Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Date Night

Larry and I were so blessed this past weekend to actually have a date night.  I won tickets to a Christian Country concert and supper at a local bar.  I know, a Christian country group playing at a bar, but they are on main stream country radio and the local station put on the contest.  Their name is High Valley and their goal is to spread the gospel of Jesus through their music.  Larry and I were happy there was free coffee as we decided years ago not to have any alcohol.  (Just the right decision for us)

The kids and I really enjoy country music and I appreciate High Valley for their clean music with a great message.
Here are a few of their videos;


After they fed us and we enjoyed the concert, we were able to meet the 2 main brothers in the band.  It was lots of fun.

Here are some pictures of our night;

Curtis and Brad Rempel, AKA High Valley

Larry and I.

Monday, November 17, 2014

"Scrap booked" Guest Book

I wanted to share this idea I came up with a few years ago for a scrap booked guest book.  I really wanted to have a guest book, but I thought what a great idea to take a picture of the guests and add it to the page they signed. I wish I actually did scrapbook, but I'm happy with how it looks.  I love how it captures precious memories of visits. I actually had misplaced it when we moved here 2 years ago and just found it in time for my cousin's visit.

This is the first page of the guest book.  It is when my cousin and her family came for a visit 5 years ago.

Me and my mom on one of her visits at the farmer's market.
Of course anyone could make this look nicer than me, but I really like looking through it and thinking of those lovely visits.

This post is linked up to; Hope in Every Season

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bee's Wax Christmas Ornaments

My cousin Amy brought a crock pot full of bee's wax on her visit last weekend.  We wanted to make a few projects with it.  When I went downstairs to find candle wick to make candles, I found a Christmas chocolate mold instead and I thought to make ornaments with it.

Once the wax was melted, we held a piece of string in place in the mold for the loop, then we ladled in the wax with a plastic spoon.  I guess when you work with bee's wax, you want to use disposable utensils or ones dedicated to bee's wax. It's hard to get off. Once they started to harden around the edges, I placed the mold in the fridge to harden.  The cavities were quite small, so they took about 20 mins to harden.  I'm sure as they cure they will lose the shininess and get a white kind of coating on them like I've seen on other bee's wax items. 

I think they are gorgeous and so old fashioned!  Here are a few of them;

This post is linked up to; Living Well Spending Less; Hope in Every Season; Sew Crafty Angel; The Homesteading Hippy  The Dedicated House

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Cousin's Visit

It's always an exciting time when we can get together with my cousin, Amy, and her family.  It turned out her and her 4 children were able to come over to our house for a 3 day visit. They braved the winter weather and headed out on the 7 hour trip (with stops).  Her husband had to stay home on the farm and look after things. And my husband left on a trip to Kentucky, so it was just us and the kids.

Amy is the one who told me about Trim Healthy Mama over a year ago. I thought she was loony until she told me how much weight she was losing and how great she felt.  She totally inspired me to try it and I am SO happy I did. We had a great weekend of eating on plan.  And we are both only a few pounds away from our goal weight, so we took a picture.

Amy also blessed me with tons of clothes. I am wearing a shirt and necklace from her in the picture.

Some of our kids playing Apples to Apples (Bible Edition). You an see the piles of some of the clothes Amy brought me in the background.
Our time went quickly and we were sad to see them go, but totally happy for our visit.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Christmas Craft Show Summary

I have put another craft show behind me. Yay! Here are some pictures of the things I had for sale this year.

These are tags I hand painted snowman faces on.  I also put a very light layer of glitter over them. I sold them in sets of 6.

I cross stitched these ornaments. Then I stitched them to a piece of felt.  I sewed the felt over a cinnamon stick, which I had strung a piece of twine through and tied.  After that, I sewed on a button.

This is my favorite of the stitched ornaments.  And I finally learned how to make a french knot!!! My neighbour showed me and after 30 years of cross stitching I can actually do it.

I bought a bag of cookie cutters and little baskets from the thrift store and knew I could make something out of them.  I decided to put glue (I had model glue on hand) around the edge of the cookie cutters, then dip them in epson salts. I did this a few times until the salt was as thick as I wanted. Then I tied a bell with twine to dangle inside and then I tied the top of the twine to make a hanger. As I tied the knot just above the cookie cutter, I inserted a bit of red berries with glue.  With the baskets I glued half a Styrofoam ball in it to take up some of the space. I glued a piece of fabric over that, then I either glued in little balls of thread and 2 straight pins to look like knitting needles or just a bunch of tiny pine cones.

This was my favorite cookie cutter ornament.

I bought this canister set at a garage sale and painted the wood lids all a different colours.  I really like them. So did a lot of woman, but no one bought them. I might have to find somewhere for them in my house:)

I didn't know how this pine cone garland would do, but I was surprised that I sold them all right away.  To make them I screwed an eyelet screw in the top. Then I put through a little piece of red and white gingham ribbon. I tied each pine cone unto a 6 ft piece of twine and tied circles at both ends.

I was surprised that all of these items sold within the first 20 minutes.  I need to scout around our property again to find more wood to make me a JOY sign.

There it is.  I did fairly well and had lots of fun.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Christmas Crafts - A Sneak Peak

Well, my Christmas Craft Show is this Saturday and I'm basically ready. Yay!!!!! I have packed up most of what I have made, so I will take pictures at the craft show, but I have a few things to show you a sneak peak.

I found both of these ideas on Pinterest.

"Joy" signs made from weathered wood found on our property. I printed out the letters on copy paper, then cut them out and traced them on the wood.  Then I painted in the letters and I sanded down the white letters to make them more distressed.  I tied a strip of burlap around them and I found the bell with the pinecones and greenery at Dollar Tree.  I nailed on a metal picture hanger on the back. (Actually, I did that before I attached the bell, so it wasn't in the way.) Done!

The tag says, "Monday the washing..."

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sold Out at the Farmers' Market

Ben, Rebekah and I took our pumpkins and gourds to the last Farmers' Market of the year yesterday.  We only ended up with about 30 pumpkins (plus 9 that we kept) in our patch this year and about 40 gourds, so the Farmers' Market seemed the best way to sell them.

I didn't think they would sell because they were still a bit green.  The really green one one the pick-up is the Goosebumps variety and it takes a long time to turn orange, but I kind of like them green.  I couldn't believe the pumpkin frenzy we created!  We sold out of pumpkins in an hour and a half and we only came home with 10 gourds!

It was a fun morning.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Make Your Own Fall Fixin's

It's my busy crafting time of year again. Well, actually, it's only busy because I am a huge procrastinator.  I was at a Farmers' Market today and wanted to bring some fall themed crafts.  Last year for a Christmas Craft Show I made Winter Fixin's, which you can see here.  I thought it would be cute to make some Fall Fixin's.  Really, that is just a new name for potpourri with neat things in it.
So, I went out and picked rose hips off the wild rose bushes that grow here.  Usually I pull the long poky things off before I dry them. Then I bake them at low (170 deg) temperature for 1 - 2 hours.  I learned that this is necessary, rather than letting them dry naturally.  I let them just dry on their own a couple of years ago and made potpourri and put it in bags.  When I went to use it, there were these little grubby type worms in the bag with the rose hips! Ew! I found that drying them in the oven kills these worms. You can see a bunch in the picture below.

I wanted to put little crows and pumpkins in these Fixins, so I pulled out a package of modeling clay I bought at the dollar store last year and made a bunch of each.  This one package made enough crows and pumpkins to make 8 packages of Fixin's.  That is 2 crows and 3 pumpkins in each package.  To make the indentations on the pumpkins, I used scissors and just started at the top, pushing the scissors in the pumpkin and curving the scissors to indent all the way to the bottom and did this equally spaced around the pumpkin.  I made the stem and then poked a hole in the pumpkin to stick it into.  I let these air dry for 2 days and noticed they weren't completely dry yet, so I baked them on low temperature for about 1 hour.  I  painted the crows all black with a little grey dot on each side for eyes.  I painted the pumpkins with "Americana" Honey Brown paint.  I painted the stem with "Ceramcoat" English Yew Green.  Then I mixed "Americana" Dark Chocolate  paint with 2 parts water to make a wash and covered the entire pumpkin with it to grubby them up a bit.  When all the clay figures were dry, I sprayed them with gloss clear acrylic spray paint.

I  added some star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves and pine cones to it and this is what I ended up with;

I Love it!!

And here is the packaging I made to sell it in.  I found the crow clip art on our Microsoft Word Starter Edition clip art.  I used 6.5"x6" zippered sandwich bags (which I found at the dollar store in boxes of 50) for the bags.  I made sure to poke a hole through the bag where you can't see it to keep some air flow, just in case the clay isn't completely dry all the way through.
Here is a (blurry) close-up.
These turned out exactly as I had envisioned in my mind and I couldn't be any happier with the outcome.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Throw Back Thursday

I love looking at people's Throw Back Thursday pics. So, here is one of my own.
This is Jacob and Rebekah at our pumpkin patch 3 years ago.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall Decor and Desserts

I took advantage of the freezing cold weather we had last week and decorated for fall.  I actually had an ulterior motive though, I was having the annual Homeschool Mom's Fall Kick Off Dessert Night at my house.  I like to have this event here, because it forces me to get up my decorations and get the house clean from some summer neglect.

For the dessert night, I made a few Trim Healthy Mama desserts, but I wasn't entirely in love with any of them.  I also made Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffins (very similar to Tim Horton's from a few years ago) with candied pumpkin seeds on top and ginger snap cookies.  These are both my favorite, so I enjoyed them for breakfast the next morning.

You can find the recipe for the muffins here.  I changed it a bit and added the candied pumpkin seeds on top. To make these, I mixed 1 beaten egg white with 3 Tbsp sugar and 1/2c raw pumpkin seeds. I spread it out on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Then baked them at 350 for about 15 minutes, stirring once. Then let them cool completely and they will be able to be broken apart.

Here are just a few pictures of our fall decorations.

I love the picture Rebekah painted up on the wall of the coffee pot that is on the fireplace when she was 8 or 9.

God bless!

Monday, September 8, 2014

And it Kept Coming

When I posted the picture of snow this morning, I thought it would quit soon enough. BUT, it didn't. It just snowed more and more and heavier.  Our power even went out for an hour and a half! We did manage to have our first day of school today and that went well.  We started with a new bible program and we are going to drill our times tables and how to tell time on a clock.  These are things I guess we've missed in our math curriculum. So I am taking time to do it now before we start with Teaching Textbooks for the year.

Here are some more pictures from our day.

Jacob copying his times tables.

That's my garden in the background:(



This morning at our place.

My basement is full of about 30 lbs of green tomatoes:)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama Update Pictures

This is not exactly an official before and after post of my weight loss on Trim Healthy Mama, but I think you can tell the difference between these pictures and I'm kind of excited.

This first one is from last September. It is of me and my brother Graham.  I'm afraid to say, I even gained more weight after this before I started on Trim Healthy Mama.

This one is from my last post of me and Graham taken Sept. 1 2014 in front of the same window.  I am 4 pounds from my goal weight and down about 40 lbs from the other picture.

I didn't start on THM until November 21, 2013 and I am down 46 lbs!  I'm not really sure if I will stop in 4 lbs, because I want to make sure this size of clothing is comfortable. So, I may try losing a couple more, but we'll see.  The only thing I'd like to say about THM right now is how easy it seemed to be.  On Weight Watchers the weight came off OK, but for some reason I find this way makes more sense or something. But, I think to true test will come after I get to my goal and to see if I can stay at the same weight.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Family Trip

We have just returned from a trip out west to the BC coast to see our families.  We had such a wonderful time and were able to see so many from our family.

We had a dinner where my mom, all 3 of my brothers, my sister, niece, my dad and his girlfriend, my in laws and step mom (I know, my family sounds complicated) were all there.  It was such a blast!

We were able to see my brother on his birthday and Larry's mom on her birthday. 

Here are some pictures;

Me and my Dad.
Rebekah holding my niece's ferret

Me and my brother, Graham

This is my brother, Jeremy and me and Graham.
Rebekah and Ben jamming.  Rebekah's eyes lit up when she saw all the instruments my brothers have.
This is my family with Larry's parents.

Here are most of the family over for supper.  My brother, Josh, my sister, Jenn and my niece, Aesha are in the front row. My mom and Dad's girlfriend are next to me.

This is our view from the breakfast room in our hotel this morning.