Friday, April 18, 2014

A DIY Project Gone Bad

 I have been meaning to make wool dryer balls for quite some time now. I had read up on it and saw quite a few tutorials which involved wrapping wool yarn into balls. I didn't do it at the time because I didn't have any wool yarn that I wanted to use up in that way and so the project was put off for quite a while.

  Meanwhile I was given some wool yarn that I wouldn't mind using for that purpose and then I started thinking it would be fun to make some with essential oil in it. Aaron spilled some essential oil the other day so I decided that would be a good time to make the balls. I sopped up the oil with some wool fabric scraps and then carefully wrapped wool yarn around it and then threw them in the dryer with my load of laundry.
 That was a big mistake! Oh, I forgot to mentioned I had decided to make two of them with a rock inside of them to make them heavier - well before long I started hearing the rocks go thump thump in a way that made it sound like they weren't inside the wool ball anymore. I went to check it out and sure enough they were quite loose and on their own and the wool yarn was completely wrapped around and felted on my whole load of clothes. What a mess!!!
It took quite a bit of working and cutting of the wool fibers to get our clothes recovered. It was disappointing but at the same time rather funny too. It made me realize that I maybe should slow down and check things out a little better rather than just jumping into everything like I can sometimes do!

I have checked out how I was supposed to do it now (better late than never). At DIY Natural she explains that you need to put your balls into an old pantyhose and then put in the washer followed by a trip in a hot dryer and then check for felting (you may need to repeat the process) before you ever send them in the dryer without the pantyhose. I think I might need to try again (and do it right!) especially after reading what she said about them reducing dryer time.

 Do you have any funny stories about a time that you goofed in your homemaking attempts? I would love to hear them! You can make me feel not so alone in my silliness. :-)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Birthday Girl

My sweet Megan turned 8 today.
It was a fun day filled with.....

  • Favorite foods: waffles and raspberries, grilled cheese sandwiches and apples, BBQ chicken, fried potatoes, green beans, garlic bread and lemon pie. 
  • Gifts: Homemade ones included a whole pioneer outfit for her doll complete with an original story by Mara and a bonnet for Megan made by me - The bonnet much to her father's chagrin (who would like to think we are normal) was worn all day - even while biking on the lane, going to the store and to church tonight. There were many other much enjoyed and appreciated gifts but the highlight was 2 baby ducks which Jonathan and Mara bought for her (with Jonathan's arranging and getting ready for them).
  • Decorating: My girl who takes after me with a love for having things be made special was quite delighted to have us hang up streamers for her special day.
  • Fun times with family and friends: All of our local family was able to come over to share supper with us before we all headed off for church to enjoy our time with our church family.
We are blessed that God choose to send Megan into our lives!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Has Arrived in Minnesota

 We had a long hard winter here with a record number of days under zero but we made it through (while having fun I might add) and have now greeted Spring with open arms.

  We are enjoying the warmer weather and having fun outside so very much! Here are some of the ways we have been enjoying Spring around here:
~Outdoor "Tea" parties once again. Megan invited Mara and I to one not long ago. It was complete with delicate looking snow cakes, birds nest tea cups (abandoned nests that had fallen down) and pine cones.

 ~Gathering maple sap. This is out at my parents place as they have maple trees and we don't. My brothers and dad created an updated way to collect the sap using the bobcat and a wood frame they made with a pallet. It isn't quite so quiet and peaceful using the bobcat but it does make it easier not have to carry heavy loads of sap through the woods on slippery snow.
~The baby goats have arrived out at my parents house too. They have around 15 kids now. Our kids love going out to see them and wish we could be out there full time right now.
 They get a bunch of loving attention - from these two pictures you would be led to believe you have to close your eyes in order to hold one but I don't think that is actually the case. :-)
 With baby goats also comes more milk. My parents are getting a lot of it again and generously sharing with us. Hooray for good raw milk!
 ~Another Spring time activity that has been going on around here has been bike riding. This year the big news on this line is that Megan can now ride on her own without training wheels. We love to bike ride as a family but we had put her on a tag-along so that we didn't have to slow down and so there wasn't this big push for her to ride on her own. This year however she pushed herself to do it and got it done.

 ~ The other "Springy" sort of activity around here happened because my "baby" sister got engaged (last month) - you know in Spring a young man's fancies turn to thoughts of love (isn't that how that old saying goes?) - and so we are having fun helping her with wedding planning. They are getting married in June and so a lot needs to be done fairly quickly. On Saturday I was able to help a little with addressing invitations and yesterday afternoon we went shopping for fabric to fix up her dress to make it more modest and pretty too. Weddings are fun especially when you are happy with the person they have chosen, which we certainly are. She is marrying our friend Benjamin who I have mentioned before concerning house sitting, canoe trip, church and so forth.

 The snow is pretty much all gone (though they had forecast that more would come) and so even though the weather is still getting chilly at times it feels like Spring and we are enjoying it!

Oh, I almost forgot - I didn't think there were pussy willows out yet but I was mistaken - we saw some yesterday! Another sign of Spring.

What Spring things have you been enjoying?

I will be linking to some of the blog parties in my sidebar.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Piece of Pottery - That's Me!

An old picture of some lovely pottery along with pussy willows
 which I am excited about seeing before long!
I really like pottery. Someday I really hope to be able to learn how to make pottery on a wheel - meanwhile I enjoy seeing the works of art that others have created. It is probably because of my enjoyment of pottery that this verse in Isaiah is such a neat one to me.

"But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father, we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and all of us are the work of Thy hand." Isaiah 64:8

God is truly an Artist - a Master Designer. He can make something beautiful out of us. But when we rebel and resist being molded by His hand but can no longer become as beautiful or useful. We might not always understand everything that goes on in our life but through it all let's try to be mold-able by the Potter.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Home Sweet Home

As you know, if you have been reading here, we have our house on the market, have bought land and are getting ready to build a new house. That quite likely will absorb much of our thoughts and activities this summer and so I will be blogging about it as we go along. I do plan on blogging about other things too (including hopefully a new series starting soon on re-purposing things) but I plan on sharing pretty regularly about our adventures in selling and building. I am thinking that maybe I will get a post done every Saturday on this subject.

  I have quite a few ideas about what I would like to share but actually I am really hoping this series will also be a time for you to share ideas and thoughts with me too. I have questions about what sort of counter tops work best, ideas for landscaping, what you think about the windows that you have and more. As we make oodles of decisions I would love to hear about what you love and hate about your home. I would love to learn from you!

  Here are some of the things that I plan to share:

  • Things I have learned about selling a house.
  • Discussions on various parts of a house (counter tops for example) and what we are considering and asking for your advice.
  • Our adventures as we plan on camping out in a garage for the summer (if everything goes according to plan).
  • Tutorials and photos about the progress.
It should be fun and I really hope you will join me!

I would love to hear your general tips concerning selling or building a house!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Enjoying Our New Land

The river is starting to thaw.
  We listed our house with a Realtor on Thursday evening. Since then we have shown it 3 times. It looks like things could go fast but we shall see. We are working to hurry up and get everything figured out for building so that when the house sells we have everything ready to go.
Photo: Our first meal on our new land
The kids and I ready for supper with the river behind us.

  This evening we had decided to go out to the land right after Ken got of work so that we could look over how the snow was melting, where the water was running and where we would put things. We also decided to cook and eat our supper out there. It was handy that we had already decided to go someplace because this afternoon the Realtor called to see if it would work for somebody to look at the house this evening (they like us to be gone when people come).
 It was a fun evening and we are looking forward to spending more time out there this Spring and Summer!
  We saw swans on the water, geese in the water and air, the kids also said they saw loons and muskrats, we saw some deer nearby and tons of evidence of a busy highway for deer on our property. It looks like wildlife abounds in the area.
 While Ken and I did a lot of measuring and figuring things out the kids had fun singing around the fire.
The snow is still pretty deep some places! Coming back to the van Ken tried to come across the ditch and did some major sinking instead. The boys were light enough to walk on top.

 We are feeling pretty excited about new adventures right now and excited about Spring!


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