Halloween from the Past

Photobucket(Baxter, the Bat)I’m trying to come up with a great Halloween idea for my kids this year. Last year, we didn’t do anything special, because George was once again not feeling well…but this year, we hope to really do a bang-up job!

The year before that we had a Star Wars theme…and I have to say, the boys were cute as buttons (in a totally Star-Warsish-tough-guy way).

Here were my three big boys:

Scooter, EJ and Big Bro, all decked out.

And then came our little George…I made his costume:

My lovely little Yoda!

Yep, those are Shrek ears, folded down. Simple. The shirt is just a brown onesie (does yours have words on it? turn it inside out, or better yet, backwards!). Then brown pants. The “jacket” is a simple tan sheet, cut in the shape of a hoodie, then sew the sleeves together and put the hood together. Had I been blogging at that time, I totally would have shown a step-by-step way to make your own. Dang it!

Oh well, if you have specific questions on how to make one, I can make another and show it to you…it was a rough finish, but from a distance no one could tell. And I don’t think it turned out too bad!

But now for ideas for this year. Anyone?

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Don’t Fold Laundry

So, I was in the living room, folding laundry, when a surprise walked in…

Look! See! Pretty!

I tried not to lose my cool…but what the *#@!

Don't you like my surprise?

At this point, I just had to laugh. Or else the tears wouldn’t quit, you know?

Are the legs a bit much?

And then I wondered…where did he all color?

I'm so proud!

Thankfully, the only “artwork” I found was George. So, it quickly became bath time!

Oh no! I'm melting!

He kind of freaked out over the marker melting off…and I had to keep draining the tub and adding clean water.

Someone wasn't happy about losing his tats...perhaps he thought he was losing his street cred?

My lesson learned for the day? Don’t fold laundry. Now,  just to let my husband know that. 😉

Take a Moment – Giving Back

An organization that I follow on Facebook (and happen to be involved in) has put out this request for assistance…and I’ve decided to join in the fun and send out my own request for help:

Here it goes:

Now, we all have heard about the flooding in Bismarck and Minot. And although the mess and destruction is tragic, we hardly ever think of the little things…like the little ones that are also struggling to make sense of it all, and are wondering when their world is going to be “normal” again. Well, we can help, at least a “little.”

Family Voices of North Dakota, VSA North Dakota: The State Organization on Arts and Disabilities and NDCPD are partnering together on a project to let children who have been affected by this disaster know that others in communities around the country are thinking of them.

They are asking for these things:

  • Notes of kindness
  • Notes of hope
  • Picture drawing/coloring from children about the flooding and their thoughts

The purpose of this project is to collect the submissions and to put together a collage. One will be for Minot (and surrounding area), and one will be for Bismarck (and surrounding area). The collage will be used for an exhibit in the months ahead, as recovery is in full swing.

Donations will also be accepted, serving as a fundraiser for these communities.

Notes, pictures, drawings, colorings and monetary donations can be sent to:

Family Voices of North Dakota, PO Box 163, Edgeley, ND 58433

Questions??? Call (888) 522-9654

If you are sending in a picture or drawing, please send it in a large enough envelope as not to fold it (they would hate to have such hard work be destroyed by creases!!!).

Alrighty, folks, those are the details…now get to being creative, inspiring and colorful! And don’t forget to involve your children, you daycares, your schools, your churches…anyone who would love to share some love and joy (and a little sunshine!)!





Back to Business

Well, we’ve spent the last few days cleaning up, tearing down and getting ready for life to resume some normalcy.

In the excitement of it all, I forgot to give a wrap up on our fair happenings! This was our first year as a 4-H family and the boys enjoyed sharing their projects and watching others, as well.

Scooter is now a kitchen safety expert!


Since Scooter is only 7, he’s a Cloverbud, which means that he can show projects, but he only gets participation ribbons. There’s no competition for him. It was GREAT for him to receive nothing but praise and suggestions for future years. I only wish I would have had the foresight to do the same thing for Big Bro…but he still did a SUPERB job!

Gak, Gluk, slimy stuff...whatever you want to call it, Scooter made it.


Big Bro took nine projects to the fair…including: two fishing lures, one pop-can lamp, three photo projects, two dog projects and one bug display. He received six blue ribbons and three reds! I was so proud of him!!!

Big Bro was researching all the different jobs that "working" dogs do...he thought it was so cool!


On top of that, Big Bro tried the consumer choices competition and received a third-place ribbon.

Then, on Sunday, Big Bro and Scooter had both volunteered to participate in the Style Show. Scooter showed off his tee-ball uniform in the Have ‘n Show (just a show with clothes you already have…no judging) and Big Bro showed a school outfit he picked out in the Buy ‘n Show.

Big Bro and his Buy 'n Show school outfit...lookin' sharp!


Big Bro was interviewed by two judges on the price of the outfit, uses, how to care for it, whether it was a smart purchase, etc. He was nervous about participating because he was the only boy, but once he warmed up, he did great. When it came time for the judging and the ribbons, we were both surprised when he was named the Reserve Champion! Talk about a happy boy!!!

So, in all, the fair was so much fun and such a great experience! The boys are already talking about next year…and I couldn’t be happier.

I did see one amazing booth at the fair that I really wish more people would have been able to experience:

This display on North Dakota ROCKED!!!


This “North Dakota Feeds the World” display was absolutely amazing. It had actual crops growing, commodities available to view, information, great pictures, etc., etc. The only problem was that it was only set up for Thursday afternoon/evening. And that means that not a lot of non-ag people were able to view it. I’m hoping that we can get it back in the area soon…and I’m looking into it. If you see it in your area, be sure to check it out. You won’t regret it!!!

First fair as 4-H family!

How’s that for a tongue twister?!?

Yep, our first-time ever being official 4-H’ers is in the books. And I’m so proud of my boys!

Scooter is a Cloverbud, so whatever project he took to the fair, he received a participation ribbon. I love that he gets the chance to go through the process with no pressure on performing to a high-standard, etc. It was GREAT!

Ask him about kitchen safety…and he’ll talk your ear off; ask him about taking nature walks…and he’ll tell you all about seeing a toad; ask him about using his senses outdoors…and he’ll tell you how much our puppy stinks right now. Isn’t that great? (Well, except for the stinky puppy bit.)

Big Bro took nine static exhibits to the fair…and he brought home six blue ribbons and three reds! He was so proud of himself…and I was even more proud, because I know that he did all of the work by himself. I can’t wait to see how they grow in the next year.

One of his exhibits was a photo enlargement. Here it is:

Big Bro's photo exhibit...but not enlarged.



He also did a photo exhibit that told a story about his brother playing outside:

I LOVE this picture that Big Bro took of EJ.



And then, just some cool landscape photos:

An old bus, that was turned into a camper, that was crashed, that was purchased by my husband, that was salvaged for its engine, that's now sitting on our farm, that's now used as a giant fort by my boys.





And he also taught our puppy (Miss Maggie May) how to sit, which was one of his projects:

Miss Maggie May is super smart...but Big Bro did a GREAT job teaching her to sit!



The Dickey County Fair continues through Sunday…so stay tuned for more updates!

Mother’s Day bouquet

It’s Mother’s Day this weekend, and I was hit with an idea last week when a friend of mine (on Twitter, I’ve never met him face-to-face…funny world, eh?) tweeted about an idea of baking cupcakes in an egg shell. It piqued my curiosity. You see, I’m not a baker…and I’m not very crafty, either, although I try to pretend now and then. But these cupcakes made me itch to try it.

But instead of just making a cupcake, I though, why not a bouquet of flowers??? Easter was already over, but Mother’s Day was coming up…so:


Awww! Pretty flowers! And yummy!

Now, let me start by telling you that (again) I don’t bake…but that’s going to be changing. But to start off, I decided to use a box cake mix. I need to get my legs under me before I try to fly! 😉

Baby steps for me...I start with a box mix.

And then, I have a dozen eggs (a box mix will give you enough for a dozen eggs and a dozen cupcakes).

These are the eggs, and this is my handy corkscrew.

I used my handy-dandy corkscrew and put a hole in the BOTTOM of the eggs. (Eggs have a pointier end and a rounder end. The rounder end is where the air pocket usually is. If you drill the hole there, then your egg will sink better in part 2.)

Once the hole was made, I peeled back enough of the shell so that you could put the tip of an icing bag in it (or, in my case, the tip of a baggie with the corner cut off!).

My version of a piping bag...it works spendidly, and the clean-up is quick!

I used a toothpick to stir the insides up (breaking the yolk) and then drained out the egg. You can use the egg for the cake mix, make scrambled eggs for the family, or bake away for the rest of the day!

A weapon of mass destruction...mostly just yolks.

I then rinsed the eggs out, and placed them in hot salt water for 30 minutes. Rinse, drain and let dry.

My egg shells, in salt water.

I used a muffin tin, with tin foil inside to help the eggs stand up.

The foil in the muffin tin helps the eggs stand up.

Mix your cake batter up, and fill the eggs about 1/2 full of batter. (Warning: they WILL overflow, but it’s not too tough to clean up, just scrape off the cake, and wipe off with a damp cloth.)

My eggs, standing at attention, awaiting filling.

Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Yeah, they’re kinda messy, but FUN!

Then comes the fun part!

I took bamboo skewers and craft sticks (we call them popsicle sticks in this house!), and I stuck the eggs on them. I then took paper baking cups and flattened them out a bit. I had the boys color the white ones with bright markers, and I also used some of the colored wrappers. I placed them on the sticks, under the eggs, and presto! A flower!

Not just beautiful, but delicious as well!

You can use different sized cupcake wrappers, depending on the size of your eggs. To make a bouquet, I used a formula can, cut holes for the craft sticks, and just stuck the pointy end of the skewers in the lid. You can decorate the can all fancy-like, or, if you’re like me, you can just be amazed you made it this far and call it good.

Hey, I’m taking this whole Betty-Crocker thing one step at a time, I don’t plan on going all Martha-Stewart as well! 🙂

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