Monday, December 30, 2013

Pushin' snow...

It snowed a couple+ inches last night again.  SO, this morning, my dad, brothers and I pushed and shoveled all of the snow off the ice rink.  The guys decided not to add any more water to the rink, as it was making cracking noises in some places when we walked on it this morning and we'd like it to be solid tomorrow so our New Years Eve company can enjoy skating on it with us! 

We're enjoying our time with our company immensely.  :) 

Here's wishing and praying for you all to have a wonderful last day of 2013!!! 

Visiting...

My blog is, I'm afraid, going to be neglected a bit while our company is here, as we're enjoying getting to know them better, but I just wanted to write a little note to say "HI" to you all.  :)

May God guide our steps every day.~

Friday, December 27, 2013

They made it...

...safe and sound.  Our friends did, that is.  PTL! 

It was a GORGEOUS day!!!  I do believe the ice in our rink was melting, but that's ok.  We truly enjoyed the loveliness!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Busy days of Winter...

Yes, it was a busy day! 

My dad hauled grain to Enderlin and later pushed snow from the yard onto piles. 

My mom and Andrew went to Bismarck to get supplies for our New Years Eve party and for the farm, so they were gone most of the day.

Jacob was home and I'm not sure what he did, as I forgot to ask him.  He did get a haircut tonight.  ;)

I was over babysitting my little munchkins and was happy to get to see their whole family for a change.  They gave me such a nice Christmas present too (I'll take a picture and share it sometime)!  It was pretty warm outside, so the girls and I played in the snow for close to an hour.

After chores tonight, I was going to help Andrew dump another load of water on the rink, but then the truck wouldn't start, so my dad helped Andrew with that (they had to pull it to get it running) so I could give the afore mentioned haircut to the afore mentioned brother. 

This evening, we've been doing a lot of laundry as the cows weren't drinking as much water tonight, so we have full pressure again in the house.  I washed my dad's coveralls and they're now clunking away in the dryer...

Our friends from the SE are planning to arrive sometime tomorrow, so we're all excited about their visit!!

And now, it is time to rest.  

    May God bless you all with a good nights sleep too!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy birthday to...

My mom!  :)
 
 She says that she had a very special day...
 We played a game of Carcassonne this afternoon, at Mom's request, and played music and sang for quite a while too....
 In between "Partying" and "More partying", we hauled 3 more loads of water to the rink.  I can honestly say "We", as I went with Andrew one of the times and got to feel like a firefighter, spraying the high-pressured water around everywhere.  It snowed another inch or so last night, as you can see...
 This is the pump we haul back and forth with each load of water:

 
I hope you all had a very wonderful day, spent with those you love dearly!
 
 


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cookie baking...

After nap-time today, the girls and I baked some sugar cookies.  They helped measure the ingredients and did surprisingly well at stirring everything together without getting flour, eggs, oil, and sugar all over everything.  :)    I'm pretty sure that their favorite part of the whole process was licking off the spoons when we'd finished!
 
 I tried getting some pictures of their beautiful smiling faces while the cookies baked, and this is what I ended up with:  :)
 
                   Tracy Jo...
      Johanna, posing by their Christmas tree...
I sure do love "My" little girls! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

5 hour power outage!

I woke up this morning to the sound of my family talking about the electricity being off.  Sure enough, the house was cool (it got down to about 60F degrees, which felt cold).  Thankfully, after the chores were finished (except for giving water to the animals, as there wasn't any with the power being out), and the electricity was still off, the guys got a generator set up with a couple cords running in the house so we could run our electric heaters.  They fired up the wood stove in the shop and put our kettle of potato soup on top to warm for lunch.  :)   Shortly after they had everything rigged up, (about 11:30)  the power returned!  YAY!!!  We were once again reminded of what a blessing heat, light and running water is, especially when it's -20--something on the other side of the walls!

It is very windy tonight and, according to the weathermen, it is a good thing, as a warmer front is blowing in.  Hooray!



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Coming along nicely...

Andrew gave me a ride on his snowmobile this afternoon to see the progress that's been made on filling up the ice-rink with, well, ice...
 
 There still is a long ways to go, as just the low spot is filled now.  We're running out of tarp up the sides of the bales in the low area, so will be adding some plastic to that spot tomorrow.  Next year, we'll know to pull that side of the tarp higher.  We can't really move it anymore!

Yesterday, my brothers and I went to the Geiger's house for supper and a fun evening of games and fellowship with friends.  Here, we were playing a game of "Musical spoons".  :)
 Miranda was our music-stopper...
 Get ready!!
I'd missed getting a spoon already at this point (as had several others), so I took this video of the remaining players...  Enjoy!
video
 
"Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of friendship!"

Friday, December 20, 2013

Future ice-rink!!

Last year, we pooled some of our money and purchased a very large (150'x50') water-proof tarp with plans to use it for the bottom of our very own ice-rink.  Well, we never got around to setting it up last winter, but today we did!
 
First, Andrew pulled all of the snow away from the shooting range.  Then we all (except for my dad, who was driving semi again) spread the huge tarp out over the ground.  That proved to be quite a job, especially when the wind got under the tarp and billowed it up like a giant kite!
 
 Andrew set a single-row of bales on the west end of the range...
 Jacob and I strung a string from the north to the south side so Andrew could get the bales fairly straight in a row.  It was rather cold out (approx. -15 F degrees), but it was nice to see the sun shining.
 Then, came the first load of water!  The guys just did some figuring and think it will take 15+ water tanks full to have enough ice to skate on ( pumping out 1,500--1,600 gallons each time).  It takes at least 4 hours to fill the tank across the road, so it will be an ongoing daily project for a while.
 Looking toward the north... 
 So far, the 2 loads they sprayed on the tarp have not even filled up the low spot yet....
 I hope this works!  :)  If so, you're all invited to come join us for some fun skating times this winter!
 (Disclaimer: Not responsible for accidents---ha ha!)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

More snow!



Shortly after I got to my babysitting job this morning, it began snowing.  It may have stopped briefly there for a few minutes, but it snowed most of the day.  The girls and I did some snowman "Projects", as it seemed fitting today.  :)  Before I left the house, Zach said that I'd probably want to borrow their large broom to clean off my car, which I did and there was quite the blanket of white over it.  We're guessing we now have about 4 more inches of fluffy snow.  I was glad for wheel-tracks to drive in all the way home! 

My dad was out on the roads most of the day driving semi and, thankfully, he was kept safe too!

It's beginning to look a lot like Winter!!! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Out with the old, in with the new!

This morning when we'd finished our regular barn chores, Andrew and I let his cow and calf (Werner the 2nd) out of the barn and in with Sally.  Later, shortly before dark, all of us except my dad (who was gone trucking) got another of Andrew's cows in that same barn with her brand new calf.  YES---you read that correctly----another new calf!  
 
It was so lovely outside today that it truly felt like spring.   I drove down to Kintyre to mail a letter the mailman had accidentally dropped in the snow and the road had mud on it! 
 
Andrew (and Jacob, when he wasn't working on schoolwork) got the 4020 running and pulled out the grinder-mixer.  My brothers ground feed so they could get it off of the cream colored truck.  Once the truck was empty, they put the big water-tank on the truck bed.  The goal is to fill the tank with water across the road and then dump the water on the huge tarp we hope to soon get spread out down at the shooting range so we can have an ice-skating rink close by our home!!!!!  :)   
 
My mom and I cleaned the milk-room in the barn.  It was a huge mess, and we ended up loading up almost a full tractor-bucket load of garbage (how does it always build up?) and I took it out to the garbage hole.  
 
We will be getting company in a little over a week and then more company after that, so it's been a good motivator to tidy things up a bit again.  We should have friends over more often!  ;)
 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

~Mary's heart~


by Monica Miller

I read and liked this poem a long time ago and just came across it again recently while doing some cleaning, so thought I'd share it with all of you.



It's a Martha's world, dear Father,
With Martha's work to do,
But give me Mary's heart, Lord,
That longs to sit with you.

To sit in silence, listening
With strengthened mind and will,
For tallest cares grow smaller
Sometimes by keeping still.

By keeping still within, Lord,
And gathering from Your strength,
For Mary's soul grows faint,
As does Martha's heart at length.

Help me to do with patience
What Martha's hands must do,
But give me Mary's heart, Lord,
That draws its strength from You!

I was over babysitting this afternoon and, while the girls were napping, the power went out for about 40 minutes.  The house was SO quiet without the buzzing and humming of everything electrical.  It was a good time to just stop and pray----yes, to have some "Mary time" with God!  I, for one, am guilty of leaning towards the Martha side of womanhood, I know.  As in all things, balance is best...  :)

Later in the afternoon, once the power was back on and the girls were up, we went outside and played in the snow.  It was a beautiful day!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mom went to Bismarck...

Jacob stayed home.
Dad went to Enderlin.
Andrew and I went to Napoleon,
And we enjoyed the beautiful sunshine
        all 
           the way
                 home!


Picture update from the weekend!

 
It was a special weekend here!  Saturday, we had supper guests---Lauretta, Josephine and Thaddaeus.  Then we had ping-pong guests in the shop for a couple hours, and later, living room guests as we watched a movie together until late into the evening.   It is such a blessing to have friends!!!
 
Lauretta stayed overnight and we had lots of fun on Sunday, spending time together doing several different things.  In the afternoon, we did one of Johanna and Tracy Jo's favorite things----we played dress-up.  ;)  Andrew kindly took pictures of/for us!  Here are some of my favorites out of the 100+ pictures...
 
Yes, we were actually playing a duet and not just pretending!

 Some people say we look like sisters?  Hmmm...
 Andrew was experimenting.  He took this one through the mirror...
 Me and my lemons.  :)
 It was kind of cold out there, so these pictures were all snapped within 5 minutes!
 The leaning girls of ND!  We really have no idea why we look as though we were about to fall over?  Hmmmm...
"Thank for coming over, L.s!!  It was great having you here again!"

Friday, December 13, 2013

"Perpetual GREEN!"

....That's the new color of our bathroom.  When my mom bought the paint in Bismarck on Monday, she thought it would turn out to be a lighter color than it did, but we wanted something bright and cheerful, and I think it passes that test!  In fact, it's the brightest room in the whole house now!  :)
 


Besides cleaning the house; baking bread; painting; and printing/mailing invitations to an open-house my mom and some of her friends are having in Bismarck on Dec. 22nd (you're all invited, by the way), I also baked and decorated 60-something cupcakes to donate to a fundraiser.  My dad and brothers helped me this evening with individually packaging them...  The red sprinkles on top are tiny mint candy canes.  :)

My mom had a bit of an adventure this morning when she went to town to get some more painting supplies she didn't know we needed....  After mailing her invitations at the post-office, her Pacifica wouldn't start.  She called our guys for advice, but nothing they said worked.  She then walked to the hardware store to get her painting things, then returned to her car and tried to start it again, but all to no avail.  Then, God sent her a helping hand----that of the Sheriff who also "Just happened" to be at the post office.  He used our jumper cables and got the Pacifica running.  Hooray! 

I had a neat phone call today from a blogging friend that I've never actually met---yet.  She and her family just recently moved back to ND from out east and they're planning to take us up on our invitation to their family to come for a New Years Eve party we're hosting.  :)  Hooray--again!

May your weekend be a peaceful one.~

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sledding!

After the girls had their naps today, I bundled them up in their snowsuits and we headed out to enjoy the beautiful day.  We were out for over an hour, climbing snow piles; pushing snow; they were making snow-angels; throwing snowballs; and we found a round sled and all piled on for some fun times of sliding down the steep driveway together!  :)  Fun, fun!!!


 
When I got home, I washed off the bathroom walls so they have a chance to dry before getting painted tomorrow.  My mom painted the ceiling last night with white, but the walls get to be a bright, cheerful color.  I'll try to remember to get a picture when we're finished.

My brothers went north today and brought back that snowmobile Andrew bought.  Now the boys can  travel together wherever they want to go and, if I ever get stuck in a snowbank on my way home, they can come rescue me.   :)

*note: The photos here are compliments of Google Image *



My dad changed the part on the well, so we have a little bit more water pressure in the house now.  Yay! 

Praying that we/you all have a good Friday,
                                                                      ~ Cora



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The keyboard is just not a piano!!!

A few days back, my mom was cleaning out everything from under her bed and rediscovered our electric keyboard.  She thought about giving it away on BisManOnline, but then thought we may use it out in the shop from time to time when we have company and want to play music out there, so I set it up tonight in the living room and we tried playing duets on it----which did not work very well, as it's not a full keyboard, so we were either running out of notes or trying to hit the same ones!    After playing a few songs, we returned to Mom's piano, very happily.  :)

The guys are working on the hay-feeder truck they bought this summer.  It sounds like they're discovering what's all wrong with it and are hoping to be able to find parts for it somewhere... 

Andrew and the guys pushed his gold pickup in the warm shop tonight, as he hopes to get it started tomorrow so he can go pick up the snowmobile he spoke for up by Rugby. 

While making tacos for supper this evening, I heard this song on Rejoice Radio and, although I may have shared it before, it blessed me again, so I'm sharing it here again:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiiX6wntypw .
 I thank God for the good men that I'm honored to know!

    "Men full of compassion who laugh and love and cry.
        Men who'll face eternity and aren't afraid to die.
   Men who'll fight for freedom and honor once again.
        He just needs a few good men."

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The "Babies" are babies no more.



Johanna and Tracy Jo no longer eat their meals in high-chairs, but sit on chairs around the table like "Big people".  They're growing up so fast!!   I actually got to see Paula today (it's been a long time!) and gave her her belated birthday gifts in person.  :)  I'm so blessed to be working for such a great family!

When I made it home, the house was completely quiet, so I headed over to the shop and, sure enough, found my family playing ping-pong, so I joined them.   Andrew bought a motion-activated light for outside of the shop yesterday and they had it up already tonight.  The ceiling fans were up and running too.  Things are looking up!

God is great and life is good!  I hope all is well with you too.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Strange cows on the farm tonight!

It was a rather usual day around the farm today (until this evening). 

My mom and Andrew went to Bismarck to buy farm supplies and my mom had clients to see.  They also bought some new winter boots for those of us who were in need of those important items!  Yay for warm feet!!

My dad worked in the shop all afternoon, doing some rewiring so they can have light in the back half of the shop and an outlet too.

Jacob helped me in the house with certain projects (he mounted my new blinds in my room---hooray!). 

This evening, my dad was out feeding the cows when a semi stopped on the road a little ways from our farm.  Dad went to see what was wrong and found out that two of the cattle-trailer tires had blown.  They had the guy back up and drive over by the shop to see what could be done about changing tires around.  They ended up unloading the man's cows in a pen here and moving some tires around so that the guy could get back home to get some replacements.  He'll be back for his cows tomorrow.  :)  With even more mouths to water tonight, the hose is still outside (I just moved it from our cow's tank to the new cow's tank), and my dad is going to stay up a while longer to bring the hose inside when the tank and the cows are full.

I received a phone call from a dear friend this evening.  I had been planning to go and visit her this weekend at her grandma's house, but she was calling to tell me that there was a fire in her grandma's house and it is now unlivable.  :(   Very thankfully, nobody was hurt!   Please pray for them as they try to decide what to do now.....

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ping-pong fun!

 
Today, after the work was done, we all joined my dad in the shop for some fun games of ping-pong!!
 
 
I hope and pray that you all enjoy special family time together as we do,
even if for you, it does not involve pinging and ponging balls back and forth in the shop... 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

It's not Winter yet, but it is a wonderland!

I took my camera out after chores this morning and took some pictures to share with you all...
 
Andrew's calf, content with a full belly of milk!
 
 The calf's frosty mother, contentedly getting a full belly as well--with ground feed though.
 My dad's semi, rather covered in snow!
 The cows, waiting for their hay as the sun comes up...
 Our former bottle-calves, enjoying their breakfast...
(See the little icicles on the fence?  Yes, it's cold out there!)
 These 2 love spending afternoons in the warm shop with the guys.
 One of the nicest places to be is in that warm house!
 My car---what you could see of it this morning anyway!
 Anybody want to play volleyball or go for a swing???
 
May you all stay warm and safe this Autumn (and Winter too)!
 
God bless you in the new week.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Cold-weather yogurt is the best!

This morning, I turned another gallon of cow's milk into yogurt.  One very good part of the cold weather now is that Sally is eating alfalfa hay again and her milk is sweet, which results in tasty yogurt!!   I really can't seem to get over the taste of summer milk and don't make much yogurt during those months as it tastes pretty gross.

It's been very cold doing chores the past few mornings!  Right now, it's 12 below zero out there.  It makes me even more grateful to God for the blessing of a warm home!!!!

We cooked, and cleaned the house today, plus did a lot of odd jobs.... (Putting away garden seeds we'd dried to save for next year; washing wood with Murphy's soap, then polishing everything; stuffing "Black seed" capsules; charging rechargeable batteries; sorting through mail; many little things like that which just don't seem to get done during the busy week.)   Jacob and Mom did some bookwork this morning.  My dad went to town for supplies/banking.  He and Andrew worked in the shop all afternoon.  I think they're getting that green pickup running better (the one that was given to Andrew).  

My Miranda friend called to talk a while this evening, so that was a fun surprise!

I uploaded the few pictures I had on my camera.  These pictures of Johanna and Tracy Jo show how quickly they're growing up!  

Tracy had just woke up from her nap and was somewhat out of sorts and wasn't thrilled about getting bundled up to go outside, so Johanna, being the comforting big sister that she usually is, was trying to give her some juice...


Once we got outside, both of the girls loved the snow so much and could have stayed out there forever I think.  They didn't seem to realize that it was COLD!
 
When their (and my) cheeks were good and rosey pink, we went back in the house to color and make paper airplanes...
This picture is blurry, but the faces are so precious to me!  :)


I'm so glad to have these 2 little ones in my life (and their parents too, of course)!!!

May you all have a wonderful weekend, hopefully staying warm in some comfy place!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pushing snow...

That's what the girls and I did this afternoon after bundling up like Eskimos and heading outside for a few minutes.  We pushed some of the snow off of the deck.  The girl's daddy was pushing snow too, with the payloader, and I think my dad pushed snow here at home.  'Tis the season!

I'm not sure what all went on around home today?  I heard that the guys moved some lights around in the shop as they plan to put ceiling fans in to push the hot air from the wood-stove back down on them.  I also heard that Jacob drove his snowmobile up and checked on Jack's place up the road.  

A little while ago, I bundled up yet once more and went out to bring the cow's-water-hose in for the night.  Apart from it being very cold, it was beautiful outside!  The stars are shining brightly and all is calm, all is bright.  It felt like the whole world was asleep...  


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Werner the Second...

Years ago, we had a very late calf be born when there was snow on the ground and the temperature was very much freezing.  We named that calf "Werner", as we said to him, "You Wern-er 'sposed to be born yet!"  Well, as of this morning, Andrew now has a calf we can call "Werner the Second".   Thankfully, while my dad was feeding the cows this morning over by the trees, he noticed a cow walking over from the way of the south pole-barn.  After looking at the cow closer, it seemed that she had just calved, so he went in search of the baby.  There was nothing in the barn, so he looked in the old school-bus shelter when driving  by and, sure enough, there was a little freezing cold calf in there!  The guys got the little fella in the barn and put heat-lamps on him, then force-fed him some colostrum.  They later got the cow in too.  Tonight, Werner stood up and Dad and Andrew helped him find his mama, then he drank.  :)   Hopefully he'll do well now! 

(This isn't quite how the calf was rescued, but I like this picture!)


My dad spent a good part of the day cleaning out one of the pole-barns with the 9030.  Mom and Jacob worked on schoolwork.  She and I also folded all of the laundry we were able to wash/dry last night when we had the extra water pressure in the house.  Andrew and I worked in the basement again and all that's left now is vacuuming with the shop-vac, once they get a new filter for that.....    I don't know how that basement gets to be such a disaster by this time every year, but it does.  We like to play Foosball/air hockey down there in the winter, so it was time to get it tidied up somewhat again.  To celebrate being almost done, Andrew and I played a game of Foosball and we realized how out of practice we are again!

It was also bread-baking day.  The menfolk in the house said they prefer our usual bread recipe to the Bread-For-Life bread, but my mom and I appreciate that the BFL bread is healthier and fits with the diet changes we've made in the last year, SO I baked 2 kinds of bread today----6 loaves of regular and 4 of BFL.  That should last us a while! 

And yes, I made cookies.  :)



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Snow "ice cream"...

"In November the snow starts to fly, piling up ankle high...."  ---from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

It SNOWED today!  When I went out to my little car after babysitting, it was partially buried under a few inches of fluff.  Thankfully, Zach had started the car for me so it was at least nice and warm inside! 

I gave the girls bowls of fresh snow for part of their snack today.  They LOVED it!   Tracy Jo said, "Mmmm, de-ish-us".  We had to refill their tiny bowls several times.  Then we played "Dress up" in the basement, and were in a train on the stairway, driving to visit their mama and their grandma....  Later, we were playing Jingle Bells on the piano and singing---in 3 different keys.  They have great imaginations and we have lots of fun times.  I'm so glad that God has allowed them to be a part of my life!

When I got home, my dad was feeding the cows, then brought the water-hose in as the cows are not drinking very much in this snowstorm and the tank was full already!  We're celebrating by washing everything in sight while we have water. 

Jacob is happy about the snow, as he was able to drive his snowmobile for the FIRST time ever today!!  It's the snowmobile that he bought last winter, worked on a lot and had all kinds of troubles with, so he worked on it more this summer, and now some more, and was finally able to go plow through the snow today! :)    (I'm glad you had fun, brother!) 

Tomorrow sounds like it could be quite a blizzard day, so I think we'll all stay home and bake some cookies or something.   Stay warm and safe, everybody! 





Monday, December 2, 2013

A TON of ice!



When Andrew and I went out to do the morning chores a little after 7:00, you could have literally skated on the driveway!  There was ice everywhere and it was still raining.  Later in the day, it snowed a little too.  It was a very good day to stay inside and work on cleaning the basement and cooking up a big kettle of soup.  :) 

My mom decided to stay home from Bismarck.  My dad, however, decided to go load sunflowers for a farmer and then just took it easy on the roads and took the load to Enderlin.  He said that his truck weighed 2,800lbs more than usual when he got there, due to all of the ice stuck on it!!! 

I wonder if I should take something larger than my little car when I go to work tomorrow?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Rain? (and bread!!)

My dad, brothers and I spent the morning working outside.  We sorted off some calves and a cow from the main herd as they need special attention.  Then, my dad cleaned out the goat-pen with the tractor.  Yay---machines can save people so much time and aching muscles!

While eating the noon meal, it began to RAIN!  Hmmmmm.  Thankfully, it didn't keep raining for very long.  My dad said there's talk of snow in the near future.

The guys worked outside the rest of the day, but I stayed inside then and made yogurt and my first batch of "Bread for life" (https://www.azurestandard.com/shop/product/13784//)    bread that I finally had enough starter to spare to make bread with!!!   It turned out really well and isn't nearly as tart as the other sourdough breads I've made.   I think this is the start of something wonderful!

My mom went to Eureka, SD to spend the whole day with her dad as it was his birthday.  She came home really sad, as Grandpa wasn't very gracious.  They could both use some prayer!  Mom played hymns for the nursing home residents in the afternoon, so that was the good part of the day, from what I hear.

Have a great December everybody!