Happy Birthday, Karyn!! Born July lst, 1964

Menu Plan Monday

Monday Breakfast: Eggs, Toast and Yogurt and Raspberry smoothies.
Supper: Homemade pizza and Salad
Tuesday Breakfast: Pancakes
Supper: Hamburger Helper, Broccoli and cheese.
Wednesday Breakfast: Brown Rice Breakfast Tacos
Thursday Breakfast: Omelet and Hash browns
Independence Day!!!
Friday Breakfast: Eggs and Toast
Lunch: Ham and Egg salad Sandwiches, Watermelon, Tuna and Macaroni Salad, Radishes and Smoothies/Shakes and Ice Tea.
Supper: Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Potato Salad, Salad from the kid's Salad garden, Fruit bowl arrangement, Ice cream dessert (to look like a flag with Raspberries and Juneberries), Frozen fruit and Yogurt dessert, Star shaped sugar cookies, Ice Tea and Koolaid.
Saturday Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Tacos
Supper: Spaghetti and Green Beans
Sunday Breakfast: Eggs and Toast
Dinner: Jello, Tuna Noodle Casserole, Green beans
Supper: Leftovers.
For more menus visit Heavenly Homemakers.

A good day

We had a good day today. Church this morning and then my parents came over to eat lunch with us. And then this afternoon we drove down to Brainerd to attend a Singspiration. It was fun to see other the christians from all over the state as well as the fun of lifting our voices together in praise of God.

But what topped it off was getting to witness Tracy being baptized into Christ and getting to celebrate with her. It is always so exciting to get a new brother or sister in Christ!!

"Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38

Work with your hands

"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.

I like the verse above. I don't always follow it perfectly, being quiet and minding my own business aren't always my strong suits but I am trying. It does make me realize just how important my job as a homemaker can be. Not only do I get the privilege of caring for my family but also in living a quiet, simple life I can win the respect of outsiders. Hopefully I won't just win their respect but they will want to know more about the God that I am serving.

I do also enjoy the part of working with my hands and not being dependant on anybody. I really enjoy trying all sorts of things and learning how to make the things we need from what God has given us and not have to rely on stores and stuff like that.

The picture above is of Megan's hand. She has been very into hands lately, loving to trace them and then she wanted me to take this picture.

As I'm taking pictures of the family before they leave on their trip, Jackson is showing keen interest in grabbing my camera...so I stepped back a bit from where Janis was holding him and he took a few steps to get the camera....yay!!!! Look out Edmonton/Calgary...he will be in constant motion once he gets going....

pictures taken as ALL MY FAMILY was packed and ready to leave for their holiday to Edmonton/Calgary. Not comforting to know your entire family is in one vehicle on that highway for a long weekend....they caught the 6pm on Friday and we at the cabin by Edmonton 6pm Saturday....wow...so glad to hear they made it safe and sound.

so close to walking!! THEN he walked....what a send-off for Grammer.

Mississippi and the muppets

We studied about the state of Mississippi a few weeks ago. One of the highlights of that study was finding out that Jim Henson the creater of the Muppets was from there. I had rarely seen the muppets and my kids never had but I found some Youtube clips for them to watch and they thouroughly enjoyed them. We thought we had better share one of our favorites with you.

Mississippi is the Magnolia state with the Magnolia for both it's state tree and flower. The state bird is the Mockingbird.

We found it interesting reading about the Kudzoo vine that had been brought to the U.S. from Veitnam and has "swallowed" the south. It grows very fast and quickly grows over anything in it's way. In Mississippi you will see the utility poles, fences, trees and just about anything covered in it. It is actually quite pretty and I was impressed by all the lushness when I traveled through there. It was brought to the U.S. to control soil erosion and it has worked, just a little to well, to the point of being a nuisance. Check out this site to see some cool pictures and interesting information.

Peavey the manufacturer of Guitar Amplifiers (I have seen that brand a lot and believe it must be a good one) is out of Mississippi.

One of Mississippi's loved foods is fried Catfish. Mississippi brings that largest amount of catfish to market. We didn't have catfish but we did enjoy the recipe from there using trout instead.

Corn bread is another comfort food that is enjoyed in Mississippi. We enjoyed eating it too.

Are any of you from Mississippi? What do you like about your state?

Are state for next week is Arkansas, If you have any favorite foods from there or any information to share, we would love to hear it.

Entering stuff at the county fair

A few years ago my kids and I got started on what is now a fun yearly tradition. We entered stuff at our county fair.
I guess I had kind of been under the impression that stuff entered at the county fair was stuff that was done by those in 4-H groups or that it was difficult to enter stuff at the fair. I found out that I was totally wrong!
Entering stuff at the fair is quite easy. You can either pre-register (which I totally recommend because at least at our fair it majorly speeds up the "check in" process) or you can just bring your stuff that day (at our fair it is the day before the Fair really starts) to check in. It doesn't cost anything to enter and guess what!? If you win you don't just get a ribbon you also get a little money (not much but it is fun to get something).
At our county fair and I would guess this is true throughout the country, there are oodles of areas to enter stuff in: Sewing (clothing, quilts, bags, you name it and there is a category), Baking (bread, muffins, cookies, cake, etc.), Paper Crafts (scrapbook pages, homemade paper, cards, etc.), Knitting, Crocheting, Tatting, Canning, Flower Arrangements, Wood working, Photography, Painting, Drawing, Other Crafts, Garden veggies,Baskets, Plants and the list goes on. There are first, second and third prizes given in each category and so your chances of getting a prize are quite high (since participation at fairs, though there is a fair amount is not as much as there is categories).
I just thought I would tell others about this opportunity because not only is it fun to take something you have worked hard making and see if it will get a prize but also the chance to win a little money is fun for both Parents and kids. I usually take a lot of stuff (last time I had a big suitcase full as well as a box. The suitcase works very well for transporting some stuff as it is on wheels and you can carefully pack it). Taking a lot of stuff ensures that I will always (at least it has worked for me so far) have quite a few ribbons and thus win some cash.
Mara has also entered quite a bit. It seems like competition is a little higher among the kids but she has still gotten ribbons, also at our fair for the kids if the item doesn't get a regular ribbon then they give it a rainbow participation ribbon. With the money we have won we have enjoyed sending it to one of the missionaries we like to support.
Do any of the rest of you enter stuff at county fairs? What have your experiences been like?
For more Frugal Ideas visit Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood.

I'm so excited...I 'found' an outlet that sells my angel ring! I need a new one as mine is nearly worn down to the copper.

My balcony work is finally nearing an end..the floors have to be sanded and painted and then it's all done. This has been ongoing since 2005... patience is a virtue!

Just some random layouts to share

Melena baby sat for me while I did the march this year, she even managed to get some great photos that I had to scrap.
Bronte and I playing one of her favourite games.

So photos of Bronte taken down at Karri Valley Resort at the start of the year.

A close up of Bronte's lashes, she actually fell asleep in her highchair.

My Boys

A layout about Adrian and Nanook having cuddles.


Bronte playing on her new climbing frame.


Another layout about Bronte soaring high.

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy

A layout about Bronte's first trip to the beach.

Who Let the Dogs Out?
Tiara, Sharnii and Bronte playing in the backyard.

Tink Time

Bronte playing with her favourite toys - a stuffed Tinkerbell doll


Bronte having the sulks and one of the nickname we call her when she is stroppy.


Another layout of out little family

The Game is On.

The Game is On.

First Birthday
- done to represent Conect Four game, we had to use four photos, the colour blue or red plus one other colour and also have four conecting circles on the page. Who Loves to Draw?
- done to represent Pictionary, we had to doodle, use and embellishemnt in the title and follow a sketch.

Go On

- done to represent Monopoly, we had to base the layout on one of the properties, I did Parklane and used flowers and leaves, we had to use less than 6 items and have the word chance or go in the title.

Mystical Scrapbooks is running a great competition at the moment based on board games. I am loving the challenges, they are great fun. These are my layouts so far. Here is a link to Mystical Scrapbooking so you can pop in and have a look at everyone elses layouts. There are some great pages there. http://www.mysticalscrapbooks.com.au/photos/showgallery.php?cat=644

Works for me Wednesday ~ Frozen dessert

Do you need something refreshing and cool for the summer time heat? We tried a new recipe at our house that we think is quite yummy.

It is made with a bunch of berries (the recipe calls for blueberries but we used juneberries and I think raspberries or strawberries would be yummy too), yogurt and a lemon lime pop. It is super easy to make and very good to eat! I got the recipe online at a sight with recipes from Maine. It is called blueberry frozen yogurt but my husband suggests it should be named something else like "frozen fruit dessert" as it doesn't have the creamy texture you expect with frozen yogurt.

It works for me because it is:
  • Simple, easy and fast!
  • Inexpensive (at least for us as we pick our own berries and I used plain homemade yogurt instead of vanilla yogurt-I did also add 1 teaspoon of vanilla)
  • And fairly nutritious.

What cool foods do you enjoy in the summer?

My sweaty, silly boy

A quick look at this picture might make you think that it was cold here today ~ not so! It was nice, around 75 degrees or so. In fact rather warm in the sun. But there were also bugs. Bugs that were bothering my cute boy. The solution: Cover up completely!! Mittens and all! (he did have a hat but it is in his hand for the picture.
When he came around by me he was totally sweaty but seemed to be enjoying his time outside and didn't seem bothered by bugs anymore so I guess it worked.

It makes me think of another thing funny about him today. When I went to wake him up this morning he had socks on his hands. I asked about it at breakfast and he told me why. I guess Jonathan (who had worn socks to bed) got hot last night before they fell to sleep and so he took off his socks and asked Aaron (don't ask me why he asked him, I don't know!) if he wanted them. Aaron didn't need them for his feet as he already had some on himself and he explained that he was sweaty so he decided to put them on his hands. I don't quite understand the logic in that but maybe it is logical to a 4 year old boy!

Tackle it Tuesday ~ A flower bed

Tackle It Tuesday Meme I thought it would be fun to join in with "Tackle it Tuesday" so here is my tackle:
This is what the side of our garage looked like. We had without thinking let our sprinklers splash on it all last summer and since we have hard water and a white house the results were not to good! What was especially bad was that this was the side of our house/garage that faced the road so everybody saw it. We did have the orange on the back side a little as well but not as much.

We have put a lot of scrubbing into it (using "Whink" and an "Earth Stone") and I decided to try to finish the job today. It isn't quite perfect yet (an I am not sure I will ever get it perfect) but at least people won't look at our house and have "orange" be their first thought.
My other tackle for today was to put in mulch around all of our perennial flowers. The job is done! Yea! Last Friday the kids and I had put in the edging and done most of the weeding. I do enjoy having a pretty and well kept flower bed.
Here is a close up of some of my perennial bachelor buttons that were hiding.

Tipster Tuesday ~ Making pants fit your tall and thin kids

I have tall and thin kids (especially my eldest who at 8 is taller than some 12 year olds we know) which can be a challenge when I am trying to cloth them. If they fit in the waist, they are way to short or vice versa. Thank-fully I have a creative mother who came up with a very easy solution.
If the slacks are to big around it is quite simple to take a piece of elastic and stretch it across the back of the slacks (or skirt or jeans) while sewing it on. You start at one side of the back(on the inside of the slacks) and make sure to sew back and forth a few times so that it is knotted, then just pull out the elastic over top of the waistband (which is laying flat) and sew while you stretch. When you get to the other side just go back and forth again to knot it and cut the extra elastic off. You may want to sew on both sides of the elastic so that it doesn't curl. Tada! You have a smaller waistband for your skinny child.

It is so nice not to have their pants falling down half of the time. Do you have any quick sewing tricks to share?

For more tips you can visit BeCentsAble.

Our first harvest!

On Friday we pulled up our first radishes! We all enjoyed butter and radish sandwiches. Sometimes I can get a little impatient when gardening and it is always fun when something is ready to eat!

The radishes were our first official harvest of something we planted but we have also been eating chives, mint and some "weeds".

The picture above is of Lambs quarter. It is a weed that is good to eat. I am not real big on just plain cooked greens but I have found a bunch of ways (including putting it in sloppy joes) to get it in our food without anybody minding.
This next picture(above) is Amaranth. Another weed that is good for you. I use it the same way as lambs quarter.
I thought I would also share a picture of my garden helpers. Here is what we set up for our beans to grow on. Aaron found most of the sticks and brought them to me. He was very happy to be told that he was a "very strong boy!"

How are your gardens doing?

Getting some exercise and saving on gas

Last night we rode bikes to church for the first time. The kids were very excited about it and had been wanting to do that for a while now. All of the kids enjoy bike riding (or riding in the trailer behind the bike ~Megan often asks to go on a "bike ride") but they were especially thrilled with the idea of riding somewhere.

We live around 3 miles from the church building. Riding there is on a nice but rather busy road (which had been our concern). The kids did very well at staying on the edge of the shoulder and Mara was a very steady rider (Jonathan always has tons of bike riding energy but Mara has a tendency to wear out somewhat quickly). I haven't pulled the trailer that often but it went just fine though I could tell I was getting better exercise than just plain bike riding.

Our goal is to make riding to church on Sunday night a habit as well as riding to the Library, Chiropractor and Farmer's market. I am trying to see just how long we can make one tank of gas last. I am also excited about getting better in shape.

Dreaming of keeping bees

Tonight I happened upon a neat article on beekeeping. It started me dreaming about Beekeeping again. I think it would be so much fun to get our own honey, as well as the benefit of wax to make candles and such from. Also having more bees around should up the productivity of my garden. Bees sound like they are fairly simple to care for, this article says they are less work than a dog but a little more than a cat.
Getting started does sound a little expensive but there are a bunch of plans available online for building your own hives and some other equipment.
This site is out of MN and has stuff for sale as well as a lot of information on beekeeping and about bees.
Here are a lot of posters that have pictorial instructions for beekeeping.
Probably a lot of my interest in the idea of beekeeping stems from one of my favorite books "The keeper of the bees" by Gene Stratton Porter. That was a book I read quite a few times (I am a rereader of good books) during my teen years.
Do any of you have any experience with bees? I would appreciate any helpful advice.

Christopher told me his new sweater 'itched'..so I found some fabric that I had rescued from an OLD sleeping bag...did this YEARS ago!!...so it was wind/water proof and it worked like a charm... He will be so pleased.
The FibreFest Fashionshow/supper was very very good...thanks Marilyn for a job well done. Her daughters are such sweeties and helped make the show!
Today is "pay house taxes" day and pick up some plant roots from Scott before he moves out of his big house on July lst... am going to try growing rhubarb in a huge pot on my deck..can't see why it won't work.