Friday, Friday

One of my favorite summer gigs is Story Hour at my local library. We average about 15-20 kids each week. I like when it is closer to's amazing what a difference even one more kid makes. We start our hour with reading. I have been doing this for I don't know how many years. LOOONG time. I had last year off and I did miss it so I was thrilled when this year worked out! 

Last week I read a book about Raccoons, being the education major that I am and having a love for listening to littles, I always try to ask questions while I'm reading, to keep them engaged, get their imaginations working, and maybe help them learn a little bit. Well Raccoons were an interesting topic to bring up, I started off with: "Have any of you had an experience with a Raccoon?" Duh, Jessica we all live in rural America. One little boy had quite the saga including his dad, a raccoon, maybe some cat food, and definitely a shot gun. I actually have had the same saga played out on my homestead before...but that''s neither here nor there.

Anyway, this week is the last week-I'd say it's been a great month of Story Hour-alright I'm off to read some stories. Have a happy Friday!



Thrifty Thursday

Thriftier; Thriftiest 
1. Thriving by industry and frugality: prosperous. 

It's Thrifty Thursday, the time of the week where I share my thrifty finds from garage sales, antique shops, and of course thrift stores. 

I love the eyelet, love the color, and its cool and comfy.

$0.25? Did that really happen? YEAH IT DID. Not only did I get this deal-this deal probably made my week.

The thrill of the thrift: you never know what you are gonna get-kinda like what Forrest's Momma said.



60 years

Eeek, I've been a bit absent from my blog. Sorry about that. Things have been busy and last week just flew by! Last weekend we had the blessing of celebrating my Grandparents 60th wedding anniversary, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends all came to help celebrate this milestone.

Ahh I love my state.

We started off the weekend with a birthday party for a very special little girl. It was nice to have a little downtime for talking and laughing before the boatload of other people showed up the next day.

Mom and I headed up the decorations department-shocking, I know. We decided to go pretty neutral and simple because we were not for sure what colors the flowers were going to be. We have a plethora of canning jars in our basement so they were just perfect for the centerpieces. We simply added some glass rocks we had at home, tea lights to the jars, and some little scrapbooking embellishments and I tell you what, those tables looked so nice! We had my Grandma's wedding ring quilt on the picture table that held 4 generations. All the decorations spoke so perfectly of my Grandparents. 

The weekend filled with lots of baby holding. So much so, the day after we got home I felt odd not going and scooping up baby E. She's such a sweetie-she's started to smile and it's just darling. 

Ok, I'll stop gushing now. 

The weekend was also full of ring-around-the-rosie.
It was nice for all the little cousins to get together and play. Some of them do not get to see each other often.

I feel a bit silly not having a picture of my grandparents on this day, but they were busy! My Grandma was totally in her element-giving hugs to everyone in sight, having quippy jokes ready for people as they walked in. They had a wonderful time and that's what it was all about.

While looking around and thinking about all the years I couldn't help but think, I hope my marriage and family can emulate theirs because this is pretty dang special."

So like my Mom said "Here's to 60 years of putting up with each other!"



Just A Thought

This photo was cruising around facebook. I thought I would just share it here. You know it's so true. I've been reading "The Omnivores Dilemma" and I've become so aware how unconnected I am-heck how unconnected we all are from our food and other goods. We don't think about where things comes from, what goes into growing it, harvesting it, getting it to the store and then us buying it. This process used to short and simple-grow it, eat it. Today its a complex series of processes and like the plastic spoon, we perceive all of this to be less effort than the grow it, eat it mentality. I'm not saying that gardening is a piece of cake but I am saying if we all thought of the resources, the waste, and the prices of what we are eating and buying, shortening the process wouldn't sound so frightening. 

So I guess the moral of the story and this picture is to think further than just if you want the green apple or the red one, if you want to buy real spoons or disposable ones. If you want have a stash of cloth diapers that you only have to throw in the wash or smell the disposables in the trash (because trust me disposables smell wayyy worse-its the chemicals in them)and again take out the trash all the time- and run to get diapers every time you are out (more resources), I guess I'm learning to weigh and consider more factors, not just the ones in front of my face. I'm trying to be a better stewardess of God's creation.  Just think about it. 

p.s. yes that was a cloth diaper plug-it's because of my internship at Country Drawers...diapers are on my brain about every day of the week. 



Roughin' it

Senor Smarty Pants and I took the boys camping again, well most of them anyway. As it always is when we spend extended periods of time with our adolescent male siblings it was full of laughs, shakes of the head, rolling of the eyes, potty humor, and some mildly inappropriate innuendoes. 

Usually Senor Smarty Pants is just a little worker bee. This time he decided he wasn't doing as much. So we set these two boys on the task of staging the tent. It took them longer than anticipated-but we feel it was a good learning experience...

Then we had a bit of a hiccup in the events. The small tent door has some zipper issues so we usually just avoid using it. So we went to option 2. Apparently it's zipper is shot. So shot that we could not get the thing zipped back up so we could just avoid it and go to our 3rd and final option-the last working door. We wrestled with it and decided to try to duct tape it, we ran to the lodge, spent an obscene amount on tape and came back. Check out this handy work:

I do not consider myself a redneck, just a little country but this was about too much for me to handle. the next morning we were so happy it didn't rain, but our duct tape job barely held through the night. As the breeze picked up throughout the morning the tape kept coming undone, soon my duct tape was in the trash. 

Thankfully we were able to find other camping accommodations for our last night.

The boys went fishing and swimming-I had to work in the afternoon, but that was ok with me. Work is air conditioned. 

Those are a sign of a good night. You know, I think people camp because of the evenings. There is something about the anticipation of the coming evening. As the sun is setting on the lake, the cool starts to settle in and the fire gets started. Then you get to listen to the crickets and chit chat as everything you say gets funnier the later it gets. Plus, everyone looks better when lit with the light from a campfire. Even my brothers' ugly mugs...



Coconut + Chocolate

Macaroon anyone? 

They were so tasty. So tasty in fact they almost made me forget about the brats they were while trying to get them off the baking sheet.

Yes I just called these little delights brats-that was being nice actually.

Nevertheless, they were delicious, and I will make them again someday, when I've fully forgotten about and forgiven them for our fight.



Tie-Dye Irony

Is it odd that freshly worked up ground makes me giddy?

I would like to introduce you all to my Compost! This is Sissy's old water tank. It has a hole in the bottom and I decided instead of throwing it out I could use it as a compost bin.

Because I cannot leave anything just "as is" I painted some stripes on it but left some of the galvanized metal I do love how it looks. Then I just started filling it up, road apples, cut grass, old food, twigs, whatever I could get my hands on that would compost. It makes me feel good that I am reusing some of the unusables-best of all it's free! You can find a whole list of compost-able items online. I'm not going to blab on here about it because frankly I'm still learning and gathering information from many sources. I just want to encourage you to compost! It's easy, and makes great soil, I dug down deep and found what the product is yesterday-I'm amazed. It's so dark and rich looking, my plants are gonna love it.

The chicken wire top helps the little pieces of paper and such not blow around our yard-Dad would not appreciate that.

In other news: 
The other morning I got up, threw my hair in a braid down the middle of my back, slipped into a tie-dye shirt, applied my all-natural deodorant called "Hippy Pits," slid on my "bible time" sandals and started the day.

I went out and added the coffee grounds and orange peels to my compost pile and stirred it up. Then I came in took a shower and went to work at Country Drawers-a cloth diaper and Natural/Organic Family Products store. I cannot make this stuff up...I just put it all together and thought it was a little ironic. Hippie?



We Saw A Lot Of Rocks: part 4

We went to Custer and shopped a bit, that's where I bought my new moccasins! Custer is a cute little town. 

We then decided to go to Crazy Horse, where uh, you guessed we saw a lot of Native American stuff AND rocks. So, bonus! I will leave my words about Crazy Horse few, but going there is a strange mix of overwhelming and underwhelming feelings. This would be Rock #4

That night we went and saw some family in WY, it was so nice visiting with them! The next morning we got up and drove Needles Highway. I can honestly say if I never do that again I will be just fine. The scenery was beautiful, the colors of our faces as we piled out of the van when we finally got to Keystone was not. 

It was a rainy and dreary day, a nice change of pace. 

We came to a little stop and found out why it was called Needles Highway. There were all kinds of climbers waiting their turn to climb to the top of this little number. Unfortunately you needed professional gear, and we were fresh outta that so we just climbed the adjoining rocks. Rock #5

When we got to the top of "our" rocks this was our view. It was still pretty awesome. 

So pretty and melancholy, I liked it. Plus it was a much needed break from the highway for us all. 

I was able to get some very cool pictures. My favorites- close-ups. I'm "lichen" this one. Get it?  

Have you guys viewed enough rocks on this blog yet? I didn't think so. 

Shockingly Senor Smarty Pants decided to climb as high as possible. With no shoes-because and I quote- "My bare feet are as close to climbing shoes as I can get." Sometimes I just shake my head, turn around, walk away, and say a prayer he doesn't end up dead. 

There are this little tunnels on the highway. I didn't really see any of them, I was too busy trying to fall asleep and not vomit.

Finally after our stop in Keystone for a breather and lunch we got to what seemed like the main event, the reason that most people go to the Black Hills: Mount Rushmore. I really enjoy this place. Just something about it. Rock #6.

I had never before paid attention to how much there is to do at the Faces. You can just take them in but then there is the huge gift shop, the museum, and then you can walk down and get closer to the faces, just stroll around the area.

I learned about how they fill the cracks with silicone- the material they just started using not long ago after abandoning the old method. They cover the silicone with dust from the rocks so we can't tell a thing is wrong. 

I had never paid attention to the detail. Think of carving out those glasses with a jackhammer, a lot of work.

Coming to Rushmore made me hold my head a little higher about being an American. Some days I get a little discouraged but seeing these Faces restored a little of my hope.

The next day we got up and took the long journey home. It was a lovely Holiday. Thank you for putting up with all the posts. We've been home just over a week now, and now I'm ready for another Holiday, yes definitely ready for another one.