Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

Last weekend my Dad and his girlfriend came over for dinner and a little pumpkin carving action. After the Parmesan chicken was cleaned up we brought our pumpkins in and got to work. I think the hardest thing was deciding what to carve. My middle chick was determined to do her pumpkin 100% on her own. And with the exception of making the first cut to take the top of, she did. She scooped, cleaned, drew and carved her pumpkin all by herself!
The other two girls wanted something a little more than a pumpkin face so we went to a couple different sites for inspiration. Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart both have some awesome ideas!
We ended up with a scaredy cat and a cat face. And here they are...
(Please don't mind my little chick in her panties. We're going through an anti-pants phase.)
Did you get creative with your pumpkin carving?

Harvest blessings.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This Side of Heaven

I just finished another incredible book by my favorite author, Karen Kingsbury. I absolutely love her writing. I love how I read the pages of her books and feel like I am deep in a Bible study. I close the book feeling spiritually full.
This Side of Heaven is about a man named Josh who finds out he has a daughter from a wild trip to Las Vegas. He has no medical proof the girl is his and his family finds the whole situation a little too impossible. Despite every one's doubt he dreams of one day being a father to his precious little girl.
This Side of Heaven is another story of how things may not always go the way we want but God's Will is always better.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Pickin'

I am blessed to live in a part of the country that experiences all four seasons. Each season has it's own personal beauty, but autumn is by far my favorite. It is also my middle daughter's favorite season. I love the colors, smells, food, drinks, decor, weather, all of it. She loves her October birthday and celebrating at Green Bluff, picking pumpkins.
Last weekend Tall Man and I gathered our little chicks, packed a lunch, picked up my sister and niece and headed to a little slice of Harvest Heaven in a small farming community called Green Bluff. My favorite mother and father-in-law came to town for the weekend to join us, as well as my sister-in-laws family.
First we had lunch and opened a few presents. My sister-in-law brought each of my girls a ginormous sucker. Thank you so much!
I got an awesome Abreadcrumb & fish sweatshirt. I LOVE it!!
We enjoyed the live music for a bit and decided to get to work finding the perfect pumpkin, the rest of the presents could wait for later. But first I had to get a snapshot of me and my Tall Man. People always offer to take a picture of us but we always end getting at least one shot with one arm stretched out.
My sister and niece are ready to go!
Off we went, my three girls in their denim jackets, Tall Man and I in autumn colored sweaters. Of course I planned this! The photo ops were endless! The birthday girl found the biggest pumpkin she could hardly lift off the ground.
Littlest chick changed her mind a few times and left with this one.
Our oldest chick is so cooperative when it comes to getting her pictures taken. The younger two... not so much. I end up taking a ton of pictures of my oldest because she's just so willing.
My favorite father-in-law got this picture of me trying to get my girls situated so I could take a picture.
Before we left we were able to get a few pictures that may or may not make up our Christmas card this year. I love the way my oldest is admiring her Daddy in this picture.
All three chicks, sort of smiling and in my general direction. Yay!
The Tall Man and I. I really like this picture of us, may be a new favorite.
Now back to business. Paying for these pumpkins. We ended up with the three pumpkins the girls picked out and one white pumpkin for me. Our grand total for four pumpkins... 51.41 pounds!!! Wowza!!
I love the whole experience of going to Green Bluff. In fact we were counting how many times I said "It's all part of the experience." I think the total was six times in three hours. The traffic getting there, the parking in a field and walking forever, live music, pumpkins for $0.35/lb instead of $0.22/lb waiting in a line for thirty minutes to pay, the beautiful smiles on my girls faces when they find the perfect pumpkin... It's all part of the experience. I love it!

Harvest blessings.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Field Trip

Last week I went with a handful of moms and about a dozen preschoolers on their first class field trip. We met at the preschool, loaded up the students and caravaned twenty minutes down the road to a place called Carver Farms. My family has been to Carver Farms before and I've taken a couple MOPS group trips out there as well. This trip was especially fun though. It was the first time I went out there with only one child. Not that I don't enjoy all my chicks together but if you're a parent you know how nice it is to spend time with just one of your children. You can give them your undivided attention and really enjoy what you're doing with them.
We spent a couple hours at Carver doing a lot of fun things. First we gathered together and went through the corn maze.
When we made our way out we were directed over to the many rows of popcorn. Each person could pick two ears of corn. Any size or color. We also took home a copy of drying and popping instructions for the popcorn, I'll have to share with you how that turns out.
While we waited for our tractor ride we picked a couple green peppers.
Then climbed up onto a trailer and sat on bails of hay while a tractor pulled us out to the pumpkin patch. Once we were given instructions all the kids and parents unloaded and spread out to find the perfect two gourds, two mini pumpkins and one small pumpkin. This was the fun part, watching all the children run around looking for the smallest mini pumpkin or the gourd with the most "warts." They were so cute! My littlest chick found her two favorite "little mini pumpkins" and a couple small gourds. I found a really cool yellow gourd that looks like a star at the bottom.
Once every one's bag was full we loaded back onto the tractor and to a large maple tree with picnic tables around it. Here everyone got a bag of popcorn and gathered around the tree for a class picture. Here's a snapshot of my little one picking popcorn out of her teeth with her teacher. Lol.
When we got home I cleaned up our harvest and took a picture to share. I'm terrible because there's a part of me that really wants to spray paint some of these babies a nice Heirloom White.

Harvest blessings.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Patches and Harvest Parties

We've had a few days full of pumpkin patches, corn mazes and harvest parties. I'm excited to share all the details with you. Now if I can just get a few minutes to sit write out a few posts. Here's a sneak peak at what's to come...

Harvest blessings.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cowboy Cookies

When I started My Northwest Nest I thought I'd be sharing crafts, DIY, recipes, books, etc. with all of you. And I'm pretty sure I've shared only a couple yummy summer drinks with you. I know why I haven't shared more recipes, it's because what has been made that I want to share gets eaten so fast. As I clear the table I say to myself "Poop! I forgot to take a picture again. Dang it."
As I was baking cookies the other day I remembered to take pictures and now I get to share. Yay! I made Cowboy Cookies. Have you ever had them? I had never heard of them but man they were so good! You can put a little bit of everything in them if you want. I got the recipe I used from Delicious Dixie. Here is a sneak peak of the cookie dough, good luck getting it all into the oven with sneaking like five spoonfuls. It is SO good.

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 eggs
3 cups chocolate chips
3 cups oats
2 cups flaked coconut
2 cups chopped pecans (optional, but you REALLY REALLY want to add them!)

In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in sugars and vanilla. Add eggs and beat well. Add flour mixture and stir just until combined. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut, and pecans. If you haven't already eaten all of the cookie dough, form 2" balls and place onto a greased baking sheet (or sheet with parchment paper...easier clean-up!). Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

I chose not to put the chopped pecans in my cookies because each of my little chicks share a class room with a child who has a nut allergy. I do not want to be responsible for any allergic reaction. I've also heard some people put raisins in the dough. The recipe makes about six dozen cookies so you have plenty to share, freeze or keep all to yourself. Your pick.


Linking to: House of Hepworths

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

Today my middle chick turns seven. This girl has been difficult since day one, and I mean day one of my pregnancy! I was sick, had gestational diabetes, had a long, hard labor, she had colic for the first ten months of her life, I could go on. She still challenges me on a daily basis. Over time I have realized she is the most like me and maybe that has something to do with our challenges.
No matter what the challenge, this precious girl absolutely amazes me and I love her unconditionally.
Happy seventh birthday to my beautiful girl! I love you!


Friday, October 8, 2010

Birthday Card

I was taking down birthday cards from my youngest chicks August birthday and wanted to share with you one of the cards she received. First I should say, I didn't just take down the cards, this was about three weeks ago and I'm just now getting around to making a post about the card.
Now that I've cleared up that I am a lazy blogger, not a lazy cleaner...
My little chick got this card from my Dad and his "very long term, practically step-mom" girlfriend. Of course to my girls, they're Grandpa and Grandma. Grandma happens to be a lover of stamping, Cricut, everything crafty so she always delivers cute little cards like this one.
Just thought I'd share with you some of the work from my crafty family.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chore Chart

Chore charts are everywhere lately. Of course they are, who doesn't want their kids to pitch in around the house? And if you can make a cute craft out of it, it's like a win-win situation!
Have you seen all the chore charts around blog land? Here are just a few I've seen around.
How Does She? doesn't use a chart but a 2x4. Somewhat Simple and Casa Camacho also have great versions of the chore chart.
I started out with a small sheet of metal and scrapbook paper. I had it almost complete and decided I didn't like it. So I scrapped that idea and started over.
There are tons of ideas if you google "home made chore charts." They were great but when I saw I saw Brown Paper Packages dry erase chore chart, I decided it was perfect for our needs. Here is what I ended up with.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Acorn Frame

When I was a little girl my mom would take my sister and I to meet my grandma at a local park every fall. We would go in late September or early October, depending on how quickly the cool air was setting in. What were we doing there? We were collecting acorns. Tons of them! I remember my mom would clean them up and make Christmas crafts. Ornaments and all sorts of things. They were so cute!It has been years since we collected acorns but I've decided this year we should start again. Unfortunately we'll be missing a very important person, my grandma Bea. She was an amazing grandma, we shared a love of softball and grilled cheese sandwiches. We have however added four little ladies to the group, my three daughters and my niece, and we'll remember our grandma with every acorn we collect.
This autumn our weather can't really decide what it's going to do. One week it's raining and 55, the next it's sunny and 80. Aaackkk!! Makes it hard to plan. My mom decided just to send me some acorns she had from a past trip to the park so I could start the autumn crafts I had in mind. We will go collect acorns as a family when the weather makes up it's mind and maybe my mom will show us how to make the Christmas ornaments she made when I was a child.
My first acorn project was inspired by one of my very favorite magazines, Better Homes and Gardens.
I haven't decided what I'm going to put in the frame but here is how my acorn frame turned out.
In these pictures, it's framing my dining room table centerpiece. I'm sure I'll find something to frame. Maybe it will sit empty until I go with my mom, sister and our girls to collect acorns, restarting a family tradition.
Do you have any special autumn family traditions? Do share!

Autumn Blessings.