Sunday, December 30, 2012

What should I call it???

I am in the process of setting up a new blog so that I can once again share pictures with you all.  :)  BUT, I am having a hard time deciding what to call it.   Does anyone have suggestions?

Andrew had a good day today, as he bought a nice pickup in Bismarck for a reasonable price. 

I had a GREAT day, as I finally finished sewing the top of my king-sized quilt-top!!!  I've been working on it for 5 years at least (just every now and then), so it is a great feeling to have it finished at last! 

My dad did not have a good day, as he didn't have a single good hand in the 3 games of Rook that we played this evening (my mom and I had the Rook almost all night).    ;)

Mom and Jacob had normal days, I believe, and we all enjoyed the zucchini chocolate-chip muffins that my mom and I made for supper.

Have a wonderful last-day-of-2012!  May God bless us all richly in the upcoming year.~

Saturday, December 29, 2012


That's what this day was filled with.  We just rested and did not much of anything, outside of singing and reading for our church time, and counting our blessings.  It's nice to just do nothing once in a while!

Friday, December 28, 2012

My room is more organized...

I spent the morning dusting, reorganizing, and thoroughly cleaning my room (even washed the ceiling fan).  :)  It's amazing how things can get so out of order from day to day living!

The rest of the day was spent in cleaning the rest of the house; making some delicious supper (with peanut-butter pie or mint ice cream for dessert); and playing ping-pong for an hour before chores.  We're going to have our supper soon, once my dad is off the phone. 

I look forward to sleeping in in the morning (Lord willing, of course).  We have nothing happening tomorrow, so it will be nice to just rest! 

  Have a happy weekend! 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The new cows are home...

My mom and Andrew went to Bismarck (they met up with Lauretta up there) and had a successful business day (and brought home fabric for my quilt!). 

I went over babysitting the twins and their sister again.  We made all kinds of things out of playdough and "Exercised" on their treadmill....  

Shortly after I got home this afternoon, my dad arrived, pulling an unloading-chute behind the pickup.  Jacob and I bundled up and headed outside to help Dad get the pen ready for cows (chopping out the ice on that side of the big tire-tank; setting up some more panels; spreading straw; jacking up/down the chute), and finished just in time to unload the cows when the rancher brought them in a big pot-trailer.  My dad bought 40 young, bred cows (2nd calvers) to replace the old ones that were sold earlier and Jacob bought 2, plus my B. grandparents had called and told my dad that they wanted to give each of the 3 of us younger B.s a cow, (as they've helped their other grandchildren materially and wanted to do the same for us, they said----what a nice surprise and blessing!), so we each now have 1 more cow, resulting in a grand total of 45 new animals on the place tonight.  They are remarkably quiet!  I think they'll fit in with our herd nicely......

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Starting on the letter....

While the girls were sleeping this afternoon, I started going through the year (reading on my blog) and writing down the main highlights so that my mom can take the list and then write out our annual New Years update letter.  I only got through February, so have a ways to go!  It's amazing how many things happen in just 365 days worth of living.

When I got home from work, everyone else was lazing around the house (except for my mom who was doing a session), so I suggested we all head out to the shop for some ping-pong practice, which we then did for the next 2 hours. 

My mom and Andrew are going to Bismarck tomorrow and I'm hoping they'll have time to buy some fabric for me so I can finish my quilt.  I cut out little samples of my fabric so they can have it for reference in the fabric store, if they have time to go...

I'd better get to bed, as I have an early morning of babysitting tomorrow.  :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It came upon the midnight clear...

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!"
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

We had a delightful day, spent with my Bornemann grandparents in Mandan.  We arrived about an hour before the noon meal and helped Grandma with last minute preparations (peeled some potatoes, whipped cream for the pumpkin pies, rolled crescent-rolls, dished out the olives and pickles, and my dad carved the turkey).  Grandma had cooked up a genuine feast!!!   
After eating until we could eat no more, we cleared the table and did the dishes.  Then, we looked at a bunch of pictures (pictures from when Grandma was young, and then some of our pictures); opened presents; and listened to Christmas music.  Oh, and we sang happy birthday to my mom too....  Grandma gave mom and I two plants to add to our collection.  :)
When we got home, we gave my mom her birthday gifts, then ate another feast, but in much smaller quantities.  While the guys did the chores, my mom and I cleaned up the kitchen some, then played piano duets until everyone was in from outside.  Then, we watched "The Christmas Card" and another movie I gave to my mom about a young couple on the Dakota prairies.... 
It was a fun day! 
While my family and I don't keep Christmas in the way that most others do (as we don't believe anymore that this really is the time of year when our Savior was born), we are so very grateful for His coming to this earth to wash away the sins of the world and sing our praises to Him!  
I hope you all had a wonderful day as well.~

Monday, December 24, 2012

'Tis the night before Christmas and all through the house...

...not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse, thankfully!

Much was accomplished today: 
  • The milk/cream got separated and we started some more buttermilk.
  • Mom and I made candy-cane ice cream.
  • Andrew bought another, even higher-quality camera and placed his other one on e-bay.
  • My dad went and looked at some more cows and decided on the ones he wants to buy.
  • We made our favorite Winter-time cookies---Ritz crackers (my dad bought the very last box at the grocery store!) with peanut butter between them, dipped in almond bark.  Yummy!!!
  • I went babysitting for 6+ hours and made sugar cookies (snowmen, candy-canes, snowflakes, ginger-bread-men, etc...) with the girls.  Paula gave me a VERY nice gift of 2 cake-takers (different sizes) and a really cute cake-pan that makes 6 small cakes that look like ice-cream bars with a bite taken out of each one.  :)
  • Mom and I gave the guys hair-cuts this evening.
  • Plus, all of the usual day-to-day parts of living (chores, meals, dishes....) that all take time.
  • I'm sure my mom and the boys did other things as well while I was away.
I was also surprised to receive a small box in the mail today from one of my great-uncles.  We've written back and forth a couple of times in the last year, as he wanted to let me know he/they are praying for me to find/be found by my future husband, soon.   This time, he sent me a very lovely pearl necklace with a note tucked under the label which says,

"You are some young man's pearl of great price.   Keep praying!"    

                                                                  .......and yes, I am praying, and waiting.......

Sunday, December 23, 2012

...laughing all the way, ha ha ha...

My mom, Lauretta and I went to Bismarck today, as mom had clients to see and Lauretta ran the Betar (music therapy) table in the other room for her (she's working with/for my mom now one or two days a week) and I was along for the fun of it and to make my mom a scrapbook of the nice cards/notes she's received over the last 4+ years.   It was a fun day, even though we almost got crashed into by a driver who wasn't paying attention.  Another highlight of the day was that Mom and I stood next to the tallest/huskiest man in ND while doing a business transaction for Andrew (he was SOOO huge!).  The roads were pretty bad too coming home, but we talked and laughed all the way home.  :)  We went inside when we took Lauretta home, as they had some company they wanted us to meet. 

AND, we made it home, safe and sound.  Praise the Lord!  It is so good to be home...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Soon it will be Christmas day!

Which also means my mom's birthday will soon be here too.  :) 

We had so much fun skating this afternoon, and playing ping-pong, and even doing dishes!  Lauretta, Sarena, and their brother, Thaddaeus came and played ice-hockey with us and my parents even came up later and guarded the goals with shovels (as we ran out of sticks!) while the rest of us tried not to fall down while chasing the puck all over the ice.  Later, Andrew gave snowmobile rides, or rather, he gave sled rides, the sled being pulled behind the snowmobile.  Then, we all headed for our house and made some supper; played some music; ate supper; Dad, Andrew and Jacob did the chores while the rest of us did the dishes quickly; and after that we played ping-pong for about 2 hours before they had to head for home.    Praise be to God that nobody got seriously hurt during all of our adventures!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Still, still, still...

It is indeed still tonight.  I don't hear any wind anyway...

This morning/afternoon, I went over and cared for Johanna and Tracy Jo.  They are growing up so fast!   I got off early, so made it home in time to scrub the floor and make the dessert (chocolate cake with chocolate frosting) for supper.  After Jacob cut up the potatoes and I cut the carrots to add to our roast, we headed out to the shop to play ping-pong with our dad for a while before chores.  My mom was still inside cleaning the bathroom and finishing up some other projects.  Andrew sold and delivered his green 4-wheeler today, driving up to Hurdsfield to meet the buyer.  Now we're down to 1 little 4-wheeler and we're hoping Andrew buys some more to repair soon, as they do come in handy!  ;) 

We're praying for nice weather tomorrow for our ice-skating party! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Come on, it's lovely weather for skating together with you...

We spent the morning working at home on various projects, then around 2:00, Jacob and I decided to head up to the pasture to check out how the ice was this year and to push some snow off of the ice.  I'd written to Lauretta before we left, mentioning where Jacob and I were going, amongst other things, and it "Just so happened" that she got the message right when she was by the corner where you can either turn or go straight up to our pasture, on her way home from work.  She called me (just as Jacob and I were almost at that corner) and asked where we were and if we'd like some help?  SO, she parked her pickup and hopped in with us for a snowy ride to the "Lake" (it's more like a pond).    We pushed tons of snow and then skated and played ice hockey.  Andrew made a delivery up to Steele (he sold a motorcycle), then stopped in on his way home and joined us on the ice.  We pushed off another ton of snow, making our skating area twice as large.  We had fun skating around (holding hands and skating in a line, swinging the outside person around very quickly on the corners!) and trying to play hockey (the boys even had their lit hockey-puck along) and we skated until the sun went down and the moon came out, and then each headed for our respective homes. 

We're planning to have a skating party up there on Saturday (in the afternoon), which is why we headed up to push snow in the first place....   Anyone want to join us on the ice?  :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Jingle bells, jingle bells...

...Jingle all the way...

That's what the little boys that I was babysitting today were singing while we were coloring pictures of ducks.  :)  I babysat for the 3 children I used to babysit quite a bit for a couple years back, (Amelia, and the twins, James and Michael).  It was fun to see how much they've grown and changed!   We colored; played hide-and-seek and red-light, green light; made all kinds of things out of playdough; played catch with small balls in the basement; and drew pictures.  It was a fun day...

It was almost humorous to learn that one of our friends also slid in the ditch yesterday afternoon----at the VERY SAME CORNER that Jacob did, except she slid in the opposite side, as she was coming from the other direction.  I guess that corner was especially slippery! 

When I got home, I worked on my quilt some more and am now at the point where I need to buy some more fabric before I can finish it up.  This is getting exciting!  Its always a good feeling to finish big projects.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Praise God from whom all blessings flow...

While I'm sure Andrew is not very pleased with the way his pickup and trailer look tonight, and while Jacob is blaming himself, we are so very grateful that everyone is safe!    My dad (with the semi) and Jacob (with Andrew's brown pickup and pretty-new car-trailer) headed for our Hazelton land this morning to bring home the 2nd to last load of hay.  Jacob headed for home as soon as he was loaded up with 7 large square haybales.  He drove the 20 or so miles to the curves in Hwy. 34, then slowed down to make the corner, turning onto the Kintyre road.  Unfortunately, it wasn't slow enough, I guess, and the road was snow-covered and slippery and the trailer wanted to keep going straight, SO, Jacob went sideways all the way down the ditch, jack-knifed badly and came to a stop at the bottom.  It dented the side of the pickup pretty bad and bent a bar on the trailer.  Thankfully, Andrew has insurance on that pickup which will hopefully cover the damages!  I drove the tractor out to them so Dad could unload the bales and then they had to get a jack and jack up the pickup some and then pulled the trailer straight with the tractor.  I have pictures, but I can't post them here.  :(  If you're a friend of Jacob's on FaceBook, you can see there.

Mom and Andrew (and Lauretta) went to Bismarck today, Andrew ran errands around town while the others took care of clients all morning/afternoon.

This afternoon, my dad and Jacob went for the last load of hay and then Jacob drove the tractor home from over by Hazelton.

Meanwhile, I kept busy in the house, baking bread; cleaning my aquarium thoroughly; making meals; doing the dishes;  and sewing on my quilt.   I milked Sally this evening, as Andrew was still in Bismarck at chores time. 

'Twas a busy day.  We thank God for keeping us safe through it...

Monday, December 17, 2012

...(little) folks dressed up like Eskimos...

I was over babysitting "my" little girls again today.  It wasn't too terribly cold out but there was a bit of a breeze, so I bundled them up heavily and we went outside to play in the snow for about half an hour.  I couldn't find Tracy Jo's gloves, so I slipped my large ones over her little hands and she was fine with the plan, until it interfered with her ability to hold onto the little rake handle that she was playing with.  I gave Tracy rides down the driveway hill in a pink sled, but Johanna didn't want any part of the sledding and just wanted to dig little holes in the snow with her shovel instead.  :)

Thankfully, everyone here is feeling almost completely back to their usual, energetic selves.   What a blessing it is to feel well!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh-ride together...

It would be just perfect....  So still and beautiful with the big snowflakes falling all around.  Unfortunately, we have neither a sleigh or a horse, but it is fun to dream of...

Thanks be to God, my family members are all feeling better today, some nearly back to normal.  It must have been something they ate while I was gone babysitting, as I never did get sick, which was a blessing, as then I was able to do all of the chores yesterday evening when everyone else was unable to do so!

Oh, and my friends' little girl has a name now:  "Amy Lynn".  :)  She is a beautiful baby, from what I can tell from pictures...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What child is this who laid to rest on ____'s lap is sleeping....?

My friend just had her baby!  It's a girl.  :)  I don't know her name though....

Please pray for my family now as certain members are dealing with some kind of a tummy bug.  Yick!

Friday, December 14, 2012

I'll be home for Christmas...

I'm pretty sure, anyway.

We had a busy house-cleaning day and fed old squishy vegetables to the goats and cleaned out the fridge a bit and separated cream and made some yummy food and played some ping-pong.  'Twas a good day!

Please, if you read this in the next few hours, be in prayer for my friend, Crystal, (pray for her husband, David too) who is having a long labor currently with her first child.  Thank you!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

....5 golden rings...

Well, it was only 2, I guess...   My parents went to Bismarck today for business reasons and my dad also had the idea to take along their high-school class rings to sell them, as my parents will never wear them again and would rather have the money to do useful things with then have them sitting around, collecting dust in a drawer.    It was well worth it too, as they received a total of $144, or something close to that.  I asked if they had any other old gold rings lying around that they'll never use?  ;)  They said, "No, sadly".

  I went over babysitting for most of the day.  The girls are just getting over a flu bug, so weren't quite as perky as usual.  I feel so bad for little people when they're so sick! 
  The boys stayed home and worked on, well, things.  Andrew hauled a load of hay home.  Jacob worked on his schoolwork.  I don't know what else they did.

  After posting last night, I couldn't believe I'd forgotten to write about the happiest news of the day for me!   When we got our cows in the corralling and sorted them off to work the calves a while back, I'd noticed that one of my cows (a very distinguishable black/white face) was missing.  I thought maybe I'd missed her, so kept a watchful eye out for her when we got the cows in again later and poured them all and for sure, she was gone.  I marked her down in my records as possibly having died in the pasture or having gotten lost.   Well, yesterday when we were sorting off the 2 cows to take to the butcher shop, I thought I saw her, so after the cows were loaded, I grabbed one of the 4-wheelers and went through the cow-herd to see.  Low and behold-----there she was!!!!   Just as round and healthy looking as ever!   I'm not sure where she was on the 2 days that we got everyone in the corralling, but I was praising the Lord over and over for the blessing of being able to delete my last entry in my cattle-records!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's a marshmallow world in the Winter...

...when the snow comes to cover the ground!   It is still snowing, big, heavy snowflakes. 

It was a busy day at our place, getting the house back in order after bringing lots of things back from the open-house and dumping it all in the kitchen this morning.   There was a huge stack of dishes to wash and dry; laundry that needed washing and folding; the guys hauled hay home; we rounded up 2 more cows and loaded them in the stock trailer, which the guys then took down to Linton to the butcher shop; plus lots of other odds and ends...

I did not write last night for two reasons: 
  #1. It was very late by the time we headed for home from Bismarck
  #2. I wasn't at home and didn't have Internet access (as I stayed with Lauretta at her and Sarena's house when we dropped Lauretta off last night, then Sarena dropped me off at home this morning on her way to work---as she goes right by).

The open house went very well!  It got quite busy in the early afternoon and we had to shorten people's Betar sessions so as to give everyone some time on the relaxing musical table.   My mom was doing sessions in the other room all day long.  Lauretta ran the Betar table most of the time, although Andrew and I helped her now and then, and helped with selecting music to play according to the persons' preferences.   It was my job to make sure the punch bowl and cookie platter remained full, and to try to explain the benefits of my mom's newest venture---Vibes-Up products.   After it was all over at 8PM, and we were packed up, Mom took the 3 of us out to eat at the Ground Round.  Yummy!   It was a fun day, but also tiring....  I have pictures to share, but I think I need to start a new blog so as to be able to post pictures, as it won't let me do it here anymore.   ;(

Monday, December 10, 2012

Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere...

...that we're ready for my mom's open house tomorrow!  :)  I was originally going to babysit today, but then the little girls I watch got the flu and their mommy stayed home to care for them.  SO, I stayed home (outside of taking Paula her birthday cake and presents)...   I made several dozen egg-less cookies (that's an actual recipe) and frosted them with a mint icing I made; I decorated my mom's little cake she requested that I make; I attempted a batch of fudge, but it flopped and ended up being fudge sauce, so I made a large batch of mints instead; and mom and I made some peanut-butter-sweet-sauce covered popcorn.   I hope lots of people come so we don't have tons of leftovers!

  I'd best get to bed now though, as we're planning to leave at 6:00AM....


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Over the ground lies a mantle of white...

...a heaven of diamonds shine down through the night.

Sorry I didn't post last night, but I was too busy talking to Lauretta until all hours of the morning (well, not quite all the hours, but several).  She had come over in the afternoon and stayed into the evening to help with plans for my mom's business' 5-years-of-being-in-business open house that is in Bismarck on Tuesday.  (Everyone's welcome to stop in!) Then, it started snowing and blowing, so she spent the night.  We watched "The Shop Around the Corner" with her and then the 2 of us sat up a long time talking and looking at pictures.  Then, she stayed today all day and helped too.  Her sister needed something from the pickup she had here, so she took that back at noon and I tagged along with the Pacifica and brought her back, as she was willing to help me bake cakes and cookies and we still had more planning and preparing to do.   Should be fun!   I took her back home this evening...

And now, I'd best get to sleep so I can get up and get my chores done and some odds and ends done before going to work!  So, good night.~

Friday, December 7, 2012

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

We received a dusting of snow this afternoon and may be getting more through the night.  The ground was bare and brown, so it's nice to see some white again.  :)

I did not feel well all day, so took it easy (slept) most of the day away.  The boys helped mom  clean the house this afternoon and she made us some yummy supper.  The guys worked outside and/or in the shop too.  My dad hauled a load of hay home from over by Hazelton and also took the 9030 (the one that's been sitting over there) in to the Hazelton shop to get some major tire/rim work done, as it wasn't safe/smart to even use it anymore. 

Tomorrow, we may be getting 2 different sets of company, so that should be fun....

Thursday, December 6, 2012


We separated milk/cream today (and I made 2 kinds of ice cream)!    That is cause enough to celebrate.  :)

I also baked bread this morning, as we were out---again.   

We worked on several projects that needed doing around the house and Dad worked outside.  Andrew showed me how to get cassette tapes onto the computer so he can later put them on CDs, so we worked on recording the new ones that I'd bought on Tuesday in Bismarck. 

Much later, we all went out to the shop and played a new variation of ping-pong where all 5 of us can play at the same time.  It was lots of fun and we only lost 1 ball this time.

I practiced my violin a while too....and Andrew tried his hand at it for a while.  ;)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

God rest ye merry gentleman...

The menfolk in my family are especially glad this evening, as they now have the "new" combine home from Jamestown (they bought it at the consignment auction there on Friday).  My dad said it was a 5 hour drive home!  The combine is SO has a very nice 2nd seat in the cab for people to ride along on; the paint is in great condition; it has 2 windshield wipers on the front windshield because it's so large; and the horn has a nice sound to it.   That's what I think is neat about it.  The guys would probably tell you what's great about it is how powerful it is; that the hopper is larger because it has a big top on it; that is has 4-wheel drive; it has duals on the front; and things like that....  :)   

I watched "my little peoples", as Dorena calls them (I received a very nice letter from her in the mail today when she returned the music I'd forgotten down there---and a huge chocolate bar!)...   Their grandparents are now visiting for about a week, so it was fun to see them again and to hear their comments on how the girls have changed since they'd seen them last. 

My mom had 4 sessions with clients today, so she was busy with that.

Andrew worked on his projects (put the new tires that he bought yesterday on his 4-wheeler) and Jacob went with my dad to get the combine and drove the other vehicle back home. 

I never posted last night because I checked my FaceBook account first and my dear friend, Miranda was on at that moment and we got to talking................and talking...............and talking............and I never got back to my blog!  

Mother, Andrew, our friend Lauretta, and I spent a very long and busy day in Bismarck and got home a little after 8:30PM.   Why?  Well, my mom rents 2 office rooms in the same building (across the hall from each other) and has her main health business in the one room and was using the other for storage.  Now, since she bought her Betar table (healing with sound/music), she needed a place to set that up and so we set up the other room as an office too, using the room dividers she'd bought a year or two ago to split the room in two.  The back half is where the Betar table and desk will be and the front half will have a little sitting area and a table to sell things on (grains we grow on the farm or VibesUp products that my mom is getting into selling now too.   We all worked together on planning out the room, then while my mom did several sessions for clients in the other room, Andrew, Lauretta and I went shopping.  :)  We hit the thrift stores first and found several things we needed/wanted (a huge landscape scene with a stunning frame; a desk-clock; another picture---of an iris and an iris picture frame to match it; a floor lamp; and also a bunch of music....   Andrew dropped we girls off at Seeds of Hope (where we saw one of our neighbors!), and went over to Mandan to buy parts for his current ATV project.  Lauretta and I had fun looking through lots of music (and bought some) and wedding gowns----just for the fun of it (and we didn't buy any).  Then, we went to Menards for the things we couldn't find (light bulbs, trash-can, pegs for the desk...) and then to TSC for farm supplies.  It was a busy day, but I think we're now ready for Mom's grand opening of that part of her business (next Tuesday). 

Lauretta stayed for a little bit once we got home and watched with us where we were in "Pride and Prejudice".  :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Joy to the world!

We are done "working" all of our cattle for the year (Lord willing)! 

It was quite windy out today and the cows were pretty frisky, perhaps due to the wind or maybe because it was sunny and they thought it was Spring?  At any rate, even the mild-tempered ones were spunky and we had 4 animals (1 bull and 3 cows) jump the corralling (and it took some doing)!  We had to park the tractor at the end of the alley and a pickup on the other side once we got those back in so they wouldn't do it again.   Thankfully, it is all done now and we were all kept safe amidst the flying feet and the fur...    We definitely need to get a better cattle-working set-up made on this farm in the near future.

This needs to be short, as some of us are getting up extra early in the morning to get the chores done, showers taken, pickup loaded, fliers for my mom's open house printed, and all be ready to take off to pick up the Azure order by 8:15....   So, goodnight.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Silent night...

I just got home---and all is silent in the house as everyone else is in bed already....  I watched "My" little girls today and then went over to Lauretta and Sarena's house.  Their dad, sister Josephine, and a brother were there, as well as a cousin I'd never met before.   Lauretta, her brother and I played some ping-pong, then Sarena and I played piano duets for a while.  Lauretta played piano then, her brother played guitar, and the cousin and I played violins (and later, Josephine and I played).  He is a little bit better at it than I am, but not as good as Sarena and Josephine, so it was nice playing with someone who didn't exactly want to speed things up either....  :)  Then, we looked at pictures and shared funny stories and, it got late.

I don't even know what everyone else did here today?  I think we're going to be pouring the cows tomorrow.  I'm glad the wildest ones are sold!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

All is calm, all is foggy...

The cows have finally quit bawling and accept the fact that their babies have to stay on the opposite side of the fence.   Thus, all is calm.

You can barely see out to the barn or the swingset tonight.  Thus, all is foggy!

It was a pleasant day we spent at home, doing not much of anything, other than playing games, singing, reading, playing instruments, and watching a long movie of Dickens'. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

A busy Friday...

I was over babysitting Johanna and Tracy Jo almost all day. 

My dad went to a consignment auction in Jamestown and bought another combine.

Jacob went with my dad.

My mom had clients here and made a good supper.

Andrew worked in the shop and helped my mom with some things in the house.

AND, we all just enjoyed a delicious feast with ice cream to celebrate.  Celebrate?  Yes, to celebrate----the calves being weaned and the "new" combine and anything else we could think of.  :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Have YOU ever baked a flax cake?

I wanted to make some dessert this morning so we'd have some on hand, but I didn't have much time to (after placing the Azure order and making the rest of lunch; searching high and low for brand releases; and doing some other odds and ends), so I decided to bake a cake from a mix.  The only problem was that we are currently out of eggs.  Soooooooooooooo, I tried using an egg substitute---ground flax mixed with water.   The cake did not rise very well and falls apart, but it tastes good with lots of real-butter frosting on top.  :)

Right after lunch, (once my dad got home from Napoleon with my car, which he was so kind as to take and put gas in it as I was getting very low), I headed over to my boss/friends' house to watch the girls for 4 hours.  They napped a lot of the time that I was there actually, so I got caught up on some e-mailing and reading.  The girls are growing up so fast!   Johanna knows how to run some of the kid programs on her I-pad already (and she just turned 2).   Tracy Jo is walking confidently all over the house now...

When I got home, I thought for a minute that Andrew was either being robbed of one of his pickups (one across the road), or he was home early and was over there for some reason with his pickup and trailer.  It was dark and I couldn't see the pickup well, so I went to the house and called Andrew on his cell phone to see if it was him across the road.  My mom answered and said they were still in Bismarck, but she put Andrew on and he told me then that there were some guys coming to look at his 4-wheeler today and then they wanted to look at his pickup too, so my dad gave them the keys.  I was relieved then----just to know that those people were supposed to be over there. :)     It ends up that Andrew probably sold both the ATV and the pickup! 

I made some supper then and the 3 of us ate and did the outdoor chores.    When the 2 weary travelers returned, they showed and told us about the great bargains they got today through people they found on BisManOnline.    We thank God for that website!  :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


That's all I hear right now.   Why?  Probably due to the fact that we spent the morning sorting off our calves and putting them in a pen (next to their mommies), consequently weaning them and neither the mamas or babies are thrilled with the new arrangement!  

It was a long day!  Not only did we do the above (after making sure the fence was calf-proof, of course), but then we spent all afternoon sorting through our cows and picking out 35 to sell.  They're just getting too old....   While my dad and Andrew hauled the cows to town, between batches, Jacob and I spent a lot of time thawing out the water-fountain that is in the calves' pen.  It hadn't been used for some time and the heater was not on, so it was pretty stuck.  I even found 2 frozen frogs in the fountain!  Yuck!!!  I like frogs, but not dead ones.  ;(

Thank you to those of you who prayed for safety, as one of the 3 wild cows (and yes, they all got hauled to town now to be sold tomorrow) very nearly knocked Jacob over!  Most of our cows are pretty mild, but those 3 just never got over their uppity ways.

The evening ended very well, as our friend, Lauretta came over for a while and stayed for supper and we watched a movie ("What If?") together.

It's a very good thing that we're all tired as it won't be so hard to ignore the bawling and fall asleep this way.   Good night~ 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Some day I'll finish it!

I worked on my quilt again today.  I had hoped to put pictures on, but Blogger is giving me grief currently about my allotted picture space??? 

The others worked around the farm, all except for my dad who went to Zap and bought that grinder-mixer and drove it (slowly) home.  He stopped at the chiropractic office in  Bismarck and saw one of my best friends there!  If I'd known I could see Miranda, I would have hopped a ride!  :)

Please pray for all of us to be safe tomorrow, as we're going to be working with cattle again.  This time, we'll sort off all of the calves to wean them and then we need to pour (delouse-stuff) the cows and bulls and sort off some of the old cows to sell and haul them in to Napoleon.  I hope a warm wind decides to blow our way!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Great day for the guys...

The boys were happy with sales they made today through BisManOnline and also some purchases....  I'll let them tell you about it though, as I'm sure they'll want to!  My dad was also happy to find a grinder-mixer machine for a reasonable price and is going to ZAP, ND to buy it tomorrow.  :) 

My mom and I had a good day too.  She worked at home and I watched "my" girls again.   Johanna was such a good helper, washing the dishes with me for nearly an hour (there weren't nearly that many dishes, she just likes to wash and rewash everything)!   She talks a mile a minute, though I still can only understand half of what she says.   Tracy Jo is starting to say a few words already too (Dada and Mama, oh, and puppy, kind of).  She spent about half an hour this afternoon just playing in a toy car, turning the steering wheel and bouncing on the seat.   We were also playing a game where I set her down in the kitchen, then she walked/waddled/crawled to her parents' bedroom, laughing all the way.  I'd go swoop her up in my arms and she'd giggle all the way back to the kitchen (where Johanna was still washing dishes).     They're too funny! 

Also, Jeff and his hired man, Gary came over and dug out the old pressure pump for our well and installed a new one.  Now we should be set to go for another 30 years.  :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I started a king-sized quilting project once upon a time.  After discovering it in one of my drawers a few weeks back, I've been working on piecing it together.  I was so glad to get the middle part completed this afternoon!   Now, I just need to figure out what to do on the sides, then buy some fabric for the border, and purchase some batting, and fabric for the back of it........  :)

Our guys were very busy this afternoon with cleaning away all the "Stuff" that was in front of the shop (meaning they moved lots of things away with the loader bucket) and it looks SO much better now!  They still have the other side of the shop to do, but they're well on the way to completing the task. 

My mom and I were busy in the kitchen this morning, thinking of ways to use up turkey...... 

We watched a really neat Christmas-y movie this evening called "Silent Night".    It was scary in several places, but very neat.  It was this one:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Just like the olden days...

I woke this morning to no running water in the house.  My dad found it out in the middle of the night, I guess, and had gone outside to try and figure out what was going on.  He determined that the well-water-pump-motor?  had gone out, which meant the cows had no water either.  He called our plumbing friend, Jeff M. and he and his son, Erin came out this afternoon and pulled up the old water pipes and pump and replaced everything.  We had running water before dark.  PTL!  It is still murky and yucky, so we're not drinking it yet, but maybe the cows can drink it by tomorrow?  For today, the guys loaded up the big water-tank onto the white truck and filled it across the road (once they got that thawed out), then hauled it over and filled the cows' water tank so they'd have water for the day. 

It's amazing how we take things for granted when all is working as it should!  I can't count how many times I went to the sink today to wash my hands and got nothing.  We actually used our outhouse today!  :)  Just like we would have in the golden olden days....

Friday, November 23, 2012

My dad hauled grain....

....while the rest of us cleaned the house and cooked, and Andrew also changed an outlet around for us and fixed our Turbo Oven.  We got done early, so the boys and I played ping-pong----again.  (Can you tell that that's our newest favorite active game to play?)  They're teaching me how to spin the ping-pong balls, but I don't have it down yet...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving!

The first part of the day was a little harder to be grateful for than the rest, as we started the day by butchering 2 humongous turkeys.   Thankfully, Andrew cut the heads off---and helped with the rest somewhat too, when Mom and I were having too much trouble ourselves.  The largest one that we cooked up for our Thanksgiving supper weighed right in at 30 lbs!  My mom said the thing she was most grateful for today was that the turkey fit in the roaster pan AND in the oven!  :)  We were not able to make pie, as the oven was fully occupied, but we did make pumpkin pudding, and mashed potatoes and gravy, of course.    Yummy!  I do believe we were all stuffed after our delicious meal.

While my mom rested this afternoon, the rest of us played several games of ping-pong again.  My eye watered a good deal when the ball bounced off the table and hit me there, but other than that, it was lots of fun and I do believe we are improving...   Then, we went inside and played a board game (Carson City) with Mom and then the guys did chores while we ladies finished the last minute details for our feast.  After eating, we watched an old Doris Day movie (We Were Sailing Along), thinking it was the one about Thanksgiving, but it wasn't (that's the sequel, By The Light of The Silvery Moon). 

We really and truly are so blessed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    The Lord is so good to us.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Funny girls!

I watched "my" girls from 8:30am to 7:30pm today.  Their mama had bought some finger-paint and water-paints, so while Tracy Jo took her morning nap, we painted lots of things, then put them all up on the refrigerator (for a few minutes, then Johanna took them all back down again...).  Later, we built forts with the couch pillows and Tracy Jo was having fun putting a blanket over her head and then walking around!  Silly little ones!  Oh yes...  While I was checking some things out on the computer, Johanna climbed up behind me and started playing with my hair.  Then, when I turned and looked at her, she said "supise" and giggled.   Fun times!

I got home just 1 minute before my mom and Andrew returned home from Bismarck.  Dad and Jacob had done the chores, so we ate supper then and later, everyone did what they wanted (the guys read Farm Show I think; Mom was on the computer; and I played piano). 

I thought I'd share the forecast with all of you, as I received a special notice in my e-mail-box regarding it....    Have a wonderful day, thanking the Lord for as many blessings as you can think of!

Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to
an afternoon high near 190 F. The kitchen will turn hot and

During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a
knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation
of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift
across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots
on the other.

A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for
the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the
beltway. During the evening, the turkey will diminish and
taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34 F in the

Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat
sandwiches will be established. Flurries of leftovers can be
expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered
soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup

By early next week, eating pressure will be low as
the only wish left will be the bone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

132, 133, ......136!

Yes, 136.  That's how many calves we worked today (with Jerome's help).  Working involves giving shots (the shots qualify even under organic standards); banding the bulls; pouring them (lice preventative); and taking any horns off (only 5 or 6 of those).  Oh, and there were some younger ones that we had to tag too and a few that we retagged.   By God's grace, we were all kept safe, outside of the usual bumps, scrapes, and sore muscles from doing out-of-the-ordinary activities.  It was a gorgeous day, weather-wise, and we finished before dark.  It's such a good feeling to have that done once again!

I missed my daily blogpost last night as the Internet was not working at all last night.  My family was busy working on the farm (and my dad hauled grain and bought some calf-working-supplies), and I spent the day from 9am to 7pm watching/caring for Johanna and Tracy Jo, then went over to Lauretta and Sarena's house to visit and get my every-now-and-then violin lesson.  :)  Two of their brothers were there too, so one of them played guitar while we girls played piano and violins.  Then, after a squash, milk, and apple pie supper, we headed downstairs for some ping-pong fun.  Still later, Sarena and I had fun playing about 10 piano duets together.  I got home a little after 11... 

Tomorrow, I'm going over to babysit again.  I hear that it's supposed to be lovely out again, so hopefully we can spend some fun time out of doors!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

An early Thanksgiving...

After spending the morning at home (everyone else was busy sorting off bulls and a couple of old cows from the herd, while I decorated the Thanksgiving/Grandma's birthday cake), we headed for Mandan---my brothers and I playing "Rage" all the way there.  We visited with relatives and the elderly ladies that live on the same floor with Grandpa and Grandma B. in their apartment building.  It was a nice time and there was plenty of yummy tasting food (especially Grandma's famous orange-Jello salad).  :)

We arrived back at our farm around 8:00 and then my dad went to feed the cows and Andrew and I did the other chores.   

I'll post pictures from today----sometime.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A fun, relaxing day...

We played several games of ping-pong this morning and, throughout the course of the day, we sang songs; read from a book; played a farming board game; played Rook; and watched a movie based on a story by Dickens.  It was sad.  ;(    I also baked a cake this evening and need to get up and decorate it early in the morning for my grandma's birthday/Thanksgiving celebration.  :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

I got home just in time to...

...fold the last load of laundry of the week.  :0  I was babysitting all day today and so the boys helped my mom some with general house-cleaning and food preparations.  I think they worked in the shop also and my dad went over to Stans' farm and loaded up a load of sunflowers and delivered it safely to Enderlin.  He even beat me home by a little bit....

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Splish, splish, splash...

After feeding my babysitees their supper, they had a phenomenal amount of food in their hair and on their arms and faces, so we headed for the bathroom.  They enjoyed a nice long splashing time then.   It had been a while since I'd given them a bath and I was surprised at how active Tracy Jo was and I had to hold onto her as she stood up and splashed down and walked all around the tub.  Johanna was busy meanwhile, filling a cup of water at the front of the tub and taking it to the back of the tub to dump it there.   :)  Funny girls! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

If you bundled up... was lovely out today.  :)  I dressed the girls warmly and we went outside for a while to enjoy the snow and mud.  Fun times! 

When I got home, it was chores time, so I did my part, then we played ping-pong in the shop for a while before heading inside to watch the remainder of "Return to Cranford". 

I'm not sure what the others all did today, but I am certain that they were busy too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy little girls and birthday boys...

I finally took some time and loaded the pictures that were on my camera.  Here is a sampling of what I found:
On Jacob's birthday (a week ago Monday), I loaded up the girls in the Mochs' suburban and brought them back to our place for a few hours.  I dug out the toy box that we keep around for such times and the girls had so much fun playing with all of the "new" toys... 
The rest of us had fun watching them!  (My dad was gone hauling grain that day though.)
Here is the LITTLE SISTER, Tracy Jo...
Johanna and Mr. Turtle...
Miss polka-dots...
Playing toss....
Tracy is really getting the hang of walking now!
The best place for a slinky? ---- a foot!
Best place for little girls? -----a lap!
Jacob opened some of his presents while we were there...
I gave him this book as he's so fond of old cars...
My mom played the girls some little children songs and then had some help playing some music...
They were having fun!
This stack of presents was for both of my brothers...
Oh, and here is the promised picture of the guitar cake I made for Johanna:
This picture is of Tracy at her house.  She even left her hair-barrette in for about an hour that day!
And last, but not least-----the cutest lion in the world, and myself:
It was a productive day at home.  The guys worked in the shop most of the day, except for when they were fixing more fences...   My mom went to Bismarck for most of the daylight hours...   I had the kitchen to myself, so I baked some bread and a pizza; started the water kefir; canned a batch of pickled beets and cooked, peeled and chopped up another large kettle full of beets; did the dishes; cleaned out and reorganized the pantry a bit; put away all of the wrapping paper and bows that were cluttering up my room; and then I dug out the quilt I've been working on for YEARS and got quite a bit of work done on it.  'Twas a good day! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Andrew is 22 years old... of today.
I drove carefully over to work (and was a little late :(  ) as the roads were still slippery.  Paula was able to get off of work early, so she arrived while Johanna was still taking her afternoon nap and while I was rocking the sleeping Tracy Jo.   I'll try to post the picture of the cake I made for Johanna tomorrow.... 

I got home around 3:30 and helped to make the 2 pans of lasagna and our squash-apple dish----and helped with some cleaning too, as Lauretta and Sarena were going to come over as soon as they could.  Once we were done with the work we wanted to accomplish (and yes, Andrew helped, even though it WAS his birthday :) ), my dad, brothers and I headed over to the shop to play you know what.  When Lauretta and Sarena arrived around 5:00, we played ping-pong together until suppertime.  After eating and visiting, my friends offered to help with the barn chores, as they're used to that kind of thing.  As it was Andrew's day off from chores, I said I'd milk Sally tonight while my mom did the goat/turkey/calf chores.  We had to get oats first, so L. & S. helped me take several pails over to the grain-bin and filled them while Dad went for the tractor and came to pick the pails up in the loader.  After I got Sally in the barn, Sarena sat on one side of her and myself on the other and we milked---double speed.  :)   It's a good thing that Sally is not a fussy cow!   Lauretta fed Sally's calf it's 1 1/2 bottles of milk.  Then we carried up some water and hay for the 2 calves in that barn and were done with our part of chores.  My mom was done then too.  Once we got washed up, we played 3 different games, "Funglish", "30 second mysteries", and "Taboo".    Then we got to talking about cars and pickups and looking at vehicles for sale on-line and it was 11:00 when they pulled out of our driveway.  :)    It's fun to have friends come over!

I do believe that Andrew had a happy birthday.   I still can't quite fathom the fact that he's 22.  That's old!  :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My hands are pink!

I baked and decorated a cake today for Johanna's 2nd birthday (which was today) and will take it over to their place tomorrow when I watch the girls.   Her cake is in the shape of a guitar, and yes, it does have pink on it.  I made a batch of marshmallow fondant for some of the decorating and had to knead in the pink and pink apparently is a very strong, staining color!  :)

Outside of my dad doing some fencing; the rest of us getting the kitchen back in order and making chicken/salsa/creamy soup; and doing a bunch of laundry once the cow's water-tank was full, (oh, and mom made some cottage cheese too), we had another family-fun day----playing Andrew's new game "Carson City" and later playing, yes, you guessed it, ping-pong in the shop.  My mom wasn't feeling the best (general achiness) so she decided to take a nice warm soak for a couple of hours while the rest of us pinged and ponged. 

Getting to work tomorrow could be a slow process, as the gravel is still very icy under the snow...  SO, I'd best get to sleep so I can get up early and wrap Johanna's present and load up the cake and head west.  

God be with you 'til we meet again. ~ 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Over the ground lies a mantle of white...

We woke to a sparkly world of ice over everything.   We go to sleep with a generous powdering of snow on all we can see.  Life in ND is so very interesting! 

It was a very fun filled day here at our little home.  We celebrated the boys' birthdays with a party, consisting of the 5 of us, as the roads were not very passible for anyone else who would have come...  We had good food; sang lovely hymns of thanksgiving to God; read in a book by Pastor Prince; then gave the boys their birthday gifts.   It has been a long-standing tradition to write out clues that lead to other clues that lead to further clues that eventually lead to a gift, so this morning, my mom helped me some but it was mainly me thinking up hints----that rhymed.  There were 10 of them for each brother, so it took some time for them to find all of the clues, but it was so much fun watching them and hearing them think out loud.......    After the gifts were at last found, and it was decided that it was too late in the day to start one of the long games that the boys' received, we all went out to the shop (started the fire in the wood-stove!) and played many games of ping-pong.  :)   After supper and chores were through, we finished watching "Cranford" and now it is bedtime.

I thank the Lord for the brothers He has given me.  Sometimes I think about what life would have been like if my parents had not gotten back together when I was a little girl and how Andrew and Jacob would not even be in existance now....  Sad thought indeed!

Friday, November 9, 2012


It was so cold out during evening chores that Andrew and I started singing Winter/Christmas songs.   It just seemed the right thing to do on such an evening as this!   We are in a winter-storm advisory now until Sunday evening, so maybe we'll get a blizzard even and can play some nice long games and drink hot chocolate and do outside chores in record times.  :)

My mom (and the boys some too) were busy with cooking and cleaning today and separating many gallons of milk again (and Mom made cottage cheese and buttermilk and sour cream).  I watched "my" little girls (Tracy Jo can now take a dozen steps together before tipping over!) for most of the day, arriving home at 6:00PM.   I had to drive slowly on the way home as it had been raining previously and the frozen rain made even the gravel roads slippery.  My dad worked on his semi, I think, and probably a lot of other things too.

Stay warm everybody!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Baby, where are you?"

Those are the words Johanna repeated over and over while we searched the house for her baby doll, all spoken while wielding a flashlight------to search in all the dark corners or under cribs and the like.  :)    The girls are growing and changing so much!  Tracy Jo now takes a few steps on her own several times throughout the day and makes lots of unique sounds.  Johanna is learning how to share and takes pretty good care of her little sister, offering her food from her own plate and juice from her sippy cup...

When I got home, I quickly put something together for supper, as my mom and Andrew were in Bismarck all day and my dad and Jacob had been working outside all day, so I was the only one left to do so.  After eating, Jacob and I went out into the dark and did the evening chores.  It was cold out, so Sally was not standing at the barn door waiting but instead was waiting down in the pole-barn, so Jacob went and fetched her for me while I milked the 2 goats, and then I milked her too.  The cats are getting so fat again and even had milk leftover in the dish from this morning.  We feed Sally's calf 1 and a half bottles of milk twice a day and still have a couple of gallons left over after each milking and save it for separating or for drinking.  Milk is a blessing to have. 

It is supposed to be quite cold and possibly blizzardy tomorrow?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sometimes it's fun to eat junk food....

....occasionally.  Some hunter friends (the ones who we check on their place once a week all winter long to make sure everything is alright) brought us the excess groceries they'd purchased for hunting season as they said hunting was not very good this year and they won't be coming back until next year.   SO, we have several bags of chips, pretzels, crackers, cereal, and they also had some biscuits-in-a-can (the kind you twist and the thing explodes), so I made us some fried donuts for dessert today.  :)  There were also some healthy things:  apples, eggs, honey, butter, potatoes and onions, so it was a fun surprise...

Andrew had a productive day in his fix-it-then-sell-it business.  He sold a 4-wheeler and a computer to a guy who came from the Jud area.  My brothers really enjoyed visiting with the man and they ended up playing a few games of ping-pong with him (and my dad joined them when he got home), as he had a special modified paddle along with him.  I didn't see it, but the guys said he'd glued a bunch of foamy stuff onto a regular paddle until it was about an inch thick!  He said that when he was young, they used to play ping-pong using frying pans as paddles.  :) 

One of the things we did today was to round up 4 cows and load them on the stock-trailer so Dad could haul them to Linton to the butcher shop.  Some friends are buying the meat...   It was neat to have my dad, brothers and I all on 4-wheelers.  (Thanks, Andrew for letting us use your wheels!)

I made some more pickled beets today, this time using my grandmas' recipe and they turned out very yummy. 

My mom had a client here this afternoon.  The rest of us worked on projects around the farm.  That's about all the happenings of the day.....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I went to Hazelton to vote---twice.

I got up early this morning and drove the 20 miles to Hazelton to vote before going to work at my babysitting-job.  One of my family members had read on-line that voting would go from 7AM to 7PM, BUT, when I went in the city hall, I was told by a nice lady that someone had decided that our precinct voting wouldn't be starting until 9:00AM today.  SO, I put gas in my car; called my family to tell them not to head over to vote before 9; and drove to work.  Thankfully, Zach came in early to take care of the girls this afternoon/evening so I could drive back to Hazelton and actually vote this time (yes, they gave me a little sticker to prove that "I voted today").  It took some effort, but yes, I voted (and my parents and Andrew did this afternoon too)...   I'm not sure it did any good, from the sounds of things, but one has to try.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My baby brother turned 17!

Time ffffffffffffffllllllllllllllllllllllllllliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssss by!

To help him celebrate, I brought "My" 2 little girls over this morning and we stayed for lunch; played with toys (they especially loved the slinkies!); watched a short movie; and the girls took short naps. 

I think Jacob had a nice birthday?  He and Andrew played ping-pong for quite a while I hear and also played "Scotland Yard".    We had cake and ice cream for supper and then watched Jacob's choice of movies.  Oh, and he opened the presents we gave him too.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ping-pong, pickled beets, and Jesse J...

It was a somewhat busy day, although we took some time off to visit with a neighbor (Jesse J.) when he stopped in and to play ping-pong in the heated shop later in the afternoon. 

My mom and I got some beets cooking; made a batch of freezer-tomato-sauce; cleaned up the kitchen; and I baked 3 sour-cream-raisin pies.   It was Jacob's last day of being 16 years old.  :)  Tomorrow is his birthday, which means that he gets out of all chores (barn and house chores).  PLUS, he gets to choose his favorite meals to have and what game we'll play in the evening (or what movie we'll watch).  And then, in 1 week, Andrew will have all of these same birthday privileges.  :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Snow and aeroplanes...

Yes, it snowed again this morning.  :)  ?  :(

I gave Jacob an early birthday gift this afternoon----a game about "Aeroplanes".   It took quite some time to learn all of the rules, as it is a pretty complex game, but then the guys at least started to really enjoy it.  AND my dad won, as usual....

It was a nice, quite, lazy day.  Last night we watched a movie called "What If?".  Has anybody else seen this one before?  We enjoyed it a lot and plan to watch it again sometime in the nearish future to see what we didn't catch the first time through.  :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

SD Vacation...

It would take nearly a day to tell all of what Dorena, Lauretta and I did during the 4-day Bison, SD vacation, so I will tell you about the highlights and share some of the pictures we took.

Getting ready.....

We left Lauretta's house a little after 4:00 on Friday afternoon and drove for a little more than 4 hours, arriving at Dorena's grandmas' house a little after 7:00PM---their time.  :)  Dorena had a wonderful supper of chili, chips and cornbread waiting for us.  We got settled in, played some music (Lauretta on the piano and Dorena and I on violin), then headed for bed, and talked a lot....  

Dorena now has a cello, so we had fun trying to play it...

The following day, after eating a yummy breakfast and saying goodbye to Dorena's sister-in-law, Katie and her son, Christopher, and her sister, Christina, who were going to Iowa to take Christina back home again and to visit,  we headed out for a day of wood cutting and hauling....

Whenever we drove places, it amazed me how many little churches we saw out in the country...
We loaded this horse-trailer about 2/3rds full of wood and filled a pickup box also.  Here Dorena is playing "Catch" with her little niece, Lydia, while Lucille and Amos watch...
These are Luke and Amber's little ones---who filled our day with stories and laughs!
Luke and Justus (2 of Dorena's brothers) did most of the cutting, although Lauretta ran a chainsaw for a while too...
Lauretta, on the prairie...
Lucille (4) and Amos (3) got free rides over to the next wood-cutting spot...
It was a beautiful day to be outside!
Lauretta, Dorena, and Mara (Dorena's youngest sister), talking about????
Dorena and Justy, down the hill...
They hooked a chain onto a fallen tree and then pulled it up the hill with a pickup...
Lucille thought it was fun to play "Drum"...
Lauretta and I, babysitting.  :)   Lucille wanted to all the kinds of animals we've ever had and all of my family's names (first, middle, and last), plus so much more.  She was funny!  By the end of the day, little Lydia (16 months) could say the word "Cold" or rather, "Code".  I doubt she was actually cold all bundled up in the big person coat, but we all laughed when she said it, so she kept on saying it!
Then, Dorena joined us in the trailer (on the tree stumps) for a picture that Mara snapped...
Almost full.....
Lucille snapped this one of her papa...
That night, we girls watched "The Christmas Choir"---a story of a man who helped a group of homeless gentleman by working with them and forming a choir.  :) 

The next day, Sunday, we went to 2 church services.  First, we took Dorena's grandma and great aunt, Esther (whom she takes care of there in her grandma's house) to their church in Bison and sat with them.  Then, we took them back home; Dorena helped her brother, Ethan get a cow in the right fence; and we headed for Prairie City to go to a church there which is pastored by a home-schooling father of 10.  We really enjoyed that church...  

Later, when we got home again, Lauretta wasn't feeling the best, so she just rested while the rest of us ate lunch and then Dorena and I set about the task of finding some paint that was "Just the right color" and repainting a portion of the kitchen...   We took down the 40-year old chicken wallpaper and painted over the green paint that was below (after thoroughly washing it, of course!). 
Dorena...  :)
We listened to good music and had some great talking time....
:)  Dorena and I have been friends for about 14 years already....  We've been through a lot together!
Awwwwwww.....   Dorena plans to put a Bible verse up there sometime and stencil some flowers on it too.  We asked her to send a picture when she gets it done!
That night, the 3 of us drove to Dorena's parents' ranch and enjoyed a fun evening of visiting around the wood-stove (which is where all that wood that we cut went to...), and eating popcorn, apples, and pumpkin cake while watching "Hot Lead and Cold Feet".  :)  Dorena's dad took this picture of we girls----Mara, Dorena, myself, Lauretta, and Katey.  (Mara and Katey are both Dorena's sisters).
Somewhere in all of this, in the evenings, we'd help Dorena catch the naught chickens that didn't go into the coop on their own accord and carry them over to their rightful place, shutting the door to keep out all critters of the night....

This picture was taken Monday morning.  It is of "Grammy" doing the dishes.  She was so sweet and rarely let us do the dishes (we did do the cooking though), as she wanted to do something to help too.  :)
Lauretta played some more hymns....
AND THEN, Dorena took us on the adventure of the year----Butte climbing, which is similar to mountain climbing, I think.   The Buttes are just a few miles West of her grandma's place...
Getting ready to climb.........
.........the first butte of the day, "Old Baldie". 
At the bottom of Baldie...
My Dorena and yours truly....
Lauretta, holding the lead-rope we'd brought along in case we needed to help each other up and down the rocks.  I used it a couple of times, as I do believe I was the least brave/daring of the 3 of us.  :)
It was so rugged up there, and beautiful at the same time!
The red, white and blue lady...  :)
Up, up, and away.......
I got about 2/3rds of the way up (above the tree tops, as you can see) and then decided to wait there while the others went up to the very top.
Here they are coming back, wondering the best way to get down to where I was waiting for them....  Down is a harder feat to accomplish than going up is!
While I waited for the explorers to return, I added my name to the hundreds all around me (and a flower for good measure)....   I also called my mom, as I had excellent reception right in that spot!
When Lauretta returned to where I was waiting, she also carved her initials in the rocks (along with the year), but Dorena did not, as her initials were out there somewhere already....
This was the easy stretch...
I was amazed at how many trees there were out there!  
 Dorena, going on a lone-adventure...
 ....from which she took this picture of Lauretta and I....
 Isn't that lovely?
 Lauretta, peeking out from the rocks...
 There was a little shelf on one of the rocks, so I sat on it.  :)
 After successfully climbing and coming down from "Baldie", Dorena showed us "The Eagle's Nest" next...
 Basically, you climb up and up and up, then go through this little hold in the rocks where you can sit on a little ledge and look over and the valley below.  We sat there for quite some time, throwing little pebbles down into the valley....
 We returned then to Dorena's car and ate our lunch on top of it.  Here is the park sign:
Dorena then drove us across the highway and back on a very curvy trail a ways until we were in the general area of some caves Dorena wanted to show us.   Hiking was easier in this area, as it was basically just walking on relatively flat ground, pushing tree branches out of your way as you went....
 We walked out to the edge of that part of the territory----and stopped.  (I was standing on another rock that jutted out further than the others so I could get this picture of my friends....)
 THEN, Dorena found the cave she was thinking of....and went down inside of it....
 Do you see her?
 We were waiting for her to try to come back up, when we heard laughter behind us!   She'd come out behind us in the "Secret passageway".  :)
 Lauretta and I decided to enter the cave via the not-so-secret-anymore passageway...
The entrance was very narrow (you had to walk sideways to get inside), but then it got a bit wider inside....
 That small hole above is where Dorena first entered the cave and made her decent....
 We went in search of another cave that Dorena knew of, but never found it (she thinks it might have caved in).   We did find other interesting spots though...
 Dorena said she'd take us to the end of the trail then so we could see the rest of the buttes.   On the way, we saw the one and only living thing that we came across during our whole trip (outside of some people while we were eating our lunch)-----a young porcupine!     Dorena and Lauretta went pretty close to him, Lauretta armed with the camera, but this little fella was camera-shy.  He wasn't in too much of a hurry either.  He'd just start walking along and then, when a person got in his way, he'd turn slightly and keep going along his merry way.  :)
 We never tried climbing this hill (it was pretty far away), but it was quite interesting to look at!
 We had to watch out for the cactus plants scattered here and there on the hills...
 We came to the end of our vehicle-journey at this point.   We thought we may be done climbing too, but then decided to go on one last adventure....    Do you see the 3 points of those hills in the center of the picture?  Well, we decided to climb every one of them, making it to the top of the very last one (the left one here).   SO, we started walking from where I was standing while taking this photo----and were we ever tired by the time we got back to where I was standing here!   It was so much fun though!
"I go to the hills when my heart is lonely...... 
To laugh like a brook as it trips and falls over stones on its way.......
To sing through the night like a lark who is learning to pray...."
 Sitting on top of one of the rock points...
 "Whatever you do, do NOT go over that edge!!!"
 Dorena and Lauretta got to be pretty good friends by the time this was over!  :)
 She just wanted to see how far down it was to the ground at that point....
 Lauretta---our fearless leader....
 What a comfy place to take a nap, don't you think?
 Here you can see better the hill to which we made it to.  It's the tallest one in this picture, with all the green bushy/mossy stuff climbing up this side of it....  It doesn't look like it would be so difficult to climb, but it really was a challenge.  This picture makes that mountain look on the small side, as it was taken from another mountain!
 When we FINALLY made it up to the toppest of the top, we built a little stone tower-----to see if we could see it from far away so we'd know where we had truly been....  It was amazing to me that anything could even grow on those rocks!
 This had to have been the most fun part of the day!   We decided to descend the mountain and go around the bottom, then climb up the closest butte to where we had the car parked---instead of reclimbing every butte along the way as we did on our way to the tallest of the tall hills.   A little ways down from the top of the butte (you may want to go back 2 pictures and see) there were these bushy things growing.  They were about a foot thick.   It was Lauretta who started it all.  She pulled up her skirt around her knees, then sat down and started SLIDING!    She was laughing so much that Dorena sat down too and zoomed right by her!   I was way behind, as I stopped for some pictures....   It was SO much fun, even if my skirt was made of a velvety fabric and kept of grabbing the vines instead of sliding very well over them.  It would almost have been worth it to reclimb the mountain to be able to slide down again!
Here is a picture of that mountain/butte again from a distance, showing how far the bushes took us down the side of the giant hill!
 OH, and can you see our rock-tower up on top?  :)    We found a deer trail towards the bottom of the butte and followed that, wondering why we had not noticed it before?  It took us almost all the way back to where we came from.
 And here, we were back up on solid/safe ground.   It started sprinkling and turned colder, so it was a good thing we did our climbing when we did!
 Dorena looks like she's thinking "Oh my, I can't believe we did that!", but in all reality, she is talking on the phone here, telling her grandma we were alright and would be home soon.  :)
 When we got back to Dorena's room.....................     It felt so good to just relax!   We actually did stay up late that night though, talking some more; eating banana splits; and watching "Fireproof" and then "The Christmas Card".  :)
 We had to say our goodbyes the following morning after a hearty breakfast of french toast and yogurt.   We did sing some hymns together first and repacked the car together.   It was so sad saying goodbye, but we hope to make it back there next year again instead of letting 2 years slip by like I did last time.....

I drove Lauretta and I to Lemmon where we filled the car with gas, then we stopped at the Petrified Wood Park and walked around there for a while....
 This "Tree" was very tall (that's Lauretta standing beside it)....
 They'd built a museum out of pet. wood and this round room with an archway...
 Standing under the rock arch...
 This piece of pet. wood had some shiny stuff in it...
 This rock was neat as it was so perfectly shaped as a seat....
 Me and the petrified log.....  :)
 AND-----the last picture of this post is of Lauretta, sitting on one of the rock chairs by the rock table......
It was a little chilly out, so instead of eating our lunch (that Dorena had packed for us) by that table, we ate it in my car.    Lauretta then called up one of her cousins and asked if we could drop in and visit him and his family, as they were right on our way (and he said "Yes").  SO, after making a short stop at a small grocery store to buy some breath mints (as our sandwiches had onions in them....), we visited Lauretta's cousins for a while before continuing our journey home.  I was very pleased with my car for making the whole trip on just about 1 tank of gas.  :) 
I returned Lauretta to her home, then returned myself to my own home, where my mom had a  good supper waiting. 
It was such a wonderful vacation!   
I thank God that everything worked out so we could go (although we missed having my friend Miranda along this time!) and that we were kept safe, AND, thank you to all of those who did my work while I was gone (my family even moved the cows home without me)!