Our Week

posted by Chelsea

This last week.  Lucy turned EIGHT?!

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The girls…

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performed…

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for the school Christmas program.  We were super impressed with their stellar performance.  Kate was the first one to take the microphone and stood frozen for about 4 seconds before a quiet line was whispered to her by her music teacher, then she courageously rolled right through her skit lines, song, and piano playing.  Lucy has come so far in one year on the piano and is so brave to stand up and not only speak into the microphone, but sing, too!  So proud to be their mama!

Lucy wore her adult sized (?!) “town boots” for the performance. This is what a ranch girls “town boots” look like…

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… no matter how hard we try to keep them clean!!

Our dog, Eve, had nine puppies…

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… but we are down to eight.  It’s probably for the best that one didn’t survive as eight will be plenty for our young mama! We named them after Santa’s reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner & Blitzen. Of course we’ll understand if the person who gets “Prancer” or “Dancer” or “Cupid” wants to change the name of their “vicious” cowdog!

The days are short and we’re looking forward to the end of the month when they start getting longer.  But the canyon is still pretty glorious…

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… so much to be thankful for this holiday season!


Vanilla Pear Coffee Cake w/ Streusel Topping

posted by Ann

This year was an epic year for produce and I was blessed to have access to an amazing bounty of  fresh pears.  I canned I.don’t.know.how.many.quarts and was so happy to find some way to bake with them!  This cake is moist and fragrant, is easily doubled and freezes well. Enjoy!

Cake:

Streusel Topping:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a 9-inch square or round baking dish.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and combine well.  Alternate adding reserved flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Gently fold in pears.   Pour batter into prepared pan.

To make streusel  topping: mix cinnamon, salt, brown sugar and flour together.  Cut in butter until fine crumbs are formed.  Using your fingers, squeeze together most of the mixture to form large clumps.  Sprinkle topping generously over batter.

Bake about 1 hour or until cake tests done. Allow to cool slightly before consuming……with a sigh and a small smile. :-)

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Cooper at the Coast

posted by Chelsea

On our way to Buck’s Gram’s for Thanksgiving, we made a quick stop at the ocean.  I love the ocean.  I love the ocean so much.  I love the ocean tons and tons.  I love the ocean like a lot.  And I love bringing my family there.  This was Cooper’s first real experience (the last time he was a small baby) and it was so fun to bring him!

Chasing waves was super fun…

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Buck loves chasing waves as much as the kids do…

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And occasionally he had to help speed little-man up…

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And if Buck wasn’t there to help, Lucy was…

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When he wasn’t chasing waves,  he grabbed a piece of seaweed and chased down the seagulls yelling “wope the kickens! wope the kickens!” (“rope the chickens!”)….

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And here, in my favorite shot, he wasn’t chasing anything…

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There you have it! Cooper at the coast!


December WHAT?!

posted by Chelsea

Good morning December!

WHAT?! December?!

2015 is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!

In the last two posts I believe I told you I was going to tell you all about the cows coming home…

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Well, I was in kind of a weird (mental) place before our Thanksgiving trip (more on the trip later).  The last couple months of Buck’s intense cattle gathering was getting to me- this was not the first time I’ve been in such a (mental) place and I’m pretty certain it won’t be the last.  Anyway, I was ready to “get out of Dodge!” for a few days and in my anxiousness to leave I wasn’t being real productive.  I did manage to get the refrigerator cleaned out and was down to meals made from nothing but pure condiments.  And I packed for our trip.  And I talked to my mom on the phone a time or two or fifty.  But… no cow post.

All that to say… now I’m in a (much) better mental place and am happy to report: The cows came home from summer range!  I’ll start with my favorite shot of the day.  I think they look like they posed for this….

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… but they didn’t.  In fact, they were only lined up for the split second I took the picture and then a logging truck got in the way…

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Anyway….It was cold.  Real cold.  Cooper and I drove to meet the crew with hot coffee and treats to keep them going. Cooper was pretty anxious to ride with Buck for awhile…

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Even I rode…

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… for about an hour.  And I probably shouldn’t mention it, but I chatted so much that I failed to notice some cows who took a wrong turn. Fortunately, it all worked out and they got right back with the herd.

I think the canyon is pretty spectacular, but seeing it from the ground, walking the grade…

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makes it even more so.

And there’s something wonderful about seeing the cows, knowing where they’re headed…

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… making the trek to winter ground.

The day started out cold and ended in a blizzard…

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But the cows, as well as the crew, including Buck and Spiderman…

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made it home sweet home.

Next time I’ll tell you about our trek West…

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… and our own return to home sweet home!


Photo Shoot

posted by Chelsea

sidenote: I know I said I would show you the cows coming home today, but I got distracted.  Cows coming home tomorrow! Three days in a row of posts! Whoa!

If this cold weather and early evenings are good for anything at all, it’s pictures.  Sunday evening the kids and I went out to do chores and I grabbed my camera because the lighting was puuuurrrfect!  And our Lucy girl had her hair down.  A rare occasion as our Lucy is a girl who doesn’t like anything to slow her down and hair, if left untamed, is a major slower-downer in her life.  It’s not only her hair… she also refuses to wear untapered pants for fear they may get stuck under a shoe or cause her to trip while she runs.  Lucy makes sure she has on tapered jeans and hair back in a ponytail so her movement is unhindered.  That’s how she rolls.

So… Sunday evening when her curls were flowing and the light was fabulous, I slowed her down long enough to get a few pictures…

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A little something Grandma Janie taught me… backlighting…

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And a close up…

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Another close up that I “doctored” a little- to show the rosey cheeks and freckles a little better..

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This next one is a “Lucy look”…

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So is this one…

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But my favorite shot of the evening is this next one…

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And that was all I got.  Because soon her sister caught up and off they went…

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Lucky for me, this guy…

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didn’t mind joining in the shoot :-)