Monday, January 31, 2011

Heat Me Up.... Homemade Heating Pads

For about 16 years now I have made homemade heating pads out of some type of grain and fabric. I used to make them for gifts and I had a boutique that I ran and would sell them every year. I have used many types of fabric over the years. I have made them several different shapes and sizes.

The first one's I made I used animal feed grain corn. I bought it at IFA. You have to buy it in large bags and I made enough to use about half of the bag. I went out a few months later to get it out of the garage and the bag was full of bugs. I realized at that point I should have microwaved all the heat bags once they were made to kill any bugs or eggs that were in the grain just in case someone didn't use theirs right away.

After a few years, I started making them out of rice or wheat. I have some with rice, some with wheat, some with corn, and my favorite is filled with rice and flax seed. I would have thought that the flax would possibly go bad but because it is heated all the time, I guess it keeps it from going rancid.

My favorite fabric to use is upholstery fabric. This is my favorite because the fabric is a little thicker than normal and when the grains get hot, sometimes the thin flannel isn't enough to keep the grain from being hot against the skin. To get the upholstery fabric I would go to the home decorating stores and get their upholstery fabric books that were out of date and use the scraps in those to make coordinating bags. I would make a large bag out of the largest piece, then I would make a long skinny neck heating pad out of the longer coordinating piece and I would make two hand warmers out of the smallest coordinating piece. I would wrap them up in a set and would sell them or give them as a gift. Now we have a Walmart store in our area and they sell upholstery fabric making it easier to get. I have seen them made out of cotton towels but they get caught on things so I haven't like those as much. Also, if they aren't 100% cotton, they can melt in the microwave.

I have had a problem when someone gave us one out of fleece. Fleece is made of synthetics and melts in the microwave. Not a good idea. 100 % cotton is best.

One time, my kids went to a youth craft activity and came home with large gym socks filled with rice and they just tied the top of the sock in a knot and that was the heating pad. It was good for necks.

So, I thought it would be cute to use some long cotton knee socks to make them for your kids friends as gifts. Here are some of the socks my girls have that are cotton that would be cute. I also thought that using the cotton tights would be good for an over the neck and shoulders heating pad. You would just have to sew the legs of the tights about the thigh area and fill it from the waist and then sew the waist shut. I already have 15 heating pads so didn't want to make any more but we use them nightly so I just thought those were some easy ways to make them.

My favorite shape of heating pad is the U-Shaped bag. This bag is shaped like a U but also has some dividing slots sewn in but also allows for the grain to move through the bottom so you can mix it up. I use this pad every night. I put the bottom of the U on my lower back and then the arms of the U face my feet and I wrap them up over my hips. I have a hip that gets sore sometimes and when it is sore, I can wrap this bag over the hip on top, the bottom of the U is on the side and the other "arm" is on the back. Right now, I have that one over my shoulders and neck keeping me warm as I write this.

I do have cautions. Don't overheat them. As you can see in this picture, I overheated this flannel one and it scorched the fabric. I had it in the microwave next to the U-shaped one and it left little dark marks on that one as well. Not to mention that it made the house smell like burnt popcorn for a day.

The other caution I have is that the flannel is thin and NEVER use these on an older person or a baby as they can't tell you that they are burning or hot and an elderly person sometimes have nerve deficits in their extremities and can't tell their skin is burning. So, just be careful using them. If I use the flannel one's and they are a bit hot, I wrap them in a hand towel before putting them next to the skin. It works well to give you the warmth you want without the hot feel.

If you don't want to have the bags next to your skin but want to warm up your bed naturally without an electric blanket or heating pad, I sometimes will heat a few up and put one at the foot of my bed under the blankets and one on my pillow so when I climb into bed it is warm.

Lastly, before you put the grains in the bag, you can pour a few drops of an essential oil such as peppermint into the grains and stir it in so that when the bag heats up, you get a wonderful smell. Lavender is a good one to use for bedtime where as peppermint would be something that would wake you up so may be good for use after skiing or something.

My family uses these nightly and we have many so everyone can have several. I know my brothers family said they were fighting over the one's I made them so we made enough that everyone could have one.

If you have never used these before, I suggest you give them a try. Just sew right sides together in whatever shape you desire and leave a small opening on one side. Flip it right side out, fill with whichever grain you have on hand and whip-stitch or use a sewing machine to close the hole. If you don't sew, buy some long cotton socks and tie them off at the top!

Here's to staying warm!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Memory and Handprint Quilt Part 5

Can I just tell you how glad I am to have this frayed edge quilt project finished! After clipping it and resewing it we washed it once and it didn't look very frayed. I put it through the wash again.

When we took it out, there were clumps of string everywhere and some stuck to the quilt. I pulled them off and took hand loads out of the washer and put the quilt in the dryer.

I didn't let it dry completely but just wanted to get all the fuzzies and strings off. After about 20 minutes, I pulled it out and there were chunks in the dryer. I pulled those out and cleaned out a full lint trap. I washed the quilt one more time. I had to clean out the washer each time and collect piles of strings. I then shook it and left chunky strings all over the floor. I then put it in the dryer again and the lint trap was the fullest I have ever seen for just one load. However, with all that said. My daughter LOVES the quilt. It is really cute.

With the seams being sewed, it should last a good long time. But the downside is that I had to sew all the edges in and probably made the seam overly long which made the quilt much smaller than we wanted. When I researched it some said they did 1/2 inch seams and others did up to an inch. I think most of mine were 3/4 inch long. I would probably make the seam 1/2 inch and the second seam 3/4 making the fray only 1/2 inch and do a decorative stitch on the second seam making it "framed" but leaving the squares a bit larger.

Also, some didn't use batting, felt or anything in between if using jeans on one side for their quilts I researched. I used felt and cut it the same size as the squares thinking that I wanted it sewn into the seams to make it stronger and to last longer. That was my biggest mistake. It made the corners of the blocks way tooooo thick which made me spend hours sewing them and breaking thread and needles and cause one new machine to seize. If I do this again which my younger girls seem to think I will. (They have no idea how many times I wanted to throw it away!) :-) I will cut the batting down so that the 3/4 seams have no batting in them and will hand quilt them as we did to hold the batting in place but with the square of batting being smaller, I can sew it much easier and faster.
Right now, I don't think the quilt was worth it because I am tired and have string all over my house. lol But I know the smile on my oldest's face and the way she quickly folded it and rushed it to her room like one would with a treasure, that it was worth all the work. I am just sad it turned out so small. The hand-print thing was great, looked good. The hand quilting part was great and looked good. The frayed edge was the stressful part.
My oldest today told me she thought that instead of having a book to sign at a wedding, she thought a quilt with squares that people could write best wishes on would be great. I told her I thought it would be great as we discussed some similar ideas before but I told her I didn't think the ragged edge would be a good idea. ;-) She laughed. I think she thought I was joking.....
Over all it was a good project to spend time with my daughter, teach her to quilt, learn a new type of quilting for me and give her an heirloom with memories of her special day. I could tell it meant a lot to her. Now I have done it! I had better get started on the other four!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Memory and Handprint Quilt Part 4

I had to give the quilt a break for a few days. We went out of town and I took it with me. We cut out all the extra batting that was showing in the seams and then I had my daughter help me cut the edges so they would fray when it was washed and dried.

The cutting of the batting went well. However, when my daughter was cutting the edges of the quilt, she cut right through the seams at least once on every square. She was looking at the top side but was cutting through the seam on the bottom side. I didn't catch it as I was working on the other half of the quilt but didn't start until she had several rows already done.

At one point, she got some fabric caught under and sliced two long lines right through all three layers on one of the hands. So, if you are going to try this ever, sew two lines 1/4 inch apart and only cut to the first line, that way if you cut the first line, you have a back up. As it was, I spent all morning this morning for another 4 hours or more sewing the seams again for the third time to repair what was damaged. I used a zig-zag stitch and probably would do one a straight line and one a zig-zag if I ever do this again just so I can cut to the first line but have some give when I am cutting.

I was so frustrated with the sewing machines and the quilt that I put it off for two days. I started this morning and ended up bouncing between two not working well sewing machines as the fabric is so thick on the seams, I broke another 5 sewing needles at least not to mention threading the needle about 50 times. Bad threading design on the Necchi machine I bought. I haven't been impressed with it at all. I bought it new three years ago and keep going back to my old machine that was a sears brand as it worked better but doesn't go through thick layers well. Get a Bernina if you have a choice.

We cut the edges and seams on an angle hoping the edge would fray well. We sliced them about 1/3 inch apart. My thumb has been numb for three days now cutting through the jean layers and I only did half the quilt. My daughter had better scissors than I did and would suggest you get some really sharp fabric scissors if you are going to try this type of quilt. Oh the things one learns from mistakes.

When cutting the seams, choose your spot wisely. My daughter started on the couch and I could see it was making a huge mess so we moved to the floor. It still made a huge mess but at least we could vacuum it up fairly easily.

One thing I will say for this quilt, it is VERY messy. Continued and finished tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Biggest Loser Family Style

My siblings and a few in-laws have decided to do "The biggest loser family style" for six months. At our New Years Eve party, those who decided to take the challenge all got front, back, and side pictures taken.

We each decided how much we wanted to lose in the six month total. We then divided that total by six. I wanted to lose 50 lbs or so. Divide that total by six months and you get 8.33 lbs per month I would need to lose. Break that down further by week and so we divided the amount we wanted to lose by 4 weeks in a month and I would need to lose just over 2 lbs a week.

My sister-in-law researched the best way to keep track as everyone wasn't comfortable with their weight being broadcast. So, she set up a spread sheet and they are doing it by percentage of body weight lost. So we all paid $5 into a pot. If we make our monthly goals, we don't have to pay anything into the pot. If we don't make our monthly goals, we pay $5 into the pot. The "Biggest Loser" will win the pot at the end of the six months. I figure if more than one makes the goal weight, we all go out to dinner. I am not sure the others will see it that way but that is how I feel. Here is a photo of me on Day 1. I hope I can proudly post the final day in six months.

It is nice that we are all wanting the others in the group to succeed because we all love each other. My younger sister was in a group this last year and it was very competitive as she didn't know people that well. I was proud of her as she won the contest. She has decided to do it again this year and just maintain her current weight so that she doesn't gain any of the weight she lost back. I also thought that was a good idea.

At the same time we started this, the community where I live started a healthy city program. Here are some of the fliers they handed out on our first weight in. They are doing it for three months. If you fill out your flier and show up for all the "weigh in" nights, they will put your name in for a drawing to win a Wii Fit system. So, my oldest daughter and I are also doing that for more motivation.

The fliers suggest working out the equivalent of a mile walking a day. I have been doing the advanced workout for Bodyflex which I find good for me as it isn't really long or draining as some others made me feel. It also suggests 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day which isn't hard for me to read since I did that anyway. The last suggestion is 8 glasses of water. I probably am close to that depending on the day I may fall short if I am not at home.

So, I am a bit ahead of schedule which is good. But, I have found if I am not taking my iodine (see blog pages for more information on this) and I am not eating 30% of my diet in healthy fats, ie. raw nuts, coconut oil, avocados etc, I don't lose weight as fast as I do when I am using those two rules daily.

Here is our latest email showing how we are fairing in the contest. No one knows any ones number but their own. They can see how they are doing compared to the rest without knowing who is winning.

"Hi Everyone!OK - here are the % for the week. Please remember that it is this Sunday's weigh in that counts. Make sure you hit your goal. If not - then please pay the pot. We still are waiting for 1 person. I will send that one out when it comes.Thanks to all of you and great big hugs!

1 2.9

2 6.1

3 -1.8

4 0.4

5 5.0

6 1.3

7 1.0

8 4.9"

So, there are some ideas and ways our group is doing it. Here's to the BIGGEST loser!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Skiing with Kids, Tips and Tricks

If you have never been skiing before, there are some wonderful options available. Even if you have skied before but want to have lessons to help you better your skills, here are some things we did to get discounts and lessons.

Look online for any deals. If you know what area of the country you are visiting, check online for any discounts. If you are just shopping around for options, get a phone number for the different ski areas and start making some calls.

Several times now I have gotten some great deals on lessons, rentals and ski passes just by calling around. Once you get someone on the phone, give them some details about your family and explain your needs and people in general want to help you. They become your friend and will give you tips on where you can get "two for one" coupons, local discount coupons that many places will have at local stores. Just by stopping at a grocery store to get your lift pass you can save up to 50%.

One year I called Park City, Utah and they had a special for rentals and lessons for the day and a lift pass all for $25 with a valid drivers licence. I got my younger four girls rentals and lessons which left me free to enjoy some "alone time" and they had a wonderful time and by the end of the day were soaring down the lower slopes.

On that same deal, I took snow boarding lessons and enjoyed learning that skill until the binding on the rental broke throwing me down hard on the ice. I never fully recovered from that but was really getting the hang of snowboarding. Now, I just stick to skiing which require no contact with the snow as I don't usually fall. Snow boarding required sitting down to bind the boots in and I wasn't all to keen on that aspect either.

Another year we visited Targhee in Wyoming. They had some great specials for first time skiers where I got each girl a rental and lesson and lower run pass over new years week. My middle daughter was the only student in her class and had one on one lessons for the whole morning.

I messed up putting the older girls into the beginners class as they never took a lift or skied other than taking the little "magic carpet" ride up and down the smallest hill there. They got cold and after that I couldn't get them up the mountain as they were cold and quit. They wouldn't go back the rest of the week choosing to stay at the rental cabin instead.

Another fun and cheap way to ski is calling around and asking if they have free slopes or free "after hours" skiing. We have gone several times to different ski areas where they have free "bunny hills" where the girls can practice getting back into the mode after a year or so off. We have also gone in the afternoon on some weekdays when they have some free runs after a certain time.

I keep my eyes open at second hand store for newer equipment. I have acquired all our equipment through those stores or yard sales. I actually have some really nice skis that were probably 10% of the original cost. I bought them for the same price as one or two rentals.

One of my girls was talking this week about when we were going skiing again. I will have to start making some calls and travel plans. Call around and ask friends and family if they know anyone with a cabin. Give them a call and ask if they would like to swap house time for cabin time and give them a list of the fun things to do in your area.

If you are short on money, look in the "for rent" or classified section of the local paper where you want to visit. Put anything you have of value on the website for that paper and say you are wanting to "trade" for cabin time. I traded a family room couch, love seat, and massaging/heated recliner rocker for 4 days at a cabin over new years a few years ago. It was so worth it. We really had a great time at the cabin and skiing. We even got to do a "candle light" run at dusk on New Years Eve using glow sticks. It was fun for all.

Hope you have as much fun in the snow as we have!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cool Flashlight In a Baseball Hat

I found this really cool thing I bought for my kids for when we go camping this weekend. I went into Kmart to question a double charge to my account when I noticed they had a few carts of discounted items. I wasn't planning on shopping but they needed to go make copies of the charges. While I waited, I walked over and found these baseball hats by Craftsman.

They have two bright LED lights sewn into the visor of the hat. I have seen little things that clip onto the hat before but you have to tuck in the battery and clip it on and it can fall off etc. I have also see and have owned three different types of flashlights that have an elastic strap that fits over your head. They work well but leave you with weird lines on your head and in your hair.

These hats have the two lights which are white LED's and the batteries are inside the flap of the hat on a swivel so you flip them up to change the battery and back down into the lining the rest of the time. Smart design and idea.

The switch to turn them on is on the underside of the brim of the hat and is a push button. The underside is black which hides the button well. I only had two weaker batteries at home so when I arrived home, I put those weaker batteries in and was really pleased with how bright the lights were. I am sure with the right batteries, it would be even brighter.

I went into a dark room and was able to take this picture without a flash on my camera without adjusting the settings. I was really impressed with the lights.

I can't tell you how many times my kids walk off with flashlights that don't return while camping. They go home in another trailer or with another family or just get left behind. We are always looking for them. This will solve that. Put their name in the hat, put it on their head or even put a string on the hat and hang the sting around their neck so if it blows off or they don't want to wear it, it doesn't get lost.

I am impressed at how thin the front of the cap is considering there are lights and wires in it. It looks almost like any other cap. I like the fact that it lets your hands be free to carry things.

I got them for half off $15 but I am sure if you look for them online you could probably find them cheaper.

I'm giving them to the kids for Valentines day so they can take them Easter camping!
Wouldn't it be fun to have the family wear these, turn all the lights out in the house and play hide and seek!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Memory Hand Print and Jean Quilt Part 3

Sorry this post is a few minutes late. I pulled an all nighter that wasn't intentional working on this quilt. I wanted to finish the sewing so my daughter could cut the edges to fray them for the "ragged edge" look quilt while we were driving the three hour drive to a meeting in a larger city. I thought it would take and hour or two....

Who could have guessed I would go through three different sewing machines, totally ruin a new one, break 4 needles and stay up all night just to sew a few squares together!

I learned much in making this quilt and would NOT do it the same way again. Live and Learn. I wish I spent a few minutes reading up online before starting the quilt. My problem was that I started it and then read all the issues people had while making theirs. I made some of the same mistakes as other but created a few new ones. I will post about that when I get the quilt finished.

Here are some photos of how it looks sewn together. Now we need to cut, wash, dry and pray that it looks cute after all those hours and hours of work. It does look cute and will look even cuter when the fraying is done.

My oldest hasn't gotten up yet but her sisters thought it was cute before they left for school. Hope to have it done and posted on Monday.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's Not Chikugunya After All

Well after two months waiting for the CDC results, we got a call saying that Melissa doesn't have Chikugunya and she didn't get Dengue while in the Philippines.

We are at a loss and the Dr.'s said they think it may be a new virus that isn't "discovered" yet. She has had a rough week with her knees hurting but on a good note, she turned 23 this week!

Basically, the Dr. said they can't help her and hope she feels better soon. I wrote the world specialist Dr. Simmons who is all over the internet for Pacific illnesses. I am hoping he may have more information than the CDC. His website says he is looking for new and emerging illnesses. So, perhaps he will be able to help her.

She had a great birthday and we have been enjoying having her home and spending time with her. This illness has been a blessing for us. Her younger sisters didn't remember much about her as she has been gone 6 years and for my 11 year old, that is half of her life and I don't know about you but I don't remember much about being six. So, we have all enjoyed getting to know her again and spend time with her.

I am getting to teach her how to quilt, sew, cook and all those domestic things I didn't have time for when she was younger as I had 4 other little one's needing me. Now, with the girls being older, I have had more time to spend with her.

We are starting her on Colonix which is a wonderful anti-parasite product I used twice when I came back from Peru each time. It is by Dr. Natura. I suggest that everyone try this as we all have parasites if we eat meat. Read some of the information on their website. I found it amazing when I first researched it after returning from Peru. I used it both times with great results. I am hoping if she brought anything home with her, this will take care of it.

I wish I had better news about her but she is keeping her chin up and wishing I lived in a bigger city as there is nothing for a 23 year old in a small town! Thanks for all your prayers in her behalf!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Memory Hand Print and Jean Quilt Part 2

I posted about a week ago about my oldest daughters memory quilt. I had no idea how many hours of work it would be. We have taken hands squares to quilt with us all over town to work on while we would be sitting. We worked hard cutting out the jean squares, flannel, felt batting and quilting the hands and then qyilting the other squares. She quilted arouhd the pockets and we did quilting on the inside of the pocket so it would show through to the outside and quilted the pocket itself for the "look" but she can actually put things in the pockets. Now that quilting work is done, we were hoping to get the sewing done today but other things came up.

So, I am hoping we will get it done tomorrow but I was so excited about how it is coming out that I wanted to show you how it is looking all laid out. It is still sad that it has taken me 15 years to put it together but she is happy with how it is looking. The other girls want one now. I think I may have to take some paint and squares to our next family function.

This would be a great gift for grandparents. We were thinking how much fun it would be for a wedding. Having everyone sign a different square for a quilt. Having them put their thumb prints and signing or a hand print square for everyone there and you could do both sides with hands.

There are lots of fun ideas on how to adjust this quilt. I am excited to finish it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dehydrating or Drying Citrus

I have dried grapefruit for years but was reading the other day about drying lemons. I squeeze a lemon into my water more often than not to drink it. I like some flavor in my water. I also put lemon in my herb tea sometimes. I like lemon pepper seasoning. I had never tried drying or dehydrating lemon before. I decided to try it and use it in my cooking.

Grapefruits were six for $1 this week so I bought some to dry. I cut the citrus into slices about 1/4 inch thick. If you want to use the peel such as a slice of lemon in tea or wassail, you just lay the lemon peel and all on the dehydration tray. You do need to make sure it is all the way dry as the pulp outside can dry leaving fluid inside.

I thought I would try orange again since we had extra and also mandarin just to see how it tastes dry. I left some of the oranges peels on and some of the lemon slices with peels on. The others, I peeled off the peel after slicing them thin.

I also shaved off some of the peel to have as zest for recipes. Sometimes a recipe will call for lemon or orange zest and I don't have a fresh one around so I shaved some off to dehydrate so I would have some handy next time that happens.

Also, you can use the peels or slices for potpourri. I have a friend whose mom boils her orange and lemon peels in a small amount of water to freshen the house.

One of my best friends likes my dried grapefruit better than any of my other dried fruits. If you have bulk orange or grapefruit, you can dehydrate them for emergency preparedness to have some Vitamin C fruits around. If you ever find yourself without Vitamin C fruits in an emergency situation, grow some wheat sprouts. They are high in Vitamin C. Just thought I would throw that information in.

Anyway, I also thought I could crush the lemon in a coffee grinder and use it in my recipes that call for fresh lemon. I wish I had thought of that sooner. I am looking forward to trying it in some of my favorite recipes and will let you know how they turn out. I have frozen lemon juice in the past to use but that takes freezer space. I think this is a much better idea.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we are.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dried Pineapple, Watermelon, and Cantaloupe Chunks

I had a wonderful blessing the other day. Since I volunteer at the local food bank, I sometimes get a call when they have an overage of food they can't give out over the weekend etc. I got a call and went in and got a case of cut fruit. Many were pineapple cups and others were mixed fruit. Here is some cantaloupe dried.

Just the night before I pulled out some of our dried pineapple and my youngest was eating it and asked me to leave it out for her to snack on. I thought to myself, "I need to find a good deal on pineapple so I can replenish the stock."

So, God is quick to supply. I rinsed the pineapple and cut it thin and stuck it on the dehydrator. It was so sweet that quite a bit ended up in mouths rather than on the dehydrator tray.

There was also mangos, cantaloupe, honeydew and some watermelon. I did the same with those cups.

I have dried pineapple many times before but never in little pieces. I am lazy when it comes to cutting things so they are usually in long strips. However, the acid in them if they don't dry quickly makes them go brown. They still taste good but are just black/brown in color.

I will never do them in strips again. Never have I had such amazing dried pineapple. My kids ate half a bag of the dried tonight and more than half of what I dried has already been eaten. It is SOOOO sweet and tasty.

So, for future reference, dry pineapple in little pieces and it will stay closer to the original color and will taste amazing.

To dry watermelon, it is very sweet and dries sticky so if it is really juicy, use the Teflon pads on your dehydrator or possibly rinse it first. The cantaloupe and honey dew are amazing as well. One of my favorites is dried mango. It came out tasting great also.

So I give gratitude for the blessing of the food bank in my life and for a loving Father who provides just what I want, when I want it and not just only my needs. How would it be if we as parents only took care of our children's needs? I believe he considers our wants just as we do as parents!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Forward March...... Gold Medal

Just needed a brag moment. Two of my girls competed in a drilling competition and my 3rd daughter won the gold medal. Both girls did very well but the older of the two won the gold out of over 300 girls.

She won before last year but due to judge error, she was taken out. I had it on camera and ran to the front but in the large arena by the time I reached the judges, they had awarded another girl. I showed them the video and of the 20 or so girls still in the running, she was the only one turned in the right direction. She would have had the gold then also.

Her oldest sister took the gold many times. It is a hard thing to do and the judges often mess up themselves as they give 5 commands and then erase one, then add two and erase one etc. They are trying to see which girl can follow the commands but often times mess themselves up. It is amazing to me how in a full auditorium with thousands of people, they can focus themselves down to the smallest command and flinch. If they flinch, they are removed.

Sometimes the person calling the commands will say, "Everything is on the number" They then give the command and the girls can't move until they call out the numbers. If they say "one" the girls then start the command but cannot finish the move until the number "2" is said.

I really hate it when they do the numbers and the person calling will say a command and then quickly say "1" and then say "3" and the girls can't move. If they jerk or twitch, they are out.

It takes great concentration and the ability to take orders. I realized that both girls that won are very obedient people. My fourth daughter did very well and I am sure we will see her up on the awards stand in her own time as this was her first year in the competition.

My oldest was going through her "memory" box the other day and had over 10 medals and 30 ribbons from her drill days. I am hoping to get to her memory quilt in the next few weeks so we can put all the t-shirts she's got to a good use.