Tag Archives: 4H

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–February 2, 2020

Rob made bird house kits for the 4H club to hammer together at their meeting this week. All the boards were donated to him for this purpose by one of his friends who owns a small sawmill, so our project was very inexpensive.

The kids had so much fun. Jake was very happy because his daddy agreed to come and help the kids with the hammering. Even I got roped in, although I’m not very good at using a hammer.

Patsy, on the other hand, is very good with a hammer and so she made her birdhouse the day before and helped the younger kids on the day of the meeting. Ones who knew how partially hammered some nails in and let the younger builders hammer away, driving the nails the rest of the way in.

Some didn’t need much help, others lots of help.

Then, we all went back into the house and made little baggies of home-made hot chocolate mix and ate dinner. Then Rob hauled whoever wanted to go down to the church for the youth/childrens’ activities and I cleaned up the mess. It comes in handy to have a 15-passenger van–no one has to feel left out. There’s room for them all!

I finally got the blouse sewed for Patsy, just in time for her to wear to a wedding.

The wedding was beautiful, and so tastefully decorated. I wish I had taken pictures of the decor. They used a woodland theme, and sticks were cut from friends’ property and little lights were put all over them. There were large branches for a backdrop and small ones for centerpieces for the tables. The way I’m describing it does not do it justice, but it was absolutely gorgeous. There were candles in the shapes of birch logs, and circular wood chips sprinkled around the main table. It was lovely and elegant. The family catered the reception themselves and the food looked amazing and was displayed in dishes surrounded by wooden boxes they had built to add to the woodland theme.

One of Jake’s best friends, Willow, is one of the bride’s sisters, and he loved sitting by her at the reception after she finished her bridesmaid’s duties. As you can see, they had donuts as one of the main desserts. They were on plates and on dowels on a rack that hung on the wall behind the table. You could take one with a tong. Jake and Michaela ate 2 each!

The bride and her family are close friends of my sister and brother-in-law, so they helped out most of the day, while we kept Jake busy at our house.

We really enjoyed the ceremony and reception. We didn’t stay late, but instead came home and got some rest.

We cooked many items over the weekend in preparation for a busy week ahead. They are in the fridge to grab in a hurry– soups, BBQ’d pork, thinly sliced turkey breast and chicken and other goodies. We don’t have a meat slicer, but have been having a lot of success with Rob-sharpened knives. We have been making our own less-salty and less-processed lunchmeat this way lately.

Rob made me a crate and I filled it with a few goodies for a bridal shower I actually could not attend, since I was at wedding No. 1. It’s crazy that we’ve not had a wedding for a long time, and this month, there are 2.

I put in jam, salsa, measuring cups and spoons, a set of pillowcases I made, and a cute towel plus a bundle of dish cloths. This gift was for the shower I could not attend, so I had Rob drop the gift off at the young lady’s house ahead of time. For the wedding itself, Rob made a wooden cutting board and will pair it with 2 super good knives. He did the same for the bride and groom for the wedding we just attended.

Recently, Rob picked up 3 bags of “Unicorn” white chocolate chips–they had rainbow colors on them. They were on the clearance rack for 99c/bag. When we tasted them, they were very bitter. I wasn’t worried about it because they were so cheap, but I did e-mail Nestle to let them know the red food coloring taste was coming through loud and clear, and not in a good way. I threw them away. I was very happy and surprised when the man I was live-chatting with wanted to send me free coupons for more chocolate chips. I explained they were on clearance, but he insisted, so I said “thank you.” I dug the bags out of the trash, sent him the barcode numbers as requested, and I got these coupons in the mail this week. There are 3 free bags of Nestle chips of any flavor and one $1/off coupon.

We have a very busy week ahead, and it feels good to be as prepared as we can be so we can get through it all, and still stay frugal! At least that’s the plan:). I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Thriving In My thrifty Week–January 20, 2020

We had a 4H meeting this week. Rob worked with the kids on knife skills. He had them practice one at a time as they chopped ingredients for the chili.

I was so glad he could be here to help. Lots of little kids + knives = scary!

Our original plan was to have some outdoor cooking, but it was COLD. So, we made chili in a pot on the stove, baked beans which actually did not bake in time, and a simple yellow cake. So, everyone feasted on chili and cake, and I opened some jars of home-canned fruit to fill in the gaps.

Jake got to crack eggs, which made him happy.

We also worked on nutrition, and focused on making “My Plates” from construction paper and old magazine pictures of healthy food. I really saved some money on this project, by default. My printer ran out of ink, and it could not be ordered in time for the meeting, so Patsy just drew circle shapes on the paper, and I didn’t run out and buy ink at a higher price.

When the meeting was over, Rob needed to take Jake home and drop Patsy off at youth group. Several of the other kids clamored to go, too, so Rob loaded up the van as full as it could be, and hauled the lot of them off to church. The Mom that remained and I were laughing about the fact that it was so quiet with “only” 3 little kids left! (And, just for those who “love to know”…..Jake has a special class on Sundays he attends, and Rob accompanies him to his choir/class on Sunday nights, but there’s not a “special” class for him on Wednesdays. So, he stays at his home on Wednesday nights)

Rob and Jake found a couple of games at a garage sale. They played this one called, The Allowance Game, and Rob said it was a great way for Jake to work on money skills. It must have been fun because Jake and Patsy played it several more times. They also played Monopoly Jr. and regular Monopoly. Jake spent a couple of nights this week, and is begging to spend 10 nights soon. I said, well….no:). Not that many! But, another night soon, Jake, soon!

We cooked a lot of food, mostly from our freezers, canning cupboards, and pantry. Rob picked up a few items from the store, but kept it under $20.

When I empty a home-canning jar, I put it in a basket on the dryer. I always feel like I’m being successful in using my resources wisely when I need to take the basket of “empties” out to the main shelves in the shop. I emptied the basket this weekend, and already have it almost full today. Success! This is the time of year when I like to use many, many jars and frozen items, since during the summer I enjoy eating as much fresh garden produce as possible.

I cut out a top for Patsy from some fabric I purchased for $2 last fall. Now to find time to sew it……

I went to a local high school to watch the musical “Hello, Dolly.” I really enjoyed watching it. It was so well done, and there were a few kids from church in it that I knew. My sister took Patsy and I. She wanted us to see it, badly. She watched it 4 times, herself. It was that good, and they are close family friends with the young lady that played the character Dolly.

Rob finally got an appointment to see the surgeon. It’s in a couple of weeks. They should set a surgery date at that time. I sure hope they do.

I exercised quite a few times, in various ways, including taking the dog on a long walk and taking aquatic classes at the Kroc center.

We ordered our seeds, and they have already arrived. I received an e-mail from Territorial one day about a 20% off sale, ending that day. I quickly finished sorting my seeds, finished my partially-finished list, and ordered. I sent Rob to the Dollar Store for things I use from there, such as pickling cucumbers, then ordered our more-expensive, but desired, seeds from Territorial and then finished up with my Pinetree order, since we were at it. I need disease-resistant tomatoes, lots of bean seeds with high-yield, and crops that ripen in short time periods to have a successful garden, so I’m picky about some varieties.

The next step is to get the greenhouse up and running–junk out, lights set up, and a few seeds started. It’s not too early to plant peppers, onions, and a few other things. Some things need to wait a bit longer.

January has been pretty calm. I think things are going to heat up in February, so I’m going to enjoy one more week of calm. Ahhh….

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.