Picture of the Day: 365 Days

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you were all able to see the ball drop and celebrate the good things to come in 2014. Unfortunately, I would love to say that I was wake at midnight to ring in the new year but I can’t! My excuse is: you know when you go out for a lovely supper, eat too much, feel bloated, and all you want to do is put on comfy clothes and watch a movie. Raise your hand if you know what I’m talking about! Well that happened too me. When I put on a movie, it’s not called movie time where I will stay awake and watch the whole movie. It’s call sleep time, where I watch about a quarter of the movie, fall asleep and wake up to see the ending. So I can honestly say that I made it until 9:30-10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

On New Year’s Eve, I wrote a post on resolutions. Well I thought something fun this year since there are many things happening in our lives, would be to start a Picture of the Day. I will post a picture each day of something fun, unique, personal, etc.

Here is how you can check out each photo:

1. On the homepage of my blog, at the top there are several categories. Place your cursor over “Picture of the Day: 365 Days”.

2. Choose what month you want to see. Obviously since I just started, you can only see photos in the month of January.

3. Enjoy!

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Friendships Through Camp…

This past week, I hauled three of seven boys to 4-H Camp. On the way down, we talked about their favorite video games, movies, and summer plans. The minute we arrived at the campground the excitement got more exuberant as they were anticipating what it will be like.

Every year, youth get excited during this time of the year. This may be some members first camp experience or they have been seasoned campers.

This year’s theme was 4-H To The Rescue. The theme was based around survival. Groups were called First Responders, EMTs, Sheriff, and so on to give it that theme feel. Throughout the three-days, youth were able to participate in different sessions like Geocaching, Water Rockets, NASA, Robotics, and much more.

Besides all the fun activities, time in the lake, or singing camp songs, youth are able to build friendships that will make them want to go back next year. These friendships and experiences that were made this past weekend will last a lifetime!

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Sewing for Beginners…

What is a tradition that mothers and daughters can be seen to do together and involves a sewing machine? Answer is quilting if you didn’t get. Maybe my question was too hard. Who knows!

Recently I have been taking up sewing and have created a few pieces. I really don’t have much experience in the sewing department though. It consists of:

  1. When I was in 4-H, my mom and I thought it would be a grand idea to construct a piece of clothing for Fashion Revue. I decided to create a skort in lovely maroon/sunflower print which to remind you, my mom did not have a clue on sewing garments but it was worth a try. The best part was grandma made me a matching top hat with a giant sunflower in the middle!
  2. My mom just started learning how to sew and my last year of 4-H was the perfect opportunity to sew a quilt. Within a week, I exhibited a western-looking quilt and received Grand Champion in my division. Things I learned: quilting is not that bad and quilt shops give me anxiety.

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Much recently, my mom has been actively sewing and attends quilting retreats. I have joined the itch as well. Here are my projects:

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My first sewing project, a table runner for my mother-in-law for Christmas. My mom didn’t me to start on a quilt right away. What a thinker!  IMG_0521

Second was a Rag-Time quilt for Dustin for a Valentine’s Day gift. He really enjoys it!

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Third quilt was a pattern my mom suggested. It’s not quite completed, just need to sew the borders on.

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Finally, I’m a scarf fanatic and they can get pricey. So I thought if I learned to sew infinity scarfs, I would be saving some money. This scarf costs $6.00.

I don’t know what it is about sewing but it is fun and relaxing! I am ready for my next project…possibly the local mystery quilt competition.

4-H Teaches Science…

It has been three months since I started my ‘dream’ job with the local 4-H program. It sure has been a challenge, but I would like to know a new job that doesn’t have any challenges. The greatest part of this job is working with the youth and adults. And man, do kids sure have quite the imagination.

One thing that I enjoy about 4-H is that it teaches youth leadership skills and how to positively impact their communities. There are many aspects to the 4-H program from science to citizenship and healthy living.

The program that I enjoy the most is science. According the National 4-H Organization, the 4-H Science programs reach more than 5 million youth with hands-on learning experiences to ensure global competitiveness and prepare the next generation of science, engineering, and technology leaders.

It’s truly amazing what kids will come up with when you give them a few, simple supplies and instruction to build something scientific. In January, our local 4-H program held a LEGO competition. It allowed area youth to bring their LEGOs and build something amazing.

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I learned something from a youth during his Public Presentation that the LEGO bricks developed in the 1960s can connect with those created today. Also fascinating, when I was younger we use our imagination to build something cool; however, they now came out with kits with millions of piece to create the Star Wars Millennium Falcon or a city garbage truck.

When I first started my job, I came across a kit called the LEGO Mindstorms. I opened up the container and soon became very fascinated. However, with all the different facets of my position, I haven’t had time to create a programmable robot. And the nice thing, I have youth in 4-H and adults that would love to get a Robotics team together. I feel my inner child coming out!

Meet My Flat Hubby…

Most all know that my husband and I are living apart as he attends Culinary School and I am working. Once May rolls around, he has one more year left. But to chase our time apart, I have came up with something clever, which some people have probably met him.

Meet my flat hubby…Dustin and his adventures thus far!

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He is very mobile, usually found taking a nap in my purse, and laid back-doesn’t say too much.

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This is our great family photo! Jet really enjoys when he comes and visits.

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We were able to finally make it to Bristol and he wanted a photo opp with his dear mom!

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We even went to basketball game and found his sister, Em!

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A couple weeks ago, we were able to make it home to Minnesota and had lunch with Jay and Ashley. Jay really missed him!

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Just recently, we went to watch Em’s show choir performance before they headed to their first competition in Aberdeen. They placed first at their first competition!

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With the great performer at the end of the night!

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Last weekend, our local 4-H program hosted a family fun day of B-I-N-G-O! And unfortunately, Dustin didn’t do so well!

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And my folks even came out to surprise us and Dustin enjoyed a refreshing bowl of SDSU Chocolate ice cream with them!

Stay tuned for some more adventures with Flat Dustin!

Blizzard Mayhem…

It’s a given living in the upper Northern Plains, we are expected to get many inches of snow. We are known to enjoy the snow but after a couple weeks of the white scattered around yards, people start to grumble about how they wish it was Spring. Well after this weekend, it will be here for several weeks regardless what Punxsutawney Phil saw.

This past week we saw how the Northeast corner of the United States got slammed with snow. This past weekend the Northeast corner of South Dakota got dumped on. Many areas saw between 6 to 16 inches of snow. I guess Mother Nature wanted us to put our snow blowers to use since they collected dust last year.

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Our neighbor’s home.

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Our buried cars!

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And, thank goodness for snow blowers!  Amen!

Family Matters…

The first month of the New Year always seems to put people in a funk. What is with starting a new year? It seems to take a few days for people to get back to their old, busy routine. However, it takes me a month. The holiday season always seems so busy and once January 1st hits–it takes awhile to get in the same groove.

I love spending time with my family. I don’t think I share my family enough. Family fills my heart. Family puts a smile on my face. Family is there when you need them the most.

What’s your personal meaning of family? According to Dictionary.com, family means any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins. My definition of family is those you can talk to about anything, there to give you advice, and guide you through life.

I’m very blesses to have an amazing family so let me introduce them to you.

First, my loving husband.

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My parents.

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(My Mom & Dad)

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(Dustin’s Mom & Dad – my other parents)

(Dustin’s Dad – my other dad.)

My Siblings.

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(My Brother and Sister)

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(Dustin’s Sister and her significant other)

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(Dustin’s second sister and her significant other)

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(Whoo, how did this get in there…moving on!)

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(Dustin’s youngest sister and her friend)

I thank each one of these people in my family on making me who I am! There is nothing better than a family bond. They are an open ear, a shoulder to cry on, and even to share a good laugh. Next time you are in the dumps, all you need is family because that is all that matters!

Christmas Favorite #7

I set here in Bristol, SD-small town USA-staring outside the window at the balmy winter weather. On this Christmas Eve, we are starting our first Christmas celebration. And boy, has it started out with a bang…majority of the family is either getting over the flu or receiving the repercussions of it.

In the midst of the holiday preparations, I have been blogging about my Christmas favorites. Today’s Christmas favorite definitely knows how to melt a heart…and I mean literally melt!

Yesterday, I got a few things moved into Grandma’s and while I was in there, Grandma was baking. She was giving me the run down of all things she had been making. Homemade caramels that melt in your mouth, Pray bars that melt your thoughts, and Special K bars that melt in your belly.

Also added to this list is Grandma’s divine popcorn. For a person like me that enjoys popcorn, these hit a holiday sweet spot. Grandma was itching to get these popcorn balls made so I thought I would jump right in.

We followed a recipe that she has used for a long time.

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I was in charge of making the syrup mixture while she popped the popcorn. I was fascinated when I read the recipe. At the bottom, the instructions state cook until a few drops in cold water form a hard ball. Her mom use to do this because candy thermometers must of not been invented yet.

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Then with the works of my Grandma’s hand and my talented pouring skills, we combined the mixture!

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And she formed the mixture into these beautiful, tasty popcorn balls!

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Christmas Favorite #6

This Christmas favorite takes a lot of patience…well for me it does, and I don’t mind it one bit!

I absolutely love wrapping presents.

I have always thought, is there a present wrapping profession? If so, sign me up! I have also wondered, do those mall gift wrappers have to try out?

Gift wrapping takes time, well my mother-in-law thinks I take way too much time. It’s all about picking out the right wrapping paper, the precise folding, the right label and accessories!

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Every year I’ll look forward to wrapping presents, now only if I look forward to shopping part of it. That’s what I get for being so indecisive!