Monday, August 22, 2011

Baking entries all ready to go


Anna's 7 Entries

Bailey's 7 Entries

Ashley's 5 Entries

Brianna's 3 Entries

In total, we have 22 entries for the baking department. It makes a formitable display when it is all spread out, too!

In total for the whole fair, we now have 50 successful entries...YIKES! Here is the break down:
Anna 17 entries
Bailey 20 entries
Ashley 8 entries
Brianna 5 entries

We were able to get a sneak peak at a couple things. Bailey got a special award rosette and first place for her photo, "Little Farmer Boy." Anna took second place on her photo.

They also each presented one baking item to a judge at the fair and each got a blue ribbon on their favorite cookie that they made! (Except for Brianna who talked about her carrot cake and spending 40 minutes grating carrots!)

Great job girls. I am so proud of all of you! You have worked hard to produce quality items to put in the fair.

I am now relieved to be D.O.N.E. with this year's fair entries! Whew, it has been a lot of work just supervising!

Brianna's Day of Baking

Brianna is in the lowest age category in the baking department for the fair this year. That means she is only allowed the special event, and 2 other items. She waited patiently while I worked at helping the other 3, all day long, 2 days in a row. I only had time to help her make a carrot cake yesterday. Today was her turn!

We worked on the special event, which this year, is a parent/child sugar cookie critter/person contest.

Then she made this graham cracker and sugar cookie zoo - and it turned out GREAT! She is so creative, and had some really great ideas on how to make this work.

J's ER trip

We have had so much fun at Children's Hospital, we decided to go yet again this month - this time with J, who is having 'boy problems' (as they worded it on our intake paperwork).

He has 1 testicle that is very swollen, and a strange bump...

In the end, it was a pretty fast trip, and after 3 doctors and 2 nurses looking and poking at him, they decided it was a testicular hydrocele, which is most likely harmless and will most likely heal on its own. It was a good outcome. We even made it home before midnight!

J's favorite part was getting to play with the tv controls on the remote. His least favorite part was having so many people come, and, um, poke at him...poor little guy!

I am so thankful for having a great local Children's Hospital, who are so kind and compassionate to all of our children when we need, I hope to not need them again for quite some time!

Baking Day 2

Some pics from our 2nd very full day of baking...
The twins had a lot of recipes to write out...and they did a great job sticking to it, until it was completed!
Brianna spent about 40 minutes grating carrots for her carrot cake! She had a great attitude and stuck with it until the very end!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Productive Day in the Kitchen

The girls have been very busy today! We were able to preregister 10 items into the baking department for the fair today!

Ashley made a flag cake, no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, and a yellow cake.

Bailey made a train cake, a marble cake, and ladybug cookies.

Anna made M&M sandwich cookies, cinnamon roll cookies, a chocolate cake (that needs to be frosted) and (most of) a castle cake.

Tomorrow is another busy day in the kitchen ~ Brianna hopes to make a carrot cake, and a decorated cake (she is in the youngest age class and only allowed to make 2 entries this year). The older 3 want to make banana or pumpkin cake, scones, no bake cookies and brownies.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Excuses. We all have them. Some of them even seem 'valid' at times. Others just plain silly. But there is one thing they ALL have in common...and it goes back to the Garden of Eden and that original sin. When God called Adam out for having eating of the forbidden fruit, the first thing he did was point the blame to someone else, making an excuse for his poor judgement. Next, it was Eve's turn...and she did the same thing. She made an excuse and pointed the blame at someone else.

I can not even begin to count how many times I have done this in my own life! But most recently has been this week. I am working my way through a program called The Lord's Table, which is a Biblical approach to turning away from the sin of overeating, and to focus on God as the giving and sustainer of life rather than on food. Overall, if you look at the last several months, I have been doing this most of the time. But when I fall, I fall hard, like this week!

It is very easy for me to say, "But there is so much going on! Nursing sick calves back to health, only to lose one of them (not sure if I mentioned on here that Norman didn't make it). The idea of going for the next several weeks, really for an unknown amount of time without my husband by my side (which is a HUGE stressor for me!), having him say he doesn't want me to go over to see him (across the country) by myself, all of the Evergreen State Fair entry business, the vast amounts of sickness that have gone through the house, 2 trips to the ER...and the list goes on and on.

The TRUTH is that God is still God, and He is good all the time. The truth is that if I were to rest in Him during all of these things, I wouldn't' have felt the same stress I have, because I chose to try it in my own strength. The truth is that I have chosen a false god, an idol, in the form of candy and sweets, and overindulgence rather than going to the One True God who loves me. The truth is that going to this false idol has made me feel worse, has taken energy I could have used to get through the trials and tribulations that are upon me, and is of the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy. The truth is that God's burden is easy and His yoke is light.

I have allowed the lies of the Evil One to permeate my thinking..."I am so tired, maybe a bit of sugar will help me wake up." "I don't have the energy to make something healthy." "One time won't hurt." "I will get back on track tomorrow."

The problem with all of those is that it is simply a justification for submitting to my fleshly desires, which is in direct opposition to dying to self, taking up my cross and following after Jesus! The last 2, at least for me, are the worst. The idea that it is just this one time, leads to another time, and another. It weakens my resolve, and makes it easier to sin again. The problem with waiting to 'tomorrow' is that it is always 'later;' it never really comes.

Today, I did what I should have done a week ago. I opened my Bible, and spent time with God. The calves breakfast was late. The twins made breakfast for everyone. And I feel like I am starting my day with Life Giving Living Water! My focus has shifted off of myself, and onto Christ, where it belongs!

As I read today, I came across the story of Jesus walking on the water. Peter tells Jesus to call him out of the boat if it is really him, which Jesus does. Peter gets out of the boat, leaving the others there, and walks on the water to Jesus. His focus was on Christ. He was doing it! He walked on water! But then, he was distracted by the storm. The wind and waves scared him, and he began to sink. This is exactly what has happened to me this week! Today, my prayer is that Jesus would help me to rise above the storm (which is still raging all around me, but I feel more able to handle it, because I can rely on God)...

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Today everyone is playing so nicely together, that I had to share!

Callie and Breezy are playing pretend with puzzle pieces in this puzzle book.

Ashley is playing at the water table with the babies...also playing pretend, of course! Serenity is so happy to get to play in the water with her older siblings!

The twins were picking berries, but came inside to keep plugging away at writing out their recipes. For each Evergreen State Fair entry they make, they must write out the recipe for it...having this requirement means *I* don't have to be the bad guy and seriously limit what they can do for entries! Their hands are tired after writing out just one recipe, lol!

I am so blessed to have such amazing children! God is so good, all the time!

Piglet class

The girls were invited to participate in a piglet class that a friend of ours, Stephanie, was running for speech credit (a requirement for WA state graduation).

They had a great time! Stephanie did such a wonderful job preparing for the class, making the materials, and presenting a lot of information! She even sent everyone home with a bit of homework, that they thoroughly enjoyed! Anna especially can't wait to show Miss Stephanie next week when we go back for the goat class!

[J was enthralled with all of the animals, including the ant he found here! The Stetsons have horses, a goat, pig and piglets, kittens and chickens.] --->
Miss Stephanie had visual aids (a poster and a piglet), a craft project and a game to keep everyone engaged and busy.

I love that we can learn anytime, anywhere in all the different interests represented by my children and in whatever way they best learn! I love that my children enjoy learning! Thank you so much Stephanie for this wonderful class! My girls thoroughly enjoyed it!

The twins' pie

The twins spent a great deal of time on Tuesday looking over all the blackberry bushes to find enough that were early to ripen to bake a there are lots of berries ready, and they will be heading out to pick them shortly!

And here is the fruit of their labor!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Antique Tractor Show

The Antique Tractor Show is something the girls look forward to each year...and after watching J, I think he will look forward to it next year, too!

We got to watch the parade, ride the hay ride and the train.

We got to see the animals at the petting farm.

We even got to participate in the barrel roll! (It is a very small town feel to this show, and if you look 'too interested' in something, they may just call you up to do it, lol! All those in our group who wanted to, were able to do the barrel roll.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Happy Nails"

Callie has been very talkative tonight. She is talking about not feeling well, feeling better, not liking the 'straw' they put in her arm at the hospital, not liking the plastic (tape) they put on her arm at the hospital, wanting to eat (currently waiting to see if the toast and juice she ate will stay down before giving her something else), asking when her jello will be ready, etc. But she still looks very sad. So I asked her, "Callie, what might cheer you up?"

"I think having happy nails would cheer me up."

"What would make your nails happy?"

"Flowers on them." She answered very matter of what else could we do, but paint flowers on her nails!

It does seem to have cheered her up, at least a bit, too!

And with that, she is ready to go back to sleep.

Callie update

Callie did indeed go to the ER last night. They gave her IV fluids, and anti-nausea medicine. Today she is still not feeling well, but definitely looking better! Hopefully all of us are on the mend!