Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!!


Left to right: Jared (Scream 1), Libby (Minnie Mouse), Jacob (Scream 2--original, aren't they?!), Sarah (Snow White), Sarah's friend the Scarecrow, and Amelia (Witch).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Parade

Jared as a vampire. I just happened to catch his cape moving like that! I made this cape a few years back, and it's been a witch cape, a Zorro cape, and now a vampire.

Sarah in her Snow White costume, and Mia in the Spider Witch costume I got last year off ebay. Sarah's costume came from ebay this year ($8!) and I found brand new gold slippers at Kid-to-Kid for $4. This will be another one to pass down to the next two girls. Can't beat that!
Libby enjoying the parade. Grandpa actually snapped this one. Good job, Grandpa!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jack-O-Lanterns


The debut of this year's jack-0-lanterns, from the bottom up to the right: Mia's moon and stars, Jared's snarly face, Nicole's "Vote," Libby's happy face, Jacob's scary face, Nicole's Cinderella, and Sarah's cat.

Happy Halloween!

Curtains!

No, I'm not cursing. (Remember the old cartoons? Haha) My DH got around to putting up my curtain rod, after those of us (including him) who sit on the side of the dinner table facing the setting sun were having to squint and move and dodge the rays. So this morning I got out the curtains I took down when we started this whole kitchen thing, and ironed them. I had washed them when I took them down waaay back in June! When I re-hung them, I realized they had probably shrunk when I washed them, either that or DH put the rod higher. I think it's a little of both. So they are a little too short now...maybe I AM cursing after all! :)

Anyway, now the dining area looks more finished...and now we can close them and block the sun come dinnertime. Every one of us will be happy about that.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Global Pumpkin!

What is a "global pumpkin?" That was the name of Jared's latest assignment for school. Take a pumpkin, and turn it in to a globe, using any means you want, except for carving. Paint, clay, fabric, paper, etc. Jared had lots of fun doing it, and it was his idea to turn the stem into the North Pole. It turned out pretty darn cool.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Venison, anyone?

My hubby came home tonight with a deer in tow! A four point buck, 18 inches by 19 inches. Pretty decent size, if you know your bucks. (which I don't, I'm just putting down what he told me!) We're happy to get the meat, and I really don't mind deer meat. I can cook it up with the best of 'em. But if he brought home an antelope, forget it! Antelope is the worst. It's tough and stringy, and no matter how you cook it or for how long, it's still tough and stringy. So some deer, I can do.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Muffins

Okay, if I had my kidnapped camera back, I would have taken a picture of these yummy muffins I baked tonight. I got the recipe from over at Real Mom Kitchen, and they were good! I tweaked the recipe a little, so I will give you my version here.

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

2 1/2 c. all purpose flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour for one cup of it)
2 c. sugar (I used 1 c. white, 1 c. brown)
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 t. cinnamon (this is my own addition cause I love extra cinnamon!)
1 t. baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. canola oil
1 c. canned pumpkin (I added an extra 1/4 cup)
2 c. chopped, peeled apples (I used about 4 medium Goldens)

Topping:
1/4 c. sugar (I used brown)
2 T. flour
4 T. butter, cut into peices
1/2 t. cinnamon (I doubled this)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2 dozen muffin cups with Pam. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, spices, soda and salt. In a smaller bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin, and oil. Stir pumpkin mixture and chopped apples into dry ingredients. (Be patient--it takes a little time to incorporate all the flour, but it will all come together fine). Spoon batter into muffin tins, about 3/4 full. Combine streusel ingredients by cutting the butter into the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle streusel over tops of batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (My muffins only took 18 minutes, so watch them).

They were very good and all my kids loved them!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nicole's First Choir Concert


Here is Nicole at the end of her first choir concert! She is in the Acapella choir, and they did AWESOME! Unfortunately, I did not have the "real" camera, only my cell phone camera, so this isn't the best picture. My hubby kidnapped the good camera and took it hunting with him. The nerve! :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Jeff!

Today Jeff is 42! Every year, we get to be the same age for one month and 6 days, and then he gets to be older AGAIN.
Here's the Top Ten things about Jeff (not necessarily in order):
10. He's cute.
9. He always tells the truth.
8. He gives great hugs and kisses. :)
7. I'm better when I'm with him.
6. He can still wrestle with the boys.
5. He's smart and can do ANYTHING!
4. Best Dad Hands Down (and he has the t-shirt to prove it)
3. He works really hard every day.
2. You won't find him backing down from a challenge.
1. He knows how to treat his wife. :)

Happy Birthday to our hubby and Daddy! We hope your day is the best!!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

For the Pie Man



Jeff is the pie man. He has a birthday coming up tomorrow, and the fam is all coming over tonight to celebrate with us. So I've made his favorite apple pies. I don't always make them as pretty as I'd like, but hey, I know it's going to taste good. I have a secret ingredient! :)

Jared and his hair


This boy is hilarious about his hair! Now, he doesn't usually style it like this, or at all. :) But he was getting after me to buzz him because he thinks it's "too long!" His hair can be hardly long enough to comb, and yet it's too long to him. So, I think in trying to make his point, he styled this mohawk, hoping I'd immediately buzz him to get rid of it....well, we just whipped out the camera instead! :) He looks happy, doesn't he?!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Apples, apples, and more apples!


The title says it: our golden delicious apple tree has lots of apples this year! This afternoon, I braved the (still) snow-covered slick descent into the backyard to pick a big bowlful for my juicer. The juicer is steaming away right now. After I get juice, I am going to use some of it to make apple jelly. This will be the first time I've bottled apple jelly, but it sounds really good this year. Usually, I have done applesauce and apple pie filling, but this year I've decided to try something new.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bread & a Buddy



Well, aside from the sourdough I made last spring (see June 2008 posts) I haven't made any homemade bread in quite a while! I can see the handwriting on the wall, so I decided that now would be as good a time as any to start making my own bread again. The price of bread in the store has risen, like everything else (!) and I do have a ton of wheat in my storage. Time to get back into practice.

I made a smaller batch this time, only two loaves, and they didn't turn out as pretty as I hoped, but they do taste good. I'm trying to keep Libby from eating them all as we speak! LOL

Sunday, October 12, 2008

First Snow

Overnight, we had the first snow of the season. By the time I took this picture, the snow had melted down some, but we got a good 6+ inches here. The kids were aching all day to get out in the snow, so I finally let them go out in it this evening. Amazingly, by the end of this week we're forecast to be in the 70's again! But this gives us our first little taste of the coming winter.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cupcakes!

This afternoon after we worked in the yard/house, I baked up some cupcakes and Nicole mixed up some frosting in halloween colors.

Libby probably ate more frosting than she actually put on her cupcake!


Frosting cupcakes on a wet/rainy/snowy day? Priceless!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Grape Juice



Here is today's project. I have to thank my neighbor Jane for offering me all the grapes I want from her vines! We have a couple of grape vines, one of which is up on an arbor Jeff built, but is too small to have many grapes on it yet. The other needs to be up on a new arbor, because the deer knocked it over once already, and have eaten most of the grapes that were on it! Grrrr...I really didn't want the deer to get my grapes, but oh well. Next year will the year I will make time to prevent it from happening. (HOW I will prevent it is yet to be determined! LOL)

Anyway, I wasn't going to have enough of my own grapes for juice this year, so I'm really happy that Jane offered me hers!! I have the best thing....a steam juicer. This makes it so easy to make juice. Pick the neighbor's grapes, wash them, and throw them in the juicer. Wait for the steam to separate the juice from the pulp (about an hour) and then fill hot, sterilized quart jars with the VERY hot juice. (Feel anxious trying to fill a hot jar with hot juice, while holding the jar with a potholder--dropping a jar of purple grape juice on a new tile floor? That would be PRICELESS). Put the hot jars of juice in a boiling water canner, and process for 10 minutes ( for my altitude).

I do not sweeten my juice until I open a jar to use it. At this point, I pour one quart jar of juice (which is concentrated) into a two-quart jug. I add 3/4-1 cup of sugar, depending on the sweetness of the grapes, and 1 quart of water. Mix and enjoy!

One year, I had another neighbor offer me a lot of plums, and he recommended juicing them, saying that the juice tastes similar to grape. I did that, and I actually couldn't really tell the difference. So FYI, purple plum juice tastes just like purple grape juice.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Best Rolls I Ever Made



and no politicizing today! :)

I made these rolls yesterday, and they are seriously the best rolls I've ever made. The recipe, which I got from Real Mom Kitchen, is so good! (You can find a link to Real Mom Kitchen on the right of the screen under "Places to See.") Here's the recipe for testing. They aren't hard to do, and the smell of fresh rolls baking in the oven? There isn't anything like it!

Donnette's Rolls

2 c. warm water
2 T. yeast
1/2 c. sugar
Mix together and let stand for 5-10 mins, or until yeast gets foamy.
Add:
2 1/2 t. salt (I thought it seemed like a lot too, but you can't tell by the taste)
3 c. flour
Mix well. Then add:
1 egg
1/4 c. oil
Mix together. Add:
3 c. flour, 1 cup at a time. (I only needed to add about 2 1/2 cups)

Mix until dough is formed. Don't add too much flour or the dough will be stiff. It is better if the dough is a little sticky. Let dough rise for 1/2 hour. Shape into desired rolls. (The dough is sticky so flour the work area well). Allow the rolls to rise again for 20 mins. (I let mine rise for more like 35 minutes). Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until golden. Brush with melted butter after baking. Makes 1 1/2-2 dozen rolls, depending on how big you shape them.

These rolls were easy (can't beat one bowl mixing) and they are soft and yummy! I will definitely use this recipe anytime I make rolls.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Time for People to be Informed!

Okay people. There is a serious legal fight going on over Barack Obama's eligibility to run for President of the United States, not to mention the fact that he's probably not legally even a senator!

It seems not enough Americans are aware of this. I'm urging everyone I know to check out the information for themselves. Here are a couple of sites to look at:

www.americasright.com
www.obamacrimes.com

Trust me, it's an interesting read!


Friday, October 3, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy October!!


Happy October!!

In honor of fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving, I hung the wreath I made last year. I don't enjoy scrapbooking (that's the reason for this blog--I blog instead of scrapbook) but I do enjoy making wreaths, centerpieces, and decorating my house.

Bring on the colder weather!! I'm ready for my long sleeves!

Piggies, Papas, and Pancakes!


What that means is that Grandpa Done got to go to a breakfast at the school with Amelia and Libby this morning! They enjoyed sausage, pancakes, and story time! Thanks for taking them, Grandpa!