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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hay! Hay! Hay!

Sorry we haven't posted much this past week.
Flower Boy and I have both been off work, from our day jobs, but not from our ranching duties.
Boy do I have a lot to tell you over the next several posts!
One of our projects...
We have been moving hay! 
There is hay everywhere you look on this ranch!
There is hay in the front yard!
 There is hay on the hill where I have dates with My Daddy!
There is a huge stack out back!
There is even hay between trees!
There are stacks of native grass, rye, oat and bermuda hay.
There is even a stack of native grass that has a bit of johnson grass in it.
We keep the hay in separate stacks because each type has a different percentage of protein.
All can be fed to the cattle, but only a certain type can be fed to Charlie Horse.
Most of the hay has been moved by our two feed trucks.
Drewman in one and Flower Boy in the other.
I moved hay one day by myself because Flower Boy and Drewman both had to work at their day jobs.
The hay was only 3 miles from the home place, so it wasn't hard moving it.
Just time consuming.
The hay in the front yard is being moved to these stacks.
That hay was brought in by trailer, therefore it had to be dropped in the front yard.
The driver lowers the spikes on the bale bed.
 Backs up to the bale.
 Raises the bale with the spikes.
 Drives around the house to the designated hay sack.
Backs up to the hay stack.
Lowers the bale.
 And pulls away.
With both trucks moving hay, they move it quickly.
They have to watch each other as they circle around the house.
It is a single lane drive with a steep drop off to the creek, on the other side.
We have moved 150 bales these past few days.
We don't think this will be enough to sustain the cattle through the winter.
It is a good start though!
Hay! Hay! Hay!
PS:  Before I completed this post all the hay in the front yard had been moved to their designated stacks.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas At The Ranch

The Big Kids came home on Christmas Eve.
We love it when they are here.
They travel so much and have very busy lives.
When they are home, it seems they relax and enjoy the not so busy life on the ranch.
We become spoiled when they are here.
The Big Kids love to cook.
Flower Boy and I get to set back and watch their magic.
They always make the most gourmet type meals.
Christmas Eve dinner was no different!
Drewman and I headed off to Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at church.
When we returned, the house smelled of a joyous feast.
Prime Rib, Asparagus, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts, with Pineapple Cake for dessert.
Cha Ching!
Prime Rib has become a tradition for our Christmas meal.
Flower Boy says we wait all year for that meal.
The Big Boy makes it better than anything you could get in a restaurant.
Our Girl always makes the most scrumptious sides.
I was responsible for the cake.
I had to make two!
Not because the five of us could eat them, but because I had an epic fail while preparing the first.
I forgot to add baking soda!
I provide a Tip of the Day on social media.
Christmas Eve's Tip of the Day was "If you fail to add baking soda to a cake recipe, the cake will not rise nor will it brown.  It will resemble the qualities of a rubber mat!"
Hence the reason for the second cake.
Christmas morning is always a laid back time for our family.
We normally stay in our jammies and watch a Christmas movie.
This year we chose National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation!
I'm not sure Drewman is awake!
Our girl is finishing up the Monkey Bread and Breakfast Casserole!
The Big Boy is watching the sports update while checking some emails.
Flower Boy is checking the weather.
We were hit by an ice storm a few days earlier.
(I will blog that later.  I snapped some amazing photos!  I need to figure out how to put a watermark on them before I post them.  Anyone?) 
Our gifts were opened just after we eat our breakfast.
Top gifts for each one of us:
I got a solar powered gate opener!
Flower Boy got a much needed creeper.
(one of those slide under a vehicle rolly cart things)
The Big Boy's favorite gift was the Garth Brooks Box Set.
(he was raised on Garth Brooks and George Strait)
Our Girl got pie making items.
(a Fiestaware pie baking dish, Signature measuring bowls/cups and a pie bird)
Penelope and Pembroke must have given Santa epic reports on Drewman, because he got a fancy 4 wheel drive RC car!
Speaking of Penelope and Pembroke...
I told you I would share the photos of their activities on the ranch.
These two are a mess!
 The first night they were at the ranch, they had a snowball fight!
 We think Penelope stuffed Pembroke in the button jar.
 They made up with date night.
 Spin the Bottle???
 These are the ornaments they stole from Drewman's tree.
They apparently DID NOT know this big guy was OFF LIMITS! 
 Helping to change the light bulbs...
 Elfies taking Selfies!
 They were having a party in the extra wrapping supplies.
I guess I should have cleaned up when I was finished.
 Hiding in the snack drawer.
 They stuffed our stockings!
 Their bag is packed and they are waiting on Santa to pick them up.
 One last trick!
We enjoyed our time with them.
We hope they return next year.
Our family had a marvelous Christmas!
We hope you and yours did too!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Night With PYGs

Last evening our household was blessed to host our church PYG Christmas Party.
We had 11 high school kids and 6 adults, including Flower Boy and myself.

Beef N Noodles were on the menu.
This was a new dish for most at the party.
It is a comfort food for our family.

I think everyone liked it!

The group was broken up into two teams.

They answered a series of questions regarding the Birth of Christ.

The correct answers were then questioned.

Let's just say...
Most of us were stunned to learn the Bible tells a different story than what we have been taught in Christmas Pageants.
Everyone in the room was shocked.
Momma PYG confirmed the answers and asked us to read the True Christmas Story in the Book of Matthew and Luke.
I plan to read it this week!

There was a ton of discussion and lots of laughs!

Then the fight began!

It was time for Dirty Santa!

Much contemplation over the best gift out there!

Much thought was put into the steal!

Much solicitation from those attempting to sell their gift!

A wonderful night was had by all with a marvelous group of PYGs!

Thanks for coming out kids!
We enjoyed having you!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lights... Trees... Do We Have Enough?

We have been doing our Christmas decorating the past several weeks.
It seems we (Drewman and I) continue to add decorations, as we find them or make them.

Our living room tree went up first!
Flower Boy loves this tree!
He says it is "Simple and Country".
The tree is wrapped with grapevine and a rusty wire type star garland.
Most of the ornaments are metal, with a few handmade felt ornaments from when I was a child, including the one from Granny B.
We have also added a few red apples for color.
Topped off with a rusted metal star.
A simple white bed sheet is used as our tree skirt.

We have two Nativity Scenes.
Both were made in Granny B's ceramic shop.
This one is small and dainty.
I love the bright colors and details.

The second is much larger and seems to have a mix and match of characters.
Several pieces have been glued together as they have broken over the years.
No matter..
I have an appreciation for the lighted tree.
As well as, the detail in the angel hanging from the stable.
We have placed one on each side of the fireplace.
I find peace in setting in my chair looking at them each night.

Our stockings have been hung!

There is a collection of Santas given to me, as gifts each year, from one of my former bosses.
These Santas sit on a vintage New Home sewing machine I purchased, at an auction with Granny B, when I was twelve years old.

Drewman has a tree in his room.
Penelope and Pembroke stole the ornaments prior to getting them placed on the tree.
(Speaking of these two...
They are a MESS!!!
I will do a post soon on their antics!)
The ornaments are hunting and fishing type ornaments.
Perfect for Drewman's room!

Flower Boy and I have a tree in our room too.
This tree is most special to me.
The Christmas after My Daddy died, I was having a hard time getting into the Christmas Spirit.
A dear friend gave me this little tree, knowing I needed to put one up.
I remember her telling me "Just take it home! You have to start small and work your way through it."
G had lost her sweet mother to cancer the year before.
I have placed the special tree in My Daddy's chore bucket.
Wrapped it with one of his ropes.
Put a few farm/ranch ornaments on it.
The tree sets on my dresser with my Spurs and a candle holder My Daddy made, using an old electrical insulator.

Our porch is also decorated!
The tree has been in storage for several years and has many issues.
We think it works perfectly as an outside tree.
 Drewman took all the little kid ornaments and placed them on the tree.
I won the snowmen several years ago in a holiday drawing.
The tote was something My Daddy made.
We filled it with garland and lights.
Next to our front door is a collection of extras we have gained over the years.
You might remember the stocking from last year.

Lastly, there is the wreath Drewman made this week.

All in all, we (Drewman and I) think we did a pretty good job of gathering up what we had to beautifully decorate our new home!
Flower Boy, although he thinks it all looks marvelous, asks...
"Do We Have Enough Lights and Trees?"
Teasing us that we didn't do this much decorating in the old house.

Our family will be hosting Drewman's youth group next Monday evening for their Christmas Party.
The Big Kids will be home Christmas Eve.
Our Santa's Workshop will begin this weekend, preparing our packages and packing the Sleigh.
We finished decorating just in time!
Merry Christmas!!!