There are winners and there are losers

It’s time for our annual Euchre card game with the boys and since Daryl and I won last year – well I think there was a little revenge going from the boys this year. 

With the weather so cold outside and even though inside the house was nice and warm, we decided to move the playing area to the living room tonight. With our Christmas pajamas on and blankets close by – the game began and the cards were dealt with us all leaning over the coffee table. 

And we for sure did not have luck on our side at ALL! Needless to say the game was short lived and we weren’t much of a match for the kids this year. There also was a lot of laughing going on but only with 50% of the group.Yea, I’m sure you can guess who was on the ‘Happy Side’ of the table this year. If you guessed Daryl and I well I’m afraid that you guessed wrong. But even though we had some pretty crappy cards, it was still a lot of fun to all sit down and play some cards together. 

So of course they had to have a photo putting their winning score on the fridge.

And you know what? It sure seems a lot more fun when Daryl and I are having our photo op with the old refrigerator. Next year boys… next year!   

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Our House

As I got up early to put a breakfast bake in the roaster (a whole nother story!)  I can’t help to smile and think all is well with our little part of the world.

See I’m sitting on the couch staring out the french doors and the two kitties who have taken ownership of our dogs new Christmas beds, and have blankets and gifts that are all around my feet from last night. We have boxes and bags along with extra chairs and pillows in the room. But who cares right? We also have all our kids still in their bedrooms tucked away from the blizzard cold outside along with their bellies full from supper last night.

So as I’m sitting here with the house quiet for a few hours before everyone gets up, I’m thinking there is absolutely no other place in the world I’d rather be than right here and right now.

I was thinking about how we opened our exchange gifts last night while the Traditional Scrooge movie was on and then it was time to open the ‘Ma’ gifts. This was something new to our family this year and I was super excited to hand them out. And they looked GREAT! See we all had matching pajamas for Christmas Eve and it was a hoot!! I had to laugh because Kyle said as the weekend went on and we all continued to wear our pajamas every night (and a good part of days)  that it seemed like he was in the movie Groundhog Day. In this movie the day just keeps starting the same every morning for days and days, and the main character is wearing the same clothes all the time 🙂 

Come to think about it, I wouldn’t mind replaying this weekend over and over. It was just perfect!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!! 

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Whirlwind Week

I was glad that Daryl could take this Tuesday morning off to pick up the kids at the airport, but I was also really glad to get home after work to see them too! 

William and Jude had to leave on Monday afternoon but will be back on Friday and I’m super excited for a long weekend with everyone!! 

So for this week it was spent getting the rest of the gifts that I had ordered organized (Thank goodness for UPS & FedEx). I had to laugh because they’ve been coming to our house pretty regularly and I almost feel that I should have made them some Christmas candy too or at least given them a Christmas card with our family picture on it. I always make our mailman a box of candy and this year was no exception. Last Saturday morning he even hand delivered our mail to our front door and Thanked me for the treats! Now you have to admit that it’s kind of funny and he must have really liked them! 

With going to the grocery store more times that I want to say, and with our refrigerator in the freezing mode lately, we got the small dorm fridge out and seriously it’s not working out so bad! We keep what can get froze in the big fridge just in case it gets in one of those moods again and the lettuce and other stuff in the small dorm one and just like that the problem is solved. BAM! ok not really solved, but a temporary fix is in place and it’ll do for now

We also had a girls day in our farm kitchen this past week. My niece came over and with the help of Kelcie we worked for the whole evening on different types of face masks and body butters. I had absolutely no idea how many different things you can make in your kitchen until these past 2 years! We had a really good time and didn’t waste anytime with our experiments. The first face mask seemed to be a lot more work that I had thought – but on the second batch of a face mask we were just like Pros!

 

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Christmas morning

With a chill in the air and a whole new batch of Christmas candy sitting out on the kitchen table just waiting to be eaten – it was finally time for Christmas to be here! I was glad that William and Jude were here this weekend, because with our family not celebrating until next week and without Santa Clause stopping over until then – well it was kind of a quiet morning. 

The day was pretty low key and I spent it getting ready for the following week. Kyle and Kelcie fly home tomorrow and because we’re all getting together this coming weekend that just means that we can celebrate all week! Now to get my lists around to make sure that I can get everything done that I want.

 

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Christmas Eve

This year was a little different for our Christmas plans. See the kids won’t be home until after Christmas and that’s when we’ll have our family celebration. 

So now that it’s Christmas Eve our plans are to head to a nearby church who was having the evening mass and then head over to Ma’s for awhile. 

We knew that it was going to be full house in church, so we left early and found a seat (barely!) 1/2 an hour before mass. While we were sitting there, we had a chance to check out all the beautiful decorating that they did, and with the lights down low the pillars and alter just glowed. Yup, good decision for church this weekend. 

It’s been some time since we’ve been to a Christmas Eve mass at this church, so when some of the songs were sung in German it only added to how very cool this night really was! 

After mass we beat it back home to get some snacks to bring to Ma’s and then back to St. Lucas for the night. A couple of my brothers and sisters with their families were there and the night was spent eating and having a few refreshments. And we couldn’t forget the toast to Dad either! 

Mom by her pretty Christmas Tree

 

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Arctic Blast

There has been more than one prediction for an upcoming Arctic Blast so it’s time to take it seriously.

And we’ve been so lucky lately with the weather these past few weeks, so I guess we’re about due. 

And today Daryl has been spending most of the time outside getting the cows extra bedding and making sure that all the animals were going to be OK. So when I saw him up by the chicken coop I wasn’t surprised. He was putting the plastic over the windows to keep out the upcoming winter weather. Even though we’ll find frozen eggs in the morning – the chickens will be safe! 

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Hallmark Christmas Movies

This year for some reason the only Christmas movies that we seem to find on our TV network are Hallmark ones. 

Now I’m not saying anything bad about them – but we’ve learned quite a bit about them this year. We’ve learned that there is definitely a pattern to most or all of them! There is always kind of a mean girl/or guy who is a trouble maker and the game that we played was for the first one to find out what the plot of the movie is. 

OK so we’ve gotten pretty good at this! We’ve gotten so good that we can pick out within the first few minutes where the movie was going to go. But that didn’t stop us from watching the rest of the movie to make sure that we were right. 

I think I’m making it sound really terrible and it really wasn’t that bad at all. And it gave us an excuse to sit down this busy Christmas season and take a break with each other.

But to be honest, I think I’ve got enough of these movies now until next Christmas season rolls around again!  

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And the Candy Marathon begins

It’s no secret that I started to make the Christmas candy late this year, so it’s going to be a busy week getting the first baskets done by the end of the week – but I’m always up for good challenge!

After stopping at the grocery store for some additional things that I’ll need, I put up my trusty table in the kitchen and start loading it up. Here is just some of the things that I’ll need. 

Well I did have a good last couple of days of candy making and it was really fun to step away from everything else and work on it. I downsized my orders this year because of all my other soap obligations that I have, but did want to make around 6 or 7 baskets yet this year.

With my hair back in a scarf, my apron on, along with Christmas leggings and socks I was ready! OK, I never said I was a fashionista now did I?

And man did I have a good day!

I was happy with everything that I made and even though I’ll have to make more as Christmas comes closer – I was able to get a couple of baskets wrapped up (literally 🙂 ) today for deliveries.

And what does our kitchen smell like today? Well like chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter. Yum!! 

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I have a confession to make

Remember when I said that going to our local tree nursery was one about of my most favorite places to go? 

Well I have something to confess. And to my defense I really almost forgot about how much I love this place also until today.

See every year I make some candy for Christmas and for me I think getting my supplies at the local Amish store is about one of the best places to get it. So after work today I was anxious to go back and see what kind of treasures they had and just to visit this area. It’s a very cool place to go.

As I’m driving to the Amish today I was trying to think of just why I like them so much. I mean they are just farmers in a small community right? Well I think I like them so much because I feel like their world turns just a little slower than everyone else’s. As I’m driving to the store that I wanted to shop at, I am watching a buggy with a bunch of kids in front of me heading home after a day in school. With their red cheeks and bright eyes, you just can’t help wonder what their schedule is once they get home. Will they go right to their homework before it gets too dark? Without electricity in their homes, a lantern can only give off so much light. Or will they need to get out and get their chores done first? Then I pass by wash line and wash line just filled with jeans and sheets hung out to dry. Now I’m not saying that I’d want to live that life because, well to be honest I think I like my electrical appliances way to much! But you would have to admit it would be a much quieter and simpler life.

So I finally see the big red barn on the right and the small white house on my left and I know that I need to turn because it’s the road to the store. And as I’m driving on the gravel road and making my last turn, I can see the store. I’m just hoping that they are open because now the sun is starting to set and it doesn’t look like anyone is home. But when I park the car and scope it out I can see the ‘Open’ sign on the door so inside I go. Now I’m checking out the store for quite sometime before anyone comes in, but soon a younger girl shows up along with her Dad carrying a lantern for light. They are speaking in German and I have no idea what they were saying, and maybe that was their plan 🙂

With my arms more than full and my Amish trip done for the year, I thank the young girl for helping me load up my car and back to our farm I go. It’s going to be a busy week this week making candy – but it’s also going to be fun!

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Gma’s Christmas

It was finally here! The day that our Mom works all year to get ready for. Christmas & St. Nicholas day!!

I was telling someone the other day just how much our Mom puts into this day and I seriously think it’s about the same as someone who is planning a wedding. See she starts thinking about the next years gifts already in January. I mean who else buys around 60 gifts each year and helps organize the day? Well Ma that’s who! And at 87 years young I’d put her skills up against just about anyones!

So like I said the day was finally here for our family to get all together.The weather wasn’t the warmest, but it also wasn’t snowing or freezing rain –  so all in all it was good.

With the Roadhouse all ready to go, now the food started to roll in. With turkey, ham, dressing, and tons of great food, we always say that if you were hungry during the day – well that’s just your own fault! Here’s a picture of just some of the food for the dinner table so far. We started putting a full size ping pong table over the pool table for serving and it seems to work out the best for us. It still gets a little crowded but we can make it work. 

We had a couple of new guests join us this year I made a point to see if they were OK. When they said that they were doing fine, I reminded them that there was another wave of our family coming in about an hour so be ready! See our family is pretty loud. There are kids playing air hockey in the back of the room, the boys were playing catch football outside, babies and more babies were being passed around, and then the adults are probably the loudest by trying to talk over all of it! That’s just how our family rolls and once you know that – well it’s pretty easy to just blend in. But it can be a little scary at times and even I have to step out once in awhile to catch my breath – so that’s why I kept an eye out for the newcomers to the group 🙂

After dinner and with our bellies full, it was time for a special guest to come and to hear what was all on the kid’s Christmas wish lists. We had some brave little ones that went straight up and sat on his lap, and also some that wasn’t planning on sharing any wish list with anyone, much less St. Nicholas! 

Next it was time for Ma to pass out her gifts to everyone. It was so much fun just to watch both Ma and the kids once it was their time to open their gifts. I have no clue how she does it, but she can pick out the most perfect gift from the oldest to the youngest kid! And to think that I struggle with just a couple of gifts that I need to buy for our family here at the farm. Whew! 

And finally it was the annual Adult Christmas exchange game. It’s the game where you draw a number and you can either open a present or steal someone else’s. We’ve done this game now for quite a few years and with this year having 39 people in it, it was sure to be a blast! And going back to my earlier statement about noise – well it’s never a quiet game! FUN .. but not quiet!

At the end of the night when everyone is packing up and gathering their gifts, empty serving dishes from the dinner, and their kids, it seems like even though it’s a big full day and we’re all kinda tired, I don’t know how it happens but it’s even more fun than last years Christmas! So with a smile on everyone’s face and a Merry Christmas in the air, we all head to different directions once again until the next year comes around. 

 

 

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