Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thanksgiving Children's Sermon

Today I had the Children's sermon and we discussed being thankful. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, it says "Be joyful always. pray continuously, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Wow- to be joyful always- I asked the kids did that mean even when we have to get up in the mornings when we would rather sleep in and pull the blankets up over our heads? Yep it does- we should be joyful! How about when we trip playing tag outside- should we be joyful then? Yep even then according to the Bible it says always. Now we have a very special day coming up that a lot of stores appear to have forgotten is even a holiday, so what is that holiday? Thanksgiving! Right! Now the last part of the verse says "to give thanks in all circumstances.
' So who has ever gotten in trouble and been punished? Maybe a time out, or grounded or a spanking? (to which some raised their hands). Now how many have thanked their parents for being disciplined? Wow to be thankful in all circumstances? This could be difficult! So what is your least favorite food at Thanksgiving? I had several answers, like stuffing, cranberry sauce, that purple stuff, etc. So the Bible is telling us to be thankful for cranberry sauce? Yes because we have food to eat- it might not be what we want to eat, but it is food and many children do not have what we have. How about when we have chores to do, should we be thankful then? Yes, because if we have dishes to wash, then we have had food to eat. IF we have laundry to put away - then we have clothes to wear. And if we have a bed that needs made then we must have a bed and a place to sleep. These are all things that we need to be thankful for because in all circumstances we are to be thankful. So this week while we are celebrating Thanksgiving remember to be thankful for even the food that you don't like! And to be joyful at ALL Times! And we closed in prayer

Monday, November 16, 2015

4-H in the Mall

I'm so proud of my kiddos! They spent Saturday promoting a program that is dear to their hearts- 4-H! Both Robert and Garrett presented demonstrations to mall visitors, answered questions and handed out promotional items. They both entered posters into the annual poster contest and waited for the Awards ceremony to see if they had earned any scholarships!  Well it turned out to be a great day and night!

 Garrett earned 2nd place with his poster, and Outstanding Jr.4-H'er plus 1/2 scholarships to In-Betweeners weekend, Jr. Camp and Livestock Camp!

Outstanding Jr's and Intermediate 4-H'ers

Kaylee and Garrett

Garrett Presenting his demonstration

Our 4-H Club and their display for "Bleed Green in 2016!"

Garrett's poster is the green train - 2nd column from right

Robert's poster is the green jeep- 2nd column from left

Robert earned Outstanding Market Goat Project Book, Outstanding Engineering Project Book (small engines) and then 1/2 scholarships to Teen Leadership Conference, Teen Leadership Weekend, Intermediate Camp, and Livestock Camp!
 On top of all of that their club earned 2 awards for their display and their public relations! We are bleeding green here!

Fishing and Sewing Kits and a few more

We continued to make things for in our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes and putting them into some type of kit. Making kits kind of spreads the cost around and makes it that it's not quite as expensive. We purchased a roll of fishing line, a large package of hooks and some lead weights. We then rolled smaller amounts of fishing line onto cardboard, took a couple of hooks and weighs and dropped them into a small bottle- a pill bottle would work great too!  We used the same bottles for a bead kit (I forgot to take a picture) We took cording and rolled some off for each bottle and then filled with assorted colored beads. The girls could make bracelets, necklaces or they could use the beads in their hair- it 's up to them!

 We decided that maybe creating a school kit would be great, but we wanted to make some type of container for the children to keep their supplies in. So we took a Pringles Potato Chip can, wrapped it with contact paper and then filled it with school supplies. Crayons, colored pencils, scissors, pencils, pens, sharpeners, erasers, a bookmark, and a bracelet and a yo-yo. You would be surprised what can fit into those cans and the cans fit perfectly into the Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes!

And then finally we made some sewing kits! Each included at least 1yard of fabric, a pair of fabric scissors, a card of needles, a spool of thread and some coordinating ribbon, what good is a sewing kit without the fabric! I'm thinking that next year I'm going to be watching for buttons to add to these too!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Operation Christmas Child - giving when things are tight!

Okay adding a family member this year has made things a little bit tighter, but we have been planning and saving items and purchasing things when they are on sale for Operation Christmas Child.  If you don't know about Operation Christmas Child here is a longer post on what it is and our family's involvement,

pens and pencils from 2 baskets in my kitchen
This year, now that we have been to the distribution Center, we are looking at things a little differently. How can we use what we have that we don't use to help others? What things do we use everyday and take for granted? How can we inexpensively put together items that would be needed/ used into our boxes?

Extra writing paper
Well who doesn't have writing paper, notebooks, tablet paper, etc that they haven't used or have tucked away somewhere. What about those over flowing cups, baskets, draws of pens and pencils? Are some of those still new? Never been used pencils? Well today I took a whole pile of writing paper that I haven't used in a while (email is faster) and then I sorted through our pen/pencil baskets. I checked all of the pens to make sure that they wrote, I checked the pencils to see if they were new, (never sharpened) or nearly new  (just sharpened once) and I checked the erasers to make sure they weren't crunchy( you know that type that have sat too long and are hard). I also found a box of erasers that they boys had collected over the years, and I started putting together writing kits for in our Shoeboxes. I didn't really have any financial input into it- I just put to use what is already in my house, that someone else can use.

And here are my writing kits!

Writing kits!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Making Apple Cider

We have been blessed with a large amount of apples this fall, which is awesome since last year we had very few because of a late frost. Since we had all of these apples it was time to pull out the apple press that my parent's own and get to work. We start by washing the apples off, this is sometimes given to the littlest helper as long as they "control" the hose without getting everyone else wet.

Then they crank the grinder(at the back and I missed the picture). This grinds the apples into tiny pieces and it falls into the wooden barrel with the slats. We then slide the barrel to the front of the press and turn the screw which starts to squeeze the juice right out of the apples.

 Delicious apple cider begins to drip or run into a bucket at the end of the press.

We then strain the cider through cheese cloth to prevent any apple pieces from getting into the finished product. Then we jug the cider into jugs for friends and family.
Delicious fresh apples cider- warm or cold it is delicious!!!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Spetmeber 11- First Football Game

September 11 was Keystone's first Home game for his year and they took the extra effort to pay tribute to our first responders- which was most appropriate. But it was also Wyatt's first football game and halftime show. He enjoyed the 1st quarter. Slept through the 2nd. Enjoyed 1/2 time and watched 3rd quarter. Then Gary and Wyatt headed for home.

Father's Day Children's Sermon

I thought long and hard about my children's sermon for Father's Day. And then I decided that I would take a look at what Dad's do and here is what came from that. I did have to think about the occupations of our congregations men and then find a few titles that would fit some of God's jobs.

As the children came up I greeted them and asked if they knew what day today was and if they had a good time at Vacation Bible School (it had just been the week before). I asked them if they could help me as I had some questions for them- they said that they would help. I asked them to raise their hands if the answer was yes. So I asked how many of you have a Daddy that's a professional artist? They looked at each other and no one raised their hand. Hmm I said, well let's try this- Who's Dad is a shepherd?- once again no one raised their hand. (I did have one ask if a farmer counted? I asked did he have sheep?- Nope was the answer and I returned with well I guess not) So then I asked who's Father was an engineer- you know the kinds that design plans for roads or bridges or buildings? once again no hands went up. Hmm .. I have a few more, but I was getting confused.  How about a Horticulturalist? (I had to explain a professional gardener) Once again no hands went up. How about a Zookeeper? No hands there. Maybe a Weatherman? Nope. A Composer? Nope. How about a Lifeguard? Still I didn't have any hands go up. One more - How about a Doctor? Not with this group of kids.

So then I said to the children "What if I told you your Father was all of those? Would you believe me? "And so I started to explain that yes today was Father's Day, but how often did we remember God on Father's Day and the many things he does for us? So let's look at those job titles again. IS your Father an artist?- of course who else could paint the sunrise and sunsets so beautiful or create such wonderful flowers. IS your Father a shepherd? - Of course because we are the sheep of his pastures. Is your Father an engineer? Of course he is who made the plans for the World and the Ark? How about the Horticulturalist? Well let's start at the begin and look at the Garden of Eden- must have been good with plants. Is your Father a zookeeper? Who else takes care of the wild animals? Is your Father a Weatherman? Yes actually he is better than the weatherman he gets it right and he controls the weather. Is Your Father a composer? Yes- just listen to the birds or the crickets or the bullfrogs- who else can create that beautiful music? Is Your Father a lifeguard? Yes He is saving lives every day by having people believe in him and giving them eternal life. Is your Father a Doctor? Yes he is the Great Healer of all.

So as we think about Father's Day let's remember to be thankful for our heavenly Father who is always with us and is pretty talented too!

Venango County Fair 2015

A Look at the New Barn
This year was a very exciting fair as it was Garrett's first "real" year as a 4-H'er. but it was also difficult with Wyatt and trying to figure out how things were going to work, but everything worked out great! We had a fair week without rain which was a blessing all in itself, the New livestock barn was completed for the opening day of the fair, the boy's goats were in the new barn(which they thought was really cool) and on top of it all they both did REALLY Well!

For Garrett's first year- he hit a home run. He entered 4 projects and placed on all of them. He received 1st place on his Woodworking project, 2nd place on his Small Engine project, 1st Place with May (his breeding meat goat) and 1st place, Grand Champion, and Jr Showman with his Market Goat- Pickles! What a way to start his 4-H career- I'm not really sure how he is going to follow that next year, but look out because he really liked spending time with his animals and then reaping the rewards!

Grand Champion Market Goat
1st Time in the Sale Ring and he has a Banner!
Small Engine Project
Woodworking Lamp
Breeding Meat Goat
Robert also did really well this year. He entered his lawn tractor as a display for his Small Engine project and received 1st place on it, he finally got to pull his tractor in the garden tractor pulls and it did respectable and he placed 4th with Mighty 4(his market goat), but he earned Best Bred and Owned Market Goat. Robert also had Missy- his breeding meat goat which he goat a 1st place with.

Reserve Champion Breeding Goat
Small Engine Project
And then there was Wyatt- who spent the whole week at the fair in the camper and was passed around through the fairgrounds to our "extended 4-H family members." I'm sure that this is just the beginning for Wyatt and he will be there for many years to come.

Wyatt in a box!
The best way to be at the Fair
We had an added treat of having Gary at the fair all week too! He usually is working through the fair, but it worked for him to have off this year- which was very nice!

So 2015 4-H year is coming to a close and the boys did well and I'm very proud of their accomplishments and I'm holding my breathe as I wait for the plan for next year!

The Schick Boys- no one knows what they are up too!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A 9 year old!?!

It's hard to believe that Garrett turned 9 this June, but it's true! We celebrated his birthday over a couple of days. On his "real" birthday he selected his "favorite" meal and we had Wings and fries. Now I knew that we were having a family get together so we had Banana Splits with candles on his birthday. Now while we were eating his birthday meal the power went out so we ate dinner by the light of the Coleman lantern, but they came back on:)

A few days later, when the weather was nice we had family come over and had a cookout and Cake and ice cream. He wanted the theme to be dirt- check out the "dirt" cake that Nanny made for him this year!

Happy 9th Birthday Garrett- Hope it was a great one:)

Friday, June 12, 2015

First Time to Camp

Garrett hasn't been able to concentrate on much this week- because he was getting ready for his first time at 4-H Camp and he could hardly hold his excitement in! He got everything packed 2 days in advance and then kept asking if it was Thursday or if it was time. Granted he does know his days of the week and he does know how to tell time- but he kept checking. So yesterday was the day and I dropped him and Robert off at 4-H Camp- it doesn't seem possible that he is old enough for this...
I hope that he makes as good of friends at 4-H Camp as I have made- they have been with me throughout the rest of my life (so far)!  Have a good time G-man!


Robert has spent the last few months attending Confirmation classes to become a member of the Knox United Methodist Church. This past Sunday he made his commitment to the church. He and 5 others joined the church. I was very proud of his decision and the steps he takes in his faith. He continues to amaze me and I don't know what God has planned for him, but I'm certain it is something special!
The Confirmation Class

Robert and Pastor Dave

Last Day of School

With all the changes in our lives in the last few months, some things didn't change.
The end of the school year has come and gone and last day of school pictures have been taken. There was a young man that for 8th grade that morning  but his baby brother prevented a picture to be taken. But I got him coming home as he will be a sophomore next year. That hardly seems possible that he will be in 9th grade and starting to prepare for college or trade school or whatever he decides he is doing. But many have not recognized him as he is becoming a young man.
Robert coming home from 8th grade

And then there was Garrett- already for his last day of 3rd grade. This is a big moment at Keystone too because when you move into 4th grade at Keystone you get to move upstairs! This is always a big deal! Granted with a new little one at home, Garrett almost missed the bus on the last day of school- so we took his picture with the window when he came home:) So I had 2 kiddos finish off the school year and they were excited about the upcoming summer!

Garrett arriving home and getting our picture taken that we missed in the morning.

Garrett arriving home

Meeting a Few of my Aunts

On one of Wyatt's Dr Appointments trips in May, Wyatt had the opportunity to meet Aunt Laura- she was thrilled to hold him at Grandma's but the girls were not quite so happy that they were not able to be along with her.

The following day Aunt Caren arrived home of a few days and got to meet Wyatt at a 4-H meeting and then at the Kids Club dinner she held Wyatt for a while. So all in one weekend he had the chance to meet a few more of his family!

Boy is he going to be spoiled!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Welcome Wyatt!

The month of April really slipped away from us here as we prepared for the arrival of our new bundle of Joy, but to our surprise, he decided to come on his time schedule about 3 1/2 weeks early. The morning of April 25, Wyatt was born. The little guy had a few problems and by Sunday afternoon he had been visited by family and was then prepared for his first flight- Stat Medivac- to Hamot NICU. This was very scary for all of his family. Gary and I were able to go to Hamot and the other 2 boys went with my mom home. We ended up spending 10 days in Erie with the little guy under the UV lights, getting antibodics, having blood tests for platelet counts. It was a very stressful situation but thankfully he is home and seems to be growing. He then had 2 days of appointments at Children' s Hospital. The first day he had casts put on his feet for his clubbed feet and he had an ultrasound performed. On Friday we went to meet with the Dr that was reading the ultrasound. Currently nothing to worry about with his heart or kidneys. Will check both in 6 months to confirm that nothing changed in the wrong direction and that things are fine.

all in all the end of April was not what we expected - at all- but we have a wonderful baby boy to add to our family! Welcome Wyatt!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Math Garden

A few weeks ago I was working with my niece on matching her numbers and counting to 12. Well I was looking for a fun way for her to practice and maybe one that I didn't have to help the whole time. So we made our Number Garden(which later became the Math Garden).

We took an egg carton and turned it upside down. I had my niece use a marker on each egg cup draw green grass. While she was making grass I was making flowers. I grabbed some popsicle sticks and sticky backed Fun Foam Flowers. I placed a flower at the top of each stick. The where the leaves were to be I wrote numbers 1-12 on the sticks. When she was done with the grass, I then wrote numbers 1-12 on the top of each egg cup and cup a small slit the width of a popsicle stick.
The bottom of the carton with green grass on sides and numbers and slit in egg cup

Our simple flowers- my niece liked the ones with glitter centers better

Our Number Garden turned Math Garden

Now all she had to do was "plant" my flower garden, by matching the numbers on the sticks to the numbers on the egg cups.  Once she had finished matching the flowers to the holes, we would count them and check to see if they were correct.

This worked great for my 4 year old niece, but the Math Garden began when my son came home from school. Now Garrett is in 3rd grade and was working on multiplication. My niece had randomly placed the flowers back into the egg carton when we were all done the last time. When Garrett got home, he saw this and asked what it was. I explained that it was my "Math Garden" and he had to Multiply the flower times the number on the egg cup and give me the answer. If it was correct he could "pick the flowers."  This was a fun and quick way to randomly practice math facts in a couple of minutes.

Now that I have looked at it for a while- this could work for matching numbers, counting, addition, subtraction, & multiplication. And now my niece is leaving her numbers messed up when she is done so that Garrett has to practice when he comes home- it's like their own little game between them.