Cozy Kitty Weather

  
Today is a bit of a gray, chilly, windy day. A definite “blustery day” as Winnie the Pooh would say. On days like this, I usually find the kitties all curled up in various spots around the house keeping warm. One of Edward’s favorite new spots to snuggle up is on the top of the love seat in our bedroom. If I were a cat, I think I’d like it too – sunk down in the pillow, surrounded by warm blankets. So cozy!  

  

When he’s not in this spot, Edward is usually snuggled up next to my pillows on the bed, a spot I’m not too keen on, since I tend to be allergic to cats, but I hate to deprive him of since he’s such a sweet & timid cat. I will usually gently nudge him away from my pillow, but even that tends to make him run off. Edward was adopted from our barn when he was a little guy, and still has a bit of a fearful temperament. 

  
Here is sweet Macey, all curled up and adorable. She sleeps like this a lot and I can never resist taking pictures of her when she does!  When they look this cuddly, I just want to scoop them up and hold them, which I often do, much to their chagrin.

  

Grace is famously known around here for sleeping in any box, basket, or container that is found on the floor.  She is a funny, quirky kitty, and it’s always fun to find her tucked into a little unexpected spot.  

  
Not to be outdone by the cats, even Rowan can be found all snuggled up, enjoying a nap on a day like today.  This weather makes all of us want to stay inside and drink hot chocolate, play games, and watch movies – one of my favorite things about winter.  Oh, and sew. . . this weather definitely makes me want to sew.  Excuse me while I go thread my machine. . .

Enjoy your snuggly home today!

Blessings,

Nancy

A Lovely Day

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Today was a lovely day. January – but the temperature was in the 70’s and did I ever get Spring Fever! I spent most of the afternoon outside planning my gardens for this year. I also washed off the porch rockers and spent some time there thinking and enjoying the weather. The kids kept busy playing four-square, basketball, and exploring by the pond. Michael got out my Dad’s old tackle box and tried to get his fishing pole lined up.

I had mixed up some Taco Soup in the crock-pot earlier in the day, so all I needed to do for dinner was pop some cornbread in the oven, which gave me even more time to enjoy the outdoors. Sarah baked some Brownie Pops, so dessert was covered, too.

As the sun started to set this evening, the sky was very beautiful, all striped in blue and pink. The moon came out and was lit up with a lovely bright white light. It was a serendipity day – a blessing that I didn’t expect. The kind that makes my heart sing and my soul praise the Lord.

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.”
-Psalm 19:1-4

I’m so thankful for this lovely day – a nice break from winter to enjoy, and the promise of Spring ahead that it brings to mind.

Blessings,
Nancy

Iced In

I know that many around the country are dealing with snow and ice this week, and we are no exception. It started for us Tuesday morning, when we had rain, which turned to freezing rain and snow – mostly ice. The temperatures have not been above freezing since then and so the ice remains. Many businesses have been shut down all week, and so far, all of our “out of the house” activities have been cancelled too. We have been keeping busy with school (a little), games, movies, and cleaning projects. Jeff worked from home the first two days, but crept in to work today. We are expecting a little more snow tomorrow, but the temperatures should go above freezing finally on Saturday, so there is an end in sight!

I filled the bird feeders on Monday, and have enjoyed watching the many little visitors all week – sometimes around 30 at a time. I have seen many sparrows, cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, and juncos.

Hope you are staying warm where you are this week!

Blessings,
Nancy

Winter Nature Walk

On Monday I took a walk with the kids around the property to see what we could find. The snow had stopped falling and the air was cold and still. We ventured farther than the day before when snowball fights and snowman building was the priority of the day. As we walked, I was amazed to find treasures in the winter landscape that would have gone unnoticed had I not ventured out – I was so glad that I did!

I love the look of snow on trees and so I took a few pictures of them, although the pictures never do the real thing justice. The red berries on the tree above really popped in the white snow – truly beautiful!

Icicles on the barn ~

We found a number of pretty evergreens blanketed in snow back by the creek ~

One of the kids had walked around in circles the day before and we came upon their tracks ~

And then we came across these tracks – behind the barn and leading down the peninsula and then down to the creek. We think it is probably from a deer ~

We spent alot of time inspecting these tracks and the creek at the back of our lot. My camera battery started to die and so I didn’t get as many pictures as I would like. I was able to squeeze out a couple more before we went back inside. We think that these little tracks were probably made by a squirrel. ~

Snowy nature walks are extra special around here, because we only get to take them once or twice a year. This was our first chance this year ~ we’ll see if we get another one in the next month or so.

Stay warm and have a wonderful day!

Blessings,
Nancy

A Fun Snowy Day

Yesterday we were blessed with a fun and beautiful snowy day around our part of the world. The snow started to fall late morning and it came down hard ~

Most of the kids and I stayed home from church due to the wintry mix that was falling preceding the snow. I don’t like to be out and about in that stuff at all. We were all pretty excited to see those large flakes falling from the sky, but David was extra excited and kept reporting on everything that was being covered by it -“Your car is all covered in snow, Mom!” and “The pool toys are covered with snow, Mom!” and “The front part that’s not the sidewalk that’s by the sidewalk is covered up in snow, Mom!”

Even Macey was fascinated by the changing world outside ~

And Jack got to spend a warm and cozy day inside ~

About the time Jeff arrived home from church I determined that enough snow had fallen to make it worthwhile to send them all out in it to play. . . so out came the winter hat, scarf, and mitten box, and on went the warm clothes, shoes, coats and hats.

They headed out the front door all ready for fun in the snow ~

The snowball fights commenced quickly and children (and their father) were running all around the house and yard blasting each other ~

I went out to snap some pictures, but spent most of the day inside peering out the windows – after all, someone had to make the hot chocolate for the cold and weary snowpeople, right?

And I made some of these for everyone, too ~

Sarah stayed out the longest, since she was the only one who decided to build a snowman and she worked on it for quite awhile ~

After about an hour or so, most of the children were back inside to warm up and drink hot chocolate and warm cookies and watch “White Christmas” (yet again – I told you before it’s one of our favorites this year!)

I spent some time finishing up this little mini quilt ~ it is the first in a year long series. There will be a different mini quilt for each month that I can display on this pretty metal stand ~

After the movie was over the kids bundled up again and went out for another play in the snow before it got dark. I took a few more pictures ~

Laura took Jack out for a romp in the snow, which he thoroughly enjoyed ~

By bedtime there were wet coats, mittens, hats, scarfs, socks, shoes, and clothes laying around drying; and lots of tired, but satisfied children laying around also ~ they slept well indeed.

Blessings,
Nancy

Chicken Tetrazzini

This is a delicious, warm, comfort casserole for those chilly winter nights. I make this year round, but it is especially good at this time of year. I have been making Chicken Tetrazzini for my entire married life, but a few years back my brother-in-law and sister-in-law brought this to us for dinner (I think after David was born) and it was so creamy and wonderful I asked them for the recipe. It turns out that the recipe came from Southern Living magazine, and it is the recipe that I have used for Chicken Tetrazzini ever since. It is simple, easy and did I mention delicious?

Chicken Tetrazzini

1 (16 oz.) package vermicelli (I just use regular spaghetti)
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of celery soup
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
1 (6 oz.) jar sliced mushrooms, drained (I leave these out)
1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese (I think I usually use a bit more) – this is not the grated cheese in the jar, but the shredded found in bags in the cheese section of the grocery store.
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese

– Cook vermicelli according to package directions; drain. Return to pot and toss with chicken broth.

– Stir together chicken and next 8 ingredients, add vermicelli, and toss well. Spoon mixture into 2 lightly greased 11 x 7 inch baking dishes (I use one 13 x 9 dish). Sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese.

– Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Makes 12 servings.

This casserole is great with a tossed salad, rolls and something chocolatey for dessert. Enjoy!

Blessings,
Nancy

Welcome December!


Photo courtesy of Flickr

December has arrived, as well as everything wonderful that goes along with it! The snow has started to fall on the blog and our household is busy as elves with preparations and celebrations of the season. I know that I’ve been amiss at posting this past month, but I will try my best to sit and write more during the month of December. Take some time to settle down with a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy the quiet moments (when you can find them) this month.

Be back soon ~

Blessings,
Nancy