Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bottle feeding

Libby is growing quite attached to two of the kids in the barn. The kid count for the season is up to nine kids, with five boys and four girls. Two of those kids are turning into little pets.

Dora started the trend last week with one boy and one girl. Glory gave birth to triplets, two boys and a girl (the girl died), on Sunday. Monday, Merry produced one boy and one girl. Nina, a yearling, gave birth to a boy and a girl on Wednesday. 

This is the last season Brian plans to breed Glory, his oldest goat. She didn't have any problems with the initial kidding, but still hasn't delivered all of her afterbirth. This may have caused her milk producing hormones not to function properly. Whatever the reason, Glory doesn't have enough milk to feed her two young bucks.

Every couple of hours, baby bottle in hand, Brian or Libby head to the barn. They extract milk from Dora or Merry and offer it to Glory's kids. The kids now associate humans with food. Thus, they are very friendly, which makes Libby forget the inconvenience of feedings.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Michigan tropics

Tuesday afternoon I borrowed a grandma for an outing to the butterfly exhibit. The Bylers' grandma is visiting from Pennsylvania. Naomi and I had a glorious time introducing Grandma Byler to our tropical paradise in the midst of snow-covered Michigan.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Dad examining the ceiling to be certain he didn't miss a spot.
Dad's Saturday project the past two weeks was painting the dining room. Considering the fact that it was last painted when Brian was a baby, the room benefited from a fresh coat of paint.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cold frame

Libby, preparing to plant cabbage and pepper seeds.
Our garden experiment this year involves starting plants in a cold frame. Previous years we've tried planting seeds and starting them, with minimal success, inside in the windowsill. 

This year, Logan constructed a wood and plexiglass cold frame. The cold frame sits under the deck, on the south side of the house. It is designed to capture heat, much like a mini-greenhouse.

Libby started a variety of seeds in her cold frame. In a couple of months, when the temperature outside is warmer, she plans to transplant the young plants to our garden.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

In his hands

He's got the the itty, bitty butterflies
  in His hands.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Potted, indoor daffodils

Friday, March 25, 2011

Squashed pumpkins

From this to this--pumpkins just don't winter well.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Winter is jealous. That's how my Korean students explain nasty weather following a hint of spring. 

Winter was particularly vengeful Wednesday. After it snowed, sleeted and rained throughout the night, roads were treacherous, schools were closed, and for about forty-five minutes our electricity was out. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


The female kid was born with cute waddles (extra skin hanging from her neck).
Kids one and two of the season made their appearance Monday afternoon. Dora gave birth to one male and one female kid, with a combined weight of twenty pounds. 

Brian has three expectant mothers waiting in the maternity ward in the barn, as well as another batch of mothers-to-be he expects to kid in a few weeks. 

According to Brian, photos of the newborn kids are much more interesting than the butterfly images posted yesterday.

Brian and Dora check out the male kid.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Once again the butterfly display brought color, life and the hope of spring to our lives.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pink and purple

Abigail, Bethany, Hosanna and Rebekah in matching outfits

Sunday, March 20, 2011


"You shall be my witnesses" is not a command to be obeyed
but a promise to be trusted.
L. Neubigin

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sap tap

It's sugaring time again.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Kendra's classroom

No, Kendra doesn't sit on the desks while she teaches--
just while talking to her friends from Michigan.
Betsy and I visited Kendra's classroom while we were in Pennsylvania. After she graduated in December, Kendra moved to Pennsylvania to teach science in a small Christian school. Miss Byler is responsible for middle and high school science from Chemistry to health. Though she hunches over her computer every night until nine or ten o'clock writing lesson plans, she appears to be enjoying the beginning of her career as a teacher. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dr. Kaelyn

Kaelyn, adjusting her stethoscope before examining Betsy
My heart is healthy according to Dr. Kaelyn. During our recent visit, Betsy and I witnessed Kaelyn's developing imagination and Betsy was delighted to discover another health care provider in the family.

Often Kaelyn pulls an invisible stethoscope from around her neck and adjusts the ear pieces. Then she holds one end of the stethoscope against her patients' chests and listens for a moment to their hearts. She records the result on a piece of paper.

Both Betsy and I underwent cardiac exams while we were in Pennsylvania. According to our niece, our hearts are doing just fine.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


"Mr. Whittaker" blending his famous Wod-Fam-Choc-Sods

Tom Riley carried a bushel of apples, and Wooton delivered mail from the bag slung over his shoulder on a recent Friday night when our church family gathered at Whit's End.  Characters from Focus on the Family's radio show Adventures in Odyssey gathered at the Forsee-home-turned-ice-cream-parlor-and-discovery-emplorium. Mr. Whittaker even served  Wod-Fam-Choc-Sods

Our church had a blast impersonating characters from our favorite adventures. Over the years we've followed the exploits of Whit, Connie, Eugene and the gang, and on Friday we relived our favorite episodes and sipped chocolate sodas. 

Fellow Odyssey fans, can you identify this trio?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


on the flight home

Monday, March 14, 2011


My youngest sister is now a teenager.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The potter's hand

Penns Creek Pottery, Penns Creek, Pennsylvania
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
Isaiah 64:8 NIV

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Lititz Library, Lititz, Pennsylvania

Friday, March 11, 2011


The rumor is that sometimes Hershey, Pennsylvania even smells like chocolate. My olfactory system wasn't that precise Thursday morning, but I did notice Kiss shaped light fixtures when Betsy, Judith, Kaelyn, Janessa and I visited the "sweetest place on earth." 

The highlight of two-year-old Kaelyn's visit to Hershey was riding the "chocolate train" on Hershey's Great American Chocolate Tour, a short, simulation of a chocolate factory tour, complete with singing cows. My favorite part was the free sample at the end of the ride.

Thursday, March 10, 2011



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Round the mountain

When Betsy and I drove 'round the mountain, Monday morning, we discovered snow blanketing the ground and piled on the trees. Despite five inches of snow, the roads were clear and we had no difficulty driving (if you don't count the stretch of 274 that we traveled at least twice) to visit the our former pastor and wife.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Waiting to take off on a wet Saturday morning

Early, early, early on Saturday, Betsy and I boarded an airplane and headed for the land of milk and honey. We decided to spend Betsy's spring break week visiting friends and relatives in Pennsylvania. Since we didn't want to spend the week driving to Pennsylvania, we booked flights and then rented a car at the Harrisburg airport. 

The Tunnel at the Detroit airport

Flying over Pennsylvania countryside

Monday, March 7, 2011


The fetal pig wasn't the only specimen to be dissected under Libby's knife. A week ago, Libby examined a frog. The frog wasn't nearly as interesting as the pig, though Libby did discover a bunch of dead flies in its stomach.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Our prayers are the necessary opening 
that allows God to act without violating our freedom. 
~Walter Wink

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Hosanna smiling at her Mommy

Friday, March 4, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Can you identify the English phrase that corresponds to this image?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

English teacher

My new job is practicing conversational English with students in Korea. The incredible part of the job is that, with modern technology, I don't even have to leave my house to teach English language learners half-way around the world. 

English is necessary for business people in South Korea. My students are professionals who desire to improve their English skills. Many of them have studied English since they were in middle school.

So, as my day is beginning in Michigan, I call my students in Korea who have just completed a long day at work. We talk for a few minutes about current events, cultural differences, or lessons in the textbook. Then I wish them a good night and continue with my day. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cinnamon roll

Libby bakes bread on Tuesdays mornings. Sometimes, to the delight of her brothers, she shapes part of the dough into cinnamon rolls, which she serves warm for lunch.

P.S. My apologies to those of you who haven't eaten breakfast yet.