Thursday, December 27, 2007

Two more minis went to a new home

Jasper and Hazey went to their new home on Christmas Eve. I believe this is the first time in many years that we sold out of colts.

We do still have some nice miniature mares available. They are on the website at

Season's Greetings

Well, another Christmas has passed. I am always sad when it is over. I hope everyone received a special blessing this season. And a gift that they truly wanted. My sweet son, Jeff, gave me a neat digital photo frame. And his girlfriend Robin gave us a really fun game... the latest Cranium. We played it Christmas day and it was a hoot.

Overall we had a great time, with good food and good health... well, Bob was fighting allergies, it appears the Noble Fir is the culprit. So it was outside by noon yesterday. Booo... it will be artificial trees from now on. In fact, he just called to say he found a 7.5 foot pre-lit tree for half off at Wal-Mart.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Yummy Holiday Cake Recipes

Remember the cookie recipe email that went around? I posted it on the blog on November 9th. Now there is a similar one for cakes! The links point to the same great Northpole website. Here they are as an easy index to some great cake recipes.
'Night Before Christmas' Coffee Cake, 'Real New York Style' Cheesecake Supreme, A Cake That's Fit For A Queen, Amaretto Italian Sour Cream Cake, Amazing Tropical Fruit Cake, Apple and Nut Cake, Apple Cake, Apple Cake, Apple Sauce Cake, Applesauce Fruitcake, Apricot Nectar Pound Cake, Baby Cheescakes Baby Cheesecakes, Banana Cake, Barron Family Cheesecake, Baumtorte (Tree Cake), Becky's Pumpkin Cupcakes, Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake, Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake, Broken Angel Cake With Chocolate Chips, Candied Fruit Cake, Carmel Coffee Cake, Carrot Cake with Hot Glaze, Carrot-Pineapple Cake, Cherry Cake, Cherry Cake Sauce, Cherry Cheesecake Cups, Cherry-Pineapple Dump Cake, Chocolate Angel Food, Chocolate Browny Cake, Chocolate Cookie Sheet Cake, Chocolate Éclair Cake, Chocolate Ice Box Dessert, Chocolate Logs, Chocolate Lovers Heaven Triple Threat Chocolate Di, Chocolate Sheet Cake, Chocolate welington fudge pudding, Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cake, Christmas Cake, Christmas choclate cake, Christmas Mixed Glace Fruit Loaf, Christmas-Comes-But-Once-A-Year-Chocolate Cake, Cinnamon Morning Delight, Coca-Cola Cake, Coconut Cake, Cookie Pizza, Cream Cheese Icing, Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Cream Puff Cake, Creamy Chocolate Cupcakes, Creamy Chocolate Layered Cake, Decadent Chocolate Cake, Decadent Fudge Cake, Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars, Dream Cake, Dreamcicle Cake, Drizzle Cake, Earthquake Cake, Easy Cocoa Snack Cake, Easy Coconut Cake, Éclair Cake, Edie Ching's Cherry Cheesecake, Eggnog Cake, Extra Moist Coconut Cakes, Festive Pumpkin Gingerbread, Flower Garden Cake, Fruit Cake, Fruit Cocktail Cake, German Chocolate Upside-Down Cake, Golden Bacardi Rum Cake, Gooey Butter Cake, Gum drop cake, Heavenly Pecan Cake, Hedge Hog Cake, Holiday Cake, Holiday Poke Cake, Holiday Rum Cake, Honey Bun Cake, Honey Cake, Hot Fudge Pudding Cake, Hummingbird Cake, Ice-Cream Chocolate Roll, Jewish Apple Cake, Johnny Appleseed Cake, Lemon Cake, Lemon Poppyseed Cakes, Lemon Pound Cake, Linda's Yule Log, Mama's Homemade Banana Cake, Mandy's Cake, Microwave Scottish Pudding, Mini Fruitcakes, Miniature Cheesecakes, Mississippi Fudge Cake, Mississippi Mud, Mock Lemon Meringue Cake, Neiman Marcus Cake, No Bake Fruit Cake, Norwegian Gold Cake, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake, Old Fashion Pound Cake, Old Fashioned Light Fruitcake, Orange Date-Nut Cake, Orange Slice Cake, Oreo Cheesecake, Peanut-Topped Devil's Food, Pecan Icing, Pennsylvania Dutch Pastry, Pineapple Heaven, Plum-Nut Cake, Pound Cake Pound Cake, Pumpkin Cake Roll, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin log, Pumpkin Nut Roll, Pumpkin Pie Cake, Pumpkin Roll, Queen's Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Reese`s white cake, Reese's Brownie Cupcakes, Refrigerator Chocolate Cheesecake, Russian Tea Cakes, Russian Teacakes, Santa's Breakfast Cake, Self-Filled Cupcakes, Shirley's Chocolate Sheet Cake, Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Sour Cream Pound Cake, Southern Apple Cake, Swedish Nut Cake, Tiny Christmas Fruitcakes, Toll House Carrot Cake, Triple Chocolate Torte, Turtle Bars, Turtle Cake, Warcake, Watergate Cake, White Christmas Loaf, World War I Cake, World War II Cake

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Avery's first photo

My niece Kelly sent me a photo of her daughter that will be born next February. Isn't she precious? And isn't technology amazing that a photo like this can be taken before a baby is born?
"For You Created My Inmost Being; You Knit Me Together in My Mother's Womb" -Psalms 139:13

The Name Lab

Here is a really neat website about names...
You can track the rise and fall of naming trends over the years, and see where your favorite names rank on the list. Or do you and your name go together like a black suit and brown shoes? Find out what you should have been named, based on your personality traits. Test your knowledge of names with questions about origin, meaning, popularity, and more on this website sponsored by the Family Education site.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A thing of beauty...

. . .A horse is a thing of such beauty. . .none will tire of looking at him as long as he displays himself in his splendor.

Choose Your Presidential Candidate

Here is an interesting website with a quiz to help you choose your Presidential candidate. Go to the link below and provide your answers to issues of importance in the upcoming Presidential campaign and then see which candidates share your views.
Then pass this on to everyone of voting age so they can see which candidate, be it right or left, best fits them.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dear Husband!

Today is Bob's birthday...
Here is a photo of him and his new pet, Xena.

St. Nicholas and American Christmas Customs

Immigrants brought cherished St. Nicholas holiday traditions to the United States. Some of them are:

  • Christmas stockings by the fireplace
  • Orange or tangerine in the toe of filled Christmas stockings
  • Candy Canes - All bishops carry staffs, hooked at the top like a shepherd's crook, showing they are the shepherds who care for, or tend, their people.
  • Gift-giving in secret, during the night - Nicholas did his gift giving secretly, under cover of darkness. He didn't want to be seen and recognized as he wanted those he helped to give thanks to God.
  • Seasonal concern for the needy- St. Nicholas gave gifts to those in greatest need—the young and the most vulnerable.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Happy Birthday, Bill!

Lots of birthdays come around this time of year in our family. Bob's father, Bill Brown celebrated his today. I found this scan of Bill and his "Mudder" and younger sisters, Patsy and Martha, I believe.
There is such a family resemblance in the Brown family. I'll have to dig up pictures of Jeff, daddy Bob, and grandpa Bill as kids. And here is a photo of Bill's mother and father (Mudder and Poppy).

I hope it brings back fond memories, Bill.

Happy Birthday!

Where should you shop? Check the list...

The Liberty Counsel website keeps a list at Christmas of businesses that celebrate Christmas and those who DON'T.

Here's some of the NAUGHTY ones! Take note of these stores that want your Christmas gift business but don't want to acknowledge the reason for the season.

  • – Web site: “Holiday Toy List,” “Holiday ordering cut off” to guarantee delivery by Dec 24.

  • Circuit City – Web site: “Holiday Gift Guide,” “Free shipping by December 24th.”

  • CVS – Report: No “Merry Christmas” in stores. Instead: “Give. Get. Save.” Corporate office representative had a prepared statement for holiday complaints. Web site: “Holiday Shipping Schedule” for delivery by December 24.

  • Gap – Web site: “For the Season.” “Holiday Doggie Pajamas,” “Sweet Holiday Dreams Long Sleep Set,” “Holiday Graphic Bodysuit,” “Holiday Letters Bodysuit.” No mention of Christmas.

  • Home Depot – Web site: Everything is red and green, but it’s the “Holiday Gift Center,” “Holiday Décor,” “Home for the Holidays,” “Holiday Trees,” not Christmas trees. No mention of Christmas.

  • K-Mart – Web site: “Holiday Shop,” “Holiday Toys,” “Get it in time for the Holiday,” “Holiday Planner.” They are calling Christmas “The Holiday.” Flyer advertises “Holiday trees.”

  • Kohl’s – Report: “Holiday shopping list,” no Christmas trees, just Trees, “Hanukkah” section, “Holiday: find the perfect gifts,” “45 days left – shipping deadlines,” “stocking stuffers,” “St. Nicholas Square” and “Nativity” section, but never mentions “Christmas.”

  • Lane Bryant – “Holiday HQ,” “Gift Guide,” “For a truly special holiday gift…” “Holiday Season,” “Holiday Looks,” and “Holiday Style” on the web site. Typing “Christmas” in the search engine brings up nothing.

  • Lowe’s – Web site: “Holiday Décor,” “Artificial Trees,” many Christmas items, Nativity Scenes, Santa decorations, etc., but not called “Christmas.” Apologized for advertising “Family Trees,” but report said latest flyer still used the expression. VA Report: Local store has “Christmas trees.”

  • Marshalls – Front Page of the web site: “Who Wants a Holiday That Looks Like Everyone Elses?” “Holiday Style,” and “Holiday Decorating Ideas.” No mention of Christmas.

  • Nordstrom – Web site: “Once Upon a Holiday… gifts were given,” “Great Gifting.” No mention of Christmas. Dec 19 “Last day to make Holiday deadline.”

  • Office Max – Web site: “Great Gifts for the Holiday,” “Snappy Holiday Gift Ideas,” “Furnish your office in time for the holidays,” and “Everything you need this holiday season and beyond.” No mention of Christmas.

  • Old Navy – “Holiday Favorites,” “Holiday Morning,” “Season in Style,” and “Holiday Gift Guide” sections on the web site. No mention of Christmas.

  • Sears – Letter from Sears: “We decided to call them holiday trees because even if Christians are the only religion that uses a Christmas tree we still do not want complaints from other customers…” “Wishbook: Holiday Catalog 2007,” “Hottest Holiday gift ideas,” Web site: Holiday Shopping section. December 25 is “the holiday.”

  • Sprint – Web site: “Tis the season to give SprintSpeed,” “Holiday Entertainment,” “Holiday Season,” and “Sprint lights up the Holidays.” No mention of Christmas.

Celebrate Nikolausabend - It's Nickolas Eve

Since Santa Claus suddenly appears everywhere at this time, why not remember the saint who is likely his original-- St. Nicholas, whose feast day is December 6th? His example of quiet, generous giving is worth recalling, especially for children.

St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra left gold coins in the shoes of poor girls who didn't have a dowry. You might leave goodies (such as gold foiled covered chocolate coins wrapped in a plastic bag) in children's shoes so that they awake on December 6th to a gift from the good saint.

I read on one website that originally children left hay and treats like carrots for St. Nicholas' horse in their shoes to be replaced with treats. Now they simply put a shoe or boot outside their bedroom door, window or by the fireplace on the evening of 5th of December, hoping to find it full of sweets, biscuits, nuts and fruit the next morning. I am sure our horses would appreciate the original idea!

Here are links with information about Saint Nicholas:

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy Barbarazweig – Or St. Barbara’s Day

Searching online for German Christmas traditions, I found that today is Barbarazweig or St. Barbara’s Day. St. Barbara is the saint of artillerymen. Her story is quite sad, her father killed her because she became a Christian.

The Germans have a tradition of placing a twig of a cherry or apple tree into a bowl of water on St. Barbara's Day; it is good luck if it blossoms by Christmas day.

Other regions in Germany will try and sprout wheat instead of branches, but the theme of growth following winter solstice is consistent. If you are unable to get a live branch from one of these trees, consider putting an apple or another fruity incense cone into a German smoker and enjoy watching the scent “blossom” and waft.

You can read more about her at this link:

HowToBe ACA #4-5

"Teach your children pride in their ancestors' holiday customs."
"Visit local museums to see how Christmas is celebrated in the past and around the world."

These were similar so I picked both of them. Our family is mostly German-Norwegian so we have lots of the same traditions. German Christmas customs have spread throughout the world wherever Christmas is celebrated. From the Christmas tree (Tannenbaum) to "Silent Night" ("Stille Nacht") and on to the Advent calendar (Adventskalender), people around the globe have adopted many traditions that began in the German-speaking world.

Fröhliche Weihnachten! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Fall is still in the air or is that summer?

What a beautiful day! Low 80's and sunny. We took these photos while crossing two rivers on the way home from church. The top photo is of the low water crossing on Hog Creek. The bottom photo is of the Middle Bosque River canyon.