Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Goal Accomplished!

Tessa and I finished our first 'big' chapter book last night. Well, and Charley listened now and again as well. I'm not even going to say how long it took for me to read it to her...just remember that 4 year old attention spans can be short, especially at bedtime.

The point it, we did it! Next we can move on to Little House on the Prairie.
I've started a favorite book series of my very own...the Hunger Games! I'm halfway through the first book. Oh so good.

Thanksgiving on the Farm

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving on the farm this year. After a tumultuous fall, it was nice to kick back and enjoy some relaxation with the family. We even spent the night at Mamaw's house so Jeremy could hunt while the kids and I went to Metamora.

There was turkey eating.

Men napping.

Kids playing and reading.

Mommy snuggling.

Kids catching some fresh air.

Handicapped people catching fresh air.

Kids chasing the handicapped lady trying to catch fresh air.

Papaw hugging.

The handicapped lady giving rides and more rides.

Then on Friday Jeremy spend the day checking Facebook...ahem, I mean hunting in the deer stand. Sadly there was nothing to shoot, which means our deal about getting a deep freeze has to wait another year. He bags a deer, I get a freezer. That's the deal.

Mom and Dad always go to Metamora on 'Black Friday' and I like it too because it's about as far away from a mall as you can get. Sadly, alot of the antique dealers and food vendors seem to have left town due to poor sales. There are still some great shops but it's also part ghost town.

I prefer a ghost town to Target on Black Friday any day. Plus it's a gorgeous drive through the hill of southern Indiana.
That's an old calculator that Charley is playing with. He calls it his computer.

This canal used to be filled with ducks and you could buy 'duck food' and feed them. We were smart enough to take our own duck food (aka, an ear of corn) but there were no duck. Finally we found three of them who wanted nothing of our food.

Apparently when the pork vendors and candle shops leave town, so do the ducks.

But the ice cream parlor is still open! And it was nice enough to eat outside.

The mules wanted our corn though. We only had one ear, and it didn't last long with these guys begging.

We went home later than night after we collected Jeremy and had a helping of turkey tetrazinni from Mamaw. Metamora was alot more walking than I'm used to, so I spent the next day taking Aleve and enjoying the benefits of epsom salts. But it was worth it.

My Return to Baking- Nutella Cookies

It's been a while since I baked. Mostly because maneuvering the kitchen on my scooter was dang near impossible, and my boot is not much better. But in recent weeks I have become the queen of standing, and am almost back to what I would consider normal life.

So I thought our normal life could use some Nutella cookies. I followed this recipe from Pinterest and I gotta say...I'm disappointed. The dough was super crumbly but I formed them into balls and went with it.

Once baked they turned out super hard. I suppose they could have benefited from another egg or something in the dough. I'm starting to learn to trust these instincts in the kitchen, although I still live in fear of deviating from the recipe.

Anyway, they turned out to be more of a texture like biscotti than cookie. I figured they will be good dipped in some coffee or milk.
We were out of oil spray, so Tessa enjoyed helping me grease the pan with butter. On my Christmas list, Silpat pads!

My Nutella taste testers. Thank goodness our house doesn't have food allergies.

These are what they looked like after they were baked. Super crumbly and hard. How strange.

You Can Take the Girl Outta Woods Branch

You know when we're feeling daydreamy, Jeremy and I sometimes fantasize about having a small place in the country. Far enough out to feel country, but close enough to civilization to meet our monthly sushi quota.

Jeremy wants to be able to hunt and grow some grapes (which we've started doing here in suburbia, even though our massive arbor violated HOA regulations). And we'd both like some freedom and space...oh and a porch swing.

For now we just go down to the family farm, soak it up and enjoy. Then return to suburbia where the houses all look alike and everyone drives a minivan. But the's only 5 minutes away!

I rode the 4 wheeler forever on Thanksgiving. I kept giving kids rides around the pond and down the big hill. I'm thinking now we should have bought Mamaw some gas before we left. Whoops.

When we went to Metamora we had corn to feed ducks but they wanted nothing to do with us. Apparently they weren't hungry. But the mules were.

I used to say that my fantasy farm should have miniature horse. Maybe a little donkey wouldn't be so bad either. I think the soft feeling of their lips licking corn off your hand could become addicting.
But then again, so are spider rolls.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving Scenes

Charley's thankfulness priorities.

Pie pumpkins, meeting their turkey day fate.

An Indian and a pilgrim girl playing with their toilet paper roll turkeys.

Tessa's preschool class getting ready for their feast

Tessa in her class, smashing up oreos to make dirt pudding for the feast.

For these scenes and many many others, I gotta say I just love this time of year.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tessa's Wonderland

While Tessa was gone to a friend's house today, Jeremy and I seized the opportunity to decorate her room for Christmas. I had been hoping to do it while she was at school or something so we could surprise her. And we did! It doesn't take much to shock and awe a 4 year old...just some unexpected Christmas lights and cotton snow.

I also wanted to do this since we don't do the whole Santa coming down the chimney thing. Just because we don't do Santa, doesn't mean Christmas isn't magical and special for our kids. To the contrary!

It's kind of nice that she has a built in mantle to hang stockings and lights from.

Look! It snowed on the dollhouse. I think this was their favorite part.

I had ordered this snowflake afghan on Etsy. It's hard to see in the pic but the edges are all crocheted.

About this time, Charley woke up from his nap and helped me finish. If you're concerned about Charley and his room, don't be. He got colored lights around his window which he thinks is pretty awesome. We might decorate more in there later on.

The garland hanging from the door was the greatest idea. Lasted about 5 minutes before it got torn apart though. Note to self...if you cut garland, it WILL unravel.

Tessa came home and was super surprised.

Good night, Supergirl Polly Pocket.

The one thing we're still missing is some paper stars that are on their way in the mail, and hopefully a white poinsettia for her dresser when they come into stores. Imagine those there as well. Perfection!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Arise and Walk!

Yesterday I had my 8 week post-op appointment with the Ortho. I'll admit I was nervous he was going to tell me I wasn't healed enough to walk yet, and that I might flip out and throw something across the room.

Luckily he said my xray looked 'perfect' and that I could ditch the scooter and start walking. Slowly at first of course. And then in a month from now he wants to see me again, with a SHOE on. This was another surprise because he had previously given me sort of a worst case scenario where I kept the boot on until February.

I walked around the rest of the day and it really did wear me out. Today my legs and back are aching big time. Slow and steady!

I have a long to-do list as well as Christmas activities I want to do, but I realize I need to pace myself. Our first big Christmas thing is that Jeremy and I are taking Tessa to see The Nutcracker in a couple of weeks. She's been watching a recording of it on Netflix to prepare her for what it will be like and she totally eats it up. She can recite the whole story now.

I'm sure she'll be excited when we get there to where the 'real ballerinas' are. If she goes running inside in her fancy dress, Mommy will be hobbling far behind in her supportive boot. But we'll have a great time, none the less.

God is good. All the time.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lucky at the Library

Today was my first full day alone with the kids. Jeremy left at 4:30 to join Andy and some hunters on farm. It's opening season for deer in IN...look out Bambi! Or preferably, Bambi's Dad.

I'm really really sick of the inside of our house and I think the kids are too. So, we headed to the library for some free entertainment. And also to square up on the $11 I owed them from when Jeremy forgot to return two movies right after I had surgery. Delinquent.

I'm still on the scooter for a few more days so if you're wondering how I am able to load it in and out of the car by myself, I would just say....carefully. But I'm off of pain meds altogether so I can DRIVE!

I seriously considered driving down to North Vernon to visit the hunters, simply for the thrill of the open road. But given that Mom and Mamaw were both gone on an antique expedition, leaving no one at the house to help me up the step....I decided against it.

At the library I expected regular scenes like this....

But we were majorly suprised by the 'big truck show' that happened at 11am...dump trucks, garbage trucks, cement mixers, tow trucks and firetrucks.
Charley was in heaven. I 'm thankful that the truck drivers were nice enough to lift the kids up into the cab, after getting a glimpse of their gimpy mother. I simply couldn't have done that.

Charley went bananas for the pink dump truck. Yes, Charley. Tessa was mostly ambivalent about the whole thing. I think the horns were too loud and the cabs too high for her taste.

Tessa snatched the camera for a while. I guess I didn't look that bad. Sadly my teal hair has faded to a lovely pea soup green. Since it's only been lasting about a week on average, I ordered some 'manic panic' in hopes of doing it myself and saving salon costs. I hope my hairdresser doesn't kill me.
I just like this picture of Charley's skinny tooshie. Still barely fitting into 2T...only 2T with an adjustable waistband tightened all the way. Still weighing about what he did at his 12 month appointment. My peanut.