Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!  Began my day at 5:30 a.m. and was up to stuff the turkey and get it in the oven.  It's a big 24 pounder, and will hopefully turn out well.  Have all my side dishes to make and appetizers to get ready to snack on since we'll have a late lunch/early dinner for our Thanksgiving meal. It already smells delicious in here as I write this.

Hope you all have a blessed day.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Homeschool Thanksgiving Crafts

After doing their school lessons the girls spent some time learning about the Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving from a couple of books we have.  Then it was time to have a little fun.

Hannah working with Lauren as she progresses in her first Phonics reader

First I traced the girls hands so they could have their "hand turkeys".

Tracing Hannah's hand

Tracing Lauren's hand

Time to color their turkey hands

Then they colored a sheet with the pilgrims and a small turkey .

Next, we used toilet paper rolls and construction paper to make some other turkey characters.

Hannah cutting the feathers for their turkeys

Let the gluing begin

They loved this, and were quite pleased with their efforts.

While, they worked on these I began to get my orange-cranberry relish together for tomorrow.  This was a recipe given to me by a woman I met years ago when Kevin and I lived in Connecticut.  Her name was Desire Parker and she was a unique woman.  She was the first woman engineer to work for Electric Boat, in the design department for submarines.  She had purchased the old homestead of one of the earliest English settlers in that area and had spent years rebuilding the old "salt box" style home.  I was pleased to join she and some of her friends for Thanksgiving one year when Kevin, who was in the Navy at the time, was away at sea.  This relish was one of the dishes she served and Desire gave me her simple, but delicious recipe that I have made each year since, when I prepare our Thanksgiving meals.

This is it:

Orange-Cranberry Relish

3 Seedless Oranges
1 Package Cranberries
1 Cup Sugar, more or less to your taste

I use my food processor, she used a small hand chopper to mince
the fruit up to tiny relish size pieces.  Once done, mix in sugar and
add more if you like a sweeter relish or less if you want it a bit
more tart.  I try to prepare a day in advance and refrigerate so the flavors
have time to mix.  Enjoy!!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Let the Holiday Season Begin!!

Wow, time is marching on!!  Four days now until Thanksgiving and the meal preparations of list making, coupon clipping, sale shopping and recipe gathering has begun.  This has been made a bit easier since I have my new freezer in place.  Had to leave my old one in California when we moved and I'm so used to years of stocking up for the family, that it was hard to only have the smaller storage space in my refrigerator. So last week we bought a 20 cubic foot upright and I've been quickly filling it as my Thanksgiving shopping trips started.

We'll be hosting Kevin's parents this year.  Have never had Thanksgiving with them in the 30 years we've been married, as we've always lived far away and we try to stay close to home to avoid the crazy holiday crowds.  So this should be fun for all.

Called my parents yesterday to wish them a happy 55th anniversary.  Borrowed a photo from my sister's Facebook post of the meal she shared with them to celebrate.  I think they look great after all these years!!!

So back to my preparations.  We're also beginning our plans for how we will put up Christmas lights, since putting them up outside of the house has always been a way to burn off the calories consumed at the Thanksgiving meal.  With the new house we need to plan our strategy for stringing them up.

Think after a warm spell here, the weather will cooperate with a cooling pattern that will help it feel a bit more like the Fall Season.  So if you're busy preparing, all the best to you and your for a Happy Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Happy 20th Cameron

Yesterday my "little boy" turned 20 years old!!  How did that happen?   He now towers over me and is not a little boy, but quite the young man.   It seems as though life's moving in fast forward. So proud of him and love being his mom!!!

We (the girls and I) started his day with breakfast in bed.


Breakfast in bed

Coffee, scrambled eggs, bacon and cornbread with honey butter, MMMM!!

Then in the late afternoon, after I packed up all the supplies we'd need for his celebration meal, we headed over to Patrick and Jennifer's.  They graciously hosted this get together as we still haven't made a place to set up our grill and Cameron's dinner choice was grilled steaks. 

Kevin and Patrick, AKA "The Grill Masters"

He also wanted "Bloomin Onions" from Outback Restaurant.  So Kevin ordered these online and after dropping the kids and I off at Pat and Jen's he headed over to pick them up.

Cameron had always wanted a swim party, but in California November was always too cold to swim, so yesterday he was able to fulfill this.  After a week of cooler temperatures, it warmed up to the lower 80's and was perfect for swimming, but still cool enough to sit out and enjoy the patio for our meal.

Hannah and Lauren enjoying a swim

Grandma and Poppie joined us, as well as some out of town friends staying with Pat and Jen. We swam, talked, ate and enjoyed celebrating Cameron's special day!!

Jennifer, Poppie and Grandma

Time for dinner - Salad, Grilled Steak and Chicken and of course the Bloomin Onions
Cake time - Cameron's favorite, CCC - Chocolate cake, chocolate filling and chocolate icing!!! Notice a trend?

Time for presents

Happy Birthday Cameron.  We love you!!!!

Mom, Dad, Amber & Eddie, Hannah and Lauren.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Osborne Family Lights

No, it's not the Osborne's as in Ozzy Osbourne, but a family whose history is listed here:

Disney does all kinds of lights and decorations for Christmas, and while it's still almost a month away the extent of their decorating takes months to put up, and is introduced over a period of several weeks, with this show at the Hollywood Studios Park being the first. 

On Wednesday we hurried through school lessons so that we could leave for the park in the afternoon.  We wanted to be there at night to see this light spectacle for the first time.  Our time began at Epcot where we "walked around the world", then met up with Patrick, Jennifer and Grandma.  After walking a bit and a ride, we had dinner then took the canal boat over to the Hollywood Studios park.  As we walked back the fact that the temperature was quite cold for Florida only served to add to the wonderful effects of lights, snowflakes falling from the snow machines and then there were THE LIGHTS!!!!

As we walked we all looked for the "hidden Mickey's" among the various lights and effects.

There is an enormous tree that changes colors in the center of the boulevard.


Then there is a street that has lights strung over the top of the street as well as on the buildings.  Every 10 minutes there's a pause to Christmas music, a brief lights off, then the music returns and the lights begin "dancing" and changing colors to the beat of the music, for us it was Feliz Navidad.  It was incredible!!!

Cameron and Grandma


Jennifer, Grandma and Patrick

Kevin, Hannah and Lauren

We thoroughly enjoyed our time out to visit and experience this visual wonderland. SO worth the time and effort.

Today is my birthday (won't share which one -smile) so after the girls ballet class this evening we'll be going to dinner.  Then Sunday Cameron will be celebrating his 20th!! Unbelievable how time flies!

Have a great day, I plan to enjoy mine.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

4 H Preparing for the Fair

Our time for the county fair with 4H, has arrived.  Though our girls will not be showing animals as you are required to have cared for your animal for 6 months or longer, they have friends in this group who will be participating. 
The girls have learned about rabbits and chickens along with the other kids in the program that began in September.  Our family has feeding responsibilities as part of the care of the animals at the facility, so they've had the hands on experience of caring for the many chickens and rabbits.

One of the silkies with her chicks

There are pigs here, but those are the responsibility of the individual kids, usually the older ones, who start out with piglets and raise them up to be auctioned off at the fair.

Rebecca showing the others how to hold a chicken

William holding a rooster

In preparation for the county fair the rabbits needed to be tattooed to identify them as the participants rabbit and prevent any mix ups with all the others that will be shown.  The girls who had the rabbits were a bit squeamish, worried they would hurt the rabbits so Kevin was enlisted to use the tattooing tool that puts the identifying numbers on the ears before ink is applied.  Contrary to the girls fears the rabbits didn't seem the least bit bothered by the process.

Kevin applying the tattoo. Girls in the back worried their rabbit will squeal in pain. They were really shocked when it didn't even flinch and was just fine.

Applying the ink after the tattoo.

Then last Tuesday, after the chickens had been separated and caged for a month to prevent injuries and keep them cleaner for showing, it was time to bathe the birds.   Two of the kids who will be showing their birds, Rebecca and William weren't able to make the meeting because they were sick, so our girls stepped in to bathe their chickens.  Lauren was a bit timid despite the birds being gentle, so Hannah with the help of Mr. Gene and Kevin took care of this chore.

Mr. Gene showing how to bathe the chicken's feet

Hannah with Williams now clean hen

Happy to be back in her cage

Kevin bathing Rebecca's chicken

We'll be planning a family trip to the county fair soon, so Hannah and Lauren will be able to see all the animals entered there, and the ones that receive the awards as best in their particular divisions. They'll also get to experience all that a local fair has to offer for the first time.  Should be fun!!