December 30, 2010

My Surprise - Meet Dimple

What on earth could cause these boys to run to the barn this morning??

Could it be Dimple? He got here yesterday.....I see him!

Yes! He's a miniature jack and he's absolutely precious!

I have fallen in love with him already and so have the boys!

Let the spoiling begin!!!

I think he likes it here!

Now he says, "Find me a girlfriend and I will be in Heaven!"

I'm working on it Dimple! I'm working on it!

December 26, 2010

Christmas Day

and family fun! It's always such a blessing to spend the holidays with all these crazy people I claim as family!

Luke got his blue Nintendo DS. There's a red one around here from last Christmas of Jake's but I was told by Luke that if Santa brought Jake a red one then he could surely bring him a blue one!

Jake loaded up on Star Wars and Legos!

This is my brother's family. He bought my boys BB guns this year! I threatened to beat him but then found out I will have my revenge! They are expecting a baby in June!!!!!

What can you by a country man that will make him very happy?? A new tractor starter!

But then you have to be tortured by your grandchildren. Wonder why they love him so much?

Another Christmas full of blessings!

Mom, Dad and us four kids
I hope you enjoyed your Christmas as much as we did!

Oh and I have a surprise to post about later this week! I am so excited!!!

December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve!

Don't forget to put out feed for the reindeer so Santa will stop at your house.

Just remember to put your boots on before you go out there!!!! Yes, those are bare footprints in the snow! Jake got a little excited about putting out his reindeer food and forgot his socks and boots!

Wishing All Of You A Very MERRY CHRISTMAS From Our Home To Yours!!!!!

December 22, 2010

Job Update!

I got the job! I am now Health-care Coordinator of CRH, Inc.! I start January 4. Thank you all so much for your well wishes and support yesterday! It means so much to me!

By only working outside the home two days a week, I'll still be blogging, raising animals, canning, soaping and doing all the farm things I love so don't go anywhere!

December 21, 2010

An Interview and Another Button

Good Morning! It's been a whirlwind around here with all the Christmas stuff going on. The boys are out of school and the house is a mess! I have an interview for a job this afternoon. It will be for the two days a week Luke is in preschool and I'll be assuming the RN duties for a small independent living facility in town if I decide I want the job. It seems to be something that will fit into my schedule perfectly and I'm being offered a great salary. I still plan on doing my transcription from home. Wish me luck!

I also wanted to share a different button for the Addicted to Farm and Country Blogs page. I have been emailed several times about one that doesn't blink or one that fits the 125 x 125 size that matches most of the buttons used on blogs so here you go! If you would rather have this one, just copy and paste the code onto your blog.

A few of you have asked to be added to the page and I will get this done today! Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season!

December 18, 2010

My Baby Boys

aren't babies anymore!

All dressed up for their Christmas preschool and school program last night.

I want to know who told them they could grow up so fast??

December 16, 2010

Winter Farm Update

Brrrr! It's been wintery cold here lately! I throw on my coveralls and Muck boots and head to the barn each day. There's so much to do out there in the winter that I don't think to grab the camera on my way out. Everyone needs feed, hay, water and a little snack of course!

I feed the dogs at the house then the cats from the barn are usually on the porch waiting. They walk back to the barn with me.

Uh-oh! I've been spotted! As soon as the goats hear the door close they start (very loudly) telling me how hungry they are! Look at the belly on these gals!

Winter fat and hopefully little babies in there are making these gals look a little round for the holidays! They LOVE dried bananas, a new treat I added to my pocket a few days ago.

Nellie AKA Miss Piggy is such a big baby. She's always first in line for a snack.

Nanny takes her turn and Lucy is behind me trying to eat the flap off my back pocket!

Bella and Marv are hanging out in their stall impatiently awaiting their turn! A little snack for everyone and then the real feed and they have large round hay bales in their lots so I don't have to put it out each day.

Time to check on the chickens. Bootsie is still in the brooder with her 3 bitties. A little too cold for these fuzzy legged little guys to go to the larger pen yet.

The big chickens are always waiting....

Ready to run out the door and find bugs or whatever they find in the snow and mud after they have their feeding frenzy at the feeder.

The younger pullets and my Bantum Cochins stay in the smaller pen and chicken house.

Stud still thinks he's, well........the stud.

Who is that up there?

It's the guineas! They don't like Biscuit, the basset hound, so they hide in the hay loft until he goes back to the house.

The geese are waiting for me to add more water to the electric buckets so they can dip their long necks in.

I so need a miniature donkey or two for my little farm! I'm on the hunt for one (or two) now!
BTW, if you have livestock, those heated buckets are wonderful!

I make my way back to the house...

Deer are still looking for apples under the apple tree.

And someone else will need a refill of suet soon! Don't forget about my suet recipe. The birds love it during this winter weather!

That's how my daily barn chores go! Tomorrow, I'll put on my coveralls and Muck boots...

and do it all over again because....
I love it!

December 15, 2010


Make your own extract and bottle it up in cute little bottles. I picked up a big bottle of vodka a few months ago, ordered some Madagascar vanilla beans through eBay (Grade B vanilla beans make the best extract) and now I have wonderful homemade vanilla extract!

All you need is:
1 large bottle of vodka
10 - 12 vanilla beans

Cut your vanilla beans long ways down the middle. Scrape the beans loose from the pods and add the scrapings to your bottle of vodka. Higher quality vodka makes a better extract. You may have to remove a bit of the vodka to accommodate for the beans and pods. Chop up the pods into 1 to 2-inch pieces and add them to the vodka as well. Place your bottle in a dark pantry or cabinet. Shake the bottle once a day for about a week then every few days just to keep it all mixed up. After awhile I just shake mine when I notice it in the cabinet. You can use it after a month but the longer it sits the stronger (and better) your extract will be.

I use a paper towel or very thin cloth and a small funnel to strain my extract into the smaller bottles.

I have been using from my bottle to bake and make the little gift bottles above. When you have used 1/3 or so of the bottle, refill it with vodka to keep your extract going. If your beans start to lose their vanilla smell, scrape, chop and add more. This bottle can be refilled occasionally and last for years to use in your own baking or make a few big bottles to divide and give as gifts around the holidays!

These little bottles are even cuter with a recipe card tied to them!

December 13, 2010

Grabbable Button

I have changed the addicted to farm/country blogs blinkie to a grabbable button if anyone wants to add it to their site. You can always find it over in the left sidebar if you want to grab it later! If your blogs not there and you want it added, just let me know.

December 12, 2010

Peppermint Deliciousness!

A friend of mine had me buy a package of those peppermint Hershey Kisses the other day while we were shopping and I must admit I ate half the bag (or more!) I decided to go on a peppermint candy making expedition! I made a few batches before I got what I think is very close to the Hershey Kisses peppermint goodness. I got this mold for free when I bought some Jell-O earlier this week and decided to use it!

Here's the recipe I ended up using...
Peppermint Goodies
1/2 block Gulf Wax paraffin
2 packages white chocolate chips
1/2 package almond bark
20 peppermint candy disks (chopped into a very fine powder using a food chopper or processor)
1 tsp peppermint extract

Melt your gulf wax in a saucepan. You can use a double boiler but I didn't. Next add your chocolate chips and broken up almond bar on low to medium heat. Stir constantly until melted. Pour in peppermint candy powder, stir, then add peppermint extract. Stir well and make sure everything is melted.
Pour into molds or into a wax lined cookie sheet. I used the Jell-O mold and this recipe filled it twice. I just remelted after the first batch firmed up in the fridge and filled it again. They fell out of this mold with no oiling required.

The details turned out great! They are thick so I'm trying to figure out a way to add Popsicle sticks to them.

I wrapped them in basket wrap and added some twine to some and little red ribbon to others.

I will be making these for the kids in Jake and Luke's classes next year.

They are fun, cute and delicious!

Here they are all dressed up and ready to go to the Christmas party tomorrow night! I am adding baskets of these to my "homemade gift baskets" for next year.

December 11, 2010

Homemade Gift Baskets

I have already decided that next year I am giving mostly handmade, homemade gift baskets.

These have a bar of handmade soap, a package of my peppermint mini soaps, a tube of peppermint lip balm and a candle. The candle is bought but candles are next on my craft list!

Next year the candles will be hand-poured as well.

I made twig stars sprayed with glitter glue to give the baskets a rustic look plus Jake and Luke's teachers will have an ornament for their tree.

I found the little buckets, baskets, ribbon and basket wrap all at Hobby Lobby for half price.

Do you make your own crafts/gifts? If so, post a link to yours. I would love to see your ideas!


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All images and graphics on this page were made by me with the exception of that little rooster! He came from Beth Logan's Checkered Chickens at Photos were taken by me and graphics were created using Photoshop CS2.
If you see something you like please ask for permission before using it!
Thank you!