Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ooshy, Gooshy Chore-time

Around here, even when it gets chilly... we still have chores.
Mamie and the ladies have to eat!
So with muckboots and oftentimes PJ's *wink* we set off to tend to the animals.

We are greeted eagerly from our furry and feathered friends.

Yes, we do have some naughty birds that fly over the fence. Soo, that is why some are out with us and some are inside the fence as is proper. :)

Chore-time doesn't last long these days because of the chilly temps. Eagerly they rush inside pleading for Moma to put the kettle on for a cup of hot chocolate... and I usually do.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Spicy Ornaments

As the children and I have been reading more and more about the early explorers, we see each and every time just how important spices were and are! These explorers were willing to risk everything for spices... well, and gold... of course.
They are still a pretty hot commodity today. Just to make this next craft to go along with our lesson, a small bottle of whole cloves was 5 bucks! Spices are very valuable around our house.

The timing worked out perfectly being that we have our tree up for Christmas, so that when the children are finished we will hang them on the tree.
 I gave each child a small styrofoam ball and a handful of cloves. They had the freedom of decorating the ball any way they wish with their cloves.

Abram decided to add cloves and then paint his ornament with his favorite color... red.

Cameo went for some faux snow to liven up her spice ball.

The smells were heavenly and we are eager to hang these on our tree once dry.
I went for straight up cloves. I love the smell.
Tomorrows spice?
Have a lovely day, my friends!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving through Carlie's Eyes...

My little dumplin who is *7* already, still loves to borrow my camera and take pictures from her perspective. Oftentimes, I let her... because there is some things I don't catch.
Here are some shots from our day...
First off, I took this picture of her and my newest little niece Katie. Squishy baby! awwww....

The rest belong to Carlie.
I think this one is great because it really captures the goings on of the day... bustling about getting dinner on the table, talking, laughing...
Picture of some of the boys... out being boys, climbing, finding sticks to use as swords and arrows... 

More boys with sticks, 2 of my adorable nephews and one of my precious sons
Eli, concocting a plan with his best pal, Logan.

Blurry, but sweet picture of Uncle Tyler with Katie bug
Cameo and Katie...
Really pretty picture of the baby swing :)

Grandmaw and Papaw's beautiful Christmas Tree and Famous Family Stockings... There is a stocking for every member of the family. LOVE!
I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Favorite: Sweet Potato Casserole

Every year, we have Thanksgiving at my Mom's house. Every year, one item on my list to make is Sweet Potato Casserole. I remember as a kid going to my Nannie Red's that most every year, each sister or sister-n-law pretty much brought the same thing. It was tradition.
My Aunt Denise or Aunt Nici as I call her was the one to always bring the Sweet Potato Casserole.
My little brother Tyler will eat this for dessert as well as with his meal.

Here's how I make it... feel free to use substitutions if needed, but honestly real sweet potatoes and real butter and cream make it awesome!

Sweet Potato Casserole
About 5 large sweet potatoes boiled, drained and mashed
   (that equals about 30ish ounces of sweet potatoes if you want to use one of the big cans)
1 stick of butter, (melted)
2 large eggs, (beaten)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cream, (evaporated milk can work)
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
Freshly grated nutmeg (This is a game changer.. I despise ground nutmeg, but I love freshly grated!)

Preheat oven to 350*
Mash potatoes and mix with butter, eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla. Put into 9x13 baker. You can use smaller, but everyone seems to like it when I use a larger pan so there is more yummy topping.

1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 stick butter

Mix sugar and flour, add butter til mixture is crumbly. Add pecans and crumble over top of casserole.
Cover and bake at 350* 40-50 minutes. Sweet potato mixture will set up and top will become melt and form crust.

May your Thanksgiving table be blessed with this recipe and may your day be enjoyed with the ones you hold most dear!

Have a beautiful Thanksgiving, friends!!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Going to Eddie's

For the last several years, I have heard people in our neck of the woods talk about going to Eddie's. It is a little shoppe that opens early in November and goes through Christmas day. I had NO idea just what I was in store for... honestly. It was what we people around here drive to Gatlinburg to see. Seriously, it was amazing, and being able to go with my Mom and my Sister made it perfect!

Walking into a winter wonderland. Christmas trees are my thing. I love seeing them. I feel like Buddy the Elf when he walks through New York with Josie and finds the biggest trees. Awww...

See what I mean??? This store is truly amazing!

198 trees were up when we went a couple of weeks ago. Each one unique and interesting.

A lime green grinch tree?!?! Whoa!
And there's the wreath! Love!

Stunning, really!
So if you are close to Henegar, AL. You really need to go by Eddie's. Even if it is just for a simple walk through. You won't be sorry!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

This morning I tried out something new with my family. I knew that we were going to be extra busy this weekend so I went ahead and picked out something easy and fast for the family for breakfast.
I bought several packs of cinnamon rolls out of the dairy section of the grocery store.
Instead of baking them in the oven, I decided to put them in the waffle maker. I saw this online recently and thought it looked like a good idea.
Take your cinnamon rolls
Flatten slightly
Put one in each of the four squares of your waffle maker.
Press flat and wait for the green light.
Use your icing for the 'syrup'
Eat while warm...


Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Children's Ornaments

Around here at Heritage Acres Homestead, we have a tradition. Each year as the stores begin to bring out the Christmas decorations, the children and I pick out one new ornament for the tree for each family member. Our tree is simple, not elaborate. It has ornaments back from when Shannon was a little boy. It has ornaments that I made back before I was ever Mommy or Wifey. It has shiny ornaments and plain ones. Traditional and unusual ones.
The more I have been thinking, I think next year we will start making each years ornaments instead of buying. I don't know why we haven't done this before now, but until then... here is a parade of the children's ornament choices from this year.
Abram chose this ornament. I have looked over his choices for the past 6 years and I believe this is the first year he did not choose a red ornament. So it was interesting to see this choice for him.
Not surprisingly, this is Carlie Jean's choice.
Every. single. year. this daughter of mine picks out the shiniest ornament she finds. This ornament is an odd blue and turquoise stocking filled with goodies. If you want to know which ornaments on our tree are Carlie's choice... just look for the glitter. haha
It's so neat to see just how the patterns emerge when I get to look at each years ornaments.
Cameo chose this one. A sweet little rustic reindeer. Again, Cameo has many reindeer on the tree. Not all are rustic. Some are shiny, some have glitter, but the majority of her choices are reindeer.
And here's Eli's.
A hunting Santa Clause with his gun and his trusty hunting dog. Eli is probably my most varied of the children. He doesn't have a set pattern for his choices. Probably because this is the first hunting ornament he has found, and probably because they don't make many in civil war costumes. LOL

As for me, I didn't take a picture of mine, but I normally choose a tree.
Yep, for me the Christmas tree has to be my favorite. This year Cameo actually helped me choose by finding a Moma Reindeer that had a dress that looked like a Christmas tree. My favorite and her favorite... who wudda thunk it? :)

So, this is one of our favorite traditions.
What about you? Do you have a tradition that you look forward to each year?