Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Puddle Duck

It seems like our South Dakota puddle duck is adjusting to Minnesota puddles just fine.  Oh, and apparently he is pretending to be a moose, which I suppose is appropriate for our new place, too.  




Easter 2017

So not much has been going on here.  Right after our trip to Bismarck, I broke my middle finger on my left (dominant) hand.  It halted all progress on all crafting fronts...no crocheting, knitting, cutting fabric (I couldn't hold my rotary cutter), or quilting (couldn't wear my gloves).  Sigh.  It was a long 6 weeks.  I would like to say that my housekeeping improved with all of the free time, but it didn't really happen.  ;)

But, I am brace-free for the last couple of weeks and things are feeling better.  My first project back was a set of bow ties for my little guys for Easter.  They turned out pretty cute.  It helps that they were worn by cute little boys too.  :)


We had some really nice weather this year and we did our egg hunt on Saturday in the yard.  I am pretty sure daddy is going to have to start burying eggs to make it hard enough for Timothy.  We even played a few rounds because it was just SO much fun to find them!



Benjamin gladly shook every egg before adding it to his pile.  And then he got 4 eggs and was done.  Ha.



Monday, March 6, 2017

Be My Neighbor, Blocks 3 and 4

Block 3

This is without the appliqu├ęd mailbox opening and bird. I just haven't gotten around to the opening and the birds on this quilt I think I want to look like actual birds.  I am still toying with the idea, so more on that later.


Block 4
This one seems really plain to me, so something may appear on the right side.  We will have to see once it is all together!


Winter Break

 Last weekend, we had the chance for a quick trip to Bismarck to meet up with Jared's family.  We had tons of fun and hours of pool play.  Poolside rooms and a table on the deck meant a pretty stress free time and no lugging pool stuff back and forth from our rooms.  It also meant hearing arcade games all night, but a quick room change helped everyone get better rest on night two.


The big kids spent most of their time doing this:



The little kids spent most of their time being cute:




We even had lots of fun outside of the water.



It was also a welcomed break for the really big kids too.  ;)





Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Little Boys

Ben got his first haircut this week.



I miss the curls.

I don't miss brushing it out of his eyes and washing food out of those long strands after every meal.


He also got his top two teeth this week!

I haven't seen much of Timothy lately...the weather has been not so arctic, so he has been spending lots of time outside.  Between school and early bedtimes to make school work, I miss my big boy!



Be My Neighbor, Block 1 and 2

I came across the Be My Neighbor quilt along (it is put out by Moda) this past fall and just thought it was cute.  I had scored a half yard bundle of fabric (Farmhouse) from my local quilt shop's clearance room at 50% off and I was itching to cut into it.  It seems to be a good match so far, after I threw in a few more coordinating greens that were absent in my bundle.  I haven't followed a pattern like this in a long time, so it is a refreshing exercise of accurate piecing, aka my seam ripper has been used.  :)

Block 1
(18"x 18")



Block 2
(15" x 18")


I picked up my patterns here, if you are interested or want to peek at the finished quilt!
Here is a link to a wrap up they did just a few days ago featuring so many that were completed during the given time frame.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Marmalade Making

Once upon a time, we moved in the middle of winter and the boxes of canned goods froze on the moving truck, thawed upon arrival, and then mostly tossed because the contents separated into gross, watery textures.  Sigh.

This summer has been filled with the usual canning of garden produce and berries from the area and we have been blessed with eating lots of those goodies now.  When the 4H groups were going around selling fruit this fall, I planned for some new canning experiences.  After Christmas, I hopped online to find a good recipe for citrus and came upon a mastery challenge at Food in Jars!  January is marmalade month and I like a good quilt along, so a preserving challenge?  Sounds good to me! :)

I tried my hand at the Three Citrus Marmalade:


New techniques for me included zesting entire fruits and then processing all of that fruit down to remove the pith and membranes inside.  But overall, not too bad of a process.  The hardest part was watching the thermometer creeping up, waiting for the magical mark of 220F.


Finished product!  The left jars are the first batch and you can see I got the peels to suspend in the syrup a little better (it is also a little more set), but I am really happy with the result.  We enjoyed orange chicken to celebrate and it is also amazing in oatmeal.  Also canned that day, the box of pears that I ordered along with the citrus. Cinnamon Pear Jam and Pear Cranberry Jam, both from Food in Jars as well, are old favorites that all four of us enjoy.


Monday, January 23, 2017

New

~ Family of Four ~


I stopped blogging when discovering that my newest pregnancy was in major jeopardy.  I just didn't want to journal about another devastating ending.  Thankfully, it didn't end like the doctors were predicting and we were blessed instead with another little boy, Benjamin!

~Brothers~




Joy is the only word to describe these two.
Maybe loud, too. ;)

~ Church Family in Minnesota ~


Yet another reason to not journal...we moved soon after Ben was born and it has been kind of crazy.
Fun, but crazy.
We have been here almost a year and it feels like home.
We were blessed in South Dakota and now continue to be in Minnesota.

~ Parsonage in the Country ~


We now live 11 miles out of town.
While it makes grocery lists even more important so I don't forget anything, we love our new home.
There was a broken water pipe that caused major damage right before we moved in.
So, we had a delayed move, but we were involved in the process of picking out a new kitchen, lights, paint, and flooring.
It was a lot of fun and we are so happy with how it turned out!

~ Neighbors Across the Way ~


I really enjoy going to get the mail at the end of the drive.
At least I did when I took this picture.
We now have snow underfoot and it requires bundling up.

~ Garden 2.0 ~


Had a pretty good summer considering we had so much going on.  We have HUGE plans for this space this summer so look out!  We also have plans on adding an orchard to the upper right of this picture (that bush back there is raspberries) and a few feathery breakfast-laying friends will be moving in this spring.  

~ Yard with Space ~ 



Timothy runs for days.  
Jared mows grass with a riding mower.  
We roast marshmallows in the fire pit.  
All is good.

~ New Experiences ~






Summer brought trips to our local lakes and beaches, as well as family in South Dakota and Michigan, with lots of adventures on the way.  




Fall brought kindergarten and bus riding for Timothy.  
Jared has taken on another church while they call another pastor.  
I am teaching again, just part time at the Lutheran school Timothy attends.  
Benjamin is everywhere, all the time.  
More updates coming!