Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One of my Favorite Things...EVER

Christmas cards.

Yes, Christmas cards.

I love sending and receiving Christmas cards! It's probably the thing I look most forward to during the holiday season.

Early in the fall, I start searching Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, Kodak, Etsy and more, for the perfect card. But we all know that the perfect card has fabulous pictures. So yes, that's where all of that planning and stressing over the perfect family picture comes into play. You also score points with a newsy card, but I didn't feel like we had anything too exciting to share this year, so pictures and pictures only, for us this year.

So a couple of weeks ago, I was so excited to see two little orange boxes arrive in my mailbox...they're here!

I used to pride myself in getting my cards out first; like seriously, the Monday after Thanksgiving they were in the mail. But, I'm kinda over that. I think they might get pushed aside if they're the first card to arrive. You have to wait until a few others have arrived and a gathering spot has been established for them. {Look at me and my Christmas card methodolgy :)}

So, they're ready to go, and I'll hang on to them as long as I can, but I'm sure that won't be any past next week!

I take the easy way out and use address labels...I wish I had pretty handwriting and time
(but mostly pretty handwriting) and then I'd hand address them.

The famous little orange box!

You my friends, get a sneak peak of my favorite part of this year's card...
the back!

A little someone took advantage of a distracted Mama
and kept undressing the Christmas tree : )

All ready to go!

Do you send Christmas cards?
Do you love getting them as much as I do?

If you want to make this girl happy, all you have to do is send her a Christmas card!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

After a great Thanksgiving (photo failure on my part, no pictures) with family in Wild Horse at my Grandpa and Grandma's, my Mom, the Little Lady and I headed west to grab a few hours of sleep at my other Grandparent's, before heading to Colorado Springs for Black Friday shopping!

We weren't part of the midnight crowd, we ventured out around 5AM. All of the other shoppers must have been out at midnight, because at Target at 5AM, there were plenty of employees just standing around, hanging out. We weren't after any of the huge door-buster sale items, so we still got everything we needed, and more I'm sure.

With several hours of shopping under our belt, we met up with my Aunt, Uncle, Cousins and Grandpa for breakfast at Panera. Our Black Friday tradition. My Aunt, Uncle and Cousins were part of the brave midnight crowd.

Four Generations of Black Friday Shoppers

After breakfast, Mom, the Little Lady and I headed to the mall and it was time for the Little Lady to visit Santa.

This year's Santa was way better than last year's, but the Little Lady still didn't like him any better.

After all that "stress", Grandma thought the Little Lady needed a treat. Meet Ginger, the adorable gingerbread girl from Build-A-Bear.

The Little Lady was one sleepy girl at this point!

We finished our shopping and then met up with John Wayne and headed to his Grandma's house for Thanksgiving with his family. Yesterday and today, we were around the Trailerhood all day, and I'm happy to report that...Christmas decorations are up, presents are bought (almost all) and wrapped, and cards are ready to go in the mail! I'm ready to ENJOY this Christmas season!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from the Trailerhood!

Thank goodness I'm not in charge of the turkey...

Happy Thanksgiving all!!!

When I got home from work this evening {which is now really yesterday evening...I guess...???}, I kicked it into Thanksgiving prep mode.

But before I tell you more about that, confession time. This afternoon {or yesterday afternoon, whatever} while I was hanging out waiting for John Wayne to get off work so we could head home, I pretty much wrote this post based on how I thought my evening was going to go. My plan was to just snap and insert the pictures and wah-lah. Well, the evening didn't go quite as smoothly as planned, so let's just say I had a little editing to do.

I started with the two pecan pies that I needed to make. My sweet Mom gave me two pie crusts that she had made and put in the freezer, so all I needed to do was roll them out and put them in the pie plate. That simple little step, turned into a crying, cursing, abusing of the pie crust, match. Unfortunately, it had to involve John Wayne and then my Mom...and in the end, we have one pie, not two. The one I did get done, isn't the most beautiful pie I've ever made and it looks like for our Friday gathering with John Wayne's family, I'll be doing something very uncharacteristic of myself...buying something to take. Fail. So, my {famous in my own mind} pecan pies, that never fail me, well...

So next it was onto the salted caramel cookies, a recipe that I found on Pinterest. Besides somehow destroying my kitchen in the process, these turned out pretty darn good. I actually just ended up modifying my own chocolate chip cookie recipe by adding half the amount of chocolate chips, and replacing those with a cup of Kraft caramel bits and a half cup of crushed pretzels and sprinkling with salt before baking.

Like I said, pretty darn good. They have the whole sweet and salty goodness going on.

The cookies are for our Black Friday Survival Kits. In case you don't remember, I LOVE Black Friday shopping! Black Friday shopping is a fun tradition for the ladies in my family and every year, my Mom and I put together "survival kits" to help us get through the day. This year, our kits include, among other things: pumpkin bread that my Mom made, the salted caramel cookies, a peppermint mocha, these cute "Santa dollar" candy bars that I found at Alco while shopping on lunch break one day, and a holiday scratch ticket...maybe one of us will win some extra cash to help cover the day! The Little Lady even has her own special survival kit filled with some special goodies of her own.

The last item on my list was the pumpkin pie bars that I shared with you awhile back. As I'm lining the pan with foil, I get half the pan covered and run out of foil. Darn it! It was too late to call my Mom and beg some off of her, but first thing tomorrow morning {or I guess more like in just a few hours} I'll visit the local grocery store {aka my Mom's pantry}, grab some foil and get those done. Thankfully, they're really easy.

So, after tonight {last night, whatever}, I'm for sure thankful for one thing...that I'm not the hostess this year!

May your Thanksgiving be filled with food, football, fun and family!
And may your Black Friday be filled with bargains and more bargains and even more Starbucks!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

This and That

This weekend has been a great one so far, we've been able to stay around the house for the most part and I am always thankful for days that aren't spent running from place to place.

Last night John Wayne was updating some cattle records, but then his secretary took over.

I'm sure that the Leap Frog "laptop" that we got her for Christmas will not be nearly as appealing to her : )

This morning I decided to get up early before John Wayne and the Little Lady and make a special treat...homemade donuts!!!

They were pretty tasty. Although, I have to get a candy thermometer because my oil wasn't at the right temperature for all of them and I had some doughy centers.

I made some dipped in cinnamon/sugar and some with a chocolate glaze. They were both pretty tasty, but I thought the cinnamon/sugar ones were the best.

But, after telling the whole Facebook world that I made "homemade" donuts...I must fess up...cheater donuts...TOTALLY. All they are is this...

I found the recipe on Pinterest, my latest obsession.

The Little Lady enjoyed the donut holes for breakfast.

Along with my donuts, I enjoyed some of my favorite creamer...Peppermint Mocha! I finally went to the store yesterday and got some.

John Wayne and I went on a date tonight. Here's the Little Lady getting ready to go to Grandma and Grandpa's for the evening. Do you like her new Old Navy coat? She LOVES it. She especially likes playing peek-a-boo with the hood.

Does The Lincoln County Stockmen's Annual Banquet count as a date?
It does for us : )

Hmmm, my hair looks really flat on one side, I promise it wasn't.

I hope you all are having a great weekend as well!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Save Life As We Know It on America's Family Farms and Ranches

Generally when I write a blog, it’s all for entertainment, but today is serious stuff folks.

The U.S. Department of Labor wants to make it illegal for children under the age of 16 to work on a farm.

If passed, this could change the face of America’s family farms and ranches.

The proposed regulations would make it illegal to allow a child under the age of 16 to do all of the following:

1. Herd animals on horseback;
2. Sort animals on horseback;
3. Operate any equipment;
4. Operate any vehicle, tractor, feed truck, ATV;
5. Operate any tool that is not powered by hand;
6. The list goes on.

So yes, if passed, this means that it would be illegal for our Little Lady to help her Grandpa move cattle. It would be illegal for her to help her Grandpa brand calves. Like I said previously, the list goes on and on.

Activities that we all enjoyed participating in while growing up on a farm or ranch would become illegal, just to satisfy the Washington bureaucrats who claim that they are “protecting” our children, when they in fact have no idea what a huge negative impact this would have on multi-generational farming and ranching families.

I will close with a quote that I saw and loved from another blogger on the subject, "What does our government have against teaching children the value of family, responsibility and a strong work ethic?"

Please visit www.regulations.gov and type WHD-2011-0001-0001 in the search tool to comment on the proposed rule.

*Edit...It is important to note that to my understanding, yes, children could continue to work for their parents, but ONLY directly under their parent's supervision, and not for example, their grandparents. That is why, in my opinion, this proposed law is such a threat to multi-generational family farms and ranches.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

And the challenges...

I think I've already mentioned that the Little Lady was quite the difficult little subject for our photo shoot. It took a lot of patience and a lot of work, but we were still able to get some great pictures. I just thought that you should see some of what we went through to get all of those good pictures that I showed you yesterday.

There were tears...

There were little red shoes that kept having blowouts...

There were stressed Mamas...

There was pouting...

There were controlling Mamas...

There were distractions...

There was begging...

There was anger...

There were uncooperative children...

But thankfully, in the end, there were also lots of really good pictures too!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Favorites

Get ready for photo overload. Here, in no particular order, except for the order they were shot in, are my favorites.

We started out in Mantiou Springs. Manitou has lots of character and cool architecture, which made for a great setting.

We then moved to Rock Ledge Ranch.

What do you think? Which ones are your favorites? I especially like the one of us walking, the one in front of the turquoise window {mostly because it's a turquoise window!} and the one of the Little Lady in the foliage.

My super talented little cous took these for us. Thank you again Kelsey, you rock! {I'm probably breaking a photographer's cardinal rule here...I posted unedited pictures, but you didn't know that they're unedited did you?!? Nope, because she's just that good. Sorry Kels, but at least now you know which ones are my favorite and can edit them :)}