Embroidered Shirts

By Trisha
I had five shirts to hand embroider but I was only able to do three. Two of the shirts were too soft of a material. I did two shirts with a cow on each and one with an elk on it. Here are the pictures of the embroidery close-up.

This cow is white with black spots and tail and orange and yellow flowers

This cute cow is two different shades of brown

This my brown elk with white antlers


The Week Before Christmas

By Trisha
This week before Christmas has been a busy one. I finished all my baking-9 confections in all (iced cinnamon roll cookies, iced pumpkin cookies, peanut butter balls, chocolate truffles, spritz butter cookies, lemon bells, gumdrop fudge, cranberry swirl biscotti and chocolate fruitcake). I know fruitcake...yuck! Before you knock it, you have to try it. This is NOT your ordinary candied, dried fruitcake. It has coconut, chocolate chips, maraschino cherries, canned pineapple, walnuts and pecans. It is soooo good. I was in the kitchen from last Saturday until this Friday when I assembled all the treat trays.

I did most of the Christmas shopping on Wednesday morning and then Jarom and I went back out when he got home and we finished it up-gifts, stocking stuffers, wrapping paper-everything. I even wrapped it all the same day, except for some shirts that I still need to hand embroider. I'm sure I'll finish the shirts tomorrow, after which I can wrap them and I'll be all done with everything.

We delivered the treat trays this evening after I helped make cookies at the neighbors. We missed some of our friends but had a very nice visit with Sydney and we are planning to get together after the New Year. We may just get together for our birthdays.

Late this afternoon, I was at the neighbors. They were supposed to make sugar cookies but Leanne just had so much to do that they weren't going to do it. I didn't have any homemade sugar cookie dough but I did have some store-bought from Pillsbury, so I took it to them, after which I stayed and helped. Leanne rolled out the dough and Madyson cut it with the cookie cutter while I tried to entertain Trenton and keep him from trying to get the cookie dough off the counter. Once they were baked and cooled, Leanne and I frosted them and Madyson decorated them with sprinkles. It was fun.

Tomorrow, we will bathe the dogs. Tuesday, I will wash the dogs bed and blankets and any last minute laundry, pack our bags, the presents and anything else we need for our trip. Wednesday morning, we will hit the road for the 10+ hour road trip home. It is only supposed to be a 10 hour drive, but with the holidays and the fact that we will most likely hit the Portland-Metro area around rush-hour, it will be closer to 12 hours. We'll just have to see how it goes, at least we can share the driving and take turns.

I didn't get our Christmas cards out. They will be going out after Christmas. I really didn't want to fight all the people and traffic to mail them when I mailed the Culpepper gifts. I ended up having the Culpepper gifts picked up here at the house so I didn't get any stamps. I will get them after Christmas and mail them then. I'm sorry, everyone, that they are late!

I'm so excited to have Christmas with my parents and sister! I know I was home last year, but I didn't get to spend Christmas Day with my parents. We arrived the following Saturday. This will be my/our first official Christmas with my parents (on Christmas Day) in nine years. I can't wait!

Merry Christmas, everyone!!

Getting Into the Christmas Spirit

By Trisha
I have had a tough time getting in the holiday spirit this year. I think that finally after 9 years, I am ready to be back home in Oregon living near my parents so that I can do all the shopping, wrapping, baking and decorating with my mama. My mama feels the same way too, as she is feeling the same way I am this year.

We had Jarom's work Christmas party on Monday. It was a much smaller group this year than normal, but that was because the kids are still in school this week so we didn't have all the kids and spouses running around. We had the gift exchange but it is one of those where the gifts can be stolen up to three times. I had some really great gifts too-a really nice BBQ utensil set in a case until it was stolen and froze, then I got a nice Brother Labeler until it was stolen and then I opened a package with about 4 lbs. of chocolate and that is what I ended up with. It is good chocolate though-cabernet dark chocolate wine gels, Russell Stover Pecan Delights, Creme Roule and Ferrero Rocher. I can't remember all the things Jarom had and lost, but her ended up with a numbered Limited Edition Wizard of Oz Pez set.

I completed our Christmas cards Monday evening. It isn't a very elaborate card-very simple but I embossed every single one. That is over 100 cards.

I haven't made any gifts this year, not my annual tree ornament. I have some shirts that I bought for some family members that I'm going to hand embroider this weekend with various little pictures based on their likes. It shouldn't take too long to embroider the shirts. I am looking forward to it and wish I could start them today but I have baking to finish that will most likely take all day.

All of our Christmas shopping is complete, as of last night. I did most of it in the morning but ran out of cash. I passed the afternoon waiting for Jarom to get home from work by wrapping all the gifts that I bought in the morning. When he got home, we ventured back out to hit the last couple of stores to finish the shopping. I had a couple things to buy and print online when we got home. We stopped at Jimboys for dinner. Jarom started to fall asleep sitting on the couch while I was wrapping the rest of the gifts so I sent him to bed. He does have some shopping still to do--for me, but I imagine that he will do that this weekend.

I finished up the wrapping and have caught up on some things on the DVR. The pups and I have been enjoying the warmth of the pellet stove all afternoon and evening. I bought White Christmas yesterday and I really wanted to watch it but I was up and down wrapping and moving gifts to the tree, so I plan to watch it today and this weekend and probably each day next week until we leave to go home for Christmas.

I started my baking on Saturday and I'm still working on getting it all finished. So far, I have the Gumdrop Fudge, Spritz cookies, Chocolate Fruitcake and Cranberry Swirl Biscotti done. My Lemon Bells are baked and ready to be frosted and sprinkled with yellow sugar. I already shaped the truffles and peanut butter balls into balls, so today I will melt the chocolate to dip them in. When all those are dipped, I have pumpkin cookies to bake and frost to be followed by baking the Cinnamon Roll Cookies and glazing them. After all that, I can assemble the treat trays. Two will go to work with Jarom, one for the High Tech and one for the Schaefers. Four other trays will be assembled and delivered to some of our friends in town on Sunday and a final tray to take home and share with my family. Other than the baking and embroidering the shirts, we are all done and ready for Christmas.

I can't wait to head home next week to have Christmas with my parents, sister and brother-in-law. While we were home for Christmas and New Year's last year, I wasn't able to spend Christmas with my parents. We have New Year with them, so this is my first Christmas with my parents in 9 years. Yes, you heard right, 9 years. Can you understand my excitement now? Christmas here we come!

Elk Hunting in Central Oregon

By Trisha
Last Friday, Jarom and drove to Prineville so that he could go elk hunting with his Dad and brothers. It was very cold, although there wasn't much snow. We did get a little dusting while we were there.

It turned out to be a bit more boring for me than planned. I was supposed to use the money that Jenna owed us to do some shopping but since we didn't get it until the following Monday night, so I was able to get absolutely nothing. I did a lot of sitting around reading and watching television. Us girls, did go to Chinese for dinner Friday night since the guys left shortly after Jarom and I arrived.

Saturday afternoon, Carla and I went to the theatre and saw Old Dogs and we had breakfast for dinner and watched Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle on Hallmark and 12 Men of Christmas on Lifetime. I read Mrs. Miracle about 3 or 4 years ago. Old Dogs was an excellent movie! We laughed through the whole thing.

The guys came home Sunday evening in time for dinner, but they didn't have any luck. None of the 9 guys that went on the trip were able to get any elk. They should have had better luck since they were on private property but this year they were either outside the property or too high up that they couldn't get close enough. But, I suppose the more important this was that Jarom was able to have this time with his Dad and brothers.

I was ready to go home though, by the time they all arrived home. I was tired of all the dog hair. It seemed like I inhaled so much I could have coughed up a hairball. The hair was everywhere, the couch, blankets, clothes, my bed, pillows--on everything. Monday we spent the day just sitting around. The temperature dropped to -4 when we went to bed. When we left Tuesday morning is was -8 but as we got further down the road it got down to -30 at one point. SOOOO cold! Just outside of Bend, about a dozen elk crossed the highway right in front of us. It was a beautiful sight.

Thanksgiving Weekend

By Trisha
I can't believe it has been two weeks already since Thanksgiving! Where has the time gone?

We had a nice Thanksgiving and celebrated with my cousin, Sharon and her two girls Cassie and Haley and Sharon's mom, Donna. Sharon and I haven't seen each other since 1989--20 years! We had a wonderful visit.

They arrived Wednesday around 2:30 in the afternoon, while I was baking pies. I made chicken enchiladas for dinner and then while Cassi watched a movie the rest of us girls made these cute little candy turkeys before heading up to bed. I didn't sleep well, so I was up at 4:30am on Turkey Day, so I just started my Monkey Bread for breakfast. Once that was done, I prepped some other dishes and had the turkey in the oven in 8am, did some more dish prepping before heading up to shower and dress at 10am. From that point forward, it was all about getting all the dishes made and ready to put on the table by 2:30 that afternoon.

We all sat and watched the Raiders football game while we ate dinner and dessert. The kids had a lot of fun playing together, as we invited our friends, the Schaefer's to join us. The kids couldn't wait for dessert--they wanted it right after they ate their dinner, but I managed to keep them at bay for an hour and a half. After we got everything cleaned up and put away we all sat and visited and watched Four Christmases.

The rest of our time was spent visiting. Although, I was sad that I didn't get to make the trip with everyone to Old Sacramento on Friday. I was looking forward to the trip, but my back just was not having it after spending two days on my feet in the kitchen for hours on end. We had leftovers for about 4 days. Monday, I made my Grandma's homemade egg noodles and put them in with turkey to make a soup.

It was a great Thanksgiving!