Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Wreath

   This Christmas I was feeling a little crafty, and a little cheap!  You see, last year the Hubby bought a beautiful fresh wreath that was about 3 feet across.  I really loved it!  We have a star hanging on the front of our house and the wreath fit over it just perfectly, just touching the tips of the star.  The hubby, without me knowing it, saved the frame of that wreath.  When we where talking about outside decorations for this Christmas, he mentioned that he still had the frame of the old wreath.  This got my creative juices flowing.  I decided I could craft a wreath that would last year for many years.
  First, I started with the frame of the wreath and 50 feet of artificial greens and some 20 galvanized steel wire.  I used the wire to secure the greenery to the frame, because with the wreath being out in the elements I felt I could fasten it more securely with wire than with glue.

   And then I started to wrapped, and then I wrapped and then I wrapped.  And then I tied it with wire and then tied it with some more wire.  No actually, I would wrap and then secure it with wire about every 3 - 4 inches.  It took about a half hour to wrap the first layer of greens.  At this point, I was not pleased with the fullness of the wreath.  I had picked up another type of greenery for a different project. so I used some of that and wrapped a second looser layer over the first.  I really liked the way it looked with both layers on it.

Now on to the fun part the decorating!  I was able to find a lot of the items I used at a florist shop that was trying to get rid of their Christmas floral items early in the season.  They probably didn't want to be stuck with a lot of leftover items at the end of the season.  I think for the 2 pinecone spikes and the one red spike was less than $12.00.  The silver flowers I got at a discount store for around $2.00.  I used a hot glue gun to put them on.  I did not skimp on the hot glue.  With the red bow, I used gorilla glue.  The reason I used different glue was because of the different material.  The bow was not liking the hot glue very much. The bow I had already had from a different project.  I had wanted a silver bow, but didn't find one I liked. 

  What do you think of it?

Love to all,   Sara

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Operation Christmas Child Packing Party

Start of the pile of boxes
  I can't believe it has been almost a month already since we had our Operation Christmas Child packing party to church.  I want to give you a little background leading up to this event. A little over a year ago, I was elected to be the chairperson of our congregation's Mission and Outreach committee.  Before 2013, our congregation supported many different missions, but never really got behind any on thing.  Because of this, many in our church felt that they were being viewed as ATM machines.  We decided that we needed to select a few missions to concentrate our efforts on.
  Last December, around 15 youth and adults from our congregation went to an OCC processing center.  The experience really seemed to change those that attended event.  Us on the committee saw an organization we could really get behind and support.  We decided to collect items for the shoe boxes all year long, then on one Sunday in November after church we packed boxes.  We packed 138 boxes.  I think for doing it this way for the first time, we did great!!!
Last year when we just provided the boxes for individuals to pack themselves, we received 49 boxes.  We did almost 3x the amount of boxes this way.  We also learned a lot, like what to ask for and what NOT to ask for, also how to organize the tables for more efficient packing.  I do know everyone that attended was having a good time!!! :)
Me trying to give a few instructions before the chaos began!  lol
Busy selecting just the right things!
How does this shoebox look?
Everyone seemed to be having fun!
All ages were getting in on the packing!
Of course we had to add Christmas cards to the boxes!  That was my job!
Got one done!
  All totaled the hubby and I took 273 shoe boxes to the drop off center in a neighboring town.  This equals 273 children that will receive a Christmas present for the very first time and also hear about Jesus Christ, many for the first time also.  One other very important thing is that they will see that someone cares about them!  The feeling you get from doing this work is BETTER than any present you could ever receive.  
  To learn more about Operation Christmas Child click on this link Samaritan's Purse.  It is such an amazing program, one that has truly touched my heart!

Love to all,   Sara

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The KRUD!!!!

Cartoon girl patient -
  I have the KRUD!!!!  At least that is what everyone around here is calling this cold, respitory infection, sinus infection, migraine produceing, fever riddled junk that young and old are coming down with.  This is my second round of it and hopefully my last.  I am not eating or sleeping, just coughing and blowing my nose and walking around with a can of Lysol to try and disinfect everything I touch.  I don't want anyone else to get this!  I had thought I was over this after taking the first round of antibiotics the doctor prescribed, but oh no, come Christmas Eve morning I was back in the clinic again.  I couldn't talk and had a killer headache.  I made it through Christmas Eve but we went home early, around 8:30, usually we don't get home until 11:00 - 11:30.  Christmas Day, I stayed in bed all day.  The hubby and Bug went to Hubby's side of the family.  I am sorry I couldn't be there, but my FIL & MIL are older and not in the best of health.  I would hate to get them sick!  My sister was very nice and brought me a big bowl of soup & plate of leftovers from Christmas Eve, so I didn't have to worry about making food for myself.  I don't think I got out of my PJs until 4:00 in the afternoon.  I really detest being sick!  Especially at this time of year, when Bug has time off & we could be out doing fun things.  I haven't even been able to put away my Christmas presents yet.  They are by the tree, where I put them after they were opened.  Not a fun time in our household right now!!
  I hope you Christmas was much better and it found you all happy and more importantly HEALTHY!

Love to all,   Sara

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!
Love to all,   Sara


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Glitter Overload

   I am working on Christmas cards today.  I have decided one thing.  NEVER buy cards with glitter on them!  I am glitter from head to toe!

I think I will need to take at least 2 showers to get all of this glitter off!  I hope you all are enjoying your Christmas season!

Love to all,   Sara

Potato & Onion Storage

  I have a very small kitchen.  When we moved into this home 8 years ago, my hubby said one day we would build on and expand the kitchen, etc.  Well, I am still waiting for this to happen.  So until then I have tried to come up with some creative solutions for storage. 

One thing I recently did was have the hubby hang two wire baskets on my kitchen wall for my potatoes and onions.  I really had no place to store them, besides under the sink and we all know that is not the ideal place for potato and onion storage.  I got the idea after finding an old wire basket in the hubby's stash of "treasures" in the garage.  I loved the look of it and thought it would be perfect for potatoes or onions.  So I started to hunt for another one.  I came across these baskets at a local florist shop.  After the hubby convinced me that the original basket was to large for the wall and the place I wanted to hang it, I purchased two of these baskets.  They cost me less then $20.00 on sale.
I lined them with some leftover burlap, which I had from another project.  It worked out perfectly.

I love the way it looks!!!  Now I know immediately if I need potatoes or onions OR more importantly if either one of them are starting to go bad and need to be thrown away.  I need to THANK the hubby for hanging them up so securely, also.  Just today, I put over 15 lbs of potatoes in one of the baskets and it is staying up with ease.  One less thing I have to think about where I am going to store. 

Love to all,  Sara

Friday, December 13, 2013

Starting to look like Christmas

  It is starting to look like Christmas in the house, but we still have a long was to go!

Still a lot left to do!!!  Stay tuned!! 

Love to all,   Sara 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela - R.I.P.

  Some of my favorite Nelson Mandela quotes.  He was such an amazing man.  He fought such adversity in his lifetime and he changed the world.  My he rest in peace. 

Mike Hutchings / Reuters


Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Paul Gilham / Getty Images

Words to think about. 

Love to all,   Sara

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Welcome Back Winter

  This is what the Weather Channal said when I woke up this morning!  I think I should just stay in bed with my heated mattress pad!  

Love to all,   Sara 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bug Plays Piano at Church!

   Well, this mama's heart was swelling with pride!  A couple of Sundays ago, my little Bug played for church.  She was in charge of the prelude, postlude and two hymns.  She did so well!  I could feel my mom's presence with us in church that day!  She would of been grinning from ear to ear.  For many years, my mother was the organist in our church.  She always told my sister and I that one of her grandchildren was going to play the piano.  My sister's kids had absolutely no interest in it, so my mom really pushed for Bug to take lessons, especially once she showed an interest in it.  Now that Bug has played for church, it feels like things have come full circle.  It is just the way things are supposed to be.

Love to all,    Sara

Summer Musical 2013


  This summer Bug was involved in the Summer Musical at the LaMoure County Summer Musical Theater.  The perforce this year was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream coat.  It was amazing.  Bug's played one of the brothers.  I was so impressed with the show.  The talent in these local kids are truly amazing. 
  The LCMST is basically a auditorium in the LaMoure County Memorial Park.  It dates back to the 1870's, when pioneer and settlers found a secluded spot in a bend of the James River that was perfect for gathering and socializing.  The auditorium was built the next year as a spot for any type of gathering.  Many types of gathering were held at the building, from political events to church services.  As years past, interest in the building faded and it fell into disrepair.  It wasn't until a local music teacher took it upon himself to fix up the building so he could bring musical theater to the community.  It the process starting a new production organization, the "LaMoure County Summer Musical Theater." 
  The casts, the crew and the orchestra are all local people from LaMoure or neighboring towns.  The dedicate the majority of their summer to the rehearsal and performance of the musical.  I know, we were very luck because our neighbors are very involved with the productions, so we were able to set up car pooling.  On the summers when that wasn't possible, I was able to get a lot of reading done as the cast is rehearsing. 
  This year was particularly great.  All but 2 of the cast members were collage age or younger.  To be that young and that dedicated is wonderful.  Not to mention the talent.  Oh my the talent!  It just sends shivers down my spine.  I really like going to the first and the final production to see how they have improved over the run of the performances. 
Bug as an Egyptian!
I hope you can someday go to the LCSMT and see one of their wonderful productions!
Love to all,


  Chaos!!!  My life is in chaos!  If you all have been wondering what I have been doing all summer, I have been trying to bring order to our lives once and for all.  This summer was busy spent in the garden raising a bummer crop of tomatoes! (I had about 5 bushels from only 12 plants.  For me, this is exceptional.)
Not to mention raising cucumber and zucchini and rhubarb and green peppers.  It seems like I was canning for months.  In all honesty, if you add all the time up I think I did can for 3 weeks.  I ended up with 28 pints of cherries, 102 quarts of pickles and 42 quarts and 28 pints of marinara sauce.  I think that should last us for the winter and next summer.  I use the marinara sauce for pizza sauce, in lasagna and on spaghetti etc. 
  Another thing I have been trying to do is go through all of our junk.  For two years, I have not been able to park in our garage.  We had to move furniture, etc into the garage when we had foster kids a few years back and the stuff never got put back where it belongs.  AND more junk got piled on top of it.  My family has a habit of not putting away there things.  So long it is not in their way, then it is fine where ever they drop it.  About 2 months ago, I just couldn't take it anymore.  I was embarrassing for people to come over, you have to walk through our garage to reach our front door.  My husband already has one stall of our two stall garage full of his stuff and now as I am going through the stuff in the other stall I am noticing more and more of my husband's stuff.  On a positive note, I have already taken two pick-up loads to Goodwill and I know I will have at least two more and I have made about $50.00 on miscellaneous items I have sold on an online rummage sale site.  Crazy, I know!!!!
  The next step in this mass decluttering is the downstairs family room and spare bedroom.  I need to do this so the stuff from the garage will fit where it belongs. 
  During all of this chaos, we moved Bug's bedroom from downstairs to upstairs.  Her doctor thought her sleeping downstairs may be part of the reason she is getting sick all the time.  So we had to repaint two rooms, move her bedroom stuff upstairs and the craft room and office stuff downstairs.  It has been non stop going through things!
  I am so ready for all of the junk to be gone!  I have give myself and my family a deadline of being able to park in the garage by Thanksgiving.  I think that is realistic.  Also, the rest of the house hopefully will be done by the end of February, including the tubes and tubes of pictures from my mom's house.  This is one of the hardest parts, finding time with my sister to go through the family pictures and then when we both want one having a copy made.  This is why I am giving myself a little more time!  
  Well, wish me luck!  I am going to need it! 

Love to all,   Sara

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Turkey BBQ in Guelph

   This past Sunday was the annual Turkey BBQ in the small community of Guelph, ND.  This is an annual event that raises money to maintain the old school located in Guelph.   The building is used for many things now, but just not as a school.  I know that local 4-H clubs have meet there, family reunions have taken place in it's gym and even an occasional wedding reception.

                         The Guelph School Building
The Guelph School holds many fond memories for me!  Even though it stopped being a K-12 school in the mid-60's, I believe, the Oakes School System used it for many years for it's 5th and 6th grade classes.  I think those years were some of the best, EVER!  The kids were bussed out to the school because there just was not enough room in the Elementary School building in town.  So all of the kids and teachers were taken out there, 9 miles from town.  I thought it was so cool that a couple of my teachers had actually gone to college with my father, as he was getting his teaching degree.  We were so isolated from everyone; it made us feel special.  We have the best playground in the world, not because we had fancy equipment on it or lots of activities to keep us busy.  It was the best because we had SPACE.  We had the old football and baseball field to play on.  Some to the football games out there were unbelievable, not to mention the kickball games.  Occasionally, a ball would go off into the field of corn that was right next to the playground.  Then it was all hands on deck to go find it.  You didn't want to lose a ball.  Oh and did I mention the lunches.  OMG THE LUNCHES!  We had the greatest cooks!  The meals that would come out of that old kitchen, I can't even describe them.  It seemed like almost everyday, one of the cooks would bring in homemade cookies.  When you are feeding so few kids, it would be easier to do that.  It was also during times when things weren't so strict.  If you ask any of my old classmates what they remember best about going to Guelph School, it will probably be the food.  


  One other cool thing about the school is the gym is planked entirely from floor to ceiling in old wood.  I am not sure if it is pine or cedar or a hard wood but it is just beautiful.  Even the bleachers are made from this wood.  The time it took to do this I can't even imagine. 
Love to all,   Sara

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thank You Auntie!

  Today Bug and I got a big chore accomplished.  We could not of done it without the help of Bug's Aunt Marian!  Today, she shortened 6 pairs of jeans for Bug! 
When you still haven't reached 5 feet tall (that is Bug's goal, to be 5 feet tall), you need your pants hemmed.  It is just a fact of life.  Marian was able to get them done in just a few short hours and we were able to have a nice visit also.  It was all good!  I do believe Bug is almost ready for school now.  Just one more purchase of shorts for volleyball and then it should be all good!  Thank goodness!  And Thank you Aunt Marian! 

Love to all,   Sara 

Bug's First Day of 8th Grade

  Isn't she a beautiful young lady?  What happened to my little baby? 

Have a great year Bug!  Love you!

Love to all,  Sara 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

School Shopping

  Went pack to school shopping with Bug yesterday.  This is only half of what we got!  No wonder I am exhausted! 

Love to all,   Sara. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sick to my Stomach!

  I am sooooo upset and I have no one to blame but myself!  I was taking pictures last night at Bug's summer play and my camera started to act fun.  I turned it off and when I got home tried to figure out what was going on.  Not the best thing to be doing at midnight.  I decided the only way to fix it was to reset the camera to the factory settings and just set everything up the way I like it again.  Did I say, not something you should be doing at midnight.  Well, like a fool, when the camera asked to format, I hit OK.  NEVER hit OK if you have pictures on the SD cards you want to save.  Because, I wiped out 2 months worth of pictures!  They were from a reunion of my hubby & his 3 siblings, our daughter's play, the Fourth of July fireworks, which were amazing; a visit to a museum; a landscape project; and one of the most beautiful sunsets ever.
  So what is the lesson learned?  1) Download your camera every time you take pictures, i.e. at the end of the day, week, etc.  2) NEVER format your SD card unless it is blank or you WANT to erase everything on it and 3) If you ask around, there are usually so amazing people in your community that will offer to send you photos to replace the ones you lost.
   This last lesson I learned while I was writing this post.  I admit I had a little pity party about what happened, on Facebook.  I have gotten some great offers of pictures from the play and the reunion!  I can't say thank you enough!

Love to all,  Sara 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Drowning in Paper

  I have been MIA for awhile.  I guess summer will do that to a person.  I just don't know where the time is going during the day.  Right now I am on a mission.  It seems like I am forever drowning in paper.  I have a goal to get all of the recipes I have gathered over the years onto my computer.  This is the stack of recipes I have left to go. 
Pile of recipes to input

  I think this is a huge improvement.  I use to have 6 binders of recipes that I had either printed off of the Internet or tore out of a magazine.  So if you don't see a lot of posts for awhile, it is because I am typing in recipes. 
  I have also set up some spread sheets so for tax purposes, so that when deductibles items come in I can put it in my spread sheet and than file the receipts etc. in my taxes file.  This way I won't have to go through a ton of paper and receipts at the beginning of next year to figure out our deductions.  So far, so good.  I just need to come up with a good filing system that will work for bills etc.  The one I have now is not my favorite, because I am having a hard time sticking to it.  Oh well. 
  Back to inputting things into the computer.  I promise when this is done, I will have a ton of posts to send out about our garden, the new landscaping project, canning, camping, fishing, you name it we have been doing it.  Hope you all are having a wonderful summer, also.

Love to all,  Sara

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hanging Washtub

  The Pinterest bug bit me again.  About a year ago, I saw this pin and just fell in love with it, Hanging Washtub Planter.  Here is a picture of the came from pinterest.
old tub 'hanging basket'... cool
Isn't it cute?  The lucky thing about is I had most of the needed items.  I have a ton of old washtubs I had gotten at an auction a few years ago for a whole $1.  All I needed was a plant hanger.  Surprisingly enough, finding a plant hanger was the most difficult part of the whole process.  You see, we have an old cart that came from my Hubby's family farm that we are using as a plant stand in the front yard and I wanted to tie that into the project.  So just a hanger that you stick in the ground was not going to work.  I had found the perfect hanger at our local greenhouse, but alas it was already sold by the time I spotted it.  We finally did just buy a hanger that goes in the ground, but it was too tall.  The Hubby promised he would modify the hanger so it would let the hanger just rest on the cart.  Well, I got tired of waiting for him to work on the hanger.  Bug and I happened to be shopping at a farm and home store and we spotted the perfect hanger.  It was everything I wanted in the first place.  Plus, it was only $19.99.  I have spent $20 much more foolishly in the past so we decided, why not!  And now I can use the other hanger in a different part of the yard.  It took about 10 minutes to complete the whole project once I had all of the supplies.  I really like this planter and the way the flowers hang over the edge.   
My supplies.  I did use a different hanger that just sets on top of the cart.

I used three plants to give it a full effect.

It doesn't look really full right now.  I had just watered the flowers before taking the picture.  Wrong move on my part.
  All I had to do was screw the plant hanger down onto the cart.  I would recommend this is you use the kind of hanger I did, there it just sits on top of something, otherwise the weight of the tub plus the dirt, etc. will topple the whole structure over.  Next, I put potting mix in the corner of the washtub.  I just laid the tub on it's side to do this.  You can also hang the tub up on the hook and fill then, whichever you prefer.  I would suggest using some really good potting mix.  All that is left is planting the flowers.  In the picture from pinterest, they show wave petunias.  Since I have many wave petunias in my log project not to far away from this, I wanted to try something else. I am using one plant of Calibrachoa "Cherry Blossom" and 2 plants of Calibracos "Cherry Star".
      Cherry Blossom                      Cherry Star
Hope you are having a wonderful summer in your garden!
Love to all,   Sara