Saturday, January 31, 2015

Chilly and snowy...

Brrrr, it's cold out again. I think we've been spoiled by the warmer days we've had lately!

We spent a nice, quiet day at home, relaxing and studying God's Word.

Yesterday, I babysat baby Vonn for part of the day. Paula took the girls up to her sister's place, so it was very quiet at their house and I kept thinking I heard the girls in the other room. :) 

Yesterday was also a very big, eventful day for my parents, but I need to wait to tell about that for a few days yet. They were almost in a car accident, but God kept them safe--PTL! (and no, that's not the news).

Oh, and Michael did not come this weekend, as his dad was still pretty ill and Michael was needed to keep things running smoothly on the farm. He's already trying to figure out when to come next though, trying to make everything work with his work on the farm and at his job about 2 hours away from the farm...

Here's wishing you all a very happy and blessed February!!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

...and still more SOAP!

 Ok. I think I've had my fill of soap-making for a while now. :)

This was one that I made yesterday. It reminds me of a seaside...
 I looked for ideas on-line last night and found some I wanted to try, and since I was home today (and after I had the house cleaned), I decided to try some of those ideas.

This one I call my "Spearmint Experiment":
 It would really help to have level countertops I see. I thought I had it level, but as you can tell, it wasn't exactly precisely that way. Still, when you cut the soap into bars, you don't notice it nearly as much as you do in this photo.
 This is all of the soap that I made today: 
I made some little hearts and embedded them in some of the soaps for variety. 

 Here's a closer view of some of the other kinds I made. It's really fun to experiment with using different essential oils, along with using different techniques I haven't tried before...
Now, I'll either be set for gifts to give for a long time, or I need to find soap-buyers so I can make some more....or start eating it?   Hmmmmm...  I know it's "healthy soap", (chemical free and all) 
but just how healthy is it?
Michael was hoping to come visit tomorrow, but now his dad is very sick, so please join me in praying for him! There are so many people suffering this winter. So many people to pray for! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My day consisted of:

....more soap and more babysitting.

  ~End of story~

Oh, and here is what the guys are working on:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


It was another busy day of babysitting for me. Those little people sure know how to keep me on my toes, especially today, as Vonn wasn't feeling very well and just wanted to be walked and walked and.... 

We did go outside for a while to enjoy the beauty of the day. The snow was so wet that even the girls were sinking in the mushiness of it all.  Zach fixed their oven, so we baked cookies today.  I used a mix that Paula had on hand called "Eggnog cookies". Ever heard of them? They're pretty tasty, in case anyone wondered. 

Annnnnd, we played with play-dough:

At home, the guys have been busy with working on grain cleaners. It sounds like that will be their main project for the next month or two.

Oh, and Michael got a car today, which means that he MAY be more likely to travel to visit friends, as gas prices are more reasonable than fuel prices, and when you travel, say, like, for example, 304 miles one way to go see people, it all adds up.... ;)

Good night everyone. 
God bless and guide us all!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Big day for someone...

I spent the day babysitting the 3 "Littles".

I hear that it was a big day here at home...

Besides my parents getting some things done with my mom's inheritance that's finally coming through,
my dad and Jacob went to the bank today and Jacob got a loan so he could buy my dad's grain cleaner! It is the easiest cleaner to learn on, so that's why that decision was made. Whoo hooooo! Congratulations Jacob! Now you can get dusty for days on end too.  My dad is setting up another rig that he will run. Please pray for that all to go smoothly so it's ready in time. It sure felt like spring today already (temps in the 40s!). I'm SO glad that we'll be calving later this year (in May), if all 3 menfolk are going to be gone for weeks. Life is interesting!

Also, when I got home tonight, I registered myself and 3 other people for a "Weekend to Remember" event that will be happening in March (in Minneapolis).  If any of you are interested in attending, please let me know and I can get you in touch with a friend who has a group name to type in and it helps other people be able to attend (and I think you get a discount too)... The weekend is aimed towards married couples, but I've been told it's wonderful Biblical information for anyone to learn, whether they're in a relationship or prepare, you know.

So, it's been a very full day! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

And yet more soap!

My afternoons work:
I made lavender, chocolate mint, rosewood geranium, lemongrass poppy-seed, hazelnut vanilla coffee, and hot chocolate scented soaps this time. 

....And don't worry! We have plans for all of it (besides washing our hands with it 24/7, I mean).


We had the last official meeting of the C.C.R.C. (Constitutionally Conservative Republican Coalition) today. It was sad in a way to close that chapter in our lives, but we all learned a lot over the past couple years and deepened some friendships, so the time was spent well.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Playin' in the snow...

I started this post last night, but was pleasantly interrupted by a phone call from a guy in MN, so I'm finishing it now... :)

Johanna loves being a helper and taking care of everybody. It seems only natural then that she loves playing "babies"---feeding them, burping them, putting diapers on, and finding various places to put them for their naps. Tracy plays at this too, of course, but she tends to get more distracted by other things. It's so interesting to see their different personalities.
 Here is the promised picture of the heifers:
They are a Charolais Angus cross. As you can see, they aren't quite sure yet about the newness of everything, but I think they'll settle in soon, the more we work with them. They're due to start calving mid March.

 Yesterday, it was SO beautiful outside! I bundled up the 3 kiddos and we went outside for over an hour.

 Stache loves playing too!
 I thought it a neat coincidence that this snowbank had "Steps" in it, but later found out they were woman-made. ;) Nice work, Paula!
 Tracy is fearless! She just "Does" before she thinks sometimes.
 Meanwhile, Vonn decided it was the perfect time to sneak in a nap (yes, he likes his pacifier pretty well at times) I held him and took pictures.

I got to see Paula when she got home (it had been a while again) and she gave me a present:
A beautiful bar of SOAP! :) It's called "Sea of love". Awwww---she knows me well and is so thoughtful!

Well, I wish you all a wonderful weekend spent in getting to know 
the Lord and your loved ones on an even deeper level.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cattle out, cattle in...

This morning, we all bundled up and headed outside before the sun was up so as to load several steers and an old cow for my dad to take up to a butcher shop near Harvey. Thankfully, that went pretty well, outside of one of the steers getting past us the first time we tried. Some friends of ours are buying all of those animals, so they'll be picking up the beef from there, once it's ready. 

When my dad returned from that trip, he headed south to a farmer friend of ours to get several bred heifers that we're taking on shares. We've had cows on shares with this farmer for years, although we don't have nearly as many of his as we used to as we've been building up our own herds. I'll try to remember to get a picture of them in the morning. It was dark out already when I got home tonight.

Yesterday and today I babysat most of the day for Zach & Paula's 3 "Littles". 
Tomorrow I'll be doing so again. Johanna is turning into quite the helper with dishes, and Tracy  loves taking a cloth and dusting everything in sight. Vonn just loves being held and held and held...!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Misc. pictures:

Amidst all of the excitement of a courtship and camp, the following pictures never did get posted, so I'll add them here and now before it gets any later...

Andrew was asked to record a meeting in Bismarck last week. Little did he know the job included holding a little tyke like this one. :) Actually, he likes little ones and will be a great daddy someday I am sure!

 These next two pictures are from our New Years party (I found more pictures on my mom's phone).
 Lauretta and I in the kitchen...
 ...and Michael did give me that bouquet of flowers that I had posted a picture of earlier. He also brought my mom one as a birthday gift!

 "Do you wanna build a snowman?" 
Amelia, James, Michael, & I made snowmen on one of the sunny days that I was babysitting them. 

 This is the truck Andrew brought home from the Bartlett's to repair...
 I wish I'd taken a "Before" picture of this grain-cleaner dis-assembly project, but I didn't. This is how it looked a few days ago. The guys hope to get this all set up to work before the spring cleaning run starts.

Today was a usual kind of day, mostly. Got our Azure order; baked bread; made lemon bars; I babysat for the neighbors at 4.....things like that.

There, now I feel mostly caught up again. :)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cabin Fever Family Camp 2015

We're all home again. What a wonderful time it was!!

Heading to camp Friday afternoon with Andrew in his pickup, we saw beauty all around with thick frost covering the trees and fences and, well, pretty much everything.

 As usual, the camp was very well attended. Can you imagine cooking for all of these people?
 Lots of little people everywhere!
 Chapel time! Several new songs again this time, and some good old hymns as well...
 That's Andrew in the plaid shirt. It looks like there's a good discussion going here with Mr. Loren Wissmann who was the main speaker! His wife is sitting next to him, visiting with Moses G.
 FYI: The Wissmann family's blog is linked to on my sidebar.  
The main topic of the weekend was "Serving", and the many aspects there are of serving others.
 I ventured out to the ice rink to snap a couple pictures Saturday afternoon, but didn't stay long, as there was a crisp breeze coming across the lake!
 Andrew was out on the ice and Jacob would have been, except he loaned his skates to a friend....
 Clean-up time....and visiting with Tom G.
 The cheerful C. family was there again, all the way from MT... (my mom is in the middle of Mrs. C and her mother-in-law, Mrs. C.)
 My dad and Michael talking and taking in the sunshine Sunday morning...

 Volleyball is ALWAYS popular at camp!! Here is Michael, jumping to hit the ball.. Sometimes I think it would be very nice to be tall. 
 They set up 2 nets to play "Speed volleyball", because there are just so many people who want to play!
 This table was generally busy, but Michael and I did find it empty once, so pinged and ponged the ball back and forth for quite a while... :)
 Listening to the jamming session...
 We (Michael included) stayed in a small cabin and had 2 rooms, which worked really well so we could have a "Boys" room and a "Girls" room. The bunkbeds were pretty comfortable and had NO squeaky springs!
 There is a climbing wall in the back of the gym...
 My dad played a LOT of volleyball with the other dads. You can tell he's been active, as he always has his shirt tucked in otherwise...
 This game was REALLY fun to watch!
 Mr. K's turn to serve...
 For a while, they all played with an interesting twist thrown in: Everyone had to play with only one hand! 
 Yep, it was priiittty funny!
 Figuring out teams for the "Dad" games...
 Miranda encouraging Mr. U to go play...
 There was a game played out of doors that required the players to build huge snowmen (to certain specifications), then to search for hidden objects in snow, all as quickly as possible. I took pictures of that, but didn't know what I was doing with Andrew's camera apparently and they all turned out bright white, so had to be deleted. The end part of that game was that the two winning teams had to "battle it out" on the volleyball court---with roller skates on! 
 They did remarkably well! I don't think we'll be trying this at home though.

As always, there was lots of visiting going on and plenty of delicious food to enjoy! The Sip family really does such a great job at organizing all of this and making it happen. We ALL appreciate it and are blessed and had fun "Dwelling" with our family-in-Christ over the weekend.

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." 
~ Psalm 133:1

Friday, January 16, 2015

~ Courtship ~

"Courtship" according to Wikipedia means:
"...the period in a couple's relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind. During courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or other such agreement. A courtship may be an informal and private matter between two people or may be a public affair, or a formal arrangement with family approval. Traditionally, in the case of a formal engagement, it has been perceived that it is the role of a male to actively "court" or "woo" a female, thus encouraging her to understand him and her receptiveness to a proposal of marriage."
What a wonder-FULL word that is... :)
It makes you WONDER where God is leading?
It makes you want to dance and sing!
It makes you feel so full of hope and joy...
You find new beauty in every thing.
It makes you plan...
Makes you ponder...
As I said before,
It's a new world of WONDER!
Because of last night, I get to experience that wonder for the first time in my life!!!!!!
His name is Michael (as some of you read-between-the-line-type-of-friends have guessed already, no doubt). He called my dad last night to ask his blessing on a courtship between him (Michael) and me. After keeping him in suspense for a while (I'm guessing), while we all discussed this matter as a family, Michael finally received the answer: "YES!"
I don't know what all lies ahead. Only God knows that!
My reason for sharing this with you all is two-fold:
#1. As Michael said when I asked if it was alright with him if I share this,
 "Speak your mind! Your blog is about your life, and I'd say last night was a significant life event..." is a big event and I have no desire to hide it, come what may. :)
#2. So that I might ask you all to pray earnestly for us now.......that we would know for sure where God is leading.....that we'd hear His still, small voice, and obey.
Should I tell you all a bit about Michael??


Well, ok...
He's very tall (taller than the men in my family) and strong (comes from splitting firewood and loading thousands of deer hides into trucks). Good looking. His eyes sparkle! He loves the Lord, truly, and desires to please Him in all things! He's quiet, intelligent, and an excellent writer... Respectful. Helpful. Thoughtful... Michael plans to take over the family Organic dairy in MN, and also works for a fur buying/selling company currently. He has 2 older siblings, a brother and sister. His sister is married. He's very good at skiing---and volleyball! He likes adventures and says he'll help get rid of the over abundance of coyotes we've been hearing lately. Michael let me mix him up some "Fire Cider" once when he wasn't feeling well, and he took it several times during his visit. ;)  He has a dog named Sam. He enjoys fishing. His Dodge pickup is blue. He makes me laugh!!!
 Skiing in December...
Michael will be joining us at family camp this weekend. I am just a little excited. :)
 My blog will now be silent for a few days.
May God bless and guide us all each day that we live!
...and now I have to try to get to sleep!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


There's just nothin' like it!
I spent most of yesterday and today babysitting Zach & Paula's "Littles". :)
Meanwhile, back on the farm:
My dad hauled grain over to Cleveland for a neighbor.
My mom kept the house running. Where it ran to, I'm not sure?
Andrew left yesterday to visit the Bartletts in the Turtle Mountains of ND, but he has returned to us again just now. He went to get a truck that they need repaired, and to visit!
Jacob had the job of getting the tractor tire fixed before evening chores. I guess it met up with a nail somewhere?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Busy day with "The Littles"...

The four of us made jello this morning... :)
 I love rocking this little guy as he's sleeping!!!
I don't really know what happened at home today, as I was gone for most of the day. I do know the guys have been working on a grain cleaner, so I'm guessing that's what my dad and Jacob did while the other 2 were gone?