Puzzles are Summertime Fun!

It is here!  Summertime is here!  The kids are yelling this with glee.  In my head, I’m saying school will start soon, very soon.  lol  Our first two days of summer have been filled with rain, rain and more rain.  So we have made some inside summer fun.  All you need is an empty cereal box, a pair of scissors, a marker and a baggie.  And you can make puzzle fun.  My kiddos made them for each other.  They had great fun trying to puzzle each other.  :))
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Supplies needed: Scissors, marker, empty cereal box and a baggie.DSC00474

 

Cut the front and back of the box off.  

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Next cut the front of the cereal box into puzzle pieces.  Helpful hint: Larger pieces for smaller children.

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Now I number the puzzle pieces.  This is our first puzzle so each piece is labeled with a number 1.  And I always circle the puzzle number.  Next each puzzle piece is numbered.  This way we know how many pieces this puzzle is supposed to have.  And when I find a lost piece I know what puzzle it belongs to.

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 All puzzle pieces are put into a baggie and the baggie is labeled with puzzle number and the number of puzzle pieces.

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The kids love to help.

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He made this one for his little sister!

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I have taken these puzzle to a teacher’s store and had them laminated.

Snapchat and Agriculture

What is Snapchat?  Isn’t that the thing all the kids are using now?  Doesn’t it just disappear?  Why would I want to use Snapchat?  These are just a few of the questions I get asked when talking about Snapchat.

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For the past year I have had the best time using Snapchat.  At first I used Snapchat with just family and friends.  We had good times sending snaps to each other while on vacation, during kid’s games, or just cooking in the kitchen.  I shared my entire Christmas Village setup with everyone, and they loved it!  Who wouldn’t?    After awhile I started feeling comfortable with Snapchat.  This made me venture out and seek other people in the Agriculture community.  What I found was amazing!

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I found the beautiful and amazing world of agriculture.  Farmers and ranchers sharing snaps of their day to day activities.  Snaps taken while riding horses, rounding up cattle, driving the combine in the middle of the night made wondrous stories to consume.  The average consumer has little information of where their food comes from.  We as agvocates can share our stories on Snapchat.  A simple snap of our surroundings while repairing fencing is showing a picture many people will never experience.  Let’s help the consumer experience life on a farm or life on the ranch by agvocating with Snapchat!

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Snapchat is a mobile photo messaging app.  It allows the user to take and share photos or short videos.  The pictures and videos must be taken while using Snapchat.  The pictures and videos will show for 10 seconds.  You have the option of choosing to send the snap to certain people (they will be the only ones to see your snap) or you can choose to  send as a Snapchat story.  A Snapchat story will be available for viewing for 24 hours and all of your followers can view and re-watch it for 24 hours.  Some Snapchatters really get into telling stories.  They make multiple snaps that tell a story.

Snapchat’s lenses are the best and they change daily!  Kiddos are mesmerized while playing with the lenses.  One recent Saturday evening our entire family, Great-Grandma included took turns with the face swap lens.  To use the lenses, first make sure your camera is facing you then tap and hold on your face.  The lenses will appear at the bottom of screen.  Swipe left to try different lenses and let the fun begin!

Snapchat also has filters you can use after taking your snap.  After taking your snap and before sending swipe right and look at the different filters.  There are options of adding the time, temperature, MPH, and different color filters to your snaps.  You can also speed up or slow down a video.  Like I said, great fun!  Then there are geofilters.  If you choose to use a geofilter it will show what city you are in.  We live out in the country so we do not have a geofilter.  So when I am somewhere that has a geofilter I tend to overuse it.  Or so I’ve been told by my daughter.

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You can add friends on Snapchat two different ways.  First you can add new friends simply by entering their user name.  Or you can add new friends by snapcode.  You take a screen shot of the snapcode then choose the option to add friend by snapcode.

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Our Snapcode

Snapchat is very user friendly.  I actually downloaded the Snapchat app and got started all by myself.  I never had to ask my kids what to do!  Major points for Snapchat!

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As of Nov. 8, 2015: Snapchat says it has more than 100 million daily active users, and, 6 billion video views per day.  I am sure those numbers have grown.

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On a side note one of my favorite Snapchatters is The Pioneer Woman.  Sometimes she shares step by step recipes!!!  I take screen shots and make the always delicious and scrumptious recipe.  She also shares beautiful pictures of her family ranch.

Join me and let’s all start agvocating with Snapchat!!!

This Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day weekend my family is coming together to celebrate.  We will celebrate love and we will celebrate mothers.  On Saturday  we are having a wedding shower for our niece.IMG_2544

My sister and I planned the shower for Mother’s Day weekend hoping our mother would be able to attend.  Last October my Mother moved to Austin, Texas to help take care of her older sister.  This has been a good experience for my Mom and her sister.  But we do not get to see her or even talk to her as often as we are used to.  So I have not seen my Mom since Christmas.  While getting ready for the shower, I started thinking about my niece and her new life she is embarking upon and then thoughts turned to my Mom and her life.

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It was scary for her to move away from her home, family and friends.  But she did it to help her sister and her sister’s family.  Mothers are about family.  A mother’s focus is about her family.  Every day mothers around the world make decisions that they hope will be the best for their family.  Some are heading out the door on their way to work, others are staying home to work.  Working at home or working away from home, we still do it for our family.

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As I look around my home that has a bookcase in every room and plants near the windows, I realize how much my mother has influenced my world.  She has shared her love for reading, plants and children with me.  But most importantly she has shared her never give up spirit.  I’m the oldest of four children.  When I was in the 11th grade my Mom went to nursing school!  She enjoyed a long career as a neonatal nurse.  She loved her preemie babies and would talk about them for hours.  It was really exciting when she trained to be a neonatal medevac nurse.  We loved hearing her stories of being on a helicopter flying out to pick up preemie babies.  My Mom, retired now still uses her nursing skills while helping her sister.

 

 

This weekend my family will celebrate all women, mothers, sisters, aunts and grandmothers. Thank you for caring for your families.

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Happy Mother’s Day!!!

 

Baking Easter Goodies with Kiddos

Easter Bunny Cake Bars

I love baking with my Lillie!  She is in second grade and 8 years old.  We decided to try this recipe for Easter Bunny Cake Bars.  It is a very simple recipe.  The entire recipe took us under an hour to make from start to finish.  Lillie and her brother Robbie each took an Easter Bunny Cake Bar in their lunch today.  And one for their teachers too.  :))

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Ingredients:

Easter Bunny Peeps (different colors would be pretty)

Yellow Cake Mix

4 egg yolks

1 egg

1/2 cup of butter

Sprinkles

3 1/2 Cups of white chocolate chips

14 oz can of sweet/condensed milk

vanilla

  1. Mix softened butter in mixing bowl

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2.  Add egg, egg yolks and vanilla.

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3.  Slowly add yellow cake mix.

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4.  Spray cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Spoon cake mixture into pan and spread evenly.  Now you can sprinkle on the sprinkles, which is Lillie’s favorite part!  Bake cake for 15 to 20 minutes.

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5.  In a microwave safe bowl melt the white chocolate chips and the sweet/condensed milk.    Don’t forget to sprinkle in the sprinkles!

6.  Pour this sweet, gooey, goodness evenly over the cake.

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7.  Now for the fun part!  Lay the Easter Bunny Peeps side by side and add sprinkles.

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8.  Put the Easter Bunny Cake Bars in the refrigerator to set.  Once set, cut into bars and eat!

The Best Dog

Last week we had to let go of our dog. Last week we found out she had cancer. Last week after fourteen years we had to put her down.

 

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Last week was a hard week, and this week is a hard week. I keep looking for her and she is everywhere. I see her next to me because she was my shadow. I check her water bowl and it is gone. I start to call her name and even say it out loud. I think its time to feed her, worried she is hungry. These things will fade. But my memories of her will not.

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She was known as our bar dog. Not because she liked to frequent bars, but because we found her at a bar. She was a little red ball of fur with giant brown eyes and a head bigger then her body. It was love at first sight. That is our son fell in love with the red ball of fur and her big head. While our son was sitting at a neighborhood bar the bartender walked in holding a small box. The bartender was looking kind of nervous. Inside the small box was a puppy. Storing the small puppy filled box on the floor, behind the bar, the bartender went to work. As time went by the bartender became more nervous. The small box was starting to move around. Our son questioned him about the puppy. He replied, that someone was supposed to come pick the puppy up, an hour ago. Then he said, “You want her? You can have her!” With those seven words the best dog became ours.

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When our son brought her home we were less then thrilled. But she won us over with her big brown eyes. We marveled at her large paws. As we watched her grow, we fell in love. She grew into her head and her paws. She became a beautiful dog and most importantly, she became part of our family. And she knew, we were her family. She learned to open doors and it was really hard to keep her inside. The outdoors called to her. Too many times to count we would find the door wide open and she was gone, no where to be found. The door would stay unlocked so she could get inside. She always returned, so happy to see us. Her body was smiling and happy shaking all over. One time, she came home at 3am covered in cow manure. One time, she came home opened the back door and brought another dog inside. Another time, I was driving down the street and there she was in the pasture, playing with our neighbor’s miniature ponies. There are many, many stories like these. Because like I said, the outdoors called to her.

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As she got older she matured into a really sweet and great dog. She became my running buddy. We would run in the early morning dark, down side streets, across a highway and through the graveyard. One dark morning in the graveyard we were startled by a family of skunks. We both stopped running and let the momma and babies pass. Together we witnessed coyotes, bobcats and deer all returning home at the end of their day. In the darkly lit morning there was always a giant black cat that would lay in our running path. He would reach his paw out and try to touch us every time we passed. That cat loved messing with us. Reddog would always look at me and we would keep running, skirting around the cat. I always felt safe with Reddog, the best dog.

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