Thursday, December 31, 2009


I know I'm a little early for Happy New Year but.....

we are leaving here around 8:00 tomorrow morning to head back to PA for Todd's grandmother's funeral on Saturday. Supposedly they are under a winter storm/blizzard warning for back there late tomorrow.

And we are going to my SIL's for our relatively quiet and probably relatively early New Year's celebration.....

We did have a wonderful Christmas, Tyler got the MOST AWESOME Christmas present which involved me braving Wal-mart last Saturday on one of the busiest shopping days of the year to buy 12,000 little things for it....

and I do have some finishes to share....when I come back next year:)

Blessing to all of you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

10 year old girls

Jessie is having her friends' birthday party today. 10:00 am to 4-5:00 ish pm.

Three homemade pizzas have been decimated:

8 or 9 girls.

They danced to CD's and sung happy birthday:

Somehow, they are entertaining themselves:

I think this one needs posted in the Elementary School teacher lounge:

And they think they are so sweet:)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fast and Furious!

Between shopping (I thought I was doing good.....until I made a list):

this is MY christmas present*. I lost the picture of the marathon shopping session I did on Saturday that I had to text to Todd when he asked me what in the heck I did all day. The kids were lucky they were able to squeeze into the Durango among all the packages and bags and didn't have to ride in the luggage rack.

Basketball practices:

believe me, 8:30 a.m. practices are no fun. But that two hours is nice to myself:)

And some furious knitting:

a back and one front side of Jessie's Central Park Hoodie. I still have to attach 1 side and the sleeves, and put on the hood and the button band ribbing. All is knit but the button band, the hood and 1 sleeve......

I just may pull it all off. I'm sure I'll be burning the midnight oil tonight and tomorrow night, but....

It will be so worth it come tomorrow night and Christmas morning and day.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

*yes, I buy my own Christmas presents. Thank you junk stores.....Saves us a lot of fights and headaches. This ancient wood cabinet will grace my kitchen, which will out of necessity get demolished sometime this coming spring.....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It has hit....

The holiday craziness, that is.

Last night I made pork and saurkraut for dinner, along with 4 batches of sugar cut out cookie dough. It is depressing when you realize a quart jar of homemade saurkraut is no where near enough to feed a family of 4 and that the 8 jars that I have left from my 2008 saurkraut canning spree will not be enough to get us through until next fall:(

Tonight, I have to bake 16 dozen sugar cut out cookies. I'm taking 8 dozen of them into Tyler's class and letting the kindergardeners decorate them and take them home to their families. The other 8 dozen? Tyler and Jessie will decorate on Saturday. Ought to be an experience.....

I still have some shopping to do. Mostly for a friend of Jessie's who just lost her mom after a sudden and 2 month long illness, and the family is struggling financially. A group of us are "doing" Christmas for the little girl and her dad. Todd and his friends will be trying to shoot 4 deer this weekend to give to the family so they will at least have meat on the table. And a group of us are giving them food (I took over about 60 lbs. of meat out of our freezer, a friend did snack foods, another friend did canned goods). Makes me realize how blessed I am.

Fortunately for me, the kids have not asked for a lot of things this year. Other than the usual cell phone and Nintendo DS for each of them. Which I told them already isn't happening. They need to be outside playing instead of on a video game (and they already have a Wii courtesy of great-grandma) and when are they ever somewhere that an adult is not with them?

I'm still madly knitting on fingerless mitts. I have the last 1/2 of a mitt to finish up tonight to give to Tyler's teacher tomorrow. This is the 6th pair I have made. is my last day of work until next year, except for swinging through here twice a week to check the mail, phones, and email. It will all get done, sooner or later.

Have a happy Thursday!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Show results

We are home. Actually, we have been home since Sunday about 11:30. I just couldn't post until now due to being EXTREMELY tired and I had camera issues over the weekend. And yesterday was spent catching up at all get the idea:)

A fun weekend, a BUSY weekend and a tiring one. We got home and everyone crashed - we literally just sat around all day watching football games and movies.

But the kids did awesome! Jessie got a 6th and a 7th (out of 14) with Punx - who behaved like a champ for her:

And Tyler got two 6th places (out of 10) with Roscoe:

This show was huge. There were probably 300 steers and market heifers there on Saturday with 28 classes running in each of two rings. I didn't get a whole lot of pictures - we were too busy running from ring to ring as Tyler showed in class 10 in both rings and Jessie showed in class 12 in both rings. But the next show is January 9th and if the weather isn't too crappy, we will definitely go back down there and do it all over again. For sure we are going to the Ohio Beef Expo in March with both kids and both calves. And I heard a rumor last night about going to the Pennsylvania Beef Expo the end of March with both calves.....

Now I can finally get geared up for Christmas. Of course, I still have a couple smaller things to buy, a few things to finish making and everything to wrap. But I am off work starting this Friday until after New Year's Day, so hopefully I can get some stuff done the week before Christmas:)


Friday, December 11, 2009

10 years old

Wow. Hard to believe that today at 12:58, Jessie turned 10. That is mind numbing. It has gone by so incredibly fast.

She loves her animals, loves her friends, loves to dance and sing. Play sports, show cattle, show pigs.

Fights constantly with her brother.

Gives as good as she gets when the boys tease her at school.

Is turning out to be a really scrappy basketball player - surprise surprise.

She hates to read unless it is something she can really relate to.

A few months ago, she asked that we go to a steer show in Columbus, Ohio over her birthday (actually, it was either she get to go to the steer show or go deer hunting in PA with Todd for doe season). We chose what seemed to be at the time the lesser of two evils:). So we are on our way south, loaded up - 5 adults, 2 kids and 2 head of cattle. And yes, we are taking a cake with a steer on it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sort-of party

Last night while we were in the midst of washing and clipping calves to get ready for this weekend, my parents came down to give Jessie her birthday presents and bring cupcakes. Which the kids and the 2 guys clipping on her steer devoured. And they asked for more for the weekend.
Yes, tomorrow she will be 10. Where have the years gone????????

She had to try everything on immediately:

Mom knit her the cute little sweater - I think it's the Juliet pattern from Zephyr website. Size x-small. Yes, dark pictures and I didn't get a full shot so you can see the Ugh boots. She has wanted a pair for eons. Thank you Mom and Dad and Kohls.

Today with a high of 28 degrees, she opted to wear jeans, the tshirt, sweater and the boots to school. She thought her legs would freeze in the leggings and skirt while playing football with the boys at recess.

And my Mom wore the vest that I knitted her a month or so ago so I could get a picture of it:

Mondo Cable Vest from Chicknits.

I have more of this yarn (lanaloft worsted weight) to make myself a vest too - which I think will be happening during the Christmas holiday. Seeing as I am off work for 2 whole weeks at the end of the year:)

We had high winds all day yesterday - and I had to wash a calf in the cold and wind at 5:30 p.m. and get him dry by the time they came to clip him at 6:45. Tonight we are packing everything that we possibly can (generator, fan cages, grooming chute, show box, fans - believe it or not Jessie's steer was sweating yesterday due to all the hair he has - grain, hay, straw...). Tomorrow we will load up and head down to Columbus about 5 or so when we all get done washing calves, working for some of us (Todd and Jason), and helping out in Tyler's kindergarten class (me). The kids are making gingerbread houses in his class. The kids will show all day long Saturday, and Sunday morning sometime we will load up and head home.

And yes, I'm taking a birthday cake for Jessie with us with a black steer on it. I'll be back tomorrow with a proper birthday post for her.
Stay warm!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hello again!

I know I said I'd be back shortly's been hectic here.

Some pictures of all my Christmas gifts that I have made. And I still have 1 more pair to make (in purple) for Tyler's teacher to match the scarf I made a few months back. All of these patterns are from A Friend To Knit With. Very simple, very quick and very perfect!

Toasty made out of Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed - 1 skien and 3 hours (this was the last pair I made - I think I'm getting faster!)

Toast made out of Berroco Jasper & Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK (the dark grey is the cashmerino). I was afraid I wouldn't have enough with 1 skien of the Jasper (and I wouldn't have) so I used some leftover cashmerino as well.

Toasty made out of Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed - 1 skien & 5 hours!

And of course, a hat for me. I'm not a big fan of hats, but let me tell you - when you are outside using a hose to rinse off a steer and then spend an hour + drying him with a giant hairdryer, a hat works wonders on your ears!

Bananna Republic knock-off hat made out of Rowan Big Wool - 1 skien and 3 hours! And P.S. - NEVER try to take a photo of yourself in a semi-dark room at 11:30 at night - it just doesn't work well!

We also had Thanksgiving dinner at Todd's parents on Sunday, and the kids made these wonderful gingerbread houses. I'm going to have to keep an eye on Tyler, as he wants to EAT it in the worst way!

We did get our Christmas Tree up Saturday night - I was hoping we could get a real tree after we get back from Columbus this weekend, but I was outvoted. And actually, now I am just glad that it is up and done!

Last night was Tyler's Kindergarten Christmas concert at school.

Here is his entire class. I sat right down on the floor in front of them to videotape the whole thing (Todd and Jessie were sitting in the very back row with some friends of ours, and I couldn't see well enough to video tape him or take pictures). I thought I was going to have a riot on my hands when they saw me! Mrs. Bair take MY picture! Mrs. Bair take MY picture!!

I have tried and tried and tried all morning to upload a video of a really cute song they sang - "No L." However, I cannot get it to load. I'll try again later, and if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know how I do this!

Have a great day. I'm off to wash and dry calves in the 30 degree weather!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Less is definitely more

Yes, I've been absent a lot lately. Seems like I had wonderful intentions this week having been off work since the Wednesday before Thanksgiving but....

I've been doing lots of work with the calves that we are showing next week, a fair amount of shopping with my Mom and my Grandmother, and TONS of knitting and quilting. I can say that I do have most of my Christmas crafting and shopping done (or in the case of the Christmas crafting, I know what I am making and have the supplies to make it). It's not going to be a lavish Christmas by any means but we will make some memories.

But today, I decided I had really better get it in gear and get out my Christmas decorations. Seeing as I have to go back to work on Monday, we will be at a steer show in Columbus next weekend Friday through Sunday and Christmas will be here before you know it.

This is about a 1/8 of the containers of my Christmas decorations (I have 6 big totes and about 9 or 10 copy paper boxes). I think I put out about 1/2 of this.

I decided this year I am ONLY putting out stuff that I truly love and that has special memories/meaning to us. As a result, what used to take me 3 solid days of putting out decorations took me about.....2 hours.

This Santa is supposed to sit on a vacuum cleaner ("Sweeper Santa"). However, due to the little people in the house, it is a pain in the you know what to have to take the Santa off the sweeper to vacuum every day. Or even several times a day on the weekends.

I decided to put some garland up here and there - if I can figure out how to attach it to the house siding WITHOUT putting holes in the siding, one of these garlands will go around our back door.

Normally I would have 3 shelves like this loaded to the hilt.

This Santa I made a few years ago - he just sits on a wooden dowl rod. Todd needs to cut the dowl rod shorter and put some sort of wooden base underneath him.

I still need to put out my life size Santa and hang 3 Christmas wallhangings that I have made over the years, and I am pretty sure the Christmas tree is going up this weekend. I have lights hung outside the house (I thought about hanging lights on the chicken coop and that may still get done but for right now, I'm doing good.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend. It's been in the 60's here most days........