Friday, October 31, 2008

Bread Baking 101

We had a friend come over today to help us learn some better bread baking skills.
She decided white dinner rolls would be a good place to start.
Here is our taste tester . . . .
Drum roll please . . .
And the verdict is . . . .
Very yummy!

Pumpkin Carving

Victoria wanted to carve our family pumpkin as part of her birthday evening. So she scooped out its contents and Daddy did the finer carving.

Now we're watching a movie:)

Happy Birthday Victoria!

Today we celebrated Victoria!
Our house was decorated with some extra "sunshine" with yellow decorations everywhere!
She requested "peach bread" for breakfast for her special meal. We accompanied it with a healthy farmer's casserole!

Then, came the presents!

Valerie had chosen her name way-back-when, so she purchased several play boer goats and a cow that Victoria has been wanting. She also found a foaling book at the thrift store she thought Victoria would enjoy.
Timothy gave her the skirt she is wearing (with a little of Mommy's help.) Victoria picked out the fabric a long time ago, and so I made it up for Timothy to give to her. He also gave her some brown horse earrings to go with it:)!

Kyle has been working very hard on the play animal cart that Victoria is holding. He made it from scratch, all by himself. He even drilled out pieces of tree branches to form the tires.

For her cake, she requested TEXAS sheet cake!

Daddy's Home Again!

Daddy's home once again! And Joseph took hold of his hand and said "come on" and led him to sit awhile on this door frame!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's a Bug's Life Here on the Farm

A Determined Lot We Are . . .

. . . . or is it a lost cause? Can you see how the border of the puzzle we started last week has been destroyed. . . . at the hands of an adorable little just-turned-two-year-old. . . again? (If you can't be good . . . at least be cute! Right?!)
Can you tell that the puzzle is hiding out in a closet, hoping to avoid any further disturbances?
Just before I snapped this photo, Victoria turned up two of the blue border pieces we had searched for last night to no avail. We figured they might be somewhere in Joseph's digestive track at this point, but wait . . . they have been found and rejoined! So off I go to reconstruct it . . . one more time!

Monday, October 27, 2008

All Before Noon

All before noon on a Monday morning . . .

Discovery of "flood" under kitchen sink . . . .

Sweet 13-year old found alone in guest room having a meltdown over graded grammar test and feeling like a failure in science and other subjects . . . .

Panic stricken children running into guest room while Mommy is consoling above student, saying that little Timmy has just been "ram"med into and knocked over in the pasture . . .

Daddy and Kyle leaving for Seattle for the week:(

Hopefully, we got this all out of our system BEFORE Daddy is not here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Joseph!

Can't believe it's really true . . . but Joseph indeed turned TWO today!
So we had a little party to celebrate!
We invited the Adams family over after church for lunch and party festivities. They have a little girl named Addison who is about 18 months. She and Timothy had lots of fun together!

We played pin-the-siren-on-the-firetruck. Timothy won!
Papa Bob and Meemom gave Joseph this adorable inch worm.
Joseph loves it! He bounces across the floor on it.

Time for the birthday song . . . . . . . and the blowing out of the candles!
He actually did really well! He blew both of them out all by himself!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Findings

I woke up this morning to this . . .

Remember I mentioned we still had more fresh apples that were given to us that needed to be eaten or processed some how in the next few days? Well, Lydia and Valerie thought of a great idea! They made pancakes with apple topping for breakfast! And scrambled eggs too!

After breakfast, I set out on a mission . . . to get dinner in the crock pot, and get two little people bathed, dressed, out the door, to Walmart and photographed for their annual birthday portraits. Thankfully, I had lots of help at home, and Ted was able to meet me at Walmart to help out. It sure was a good thing he was there . . .because Joseph did not at all see the need for such silly things. With Ted's years of experience at this sort of thing, he worked wonders, and I think we managed to get a couple portraits . . . not sure how good they are, but at least we have something! I wanted to snap a couple pictures of them here at the house before we left, but I was running late, and it was COLD outside, so I'll have to get some maybe on Sunday:)

Then, Ted took the "littles" home so I could proceed to my next mission . . . finding the rest of the fabric for the Bowes girls' Christmas tier skirts. After about two or three hours in Joann's I'm very happy with my finds . . . and so are the girls! Yippee! Now, just need to go make this into four tier skirts:)

After running a few more errands, which of course included a trip to Costco, I came home to some really amazing finds! (By the way, did you know that Costco will give you back any rebate amount that happens to be advertised after you purchased the item at full price? Just have to have the receipt and it must be within 30 days! I found this out when I saw the Christmas tree that we purchased on behalf of Meemom and Papa Bob last Saturday that now had a $50 rebate attached to it. So I inquired at the returns desk about their policy on this, and she gave me the $50.00 back! Yahoo!)

This was the first find the kids showed me . . . some sort of bird that was hanging in our fencing today! Poor thing broke its neck somehow. Ted is pretty sure it is a pheasant. Interesting.

Then, they took me out front to show me this . . .

They found this little tree out in the tall grass, uprooted it, and transplanted it! Then, they made the decorative rock border and planted bulbs in front of it:) How cool!

Now, the next find, I am really glad I was not home for! Kyle began to explain to me that the staple gun he is holding does not shoot staples out the front of it like a regular stapler would. He found out the hard way that it shoots staples out the back, and depending on how it is being held at the time. . . they can shoot right into one's hand. They told me that the staple went all the way in and was flush with his skin. Ted had to pull it out with pliers! Are you still with me? Hmmm . . . does he need a tetanus booster for that? Don't think it was rusty . . . of course, here in Washington it is possible!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I'm really thankful that Ted and Victoria made it home safe and sound from Seattle around 8:45pm last night, that the audit at work is going well, and that we had a fairly trouble free time back at the "ranch".

It has been a busy week so far.

After our great day out on Saturday, I awoke around 3am Sunday morning to the sounds of a loose dog running about downstairs. I decided I should probably go check it out . Suffice is to say, the carpet cleaner and I spent the next two and a half hours cleaning up the "messes" Lucy had made while we slept:( After church and a homemade taco lunch, Ted and Victoria left for Seattle and I can't remember for sure what all the rest of us did on Sunday afternoon. (Probably from sleep deprivation!) I do remember that Timothy fell off the back of the sofa in the loft and hit his head good on the wood floor at impact:( (It hurt him until the next day, which had me a little worried. But he seems to fine now.) In the evening, we decided to start a new puzzle I purchased after Christmas last year. It is a really cute one of about six labradors hanging in Christmas stockings. We set up in the loft so that we could watch some movies while we worked. We began on the border as we listened to Bambi and an episode of Little House on the Prairie. The puzzle is absolutely crazy! It is the weirdest puzzle we have ever seen! The border is not square or rectangle, it is a "shaped" border that doesn't have all interlocking pieces. Some of the pieces just "sit there" in between two other pieces, some are shaped so strangely, and some of the pieces are so tiny, you just wouldn't believe it. So I'll just have to show you pictures . . . .

On Monday, the kids did school and I worked alongside of them balancing three months of our finances. I had really let the check-book go, and I also had an American Express bill to reconcile with our receipts. I am ashamed to admit this whole process, with three different calculators, took me about three hours! Well, for some of this time, I was consumed with trying to log on to my B of A online account. It had been so long since I had signed on, that in the interim, they changed the ID system, so I had to go through quite a lengthy process . . . .first trying to figure it all out online, then finally having to speak with a B of A representative. Actually before I began this task, Timothy had requested a little trip to DeGoedes. He loves going there to see the Koi fish and to get a cookie (or two, or three!) I love it, too, so Timmy and I had a delightful little outing together. After that, Lydia and I started to cut out a denim tier skirt from some fabric we have had for a very long time. Thankfully, Valerie wanted to make a chicken, rice, and broccoli casserole for dinner, so I let her have at it! What a blessing! Then, more "puzzling" to the sounds of more Little House on the Prairie.

After a sleepless night, (insomnia for no particular reason), Tuesday morning I was on a mission to complete Lydia's skirt before leaving for piano and violin lessons. She really wanted to wear it! And with her help, we accomplished it! We left for lessons at 12:30, and after lessons went to Walmart to try to find the rest of the fabric we need to make the Bowes girls' Christmas skirts. I found two yards of it at Joann's on Saturday, but I need a total of about 6-7 yards. They did not have it:( Valerie wanted to make dinner again . . . yahoo . . . so she made homemade macaroni and cheese! Yum! Then, more puzzling!
Wednesday, I spent the morning calling around to try to find someone who has the fabric we need. I found three and a half more yards at a Walmart in Olympia. So, thankfully the nice Walmart associate said she would hold it for us. Ted was able to pick it up on his way home from Seattle! He also brought home my new, new camera. (Redundancy intended.) He was able to return my first new camera and purchase the same camera at their $30.00 off rebate price:) Now I'm even happier about my new camera!!! Then us girls spent some more time planting the rest of our bulbs. In the process, Lydia thought of a fun idea. She wanted to find a bulb that would represent each one of our family members. So she asked if we could go to DeGoedes and pick out a bulb for each of us. So off we went and when we got home, we put them safely in the ground. Daddy is a beautiful blue iris, I am a purple and white iris, the girls are all tulips in their colors (except Caroline, who will be white, since flowers aren't usually green:) and the boys are all the same small blue irises. Shhhhh . . . this will be a spring surprise for Ted. We only have a few more daffodils and tulips to plant now. I'll try to finish them up today.

While I did some weed eating around our new rock flower bed, and our big rock at the front of the driveway, and other rocky areas, Lydia and Valerie made several batches of frozen apple pie filling and a fresh apple pie for Daddy's return home. We were thankful for all the fresh apples that our piano teacher gave to us from her trees to do all of this. They are so juicy! And we still have some left, so we'll be making more apple-somethings today! Just before making egg Mc muffins for dinner, Timothy and I had fun flying a kite for awhile. It was the perfect conditions for it!

Well, better sign off for now and get our thankful Thursday underway! I have lots of grading to do today!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Birthday Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

This is their hay maze . . .

This is the way out of the hay maze!

Plenty of tractors around . . .

and pumpkins, of course, and . . .

. . . a little train ride!

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