Thursday, April 27, 2017

Making a Toy Basket from Re-Purposed Items



I have been wanting the share this project for a while but hadn't gotten around to doing so. A couple of months back Megan and I had a basket making day.

We used plastic strapping that comes around my boxes every time I get a flower order and jean seams - the leftover from my cutting up of jeans when I am making rugs (like the one Megan is sitting on0>
 I used a tote for my "mold" of sorts.
 The bottom was made up of only strapping.
 Megan made a basket of all strapping (no denim).
 Once I hit the sides I started adding in denim seams. I glued them together with hot glue whenever I needed to add a new piece.
 Making progress.
 And more.
 I folded the strapping and glued it in various ways at the top to make it good and sturdy.
 The finished basket.
It works very well to hold the toys that we have for little ones who visit.

That was a pretty fun project of using things that we had on hand. We have currently been working on another big project that I hope to share the results of soon. Our homeschool co-op is putting on a science circus and we have been busy making costumes and props.

How have you been using what you have in your hand?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Talking about Heaven

Heaven is pretty exciting to think about. From the Bible we don't have a full picture of it (there are a lot of details that aren't explained) but we know enough to realize that it will be glorious. Here are some verses that tell us about heaven....

"Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twleve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever." Revelations 22:1-5

"His mast said to him, "Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master." Matthew 25:21

"I say to you that many will come form east and west and recline at hte table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven;" Matthew 8:11

"And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written int he Lamb's book of life." Revelations 21:27

"Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14

 We want to be washed cleaned by Jesus' blood so that we are ready to enter!!!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Pictures of Our Life Lately

 We have a had a lot go on in the last couple of weeks but I haven't always gotten pictures. But here are quite a few pictures that we did take....

Aaron having fun with a balloon.
 Dad showing us how to graft apple trees again. It is kind of tricky.
 Granddad and Nana came to visit!! This visit was an exciting one because they bought a house here!
 Aaron bought a new (to him) mandolin off of Ebay. He had been wanting an F style so he saved up his money and bought one. He has been enjoying it.
 Mara has helped me some as I have worked to graft our apple trees. That has been a challenging job.
 We saw a kayak for sale in town so Aaron bought it with the rest of his money (not counting what he has in the bank). He is now nearly penniless but has two things that he has been wanting for a long time - a F style mandolin and a Kayak. Nana was trying it out in this picture.
 Megan's 11th birthday was on Sunday. She wore the dress that she made and we curled her hair. We had family over to help celebrate.
 Angel food cake is her favorite.
 Megan loves to swing. The one that the boys had hung on a limb here got knocked down when a dead tree was cut down last summer. Megan has been wanting a swing ever since but we didn't have any more good limbs for swings. Dad fixed up this frame for her and Aaron made her the swing. She is enjoying it.
 We have some "teenage" chicks at our place. I meant to get pictures when they were little and cute but I failed to do so.
 Thursday evening we went to our electric co-operative meeting where Mara was recognized for having been chosen to attend the Rural Electric Companies youth tour to Washington DC. Here she is meeting the CEO.

 Here is Aaron in his Kayak. We have been loving getting out on the water!
 Practicing my cello. I have been really working to spend more time practicing my instruments. I love doing it but it is easy to put off. In February my goal was to practice (not just play - actually work to improve) the piano every day. I think I may have missed 2 days but I did pretty good. March I chose to focus on the violin/fiddle and this month the cello. I have missed more days with both of those instruments but I am practicing many more days that I don't. It has been good for helping me improve.

 We have been transplanting a lot of crab apple trees that we got the first Spring we owned this land and I planted them temporarily in the garden area. I have been finding them permanent homes and moving them. I have also been moving my highbush cranberries. It has been fun but rather exhausting work (especially working on it today following a 17 mile bike ride). I have also been working to graft most of the crab apple trees.
 Maiden hair fern coming up in the woods.
Megan working on her fort. She is making it with sticks and adobe. She plans to make it into a hobbit hole.
She made this wood stove for her fort but when she tried it out the tape (which I thought might be heat resistant) she had used on her chimney melted and she ended up with a chimney fire. Trying was good experience however.

What has been going on at your place lately??

Monday, April 17, 2017

Homestead Dreaming!

    I have been doing a lot of homestead dreaming lately. We recently ordered our garden seeds and that always gets me thinking on the homesteading line. I am so grateful God for giving us a place where we can work to grow much of our food and just for the way He provides food for us. It is such a fun and amazing process and our God's design is amazing!

   Here are some of the things that I have been dreaming about working on at our place this year....

- Moving the apples trees, cherry bushes and highbush cranberries out of the garden space and into their permanent locations around the property. We need to do some grafting of better apple varieties on the crab apple root stock. I am thankful that my Dad can teach me to do that and that he has a bunch of good apple varieties to get from. I have been working on this a lot the last couple of weeks. I still have more work on this project.

-I am hoping to plant raspberries and black raspberries. Ken's employee at his insurance agency said that she had a bunch of black raspberries plants that produced well and multiplied a bunch and we could get some starts of them if we would like. I am hoping to take her up on that offer this year.

-Figuring out more ways to cut down on the cost of chicken feed. We did buy in bulk this fall and that has been really nice and has saved us money but there are also ways to raise some of feed as well which I hope to try. Here is an article with lots of ideas for saving money on chicken feed. I found it very interesting. And no, we probably won't be trying all the methods. Some might be a little TOO interesting. :-) I did just buy a bunch of sunflower seeds (the black seed type that is especially used in chicken and I believe rabbit feed) and I have a placed figured out for planting a large patch to hopefully grow and use for feed.

-I am working to grow ginger as a houseplant. I did get some planted and we just noticed that some shoots are poking up. Exciting! This video has a lot of information on doing that. I love to have fresh ginger to cook with and growing our own will be so neat. We do have a friend that has been doing it here in MN so I am confident that it should work well.

-I think it would be neat to grow turmeric as well. I did buy a root of that as well and it is planted but nothing has come up yet.

-I also got some lemon grass that I have been soaking and hope to plant soon.

-I really hope to do more fishing this year and figure out how to make that a larger portion of our diet.

-I am planning on keeping bees again this summer and really hope to get them fence to protect them better. I also will be exploring ways to work at overwintering my bees. I haven't done that successfully yet but I would really like to try harder to make that work.

- We are adding more varieties of herbs to our gardens this year.

-I am hoping to do a lot more seed saving this year. That is such a fun way to save some money and not having to rely on somebody else.

I do think it would be so fun if we could get the large majority of our food off of our own place. I wonder if we can truly get there or not. The family in the video below really makes me think that we can but I know that it won't happen overnight nor will it happen accidentally - it will have to be intentionally. I do love dreaming about it.



Do you have any dreams for your home and yard?

Jesus is Coming Again!


Today many celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The death, burial and resurrection is central to our faith as Christians and it is fun to be reminded of it's importance. Since Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven we are now looking forward to his return someday. This post is about what the Bible says about Christ coming back.

Christ will come again - check out all these announcements of that fact:
"Jesus said to him, You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." Matthew 26:64

"And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." Acts 1:9-11

It is also pretty cool that every New Testament writer refers to the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ: Matthew (25:13), Mark (8:38), Luke (21:27), John (14:3), Paul (1 Thess. 4:16), James (5:8), Peter (1 Peter 5:4) and Jude (vs. 14 and 15)

What will Jesus' 2nd coming be like?

"Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory." Mark 13:26

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord." 1 Thess. 4:16 & 17

"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up." 2 Peter 3:10

"And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory." Matthew 24:30

"But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." Mark 13:32

"So if they say to you, "Behold, He is in the wilderness," do not go out, or "Behold , He is in the inner rooms, " do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be." Matthew 24:26 & 27

People will react to the 2nd coming in 2 ways.

Christians will rejoice ~
"Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus." Titus 2:13

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing." 2 Timothy 7 & 8

"So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him." Hebrews 9:28


The unsaved will face it with fear ~
"For after all it is only just for God to repay with afflictions those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away form the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed - for our testimony to you was believed." 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10

"And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory." Matthew 24:30

Are you ready for Jesus' coming?

"Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming." Matthew 24:42

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Bee Baby Shower- Using What I Had in My Hand

 This past Saturday my sister Keren and I hosted a baby shower for the two newest arrivals in our congregation. We held it at the church building (because we wanted to make it wheel-chair friendly). The two little guys who's births we were celebrating are named Buirlen and Brody and so we decided to have a "Bee" ("B") themed party. It was a lot of fun to prepare for. I love hosting parties and decorating for them. I really especially love see how we can make it cool using things we already have on hand. So I didn't buy anything for this shower (not even the gifts or prizes) but I was able to use things that I already had on hand and had great fun doing that. This post is a little bit picture heavy but I hope you find it fun! :-)
Making a last minute welcome banner.
An old burlap potato sack became a banner. Decorated with silk flowers that were laying around, bees we made from felt, felt letters and fabric scraps.


The "B's" were our guestbook  as well as decoration. In their former life they were boxes, curtains, pillowcases and cards. The & chalkboard was borrowed from my house for the event. I had made it earlier from a log slice and chalkboard paint.
 For the "B's" we had each guest put a thumbprint on a little circle of cardstock (what I had cut out of old cards and such) and then add details to make it into a bee and also write their name on it. Then they pinned it on the B. At the welcome table they did that as well as guessing how many M & M's were in a jar and how many bees spent their whole lifetime working to produce that jar of honey. We also had a sheet of paper to fill out for the babies about what we wished for them.
Some of the prizes that I brought (to give out for winners of the games) were jars of honey,

This bag that I had been given at a bridal show and I decorated for the occasion,
This hand mirror that I had in my stash and also decorated for the occasion using bottoms that I rescued from an old jumper.
 We had fun with centerpieces. Keren brought in this geranium. I added bees that Megan and I had made from felt and cellophane that had come wrapped around flowers. I mounted all the bees on curly wires that had been saved from old calendars. The wood slice and watering can I had on hand.
 My old Winnie the Pooh (from my babyhood) and another jar of honey got put into use for another table.
 Megan and I made a few skeps for other decorations. In their former lives these skeps were old yogurt containers, newspaper, a partly done macrame project (that had been given to us) and then the calendar wire, felt and a flower wrapping.
 Another centerpiece made from things I had on hand and the bees we made buzzing out of it.

A close-up of the bee and it's cellophane wings.
We stuck bees in some of the containers of flowers that were already at the church building too.
 We had fun making the invitations. We were a little corny on it saying: "Two little Honey Bees have arrived and we're buzzing with excitement!" But we had fun. I am glad that I already had a set of bee stamps to use. We also used these stamps to decorate napkins and the paper for the games we played. I did re-purpose brown packing paper for making the invitations and the envelopes.
 We were able to use some silk flowers that were already at the church building for decorations. The chalkboard vase was one I made a while back from an old olive oil jar. The Chalkboard is another of mine from home (It is a slate tile that I bought for very little at the Restore). I stopped by the side of the road to pick pussy willows and other branches.

Megan and I made pins for the mommys. I re-purposed old political pins and more of the party finished macrame project.


 Keren made the lovely cake complete with M & M bees on top and a delicious filling! I made Lemon bars, Honey and Ginger cookies (that were supposed to look like skeps) and popcorn. Keren also brought lemonade and peanuts and I brought Mint Tea and honey.
For the gifts I had fun using some yarn I had on hand and making sweaters and hats (which they will grow out of very soon - unfortunately!). I also made Brody a blanket and Buirlen (and his mom) a nursing cover. I had started working on Brody's sweater a while back (and I actually made the blanket last year) but was planning on a making a very colorful sweater for Buirlen as his Momma loves colors but when we decided to have a bee theme I knew that I needed to make a bee sweater. I was happy that I did find black and yellow yarn in my stash.

   Buirlen slept through much of his shower. Brody didn't - when I held him he just stared and stared at me but when we tried to take the picture he thought it was a pretty bad idea and complained quite heartily.
Another friend gave Buirlen his yellow boots. This cute little guy is also my nephew. His daddy is my younger brother.
 We were trying to figure out a good pose for our little bee.


 That is one of the fun ways I was able to use things that I had on hand. How about you - how have you had fun using things that you already had lately?

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