Thursday, December 31, 2009

New in the Yard

We are looking for a "new" pickup. This is a top contender we looked at yesterday. A couple of days ago, the snow brought down our old cattle shed in the cattle yard. Husband thinks uneven melting from shade and sun caused it.

Update: We did buy the pickup. More Merry Christmas, husband!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snow, Snow, Snow

Last picture-Cousin Owen was out yesterday to play

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mother and Child

Now that Christmas is over, I can post the Christmas project we did in my art classes this year. The kids made these for their parents. The art that I adapted for this project was on the front of our Dec. devotional. The last photo shows the cover art by J. Kirk Richards. Prints are avaliable at

I loved the modern yet traditional look of this artwork. I copied the lines through tracing paper, and decided on which shapes would be light and which would be dark. The faces and hands were a second color.
Students recieved copies to color in with prismacolor pencils. Each student chose a main color to use on the whole composition. The indicated dark areas were colored in darkly and densely with their chosen color. The indicated light areas were colored in lightly with the same color as the dark, or colored in then colored over with white colored pencil to achieve a lighter shade. You could also color the light areas first with white and then color over that with the chosen dark color. The idea was to use pressure and blending to create shades of the same color effectively in a composition. Skin color was chosen and colored. Some shading could be added to the faces and hands, if desired. Black pencil was used to outline all lines when done.To finish, I added glue and fine glitter in a "halo" on each baby.
Since these were going to be gifts, I had to mount or frame them somehow, on a budget. I finally settled on thick mounting board, cut to size and painted black with acrylic paints. I used spray-on, re-positional glue to mount them. When all was dry, I sprayed the fronts with two thin coats of acrylic spray to seal and protect. The edge of the mounting board was then covered with black ribbon (hot glued on), and the hanger was a bit of ribbon with a tack through the back. This way the picture could be hung or the hanger could be removed if the picture was to be leaned on a shelf.

Mrs. Santa's Books

This year's book collection from Christmas Eve-four girls' worth.

Many years ago, when the boys were about 2 and 4, on Christmas Eve we told them they would wake up in the morning and they could look under their pillows for something to do until it was time to wake up for presents. After they were asleep, we tucked a small pile of books under each of their pillows. We hoped to get a few more minutes to sleep on Christmas morning. Little did we know we were starting a tradition of Mrs. Santa's books.

Every year since, I have enjoyed collecting books on rummages and at secondhand stores to put out on Christmas Eve for each kid. This fits my life philosophy: "You can never have too many books", and its corollary "Gifts are fun!"

Living in the Land of Excess

What do all these Christmas gifts have in common-from towel, mugs and sweater, to jewelry, CD, purses and books?

They were all bought at a thrift or secondhand store.

True Confessions!

Now that you all thought I was super Mom for a couple of days, I will share with you my friend Nancy's cinnamon roll recipe.

It even has the frosting!

Let It Snow

The weather outside is frightful, but the snow is so delightful...

Nothing moved yesterday, but Husband is out making snow piles in the yard today. The plow has yet to go by.

Frosty Strawberry Squares

This dessert is one my sister-in-law Gaylin used to make a lot. It could be made without the nuts, or with a different crust (or no crust) for nut allergies or celiacs. It is very light and refreshing and delicious.

Frosty Strawberry Squares

1 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1/2 c. chopped nuts

Stir together ingredients; spread evenly in shallow pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 min., stirring occasionally, until browned a bit. Cool.

2 egg whites
3/4 c. sugar
1-10 oz package frozen strawberries, mostly thawed
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 1/2 oz. frozen topping, thawed

Combine egg whites, sugar, berries and lemon juice in large bowl; beat at high speeds to stiff peaks, about 13 min. Fold in whipped topping. Sprinkle 2/3 of crumb mixture in a 9 x 13 pan. Spoon strawberry mixture over crumbs in pan, sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Freeze at least 6 hours or overnight.

We accidently made it without the whipped topping folded in, and it was still delicious. Light whipped topping and 1/2 c. sugar tastes fine too, if you want to make it less caloric.

Friday, December 25, 2009


New cups from the girls for the tea addiction.

Mom and Dad's stocking stuffers.
Dad's big TV gift.

Books and money-favorite gifts!

Precious notes.
Newly shod.

Christmas Breakfast Rolls

We had cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast. I used my friend Nancy's recipe. Yum!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

All the kids were here. Supper, presents, watching the movie "Up," and Santa dog Chai.

Christmas Food

We made these goodies today to have with our Christmas Eve supper of soup and bread. The pickles are a favorite appetizer, and easy to make, but hard to stop eating. The cookies are just the dipped pretzels.

Rolled Pickle Pinwheels

1 46 oz jar dill pickles
1 8 oz. pgk cream cheese, at room temp.
3 -3 oz. pkg of corned beef slices

Drain pickles and pat dry in napkins or paper towels. Spread softened cream cheese onto individual slices of corned beef. Roll each pickle in two slices of "creamed" corn beef. Cut pickles into rolls.