Friday, June 12, 2015

First Time to Camp

Garrett hasn't been able to concentrate on much this week- because he was getting ready for his first time at 4-H Camp and he could hardly hold his excitement in! He got everything packed 2 days in advance and then kept asking if it was Thursday or if it was time. Granted he does know his days of the week and he does know how to tell time- but he kept checking. So yesterday was the day and I dropped him and Robert off at 4-H Camp- it doesn't seem possible that he is old enough for this...
I hope that he makes as good of friends at 4-H Camp as I have made- they have been with me throughout the rest of my life (so far)!  Have a good time G-man!


Robert has spent the last few months attending Confirmation classes to become a member of the Knox United Methodist Church. This past Sunday he made his commitment to the church. He and 5 others joined the church. I was very proud of his decision and the steps he takes in his faith. He continues to amaze me and I don't know what God has planned for him, but I'm certain it is something special!
The Confirmation Class

Robert and Pastor Dave

Last Day of School

With all the changes in our lives in the last few months, some things didn't change.
The end of the school year has come and gone and last day of school pictures have been taken. There was a young man that for 8th grade that morning  but his baby brother prevented a picture to be taken. But I got him coming home as he will be a sophomore next year. That hardly seems possible that he will be in 9th grade and starting to prepare for college or trade school or whatever he decides he is doing. But many have not recognized him as he is becoming a young man.
Robert coming home from 8th grade

And then there was Garrett- already for his last day of 3rd grade. This is a big moment at Keystone too because when you move into 4th grade at Keystone you get to move upstairs! This is always a big deal! Granted with a new little one at home, Garrett almost missed the bus on the last day of school- so we took his picture with the window when he came home:) So I had 2 kiddos finish off the school year and they were excited about the upcoming summer!

Garrett arriving home and getting our picture taken that we missed in the morning.

Garrett arriving home

Meeting a Few of my Aunts

On one of Wyatt's Dr Appointments trips in May, Wyatt had the opportunity to meet Aunt Laura- she was thrilled to hold him at Grandma's but the girls were not quite so happy that they were not able to be along with her.

The following day Aunt Caren arrived home of a few days and got to meet Wyatt at a 4-H meeting and then at the Kids Club dinner she held Wyatt for a while. So all in one weekend he had the chance to meet a few more of his family!

Boy is he going to be spoiled!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Welcome Wyatt!

The month of April really slipped away from us here as we prepared for the arrival of our new bundle of Joy, but to our surprise, he decided to come on his time schedule about 3 1/2 weeks early. The morning of April 25, Wyatt was born. The little guy had a few problems and by Sunday afternoon he had been visited by family and was then prepared for his first flight- Stat Medivac- to Hamot NICU. This was very scary for all of his family. Gary and I were able to go to Hamot and the other 2 boys went with my mom home. We ended up spending 10 days in Erie with the little guy under the UV lights, getting antibodics, having blood tests for platelet counts. It was a very stressful situation but thankfully he is home and seems to be growing. He then had 2 days of appointments at Children' s Hospital. The first day he had casts put on his feet for his clubbed feet and he had an ultrasound performed. On Friday we went to meet with the Dr that was reading the ultrasound. Currently nothing to worry about with his heart or kidneys. Will check both in 6 months to confirm that nothing changed in the wrong direction and that things are fine.

all in all the end of April was not what we expected - at all- but we have a wonderful baby boy to add to our family! Welcome Wyatt!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Math Garden

A few weeks ago I was working with my niece on matching her numbers and counting to 12. Well I was looking for a fun way for her to practice and maybe one that I didn't have to help the whole time. So we made our Number Garden(which later became the Math Garden).

We took an egg carton and turned it upside down. I had my niece use a marker on each egg cup draw green grass. While she was making grass I was making flowers. I grabbed some popsicle sticks and sticky backed Fun Foam Flowers. I placed a flower at the top of each stick. The where the leaves were to be I wrote numbers 1-12 on the sticks. When she was done with the grass, I then wrote numbers 1-12 on the top of each egg cup and cup a small slit the width of a popsicle stick.
The bottom of the carton with green grass on sides and numbers and slit in egg cup

Our simple flowers- my niece liked the ones with glitter centers better

Our Number Garden turned Math Garden

Now all she had to do was "plant" my flower garden, by matching the numbers on the sticks to the numbers on the egg cups.  Once she had finished matching the flowers to the holes, we would count them and check to see if they were correct.

This worked great for my 4 year old niece, but the Math Garden began when my son came home from school. Now Garrett is in 3rd grade and was working on multiplication. My niece had randomly placed the flowers back into the egg carton when we were all done the last time. When Garrett got home, he saw this and asked what it was. I explained that it was my "Math Garden" and he had to Multiply the flower times the number on the egg cup and give me the answer. If it was correct he could "pick the flowers."  This was a fun and quick way to randomly practice math facts in a couple of minutes.

Now that I have looked at it for a while- this could work for matching numbers, counting, addition, subtraction, & multiplication. And now my niece is leaving her numbers messed up when she is done so that Garrett has to practice when he comes home- it's like their own little game between them.

Cub Scout Bake Off

It was that time of year again where I turn my clean kitchen over to Gary and Garrett for the Cub Scout Father-Son Bake Off. This year Garrett has been asking since Christmas to learn to make a Cheesecake. So he and I made a plain cheesecake. It turned out well, but it wasn't thick enough for him and he wanted to add chocolate. Well he found a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cheesecake! 

As usual, they had a practice night where they practiced the recipe and we got to sample it and make suggestions. A debate as to if mini chocolate chips were needed or not occurred as the regular sized ones seemed too big. It finally was agreed that it needed the mini chocolate chips.

So Friday night Gary and Garrett made their Chocolate Chip Cheesecake- it looked awesome!! Saturday came and it was time to turn it in. There were 17 entries this year, but they were all against each other- no categories. Even though Garrett and Gary did not win this year- Garrett is happy to know how to make a good cheesecake and we were lucky enough to enjoy it!

The first place winner with the "Mile High Apple Pie" is in the center

Venango County Fair Grounds Barns Continued

On March 28, Robert earned his Life Practical for Boy Scouts by organizing a group of Boy Scouts from 2 local Troops to go to the Fairgrounds and work at taking down the hog pens and the hog barn. The morning started off pretty cold and there was snow in the air (again), but this didn't stop the boys as they went through and removed waterers.  Then out came the hammers and sledge hammers and tools- the demolition began. The boys worked all morning until noon at which time they had just about all the pens torn out & wire pieces removed from the cement. Over lunch the fairboard members took down the remaining roof trusses and when the Boys Scouts returned from lunch they were able to start feeding the fire with the hog pens. They also started taking down the walls. It was a very busy and productive day.

The next day the Fair Board and volunteers started on removing the Bean Barn and the progress there in on afternoon with just a few volunteers was a great accomplishment!

It won't be long until I get to start posting building pictures!!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Venango County Fairgrounds winter disaster

The winter was long, hard and clod, not t mention all the snow that came our way. But the snow was dry and powdery until it decided to warm up a little and then rain. The snow acted like a sponge and soaked up the rain making the snow heavier and causing a lot of damage. Towards the beginning of March we received a phone call asking for help shoveling off the buildings at the fairgrounds. So everyone got dressed warm, grabbed their shovels and off we went. This was just the beginning of what is looking like a LOT of time at the fairgrounds between now and August1, 2015!

When we got there we found out that the oldest barn on the grounds had collapsed on top of some items that was stored in the barn. But we spent the evening shoveling the buildings off - ok I didn't the boys did.

The rest of the week I went up and took pictures of them pulling items from the collapsed barn and watched the clean-up begin. You might say it was just a building or just a barn, but lots of people have great memories from that barn. I personally remember tying my first calf to the corner post so that she could get clipped before the show. I remember hanging out with my friends during the fair and playing in the rain- after saving their farm photo from the rain that was blowing through the barn. Sitting and just watching people go by, explaining to fair visitiors what we were doing or showing family how we had done at the show.

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Anyhow it was a bitter sweet good-bye to a barn as the guys worked at burning the remains. Then the news can that the insurance company determined that the hog barn was also unsafe and needed to come down. This one is near and dear to Gary's heart as he put a lot of blood sweat and tears into that barn and now he is helping to tear it down.

And at the board meeting the other night they decided to tear down the Bean Barn (the other dairy barn) because then they could start from scratch and begin with drainage and build some bigger buildings that would all work together. The plan sounds like it will provide a wonderful home for Venango County's 4-Her's and open exhibitors for years, the catch will be getting everything accomplished before August 1, 2015- opening day of this year's fair. So here is to a VERY busy Sumer 2015!