An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives. A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All Because,,,,

Because of all my whining about this new camera my good friend Maddie came over and gave me a few pointers. She was oh-so-kind, but I think the error has mostly been in the user. After playing around with some settings and reading my manual (I know, I know, some people actually do read their manuals) she then told me to take lots and lots of pictures of the same subject. So, if you get tired of seeing things like 5 outhouse pictures, just thank Maddie. I am!

For the Neighbors

We live in a very little farming community where nearly everybody is related to you or has known you since banana clips were cool. Most of our neighbors therefor have either babysat our children, borrowed us sugar or some kind of tool, sold us some type of animal food, or helped pull a calf or two in years past. In response to try to show them how much we care for and appreciate them we decided to put together some little home made gift packages for Christmas this year. The kids helped me bake some homemade cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting and some chocolate chip cookies and Rob and Trent delivered them.
We also included some of our homemade goats milk soap.
To finish it all off Alexis helped me make up some little cards out of 3x5 note cards, a simple computer program, and some extra red checked material. On one side we wrote a little Merry Christmas note. On the other side we included the recipe for the cookies.
Terri's Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1- 3oz pkg instant vanilla pudding
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp soda
chocolate chips
Combine ingredients in the order listed. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Absolutely delicious! This recipe come from an old friend and has been one of our favorites for years. These are also wonderful with chocolate pudding and vanilla chips; or chocolate pudding and butterscotch chips. Enjoy!

Christmas Food

What would an American holiday be without all the good food? Mmmmm~mmmmmm! I sure ate my share of it!
Olive Cheese Bread (adapted from a Pioneer Woman recipe)
1- can black olives
1- 6oz jar green olives
2- scallions
3/4 " shredded cheddar/mozzarella cheese (mixed)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 stick butter
1 loaf french bread
Slice the olives. Combine the mayonnaise and the butter and blend together. Add the olives, scallions (I have started to freeze chopped scallions from the garden specifically for this recipe) and cheese to the butter/mayo mix. Spread on bread. Bake 25 mn at 325 degrees. This is also delicious served without baking it!
For dessert~ Eclair Cake
1 cup water
1 cup butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs
Bring water and butter to a boil. Add flour with a whisk. Add beaten eggs. Pour into a 13x9 greased pan (although I use a deep cookie sheet as I like the cake thinner). Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 mn. The crust will poof up, but will settle down as it cools.
When the crust cools blend:
1 8z package cream cheese
1 large or 2 small instant vanilla pudding
Spread on top of crust and top with Cool whip and drizzled chocolate syrup. Enjoy, but don't eat as many pieces as I did!
For breakfast (because we were all starving.....)
Cream Cheese French Toast
Prepare the french toast batter (eggs, milk and vanilla)
Spread softened cream cheese on 1 slice of bread, pour fruit syrup (we used blueberry) on top, add a second piece of bread to make a sandwich. Dip both sides of the sandwich into the batter and fry both sides. Spread generously with butter and serve with maple syrup (if desired). Enjoy and don't blame me if you eat that second one!

A Homemade Christmas

Our homemade Christmas this year went over very well. What started with a few groans from a few family members and in the end made everybody think more of the other people in the household during this festive season rather than themselves turned into what may just become a new family tradition. It was so much fun watching everybody open up their gifts! And to watch the joy of the person who made that gift was as much fun to watch. We had a couple of sick kids so decided not to go to the candle light church service. Rather we got out the hymn books at home and sang a few hymns and carols, then Rob read the Christmas story to us and thanked God for the gifts we were able to exchange this year.
Rob made Cole a perch for his silkie chickens.
Grace made everybody new pillowcases. To surprise her I made her a new pillowcase for one of her gifts and everyone got a (store bought) new pillow.
Trent made lead ropes for the girls out of old T-shirts. One of these days I will do a little tutorial on how he made them because I need to make quite a few for myself, too. So until I get around to it don't throw away all those old, stained T-shirts.
Micah loved his block puzzle! Cole also made him a block set so he had lots of blocks to build many towers with.
For Alexis I finally finished her bridle holder. Trent also made her a lead rope.
And the grande~finalle that he had been waiting for her to open for several weeks, in honor of her obsession with all things Narnia, currently The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.......
A replica Dawn treader ship that Trent carved and created himself. The kids went way above and beyond my expectations (again) to bless each other.
One of my (several) favorite presents~ a gift certificate from Rob for 8 hours of labor on any project I choose..... hmmmmm.... what shall it be, what shall it be???? Some trim work; finish the bathroom; the stairwell or an upstairs bathroom???? It does come with a 90 day expiration date~ I think he knew I would want a front porch started if he let me wait too long to decide. Hope yours was a Merry Christmas too!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2 ~ The Birth of Jesus

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

I Have A Feeling

I have a feeling that Trouble may not ever make it out to the barn to live up to her potential of becoming a great guardian goat dog without some serious intervention. She has become a bit spoiled around here. I think it has something to do with those sweet little baby blue eyes, and that little baby growl and bark, and her chubby little short legs and fluffy fur. There's also the fact that she was only 3 days old when she came home and we are all still just thrilled that she is alive and thriving.It has caused certain people in the household to cater to her every need and hold her at every waking (and sleeping) moment and teach her how to play the piano.
Because we all know how important it is to know how to play the piano to scare away all those big scary coyotes. Cute little bugger. Both of 'em.

Clay for Christmas

Micah's homemade Christmas presents to the other kids (and himself) was modeling clay. It comes from an age-old recipe of Grandma Lee's that she used to make for us girls when we were little and has proven to bring great joy to our children (and many others) as well throughout the years. We mixed up the few ingredients then added food coloring~ making 5 different colors. We quickly found out that a fork was not going to work to mix it together so we had to use our hands.Something that Micah was thrilled to do!Next we rolled them into balls, put them into ziplock bags.
And sealed the bags.
Merry Christmas from Micah!
Grandma Lee's Clay Recipe
1 cup salt
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Enough water to make a stiff dough
Add food coloring if desired
This clay is great for modeling and can also be baked. Guaranteed to give hours of delight to children young and old and to drive mothers crazy when it is tracked throughout the kitchen and the dining room and the living room.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

It was almost a Christmas without a Christmas tree this year. Since we moved to the farm we happened upon a fun little tradition that we may never be able to escape from. One thing that our land has plenty of is pine trees. The farm had sat for nearly twenty years before we bought it with no farm work being done~ lots and lots of pine trees sprang up in that time. The tradition to cut our own Christmas tree started the first year we moved here when the kids and I took the new goats out for a walk and thought it would be fun to cut our own tree. The trees are the classic Charlie Brown Christmas trees, but it's the memories that count. We have had various modes of transportation to get the trees home. One year we used the snowmobile to pull several kids and a tree behind. There was a lot of laughing that year! Last year we enjoyed using the horses to haul it up (check it out here). This year there has been one thing after another (snowstorms, busyness in general, work) that has gotten in the way of getting out with Rob to cut down a tree. Finally the other night the kids and I headed out back in the dark in the search of the perfect tree. There were tall trees. And short trees. Last year Rob had to cut off several feet of the top of the tree just to get it in the door so we went with a little bit smaller tree this year. Of course in the dark it looked a little better than when we got it into the living room. We hauled out the decorations anyway and tried to spruce it up a bit. All the while laughing at the goofy looking thing!
Even the dog was embarrassed for us.
Martha Stewart I am not! I think next year we are adding a Christmas tree plot to The List.