Guatemala Part 1

April 11th, 2014 by farmgirls | 8

It’s hard to believe I’ve only been home a month, seems like I was just in Guatemala! But for now, we’ll start at the very beginning (a very good place to start ;) )

I’ve wanted to do missions work for a while–a long time–and I had been talking to my parents about doing some kind of missions work. They wanted it to be for a month, with a family, and no shots.

So I started searching, and not 2 weeks later a friend of mommy’s was talking about how she and her family were going down to Guatemala for a month to work at an orphanage and there were 2 seats left! (plus I didn’t have to get any shots) And Mommy is  texting Daddy saying “how serious were you about Anna going on a missions trip?” :)

From there, it was crazy awesome to see God work! For example…I needed luggage, because what we have wasn’t really going to work ;) And you know that luggage can be kinda expensive–well one night Mommy was going through her e-mails and found a super good deal on a set of luggage, pretty much for more than half off!!! Wow!

So February 9th came way sooner than I had ever expected! lol! I left on a Sunday, got to go to Church that morning, and I had no idea this was going to happen, but they prayed over me before I left!♥ Talk about feeling loved :D

Once I was dropped off at the hotel with the Howe family, we went to bed pretty early, because  that next morning we had to leave the hotel at like 3:35 am!  And that happened with not much trouble, got checked in (with what seemed like a hundred pieces of luggage!) and we were off! Let me add too…this was my first time ever flying (unless a short helicopter ride counts ;) ) So it was a little nerve-wracking going through security and such, not knowing what on earth I was doing…thankfully I was with other people!

And let me tell you, I think flying is one of the most epic feelings you can ever feel in life :) But I know a few people would not agree with me on that one!

I seriously took 1500 pictures, but don’t worry, I’m not gonna be posting ALL of those :) But it’s still going to be a lot of pictures, so hang tight!

Volcano and mountain…



It was pretty cool seeing Guatemala city from above!


After arriving in Guatemala around noon, the orphanage bus came to pick us up. We unloaded our luggage at the orphanage, spent the afternoon with the kids, then went to stay with lady D. in her home, just to relax and recuperate from our trip! And she is such an inspiring woman. She told us her whole story one night, and she talked about when she went down during the war, and towns were being destroyed by the guerrillas, and once they came into her home to rob her. The guy told her to give him half of her money, and she could keep the other half for her kids, she told him “look, I’m not going to donate to your cause. If your gonna rob me, then rob me.” He proceeded to take half of her money, then told her, “you need to close your back door, someone could just come in here and rob you!” Before they left, she told them she wanted to pray for them, and after she did he told her “you know next time we come, we’re going to kill you.” and they never did come back!

Just stories like that how God protected them, and provided for the orphanage at just the right time!



This little cutie was, well, a cutie lol! IMG_0514

The town was known for making boots, so there were a lot of boot shops. IMG_1568

Sooo many colorful buildings…made me want to paint my house colorful too!




The lady here was making fresh corn tortillas…that were yummy-lishis! :D Not anything like the ones here in the States. IMG_1490


IMG_1494I think they had the best coffee ever!


I thought the ‘omelet of ham’ was funny!


I’d have to say that the plantain and re-fried beans were my favorite food! And my not so favorite food was the fresh papaya! lol, I told my sisters it tasted like dirty diapers smeld ;) Haha!


Hope you enjoyed my first post on Guatemala! I hope to get the other posts coming sooner than a month in between, but it just depends on how life decides to go!

Orchestra 101: A Passport to the Classics

March 8th, 2014 by farmgirls | 1

Three of the Seven Farmgirls are going to be playing some great, exciting, and fun music on Saturday, March 15th…don’t you want to come and be a part of it??? There’s even an instrument petting zoo before the concert where you can learn about and try out some of the different instruments played in the orchestra.

*Surely* you don’t want to stay home for a regular routine Saturday evening when THIS is happening???!!! :)


Besides, we’re working hard on this music…we need lots of listeners to enjoy it and cheer us on… 



Happy Birthday Charissa!

February 28th, 2014 by farmgirls | 11

Happy 13th Birthday to our favoritest Charissa in the world!

peeling pears

Charissa and Noah

kissing the cat? :)

drinking tea, she LOVES tea. :)

drinking hot chocolate in the snow

at our sister starbucks outing

Happy Birthday Charissa! We love you!



Homemaking Binder Tutorial [Part One]

February 21st, 2014 by farmgirls | 3


A few years ago I made a homemaking binder for my friend, and while I was making it, I thought it would be fun to post a tutorial so that you could know how to make one, too! :)

It’s a perfect gift for a young lady’s birthday, a bride-to-be, or just for yourself as a pretty way to keep track of household chores and information. Leah came up with this idea and made one for Cassia for her special sixteenth birthday party and we all LOVED it :D



What you’ll need:

  • a  12″ x 12″ scrapbook binder.  I got this one from Hobby Lobby, and if you use their 40% off coupon, you can get it for about $12
  • 1/2 yard each of two different materials of your choice (you won’t need quite as much for the part over the spine of the binder, so if you have scraps laying around, you just need one 9″ x 13″ piece for that part.)
  • 2 yards decorative ribbon
  • One small piece of clear vinyl  2 1/2″  by  3 3/4″.  I got mine at Joanns where they sell all the vinyl tablecloths.
  • Hot glue gun
  • matching thread






Cut one piece 13 inches tall by 9 inches wide. 

This is for the spine cover.

[If you are using a different sized binder, figure your measurements like this:

-Binder height + 1 inch.  This is the height of the material.

-Wrap material around spine (or use a tape measure and visualize!) and decide how much of it you want to see on the front and back.  Measure and add 1 inch.  This is the width of your material]


Cut two contrasting pieces 13 inches tall by 16 inches wide.

This is for the front and back covers.

[Or if you're using a different sized binder:

-Binder height + 1 inch.  This is the height measurement.

-Lay out your small piece along the spine, then take your contrasting material (or your tape measure) and make it meet the small piece, and wrap the material/tape measure around to the inside of the cover, at least 5 inches.  Add 1 1/2" to this measurement.  This is the width.]



Cut one piece out of the clear vinyl  2 1/2″  by  3 3/4″

This is for the cardstock tag you’ll get to insert on the side :)  To get the rounded hole (to make inserting and pulling the tag out easier), use a quarter as a template.



Sew your spine cover to the larger contrasting materials at 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Sew along the 13″ sides.  Press the seams out towards the large pieces of material.



Attach the vinyl pocket.

Center it on the spine material, about 1  3/4″ from the top and 3″ from the seams, with the rounded end down. Use masking tape to hold it in place while you stitch.  Don’t stitch over the tape, though!




Stitch on the decorative ribbon.

This part is optional, but it gives it a nice finishing touch.  Just center the ribbon over the seams and stitch it down on both sides of the ribbon.


Hem the sides.

Take the raw 13″ ends, and press the fabric over once at about 3/8″ with an iron, then over again on itself.  Stitch it down.


Make the pocket flaps.

Spread out the cover with the right side of the material facing you.  Now fold back the right side about 4 1/2 inches and pin.  Repeat for the left side.


Now baste it down using a long stitch (4.0 or longer on your machine) at about a 1/2 inch seam allowance.



Turn pockets right side out. Slip it on the binder to see if it fits snug, but not too tight.


If it fits well, stitch along your basting stitches.  On the one below, it was a tad loose, so I went in deeper with my stitching to make it fit better.  Once you have the right fit, clip the corners.


Slip it on the binder and bring the extra material over the binder as shown below.



Now measure out your ribbon to go 1/2 to 1 inch underneath your pocket, and then tuck it under the binder rings.  Repeat for the other side.  Now with your hot glue gun, carefully glue the fabric down first with a thin string of glue.  Pull it snug over the top, but not too tight.  Glue ribbon down over the fabric with a little more glue.






Make sure the ribbon is slid underneath the binder rings.


A pair of tweezers help with the little detail work, such as poking  the ribbon under the binder rings or down into folds and crevices.


If you wish, you can hot glue along the pockets as well.  My sister did not, and it is a nice extra pocket to put small papers, but I did so that all my seams were covered up :)  It’s up to you!


You did it!  It’s finished!  Take it outside in the grass and take a picture of it (lol!)

Come back for Part 2: Filling the Notebook  :)




Snowballing: A new kind of sport

February 15th, 2014 by farmgirls | 21

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to a conference in the mountains of Pennsylvania. It was a wonderful weekend with friends, making new friends and being really encouraged…all in all a very blessed time!

One evening after supper, we had some free time before the last session for the day and decided to take a walk. It was a nice walk in the crisp air and being surrounded by mountains. :) (Remember that here in northern Indiana, all we have are mole hills, so we love it whenever our travels take us to/around/through/by/past mountains. :) )

The conference center, as I mentioned above, is surrounded by mountains and the lodge itself is on the side of a mountain. On our walk we saw that there were marks on this “hill” where people had gone sledding…and we wanted to go sledding too. So once we got back up to the lodge we asked if they had sleds…they did! :)

A guy brought the sleds out for us, gave us a few instructions and left…

By this time it was dark, but that was no problem we could still see well enough to have fun sledding. :) There was a large toboggan that three people went down on together, it looked fun so I grabbed a sled, hopped on and down I went…

“Oh man, this is fun!” I thought, “Wait till I tell my family about this!”

Down I went, me on my little sled atop the thick layer of ice on the snow, gaining speed as I went…down, down, faster and faster!

I was f-l-y-ing!!! If there were a policeman around he’d probably would of given me a speeding ticket! ;)

Suddenly about half way down the fun came to an end…my sled hit something and I was no longer sledding but snowballing…no time to think, no time to do anything but keep being beaten against the icy snow. Bam…Bam…Bam…Bam…bambambam…bam…bam! You know how they show it in movies…they’re pretty accurate!

After a bit I came to a stop flat on my back, then I started to move, but oh man, everything hurt. Especially my back, and my face was burning from being beaten and scraped on the ice.

(since I was away from home without my family, I wanted pictures so I could show them later. :) )

The three friends who went down before me had also derailed but they were closer to the end of the hill when it happened so they didn’t snowball, but they had some cuts and bruises too.

They came over and asked if I was okay…I was but it took me several minutes to get up.

I was so sore…not really sure why, I mean all I did was just tumble down a mountain. ;)

As I was laying there I suddenly realized “MY GLASSES!!!!” They were not on my face like they should be. “Oh no, they’re probably all smashed, the glass will be shattered and it probably cut me too!”  I started saying “my glasses, where’s my glasses?”  They found them laying close by in the snow, nicely folded up and not a scratch on them! I’m telling you, that was God!

Someone handed me a glove to put on my bleeding face and another one helped me up. Ironically all three friends were either a paramedic or EMT. :)  (Actually the whole conference was centered around medical people, a handful of EMS people, a doctor and a lot of nurses.) So hey, if I’m going to get hurt, I picked the right place to do it! ;)

Thankfully someone from the top of the hill  saw it all happen and drove her car to the bottom of the hill, and gave us a ride back up. We were all glad because obviously with all our cuts and bruises we didn’t really feel like making the trek back up.

That guy that helped us get the sleds and then walked away, I think he knew we were going to die and didn’t want to watch. ;)

We went to our room, started cleaning and bandaging ourselves up and made it to the last session only a few minutes late.

A week later I’m feeling pretty good, overall.  Still a sore back and my wrist is bothering me some but I’m just so glad I didn’t have any broken bones.  It could of very easily been much worse…God is good!

I can now cross off on my bucket list “go sledding down the side of a mountain”. It never was on there but I think I’ll add it just so I can cross it off! :)

~Cassia :)