Thursday, October 5, 2017

Because of her...

I'm embarking on a trip tomorrow with 3 Senior Girl Scouts and an awesome co-leader. We are going to the 2017 Girl Scouts National Convention in Columbus, OH. I attended the 2014 Convention in Salt Lake City, UT and came back energized and ready to conquer the world.

This is a bittersweet trip for me. I remember coming back last time to a girl at home who was excited I had gone, excited I was home, and hopeful to go with me this time. We planned it. She aspired to meet the CEO and BE the CEO of Girl Scouts in her future. Wow... 3 years can bring about change.

My girl isn't in Girl Scouts anymore. She is an amazing, talented young woman who plays the guitar, writes her own songs, and plays golf for her High School. She's doing well academically as a Freshman and has good friends who I adore. I really can't ask for a better 15 year old. She's way better than I was at 15. But, to say it's the same would be a lie. To say I won't miss her on this trip, would be the ultimate lie.

I'm travelling with 3 girls who are not my own... yet, they are. I love these girls. They drive me a little crazy at times, but I'm sure I return that favor. Two of the girls in the group I only met 3 years ago. One I had as a Brownie for a couple years and then she changed troops for a couple years and then returned. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Each have their own aspiration to change the world and I know they will do it... and already have in some ways.

What's the point here? I guess I'm sharing all this to remind you why we do it. Why we put in the long hours. Why we are sewing badges on a uniform the night before we leave for convention, so everyone can show off their accomplishments. Why you pick up road trip snacks and pack a few of their favorite games.

Because of her.

"She" is amazing. "She" needs someone on her side. "She" needs to know that someone is willing to put in the extra time, use vacation time, adjust schedules, help plan activities she chose, and stay up late working on one last project. "She" needs to see that someone takes the time to make it special. Because... "she" is worth it.

It would have been easy for me to leave when my girl left scouts. It would have been accepted and understood. But, then each day, I would have looked in the mirror and known... I let them down. I have had several girls in my group that have needed the stability of a good and constant role model. I'm not perfect and far from a replacement of a parent... but I can be a constant. I can be someone she can count on. I was blessed with amazing parents and a strong family. Not every girl has that. Thankfully, the three girls going with me this weekend have good families. So, why stay? Because I want them to know by my example that you can and should give your time for people even when they aren't related to you. When they are grown, I want them to see that I cared about them... not because we were related... not because my girl was part of their group... not because I had to stay... but, I wanted to stay. I cared about them. I love each of them. They are "my girls" and I am honored to share their Girl Scout experience and hope I can give them something good to look back on.

If you are travelling to convention, be sure to look me up on the app. I'll be there Friday night through Sunday. I'd love to meet some of my blog followers. I have SWAPs!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bridging to Senior Girl Scouts

I was overwhelmingly excited to coordinate a special evening for my girls to bridge from Cadette to Senior. They chose to do this in the Fall, rather than Spring, because two of them were earning their Silver Award and needed the Summer to wrap it up.

That just gave me more time to think about how to make it special, which was greatly appreciated.

Let me give you the rundown for the evening.

We did several different ceremonies in one and held it in the backyard at my home. Court of Awards, Silver Ceremony, and Bridging.

Prep for Court of Awards:
Badges and patches were stapled to cardstock sheets and covered with precut scalloped  paper. I printed their names for the front of their packet. Badges and earned awards that go on the front of the uniform were stapled. Fun patches and things for the back were in a baggie.

I also had a spreadsheet view of all the awards each girl was receiving and jotted down the highlights on a list I had with me during the ceremony. Instead of reading off every thing each girl did, I would simply say "3 of the girls earned..." The exceptions were awards such as the Silver Torch, Service to Girl Scouting bar, etc. Those I mentioned who earned what, since those take a lot of effort.

Silver Ceremony prep:
I invited a friend and Board member to join us and help present. I also invited our Media Coordinator for our Service Unit. I had Council mail me the certificates and pins and searched high and low for the perfect way to present. I chose the Silver Ore Ceremony. You need 5 regular candles and then 1 silver candle for each girl receiving the award. If you can't find silver candles, you could tie silver ribbon around them.

This is the Silver Ore Ceremony I found and used... I changed several things with this to fit our group. I don't have enough girls to read the parts, so I changed the wording. I also did away with presenting flowers and such and kept it very simple. But, it was very touching.

I tried and failed to find a Senior or Ambassador troop to help with our bridging. So, I invited a couple young adult Girl Scouts to come help. They were so gracious to attend! We had a short little thing to read (see below) and I gave their names to cross our "bridge". Once across they were greeted by our Board Member and 2 young adult Girl Scouts. They received their bridging patch and the Senior/Ambassador scarf was tied onto their neck.

"Cadette to Senior: As Girl Scout Cadettes, you demonstrated leadership by helping younger Girl Scouts, and you began to understand the power of your voice, and the responsibilities of being a leader as you made more decisions in your group. As Girl Scout Seniors, you will have even more opportunities to Discover a wider world, Connect with more sisters and community partners, and Take Action through Journeys, and as you begin your pursuit of the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. As each girl is called by name, she will receive her bridging certificate and award, and will be received by her sister Girl Scout Seniors. Please welcome our newest Girl Scout Seniors (applause)"


I made a Trefoil table runner with 3 trefoils on it. The background fabric I found on ebay. I believe it's uniform material for Brownie or Juniors from the late 80s/early 90s.

Since we were doing a Silver Ceremony, I ordered a silver tablecloth from Amazon and silver candles. I also ordered rainbow bunting, a rainbow pennant banner, and frames for their Silver Award certificates (the certificates were provided by our Council, along with their pins).

The setup was fairly simple. I used the folding table we use for cookie booths. Covered that with the silver tablecloth, table runner down the center, and 3 candle votives on the 3 trefoils. The 2 silver candles and 5 votive candles for the Silver Ceremony were all placed in front and lit as the ceremony progressed.

I also used the PVC pipe cookie booth frame we use and draped a white tablecloth over it, pinning it around the pipe at the sides and top, and used the pennant banner to decorate. Finally, 3 rebar posts were driven into the ground and the rainbow bunting was in front of the backdrop to form our "bridge".

In the trees behind the table and then on the ground to light the path over the "bridge" I strung clear lights. Since we were doing this at 7PM, I needed the extra light and I do have to say... it was quite magical.

We did have refreshments afterwards, but guess what... total fail on my part and no pictures were taken of any of that...

I baked cupcakes with green icing and a single white confectioner's pearl to symbolize the pearls Juliette Low sold to pay for the first national GS office. We had punch made from Hawaiian punch, pineapple juice, and 7up. Then, trail mix which was a 70258 special... only the things they like (mini marshmallows, M&Ms, pretzel goldfish, and frosted cheerios). I don't recommend that for trailblazing... there isn't enough protein to help you out at all... but for celebrating, it's a sure fire hit.

How do you celebrate your Girl Scout achievements?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

52 questions in 52 weeks- week 13

Did your grandparents live close by? If so, describe how they were involved in
your life. If they lived far away share some memories of visiting them or of them
traveling to visit you.

Both sets of my grandparents lived in the same town as I did. We would stop by Grandma Alice's almost daily after school to check on her. As she aged, she was very frightened by storms and many times insisted she needed to come stay at our house. I think she drove my Mom a little crazy at how demanding she could be. I'm not sure how she dealt with that and worked. I don't remember that part.

We would go see my other grandparents fairly often on Sunday. If I was lucky, Grandma would have Bugles or RC Cola. Oh, I still love those. I was not a fan of her ice milk. I never understood why she didn't just get ice cream. OH... and the metal ice cube trays that were almost impossible to ever use. Ha!

I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea...

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

52 questions in 52 weeks - week 12

Share some memories of your grandparents.

My Grandma Alice was a quilter and a baker (and a Baker... her maiden name). I don't remember a time where there wasn't a cookie in the red apple cookie jar (which I now have!) or a quilt in the frame to quilt or the sewing machine working on another quilt top. She was a decent cook, though I hated it when she put hot dogs in the mac & cheese... I still don't care for that.

Grandma Mary crocheted and was a great cook. I loved her lemon pound cake and no one has the recipe. I've tried a many and never found one that has come close to the way she made hers. She had a huge garden and canned everything. Years after she canned and had passed, the peaches were still just as gorgeous and peach in the jars! She was the sweetest, kindest, gentlest person I have ever known. I am no one where near the level of compassion she had for people. She went through a lot in her lifetime. I aspire to live up to the standard she set with her life.

Grandpa Leo was a farmer. I was never as close to him as I was with my Grandma's. He was kinda grumpy. The one most vivid memory I have of him was in the nursing home as a visitor when my grandma was there (pancreatic cancer... he couldn't take care of her...). He broke down in tears when the stupid mean administrator told him not to worry about the level of salt in my grandma's meals because "she doesn't have much longer anyway". I have never seen anyone so crushed and defeated and broken hearted. She was the love of his life and in that moment it was so evident. I think he left feeling as though he had failed her somehow. The other memory I have of him is in his chair in their living room.. and on the back porch cutting up a watermelon fresh out of the garden... warm watermelon is not good... just sayin'

I never met Grandpa Joe. He passed away before I was born. The stories I have heard vary between his days when my Dad was growing up and Grandpa wasn't the best person (drank too much, stayed away from home for days on end, never knew where he was) and when my older siblings were growing up and he was a good grandpa who favored my brother. I really just don't know that much about him.

I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea...

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

52 Questions in 52 Weeks - Week 11

Did your family have special ways of celebrating specific holidays?

4th of July - Dad always bar-b-qued or had a fish fry. When he did the fish fry, he fried up all sorts of things

Thanksgiving was not the normal "turkey" dinner... most of the time it was ham and all the trimmings.

Christmas my parents have been flexible since the kids are grown and have multiple places to be... they swap years for eve and day of. Very thankful for that.

I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea...

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Are you an Outlaw?

**** This is not a typical post...***

1. a person who has broken the law, especially one who remains at large or is a fugitive.
synonyms: fugitive, (wanted) criminal, public enemy, outcast, exile, pariah; More
historicala person deprived of the benefit and protection of the law.

In my daily life, I follow the rules. I live up to the "social norm" I grew up with. I try to be a "good" person. I volunteer. I work. I am typically a good wife (come on, we all have a moment where we're not at our best). Also typically a good step-mom, too. I try to be a considerate person. I hope I'm a good friend. I am most critical of myself. I know where my full potential lies and when I fall short, I have no one but myself to blame. I don't accept the part of a victim in any area of my life. 
There comes a point where you need to challenge the "norm". I've felt that tug on my heart more and more lately. Remaining silent on topics seen in the news every day. Trying to remain neutral in conversation with those that don't share my views, even when they aren't as neutral in their conversation. I look at my 15 year old entering High School and pray for her safety. not because of gun violence but because of the types of questions she has to answer on a daily basis. I have even apologized for the world she is growing up in. She is facing turmoils I never gave a passing thought to at her age. I'm not sure where the turn on the path was made for society, but it was made. 

It makes me think back to a time when our country fought against itself. It's sounding too familiar these days and I keep hearing "history repeats itself" over and over in my mind. I know there is going to come a time when each of us has to take a stand for what we believe. 

My questions for you (and mostly myself) are:
  • Do you have what it takes to be an outlaw? 
  • Do you have enough fire and passion to stand up for what you believe in even if it isn't the easy path? 
  • What will it take for you to say "that's enough!"? 
  • Are you willing to put aside your fears and commit to a cause? 

All of those questions are really for me. I don't know if I can answer them, either. I don't know if I'm willing to sacrifice friendships and open myself to scrutiny and judgment. The mere thought makes my head shake and I hear myself sigh. I'm not sure if I'm strong enough to be an "outlaw" in today's world. But, I'm feeling the tug... and until people stand strong for what's right, the world will continue to spin out of control.  It's time to stop screaming for respect and remember respect is earned. You can't gain equality by oppressing the opposing side. Violence, in any form, is never the answer. 
My final thought is this... are times really so much worse or is it that we are so much more connected? Are mountains really made out of a mole hills due to the escalation of those not physically present and affected? It's easy to fly into a frenzy when you are only given one side of the story. Take time and evaluate. Take a breath. Rationalize. Contemplate a plan that resolves. Don't throw gasoline on the fire and then question why it explodes.

Be kind. 
Be humble.
Be forgiving.

We need outlaws as described in this song. I hope I can be that kind of outlaw.

Friday, September 1, 2017

52 questions in 52 Weeks - Week 10

What were some of your family traditions that you remember?

Traditions revolved mostly around holidays... my Grandma would bake a ton of cookies and send them for me to decorate. But here are some "non-holiday" memories.

Mom baked cakes when I was growing up as a small business. She would level the cakes and save the tops for me. I can't even count the number of times I had cake for breakfast. Best.Mom.Ever!

Dad planted a garden each year. I loved helping him. So, he would plant the corn 3 per spot... he would drop 2 and my "job" was to follow and add 1 more. Same with beans. I liked the corn the best, because they added fertilizer to it that made the seeds hot pink. I was always disappointed that the ears of corn weren't pink.

In the Spring and Summer, we would "go for a drive". We'd travel back country roads looking at fields and watching for wildlife. Sometimes, we'd stop for an ice cream on the way home. Crazy how simple things were the most memorable.

I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea...

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

Friday, August 25, 2017

52 questions in 52 weeks - Week 9

What are the names of your brothers and sisters? Describe things that stand out
in your mind about each of your siblings.

My sister is the oldest, Leatta Jean.
Things that stand out:
* Kind
* Strong
* Reminds me of my maternal grandmother, as she is always concerned about others and how they are doing.

My brother is the 2nd child, Larry Dean
Things that stand out:
* Strong
* Soft-hearted, though he'd never admit it
* Generous
* Hard working
* Reminds me of my Dad more and more

I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea...

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

Friday, August 18, 2017

52 questions in 52 weeks - Week 8

Are there any obvious or unusual genetic traits that run in your family line?

I have one tooth on the left upper side that never came through the gum. My Dad and his Mom both had the same thing. That's a little odd.

My brother and I also have really bad knees, as did my Dad.

Other than that... I can't think of anything.

I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea...

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

August through January Activity Plan

One of the hardest things as a leader is figuring out what to do and how to pull it off. I remember struggling to figure out things the group wanted to do. I know... girl-led... but, they don't know what they want to do either OR they come up with things to drain the account faster than you can blink. So... let's just say they need your guidance and help.

Let's face it... it's also fun to plan activities for them they will be sure to enjoy. No one wants to hang around a bunch of bored people that are only there to do what they have to do in order to muddle through and leave. Now that my Seniors are planning their own things, I remind them they must entertain me or else I won't want to be there either. It's all in jest, sort of, but it's a reminder that it should be fun!!

So... I'm here to help you out. No matter what age you have... patch programs can supplement and provide a lot of great memories and add on more thrills to the other activities you are already doing.

Here's a quick simple 6 month plan to get you started off right this year. :)

Photo shoot day for a great back-to-troop activity. Quick and easy program resulting in a great photo memoir. Complete the Shutterbug program.

Host a party with a super hero theme! Complete Super Hero Strong

Have a Fall Campout or Fall Cookout Day. Use Campfire Cookin' patch program

Thankful for all our loved ones, but that isn't just 2-legged creatures. Show the love for our 4-legged friends. Complete Fur Babies

Share the spirit of the season by sharing with others. Complete Share the Season or Helping Hands

Those cold winter months keep us inside. It's a great time to explore handmade crafts. Complete Handmade Treasures

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fall Camping - Let's talk FOOD!

With the release of Campfire Cookin' this month, I'm finding it hard not to keep searching for more and more recipes to try over the open flame.

Whether you take your group camping or have a  backyard fire pit cookout, you can earn this super cute patch. Whoooo wouldn't want a patch with an owl roasting a hot dog?

Patches are available at They are for a limited time and guaranteed through January 15, 2018 (did I just type 2018?!).

You can download the free guide and order the patch for your group today. Patches are in-stock and ship within 48 hours Monday-Friday.

Did you know you can cook a brownie in an orange? How about a cinnamon roll on a stick? There are so many super fun ideas pinned to the Campfire Cookin' Pinterest board... take a gander.

3 easy steps!

Download the free guide

Check out the recipes on Pinterest

Order the patches

Friday, August 11, 2017

52 questions in 52 weeks - Week 7

What kind of hardships or tragedies did your family experience while you were
growing up?

I had a pretty awesome childhood... I can't really think of any hardships or tragedies while growing up.

I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea...

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

Friday, August 4, 2017

52 Questions in 52 weeks - Week 6

Week 6: Have any of your family members died? If so, explain what they died from and
what you remember of their death; the circumstances of their death.

Wow... many...

The first person I remember dying was my Aunt Ruby Fredrich. She had breast cancer and it spread, I think... I was little... I don't remember it all.

Grandma Mary Elizabeth Love Pearon passed away when I was 14. She had pancreatic cancer.

Grandma Alice Augusta Baker Fredrich passed away when I was 15. She had diabetes.

Grandpa Leo John Pearon passed away when I was 18.

My niece, Tracie Lea Nichols, was murdered in Durham, NC. She was 19. I was 24. She was my little sister more than a niece. This one event changed so much in my world.

My Dad, Clyde Winford Fredrich passed away in 2015. He had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

I have had several uncles and aunts that have passed away, too. It's weird to me when people have never had anyone pass away. I have been to more funerals than I care to count.

I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea...

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

Friday, July 28, 2017

52 Questions in 52 Week - Week 5

Week 5: What kind of work did your parents do (farmer, salesman, manager, seamstress,
nurse, stay-at-home mom, professional, laborer, and so on)?

Hmmmm... I think I answered this the past couple weeks, but okay...

Dad was a farmer and hired hand at various farms when my parents were first married. In my lifetime, he farmed fora  couple years and then took a job as a custodian at the public school. Then, he changed jobs and was the City Maintenance Superintendent for our small hometown. He pushed snow, took care of the water towers, sewer treatment plants, and pretty much everything the town needed in relation to streets, water, waste. He also hung the Christmas lights in town, which I think was one of the coolest things I told me friends about his job. I was very proud of what my Dad did for the town. Almost everyone liked him and if they didn't, it was probably because they were just unreasonable.

Mom was a stay-at-home-mom for part of the time. She also sold Tupperware until I was born. She owned her very own cake decorating business and made tons of all-occasion cakes and wedding cakes. That must be where I got my entrepreneurial spirit. When I started 1st grade, Mom took a job at school as a Teacher's Aid in the Special Education department and did that until I was in Middle School, I think. She then switched to the Library Aid and ran the Elementary library.

There was no where in town or school I could go without someone and everyone knowing who's kid I was. There were times I hated that Mom was at school and knew everything I was doing and friends with my teachers. There were also times I was so thankful she was there. She always made sure I knew I was more important than the job, too. I know there was a couple times she could have lost her job for standing up for me at school with teachers, too, but she didn't seem to care. I was her little girl and that was the most important thing to her. My Dad may have plowed a few driveways shut with snow on purpose to prove a point to a couple teachers who were giving me a hard time, too. Ha! Don't mess with their little girl!

I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea...

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

Friday, July 21, 2017

52 Questions in 52 Weeks - Week 4

Week 4: What memories do you have of your mother (her name, birth date, birthplace,
parents, and so on)?

My Mom (who I believe will be reading this...) is selfless. Her entire world revolves around her kids and my Dad, until he passed. From an early age, she has always cared for someone... siblings, parents, sister-in-laws, in-laws, children, church youth, and I'm sure I'm forgetting groups.

She was born December 6, 1941 to Leo and Mary Pearon in Linn, MO at home. My Grandma was very ill after she was born, so the doctor's wife actually cared for my Mom for a while as an infant. She is the youngest girl, but she has 2 younger brothers. She had 5 siblings, one who was accidentally killed when he was 15. Her family lived on a large farm and worked hard. They weren't rich by any means and Mom has told me a few times of getting clothes from friends and family, because they weren't able to afford store bought clothes.

My Mom went through a lot of struggles in her lifetime that I have been fortunate enough not to face, I'm sure in part because she didn't want her kids to experience those trials and did everything in her power to make sure we didn't.

Some of my favorite memories with my Mom, though I'm sure she may not agree, are these...
  • At 5, I was scared to death while Mom was driving back from my sister's before my first day in Kindergarten in a hail storm and swearing the truck was going to fall apart... but my Mom was calm and steady and we got home safely.
  • her gentle reminders that I needed to be a good person... no matter what
  • at the time I thought she was insane (pre-teen and teen years), but pointing out how smart and kind-hearted I was and that was one of the reasons I struggled to get along with the "popular crowd", because I didn't want to go along with their antics... and yes... Mom, you were right... they were jealous and it was the age.
  • Baking cakes and making flowers for wedding cakes with her
  • Her extremely high level of patience with me while showing me how to sew, embroidery, and explore any craftiness
  • Always encouraging me to "go for it"... anything I wanted to try, but not making me do things I didn't want to pursue (like sports... I am not athletic... at all)
  • Being an entrepreneur... as she mentioned the other day... she worked from home as a small business owner way before it was the "cool thing" we aspire to do these days... 
  • okay.. this is ornery and she'll probably text to say she can't believe I shared this... but... when I was little and getting into trouble and she was at her wit's end (if you have kids.. you have been there!)... she would tell me "I'm going to pinch your head off and tell God you died!" Horrible, right? HA!! It got my attention and I knew she wouldn't actually do it! But, it sure did stop me in my tracks and I shaped-up fast. 
There are so many memories I have with my Mom that I can't list them all... from chocolate cake batter pony tails to rescuing her orange haired daughter when an at-home color treatment went awry to supporting me through every difficult time in my life to vacuuming outside my bedroom door when she knew I was up later than I should have been (a bit passive aggressive there, mom...ha!) to becoming friends as adults... She put up with a LOT from me and I'm thankful she didn't really pinch my head off... and I'm sure she has shed many tears over me and prayed the night away and for that I am genuinely sorry and so thankful... I promise.. I'll get it together one day. 

I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea...

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Shutterbug Patch Program

Have you seen the July release from

Shutterbug Patch Program

Encourage your group to capture some memories and earn a cute patch!

$2/each, 2 1/2" square, fully embroidered, sew on
The Shutterbug patch is earned in two steps.
Step 1: 
Choose one of the 3 photo challenges to complete. There are at least 3 different ways to earn this patch and it’s up to you how you want to complete it. You can do one of the challenges, a “hybrid” combination of a couple different challenges, or come up with your own.

Step 2: 
Share your portfolio. With our awesome digital age, you’ll probably be taking lots of photos. Keep the best of the best from the challenge you select. Have them printed or save them to a special folder for easy presentation. Share with your friends, family, or group. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

52 Questions in 52 Weeks - Week 3

Week 3. What memories do you have of your father (his name, birth date, birthplace,
parents, and so on)?

My Dad was amazing. I could stop there and be quite satisfied with the answer.

He was born to Joseph and Alice Fredrich in Linn, MO on December 16, 1938 and named Clyde Winford Fredrich.

I am such a Daddy's girl. I would race out the door after dinner to help him in the garden or with the chickens or whatever he was doing. I love the memories I have of riding with him on the mower or the tractor. I can still smell his aftershave when I think of him. He would ask me to ride along to check the water pumps in town (part of his job as City Superintendent) on the weekends, which I knew meant we would stop for ice cream. He loved my Mom so much. His kids were everything to him. I hope I can honor him with my life. He was a great man and I miss him so much... every day.. since he passed in 2015 from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He was the strongest man and fought with everything in him to beat cancer. But, it overtook him. I miss him so much... he was the best Dad on the planet and no one will ever come close to the level of admiration and respect I have for him. He could do anything and always made sure I knew I can, too. I'm thankful for everything he taught me.

I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea...

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

52 Questions in 52 Weeks - Week 2

I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea... A year later... I never started it. Better late than never, right?

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

Week 2: When and where were you born? Describe your home, your neighborhood, and the town you grew up in.

I was born March 6, 1977 (yes, do the math... 40 right now). I was born at St. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City, MO. It was snowing the day I was born and almost 80 the day they took me home. It was Sunday and my arrival was announced at church.

I don't remember the house we lived in until I was almost 3. This home I remember is where my Mom still lvess. It's a 4 sided red brick home, 3 bedroomm, 1 1/2 bath, full unfinished basement.

We lived about 2 milesout of town. We could see our neighbor's homes, but there wss space between us. Mom and Dad had 10 acros of land.

Town, Linn, MO, was small. We knew everyone and their family.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

52 Questions in 52 Weeks Challenge - Week 1

I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea... A year later... I never started it. Better late than never, right?

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

So... be prepared... I'm going to start blogging 1 question per week. If you have a blog and want to join me, please link in the comments. I'd love to follow your journey, too.

Week 1: What is your full name? Explain why your parents gave you that name

Lora Ann Brinkman (Fredrich)

The story goes... my Dad didn't want me to have a long first name, as he felt it was cruel to do that to a child who had to learn how to spell their name. I find this a little funny, because apparently my Dad didn't think I'd be too intelligent or something. Ha!

My Mom wanted to name me Loralea after someone she knew, but Dad convinced her to shorten it to Lora. "lea" would have also been a tribute to my older sister, Leatta", but they were overruled.

My middle name comes from a lady my parents went to church with. My mom promised her if I was born on her birthday (March 6) she would give me the same middle name as her, Ann. Well, I was born on her birthday, so that is the middle name I received.

My maiden name is Fredrich. It's a derivative of Friedrick, which is German. When my great-grandparents immigrated to the US, as with many people, their spelling or their surname was changed. My Grandma often told me it was because my Great Grandpa didn't want to be associated with a side of the family that still spelled their name "the old way", but I seriously doubt that story. She also told me an entire branch of the family was disowned because the  man married an American Indian. They weren't what I consider "high-society", so I just don't know if I should buy the stories... but, maybe.

Nonetheless, that is my name and I hope I live up to the expectation of my ancestors.

Monday, June 26, 2017

5 ways to keep your scouts interested

My troop typically doesn't meet over the Summer months. We meet during the school year and then when school ends, scouts ends.. until the next Fall.

This year we are doing something new. We are going to get together to complete a Journey in a Day. Senior Journey Mission: Sisterhood. A couple reasons for this.
1) They are BUSY!!! My girls are going into High School and I am full aware that our meeting frequency will be drastically different. Two of the girls are in Marching Band (you should see that schedule!). Two are in cheer. All have multiple clubs and things they do besides scouts.
2) The older they get, the harder it gets to keep them interested in scouting. They are torn in a million different directions. I'm chuckling to myself here a tad, because I realize this is only the beginning of our young women having to make choices and feeling pulled in different ways. It doesn't get any easier, does it? What's worse is that a lot of times it's our own gender criticizing the  most... stop that, okay? 

If you want to keep them in scouts, you have to keep them interested. Here are the 5 ways I hope to keep my scouts interested through their Senior year in High School. 

1. Keep it easy
The first thing we need to realize is, scouting is only one option they have. ONE of many. Scouting is awesome because you don't have to practice every day like sports. You don't have to take expensive trips. You don't have to have a set in stone schedule. We can be flexible and we should be. 

This is their Freshman year. I hope to meet with them one time a month. The theme of the month will be different and they will be setting that schedule and theme for the year at our first meeting this Fall. If they miss a meeting, it isn't the end of the world. Do I want them there? Absolutely! But, keep perspective and understand they are beginning their transition into the "real world" where schedules get tricky. Choices have to be made. You can't be in two places at once, no matter how hard we wish we could.

You want to keep them in scouts? Keep it easy! 

2. Keep it fun
They are in school all day long. Scouting should be fun. You can learn through playing at any age. Don't forget that. Get them outside as much as possible. Get them laughing and playing. Yes. Playing. We're not jump roping and hopscotching, but you can and if your girls want to do that... do it. But, find ways to let them let loose and have a good time. 

If they feel like they are going to sit and stare at a book for the whole meeting, they aren't going to want to be there... and let's be honest... I don't want to be there either. 

My girls got on a Sculpey clay kick for a while. Each meeting their plans included making something out of clay. They loved it. They were tying it in with their badge, so let's do it. The one thing we did this past year that was requested time and time again... Uno and Spot It. They would plan their badge work to get done early, so they could play games. Game time would erupt in laughter and memories. Time well spent. 

It doesn't have to be about earning a badge all the time. Promise. Life skills where they are learning how to let themselves be silly and relieve stress... those are skills that will pay off time and time again. 

Keep it fun to keep them in. 

3. Keep it girl-led
Starting with their 7th grade year, the girls started planning all of their meetings. My co-leader and I helped them come of with ideas when they didn't like the suggested activities. WI have helped them organize thoughts by giving them a sheet for planning. It also helps me know what supplies they are requesting. 

I'm sure we have all heard "if you want a child to eat something new, have them help prepare it." Well, that mindset transcends into scouts. You want them to stick around? Make sure they are involved with the planning and decisions. You are more likely to show up if you take ownership in the activity. 

Yes, I do plan the large things for them, such as the Journey in a Day programs. But, they still give me direction. I listen to what they like and don't like. I pay attention to what they have really enjoyed and the stuff they could do without. In fact, they asked me to put the day program together for them. They still enjoy being able to show up and participate without all the prep. I'm fine with that, because I still like to feel needed. 

Girl-led doesn't mean they have to do all of it. Girl-led means they give input and set the direction and make decisions together. Remember, these girls are BUSY. Don't pile "one more thing" on them all the time. They'll choose to leave, if you don't help them out. Plus, let's be honest, they are entering into a world where they will have so many things dumped on them... cut them a little slack. Prepare them, but don't overwhelm them!

Follow their lead. If they want and ask for your help, then that is still girl-led!

4. Keep it low-stress
As they enter High School, they enter a new world. They are immediately expected to start thinking about college, career, and life choices. Not to mention all the scholarships and advanced placement classes students are just expected to do. It's a lot different than when I was a High School Freshman. They also have to think about how to make themselves most interesting to perspective colleges. No more is it just about the grades and the course work. It's about the extracurricular activities and volunteer work. They have a lot to think about. For the most part, college isn't an option... it's a requirement.

When it comes to scouting, keep it low stress. Work with them and ask them what works. Ask how you can help relieve the stress of their every day life. Encourage them to keep that line of communication open as their lives change. Don't pressure them to do everything and be at everything. Remind them you want them there, but you also understand. 

5. Keep it engaging
Let me tell you something brutally honest... if you are bored at a meeting, so are they! Help them plan activities that inspire and motivate. I don't know about you, but I have enough things I "have" to do that aren't fun. When it comes to scouts, it needs to be engaging.

Bring in some patch programs to learn some life skills where they have something to show for it. If they like cooking, check out Share the Season. Do they love singing? Complete Just Sing. Are they artsy? Ask them about Handmade Treasures.

Want to know my summer plan? This is the bare bones list: 

This is what I'm hoping to do...
  • Journey in a Day meeting over the summer (July; planned)
  • Dinner and Movie night (August; before school starts)
  • Mailed note card to just check in
  • Convention trip (October; planned)
  • and...I gave them an option of a Summer Patch Program to help them have a little fun

Sunday, June 25, 2017

52 Weeks Challenge

I love the world wide web (most of the time). It's a happy little place where you can connect with others and find that people really aren't that different. We all want the same basic things as we travel along.

I ran across this challenge on Family Search to answer 1 question a week. Instead of being overwhelmed to document you whole big ol' life, you take it one question at a time. They are in their 2nd year now, but I'm playing catch up, I suppose.

My goal is to post a blog entry... 1 per week... to answer 1 question. In the process, I hope you are able to see we are so much alike and yet unique and lovely in our own ways.

If you'd like to join me, I'd love to link to to you! I'll add your blog link right here.  If you'd like to be added, either comment below or email me:

Are you in? Jump in at any time.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Senior Journey - Mission: Sisterhood Journey in a Day

This has been a labor of love. I am hosting a Journey in a Day program for my brand new Seniors this July. They have expressed the need for Journey in a Day events and not a semester of meetings for a journey. They want to do other things, too.

I spent a number of hours developing a plan. I used a few other references (namely the Turnkey from GSCNC) and the Leader book to pick and choose ideas. Then, I brought in my own twist to make it a little more "fun". At least, I think it's  more fun.

What to expect:
The Journey in a Day program I put together is a 9 hour program, but you aren't just doing the journey during that time. There is also time for lunch, afternoon snack/ceremony, and dinner. Plus some game time, craft time, and chill time.

There are 20 activities in all and I have tried to use time wisely, yet not rush through the more important items.

I am planning this for a group of 6. If you are hosting this for a larger group, I suggest you break the activities down and set up stations or turn it into an overnight activity to make sure you have enough time to get through everything. You could also cut things out, if you want.

The Take Action project is not completed with this journey in a day program. The girls will discuss what to do and a plan will need to made to make that happen.  I typically try to encourage them to keep perspective and not lasso the moon for a Take Action on a journey. Lasso the moon for your Gold Award, instead. The plan is to encourage them to set up a Movie day and invite other troops and people and do some SWAPs and dinner and watch a movie or something. Expand your network and keep it realistic. Our troop does a service project every month, so believe me... we're expanding the network and reaching out all the time.

This is the good part... it's probably easier for you to just download the information and read through it and think it out. Lots of information in there and all the activity cards you need are included. You just need to add some basic supplies and girls. I even included a Supplies List for you by activity so you know what you need.

In the resources library there are two files: 
  • Mission-sisterhood-journey-in-a-day-program.pdf - This is your one stop shop. It's 27 pages including the Overview, explanation, time chart, activity list, activity cards, and more. I've included blank cards, too. It's a PDF and you can't edit it. I spent a lot of time putting these together and I don't want to provide any of the cards in editable format. 
  • Mission-Sisterhood-Journey-In-A-Day-Planning-Blog.docx - Speaking of editable format... The program activity chart would be very helpful to you if you could fill in names and change the times, rearrange activities, etc, right? So, that's the one piece I'll provide in Word. I don't have plans to provide it in any other format. It's included in the big ol' PDF, so if Word doesn't work for you, you can use the PDF and make it work. 
I'll try to remember to add some pictures after the event is held. If I don't, don't stone me... remind me, though. Our event is going to be help July 22, 2017.

I have a post on planning a journey in a day program, if you want more tips and tricks. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cricut Quick-Look Sheets

This is loosely related to Girl Scout world. If you don' think you can use this for anything scouting related (which I'm sure you can!), please skip over and enjoy your day!

When I first became a Girl Scout Leader (I feel like this would make a great tune), I was also a paper
crafter. I love scrapbooking, cardmaking, stamping, home decor projects, and all the like. My amazing, awesome, totally supportive husband bought me a Cricut Expression for Christmas or my birthday or something... it's been like 10 years, okay? I still have it. I still love it. I do not want a Cricut Air. You know why? I hate the idea that I have to design everything on my laptop or tablet. This coming from a highly techie gal. I want to plug in the cartridges and set the size and press cut and be done with it already. So, yeah.

Anyway, this past week I splurged on a little item for myself and I am over the moon happy. This will give you insight into my personality and Type A-ness. I bought... wait for it... a laminator!!! You know why? Because of this project!!

I saw a post somewhere (I don't remember where, because... well... I hop around the internet faster than a bunny on Jolt soda; if you don't know what Jolt soda is, then you are most definitely not my age). The post showcased a binder of Cricut cartridge images used to quickly flip and decide what font you want to use. Oh... it spoke to me. It spoke to me loud and clear to the point I was conviced I MUST make one.

So, I spent about 3 hours googling (yeah took some time, but hey I am not a quitter!) to find all the images for my 23 cartridges. At least all the ones I could find. 137 pages in total... holy smokes, right? Don't ask me for links to where I found them, because oh my oh my... I was deep in the lost directory world of many sites...

I put all the images into Word with headings on each page and uploaded my happy little file to Staples and had them printed. The laminator arrived. The binder was waiting. The sheets were laminated and hole punched. I can't even tell you the level of "OH MY GOODNESS" my little heart was screaming at the gloriousness (yes, I know that isn't a word... chill) of it all.

Then, came the problem... tabs... regular page dividers don't work because the lamination sheets are wider than the dividers. Back to Google I went and WOO HOO a solution. Then, I tweaked that idea a bit and did my own thing.

Here is the breakdown:
* 137 sheets printed by Staples in color; I didn't do double-sided because it was $12 more... ridiculous, I know.
* 70 laminator sheets
* 46 labels printed and punches with an adorable scallop punch
* e6000

  1. I sandwiched the image sheets back to back in the laminator pockets and laminated
  2. Hole punched the sheets for the binder
  3. Put them in alpha order in the binder, because what other logical way is there???
  4. Made a cover sheet for the front of the binder and a spine label, because why wouldn't I?
  5. Printed out 2 sets of the 23 cartridge names on purple cardstock (yes, I know they sell tabs.. this is cuter)
  6. Punched the 46 scallops for tabs 
  7. Glued them back to back so the cartridge names were on both side of the tab
  8. Laminated those sweet little tabbies
  9. Tried to punch them out with a larger oval and that didn't work... boooo... so I cut them out
  10. Separated the bottom of the laminated punch oval tabs
  11. Put a little e600 between the loosed punch tabbies and slid onto the appropriate sheets

I probably spent a good 6 hours doing all this, but it's so cute and I know I'm going to use it every time I use my cricut.

I also found out that at least 2 of the cartridges I own have things on them that I didn't even know existed! Did you know Robotz has a FONT?!?!?!

My Quick-Sheets are not meant to replace the books. They are to help me quickly flip and glance at fonts and not have to go through all the books every single time. It helps narrow it down and then if it's a special cut that I can't figure out from the overlay, I can always grab the book.
Like I said... this isn't really scouting related, but it makes me really happy and thinking of all the ways I can use my laminator and my cricut... WOO HOO!!!!

Also, the little tab idea could be used for so many things... ooooohhhh... I love organized things!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fur Babies Patch Program

Patches are guaranteed available through November 15, 2017 and then while supplies last.

Do you or your group love animals? Do you have pets in your midst? Are those "pets" really just part of the family? Then, check out the June 2017 release from

Life wouldn’t be complete without our Fur Babies. For most of us, fur babies are our first experience at caring for another living being and going through all the ups and downs that come with being a caregiver. Whether you have a dog, cat, gerbil, hamster, or non-furry animal in your life, use this patch program to show them how much you love them and learn more about taking care of them. 

By completing 4 suggested activities, you can learn more, do more, and give more to the ones that give so much love to us. 

Order the Patch
$2/each (inc shipping), 2 1/2" x 2 1/2", fully embroidered, sew on

Download the FREE Guide
includes some tasty treats and fun gifts for your fur baby!

Need ideas? Check out the Pinterest Board - BCG Patches: Fur Babies

Meet my fur babies! Newman Alexander and Fast Eddie. :)
Their very own Instagram account!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Plan a Journey in a Day (with planning secrets)

I have hosted several Journey in a Day workshops for my troop and I have attended one that was hosted by our Council. My girls have always preferred this method over spending six months on the same thing for 3 patches that really look like one patch. It's a lot of work for not a lot of bling.

Today, I plan to share a few secrets on planning with you. I have developed a journey in a day plan a couple times and I go through the process the same way. Once you break it down, it's easy to do. Promise!

Step 1: 

Choose the journey. Let the girls guide you on which journey they want to earn. I will tell you that some are easier than others to complete in a day workshop, but all of them can be done with planning. Planning is the key!

Note: Sometimes the Take Action is the same day and sometimes it's a "homework" project and sometimes it's a planned service day. It depends on what the girl's decided to do. But, you should be able to get through all the activities in one day.

Step 2: 

Get the Leader Guidebook and Girl Book for the journey. Yes. Both! No. Do not try to do a journey without the leader guide. Even if you follow someone else's plan, without the leader book a lot of things will not make sense and you'll pull your hair out wondering why you didn't cough up the few extra dollars and follow my advice.

Step 3: 

Use my worksheet for planning and breaking it down. You can download it for free!

Yes. It's in the store as a freebie. Yes. You need to fill in your information. Yes. You will thank me. No. I won't share your email or information with anyone else under the sun!

Step 4: 

Look at the badges to be earned for the selected journey. This is where the biggest secret comes in and one that most of us don't know until you READ the Leader's Guide (another reason for getting the Leader's Guide). 

There are 3 badges in a journey. Three. For each badge, you only have to do so many things. The leader's guide tells you how many activities you need to complete. My experience has been 3-4 for each badge. Yes. Do the math. That's about 9-12 things TOTAL. It's not 3 per session with 12 sessions. It isn't 36 activities. It's like 9-12... repeat that with me and let it sink in... 9 to 12 activities TOTAL. Uh huh. You're welcome. That seems much more doable, doesn't it?

Step 5: 

Break down each badge individually. Select the 3-4 activities you know you can complete without the eye rolls of young ladies. This is the pattern I typically try to go with... something educational, something fun, something hands on, and something memorable.

What does that mean?

  • Something educational: A video, a short story, a relevant science or news article
  • Something fun: You will not make it through the day without FUN... a game, a crazy activity to make them move, a goofy story or science experiment
  • Something hands on: My group is crafty, so if there are not crafts there are not smiles. We learn and remember by DOING... so one of the activities should be something they have to touch, do, create.
  • Something memorable: If you only need 3, then be sneaky and bring this in on one of the other activities. Maybe the craft is something of substance that they can take with them or the game ended with belly laughs and they'll talk about it for years. Create a memory for them. At the least, take photos!! 

Step 6: 

Choose your adults. Let's be honest. We all have adults that help with our troop. Some of them are not cut out for this. Some of them are. Be selective. Journey's completed in a day are fast moving, concentrated, intense blocks of time. I don't say that to discourage you from doing it. I say that to make sure you aren't continually having to explain and do everything. Get the adults that you KNOW can handle this. I have done a workshop with 2 other adults and 1 other adult. Both worked well. You assign out to them what you know they can handle. If you have a great adult that is willing to help, but you know that they can't glue 2 pieces of paper together without needing to call the paramedics... don't put them over any crafts! Use their strengths for everyone's sanity.

Step 7: 

Divvy out the activities and assign the roles to people. At this point, you need to decide if you want to get all the supplies or if you want to tell people to get their own for the activities they are doing. I'm pretty Type A, so I default to "I'll take care of all the supply gathering". Plus, then I know what we have and can reuse things here and there.

Step 8: 

Make a box for the event. Yes. It's going to take a little more work, but it's going to save you SO MUCH TIME the day of the event when you are trying to manage activities, girls, food, and everything else.

I use gallon ziploc bags and a plastic tote. you could also use file folders, but I'll explain why bags are the bomb in a second.

I have one bag that are "day supplies". It contains pencils, pens, tape, markers, notebook paper, a copy of the plan, the leader guide and girl guide. This is the first bag in my tote.

I also have a plastic ziploc for EACH activity. So, if we are doing 9 activities, I have 10 bags. 9 activity bags and 1 "day supplies" bag.

In the activity bags, I place anything specific to the activity. Remember that worksheet I told you to go grab? Yeah... print an extra one and cut that baby apart by rows in the table and put the correct table strip in the bag so you know you have them all covered and so on the day of the event, you know what you are looking at. Also in the bag, Craft supplies (unless they are too big to fit and if so, I have a note in the bag saying where they are), activity sheet/instructions, and I label the bag "Activity 1: 10:00-10:15am". This tells me which activity it is, what time we need to start and the amount of time I have estimated. It helps the day of to stay on track and make sure all is completed in a timely fashion.

Note: If you are dividing the event into stations, then make multiple boxes. One for each station with their activities IN ORDER and numbered with the overall event activity and times.

Step 9: 

Double and triple check everything. 

Step 10: 

Hold the event and earn that journey!!


Helpful Advice: 

  • Don't forget to build in some breaks. I tend to do a break every 1 1/2 hours for older girls, every 1 hour for little girls. OR use that fun game activity AS your break. With my older girls, I let them know if we stay focused until break time and we are ahead of schedule, they get to decide whether to take a longer break or end early for the day. Sometimes, they decide to skip the afternoon break and then we have time for a short movie or another game or craft. 
  • Don't get overwhelmed. Remember. 9-12 activities. It isn't that much. Really!
  • Presentation is EVERYTHING. Do NOT present this to your girl's in a negative fashion. Be positive. Be excited. Be "in it to win it". Be the cheerleader they need to conquer a journey. 
  • Keep it fun!
  • Make sure you have food. Fun food! Something they can help prepare or a surprise afternoon delivery or sweet treat. 
  • Enjoy your time with your group. You are making a difference. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Patch Quilt: A long time coming

If you have followed my blog for a while, you know that once upon a time I was trying to collect all of the Girl Scout Council patches. Well, I got them all! Woo hoo!! This is a lot of work and was sometimes a lot harder than it sounds. When thinking back to those awesome people that helped me with trades, trips to their council shops because the shops wouldn't ship out of state??, and the groups I stalked for months... I feel blessed and connected to my Girl Scout sisters all around the world. Yes. World. Because I have a few patches from England, Switzerland, Australia, and others. Crazy awesome!

This past week, I drew up my plan, cut out all the pieces, and start sewing it together. It's far from done, but it's well on it's way.

It's a multiple step project. I will be putting the quilt top together, then having it quilted (I don't do that), and then ironing on the patches. I plan to use Heat N Bond or maybe Badge Magic.. there are a ton of patches, so Heat N Bond sounds like a wiser choice.

If there are quilters out there who have any suggestions or tips on the best way to get 120 patches onto a quilt, I'd be thrilled to hear from you.