featuring… Finn!

Last Saturday was Finn's big day- the livestock exhibition! Unfortunately, he didn't do so well- which didn't matter to him, but it was a bit disappointing for me.

As soon as we got in the show ring, that lamb started jumping and trying to get away. It was a completely new experience, so I don't blame him for being afraid.

I eventually got him set up square and and bracing against my leg. The judge seemed to like us and pulled us out of line first. I was pretty excited, but in the end she chose the two girls next in line to move on to the next round.

We had a good run, and even though we didn't win, it was worth all the hard work.

simple pleasures

Spring is here! If this picture doesn't prove it to you, then my allergies sure would.

I've got spring fever worse than anything (except for maybe hay fever…) There are only three exams left standing between me and graduation, but they seem more like mountains blocking the road to summer. I'm ready for swimming, playing outside, sewing, photoshoots, and relaxing with my best friend.

summer sweet

Summer is just around the corner, which means it's about time to sit outside and sip on some cold lemonade. But what if you just aren't thirsty? You need something cool for your tastebuds to enjoy on a hot day! Luckily, I'm here to help you out.


These delcious Lemon Drop Cupcakes came from the Better Homes & Gardens website. I did do some substituting and they still turned out just as lemony delicious as possible.

Ingredients

  • 3/4  cup  butter
  • 3    eggs
  • 1-3/4  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 2/3  cup  milk
  • 1/4  cup  limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur) or milk with 3.5 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1-1/2  cups  sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1  recipe  Lemon Frosting
  • 1/2  cup  lemon drop candies, finely crushed, or Glazed Lemon Slices

Directions

1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line twenty 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup combine milk and lemon extract mixture; set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and lemon peel; beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.

3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.

4. Bake about 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.

5. Up to 1 hour before serving, generously spread or pipe Lemon Frosting on each cupcake. Place crushed candies on a plate. Roll the edges of the cupcakes in crushed candies to coat. Or top cupcakes with a Glazed Lemon Slice. Makes 20 (2-1/2 inch) cupcakes.

Lemon Frosting: Allow 1/3 cup butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large mixing bowl beat butter, 1/3 cup shortening, and 1 teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Slowly add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating well. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Gradually beat in 2 cups additional powdered sugar. Beat in 1 to 2 tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until frosting reaches a spreading consistency. Makes about 2-1/3 cups frosting.

Enjoy!

oh, baby!

Big news today- one of the mares, Whiskey, had her foal! Her name is Amaretta, and she looks just like her mama.

These are the mares we've been working with in my horse lab and doing foal watch for. Even though we weren't "foal watching" last night and we missed the action, I'm glad that Whiskey had a healthy baby!

Another foal was born about 2 weeks ago, so after looking at the new baby, Lelia and I went out to play with Goose for a bit.

He really is silly.

la reconnaissance

Today I'm going to get all sappy on you and tell you how much I love my family.

Even though they might be a little crazy (but I had to get it from somewhere, right?)

My mom has always loved me, no matter what. I am so grateful for that constant, Christ-like love she has never denied me.

I can always rely on Karl for a good laugh.

And we can always count on Michael to make funny faces when I ask him to smile for the camera, can't we?

I'm truly thankful that my mom and brother came up to visit, even if it was just for one night. We had a great time just taking a family walk, goofing around on a playground, and watching "Tangled"! I made homemade pizza and some caramel-covered brownies. I think that was honestly the first time I've ever cooked a meal for them.

I'm glad that families can be together forever (even if we look a little blurry!)

ménagerie

Life Lessons

1. Lelia and I make the best cinnamon buns. Okay, okay, Michael's mom still has us beat. But besides hers, our buns would win the Academy Award of cinnamon bun-making!

Don't even try to tell me you aren't drooling.

2. If someone tells you to go find "the horse with the blue eye", don't automatically rule out the little bay gelding waiting for you at the gate. This is Jim, one of my favorite ponies out at the barn. And yeah… he has ONE blue eye.

3. Navy beans never cook. EVER. Next time I make this spicy chicken chili, it needs to be de-beaned.

4. It may be your birthday, but it doesn't mean everyone will be nice to you. Just ask poor Juni.

Her "birthday" is April Fool's day… or so we say. The lady who gave her to me couldn't remember the exact day in March or April. I can't believe my "baby pig" is 3 years old now!

walk on

Sinking into my old recliner chair never felt so good as it did last night. In fact, it still feels pretty good, considering that muscles I barely knew existed seem to get sorer by the hour.

But I love it!

I had my first real riding lesson yesterday evening. It's almost surreal that one of my longtime dreams is slowly but surely becoming real.

I've definitely got a lot of learning ahead of me. When I get my legs doing the right thing, my hands do it all wrong. Shoulders back, belly forward, heels down, thumbs up. I know I've got it wrong in these pictures… but don't be too hard on me. I'm trying and hopefully next time I will do better!

By the way, this handsome boy is Jake. I love him!

My instructor had me stay at a walk and just work on focusing on where I wanted to go (without looking at the ground), and doing circles and figure eights. We also did some backing up, which, for some reason, seems so fun to me!

winter be gone

It's 77 degrees and sunny outside. You would never believe that just last week the horses were wearing their blankets, and I was dressed to the nines to work with Finn (who, by the way, did not hesitate to cover my Carhartt with his boogers…)

Although I wish the spring weather were here to stay, tomorrow the temperature will drop about 30 degrees and we'll be out at the barn in the rain.

With a forecast like that, I think we need some cute horse pictures to brighten the day!

Lilly says, "Mmmm, peppermints!"

And Buddy is just plain sweet.

Tonight, I actually get to have my first riding lesson. Isn't that EXCITING?!