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Friday, December 6, 2013

Adding a touch of homemade to this Christmas... with the help of cranberries.

A rainy day in December is a perfect day for some memory making fun with my sweet kiddos! Today was pretty much all about cranberries...and how many ways we can find to use them! Every year, right after Thanksgiving, you can find fresh cranberries for next to nothing. This year I found some for .25 cents a bag!! This is the time to stock up, people! Last year I bought so many that I canned enough cranberry sauce for last year's holidays...and this year's as well. Perhaps I am a food hoarder?? ;-)

Well, since I was stocked in the canned cranberry department, we decided to look for other ways to utilize this underused fruit. It is a fruit isn't it?

How about White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies??  That sounded pretty yummy! I had already dehydrated some of the cranberries, so that made this even easier! I doubled the recipe, because one batch just isn't enough of anything that tastes delicious!

While the blondies were in the oven we made popcorn and cranberry garlands to decorate our tree.
This craft is messy! I'm pretty sure I will be finding bits and pieces of popcorn for quite awhile!
But it was a lot of fun!

As soon as the rain lets up we are heading out to the woods for some evergreen limbs. We will put them in glass vases that are filled with water and floating cranberries...but first I need to find that vacuum. There is popcorn scattered all over my house!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Rescue pony update

It's hard for me to believe we have only had the girls' little rescue pony a little over two months. He is fitting in very! It was a rough start as first. Anytime you add a new critter it messes up the whole pecking order. And when those 'critters' are very large, it makes it even more difficult.

At first my mare just loved this little guy. Until she realized he was a gelding...not what she was looking for in a pasture mate, I guess. Thankfully we have several different pastures, some of which share a fence line. After a week or so of meeting each other over the fence, I tried putting them together. Did not go well. Tippy pretty much tried to kill the frail little pony, which in turn tried to kill me for putting him in such a precarious situation. We got out of that whole scene with only one broken gate, and a bruised shoulder for me...I loved that bruised shoulder...ya know, it could have been my face! :-o

After that scene I wouldn't let the girls mess with the horses at all...which was a total bummer for me...and for them, they are my barn helpers. But little girls, and horses trying to establish who is in charge, don't go together. Two months into this and things have finally settled down in the barnyard. You know what's super funny? That frail, starved little pony is top horse around here now. He decides where he wants to eat in the pasture and everyone else follows his lead. I never saw that one coming! When treats are brought out, he has to get the first bite. The other three horses have come to that understanding as well, and actually back away until it's their turn. Don't ya just love horses with manners!?

We haven't been riding Spirit a whole lot. I wanted to let the horses get comfortable with this new addition to the family, and I wanted him to just focus on eating. He looks remarkably better, but still has a ways to go! He is the most gentle pony and  has yet to spook at anything. That makes a pretty good kid's pony in my book!
Everyone's checking out the new pony in this picture. 
The dog doesn't bother this guy at long as he has something to eat! ;-)
 In case you forgot...this is how he looked when we brought him home. :-( So sad and pitiful!
I think he thought he died and went to heaven. If horses could smile, I do believe he would! My mare loves, but it took several months for her to decide I was worth it. She came from a good home and was very well fed, and I really think she thought she didn't need me. We have won her affection over time though.  This guy knew from the start he needed us. After a couple days of the same routine of feeding, grazing time, and feeding again...he started talking to us. :-) As soon as he hears us up in the morning, he lets us know he's ready to eat. ;-)
I can see the girls having a lot of fun on this little guy, and I am very happy we can give him a home that makes him happy!

Monday, December 2, 2013

It won't be a perfect Christmas!

How in the world is it already December?? I’ve heard several different people say they have already finished Christmas shopping, menu planning, and even sent Christmas cards out!! Well, if you’re like me you just dragged in the Easter decorations from out of the yard…and I think it’s safe to say our Christmas cards probably aren’t going to happen….again. But hey, we did put our $3 yard sale “find” Christmas tree up. The kids think it’s the most beautiful tree ever…all 4 limbs of it! Aren’t kids awesome!

This is such a wonderful time of year…it can also be a stressful time of year, too. I wanted to share a poem that I came across the other day, it is an adaptation of I Corinthians 13, and I thought you might enjoy it as well.

If I decorate my house perfectly with lovely plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny glass balls, but do not show love to my family – I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family – I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family – it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir’s cantata, but do not focus on Christ –
I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn’t envy another home that has coordinated
Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way.
Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return,
but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,
and endures all things.

Love never fails.
Video games will break; pearl necklaces will be lost; golf clubs will rust.
But giving the gift of love will endure. (Sharon Jaynes)
I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking for that “perfect Christmas”!
I’m looking for one filled with love, laughter, friends and family!