It’s Christmas Day!

By the time hubby and I had rolled out of bed (grandma, auntie and auntie’s boyfriend were already up/here), the kids had all sorted the gifts into piles.  So I didn’t have an idyllic little photo of all the packages under the tree.  Ah well, it happens.

He was kind of happy.  He *loves* cars.  And Legos.

I have no idea what the 10yo was looking at, but hey, this mostly clear photo has all the kids in it.

Grandma buys them matching shirts about once a year or so.  Why yes, I still stick my kids in matching shirts while out and about a bunch of the time.  Easier for the perpetual head counts.

His reaction was awesome.  He was beyond excited/thrilled/you name it.
He cracked me up.

The 7yo’s hilariously fun and excited reaction to the Infinity game thingie he got.  He was thrilled.

The younger two attacking gifts.  They didn’t get *as* much for Christmas, but they were happy.  They have the benefit of older siblings and the siblings’ toys, they’re not exactly starting from scratch toy-wise.  Well, and we’re mean, we make them share a lot of the time.

He got Hungry, Hungry Hippos.  Was his gift from his siblings.  Super cute, he was excited.

Hubby got me one of the new insulated Klean Kanteens.  And when they say it keeps things hot for up to 6 hours?  They’re not kidding.  Kept a drink hot for me for like 3 hours, and not lukewarm, either.  The cafe cap pops apart nicely for cleaning, too.

Then a new mixing bowl to take the place of the 11yo purple one.  Eeep!  I’ll likely start putting it through it’s paces within the week after I finally wash it.  Oh, Grandma got me a cute butter dish, too.  Because she knows we use butter.  Lots of butter.

Hubby also hit the half off Tattler sale, after some slight nudging from me.  Odds are I’m not going to run out of lids next year.  I hope.  I ran out of them this year and had to start using disposable lids again during my last few canning sprees.

I don’t have any fabulous photos of hubby’s gifts, but he got a few pretty cool ones if I may say so.  Made him a perler bead Husqvarna chainsaw ornament, got him a few hard-to-find books by one of our favorite authors, and a few gift cards to a particular restaurant he likes to frequent.  But there’s a few gifts that haven’t made their way to my doorstep yet, and I’m plotting something fabulous for his birthday that’s coming up shortly.  Who knows, maybe he’ll have a pedicure day or something.  *snort*  🙂

Just another week with vanilla, snow, Legos and cider.

Decanting and straining my vanilla.  While I love vanilla bean specks, I’m not so fond of the bark-y pieces you get from scraping the pod.

All strained and ready to go. 

I have no idea how I managed it, but I shoved a whole turkey carcass in this little 10-qt pot.  It was upright for a while there until the bones gave out and finally smushed down.

Getting ready to put away my Tattler lids.  Yup, I have a few rings that have been used four times already.  Oh, and if you want to dye your lids?  Use tumeric.  That yellow one was from mustard or relish or something overly colorful. 

Ah yes.  So.  To drive to our milk farm, I drive through the hinterboonies.  So.  Which vehicle do you think would be more proper to drive down this sort of icy/dirt road at 20mph?  A Jeep from Montana or a minivan full of kids?  That’s right, the freakin’ Jeep.  I never hit a patch long enough for me to pass the bloomin’ person.  I pulled over, got the kids a snack, adjusted some stuff, checked the battery on my phone, and even caught back up to them in no time.  For the record, I can do 30-35mph fairly comfortably on most of this road when it looks like this, and am sailing down it at 45-50mph when it’s dry and not too rutted (we saw the road grader out at least 3 times when it was dry-ish out over the spring/summer/fall).

My 9yo’s latest Lego creation.  Some sort of space station?  It’s amusing to say the least.

I swear, this is the cleanest my kitchen has been in a while.  For more than a day.  I’ve been doing really good the last few weeks keeping it fairly cleaned off, it’s wild.

Made three loaves of french toast to freeze for later.

Butter and buttermilk from a lot of cream…  Maybe 2.5 gallons of cream? I can’t remember.  That pot is about half full, and an 8-qt pot.  Now to figure out what I want to do with that much buttermilk.

Hubby was a doll and pressed cider for me.  Ended up being about 23ish quarts, plus whatever the kids and us drank throughout the afternoon/evening.

Homestead Barn Hop.

My feet are sore.

About 91 jars in 36 or so hours.  Yes, hubby and sometimes the 8yo helped with a bunch of peach peeling, and hubby ran kid interference for the majority of that (waking) time so I could hammer it out.

Lots of peaches, some diced tomatoes, and a bunch of grape jelly.  Yum.  Grape jelly….

Started some Romas simmering.  You can see how much they’ve reduced.  Plan to can plain tomato sauce.  Can dress it up later on as/if need be.  Hubby cut up an entire box (25lbs?) of Romas to put into this sucker last night.

Yup, it’s a respectable sized pot. 

Kept sending them outside with their dinner.  Peeked outside, and this is what I saw.  They were just all congregated together, chatting and eating, all on their own accord.  So cute.  And I have to admit, it cracked me up that my 4yo girl is kickin’ back there with her legs crossed.

Homestead Barn Hop