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Showing posts from November, 2014

Gathering The Moments - November

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November flew by as we had so much to anticipate with Thanksgiving guests and our Emma home from school!  Here are just a few snippets from our month.

We put the flannel sheets on the beds, I made simmering potpourri and it has been delightful to smell in our house, and I finally got my Friendly Village dishes!


I did a few holiday preparations that would last through Christmas (clove studded oranges) and we set a pretty table for Thanksgiving.


Family gathered to share the day!


We went to a beloved Aunt's funeral, Rachel cut 10 inches off her hair, we've managed to do school, Christmas shop, enjoy our family.

I'm excited about Christmas, but for one day more I'll savor November and its moments.  We have so much to be thankful for!

Thanks Cheryl for Hosting every month!  If you want to join us in Gathering the Moments visit Cheryl's lovely blog by clicking on the link!



So Blessed

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Thanksgiving 2014 will live long in our memories.

Great food, great fellowship, great family times.  Lindsay and Joseph were here for a while before heading over to Joseph's family's home. 

Tim's brother Dan, and his family joined us this year.  Most years Dan and his family are in West Africa, so we don't take these opportunities to be together lightly.  We also had our friend Denny, and two college girls who grew up in West Africa and went to school with our niece.  

Photo Credit: Lindsay Musser
Photo Credit: Lindsay Musser
Photo Credit: Lindsay Musser
Photo Credit: Lindsay Musser
Photo Credit: Lindsay Musser




My parents, Nate, Kay, and Kamryn, Emma were also here.  

My heart is so blessed.  

We devoured two, slow roasted turkeys (thankful that there are leftovers), mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, mac and cheese, stuffing, roasted sweet potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, dinner rolls.  For dessert we had pumpkin pies, a lemon meringue pie, Boston Cream pie, pumpk…

She's Home!

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Excitement abounds!

A sign the kids made to welcome her home.


This is Kyle's section - he is telling her he loves her, and drew her a sunflower.

Sarah's been growing and was hoping to be taller than Emma but not yet!






Oh yes, she's home all right, and not one person is happy about it at all!


And ahead of the snow!

Home Keeping:Simmering Potpourri

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Today was a day to refresh the house.  After a few weeks of cold weather, it was very warm today.  And breezy, too.  Have I ever told you I love the wind?  No?  Well, now you know something new about me!

It was so very lovely.

We opened doors and windows and let the fresh air in!  It was so nice, and especially nice because on Wednesday of this week we are supposed to get six + inches of snow!  Amazing since it was almost 70 degrees today!

I also made a homemade simmering potpourri today.  It smelled so good, and I can use it over and over.



Here is how I did it.

1. Thinly slice two oranges and two lemons.

2. Fill a pot with water and add the citrus slices.

3.  Add cinnamon and cloves.

4. Turn the simmer burner on your stove on and let it simmer away.

That's it - easy peasy.  Oh, and as the water evaporates, you can just add more water.

I'm loving the simple, homey, projects I've been doing.  I love caring for my home and family in this way.  

Have you been working on any project late…

Holiday: Christmas Lights In The Hallway

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One joy of the winter season is using candles and lights to bring warmth and well, light to our homes.  It is dark here now at 5:00pm and I love going around turning on soft ambient lighting and enjoying candles burning. 

A favorite way to bring light to our home at this time of year is through hanging up strings of Christmas lights.  Rachel has a string hanging from the upper bunk in their room and it lights up her space on the lower bunk.  Kyle has a small string of icicle lights hanging over his bed.  Soon we will have our tree up and garlands 
and lights galore. 

This year we decided to try a new idea we saw on Pinterest.

I bought some Command Strips and Tim helped up hang up some old icicle lights in our small, but darkish hallway.

They go all the way down the hallway we all really like how it looks, even with a section of the lights out. (frown)  I'm going to pick some up this week to have all the lights working.  It makes the hallway feel magical.

I'm thankful for fresh and f…

Holidays: Getting A Head Start On Christmas

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With Thanksgiving being a late date this year, it leaves only 4 weeks before Christmas.  I don't want to put up Christmas decor when we haven't had Thanksgiving yet, but I do love Christmas and want to enjoy it as long as possible.

My solution is to bring in a few natural things that will work for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 I love the Colonial period of American history and have been adding more natural decor at Christmas time the last several years, so making clove studded oranges was a perfect fit.

I simply bought some inexpensive whole cloves

And created a pattern or two


My wiggly assistant
Then I tucked them into the trough on my table.  It fits in with the natural items used for Thanksgiving and next week I'll change out the berries and leaves for pine boughs.
I'll probably make a few more of these.  They are so easy.  It took me about 15 minutes or less to make each one.

Check out some of the ones I have found on G**gle images.

Source

Source
I think I may need to try…

Home Keeping: Preparing For Thanksgiving

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We host Thanksgiving every year.  It is such a joy to do so.  I love having family and friends join us for this day that we set aside to focus on Thankfulness.

I always slow roast my turkey so that it is perfect every time.  This will not give you a picture perfect bird, but it will give you super moist meat that is falling off the bones and the moistest breast meat you've ever tasted.


This holiday is all about the meal for us, so we love to have a real feast!  Turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry salad, rolls.  And pies.  Pumpkin, Apple, Chocolate Surprise, my Mom's pumpkin roll.


I learned to make stuffing as a girl.  My grandma taught me.  We would use bread that had been dried out for a few days, and add sautéed onions and celery, sage, poultry seasoning, salt, some broth, and a few eggs.  Delicious.  I still make it the same way.


I love to set a beautiful table.   Candles in silver candelabras, cloth napkins, beautif…

Animal Husbandry: Winterizing the Animals

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We returned home Tuesday evening from a quick trip to Monogahela for our beloved Aunt Mary Lou's funeral.  It was so good to be there with family, and to celebrate her life and express how blessed we all were to know and love her.  She would have been quietly pleased with it all.

We returned home after dark, in the deep cold.  We quickly unloaded the car, and Tim and Rachel put blankets on the horses and gave them their evening feed.



Sandy


Both of these photos were taken several Novembers' ago.  They weren't blanketed yet, but this year they now are! Cheyenne
We usually ease into winter but it has hit us with a fierceness (thank you Polar Vortex).  So the suddenness of the cold and that fact of being away means we will have to finish quickly work that we thought we had time to do.

Here is a brief list -

1. Put the light in the chicken coop.  We use a timer and it comes on during the coldest portion of the night.

2.  Put the heater in the horse trough.  This keeps the water from fr…