Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mr Tough Guy

My hubs isn't what you would call a baby person. It's not that he DISLIKES them. He is just more comfortable with them when he's convinced they won't break...and when they are potty trained and don't smell bad. ;) 

This weekend,while watching my nieces for a few hours, I had to run to some errands.  Emily was playing happily in the Bumbo, so Dan said he would keep an eye on her. Not too long after I left, Danny said Emily was getting pretty floppy in the seat, so he picked her up and...

.. this is exactly how they stayed until Emily woke up. =)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

The anticipation is over. The packages have all been ripped open, the big man in red made a stop, and we ate WAY too much!

White Christmas!! The snow was lovely for Christmas, and we were thankful for the moisture, but man oh man the wind was brutal.
Christmas Eve is very special for my family.  Since the year my parents were married, and had to divide holiday time among their families, they had Christmas Eve dinner with my grandmother, my momma's mom. It was ALWAYS with her. We would eat dinner and then we opened up our packages from her. She has passed away, but that tradition was handed down to ME, and I love it.
We always go to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at a  teeny tiny beautiful little church a few miles away. This year, we left Danny at home, half passed out, half hanging off the couch. Who gets sick on Christmas Eve?? A sore throat, bad headache, and probably a high fever, but he refused to let me take his temperature. T has been sick too, for over a week now, but all that is left of his is a nasty, 3 pack a day smoker sounding cough. It is now better, but I was dosing up Nyquil like a bartender passing out shots for the 2 of them.  Sick and Christmas should just never go together.

After church, I send out a massive text message, telling everyone we are leaving, and everyone heads to the house, where we feast. My sister was VERY concerned about Danny, when he didn't take part in their "how many plates are you on?" contest. He was sick sick SICK, and didn't even get a plate of food down.

At 1:15am, Santa arrived.  At 2, I decided I couldn't sleep, and headed down to take a hot bath. Weird and random, I know, but any time I am sick, or can't sleep, I obsessively bathe.  (T is the same way.  One day last week, during the peak of the sickness, he took a bath 5 times before I told him his poor skin probably couldn't stand another one. We understand each other when the rest of our family thinks we are a bit kooky. hehe)  Anyway, there was already a kid passed out on the couch, Santa gift already inspected.

 Jacob was thrilled to FINALLY have his own hunting rifle.  His parents were thrilled to finally have the gift successfully delivered, after issue after issue with finding what we wanted. We finally found a dealer in a neighboring town that had *1* of what we wanted,  left in stock.   By the way...did you know you can't find bullets in stock right now? Every time we would ask, we were met with the same "good luck" with a chuckle that I started to compare to fingernails on a chalk board.   My sister in law finally found a box on her way to her parents, with the price 2 times higher than what they should be.

Tristen is in L.O.V.E with an electric drum set he got and hasn't left his room much. Did I mention it uses ear buds?? Oh yes...the drummer moms dream come TRUE!!  I must admit this contraption is very slick, and does some really neat things. He also was thrilled with some origami paper, light up drum sticks, and a Duck Dynasty hoodie.  I had looked for Duck Dynasty stuff in Wichita, thinking as popular as it is, it would be pretty easy to find something. It wasn't. I finally found this hoodie in Tractor Supply of all places, in Dodge City.  It made Tristen Happy, Happy, Happy!

Tristen has already made several very cool things with his paper, including these sailboats.
I was shocked when I opened a gift from my parents. They bought me a new camera.  The funny part is is that it is the same camera I have had for the past 3 years, just a step up and newer model, so I don't have to spend months figuring it out. It has a bigger screen, and a few new features, but is works all the same.  My old camera was quickly checking out, with parts of the case falling off, the zoom lens cover literally fell off in my purse one day, (The tube part that comes out when you zoom in. Not the lens cap cover.)  and the battery compartment is broken and held together with duct tape. Though cuter, zebra print duct tape doesn't really make something seem any less redneck. HA! So maybe there will be more pictures on my blog now.

This year I gave several homemade gifts.   I filled a canning jar with nail polishes, polish remover, files, covered the lid in cute fabric and added some ric-rac around the band and gave to some of my favorite girls. They turned out really cute! I also made crayon rolls for my little nieces and nephews. I am teaching my self to sew on a sewing machine..very slowly!!..but I discovered there is something so relaxing about the hum of a sewing machine. It became one of my favorite things to do. I'd sneak upstairs, turn on the Christmas music on the TV, add my favorite scent in my Scentsy warmer, and just sew.  They turned out adorable.

Crayon rolls! =)  I also made on for my nephew, Connor, but his was dinosaurs and red fabrics.

The strangest gift we gave this year.

Tristen and I cut out a TON of sugar cookies Sunday night. This is something HE wanted to do this year.  They turned out YUMMY!

This Christmas felt different, so many different reasons, but I guess some years are just going to be like that. It doesn't make them any less special, or take away from what Christmas is about.  Sometimes, you just go with it.

This is an envelope sent from my mother in law. It  was slit open, and 3 out of 4 cards she put in are missing.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! 364 more days until we get to do it all again! =)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Just About Ready

MOST of the gifts are bought. MOST are wrapped and put under the tree.

I usually send out a massive amounts of Christmas cards. I got my family ones sent out, and decided this morning I am not going to worry about the other ones. Missing one year doesn't make a Christmas failure, right?

The USP truck has dropped off everything it was suppose to. Danny and I will be making one quick trip out of town to get the last few things we need. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, huh?

Its strange. I HAVE the Christmas spirit, just not the ambition to do the things I always FEEL like I NEED to do. I can't decide if this is GOOD? Or BAD?

I do have a few gifts I can't WAIT to tell you about! ;)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mom and Dad's Day Out

Monday, after we got a kid on the bus, and made sure the other up and awake, we ran to our car to hit the road. Like really...we probably looked like we had just robbed a bank and landed in our get-a-way car. I'm sure the black burn out marks in the driveway will fade pretty fast...

We headed to the city to do some Christmas shopping, but we had few errands to run first.

This first part may cause me to lose some readers, but we stopped at  Tanganyika Wildlife Park.  You see, Tristen has a pet corn snake, and if you know anything about snakes, you know they are not vegetarians.  I was grossed completely out at having to BUY dead frozen mice, until we had the idea of using baby rabbits. (Baby bunnies are MUCH better than dead mice, right??) Now,  before you all start crying and running away, these babies are ones that were born dead, got out of the nest and died, things like that. ALL natural deaths and they would have other wise just been disposed of.  Tristen's snake thinks they are the best thing ever, I am happy I no longer have to buy icky mice, and they are free.  However, after a recent inventory, Tristen discovered we had over 40 of them from the last 2 breeding seasons,  which was way more than Slytherin would eat in a year. So, we called Tanganyika and they were THRILLED to take them off our hands.  Tristen did want me to ask what they would be feeding with them, and the zookeeper was  more than happy to chat with us and told us they would be feeding what we brought to the snakes and some of the leopards. T thought it was really cool that something born here would be feeding something at a zoo he has gone on field trips to!

*I realize this is a very sensitive subject, but the truth is is that animals need to eat. Not all of them eat food that comes from a cute little bag from the grocery store.*

The next thing we had to do was hard. We went to visit Jamie's grave. I had not been back since the funeral. I have been to the area several times, but always found a way to talk my self out of going, for what ever reason. My husband knew exactly what was going on, and he wasn't going to let me keep doing it. I was scared to go, have been missing her fiercely, and going there, well, it really does mean shes gone.  Knowing he would be with me helped a lot, and I made up some Christmas things to take out there.  It WAS sad, but I felt so much better after going. Danny let me do my thing, which involved a few tears, and pointed out how beautiful it looked. Her family had mulched and planted things that were just so very Jamie.  Sad, yet pretty and peaceful.

While we were pulling into the cemetery, a HORRIBLE noise starting coming from under the hood of our car. Dan and I just looked at each other with our mouths hanging open, and I believe a few explicit words came flying out of his. We had come to Christmas shop and hadn't even started yet.  We couldn't decide if we should just throw in the towel and head home or try our luck. We decided to go the places we didn't have access to close to home and then head home so if we DID have to have someone come and get us, it wouldn't be in the dark. 
Long story short, we didn't get ALL our shopping done, but got the things we needed too, and the car was acting fine, just sounded horrible at times,  and we made it home.  Danny thinks its some sort of belt. So we DO have to go out of town again this weekend, but just for a few things.

AND..while we were in the big city, I talked Danny into eating at Chipotle for lunch. Oh my!  It was wonderful!  I'm pretty sure I could live on just their guacamole and chips!  If you've never eaten there, you should try it!  I became interested after seeing them on Food, Inc. And then my friends started talking about it, and you KNOW if your friends are talking about it, you HAVE to try it. =) So go try it! And don't forget to get a side of chips and guac!! 

All in all, nothing went the way we thought it would be, but it was still a good day.  I refused to let anything ruin our Christmas spirit, and we laughed. A lot.   We are not city people. Nor our we the best shoppers. I like shopping, and I do like looking at things and window shopping a bit, but am mostly a get what we need and move on type of shopper. My husband, well, he is a "grab the first thing that looks good, why are there so many people here, its a Monday, don't these people WORK?" type of shopper.   In fact he had me laughing so hard in Bath and Body.  "I feel like a nun in a strip club...I don't know where to look."  HAHA! I looked over and his eyes are bugging out of his head, while trying to be patient and follow me around while I lovingly sniffed and admired all the little bottles of sensory heaven.  He also got to experience Hollister.  We both agreed that while we don't ever feel old very often, THAT store makes us feel ancient! 

I'm going to close this post with a recipe! A RECIPE! I NEVER share recipes, so you all know it HAS to be good if I thought it was good enough to share!  My guys love eggnog, and we can devour a cheesecake like a pack of hungry lions, so when I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest, I KNEW I had to make it! I did double this, because a 9inch pan of ANYTHING at this house is a joke.  The only variation I did was I only added half the brandy. Because my kids would be eating it, and I really just don't like it, but my hubs thought it needed SOME in it!

 Eggnog Cheesecake Bars

Serves 18
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray, for pan
  • 12 graham crackers, finely ground (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup eggnog
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Stir together graham crackers, 3 tablespoons sugar, and the melted butter. Press into bottom of pan. Bake until crust is just brown around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, the eggs, yolk, eggnog, flour, brandy, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt; beat until smooth. Pour filling over crust. Set pan in a roasting pan, and add enough hot water to come halfway up sides of baking pan. Bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove baking pan from water bath, and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool slightly, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  3. Cut into 1 1/2-by-3-inch bars. Lightly dust tops of bars with freshly grated nutmeg just before serving.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Spring in December?

This warm  December feels more like springtime,  but I think things are about to change come this weekend.

Our bunnies are agreeing, and this week has found us with litter after litter.  It is very strange for us to have litters this far into the season, and we are thankful!  Some of these cuties will be our spring show animals, and we NEVER have anything decent to show early in show season. Rabbits don't like breeding into fall/winter, since out in the wild, babies born in the cold will usually not survive, so when the sunlight decreases, they usually will shut down. Tristen is still waiting on 2 does, but so far as litters of 5, 6, 7, and 8. I'm REALLY hoping the pattern doesn't continue to go upwards. ;)
Jacob had 2 litters we are excited about. One is sired by his BOB ARBA National buck to a doe he bought from Julie Spier, who was Best Chocolate at Havana Nationals last year. Her name is Double Dip. =) She had 7 fat and sassy babies and seems to be an old pro at the parenting thing.  Should be a cute litter.
He's also had some disappointment and drama.  He's had a first time mom dump litters on the wire and not want anything to do with them after they were put into a box.   A first time Californian drop *11* babies in her box, and then lost them pretty fast for some unknown reason.  (Both these litters were born on day 29.)

After my last post, we were thankful and  blessed to find a hay source for our cows, right down the road.  It *should* last all winter, but we are still going to buy a few here and there as we find them, just in case.  I really thought we were going to to have to pack them up and take them to the sale barn, and it was breaking my heart. 

Tristen lost his 4-H steer this sometime this morning. Ugh.  He was happy and hungry at feeding time last night, and Jacob said he came over and ate this morning. My sister in law saw him down as she was heading back to work after her lunch break and Dan went right out there to check on him, but he had been gone for awhile.  We are not sure if it was bloat, or a fast acting pneumonia. The vet mentioned to a friend of ours it could have been this as they are seeing a lot of it because of the dryness of our area. 

Dad doesn't  know it yet, but I'm hoping to get to the farm this weekend to put lights up at mom and dads, and help decorate for Christmas.  My dad shocked me recently when he said he didn't think they were even going to put a tree up this year. =(  This guy used to shoot Christmas cheer from his behind when I was growing up. He WAS Santa.  His health and rapidly  failing eye sight seem to have put his Christmas light out, so I guess *I* will be the one shooting Christmas cheer..maybe it will light his back up. 

A PLUS to the holiday season: Peppermint Mocha coffee in the mornings. It's going to be a painful withdraw!
This morning I was remembering a Christmas years ago, when my uncle Andy was home. He had bought my Grandad a microwave, and he and my dad had schemed for days how they would pull off getting it over there to surprise him.   Late one night,  with my nose pressed to the window, watching,  they crept over with this little microwave and big red bow.  I had strict instructions to stay home and watch the windows upstairs, and to let them know if any lights came on. Looking back, I'm sure this was their way of making a very LOUD little girl feel like she was in on the surprise. I'll forever remember watching them creep over and how magical it felt, leaving a gift in the middle of the night.

This may be on of the most random posts I've ever done,but thats ok.  Forgive my lack of pictures too. Not only have I not been writing about our life, I haven't been taking pictures either. I even FORGOT to take it to Tristen's music program last week.

Bundle up this weekend!! Its suppose to be cold!