Face From the Past

Yay! The day has come for a lunch date with a friend from Oregon in the nearby town of Fond du Lac. I met Kathryn, then called Cage in May of 2006 when having a D&C after my first fetal loss. She was a Midwifery student at the time and asked if it was ok to come in with me to the OR so she could watch. I was all for being someone’s opportunity to learn. I don’t know if it was a few weeks later or the next semester, but I started seeing her smiling face around the FBC in Silverton. She was a good midwife with a heart for her patients and I enjoyed working with her first as a student then as a midwife. She left Silverton for a job with less call hours, as she was planning to start a family. In June I noticed a few posts about them moving, not really paying much attention to where. It wasn’t New Mexico, I knew that. A few weeks ago I noticed a post about a Brewers game which is our local Wisconsin baseball team, so I sent off a message asking if Kathryn would like to meet for lunch sometime in the next couple of months. She did, and was just as surprised that we had both landed in the same state not all that far from each other. Wondering why I was here we talked back and forth over Facebook and discovered that she had some questions about travel nursing, because she was interested in going back to floor nursing as the 3 days/ week with no call hours is good for the growing family, she had questions about what it is like and about traveling with kids.
Ala Roma, a Yelp recommendation, ended up being a good pick and lunch was great. Chad and the kids took the opportunity to get some Chinese food.
We caught up, we talked about dreams, goals, major motivators, worries, stresses, motherhood, birth stories, educational plans, travel nursing and homeschooling. Two and a half hours later we were realized we barely touched our lunch because we were so busy talking, and we needed to get going as both of our families were waiting for us and ready to go.
Thank you Kathryn for the wonderful lunch I had a blast!


Categories: food, Friends, Fun, Travel Nursing, wisconsin | Leave a comment

John Hancock Observatory or not…

Chicago has been on our radar for a while, with the weather here about to change we needed to balance. It was too rainy and overcast with predicted thunderstorms to do Noah’s ark and we weren’t ready for a longer trip yet like driving up the UP (upper peninsula) see Lake Superior then drive down to Lansing and then continue around Lake Michigan to make a big circle. We had not researched much in the way of Chicago must do’s but had heard that the John Hancock Observatory was fun. Due to traffic we got into Chicago about noon. We drove around the down town area looking for public parking having very little success. We found one place and just as we were getting ready to leave they said, “there’s a dog in your car! You can’t leave a dog in your car here it’s illegal.” Frustrated we got back in our car and drove around some more wondering what we could do in Chicago with a dog. If it is anything like Wisconsin no animals are allowed in public parks. As we drove I looked up the Illinois law which stated that it was illegal to “Confine any animal in a motor vehicle in such a manner that places it in a life or health threatening situation by exposure to a prolonged period of extreme heat or cold, without proper ventilation or other protection from such heat or cold.” With it being an overcast day, with the windows down and a bowl if cool water we feel like it is way more humane to have Myra with us than shut up in the house at home every time we go out. We found a public parking structure near down town and backed into our parking space. Knowing that we were not violating any laws because there was ventilation, fresh water, and no sun light intensifying the heat in the car, (I know some of my friends may get mad at me for this) we walked to the Observatory, now called Chicago 360. The cost would be 12 per child 18 per adult 26 for parking totally $98 to see Chicago from the observatory. I’m sure it is worth it but it was quite a line, and the kids weren’t that excited about going up either, so we bagged it for today and will hopefully get to do it when they are a little older. We drove by the Navy Pier several times and that looked fun. We had no plan but we were formulating a plan for next time. We decided on an early dinner of Chicago deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s Pizzaria. To our surprise they had GF pizza as well, which we weren’t counting on. Noticing we were only 15 miles from Indiana and 34 miles from Gary Indiana we decided to go there, in honor of the music man and adding another state to our list. The drive around that part of Lake Michigan was very pretty. Being in Indiana made me think of Michael Sherman. We were only three-ish hours from you. It would be fun to meet your family while we are in this part of the world.
















Gary Indiana



Back through Chicago just before sunset.


I know you are all sad about there being no Chicago Owens family selfie…maybe next time.

Categories: Family Time, food, Fun, Road Trip, Travel, wisconsin | Leave a comment

Minnesota…Mall of America

We had made plans to go to Bay Beach today, so we all piled into the car and started up towards Green Bay. The weather report had said there was a 50% chance of rain. We only made it about five miles before it started to down pour. Not the kind of weather you want to spend all day walking around in. So, on a whim, we did a U-turn and headed towards Minnesota and the Mall of America. We were saving that trip for a rainy day and it just so happened to be a rainy day. We had all grabbed an extra set of clothes in case it rained on us while we were at Bay Beach, so if we needed to stay the night somewhere we would be set. We enjoyed the scenery and the rain after we had made the decision to head west and knew we wouldn’t be out in it all day.




Our 13th state to hit on this trip.
California (we count that since we as a family jotted down there to get my CA nursing license), Washington (our goodbye family weekend at Great Wolf Lodge), Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and now Minnesota. Minneapolis was not too far past the boarder and only a short distance from St. Paul.
Mall of America here we come!















It was a fun day. Although we didn’t ride any of the rides or visit the aquarium under the mall, so it was kind of like visiting Disneyland and staying in the village looking in but never actually going in. The rides were about $10 per person, per ride, so it would cost our family $50 a ride. I’d rather save up and go to Disneyland.
Now for a restful night at our favorite pet friendly hotel chain so we can visit the Capitol building in the morning.

Categories: Family Time, food, Fun, kids, Road Trip, Travel, wisconsin | 1 Comment

1/3 done… With the weekend

I started with all post partums this morning so I was pleasantly surprised. Three, then another, two discharges then trade off for an admit induction.
Off only 40 min. late and no lunch (I don’t think anyone got a lunch today). I did some things a lot better and some thing’s I grimace to think how much better I could have done them, with a little less on my plate. This exercise in time management and the all out nonstop physical aspect of this job are a welcome challenge. I feel a lot less physically exhausted today my legs aren’t throbbing, they are getting accustomed to the pace. The pounding headache is most likely a lack of food issue the pizza we had for dinner should help that. The kids welcomed me home (up past their bed time to do so). I came in to find a birthday package on the table from my Mom-in-law which contained comfy clothes, sweatpants, two tank tops, and a sweatshirt. I quickly ran upstairs to change out of my uniform into my new comfy clothes. Chad headed out and picked up dinner, a celebratory GF pizza for payday.


Thank you Chuck and Donna for the birthday gift and the kids love their little ” I love you” (as Hannah called it) gifts too!

Categories: Family Time, food, Fulltime, Fun, kids, wisconsin, working | Leave a comment

The Last Day of July 2014

Over the last week, we have stayed our last night in New Mexico, two nights in Colorado, a night in Kansas, one night in Missouri, one night in Illinois, and now for our first night in Wisconsin.  It’s kind of surreal, and the scenery so far is quite similar to that of Missouri and Illinois.  So green, with beautiful trees, amazing cornfields, and picturesque farms. We have listened to Ramona Quimby and The Last Battle, and the Capitol buildings have been so fun to see.  In some ways, they have been so similar, and other ways so different.  With each tour we have learned more things about each state.  I’m so glad that we have done it.  Today we toured the Illinois Capitol building, the tallest Dome Capitol at 405 feet from ground level, and grandest of all state capitols.  The Capitol building in DC is 297 feet tall.
The stained glass window in the dome is quite impressive.

We entered the Capitol through an underground tunnel that connected it to the nearby government buildings.



The doors to the ground floor opened up to beautiful ornate halls and staircases as well as a welcoming statue that made you feel like you just might be in Europe.



This tour was focused on the purpose of the building, not the workmanship, art and materials that went into making it what it is today.  Built in the late 1800’s, it cost 4.3 million dollars to build, in comparison to the Missouri Capitol building built 50 years later, which cost nearly 1 million less to build. I do have to admit, there is no comparison visually when describing the inside of each.













The wall paper in the state Supreme Court is awesome!

The street view of the Capitol is less impressive, and we found the silver dome rather intriguing.  Who do you think would be the statue out in front of the Illinois state capital main entrance?  We are in the land of Lincoln, coined on each license plate.  Well Stephen Douglas of course!



We enjoyed the monument to the states firefighters and the one to the states police force.


We left the Capitol and made our way to the nearest Krekels, which had been recommended by our favorite Illinois couple Pastor Tim and Cindy.






As we are in corn country, so more ethanol is added to the gas, lowering the gas prices.



We found some fun signs that reminded us of our family back home.


We have made it to Wisconsin at last!!!

Categories: Family Time, food, Fun, Road Trip, Travel | Leave a comment

To Denver and Casa Bonita

The kids have been looking forward to two Colorado things the most, and they are the tunnel through the continental divide and Casa Bonita, and we hit both things today.  We didn’t intentionally get up early but we had already had breakfast and packed the car and were on the road by 8:30 am.




We stopped on the scenic overlook at Pagosa Hot Springs.  The kids spent a good half an hour playing on the rocks and in the hot and cold water pools which on the side of the river we were on were only ankle deep.








The mountains were beautiful, and we enjoyed taking them in as we waited for the tunnel to come up.






The Eisenhower Tunnel is the name of the tunnel for the Northbound traffic.  It seemed less tunnel-ish than we expected because it is so well lit.
After the tunnel, the traffic came to a standstill and we spent the next several hours in stop and go traffic.  What should have been a 5 hr driving day became an 8hr driving day.

We were glad to pull into Denver.
Casa Bonita (a Mexican restaurant with a waterfall, shows, and divers performing for the crowds) was our first stop. Chad had been there before when he had been in Denver with friends several years before we got married, and has been talking to the kids about it for a while.




20140727-205532-75332070.jpg the cheese enchiladas tasted like macaroni and cheese, Caleb says that is what he likes about it. The waterfall and divers were cool and the music and atmosphere felt very tropical and vacationy.




We are settled into our hotel here in Denver looking forward to a nice sleep tonight. Goodnight!

Categories: Family Time, food, Fun, Road Trip, Travel | Leave a comment

A Day of Rest

It was sad to say goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa Sherman this morning.  It has been fun to share our new life with them, even if it was just for two days.  They watched the kids while Chad was in Honduras, and then brought them back, for which we are so grateful.
Church was good, Bible study was about faith as an action word, and the main service sermon was about the shield of faith, which was so appropriate as we have been learning about the armor of God.  We set up a play date for the kids with the friends they have made here.  They happen to be siblings and also homeschoolers.  It would have been fun to meet their parents earlier, as they seem like very fun people.  We have kind of started saying our goodbyes as we only have one more Sunday here which is such a weird feeling.
After Church, we opted for something that sounded fun, but completely away from our normal diet…apples, cheese, and crackers.  Caleb helped me pick out two kinds of unique artisan cheeses, Hannah picked out the apples deciding on Fuji, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious, Eve picked out the crackers, we checked out and headed home.  Lunch was fun as we took turns paring different kinds of cheese with different slices of apples.
It has been quite a while since we have had an afternoon nap, but what better way to spend our day of rest.  The kids all slept, with Me and Eve being the last ones up at nearly 6:00pm.  So late, we must have really needed our rest.
May we wish you all a good week.

Categories: church, Family Time, food, Friends, Fun, new mexico | Leave a comment

Diné Saturday Market and Shiprock Scenic Drive

We knew if we didn’t make a plan we would end up hanging out at the house all day.  Mom and dad wanted to do something with us that we had not yet done and we knew exactly what it was that we wanted to do, go to the flea market/Saturday market in Shiprock.  We all got ready to go out stopping at Dunkin Donuts for coffee on the way out of town.



Dad wanted to get some cash and being out of practice, I had forgotten to grab extra pull-ups, wipes, and change of clothes for Eve.  So from DD Chad and dad headed to Walmart, and mom and I headed back to the apartment and then on to Walmart so we could travel together out to Shiprock.  We found dad’s car in the parking lot and they were still inside.  Mom asked if I could get something out of their car for her and handed me the key.  I smiled, thinking we have keys to their car!?! It is our duty to move it then, just to make them feel loved.  Mom thought it was a great idea so we got in and and started the car moving it down the same row about twenty spaces. Just far enough to make them wonder if they were just losing it or did they really park it out that far.  We then parked nose to nose with their car and waited. They came wandering out soon and smiled as they recognized our car.  We had got them.  Dad said that next time we move their car we should put the seat back when we are done.  LOL.  I love to see him smile that boyish grin.
From there we headed to Shiprock and the Diné (Navajo people) flea market.


20140712-190709-68829301.jpg We had traditional mutton on fry bread for lunch (I had a piece of mutton no fry bread).



Also we got a new key ring that says hello and welcome in Navajo.

When we had seen the entire market thoroughly we left heading south towards Gallup a short ways. We wanted to drive up to Shiprock the geologic feature that the town was named after. We had driven around it before but were unsure of we were allowed to drive the dirt road that lead up to it. I had since asked at work and assured that we could drive up to it but not to climb on it at all for it was sacred to the Navajo people. Wanting to respect that we were careful and stayed on the dirt roads and did not climb on or touch the rock.

















We continued down the road, finding ourselves on a very scenic tour of the Reservation, including beautiful red rock formations and curvy dirt roads.  Keeping an eye on the clock and our gas situation we turned around and headed home just before dinner time.
On our way home we stopped at a little famous for the area tamale stand and bought tamales and Navajo fruit pies for dinner.


The tamales, bigger than most burritos, were more than filling and a great way to end the day.  It has been so fun to share four corners life with my parents.

Categories: Family Time, food, Friends, Fun, new mexico | Leave a comment

Happy Father’s Day Chad

A Sunday drive after church lead us back to Silverton Colorado.  With only an hour to explore the town after lunch on Thursday, we left with out really getting a feel for the quaint little town.  We visited the shops that we had not yet seen.










<img src=”https://owensendeavors

For dinner Chad decided on a little place that has been featured on ” Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” called Thee Pitts Again.






Chad had the Guy Fieri special.

Then we played at the playground by the school and public library and took in the sites all around us.







We had looked at all the shops in town so we decided to drive through the side streets as the houses are pretty cute. That didn’t take long and we weren’t quite ready to head home so we headed up the dirt road towards the mines.









The road up to the mine was so scenic that we decided to continue on up the road to view a little more of “the scenic loop” noted by a sign on the side of the road.























We didn’t do the whole loop because we had no idea how far it was and it must have been big because we did see a sign for Lake City in 30 miles.  It was getting later and this wasn’t the kind if road you would want to be on after dark so we found a wider spot in the road and turned around.

Just before we got into Durango there is a hot spring just bubbling out of the ground on the side of the road.  We had to stop and touch it.





It was not too hot, only slightly warm and was fun to touch and feel.


We watched the sun set over the mountains as we descended out of Durango, a day well spent.
Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers out there especially Chad, Chuck, Paul, Jeremy, Jayson and Great Grandpa Lawhead as well as to many Uncles and great uncles.  We love you guys.

Categories: Family Time, food, new mexico, Road Trip | Leave a comment

Homemade Cheese

Several years back we talked about trying to make our own cheese.  We looked up recipes and browsed the web for ideas, but we never did make it.  Then we didn’t eat cheese, so even though we still wanted to try making it, it didn’t make since to.

Well we are in a “you only live once” faze right now.  Not in the make stupid mistakes kind if way, but if you really want to try something like making cheese (a whole $5 worth of ingredients) then it doesn’t hurt to try it.

Mostly Chad’s idea but we were all excited about this little science experiment.
The items needed are:
-A gallon if whole or 2% milk
-something acidic we used 1/3 of a cup of lemon juice and 1/3 of a cup of vinegar although Chad believes it wasn’t enough acid because our whey was awfully white.
– salt (more than you would think because some of it escapes with the whey)
-large pot
-wooden spoon
– a large bowl
-cheese cloth (we used a nylon mesh bag, the ones that we use to make almond milk)
The whole process takes at least 8 hrs, but you are only actively preparing it for maybe an hour of the total time.

1. The first thing you do is pour the entire gallon into the large pot and put it over medium to low heat on the stove. Heat it up slowly to about 185 degrees, which Chad tells me is just before boiling temperature.


2. Then we added the vinegar and lemon juice mix, causing the milk to curdle.  Leaving it on the heat for a few more minutes as you stir the curdling milk.

3. Pour the curdled milk into the mesh bag or cheese cloth, in the strainer.  (We poured it onto the mesh bag then due to the volume of curdled milk, we had to change our strategy mid stream to pouring the curds into the bag.


4. Add your salt to the mesh bag or curd in the cheese cloth after most of the whey has been strained out.  The salt will pull out more moisture and allow for the cheese to become more firm.

After several hours we took the curds down and put them in the refrigerator, in the bag, in the strainer with some heavy cans on it to add weight and pull out even more moisture.

5. Time is all you need at this point.  Our directions said eight hours, but we left it all night and it still came out the density of a spreadable cheese.



Our first attempt turned out a little salty, but still a big hit with the kids.

Categories: Family Time, food, new mexico | Leave a comment

Blog at