31 December 2017

3rd Christmas and New Year's Eve

Drywall and all!
Happy 3rd Christmas and New Years Eve from The Rehomesteaders!
Jack is Santa's Helper.
Because we spend Christmas visiting family in Nebraska, we have a tradition of coming home to have Christmas as a family. But, since a burst water pipe kept us up later than anticipated when we arrived, 3rd Christmas was postponed to New Year's Eve.

The kids were kind of thrilled to have two holidays in one. What are the chances?!

Blanketed and stuffing themselves with alfalfa. Livin' the dream!
In the early morning, I had a few quiet moments outside, checking the animals and making sure everyone was well-fed, watered, and warm.
So much Pokemon!
We rushed to church, then home for lunch, then PRESENTS!
The first two Christmases, the children get pretty spoiled with fun things so our Christmas is filled with a few more necessities. Do your kids get excited about toothbrushes, socks, and underwear? 'Cause ours do!
Awww! Her first diary entry was, "I love you mom and dad."
The rest of the day was laid back, which was exactly what we needed after all the stress and excitement of traveling and holidays. We played with the new toys, made crafts, I had the first honest to goodness nap I've had in a long time, and we ate and ate and ate.
Henry challenges you to a duel!
 And not all of it was sweets, either. Jack puts together a mean veggie and fruit platter, which does balance out the stocking candy nicely.
Everyone crawled into their jammies and we started a Harry Potter marathon before having a New Year's countdown a few hours early (because let's be honest: kids don't care if they stay up until midnight when you make going to bed fun!).
We hope that your 2017 was full of family, growth, adventure, and joy!
I love the view from the back--the barn, Dolly, and our Christmas tree.
Happy 2018 from The Rehomesteaders!

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30 December 2017

Lay Around and Relax

Since Christmas was right at the beginning of our trip back to Nebraska, we had plenty of time afterward to have fun, spend time with family, and do almost anything but lay around and relax. There were cooking lessons...
"Make your own breakfast. Momma's on vacation!"
 ...church history site visits...
If I had to live in a log cabin that size, the kids would have to spend a lot of time outside.
 ...gingerbread houses galore...
It took all of Henry's willpower not to help himself to a bite or two.
 ...old college campus tours...
 ...visits to great-grandmas...
 ...fancier than normal hair styling...
 ...and cousins, cousins...
...and more cousins!
My sister, Jenny, took us to Lost in Fun, an indoor playground for kids (and adults who are children at heart) and everyone had a blast!
Getting eaten up by the ball pit.
 They climbed and ran and bounced until they were exhausted.
And, because they weigh practically nothing, they can get some awesome hang time.
Kaylee about floated away!
And, when you're with a bunch of your cousins and you have access to a tornado slide, what do you do? You make a cousin train to go down together!

We also went to a rock climbing wall to let the girls experience the thrill of climbing. Kate made it about halfway up before she got scared and came down...
 Claire also made it halfway before her knees started trembling and she asked to get down.
This kitty cat Claire prefers climbing trees.
However, much to everyone's surprise, Evelyn was the first to make it to the top (which is quite the accomplishment since she inherited my healthy fear of heights)!
She gave her modest smile (the one she tries to suppress when she's proud of herself but still feels shy about it), gave high fives all around, and said she realized she could do hard things if she convinced herself that she could. Way to go, Evelyn!
Jack also scrambled up, choosing one of the hardest sections...
...and not to be outdone, I also hauled myself to the top.

At the end of it all, we were all weary.
And so, it was time to go.
Claire lost two front teeth right before Christmas and Zoey cut in her first two!
We loaded up, said goodbye, battled freezing mist, slick roads, snow, idiot drivers (several of whom ended up sliding off the road)...
Glorious napping while traveling!
...to make it home safe and sound and welcomed home by a burst water pipe in our garage.
Can't wait to see that water bill.
Thankfully Jack is handy and temporarily patched it with a roll of Rescue Tape and we called it good until we can find a more permanent solution.

It's a hard knock life Rehomesteaders life.
Despite being welcomed home to a flooded garage, the animals were all healthy (including Cotton, who was nesting behind an air conditioning unit), the house was intact, and we were eventually able to warm up enough to fall alseep before the kids woke up and we started it all over again.
She even left us an egg!
 It's back to work but are we glad we're home sweet home?
You betcha!

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27 December 2017

Mini Reuben Sandwiches

Along with Hot Ham and Swiss Sliders, these Mini Reuben Sandwiches are one of my favorite Christmas meals. They're great as an appetizer, as the main course, or as a finger food and they balance out all the sweets that seem to be everywhere. Plus, they're a cinch to make!


1 Loaf Mini Pumpernickel Bread
Thousand Island Dressing
1/2 Pound Sliced Corned Beef
1 Can Sour Kraut, Well Drained
Sliced Swiss Cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Place bread in single layer on baking pan. Spread about 1 Tablespoon Thousand Island dressing on each slice. Top with a slice of corned beef, about a Tablespoon of sour kraut, then a slice or two of swiss cheese. Heat in the oven until cheese is melted and sandwich is warm, about 10 to 15 mins. Serve hot.

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26 December 2017

Equine Photography

Smile Stoney!
Way back when we had our family pictures taken, I made arrangements to have a few shots taken of the horses. It'd been years since Stoney had any professional lens pointed at him when we were heavily showing and Dancer had yet to have anyone capture her understated beauty (not everyone appreciates a seal brown horse).
I love the natural highlights Dancer gets in her hair every summer.
We brought the horses in that afternoon and gave them a quick grooming, giving them a good brushing, untangling their tails, wiping out noses and trimming whiskers.
Charley at Imzadi Studios did a great job with not only our kids but the horses, too. It's especially difficult to get a photo of a horse with BOTH their ears facing forward since they're constantly twitching their ears around.
Like this.
Or this.

Always on the lookout for wolves and lions and tigers attacking from behind.
 But, that's the beauty of digital cameras. Take a thousand photos and at least a couple will look nice.
Part of my reasoning for wanting the horses photographed is that it's undeniable that Stoney's getting older and someday, I won't be able to walk outside and snap pictures of him whenever I want.
And, as a thank you to my family--my mom in particular--for making it possible for me to have horses in the first place, I gifted a few of the photos for her to hang in her house for Christmas. It's the best I can do if she can't have Stoney and Dancer living in her backyard.
Always searching for a treat.
Merry Christmas to me, my mom, and everyone else who appreciates good equine photography!

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