Thursday, August 29, 2013

Family camp....

Andrew and I are waking bright and early to do the barn chores; pack the car; and then are heading for Crystal Springs to help with camp-prep day.  He will be shingling and I'm not sure what I'll be helping with.  I think Lauretta is coming with too.  :)   The others are staying home to work and do chores/haul water, then will join us at camp Saturday morning.  Yay!!!!

This blog will probably be silent until Monday, unless I come home for a chores and take time to write?

God be with you 'til we meet again.~

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I should get a picture of it.  When I got home from watching "My" little girls this evening, there were several cobs of corn sitting on the island in the kitchen.  They were sorted into 6 piles and I later learned that my dad went and picked the corn from each of the corn-fields that are away from the farm here.  He had us try to guess which fields the corn was from and I was way off, and I think the others didn't do so well either.   There is actually some corn out there, thankfully!  I don't know how it's hung on this long as well as it has without water?   Thankfully, it rained 1/4" last night.   That's the first rain we've had in a loooooooong time.  I'm not sure what my dad is thinking now about combining or making silage.......

I had a good day with Johanna and Tracy Jo.  We built tents in the living room; had picnics/tea parties on the deck when it wasn't so hot out; made clay animals; took walks on the treadmill; drew pictures; read books; sang songs; washed dishes and Johanna helped we wash off the fridge/stove/dishwasher; and they took long naps.  It's so nice that they're feeling better again.  Now their dad is miserable with a cold, plus he put his back out tonight again, so he could use some prayers. 

We are getting excited about the Labor Day family camp coming up this weekend!  Tomorrow I plan to pack and make snacks to take along, as Andrew and I are planning to go over on Friday already to help with camp-prep work.  Should be fun!!  :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Birthday fun...

Today was Lauretta's birthday.   I asked her to stop in here on her way back home from work and she stayed until just a few minutes ago.  Her family was all busy working, so we were her step-in family to help her celebrate.  I made her a carrot cake...  :) 

Monday, August 26, 2013

New tires!

I babysat today, but Andrew was going to Bismarck so I asked if he'd take my car in to get new tires on the front and get the front ones (which I bought new last year) moved to the back, which he did.  Yay!  When I told Zach I was happy about getting new tires, he said he saw mine were getting pretty bald.    How do guys notice those things about cars---and fields---and track marks in the driveway?  I mean, I usually notice if things change on my stuff, but don't notice about everybody else's things.  Now, if they changed their hair or have cute clothes on or did something creative with food.....those are much easier to notice!   I guess guys and gals are just wired differently in the head or something...  :)

Oh, while I was changing some clothes around in Johanna's drawer, my dear friend Miranda called me, so it was so nice to get caught up with her again while I worked.  She was wondering if I have a passport.  Hmmmmm, no, I don't.  Should I get one?

Yesterday, I was busy at home.  We picked up the apples the wind blew down again and made more apple butter.  Last night, we gave the fellas haircuts.  I also picked some garden produce, such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, more squash, and patty pan squash.  It's a good thing we like squash!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

"God Loves Me Dearly"...OR "GOTT IST DIE LIEBE"

A couple days ago, I was attempting to play hymns in our hymn book and was trying some new ones.  I was playing such a one when my mom exclaimed,

   "That's Gott Ist Die Liebe"! 

When she was growing up, all the good old Germans in church would heartily sing this hymn in their native tongue, and they would sing it very often.  It must be a favorite amongst Germans, as they sang it during some church services at the nursing home when I worked there as well.   I don't know much German, but I loved hearing them sing about God's love in their heavy German accents!  My heritage is German from Russia, so it's only fitting that I post this song here tonight.  :)

  Gott ist die Liebe
1. Gott ist die Liebe,
Läßt mich erlösen:
Gott ist die Liebe,
Er liebt auch mich. Drum sag ich noch einmal:
Gott ist die Liebe,
Gott ist die Liebe,
Er liebt auch mich.
2. Ich lag in Banden
Der schnöden Sünde;
Ich lag in Banden
Und konnt nicht los.
Drum sag ich . . . .  3. Ich lag im Tode,
Des Teufels Schrecken;
Ich lag im Tode,
Der Sünden Sold.
Drum sag ich . . . .  4. Er sandte JEsum,
Den treuen Heiland;
Er sandte JEsum
Und macht' mich los.
Drum sag ich . . . .  5. Jesus mein Heiland,
Gab sich zum Opfer !
JEsus, mein Heiland,
Büßt' meine Schuld.
Drum sag ich . . . .
6. Er ließ mich laden
Durchs Wort der Gnaden;
Er ließ mich laden
Durch seinen Geist.
Drum sag ich . . . .

7. Das Wort der Gnade
Ist meine Speise;
Das Wort der Gnade
Still meinen Durst.
Drum sag ich . . . .  8. O Süße Liebe,
Du Brunn des Heiles;
O süße Liebe,
Der Seelen Trost.
Drum sag ich . . . .  9. Du heilst, o Liebe,
All meinen Jammer;
Du stillst, o Liebe,
Mein tiefstes Weh.
Drum sag ich . . . .  10. Du füllst mit Freuden
Die matte Seele;
Du füllst mit Frieden
Mein armes Herz.
Drum sag ich . . . .  11. Du läßt mich erben
Die ewge Freude;
Du läßt mich erben
Die ewge Ruh.
Drum sag ich . . . .
12. Dich will ich preisen,
Du ewge Liebe;
Dich will ich loben,
So lang ich bin.
Drum sag ich . . . .

The words to the hymn called "God Loves Me Dearly" are copied below.  I'm guessing/hoping they are the same meaning of "Gott Ist Die Liebe", just in English.  :)

1. God loves me dearly,
Grants me salvation,
God loves me dearly,
Loves even me.

Therefore I'll say again:
God loves me dearly,
God loves me dearly,
Loves even me.

2.  I was in slav'ry,
Sin, death, and darkness;
God's love was working
To make me free. [Refrain]

3. He sent forth Jesus,
My dear Redeemer,
He sent forth Jesus
And set me free. [Refrain]

4. Jesus, my Savior,
Himself did offer;
Jesus, my Savior,
Paid all I owed. [Refrain]

5. Now I will praise You,
O love Eternal;
Now I will praise You
All my life long. [Refrain]

I'm so glad that God loves you and me---dearly!

Friday, August 23, 2013


When I walked in the entry-way door after babysitting today, I knew my mom was in the process of making herbal salve!  I, personally, like the smell of the salve, but our menfolk do not, so we try to make big batches so we don't have to do it too often...  :)  We should have enough now for all the bug-bites and splinters, oh,  and Sally's udder balm until at least next year.

It looks something like this:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Little girls...

It was a good day!  I got to be with "My" little girls again.  :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pickin' chamomile...

This morning, former-coworker April brought her car and part out for Andrew to fix.  She helped my mom and I pick chamomile in the greenhouse and do some weeding.  She also slipped into some "Sloggers" (mud boots) and she and I went into the back stock tank and caught the 4 goldfish that were there and brought them up to the front tank, as we don't need 2 tanks for 1 cow and are letting the back one go dry now.  She left shortly before noon.

I spent the afternoon in the kitchen again, making more apple sauce/juice/pectin/and APPLE BUTTER!  Yummy smells!

My dad hauled grain again.
My mom went to Napoleon to run errands and helped in the kitchen too.
Andrew is combining for that farmer some more.
Jacob checked cows and had to haul water to them, then worked on different projects.
Millie and Lady chased frogs.

Tomorrow, I get to see "my" little girls again.  Yay!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pectin, jelly, frozen yogurt, and nectarine bread...

That's what I made yesterday.  :)   I made some chokecherry syrup too and canned it.  The jelly was zucchini/hot-pepper.  Today, I made some crackers to go with the pepper jelly, then made a chicken and my mom dug some potatoes from the garden to go with the supper.  Jacob (and Lauretta, for a bit) helped us make applesauce and juice too.  Why am I talking so much about food?  Well, while on the Master Cleanse, I realise how much we take eating tasty food for granted normally.  :)    Plus, that's almost all that the past 2 days have revolved around, as it is harvest time!

Today, my dad hauled grain all day again.  Andrew went south a few miles to help a farmer with his harvest.  I guess he gets to drive a nice combine, so hopefully the air-conditioning works in it!  It was HOT out today.   It's been a real challenge to keep things from frying in the garden.

Lauretta came over for a while to return some things we had loaned her and then she stayed a couple hours to visit.  We had lots of fun when my mom "Did" both Lauretta's and my "Coloring" to see which seasons we are.  My mom used to do this as part of her Shaklee business actually, so she has several different colored fabric drapes to wrap around you to see which color sets look best against your skin.  It was quite amazing to see the difference that the color of your shirt can make on how your face looks!   I'd thought I was Spring from what I'd read, but the colors that looked best on me were Summer (that's what my mom is too).  I still like the Spring season the best though!

Sunday, August 18, 2013


My mom and I picked enough chokecherries today to choke about a dozen horses!  We didn't eat a one of them either (we're on the Master Cleanse for several days).  Just thinking about their tartness made me get a funny taste in my mouth though.  :) 

 Our steamer is still cooking as I type, making all those little berries into yummy sour juice that I hope to make into jelly tomorrow. 

The menfolk kept busy working on the combine and changing the oil in the black pickup. 

There is thunder and lightning here and we're hoping and praying that it pours down rain sooooooon!  It's been so long since we had any rain....

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A quiet day...

We spent a restful, relaxing day together.  It was quite quiet and pretty peaceful.  :)
Now, I'm really ready to....


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Family photos!

Family camp is coming up the end of this month and this year the S. family will be putting together a directory of the families who will be there so that people can put names to the faces and have contact info. for everybody.    One of the things they request of each family is to include a recent family picture.   Seeing as we did not have one of those, we all put on some nice clothes this evening and headed outside.  The following are some of my favorites...  Now---to decide which one to send!  :)

 "Thank you, Lord, for this family I am a part of."
 A nice one of my mom...
 By the Colorado Blue Spruce...
 This picture turned out so funny!  My mom looks scared or surprised?
 It's really hard to get everyone looking nice (eyes open, for example) on the same picture!
Fun times~

Yesterday was a very long and very fun day...  At 7:00am, I headed over to the closest M. family (Gary and Kristi) that I babysit for.  Later, Zach brought Johanna and Tracy Jo over.  The 5 children and I played all kinds of things, indoors and out.

After driving the little misses back home once Gary got off of work, I headed over to  Lauretta's house.  I call it Lauretta's now, as Sarena is gone a lot these days, preparing Chris and her' future home and making hay for their herd.  Sarena was actually there though, so we had lots of fun!  We stayed up until nearly 2:00am, discussing wedding details; I curled their very long hair which took a while; we tried out different hairstyles/makeup for the upcoming wedding; we had Lauretta be the model and tried to figure out which of the 3 veils Sarena has will be the best and how to attach it........   Of course, we just talked too, and looked at pictures.  I stayed overnight then as it was so late and got home this morning--almost in time for chores. 

Speaking of chores, there are now 2 more mouths to feed.  Andrew went to Mandan yesterday and bought some bottle calves as our current ones really do not need the milk any longer (although they'd beg to differ). 

I baked bread today and made applesauce cookies for the menfolk.  The house smelled really nice when my dad got home from trucking and the boys returned from hauling hay home.  They are now officially done with haying season.  Oh yes, my mom and I hauled a load of water to the cows this morning too, so that took a couple of hours...

Good night~ 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Babysittin' double-duty...

Today I drove over to one M. family's house, picked up their booster-seats and children, then went over to the other M. family's (Johanna and Tracy Jo's) house to watch all 5 kiddos there.
Tomorrow, I'm kind of doing it in reverse, as we'll spend the whole day at the first M. family's house.
 It was a beautiful day outside, so we spent a few hours out of doors...
 We played tag, Simon-says, and ate sour green apples.  We also went for a walk and the older children took turns trying to push the stroller straight down the gravel road.  Then, we got out the little red wagon...
 Johanna was taking pictures with my camera some of the time.  She may turn out to be a world-renowned photographer someday.  :)
 Another sample of Johanna's (she's a little over 2 1/2 years old now) picture-taking abilities...
 Oh, and here's yet one more.  :)  Paula had just returned home and was giving Tracy Jo a peck on the cheek...

Oh, and this thing was HUGE!   I've never seen such a giant caterpillar.  Does anybody know what comes out of this thing eventually?  I'm not sure I really want to know...  (That's the wagon handle in the background--showing how large this guy really is!)

I'll post another time about the fun water meeting last night and our company.....   For now, I'd best get some sleep so I'm ready to run after 5 little people again tomorrow.  :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Smashed cars...

My dad informed us this morning of a demolition derby in Mandan at 2:00---and, we went (except for my mom, who stayed home in case we weren't back in time for chores).  I know some of you can't imagine what would be fun in seeing a bunch of cars getting all banged up, but when you go and actually watch, it can be quite amusing.  I like seeing the different driving styles/theories of the car-drivers and how they end up in the end of the derby round.  The pickups were really fun to watch as well.... Anyway, it was a fun break from work and we did make it home in time for chores.

This evening, my former coworker, April came out to have Andrew check on what's wrong with her car.  He plugged in his reader machine and told her what she needed to get for the next time she comes out to have him fix it...

Yesterday was a peaceful day, spent at home (outside of hauling water to the cows again).  Mr. Sorum stopped in for a while, so it was nice to visit with him again.

AND NOW, we're ready for Monday to come! 

May God bless us through this week, every one....

Friday, August 9, 2013

Working on wedding gifts....

Yesterday, after babysitting Johanna and Tracy and drawing pictures with their cousin, Dustin during nap time, I headed over to Lauretta's house.  :) 

Lauretta and I worked on some surprise wedding gifts for Sarena and Chris while chatting away and listening to music...  It got pretty late, (which is why my blog was not posted on last night) but we were able to get a lot done.  She also put on her bridesmaid dress so I could see it and I attempted to walk in her very high-heeled shoes.  ;)  It was a fun evening!  I thank the Lord that He had us meet Sarena and Lauretta last year as they've been a blessing in my life.

Today, the guys worked on hay again, and equipment, and later my dad sold a very old pickup to Paul F. for parts.

My mom and I finished canning the last 2 lugs of nectarines, plus I made a few pints of jam and we made another nectarine crisp.  My mom picked fresh green beans for our supper and I cut up some fresh zucchini also.  Hooray for garden produce!!!   Then, we cleaned the whole house and did a lot of laundry and dishes, so it was a good catch-up type of day.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


That one word pretty much sums up my mom and my afternoon and evening!  We got through 3 large lugs of nectarines (we're canning them and have 40 quart jars full so far) and still have 2 lugs to do.  :)  They are just SO yummy.... 

I also made several bunches of grapes into 2 quarts of grape juice and a little bit of thickened grape sauce that was supposed to be healthy jelly, but it didn't set up the way it was supposed to. 

I made a big kettle of chili and cooked a chicken, plus we made a nectarine crisp, so Mom and I had a very good day---spent mostly in the kitchen.  This morning, we got several fliers all ready to go and then mailed them.  They're invitations to a Kangen water meeting my mom is hosting on Monday in Bismarck.  Her friend, Anna, and Anna's up-line, Doris will be coming to do a presentation.  Everybody is welcome to attend...

My dad hauled grain, then went to Aberdeen for combine parts.  The boys worked on raking together some of the second-cutting windrows so they don't have to make so many passes over the field with the baler.  I think they may have cut more hay down too?

Tomorrow, I'll be babysitting.  :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Big rig!

My dad started on the second cutting, what there is of it...  Andrew went over at supper time to pick him up and, on the way back, they stopped for pictures by these huge machines that were parked in a field by the highway.
 Wow!  That's my tall dad standing by that tread...
My brothers worked on the combine again.  I checked cows and made yogurt, then worked on boiling down the fresh tart apple juice for apple pectin.  My mom had sessions with 2 clients today---one came out to the farm.  Oh, and a friend came at 7 this morning for water, so Mom visited with her a while as Andrew and I did chores and my dad did some trucking.  Now my dad is gone loading another load for a nearby farmer. 

It felt and smelled like rain today, but nothing came down.  It all seems to go North of us these days.

I played violin for a while this evening.  I hadn't done that in a long you would have attested to, had you been listening!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Good night~

Today was a bit busier of a babysitting day with Zach and Paula's nephews there, but we had fun.  When I got home, I worked on making some more gum-paste lilies.  Then, my mom and I did the dishes and now it's bedtime.  Awwwww~

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"New" equipment---and friends...

BisManOnline has been a blessing to our family many times already!  My dad found this header for the combine on BisMan one night and called the gentleman right away.  It was a good thing he did as the guy who bought our red combines told my dad that he saw the same add a while later and called the man who said it was sold already (to my dad) and that he'd had about 50 calls on it already...  We won't need this header this year, but it's nice to have it on hand for next year. 
 I think I told you all about my brothers buying a backhoe attachment for the tractor and a snowmobile trailer?
 They had to go to Fargo to haul them home....
 The guys are doing some major tire and rim repair on the combine...

Yesterday afternoon, Andrew and I hopped in his little car and headed for the Geiger's house for a supper/game night.  We stopped and picked up Lauretta on the way. 

We had a lot of fun playing "Things" and "Pit" and just visiting.  Mr. Geiger led a devotional and everyone sang hymns/praise songs for a while.
 This is most of our group.  I'm hiding behind somebody way in the back, as is Andrew and a couple others, but this gives you an idea of the people who were there.   Several of the young guys in this picture were from Minot and even the Geigers had not met them before, so it was nice to meet new people.  Of course, it was really great to visit with old friends too and Miranda and I even had time to talk for a long time in person for a change.  :)

It was early morning when we finally said our goodbyes and headed for home.   I was grateful that my mom did the goat chores so I could sleep in.  Andrew got up and milked his cow as usual, so I imagine he's pretty tired tonight!

Today was full of hay-hauling/cutting for the guys and kitchen work for we ladies.  The wind blew lots of our green apples off the tree last night, so we're making lots of apple pectin...

Good night all~

Friday, August 2, 2013

I made fruit-cake for the first time ever...

Sarena asked me to make the fruit-cake for the top layer of their cake as it's a tradition in their family, so I wanted to try the recipe early in case I had to find another one.  The guys warily tried it (my dad has had some pretty dry, hard, and generally nasty fruit cakes in his lifetime) and they all declared it edible and not too bad.  ;)  They didn't ask me to make it again though.  I think it's mostly that they're not fond of nuts and fruit in it only makes sense that they wouldn't like a dense fruit-nut cake.    This is close to what my cake looked like:

I did some on-line research about fruit-cakes actually and found out that most of them are made a long time before an event and then wrapped in a brandy or rum soaked cloth which is resoaked every week or two and rewrapped around the cake.  One website told how some people think the best fruit-cakes are ones that have been soaking for 3 YEARS!   Ugggg.   I decided to wrap my fruit-cakes in plastic wrap and then tin-foil, then tucked them safely in the refrigerator.  You know, they really could be used as door-stops.....

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Feeling trim-er and healthy-er...

My mom and I have been following the guidelines (meaning we don't do everything perfectly...) of the "Trim Healthy Mama" plan since March and have been so happy to be feeling healthy (in my case) and better (in my mom's case) and having our clothes fit much better! 

The plan is really a life-long change rather than a diet to be used at whim.   A person loses weight gradually and healthfully.  The nice thing about the plan is that you can eat all food groups, you just need to know how to combine them (or when not to).   There are some changes in dairy and sweeteners too, but it's very doable.  

 I/we highly recommend the book to everybody (not just mamas).  I heard the authors are now writing another book which will have a plan for everybody, rather than just aimed at mamas (it will be called Trim Healthy Me).   If you'd like to know more, please get the book!  The authors (sisters) have a fun writing style and write about so much more than just food. 

You can find the book here:

I was going through some year old pictures today while working on a picture-project and found 2 photos of my mom and I just 1 year ago in July. I thought I'd post them here so you can share in our joy if you like. :)   We still have a ways to go, but it's so nice to see improvement....  

To be completely honest, I should mention that we've also changed our drinking water (we have a Kangen water machine now), so I'm sure that's played a role in better health too. 

I sadly started putting on weight while working at the nursing home 3 years ago----not eating the way I was used to, plus I'm sure there was added stress I wasn't used to that didn't help anything either.  It's so nice to be going in the right direction again!!! 

Last July:
This July:

My mom last Summer in July...

My mom today:   
I'd love to hear from any of you who buy the book and especially if you try the THM plan!  
I wonder what next year's July pictures will look like?