Friday, July 29, 2016

First Egg!!!

I found the first egg this morning!! 

Here is a comparison with a large white store-bought egg.  They get bigger as the chickens mature.  

So exciting!! 

Now we just need to convince the other four to start laying. Jared and I have bets that Runt won't be laying eggs for at least another ten weeks. She is so far behind developmentally. But a few of the others look like they are getting close...

Sunday, July 24, 2016


Sorry I haven't posted much. 

It was VBS week. I co-taught the first and second graders. They have a lot of energy. :) It was over 90 degrees each day and snack and games were outside. I skipped those some of the days. :) 

You know it is going to be a long week when on Tuesday you are cooking dinner and panic and suddenly think "oh no, I need to turn on the radio. I am missing my favorite Friday show (Sci Fri - Science Friday)!!" And then you realize that it is just Tuesday and no where close to Friday. 

My sister was visiting from North Carolina and my sister-in-law was visiting from Wyoming with their husbands and kids. So, we were trying to squeeze in visits to everyone (and various combinations of cousins) before they all left. That added up to some late late nights. But lots of fun. 

And my sisters threw me a baby shower on Monday, which was lovely.  More on that later. It included lots of good food and Legos. Martin had a blast. 

So, I'll be back to blogging in a few days when I recover from all of that. And then in August I have jury duty... I hope to read lots of books while I wait around at jury duty. We'll see.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Bibs and a teething toy

This is a teething toy that I made for my sister. 

I made a few bibs for my other sister.

And I used these fun new snaps that GC gave me for my birthday.  :) 

I was in a bib making mood. I made two of the ones pictured, two other floral bibs, and four cowboy/western bibs (the later two I forgot to take pictures of). I have done quite a bit of sewing in recently.  I made the case for my camera, fixed a bunch of my cloth diapers, and I helped two girls at church each make a runner (it took us two 6 hour days). 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Camera Case

My family bought me a video camera for my birthday!!! I am very excited to take videos of special events in my family's life: days with cousins, birthday parties, holidays, and the first time the boys meet their new brother (it will either be very sweet or we will look back and laugh about it later). 

I sat down and sketched up a camera case based off a little bag pattern that I found online, which I can no longer access.  :(  I changed some of the dimensions and added an extra pocket inside. 
Here is the bag finished. 

Here is my pattern that I sketched.  Yes, that is an old wedding runner that I use for patterns. 

I sewed the pattern together loosely, just to check the overall size.  

Here are my fabrics and lining cut. 

And there is the finished inside. I doubled up the quilt batting to make the padding nice and thick. The pocket in the back is for the charging cord if I am on a trip. I am pretty happy with how sturdy it turned out.  I finished it in under two hours a few Saturday nights ago.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


A trip to the post office is always fun!! I couldn't decide what stamps to get. It won't take long to use these up. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

More Popsicle stick fun

A few popcicle sticks and some masking tape can be so entertaining. 

First, we just rolled the marbles down the track. Now we are trying to aim them into containers and predicting where they will land. 

Who needs real toys? 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Seven Years!!

Yesterday was our seventh anniversary!! It has been a wonderful 7 years. 

We spent the day visiting with 6 of the 9 other cousins on Jared's side of the family. So, 9/12 grandkids (I count the new baby as being present even though only I can feel him) were in one place. That might be a record. The boys had a wonderful time. 

In typical Faith fashion, I caught a cold for our anniversary. I usually am sick for all big events and holidays. 

And Jared was diagnosed with mono, which is actually great news. He has been exhausted, worn out, and has had no energy for 2-3 months now and we couldn't figure out why he was feeling poorly. He's been to the doctor twice and had two blood tests. We are so glad to actually know the reason. Now we know why he has been going to bed so early and I have been able to read so many books. :) 

Hopefully, we will celebrate once our energy returns, ESL training is over, and VBS week ends. 

Saturday, July 09, 2016


While this one was napping yesterday Martin started asking me how everything works. 

It started off like this: "why gas burns under our hood? I want you to teach me how a car works." 

Seriously? What thee year old asks these kind of questions? Boy, am I glad I am an engineer. I am way more fit to answer these type of questions than playing dress up. :) 

So, I pulled out a book that explains how various things work and we sat and looked at it for almost an hour. We learned about most of the parts of the human body and many different vehicles. 

Last week the boys were sick. Thankfully, I had ordered a new toy for them. Popsicle sticks, clothes pins, and binder clips! We had a blast putting together shapes and structures. I am sure you will see more of these in the future. So much fun! 

Friday, July 08, 2016

Chicken Coop

I keep forgetting to post pictures of the chicken coop (I will post pictures once the nesting boxes are complete - we put that off until the chickens were closer to laying eggs) and run that Jared made me. Isn't it lovely? 

It is attached to the side of out shed.  Yes, our shed has two doors.  We turned one third of the left side into the coop and then added the run on the outside.  And by we, I mean, mostly Jared.  I did help cut, drill, and screw in some of the wood pieces that cover the edges of the wire, but that is all.  Oh, and I made the ramp. :)

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Book Update

I have been doing a lot of reading in June (5 books) and July (4 books so far).  Jared has been fighting a virus and has been super tired recently.  This has left me with lots of reading time. I have updated my list here

Since, six out of the last nine books I have read have been Biblical based, I have noticed something about reading. It influences the way I think about life. It reminds me of that verse (1 Cor 15:33), "bad company corrupts good character." The reverse is also true. Good company builds up good character.  And that is the way it is with a good book. 

I think that is why I tend to read mostly non-fiction. I don't find a lot of fiction helpful it developing my world view (as much as I love Sherlock Holmes, he isn't teaching me anything about Godliness).  There are books out there that can influence you positively, that are fiction, but my brain doesn't find the hidden truths in books well.  I need books that just tell me how it is.  :)  

I have more to say about this, but the words aren't coming right now.  I just want to encourage you to keep reading good books. God definitely uses them in our lives. 

I also encourage you to read hard books for your devotions, as suggested by C.S. Lewis (here). I just finished Future Grace by Piper. At first when I tried to read it, I found it was too much to read straight through it, but when I switched it over to my devotions and only read a chapter or part of a chapter, it was much easier to digest, understand, and apply.  I am looking forward to digging into some Puritans and Packer in the next few months.  

Friday, July 01, 2016

Blueberry Buckle

This is my new favorite recipe to use up blueberries. It is cross between a blueberry muffin and coffee cake. I am posting the original recipe and the ways I changed it. I made it the recipe the first time, but it was too sweet. So I reduced some sugar, substituted some applesauce for butter, and used half whole wheat flour the second time. Still great!!

Note: This is better served the day it is made.  The second day is okay.  By the third day the topping gets mushy.

Strusel ingredients:
1/2 c. Flour
1/2 c. Brown sugar
2 T. Sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch salt
4 T. Butter

Mix everything but butter in mixer for 30-60 seconds until combined. Add butter and mix until it resembles wet sand (about 2-3 minutes). Set aside. 

Cake ingredients:
1-1/2 c. Flour (can use up to half whole wheat without noticing)
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
10 T butter (or 4T butter and 6T applesauce)
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 c. Sugar (or 1/3-1/2c.) 
1/2 tsp. lemon zest (I haven't used this because I haven't had any lemons)
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
4c. Blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9" cake pan (I have also made this in a 13x9). 

Cream butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest about 3 minutes. 

Beat in vanilla. 

Best in eggs one at a time. 

Add flour and baking powder. Stir about 20 seconds. Don't overbeat!! Fold in blueberries with spatula. Batter will be very thick. 

Push batter to edges of pan with spatula.  Sprinkle with strudel. 

Bake 55 minutes (or 30-40 if using bigger pan).  Cool 15-20 minutes. Invert on  cookie sheet. Invert a second time in plate (so strudel is on the top). Or just serve out of pan. :)