Friday, April 30, 2010

pilated woodpecker

If you are in Salem, watch for the pilated woodpecker. Yesterday while at the Community Building, we saw a pilated woodpecker. If was making a hole the the maple tree near the road that is closest to the building. Garrett and I watched it most of the morning. But it was very cool.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blue White Game

Saturday, even with the gray clouds, we took off for a short trip to State College for the annual Blue/White Game. Gary took the afternoon off and we watched the game. Garrett watched the Nittany Lion more than the game, but that's ok.

4-H Projects have arrived

Carrying Goats to the truck

Robert & Bo
After a couple weeks of continued work, the goat pen was ready. So on Friday night, Robert and Garrett got to bring home their new "KIDS." We now have 2 goats at our house. Robert has named his "Bo" and Garrett has named his "Simba"

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Veggie Tales $5

After a discussion at church this evening, I just want to let you all know that there is a clearance sale on selected Veggie Tale movies for $5 plus shipping at www.bigidea.comThis is for a limited time or while supplies last, but I know that some were talking about it and I came home and checked my email that I had received about the sale. There is still time!!!!

Children's Sunday

Today was Children's Sunday at church today. Robert was part of praise team, performed "Down in my Heart" on piano and introduced the lesson time. Garrett was part of the cherubs choir. AS usual Garrett was a character, if oyu would like to see a video clip of Garrett check out THis is a blog of friends of ours that have the video uploaded. It is really cute! Minus the fact that I just wanted to crawl under the pew. But both boys did well today!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Children's circus

On May 2, there is a Children's Circus coming to the Venango COunty Fairgrounds, in Franklin. THis might be a fun event to take the kids to. I'm not sure of the cost, but I can find out and I will post a follow up.

4-H Development Committee YArd Sale

I had talked to some of you the other day about the yard sale at Franklin that always has lots of books. I had the wrong dates. It is April 30 & May 1 and the following weekend. Sorry, for the confussion, but it is still usually a great yard sale.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Shaving Cream Fun

Garrett writing and drawing

Today I was looking for a new way for Garrett to learn his alphabet letters and drawing and just writing skills. I had picked up a few trays (these happen to be old school lunch trays) that we have been using for craft trays that way we can move them from the table to another location to dry to to wait until later. But today we took shaving cream and smeared it all over the tray. Then with 1 finger Garrett was able to draw or write his letters. He also discussed how the shaving cream felt and what it smelled like and its characteristics.
I have done this with kids up to 6th grade and they were writing their spelling words and practicing their math facts, It is just a change in media which kids need sometimes.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

recycling toys

Well, it is that time of year when we are spending more and more time outside (except for this cold weekend) but when the weather changes I have found is a good time to clean up some of the toys in the house and make them "Disappear" for a while. I had Garrett clean up his Thomas the Train set (that has been in the living room for over a month)and put all the pieces into the plastic tub. Now it will be packed up for most of the summer (because I don't let that go outside for the lawn mower to find the pieces later.) The thing is that come September or October when we get it back out- he will play with it for days on end because it will be like opening up a long lost toy. The only thing about doing this is remembering where you have put the toys and not forgetting before they outgrow the toy.

This can also be part of a cleaning for a yard sale or donation day too. If you get your kids to help organize, when the shelf or toy box is full of their current favorites, put any extras in a box for later. This helps make it that the kids are more involved with the toys when you pull them back out and they are able to enjoy them.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

cool blogs to check out

I stumbled onto 2 cool blogsites in the last few days. The first one is and the other one was a link from there called The 5 minutes for mom's has all sorts of things that we as mom's deal with everyday and some very cool things to help us with our journey.

The teach mama site has wonderful ideas for teaching our younger children to love reading and how to get them started. They both look like a lot of fun.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Playgroup Granola Bars

We have been trying different things so that we are eating more healthy and know what is in our foods. I went to and searched for granola bars, we tried several and this is one of the best one that we tried. So here is the recipe:

2 Cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup flour
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a 9x13 pan.
In a large bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well (you can use your hands) Pat the mixture evenly into your pan. (You will want to press it so that it holds together well)
Bake for 30-35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for at least 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not let them cool completely before cutting or they will not cool well.

Once they are completely cooled, I have been putting them in snack baggies so that they were still individually wrapped and easy to take with us.

** I have tried a couple of variations on this recipe. I replaced the raisins with dried apples, dried cranberries and we have added chocolate chips once in a while.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Science Experiment

Every spring I think of the science experiment that my mom use to do for us girls. If you get a chance, pick some daffodils and place them in a vase with warm water mixed with regular food coloring. (Blue and red always look cool) LAter have the kids figure out why the flowers have changed colors and then you have the chance to explain that the flower drinks water and that it goes throughout the plant. You can show where the colors go. Just something fun for spring.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Garrett & I are working on learning the alphabet. "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" is a fun little story that the kids just love to help read, but since Garrett seems to enjoy action too, we adapted. We took a piece of freezer paper and drew a tree, it looks like a regular tree, not really a coconut tree. Anyhow we have the little magnet letters on the refrigerator so now when we read the book, it is sometimes in front of the frig so that Garrett can find the letters and move them up the tree. Then when they all fall out he gets to slide them down the tree. For the last part of the story, he has been lining them up along the bottom in order and getting them out of the pile. Just another fun way to enjoy books and make them hands on.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sunday is Children's Day at the Mall

Sunday is Children's Day at the mall. If you have never attended this event it is a fun time where the kids can make crafts, listen to stories, sometimes plant seeds. It all depends on what each organization brings along. There is a lot of community involvement with the groups and organizations that are involved in presenting this day. Kids will have a good time trying new things and there is always up-to-date information about parenting available too.

Venango County 4-H in the Mall

Just wanted to let you know that if anyone wants to see what youth in the area are doing that are involved with 4-H, this is the weekend to do it. All day Saturday, at the Cranberry Mall, the Venango County 4-H'ers will have displays throughout the mall. This is a chance to find out what 4-H has to offer and where or how to get involved. This is a great time to see what good things the youth in the area are doing even though they aren't on the front paper of the paper. PLan to let the kids get involved for just a little bit or take time to sit and listen to a demonstration. The kids have been busy this year.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Children's Sermon

I asked the kids a few questions to begin with. "IF you put something down somewhere, do you expect it to be there when you come back? IF you have a donut and ask someone to watch it til you get back, (you usually ask a trustworthy person) do you expect it to be there? (The answers are suppose to be yes) Well that is exactly what the people who crucified Jesus thought too. They put a dead person in a tomb, rolled the stone in front, and guarded it with soldiers, so wouldn't you expect Jesus to still be in the tomb several days later? Of course you would, but let's read Matthew 28:1-7 (this tells of the earthquake and the angel rolling the stone away) I then shared a song with the kids called "The Angel Rolled The Stone Away." But the important part is what the angel said "He is not here, He has risen as he said" So to help the kids remember that "He is risen" (I had made ahead of time tombs, from paper plates folded in half and painted brown on the outside and black on the inside. I cut circles in 1 side of the plate and put the circle in place with a brass fastener. This way the stone could be rolled away)I told them that they would get to be the part of the angel and roll the stone away and then proclaim "He is Risen!" I held up the tomb and had the children practice as I rolled the stone away they said "He is risen" this was very quiet so I asked the congregation to show the children how to proclaim something and as I rolled the stone away they proclaimed "He is risen!" So I challenged the kids to see if they could be louder than the congregation - which they did a really good job. I had a tomb for each child to take with them and fun foam flowers to put around the tomb since it was in a garden (which worked to keep them quiet for a little while since on Easter Sunday we did not have Jr. Church)

On the way home I know that some of the kids got the point because in my back seat I heard Garrett, rolling the stone away and yelling "He is Risen"

If you don't want to make your own tombs, check Oriental Trading as I took their idea from the picture in their Easter Catalog and figured it out myself. They have kits that can be purchased to make the tombs from fun foam.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Resurrection Eggs & GPS

We started geocaching a few months ago and we have been letterboxing for 2 or 3 years now. We have had a really good time doing this and this weekend, I tried setting up a geocache trail. I took the Resurrection Eggs and hid them through my parents farm. Then Mom , Robert, Garrett & Andrew went geocaching. They found the eggs in order and then when they had found the whole dozen we opened each egg and read about the symbol that was inside the egg and learned about Holy Week. From the Triumphant entry to the last supper, to the cross and then to the resurrection. It was really fun and the kids enjoyed hunting for the eggs with the GPS unit. IF you get a chance give Geocaching or letterboxing a try. For letterboxing clues go to then click on the area that you would be able to look in and print off the clues. Have Fun!

Happy Easter

(Thanks Aunt Caren for our Easter Outfits!)

We celebrated Easter with Sunrise service at Old Zion with my family. But we talked about "what was that morning really like when the women went to the tomb to find Jesus? Was it a bright sunny morning and warm? Was it cold and rainy, damp and dark? Or was it cloudy and not really either extreme? We don't know for sure, but we know that it was a Brand New Day for Christians around the world. May you have a wonderful Easter and serve our Lord and Savior.