Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Our Top Bar Hive!!

Checked out our Top Bar Hive on Monday! Two weeks after they were put in the hive they've done some great work! I am just amazed completely at their production! It's very beautiful and awesome!!


Quick and easy running headband

When I run it drives me crazy to have my hair flapping on my forehead. I always have bangs, but when I run it is very annoying (when the sweat drips into my eyes it isn't too comfortable either!) My quick project tonight was to make a headband for running! :)

Here's how to make one for yourself!

Cut out a rectangle of cute fabric 5 1/2 inches wide and as long as the measurement from behind one ear to behind the other ear.

Also cut 2 of this same size rectangle out of an old cotton t-shirt (or some absorbent fabric).

Stitch the cute fabric to the t-shirt fabric, right sides together, leaving a little opening in the center of both short ends. put it on your head and hold it there with one hand :) while you measure the space left between the ends along the lower back of your head. Use this measurement to cut a piece of elastic (I used 1" wide) -- cut the elastic about 1" shorter than your measurement.

Stretch the elastic and measure this length. Cut another piece out of the old T-shirt :) to make a casing for the elastic, as long as the stretched-out length. Place the elastic into the casing, insert each end into the openings in the main body of the headband. Stitch the elastic/casing to the headband through all layers.

I also made a pleat at each end.

Trim your threads and try it on! :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dandelions! :)

Ahhh, dandelions!! I am one of those people who likes dandelions in the lawn :) Truthfully, even before I used dandelions for anything, I just like the look of those yellow flowers dotting the green lawn :) Weird, I know. . .

THEN a few years I discovered dandelion jelly. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!! The recipe I use is from (HERE!) with the only difference that I process it in a boiling water bath, which is not in that recipe.

If you have never tasted dandelion jelly, it is delicious -- tasted quite a bit like honey, but with jelly consistency.

SO-- NOW !! I have just found and tried, just this afternoon, dandelion salve!! I found the directions/recipe for this HERE on (love that name!!) It was very easy to make -- just covered wilted dandelions with olive oil and heated it up for a couple of hours, strained it, added a little bit of beeswax, and voila!

And guess what?! Remember what I said the dandelion jelly tasted like? Well, the salve smells like honey!

I'm definitely going to make more of this and use it for gifts!! Check out the recipe, you may just be inspired to try some yourself!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gone South by Meg Mosely

Looking for a great summer fiction read? Give Gone South by Meg Mosely a try! :) This is a great clean book with some nice character development. It's enjoyable -- you won't want the story to end!

Letitia, the main character, entertains romantic ideas about her far-back-in-history ancestors; so much so that she purchases their original house and decides to jump full in and form a new life there. She fully expects to be embraced because of her historical ties; however, the reality is much the opposite. Her name alone sets people on edge and turns would-be friends into uninterested enemies.

Despite her disappointments, she finds the time and ability to serve the Lord through opening her home to a troubled individual. She helps this girl through many difficulties and. . .you'll have to read it to get more!!

Is it a romance? Only slightly. There's just a touch of that, not the focus. The focus is really the sweet story. Not really a romance, not history, not a mystery. . .just a good story.

I'd certainly recommend this book! It is one of the most enjoyable books I've read lately!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Chronicles of Dinosauria by Dave Woetzel

Do you ever wonder about the Bible and dinosaurs? Does it talk about dinosaurs? Where did the fossils come from? This book, Chronicles of Dinosauria by Dave Woetzel gives answers and evidences for these and many related questions. He has traveled all over the world to many different places and learned many legends/stories and seen many artifacts which he uses as proofs to strengthen the Biblical account of the world. The flood, dinosaurs living as contemporaries to humans, even the persistance of dinosaurs/dragons in some form up to near history.

Different chapter titles relate the subject matter covered: The Creation and the Dinosaurs; The Flood and the Dinosaurs; Fossil Evidence of Dinosaurs and Man; Historical Evidence of Dinosaurs and Man; Artistic Evidence of Dinosaurs and Man; Cryptozoology Evidence of Dinosaurs and Man; Biblical Evidence of Dinosaurs and Man; Apologetics and Conclusion.

Each chapter is pretty short, the pages set up like a scrapbook of sorts. Text and photos as well as eye-catching illustrations by Richard Dobbs. As I read it (understand that I already hold the view that the Bible is Truth from God) it made great sense to me and was a nice full picture of a Biblical view of dinosaurs. I really appreciated all the different aspects of societies that he included as relating to these creatures.

The book was very interesting to me. This year as I homeschooled my kids, one of the books we read together was Dinosaurs of Eden by Ken Ham. This book reminded me of that one, but in a much expanded way. I plan to use this book in our homeschool as well.

Here's a short video about the book:

I did enjoy this book. It's very nicely illustrated and written. I enjoyed the content and the proofs from around the world. Some of the information I was familiar with, some I was not. I was/am a little skeptical about the cryptozoology section, especially since I live where one of those legendary creatures which was highlighted in the book is thought to dwell; we usually laugh it off as an impossibility, though the author of this book seems to think it could possibly exist :) Nevertheless, I find it a valuable book, whether for use in homeschooling or other family/personal reading. I'd recommend it.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a historical romance set during World War 2. It's a romance with a twist, actually, without giving away too much information, it is not just a quick and happily ever after story.

The main characters, Dr Micah Hatcher and Lydia Eldridge live very different lives, with passions and service in different areas. They meet (again) and share each others' problems/burdens. There is another character, Nic, who is the bad guy but turns into the good guy! The characters are sweet and kind, for the most part. It's a Christian romance, so there are references to Christianity and Godly living.

I usually like these historic romances, but truthfully I didn't really care for this one. It's an easy read, but kind of leaves you hanging in different sections, and much of it just seems unbelievable. I don't always dislike unbelievable (I AM a big fan of happy endings!!) but somehow this one just didn't hit me as great. I have read other books by this same author and enjoyed them, just not this one. Read it if you want, but I'd suggest just borrowing it, not investing in a copy.

So -- would I recommend it? It's not objectionable, just not too interesting to me. I wouldn't really recommend it -- try some of the author's other books instead!

I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Prayer Warrior Mom by Marla Alupoaicei

This book, Prayer Warrior Mom, is subtitled, "Covering your kids with God's blessings and protection." The author, Marla Alupoaicei, is obviously concerned with you and I getting serious about praying for our children.

The author addresses many ideas in this book. Ideas about how to pray for our kids, why it is important, what can hold us back, how to develop prayer habits, how to use fasting as a discipline in conjunction with prayer, etc. So many different ideas for us parents (moms) to hold our children and concerns up to the Lord.

Marla references a lot of other authors' writings on the topic of praying for children as well as Scriptural references to prayer. She gives stories and illustrations about prayer and the outcomes of prayer. She talks about moms and their responsibility to pray for their children.

I love the topic of praying for our children. It is a very important thing to do, and I think any book which reminds us about this great responsibility serves a good purpose. Keeping the idea of prayer in our minds and at the forefront of our attention is a valuable thing. I did not love this book, however -- I felt like it was a little disjointed to me and went from one topic to the next to the next, just adding and adding and adding things that we should do. I wished a little bit that it had focused on fewer topics. I also feel like just adding a little reminder here that prayer is not a tool for manipulating God or His will. He does call us to pray and to "Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for You."

I'm not sure that I would recommend this book. There are so many great books about praying for your children out there. It is not objectionable, just not my favorite.

I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

What a Son Needs From His Mom by Cheri Fuller

I have just finished reading What a Son Needs From His Mom by Cheri Fuller. This book is just what it sounds like! A great book which helps moms understand/relate to/teach/parent, etc their son(s).

As a female who grew up in a household of sisters, there are times that I look at my son and what he's doing and think, "what IS this weird thing they call a boy?!" :) Just kidding, but truthfully, having a son has really been full of surprises. I love him so much and want to help him grow into the man God intends him to be. There are definitely big differences in raising our daughters and our sons. This book is a wonderful resource for helping me to see my role in his life and for helping me understand some of what makes him, as a boy, so special.

Different sections of the book deal with helping your son as he develops confidence, character, emotions, faith. Sections on praying for your son, listening to your son, encouraging your son. And others. The last sections of the book address "letting go" -- "Releasing your son to manhood." All kinds of topics. It's a great book. I took a long time to read this book, not because it was difficult to read or boring--it definitely was not--truthfully, I just didn't want to miss anything!

It's a valuable book. I would definitely recommend it. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to read this book and will keep it on my shelf with the intention of re-reading it, probably more than once! It is a great book for a mother or grandmother of a boy.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Homemade beekeeping jacket with veil!!

We are getting bees again this week. My husband has had hives of bees before, but since we moved we haven't had bees. . .now that we're getting some, I want to be able to take an active part with them as well! He has a bee suit, but I decided that I would like something of my own to work with him. Looking online, the prices for bee jackets are pretty pricey, the lowest being a little above $50. Well, that does not fit into our budget :) so I googled patterns or homemade bee veil and didn't have luck in finding any good ideas. SO -- I took a look at a few bee jackets and made one for myself!

Here it is!

AND you know what? It cost less than $10 and was pretty easy to make! Here is a little explanation of the parts of it so you can make one for yourself!!

First of all I bought two extra large men's white button-down shirts from Goodwill, washed them, and then put them both on at the same time so the parts were all lined up. I sewed up the button placket to within a few buttons from the top (so that I can pull it on over my head still) and back down the other side, sewing the shirts together and closing up the "between buttons" gaps so no little buzzy friends can crawl inside.

Next I found a wide-brimmed hat with a stiff brim all around. I cut a piece of an old white sheet to follow the brim (actually two of the same shape/size)

I stitched that white fabric together in the center of the oval and then made a little casing for elastic right up there at the center. I cut a piece of thin elastic to fit the crown of the hat and inserted that into the casing. This will ensure that the veil sits tight on the hat, without openings.

I folded in the lower edges of the white fabric to make a nice finished edge and then cut the netting.

I took the netting that I had bought at the fabric store and measured around the brim of the hat and also put the hat and shirt(s) on and measured how long I'd like the netting to be. (it was 13 inches for mine). I cut a rectangle with the length being the measurement around the brim and the height being the, well, the height :) I cut a little strip of fabric out of the white sheet fabric and used that to stitch together with the ends of the netting to form a cylinder shape (the sheeting was to give a little more strength/stability.

The netting was then placed with the top edge between the layers of the crown fabric and stitched down with a zigzag stitch to secure it. I then stitched a bias tape strip onto the lower edge of the netting, for ease of working with it and for stability.

Here's a picture that shows the back of the netting and the bias tape on the lower edge:

Next I cut a strip of white sheet fabric that was shaped like this: with the long edge measuring the length from shoulder to shoulder along the bias tape edge. I stitched this onto the bias tape edge of the front of the veil and then put it all on and pinned the white fabric to the front of the shirt where it belongs and the bias tape edge to the back of the shirt in position (well, I had to have my daughter pin it on the back for me!) Then I carefully took it off and stitched the veil to the shirt by stitching along the bias tape on the back section and along the lower edges of the white fabric section.
Here's what THAT looked like:

To finish it up, I made casings and inserted elastic at the wrists and waistband, nice and tight so that no little bees can find entry there :)

So! What do you think? Pretty easy way to save some $ and it's just as thick as my husband's bee suit. Should work well!

Here are the materials used:
2 men's white button-down shirts, large enough to slip on over your head while buttoned up
1 large-brimmed hat with a nice stiff brim
netting for the veil (I used netting from the fabric store, the kind you'd use to make a petticoat)
narrow elastic for around the hat crown and both your wrists
wider elastic for the waistband
bias tape
old scrap white sheet (or other white fabric)
and of course stuff like sewing machine, pins, thread, needle, scissors, etc.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson

This book, The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson looks, upon first glance, like a nice Christian romance book. And. . .it is!! :) This is a book you'll want to read right through; it's sweet and interesting with strong characters.

Merrill (the icecutter's daughter) lives with her brothers and widowed father, caring for them along with helping on the farm and with other tasks (cutting ice!) She is not frilly or feminine, though a part of her wishes for a family of her own. Rurick, the male lead character, is a man who has relocated to help an ill and elderly uncle run his furniture-making shop. Before he leaves his home, however, events begin to move that will follow him and haunt him in his new home. There are some other interesting people in the story, some who are troublemakers and others who are peacemakers.

Being a romance. . .yup, they fall in love. There are HUGE obstacles which I will not tell you about, you have to read the book, but suffice it to say that in the end, it's a happy ending. . .for all. I know, I know, life doesn't always end in a happy ending, but I sure do like a book that does!

So -- would I recommend this book? Yes! It makes a nice light read. There are characters with good values and Christian principles. AND the book is entertaining!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.