Friday, December 12, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mammie!

For Mammie's birthday this year we decided to surprise her and have a cookout! What's more fun that family and a bonfire!

Felicity got her first experience with hot dogs. I don't know that she's a fan. The bun appealed to her much more than the meat.

The boys really liked the fire. What is it about boys and watching things burn? Thankfully, only the hot dogs were smoked this time!

I used Madisyn's craft cutter to make a stencil for the top of mom's cake. The recipe for Hershey's chocolate cake and frosting is amazing!

It's a good thing a group of little girls knew how to open gifts. They saved Mammie all the labor of doing it herself.

Her gifts all received "little girl" approval!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thanksgiving Feast

This year we celebrated Thanksgiving THREE times! I didn't manage to get pictures at two of the parties so shots from just one will have to do. My sister hosted Thanksgiving and did a fantastic job on decorations. She not only had a kids table but had a girls and boys table.

A bunch of little girly girls loved sitting with each other and the boys had a wonderful time coloring their placemats and tablecloth. The boy table was surprisingly quieter and had much less giggling.

Madisyn and Ty were promoted to the adult table. I'm still trying to keep it from going to their heads. ;) I didn't think to get a picture of all the wonderful food. The kids really enjoyed having turkey and ham. And we won't even mention how many desserts we had!

Felicity was worn out from traveling and the effects of Tryptophan. She found Aunt Ra's couch to be a great place for a nap.

The giggling girls didn't stop when lunch was over. They found lots of babies that needed loving, dress up clothes that needed wearing and food that needed cooking.

Then the dads {and me!} loaded up in the Rangers/4 wheelers and headed for the golf course?!? Robin's subdivision has a golf course layout that isn't being used. If you follow the cart path to the edge you find an awesome wooded area perfect for some mudding.

Those smiles lasted a long time! The kids loved getting a little dirty and their daddies slinging some mud.

Raegen has his own little 4 wheeler and some boys were impressed that he got to drive himself. He did a great job!

Isaac and Uncle Justin served as scouts. They helped us find which way to go when the side by side trucks couldn't fit through narrow openings.

The stairs seemed like the perfect place for a "Baker's Dozen Cousins" photo shoot. Getting 13 kids to look at a camera isn't as easy as it sounds!

Thanks Aunt Ra, Uncle Billy, Raegen, Lynden and Ellison for having us over!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Four never looked so good

Today is our girly tomboy's 4th birthday. We've joked for sometime that Mary Claire likes to get just as dirty as the boys but she wants to do it dressed to the nines and with a hair bow.

Mary Claire is our first girl after four very rough and rowdy boys. We just knew we finally had a princess. We just didn't know our princess could hold her own. Since her surprise breech birth, Mary Claire has been changing all the rules.  Kent frequently says that if you can say "My child never . . ." or "Kids don't . . .", then you didn't have enough children. Mary Claire definitely taught us this!

She is the life of the party, the perfect blend of sassy and sweet. She has her own ideas and she's not afraid to share them. Apparently, turning four is when life begins. She's convinced that she will get bigger and her hair will grow today. She's also planning a wedding to "Numbody".

We have loving referred to her as our runt. They say that tiny packages are the most powerful and dynamite doesn't even hold a candle to all that is packed into Mary Claire. Papaw used to call her a little pistol and it's a very fitting nickname.

She was our first child to really pinpoint her older siblings personalities. When she wants another Mommy, she runs to Madisyn. If she needs muscle, Ty is her guy. Griffin is lots of fun when she needs a tv watching buddy. Finding hidden treats is a job for Ben. Henry is great at following her orders and Liberty is the best dress up friend in the world!

She is a lover of all things pink and Minnie Mouse is the most stylish being of all time. Mary Claire is just at home hosting a tea party as she is digging in the dirt or attempting scooter stunts.

I can't imagine how boring life would be without this perfect for us little girl that always keeps us on our toes.

Happy Birthday, Mary Claire! 

I pray your life is packed with as much awesomeness as your personality.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Ready, Aim, Fire

Ty received a new pellet gun for his birthday. What better way to enjoy a birthday gift than to go target shooting.

We also grabbed a couple of BB guns and a two .22s. All the children wanted a turn with each.

The little girls had a great time pulling the trigger.

Liberty thought it was tons of  fun!

Ty has great potential to be a sharp shooter. His method is very focused and determined.

Griffin just enjoys squeezing the trigger as soon as possible.

I think he's proud of himself. :-)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Young Living November Special

Young Living is offering free Christmas Spirit as part of their November special! A little extra Christmas Spirit never hurt! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Young Living Essential Oils. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Lilla Rose November Flexi of the Month

The Compass Rose is the new Lilla Rose Flexi of the Month. Supply of Flexi of the Month is always limited so order quickly to get your preferred size.

Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake Your Butter

I recently found a source for raw cow's milk. We are really enjoying it. It tastes amazing but it can be used for so many things.

My first use for the milk other than drinking and cooking was to attempt to make butter. My first attempt taught me a few "not to" tips.

I began by scooping the cream off the top of the milk. This gallon yielded me about 4 cups of cream. The other gallons had closer to two cups each. I left the cream out on the counter overnight to culture.

The next morning came the fun part. I rounded up the seven best helpers I could find and let them shake the jar.

And shake.

Giggle and shake.

Shake extra hard.

A little gentle jostling.

Extreme shaking.

A little light rolling.

Shaking and grinning.

Some more rolling.

Here's where Mommy got a little impatient. I read on the Internet you could also put the butter in the blender. I tried that and overchurned it. We ended up with 4 cups of full fat buttermilk. So we tried again.

This time after shaking, we shook it some more. And then a little more. The first time we had butter to work with we used cheese cloth. The next time I strained the buttermilk off using a spoon to hold the butter back. The cheese cloth was just an unnecessary step.

Then the butter needs to be rinsed with cold water. I added water to the jar and . . . you guessed it shook it some more! I added water 3 or 4 times and poured it off until the water was clean. The cold water helped the butter stick together. After the milk was all rinsed away, I added some salt as we prefer salted butter.

All together we netted about 1 lb (4 sticks - 2 cups) from two gallons of milk (around 4 cups of cream).

Up next, homemade bread!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Dozen Years

I can't believe it's been 12 years since our first son was born.

Since the beginning, you've been all boy.

You've never been one for sitting.

Unless it was on a tractor.

You almost always have a smile and silly saying.

And are such a handsome boy.

One day, your determination and focus will serve you well in manhood.

And your love of food will make you easy to please. :)

I can't believe how much you've grown.

 And how strong you are.

You may now be taller than your momma.

But you'll always be my baby.

I love you, son. I'm so very proud of the young man you are and can't wait to see the man you become {though time could pass a little slower}.

Happy 12th Birthday, Ty!