Monday, July 29, 2013

Being Part of the Band

 So one day there was all this noise coming from Justin's room.  It was loud music with other noises in the background and the door was shut.  I opened the door to see what all of the noise was about and this is what I found.  Justin had a CD player cranked up really loud and he was playing musical instruments to the music.
 He had gathered the play instruments that we have: guitar, piano, xylophone, tambourine, and made his tool work bench into a set of drums.  He also found a few microphones for his singers.
 He was playing along to the music having the time of his life.  Justin loves music.  When you ask him to sing, he won't sing because he is shy.  But, you can hear him singing around the house when he is by himself.  He loves to sing along loud to the Wii though.
 He even recruited Erica and Ashlin to be his singers for the band.  Ashlin would not participate in pictures, but Erica didn't care.  They were having too much fun to care.
Take care,

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

These smiling faces and looks of happiness are all pure summer fun!

Take care,

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Time to Go Boating

 The boat is fixed!!!  Our kids were so excited to go boating last Friday.  The cooler was packed in record time with sandwiches, fruit, chips, drinks and cookies for the trip.  They were all anxious to go tubing.  The weather was perfect for our trip to the river.  It was in the 90's with hardly no wind.
 At first I thought someone was building a new home on the river, but on a closer look, I think they are just adding on to an existing home.
 Some of the homes on the bluffs look like they are ready to fall down into the river.  They are set just on the edge.
 There were some boats out enjoying the beautiful day, but not too many to make it crowded.
 Everyone took some time to swim around the boat and cool off in the water.
 Even Justin gave tubing a try this time.  He kept telling Dad not to go too fast with him on.

 The kids fight over this spot on the boat.  They like to see where we are going, plus feel the wind blowing on their faces.
 We saw quite a few sailboats out on the river.  The kids are all ready to go on our next trip to the river with the boat again.  Hopefully, we will get some boating in while Keith is on his two weeks of vacation.

Take care,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Madison County Fair - Part II

This is the last post about the Madison County Fair.  Erica ended up with 13 4-H entries at the fair and Cara exhibited 16 items at the fair.  They each had a great year at the fair winning many purple ribbons and only a few blue ribbons.
 Erica has one item going to the State Fair.  Her perennial flowers earned a trip to state.  We will wait and see what flowers are blooming before a decision is made on what goes to state.  Erica made chocolate chip muffins and sugar cookies, and a healthy cereal trail mix for the judge to taste.  After the judging, I asked her what the judge said.  Erica replied, "She could tell that we used real butter in the sugar cookies, Mom."  I told Erica that is what made the cookies taste so good.
 Cara has three items going to the State Fair.  Both of her floral exhibits were chosen along with her Youth in Motion Snack Recipe File Box.  Cara made two coffee cakes, some zucchini muffins, and some granola bars for the judge to taste.  Both of the girls earned quite a bit of cash in premiums.  The extra money will come in handy for them on vacation and getting for school to start next month.
We are glad the fair is over!  We will take a break from 4-H for awhile before planning some projects for next year's fair.

Take care,

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fair Rodeo

The Madison County Fair sponsors a rodeo three nights during the fair.  The kids and I took in the rodeos on Wednesday and Thursday night.  I should have had a recorder because Justin asked so many questions about what was happening and why they did certain stuff that all the questions were overwhelming at times.
 The kids loved watching the cowboys and cowgirls put on a rodeo show.  Their favorite part was probably the bull riders, but the clown was a close second.
 Justin thought that the rodeo queen and princess were pretty riding on their horses herding the rodeo stock.
 Naturally, Justin had bored for part of it and had to do some goofing around.  We sat in the open seating toward the south end where it wasn't crowded because I knew what would happen.

 About halfway through the rodeo, all of the children in attendance were invited by the clown to come down into the arena for a contest.  The clown released 8 chickens and whoever caught a chicken received a prize from one of the radio stations.  Justin was all ready to participate and catch a chicken.  Plus this was also a good excuse for him to run and burn off some energy from sitting so long.  Unfortunately, Justin did not catch a chicken, but he was ready to sit again after the chase.

Take care,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Madison County Fair-Part I

Wednesday morning, I was up with the sun because it was entry day at the fair.  I had to frost a cake and cut flowers before heading to the fair.  The car was loaded with all our open class exhibits and the 4-H exhibits.  There was room for Cara, Erica and me to sit, but not much other space. 
 Grandma Korth showed up at our house at 7:00 a.m. to help load the car and finish putting the flowers in the vases while I cut more flowers.  Then Grandma took Ashlin to her last softball game of the season and she watched Justin and Ashlin while we were entering items at the fair. 
 This was Justin's first year to be an exhibitor at the fair.  He colored this Mickey Mouse coloring sheet and received a first place blue ribbon in the 6-years and under age group.  He was so excited and his whole face just lit up with a smile when he saw his ribbon! He also exhibited the apple tree picture in the photo below.  Beside his apple tree picture is Ashlin's free-hand drawing that she did. 
 Ashlin also completed a Minnie Mouse coloring picture for exhibit in the 7-12 year age group.  Just like Justin, Ashlin received a first place blue ribbon.  Also Ashlin baked some chocolate brownies, chocolate chip bars and some cookies.  Justin got his name put on some cookies also that he helped me bake.

On Sunday, Justin and Ashlin both received an envelope with prize money inside for their exhibits.  Justin received $6 and Ashlin received $8.50.  The hard work paid off.  Ashlin is looking forward to next year when she will be old enough to compete in the 4-H division.
Yes, I also exhibited 35 items at the fair.  I took 35 items in the baking/canned goods and 15 floral items. The fair board gives out a first, second and third place trophies and monetary prizes for the most number of exhibits in open class.  I missed out on third place by one entry.  This year third place was 36 entries, second place was 38 entries, and first place was 97 entries.  This gives me something to work on for next year.  My entries included cookies, cakes, breads, biscuits, bars, and canned items.

Take care,

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Making Jelly for the Fair

Cara wanted to try a new project this year in 4-H.  She chose to try canning for the first time.  For her first year, we kept it simple and Cara signed up to take a jar of jelly to the fair.  First, we had to find a recipe, research how to make jelly according to USDA guidelines, and make the product. 
Cara turning in her jelly after being judged.
My godmother, Lois, told my Mom that she had a simple and delicious recipe for rhubarb jelly.  There is tons of rhubarb growing at the farm; so, we decided to make rhubarb jelly.  I called Lois and got the recipe from her and at the same time asked her lots of questions.  I have never made jelly before so it was also a learning experience for me, therefore, many questions were asked.  Lois also asked how the girls' other 4-H projects were coming along, especially their sewing.
This jelly was easy to make.  First, Cara cleaned and cut up 5 cups of rhubarb.  Then she cooked it in a pot with water and sugar.  When the rhubarb got mushy, she added a can of blueberry pie filling.  The mixture had to boil for about 8 minutes.  Then we added two boxes of raspberry jello and a pouch of liquid pectin.  The jelly was not setting up after boiling a little bit so we added another pouch of liquid pectin and did another spoon test.  Then we blended the mixture smooth in a blender and filled the jelly jars.  Cara had her ruler out because we could only have 1/4 inch head room at the top of the jar.  After filling the jars, we processed the jars in a hot water canning bath for 10 minutes.  All of the jars sealed.

Cara went before the judge on Wednesday morning with her jar of jelly.  The judge measured her head room and it was spot on.  Then she tilted the jar on its side and the jelly stayed solid and did not move (which is what is supposed to happen).  She asked Cara questions about her recipe, how the product was packed, processing time, altitude for processing time, etc. 

In the end, Cara received a purple ribbon for her rhubarb jelly!  The judge also asked Cara what she is going to can for next year's fair.  Cara is ready for the tomatoes to ripen so that she can help can salsa.

Take care,

Thursday, July 11, 2013

One Step Closer to Kindergarten

I know that school does not start for over a month, but when the e-mails start showing up in my in-box from retailers promoting school uniform sales, I have to act on it.  With four kids in school and all four needing uniforms, we need to look for sales to save at much money as we can.  Around the 1st of July, I had received e-mails from Old Navy and The Children's Place regarding uniform sales.  The girls just dread it when I say the uniform sales are on and everyone has to try on their uniforms.  Justin, on the other hand, was all ready because he is so ready for school to start and be in Kindergarten.
 Justin let me measure his inseam and his waist to figure out what size uniform clothing to purchase.  I am all about buying when stuff is on sale, then using a coupon and qualifying my purchase for free shipping.  Since Justin hasn't been to school yet, he has no uniform clothing.  He needed polo shirts, shorts and pants.
Justin's box of uniforms arrived yesterday from The Children's Place.  He was so excited and ready to try everything on.  I had to snap a few photos of him in his new outfits. 

It is really starting to sink in that he is really going to be going to Kindergarten in a little over a month.  I was a little sentimental having him try on his new uniforms.  He will always be my little boy even if he is growing up!

Take care,

Monday, July 8, 2013

Music In The Park

Cara and Erica are onstage in the back row.
 On the 4th of July, we attended the city parade in the morning, went to the water park in the afternoon and then in the evening attended Music In The Park.  It was a very hot and humid day, but we had fun.  This was the second evening this summer with music in the park.
 Cara and Erica walked in the parade with friends handing out fliers promoting Music In The Park.  Later they also helped with the event by helping collect donations with a Rotary Club member.
 We enjoy listening to the music and just relaxing during the event with a bottle of wine for the adults, pop for the kids and a snack or two.
 The group this time was called "High Heel" and they played 70's and 80's music.  The band earlier this summer was a jazz band with a great horn section.  I loved the first band this summer!
 The event runs from 6-9 p.m. in the park.  After the music was over, we went home and lit off our fireworks.
Not sure how much blogging I will get done this week.  It is fair week at our house.  The Madison County Fair is billed as "the best week in July".  We love the fair at our house, so it will be a fun, but tiring week.  The kitchen will be hot for the next few days and the girls and I finish up their baking entries for the fair.

Take care,

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fair Crunch Time

 The Madison County Fair officially starts next week, but the first 4-H entry day was this last Saturday.  Cara and Erica had to enter all of their non-perishable entries (everything except baking and gardening).  Erica made this tie-dye t-shirt while on a camping trip with a friend.  She received a purple ribbon for the t-shirt.
Cara is in the Clothing Level I sewing project and she made this swim-suit cover-up from a beach towel.  It was a simple and cute project and she received a blue ribbon.
Erica made this zebra print envelope back pillow and then painted and decorated her lamp to match.  Both items received purple ribbons.  Erica also took another patchwork pillow and received a purple.
All of their items are interview judged.  Erica also took a concrete garden turtle, a snowman picture made out of felt and buttons and a memo/message board.  The memo/message board was Erica's only blue ribbon.
Cara also made a concrete garden turtle, an Americana wall hanging and this chalk drawing picture.  She received a blue on the drawing and purple ribbons on the others. 

The girls were loading the car Saturday morning to go to get judged with all of their items.  All their entries were in a laundry basket and a garden flat to help with carrying everything.  When loading the car, the laundry basket holding Cara's framed drawing was not pushed in far enough and the glass shattered when the back end was closed.  Therefore, we had to make a trip to Hobby Lobby to purchase a new frame with glass before going to the fair to repair the picture.  You always have to be ready for at least one thing to go wrong.

Next Wednesday we will be back at the fair to enter all our baking, gardening and open class entries.  The push is on to finish the rest of our projects.  Cara is going to try making some jelly either today or tomorrow.  Cross your fingers and hope that it turns out!

Take care,