trim the tree

We decorated our Christmas tree last Sunday.  On Monday Mason learned all about trimming the tree at preschool and since then he has informed everyone who talks about decorating a tree that it's called trimming the tree.  I always love getting the ornaments out and remembering the different times we received them.  

 The highlight of their day is doing the advent calendar before bedtime.  I guess it's alright that I haven't gotten around to wrapping any presents yet since this is their new favorite hangout. 
We're loving these cold wintery days.  We made eggnog bread for breakfast and a good friend of ours is coming over to can cranberry sauce before we start on our list of Christmas cookies to bake. 


giving thanks

It's December (yeah!), but here are a few pictures from our Thanksgiving holiday.  We had some major awesome family time from Thursday all through Sunday.  I loved seeing my little ones play with their grandparents and great grandparents.  They spent most of their time hunting all the elk in the forest and making elk stew and elk rootbeer.  And playing train conductor. 

 My family came on Friday and we had tons of cousin time full of staying up way too late playing games, getting up way too early with the little munchkins, eating turkey and cinnamon rolls, having snowball fights, playing trains, building snowmen, and just being together. 

 So thankful for my sweet family!


snow day

It snowed all weekend and today we woke up to this.  Actually I woke up at 5:30 as usual and about 30 seconds later I got the call from our school district that school was cancelled.  Awesome!  I crawled right back in bed.  

So today will be spent at home and will probably be a repeat of yesterday: 

We're loving an extra day at home.  It makes for a very short week, with just school tomorrow.  I should probably grade papers and clean the house.  But we're busy playing the piano, throwing snowballs, drinking hot cocoa, and baking bread.  Is it too early to start Christmas cookies?


tomato herbed pizza crust

It's no joke that we like our pizza around here.  We usually  have it about once a week.  We love just about anything and everything on it too.  The kids mostly beg for olives.  We have a new crust that we really like now too.  Just substitute half of the water in your favorite pizza dough recipe with tomato sauce.  Then chop up some fresh herbs and knead them into the dough.  We used basil and parsley in this one. 

My little helper:


oh, hello.

Well, somehow October came and went and I hardly even turned the computer on...let alone do this blog thing.  We've been plenty busy with other things around here and fall sort of seemed to slip by. 
This has been one crazy start to the school year.  Learning several new curriculums, gaining six new students in seven weeks and mentoring a new teacher has kept me on my toes.  Parent-teacher conferences are now behind me and the stack of papers to grade is slowing decreasing as I finally get into a routine.
The garden and greenhouse supplied us with plenty of food to keep us busy.  We canned 25 pints of green beans and turned ten gallons of cabbage into sauerkraut.  We had our first frost weeks ago and have had a couple snow storms as well.    

 We dug up all the potatoes.  This is all the fingerlings, most of the purple vikings, and about a third of the sangres (the red ones).  They are delicious.  We figure we got about 90 pounds total.  They keep finding their way into soups, stews, and breakfast potatoes.   We ended up with lots of tomatoes too.  We pulled all the green ones before the greenhouse had a frost and made a lovely green tomato pie. 

 After we opened up the garden for the chickens, we also found a few other visitors. 
 Last weekend we spent Saturday with Grammie and Grandpa down at their property.  The boys got the rest of the siding on the bunkhouse.  Brats and sauerkraut were on the menu for lunch! It was a crisp fall day...beautiful all around.

 That pretty much brings us to this morning.  All costumed up and ready for the preschool party.  Mason was a superhero and Emma was a cowgirl. 

These cuties sure help keep it all in perspective. 

Tomorrow brings November.  I'm looking forward to a new month, maybe not such a whirlwind.  We're spending the day butchering our older flock of chickens and cleaning out the coop.  Time to fill the freezer once again.  So much to be thankful for!



My sister, cousins and I did the Color Run last Sunday.  The whole experience was a blast.  We stayed up way too late the night before laughing about unicorns, rainbows, and general catching up.  Jeb was a trooper and took a million pictures of us during the race.  
 By the end, we were definitely covered in color!

 Our goal was to run the whole race....and we did!  Now I think I'm hooked on this 5k business.  I would totally do it again (hopefully all together!) 



Last weekend we went camping with the fams.  We loved hanging out with Nana, Uncle Chris, Aunt Kates and of course, the cousins!  We camped near Beaver Reservoir.  It was the perfect spot for the kids to run around and play.  
Everybody wave with Nana.  Or not.

Mason was all about helping and using the tools.  He almost always had a shovel or bucket in his hand.  They had fun collecting rocks, pinecones, and firewood.  Then daddy helped him use the hatchet. 



 We went fishing at Brainard Lake.  The kids fished for a while, but mostly played in the water.  We didn't catch anything, which was a bummer.  But it was really fun. 

Until a certain someone fell in the lake.  Sorry about all the screaming, fellow fishing peeps. 

 Although our camp spot was pretty cool, it was a tight squeeze.  All hands on deck to help get the camper through.  Aunt Kates and Uncle Chris did all the hard work.  I snapped a few photos. 

 It was a great weekend.  Mason's favorite part was the s'mores.  He could hardly believe that we made them on a real fire in the ground! Emma's favorite part was taking care of baby Cody.  So glad we could get out and get camping!