Tuesday, December 20, 2011

An 8 Year Old Man

Zachary turned 8 on Sunday. He likes anything that has to do w/ cowboys. His sister Rachel found this jacket, hat, and nice pair of jeans at our local GoodWill. Have you such a handsome 8 year old in your life?

His sister, Grace, went shopping w/ Rachel...and found these great gifts..a new red bandana, and a wallet...with money already in it!

A couple of months ago...this sweet Madeline....
heard Z say that he really wanted a mama deer...he already had the baby...so, she checked her savings and hired herself out for odd jobs w/ her older siblings, collected the necessary amount of money, and had Sarah take her to the local farm store to make her purchase. She had it wrapped and under her bed for 2 months. 
It is a busy time of year...this post is 2 days late....I told Z that we would have a cowboy get together next month!

Happy Birthday Z!

I would also like to mention that today is my husband's 49th birthday!
Hope my 8 year old man grows up to be just like his daddy!
Happy Birthday, Gregg!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Apples to AppleCider

We had the opportunity to buy apples.....

Lots of apples....actually each of these bins holds 900 pounds of apples.
Two of the bins are ours......and the plan was to use one of them to make....


Ah..the anticipation of that first gallon!.....

We had a little friendly competition...teams seeing how quickly they could grind and press a gallon of cider....from start to finish...these strapping young men held the lead at 6 minutes and 24 seconds...

the competition was intense...

even scary...

Such a fun time!!

Even the mamas made a decent showing (that'd be 7min 7sec)

But this handsome fella single handedly thumped us all! He finished his gallon in 5 minutes and 50 seconds.....
No, no....not finished drinking his gallon....I mean he actually grinded apples and pressed his gallon in that time!

We made about 30 gallons (two different pressing events!) The apples cost us about 10 cents a pound..the press was rented for 1.5 days for $60....
The fun we had was priceless!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Some of our happenings...in pictures...

On Thanksgiving morning, it is our family's tradition to decorate gingerbread houses. We make 5 of them and have two children decorating each house.

This tradition was started to give little people a project while mama was busy in the kitchen....the older children still participate, ,pairing up w/ one of their younger siblings. Its a very sweet tradition!

Here is Sarah's post on our Thanksgiving!

On the weekend we get our Christmas tree...this is usually done on Saturday...but this year got postponed until Monday...the weather was immensely better on Monday, and we all came home dry and happy (which would not have been the case if we'd gotten it on the weekend!).

 Z assures me he was in the picture...on the other side of the tree....Can you see Z? He's between Rachel and Benjamin.

Here is Emily's post on our Christmas Tree tradition. You'll recognize the pictures!

Hope you are enjoying the blessings that this season brings to mind (at least in our homes, eh?)!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Come Ye Thankful People Come

We had the privilege of hosting a Thanksgiving party...a bit of a school project and history lesson, and a bit of a crafting time for 5-10 year-olds and their people (older siblings, younger siblings and mamas!)
Gregg opened the event by reading Congress's Thanksgiving Proclamation from 1777.

Benjamin, Grace and Emily read stories (Em's the photographer - so no pic of her)

Yea...that little pilgrim facing the wrong direction belongs to me.....but that smile......a person can forgive a lot when looking into those eyes!

We made Thanksgiving cards for grandparents,  - (no pics......)

and delicious acorns (out of hershey kisses, mini vanilla wafers, and broken pretzel sticks.....delicious....glued together w/ white chocolate chips!)

(upside down legos made great holding racks for the creations!)

Joshua made up sets of "Naughts and Crosses" a version of tic-tac-toe. So each of the 24 kiddos between the ages of 5-10 had a set to take home.

We sang lovely Thanksgiving hymns -
"Come Ye Thankful People Come"
"Count Your Blessings" - (we had about 50 people here today! - lovely friends)
"For the Beauty of the Earth"
Our 4 younger kiddos made up these song folders for each of their friends.

Rachel made Pilgrim paper dolls and clothes for the children to color and cut out.....

Hope you are having a lovely time reflecting on the many blessings you have received from the Lord!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Beautiful Autumn Day

On Saturday, we had an exceptionally beautiful autumn day! We had planned on cleaning up our grape vines and burning them w/ other residual yard debris. We invited some friends to join us - making grapevine wreaths and roasting hot dogs over the fire...and then, of course, finishing the event w/ s'mores!

 Here are a few pictures of the day.....

(A little dirt mixed in )

And my favorite photos.....Gregg, feeling it necessary to tend the fire until it was completely out, brought the card table and his laptop outside to the garden
What an office!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Joshua' Birthday!

On the 20th, we celebrated Joshua's 14th birthday!

He has always picked pizza for his dinner. Emily make DELICIOUS pizza!

 Gracie made SCRUMPTIOUS brownies for his dessert!

Benjamin wrote him a puzzler....since his gift had not yet arrived.  He bought him a Narnia Monopoly game! Quite the big hit!

He is the proud owner of the first firearm in our home....the Red Ryder BB gun! If you are a balloon or tin can, you best BEWARE! (If the smile doesn't simply melt you!)

Joshua is a HUGE blessing to our family! He is a kind hearted young man. He is quiet and thoughtful. AND he makes a mean batch of biscuits or pancakes!

Happy Birthday, (a week late in blogland!) JOSHUA! You are greatly loved and cherished!