Friday, November 27, 2015

Welcome to Winter

We are having a cozy Thanksgiving weekend at home this year, since we are getting freezing rain on and off.  It didn't seem to bother this squirrel though, since he was busy eating this hedgeapple he held real still so I could get his picture.

The last few roses, covered in ice.

The house is a wreck, as I'm deep in Christmas decorating.  Thankfully we had enough leftovers from yesterday I didn't have to cook much today.  It's been a good time of doing puzzles, playing with old forgotten toys, and watching movies.  We have lots to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Red Transferware Thanksgiving

The food has been prepared, the table is set, and we are ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow!
Each place setting is a different pattern of red transferware.
I started collecting red transferware dishes about 15 years ago, and now have enough
for our 8 member family, plus a few extra. (:

For a centerpiece this year I went simple and rustic, with deer antlers, leaves, pumpkins, and candles.

This Pilgrim platter was a gift from my Mom this year and will hold lots of turkey tomorrow.

Awhile back I bought these fun Pilgrim and Indian placecard holders at a yard sale,
they are fun to pull out every year.

I hope everyone is hungry tomorrow!  Something different we did this year was let each person choose a side dish to go along with the turkey.  So here's our menu:
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Cornbread Stuffing
Green Bean Casserole
Tuna Pasta Salad
Red Cinnamon Pickles
Cranberry Bread
Corn Muffins
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Cake

Makes me hungry just thinking about it!
I am including the recipe for Cranberry Bread below (pictured above), it is a yearly favorite around here, and can easily be made gluten free by substituting gluten free flour.  You can also easily double or triple it.
Cranberry Bread
1 egg
1/2 c. orange juice
2 T. melted butter
2 T. hot water
2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. sugar
1 c. raw whole cranberries
Beat together first four ingredients, then blend in remaining dry ingredients.  Gently stir in cranberries.  Pour into greased loaf pan.  Bake at 325 for 60 min.  Let cool 15 min. before removing from pan.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What a Trip

This last weekend we went out to Colorado to visit Andy's side of the family.  One day we took a little trip over to Utah to see Arches National Park.  It was a beautiful day, not too cold, and just perfect for hiking to see a few of the arches. 

It had snowed a day or two before, and the snow with the red rocks was just beautiful.  We really enjoyed our time there.  This is Landscape Arch below, it was my favorite one.  Part of this one broke off back in 1991 while people were underneath.  That would be scary.
It was good to see all the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins again!

Then came the trip home...  It was definitely one of our most adventurous trips.  First we had to cross the mountains, where it was snowing.  The roads were wet and slushy most of the way, but part of the time they were more snow packed.  Miss E threw up all over her clothes and blanket about half an hour after we left.  At Vail pass there was a wreck so we had to wait 30 minutes there.  The sun was peeking through the clouds on the snow covered mountains and it was really beautiful.  The picture is not nearly as good as it was in real life.

As we came out of the mountains we got ahead of the snowstorm, but then we ran into the thunderstorms.  The sky across the plains of Colorado was really pretty, you could see just where the storms were- no need for radar out there!  As we were coming into Kansas this thunderstorm was building up and I told Andy, Colorado might have mountains, but we have clouds!  Famous last words...

Because a few minutes later this tornado came out of those beautiful clouds!
We pulled over to the side of I-70 and watched it cross the interstate.  It was really amazing.  After living here for 27 years this was the first tornado I've ever seen.  It was probably about 5 miles away.  Thankfully it didn't hurt anyone, it was pretty small as far as tornadoes go.
All of that made the trip take about 14 hours instead of the usual 12.  We were all very glad to be back, and thankful to God for getting us safely home!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Little Girls' Woodland Tea Party

This morning my Mom and I hosted a tea party for Miss E's Sunday School class girls, their moms, and their grandmas, at my parents' home.  We had a fun time preparing for it so I thought you might like to see what we came up with.

We had a woodland theme, so my mom made place card holders out of sticks, and we gave acorn Christmas ornaments as favors.

Each place setting was unique.  We had fun matching the tea cups to the dessert plates.

And speaking of dessert, we had these strawberry shortcakes with butterflies on top, served in my mom and sister's green depression glass custard cups.

These little cheese hearts were fun to eat!  I just bought some thickly sliced cheese from the deli and cut them out with a cookie cutter.

I also made acorns out of a chocolate chip, a mini Nutter Butter, and a Hershey's Kiss.

My mom designed this beautiful woodland centerpiece, complete with fairies, pink bottle brush trees, a path, trellis, and around back...

the fairies are having their own tea party!

 I also made these little stuffed cherry tomatoes, and since the recipe was requested, I will share it here.

BLT Bites

16-20 cherry tomatoes
1/2 package bacon bits
1/2 c. mayonnaise
3 oz. cream cheese
3 T. parmesan cheese
1 T. parsley
1/4 t. onion powder

Cut tops off of cherry tomatoes and scoop out seeds.  Combine remaining ingredients. Using a baby spoon, stuff filling inside of tomatoes.  Refrigerate several hours before serving.

I am joining No Place Like Home and A return to loveliness today!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fall Crafts for the Kids

Yesterday my mom came over and did some fun fall crafts with our youngest 3 kids, and since they were simple and fun to do I thought I'd share the ideas with you all.  The first one was preserving fresh maple leaves.  My mom had freshly picked leaves off the tree, and the kids painted them front and back with Mod Podge, and then we hung them up to dry.  They have since curled up a little, but they have kept their color really well.

The second craft she had for the kids was making leaf animals.  The original idea she found here, where there are lots of great examples.  But our kids had fun using the different shaped leaves to create animals and people (and aliens, of course).  For this craft you just need to press a variety of shaped leaves in a book a week or two ahead, then glue them on a paper and add legs or eyes or whatever you need with a marker.  The kids had lots of fun, so thanks Mom!

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