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!!