Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Today :: Gingerbread Cookies

today :: gingerbread cookies



On this cloudy and cool December day we decided that gingerbread cookies were in order since we're only two days away from the "big night" and our visitor just might like a little snack. We started with simple gingerbread dough and made a quick batch of royal icing for decorating.




today :: gingerbread cookies









I had tons of help...my main job was to stand around with the camera and try to capture what I could with what little light was available. (I'd love a house with great big windows and flooding natural light....sigh) The kids took turns rolling and cutting and pressing in the chocolate chip buttons. They also took turns spreading as much flour, dough, and icing around my kitchen as possible....oh my.







today :: gingerbread cookies



They helped me remove them from the oven and put them on cooling racks....



today :: gingerbread cookies



And, of course, the decorating...LOTS of icing and chocolate chips
and even more finger-licking, face-dirtying goodness!



today :: gingerbread cookies



today :: gingerbread cookies



I let them decorate all by themselves....they did a really good job.
Most of the little gingerbread men were happy as can be...



today :: gingerbread cookies



...while a couple of others weren't quite so happy and one was slightly over-dressed. :)


today :: gingerbread cookies




today :: gingerbread cookies



They looked really pretty all lined up on the wax paper
in front of my kitchen Christmas tree.
So pretty in fact, that I had to have just one with my afternoon coffee. YUM!



nom nom....so yummy



After having my coffee with my back to the scene below.....
I knew we {I} had a big job in front of us!



today :: gingerbread cookies



Gladly, after lots of help with sweeping, wiping and putting away,
the kitchen looked great again.


today ::  gingerbread cookies

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009







It was a good mail day.

Gingerbread House!

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder


The kids worked so hard on this gingerbread house the other night.
They really have fun putting these together.
I think they just love licking the icing off their fingers, though.



just a taste.


After a few rounds of holding onto the sliding roof and
praying that the sides hold up
(and about a 30 minute stay in the freezer to hopefully set the icing)
it finally seems to be holding together. I have to say
that next time we'll wait much, much longer than the recommended
time for letting the house set up. I think it needs a few hours to set rather
than the 15 minutes recommended in the directions.



finished!

So it's finished and it turned out really cute!


Thanks for the house, Maw Maw!
We had fun!







Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Simply Today...

today.



  • the fourth straight day of no sunshine, rain (ankle-deep flowing through the yard), fog, the worst humidity ever, warm temps, and total yucky-ness.
  • so nasty in fact, that my air conditioner has been on all day just to keep the humidity out
  • right now, as I type this post, the air is drying and the rain has stopped....I surely hope tomorrow is beautiful with lots of sunshine - it's time to start looking and feeling like Christmas already!





  • today was very low-key around here...laundry was first on the list
  • next was packing up a few things to mail out early in the morning
  • reading just a little, writing just a little
  • having coffee with my mom
  • finishing a couple of sewing projects and wrapping them up for giving







  • I made myself a recipe that I found here the other day. This is the fourth time I've made it since she posted it and I have to say that it may be my new favorite thing. I've been making mine with a handful of fresh kale or turnips since I didn't plant Swiss Chard this time around in the garden. The first time I made it my kids were curious about it and it turns out that they really like it, too. I made it for dinner that same night with chicken along side and everybody was happy. It's simple, quick, fresh, and tasty...you should try it!
  • tonight was spent having a quick dinner of leftovers with the girls since the guys are out hunting
  • after dinner we popped a bowl of popcorn and piled up together on the couch to watch Charlie Brown's Christmas...I do love Charlie Brown ;)
  • Finally, we made our way to the computer to try a little something that they've been wanting to do - I have to admit it is pretty cute! ;)

Monday, December 14, 2009

a little decorating....

holiday home



Our tree is decorated...











the kids spent some time decorating these little ornaments...











the nativity is up...





May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace, The gladness of Christmas give you hope, The warmth of Christmas grant you love. ~Author Unknown



our snowgirl is granting wishes...




"I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month."  ~Harlan Miller



and I'm trying really hard to "jar up" the beautiful feeling of Christmas.



Happy Monday to you all!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Togetherness

together.


My littlest girl and her kitty, Ruffles.....they are always together,
she holds her, pets her, runs with her, pushes her in the doll stroller,
rocks her in the doll bed, and naps with her.

Ruffles doesn't mind one little bit.




******



from the Lens.Us.Together theme Togetherness

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December!

.....is here!

Wow!

Where does time go? These last several months have been an absolute blur to me.....so strange! But, I'm really glad that December is here. I love this time of year. There is always such a warm-togetherness kind of feeling in the air....sigh.



special gift of tea from a faraway friend....



Last Saturday I received a special little something from a friend who lives a long way from me (1,256 miles - I looked it up!) and I was finally able to "share" a cup of tea with her. I must say that the Pumpkin Spice tea was really yummy. I'll try the other two flavors later this week. Thank you, Amy!


a cup of joy


*************







I spent a lot of time early last week and all during the long holiday weekend cleaning up and cleaning out, reorganizing and getting some things done that I've been slacking on way too long. My house, my sheds, my school stuff, my kitchen....all look so much better! Now if I could just get (and keep) my bedroom looking good - why is that so hard for me? It always seems to keep itself on the bottom of my priority list, LOL! I'll get it done this week, though....I just know it!



***************








As I'm sitting here tonight, I find myself reflecting on how I started this post quite early this morning, before anyone else was up. I had a great post planned in my head and the moment my fingers touched the keyboard, I heard someone stirring down the hall. The day began before I typed out my first few sentences. I came back a while later to insert my photos and was distracted again. I came back even later to try to gather my thoughts and type out a few more sentences. And here I sit, at 11pm finally attempting to finish the post.







Life goes fast.
Really fast.
Minutes, hours, days, weeks, months......years.
It's easy for time to turn into a blur.

A blur of tasks, emotions, movements, routines, seasons...

Fall is quickly blurring and fading into winter.
Thanksgiving came and went and
Christmas will be here before we know it.

I suppose in all these moments of blur
the most important thing is being mindful.
Mindful of the little moments, the busy moments, the good moments,
the not-so-good moments.


new



Staying mindful of the tiny things around us
that make life extra special when we let them...

beautiful weather
soft rain
colorful fall leaves
a husband at home all day
a child to hold
laughter
denim
comfy new shoes (that I love!)
sweaters
pumpkin pie
coffee
tea
cranberry juice
holiday candles
the soft glow of light from the Christmas tree
a ride at night to look at the holiday lights in the nearby neighborhoods
a warm fire
meals from the garden
dinner at the table with my family
a dishwasher
a clean kitchen
sleeping kids
a quiet house
a moment to think (and turn this post into
something entirely different than originally planned)


So, in this tiny moment of life, as I sit here reflecting on the things around me,
I'll leave you with these quotes -





Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.
~H. Jackson Brown, Jr., Life's Little Instruction Book



If you don't think every day is a good day, just try missing one.
~Cavett Robert




Happiness is an attitude.
We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.
The amount of work is the same.
~Francesca Reigler



I think, what has this day brought me, and what have I given it?
~Henry Moore





Friday, November 27, 2009

A Little Personality

...goes a long way!  These were some fun outtakes and then a keeper or two from our recent holiday photos.  :D

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finalbw027



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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving in Photos

Thanksgiving sky


First of all, the weather could not have been more perfect - it was gorgeous outside! Blue skies, cool breeze, leaves falling....the perfect Thanksgiving day.





mmmm




We had our meal around midday at my parents' house with more than enough wonderful food to go around and tons of yummy desserts, too.













That left us with plenty of time in the afternoon to go outside and work off that meal play! The little ones were full of energy, so I went outside for a long while with my camera and followed them around.



1



They were ready to play and the first thing was to run after the football as Darrell threw it to them.....



2



It didn't' take too long before they made it into a contact sport......



3



and that resulted in lots of chasing - and even more contact!



4




After we'd had enough contact, we decided to walk over to my house for the kids to play. We started out with more football, but then the little ones grew tired of that and left Darrell and the older boys playing alone. (How did Ethan and Isaac escape my camera?? I think they have a joint effort in avoiding me these days...hmmpf!)



Bo started giving me a few lessons on some "kung fu moves." He's so funny!




kung fu moves



kung fu moves 2



After that, we ended up inside the chicken pen. The kids fed the hens and then chased them around for a while.


crazy kids :)



K feeding the chickens



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After just a few minutes Bo found a fresh, warm egg in one of the nesting boxes and had to ask me....."Did that egg come out of you chicken???"

I can still hear him ask that....it was so funny. He was amazed by how warm it was, lol!


"Did that egg come out of you chicken??"  LOL






"Yes, Bo....it did!"



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After we had enough playing around in the chicken pen, we were back in the yard to play around some more. Emma was testing out the limits of the hammock.....silly girl! Surprisingly, she didn't fall off.



ack!




Then they all ran off to ride the jeep while I walked around some more with my camera looking for something to shoot.



fun times


Then I found this confused beauty. I suppose she forgot that it was late November. Then again, that would be easy to forget with our back and forth weather pattern lately....being more warm than cold. As the sun was beginning to set and the air was cooling even more, I wonder if she realized that frost was predicted for the next morning?



Thanksgiving rose


Soon, it was time for the cousins to go home and our day to come to a close. The darkness had settled in and the Christmas lights came on. We spent a few minutes inside making hot cocoa to take out on the front yard bench with our girls. It was a perfect end to a perfect day.



hot cocoa....while we look at the lights



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After a day spent with family, visiting and talking, eating lots of wonderful food prepared by lots of wonderful cooks, playing outside with the kids all afternoon, spending the evening out with our girls and some hot chocolate....we were perfectly content. What a simple, wonderful day. We really do have SO much to be thankful for.



I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, too!





Okay! That's All Folks!




That's all folks!