Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ethan's Turning 14!

Today was Ethan's 14 birthday!!! 

Preparing myself and my surroundings
so that I will achieve the greatest efficiency
"Let all things be done decently and in order."
-1 Corinthians 14:40
Ethan, you are becoming a responsible young man!  You are willing to tackle any project and have such ongoing energy that we wish we could bottle it up and take a daily dose of it ourselves!  You are both creative and resourceful.  We are thankful for the huge help you have been and continue to be around the farm and with Dad at work.  You are a quick learner!  We are so thankful to the LORD for you, and are looking forward to many, many more wonderful years with you as you become the man that the Lord would have you to be!  We love you so much!

Happy 14th Birthday Ethan!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Tree Traditions

Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, we head out to the Tom Sawyer Christmas Tree Farm and pick out a Christmas tree.  It was quite a warm day, so it was a little hard to get into the Christmas spirit!  But it was a lot of fun, even if it was almost T-shirt weather!

Us girls found this unusual looking tree, so we stopped to take a picture of it.  Don't worry, that's not the one we picked!

 Here's our tree!  We decided to go with a little bit smaller tree this year, due to the fact that we will be heading up to Canada, but we all thought this one was quite cute!  We have vaulted ceilings in the living room, so we normally get a big one, but this one looks so nice in the living room that we might just go with this size from now on!  It was a whole lot easier to decorate.  We only needed one strand of lights!

Fully decorated!  It always looks smaller out on the tree lot, but once we got it home we figured it has to be about 7 feet tall!  We didn't need the ladder to put the bow on the top this year!  While we were decorating the tree, we pulled out the Christmas music.  It's also a tradition in our house that wetry not to listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving.   

To end the evening, we always order in Dominoes pizza.  This year, we broke tradition just slightly and went with Pizza Hut! 
 Hmmm. hmmm good!

Butchering Chickens

Waaaayyyyy back at the beginning of November, we processed our meat chickens.  I know, I know, I am terribly late with this post, but....better late than never.
NOTE: For those of you blog readers with weak stomachs, you may want to skip this post. 
We had some people from church come over and learn how to process chickens with us and they were good helpers.

Dad scalding the dead birds.  Scalding the chickens in boiling water helps the feathers come off easier.  If the water is off by 5 degrees, the feathers are hard to pluck, so this is a very important step.

Cleaning out the insides 

Rinsing the chickens off and making sure that everything is cleaned out of the cavity.

Working together
We started at about 10:00 and finished up at about 1:00, butchering about 47 chickens, so we made pretty good time!  As the saying goes, "Many hands make light work".

A Tale Of Four Thanksgivings

 This year we celebrated Thanksgiving four times!  Our first time was last Sunday at church.  Our church always holds a big Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixin's and it is a wonderful time of fellowship. 
Mom at the church's Thanksgiving!
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Then on Tuesday we traveled down to Edisto Beach where my aunt and uncle had rented a beach house for Thanksgiving.  We had a very nice time there and the weather was beautiful.  We had the beach pretty much to ourselves which was also very nice!  Our cousin, Dustin, graciously took some family photos for us, but those will be on a seperate post!

Our family

Dad at the beach house

Mom and Savannah
Uncle Fran

Noah and the twins at the beach.  The water was about 54 degrees, and we didn't bring swimsuits, but the boys just rolled up their pant legs and ran in and out of the waves.


Aunt Kim, Dad and Uncle Fran


The boys and the twins dancing around on the deck of the Edisto Marina.

Mom, me and Savannah
(The wind was blowing our hair every which way, as you can tell by the pictures!)
The twins....can YOU tell then apart???

Elaina with her "sheshell" !


Aunt Kim and Savannah holding our cousin, little Julianne.


Dad walking along the beach

Thanksgiving dinner #2:   Tuesday night at the beach, we had Thanksgiving dinner with my cousin Dustin and his family.  His work is transferring him to Germany, where they will live for about 3-5 years, so it was nice to be able to spend a few days with them before they leave. 
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On Wednesday, Dustin and his family had to head back home, but my other cousin Lisa and her family came, so we held another Thanksgiving dinner with them.  Wednesday night we packed up and traveled home, but we had a lovely visit with everyone and were very glad for the chance for a little get-away!
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On Thursday, the real Thanksgiving day, we went to Gram and Pop's house and had Thanksgiving with Mom's side of the family.  We enjoyed yet another day of fun, family, and fellowshipping.  We played some of our family's favorite games, like Parcheesi and Euchre.  The more people that you can get to play, the more fun, and we had enough this year to hold a Euchre tournament!

Even Toby (Mom's dog)  got to come!

Dad carving the turkey

We had two games of Parcheesi going on at the same time!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, visiting with family, remembering the Lord's goodness and your many blessings, and simply relaxing!
"O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good;
for His mercy endureth for ever."
-Psalm 107:1