Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mennonite Girls Can Cook

I love the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog, best recipes ever.  They also sometimes blog thoughts and spiritual insights.  This one was too good not to share.  If you are busy busy busy this season then this post is for you!

I hope you are as blessed in reading it as I was!

Hill Country Thanksgiving Part III

Another Thanksgiving Post? Well, I have a new camera – what can I say????

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving we took a tour of the LBJ house.  You can’t take pictures inside, but I have a few of the outside.


President LBJ would often meet with dignitaries and important military folks right here under these oak trees.


This was his daughter’s car, parked right outside under the car port.


The funny thing is, that it really is just a regular old 1960’s kind of house. It isn’t really *fancy* but when you sit out under the trees by the river you can really feel why the Johnson’s loved it here so much and considered it their home.

That afternoon Will and I took the kids to hike up Enchanted Rock.  The day had grown a little overcast and windy, it was very cold once we were up on top. 

(And yeah - I’m probably the only person who carries a purse hiking! But I wanted something to carry the new camera in, It came with a really big bulky bag and I wanted something I could carry across me if I needed my hands free to wrangle kids.)


Honestly I was a little nervous in some parts because the kids were just running up the trail and it had rained so the rock was very slick. I just had visions of Bella rolling down! (Naturally she said she thought that would be fun!)

This next one hasn’t been retouched in any way – it was just a strange day weather wise with patches of sun and also large patches of dark gray clouds. It was neat to see it from so high up.


Here is Jacob celebrating when we made it to the top. All the others at the top smiled because he was so exuberant.


On Sunday Will and his Dad took the kids fishing.  I was busy packing so I didn’t get out there to take pictures but here are the guys as they were headed back in.

I don’t think I can emphasize enough what a great time Lady had.


We packed up and visited one more winery before heading home.  William and Chris is our new favorite winery, their process is all handcrafted, small batch, just as things were done a hundred years ago. It is a very unpretentious winery that is putting out some excellent wines.



We had a simply wonderful time on our trip.  A great time with food and family in a simple, lovely setting.

To top it all off our favorite Austin restaurant, Trudy’s, now has a location out by the “Y” as you come in 290 towards Austin, so we also stopped in for lunch on the way home. The only thing better than a Hill Country Thanksgiving – is a Hill Country Thanksgiving + Great wine + QUESO!

Hill Country Thanksgiving Part II

In the early mornings and evenings on the ranch the deer come out to play.


These are cattle from a special herd maintained on the ranch, descendants from those that President LBJ raised.  They are kept the same size/color standards as they were in 1960’s. Which wasn’t that long ago but is still kind of neat. These are Herefords I think they said, very shaggy and orange.


One downside to the ranch, no wi-fi and very poor cell phone reception.  We found a nearby park, which had wi-fi. So all the grown ups were happy to be able to check email and Facebook while the kids played.


This trip was a grand adventure for Lady. She was so glad to get to come with us and she quickly commandeered one of the living room chairs as her own.


We went “into town” for lunch, and some shopping. Shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving in Fredericksburg is nuts! (But fun)



Naturally Will and I had a different sort of trip than what we did when we went by ourselves back in March. But it was really fun to share our favorites spots with family.

We did manage a few wineries!

These were taken around sunset.


I liked the lights in the trees.



This picture below I finally got what I was after, with the glass in focus and the lights in the trees blurring out behind. It took a few tries though!  I sort of think this one could be in a magazine or something, I was pleased with how it came out.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hill Country Thanksgiving Part I

We spent Thanksgiving this year in the Hill Country.  Our family stayed in a guesthouse on the LBJ Ranch, in Stonewall, TX, near Fredericksburg.

Our house was nestled under live oaks between the main “Texas Whitehouse” (President LBJ’s home) on the banks of the Pedernales River.



Early morning sun peaking through the branches, fields and river all misty.


The Pedernales.


Behind the house is the airstrip and the hanger for the jet that was Airforce One when LBJ was president.


Also behind the house were fields with goats, sheet, and cattle.  Of course we went exploring.

We found a turtle.


Since it was Thanksgiving Day there were no tours of the main house, and we had our run of the place. We checked out the pool area.


Ran around in the fields


Swang in the swings.


Threw stuff into the river.


Played football. (This picture below is one of the best of the trip in my opinion)


My sweet niece Lulu in her Batman outfit.


In the afternoon, while the turkey was roasting, we had wine and cheese out in the yard.


The weather was crisp and sunny, absolutely perfect, so we opted to have our Thanksgiving out on the screened porch. The table wasn’t fancy but it was peaceful, beside the river under the trees, with a simple bowl of apples for a centerpiece.


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