Archive: June 2011

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Baby Girl


posted by Chelsea

Upon waking from her nighttime slumber or from her afternoon nap, my baby girl is slow to wake up.  She wanders out of her room and if I don’t grab her to snuggle for awhile, I have to search our 800 square feet to find her.  And when I do, she usually looks like this…

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She’s not particular about where she curls up- in this case, the mud room floor.  I’ve found her in a kitchen chair, the kitchen floor (has to put a blankie down first for that one, brr…), the kitchen counter, but never anywhere cozy- the couch? a bed?  While she can’t quite wake up, she’s definately not going to be caught falling back to sleep!

 

 

 


Robin Adventures


by Charlotte

While we were gone to Disneyland a robin built her nest on the side of our house.  By the time I got around to knocking it down, there was an egg in it.  I didn’t have the heart to continue so I righted the nest and we let a pair of robins raise their family.

For the record, robins aren’t nearly as messy as swallows and when the young leave the nest they aren’t mean either.

Swallows teach their young how to fly, but allow the young to stay in the nest for a while.  This is when the swallows get aggressive and this is why swallows are not allowed at our house.

Robins, on the other hand, kick their young out of the nest and then keep an eye on them until they learn to fly.  I did not know this bit of information so when we found a young robin on the ground we carefully put it back in the nest . . . Okay, I left out all of the drama of how that actually happened.  The kids noticed a fledgling out of the nest just in time to see our cat, Moses, grab it in his mouth.  This brought about squeals of distress and a mad chase around the yard trying to get the cat to release his prey.

We succeeded and then put the robin back in the nest only to find all four fledglings gone from the nest a few hours later.

And, I am sad to say, Moses with one of them in his mouth making a bee line out of the yard and away from the protective children.  I try to imagine the other three made it, but I found a dead fledgling in the chicken pen two days later.

The robins are gone and I am left to clean up the mess.  I really don’t mind.  We had hours of entertainment and a huge life lesson for the kids; nature is not kind.  It is a good lesson to learn while young.


“By the dawn’s early light”


by Kath

Everything was beautiful this morning on the ranch. The dew was lifting into a mist and the sun was streaming through the leaves, touching the fences, barn, and even the tractor with interesting sunrays and shadows. On this same morning, the moon could be seen over the ranch arch and a hot air balloon sounded a loud “whoosh” overhead.

Since it’s right before the 4th of July, I couldn’t help but sing the refrain of Independance Day as I snapped these photos: “Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, …”

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Hope you enjoyed this morning walk on the ranch.


Slightly Sweet Tea


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posted by Ann

So, I’m a Southern girl by heredity.  I was born in Tennessee and most all of my family is living or was raised in the South.  I love my heritage….I love the accent (I used to have one BAD), I love the tradition, the pride and the food.  One staple of the Southern kitchens is Sweet Tea.  McDonald’s has introduced an amazingly HORRIBLE drink they tout as “Sweet Tea”.  I’ve had it — I’d call it “Sugar with a Mild Tea Aftertaste”.  Well, REAL Sweet Tea is pretty REALLY, tooth-achingly sweet  and it REALLY tastes like tea.  The secret to good authentic Southern tea is to use LOTS of sugar and to brew the tea.

Since I’ve lived in the West most of my life (we moved to Idaho in 1974) I have learned to drink “Sun Tea”.  Brewed by the heat of the sun, it is strong and when you add a little sugar and lots of ice, it’s delicious.  The tea-making procedure I’d like to share is combination of both of these teas…..brewed and slightly sweet.  An added bonus is that you don’t have to wait all day to have iced tea like you do with sun tea (or for those days when there’s NO sun).

There are several ways to brew the tea, but however you do it, it’s important to let the tea steep for 15 – 20 minutes.  This makes for a good strong tea flavor.  I have experimented with different ways to streamline the tea making process and, what I’ve found that works best for me goes like this:

Fill a clean quart jar with cold water.  Add 5-6 tea bags (depending on how strong you like your tea).

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Place jar in microwave and cook on high for 5 – 7 minutes, depending on the wattage of your microwave.

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You will want check on the water after 5 minutes to make sure it’s not boiling over.  The water should be at or near the boiling point before you take it out of the microwave.  Allow to steep for 15 – 20 minutes or until tea bags are cool enough to handle.

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Squeeze all the tea out of the bags.  Discard tea bags.

Place 1/4 cup sugar in a gallon-sized pitcher. (I wish I had a pretty glass pitcher, but alas, too many children handling the pitcher….plastic bounces better, anyway!)

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Add brewed tea to pitcher and fill with cold water.  Stir.

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Pour tea into a tall glass filled with ice, top with a slice of  lemon (if desired) and ENJOY!

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***ALTERNATIVE BREWING METHOD:  (I like to use this method in the winter, because it helps warm up the kitchen whenever I use the stove.)  Bring a kettle of water to a boil.  Pour boiling water over tea bags in a clean quart jar.  Allow tea to steep and follow directions above.


Cream Rises 11


posted by Donna

The verse ~
The Lord lives – may my Rock be praised!
The God of my salvation is exalted!
Psalm 18:46

The song ~
The Lord liveth
and blessed be my rock
and blessed be the God of my salvation.
The Lord liveth
and blessed be my rock
and may the God of my salvation be exalted.

Wesier River at sunset

That’s a popular praise chorus.  It’s been sung in many churches for many years.
Was it sung in yours?
Its tempo is upbeat, clapping accentuates it and its words bring a smile to the face.
Aren’t you grateful that the Lord gifted some as songwriters?
They have certainly enriched our lives.
Go ahead, sing it.
Sing it and clap and smile.
It’s all praise for our living Lord!


Make Your Own “Bisquick”


posted by Ann

I have always enjoyed finding recipes that allow me to make homemade mixes.  We’ve often lived in places that are “miles from nowhere” (hence the recipe in the Cowgirl Voices section this morning), so I learned  to rely on my pantry rather than the grocery store (65 miles away)  for some of my basic mixes.  As our family size has increased (along with the appetites of some certain family members) it’s nice to have the ability (and affordability) to make large quantities of food quickly and easily.  You can use this mix in any recipe that calls for Bisquick or to whip up biscuits and pancakes in a hurry. Enjoy!

In large bowl sift together dry ingredients.  Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.  Store in large airtight container. NOTE:  Store in refrigerator if using whole wheat or oat flour.

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FOR BISCUITS:  Mix together 3 cups baking mix + 3/4 cup water.  Bake at 425 degrees for 10 -12 minutes or until golden brown.

FOR PANCAKES:  Mix together 3 cups baking mix + 1 egg + 1 1/2 cups water


All Of A Sudden


posted by Chelsea

I was sitting around, complaining about the cold weather and the rain and the lack of summer, and ALL OF A SUDDEN…. it happened.  Summer in all of its glory is upon us.

Flowers blooming

Field of wildflowers, Indian Valley

Grass growing

rainbow and alfalfa

Ranch rodeos happening

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Hay fields growing

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Irrigation in full swing all over the valley

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Popcicle eating

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Bike riding

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Visits from (Katie) friends

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side note: 10K went well! We ran, we finished, we laughed, we chaffed, we blistered, we made it ;-)

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Long days

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and hard work.

I love summer.  I’m so glad it’s here!

 


Cameras and Kids


by Charlotte

My oldest loves to take photos and I encourage it.  I think that it is a good outlet to her creativity, and I like to see her perspective on life.  She took this one.

And this one.

This is my oldest son’s sand tunnel.

And these are my boys in all their silliness.

They have videos too, but I will spare you the pain of watching them as they get rather long and windy.  Not to mention they might make you motion sick.

(This is straight out of the camera . . . purposely taken upside down.)

This policy of letting the youth of the house take photos almost came back to bite me this week.  After my oldest daughter took the photos in the sand box she decided to play in there as well.  She didn’t want to bring the camera back to the house so she put it in the back of the pickup and promptly forgot about it.  The next morning I asked for my camera and she raced outside with a very pale face only to discover that her father had already left for work with the pickup.  She came in crying and so very sorry.  I asked her to explain exactly where she had put the camera.

“In the back of the pickup,” she sobbed.

“Are you sure it wasn’t on the edge?”

“No, it is in the back.  I remember thinking that if I put it on the edge it might fall off if something disturbed the pickup.”

I told her that everything was going to be alright.  The camera would be safe until her father got home.  I also explained that even if the camera wasn’t safe, she was much more important to us than a camera.

After the camera arrived safely home, she came to me and said, “I’m sure glad God made me think that putting the camera on the edge of the pickup wasn’t a good idea.  He sure took care of me and my forgetfulness.”

To which I say, “Amen, sister.”


The Business of Bizzy-ness


posted by Ann

Recently Chelsea wrote to say those of us at Cowgirl Clippings were hitting the ground running this summer and Charlotte shared some of her goals and hopes for the summer.  Well, Chelsea’s right, it has been busy and like Charlotte, we’ve been doing our best to have a good summer.  So…I thought you might like to see what’s been keeping us bizzy.

In addition to trips to Idaho to see each set of grandparents, here’s a look at what we’ve been up to:

*Celebrating a 1st birthday with a very special and beautiful niece, Avery.  She gave my sister & her husband their first 1st birthday.

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{She shares her birthday with her Daddy!}

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*Helping the neighbors turn out bulls and move cows

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*Digging up old leaky water lines

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*Planting things and coaxing begging and pleading with them to grow

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*Slapping some of this…

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on that..

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*Trying to get these critters rode ridden

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*Getting the piggies in shape for the county fair

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*Taking advantage of a little warm weather by strolling through the pasture

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*Doing a bunch of this (did I tell you my washer was out of commission for almost TWO weeks?? For a family of 6 that’s what you call a near catastrope crisis death experience.)

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***And enjoying a few of these***

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“The heavens  are telling of the glory of  God;

and their expanse is declaring the

work of His hands.”  Psalm 19:1

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Rocky’s Freezer Biscuits


posted by Ann

I first had these biscuits when my friend brought us a meal after Sam was born.  This recipe was given to her by another friend from our church.  This recipe has been passed around our congregation so much that I’m sure most of the women who attend our church have these delicious biscuits in their freezer.  It’s so nice to have fresh baked biscuits at your fingertips when you need them.

Our church is putting on a Rodeo Bible Camp right now, so I’m making about 5 dozen of these biscuits to be served at our camp.  The recipe is easy to double and you can layer the biscuits on a large cookie sheet for freezing, just remember to put sheet of waxed paper between each layer.

Assemble ingredients:

In large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt and sugar.  Add shortening and cut in with pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.

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In small bowl whisk together egg and milk.  Add to flour mixture and stir together with spoon.  Turn dough out on flour surface and gently knead dough a couple of times.  Roll dough out and cut into biscuits.

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Place biscuits on lightly greased baking sheet.  Freeze until solid.

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Carefully place frozen biscuits in plastic freezer bag.

Bake frozen biscuits at 425 degrees for 12 -14 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

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