Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Handmade Gifts

Remember during the summer I made a silly little promise for everyone who commented with their birthday date, they'd receive a little som'in' som'in' in the mail? Well, April took me up on it and for her birthday she got two little love birds.

Don't worry Leslie, I haven't forgotten you. You're next!

My sweet little neice, Emma, had a birthday a week ago and after sending her mom this purse, she wanted one too. So, a purse she got! Happy Birthday Emma.

Friday, November 27, 2009

New Quilt

Gigi made this beautiful quilt for Abram and gave it to him yesterday on Thanksgiving.
Thank you Gigi!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fall Knitting and Brothers...

My boys on Thanksgiving

The sweater Abram is wearing is one that I hand knit for him (finished last night!) for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's my first sweater and I should think he looks mighty fine in it =)

Oh! And those adorable Wrangler jeans that Abram is wearing were Tom's when he was a babe.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We all have much to be thankful for...

From ours to yours...
Give Thanks to God!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fox's On The Farm

Larry and Brooke Fox graced our farm a few days ago...and it was such a joy to have them.

Brooke and Riley did all kinds of important jobs like mulching the trees, looking for camouflage bugs in trees, and identifying dangerous bugs.

Tom is at the top of this pole fixing a burned out light. Larry is taking a picture. We don't use ladders here, we just hoist ourselves up with front end loaders.

He was a long, long way up there.

Isn't she beautiful?
Naya, our yellow lab, is happy as a clam on our farm. This is the ideal life for her.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Only in Texas... you get stuck driving behind a backhoe down the highway.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Construction Digs

Abram came to the sewing room with me yesterday. He was so irresistibly happy and cute I had to sew him something. (By the way-- he is sitting on his own now!!)

He got a new shirt!
(photos taken on not the greatest, but it gets the job done)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Scott's in Texas

A couple of weeks ago the Scott's were in Houston for a Quilt Market and they decided to come over to the Rickstrew Ranch for the day. I borrowed these photos from their can read their stories about their time on the farm here and here.

Bill and Tom

Grandma-for-a-day Brenda and Riley

I love this picture of Riley, Liz, and the tractor that Liz drove around.

Brenda and Liz were quite stunned to learn that a square hay baler is really just a big 'l sewing machine. There's a needle to thread and everything. We all got a slow motion demonstration of how this thing works.

When YOU come to visit, we'll teach ya'll about hayin' too =) Who's next?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Panza's In Texas

Rob and Judy Panza came to South Texas a few weeks ago and stayed on the Rickstrew Ranch. We took them to the Alamo and the River Walk. This is the usual order. If you come to our place, we'll take you there too.

Rob and Riley telling stories.

Judy being a wonderful grandma and reading Riley's books.

Thank you for coming Panza's!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Friends from Reno

Lindsey and Anya Bear came out to visit on short notice. Remember that elk hunting trip my man took, which left me alone for 10 days? Well...I wasn't alone too long because my buddy flew out with her daughter to hang with us on the keep us company.

Lindsey telling stories in a hollowed-out tree at an outdoor shopping center.

Lindsey read a lot of stories while she was here...both Riley and Anya enjoy being read to... a lot.

I'm so thankful that she got to meet Baby Abram in person. Being the love that he is, he loved to be in her arms.

Two of my favorite people.

And this cutie-pa-tootie staying warm under hot clothes right out of the dryer.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cleaning Up



Thanks to Liz and Brenda, I had two charm packs of the newest line from Thimbleberries to do something with. I was tired of all of those little chew toys on the couch with no place to call home. I found this pattern for a fabric basket and spent the day in the sewing room yesterday.

I feel so much better now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Birthday Bash

Mama turned 31 on Sunday, November 8th and Papa surprised her with a night out at the Famous Majestic Theater. We got to see was fantastic. So much better in person, in real life, up close. What talent these folks have to tap those feet a million taps a second all the while not moving their torsos an inch.

Riley got to come with us too and loved it. At the intermission he was practicing his own Riverdance in the hallways...tap-tappin' away! He's still re-inacting the performance for us days later.

Here is a close up of us outside the theater. And of Riley's hat I hand knit for him. He's wearing his hand knit mittens too- but you can't see them in the picture right here.

Papa made my favorite cake for me-- yellow cake with chocolate frosting (Chris- you should've been here-- it was epic!)

Three candles for decade number 3.

Two layered cake split in half and into five slices. One for Mama, Papa, Riley, Gigi, and Grandpa.

"Happy Birthday to you,
To Jesus be true,
May He bless you and Keep you,
Your whole life through..."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Elk Hunt

As many of you know, Tom and his dad had the once-in-their-lifetime opportunity to go elk hunting together in western New Mexico. They were gone for 10 days.

When they returned, Tom quickly got to work (with the essential help of a friend) processing the meat. We'll be eating elk for DAYS....or...MONTHS. Oh yeah, elk stew, elk stir fry, elk sausage, elk jerky, elk parmesan, elk spaghetti, elk burgers, elk steaks, elk and eggs, etc. If you have an elk recipe, PLEASE feel free to share with me.

I've enclosed all of the photos in a folder here entitled Elk Hunt in our "mobile me" gallery. BE FOREWARNED: some pictures are somewhat graphic. Feel free not to peruse the album if you aren't comfortable...that is...with the raw (start-to-finish...or...field-to-plate) processing of wild animals.

Kefir Buns

And yet another reason why I love kefir...

Kefir Buns

2 c. kefir
4 c. freshly-ground flour
1/4 c. lukewarm water
1 tsp. baking soda
1tsp. baking powder
1 c. flour

The night before:
Soak 4 c. flour in 2 c. kefir, thoroughly mix to form a sticky dough. Cover, let stand overnight.

The next day:
In a separate bowl, mix water and baking soda and baking powder. Add to dough and knead in mixer (with dough hook) or by hand. Add 1 c. flour. It will still be sticky, which is okay.

Form baseball size rolls and cut crosses in the tops of the rolls. Place in 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Take out of oven and spread butter or coconut oil over the tops while hot (this step is essential!!)

Enjoy wholesome good-for-you goodness!

Clean Up

After a good meal it's straight to the sink for this fella.

Oh, the wonders of an is one big ball of learning and growing.

The Baby Eats!!

On Abram's 6 month birthday, in true Rickstrew tradition, we fed our baby avocado as a first food.

Unlike Riley, Abram did NOT like it.

Bananas is another story...this boy can eat and eat and eat bananas

And sucks them down...

Now, let's try sweet potatoes.

Freezing pureed sweet potatoes in little servings. This is SO easy. Just freeze them and pop them in a ziplock and take out a cube at a time. there's a food he can eat over and over!