Saturday, November 30, 2013

DAY 3 - MAX the ELF

It didn't take long for the boys to find Max this morning . . . guess we need to step up our hiding game a little!

Here is where Max will spend the next 24 hours:

Fish watching.
 

Thanksgiving Saturday at Our House

Several years ago, we began a tradition in our home. 
Thanksgiving Dinner at Our House AFTER Thanksgiving.
 The kids look forward to having a little Thanksgiving all our own with THEIR favorites. Today was the day.

Late this afternoon we began getting dinner together.
The kids and the dogs joined Katelyn and I there.
Randy had picked up a Yordy Smoked Turkey on Monday ~
it required no long cooking time, simply heat and serve.
It was a full turkey all smoked and delightful!
We have all decided it was our absolute FAVORITE Turkey.

Then the boy's favorites:

Green Bean Casserole
Mashed Potatoes
Crescent Rolls
Cranberry sauce
 Stove Top Stuffing
Gravy
(Katelyn and my favorite is Mom's Bread Dressing 
which we will make another day.)
and
Apple pie
 








We had a lovely dinner . . . including the dogs. 
We had fun conversation - well, when there weren't full mouths.


 and
the boys clean up from dinner!
Daddy was at the sink right after dinner.
The boys pitched in to clear and put away.


Although we didn't get our Christmas decorations up today, I did put a little garland on the light fixture above the dining table. It gave a little festiveness to our Thanksgiving Saturday.
 

And now it is time for Christmas with the Kranks!

Saturday Happenings

Today we are taking time to put a pen up for the ducks. That is if we can get them back home. Randy is off to Menards to get the necessary supplies. I called to them today and heard their "Mama" quacks and saw them flapping their wings. I know they want to come home, but are afraid to walk across the ice. Today we are supposed to have a temperature of almost 50 degrees. We are praying the ice melts enough for them to swim home.

We are busy around the house today. Dust mopping and laundry are basically the list for the day. Shouldn't be too bad. I might even wrap a few Christmas gifts . . . Who knows!



 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday at Home and Our Cayuga Ducks

Our Black Friday was spent at home. We slept in this morning ~ all of us. The entire day was calm and relaxing. The boys enjoyed just hanging out and doing a little of this and that.

We have been a little concerned about the  Cayuga ducks. Although we know from researching Cayugas can handle the nastiest of winter weather, we were concerned for them. The were staying down the lake by the canal where there was a bit of open water. We weren't sure if they could get out of the water onto shore or not, so Randy and Katelyn went on a rescue mission this afternoon. They arrived across the canal from where the Cayugas were in the water and tried to lure them with Cheerios. They got out of the water and onto the ice, but wouldn't come. The flapped their wings and quacked quite a bit, but still would not come. 

The neighbor that lives right by the canal knew the people on the other side of the canal and didn't think they would mind if Randy and Katelyn tried to get to the Cayugas. So, they tried from the other side of the canal. They basically got right down to where they were . . . Katelyn talked to them and the quacked back. They came up to eat the Cheerios, but then right back to the water they would go. They were very skiddish and their "wild" instincts had kicked in fully. They didn't want touched by a human and let Katelyn know by keeping their distance. 

After feeding them an entire box of Cheerios, Katelyn and Randy headed home. They were relieved that IF the Cayugas wanted out of the water and onto land, they could get onto land like they did for the Cheerios. There is plenty of tree and brush cover there as well to keep them safe from the weather and predators. The temperatures are supposed to begin warming tomorrow, so maybe the ice will thaw so they can swim home. The temperature right now is 34 degrees and it is only supposed to drop to 29 degrees overnight. Tomorrow we should see a high of 47 degrees. 

I will be thrilled to see them again at our house. I have been watching them through binoculars, but that is certainly not the same. We haven't seen Skipper (the white Pekin duck) in a few days now. We are hoping he is in a safe place on the lake.

We trying to decide if we should fence them in like we did when they were younger at the lake. We have a heat source and pump to keep the water from freezing. There they could swim all winter if they wanted. We could fence an area they could be in for the winter which would include their duck condos, the water and a place to roam around a bit. They are hearty ducks  . . .  good size and weight. They are healthy . . . just adventurous. We have read of ducks/geese actually getting frozen into the lake and that is what scares us. The good part is that they stay together, the bad part . . . is they could all get frozen into the ice. 

We are thankful for the warming trend for tomorrow and can't wait to see our black beauties. 

Max the Elf Day 2

The three youngest boys were thrilled to see Max the Elf this morning. Ryan . . . not so much. He has grown to the age that it is no longer "fun". 

The boys will really have to step up their search in the morning. Max the Elf is hiding in with Petunia Pricklebottom, the Hedgehog.

 Petunia's litter is Lavender scented . . .

 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Little Max Returns


Little Elf Max is once again making his day after Thanksgiving appearance. The boys will be thrilled!


 I always try to come up with or find cute ideas for Max to be "doing" each morning. Every year the boys tend to remember the year before hiding places and little antics. It is a Fun Little Tradition that brings smiles to their faces. It is also fun to come up with cute ideas.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Prep

Today, our kitchen is rockin'! We have been busy most of the day and have accomplished almost everything on our list. Yes, I am a list maker ... my kids are too! 

We began our day with Katelyn and Ryan headed to the grocery store to pick up the "little things." The three youngest and I thoroughly organized our pantry . . . a once a month chore in our house. We were just finishing when Katelyn and Ryan arrived home.

Katelyn wasted no time in getting pie dough made and rolled out. Apples sliced and pies all put together and in the oven. Four scrumptious yummy pies are sitting on the kitchen counter just waiting to be dug into.


 Awesome, Right?

We also have BBQ meatballs all ready to throw in the oven tomorrow. The meatballs are so pretty with the gorgeous BBQ sauce on top. Can' wait to smell them baking tomorrow.
 

 I brought out this little beauty . . .

 Inside is creamy, cheesy oh so delightful Broccoli Rice Casserole!

 It is all ready to pop into the oven tomorrow - along side the BBQ meatballs and get all bubbly and slightly browned in the morning.

Mr. Turkey is in the oven now . . . he had to wait his turn. We had both ovens busy today.

I am so THANKFUL for Katelyn and Cameron and all of the help they gave me today. Cameron asked if he could help in the kitchen and I certainly won't tun down help in the kitchen!!! We enjoyed putting dishes together. I love teaching my kids how to work in the kitchen and they love being "chefs"! Tomorrow will be the first time I will teach Katelyn to make giblet gravy ~ Pioneer Woman style!

The kitchen is all clean and tidy and this Mama is worn out. It is time to kick back and enjoy all of the happenings at my house.


 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Let the Holidays Begin and Happy Birthday Mia

Home School is now out for Thanksgiving Vacation. The kids are beyond excited and the house seems to be shaking with craziness. Daddy had a guys night out with friends at a church event, so that left me with the kids and creatures.

We began our evening with the movie Snow Day. Screams and howls of delight reached every corner of our home. I chilled out in the library of our home trying for a little bit quieter place. While the kids were busy I ordered from our favorite pizza place. Katelyn arrived home on time and within 20 minutes or so the pizza arrived.

Dinner was pretty quiet . . . which happens frequently when pizza is on the menu. Chewing, smacking and napkins wiping BBQ wings from little boy faces and fingers. They ate and ate and ate a little more. Finally all were finished and tidied up so we could push PLAY on the next movie for the evening . . . ELF. It seems the Holidays cannot begin until the ELF movie has played. The boys hooted and howled at all of the funny moments. There were a few ewwwwwws heard as well during the gum pickup part of the movie.

After the movie I decided to try a little experiment in the oven. I thawed puff pastry dough and filled it with chocolate chips and marshmallows. The house smells delightful ~ I just hope it all bakes fine. I am sure however it turns out, the kids will eat it simply because it has chocolate in it. 

The boys are now stalking the kitchen. I have heard several times now that whatever is in the oven smells YUMMY. 

Here it is:

The kids devoured it . . .
they said it was yummy!
A S'more Pastry Puff!

Today is also our Mia's 7th Birthday!
This little girl loves coffee, so Katelyn gave her a little bit for her birthday. We also all sang Happy Birthday to her.


Our Mia loves her family but simply tolerates Seeley Booth. He annoys her and she is not afraid to let him know to leave her alone.

Katelyn is Mia's favorite, although Mama is right up there too.

 Mis loves her little bed . . .
made from a suitcase.
I think teal blue is Mia's signature color!


 Mia is always watching and on our heals when we head outside.
She loves to simply sit and watch.

Mia was front and center with the ducklings.
She learned to herd them around the yard and led them to the lake when it was time for them to swim.
She was their Duck Mama.

Even while out and about on the boat, she always knows where each of the kids are . . . especially Katelyn.

She helps Katelyn with her homework.

 
Mia and Beckett play well together.
They are good buddies.

 Mia is a character . . .
she "thinks" she looks like Audrey Hepburn.

Happy Birthday Sweet Mia!
 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Difference

What a difference a week makes. This time last week we were checking in with friends ~ making sure everyone was safe from the tornadoes that ravaged our area. The temperatures had started off VERY warm for this time of year and then cooled a bit after the tornadoes. Today, we woke in the FRIGID ZONE! The temperatures this morning was 18 DEGREES and the wind chill much colder. As I write, the temperature is 23 degrees, but add in the wind chill and it feels like 12 degrees. It is a stay in the house and snuggle by the fire kind of night.

We enjoyed a slow and calm Sunday. I think everyone enjoyed our day. This afternoon we tried for mandatory naps . . . not sure how many accomplished this, but the house was quiet for a few hours.

Katelyn and Cameron assisted me with Christmas Cards. This is the FIRST time ever our Christmas Cards were all in envelopes and labeled BEFORE Thanksgiving! Christmas gifts are all purchased and I am thrilled to be "ahead". I know that when many are out in the craziness we will be home and enjoying our month of Celebration. 

Only two days of school this week and we will be getting ready for Thanksgiving. We are excited . . .  I overheard them talking about the DAYS OFF a little bit ago.

We are experiencing a battle of the dogs VS Mom. I want them to eat more dry dog food as the canned gives them horrible gas. Little Beckett and Mia enjoy canned Science Diet. We also have a bowl of dry food out 24/7 for everyone. Emma and Seeley aren't fond of the no canned food experiment, but our noses are thanking me! lol
 I am also going to begin giving them a Probiotic . . . hopefully it will assist with the "ahem, issues" too.

Cody was going through Shutterfly books . . . He can't seem to find his Kindergarten Graduation book. Apparently, it slipped my mind. I guess I have a lil' something to do over Thanksgiving break. I can't believe I didn't make him a Graduation Book. Oh Dear!The good news, I have all of the pictures from the K-5 graduation!!!

Tonight we watched a lovely Christmas Movie Angels Sing. EJ and Cody watched it with Katelyn and I. It centered around memories.

Now, it is time for me to make a shopping list for this week. Have you already shopped for Thanksgiving Dinner?

 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

We Traded Katelyn . . . For Three

This morning I traded my 20 year old Katelyn for my three nieces, ages 14 and 12 year old twins. 

Katelyn, my sisters Jeanette and Janeie plus our Mom all went shopping. I decided the three girls and I would have a lil' baking day. 

Let the games begin!

Gather ingredients and READ the directions.

 
Watching the butter and sugar cream together.

 Butter and Milk . . .
then yeast.

 
 Everyone is busy.

The twins were all about poking the squishy bread dough.



The hedgehog was out running around. We later found her in Ryan's STINKY boot.

 
 Eggs were hard boiled and peeled.
They did a really good job . . .
Cody helped.

Mia and Beckett were watching the action.

I made sure the girls knew that we clean up as we go.

The came up with a motto: "A clean kitchen is a Happy Kitchen!" 

Rolling out bread dough.

Sugar and Cinnamon is sprinkled on top.

Roll it all tight!

 
 Sugar cookies are ready to cool.

Sis is trying out the Silicone oven mitt.



 Time to decorate .  .  .
we cheated a little on frosting.

Cody was in a daze while watching.
 
 
 Learning to use the Kitchen Aid Mixer.



Another loaf to roll out.

and more sugar/cinnamon mixture

now, the third loaf



 The girls were all about the decorating.

The bread dough had risen twice and was ready to put into the oven. So, I told one of the girls to put an egg in the small bowl.

That is exactly what she did . . .
Now I know to make sure to specify that I wanted the egg out of the egg shell next time. 


The egg was mixed with a little milk and then brushed on the top of the beautiful bread dough.

Forty minutes later . . . 

 Pure Beauty!
Plus the bonus of the fresh baked bread aroma in the house.

We had a great day.

I think I wore them out!

I know I am ready to put my feet up.

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Our Lives Uncripted is written by me. All pictures are personal and cannot be copied. No portion of this blog can be copied and/or sold. All content copyright JCP, Ourlives-unscripted.blogspot.com All Rights Reserved!



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