Friday, September 27, 2013

Seven Quick Takes - Home Sweet Home

Last week was Busy. This week, I have been trying to find where I left everything that I needed to do while I was busy last week!! Last week, we arrived home from our 2 week + a few days trip. Then I spent the rest of the week baking and sewing! Our parish's Fall Festival was held this past weekend and each family is asked to contribute. So, I baked my favorite Sugar Cookies - and yes, I had helpers, but I did not have time to take pictures of the work... only the end product!! Pumpkins and Candy Corn for the Fall Festival! I wrapped individually so that they could be sold for $1 each. I loved them. Mailed some out to a friend whose family loves them like we do and the treekids ate the rest... they are all gone and Bump already asked to make some more!! I think we will need to make and FREEZE some cookies so we don't have to bake cut-out cookies every-other week!

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Along with the cookies, I made some super yummy brownies. When we were staying with Jessica's family a few weeks ago she shared a new treat one of her friends had told her about. Basically, you make a pan of brownies, poke a few small holes in the top, pour caramel sauce over the top and sprinkle coarse sea salt on top of that! DELISH!!! But, I am trying to "market" this for a church fundraiser... "Jessica's Friend's Brownie Delight" wasn't quite descriptive of the deliciousness that was to be found inside the pan!! So, I enlisted the creativity of my Facebook friends and merged their ideas and came up with a beautiful descriptive title. The pan of brownies was put in a silent auction and went for over $15! There were sooooooo many things to bid on that I was pleased they went for that!!

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As I was running out of time, I wasn't able to get the little knitted hat completed that I had hoped to, so I made a hooded baby towel. It is probably more practical in use than a knitted baby hat and it sure wouldn't take the same amount of time to complete, so - I rushed to get something handmade to take for the festival as well... I think it turned out quite well considering I didn't have all the same pretty embellishments that I often do use! What do you think... gender neutral, anyway!!

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So, when your mom was baking for others when you were a kid... did she smack your fingers and send you on your way saying, "These are for... not for us!!" I do not know any kids who didn't get that at least a little bit! But, I really try hard to make extras and other things so they don't feel like I only bake all these yummy things for "everyone else"!!! So, I made extra cookies, an extra pan of brownies and while I was at it... I made a batch of Kolaches!! I think that is what put me over the edge and I probably should have left them for this week... or NEXT week, but - that is not my style - work until I am all out of gas is my "way" I suppose!! But, I did make some Kolaches and there were some very appreciative folks around here!

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All that kept my hands very busy! But, my mind was elsewhere. I was still back on vacation ... We went out to Oregon and played and played! We visited many friends, Crater Lake National Park, and places in Canyonville, Roseburg, Rogue River, Grants Pass, Marlin, Klamath Falls, Bend, Russell's Custom Meats in Canyon City (Awesome place to stop for Jerky and or Meat Sticks!), Baker City (a quick stop for a delicious artisan chocolate and a peek at the largest gold nugget ever found in Oregon!), North Powder, and Pendleton. Then it was on to Idaho ... McCall is BEAUTIFUL then on through Boise, Mountain Home, Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho Falls up to West Yellowstone, MT into Wyoming via Yellowstone National Park to visit Old Faithful then down for a quick visit to Teton National Park (where I lost my heart many years ago and I only truly find it again when I am there...). We continued through Wyoming with a stop in Casper before working our way through Northern Nebraska stopping to visit family and Pops took care of some more work in the Ainsworth area. Finally, we worked our way back home and I was exhausted! I am exhausted over again just thinking of ALL that we did on our journey! So, I have been going through pictures and there are some pictures with full posts to write and share about some of these things that we stopped and did! I will continue to work through all of those pictures... there are MANY! (only 1,318!!!)

It is one of my favorite things to see in or around the Tetons... a BEAR!! We have seen bear in the parks only 3 times. Each time, it was near sundown and we were heading out disappointed to not have seen a bear. This time we were treated to an amazing bear sighting!! Now, remember... this is at dusk. By the 3rd and 4th picture below, the sun was pretty well behind the mountain range. Photography without a tripod in these times produces a fairly blurry image as even pushing the shutter release moves the camera enough to cause blur. For picture #3, I did use the flash and I am not really sure if I can say that it "helped" - but it is a clearer picture with those glowing eyes...

In about the middle of this shot, you can see the back of a "something." At this point, we did not really know what we were seeing. It was moving fairly quickly through the brush and we would catch peeks of it here and there. Pops thought it might be a wolf that we were seeing. So, we waited and watched... hoping to get a better view. Then it went into all of those bigger shrubs.
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So, I backed out of all the fuzzier pictures and zoomed in on the camera's image viewing screen. THOSE do NOT look like wolf ears and that hump on the back is NOT a dog-like hump!! We thought we were onto a bear. EXCITEMENT grew in the van as all the seat belts came off as we all tried to get a better (SAFE inside the confines of the van) view!!
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We were patient and the bear cam out the other side of the brush and messed around by a trailer. It wasn't long before it started heading to the road and all the shushes imaginable were issued so that the squeals of delight were not audible!! (Have you ever seen a squealing girl make no noise? It is funny!!)
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This big ol' bear crossed the street and was held up by this fence. He attempted jumping the fence and then went down along the fence a bit before trying again and succeeded in his climb/leap. AWESOME!!
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I have many more pictures of what we saw - but they are SO blurry. Anyone take many pictures at this time of day - AT A DISTANCE and have success!?! What do I need to do to make my shot turn out better??  I do hope to get this opportunity again!!!

Next week promises to be a busy week, too! We will be back at "it" with more of the formal school things that we do take on. Of course, I have to say that I am very thankful for our homeschooling life!! Without it, we would not be able to go and see and do as much as we have. The flexibility is great for our family. I was thinking about this the other day... School works great for some people and their kids.  We support our local schools and take part in their activities and help with their fundraising. However, I think school would mostly just get in our way of learning and experiencing life!! What a dilemma!! School or Real Life Learning by going and doing... we are very fortunate to be able to live where we can direct the education of our children and learn at our own pace doing our own "thing." Either way - we love our life and all the craziness we seem to find ourselves in!!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. The cookies look yummy and nature is beautiful!

  2. You are certainly one BUSY Mama! Don't know where you get all your energy to do all the creative things you do! Especially, since you are over 6 months preggers too!! As always, love the post & all the great pictures of all the fun things you & your family do! Love, Aunt S.


Thanks for jumping in and leaving your thoughts!!

I sure like to know who enjoys playing around the treehouse!