Sunday, January 5, 2020

12 Days of Christmas

The Kings have arrived so it's safe to say we can all put the Christmas decorations away. At least that's how it was in my home growing up. Christmas came and went and I always say some Christmas's are better than others...no matter where you're at in life.  This past Christmas was so special for me.
 I received my yearly secret Santa gift.  It's from my brother (it's a secret) and usually a nun themed gift. I collect nun things. He always finds me something different and makes me feel special. (I'm the baby.)

 
 Lots of extra sheep decorations went up this year!
 I didn't get all the cookies done I wanted to bake. I cut my list in half and still didn't get them all baked. I did try a new cookie recipe thou. I made Linzer cookies for the first time. I used the King Arthur Flour recipe. There are so many Linzer recipes. I would like to try a different one and compare. I'll do that in February.
 Of course I made pies and I always put out my mom's Lefton sleigh and reindeer. I still hear her telling me to be very careful with the reindeer because they are so fragile.
 
  
 I received some awesome homemade gifts!  
I received this sheep ornament along with a few other gifts. They were a big surprise from a friend that lives far away.
Surprises are fun!!!  She makes everyone feel so special!!!



 It was so special to watch the grands interact with each other.
The older ones helping the little ones. Santa brought a share gift for the little ones. I think I heard grandpa say it needs a garage with the tractor Santa brought them a few years back.
 You can't see my other gifts.
My daughter moved back home from Oregon and I truly consider that a gift.  I was able to be with my brother and sister another year on Christmas day. As the years go by and our families grow things change but I felt I was gifted another year with them. I can't imagine Christmas without our laughing, sometimes tears (probably tears because one year I put two huge turkeys in the oven and they were taking VERY long to bake!) spinach balls, turkey dinner, and pitchers of Brandy Alexander's (that my dad started making a million years ago) on Christmas. This Christmas my brother made a special toast to my dad...it's those toasts to the ones that aren't here that always brings me tears. A huge gift was that this Christmas we had all three children home. That hasn't happened in years and it was a huge gift to me...I kept pinching myself through out the day.  And the Lord gave me another gift that's too precious and too private to share but one that truly was a "God thing"...if you know what I mean. I usually don't do a Christmas blog until after the fact. I love the space in-between Christmas and New Years. I love the time to meditate and hang on to the gifts in the
                    12 days of Christmas ~ and beyond.
 
Love to all,    Audrey Ann
 
 






Tuesday, December 10, 2019

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES























It was a year ago after our Christmas open house that some of my friends and I were gathered in the shop chatting away.  Kelli asked if we could do another Friday evening open house. After me fighting anemia Dave and I thought it best to do one day open houses and not two. Kelli said "Audrey we will all help, we all miss Friday night open houses"  We've been doing Friday night open houses for so long that deep inside I missed them too.  My cousin Kim told me how important it is to let my body rest when my blood count is low ~   Kelli said as she used to say all the time "don't you worry about a thing."  She was coming to clean, ticket and work to get ready. Everyone agreed and the year went on.  We decided to have our Friday night open house.

We had so much fun getting ready for the open house.  Farmer Dave was getting ready like a well oiled machine...lanterns...lights...straw ready...parking planned....

The farmer and I had so much fun shopping, decorating, cooking ham in the hearth, cleaning and everything else that needed done.

Our Daughter Sarah moved back from Portland, Oregon and she was helping at the counter. We were so excited to have her here and her friend Brian help park cars along with a neighbor boy and Stephanie's husband Brian. My brother came dressed as Jonathan Walker and greeted customers in our Walker Farmhouse.

My friend Jenn made sheep that looked like Colleen. My friend Jeannie made lots of goodies out of wool...oh but her cookies ~ so many of you asked for the Raspberry Bar recipe. Sonya was here running the shop with Jeannie, Jenn and Sarah. Stephanie and Cindy ran the downstairs with Janice and Karen. Lauren from Kindred Palette had her signs here and we introduced Berry Hill Farm.  She almost sold out of honey and has repeat customers already.

We had a wonderful crowd, family, friends, my childhood friend Cindy came to support us, new and old customers...some I haven't seen in such a long time.

But...someone was missing...our dear Kelli passed this year...
Kelli was missing.

One of my friends who was here last year called and said "let's dedicate Friday evening to Kelli"
I kept thinking of her while I was getting ready for the event...Kelli would like this...or Kelli would like that...wonder what Kelli would think...Kelli...Kelli...Kelli
Half an hour into our event and into our home comes Jack! Jack is Kelli's husband and he knew Kelli wanted to bring back Friday evening...she was so excited last year when she went home telling Jack how she was going to help get ready, etc.  I was so excited to see Jack! Jack is blind but he experienced the evening with the smell of  ham in the fireplace...conversations...a few tears shed and a toast celebrating Kelli's life. My friend knew we would love Jack being with us...she surprised us with Jack's presence. Dave and I are forever grateful for her bringing him.

The night before the event I was finished in the shop and said as I walked outside "Kelli, what do you think" I looked up and the sky was the most beautiful I've seen.  I felt Kelli, it was a sign from her and God. When I saw the line to get in the next evening I thought Kelli was looking down smiling.

Everything went so smoothly ~ so smoothly ~ Kelli had to be here.
So much can happen in a year ~ Kelli passed ~ her one friend here with her moved far away and another friend that was chatting with us here has been battling breast cancer.  ~ love more ~ love more ~

We are grateful for all the hard work everyone puts into our open houses, we are most grateful for the customers that come. Thank you for your messages and well wishes, your pictures (I only took the sky picture on this blog post) and for pictures of your bought items in your homes. We certainly miss Kelli but it was one of the best Christmas events we've had. We are grateful!


My last blood count came back with much better numbers ~ now that the open house is over I am going to do less ~ less cookies ~ less decorating ~ less shopping ~ less

I am going to find more ~ more time for silence in the Advent Season ~ and love more ~ love more ~ because you really don't know what can happen in a year. 

               Love to you all and grateful for this life I love ~  

                                                             Audrey Ann & Farmer Dave



Monday, December 31, 2018

December On The Farm

 
 
 


 






 
December on the farm has been so busy. It started out with our Christmas On The Farm Gathering at our shop and it was one of the best we've had. It was so heart warming and fun. Then in the middle of the month Duke came. Our new little Corgi. We say he's our unplanned pregnancy. We love him so much. I hope to train him to be a good little herder like our Gracie was. Christmas Eve Mass was so special. We saw our godson and his brother help bring up the manger and I received a very special gift from their dad right in church. It was a vintage ornament with sheep on it. Our trees were very different this year ~ one with the grand's ornaments on it with a Santa theme and the other a sheep tree with all the sheep ornaments that have been given to us over the years.
 
 It was so enjoyable to bring our sheep special treats on Christmas.
 
The preparations for Christmas took me a little longer than usual. We found out in the Fall that my blood problem returned but no one would have known because farmer Dave helped me sooooo much. Farmer Dave whipped up a birch yule log for our table. We recycled our Advent candles and wreath over and over. We have a formal dinner on Christmas day ~ two stuffed turkeys and all the trimmings. It's so special and we love carrying on the tradition of my childhood days. Dave carried on his family tradition of Oplatki. We hosted our immediate family here the day after Christmas and started a few new traditions. The grandkids helped me build the manger and we measure their height every year marking it on our chalkboard.  It was so beautiful out that tractor rides were in order. It was "different" watching my son give his son his first tractor ride ~ where did the years go? I took a little break from social media to immerse myself into my family. I did miss everyone but it was refreshing and might just do that occasionally. I received my favorite local chocolate and another special gift that I'll share later. My daughter Marissa with her husband and two children stayed over the holidays and it was pure joy. My daughter treated me and her daughter to the movies. We saw Mary Poppins and it was one of my favorites growing up. They live 2 hours away so it's a real treat for us girls to go out together. I tried to be in the present without taking too many pictures. One of my favorite pictures is my daughter in law taking a picture of my son and their baby on the tractor. I love shadows. Now the decorations are coming down but the memories remain. It was on of the best Christmas's ever! I'm gifted with much love.  
 




 
 


 
This wreath is from our shop's wreath making workshop that we used on the Walker Farmhouse to my Advent wreath to my wreath on our garage door!
 



 



Oh and I forgot ~ We are  all going to Disneyland!