Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A "Slice" of Christmas

This will be a Christmas that our son won't soon forget, and for all the wrong reasons.

We woke up bright and early, fed the livestock and gathered round the Christmas tree to exchange gifts in our pajamas before the sun came up. We passed out the first gift to our boy... a folding camping shovel and limb saw.  As he was cutting the zip-ties that held the shovel to the cardboard backing with his pocket knife, he sliced the palm of his hand wide open!

Christmas came to a screeching halt!

We cleaned the wound and butterfly bandaged it together, but it was in a really bad spot that would bleed every time he moved his hand. After making a myriad of phone calls, it was established that the emergency room was the only place open within a 3 hour driving radius. We hated to go to the hospital when an urgent care facility could have taken care of it for a fraction of the cost, but we had zero options on Christmas day.

So my husband took him to the E.R. and he got 7 stitches for Christmas.

The funniest thing about it was that an older gentlemen came into the E.R. shortly after our son got there, with the exact same injury. HA!

They gave him some parting gifts...including a strange handmade blue glass ornament that doesn't match our tree at all, but will forever be hung on its branches as a reminder of his trip to the E.R. on Christmas morning.

His sisters were a wreck, as you can imagine. First they cried because they knew their brother was hurt badly, and although they would never admit it, I'm sure they were sorely disappointed that they had to wait 3 hours before they could open any of their gifts. It must have seemed like an eternity to an 8 year old.

We eventually gathered around the tree again, and finished the gift exchange with much excitement from all parties.  

In the aftermath of flying wrapping paper and boxes, we each sat quietly in different spots in the living room, entertained and reading about our new gifts, when all of the sudden:


The Christmas tree fell over.

Ornaments broke, needles flew across the room, and we spent the next 30 minutes righting the tree, vacuuming up needles, and re-hanging the ornaments.

We just laughed. It was the perfect ending to the morning.

We didn't let it ruin our day, though. We got dressed and headed over the mountain for a great Christmas hike and gift exchange with family.  Then, we sat down to a dinner of homegrown beef and all of the fixings.  

We chuckled as we removed the steak knife from our son's place setting.....just in case. ;)

I hope your Christmas was less dramatic!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Birthdays and Curling Iron Wishes

Our daughter just celebrated her 11th birthday with a house full of squealing, giggling young ladies.

There was only one thing on her birthday wish list: A CURLING IRON.

I shudder as I type those words because I remember the year that I got my very first curling iron. It was powder blue with a skinny barrel. From that moment forward, I was in charge of my own hair destiny. No more pig tails from Mom.  What ensued was a three year run of late eighties, early nineties bangs.

The formula for my Junior High bangs:
Two rows of curls going up
one row of curls going down
Tease them together
Hairspray until they moved as one unit.
Hairspray again for good measure.

I put my mother through endless torture. She had to look at those ridiculous bangs, and shake her head as I told her, "Mom, all the girls are wearing them like this!"

If she were alive, she'd be laughing right now, telling me that my chickens are about to come home to roost.


OK, now that I have voiced my worries about this scary gift, I can move on with this post:

Since our daughter's birthday is very near to Christmas, it's always a challenge to transform the house from Christmas decorations to birthday decorations, but I make a valiant attempt.

I made tissue paper flowers, and I forgot how fun and easy they are to make.

Since we had a color theme going on, I decided to buy only turquoise candy and gum for the party favors.

This year, we ate pizza, and decorated Gingerbread houses.

At the last minute, our son decided he wanted to try his hand at ginger bread house making, too.  But he refused to sit at a table full of girls. He had to draw the line somewhere.

It can be pretty overwhelming if you aren't used to the sounds of tweenaged girls, but big brother made it through....

...with only one minor photo bombing incident.

Our kids are growing up so fast! Where does the time go?

Thanking God that big 80's bangs aren't in style at the moment,


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Branding Weekend

Day 1: Gathering 

Day 2: Branding

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Shamelessly Gloating about our Superior Christmas Tree

That's right. We got a good one.

This year my father-in-law and my brother-in-law's family tagged along and went tree hunting with us.  In the 11th hour, just before sunset, we spotted our glorious tree off in the distant meadow.

After shaking off the snow and making a full circle around it, I gave the Blue Spruce my seal of approval and the ceremonial tree cutting commenced.

There's a boy in this picture but I can't see him!

Thankfully, the brothers drug the tree back to the truck because it was one heavy beast!

We then secured our load, and drove back to civilization.  On the way home, we laughed heartily at all of the lame Charlie Brown trees that we saw in the backs of trucks, and sinfully paraded our superior Christmas tree through main street (all two stoplights of it.)  We ended our slow processional by parking in front of our favorite restaurant to flaunt our trophy tree the way hunters show off their elk racks in the back of the truck.

 If you don't live in small town America, you won't get this comparison.

I know it's prideful and wicked to boast of Christmas trees, but when you harvest your tree from the forest, and not from a tree farm or worse...Home Depot, then it is much more difficult to find a full, pretty tree that is the right size.  When you come across one, it's really hard to remain humble about it.

But sometimes the Lord humbles us by allowing an elk to urinate on our tree without our knowledge of it until it is in our house and fully decorated, at which time we have to cut out many, many branches to keep our house from smelling like elk estrous.

But that was years ago.

I digress.

The snow was really gorgeous that day! It was so fluffy that it looked fake, like it came out of a department store display area.

After we got home, we did the best we could to make the tree fit into our rental house which lacked the vaulted ceilings we've grown accustomed to in our old home. A little trimming, and TaDa! We have a Christmas tree.

Not bad for a tree that's never been groomed, fertilized, or pruned.

And a Bonus: Here's a little pic of the kitchen eating area...because it was on my camera. Did I mention that the rental house was built in 1940? That's not my choice of wall color, either. I just try to make the best of it while we're here.

Bragging about my Christmas tree while secretly suffering with miserable allergies because of it,


Monday, December 2, 2013

You can't HANDLE the cuteness!

This is my birthday gift from my husband. I was sooo surprised! That man knows the way to my heart. He picked a good one, that's for sure.

I really heart my pup. Like, a lot. 

Love at first sight, you might say.

His name is Tater, but we also call him Tater Bug, Tater Tot, Taters and Gravy, and just plain ole' Tate.

He's the softest, fluffiest, tiniest little ball of fur I've ever seen.  He has puppy breath, tiny little shark teeth, and a little pink tongue.

Tater is a red tri- merle Australian Shepherd, and he's smart as a lick. In fact, he's sooo smart that if you don't give him a job, he'll get into mischief.  He instinctively herds anything that moves. This includes other dogs, small children, birds, and the cat.  

Our other animals hope that he will go away very soon because he is ruining their retirement. All of their leisure time outside is spent with Tater orbiting around them, licking them, biting their ears, and wanting to play. An old dog's worst nightmare.

It's nice to have some young blood around here.  It keeps everyone on their toes. Tater's potty trained already, but we have a LONG road ahead to make him into a good cowdog. Thankfully, his instincts are strong, and he's eager to learn. Now if I can just keep him from gnawing on my slippers, he'd be the perfect gentleman.

In puppy love,