise the bottom of the pretzel will be soggy and have greenish glaze.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What is this animal? 2

The Babirusa
This post is the second of a series of posts about different animals to educate those who want to know more about unique types of animals. After I get five or so guesses (via blog comments) about the animal's name, I will post the animal's name and a few facts about the animal.
 You cannot use any search engines to find the animal's name.

 This animal is a member of the pig family that lives in some of the  Indonesian islands.

It is normal for this animal to have four tusks

4 Wheeler

Recently we got a new addition on the farm but this time it wasn't an animal it was an ATV. It was a Kawasaki '96 Bayou to be exact. We got this ATV from some friends who didn't want it anymore. I have always been interested in fixing old vehicles so this project was great for a beginner like me. The friends that we got it from said that it hadn't ran in three years. So we loaded  the ATV up and went to Auto Zone. Luckily, a man that we knew from church worked there and was able to get us fixed up with everything we needed. Before we went home we stopped at a car wash and hosed the ATV down to get all the dirt and spider webs off.

The first thing we did with the ATV besides unloading it and taking the rack and plastic cover off was drain the gas. Then we changed the oil and put a new battery in. After that, we put in a new spark plug, air filter and oil filter. Then we put everything back together and drove around for a test drive. Sadly in the middle of the test drive gas started leaking but we were able to fix it by tightening the gas hose. Beside this incident, all other rides went fine. One of my favorite things about our property is the creeks that run through it. On the smallest creek there is a bridge that is made out of a flatbed trailer. The soil around it is beginning to erode so it was a very interesting experience driving over it. 

What Is This Animal Answer

In one of my recent posts I had a "Mystery Animal" which I will be telling about in today's post.
                                             The name is at the bottom of the post.

The Dhole
"Mystery Animal"
This animal is a canid (this means it is a mammal in the dog family) who lives in India, Vietnam and several other southeastern Asian countries.

 They are very sociable animals who live in packs of around 5 to 12 members but they will sometimes hunt and play with members from other packs.

 These animals eat types of deer, wild boar, gaur, fruit, vegetables, water buffalo, and rabbits. After an animal is caught, they always let the pups eat before they do. This animal is know to take down a tiger, bear or other large animal of the such; but the normally stay away from humans.

 The Mystery Animal uses an eerie whistle to communicate with each other. They also use a variety of other noises, including clucks and high-pitched screams that are not found anywhere else in the canid families.

 These animal are on the endangered species list due to diseases that they get from domesticate dogs and form being hunted.

                                           The Mystery Animal is a Dhole.

 See more at information about the Dhole at:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Model A

Today we went to Ben Wheeler for their Model A Day. (My camera batteries were low/dead so I had to take the photos in a hurry so I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the photos.) When we first arrived it was raining but their were about forty Model A's present. After we parked the car, we went and looked at some of the cars. My favorites were the Model A trucks and the Model that I'm standing next to on  the right. Then, Mom wanted to hear some of the country music that was being played on the Pickin' Porch
While we were sitting down on one of the picnic tables, a lady approached us asking if we would like to buy a raffle ticket for a 50/50 raffle that supported the local Model A club. Mom being the generous mother that she is bought a few tickets. Then the music stopped, and a man gave out awards for the best Model A's. After that, a girl drew out the winning ticket; which was one of the ones that mom had purchased. Mom walked away from the Model A Day 120 dollars richer. The next place we went was the Ben Wheeler Children's Library which we volunteer at. This library isn't your normal library every time you visit you can pick out 5 free books to take home and keep. This time we went not to volunteer but to get some books. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

What is this animal?

I will be doing a series of post about different animals to educate those who want to know more about unique types of animals. After I get five or so guesses (via blog comments) about the animal's name, I will post the animal's name and a few facts about the animal.
                                  You cannot use any search engines to find the animal's name.

The Dhole
Mystery animal above.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

To Kill a Mockingbird

Mockingbird sketch
In our school we've finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and I'm supposed to research and write a report about mockingbirds. Since I also needed to do a blog post, I decided that I might as well post my report on my blog. Enjoy!!

In the 1820's which bird did people capture and sell for up to $50 because of its songs?
Need a hint? 
This bird was almost wiped out of the east coast in the nineteenth century because many people kept them as pets
      If you guessed the mockingbird you are correct.
      To learn more about this avian singer keep reading.

                                                     Mockingbird Report
Name / Song
The Northern mockingbird was given its name because of its ability to mimic other bird’s songs as well as insects, and amphibians. In fact, their Latin name Mimus polyglottus, means many-tongued mimic.
·   A male mockingbird can mimic up to two hundred different birds in his life.
· Males that have not found a female yet sing more than any other mockingbirds.

Habitat /Diet
Mocking birds live throughout the continental United States and in some parts of Mexico. Although they prefer farm land, brush, and undergrowth they have been known to adapt to suburbs.
The Northern Mockingbird dines on seeds, bugs, berries, and sometimes garbage.

·      Mockingbirds sometimes fly up and hover to eat hanging fruit.
·    They sometimes eat small lizards,
·    It is not uncommon to see Mockingbirds drinking sap from cuts on recently pruned trees.

Breeding usually occurs during spring. “*The male probably chooses the nest site and begins building several nests before the female chooses one to finish and lay eggs in. Females may start laying in a second nest while the male is still caring for fledglings from the previous one.”*  

·         A mocking birds egg are greenish blue with red or brown spots on it.
·         They lay around two to six eggs at a time.
·         The Northern mockingbird rarely reuses their nests.


For those of you who haven't read To Kill a Mockingbird Ms. Lee wrote the following in her book:

Atticus said to Jem one day, “I’d rather you shoot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.
“Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

Sites I used. and
*Taken from

Mockingbird sketch taken from
atticus and kids from

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Poultry News

Picture taken from 
Today, my Ameraucanas pullets started laying their eggs which are green or  blue in color.The picture on the right is what my Ameraucanas look like. When I find a good rooster and get a better coop, I plan to start hatching their eggs in my incubator and start selling the chicks.
Other poultry news include one of my Buff Orpington hens started sitting on her eggs. They have just now hatched. Out of twelve eggs, only five chicks hatched which I will be keeping to replace some of my hens. I am replacing them because dogs, owls and coyotes have been feasting on them. Also I want to be able to choose from the best when I take them to the show next year.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Vacation Bible School

Our church recently held a Vacation Bible School which my family and I helped with. This year's VBS theme was Colossal Coaster World with a memory verse from 2 Timothy 1:7 which states; For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. My wonderful mother was in charge of the craft room which she excelled in. Laura Ashley and I were group leaders (I led the third graders). And Andrew was a participator. Each day at the VBS younger kids would watch part of a short video about a boy who trusted God and faced his fear of riding a roller coaster. After the video, I would lead the kids to each station; crafts, snacks/missions, bible study (about Peter the disciple), recreation, and music. Each station would tie into an amusement park or people who faced their fears and trusted God. While VBS took place, upstairs a man was leading an adult VBS (which was more of a bible study)  for the parents of the kids that were attending downstairs. When Vacation Bible School was over two children and two adult made confessions of  their faith. This whole VBS experience made me appreciate school teachers a lot more and realize that they are not paid enough. :) Actually, I had a great time and look forward to helping again next year.