Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Attic Land


On the way up the stairs, there is a door. A cupboard-sized door with a little old-fashioned latch on it. 



Inside, there is an attic. It has a sloping roof and plywood floor, and until now we'd used it for storing off-season clothes and Christmas decorations. 



Today, Little Mister and Hubby cleaned and organized it, leaving an eight foot space clear near the door. 



We bought a rug, plugged in a heater, put up twinkle lights, and spread around pillows and blankets. 

It's just right for kids to tuck away and read on a winter afternoon, or play cards or games. It's their own little place. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas!



We left our white Christmas up on the hill to spend the day with my parents, sister and brother-in-law down in the Valley. 



We had a crazy huge pile of presents!!



My mom was thrilled to have the grandkids there to spoil. Without planning it, she, Jen and I all wore pajama pants. 



Jenny found a comfy place to sit... On her niece!



Ben enjoyed all the crazy kids. 



Matt, imitating Abi's Care Bear that dances. I never lack for entertainment!



Papa helped Chewy open his dog treats. 



And then Bean photobombed. 



We worked our way through the pile. 







For lunch, I made pan-seared steaks, green bean casserole and potato rolls. Yum!!



Then it was time to snuggle down and play with the new toys, or take a nap!



Merry Christmas!

Easy Chicken Pot Pie


Ingredients:

2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. shortening
1 1/2 tbsp. garlic salt
cold water
3 frozen chicken breasts
2 c. frozen crinkle cut carrots
1 c. Frozen broccoli florets
1 c. Frozen cauliflower florets
2 packets chicken gravy mix

Crust:

Combine flour and garlic salt. Cut in shortening until texture is fine. Drizzle cold water until dough just sticks together. Do not knead. Roll out 2 10" crusts. 

Filling:

Boil carrots separately for ten minutes. Microwave chicken breasts for 4-6 minutes until no longer pink (do not overcook, rotate pieces midway through). Cut into small pieces and leave in juices. Prepare 2 cups chicken gravy and boil to thicken. Once thick, add chicken pieces and juices and boil another minute. Gently microwave broccoli and cauliflower until thawed but still crisp. 

Line a 10" pie pan with lower crust. Layer carrots, broccoli and cauliflower in the bottom. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Pour chicken and gravy over the veggies. Lay on the top crust and crimp the edges to seal. 

Bake at 450° for 30 minutes, with a foil-lined cookie sheet on the rack below to catch any overflow drips. 

Let stand for 5 minutes and serve. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Community


At the city park next to our house, there is a wonderful little sledding hill that attracts kids from all over the neighborhood. I love that there is still some unscheduled, non-adult-organized play, and the snow was beautiful! My kids will have lasting memories of sledding here. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Waldschattenspiel

We found a tutorial to make the German board game Waldschattenspiel here: Instructables Link

As a fun Saturday project, we made the pieces out of a cardboard box and foam sheets. The little gnomes we already had in a little quirky set of nine pins that I inherited from my grandma. 





Once we had all the parts and pieces, we just needed to wait for the early winter darkness to fall. 

The little gnomes hide in the shadows of the trees as the candle moves around the board on the stepping stones. 



If a gnome gets hit by the light, it's frozen and can't move until another gnome rescues it. 



Then, they all hide again!

We all loved the game, so different from most board games we've played. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sparkly Braids


I've been braiding for three days. Over 15 hours. 





Part of the reason it took so long is that I did not properly brush her hair out last time I braided it, and it formed locs inside the last braids. 

I had to carefully detangle and brush each braid. 



So we binge-watched Netflix. And braided and braided and braided. 

Little brother and the duck and the dog kept us company. 



But at long last we're done! 109 sparkly beautiful long braids for my princess. :)



She feels like a movie star. 

Thanksgiving at the Farm

I tried to publish this back in November but the post didn't post. So here it is now!



















Snapshots: Christmas Program

Music leader, violinist, Angel, shepherd, sound techs and singers!














Saturday, December 12, 2015

The wild tree

We ventured out into beautiful rural Northern Idaho in search of a Christmas tree. 





It felt like driving through a Christmas card. 



We stopped at Fuzzy's Cafe in Deary for lunch and a game of pool. 



Our tree. Puddles approved. Time to decorate!!


Christmas music, Christmas cookies and tree decorating! 



"Wild trees" from the woods aren't always very full, but they smell amazing. :)