Saturday, December 14, 2013

Carol Me A Christmas!

    It was a magical wintery day in a million ways. To name a few ...
    Our friends drove just under two hours on icy roads to come spend a day with us. They helped us chop and gather firewood in the forest all afternoon before coming inside and warming up by the fireplace with good hot apple cider.  
    Just a note: We love this family. My sister met their oldest boy at a Quad-Stake Dance, realized that our families have a lot in common (home schooled, good morals & values, family oriented, etc.), and after we all got together and met we were instant friends.
    We've never actually been to their house. So far, they've been the ones to drive the distance, and (on top of that) they're always so helpful when they come. They've helped us chop firewood, prime the basement, prune the raspberries, and much more  We are so lucky!
    Once it got dark we hopped into our mini van and their camouflage bus (yes they own a camouflage bus ... they kind of need it in order to tote all thirteen of their children from place to place ... and yes, they are all biological brothers and sisters from one mother :). 
   We went and caroled at three different homes (all Amish families that we both love). We had a snowball fight at each and every house which was very fun. The snow was perfect--moist and melty. It was a beautiful night. Merry Christmas!  

Friday, December 6, 2013

One Week In a Treestand

    I looked out my window this morning and saw a funny looking orange blob high up in a tree across the field. It took a second for me to remember that it was the first day of the deer hunting season and that that orange blob was my brother. I knew he was building himself a tree stand, but I didn't know that it was that far up off the ground. I got vertigo just looking at him. 
    If you look closely, you can see some orange down at the base of the tree. That's Dad, since my brother isn't eighteen yet he has to hunt with an adult. Dad was good enough to get up at four and sit out there in the cold. I love my Dad! 

    Later that evening, my brother got dressed up in his hunting garb a second time, gathered his gun (a good friend let him borrow his) and went down to the woods where he had built himself a shelter. He picked the place for his shelter well. There were deer tracks and scrapes nearby as well as the creek where they drink.

A Deer Scrape
Where the buck's antler's scrape the bark off of trees as they feed on the grass below.

    Here is the shelter he made.
   If you look closely, you can see that his school books are in the paper sack. My brother is very responsible and really tries hard to get all of his responsibilities done. I don't know how many other hunters that try to learn math concepts as they hunt 

    My brothers are so good to let me take pictures of them and blog about their adventures. He didn't shoot any deer this year, but he's already planning his locations and strategies for next year. Good luck with this hunting season and all those to come!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Family Pictures to Hang ...

    Remember those family pictures that my Aunt took of us when she was here this summer??? Well we ordered a collage of canvas prints and hung them today. It was beautiful. My aunt did such a great job taking those pictures, editing, sizing and ordering these prints for us. Again, go check out her website, she and her partner are SUPER talented and incredibly fun!

    We laid the prints out on a piece of brown paper, made sure they were straight, and drew dots where the nails would go. That made it so much easier to level on the wall with the laser level. Dad was such a great sport. We had him on the ladder all morning with: "To the right a little bit", "It needs to come your way", "a little higher", etc.
    It was good to have my aunt from Texas here (not the same aunt that took our pictures) because she's hung pictures like these before and we really haven't.

    That ladder was kind of precarious. One leg was on a stair while the other was on a cinder block. The other two ends (as you can see) had socks over them so they wouldn't scratch the wall. When you climbed to the top you got some slight vertigo.  

    And there they are. To see enlarged versions of these pictures visit my post: Family Pictures In Queen Ann's Lace. I didn't get any pictures of the last step, but we also put a vynal saying at the top of our collage. It said:  

We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction, that we may all sit down in heaven together. ~ Eliza R. Snow. 
    That is our family's goal. We are all striving to do our best in this life so that we may all sit down together -as an eternal family- in the life to come.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Jumping Around with Texas Cousins

    Our cousins are visiting from Texas!
    It's Deer Hunting Season so their dad and grandpa (my grandpa in law :) decided to hunt on our place this year. They didn't shoot anything, but all of us sure had fun. Today we were jumping on the tramp and even though it was chilly we were enjoying it. It was probably the very last day to go out without shoes ... and we were even cutting it a little close :)

    These three little girls are some of the cutest red-heads I have ever met. My mom and their mom are sisters, but they were pretty far apart in age so my sister and I are almost like aunts. We love having our cousins here. With them, every day brings something new.

This is their little brother and I adore his curly red hair!

    The little girls wear their Amish dresses and miscellaneous dress-ups  everywhere and I love it.  When my sister and I were little we played dress up quite a lot too, but after we discovered fabric and safety pins we started to raid the sewing room and leave our dress-up box alone. A piece of fabric and a few safety pins can become anything: an apron, a veil, a train for a gown, a floor-length shawl, or even a bag. 
    Where have the days gone? Yesterday I wore flannel ball gowns with long blowy sleeves made from old sheets ... and today I wear the same two denim skirts every day all day. When did I get to be so dull?

That apron was getting in the way a little bit ... so off it came!

    And, of course, I can't get away without posting a picture of my own adorable brother. I do love red hair, but this little man of mine looks perfect under his head of sun bleached blond. I am glad Heavenly Father made everyone different. 
    I'm also glad that my aunt's family was willing to drive all that way to spend the week. We are having a great time!