Friday, January 23, 2009

Thanksgiving, 2008


(Yes, I'm well aware of the fact that it's nearly the end of January.... did I mention that one of my New Year's goals is to blog more regularly so I don't get behind like this?!)

Thanksgiving this year was spent in Missouri with Joseph's oldest brother's family. We had a good crew present: Grandma & Grandpa L, Uncle Jared & family and Uncle Jacob & family brought our grand total to 23. My sister-in-law Heather enlisted the help of her wonderful Aunt to feed the crew, and feed us they did! They were completely amazing. Heather made an amazing turkey roll in place of a traditional roasted turkey -- she deboned an entire turkey the night before, rolled it up with sausage and stuffing and cream from her cows and butter from the cream and all kinds of goodness. They made a fantastic sweet potato dish, a fabulous corn casserole, cooked the ham on the grill outside, had 5 different beautiful gourmet pies, fantastic mashed potatoes, scrumptious green beans, and the list goes on and on. This family amazes me -- they moved to MO from Puerto Rico (literally from a sandy beach to a muddy farm) a few years ago, and have been experimenting with small scale farming. They use all organic fertilizers, & their produce is fantastic. Then they also raise their own meat (food storage on the hoof!), have their own milk cows and all the products they can derive from that (Heather makes butter and just about every kind of cheese I've ever (and never) heard of. They currently have two milk cows, a handful of sheep, pigs, beef cows, chickens, 2 dogs, a variety of cats and occassionally have goats, donkeys, horses, you name it. I have always been impressed with this family's industry, but now I'm simply amazed. Joseph dreams of having a few acres some day, but I just don't know if I could handle all that WORK!  In any case, along with all those fantastic raw ingredients, Heather is an absolute wonder in the kitchen.  She and her aunt really made an amazing meal.
About the fried turkey -- last year, Joseph fried up his wild turkey that he'd shot earlier in the season.  He tried to share it with everyone, but after Jacob got a piece of breast meat with buck shot in it, no one was very interested.... :)  So this year he was determined to redeem himself.  He BOUGHT two nice little birds, and fried them up to PERFECTION.  He did get a leetle carried away with the injecting of cajun marinade -- there were pockets of soupy juice in a few spots that were a little weird.  But it was so yummy and moist and flavorful, and I just wish I had brought a second stomach so I could have eaten more...

So Thanksgiving this year (and, really, every year) was all about the FOOD. I didn't even manage to get a picture of all the beautiful people there. Oops....

After dinner we lounged around and enjoyed one anothers' company while we digested.  The boys all went off to the back of the property to play with their guns.  The kids enjoyed exploring the barns and watching the milking of the cows.  It was a really pleasant holiday.  We came home, went to bed, and 4 hours later I woke up to go to WalMart.  Crazy.  The portable DVD player is a piece of junk -- should have slept. :)

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Family Pictures, Take 162

Make that a Family of Six....

In November, on National Adoption Day, our family grew by 4 boys! Joseph's brother and sister-in-law adopted these beautiful boys, and we're so happy to have them be a part of our family. It was so sweet to be there with them - I felt the Spirit in that courtroom as this family was united legally.  It was a strong testimony to me that Heavenly Father knows and is pleased with this family.  From the sidelines, watching them come together over the past few years has been amazing.  I'm so impressed with my brother and sister-in-law. They are loving and good and courageous, and their sons are lucky to have them as parents!

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Beautiful Ballerina

Ms. K took a combo Ballet/Tap class in November (a birthday present from the City, who gave us the scholarship so she could do it! Thanks!) She had a ball -- she is just about the girliest girl I know. And she definitely had the best little ballerina bun, if I do say so myself. Joseph keeps trying to talk her into taking a karate class with him (the city sponsers family classes for kids 6 yrs and older and their parents), but K is NOT interested. She's decided that dancing and prancing are much better than whacking and hacking.
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My Kidlets

So, I've been slacking big time on the blog, but it's time to play catch up and make my resolutions (yeah, I know I'm 13 days late), and recomit myself to being a little better.... and so on and so forth.

So without further ado, I give you....Tara's Catch Up (of the non-tomato variety)

Baby A is so stinkin' cute, I can hardly stand it.
And Little Ms. K is pretty darn cute, too. She was feeling left out because I take so many pictures of Baby A, so I made her get dressed in MATCHING CLOTHES and pose in front of my curtains. :) She is the sweetest and best of big sisters. I'm so glad we were blessed with her first!
As I was reviewing my pictures of J-Boy from 2008, I noticed a funny trend (speaking of dressing in matching clothes for pictures...). This kid has STYLE.
Because I find this immensely amusing (and for posterity's sake), I decided to add explanations as well:
1. 5 layers on top, 3 of which were pajama shirts -- this picture was taken in August - in the midwest's glorious humidity.
2. When we got out the baby clothes for Baby A, he claimed these orange beauties for his own - until I snuck into his room in the night and spirited them away. No, I couldn't face him in broad daylight and take away his favorite new 'shorts.'
3. Following the mud 'skating rink' episode during our Father's Day picnic.
4. Upon the sound of much giggling and thumping, Ms. K went upstairs one morning to find J-boy with both feet protuding from one pant leg of his pajamas. Apparently J-boy needed a 'tail' that morning, and that is the best way he could find to get one. Ms. K immediately joined in the fun.
5. The little santa suit actually came from Build-A-Bear. I guess it's J-boy's size, too.
6. As the year progressed, J-boy traded in his collection of layered shirts for a collection of weapons at the belt. Here he is pictured with his 'bow' (the only stick we could find that he wouldn't break in half), his arrows (unsharpened pencils), his 'throwing star' (a plastic dragon that fell off his plastic shield) and a tomahawk. He keeps all of these items in a box he calls his "Power Box." "Mom, I like my Power Box because it makes me POWERFUL!"
7. With Grandpa, wearing 1 PJ shirt and 2 button ups.
8. After catching catfish with Dad - wearing PJ shorts on top of swimming trunks. Sure, why not?
9. Lightning McQueen shades (he's faster than fast and quicker than quick)
10. Trying on Uncle Scott's shoes. I think it would be great if he could fill those one day (metaphorically speaking - you can keep your old sneakers, Scott!)
11. Okay, that was Halloween, so it was socially acceptable that day.
12. Bandana? Oh, no, SUPER HERO CAPE!
13. 3 shirts, shorts over sweats, Again, in the marvelous humidity of a midwest summer.
14. No Idea Why He's Wearing His Sisters' Purple Princess Shirt.
Okay, that was quite indulgent, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I love my kids! :)
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