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Monday, November 28, 2011

Second Turkey Day with a family of little gobblers

On Sunday, we had a troop of little gobblers make their way to our house! All three grandkids were sooo excited to come and play and hang out at Granmuddah and Granfaddah Pfun's house, and of course their parents too.

This could very well be the last Thanksgiving we have in this house, as we are putting it on the market in the spring of 2012.   If it sells, wonderful, and we can go to Plan B for the remaining time till 2013 when Steve retires.  So making a few last memories in this house was the order of the day!

I had pre-cooked the 22 pound turkey on Saturday, then sliced off the big chunks, laid it back in the roaster with some chicken broth and seasonings and set it back in the fridge overnight.  It's the first time I tried this, after seeing it on Mr. Food on a tv segment last week. Let me tell you, it was GREAT!   The meat remains juicy and the hostess has a LOT more time on the actual day by not having to get up at 5 am to stuff a bird, tending it and basting it etc.  

I also precooked the mashed potatoes, and blended them with sour cream, garlic, onions and butter and laid into a 13x11 cake pan.  On Sunday all I had to do was set the oven on low, add the crumbled corn flakes and spices to the top of the taters and reheat them along side the turkey pan in the oven... the house smelled wonderful, just as if I had spent all morning cooking!   Pans of stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole and a pull-apart garlic bread wreath took their turns in the oven too... and it all was done and ready by noon when the families came!

Add in daughter-in-law Heather's famous marshmallow fruit salad, some relishes, a couple of pumkin pies and a tray of the brownies that Chelsea helped to bake and we were set .... yummmmmmm

These are our two resident Incubator Ladies.. 
they are busy growing and nourishing our next two grandchildren both due in April... 
eat well, sweeties, and have us some healthy grandbabies!

All of the kids have good table manners and we had a nice meal with laughter and love all around. 

We made the guys eat in the livingroom so there was enough room at the table for the kiddos. They didn't mind because there was football on tv... not the Packers, because they played on Thursday (and won!) but it was still football ---- so they were happy.

After dinner, we brought out the flock of turkeys!!!!!
(I posted a link on how-to make these 3 blogs back) 

The kiddos were delighted and soon gobbling them down, getting high on a sugar buzz!!!

 Ahhh it was all worth it, look at these Three Little Gobblers! 

The afternoon was full of fun.  Reading them stories, playing with toys, and doing some Ring-Around-the-Rosie. It was a delightful day to see all the little ones playing together.   They needed to burn off some of that sugar high from the cookies.  LOL    We watched some football and enjoyed the antics of the grandkids. My goodness, where do they get so much energy????

After things wound down a bit, now the second reason for the day came.  We had taken ALL the boxes of Christmas decorations out of the storage room and laid them out on the guest bed.  These are items from over many years of decorating our homes.  Since Erin started having the family Christmas at her house, I have not even used as many of these things in my house.  I kept out the special items I am keeping for this year and special momentos that are being stored or used in our motorhome on the tiny tree....   The rest were *up for grabs*....   We had all three gals go through the boxes and choose out anything they liked, and the rest will be going on Craig's List and Ebay this week.

The little girls wanted to come and see what was going on, and they wrapped up in bright sparkly garland to be DIVAs!  Jameson came to peek in and see what we were doing, but he went back upstairs to hang with the guys and watch football.  Typical *MALE* huh?

I am so glad that Chelsea wanted this bear... About 25 years ago my children chose this wonderful bear to give to my grandmother, Grandma Kafehl.  (who was their Great Grandmother) when we were shopping.  They said it was a "Grandma Bear with a little Grandbaby Bear".  After she passed away in 1996, we were given the bear back.  Now it is passing on to the GREAT GREAT Granddaughter... to be loved again and learn about babies and caring and cuddling and family.

Six big boxes were heaped high with treasures... and loaded into cars, along with sleepy toddlers and big bags of leftovers!   Out the driveway they all went.  We are sure the little kids were fast asleep before reaching the first curve down the road.

And this tired out Granmuddah toddled up to bed herself, 
and settled in for a good long Thanksgiving Nap! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Deck The Halls-- and a little kid face too

Friday after Thanksgiving, we didn't dare wander into any of the stores.  The chaos, mayhem and pepper spray stories are enough to keep us home.  Besides, little Chelsea needed someplace to go, because her day care was closed and Mommy had to work, and Daddy wanted to go hunting!  We said the little poor orphan could come and spend the day with us.

Sooo the bee bopper girl came here to our house, and she was immediately put to work helping her granfaddah Deck The Halls... he was putting up the lights and long streams of garland in swags on all of the decks, and then she was helping him to hang the BIG CIRCLE on the house!

It was very warm out, and all of our snow melted again (we are due for more this week)  Granmuddah had set the little one to filling the bird feeders and suet block boxes...  she took the stickers from the suet block packages and stuck one on each of the doggies backs!  I guess they needed to be "decorated" too?

It was quite exciting for the wee one to see a lit up circle (she knows her "shapes")  
and then to have granfaddah go up sooooo high and hang it on the house! 

Once the outside stuff was done, that silly Granfaddah brought his other ladder into the house and washed the big diamond window in the cathedral ceiling over the livingroom... and she was just so amazed how high he was up there.  She knows the "diamond" shape too, and that was quite exciting to her 22 month old mind.  She wanted to try to climb up the ladder too, but Granmuddah put the kabosh on that! That little monkey would have followed him right up to the top, I am sure! 

Once the cleaning and windowwashing and decorating was done, this wee one needed to give me a hand in the kitchen.  She knows how to crack eggs, so she got to do TWO of them into a brownie mix.  She poured in the ingredients herself, and she was busy stirring and of course:

She proudly announced that it was called "CHOD DOH DAT!" 

It was Finger Lickin Good....  she made sure we BOTH got some! 


It is Sunday morning while I am posting this, and we are due to have all three of our kids, their spouses and all three grankiddos descend upon us for a family Thanksgiving today.  We pre-cooked the turkey yesterday, and have it ready to serve while it's steaming in chicken soup broth in a roasting pan, and pre-made all the extras too.  Sure was nice to have most of it done, just a few things to do this morning.  Which is very good, because yesterday I stumbled on a flagstone in the yard and twisted my foot on a funny angle.  It's not broken, but I iced it good and am hobbling around.  I am taking breaks and putting it up, so that is why I have time to write a blog post!    Will be sure to post tomorrow about our wonderful family day... right now we are watching that old RV show on RTN network called "Distant Roads" ....  some segments are older, some are newer, but it sure makes us hungry to hit the road ourselves soon! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

One down, one more to go

We trekked over the river and through the woods....  to Steve's parents' Thanksgiving gathering.  We met in the middle of the state, in Neenah at the Holiday Inn River Walk hotel for a meal.   We listened to part of the Packer game on the way down on the car radio, but I also had it recording at home on the VCR.

Everyone was happy to meet and greet and EAT~!    We had a nice quiet room for private dining, but also the guys kept making trips back and forth to the foyer to keep tabs on the Packer game .... returning to announce the score from time to time to the rest of us.

We only had two wee ones at this gathering, little Jameson, our grandson, and little Lucas, Steve's neice Jen and Robert's little guy, who just turned one. They were the life of our party, and both were very well behaved and polite.

Stories were shared and laughter was heard.   Lots of plans for upcoming vacations, new jobs and memories of the past holidays.  We all thought of little and big blessings we have and went around the table, sharing our thoughts.

My little turkey cookies were well received and enjoyed by all.  Jameson especially liked them and took his time disassembling his to chew on it.  I said "Don't worry, Granmuddah brought EXTRA ones so you can have TWO!"   Little Lucas was winding down and got a nice long cuddle with HIS Granfaddah (Steve's brother Mark)

Them Three Pfundtner Boyz.....   Steve, Pete and Mark.  They are admiring some pics from Pete's recent trip  (I think it was a bunch pics of old cars from a museum)  What a good looking trio of men!

And the Patriarch of the Pfundtner Clan, their father, Paul.  It is his birthday soon, so he was busy opening presents.  (that is a bird seed wreath to hang out doors by their feeders) 

Once the meal was done, we all gathered by the hotel foyer where there was a tv, so we could keep tabs on the end of the Packer game.  (they won!)    Jen was keeping the boys occupied with rides on the bell-hop's cart!  What fun!   There wasn't anyone else around, so they weren't bothering anyone, and the hotel clerk at the desk smiled and enjoyed their antics.

Both boys were getting pretty sleepy, and Lucas has a long, long trip to Florida ahead of him.  
So hopefully he will sleep all the way to the southern part of Indiana 
once they hit the road after our gathering.

Good byes were said, and plans for Christmas were made. 

Now... we have to have Thanksgiving Gathering II on Sunday with our kids and grandkids. 
I am cooking up a bird, all the trimmings, and 10 more turkey cookies are saved for the day! 

We drove home and hung out watching the pre-recorded Packer Game all over again.  We knew the ending score of course, but it was fun to see all of the plays that we envisioned in our minds from listening to the  radio.   What a great ending to a nice day of family love.

As I write this, it's Black Friday.  We are avoiding the stores at all costs.  That type of craziness is not for us.   Instead, we are here at home, and little Chelsea came to spend the day.  Her daycare is closed, but her mommy is working and her daddy is hunting.   So Granfaddah made us up some homemade waffles for breakfast.  I think later we will put the stinker to work with us, putting up the holiday lights on the house and deck.  "What's the point of having a dwarf if he doesn't do chores?"   (my favorite line by Henry Fonda in 'On Golden Pond')    Then after naps, we might crack some eggs and bake some brownies?  

Oh.. speaking of hunting, both my brother and my sister got bucks up at hunting camp... they use every bit of the deer and fill their freezers for the winter.

Also my nephew Darren got a buck too!   They all hunt up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and it's a family tradition for all of them to head up into the woods to Da Camp.  Hunting season is so *sacred* up there that even the schools close down to allow the students to go out hunting too.

Our son-in-law Mark also got a buck and doe this year during bow season... So we have a whole slew of hunters in the family to provide venison for the rest of us!  LOL 

Well, the little one is done with her waffles, and Granfaddah is getting out the lights and garlands and cords for the outside decorating.  Time to get bundled up and head on out to help! 

We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with their friends and family.  We are so thankful that we have such good family to surround ourselves with this entire weekend, and looking forward to cooking up that TWENTY TWO POUND BIRD on Sunday! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Cookie Treats

Shhhhh don't tell any of the Pfundtners for the family gathering tomorrow.... 
or any of our kids and grandkids either for that matter! 

Here is the treat I was working on today------
 I saw a post on Facebook with a link to this page:

This has been a blast!   

First, I  decided to use a good sticky firm frosting, so I wrote an email to my buddy Donna, of Sam & Donna http://samdonna-5thwheelvagabonds.blogspot.com/    She made us some great brownies that had a firm solid frosting when she was here this summer.  

She said:
Use chocolate chips.. add a couple tablespoons of butter/margarine for every 12 oz of chips

heat in micro about 2 minutes....dont do it too long or will burn.
chips will still look whole until you stir....if too think add warm water a little at a time until it is consistency you want.

What to do first?  Start with the tails, add a bead of frosting along one edge,
stick in five candy corns and lay the tails flat on their backs to dry.... 

I was fortunate to find three different colors of candy corns for the tail feathers....

Next, stick the bases to the tails with a gob of frosting
 and wedge up against a flat surface to dry
(tails are still on their backs)

Now take mini Reese's peanut butter cups, shave off one side
and then stick them into place with gob of frosting
 on both sides that touch each of the cookies

add a malted milk ball (Whoppers) for the head,
again with a good dollop of frosting.
(they are still laying on their backs)  

Now that I knew it was gonna work, I started up two trays of turkeys,
and had them all firming in between sessions by sliding trays into the fridge.

I was on a roll now, so I ran to the store and got more cookies, and more peanut butter cups.

I had a whole assembly line going-------
(2 packs of Oreo Double Stuff is enough for 33 birds)

Now the fun starts..
This time, using white chocolate chips,  I melted it down the same way I melted the brown ones.
Using a wooden shishkabob skewer, put tiny dabs of white frosting for tiny eyes,
with a black candy sprinkle for the centers,
and stuck on cut off tips of candy corn for the beaks.

Then I added yellow food coloring to the leftover white frosting.
With this yellow, I started making little legs on the base cookies
 Each little turkey is getting his own distinct personality!

Now I changed over to red food coloring and made the
turkey waddle coming down alongside the beak.

I am taking 2 dozen of these silly little guys along to the family gathering tomorrow in Neenah with the Pfundtners, and saving the rest of them for Sunday, when all our kids and grandkids are coming to our house for the day....  I think they are going to look adorable, setting at each place on the table!

I hope everyone has a day of THANKFULNESS, LOVE AND LAUGHTER......

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tick Tock Tick Tock

Now that it is winter, and we are not RVing, I have to find something interesting to write about.   Maybe I will post some past trips we have taken to take up some space in winter posts on my blog?

But for now I will talk about a favorite-fix it product, called JB Weld....  This stuff can be used to fix many metal things in an RV, so I thought I would demonstrate how I used it for repairing something metal.

How often do we ever fix a watch?  You don't see old watch repair places or clockmakers anymore.  Even jewelers just ship things out to be repaired, taking weeks if not months to get it back.  When a watch dies, people toss it and buy another $30 Timex made in China...   We live in such a throw-away society instead of fixing things.

I have a favorite watch.  It's a cheapie, only about $20 from Avon, that I bought many, many years ago.

The little grandbabies always are fascinated by my watch when I hold them....   and they pull on it and examine it, and watch it snap back onto my wrist, as it's made of beads with stretchy bands of elastic.   The sparkling gemstones have faded over the years, but they still are amazed by "Grandma's watch"  and once they learn to talk, this is said in a breathless tone....  "Gamma's waaasshhhh"  It's almost said reverently and with fascination in their voices.  I have nooo idea why!  But they all do it!

I have replaced the elastic bands quite a few times, and it's a wonderful watch.  The watch still works, but the beads are made of a soft metal and some have worn away on the inside to where the hole is split open and the elastic will not hold in the bead....

I have not been able to find the same type of metal beads to replace them, soooooooo   out comes the JB Weld to fix each split bead!   JB Weld it a 2 part bonding epoxy agent with steel in it,  that makes a new metallic type repair on broken metal items.   Found in many hardware stores----

Now, I have seven or eight beads needing repair... but how to get the weld stuff to only go on the edge, but still leave a hole big enough for the elastic cord to get through?   hmmmmmm?   I decided to leave short pieces of the rubbery elastic in the hole to retain the shape of the hole while the JB weld is applied ... once it's dry, I can pull the pieces of elastic out and (hopefully) have the right hole shape retained!  

I mixed up equal parts of the two tubes of JB Weld with a popsicle stick....

I carefully dabbed the JB Weld onto the edge of each bead needing repair, 
and I also "beefed up" some of the other spots that hadn't quite broken through yet, but due to.  

And HERE are some of the repaired beads!   Good as new! 

I let the beads dry overnight to be sure they were well-cured.  Then I pulled out all the little pieces of old elastic and restrung them back up with new elastic cord.  A tweezer was needed to pull it through on a few beads because the holes were a bit snug.

And now my favorite watch is repaired, 
and able to fascinate the grandkiddos again!