Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to the Best Wife/Mother in the World

Hey Sweetie, all your boys love you very much. Here are some pictures of our fun in the snow yesterday. We could not imagine celebrating the birth of our Savior without also celebrating all His good gifts, including you. Thanks for all you do.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It Was a Cold, Dark December Day....

My funny husband, turning a Christmas outing into a spooky story and my funny son imitating him.

Christmas Tree Farm

Being outside always affords the best opportunity for some photographs.  The annual trip to the Christmas tree farm (which we haven't made the last two years) is always refreshing.  The chance to get outside and enjoy exercise, fresh air and all the lovely evergreens is so timely at the first of December.

Will found our tree this year.
Taking home a freshly cut tree to put in our house is a tradition that is well worth it also!  So cheerful and beautiful!  It's something we would never think to do at any other time of year.  What a neat way to mark the significance of the celebration of the birth of Christ.
And Will took this picture of me and the girls.

These last pictures of Peter and myself were taken by Sam.  Some of my favorites this year!

This one makes me think about us growing gray together and being blessed to still have little ones among us. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Advent Candles-2013

I recently posted about my advent candle display over at Tending Our Gardens.  Click on the red letters to go check it out.  I hope you are enjoying your advent season. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

2nd Thanksgiving

 Our friends, the Oldlands, hosted a Thanksgiving dinner on Friday, cooked entirely by their two oldest daughters, ages 15 and 13.  Part of the reason that the girls cooked on their own was that their mother gave birth to a new baby girl just 2 weeks ago.  We were so honored to be a part of their meal.  Above, is the hosting family's Grammie with her new granddaughter and one of her grandsons.
 Our host is sharpening his knife to carve the turkey with.
 This is 15 year old, Sarah Grace, doing the last of her preparation of some brussels sprouts.
 The fellowship with friends was such a sweet time. 
 Waiting for dinner.
 A place for everyone and everyone in their place.
 Our wonderful host and hostess.
 Even the littlest people got to enjoy fixed up coffee drinks for dessert.
The end of the day included some games for the children.  Such a blessing when we get to enjoy a day such as this!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

How It Went

 Elijah woke up from his nap to find:  
Eli: "A Chicken!"
Me:  "No, it's a turkey, Elijah."
Eli:  "I'm not a turkey!!" (indignantly)
 Sam made mulled cider while Dad carved the bird.
 Here is the final end to all this cooking:  Turkey (the brine was wonderful, Mom), Candied Sweet Potatoes, Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce.
 Mashed Potatoes, Gravy and Rolls.  I ended up skipping the green bean casserole because there were no fresh green beans at the store (one less thing to cook).  I forgot to mention mashed potatoes in my plan, but the boys peeled, cubed and cooked up some potatoes in the morning and I mashed and seasoned them.
 Bronwyn got to taste her first turkey.  :)  She loved it and ate quite a bit.
 So thankful.  The Lord is so good. 
 Ready to feast.

 I made Bron a little plate of food so that she could try different things.  She didn't end up eating a whole lot of it, but she tried everything.
 She put a bite of stuffing in her mouth and disliked it so much that she quickly spat it out and threw it on the floor.  I *lightly* spanked her hand and told her "no" so that she would know that throwing her food on the floor wasn't OK to do.  She *really* didn't like that, as you can see.  We all laughed at her drama over the stuffing.
 Just once a year, and it always tastes so good!
And here are the pies.  They were good too.  On Thanksgiving day, I thought, "I don't think I care if I ever do this again."  I was exhausted and the cooking really did wipe me out.  Then we ate just a little bit of pie, because we were so full.  I wondered why I had thought I needed to make 4 of them.

Two days later, I'm loving all these leftovers!!  It has been so sweet to not cook for a couple of days afterwards and just enjoy good leftovers.  Hmm....maybe I will be doing it again another year after all.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Preparation Days

Some shots from Tuesday:  1. Bronwyn, tearing up a Lands' End catalog (doing her part to fight commercialism)
 2. I didn't mention that another part of my Thanksgiving plan was to have pretty simple meals and have the kids prepare them in the days before the holiday.  Here is Will, working on Sausage Kale Soup with the last of the kale from our garden.  (It was delicious!)
 3.  Cranberry Sauce happened.  (Just fresh cranberries, water and sugar.  Well, I substituted some of the sugar with maple syrup and added a pinch of salt.)
 4.  Candied Sweet Potatoes happened. (Just chunks of peeled sweet potatoes cooked in butter, brown sugar and water)
5. In the evening the three eldest boys went with their dad to their First Lego League Team Meeting.  At home, the rest of us enjoyed a cozy fire in the basement.  Calvin was inspired by our new electric pencil sharpener to sharpen every pencil and colored pencil he could find.
 6. The girls danced to Johnny Cash (Big River) while Elijah and Bronwyn played with plastic animal figurines.
 7. We ended the day with Netflix streaming of Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers.
 Some shots from Wednesday:  The four youngest of the family.
We got snow!  The kids spent most of the afternoon outside in it after their morning chores and schoolwork were done.  

Yes, pies happened yesterday.  I didn't take any photos.  I have 4 (!) pies in my kitchen today.  This is very RARE.  I ended up with two apple and two pumpkin, but we skipped the pecan.  The turkey is still sitting in it's brine.  It's time for me to get going and cook it!  I'll be back after the festivities are over.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

"Dey're Duh-li-cious!"

Bronwyn Walking

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Thanksgiving Plan-2013

Our Thanksgiving plans this year included being in Mississippi right now.  But...we're not.  Our trip ended up getting postponed.  On Sunday we made a quick revision plan for cooking our own meal here at home.  Here it is:

Monday:  morning-make menu for the week's meals and create a complete shopping list
                 afternoon-shop for all of the food for the week (this was clearly the plan for  
                                   most of the city of Morgantown, since everyone seemed to be shopping
                                   yesterday afternoon.)

Tuesday:  Make dough for rolls
                 Make Candied Sweet Potatoes
                 Make Cranberry Sauce
                 Cook pumpkin for pie filling (I have a little pie pumpkin that I got from our farm
                    membership this year)

Wednesday:  Make pies!
                         -2 pumpkin
                         -2 apple
                         -1 pecan
                     Brine the Turkey

Thursday:    Cook the Turkey
                    Make gravy
                    Make stuffing
                    Make green bean casserole

We also planned several snacks for Thursday.  The kids are going to make Chex mix, Peter is going to make hot wings and they'll put together a vegetable tray and a fruit tray.  We'll put all of the snacks out around lunch time and munch through the afternoon while we play board games, finish all of the cooking details and read and color.  We plan to serve the meal around 4:30-5:00 pm.

I have no idea if I'll get all of this done.  It's a nice idea.  :-)  I'll let you know how it turns out. What's your plan?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fall 2013

 A friend at church brought us a chainsaw that his dad wasn't using and it has been very helpful to cut up limbs around our property.
 Peter is getting used to it.  He's excited to finally learn how to use one.
 Peter's sister sent Cecily this neat hula hoop for her birthday.

 Nothing like falling asleep reading.
 Somebody got an umbrella at the consignment sale.  :)
 She also got new clothes and hairbands, but the umbrella is the most exciting!
 The boys hit a school of crappie at the river and were pretty HAPPY about their catch.
 School clothes!  This is the day after I shopped at the consignment sale.
 I love fall outside, but a fall afternoon indoors can be awfully nice too.
 Here are some photos of our woods that I took on a hike with the kids one day.
 The back of the house and our van.

 A bonfire to rid ourselves of some unwanted items.  :)
This picture is because of Benny.  He got Elijah dressed up and posed him and wanted me to take his picture.  I got the hat at the consignment sale for $1 and thought it would be pretty cute on Elijah.
The leaves are almost gone now and Thanksgiving is drawing near.  Good-bye to fall.