Monday, December 27, 2010

What My Family Did on Christmas

We had such a great Christmas this year!

We went to my parents' house in Oregon and spent four very fun days hanging out with them, my grandparents, and my sister.  We did the extended family party on the day of Christmas Eve (potluck, white elephant, etc.), then us girls hit a store I'd heard a lot about but never been to; Hobby Lobby!  It was instantly a new favorite.  We only had about an hour to spend there so my wallet didn't suffer too badly. Thank goodness there's not one close to where I live! I'd be in big trouble.

The boys went to Ranch & Home (I think) where my father bought Big Squirt a mini 20-gauge shotgun. You see, my husband and I shoot trap and Big Squirt really wants to shoot too, but before Friday we hadn't been able to find a shotgun to fit him.  Lo-and-behold, they find one that fits.  My son was, of course, over the moon!

When we got back to the house we all changed into our PJs and settled down to open presents from each other.

Little Squirt got super excited about his Superhero Squad DVD from his Aunt.

Mom loved all her scarves.

Big Squirt was really excited to get a steelhead rod.

Grandma loved her warm clothes from Grandpa, which earned him a smooch and a hug.

Casey and I got an awesome Christmas present from my parents; two plane tickets to Las Vegas!  In addition to the plane tickets, my parents paid for my registration fee to the NFAA World Archery Festival!  I can't wait!

On Christmas day our family went out shooting.  I told you earlier that Big Squirt got a shotgun from his grandpa. Well, he got to try it out. I was worried that he wouldn't be able to handle the kick, and at first it was a little hard, but I was so proud of him when he didn't let that make him afraid and he tried it again.

On just his 2nd attempt he shot his first clay pigeon!!! From then on he was hooked.  I was so proud of him. He hit about 12 total, out of about 30 shots. Very very good for a brand new shooter. I might have to start calling him dead-eye! I caught this picture with the bird, shot, and smoke all in the air.

He shot righ along side everyone else and showed us how it is done.

After we were done with shooting we went back to the house, put the prime rib in the oven, later had a yummy feast, and after that played cards for awhile.  It was such a fun Christmas!  We missed our family that couldn't be there with us this year though.

Hope you all had an AWESOME Christmas!
Remember your blessings!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope this year's Christmas brings you and your family lots of laughs and more love than you know what to do with!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Artsy Fartsy Christmas Photos

I love beautiful Christmas pictures. Who doesn't?  There's so many small details about Christmas decorations that just scream to be photographed.  Some people add artistic treatments to their photos that I just loved so I tried my hand at adding some textures and different effects.  Here's a few of what I came up with.

Not really a Christmas decoration... or is it?

Go Vandals!!!

To everyone who will be traveling over the holidays, be safe!

Remember your blessings!

Friday, December 17, 2010

2010 Christmas Tree Post

My tree is beginning to look pretty much the same every year.  The good thing is that I love it!  We decided to put up our artificial tree this year to save time and money.  I do miss the smell of a real pine tree, but the fake tree is hassle-free, which is so nice!  I did have to boost it up a little using my archery target.  It's supposed to be a 6.5 ft. tree, but it's more like 5'10".  Plus, it now has a lot more room for presents underneath the tree!

The boys have fun decorating the tree no matter what kind it is.

They love deciding which ornaments they'd like to hang.

They also love to wear the camo santa hat while decorating.

Tristan, of course, loves sitting under the tree and pretending he's a wild beast in the forest. Just look at him.  He's totally ready to pounce. Oh, sorry Tristan. That's right... I can't see you.

My favorite thing about our Christmas tree is how it shines at night.  After everyone goes to bed I love to turn all the livingroom lights off and just sit and look at it.  It's so pretty!

Remember your blessings!

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's a Love Story

I realize many of you may think it is over-the-top to blog about my KitchenAid, and I'm not going to deny that I considered myself a little nutty to be doing it, but here's the thing... I LOVE my KitchenAid stand mixer.  It was my first year anniversary present from my husband, and it's pretty much the only one I remember.

Those of you who own a KitchenAid stand mixer know where I come from.  Those of you who don't... well, all I can say is that I'm sorry, and maybe you should be nicer in the future so Santa will bring you one of these instead of a lump of cold black coal.

So, what prompted me to want to blog about my KitchenAid?  Well, I got it a new friend last week.  Ever since I saw the KitchenAid 90th anniversary limited-edition 5-quart stand mixer in gorgeous candy apple red sitting on the William-Sonoma showroom floor, I've wanted the glass bowl that was accompanying it.

I'm not kidding when I say I heard angels sing.  Say I'm not the only one.

I was crushed when the evil lady at William-Sonoma told me it only comes with the KitchenAid 90th anniversary limited-edition 5-quart stand mixer in gorgeous candy apple red.  Crushed!  So, I have patiently waited and waited and waited and when I saw one box, containing one 5-quart KitchenAid mixing bowl sitting on the floor by the KitchenAid display in Tri-State I swooped it up, not even caring that it wasn't on sale.

My mom told me I should wait until Christmas. I told her she was crazy and that I'd already have all my cooking done before Christmas so what's the point in that?

I've written a song for my wonderful cooking companion, sung to the tune of "Love Story" by Taylor Swift.

We were both young when I first saw you
I close my eyes
And the flashback starts
I'm standing there
In my apron pouring flour everywhere.

I see your beater
See it spinning madly
Whipping up the the batter, man it sure is handy
And I'm hands-free, little did I know

That you would change the way I bake cakes and peach pies
Frosting, mashed potatoes, how it makes me cry
And now my life is so much easier
I'll love to till the day I die, and I say

KitchenAid it's sure been a great ten years
Your whirling motor has been like music to my ears
You knead the bread dough, while I go to recess
It's a love story, baby let's make a mess

Remember your blessings!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lefse 2010

Last weekend was our annual lefse-making get-together at my grandma's house on Moses Lake.  This is our fourth year of the tradition, and we made more than we ever have before; 214!!!  Wow!

The day begins early for lefse-making.

Mom and Grandma Ora peeled the potatoes the day before then early Saturday morning Josi and I boiled, drained and mashed them. Then we put them on the table outside so they could cool.

We had a new trainee this year.  This is my niece.  She was in charge of quality control. She did a fabulous job! Every lefse she tried passed the rigorous taste test.

Grandma Ora was a flipper, as was Grandma Nona.

Normally Grandma Nona is a mixer/roller, but she spent Friday night in the hospital getting antibiotics so she wasn't allowed to do any of the harder stuff.  It killed her having to sit and watch us do it, but I think we did her proud.

The Grandmas did a great job flipping.

After our lunch break my sister took a little cat nap.  Totally understandable since she was up late in the hospital with Grandma and got up early to go stay with her as well.

Once again, CJ took on the roll of a flipper.  He would flip 10 lefses then take a short break. Way to pace yourself kid!

Lefse is a very serious business!

Everyone did their part to get the job done.  Well, almost everyone.  =o)

Lefse is also a messy business!  This was my work station.  I was the mixer and one of the rollers this year. My shoulders are still sore.

Here are a few of the bowls that held mashed potatoes and lefse dough. Every bowl that was big enough to hold a good amount of potatoes was used.

This was one of the flipping workstations. Flour covers every surface in the kitchen by the time we are done. Clean-up is so much fun!  Or not.

I didn't get a shot of all the lefse this year, but if you want to see one check out last year's post here.

Now I'm off to enjoy a piece of lefse wrapped around a yummy layer of raspberry jam.  Mmmmmmm mmm!  Or should I say uff-da!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pears Galore!

I've been overrun by pears. My mom has a pear tree in front of her house and we went to town Sunday and ended up picking over 10 overflowing bags of the little juicy fruits.  It was so fun!  However, picking that many pears at one time poses a problem.  I really have to figure out something to do with them all.

This is just a small few of the pears that have invaded my kitchen.

I started with some pear butter. This pot of cut up pears fills the house with the most wonderful aroma!

You'd think that a stock pot full of cubed pears would make quite a dent in my first basket of pears. Not so much. 

The pear butter turned out soooo yummy!

I also made country pear cobbler. I doubled the recipe and, as you can see, just baked it in the cast iron pan I cooked the pears in.

Isn't the bubbling beautiful?!

Sweet sweet cobbler. Perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cup of joe.

And just like that, it was gone. YUM!

Remember your blessings!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall Time Family Favorites

I thought it was time to share a couple more recipes. This time of year makes me want to spend time in the kitchen.  It's probably because all summer I try to avoid spending time in the kitchen so it's like a long-lost friend by the time the leaves start changing.  I start craving warm foods and Thanksgiving goodies.  Click on the recipe images to see them bigger.

Here are my Grandma Nona's calico beans. Yum!
Here's a recipe for potato dumplilngs. My great grandma used to make these for her family during the depression.

 Date bars! Yummy!

These cookies are soooo good! If you like date cookies, you MUST make these. My grandma makes them for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year.

And because I'm in the mood to make pumpkin soup I went and found a recipe to try. This one sounds delicious, don't you think! Velvet Pumpkin Soup

Remember your blessings!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Casey's Birthday Hike

In our family we let the birthday boy or girl pick what they want to do on their special day.  This year Levi wanted bowling, CJ wanted Silverwood, I wanted sprint boat races.  Casey, being that elk hunting starts only a week after his birthday, wanted to go scout his elk hunting spot.  So, we loaded up the boys and the dogs into the truck and headed up to the mountain.

This is the kind of thing we were hoping to find! Fresh elk rubs!

Casey got to tell the boys all about some of the elk he's harvested in the past.

The dogs went along. Winchester was in heaven!

What a goofball!

Since we can't trust Moose not to run off he had to stay on a leash.  Poor Moose. It didn't help that Winchester would come back to taunt him occasionally, but even with his leash limitations, Moose still had a great time.

Time for a little drinky drink.

Now THIS is a happy pooch!

CJ had to carry his .22 in case he saw a grouse.  He also forgot his jacket so he wore my sweatshirt. Just a little big on him.

Remember your blessings!