Category Archives: 4H

Patsy’s 4H Sewing Project–A Cute Doll

Patsy decided to sew a doll for her 4H sewing project. She found the pattern in a library book I checked out. She used the scraps from the skirt I made her for Hawaii and some scraps of white cotton fabric.

The hair was made from felt and the face was embroidered. She worked on it for a few sessions, and finished it up yesterday.

Rob bought her some stuffing at the Union Gospel Mission thrift store, once I realized we had none. Skills that were new to her included: stuffing the arms, legs and body, top-stitching so many curves and pivots on the hair, working with felt, and sewing the body of a doll while working around the fact that legs and arms were inside getting in the way!

Patsy’s plan for this doll is to put her into a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child and send her to a little girl across the world somewhere. It looks to me like dolly is ready for an adventure!

I was happy that she could work on her sewing skills on a project that interested her and very pleased that she could use scraps and other inexpensive materials to make something that helped her improve her skills while bringing joy to a little girl this Christmas. Win-win for everyone!

4H Meeting–Fall Fun-Nov. 2019

We had a 4H meeting yesterday with our new club. 4H has been a part of our lives for over 30 years, but we have been without any members, except Patsy, since we moved. Patsy has limped along on her own, but told us that one thing she really wanted was a club with kids. It was just more fun. We agreed. Jake didn’t know what 4H was, but he thought he’d try it. They had friends who thought it would be fun, too, and here we all are!

We are going to concentrate on the project areas of Foods/ Nutrition and Outdoors/Natural Science. I’m going to keep Patsy going with her sewing and any other areas she wants to do. If any of the other children want to do other areas, we will support them, but will focus on those 2 areas at our meetings.

Yesterday, we chose the subject of “fall leaves” for our Outdoors activity. I read a book about how leaves change colors in fall and simple leaf identification. I had a few worksheets that people could do if they wanted. We have such a wide variety of ages, from 4 years old to 15, so those worksheets were geared for the younger ones for the most part.

We talked about what 4H is, since Jake was not the only one who did not know, started learning the 4H pledge and talked briefly about record keeping. We then moved on to cooking and I started some of the basic instruction about measuring. Rob helped them make an apple crisp in the Dutch oven, using coals.

The apple peelers got busy.

They peeled and peeled.

And peeled some more. They peeled every apple in the house. They would have peeled more if I had more.

Even though we had a talk about knife skills with all of them, I had the big girls to do the cutting. Less gray hairs for me! It soon became apparent that we had enough apples for more than just one Dutch oven full of crisp. We got out a big glass baking dish and they kept slicing. In the meanwhile, the other kids were taking turns measuring out the ingredients for the topping. We made it twice. That way everyone got more turns.

The littlest member gravely spooned the topping over the 2nd crisp and we popped it in the oven.

While we were waiting for the crisps to bake, we got out a mega package of hot dogs and they roasted them over the fire pit Rob kindled in the back yard. They ate them all. All 24, and all 16 buns I bought. I though some kids would not want buns. I was wrong. Next time, I’ll buy more. Then, Jake got his wish and it was time to let the kids all play with his badminton and his other ball throwing game. They all ran around throwing balls, hitting birdies and hollering. They had so much fun. After that, the first crisp was done and devoured. The second crisp soon followed, but there was enough of that one left for Jake to take some home to his Mom and Dad. When Rob dropped him off at home, he was already asking when the next meeting was. It was a success!

Thriving In My thrifty Week–October 20, 2019

When I returned from Hawaii mid-week, I was struck by the amount of fall changes that occurred while I was gone. Trees had turned scarlet, yellow and orange, leaves dropped all over and the weather turned windy and rainy. I felt like I was truly home again.

These pumpkins and squash are from my garden. We got a freeze warning while in Hawaii, so I expected everything to be dead. Instead, I see that there are a few stragglers still alive in my garden area. I will go check them out this week to see if there’s anything usable still out there.

I picked the remaining few green tomatoes before I left on my trip. Upon returning, several of those had ripened and we’ve had tomatoes on our salads all week.

I did a fairly large shopping trip, since I had emptied the fridge quite well before I left. I focused on the sales, things I was out of, and was able to do some Ibotta rebates. I ended up qualifying for several bonuses, as well.

On Saturday, there was a county-wide 4H event. We have not had much of a club since we moved, but are excited to now have another family that wants to join. We rounded them up, along with Jake, our nephew, and Patsy, our daughter and took them all to the event. We are sticking to our old county, since we know them there, and know what to do, about events, etc., so we had to drive little bit, but it’s worth it to us. It was a bake sale. We took caramel corn to donate. Patsy and I made it, as we often do. While there, our clubbers made brownies and Chex Muddy Buddie Mix to send good smells through out the building, in hopes of building sales, and those were sold, too. There were lot of other clubs that donated and helped, and it was a success.

After we did our part there, we took our new club to Champoeg State Park and Rob had them do a scavenger hunt. He talked to them about identifying the native plants and objects, such as acorns, and rewarded them with little candies when they found them. We had a picnic and then all went up to the visitors’ center where the volunteers had another scavenger hunt for them to do about the history of the area, a movie to watch about helping the bluebird population and plied them with stickers for their efforts. They were super nice and helpful to us.

It was the first 4H experience for most of the kids, and it was very successful. I’m sure we will have many more fun times in the future. This year, we are going to concentrate on Cooking and Outdoors as our main projects. Once we get started, we can always add more projects if there’s an interest. Patsy’s super excited, since she’s been longing for other friends to do 4H with.

What Did We Eat? August 31, 2018

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We had a wonderful get-away camping at the beach.  Other than one sandwich Patsy and I grabbed at Subway, we cooked all our meals in the camper.  We tried to keep things easy, except for a few special meals.

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One morning, Patsy and I went down to the bay and we were able to get these Cockle clams.  I turned them into the clam chowder pictured above.  We have enough frozen for one more batch in the near future.  It was our first time hunting for these kind of clams, and I got some extremely helpful advice from a man down on the beach, who showed us how to get them.  You are supposed to rake them, but we did not have a rake, so we scraped our shovel along the sand, and Patsy was even raking through the wet sand with her fingers, and we found over 20 between the two of us.  They seem to be found more frequently in places where the seaweed has been deposited by the tide.

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We went crabbing off the docks in Newport twice.  Thankfully, we found great parking spots that were very near the dock, and didn’t have to carry our gear very far.  The first day, we got these two and the second time we got one Dungeness and kept a couple of Red Rock Crabs just to give us a little more meat.  I had crab salad and just plain crab, and froze 2 small packages for the near future.  Rob fished off the docks while we waited for him to pull up the traps, but caught nothing.

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We did foil dinners in the fire one night.  The meat, carrots and potatoes turned out great.  The zucchini turned into mush.  I threw it away.  There were no takers for that one.  I had picked every single tiny one before we left, hoping that they would not take over while we were gone.

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The acorn squash turned out great!

The rest of the meals were salads, lunchmeat and cheese, corn from our garden, lots and lots of tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, and hamburgers one night for dinner.  Breakfasts were eggs, sausage one day, cereal, and fruit.  Most days, we threw some food into our little cooler and just ate out of that wherever we were when lunchtime came–dock, jetty, etc.

We had a great time, and ended up the week by purchasing tuna off the docks to can,    It was an unusual menu compared to what we more commonly have at this time of year, but I love seafood and will remember for other times when we can’t catch anything.  .

 

 

November 4H Day

IMG_1692Today was a much quieter day at 4H than usual.  Due to sickness and some other issues, only about 1/2 of our 23 clubbers were able to attend.  That meant that only about 1/2 of our parents, who act as teachers and helpers were there as well.  It made for an interesting day!  I still had over 20 people running around my house all day, and that felt quiet, so imagine how it is when there are about 35 people there–kids and parents and teachers

A few of the missing members knew ahead of time that they couldn’t come.  Many called first thing this morning to let me know they were sick.  4H day usually runs like a well-oiled machine.  Today, we made it through like a dryer with a rock inside, but we did make it!

I am in charge of 3 cooking classes.  Rob is in charge of 1 outdoor cooking class and a class called, simply, Outdoors.  Heavy rain was in the forecast, so, after taking Lovana to work at 6:30, (1 hour round trip), he put up an awning and set up his Dutch oven table and a table for a work area near his Traeger barbecue.  It hardly ended up raining a drop, but it was a nice set-up just in case.  He made Dutch oven peach cobbler, Kielbasa foil packets on the grill, and barbecued steak with the kids in his cooking class.  For his Outdoors class, he had pre-made kits and the kids hammered them together to make suet holders for feeding birds.  They each got to make 2, one for a gift and one for themselves.  Of course, he had made enough kits for all the kids, so there are many left over.  He may connect with the families that were sick or gone and see if they still want to build them another day.

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There are also other classes going on all morning.  There are craft classes for the youngest children, horticulture for many, sewing for those who want to, and Junior Leader class for the older ones.  They get to make decisions during that class about activities they want to promote to the club, parties we are having, and they do activities to build leadership skills.   We use upstairs, the garage, the front room, the kitchen and the shop.  Many times there are kids in almost every room in the house.  I love it.  I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Supplies for cooking were all in the house, purchased over the last few days.  I set the kids up in center, working with partners.  There is a mom or dad helping each group, especially on the classes with younger members.  The Cloverbuds (K-3’s) made a potato-Kielbasa skillet.  The Juniors (4th-6th) made an egg bake, and stuffed sweet potatoes.  They also made a pumpkin custard when one of the girls accidentally poured much too much brown sugar into the wrong bowl.  There were some eggs in there and so I thawed some squash quickly in the microwave and added it to the eggs and sugar and we baked it.  Another girl creatively added a few spices. It turned out yummy, although I realize there was no milk or cream in there.

The oldest group (7th grade and up) made a gluten free deep dish apple pie and gluten-free vegetarian stuffed shell pasta.

At noon, we eat the food the kids have made.  We have a meeting to discuss upcoming community service projects and activities for the club.  We give the kids a chance to give a presentation on any subject and bribe them with prizes to do so.  Today, a young lady brought her new puppy and told us all about the breed, the dog, etc.

After lunch, a few go upstairs to sew, but most go out to the shop with Rob and some of the moms.  A few moms stay inside to help clean up the huge mess.   They sweep, do dishes, and put things away in close to the right spots.  One time, it took me 6 months or more to find a salt shaker they had put away! We are so blessed to have such a network of people helping.  We have 2 teachers that don’t even have kids in the program anymore. Rob’s mom comes just to wash dishes.  What a gift! One dad is coming regularly to run a class, so Rob doesn’t have to feel like the only man around anymore!

After they had gone, the house settled back down into quietness.  The floor is swept, the rugs shaken. The fridge is stuffed with leftovers because the food had already been purchased and the kids cooked it all, but many of the hungry eaters were absent.  I think tomorrow I may take some of it to the family that is sick.  Right now, I’m just enjoying listening to the rain that finally showed up and is falling right outside my window and basking in the pleasantly tired feeling that comes after a day well spent.

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