Monday, December 29, 2008

Heard Earlier Today....

A conversation that took place not too many minutes ago... Thought I better document this. If not for anything else, than perhaps to remind me of things to improve on next year!

Date: December 29th, 2008
Four Days After The Big Day....


Jake: Uh, Mom, did we leave cookies and milk out for Santa?

Me (aka Mrs. Clause): Yep! You Bet!

Jake: I don't remember seeing them!

Me: Well, I know, because I put them out!

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

Reality Check:

Well, I did make cookies on Christmas Eve.

And I did eat cookies on Christmas Eve.

And I am 'Santa's little helper' when it comes to putting out the Santa gifts, and stuffing the stockings... I am the last one to bed, hombre.

Which is why I always have bags under my eyes on Christmas Day... And why I always want to stay in bed Christmas Morning! Not a good photo-op for me.

Therefore, Santa did get cookies and a nice beverage (perhaps not milk, but something tasty!)


ps. I had the same conversation with Sami on the 26th. She's a little faster on the uptake.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Day 2008

**** I'm Going To Walk You Through Our Day! ****

Christmas Mid-Morning Scene
(Notice we are all dressed?
We dont' open presents until the cows are fed!)

First: Sami woke up (tapping Mrs. Claus - who was dead tired! Scared me!)
Oh. And perhaps the evening prior's festivities had something to
do with the foggy head.

Then: We opened Stockings
Then: Mr. Sexton went to feed
(The kids were crazy!!! When is daddy going to be home?)
Then: Mr. Sexton came home - and still had to work on Jake's surprise
Tap, Tap, Tap, Tap
(drinks get poured, snacks made, etc.)
Finally! We start about 10 am!!!!!
(seems like for-ever)

Our Christmas Linner
A noontime dinner
The best part??? Tamales!
OH yeah baby. Home made Tamales
A very very very special Christmas treat!!!
Fa la la la la!
And we still have some left!
Fa la la la la!!!!!
(A Christmas gift from our hired hand's family!)

My Sweetest Gifts

This year, our adorable, sweet, thoughtful children
bought presents for each other and us
With their own money.
Makes my heart sing that they did this.
Sami gave me the mommy & daughter figurine
Jake gave me the book!
Jake bought Sami a soccer ball
Sami bought Jake some marbles and a ball
Their daddy got a new mug and chocolates
I gave him some 'meat' tools! Huge roast lifter uppers,
heavy duty meat tenderizer
And chocolates.

Jake's Big Present!
A real bow and arrows!
A shooting range has been setup in the Yellow 'Shed'
(think big ol' shop type building)
Jake, Dick and Sami have been shooting daily!
Well, that has come to a stop, since Sami is now sick with a cold!

Jake Was Sent on a Treasure Hunt for His Big Gift
Here he is decoding one of the messages
(Mr. Sexton worked on this for 2 days!)
Oh my... How cool this was!!!!!!!
Very very thoughtful!


This is how it went over the course of 2 (hectic) days:
Mr. Sexton: 'I need some antique looking paper'
Me: 'Let's look in my stash!' Quick run upstairs
(I get so excited when Mr. Sexton needs stuff from my crafty supplies!)
Mr. Sexton: I need some clear paper (vellum)
Me: I have just what you need!
Mr. Sexton: I need this cut in half!
Me: Oh, let's use my MM Paper Cutter!
Mr. Sexton: I need more antique looking paper!


Me - With my new Hat and Beautiful Hand
Made Sweater
(And bags under my eyes!)
Hat: Courtesy of Mr. S
Sweater: Made by Pat Mom!


Snuggling Up to My New Winter Attire!
Mr. S outfitted me in new 'blizzard' gear.
Yahoo!
Let me tell you.. It's Dec. 27th
and we have a HUGE SNOW MESS right now!
A storm came in during the night.
Blowing!
Snowing!
Plowing!
Exhausting!

Sami - Opening Her Box of Special Coupons To Redeem at 2pm!
#1: Good for one bunny or rabbit
#2: Good for one bunny or rabbit
#3: Good for one hutch
#4: Good for one feeder

After Linner and a quick 30 min. power nap
(Excuse me, just 30 minutes? I could have slept for 30 hours!!!!!)
we went on our rabbit shopping trip (which was prearranged)
Sami came home with:
2 dutch female bunnies
1 dutch male rabbit
And a Very Big Happy Girl Smile!!!

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

The best part of the day?
Both kids said
'This is the BEST Christmas Ever'!!!!

We don't go overboard at our house.
We don't spend a lot of money.
No Wii's, No Nintendos. No over the top stuff.
Maybe we would, if we could.

And when we get it just right,
like this year.
It makes our hearts sing.

Me? Tamales, baby.
Simple things.
That remind me of home.

Merry Christmas Everyone.
From our Home to Yours...





Christmas 2008

(I'm catching up!)

Christmas Eve - Gifties for Our Neighbor Dinner Hosts!

I just love these adorable little critters!!!
The boxes hold the Willow Tree Angel Ornaments


Our Hosts Casa
Each Christmas Eve or Day we get together with a neighbor family.
Remember our Favorite Babysitter?
This is his family.
They live in an awesome farm house which they remodeled!
Oh.
The weather was VERY FRIGHTFUL!
When we left it for the dinner it was blowing and snowing.
Mr. Sexton Slipped, fell, and hurt his back on the route home.
Ouch.
He is still in pain.
Every Christmas we seem to have an accident!
Last year? Ski Accident.
(He needs my trick of wearing sorrels instead of slick Cowboy boots!)

Christmas Eve Baking Session
Yes. Again. A Mad Woman in the kitchen!
I think I did 7 dozen. Lost count.
Monster cookies and a secret chocolate tasty cookie.
These babies are for 'the locals'
(see that cute steer head? Sami's creation!)


Christmas Eve on the Ranch
My midday drive to the Store to get 1/2 and 1/2 for the EggNog
We call this tree the Opera Singer.
Yep. I had to go to the store.
Forgot that I needed 1/2 and 1/2 for our homemade Eggnog!
Dolt!
But it was a great getaway from the sweatshop.



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

We are still savoring the sweet joys of our Christmas Season... The Eve (Mrs. Claus' Wild Ride), The Day of (Woke way too early by a little girl, Happy, Tired), and the lazy days following all the excitement (savoring every moment).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wrap Up of Kid School Holiday Activities

The 3rd and 4th Grade Class Filling Out their Special 'Jennifer McGuire' Cards
Jennifer had some extra cards that needed a good home.
I volunteered the entire school to fill cards out
for a nursing home!
They are getting delivered tomorrow.

Teacher Gifts
The little boxes contain cookies that Sami and I made
(I just love these snowmen ornaments and wish I bought more!)

Santa Baby!
He always makes an appearance at our little school.
We were at the school until 9pm on the night of the Christmas Program
waiting for Jake to get through
the line for Santa.
He and his pals were at the end.
And, you know, he was more into his friends than Santa.




Jake on the left, and one of his pals on the Right
We have graduated to 'let's play on Santa's lap with friends'
instead of really telling Santa what one wants
Sami refused to sit on Santa's lap.
She is a big girl now.
Sniff.

Sami is in front, in the middle with her friends
Jake is in the back
Cute bowtie, eh?


Scoop front and center!
Our son is a little ham.
He is such a crack up!
There was a dance scene and he was really 'breakin'.
I'm talking major dance moves, New York Stage style.
I swear I saw him jump up in the air and attempt the splits!

The principle (who doubles as Sami's teacher) came over to visit
afterward and said 'Jake is such a good actor, I didn't realize
how fun he is!
Oh she will when he is in her classroom next year!
One of those 'cursed be the gift' things.

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

So, we wrapped up all the school holiday activities (finally) last week!

1. First, we had the School Holiday Program - which was Dec. 11th. Jake was in the play on the stage (He was Scoop in the Christmas at the OK Corral, and Sami was in the choir singing.

Our little town lucked out with a clear night - meaning no snow.. The girls could wear fancy shoes and dresses without fear of sliding on ice.. Personally, I don't venture out without my Sorels. Fashion or not. Call me cautious. And a dork. But, I have landed on my tush before and I don't want to do it again!

2. Then, I helped with a project to have all the kids fill out special cards from Jennifer McGuire for a local nursing home.. Fun stuff! Each class completed them on different days. I helped in the 3rd/4th grade class.

3. December 18th: Lastly, the school parties, which means the last day of school and getting all the teacher gifts, bus driver gifts and favorite 'extra' teacher (music, etc.) gifts made, along with cards, and delivered! Jake's room celebrated Christmas Around the World. I took Mexican Hot Cocoa for the class. I had a little accident along the drive. Since the driveway was full of new snow, I 'punch it' when I back out so I don't get stuck. Oops.. Cocoa sloshed everywhere. Repeat performance while navigating the driveway and going over the cattle guard!

The Good News: Today my husband plowed the driveway so I can get out and go shopping tomorrow! The Bad News: Another storm is coming tonight! HA!

So.. Now the kids are home (have been for 4 days) and bouncing off the walls! You moms know the routine. It is CRAZY with anticipation of Christmas! Well, for all of us to be told. Thank Goodness for oodles of snow to play in! Sami has been building a fort in the backyard, and Jake has been busy catching a cold and then doing what he can to turn it into Pnemonia! I caught him outside deep in the snow, without his hat, and just covered. Crazy kid.

Just sharing our lives over here!

Friday, December 19, 2008

HELP! Please Assist with My Christmas Card Photo!

A Pine Tree
Perfect for a background!

Christmas Card Shot #1
Kids and Bugsy
(Bugsy is the little tyrant who is sleeping in the garage
during these cold days and he is
taking all the shoes he finds and playing with them!
This morning he had my snow suit - humf)

This is my favorite - except for Sami's dirty coat!

Not the best.. Bugsy as a snowball face
Jake has a severe case of bed head!

***********

Ranch Log... oh dark early... And Five degrees...

Dearest friends and family!!!!
I need some 'hep'! The sun was out for just a brief period this morning while the kids were doing chores. It was gorgeous! Fresh snow from yesterday and the trees are covered in a layer of frosty stuff so I grabbed the camera and got a few shots... I really really need to get our Christmas Card done, and well, would like to use one of these photos...

My dilemma? Sami's coat is dirty! It's her work coat.. sigh... and this is as good as it's going to get because I want to order the cards TODAY so they are just in time for, er, New Years!!

Do any of you have some tips on how to clean that coat up in Photoshop Elements???

Pretty please???? OH! And please pick your fave!

Thanks!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Got Cookies? Eleven Dozen, You Say?

The Chef!
Checking that recipe twice!
She saved me... I was forgettin' to add my egg!
Busted!

Sunday was the whirlwind cookie making day at our house... Sami was our prize cookie artist!

We cranked out 11 Dozen cookies... We have peanut butter cookies, chocolate yummy cookies, and sugar cookies.. Yum! Not sure when we will get the 'Dozens of Cousins' done, or the Pioneer Woman's Spicy Molasses Cookies.. But they are on our list! As well as the cranberry chocolate chip oatmeal goodies!

Yeah, Sunday. Other accomplishments included:
  • I Made a scrapbook page for the Hero Arts Color Challenge (should have stuck to cookies)
  • Met with DH for 2 hours - business meeting (On Sunday? For Pete's Sake!)
  • Cooked all the three meals - it's a blurr. I have no memory of what we ate.
  • Did I nap? I think so! I forget! I love my weekend naps! Did I finish my book? Oh yeah. Rats... I loved that book! The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
  • Snapped some photos of the snow falling
  • Starting to do the Super Freak (as in, uh, when is Christmas, really?)
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It Was HOW Cold?????? Minus 17???

The Result of Our Snow Storms - Friday through Monday
Not counting the stuff that melted or fell through the table top!
The table is one of those metal wire ones so it has openings

This is what COLD looks like!
I am standing on the front steps
It is spectacular... I'll take the sun no matter the temp!
Just give me my sunshine
(see the moon up in the sky?)


Looking to the left on the front steps
Gorgeous stuff that cold snappy snow!

***********
OH Boy is it cold here!!!

This morning when I looked at the thermometer at 4am it said minus 10. Apparently it does not go farther below because my husband said his truck thermometer said MINUS 17 at 7 am!!!
It's 2:17pm right now and the computer temp says it is 8 degrees in Baker.. Which is 500 feet below us... hmm... balmy.

BRRRRR!!


This is how cold it is:
  • There was frost on the inside of the sliding glass door - in our bedroom
  • I found 21 chicken eggs frozen and cracked - as in busted open! And they are in a chicken house
  • The chicks water in the barn was frozen
  • Cuddle Bug (the puppy) looked like the abominable snow dog this morning at 6:30 am. He had frozen eyelashes and whiskers and decided to stay in the garage most the morning!
  • I have broken ice twice today (critter water)
  • I am inside the house and got my thermals on under my clothes!
  • My cheeks are burnin' (face that is!) from being outside!!!
Just thought I would share!

But like I said.. At least the sun is shining! And the ski's are clear!!!

More snow arrives on Thursday...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gingerbread Houses (Made on December 5th)

Gingerbread House Loot
The Before Shot
Home Made Gingerbread House Panels!
(and the source of the cowboys and Indians that have
been 'propped' through out the house!)

The Best Babysitter In the World!
With the best kids of course!
This guy rocks!
He brought all these goodies!!!

Sami's Gingerbread House
Click on image to check out the deets!
Can you find the cookie critters? Cowboys? Indians?
Gummy bears? Gummy Bear Tent?
Train?

Jake's Gingerbread House
Click to Enlarge
Can you find the Gummy Bear's surrounding the Christmas Tree?
Note to self: Take another photo of cute little candy canes at
front of house/lane!

**********

Remember the Gala night when my mother Pat and I hit the town?

While we were off the kids got to spend their time with the best babysitter in the world...

The best!

I have known this sweet young man since he was 10. We spend Christmas Eve or Day with his family, and the kids just love him. He plays. He is a kid. And there is always an adventure to be had when Jarrod comes to play/work! Jake is always worn out and tuckered when we get home... Sometimes there's a mishap or two. But, alas, it goes with the 'play' part of their adventures. I have learned to let it be...

Anyway, our babysitter arrived with all sorts of goodies to keep the kidlets in pure sugar heaven. You know, one for the artist, one for the house? Jarrod's mom made the gingerbread panels and train parts... She deserves a huge medal! Love that family!

The kids were still awake at 'just before' 10pm when we got home! They were so dissapointed we came home early.. but once they hit the pillows, they were out!!!

A great night for all...

Sugarplums definitely danced in their heads!

fa la la la la!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

14 Days Until Christmas! - Recap of Tree Day (Dec 6 & 7)

Our Tree
This is one shot. Still some work to be done.
Notice the slight tilt.

Me and Jake
Can you find Jake?
Too funny!
See the cowboys and Indians on the tree???

One of Sami's CloseUp shots
That would be of one of her favorite ornaments
Barbie

Our Tree - Somewhat Decorated!
(I am going backwards with my photos-I load them in order of events,
but they post in reverse! sorry!)
We have all sorts of homemade ornaments!
Look toward the top.. See the quilted heart?
That's from my Grandpa Leonard's own quilt.
I shared that story last year...
I'll try to link up the post...
Here it is!
Our special star is not on yet.
Dick got home Monday night, and his back is killing him.
Another day!


The Photo Elf!
Sami took my camera and snapped quite a few of her view
of our Christmas Decorating Day (last Sunday)
She has several of these ever so adorable elf shots!!!
So stinking cute!
Note to self: Make elf collages for scrapbooks

Jake - Who's job it was to assist with lights
Hmm.. Looks like he is testing the lights on his temple!
Men are such a mystery... At any age!
This the the very first year Jake actually helped decorate.
Usually he is not interested.
Thanks little buddy!!

The Crew!
Sami was in charge.
Snap snap snap!
She hustled us on Sunday.
Our rules:
1. Everyone had to be dressed
2. Chores had to be done
3. Mexican Hot cocoa and Christmas Tunes
had to be in supply!

Me - Putting up the lights!
I am 5' 5". I am standing on a chair.
This is the tallest tree we have had yet.
Thanks to our neighbors inviting us to go cut one with them!

Grandma Pat? Did you do some decor before hitting the road?
Hello?


The Tree Setter Uppers
Two little boys under the tree!
They are so darn cute... Mine is on the right.
Gotta love cub scouts.
I would like to point out that that MAN is not my husband.
Let's call him a backup, or rental.
Which, at times a plenty, I wish I had! A backup that is.
Anyway, he's actually our neighbor! My friend's husband.
And he is 6 feet 2" tall. My living room peaks at 20'.
This is the tallest tree we have gotten!
Because I am short.
And it's always just the kids and me to get the tree.
We cut down trees this past Saturday.

Our Tree!
Two things to notice.
See how that tree leans? It does that in the house too!
Not quite the same pitch, but I know it is leaning!
And, no snow! Dry as a bone.
That all changes tomorrow..

Our Permit!
Five dollars. The best tree ever!

*********
Only 14 days until Christmas. Yes, we are counting the days! Thought I would just pick a few different moments from our holiday prep, etc. to share with you every now and then over the next couple weeks.

Today's share is 'Our Tree'.

Wait 'till you see the gingerbread houses!!!!