Archive for February, 2015

Hay Bale Blind


For all you that don’t know, most of us around here love to hunt!
Mainly deer, but duck and turkey are right up there too.
We’re always coming up with better spots, plans, and strategies.

So, I was looking up some deer blinds and stuff online when I came across a
hay bale blind and was like, “Whoa! That would be perfect!”
Then I saw the price *gulp!* Well, I can fix that! I can make this myself!

After a little research, and looking at what others had done to improvise, I printed a few pictures of what I was thinking and took them across the fence to show my Granddad. By the way, if you have never met my Granddad, he is the expert at figuring out how to make anything yourself! I left it with him for a week while we went on our trip up North so he could think on it, see if it was realistic, and possibly come up with some of his brilliant ideas and plans.
Finally, after some planning and gathering materials, we started building it.

This is the basic gist of how we did it…
The frame is made out of cattle panels with tarp over that.

Hay thickly piled on that. I unrolled a round hay bale
and kept the hay as thickly bunched together as I could.

Put it up on sawhorses so I could get underneath it.
Laid some welded wire on top.

Then we tied the welded wire to the cattle panel to hold the hay in place.

We used one whole cattle panel for the main circle.
Used big staples and stapled it to the wood frame. Which is roughly 53”x 60”.
Next, we added the ends we had cut to match the round part. They are layered in the same way, panel, tarp…etc. Then we tied them to the sides to sturdy it up and hold it all together. You can see the door wire in the rectangular hole…it doesn’t have tarp and hay on it yet.

Next, we enclosed the other end.

We folded the overlapping tarps over each other, folded the overlapping hay, and then the top wire to make it water proof and finish the seams.

One of Granddad’s great ideas was to hinge the door a certain way
so it would swing shut by itself and stay.
That way we avoided having to latch it shut (so it wouldn’t blow in the wind)
every time we went in it to hunt.

On the sides, we cut the welded wire, hay, and tarp.
Bending it back, we created long side windows that cannot be closed.
We also cut a rectangle on the side for an extra wide shooting hole.

All the tarps we had on hand were blue, so I spray painted some of the inside black. Should have broke down and bought a black tarp, but spray paint did the job.

You can see the wooden shooting rests we mounted.

It was kind of heavy, but light enough I could drag it with the help of t-posts for skids. Two people could pick it up with a pair of hooks or some looped wire.
We moved it to where we wanted it, and made some window covers
for the back and partly up the sides, to block out some of the light
and to camouflage us against the back.
Can you imagine someone’s head in there?…
We never had a deer spook, so it worked great. : )

It was one of the best hunting seasons for me.
The number one reason being, I saw more deer than usual!
A lot of them were 200-300 yds. away but there were a lot close too!

Number 2, I was able to hunt a lot more this year because I hunted bow season for the first time, and because some nice siblings unselfishly came and sat with me.

I passed up a few deer because of their size. But nailed a doe in gun season.
Caleb also hunted out of it.

I don’t have pictures of the inside where we have a swivel chair, a platform to put the chair on (so I can sit, or get off and stand), a seat for another person,
shelves to put stuff on, blankets, cushions…
ya, compared to a hard tree stand or a stool, it sure feels like home. : )

Over the course of a month, we worked maybe 10 days all together.
And they weren’t full days.
It would have cost over $700 to buy one new…with all the stuff we had on
hand we spent maybe just over $10, plus our time!
…seeing as I have more time than money I want to spend, it was well worth it.
All in all it was a fun project, even better because I got to do it with my Granddad.

If it hadn’t been for Granddad, I don’t know if
I would have actually done it or not.
He supplied quite a bit of the materials and all the instructions…Winking smile
who needs an instruction book when you have an
amazing-figure-out-how-to-do-it-yourself-Granddad! :D

Psalms 128:2 “For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands:
happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.”


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Valentine’s Day!


To mark it down in the record book, we have the sweetest
Dad, brothers, brother-in-law, and Grandpa.
The guys all joined in together and took us girls out to eat at the
annual place of choice, a Chinese Buffet.

Afterwards we went to the local bowling place. *party!*bowling
We split up into two lanes. Here’s lane one.

And here’s lane two (minus Hannah). Dustin was the champion bowler by far. :)

It is always great to be all together as a family and we felt really loved!
Thanks guys!!

Do ya’ll have any wonderful traditions for valentines?

Here’s a reminder of the most unfathomable love ever shown…
Romans 5:8  “But God commendeth his love toward us,
in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

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My Hobby


For some time I have been interested in film making. I have started doing some stop-motion animation. The politically correct definition  is a cinematic process, or technique used to makes static objects appear as if they were moving. This technique is commonly used in clay-mation and puppet-based or in my case Lego animation. In simpler terms my “actors” do not “act”, I have to move the figure take a picture, move the figure take a picture, move the figure take a picture, etc………….. I am currently working on the script for a short detective style stop-motion film called “The Finger Print”. Playing at 15 frames per second (for every second of film I need 15 pictures),  I will need to manually take 10,800 pictures for this 12 min movie.

This is one of my first videos I made.


I still have a lot of room to improve.

Around Christmas time I decided to build a camera slider. A camera slider is a device that allows you to make smooth and easy moving shots. Mine is about three feet long. My shopping list for this project included one piece of electrical conduit (the pipe), three electrical outlet boxes, and some felt strips._DSC0003



This is the video I made with it at Christmas. Disclaimer, the slider is homemade so it isn’t as smooth as I’d like, but it is better than nothing!






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What Do You Do With An Inch of Snow??


…you go out and build a snowman of course!!DSC_0076DSC_0063DSC_0074

As you can see by the mud and patches of grass, it wasn’t quite enough to make any snow ice-cream, because it would’ve looked like chocolate ice-cream by the end. =) The only one who would enjoy it would be our poor hungry snow man. =) =) =)


Last weekend we drove up to the city, put our free tickets to good use and went ice-skating downtown for Benjamin’s 15th birthday!

photo 3 copy 2photo 2 copyphoto 5

These poor Okies aren’t professionals by any stretch of the imagination, but do manage to have a lot of fun once we can pry ourselves away from the side wall and skate on our own. =)

photo 2 copy 2photo 3photo 4 copy 2photo 4 copy

photo 1

Happy Wintertime, go make a special memory with someone that YOU love!!!

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Our dog Calli


Well, some sad news folks…a couple weekends ago
while coming up our Grandpa’s driveway our dog Calli ran in front of the car.
She was smart in mostly everything, except cars.
A couple hours later we decided to have her put down.

A few facts about her:
First off she was very loved. We got her from the local pound when
she was 12 weeks old and we owned her for just over 5 years.
We hadn’t had a dog in 14 years so she was the first for most of us,
making her quite the guinea pig.Calli

CArinnaMaggie and Calli in the treeCharity and CalliBenjamin with Calli
She was a great family dog! She favored no one…although
she would obey some more than others. : )

She knew the meaning of over 60 words/gestures/items!Callidog

She would retrieve ducks for us when we went hunting.DSC_0627

At times she could be very independent and strong willed.
But because of everyone’s effort to help train her, she was a very well mannered dog.

She loved to chase things, and loved to be chased. DSC_0918 Calli edited

We have met and kept a lot of friendships with neighbors because of her…her tricks were great icebreakers!Big pile

On the upside…we now have a new puppy!

She’s a Border Collie/Blue Heeler cross. She’s 11 weeks old, and very sweet.

A little shy at first but has warmed up and is catching on to training really fast.

After days of discussing names, and changing them a time or two…
we decided on the name Heidi.

She’s typical puppy! Nipping, yipping, and staying cute!
I’ll leave you with the most recent picture of her…isn’t she just darlin’?

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