Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I'm a little sad...

...because we learned that 4 of the families who were planning to come tomorrow are not going to be able to come now for various reasons. The good news is that we'll be sure to have great plenty food now as I was cooking for an army. A little army, but an army never-the-less.
I'm sure we'll have a wonderful time with the families that DO come!!!
May your new year be filled with joy and love and peace and mostly, may it be led by God.
As I won't be on here tomorrow, I'll end this last post of the year by saying:

 "Happy New Year!"


Soap and company...

 A few weeks back, a facebook friend from MN (her name is Paula and I hadn't met her before, but some of my family had) posted pictures of some soap she had recently made. After writing back and forth about it a bit, Paula mentioned she'd be willing to show Mom and I how to make soap (the melt and pour way) when she and her family were visiting ND after Christmas. And, so she did. :)
We had a lot of fun experimenting together yesterday and this is what we came up with:
 The animal molds turned out pretty cute...
 Paula M. with chocolate/mint soap that we put in her mold...
After all of the molds were filled, we went out to the shop to play ping-pong with the guys for a while. Paula did really well after a little practice. :)
 The guys hauled our Foosball table out to the shop for our new years eve party, so of course we had to make sure that it still works...
Later, Paula's husband, Kevin and 2 sons came over and brought chili and chips for supper. They stayed into the evening and taught our guys how to play a new strategy game, which they all seemed to be enjoying. Paula gave my mom and I two books that she's written and told us about getting them published...
 Yes, soap-making (this way) is fun!!!
 We made chocolate mint, lemon poppy seed, and coffee soap yesterday. 
 I made another batch of soap today. More animals and insects..
 ...and these, (and no, that's not soap)...
 Paula left her mold here for a couple days so we could use it, so I made a 3 layer soap this time with that. In some of the other molds, I made a pink Himalayan salt soap with geranium and rose oil, and a hazelnut vanilla coffee one that smells good enough to eat, literally!
Tomorrow will be another busy day of preparing for the party on Wednesday.
And so, I should probably get some sleep, now that the kitchen is clean and in order again.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

All rested up...

...and ready for the eventful, enjoyable, enlivening, entertaining week that lies ahead
(and the work too, of course).
We are getting company tomorrow: the granddaughter of the very nice lady who used to own this place. She's bringing her family too, so we look forward to making new friendships and working on the special project we ladies have planned.  More on that tomorrow. :)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A birthday party!

Yesterday, all of us (except Jacob who went to work for farmer Kyle again) went to Bismarck.
We had some odds and ends kind of shopping to do and bought something BIG for Mom's early birthday present--pictures of that further down.
 Here we were at Macks, looking at various sizes of bolts. :)
After we were done running around town, we took supper to Grandpa & Grandma's place and visited with them for a couple hours.
 Jacob milked Sally because we got home a little late for that part of chores.
Today was my mom's 57th birthday (and she was born in '57, so it was a special birthday). One of the things she REALLY wanted for her birthday was:  A different couch!  Our old one had stains on it that wouldn't come out, so we had it covered with a slipcover that never stayed where it was put, so we were constantly tucking, tugging and pulling on it.
Out with the old:
 ... and trying to get the new one in! They ended up taking the outer part of the patio door off.
 There! It's in. It's a very cozy place to curl up on I found out already. ;)
 Our Christmas cactus is blooming!
Mom, opening some of her gifts...
 We played Rook and Taboo this afternoon (and ate sweet stuff), then watched movies this evening.
It was a fun day!
 The birthday person always gets off of chores on their birthday at this house, so I went out and milked Sally tonight (as Mom usually does that in the evening.)

I hope you all had a wonderful, special, exciting, and pleasant day, spent with those you love!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Annual newsletters...

We've enjoyed hearing from many of our friends and seeing pictures of some of them. It's fun to take down the family pictures from last year and to replace them with new pictures of many of the same smiling faces of our friends and a few new ones as well!!
Last year, we never did get an annual letter out (yes, it's embarrassing to say), and we are determined to not let that happen again! So, we have the family picture taken and ordered and have begun on the letter now. :) Hopefully it will be out by the new year.  It's amazing to go over the doings of the year and to realize how much has happened in the past approx. 355 days....  It makes you wonder what all will happen in the next approx. 375 too!
Through it all, God is good and faithful.

Monday, December 22, 2014

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

The roads were pretty hard to see on my way home from a good day of babysitting Johanna, Tracy & Vonn this evening. The SNOWFLAKES seemed to be frantically falling from the sky. Not sure why they were in such a hurry to get to the ground?
The guys pulled another grain-cleaning unit up to the shop and started taking it apart. They bought it a couple(?) years back and it's just been sitting here ever since, until now.  I'm sure my mom was busy keeping the house running smoothly.
...and life goes by.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Family photo shoot!

Yesterday, we had fun taking family photos up at Andrew's place!
Andrew and I went up before the others to get things set up. Andrew bought a special lighting kit after taking the film-class in Fargo, so it was neat to see that.
 While waiting for the others, we took some pictures of each other...
 Banjo players spend a lot of time retuning their instrument,
as banjos do not especially like to stay in tune!
 It was pretty nice out, so we went out of doors...
 Our favorite tree...
 We were trying to remember how the common cowboy-silhouette-leaning-against-a-tree looks... 
 Something like this?
 When the others arrived, we attempted to all scrunch on the couch and take some nice pictures, but things didn't work too well there...  :)
 This was about the nicest, but it has it's problems, so we decided NOT to use this one for our annual picture to send to family and friends...
 Getting ready for my favorite picture location (I won't share the picture here yet until the pictures are sent to friends in the mail so, you know, they're surprised). ;)
 Tried taking some under the trees...
 This one turned out pretty well. It's amazing how challenging it can be to get a picture that everybody is happy with!!! 

 By the end of that, we were cold, but most of us had fun, especially later---sorting through over a hundred photos and laughing and laughing.... :)
 Today, the guys put a new door in the entryway, as the old one was falling apart. Mom was busy listening to an essential oil class on-line for several hours. I baked bread and made mints (for the new years party we're hosting). AND, we played ping-pong. Fun times! I do like Winter for a few reasons, the biggest being that we have more time to work on projects and to "play".
Happy Winter everyone!

Friday, December 19, 2014

A bit of this and that...

Besides cleaning the house and cooking, Mom and I did several odds and ends kinds of jobs today...you know, like cleaning out cupboards; putting winter decorations up in place of the Autumn ones; cleaning out the magazine rack which was squashed full of old newspapers; getting help from the guys to haul the old cream separator (which we never use anymore) out of the house so I could put a cute wooden snowman in the corner there instead; things like that. 
My mom is feeling better today, so we praise the Lord for that!

And now we are at the weekend again. I wish you all a wonderful one!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The doin's of the day...

This morning after chores, I asked for help in getting the greenhouse roof repaired, as it's been slowly collapsing. I didn't realize how big of a project it would end up being though, and that it still will be another day, as there was too much ice on the plastic holding things in place that the guys couldn't get the boards to move back up where they are supposed to be (they pushed out on the end at the left side of this picture), even with using a come-along. They hope the sun tomorrow will melt some of that and things will be more cooperative and moveable then?
 This afternoon, after finding and starting to make a new recipe for chocolate-peanut butter bars (my mom wanted to give some to the lady we rent some of our land from as Dad was going there later today on his way to a farming meeting,) I went over to babysit Johanna, Tracy Jo, and Vonn for the rest of the day.  Here's the adorable little sleepy head:
 It had been a while since I babysat the girls, so they had a lot of things they wanted to show me and tell me about. We had a strawberry tea party...
 ...and played downstairs for a while.
 Johanna was using the afghan as a shawl and said she was little red riding-hood. :)
'twas a good day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thanks to you~

Thanks for prayers! All went well in my mom's 2 hour dental drilling operation and she is now starting to be able to feel her mouth again as the numbness is wearing off.
It was snowing and a little foggy, but that mostly stopped by the time we headed home, and thankfully, the roads (except for in town) were excellent.
Here's a dreary picture of "Salem Sue" there in the distance...
I so very much hope that this will be a turning point in my mom's journey for health!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Spontaneous evening...

A couple days back, it rained, making everything extremely slippery!
The trees sure were beautiful with all of those icy decorations on them...
 Yesterday, Jacob helped me with part of a project I was working on...
 I read about people making simple oil-lamps (using canola or olive oil) and decided to give it a try, hoping to give the end product as gifts. The various things inside the jars are for decoration and to scent the oil. I'm not completely satisfied with how the one lamp I tried burned, but I want to give another one a try before I would give this a "do not try this at home" stamp of disapproval...
Yesterday evening, I got an invitation to go over to Lauretta's place as her married sister, Sarena and her husband and baby were visiting and it's been quite a while since we've seen each other. Lauretta, Josephine and I ended up having a "Slumber party" and talked into the wee hours of morning. It's so fun to do that once in a while.  :)
Later today, I babysat for the nearby-neighbor 3-some. It was fairly warm outside, so we stomped around in the little bit of snow that we have left after the warm spell last week.
Please keep my mom in your prayers tomorrow, as she's going to get some mercury fillings out of her mouth and get them replaced with something healthier. I'll be going with her to drive her back from Richardton once everything is over.  Thanks!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A usual day...

Yep, it was a "usual" day here on the farm.
You know, it's really nice to have those once in a while. ;)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Workin' calves...

Whew, that was a long day, but a good one!
Sorting the cows off this morning:
 Lots of work ahead:
 Andrew was, as usual, our headgate/squeeze chute operator. Just one got away and that was because of a mechanical failure with the gate.
 Part of Jacob's and my job was getting the calves in the alley way of the tub (2 could fit in there if they cooperated). Some were prrriiity stubborn.
 Dad bought this STUR-D tub at the ORR auction this summer, and it was SO helpful to have!!! Saved a lot of work (not having to run back and forth in the alleyway to bring up calves) and was safer too, plus it was just easier to work with.
 Jacob poured the calves...
 Talkin' about somethin'...
 How do you like this picture of my dad and Andrew? ;)
 Another one done...
 My dad did all of the banding so I didn't get too many pictures of him in action, because he was in a not very visible place a lot of the time...
 My mom was working on the west side of the chute, giving shots and handing my dad things...
I was on this side with Jacob, keeping records and giving one of the shots...
 When they were through the chute, the calves waited in the far corner of the pen.
Many of them didn't wait very quietly! It was such a lovely day, weatherwise.
 Looking in the chute...
 This is the only picture I have of me in action today....tagging a calf that was born up in pasture, so it didn't have a tag yet.  There were a few of those and then also a couple who lost their tags somehow.
 The corner is getting full!
Getting close to done...
Thank you to those of you who prayed for safety! Your prayers were answered favorably. :)
It is SUCH a good feeling to have that job over-with for another year.