Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hunting the Mid Rivers

Well, as most of you know, our gift to each other and to the kids this year was to get a new satellite and upgrade to get some channels that we all were wishing we could watch. The first day or so, I don't think Brian was that impressed with the selection, but now he has discovered 2 hunting channels and he watches them 18 hours a day. Yippee.... but anyway, that isn't what this post is about.

We just watched a show about whitetail deer hunting and I heard that it was in Montana, but didn't listen to the rest, then I glanced up from my reading and said, HEY where in Montana are they? and Brian said, I don't know ...somewhere where the Missouri river meets up with another river. "the Yellowstone?? " I asked, and he said yes. It was so cool to see that country again. They call it the "Midriver country" now. I was looking up the outfitter on the internet and they even offer a fishing guide to Fort Peck Reservoir. and I said, "HEY, I could be a fishing guide for free on Fort Peck Reservoir. We used to fish there."

The outfitter is based in Fairview - which if you remember, is the town 11 miles from Sidney that is half in Montana and half in North Dakota.

Brian has a friend going to Africa to hunt in March and that combined with all these hunting shows is getting Brian anxious to hunt.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Our Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve in Alaska
It is late. Judy Garland is singing "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in St. Louis. The children are all nestled snug in their bed and the stockings are hung by the chimney with care. Pa isn't in his cap or his kerchief, but he is in bed and wouldn't hear a clatter if it hit him in the head... We had a lovely ham dinner with twice baked potatoes, deviled eggs, whole wheat rolls. It seems like there was more than that but I can't remember and we all got so full we didn't eat any of the desserts (until now, I'm sampling the pies). We had lots of breaks with tradition this year. Usually we have a breakfast for Christmas Eve but this year we had a wonderful ham dinner instead. (It was a whole, bone in ham with GREAT flavor, and Brian put water in the bottom of the pan and the meat was so soft and juicy. I have to say it was the best ham I've ever eaten.) A friend at church loves to make whole wheat bread and she and Brian go back and forth on storing and grinding and using wheat - it's a huge, long-standing joke between them and half the ward. Anyway, this summer, we finally bought a bit of wheat and I forgot that I had bought a little hand operated mill. a couple weeks ago, Brian decided we better get a wheat mill (BOTH of us forgot we had bought the small hand mill) and he ordered an electric mill that should be here any day. So our friend brought Brian a loaf of her wonderful whole wheat bread last week as a congratulations gift for his breaking down and getting a grain mill. It was so good we decided to try to make whole wheat rolls for our dinner. Brian was a trooper and ground the wheat in the little hand mill. He says it will have to be some heck of an emergency before we use that mill as our daily flour grinder... but he got enough to make the dough. He is a master of making bread dough in our bread maker. We wore out 2 other bread makers, but this one has a faulty bake cycle so we don't use it very often, but it is great for making dough and he makes wonderful dough combinations in it. So he made the dough and then I used my brand new Pampered Chef 13 x 9 inch pan which I bought specifically to bake rolls in. They turned out PERFECT. sometimes when you go to a party or a demo and see a product and get sold on it and them come home and are so disappointed. Well, I am not disappointed in this pan at all. The rolls come out completely and more importantly, the pan has even heat, so all the rolls are the perfect amount of doneness. The glass pan I have used for 30 years has hard rolls on the outside and doughy ones in the middle... and I hate that. So I am happy as a clam with this purchase. So the kids are exhausted. They have been working 14 hour days, 7 days a week - and of course the tubing business is very physical and outside in the cold and wind a lot which is so tiring. They got home around 6:00 and we had dinner mostly ready. Alicia thru some finishing touches on the eggs and finished the potatoes. Justin set the table. Before they came home, Brian had started a sweet dough in the machine for Alicia to make into the Christmas morning roll and she thru that together before we ate and it rose during dinner and the presents. The other break with tradition is that Christmas day we are having dinner at the inn. We never leave home on Christmas day - at least we haven't for about 20 years. They are cooking prime rib and all our friends from church are coming and doing potluck again. We have dessert duty again. Brian made pies and we worked together to make a blueberry cheesecake dessert kind of thing. We will make some more stuff in the morning, I'm sure. It was fun for Brian and I to work together in the kitchen again. We paced it out all day and built in rest periods and finally I had Brian bring my walker in so I could sit and work at some tasks, like peeling eggs and chopping potatoes. So much of the work and cooking that I used to do has fallen on him and he never complains and I really appreciate him taking over and it was very nice to be able to work together. We had a lovely evening and we are thinking of you all. It was a humble Christmas in our house - more love that money was spent, but we are learning to like that kind of Christmas better. We are so grateful to be celebrating the greatest gift of all - the gift of a Savior who was born to redeem us, to pay for our sins, and to save us all. There isn't a better gift around than that... HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL. Love, Charlotte

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Check out our holiday blog

During the holidays, Alicia and I usually do all our posting on our family blog:

Family Christmas Countdown

the link is beside the posts. You can see the beautiful trees Alicia decorated this year. She did mine and hers. Today she watched Paula Deen make a caramel cake and we are all now in sugar comas...

Don't you love the holidays??

Monday, December 08, 2008

Some of our Thanksgiving pics

Don and Jenn after the toddler party in the girls restroom was broken up.

Jake trying to win at pool.

Cassandra and Boyd and Saundi.. Trying to decide if Kareoke is as bad as others say it is (I think that is what they are talking about, I don't read lips, they were probably discussing something about Primary. ) Note the look on Boyd's face, he was just removed from the toddler party in the girls restroom.

Fred and Carol show their way around the Kareoke machine.

Heather explaining the finer points of pool to Jake and to our pretend grand daughters Wendy and Brittany,

Luke playing pool with Grandpa Brian

One of 4 tables packed with good, good food.

Jennifer and Jess belting one out while Kimmie and Rachel dance.

The battery on the camera kept dying so I didn't get the best picture of this. There were these twirly lights that went in a circle on the stage and every time she saw them, Vee just danced and danced in circles until finally we had to turn them off so she didn't get dizzy. You can't see the lights in this photo, but you can see her shining eyes. She was in heaven.

Kimmie belting out her ABC's and I think Twinkle Twinkle.

These two photos are all of us singing Happy Birthday to our pretend granddaughter Jessica for her 19th birthday. In the top photo, she is trying to crawl under the pool table and Shauna is holding her back. Below, we finally not only got her to smile, we actually captured it in a photo.

Gavin just loves to talk to Justin.

5 Toddlers, 3 babies, 6 teenagers, 2 pre-teens, 2 missionaries and 2 rooms full of adults.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

New Floor

Alicia posted some pictures of the new floor on her blog:


I'll take some of the furniture and such when we get the tree up. It feels so elegant. I also have fabric to make drapes to replace the $2.00 blinds the first owners put up. Have to wait until after Christmas to get the drapes done, I think.

There are a few pics on the Family Christmas Countdown from our Thanksgiving at the Inn. I'll put some more on here.

The cord for the laptop is not connecting, so it takes me about 5 hours of intense pushing to connect the cord to the computer to recharge the battery, then it takes about 30 minutes to run it down. Grrr. Alicia is going to take it in to the shop this week.

I was contacted by a new Whisler genealogy cousin this week. We share the same great great great grandmother - Sarah Bender. He has some info that I don't have and vice versus and he is working on new family search, which is always a help, and it is good to have a new Whisler connection. There aren't that many of us around.

In case you have forgotten what time of year it is, let me say: LET 'ER Buck ! ! !