Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Batter Writing Skills

Our littlest young men are getting to be my good helpers in the kitchen. Zucchini Cake has been THE cake to make recently. We make it in coconut & chocolate flavors.

Today, though we did something different: we had our phonics / spelling lesson in the cake batter.

They used a spoon as their writing tool and wrote the letters of the alphabet in the batter. Spelling words worked well in the batter too ... who knows they may even stick better in their little minds when written in batter, lol!

Of course, "erasing" batter is easy, so if they made a mistake they just "erased" and tried again.

In the end, the baked cake showed no traces of the lesson plan, but boys & Mom had fun learning together again. I trust the academic repetition mixed up with fun will have long lasting effects ...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Could You Use a New Pair of Boots?

ugg boots sale

Though I haven't tried these boots, but I'd like to. Especially if I could win them for FREE!

But then, you might win them if you click on their logo and sign up ... click on Win UGG Boots on their right hand sidebar.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Come See What I Found!

Casryn found this fledgling red-tailed hawk out in the pasture when he went out to check the gopher traps.

There is always something new and interesting just waiting for our young men to discover.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Enjoying the Scenery

This yard is so beautiful we like to spend time in the evenings just sitting around a fire, enjoying it ... it's like we're on a camping trip all the time. Working hard during the day frees up time to sit & relax come evening.

Last month when we hosted guests with camper trailers, we realized that an idea we had earlier would be just perfect - especially when we have guests & campers on the yard.

So we made a new, another fire pit. This one is not as near the house as our other one, but it is sheltered from the sun in a ring of trees and still visible from the house. A perfect spot to sit a bit ... come & enjoy it with us sometime??

Do you see the heart in the picture? Gotta love it! Purely by Divine Design!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Last Week @ Klasse Woods

It was time for the chickens to go to Papa's Poultry Processing Plant.

Getting straw for bedding in the trailer:

They were loaded before sun-up:

The next day, the guys hauled home a new-to-us hopper bottom feed bin that someone just wanted to get rid of. It will come in handy for next year's flock:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New Klasse Products

Rainy days have been plentiful here lately. We're using them to develope new products to sell: Beeswax candles

From jar to mold to candles: my collection of glass bottles, vases & jars are getting molded. Then the molds are used to make candles. The resulting beeswax candles are delightful. Right now, we're enjoying burning them on their test-runs, checking for burn times and perfecting the wicking thickness and set.

We've started with the simplest molds to prepare for the more challenging ones, the "string Trio" set. Watch for that set ... and more!

This is an earlier attempt at molding the "String Trio" ... we needed a firmer mold. Hopefully, our new mold medium will be result in an even better finished product:

Klasse Meals

We've been cooking up delightful meals ... using "nutrient dense" produce & proteins all from Klasse Woods:

"Good chicken, Mom!"

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Strips

For the recipes & tips check out our Klasse Woods Garden blog here!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Frugal Fun Stickers

The Holy Spirit, our little boys and Crystal @ MoneySavingMom (see her post), inspired this idea:

All of our children have at one time or another "discovered" that bean leaves are like velcro stickers on your shirt. They love it for a time every year, tire of the fun and it goes away ... only to return another day - next year! Then it is fun all over again!

I enjoy watching the sparkles dance in their eyes as they discover this new phenomenon for themselves and come running to show Mommy what bean leaves can do ... and the wonderful costumes they've made. Ah-h, it blesses my Mama heart to watch their joy, never mind the fact that I knew very well what bean leaves do because I discovered it myself way back when.

This week, after seeing Crystal's post, then watching our twins "discover" the wonder, an idea formed in my mind (I just have to give all the glory to the Holy Spirit living in me, giving me the grace to be Mama to our many blessings):

I had the boys go pick about 3 dozen bean leaves. They "put on their costumes" and I got a plain colored blanket and hung it on the clothes line as a poster board. Then they each took a turn making their HUGE initial:

Timothy (see his happy face?):

Benjamin & Bronlin with butterflies on their tummies (we didn't realize until later that "butterflies" also starts with "B" - that was orchestrated by God alone, an added blessing!):

Next, Timothy "wrote" a message for us:

We ended with a game, "Alphabet Pictionary", by each of us taking a turn making a letter while the rest sat on a blanket and guessed as quick as we could.

Cost? Nothing!

But we reaped a harvest of rewards: fun, unity, learning (hehe - they didn't even know it).

If you don't have beans in your garden, find a friend or a neighbor who does and wouldn't mind sharing a few leaves - they may wonder at you, but just show them how much fun it can be.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Another Field Trip

Field trips just keep "happening" for us - without us even planning them. So fun!

This weekend, Ken's folks planned a trip back to the dairy farm their children grew up on - to see the place and the operation that it has become since the Klassen family left it.

Memories. Lots of them came bounding back for Dad, Mom & their family and those in-laws and grandchildren old enough to remember. In addition, memories were made as the whole extended family spent a memorable afternoon together.

The dairy that Dad sold 22 years ago had about 40 milking cows. The present dairy currently milks 640 cows two times per day. With 12 employees, about half are their family members, it takes 4 hours to milk, feed and bed the cows. They have a state of the art, 50 cow turntable milking parlor -- 50 cows being milked at once! It is all computer operated. The production of each cow is monitored.
All the stock is raised from within the herd. There are a lot of animals on the yard - a guesstimate would be at least 1500 head - ALL under roof. There are four "Cover-All" shelters filled with pens that house the calves from birth to 6 months or so. From there they "graduate" to the barns -- of course, some are culled along the way, bull calves sold, etc.

One of the calf shelters:

A real robot!! A remote controlled "feed-pusher" that sweeps the feed back to where the cows can reach it. Here it is at its docking station for a recharge (it had fallen into a gutter. We watched it get "unstuck" by an employee using a bobcat. Once it was again on level concrete, he just used his remote to guide it into its dock. VERY interesting!!)

The milking parlour outside:

... inside:

... going around once:

... inside & underneath the turntable:

The whole operation is massive: numerous HUGE barns all connected.

FOUR silos:

Notice the concrete yard for all the heavy equipment to drive on from building to building ... and our boys thought the really amazing part was that they had a tractor for EACH job -- and it was a general consensus among the older sibling generation that they were the "right kind" with the "right colors", green & yellow, John Deere.

Ken & his Mom took great interest in their former garden site. Here he is checking out the trees he planted as a teen. The willow in the back ground is TALL ... and the grapevines Mother had are right to the top of it now -- with grapes all the way up!

That willow reaching for the sky:

Later, at a wiener roast supper ... the three newest family members get head to head for their first time (the youngest being the first great-grandchild for Ken's folks):

Saturday, August 1, 2009

One Year

Today is one year since we made our BIG MOVE -- from Saskatchewan to Manitoba.

Yes, we've made this home.

Yes, we do miss family & friends in Saskatchewan, but we've gained more time with Ken's family and numerous new friends here in MB.

God is with us, leading us day by day. Our journey here will not be complete until we make a BIGGER MOVE to our eternal home in heaven. Will we meet you there?