Friday, September 2, 2016

Back to school idea

Ok I know I need to post a fair wrap up, and I will, but fair and back to school were very close together this year. But I wanted to share a new idea that started in my house this school year by accident.

Robert is attending the career center for automotive technology. The first 3 days of school, he walked in the door and somewhere in the first 15 minutes, he would be like "hey did you know....", " or guess what I learned today...." Well this was the first time in several years that I didn't have to ask "how was school" and get "fine". So on the forth day I looked at him and asked for my " knowledge nugget" for the day. He then told me something that he had learned in the auto shop. So I asked what was he learning  at our regular high school. He replied, "not really." At dinner that night I then challenged both of the boys, to daily bring home a "knowledge nugget" and I would keep track, at the end of the week there would be some type of reward. I did ask that Robert bring home a "nugget" from both schools. Much to my surprise and pleasure, both boys have brought me home a knowledge nugget each day this week, plus they bring it up. I am delighted to hear, "hey mom do you want to hear my knowledge nugget?" And I am ready! I've heard more about school this week than I think I did all of last year, without prodding!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

So much has Happened....

It is really hard to summarize everything that has happened since February, but the boys have been busy!!! We had several other goats kid, Robert was in the School Musical "Joseph and his Techincolored Dream Coat." Garrett qualified for the PA Trivia contest at the end of the school year. Wyatt was fit with a helmet that would correct his flat spot on the back of his head and he has since been able to get that helmet off. Robert traveled with his class to Harrisburg, Hershey, Philadelphia and Gettysburg. Robert, Garrett & I traveled to Harrisburg to Rally for the State budget and for the 4-H and Extension Programs. Garrett had his first band concert and he participated in the Gym Show at the school on parallel bars and vault. Wyatt started therapy once a week. I made a quilt for a teacher that was retiring. Gary has started a project with the Cub Scouts to build a bridge for Heavenly Gaites. I also signed on with Discovery Toys as an educational consultant, so things have been crazy busy here.

Garrett decided that he was going to be in charge of our family garden this year and he has been working hard on that. We had a family vacation with Gary's family. 18 of us got together in Branson, Mo. We had several stops on our way. We got to visit with my sister, and St Louis. On the way back we stopped at Lincoln's Birthplace and Churchill Downs. I think everyone had a good time.

This week has been complete 4-H project book week. Many hours have been spent at my kitchen table with boys, helping them with records, writing activities up and creating portfolios. As much as I dislike this time of year and sitting here with them, I love it too. I love to see their brains work with things that they enjoy working with. Having them explain how engines work and why their animals are good, or not as good as other years is a joy. So I will try to keep up a little better but the past few months have just flown by. I do have some notes for children's sermons that I will write up and post soon.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

DIY Pallet Hearts

Throughout this past Christmas season I saw all these adorable Christmas Trees popping up made from a simple pallet. Well I ran out of time and did not get ours made, but I have plenty of Christmas Decorations and so I'm not sure that I really needed the pallet tree. But with the beginning of February arriving I pulled out our Valentine's decorations and well there is NOTHING for outside. I really get sad or slightly depressed when we take down all the beautiful Christmas decorations and then there is nothing.  I know lots do not like or enjoy Valentine's Day but it is a day in which to share a little bit of God's love and remember some of the good that still exists in this world.

So I took a pallet, drew a large heart on it and grabbed the jig saw. In a matter of minutes I had my heart cut out and the silhouette too. I added some barn red paint to the heart and viola! A Simple heart for outside my house!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Goat Kids

Well we have finished kidding for January we are up 13 goats this month. Not bad for a small herd of critters that all started with a 4-H project. But I had been asked for some pictures of our little ones. So here you go!

Now we have a small break until March!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Goat Kidding for January 2016

We have been kidding in goats this month, actually we started at the very end of December, but we have added 11 kids to the herd in the last month or so. These 2 ended up with special treatment as they arrived on a very cold night and they ended up with a little bit of frostbite on their ears. It was so cold that night that we brought them into the kitchen to hang out for a day or so until it warmed up. The mom had some problems too and well she is still here but not nursing the kids- So we have 2 bottle babies!

Pinewood Derby 3

Pinewood derby part 2

If you watch carefully Garrett's car on the right pops a wheelie when it comes down off the slope!


Garrett's Pinewood Derby

Today was Pack 55's Pinewood Derby. This is the first year with the new aluminum 4 lane track. The cars were fast and there were 38 Scouts that worked on cars to enter.  Garrett had a light blue mustang which finished in 7th place. Congrats Garrett we are proud of you!
Cars entered today

Garrett's car is the light blue #24

Garrett with his 7th place car
This video, if you watch closely at the end you will see that Garrett's car wrecks and flip end for end.

Robert's 15th Birthday

We celebrated Robert's 15th birthday this week. Family got together in the evening and had dinner together and he didn't even know that they were coming. Then we went for a moonlit walk on Kahle Lake. It's hard to surprise a 15 year old, but we managed.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Easy Raisin Bran Muffins

The boys have determined that they really like muffins and I have found that they are great to freeze and to take with us on trips. So here is the new favorite recipe for our house.

Bran Muffins
 - this recipe came from my great aunt- I have no idea where she got it.

2c. sour milk or buttermilk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 1 /4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. salt
2 1/2 c flour
2 1/3 tsp. baking soda
4 1/2 c raisin bran cereal

Combine all ingredients except for the cereal in a large bowl. Then add the cereal. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350* and spoon batter into muffin tins greased or muffin liners. Bake for 12-15 minutes for regular sized muffins- yields about 18-24 muffins. If using Jumbo sided muffins bake for 20-25 minutes and golden brown.

Now I have added variations to this recipe. Instead of raisin bran, I've been using plain bran and then adding 1/2 cup of our favorite dried fruit. We have had apple/cinnamon bran muffins- 1/2 cup of dried apples and tsp of cinnamon is added to the batter. We have also used craisins which come out quite tasty too. This is a great basic mix that you can adapt. Enjoy!

New Year and off to Farm Show

Well this year the boys were pretty low key about ringing in the New Year- no fireworks(missed them by minutes) no ball drop, no games til midnight.  But a week into the new year and we are off to the 100th PA Farm Show and not just to visit! Garrett sent his woodworking project down to be judged as he was a 1st place winner at the County Fair. But Robert, well he decided to raise a meat goat to show at the Jr Livestock Show.  This caused a few issues as we don't have the best facilities for walking and grooming during the winter(muddy) months that we had this year.  And I always worry about traveling to Harrisburg in January from the western end of the state. But Friday morning we got things loaded and headed east. The day was nice, we were ahead of the rain and we had a great trip down. Robert got Mayday weighed in and settled into a pen and then the fun began. Clipping and getting him all cleaned up for the show Saturday afternoon. Friday evening was nice as there weren't too many people there, but Saturday that was a different story!  Fortunately Gary was able to have the weekend off so he could help Robert while Garrett , Wyatt and I could wander the Farm Show.

Family came from the western end of the state just to support Robert- which was cool! He ended up in the class with the reserve Champion, but he placed 9th. He wasn't too upset as he had the opportunity to show at the 100th PA Farm Show- exactly 25 years from when his Dad showed hogs at the 75th Farm Show. I do believe that he now has added an event to the annual calendar. Gary and I got to catch up with some friends from college that we haven't seen in years. We wandered the Farm Show Complex and finally found Garrett's lamp and he placed 2nd - which he was excited about.

Sunday we spent part of the day checking out the other displays throughout the Farm Show and then we headed for home- which included a 30 degree drop in temperature and snow on the western end of the state. but overall, we had a very successful and fun weekend at the PA Farm Show.
Garrett found a place to take a nap

Robert with Mayday before the show

Garrett with his project - the lamp on the top shelf

Robert showing
You have to get a picture on big equipment
I guess your never too old to get pictures on big equipment
Riding the carousel with friends

The Schick Boys!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Storing icicle Christmas Lights!

I love my Christmas Lights, but I hate storing them, especially the icicle lights. They always got knotted up, until I tried something new. I took my husband's extension cord holder and wrapped the main line of the icicle lights around it. I then put a nail in the attic and I hung the icicle lights up. It keeps them out of the way, untangled and makes it so easy to put them up the next time - Simply unroll and hang! They might look messy, but they are organized- YEAH!!!!!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Children's Sermon for the fourth Sunday of Advent

If any of you have ever worked with children, you know that you have to be ready on the fly for what ever might happen. I was scheduled for the children's sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Advent and had notes for my sermon all pulled together (which doesn't always happen). I had a small gift with me that I had tucked the name JESUS inside the gift bag.  I was ready!

As the children came forward this Sunday morning, the church was decorated beautifully and one young man asked "Why are there all of these flowers today?" Well when children ask questions- I try to answer them, if I can, and this question seemed important. I took my notes through them over my shoulder and began to discuss the flowers.

I asked him what special day was coming up? He answered "Christmas." "Correct and what is Christmas?"  To this he had a few problems answering and then another child helped him out with "Jesus' birthday"- "Correct. So what do you do for a birthday party? We decorate where the party will be? And we purchase or make a gift for the birthday child - right? To which I received heads nodding. So we have been preparing for Jesus's birthday all month! We have decorated the church and our homes with lights and garland and flowers and ornaments. We maybe have prepared special food for his birthday- my children get to pick their favorite food for their birthday meals. And we may have taken care of a gift for that person." (At this point I can almost get back onto the children's sermon that I had prepared, so I reached back found my notes and the gift bag and continued)

"So what do you think  you would like -  a small gift like this for Christmas or would you want a big package? The children all answered a Big package.  But let's look at this package- it has everything that we have talked about with our Advent Wreath . It has Peace- as it sits here it is very peaceful and isn't bothering anyone. It has HOPE- as each one of you are hoping that it is for you!
It has LOVE - because inside of it is (and I pulled out the name JESUS) Jesus and he is love. He loved us each enough to die for us. And it has JOY- because we can have the JOY of eternal life. So as Christmas gets closer remember that sometimes the smallest gifts are the best gifts  and that we are celebrating Jesus's birthday with a big Birthday Party on December 25th!"

We then closed in prayer.

I think this helped the young man have a better understanding of what we do for Christmas but I'm very tempted to bring in balloons and streamers next year and "decorate" in a way children would understand- you know a great big banner that says "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS" just might have to appear!

Christmas Events with the Schick's

This year we have had a busy Christmas Season. The boys were involved in several plays at church, a couple of concerts, they helped with the Community Christmas Party, picked out a tree, baked cookies and then opened a few gifts.

The Boy's at Kranyak's- check out the tree stand

Garrett as Mr Mouse in the Church's Children's program

A visit with Santa

Robert's Choir Concert with friends- It's all about the robe!

Robert is a shepherd, Garrett an angel and Wyatt as Baby Jesus

Wyatt as Baby Jesus

Mixing cookies with Haylee

Decorating cookies with Aunt Caren

The Schick Boy's with our tree
Putting Wyatt's first ornament on the tree

Wyatt opening gifts

Garrett with his Grand Champion sweatshirt

Robert with his Champion Bred & Owned Sweatshirt

From our Family to Yours Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!