Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011 is already a memory. Today we are in some kind of a post holiday hangover. The 2 oldest men in my family have been fighting a mild flu bug since yesterday. Not sick sick, but just sick enough to feel bad. Tristen and I are holding our breath we don't get it.

Christmas Eve found us at the candlelight service at our church. I love pulling up on this night, and seeing the church all lit up, with warmth and love spewing out its windows. After this, we always book it back to town, meet everyone at our house for a Christmas Eve dinner. This is something our family has been doing for years and years, only it used to be held in my grandmothers teeny tiny apartment. I actually can not remember a year we didn't do it. She's gone now, but every Christmas, as we carry on her tradition, she's never too far from my mind.
Anyway, here are a bunch of pictures from our Christmas!
My big attempt at decorating this year! I got this idea from my newest addiction: Pinterest.  Was very happy with how they looked!

I added  them to the table as our centerpiece, as well as the food table.
Christmas mice. =)

Yep--these are my people. And that freaky face blur in the corner? That's my husband.
A small amount of torture usually comes in some form or another at our get togethers.

 But there's always much laughter. Here are Michelle and Danny, who I've lovingly started calling Abe. As in Abe Lincoln. No Shave November is SO OVER!!! Anyway, Chelle BEGGED him to take a picture with her with his beard all fluffed out. I'm sure he will be THRILLED to know its now posted here as well as on Facebook! hehe

Tristen was happy. Santa brought him his metal detector he has just been DYING to get since playing with one at the state fair. So far, hes dug up several old pop cans, a key, and an old tent stake.  He was also happy with 2 new Monster Energy hats, a wood burning kit, and  a very nice wooden magic kit that even impressed his parents.

 And THIS boy...this boy I am convinced had been peeking at Amazon shipment details in my email...HAHA..was VERY surprised to come down and see that a hunting blind as well as a basket stuffed FULL of hunting supplies had been left for him. Santa even bough him a bottle of doe urine. A first for Santa, to gift PEE! Anyway, he is thrilled with it, as well as a much wanted Wii game all his buddies are playing, and an IPOD dock where high on his favorite lists.

I was spoiled. My parents got me 2 new pans to add to my red Paula Dean collection. I just love this line! And Danny got me a beautiful pie board, as well as glass beverage dispenser with a stand, that just has me ITCHING to throw some sort of party and use it. You should have seen the look of horror on his face when I announced THAT!  Jacob got me a new METAL bird feeder, so our resident squirrel won't break it in his attempt to steal food. And Tristen listened to me gripe enough about wanting some hard soled slippers that he got me some. I hate having to put shoes on when I run outside in the middle of the night when we are expecting baby bunnies. The floor in our barn is rock, and it hurts on bare feet. I was very impressed--he got some leopard print,VERY soft, HARD SOLED slippers and I was even MORE impressed when I was told he even tried them on in the store, to see if they size was right, since he now has the same size feet as me!

And this wasn't a Christmas gift, but a Momma gift, which are just as special.  My momma bought me a new Nativity scene. I have been wanting  a new one for a couple of years now, but had just a certain one in mind, much like the one my grandma had at her apartment, and just hadn't found THAT ONE yet. She did though! =) It's perfect and I just love it. We used to have an all glass one, but very slowly the figures started disappearing. Funny how that happens when you have little kids!

Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I really can't believe it's already over!!!

And I am REFUSING to step in the scale until after the new year. BLAH!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sister!

This girl is 18 today!!

18 years ago today, my 9 year old brother and my 14 year old self were sitting in the waiting room at our local hospital, waiting on news on the baby my mom was delivering. I was excited. And scared. Childbirth is scary when your old enough to realize just what is going on behind those doors, and it's your mom going through it.  Eric was excited, as he was SURE he was getting a brother.

Out came a nurse holding a tiny bundle in a  little white blanket.

"Do you guys want to see the baby?" she whispered.

We pretty much trampled over  her in our rush and she held IT up for us to see.

She couldn't tell us if IT was a boy or a girl, so our dad could come and tell us, which may be one of the meanest things you can do to a couple of excited kids, but I remember looking at this little bald being with big wide eyes staring back us, and I knew I had a sister.

I got up with her the first night home and Mom was recovering from surgery. I was totally in love with her from the moment she arrived, and I would just stare at her and hold her for hours. I dressed her up and hauled her around. She was my living baby doll.

Many many MANY times I've thanked God for her. Because he knew she was exactly what our family needed and what was to come.   She has a special relationship with my dad.  For most of her life, I've felt sorry for her, since I had a strong and well dad, and she was too young to remember him before he got sick.  But I've realized she came just when she was suppose to. I think Dad would have given up years ago with out her. She yells at him to keep going when he needs it most and sometimes hers is the only voice that can get through that very thick skull of his.

It's been amazing to watch her grow up, from a bald squalling baby, to a preschooler dragging her pink blanket in to class, to an dorky middle school-er, to a beautiful high school-er who tears up the basketball court.  Along the way, she became one of my very best friends.

Happy 18th Birthday, Katie Michelle!! I love you! And just remember...NOW--you can go to jail! HAHA!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Sparkle

 Have I mentioned how much I love Christmas?  And I am NOT good at decorating, but I do love decorating for Christmas. Every year I add a little bit more. This year, I am having a love affair with real greenery. I picked it from the farm, and if I close my eyes,  and sniff its wonderful aroma, I am reminded of Christmases from a long time ago, where trees where real, the people I love the most were healthy, and the magic of waiting for Santa was just about too much to take.

So, I thought I would show you some pictures of some of my favorite  Christmas things. I am having a bit of bloggers block, and haven't  felt like I had anything to write about lately.  Keep in mind, though...Martha Stewart DOES NOT live here!

Greenery with some little sparkly bulbs added in an old canning jar. Thanks, Pintrest!

I love snowmen!! The water globe was my Grandma Juanita's. It was the only thing I really wanted of hers after she passed away.  She used to wind it up and just watch it while it was sitting on her lap.

I add greenery with lights and bows to our half wall every year.

And I hang our Christmas cards from it! 

Isn't he cute?

I got this tree a few years ago, but only used it one season before the lights died. I had put in way in the back of Christmas storage, and kinda just forgot about it until this year, when Jacob found it, rescued it, and replaced the lights. He's my hero!! I've really enjoyed it's little twinkle this year!

I am really learning I just love lights and twinkle!! The "present" is actually 2 glass blocks with lights inside. My BFF got it for me year before last, and I just love it. The Santa mug is one of a pair , and my boys drink hot chocolate from them Christmas Eve.  I used to have a smaller one that my was my dads when he was little, but it got broken in a very unfortunate ball accident, so I was thrilled when I found these guys!! They are just not the same as the old one though!

Snowmen are just adorable!

This year I took an old pail I plant flowers in, added some greenery and some red sparkle. Thanks again, Pintrest!!  I also found that little red cardinal recently, and may or may not have squealed with delight, in the middle of the store. I think he's adorable!
I love evergreen more than pine, but I do love pine cones and love how they look when they are naturally still on the branch.

How many days NOW, Santa?

I love Orange Pomanders. Some years I make quite a few of them and others I just make a few, but I ALWAYS make them. I love walking by and smelling them. DELICIOUS!!

This weekend and the coming week will find us finishing up the shopping, and the start of my goodie baking! Dan and I are taking off work on Friday for a shopping trip in the big city. JUST THE TWO OF US!!  I think he's looking more forward to eating, and not so much the shopping. =)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The BUCK stops HERE!!

November 30th, the first day of season,  just as they were about to pack up and head home, Jacob got his deer. The buck was young, with 7 points, and next year, he says,  he will wait it out for "the big one", but just couldn't NOT wait to get his first deer. He took him down from  31 yards, (Yep! He went back and measured!) and dropped him immediately. I guess all those hours of shooting cans and old couches is paying off!!

I wish I could breath life back in him, I'd hunt him again tomorrow~Ben Rogers Lee

This picture makes me LOL.
Can you just see the excitement?

I don't understand hunting. I don't understand gearing up in the cold, spraying yourself with scent away sprays..that STINK, by the way, and handling various bottles of animal body fluids, to sit in the cold and wet for hours and hours. But I DO understand the smile he had and the excitement that was radiating out of of every pore of his body.

And so it seems a hunting family has been born. I think I'm going to need a new cookbook. Anyone have any recipes they would like to share, or their favorite way to eat deer? *I* don't really like it, but the "men folk" at my house do, so I think I'm going to have learn to like it. Or eat a lot of salad.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

9 Years

Today, 9 years ago, I was issued a child care license with the state of Kansas. 9 years. The kids that I originally started with are in Jr high and high school.  I've seen lots of changes with the system during this time. Some good, some just annoying, some bad. But I feel like Kansas is FINALLY heading in the right direction.

I have had 9 years of slobbery kisses and hugs around the legs, 9 years of food program paperwork, classes, state inspections, 9 years of, at times, fighting, begging and pleading for my paycheck from parents, who "don't have the money to pay me this week" but tell their child in front of me to "hurry up and get your shoes on...we are going to Dodge" as they barely look up from playing on their brand new cell phone, 9 years of celebrating new babies and milestones with families,  9 years of laying in bed at night, wondering if that sweet little boy went be bed with a full tummy, 9 years of explaining thousands of times why its not ok to dope Johnny up with Tylenol and then send him to daycare, and then complain 3 days later when I have to close because I'm sick, 9 years of praying TODAY won't be the day the inspectors show up. You know..the day you over cook the macaroni noodles for lunch, and everyone is whiny and fighting and the baby just wants you to hold him, and there's dirty underwear on your bathroom floor, a Tonka truck in your house plant, and your childrens bedrooms look like some sort of explosion happened in them and it looks like you haven't done laundry in a year. (For those of you that don't know, the surveyors look through your ENTIRE house. Even your closets and areas not used for childcare.)
9 years of  "Is Your Momma A Llama",  9 years of glitter, glue, crayons, markers, and paint, millions of bottles of hand soap and tubs of baby wipes, 9 years of Christmas parties and a Santa who stopped by one time to hand out bananas...yep! I said Bananas! =) 9 years of ABC's, 123's, Dora, puke, snot, poop, and even a bit of blood. 9 years of binkies, and blankies, woobies and lost socks.

 9 years of tears as that little guy you've had since he was 6 weeks old, gets on the bus for Kindergarten, and the "Oh I hope he doesn't get lost or scared" on the first day,  9 years of laughter and exhaustion, 9 years of watching new mommies cry as they leave their babies for the first time, and feeling like a baby snatcher when they hand them over to me, 9 years of the pick up wars. Other providers will know EXACTLY what I'm talking about, but it's this thing that happens to kids at pick up time. Mom's here and Becky's here. Which one is in charge? Hmm...I'll just act like a wild ape on crack and see which one reacts, 9 years of friendships formed with fellow providers,  9 years of listening to my children complain about my job, but I hope someday they will realize the benefits of having their mom available anytime and here and happy to see them when they get home from school, 9 years of "Can I have seconds, PA-PA-PA-PLLLEEASE?", 9 years of some of my families becoming some of my dearest friends, and 9 years of time with the most precious, innocent and amazing little people on this planet.

I just realized out of the providers in our county that were doing child care when I started, I am THE ONLY ONE left still providing care.

I'm not really sure if that entitles me to a medal, or a psych evaluation. =)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Memories and Cinnamon Rolls

What does a grandmothers bread recipe, 2 granddaughters, 2 great-granddaughters, and 2 granddaughter in laws make? Sweet, precious memories!!

Friday morning my cousin Joy pulled up with a bowl of dough, her 2 sister in laws, and 2 nieces.We knocked out 8 pans of cinnamon rolls!

Shelle, Austyn, and Hannah--it's been so much fun meeting and talking to these girls in "the real wold", outside of Facebook! They are amazing women!! Lots of laughter and smiles come with them!

I have always looked up to Joy. She's little older than me,and she and my other older cousins tolerated me following them around quite persistently.  It's been fun getting to know her as an adult, and it's quite comical to find us very different but alike in many ways too.

She has this beautiful calm spirit to her. The same one that her mom has, and that my grandmother had.

Joy and Avery

She understands that the smell of bread dough and pipe tobacco can make your heart ache, lost recipes can make you bawl, and why it's so very important to have cottonwood leaves stuck in your cookbook.

She's one of my very favorite people on this planet and we are ALL blessed by her.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tristen and his Dutch Adventure

Tristen has added TORTS to his Dutch varieties!

He had been hinting around here and there about them, and we finally asked fellow bunny exhibitor, Briony, if she had any.

Briony didn't have any for sale, but she WAS going to Indianapolis for ARBA Nationals, and said she'd be happy to bring him back a pair if we wanted. We have never purchased anything from nationals and the thought was very exciting. It's a chance to purchase rabbits from breeders from all over the country, and from the "big" names you only see way back on pedigrees or through national club newsletters.

She came home with Snickers, who came from Ohio, I believe. She has been bred and HOPEFULLY will have a litter the first week of December

And Rusty, who came from Michigan, who is with Tristen in the above picture. He's a very cute little Jr Buck.

So far he's had great luck with them! The little tort buck won Best of Breed at BOTH shows in Kinsley last weekend, and also won Best Opposite Sex at the Sunflower show we were at this past weekend in Wichita.

I will say that I am totally, head over heels, obber, doober in love with the personality of the Dutch breed and they make a WONDERFUL breed for kids. There is a HUGE difference from any other breed we have ever have.  The Dutch we have in our barn DEMAND attention, love their human, and get a bit urked when you don't stop and admire them. They are almost annoying when you water them as they stick their heads out the cage door and just refuse to move until they have had their fill of nose rubs.

And as of this weekend, all Dutch does..and many  Havana does...have been bred. Breeding this time of year can be pretty hit and miss, but we are crossing our fingers some babies land in the nest boxes in a month!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Post Of Diffrent Sorts

I'm still working on Tristen's post. Since the time change I haven't been able to get out to a picture of him since it gets dark so early. Its coming, I promise!

But first off, I wanted to write about a deep dark secret I have. Ok. *GULP*. Here goes.

I have eaten rabbit.

And I like it.

The show we went to last weekend is a favorite, for lots of reasons, but one is that we really enjoy the meals served. One of the woman always has some sort of rabbit dish. The past 2 years it has been rabbit enchiladas, and the year before that was the BEST rabbit and noodles EVER, complete with homemade noodles.

Basically, domestic rabbit tastes exactly like chicken, and you can not even tell a difference when it's in dishes such as the above.
And the honest truth, one that we try really hard not to talk about to our "non" rabbit friends, is this:  If you are going to raise and show rabbits, you have to have a good cull program. There is just NO way you can keep them all.
Some people sell them, some go to zoos to feed other animals, others pet them out, and some use them to feed their families. None are wrong and it's a personal choice, as long the animal is always respected.

Here are some facts about rabbit meat:

Rabbit is lower in % of fat than chicken, turkey, beef, and pork.

The office of home economics, state relations of the U S Department of Agriculture has made extensive test and have stated that domestic rabbit meat is the most nutritious meat known to man.

Rabbit meat is all white meat.

A doe rabbit that weighs 10 pounds can produce 320 pounds of meat in a year.

Other people are just more comfortable eating a monster sized plate of beef and bean nachos!  And that is ok too!! =)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Windy Plains RBA Way Out West Show

Every rabbit breeder...well, ANY person that shows ANY animal...dreams of winning Best In Show. Its the entire goal  of getting up before the sun, packing up rabbits, and grooming a rabbit more than most boys groom THEMSELVES in a month.

To dare to even THINK of winning Best In show is HUGE. To dare to dream of winning TWO Best In Shows at a double show is just down right silly.

But---can you guess what Jacob did today?

He won Best In Show. TWICE.

We were super excited to head to this show this morning! First off, it was only 45 minutes from us, which is the shortest amount of time we've ever driven. And it was a double show.  Second of all, we had all woken up with the feeling it was just going to be a good day.

Jacob was THRILLED when he won Best of Breed with Jagger, and Best Opposite with Anna, a black doe in both shows. Which I will say is very unusual for the SAME 2 rabbits to be picked in the same order for 2 shows.

So, Jagger gets put up on the table for the Best In Show judging, and the judge goes through the bunnies, and he never looks at him again. Usually you can tell the ones that have a chance, as they go back and look at them a second, and sometimes even a third time. THAT'S when it gets exciting. So, without even a second glance, Jagger was announced as the Best In Show winner for Show A.

Jacob, Jagger, and Judge Robert Caldwell

After this, Jake put Jagger back up to be judged for the Best in Show Show B judging, knowing the odds of even placing again for really slim. What were the odds? Really?  Anyway, the judge goes through them, and he goes BACK and pulls Jagger out. I look over, meet Jacob's eyes, and he's trying REALLY hard not to smile.  The judge teases us when announcing the 2nd runner up. He walks towards Jagger,  LOOKS AT HIM, and lays the award check BY THE RABBIT NEXT to Jagger. UGH!!  Talk about a tease!! I was pumped when I thought Jagger was 2nd runner up! So when Jagger was announced  as the BEST IN SHOW for a SECOND TIME, I was: 1. stunned 2.excited 3. laughing 4.clapping  5. trying not to pee my pants  all within about 2 seconds span.

Jacob, Jagger, and Judge Vic Vogts


To say it was an amazing day is an understatement. And I haven't even mentioned how Tristen did!! I think he deserves a post all to his own! Stay tuned! =)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Some Gave All -- Lt. Donald G. White

Donald White was my fathers uncle. My grandmothers brother.

He was reported Missing In Action on February 23, 1943 at the age of 24.  His story has always haunted me. From the empty grave at the cemetery, to his uniform hanging up in our local museum, to the stories handed down through the generations of my great grandmother waking up, with very eerie nightmares, the night his plane went down....his story is one of a true American hero, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

Here are some tid bits I have found about him.

October 7, 1942.
Dear Folks,
Well, I've been around quite a bit since I last wrote you. On Monday before graduation they called us out at 1:30 p.m. and asked us to volunteer to get twin engine time if we wanted to fly P-38s. so I volunteered, and they sent us over to Williams Field that same afternoon, and we graduated in our overalls on the flight line during lunch hour the next day.
We got back to Luke Field Saturday, and the rest of the fellows had already been sent on to the different places, and we got sent out of there Saturday evening.
We drove up to March Field Monday afternoon, and Tuesday afternoon they gave us orders to report here at Glendale and we are going to fly what is said to be the best airplane in the world. This is about five or six miles from Los Angeles and Hollywood. We will leave for Muroe Lake, about 60 miles northeast of here, for six weeks training, and then be sent back here to patrol the coast. My friend Webber and I are in the same squadron.
How is silo filling this year? Are you going to get the silo as full as you did last year?
Must close now. Will mail you the wings sometime this week, Mom.
Love, Don

"Don was born on February 12, 1919, the eldest child of Harry and Ruth White. He grew up in Comanche County, attending Sunnyside country school, and graduating from Coldwater High School with the class of 1937. After graduation he became involved full time in the family farming and cattle operation. Don enlisted in the Army Air Corps Reserve in January, 1942, and a month later entered pre-flight training at Santa Ana, California. He was graduated from Luke Field at Phoenix, Arizona, in September, and received his second lieutenant commission. He then volunteered for training in the P-38 fighter plane, and received his training on the west coast. On December 15, Don flew to Honolulu, and from there, joined with other members of the 339th Fighter Squadron, being formed in New Caledonia. On February 23, 1943, while on a mission to accompany bombers on a raid over Bougainville, his plane was hit, and he was listed as missing in action. Don was 24 years of age. Each family member remembers him in different ways, but always... with love. -- Ruth White and Family, Comanche County History

And then this one:

The Western Star , February 26, 1943.
Has Been With Fighter Squadron Since December.
Mr. and Mrs. Harry White of Coldwater received the following telegram Wednesday morning from the War Department: Washington, D.C. Feb. 23. "The Secretary of War desires me to express our deep regret that the Commanding General, United States Army Force in South Pacific area, has reported your son, Second Lieutenant Donald G. White, air corps, missing in action. Additional information will be sent when received. THE ADJUTANT GENERAL."
Lieut. White enlisted in the Army Air Corps February 11, 1942, and after completing his training left the United States December 15 for combat duty. His parents and many friends here anxiously await further word from him. 

This man was gone for 36 years before I was born, but I take my boys to his stone at the cemetery when ever we are out there. I don't want to ever forget him, and I don't want THEM to ever forget him.