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!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful





I'm thankful:

for blue skies and sunshine during this Thanksgiving holiday

for busy little hands helping me prepare candy and cake for tomorrow

for good friends

for family

for a hardworking husband that puts his family first

for four kids who love to give me hugs and kisses

for four healthy children









for my mom and dad and the beautiful traditions that they carry on every year

for time together with family over the next couple of days

for watching the kids play with their cousins

for being prepared this holiday season and looking for the beauty that I can find in every moment

I am so thankful for the blessings that fill my life each and every day. So thankful.



I'm wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! May you be blessed abundantly!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Mornings

morning


an early hour
before the sun is awake
a new red mug
some strong, hot coffee
my journal and pencil
a book on mindfulness and
gentle mothering
my ideas written down to reflect on later in the day
a quiet house

these are the things
that get my day off to a good start
these are the things i love most about mornings




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


Finally, an entry for Lens.Us.Together. not submitted at the last moment! This week's theme is "What a Morning!" and this is just a snapshot of my morning yesterday. As I was sitting there, in peace and quiet, admiring my new red mug and writing in my journal, I thought that is what I wanted to capture. Those few minutes early in the morning that are just for me and my thoughts before the world wakes up around me, that is what I love most about mornings.


Hope your morning is beautiful ♥

Pink Christmas?

my girls




Yep! That's what my girls say! They wanted to wear a little something different this year for Christmas since we've worn all the smocked goodies, little jumpers, and Santa look-a-likes in the past. I agreed and I also must say that I couldn't help but click over to show them the fluffy little petticoat skirts that I found. I was imagining a cute red petticoat skirt with a cute white tee shirt, embroidered with a candy cane or something like that. However, once they saw the colorful selection, all they could think was pink, pink, pink! Emma chose a two-tone pink skirt and Claire chose black with pink ruffles. I suggested the red, of course, but decided that whatever color they chose would be alright and put in the order. We got the order yesterday(a quick 3 days later) and they were delighted! I must say that those pink skirts are just too cute.....and oh, the photo possibilities for Christmas and beyond!

After I had the rush of pink-holiday-visions once they were parading around in their twirly skirts, I couldn't help but browse through my Flickr contacts' holiday photos in search of pink. I found quite a selection. I see now that a little pink for the holidays may be just what this traditional red-and-green girl needs.


What about you? Are you the traditional-Christmas-color type or do you like to branch out in themes and pastel colors? My little ones may be dressed in pink this year, but I don't think I can part with my traditional and homemade Christmas decorations.

Now the big question.....are you ready for the Christmas season? Have you begun your shopping and/or crafting? To be honest, I'm almost finished with my shopping. (Did you hear my happy squeal?!) Our list was deliberately made shorter this year (like many people) and things seem just a little easier to manage. I still have some crafty things that I'd like to do for a few on my list and since they're not big projects, I'll fit them in during the next few weeks. I just hope my sewing machine remembers who I am! :P

Thanks for the early holiday chit-chat, friends!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hamburger Quiche

hamburger quiche


I thought I'd share another recipe today. This recipe is for a crust-less quiche and is perfect for breakfast (with sausage instead of hamburger), brunch, a quick at-home lunch (my kids love it), and for my favorite time...dinner.

It is very easy to put together and is one of my go-to meals for when I really don't feel like cooking. It's even easy enough for us homeschooling moms to cook during the day for the kids' lunch. My kids LOVE it...I think I could cook 2 pans of this without having leftovers. It's great with garlic bread or with steamed broccoli on the side.

I adjusted this recipe from the original and added more eggs and less mayonnaise. The original only called for 4 eggs....not very much considering you have 2 lbs of meat there. So, to get this to the right "quiche" consistency, I had to add quite a few more eggs. I also found out that you can certainly manage with 3/4 cup mayo instead of 1 whole cup...and it may even be as good with just 1/2 cup instead. So, after making it several times and adjusting the measurements, this one is just right for us.


Enjoy!


Easy Hamburger Quiche

2 lb. hamburger
3/4 c. mayonnaise
3/4 c. milk
10-12 large eggs
1 1/2 c. Cheddar cheese
1/2 - 3/4 c. green onion, or one medium onion diced
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown meat in skillet; season, then set aside. Whisk mayonnaise, milk, and eggs. Stir in onion, cheese and meat. Pour in sprayed 9x12 pan. Bake until set or knife comes out clean- about 25 minutes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Week In Review

Feeling Cozy....for Things I Love Thursday

I really loved all these warm and cozy images I found as I was browsing around over at Flickr the other morning and had to put them together in this collage. I can't wait until it's cool enough here to have a cozy fire every day. We've only been cool enough to light the fireplace once and even then it wasn't really needed.....just wanted. This time of year just puts me in nesting mode I think.

As for me...I only thought I was feeling better as of my last post on Sunday night. By Monday morning - it was ten times worse. Terrible, terrible... I finally gave in and called my doctor because I can't sit in a chair all day, every day, with four kids watching me with sad eyes. My nurse thought I needed to be checked for strep, but I doubted it seriously since never once have I had strep throat. So, on Tuesday morning when it was even worse, I decided to let her check it and guess what - strep it was! I have no idea where it came from, but I hope I never get it again! After filling a prescription {uggh!}, I felt nearly brand new by Thursday morning . SO much better, finally!

Tuesday morning was also spent (before I made it to my doctor) quickly taking Isaac to the doctor for a serious reaction to Bactrim, an antibiotic that was prescribed for an infection in his moderate/severe eczema. Uggh...that was one scary situation. By God's grace, we were spared a very serious condition. After a dizzying amount of Benadryl to counteract his allergy to the sulfa-drug (that was only lessened due to the steroids that he had also taken) our re-check on Wednesday morning went well. Of course that story could go on for a long time, and I may come back to it in the future as we evaluate his condition after a totally natural approach to caring for his eczema. Thankfully, he is doing much better now, with hardly a sign of the reaction.


Friday was spent packing my guys up for the youth hunting weekend here in Alabama. It's always scheduled for the week prior to the actual opening of hunting season.....Let the season begin! I drove them over to meet their dad at work and they left for the hunting camp from there. They were SO excited! After that, my mom and my girls and me went for lunch and some shopping at the Bass Pro Shop. I actually came out with several items crossed off my gift list this year. I'm thinking that I may just have it all done by Thanksgiving! I surely hope so because holiday shopping after Thanksgiving is no fun for me. I'm certainly not a 'Black Friday' kind of girl - regardless of sale prices!


*




While we were there we took some time to play around in the Santa's Workshop area. Santa, of course, only makes his appearance in the evenings, so we had it all to ourselves.



at Santa's door


talking to elves


You can give the elves your wish list, right?





she's a serious artist!

We spent a little time coloring some of the Christmas pages set up on the craft tables. Emma is such a serious little artist....this is what she is doing with almost every ounce of her spare time at home. I'll have to make a point to share some of her artwork here soon. Some of it is just great!




♥



Of course the girls had to play for a minute in the camping section. I think they may want to add this little pup tent to their wish list.



♥








Saturday morning was beautiful outside, a little cool, and the perfect time for me to go out with my dad for some yard sale shopping and some lunch. We spent the day hopping from sale to sale, picking up some neat stuff along the way.



yard sale finds!
(not in the photo is a pretty blue, crocheted, afghan that I found...I put it straight in the wash)








My dad and I had lunch together and then as we were leaving the restaurant parking lot, we got the chance to admire a whole group of antique cars that were just arriving. We slowly made our way home in the afternoon, stopping at a few more sales with needful things. ;)


While out and about, my cell phone rang and it was my husband calling to let me know that Isaac got an eight point buck on his first morning out! He was incredibly excited to say the least! When Isaac called me later in the evening he was announcing his plans to have him hanging in the living room very soon! (that's alright, I think...lol) I may have to redo their bedroom in camouflage and transplant that big trophy in there! We'll have to see ;)




This beautiful Sunday morning has found me fairly well rested after several nights of not being able to sleep. I've had my coffee, my visit with my mom and dad, some quiet time, done some Christmas shopping... internet style, uploaded some photos, ordered myself some shoes (I can't wait to get them), and now I'm baking some chocolate chip-oatmeal cookies for Claire. I still have all the yard sale finds waiting to be put away, some laundry needing to be washed, and some tidying up to do in this house before my guys come home with all their hunting clutter and that big eight-point! I've also got to take some time and work on my Lens.Us.Together photo for this week and possibly a photo for SPC. Nothing like a last minute entry, right?



I hope your weekend has been wonderful!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekend Snapshots and Ramblings

We were finally able to light our first fire of the season this weekend. It wasn't extremely cold out, but the girls were so excited to help build the fire and since I came down with an ugly cold at the end of last week, including fever, the chills I kept experiencing couldn't wait to get near the warmth of the fire. My sweet hubby helped the kids get the logs in and had the fire all warm and toasty before he headed out with the boys to watch a high school football game. While they were gone, the girls and me just hung out on the couch with our feet up and watched The Grinch, one of our favorite movies.


first fire of the season



Sunday morning, after a long night of coughing and, well....misery, I went into the kitchen to make up some homemade chicken soup. I didn't use any measurements, I just added some water to my pot, tossed in a handful of lentils and barley, some carrots and diced chicken breasts, along with some sauteed onion and celery. I was looking for a cure or at least a big dose of relief and this soup did wonders for my throat and voice - or lack of voice I should say. As I think back, just the aroma of the onions and celery being sauteed together may be the key to a curing chicken soup....it is just heavenly and penetrates even the stuffiest of heads. It was so good and I ate (or drank) lots of it. The hot liquid really soothed my throat and made me feel so much better.


get well soup


The first weekend of November is behind us now along with several things that I wanted to do but wasn't well enough to go out and do. Mobile's Greek Fest was this weekend and I really wanted to go again this year for some more Spanakopita and Baklava among other yummy foods, my dearest cousin sister had a party that I had to pass on after looking forward to it all week, and a nearby neighborhood was having their annual yard sale that I wanted to browse through again this year since I seriously racked up on barely used "mall clothing" last year....jackets and all!

Anyhoo....I guess the up side would be that I am fairly well rested (thanks to nyquil), I had some time to finish reading a book that I've had on loan from the library for way too long, I read a bit more of another book that I've had on my bookshelf, I wrote in my journal, I stayed up late at night, I drank hot cocoa by the fire, I read books to my girls - even with my scratchy voice, I had some quiet time to myself to think in that mindful way, and we progressed a little more with my boys' math books in spite of my cold...we're so close to finished!


All in all - it was a very good, blessed weekend. I'm really hoping that this week will be the same. I'm also praying that Ms. Ida does some serious fizzling out in the Gulf of Mexico before she rears her ugly head around here! :(

A hurricane warning on the 9th of November? Craziness, I tell ya!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Coffee, Anyone?

Things I Love Thursday



I'm just sharing a mosaic I made for Things I Love Thursday over at Flickr.
What is it about these coffee images that is so inviting and makes me fave them
every time they pop up in my contacts?

The warmth, the intimate moments of conversation between friends,
the quiet morning brew for one, the little moments of reflection
that often accompany these cups of coffee or tea - yes, I think
all these reasons are why I love them so much.




Now, for a little fun with our coffee.....



"Way too much coffee. But if it weren't for the coffee,
I'd have no identifiable personality whatsoever." ~David Letterman



"Behind every successful woman
is a substantial amount of coffee." ~Stephanie Piro



"I don't have a problem with caffeine.
I have a problem without caffeine!" ~Author Unknown



"In Seattle you haven't had enough coffee until you can thread
a sewing machine while it's running." ~Jeff Bezos



"COFFEE.SYS Not Found: User startup disabled."
~Author Unknown







and, finally...


"I'd stop drinking coffee, but I'm no quitter." ~Author Unknown








credits here:

1. Morning Coffee, 2. Coffee-ing and sketching, 3. I don't really like coffee, she said.., 4. coffee bokeh, 5. coffee & art, 6. Coffee's hot, fresh and ready . . . ., 7. coffee for You making with all my love, 8. coffee + apron, 9. Saturday morning coffee on the patio, 10. S T A R B U C K S . A T . H O M E, 11. coffee, 12. Coffee love iart, 13. I <3 Coffee, 14. Untitled, 15. Mornings - coffee+journals, 16. Good Morning, 17. coffee and tangerines., 18. Black Coffee No Sugar Please Oh And A Little Bit Of Milk, 19. coffee with baileys, 20. A cup of bokeh

Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sweet Potato Muffins

sweet potato muffins





I had to share this recipe, although many of you avid Pioneer Woman readers have probably already seen it. This may be the best muffin recipe ever! They were SO moist and yummy, but in all seriousness, how can you go wrong with autumn spices and cream cheese? Anyway, her recipe is labeled as Pumpkin Muffins, but I had a serious excess of sweet potatoes last week and decided to do something a little different with them. Since sweet potatoes and pumpkin can taste similar when combined with these spices, I thought I'd give them a try in this recipe. I just mashed them and added them in place of the pumpkin. After they cooled, I used her recipe for cream cheese frosting and well....oh my! They are definitely on the menu for Thanksgiving!

So if you have a craving for something sweet and autumn-ish, give these a whirl...you'll be glad you did!