Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Homeschool Christmas Choir

This weekend we enjoyed watching The Central Alberta Homeschool Christmas Choir, directed by Debbie Zepick, which Rebekah was singing in.  They were performing in 3 different locations in central Alberta and were raising money for a boys orphanage in Mwanza, Tanzania. They were able to purchase 6 acres of land last year and should be able to build an orphanage this year.  All the boys and the couple in charge have been living in a rented house. If you would like to know more about Project Mwanza, click here.

The choir was accompanied by an orchestra.  They have been practicing since the beginning of September, for 2 hours a week and much more practicing this last week.

It was so beautiful and we were so proud of all the homeschoolers. Especially the little ones because that was a lot of standing and waiting for their parts.  There was 120 homeschool students in the choir and 30 more in the orchestra.

This was at their last performance in Stettler Sunday afternoon.

I was able to take a video of the choir singing, "Angels are Making Their Rounds" in Red Deer.  I was sitting too close and couldn't get the orchestra or all 120 choir members in the picture. Plus, my camera has not very good sound. But it will give all the grandparents an idea of what Rebekah has been up to. 

Rebekah was sad it was over, but she only has to wait 9 months to begin practicing again!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Festivities

We are having much fun this Christmas.  Here are some of the things we have enjoyed lately.
The kids are enjoying our advent calendar that my mom made when I was just a little girl. I always buy halloween candy on clearance to fill it up.
The kids and I in our costumes for our church's Christmas play. Jacob was a priest and sang 2 songs. Rebekah was the angel of the Lord and had a speaking part.  I was Mary and Ben was Joseph. I was SO proud of Ben! This was completely out of his comfort zone, but he wanted to do it and he did an excellent job! We didn't have to speak, but we had to act out the story.
Here is Jacob singing one of his songs.
Rebekah just being joyful.
Ben and me looking at "Baby Jesus" in the manger.
Rebekah had a homeschool youth Christmas party straight from our church Christmas play and there was a "tacky Christmas costume" prize.  Rebekah wasn't wearing her light up Christmas tree had in this picture.
The next day, the CP Rail Christmas Train came through our little town. It is lit up beautifully and there is a band that plays a little concert.  We always enjoy the Christmas Train. They hand out hot chocolate and take donations for the local food bank.  If you want to know the schedule for the train click here for Canada and here  for the States. There is still about 5 days left on their tour.
Doc Walker and Miss Emily are performing in Canada.
Rebekah down the tracks.
So now we have the Homeschool Choir performances ahead of us and the best day, Christmas!

Wacky Wednesday

Today I am participating in Country God Girl's Wacky Wednesday link up. Thanks Rebekah for hosting!

This morning, while doing school, I guess Ben got hungry.  He had Larry make him some toast. While he was eating his toast, I just reminded him that he still had to do math. His response to me was this;

"My stomach doesn't want to do math right now."

Now I think I've heard every excuse to not do school work!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

No More Piles of Clean Clothes

I just have to share with you all a breakthrough I have had a few days ago.  It has to do with laundry.  I have had a huge problem with laundry for years now. And it's not with doing it that's the problem, it's with putting all the clean clothes away! I clean and clean and the pile of clean clothes just keeps growing and growing.  We just haven't had space in our last couple of houses for dressers and the clothes in dressers just seem to get all crinkled with little hands pushing everything around to find what they need. Plus, nobody really can see all the clothes in the drawers anyway.
So, on to my ah ha moment.  The other day I was folding more clean clothes and putting them on the table next to the washer, thinking I should bring these up stairs and hang them in the boys closet.  THEN I thought, why not just put them on the hangers right out of the dryer, then just bring them upstairs to hang in the closet.  That way I'm leaving out the step where I fold them, put them in piles and leave them in the basement. Plus, they don't get crinkled at all, as they are hung up right away.  So, in the boys closet (the nicest one in the house) there was a rod up high and we added another one down lower for Jacob. I hang the clothes in order of pants, short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts and sweaters.  Please just look at the beautiful picture below of clothes in their place, all nice and tidy.

And in the picture below is the other side of the boys' closet.  We have a book shelf with bins on it for their toys. (Which they never play with and we will probably get rid of them all anyway). But it is neat for now. Look at the nice big, old window in there and they have a light in there too! Can you tell I really like their closet.

So, the boys have one tall dresser for their underwear, socks and pajamas.  Rebekah's clothes are hung up too in a kind of built in wardrobe in her room with baskets on the bottom of it for her under things.  Which is nice, because she has one of the smallest bedrooms in our house and there would not be room for any type of dresser in there and the boys have more room to play in their bedroom without a dresser.
Well, I hope this helped someone out there. Although, it could just be me that has this problem. In that case, please be happy for me that I FINALLY found an answer to my ever present problem.

This post is linked up to; A Mama's Story Teach Me Tuesdays The Better Mom The Modest Mom Raising Homemkers Thankful Homemaker A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Around Here

Last night, we were able to host the Homeschool Youth Night at our house.  I thought it would be fun to have a chocolate fondue and have all the kids bring something to dip.  It turned out really well. The kids brought some really yummy foods for dipping, such as; pineapple chunks, strawberries, bananas, oranges, marshmallows, pretzels and GUMMY WORMS.  I made rice crispy squares and peanut butter cream cheese balls.  Because we had so many kids, I had to give each one a cup of the chocolate sauce instead of having a big pot in the middle of the table. To make the fondue, I used frozen milk chocolate Easter bunnies that I ALWAYS stock up on after Easter for super, duper cheap, then I use them throughout the year for chocolate chunk cookies, or where ever I need chocolate. (I haven't bought chocolate chips in about 10 years - the bunnies are way cheaper). 
Chocolate Fondue;
Melt 800 grams of chocolate and 500 ml of whipping cream in heavy saucepan over low heat. This was enough for 12 teenagers.
I also wanted to share some pictures of Christmas around here for my far away friends, who used to be able to visit me over the holidays and anyone else who would like to see.  So, welcome to our Christmas home.
The table set for fondue.
The corner of the dining room.
Close up

Living room

Above the office desk

The kitchen

Main Christmas tree in living room
Upstairs, snowman bathroom


Upstairs bathroom, other view



Spare bedroom

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Easy, Easy Knitted Slippers - A Tutorial

My mom taught me how to make these slippers many years ago and I have been teaching Rebekah and some girls how to knit them the last few weeks. They are SO easy and you only need to know 2 stitches - knit and purl.  These would be great for Christmas presents too. Once you get the hang of it, you should be able to finish a pair in a day.

This pattern is for regular width feet, you would have to reduce the amount you cast on for children's feet or maybe add more for men's feet.

Using 2 balls of 4 ply yarn (they can be the same or different colours) and size 10 (6mm) needles, cast on 29, leaving about a 12 inch yarn tail.
Row 2 - knit 9, purl 1, knit 9, purl 1, knit 9
Row 1 - knit all across
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until slipper is about 3 inches shorter than your foot.  End on row 1.
Row 1 - knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1, repeat across the row.
Row 2 - purl 1, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, repeat across the row.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 for 2 1/2 inches.
Cut yarn about a foot long and thread through a big needle.
Thread yarn back through all the stitches on the needle.
Then take the slipper off the needle.
Now, pull the yarn as tight as you can to close the toe and sew up to the end of the toe section, or just a bit further.
Fold the slipper in half, lining up the ridges and using the yarn from the heel, sew the heel up.

Now just enjoy your warm, toasty feet! Or, crochet flowers to attach to your slippers, which I will share later.

End Note: If you want to change the width of these slippers, you need to change it to a number by increments of 6 starting with 29. It has to be an odd number so that the toe pattern works. You can lower it or raise it (23,29,35).  So if you start by casting on 23, your row 2 would be knit 7, purl 1, knit 7, purl 1, knit 7.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Knitting With The Girls

For the last 3 weeks, on Tuesdays nights, we have been getting together with some homeschool girls to learn to knit slippers.  I used to knit these when I was a teenager and was going to teach Rebekah. Then, I thought, why not invite the homeschool girls to join us. We have had lots of fun and the girls are all doing a great job!
Here are some of them hard at work.

And everyone else.
These are the slippers we are knitting. They are so EASY!

And next week, we will learn how to crochet these  awesome flowers to attach to our slippers and anything else we want ot put them on. I sewed a clasp pin on the back of the one below and attached it to my new cardigan sweater.
I will post the pattern for these soon.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thrifting Fun

Today we experienced a big blessing.  Well, it started as a problem at first. Larry had to get to a dentist because he had a huge toothache. He was able to get an appointment with one in our nearest big city, 40 mins away. We all decided to go so that the kids and I could look in Value Villiage while he was getting worked on.  I stopped shopping at Value Villiage because I found it overpriced, but there are a few things I am looking for that I would pay more money for if I found them. So, off we went.  This is where the blessing kicks in. When we arrived at the store, we saw big signs that said, 50% off Nov. 19th.  Wow! That made things a lot more affordable and Value Villiage actually has very good quality clothing.  Our 3 thrift stores in our town are really lacking in the good quality department.  Well, we shopped until Larry phoned to say he was done and we picked him up. Then I asked him if he had to get to work right away and he said not right away, so I asked if we could go back to Value Villiage to look around some more and he said we could. Yay!  So just take a look at what we scored....
A jacket with a tie up belt.

2 pretty shirts.

Another jacket with a tie up belt and a cardigan.

An old fashioned dress, that I hope I'll wear (I've been craving old fashioned clothing for some time now) and a really dressy shirt.

A very warm winter coat.
A queen size, very warm quilt.
So here is a list of what we were able to find;

3 pretty shirts
2 blouses
1 skirt
1 dress
2 cardigan sweaters
1 pair of pants
1 winter coat
2 cute jackets
2 skirts for Rebekah
1 shirt for Rebekah
2 pair of pants for Ben
1 leather jacket for Ben
1 shirt for Ben
1 jacket for Jacob
1 pair of winter boots for Jacob
1 pair of ski goggles
3 towels for Larry's semi
2 quilts
2 balls of yarn

all for $111!

What a blessing!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Concert You Won't Want to Miss

This last week, we have had the pleasure of visiting with one of our favorite music groups, The Sky's.  They are a homeschooling family that put together a band and travel all across the States and Canada every year and have a bible college in PEI where they are from.  They play lively fiddle music and dance, but that is not the best part of their concert.  They have a message that is so inspiring to hear.  They really challenge us to put God first in our lives because we love Him and want to rest in His love for us. They LOVE the Lord and they are just the sweetest people.  Please check out their tour schedule at www.theskys.org to see if they are coming near you.  And if they are going to be in your area, you can have your church request that they have a concert at your church. They will do the concert for free and just take a love offering.
This is Jacob with Miriam from The Sky's

Here are most of the group having supper.

It was such a blessing to hear of how God really looks after this group of people and helps them to go from town to town, spreading the gospel to so many people. They have witnessed miracle after miracle of God's great power on their journeys.

If you can, I hope you all can make it to one of their concerts one day and if you do, please say hi to them from Larry and Crystal in Alnerta!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Few More Things to Move - Our Apple Trees

When we sold our farm to move to this new acreage, part of our agreement was, we would be back for our apple trees. I planted our orchard 5 and 4 years ago.  We started with 150 trees, but thanks to 2 of the most coldest winters right after planting we lost most of them.  I think there were about 42 trees left and we took 35 of them. We hired a tree moving service. They dug up the trees with a big root ball. Then they wrapped the root ball in burlap and a big wire basket. Then they loaded the trees onto a trailer Larry was able to borrow from a friend.  At our new place, they dug the holes and planted the trees.  Each tree was packed down and the dirt was put all back in around the root ball.  I had been saving all of our egg money and any other money I made off of the farm or selling things on the interent to pay for the move.  It ended up costing $40/tree to have them moved.  That is very reasonable considering they do all the work and the trees are now about 8 years old.
Here is Larry coming home with all of our trees.

This is the crew working. They had 2 bobcats, one for digging and one for planting.

Luckily the weather got warm again after the trees were all in, because we still had to go back to our old place and fill in the holes.  We have huge piles of dirt on our new property which we shoveled into the back of our pickup and then shoveled it out into the holes.  Larry did 21 holes all by himself. Then Rebekah and I did 9 and then Larry and Rebekah finished the last 5.

I am so happy to have this task done!  Hopefully these trees will bear fruit next summer and we will be blessed with apples a plenty.

This post is linked up to Homestead Revival Barn Hop 87

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Liebster Award

I was so pleasantly surprised the other day when Jan from Mom's Who Homeschool left a message on my Making Butter Post nominating my blog for the Liebster Award. Thanks Jan!

So, as part of receiving this award, I have to list 11 facts about myself. Here we go;
  1.  I was raised near the Pacific Ocean and loved going out on the water boating.
  2. I was very scared to start homeschooling, but God gave me the courage to go ahead with it.
  3. I have dreamed of having an apple orchard for 33 years.
  4. My favorite TV show is Little House on the Prairie.
  5. I also was raised around helicopters, but I was a little scared to fly in them.
  6. I met my husband at bible study.
  7. I love, love, love spending time with my family.
  8. I have a wonderful mother, who taught me so many useful skills.
  9. I come from a long line of garage salers.
  10. I would like to have bees.
  11. I received the Lord when I was 13, but didn't start living for Him until I was 18.
And now I will answer Jan's questions.

Can you share your favorite Bible verse?
- Romans 5:8
 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

What is your all-time favorite book?
- Other than the Bible, I love Little House on the Prairie.
How many siblings do you have?
- 4 (1 sister and 3 brothers)
What is your favorite comfort food?
- Creamy and salty things, like baked brie with crackers.
If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
- I would love to go to North Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, Kentucky, any where over there. 
What sports do your kids participate in?
- Soccer
What's the last book you read?
- Little Farm in the Ozarks.
Ice-cream or frozen yogurt?
- Frozen yogurt (strawberry)
What's your favorite restaurant?
- Taco Time or Edo.
Do you park in the garage or in the driveway?
- driveway
When is the last time you went to the drive-in movie theater?
- 3 years ago.

I will only be nominating 1 blog for this award and it is ; Country God Girl

And the 11 questions for her are;

Do you help in any ministry?
What is your favorite season?
How many times have you moved in your life?
What is your favorite book of the Bible?
What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Who is your favorite person in history?
What is your favorite type of food?
What is your favorite thing to cook?
What is your favorite thing about homeschooling?
Chips or chocolate?
Do you prefer to stay home or go out alot? (like on errands)

Thanks again Jan for nominating my blog!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

House Pictures

It is taking me so long to get pictures of our new house on my blog! I'm having troubles figuring out where to put everything inside, so I thought I would post some pictures from outside.
I took a couple of pictures today of the front of the house and our long driveway. You can see how much snow we have, which isn't much. You can also see the other side of the valley in the background of the 2 following pictures.  Again, this house used to be a duplex, that is why there are 2 front doors.  We hope to build a big entry on the front of the house with a wide veranda.  For now, we are so grateful to God for this house and property and we will just wait for His timing on the addition.

I love our long driveway.

There wasn't anything set up for our donkeys and chickens. So Larry and the kids quickly put together a barnyard for them.  When we first moved in, we just closed the gate on the driveway and let the donkeys roam in our fenced yard.  Larry and Ben moved the insulated chicken coop (shed) from one side of our yard to the other. They moved it next to a little wooden structure, that we are using for the donkeys.

Becky has helped Larry put up 2 fences now. She is a pro directing Larry to the right spot and in using the post pounder.

The fence goes down into the valley a little for the donkeys. I'm sad that they don't run anymore. Maybe next year Larry will make their area bigger.  I don't know if you can see Jacob in the picture below. He is laying down with the baby donkeys.  Look at the next picture and you will see.

Jacob stayed like that for a long time. I think all of them were sleeping, until Larry started his chainsaw right next to them!

The next picture is just another picture of the valley that is part of our property and also the other side.

The valley is to the east of us, so we have beautiful sunrises. Just look the next picture.  God is so good to us!

Lamentations 3:22-24
New King James Version (NKJV)
     (Through) the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”