Tuesday, September 30, 2014


It was a blustery day and it is a blustery night. You know the kind----where you just want to curl up under the covers and sleep 'til Spring.  Hey, that sounds like a pretty good idea, come to think of it!
While the sprinkles/mists/and raindrops came down, the guys pressed on with their corn chopping, until at last they quit. They said it was hard to see at times with the flying corn pieces sticking to the wet windows.
My mom and I were very happy to stay in the kitchen and cut up yet more apples for future pies and for making into juice and apple crisp.  From 4 to 6:00, I babysat for the 3 munchkins.
My fingers are getting cold. I think it's time to get off of this machine and to slip under some more blankets!
Good night~

Monday, September 29, 2014

Break downs...

The guys had troubles today with the corn chopping operation, and Dad had trouble at his grain cleaning job this morning too.  I guess we need days like this so we're all the more thankful when things work smoothly? If life were always peachy, we'd probably become very ungrateful beings.
It sounds like my mom had a good day.  She went up to Bismarck to see the chiropractor and do some other things, but mostly she went up today to spend some time with her brother, Rick (from Las Vegas) who is visiting ND for a little bit again. It sounds like they had a nice day together.
I baked bread and pizza crust; cooked up another kettle of tomato sauce; made 1 jar of pickled eggs (never tasted them before, so we'll see how we like them); and sliced up 4 pies worth of apples and put them and several spices/flour/sweetener in Ziploc bags in the freezer for making pies at some later date. At 4:00, I went over to the neighbors' to meet the bus and brought those 3 kiddos over here for the next 3 hours until their parents got home. They were very full of questions, as usual.
When I got home, Andrew and I did the barn chores, then I put the homemade pizza in the oven for the guys' very late supper. My mom had prepared a milk-shake yesterday and had it sitting in the back fridge.  I knew that Mom had put apples in it.  I saw a banana that needed to be used and thought that would taste good with an apple, so I peeled that quickly and tossed it in the Vita-mix container too, along with some ice cubes, and whipped it all up. When the guys tasted the shake, they asked what was in it because it tasted "Like a health food store"!!  :)  I'd forgotten that my mom also put some spices in when she added the apple, so the banana was a little much I guess.
It's amazing how early it's getting dark out now!  It won't be long before I'll need to carry a flashlight in my pocket again. 
Welcome, Autumn.  It looks like you're here to stay.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Celebrating the life of an old friend!

I spent last night and this morning making decorations out of gum-paste and finally decorating these cakes for the birthday party of a 90 year old friend of ours. Clifford and his wife, Ellen used to live in Napoleon and we'd get together with them at their house for a few years in a row on the 4th of July for a picnic/potluck, music, and for watching the fireworks when it got dark out. They later moved down south, and this may be the last time they ever come back to ND, so it was very special to see them again!!
 Somebody else (I don't know who) made this creative watermelon bowl... 
 My mom visiting with Norma (Ellen's sister)...
Here he is... 
 Clifford is such a jolly guy and he knows how to put a smile on people's faces, that's for sure.
God's love shines through him brightly!
It was great to see so many people come together to put a smile on his face this afternoon.  :)
 My dad and Ellen...
 Andrew was brave enough to try a piece of my cake...and he's still alive.  Good sign!
 My mom and I went to Napoleon in the early afternoon to deliver the cakes,
(and we had a slight cake accident on the way, but not too serious)
then the guys came in later, so this is when Clifford came and said "Howdy" to Andrew....
It was a big birthday party!
 Clifford loves "jamming", Bluegrass style. 
Andrew (in the blue striped shirt on the right) joined in the fun with his banjo on his knee...
When we got home, there was more chopping to do:
The guys chopped corn for silage
we ladies chopped tomatoes, onions, and peppers for salsa to can.
Such was the start of this new week. 
Oh, and it was cold!  I'm buried under a thick blanket even as I write this now. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Harvest of Thanks~

My family and I, and our friend, Karlene M. went to the small town of Alfred today for the Church of God, 7th day's annual "Harvest of Thanks" celebration.  After the morning service and a meal (and clean-up), there was a musical program where anybody could share anything they liked
(music, readings...).  That lasted 3 hours!  :) The whole day was a special time for seeing lots of old friends and for being encouraged and challenged again in our faith.
 God is good---all the time ~ AND ~ all the time---God is good!

Let's all remember to give Him thanks with a grateful heart.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The silage pile is growing!

 The guys rotate jobs from time to time in the field and at the pile. For a few hours this afternoon, I helped them too, as Andrew was gone.  He went to Bismarck to get parts for the other chopper and he also brought home the tin for his house roof!
 My dad ran the chopper in the very hot and noisy tractor cab...
I drove the truck back and forth...
 I got to work on my backing skills each time Dad had a full load to dump in the truck...
Jacob pushed the silage up and squished it down...
 That's one job I would NOT wish to do---would you? 
 It was a very warm day (to put it mildly). 
Lady thought this was the best way to spend the afternoon:
My mom and I cleaned the house, and she cooked supper.  I baked 2 large cakes and crumb-coated them so they stay moist for Sunday. We did the evening chores together again too... Sally really, REALLY likes the silage corn!
Here's wishing you all a wonderful weekend!!
~God bless you as you follow Him~

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Busy Autumn days...

The guys spent all day chopping, hauling, and packing corn. They made some adjustments to their chopper this morning and said it worked tons better than yesterday.  PTL!
(And yes, Sally likes silage!!)
My mom worked on cleaning out the pool, (scrubbing the sides off) as I started draining it this afternoon.  It was a very hot day, so Mom said the water felt the warmest it has all Summer!  She did lots of other things too, of course, like laundry and cleaning the eggs for the delivery tomorrow...
I spent almost all day in the kitchen (except for when picking up the LAST of the apples from the trees here on the farm; picking 2 more boxes of tomatoes; reorganizing the pantry this morning; and helping Mom with evening chores) and my feet are definitely tired of standing tonight.  It's a good feeling to get food put away for winter, as well as making some tasty things for the guys for the here and now.  Here is most of what was accomplished (that's pumpkin bread and pumpkin bars...):
It's such a wonderful thing to have a garden.  I can't imagine not having one!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Maybe it's still Summer?

It turned out to be a very warm and sunny day!
I had a long day of babysitting, as Zach and Paula asked me to come over earlier than usual.  The girls were very good today.  Here, Johanna was telling her puppy to jump, as it would be safe....
 The 3 of us went over to my neighbor's a little before 3:00 to be there when Amelia, James and Michael got off the bus again. We went for a walk/hop/skip/jump and did a lot of outdoor things.
 Michael and Tracy Jo....
 (Oh, maybe it is Fall?  Just look at those leaves on the ground.)
 When I got home, I helped my mom with the barn chores
 as the guys were busy turning part of the corn-field into this:
My dad is running the chopper and Jacob hauls the corn to the pile.  Andrew packs it down.
They make a great team!!!
This is the first year that my brothers have ever been a part of the whole silage making process,
but my dad used to make a lot of it back on the dairy farm when he was young,
so he knows what he's doing. 
 The guys bought this outfit at the ORR auction sale a few Fridays back, so they've been working on getting it in an operable state since then and it was neat to see it out WORKING tonight! (Mom and I hopped on a 4-wheeler to go get pictures, but it was pretty dark already, so they are all a bit blurry.)
 Jacob getting ready to dump the truck...
 Mmmmmmmm....smells almost good enough to eat!
Sally will be happy in the morning, as Mom and I filled a pail with silage just for her.  :)
I think our stock cows will also be pleasantly surprised this winter!

"Hooray for happy cows!!"

(I think I've been around little children too much today, as I'm starting to "talk" like them.)


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Summer is gone...

 ...but Autumn is here!!! 

Brrrrrrr... Perhaps it is time to dig out the sweaters and warm up some mulled apple cider?

  If you have a minute (or 3 1/2), enjoy this video filled with many pictures of God's amazing creation!


Monday, September 22, 2014

The little dears...

My day was spent with children again, Johanna and Tracy Jo for most of the time, and then we went over to the other M's house to watch the children from the time they got off the bus until their dad got off of work, then went back to J & T's house again until their dad came in from work.
 I saw two deer on my drive home.  The one bolted, but this one just stood there watching me for a while, so I took her picture.  :)
Well, I hope you all enjoyed the last day of Summer and are ready for a new season in life!
May our good Lord guide us all through it!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fruits and vegetables...

My mom and my day revolved around tomatoes, broccoli, and apples.
My dad and brother's day was filled with corn-chopper (and wagon) repair and then cutting a sample of corn.
~End of short story~

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cows and corn...

I went with my dad this morning on a cow-and-field-checkin' expedition.  :) 
 The cattle seemed very content...
 Checking the future silage corn...
 Future feed...  (Doesn't it just look delicious?)
 It was such a beautiful morning!!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

A pretend birthday party...

Johanna's birthday is in November, but we had a practice round today (her idea).  :)  She invited 20 pretend guests and we made out a few invitations.  Next, she set the table!!  She was very thorough...
She was later the waitress and requested that her hair be put up in pigtails, then she draped a towel over her arm; set a bowl on a plate (her tray); and served her guests. Tracy Jo was plenty happy to go along with it all, as she got served the snacks (real food---oranges and things).  :)
Josephine came over there for some apples from Zach and Paula's trees
(their trees are also very productive this year, and Paula was glad to share from the sounds of it),
so Johanna and Tracy Josephine helped us pick for over an hour.
When I got home, the others were just eating the delicious supper that Mom had prepared, so I joined them.  Then, my brothers did the chores while Dad got caught up on computer things and Mom and I finished doing a quick clean job in the house.   And then, we were thoroughly lazy and watched a movie.
So far, we have no plans for tomorrow, so it will be a nice change to just rest!!
God bless you all this weekend and help you through your individual struggles
and fill you with His peace and love and joy.~

Thursday, September 18, 2014


My mom and I spent a good part of the day in the kitchen.  Jacob and I also picked a bunch of green beans and broccoli in the garden for putting up for later enjoyment.
I mixed up some bread dough and used some of it to make a pizza crust and a bit more of it to make caramel rolls (and yes, baked some bread with it too).  The guys will be happy tonight when they get home from cleaning grain all day in the very strong wind....
 My mom wants to stay away from tomatoes in her diet now, so a friend shared a recipe for "No-mato sauce"---a sauce made out of carrots, celery, onions, and beets, and we made a triple batch. 
Hope it's good!
We are really enjoying these last beautiful days of Summer!
I hope you are too... 
I'm so glad the Lord made different seasons, as life would be dull if nothing ever changed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Babysitting---double duty...

After spending the morning with "My girls" and having them take quick naps, we went over to our neighbor's place to be there when the other 3 of "My children" got off the bus.  I took a vote for if we should go to the Kintyre park or go to my house.  There were 4 votes to go to "Tora's house", as Johanna still calls it, SO, that's where we spent the rest of the afternoon.  After tiring them out a bit on the trampoline and the swings, we had a snack of fresh apple bars my mom made this morning. 
L to R: Tracy Jo, Amelia, Johanna, James & Michael (twins)
I first started babysitting for A, J & M when the twins were just a few weeks old, and for J & T since Tracy was about 4 months old, so it's been really fun to watch these little people grow up and change and learn and......
 Amelia really loves the little kitten (Gingersnap) that showed up at our place on Sunday!
 They're so bouncy!
 My mom asked for help picking up apples off the ground and some from the tree up at Andrew's place, so we had many helping hands with that job.  We showed them all his player piano when the work was done and they thought that was the neatest thing ever!
Tonight, I'm thankful for the blessing of having little children as a part of my life!  They know how to find joy in even the smallest things in life.


WOW!  This Appleseed event was just AMAZING!!! 
Do I say that after every shoot?  :) 

Our shoot boss, Steve came all the way from Georgia and did such a terrific job!!!  We really enjoyed meeting him and hearing (after hours) a bit about his life and experience with the Project Appleseed.  His love for God and for his family shown clearly through the words he spoke.
Praise be to God---there was NO RAIN this time!!! There was even some sun from time to time.  People were putting their jackets on and taking them off quite regularly, as it was hard to find a happy medium when the sun went behind the clouds, but it still was pretty nice shooting weather.
For part of the Appleseed event, we do different "drills" where you pair up with a partner and help each other eliminate bad habits you may observe....

Andrew is demonstrating one of the sitting positions while our shoot boss explains it....

 The "ball and dummy" drill...  Your partner loads (or doesn't load) a shell in your rifle's chamber without you knowing which he/she did.  Then, you get your natural point of aim (NPOA) and make the shot while your partner watches for blinking or dragging wood or various other things you may be doing without even realizing it...

 I was shooting way on the North end and shot with tech-sites this time (borrowing Andrew's 10/22).  I've never shot at an Appleseed event before without a scope on my rifle, so it was a learning experience for sure and I didn't do so well (made Marksman--two levels below the Rifleman score-- after the 2nd day).  :)  But, it was fun!

This time, Steve is demonstrating the proper prone position while Andrew points out key points...

Many of these pictures are courtesy of a new friend of ours, Julie, whose husband was shooting.  She sent me many of these and said I could share them (thanks again!). This one, however, loaded tiny like and if I make it bigger, it gets all blurry, so small it shall stay.  Andrew was telling part of the history lesson here...

Cool clouds, eh?

Bill (who took an orange hat at the June Appleseed and helped in Jamestown) was here again too.  I like how he encourages the shooters and helps them along (he's standing at the end of the line there)...

 Donna (another new friend---in the red jacket there) seemed to have a great time.  She was borrowing my rifle and did pretty well with it too.  :) 
The nice gentleman in the camo there was one of the 3 who made the Rifleman score on the 2nd day!
 The lady with the rifle here is our shoot boss's cousin from MN.  She was really nice too!
I shot by our friend, Michael D. from MN. It was his first Appleseed shoot.
  Here, I was loading his "loud gun" (a .243) with live and empty shells for the drill... 
He did very well! I had a hard time not blinking though while watching him when he fired,
as it was, yes, loud!
 Getting instructions for the next course of fire...
 Blankets felt nice in the early morning!

Neat clouds again!

 Telling another "Strike of the match"...
 "...a C-shaped trigger finger"...
 My mom and Josephine shot together.  Andrew T and his friend, Josh are to the right of them there.  You tend to get to know your "neighbors" on the shooting line pretty well and have lots of fun with them, encouraging each other or competing with each other--whichever best suits their personality.

My one and only "neighbor"...  We never even accidentally shot each others' targets!

 There were 12 shooters on the line on Saturday and 13 on Sunday...

We feel at "home, home on the range!"

Andrew, helping with some technical difficulty or something....

 It was pretty windy on Saturday, so shooting from the standing position was especially challenging!  
 Our shoot boss, scoring some AQTs...(Army Qualification Test)
 Josephine and my mom...
 Josh shooting, and Andrew T filling his mags...

Some of these positions are not very comfortable, and yes, you do have sore/tight muscles after an Appleseed event, but people keep coming back, so it mustn't be too bad.  ;)

 The most stable position...and consequently, many people's favorite:


 The observers....
 Instructor-in-training, Bill....
 Future Rifle-woman!  :) 
Chris and Sarena came down and brought a friend who wanted to shoot on Sunday, so it was fun to see their little one again!!! She's grown so much.
 And the moment we've all been waiting for....!
 ...the moment when those who shot their first Rifleman score receive their badge and congratulations!!!
Here is Paul, about to receive his badge (and his wife is taking a picture there).

There are 250 possible points that you can score on an AQT target (which is timed and shot in all 3 positions, complete with transitions from standing to sitting, and standing to prone).  To make the "Rifleman" qualification, you need to shoot at least a total of 210 points....not as easy as it sounds, believe me!!!

 Next, we all clapped for Andrew T as he received his Rifleman badge!!
 "Great job, Andrew!!!!"
 And last, but not least, we were all so happy for Josephine to attain the level of "Rifleman"!!!!!

The really neat part is that she didn't know until this time that she had made it!!! 
  She was so surprised and happy!  :)

 Then came the grand finale....when our shoot boss recited Patrick Henry's lengthy
"Give me liberty, or give me death" speech (http://www.history.org/almanack/life/politics/giveme.cfm)
with such passion that everybody sat as if stunned. Wow!  Just, wow! 
 Then came a group picture...
Left to right:
(back row) Michael, Matt, Josh, SB (in training) Andrew B, IIT Bill, Doug, Donna, Cora (me), Tim
(front row) Dawn, Josephine, Paul, SB Steve, his cousin, Cheri, and Andrew T.
One shooter was not pictured, as he wished to remain anonymous.
 After giving away a bunch of apples and saying some goodbyes, a few people wished to shoot at 100 yards, just for fun, so the tarp got moved back a long ways...

I think Andrew was pretty tired of standing by this time!
 Both evenings, we enjoyed a potluck style supper and volleyball afterwards.
Sunday evening, Lauretta and some of her other siblings came over to join in the fun.  We gave Lauretta her belated birthday gifts, as we hadn't seen her in a few weeks!
(My mom looks pretty happy in this picture, wouldn't you say?  ;) )

 Thaddaeus gave his sister her present from him too, as it kind of went along with my gift to Lauretta (I gave her a fancy belt and he gave her something that goes on a belt) but I didn't get a picture of either.   Oops...
It was sad when people left....  It was nice to have Michael stay until the next morning after chores and breakfast, but then he too had to get back to his work, and we to ours.
Mom and I spent yesterday and today working on garden produce and cleaning up after the Appleseed.  The guys are busy with the fall grain cleaning run now.  They also bought some silage-making equipment (choppers and a wagon) at the ORR auction in Jamestown on Friday and are trying to get that all ready for cutting our (non GMO) corn that's by the farm here.
I babysat a little today and will babysit for both Moch families again tomorrow, so I suppose I should end this and get some sleep so I can keep up with 5 little people tomorrow!  :)
Once again, we're so grateful to God for keeping everybody safe last weekend;
for new friendships to have been made and old ones hopefully strengthened; 
and for the event to be encouraging to so many! 
I hope that the cold months fly by quickly so we can once again shoot at the range in our jackets.