Wednesday, January 13, 2016

4H Leader's Helper, episode 1, HORSE KNOWLEDGE BINGO GAME

Well Hello there! I know, I's been a while! You probably thought I skipped town, but I've just had to take some time away from blogging to be a good wife, mommy and all those other responsibilities that I have. But, even if I'm gone for a bit, don't worry...I'll always come back!

One of the other responsibilities I have in this life is that of a 4-H Leader. If you are not familiar with 4-H, I'm sorry, cause it's awesome! It's a program for youth that helps empower them to become the successful adults of tomorrow through a variety of activities. It's taught by volunteer leaders/teachers. I'm one of those leaders and our club is a horse club. That means I teach all things horse related to a darling group of about 10 girls, ages 7-13. We meet 2-3 times a week, twice to ride and work on horsemanship skills and once for book work. They have a written test at all their horse shows to demonstrate their horse knowledge and then they have other activities such as horse bowl where they get to compete as teams answering horse related questions. Book work is good and so necessary, but sometimes it's hard to get kids to read and study without making it fun! So I am going to be adding blog posts about our experiences in making book work fun! Since I couldn't find much on the subject, I thought sharing might help other leaders out there! These posts will be called 4-H Leaders Helper as they will all be based on our 4-H experience and activities. Feel free to try our games and suggestions! Remember we have the power to shape the next generation for good!  Hope you have a great day!

Today's suggestion is to play a game called "HORSE" it is based on the game BINGO, but a little different. (I just made this up so you could tweak it any way you like, the idea is to learn the material, but in a fun way!) Make a game card (I did mine by hand/ruler, but you could definitely get fancy on the computer!), get some beans, or in our case we used horse feed pellets (makes it a little more "horsey"), you will need a set of questions to ask. I had the girls study pages 4-5 of their Horses and Horsemanship Book, then I read through myself and created questions to ask. We sat at the table, go either clockwise or counter clockwise, each person gets a turn to answer a question, if they get it correct, they get a pellet for their board (I let them choose where), of course there is a free space like Bingo, and if that person gets their question wrong it's open for anyone else to answer (our rule was first to raise hand gets chance and so on, first person to answer correctly gets a pellet, then go back to the next person in line and continue until you get someone that gets a 5 pellet line, either across, down or diagonal. Or you can also play to Blackout! We had small dollar prizes for the winner of each round. Once someone got a winning 5 line, we cleared and started over.

I liked this game because each person gets their own turn, (some of our younger kids aren't usually the first to know the answer, but if given that extra minute to think because they have their own turn they have a better chance which builds confidence and keeps them coming! At the end we used the same questions and played like a regular horse bowl to see if the information was learned and retained. The kids had fun and learned a great deal. Below are some pics of what we did. For sure making this a game kept them studying the material longer!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How to make your own Kentucky Derby Hat

Hello friends! It's been a while!! I'm still here, just super-duper busy with life. You know how that is, right?!! I can't believe how fast time flies when you're having fun. And speaking of of my favorite times of the year is approaching. The Kentucky Derby! I love all the grandeur, the tradition, the beautiful, fast thoroughbreds and of course...the HATS! They are a fun, creative, colorful, stylish part of the tradition at the Derby. So whether you are going to be in the stands at Churchill Downs, going to a Derby party with friends, or just jockeying from your favorite easy chair, a great hat is a must!! I made a hat the other day for a Young Women's program at my church and thought it would be a fun one for the Derby so I'll share how I did it in case anyone needs a last minute Derby Do!

For project, you will need:
Fabric one yard is plenty
Wire, must be bendable
Hot Glue, and gun
Something to trace around to make a big circle
Tape, preferably clear color to hold ends of wire together in circle, before gluing to fabric.
Accessories to decorate the hat with such as flowers, jewels, beads, feathers, and anything else you want to put on it to make it yours.

This is the wire I chose, it worked well. Purchased at Hobby Lobby.

Use something round and about the size you want the outside perimeter of hat to be. I used a laundry basket.

Here is my starting circle.

Measure and cut the wire to fit exactly the outer circle. Then use tape to hold the two ends of wire together to complete a circle.

Use hot glue to attach wire to outer edge of circle. Apply glue, attach wire and then fold outer edge of fabric circle over.

Then I used my fingers to roll the wire edges of circle in towards the middle of circle a couple of times. Glue if needed.

Make another wire circle the circumference of your head where you plan on wearing it. The top of your head/hair will show out top of this style of hat. Pic shows the wire glued together, I would recommend tape to hold the two ends of wire together to complete circle and then hot glue to fabric.

Lay the head wire in center of big circle, then cut a small circle about 1/2" or so smaller than the wire circle.

Then cut slits around the fabric circle and hot glue the tabs that creates over the wire. 

This pic shows wrong side of hat finished, but not embellished.

Here is the finished product embellished with faux flowers, feathers, and paper covered wire curled up in the back. I just hot glued everything to the top of hat.

This was a simple, fast, and fun project that I think will be fun to wear again on Derby Day! Hope you enjoy Derby Day and may the fastest horse win!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Simple, Inexpensive Neighbor Christmas Gift: Light of Christ Lanterns

I guess it's a good thing for social media, or you guys might think I dropped off a cliff or something!
But, I'm still here. Just super busy!! Tiz the Season for crazy, or so it seems,  I'm really trying to keep things simple and remember the reason for this Christmas Season (celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ). So today I bring you a simple neighbor/friend gift that helps keep the "reason" in the season. Every year I try to come up with a new gift that is simple, inexpensive, that isn't treats (we get so many!) and that helps keep our thoughts on the Savior. This year I got a great deal on those Olde Brooklyn Lanterns on-line, they were only $4.95 and I got free shipping too! You could easily do the same thing using a flash light or candle, anything that gives off light! (But I really like these lanterns they last a long time.) And add this simple card, some festive ribbon, wrapping, and BAM! Neighbors check!! And since I'm trying to keep things simple and not over do...I'm going to keep this post short and sweet. Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! I hope you know that I appreciate all of you!!

Here is a lantern out of the box.

The words I chose for the simple card constructed from copy paper, using Word Program, outlined material is wrapping paper, and curling ribbon. 

A lantern packaged in it's box.



Monday, October 20, 2014

A Day in the Life of, Episode 1: Family History Activity

Dear Granny Elda, we love and honor you!! (my kids Great-Great Grandma)
Welcome back to our little "Patch-A-Heaven!" I have been contemplating family history a lot lately. Most of you probably already know, but if not...I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We believe in learning about our ancestors and that families can be together forever, this includes our ancestors who came before us. To learn more about our faith or about this topic please click here to visit
I have always felt a strong sense of family and love for those who came before me. However, I have been pondering how to get my kids to share the same sense of love for people they have never met. There are so many great, fun, and faith building experiences that these family members/ancestors have had, that have been recorded by other family members, that should be shared with the younger generation. I have decided that we (as a family) will research our family members and then "live out" some of their experiences. I am hoping that by doing this, it will draw my family/children closer to those family members who have passed on and create a love and desire for them to do family history "work" in the future.

For the first experience in this series, I chose my Great Grandmother Elda Christensen Frischknecht. I chose her, because she had a confidence building experience in her youth that I thought would be good for my girls who are around the same age she was when she did this. I learned of this part of her life from a video that some of my other family members created and they had her recorded telling this story of her youth. It's really awesome to hear her tell the story in her own voice! (Even though it's hard to understand at times.)

In her story, her parents go on a trip away from home, she is left in the care of her Grandmother. They go to church that day and subsequently Elda invites guests to their house for dinner. These guests had heard of a delicious chicken dinner that Elda's mom prepared. Elda didn't want to disappoint the guests by telling them her mom was away so she invited them to dinner anyway. When the Grandmother was told by Elda that they had company coming for dinner, the Grandma said "we can't do it!" "we don't have time and we can't do it!!" But Elda, in her 12 years experience and determined mind, she said "We CAN do it!" And she went straight to work. She went out to the chicken coop and picked a chicken that looked young and plump. She caught the hen, swung it over her head several times, laid it out on a chopping block and with one swing, chopped the chicken's head off. She hung the chicken upside down on the clothes line to drain the blood out, plucked out all the feathers and prepared the bird for dinner. She prepared some string beans, peaches and cake to serve with the chicken. The guests declared "This is the best chicken we've ever had!"

That day, Elda demonstrated strength, determination, and confidence in herself, as well as a "can do" attitude. All traits I want my girls to foster. She was a great example to our family and we have enjoyed learning about her.

For our "Day in the Life" experience we donned home made aprons (I know where you can buy some really cute ones, wink, wink!) because Grandma Elda always wore one when she was cooking! We headed out to the chicken coop (because we have one) and my oldest daughter (she's 10) selected a hen she thought looked good. My youngest kids (7 and 3) watched from the garden. (They aren't quite ready for this crazy chicken thing!) Even though I think killing, plucking the chicken would have shown my kids how life really was back then, we didn't kill our chicken. For a couple of being, we already had chicken in the fridge so it wasn't necessary. Just catching the hen proved to be a challenge! And quite entertaining!! She chased the chicken (they live in a free range pasture with access to their coop) until she was out of breath. So I stepped in to help give her some pointers on chicken chasing!! We herded the hen into the coop gently, closed the door, and slowly cornered, and caught her. Then we let her loose.

She learned that this is NOT the way to catch a hen!

Slowing things down and choosing her hen.
And she got her! Of course I had to wear my "Black Sheep Apron" because Elda and Wilford were Sheep Ranchers.

Then we dug up potatoes and carrots from our garden to add to our chicken dinner. The girls wanted to make chicken soup and so that's what we did. I taught them how to peel and chop carrots and potatoes. They made home made noodles (recipe from their other grandma) and served the rest of our family. They really enjoyed helping with the cooking and being trusted with sharp things!! Of course I supervised the cutting and peeling at all times. But, they really love being able to do "Big people" things! It takes restraint, but I really think it's best to give proper instructions and training and then allow them to do hard things. They made a delicious pot of soup and had a lot of fun doing it. After we enjoyed their delicious dinner, we sat down as a family to watch the DVD of our Frischknecht family history which included the story of Grandma Elda. (And of course we had ice cream because a "milk nickel" was her favorite!)  They were glued to the movie and I think it helped for them to have a personal experience to tie them closer to their ancestors.
Digging up taters!

The Carrot Crew!
She dug up some nice ones.
He was the tater carrier.
And sometimes we wear dance leos with cowboy boots and an apron, just for kicks!!
Learning to peel.
And she says "now I know how Princess Tiana feels!"
She's good at making noodles too!

This happened yesterday, as of today they are still talking about Grandma Elda and I love that!

I believe that even though these ancestors have long since passed on, that the veil between heaven and earth is thin and they know what is going on here. I feel the ties of my family strengthen when we learn of those from the past. I am indeed grateful for those in my family that came before, who worked hard and sacrificed much to provide the legacy we have today. I'm also grateful for those family members who had the foresight and took the time to research and record this history on a DVD for us to enjoy. My hope is to instill a love and loyalty to family through learning of those from long ago.

My other hope is that this experience/blog post will ignite a desire in you to learn of your  own ancestors.

Until next time, much love from "Patch-A-Heaven!"

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fashionable Farmer/Runway Rancher, Episode 10, Art Inspired Cowgirl

Hi friends! Welcome back to my little "Patch-A-Heaven!" Maybe you thought I had given up on my series
Fashionable Farmer/Runway Rancher...well no, I haven't given up! (That's just not in my nature!) Just been too busy being momma to snap any pics of myself. But, the girls and I had a really fun weekend at the sheep ranch with Grandpa and it was the perfect setting for this post!
My littlest girl getting her herd on!
My oldest daughter has been begging me to go herding sheep with Grandpa, but she insisted on bringing her horse! And I don't blame her, it's much more fun to herd sheep with a good equine partner than on your own feet! So we packed up the sheep camp with supplies and clothes, loaded our ponies, and headed for the ranch! We had a great, relaxing and working weekend along with some spiritual therapy as well. (We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And twice a year we get to experience General Conference, where we get to hear from our inspired church leaders, this is broadcast over television, Internet, satellite and radio.) We relaxed in the camp during the broadcast times, listening to conference, drinking cocoa and playing cards, enjoying the fire in the stove. And when conference was over we rode our horses and herded sheep. The sheep had just come off the summer mountain range and we needed to get them into some Fall pasture. The girls and I, along with my Dad and my little Sister moved the sheep down the highway to another pasture just off the highway. This doesn't sound very difficult, until you add the element of terrible or non-existent fences all the way along! And green alfalfa in every field. This makes it difficult because the sheep want to duck into every field along the way for a quick snack.
Here's my oldest, getting her wish! To herd sheep on her horse with her Grandpa!!
Everything was going smoothly as dad was in front keeping them out of where they weren't supposed to be, my girls and I were behind the herd, keeping them moving, but then my sister's horse got her foot caught in some wire from one of those non-existent fences and dad had to stop to get her out. (She and the horse are just fine) Then things got a little Western! As he herded the sheep back out of the field they were not supposed to be in, they hit the fence all at once, that was half up/half down, and the fence came ALIVE! It shot up out of the ground with the weight of the sheep and they were headed our way! This of course, spooked some of the horses, but only momentarily and we got them all calmed down. And we were back on down the road. The rest of the trip was calm and uneventful. We got the sheep into the intended field and rode back to the farm. My oldest daughter is riding the horse we call "Tank", he's as big as a tank, but is one of our trustiest mounts. He is always calm, level headed and not scared of anything. I know I can trust him to take special care if that little girl!

This was my littlest girls first experience riding another horse. Her tried and true, gentle, nothing phases her little, Palomino mare is 31 years old. But, she has become too old to haul in the trailer safely. So on this excursion she rode another horse, good arena kids horse, but hasn't had experience on the sheep ranch. So she had some great trail rides and confidence building experiences and then her new mount got a little freaked out by all the sheep coming at her. So when you see me "ponying" a horse, that's because it got a little too Western for my little one and I took her off, she rode in the truck with Daddy. I pulled (ponied) her horse along behind the sheep without her being on to get the horse used to the situation. She calmed down and we went on another trail ride without sheep after to get her back on and comfortable again.

The girls had a great time riding and herding sheep with Grandpa!

Someone should have told my mare "Maggie" to open her eyes. (She didn't know she was getting her picture taken, truth be told, neither did I!) 
So to the "Fashion" part of it!! One of my favorite trends this season is the Art Inspired Look. Wearable Art!! So for this post I am wearing our newly designed, made and printed in the U.S.A Fancy Ewe "Cowgirl" Shirt. It was inspired by my love for cowgirls and art! The shirt is comfortable, breathable and washes well. Perfect for chilly, yet warm Fall days with it's 3/4 length sleeves. For more info on how to order this shirt click here: The Fancy Ewe Website
I went with my well worn Cruel Girl riding jeans, Ariat Leopard Boots and to bring another art element to the DIY Sharpie Cowboy Hat. To see the post where I embellished the hat click here   :Sharpie Hat
To complete the look I chose a red/white polka dot Wild Rag and MAC Russian Red Lipstick!

This is probably my favorite pic from our adventure! This is my littlest and I smiling and riding around a sprinkler line that the sheep went under. She's happy and so am I!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How to make an easy, inexpensive floral centerpiece.

On the right is the centerpiece my daughter and I made together, the one in the middle is the one she made that inspired this project, and the one on the left is the one she made on her own with flowers and she liked the jar closed.

Ya know, being a MOM is just the most amazing thing ever! My kids are forever inspiring me in all sorts of ways. Today I want to share with you a project that was inspired by something my oldest daughter made on her own. I happened to pass by a small table in our garage and noticed something sitting on it that wasn't there caught my eye! It was simple, yet elegant. Muted, yet beautiful. And it inspired me to make my own!! So I asked my daughter to help me, of course she loves creative projects, and she also loved that this was her idea, and I was using it!! So together we created what you will see today. This is a very simple, inexpensive, fast and fun way to use the beauty around us that nature creates to add beauty to a space. Flowers are beautiful coming out of jars in a more traditional sense, but I love how they are inside the jar in this case, it gives it a different feel!

All you need to complete this project is some wildflowers or other leaves and pretty things from your yard and a glass canning jar. Pluck the heads off the flowers and start adding them to the jar. We tried to keep the fronts of the flowers facing out, but they naturally slump over time which adds a different dimensional element that I think makes them even better!

If nothing else, I hope these pretty flowers add a brightness and beauty to your day!!

Our completed project tied with a little spike leaf from our planters.
This is she, who inspired this project and inspires me everyday to be a better person! She is the perfect example of happiness and light. I am grateful everyday I was blessed to be her mother!!

And after 3 days, it still brings beauty to lives and memories of time spent together. The flowers scrunch down over time, but are still pretty.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Creative Cowgirl, Episode 2: Do It Yourself, Art Inspired, Sharpie Cowboy Hat

The Before
Welcome to our little "Patch-A-Heaven!" We love creating and living our cowgirl lifestyle!! (I have 2 little cowgirls and we love to share our creative cowgirl projects with you.) There is a strong art vibe in fashion these days. You can see it everywhere, and why not?! Art is all around us and is very inspiring! I have loved the "Pop Art" fashion trend since Spring and will reveal my entire art inspired cowgirl look in another "Fashionable Farmer/Runway Rancher" post. For today, I want to share how we added some art to our cowgirl style by decorating a plain straw cowboy hat.
I was walking down the isle at Walmart the other day, when I spotted them...the 80's Glam Limited Edition of Sharpies, 24 bold colors to choose from,and if that didn't get you, the names like "banana clip yellow" and "valley girl violet" would have (if you grew up in the 80's, you like totally know what I mean, it made me want to find some leg warmers)...oh, and it sparked an idea! Why not draw some art on a plain, old straw cowboy hat?! And that's just what I did. Not using any templates or shapes, just some artful fashion inspo from Vogue and InStyle Mags and started doodling. Now I am in no way an experienced artist, I really don't draw that well at all...but this was really fun! And I love the way it turned out. And I think I need another cowboy hat because being creative always sparks more ideas and I have another...we'll save that for another day..Until then, hope you enjoy our totally awesome Sharpie Hat!

For today's project you just need some Sharpies, a hat and your creative imagination! And let it go wild!!

Here is mine:

Goes perfect with our amazing Western Skies!

You will see why I chose the colors I did in my next fashion post...I'm matching something new!

Some scrolls and dots around the edge.

The 80's Glam Collection in all it's glory!

I have never met a boring cowgirl, I mean for heaven sake we live to be different. So here's a way to stand out in your own artful way!! Never be afraid to be yourself and let the world see who you really are!

Hope you have a "Fancy" Day, with much love from "Patch-A-Heaven!"