Monday, November 29, 2010

Cowgirl Birthday

Content copyright © 2010 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

My littlest girl is officially nine.


We celebrated a week early- before Thanksgiving - in order to be sure her friends could come.

She chose a cowgirl party theme- and they had such a fun time!

Here are some highlights from the day:

 BB gun sharp-shooting

( shooting instructions for those who needed it, courtesy of her big sister.)

Content copyright © 2010 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Square Dancing

Content copyright © 2010 by Jessa at Graceful Landing


(which, for some reason, was the big hit of the evening)

 Flap-Jack Flipping

Content copyright © 2010 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

The main cowgirl food for the evening, aside from cake, of course- was flapjacks, sausage and scrambled eggs.  Syrup served from a cowboy 'boot'. 


Cupcake Decorating

Tire Swing Riding

Content copyright © 2010 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Tall Tales Telling

And on to birthday celebrations like;

Cake (of course!)

Toasting the birthday girl with their root beer

Content copyright © 2010 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

and the opening of gifts

We even had a few 'wanted' outlaws show up to round out the party:

All in all, it was a great way to remember a girl's 9th birthday.

At the end of the day, she was ready to put her feet up, all tuckered out. 

 Content copyright © 2010 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Aside from the fact that we missed spending Thanksgiving with so many of our loved ones, it was wonderful!

Peace and plenty were words for the day.

I directed the little girls in the making of their great-grandma's fruit salad.

We continued the tradition of writing what we were thankful for....and what amazing blessings we've had this year!

The girls immediately began working off their turkey dinner by showing off  their hoola-hoop skills.   They are good!
(Their Granny would be proud)

 The rest of the day was spent anticipating the arrival of baby Mallory.
~And what delightful anticipation that is~

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Freedom From Want

This Thanksgiving and Christmas season, as we ponder our Christmas lists, let us be reminded of the many blessings we have in our lives.

We may not have every wish fulfilled and our own Thanksgiving dinner may not mirror this idyllic scene.
However, for the majority of us here in America, we are free from true want.

How great the blessings in my own life- and how full of gratitude my heart is for the Lord's watchful care.

Have a wonderful holiday full of thanks and giving! 


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Weird Dream

Lately, I've been experiencing a lot of strange dreams at night.  

Most of the time I dream, but don't recall them the next day.
  I used to dream vividly- but with the years of busy motherhood, I think I've needed my sleep so badly that those night visions went by the wayside. 

It was a full moon last maybe that explains the strangeness.

And for the record, I haven't watched Oprah in a long time- but here is what happened:

I was walking on a sidewalk in a bustling city; Chicago, perhaps?  Nothing looked familiar, but I felt comfortable where I was.  
I saw a woman sitting sort of hunched on a bench; looking tired and a bit haggard.  
I realized in surprise that it was Oprah Winfrey!  I asked if she was okay and if I could be of help.  
I offered to give her a back/neck massage.  She accepted.
So I proceeded to massage her neck and back....and felt I was doing a fabulous job in relieving her tension.  
Until I began to realize that it felt more like an arm- the body part I was massaging.
I awoke to discover that I was indeed massaging The Man of the House's arm.  
Silently, I ceased- turned over and went back to sleep.

This morning, I questioned the Man of the House.  He sheepishly told me that he had woken and wondered what in the world I was doing.  Also, because it was around 3 am, he sorta hoped I wasn't getting fresh with him.  He needed his sleep.    : ) 

How was your night?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Train of Thought

A few weeks ago, I did something rather mindlessly. 
Something that later made me think, "Wow, did I really do that?"

Yes, I'm reminded daily, I did.

I was on my way home from town, pulling onto our dirt road, when something in my peripheral vision caught my eye.

A fluttering, floundering dove.

In an instant I did the following:

I assessed that he/she was hurt.
I saw a stack of Taco Bell napkins on the floor of my van.
I noticed The Man of the House's empty lunchbox sandwiched between the front seats. 

I then proceeded to hop out of my vehicle into a straddle-like lope as I caught the dove.
I carefully nestled he/she into the lunch box and drove home.

Did I have a plan?  NO.
Did I know who to call and what to do?
I called home and talked to my daughters.    In the less than 3 minutes it took me to get home, they had a crate prepared.

We put the dove in the small crate with water and some wheat kernels.  After reading up on  what they can eat, I discovered I really had no need to purchase anything special.  We've been giving her greens, wheat kernels and raw sunflower seeds, mostly.

We also learned that's it very difficult to determine if a dove is  male or female.
So difficult, in fact, that unless they lay eggs, the only person who can tell the difference is another dove...and even then they can be wrong.

So we call him Hamish.  After Hamish MacBeth mysteries that I've enjoyed.

He's been kept in a warm place and has been healing.  
(His foot was hurt and he could barely hobble.)

Healing so well, in fact, that we thought it was time to see if he was ready to be released.
He's been walking perfectly for the past 5-7 days, the snow was melted and the sun was out in all its glory.

So, we took him out as a group...ready and excited to watch him fly away to freedom.
Proud to have taken part in his recovery.

We set the crate on the ground and opened the gate.   We waited.

He stepped right out as if he knew he belonged in the great outdoors, not cooped up as a caged bird.  I thought of Maya Angelou's poem.
We waited, holding our breath.
He walked along, in no apparent hurry to fly.

We tried to help- picking him up and giving him a gentle toss into the air.
He cried 'mayday' and made an emergency landing.

Not a graceful landing.  ; )

It was apparent to all of us that something is wrong with one of his wings.

He then walked right over to his crate and went back inside.

During our school day, I've been wondering; "What do I do with a little gray dove? "
"Who might want a little gray dove?"

And then, the lyrics to Johnny Preston's 'Running Bear' song came to me and have been ingrained ever since.
Of course, we have a little gray dove, not white.

Still, it's funny how one thought can easily lead to another.  And pretty soon you're looking up the song for your kids to hear.
And recalling the deep romantic sadness you felt as a young girl when you imagined the events of this song. 

From that song, I thought of an old Steve Martin movie, based on the story of Silas Marner by George Eliot.
In the film, there is a great scene with Steve Martin and his daughter dancing to 'Running Bear'.  
It's a touching movie and years since I've seen it.  I may have to check my local library!

In the meantime, anyone want a pet dove?

Maya Angelou - I know why the caged bird sings

A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
and floats downstream till the current ends
and dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
can seldom see through his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.


Sunday, November 14, 2010


 I love great cookbooks.  Especially those that promote healthful, economical meals.

Here are a few of my standbys...those I turn to often:
(You may like them, too!)

 Eating Economically is Just Plain Smart
By Mary Jane & Jeff Cardarelle-Hermans

Love in the Kitchen, Volumes I and II
By Wendy Jeub
Incidentally, they are having a sale right now- buy one, get the other free! 

Hopkin's Healthy Home Cooking , by Diane Hopkins

And one I hope to buy at some point;

From the Kitchen of Two Sisters - their cookbook and video set.

Enjoy cooking for your family!

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