Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Cards courtesy of Shutterfly!

For the last several years, we have done the Christmas photo cards and have had alot of fun trying to figure out where to take the picture and what to wear and then what kind of card to make.  This year is no different in that respect, but we ABSOLUTELY know where we will be getting the cards made: 

Now we just needed to decide the rest.  We did a Christmas card with all the girls on their horses a couple of years ago.  Our oldest doesn't even like to ride, but this was her idea.  I am so glad we did this.  She was on my old mare, and the mare died the following fall.  What a great memory! 

Last year, the three girls thought it would be an excellent idea to take the picture on top of the tin roof of the barn.  It was a comedy of errors to watch them get on top of the barn, but they did it, and it turned our great!

This year, I left it completely up to them again.  They decided they wanted pictures taken on an old loading dock in town, where the oldest got her senior pictures taken.  We used Shutterfly to have a canvas picture done for the grandparents.

Here are some of the pictures that didn't quite make the cut!

This last one is so good, but someone has their eyes closed!  It's that always the way.  But despite some trials, we got some really good pictures, and with the help of Shutterfly, I have so many cards to choose from.  I haven't made a final decision, but I'm down to the final few choices.

As soon as we decide you will be the first to know!

They sure are making it hard to decide!!

Making Kahlua

Have you ever made Kahlua?  It's really easy and so much cheaper than the store bought stuff.  There are tons of recipes on the internet.  I know, my sister in law and I tried to make them all a couple of years ago on New Years Eve.  This year, we needed Kahlua after Thanksgiving dinner, for our coffee to go with our pie, and of course, there are no stores open on Thanksgiving in Podunk, so I dug through my recipes and here it is to share with you.

Here's what you need to make Kahlua:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1cup white sugar
  • 2 cups water
Combine and bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat and then add
  • 1/2 cup instant coffee
Cool and then add:

  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 3 cups vodka

It makes about this much!  Pour in your coffee, or use in any recipe calling for Kahlua.  If you want vanilla Kahlua (I've seen it in the stores) just add more vanilla. 

I couldn't say how long it will last, but I do store it in the fridge.  Don't think you would need to, but I store it there mostly so only I can find it!!  This would make an awesome Christmas gift!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baby Humphree joins our cow herd!!

We have been waiting 10 months for him to get here, and now he finally is!  Let me introduce you to WR Humphree, the first Irish Dexter born on our farm.  Isn't he a stud muffin?

His momma is Rosie, our very first Irish Dexter, and this is her first calf.  We bought Rosie when she was just 6 months old, and she has been daughter #3's show heifer for two show seasons.  Sometimes she is a little stubborn, and can be onery occasionally, but we love her lots, and think she did a great job creating Humphree.

You can see in the corner of this picture that the rest of the herd does not know what he is, and are soooo curious.  I had to get out the feed bucket and move them to the other pasture, because they kept knocking him over.  I left Sunshine with Humphree and his momma for a little company, and also because she has horns, so if a coyote or dog decides to come too close to this precious bundle, she will be able to help defend him.  Not that I have any doubts of Rosie's ability to defend him! 

Momma did a great job licking him off, and our little stud muffin was up and about looking for some dinner in no time.  I wasn't sure if Rosie would have enough milk, because her udder sure looked small, but he didn't have any trouble.

And within an hour, it was just like he was part of the herd, following momma all over the pasture while the rest of the herd stood at the fence and watched him.  He is so cute, the size of a Lab dog, about 35 lbs, and sooooo soft it's amazing.  Rosie let me pet him while she watched and made the softest moo I've ever heard.  It was precious, just like Humphree.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Today, I finally broke down and sorted all the socks in the sock basket.  Doesn't everybody have a sock basket?  I used to have a little sock basket, but now that I travel every week, the size of the basket grew.  Pretty soon, I will need a sock trunk!  I really really hate this chore, but it has to be done.  I'm going to invent a machine that will sort my socks - I will be a gazillionaire!  I don't know anyone who likes to sort socks.  If you like to sort socks, could you come to my house?  I could pay you in pumpkin bars!

If only it were as easy as this lime green pair on top. Technically, they really are not socks, but still, they are easy to find the pair.  Yes, I'm all about the easy pickings! I would even cheat if I could figure out how to.  I have tried to make it a game for my daughters, and I think that might have worked once.  That's the trouble with smart kids!  

 Go figure this one?  How do I have 3 of these lime green (my phone does not do these colors justice) and neon yellow socks?  For that matter, why I would have 2 of them?  I'm pretty sure my sister in law bought these very colorful socks for my girls.  She really likes color.  I like color too, but not lime green and neon yellow plaid.  What does one wear these socks with?  I'm thinking knee high dairy boots.  That's the only place I would wear them.  My girls will wear them with anything, even flip flops (no I'm not kidding).  That must be why they think I'm old.  

 Now these socks are just the cutest ever.  My senior in high school daughter wears them all the time.  She used to have a pair that were pink pigs too, but sadly she loved them too much, and they got holes.  I wish these guys were guard dogs and would keep a watch over the lime green/yellow ones so they stop making extra socks and driving me crazy.

 Here is another pair that are really loved, note the white thread - my youngest daughter's attempt to mend them so I won't throw them out!  Yet another pair that is easy to match, although I always wonder if she really wears the right sock only on the right foot.  What am I thinking, of course she doesn't! 

I couldn't find the mates to either of these socks.  The one that looks kind of orangie in the picture is really neon orange, and the other is bright blue and purple.  How do socks this color get misplaced?  Apparently, my youngest daughter informs me, they belong to Rebecka, and she always wears miss matched socks.  No, Rebecka does not belong here, but she is the youngest daughter's bff and visits often.  She went home, but her socks stayed behind, and probably her jeans and maybe a pillow and stuffed animal.  It's a conspiracy - who intentionally wears miss matched socks??  Rebecka, that's who!

 I didn't know who these belonged to either.  They were too big to belong to my daughters, but my hubby doesn't wear shortie socks.  Turns out they belong to Nick, my oldest daugher's boyfriend.  He doesn't live here either (just to clarify) but his socks do.  Laundry lady to the masses right here!  Do you have socks you want to bring to my house?? because apparently I will wash and try to match anyone's socks!

 How do you loose the mate to a hot pink swirled sock?  Really?? and it's fuzzy to boot.  I would be very sad to have to throw this one out.  It would make an excellent cleaning sock.  Oh wait, that would mean I would have to clean!  Scratch that idea!!

And these two... It's like they belong together, only one is a sock and one is a glove.  Neither one has a mate.  What are the chances they are almost identical? Did the sock get tired of being a sock and shape shift into a glove?  Or did the glove get tired of always being cold and decide it would rather be smelly than cold? 

I've almost matched up everything I can.  The basket on the right is matched and the basket on the left and in front of the baskets are no matches.  This isn't good. 

So now I'm off to search high and low, under the couch, under the beds, under the cat, in shoes, in the sunroom, in backpacks, in closets, in the car for stray socks to see if I can get the rest of these matched up.  I swear when I'm done, I am going to work on this sock matching invention!! 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Bars

I am home for the next two weeks, and possibly a third, and I am so excited.  I plan on spending my home time baking and cooking and crafting and baking some more.  I miss cooking and specifically baking when I travel.  I do not miss the cleaning it up part however!! 

I decided that I wanted to make pumpkin bars.  They are almost pumpkin pie, only without the crust.  A crust maker, I am not, so no pumpkin pie.  Plus, you can't have cream cheese frosting with pumpkin pie.  And this isn't just any cream cheese frosting, but homemake cream cheese frosting.  I wasn't sure my family would eat them, as they are usually a strict chocolate sort of family, but I decided to try anyway.  Plus, they are my favorites, so more for me!! LOL

But they obviously liked them, as this is the note that I woke up this morning to find.  At least they said please.  So, after getting in my two conference calls (at home does not equal on vacation in my world) many emails, a couple of spreadsheets and a trip to the grocery store, I jumped into the making of more.

They are hot out of the oven and cooling so I can make the cream cheese frosting and have them ready when the kids get home from school.  These are so easy to make, and even sort of sneak in some vegetables (I think they cancel out the crazy amount of sugar!). 

This recipe comes straight out of Better Homes and Gardens "New" Cookbook.  New, as of 1988!  Here it is:

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon (I use 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
1 16oz can pumpkin
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup oil

Stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and baking soda.  Combine eggs, pumpkin, sugar and oil; beat till combined.  Add dry ingredients; beat till combined.  Spread batter in a 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan.  Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes.  Cool.  Frost with cream cheese frosting and cut into bars. 

Cream cheese frosting

3 oz cream cheese soft (I cut an 8oz cream cheese in half, close enough!)
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth.  Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.  Spread over cooled pumpkin bars and devour. 

The recipe says to cover and store in refrigerator!  They are a funny bunch at BH&G... leftovers, as if that will happen!!

Enjoy!  :)