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Author Merit Badge Awardees - Woo-hoo Sisters!:  Farmgirl Sisterhood Merit Badge Awardees 
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  12:33:16 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level Organic on a Budget Merit Badge!

“This level of the badge excited me! I spoke with my hubby and he agreed that I could use some of the money I saved for something I wanted... a new dehydrator! In April and May we planted a garden using heirloom seeds. In June we bought goats, three of which were in milk. We also, during that time period, established a laying chicken flock as well as a broiler flock. All the produce we could switch to organic, we did, be it through the grocery store, Azure Standard, the local farmers market, or our own garden.

There are still some items we cannot get organic here in Wyoming. Thai chilies are one such item. But by comparing prices, and keeping a decent reign on our budget, we are eating healthy as much as possible.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  12:33:45 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Expert Level Organic on a Budget Merit Badge!

“Teaching someone out here in Wyoming that eating organic is feasible is not an easy feat! We have no Costco, WholeFoods, Aldi, or EarthFare. There are three grocery stores in town, including Walmart, but the one with the majority of the organic produce is EXPENSIVE! The Farmers Market is only open a short period. Being a mining town, people work long, weird shifts, so cooking meals from scratch doesn't always come easily. So what is a person to do...

The fact that we had seven (now eight) children, and able to afford to eat organic, was encouraging to the families we talked to. We introduced them to Azure Standard (which has multiple drop-offs out here), Frontier, and even Amazon Prime Subscribe and Save. We've also introduced them to organically fed, pasture raised broilers, eggs, and goat milk. Sourdough bread and jam, as well as chicken pot pies are my go to meals to deliver, though I also delivered a Southwestern cottage pie to one family.

I found this level of the badge more about educating about the pros and cons of what we eat, than about he feasibility of eating organic. Living in the East, we were surrounded with "crunchy" people - everyone wanted to eat organic, avoid GMOs, eat local, wear their babies, and be as natural as possible. Within a 45 minute drive of where we were living, there was a Whole Foods, Costco, Sams Club, Aldi, and two EarthFares. Farmers Markets were open the majority of the year, and within that 45 minute radius, there were at least four LARGE ones. Beef was raised on grass alone, grass-fed cheeses and raw milk were available everywhere, and wild caught fish and seafood was more abundant than farm raised.

Here in Wyoming, the opposite seems to be true. Many do not know about GMO's or the affects it has on health. Many ranchers pour antibiotics into their animals as well as grains, soy, and "garbage" as they are selling their livestock to the large corporations. Gardening is HARD here due to the short growing season, the wind, and the desert like conditions. But at the bottom of it all still remains the heart: the desire to do what is best for one's family.

I don't know how well the families we talked to will stick with eating organic, but I do know the seed was planted. Now it is up to the individual families.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  12:40:48 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level Pay It Forward Merit Badge!

“Our church has one of the few "food pantries" in our area. Every three to four months we donate about twenty things of food. For Vacation Bible School, we helped organize a food drive that brought in hundreds of nonperishable food items. What a blessing to be a part of something so meaningful.

Working on this badge had special meaning for our family. When we moved here over a year ago, we only had a small amount of things with us. The military did not send us our belongings until a couple months later. They also messed up my hubby's retirement pay, so we were not getting anything at all! A rancher that is a friend of my brother gave us a couple deer that he had shot, so we would have some meat. We went many months living off that venison and rice (it was cheap!). Being able to help others that are in need meant a lot to us, as we knew what it was like to be facing hard and uncertain times!”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  12:47:21 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Expert Level Bustin' Out Merit Badge!

“To earn this level, we needed to try a new food each week for an additional 5 months. This proved to be a little difficult, as my children have almost never met a fruit or vegetable they don't like, and we eat new foods all the time. We ended up trying a couple different brands of spaghetti sauce, parsnips, pomelo, garam marsala, buckwheat flour, avocado oil, artichokes, chipotle powder, cardamom pods, kafir lime leaves, and sweetened condensed coconut milk! We also tried millet flour, jasmine green tea, beets, balsamic vinegar, sesame teriyaki sauce, hot chocolate, steel cut oats, forbidden rice, yellow masa harina, fresh tarragon, and tapioca.

Our house has pretty much been completely switched over to organic. I try really hard to remind the children that just because something says organic, however, doesn't mean it is good for us, since as soon as they see the words organic, they seem to think it is!”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  12:56:09 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Expert Level Self-sufficiency Merit Badge!

“When the military moved us here, part of our belongings unfortunately did not survive. One of the things that died was my Excalibur 9 Tray Dehydrator. I was devastated! However, due to the money I saved from budget planning for Intermediate Organic on a Budget badge, as well as some extra funds, my hubby purchased me a stainless steel dehydrator. It was time to try it out on some fruit! Dehydrated strawberries, peach slices, and apple slices can now be found in my cold storage room!

For the putting up party, lots of foods were canned! I also learned how to make potato bark, which I had never heard of before then.

I thoroughly enjoy canning and dehydrating foods. Unfortunately, I'm finding that we do not eat many of the dehydrated foods unless it is just a snack. I need to work on utilizing the dehydrated produce!”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  1:03:26 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level Get It Together Merit Badge!

“Do you know the song in "The Little Mermaid" where Ariel sings "I've got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty. I've got whozits and whatzits galore. You want things of above? I've got twenty!"? This is totally me when it comes to the kitchen. The kitchen is by far my favorite room in the house. Not because of how it is set up or because of how it looks, but rather because I demonstrate my love for others by making food. There were three items I "needed" (read wanted) to make my kitchen "complete." (My poor hubby - now that it is fulfilled, it is sure to grow again!) These items were a dehydrator (mine did not survive the move here), a stand mixer (my old one died prior to us moving, after having it for over 13 years!), and a new water bath canner (mine was rusty on the bottom and could only hold 7 quarts at a time).

The first of these items I was gifted was a stainless steel dehydrator. I had saved part of the funds via the "Organic on a Budget" badge, but hubby paid the rest and gave it to me as a gift. The next item I was gifted was my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. My darling hubby bought me that for our anniversary.

The third item was my water bath canner. I have to admit - I did not think I was going to be able to complete this badge for many years. Why? Because the canner I had my heart set on is a Stainless Steel Amish-made water bath canner that holds 15 quarts at a time! My mother-in-law actually gifted me one for Christmas! I am so ready to put it to use and am looking forward to canning season!

My kitchen is now complete... well as of right now anyways. Above anything else, I am looking forward to providing more yumminess for those I love <3”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  1:04:21 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Expert Level Get It Together Merit Badge!

“Using a dull knife is said to be more dangerous than using a sharp knife in the kitchen. I think there is some truth to that! Partially because you are not as careful when you think the knife is dull, but also because you have to use more force with a dull knife. Over the last year, I have practiced using a stainless steel sharpening steel to sharpen my knives. However, for Christmas, my hubby received an electric knife sharpener. That thing is a dream! My knives are now constantly sharp and ready to be used!

While I am applying for this badge now, I still intend to continue to grow in my abilities to sharpen my knives with a traditional steel. My brother says there is also another way to sharpen knives, using plywood, that I plan on having him show me next time we get together!”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  1:10:33 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Expert Level Recipes Merit Badge!

“My family recipes binder is FULL of recipes. Over the last year, I have tried out the mass majority on my immediate family. In late July, I hosted an impromptu family reunion. My aunt and uncle, parents, and brother and his family were able to attend. I pulled out a bunch of our family recipes for that event!

I love love love cooking a recipe that I know one of my ancestors used to cook. There seems to be a connection formed with the family member I had never met. I feel like I am passing on a small piece of my heritage on to my children. I'm really hoping to get some recipes from my husband's side of the family to make one for that side of the family as well!”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  1:18:12 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Cheesemaking Merit Badge!

“To earn the beginner badge, I learned about proper milk handling, aseptic technique when using a starter, and proper temperature control. Due to cow milk allergies, our family drinks goat milk. In June we bought goats, three of which were in milk. At first, we could not use their milk, due to the goats being given a de-wormer medication prior to us getting them. Once we were able to start using and drinking the milk, it was time to "play." One of the first things I made was yogurt. We used the technique of using the yogurt culture from "Cultures for Health" and the dehydrator to maintain the proper temperature.

There have been times I have had "flops" making yogurt. I'm finding that if I have the dehydrator too close to my other cultures, such as my kombucha, water kefir, or sourdough. However, most of the time we successfully make raw milk goat yogurt.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  1:19:23 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level Cheesemaking Merit Badge!

“Rennet is used in cheesemaking to separate the curd and whey. The first cheese I decided to make was Farmers Cheese. For this one, rather than rennet, apple cider vinegar is used to separate the curd and whey. It then drains in cheesecloth, flavored, and then pressed. So far we have flavored it with Italian herbs, and taco seasoning. We've used it for quesadillas, omelets, just to eat, and so much more.

So far, my children's favorite flavoring for the farmers cheese is the taco seasoning! This is such an easy cheese to make, that my 14 year old makes it as well!”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  1:29:43 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level Apples Merit Badge!

“When living in South Carolina, we used to make an annual trip to North Carolina to go apple picking. Here in Wyoming, there are not many apple orchards at all! We finally found one a few hours away, and decided to go on a "field trip" with friends and fellow homeschoolers. Between us we had 15 children (now 16)! I don't think the owner was sure what to think when she saw us pile out of just two vehicles. We assured her we were just two families and we would keep an eye on all the children. After eating our picnic lunch, we started picking apples. The "orchard" only consists of about ten trees. After picking about twenty pounds each, we paid for our apples and headed home.

Once home, it was time to start processing our apples. Some were automatically put in the fridge for eating later. Others were designated for cooking, and still others were set aside for canning - applesauce and apple pie filling. For my apple bake-over, I cooked down the apples in the bake-over pan, with some brown sugar, a little bit of butter, cinnamon, smidgen of cloves, and some fresh nutmeg. Once the apples were starting to get tender, I made the pie crust using the gluten free budget mix. I stirred in a half cup of raisins with the apple mixture, put the crust on top, and popped it into a preheated oven. It turned out delicious!!!

The following day, I processed my apples for canning. We started with apple pie filling. Once I made a batch of that, I dehydrated some apple slices. Then the rest of the apples set aside for processing were chopped up and put on the stovetop for applesauce. Once it was "mushy", I used my Vitamix, pureed it, and canned them.

The next day, I took a break from apples, hahaha. But the following day it was time to get busy again. It was the day for me to prepare a meal based around apples. I had spent the last couple weeks searching for just the right recipes. We had apple and sage venison meatloaf, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts with bacon and apple, and sourdough biscuits with apple pie jam. Then for dessert, we had apple crisp.

While cooking and baking with apples was loads of fun, my absolute favorite part of earning this badge was going apple picking! I love family outings like that, and being able to go with friends added to the delight! I am hoping, however, to find somewhere with more trees for future trips.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  1:48:01 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Backyard Farmer Merit Badge!

“In June, we purchased ten Nubian goats, three of which are in milk. I quickly became the one that milked the goats both morning and night, forming a lovely bond with them!

In the last month, we have started our adventure with heritage pigs. We will be raising two red wattle pigs. We also ordered a butchered Berkshire pig. Our plan is to decide between the two which we would like to breed and raise here on our homestead.

We also have around 40 laying hens, with the mass majority being Australorp hens. We absolutely love this breed, as they are relatively calm and friendly with the children, will forage, and they lay eggs the majority of the year. Even though we are hitting lows in the negative teens and twenties, with about six inches of snow on the ground, we are still getting between nine and twelve eggs a day, without the use of any artificial light!

With only having been here on our Wyoming homestead for a little over a year, we have a long way to go. With that said, we have started on our journey and are fully enjoying it. Eventually we hope to have rabbits, sheep, alpaca, ducks and turkeys on our homestead as well.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  2:40:59 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Expert Level Weather Merit Badge!

“For the month of December, the children and I kept a detailed chart regarding our weather. We could not have picked a better month! We ended up having an "arctic blast" that caused our temperatures to plummet! Our highs for the month ranged from the 60's to 0°, and our lows from above freezing into the negatives! Normally we hit our high for the day in mid-afternoon or early evening. When the blast hit, we hit our high around 8:00 in the morning! Our winds have ranged from 8 mph to 37 mph.

Watching the weather with the kids was a lot of fun! We also compared what we had at our house compared to what was reported for our town on weather.com. (We are about 20 miles out of town, to the north-west.) The biggest difference we saw was the accumulation difference. Weather.com would be reporting 0% chance of snow and just cloudy, while snow steadily fell at our house! We have about six inches right now, but in town only has about two!”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  3:33:38 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Carp-hen-try Merit Badge!

“We moved to this house on 17 acres from base housing... where our yard was maybe ten feet wide and 18 feet long! Our German Shepherd was not use to roaming free, to wildlife, or livestock. So one of our first projects when we moved in was to fence in our backyard. The previous owner had left some supplies here, including posts and a little bit of wire. We went and bought what we needed and spent the next week or two building our fence.

I own the "Dare to Repair" book and have read it. It is one of the better required reading books that I have read lately. As a military spouse, many of the items covered in "Dare to Repair" I have had to already learn, and some of the content seems to be a little "dumbed down." However, the book is great to have on hand when something goes wrong, so you can easily fix it. My hubby has a lot on his plate with working full time, 45 minutes away, one-way, so being able to take some of the home repairs off his plate, or at least not add them, is a great benefit!

The most difficult part of this project was digging the holes with the post digger! Hubby and I took turns digging, as he has a bad back. For parts of it, we put in t-posts, and banged those into the ground. Overall, the fencing turned out great and the dog (and children) are free to go out back and play, without too much concern.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  3:34:20 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermediate Level Carp-hen-try Merit Badge!

“The first animals we wanted to bring on the homestead was chickens. With that said, we wanted to be able to pasture range them. With the predators out here (coyotes are abundant), we knew the chickens would need to be locked up at night, as there really isn't anywhere to hide! After some researching, we decided to build the "Chickshaw" and broiler pen that Justin Rhodes created. Having always enjoyed shop class in school, I thoroughly enjoyed using the saws and power tools! We built one pen for our broilers and two "Chickshaws" for our laying hens.

I think my favorite part of this/these project(s) was working with my husband. With so many children, my time is often spent inside the home, being domestic. However, the only other person "trained" to use the saws and power tools, besides my hubby, is me. My boys (ages 12, 10, and 6) are starting to get to the age/maturity of being able to, but aren't quite ready yet. The power tools they would be alright with, but not the saws. Anyways, by me working alongside my husband, we were able to get done a lot quicker!”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  3:34:57 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Expert Level Carp-hen-try Merit Badge!

“We bought our chickens in batches... rather than getting them all at once. Due to this, we built their tractors over a couple months. In between working on those, we started working on our goat barn. We knew we wanted to buy goats, as my now 2 year old and I are both very allergic to cow milk, but have no issues with goat milk. We had been purchasing raw goat milk, but it was EXPENSIVE at $15 a gallon! After doing some research, we started a goat barn in one of the corrals that the previous owner had set up. The barn we built was 15 ft x 20 ft. We built the roof line to be at an angle, so the snow would slide off. The back is 6 foot tall, with the front being about 10 foot tall!

Within the barn is a milking section that is blocked off from the rest of the barn with pallets and a gate, and has its own door out to the barnyard. We keep their food behind the milking stanchion that we built. In the main part of the barn, we have the main sleeping area, which has the hay feeders in it, water buckets, and mineral and supplements, as well as two birthing stalls. We put six windows into it as well, so that in the summer we can better ventilate it. There is a large rolling door for the front of the main part of the barn.

The most difficult part of the construction of the goat barn was the angles. After awhile, I got tired of trying to mathematically figure out the angle I needed to cut the boards at, and instead placed the boards about where I needed them, and drew a line of where I needed to cut. Cheating perhaps, but it worked! We are looking forward to using the birthing stalls starting in March.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  3:44:50 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Expert Level Collect It! Merit Badge!

“Some time ago, my sister-in-law gave us her old kitchen hutch, as she got a new dining room set. When we lived in South Carolina, the hutch sat in our dining room, housing our good dishes. When we moved here to Wyoming, we quickly figured out that the hutch was not going to fit in our dining room! Our kitchen, dining room, foyer, and living room are pretty much an open floor plan, so wall space is at a minimum. We placed the kitchen hutch on the wall in the foyer and living room area.

At first, I placed my good dishes in the hutch as I had prior, but I didn't like it! While it is an open floor plan, the dishes do not belong in that area! Thankfully I have enough kitchen cabinet space that I was able to move the dishes into the cabinets. I was left with three shelves of unused space in the hutch, that are behind clear glass. I decided it was a perfect place to display my Willow Tree collection!

There is something very calming about seeing my Willow Tree figurines displayed behind the glass when you walk into the room! On the top shelf is my Nativity set. It stays out all year long! On the second shelf I have the regular figurines. Then on the bottom shelf are my angel figurines. They are protected from the cats, dust for the most part, and the kids.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  3:50:12 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Furniture Makeover Merit Badge!

“Our two younger daughters (ages 4 and 2) share a bedroom. After playing on Pinterest, I decided I wanted to paint their bedroom a light blue, and put flower stickers on one of the walls. I then decided to upgrade their dresser by giving it a new look. The dresser was a light brown wooden dresser that they share. However, their beds were white. I didn't want the dresser white, so I decided to paint it different shades of pink, with the lightest being on top and the darkest on the bottom.

The first thing I did was take all the drawers out of the dresser (there are five). I then sanded the dresser some, wiped it down, and painted it white. I then started with the bottom dresser and painted it the dark pink color. I then took some of the dark pink paint, put some in a bowl, and added some white, after mixing well, I painted drawer number four. I repeated this sequence until all the drawers were painted.

I love how the dresser came out! After it was complete, I got curious and looked up how much it would have costed me to buy a dresser that was painted in this "ombre" fashion. It would have costed me a couple hundred dollars if not more! And all it ended up costing me was some paint and time! Win-win in my book.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  3:59:25 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge!

“On July 10th, our family learned how quickly emergencies can come up in this area... especially prairie fires. Late that afternoon our neighbor called saying there was a fire about a mile up the road. My hubby jumped in his truck to help go fight it. With being 20 miles from town, we, as neighbors, are the first responders to fires. The fire had started after a hay baler threw a spark. All the neighbors rushed to the scene with shovels, tanks full of water, and anything else they could get ahold of. Eventually fire departments from the local areas joined in fighting it. By that evening we were on alert to leave in a moment's notice. Thankfully we did not have to evacuate, however the fire burnt hundreds of acres.

After that fire, I started researching for this badge. Fires are probably the biggest risk, especially with living so far from town. In fact, there is a "fire truck" that is kept close by for such emergencies, which is basically a pick up truck with a huge tank of water in the back.

Other possible emergencies would include tornadoes and blizzards. With these emergencies being a possibility, we have discussed with the children what we need to do. Thankfully, we do not leave them by themselves, and there are three neighbors that are retired, so they should always have an adult around as well.

I must admit that it is sad for an emergency situation to cause me to look into being better prepared! I'm thankful the fire wasn't any worse, and that my children now have some idea of what to do in the various emergency situations we may face!”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  4:08:21 PM  Show Profile
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an Expert Level Community Action Merit Badge!

“As I stated in my intermediate level badge application, one of the major issues here in our area is suicide, with bullying being a large culprit. After doing some digging, I have a better understanding of why this is so prevalent, which I stated for the other badge level, but am going to repeat.

Our area is largely a mining community. Parents are working odd shifts and schedules. The pay is great, but often times the money is spent on "toys" like 4 wheelers and recreational drugs and alcohol. The children are then exposed to this lifestyle and are left to their own devices. Between this and having "nothing else to do," bullying occurs. In turn, the children are left feeling worthless... Suicide seems to be the only answer to end the pain.

The church we are members of is very active in outreach programs. These programs not only give the children/teens something to do, but also give them value. They are loved on and are told that God loves them so much that Jesus died on the cross for them! By bringing the kids in, and getting them involved, parents start attending.

The second volunteer program I was (and still am) a part of is nursery. Nursery is at first thought to be geared for young children, which it is, but it is also for the adults! By taking care of the young children in nursery, the parents are then able to attend the services without worrying about the distraction of changing diapers and entertaining their youngsters. The parents then are able to learn the same truths - that God loves them, that they are valued, that there is a better way, and there is hope! As long as there is hope, there is no need for suicide!”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  4:24:15 PM  Show Profile
Marlene Laverty (#7503) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Crochet Merit Badge!

“I crocheted my daughter an ear warmer and a scarf. It stared out as a just an ear warmer, but it looked so sad and lonely sitting in the gift box alone that I did a scarf to go with it. I decided to put two button holes at one end and big buttons on the other end so she could make an infinity style scarf out of it if she chose.

It turned out so awesome! I may make a few more for additional Christmas gifts. Maybe one for myself as well. It took about hour more than I thought it would but it was well worth it. I used a single stitch as well as a half double stitch for variety.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  4:39:07 PM  Show Profile
Marlene Laverty (#7503) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level Bread Making Merit Badge!

“First thing I did was to learn about the different types of yeast there are in bread making. I knew that there were what is called wild yeast, which is yeast that is present in the air and on surfaces, but I did not know that the active dry yeast that I use had two cousins. Fresh yeast and instant yeast. I was glad to know the yeast I am using is 100% yeast and not instant.

I made two different breads with yeast for this project, I made a loaf of egg bread and a long loaf of French bread. I also made a loaf of egg bread using baking soda as my leavening agent.

The first two breads turned out wonderful. I baked the French bread with a pan of water on a second rack under it to help steam the crust and make it a bit crunchy. The Egg bread made a wonderful sandwich bread which held up well in my lunchbox.

Making it with just baking soda was a bit of a different story. It made a much denser, heavier loaf of bread. It was good for toasting and French toast, but it was to heavy for sandwiches in the lunchbox. I need to locate a source of fresh yeast and give that a try.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2018 :  4:46:58 PM  Show Profile
Marlene Laverty (#7503) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level ChillOver ComeOver Merit Badge!

“I had my daughter come over for Thanksgiving this year and we decided to get a bit creative with the Goodness Gracious recipe found in the book Maryjane's Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook. We used leftover turkey instead of chicken. I ordered some chillover powder earlier that week and wanted to give it a try. We also made the Make Your Knees Weak Chocolate.

The Goodness Gracious turned out great. We had it for lunch the next day on toast. I think it is more of a summer dish and would have been better in a bed of fresh salad greens, but it was pretty good. Sad to say, but the Chocolate Chillover didn't make it through the night. My Daughter and I met up at the fridge at about 10pm with spoons. It didn't even make it onto a plate!”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 23 2018 :  09:25:24 AM  Show Profile
Marlene Laverty (#7503) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level My Fair Farmgirl Merit Badge!

“I started this badge by learning what "cruelty free" and "organic" mean. I have heard both terms thrown around quite a bit, along with non gmo. I decided a long time ago to go non gmo with all my seeds in the vegetable garden, but I never gave much thought to what I was putting on my face every morning. I looked up cruelty free and organic as far as beauty products and not only did I decide that I can do that, but I have to! The first thing I changed is my toothpaste. All natural and cruelty free. After that I made some lip balm using organic coconut oil, soy butter and beeswax from my hive. I flavored it with a few drops of peppermint oil.

As far as changing my toothpaste, well, that was easy. I didn't even notice the difference. The lip balm turned out great! I did find out the hard way that it will melt in a warm pocket if left too long. The small pot I was keeping it in held up well though, none spilled out, Thank goodness!”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 23 2018 :  09:39:19 AM  Show Profile
Marlene Laverty (#7503) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level UFOs Merit Badge!

“I started this badge by going through closets, drawers, boxes, etc to pull out all of my UFOs. I have quite a few cloth shopping bags, so I used those to put each of the different UFOs in a bag of their own. I safety-pinned a scrap of paper to each listing what UFO it was, what I needed to finish it, and how much it would cost. I was surprised how many UFOs would cost almost nothing to finish. I gathered up all the different materials for many of them and in the bag they went.

Just setting up the UFOs felt good. Well begun is half done... not sure who said that quote first...Aristotle? Need to look that up.

I finished up pairs of underwear I started two years ago. Did twelve pair. Six for myself and six for my daughter. Finished them just in time for a Christmas gift for my daughter. I bought the stretch lace over two years ago. Felt so good to finish them. And super comfy too! Good to start the new year by wrapping up old UFOs.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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