Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Merry Christmas

Okay, so somebody is not in the Christmas spirit. :-)

Merry Christmas from the McGarys, Madison, Valiant and Stink (also known as Fancy).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wilbur and Fancy

Wilbur is pouting in this picture because Auntie was holding a tea cup... "no water bottles, no spray bottles, no teacups" are "allowed" according to Wilbur. If you haven't met this boy yet, you need to come meet him because he's awesome! We adore him.

Kisses and cuddle time for my favorite horse (Fancy That!). :-)

Monday, November 03, 2008

My favorite Halloween Costume, to date

Our small group decided to go as a dozen crayons.

Monday, October 06, 2008


This weekend we went camping with the horses and had SO MUCH FUN! Krista and I rode to a river on Saturday and went "swimming" with Fancy and Wilbur. George took his hammock and read and relaxed all day. It was so refreshing just to get away and enjoy the cooler weather we're starting to have. Here are some photos from the adventure.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My new piano...

So, yesterday I got an incredible birthday gift (from God!). :-) As many of you may (not) know, I have played the piano since I was 6 or 7 years old. However, since I left home to go to college, I have not had a piano to play. I've been wanting a piano desperately for the past 8 years. Actually, it's hard to put into words how much I've been craving the ability to play: when I get home from a long day at work just to unwind, when I've got free time and want to learn new songs, when my hubby wants to hear one of his favorite songs... like I said, it's hard to explain how much.

Yesterday, I "happened upon" (i.e. providentially) a piano that someone was giving away. When I looked at the photos, I nearly fainted. It was beautiful!!! I called immediately, and apparently was the first person to call. My new found friend told me that she hasn't been playing it and wanted it to go to someone who would use it. It has been in her family for years and she told me about memories she has of her grandfather playing on it. I tried to control my gushing enthusiasm, so as not to alarm her, but when I got off the phone after being assured that it was mine if I wanted it, I bawled like a baby. :-) Even after the 4 hours of transporting it last night from the truck, up the flight of stairs, with the help of our dear neighbors, I'm bouncing off the walls for sheer joy! (I also know that my hubby must REALLY love me). So, without further ado, meet the newest addition to our household favorites:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Yesterday, as Kris and I were walking along, a baby squirrel dropped about 30 feet from the tree above us. It lay on the ground crying and squirming, but unable to do anything, as it was too tiny (eyes were still not open). Another young man, walking in the opposite direction, also saw the baby. He stopped to see if there was anything that could be done. I ran back to my building to find something to put the baby in to carry it (I don't know where... just off the sidewalk... maybe to a vet?).

When I returned the young man was holding the baby in his hands, and it was obvious that it wasn't going to survive. He looked up at me with tears in his eyes and handed the squirrel to me. As I was holding it, it gently stopped breathing. We were both crying. We decided to bury it under the bushes, near where it fell.

I was touched by the compassion of that young man, who cared enough to give the dying baby the comfort to die peacefully in warm hands instead of alone on the wet sidewalk. Sometimes I think we're so busy in the rush of life that we don't take time for the small acts of kindness (even to the smallest of God's creatures).

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Truck

Here's Fancy's new truck. OK, well maybe not, but here's the truck that we got so that we can pull the horse trailer. :-) We love it!!!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

She's good to go!

After 7 weeks of daily physical therapy, Fancy has recovered fully and her prognosis is great! I think her full and rapid (well, relatively) recovery surprised everyone, including the vet.

I celebrated last night with a trail ride on my favorite horse. :-) Isn't she beautiful? Ok, so I'm totally biased... I admit it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

God Bless America

"Tomorrow is the Glorious Fourth. It is America's birthday. Ours is the first nation whose birth certificate is also a great philosophical document. The Declaration of Independence was the inspiration for many other revolutions, but only the United States of America has succeeded these past two hundred and thirty-three years in bringing forth a 'new order of the ages.' America's experiment in ordered liberty is unique. Many countries have fought revolutions. Many have proclaimed the rights of man. But America has from the beginning acknowledged her liberties as a gracious endowment from a loving God.

The man who wrote that declaration was chosen for the task because his fellow members of the Continental Congress were impressed with his ability to write clearly and convincingly. Even earlier than 1776, young Thomas Jefferson had put the Americans' case well: 'The God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?'

...Tomorrow is the anniversary of that fateful declaration. In declaring our own independence, we were doing more than breaking away from England. We were breaking away from tyranny. We were breaking away from the idea that some men were fit to govern others without their consent. We broke the chains of dependency and servitude.

The great document we celebrate today inspired Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass in the fight to end slavery. It inspired Americans of the World War II generation to stand up against Nazi cruelty."

By FRC (Family Research Council)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

It Is Well With My Soul

By: Horatio G. Spafford, 1873
The words to this hymn was written after two major traumas in Spafford's life. The first was the Great Chicago Fire of October 1871, which ruined him financially. Shortly after, while crossing the Atlantic, all four of Spafford's daughters died in a collision with another ship. Spafford's wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram: "SAVED ALONE." Several weeks later, as Spafford's own ship passed near the spot where his daughters died, he was inspired to write these words.

Bliss originally named the tune "Ville de Havre" after the ship on which Spafford's four girls perished, the SS Ville de Havre. Ironically, Bliss himself died in a tragic train wreck shortly after writing this music.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


One of my favorite things is to see my horse looking out her stall window. Ever since she was a little baby, she's always looked out the window to see if we are coming. Sometimes, if I don't get out of my car and to her stall fast enough for her expectations, she starts pawing the ground in frustration.

I love having a horse that loves people. She helps me connect to people I might otherwise not naturally connect to. No person is an exception for her affection or exempt from her expectations - if you're standing around with idle hands, you might as well be giving a back rub to a most grateful recipient. If you're lonely or depressed, she assumes that the best cure is to cuddle a very large animal - and she's usually right.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Summer has begun

So, I anticipate many hours spent with my favorite horse.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cat Dairy Farm

This video reminded me of my own heritage (or so I thought at one time). When Krista and I were 7 or 8 years old, we lived on a farm in Oregon, which included horses, dogs, cats, ducks, chickens and milk goats. On Saturday mornings, after feeding all the animals and milking the goats, we would sit down for a family breakfast. That's when Dad started telling us about his childhood/our heritage.

He told us about the "cat dairy farm" where his family raised milk cats. He gave us detailed accounts of:
  • Breeds, which produced the best milk
  • Feeding schedules
  • Challenges of "herding cats" to the milking stanchion
  • Risks involved (which included scratches)
  • Importance of shelter (since after all cats don't like water)
  • Proper de-worming and medication routines
  • The benefits of eventually having machinery to do the milking, rather than the "old fashioned" way they used to have to do it, when he was a kid, etc.
Needless to say, we were fascinated by our family history and intrigued to know more. I mean how many people have you met who came from a cat dairy farm? I believe it was sweet Grandma who finally let the "cat out of the bag" and told us the truth.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

OK, for some incredible horsemanship...

See Lorenzo, the Flying French Man.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Bit of History

In the background, a nondescript European hillside and the tracks of a U.S. Army vehicle. On the slope below you can see two happy young men. That’s my Grandpa on the left... smiling sixty three years ago on May 8th, 1945 — the day Germany formally surrendered.

(My Dad sent this to me, today. Thanks Dad!)

KY trip

(OK, so my hair is completely unmanageable... sorry about that.)

George and I just got back from a trip to KY to visit the family + his grandparents (Grandma and Grandpa H.) who were visiting from Brazil. It was the perfect trip minus the multiple hours driving (remind me to fly next time) and the too-short time with family.

George and I came back refreshed and reminded that all of life is to be about serving our Creator and that no "small" aspect of that is without meaning and purpose. I didn't realize just how much I had missed being around "the siblings" and spending time with them, talking, laughing and catching up on the missing time since our last time together. Grandma and Grandpa H. talked with us about the things that life and Scripture have taught them, as they've ministered in Brazil. They reminded me that the Bible is living and applicable for all of life.

So that's the very brief summary of a densely packed weekend.

And now, much to my delight, my buni sister (Madison's fairy loving aunt) is here to visit (Madison)! :-) I'm sure the time will be too short (as well), but I will savor every minute we have her here!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sacrifice and Valor - an unexpected reminder

I just pulled a record (to verify a degree) for a family member of a man who graduated in 1937. One of the things I noticed on this record was a stamp which said: "Died on January 26th, 1946, serving to protect his country during WWII". I decided to do a little more research into this man's life and this is what I found: (http://www.cmohs.org/)

KEARBY, NEEL E. (Air Mission)

"Rank and organization: Colonel, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date: Near Wewak, New Guinea, 11 October 1943. Entered service at: Dallas, Tex. Birth: Wichita Falls, Tex. G.O. No.: 3, 6 January 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy, Col. Kearby volunteered to lead a flight of 4 fighters to reconnoiter the strongly defended enemy base at Wewak. Having observed enemy installations and reinforcements at 4 airfields, and secured important tactical information, he saw an enemy fighter below him, made a diving attack and shot it down in flames. The small formation then sighted approximately 12 enemy bombers accompanied by 36 fighters. Although his mission had been completed, his fuel was running low, and the numerical odds were 12 to 1, he gave the signal to attack. Diving into the midst of the enemy airplanes he shot down 3 in quick succession. Observing 1 of his comrades with 2 enemy fighters in pursuit, he destroyed both enemy aircraft. The enemy broke off in large numbers to make a multiple attack on his airplane but despite his peril he made one more pass before seeking cloud protection. Coming into the clear, he called his flight together and led them to a friendly base. Col. Kearby brought down 6 enemy aircraft in this action, undertaken with superb daring after his mission was completed."

For this, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor. He died later, when his plane was attacked by 3 others.

His plane was named after his wife, Ginger.

For more information

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The smell of Jasmine in the air

One of my favorite things about my walk home from work is the smell of Jasmine in the air. Along the pathway, someone planted a beautiful Jasmine plant and the smell of the flowers is intoxicating. It reminds me of honeysuckle.

Smells always rekindle memories for me. Some of my favorite smells include:
  • Lilacs (my favorite smell EVER!)
  • Fancy
  • Fresh, really ripe strawberries
  • Rain
  • Freshly baked bread
  • Oak Creek Canyon (yes, it has a very special smell)
Incidentally, honeysuckle reminds me of my little sister, Jess.

So, there's my justification for the Jasmine plant now growing on my porch! :-)

Friday, April 18, 2008

People Watching

That's what I did on my lunch break today. It's actually quite remarkable what you can see in people by just watching them interact.
  1. Confidence
  2. Sense of Humor
  3. Insecurity
  4. Sadness
  5. Caution
  6. Carelessness
  7. Happiness
  8. Infatuation
  9. Disrespect
  10. Care
... to name a few.

A few other noticeable items:
  • The girl trying to walk normally with a broken flip flop
  • The couple debating about whether right or wrong can be determined (she said yes, he said no)
  • The guy who biffed catching the football because he noticed the pretty girl with the broken flip flop
  • The squirrel calculating how/when to snag the cookie crumb on the sidewalk, without getting trampled by the mob of students heading to class
  • The four people, in 20 minutes, that I overheard say, "Thank goodness [or some variation on that phrase] it's Friday!" Amen to that!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Look how he's grown!

And then, one of my favorite momma horse, too. :-)

Friday, April 11, 2008

A reminder - Love

"Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness." C.S. Lewis.

I love this quote. The word love has been cheapened in our culture and even through our language.One of the most common errors of our Christian culture is forgetting that "Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness." We will grasp a greater understanding of what love is and what it means, by reading the Word of God (the Creator of love).

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008


I have been thinking a lot about suffering. In my "ponderings", I have read The Problem of Pain, by C.S. Lewis and A Grief Observed, also by C.S. Lewis. The Problem of Pain was written almost like a commentary on doctrine.
  1. "When God becomes a Man and lives as a creature among His own creatures in Palestine, then indeed His life is one of supreme self-sacrifice and leads to Calvary."
  2. "Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment."
  3. "We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin. But mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of a sin."
  4. "From the moment a creature becomes aware of God as God and of itself as self, the terrible alternative of choosing God or self for the centre is opened to it."
Though I found the book incredibly thought provoking and surprisingly insightful in many ways, it does not offer comfort. It is not intended to. It is an account created from the mind - not the heart.

A Grief Observed, on the other hand was written after C.S. Lewis lost his beloved wife. His understanding of suffering and of living through pain and grief is real and his writing on the subject really is a masterpiece of the heart. He shows how much courage and strength it takes to live through suffering. It's an astonishingly honest account of how a person can lose their bearings, when all reality is shaken under their feet, and yet how it (reality/understanding of truth) slowly returns, though perhaps changed.
  1. "Nothing will shake a man - or at any rate a man like me - out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself."
  2. "No one ever told me that grief is so much like fear."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This Week's Cutest Baby Winners!

Introducing Jasper, Alexei and Moyer. I know people are not supposed to have "favorites", but I've got to admit, these are some of my favorite babies of all time! I mean, seriously people... can we get any cuter?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Photos from this weekend

More riding... Fancy is back! :-)

Check out that little bucking boy!

Monday, March 10, 2008


This past weekend, I was able to ride Fancy quite a bit and it was WONDERFUL! I was able to jump her for the first time in over 1 year! It is so good to be back on her... it's like having my an old friend back!

I've attached some photos here. Caspian is really good about staying with us and keeping up, though we wore him out yesterday! (No, he doesn't jump the jumps :-)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

You know you're addicted to chai when...

  1. You dream of chai
  2. You drive up to the Starbucks drive-thru window and your puppy starts barking in anticipation (not that we ever share)
  3. You spend all your breaks scouring the internet for a chai recipe that might measure up to the frothy marvelousness of Starbucks chai; all this in effort to somehow justify partaking of the wonderful goodness, daily, without facing financial peril
  4. Your office smells like chai from the old (fully consumed chai) cups in your trashcan
  5. You resist indulging for one day and feel like a conquerer!

Monday, March 03, 2008

If it was up to me...

I would spend this entire rainy day in the barn. I would be sitting in a lawn chair in Fancy's stall, reading my book and drinking hot tea from my hot cup. I would be savoring the smell of alfalfa hay and listening to my horse contentedly munching.

Of course, Fancy wouldn't actually let me just sit there and read... she would be insistent that I rub her tummy and give her cookies.

As for Caspian... well, he'd probably be nibbling on my book, kicking up his heels or napping.

Unfortunately, it isn't up to me, so I'm at work, instead.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

My "Facebook Jane Austen quiz" results...

Elizabeth Bennet

You are memorable, lovely and clever, the life of the party... you always know what to say in every situation. Your honesty, virtue, and lively wit enable you to rise above the nonsense and bad behavior that pervade your money-seeking and often spiteful society. Nevertheless, your sharp tongue and tendency to make hasty judgments often lead you astray... if not careful, you can display qualities that you despise - pride and prejudice. But if you can get past negative first impressions, your life and love story will be epic!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Today's Advice

Grab a wunder puppi and hold really tightly, while simultaneously smothering the little black brow with kisses. Does the body good. (Warning: Beware of pretty white teefies)

Have you hugged your Scottie today?

Friday, February 22, 2008

I can't wait to ride my horse

Well, as you know, we've been a little busy these past few weeks with a certain young horse coming into the world, so I haven't ridden Fancy for over 2 1/2 months. With the stress of life continually building, I've totally missed my riding time with my favorite horse. This weekend will be my first attempt to ride the momma horse. I think my only real danger is her distraction from a certain baby someone, but Krista is going to walk him, while I ride her. We'll give you a status report next week! :-)

Here are some photos of them from last week.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Isn't he handsome?!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Campus Life, as it were...

There were a few random things that caught my attention whilst on campus today. None of them related to each other, but they all made an impression on me. :-)
  1. A man standing outside my building, telling his wife (presumably), "Honey, I'm really sorry you've had a bad, and I need to go. " Nothing like the listening ears of a loved one, I always say!
  2. The gentlemen sporting the "Healthy Horns" t-shirt, while simultaneously indulging in a double cheeseburger, large fries and milkshake. Now that's marketing!
  3. And, last but not least, the observation that all single girls, in groups of 2 or more are absolutely guaranteed to be talking about RELATIONSHIPS. It's a fact.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Age and (dis)Respect

One thing I've been noticing lately about young people around me is that they don't respect the elderly. They act as if those individuals somehow decided to get old and live with the consequences of an aging mind and body. The young seem to feel superior because their minds are "fresh" and their bodies are energetic. I think this bothers me so much because of my own grandparents.

My Grandma and Grandma McC. showed me that time, along with experience, brings knowledge and with knowledge (and a proper understanding of Scripture by which to frame that knowledge), comes wisdom. When my grandparents told me in detail about their lives, relationships, about the wars they fought (including WWII) and the sacrifices that they made, it was obvious that they were once very much as youthful and energetic as me. They had not chosen to grow old, but time had crept up on them and, though it stole their youth, it enriched them with wisdom and understanding. When I think of time passing and the natural progression of aging that never ceases, I relish the example that my grandparents have set for me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Names, cont'd...

Brain _____. Yeah, somebody really named their child that. I guess they were hopeful.

Callie Flower _____. People, creativity is one thing, but be creative with your pet's names, not your kids!

Spunky _____. Again, what a great puppy name!

Boys and their toys

My dad just got a great new toy, which we will affectionately call "Rubi". I love the last photo because it totally captures that "I finally got my favorite toy" expression! :-) Dad has been waiting for a Jeep (not just any Jeep, mind you, but a Jeep RUBICON) since he sold his prehistoric, very loud, very rough, very mustard colored Land Cruiser, to become our dad and buy a more practical, boring "family vehicle". All I have to say, is "IT'S ABOUT TIME"!!!