Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jaden's birthday pictures...finally!

Here are pictures from Jaden's birthday:

Preparing the cake...

...cake preparation is done, and now the cakes are baking... all is ready.

The Birthday Boy & his cake
Not the best decorating (note: we had no decorating equipment, I used a plastic bag with a small whole in one worked quite well considering), but it did taste good (that's what matters, right?

There he is: Jaden Jacob Kautt!

Meal is eaten, cake is eaten...and now for the opening of the gifts!
Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of his gifts (don't ask me why!), but he got a lot of wonderful gifts, and he was indeed happy!

No...our blog is not dead!

Just in case anyone is wondering, our blog is not dead. We've just been very busy lately, and we hope to (soon) post about Christmas and all of the other activities lately.

Thanks for being patient!
~Phoebe (for all of the bloggers here at Texas Skies)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Dear Blog Readers,

The Texas Skies Family (a.k.a. the David Kautt Family) want to wish you and your family a very blessed and merry Christmas. May the Lord, our Savior, also bless the upcoming new year, 2009. Wow! Can you believe it, it's almost 2009? It seems like just yesterday that it was New Years Day 2008. Time sure!

We have enjoyed another year of God's faithfulness, mercy, blessings & might. May He be these to you, too!

David, Julia, Joel, Abby, Caleb, Phoebe, Johanna & Jaden

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A project ~

A couple of weeks ago Dad & Caleb moved the washer & dryer from our laundry room (which is very close to where we eat meals) to the Garage. I must say, it is a LOT quieter, and that's especially nice during meal times when we need to run the washer & dryer. Anyway, the wall behind the washer & dryer had started to mold, so they had to cut that section out, and put in new sheet-rock. And...this was during a cold spell! Oh well, we survived & they did a good job! Thank you, Dad & Caleb!

Caleb is cutting out the old-moldy sheet rock.
Dad working on the outside (in the Garage)
Now there's a BIG whole in our wall! And...
...there's Jaden! As you can see, the whole was big enough for Jaden (who's almost 4 feet tall!) to walk through.
Now we have a table in the space where Caleb was in the pictures above, and the wall has no more mold in it. It also gives us more room for storing other items that had previously been stored in the Living Room (which that makes the Living Room look more tidy).
Thank you so much, Caleb & Dad, for the hard work!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jaden turns 6 - part 1

Happy 6th Birthday Jaden Jacob!
Dad & Mom
Joel, Abby, Caleb, Phoebe & Johanna

We wanted to share some pictures of our dear Jaden with you.

Today is his 6th birthday - here are some photos we have taken of him over the past 6 years. They are in chronological order, starting soon after he was born. Enjoy!
Here he is being held by his proud Kautt grandparents - we love this picture, because it captures perfectly each of the individuals in this picture. Jaden is a couple of days old.

Jaden resting so peacefully on Abby's chest.

Johanna, Jaden and Abby the night of Jaden's birth. Johanna looks perplexed, she was so excited to have a baby brother to love on!

I was SO happy to have another little brother! I was to young to remember much about Caleb's birth, but I will forever remember Jaden's. I spent allot of time holding our "little buddy" as we call him.

This beautiful picture was taken during a family picture take. He is SO adorable!

Jaden with his hand in the "cookie jar" we were messing around with him one night around the meal-table.

Johanna and Jaden in Indiana during our 2 week family vacation in 2003. Such a lovely, cuddly pose.

Jaden-bug! Awww... isn't he so cute?! :)

Jaden blows out the candles on his 3rd birthday cake!

A Jaden pose - family pictures in front of our house.

A bug - Jaden loves the outdoors, all aspects!

Jaden introduces Phoebe's stuffed dog Peggy Bell to our late Great-grandma Nanny and her dog, Coco in Tyler, during our family Christmas at Pine Cove Christian Camp.

Jaden barefoot! This was one of the first times (if not the first time) he ever went barefoot in the summer. He loved to ride his tricycle during this time. Now he has a big bike without training wheels.

Buddy's - Caleb and Jaden enjoy each others company. Here they are both dressed like farmers, overalls and all!

Jaden and Johanna! Such a good photo of them.

Here I am with Jaden. He was being really goofy, but this picture turned out pretty well. :)

That's all for now folks. More coming soon!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More of Momma's watercolor ~

This is Mom's first quick watercolor sketch

This was a practice piece that she decided to make into a birthday greeting for Jaden (his 6th birthday is in 2 days, the 19th of December.)

Does any happen to know what kind of flowers these are? (Leave your guess by clicking on "comment" at the end of this post.)

Barns (taken from the watercolor book she was using) - to show shadows & contrasting hues

Patterns - top view of umbrellas

Friday, December 12, 2008


"Daniel & Friend"
(done especially for Othar & Barbara Moses)

There's a story behind this painting.

My church background taught me to stay away from alcoholic beverages of any kind. (Trust me. This bit of information is pertinent.)

Othar & Barbara Moses are members of the congregation where my husband, David preaches. Othar's sister, Jane is married to Riley Donica. The Donicas run the Wild Horse Camp on several rugged acres in the Kiamichi Mountains of Oklahoma. They sponsor an annual spring Rendezvous of Christians from across the nation, which our family has attended several times.
About four years ago, Othar had gone to visit Jane. (Did Barbara go?) Later our family went to Rendezvous. When we got back, Othar asked if we'd met Amadaeus. It would've been impossible to miss Amadaeus, a hyperactive, omnipresent Jack Russell Terrier, who not only brought you sticks to throw, but also ate rocks. That made an impression on my children.

Now, I should easily remember of what breed Amadaeus was, for my maiden name is Russell. But I slipped up when I was talking to Othar and Barbara and referred to the Donicas' “Jack Daniels Terrier.” I didn't catch my error. (Did you?) But Othar picked up on it & got tickled.
With eyes full of amusement, he queried, “So what do you [implied - “the tee-totaling preacher's wife”] know about Jack Daniels?” I was caught. We all had a good laugh.
Othar and Barbara are kind, gentle, gracious folks. But you can believe that Othar has never let me forget my faux pas, and even sweet Barbara gently joins in the ribbing sometimes. It's okay. I know they love me. I enjoy it. After all, it was pretty funny.

Well, I didn't care a bit about Jack Russell Terriers until I got the idea recently to do a drawing to send to Othar when he was in the hospital – a sort of reverse ribbing, a chance for him to rib me again – long distance. I had Abby find a book at the library about JRTs with photos. (I learned that Amadaeus was pretty typical. All JRT's are hyperactive. It's in their breeding.)
I had in my mind a certain picture of a doggie and cardinal looking at each other. (Barbara loves the beautiful red birds.) I couldn't make it happen with my colored pencils. Joel had earlier mentioned to me that I maybe could do watercolors, what with my “forced vacation.”

So I prayed, and I thought about it, and talked to David and the kids. And I decided to try the watercolors, a medium new to me. Long story short, it took several weeks because I was not going to get stressed about it. After all, the original idea about my resuming my artwork was to help occupy my mind and my time – to reduce stress, not create it.

This painting has been a long time coming, but all-in-all, I'm satisfied with the results. Well – not 100% satisfied. But what artist, (painter, quilter, woodworker) is ever 100% satisfied with his work?! They say you can overwork a watercolor painting, so I thought I'd better quit while I was ahead.

So, Othar and Barbara, I hope you like your picture of the JRT. His name is Daniel. (Grins.)

The card for the Moses' (also Watercolor)

*To be fair, I must tell you that this is not the first time I've handled a brush. My parents gave me a set of acrylic paints for Christmas when I was 15 and I experimentd with them a bit.
Then, when the children were small, my friend Melinda Wright taught me how to do decorative painting. (She painted and sold large quantities of country-style woodcut-outs, such as bunnies and farmers in overalls and geese.) Almost all the Christmas gifts we gave that year were woodcuts I had painted.

After that spree, I gave up the decorative painting. (Well, okay - I would briefly pull out the acrylics every 2-3 years for a special project or gift. Many times, the children joined me. But that was years later.) It was no fun to constantly be shooing away my dear little ones, afraid they'd bump my elbow or knock over the paint or smudge something. I just couldn't be a nice mommy and paint. So I said, “this is not the season of my life for painting.” And I set my sights on “someday,” when I hoped to learn watercolor. “Someday” has arrived. A little earlier than I had planned. :o/

I've always wanted to paint in order to express my creativity. But I can see now why some people do it to relax and take a “mind vacation.” Watercolors are tricky to master, but I've decided to simply have fun with them and see what I can learn as I play. I've had to drop my perfectionism. I limit my time and if I get tired or stressed before then, I put away the brushes. And I am having fun. As with everything in my life, I also do hope to glorify the Lord and bless people.


P.S. If you would like to try your hand at watercolor painting, I highly recommend WATERCOLOR FOR THE FIRST TIME: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE – copyright 2004 by Elizabeth Horowitz. It was just what I wanted. I like her realistic style (as opposed to the book by the Frenchman who admires impressionists and modern cubist art. He also likes people without clothing. All Ms. Horowitz' people are fully clothed.) I must note here that Ms. Horowitz would not be considered a purist - she uses a fine-tipped permanent black pen to finish some of her paintings. And some accomplished watercolorists might consider her style too tight, not spontaneous enough. But for now, I'm learning a lot from her.

The back cover says it well, “A foundation course for the novice watercolor painter, this book keeps both subject matter and instructions simple enough for any beginner to follow – form young students to retired people trying their hand at art for the first time. Easy, enjoyable exercises encourage readers to work at their own pace and develop their own style. Examples of beginners' art run through the book, showing readers how novices like themselves have succeeded in creating charming watercolor paintings.”

The format is uncluttered, easy-to-follow. Spiral bound, with hard cover even over the spiral. Lays flat. 144 pages, 7” x 10”. List price is $19.95.

There. How's that for advertising and promotion?! Maybe Ms. Horowitz will give me some commission!

Art ~ (for all you Art lovers!)

Here are a couple more drawings (one by Caleb & one by Mom). Just a reminder, we love your comments on the drawings (or on anything!). :) To comment, just go to the end of the specific post and click on "comment".

Covered bridge by Caleb (made especially for Abby's 18th birthday)

American Kestral Falcon by Mom

Don't you just love their talent?! I enjoy seeing, gazing amazed at their beautiful artwork! Wow!

A Kautt Christmas Tradition ~

~ Scottish Oat Scones ~
- 2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup Quick Quaker Oats, uncooked*
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cream of tarter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup raisins or currants
- Add butter, milk & egg to combined dry ingredients
- Mix just until dry ingredients are moistened
- Stir in raisins
- Shape dough to form ball
- Pat out on lightly floured surface to 8" circle
- Cut into 8-12 wedges
- Bake on greased cookie sheet in preheated hot oven (425 degrees) 12 - 15 minutes or until lightly brown.
- Serve warm at breakfast or brunch with butter, preserves or honey, as desired.
* Can substitute 1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Quaker Oats for Quick Oats.

Christmas 2007 breakfast, which included scones.

P.S. If you make them, I'd love to hear what you thought of them! :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Did you know...?

Did you know that the first Messianic Prophecy is in...Genesis?

Genesis 3:14 - 15 says:

So the Lord God said to the serpent: "because you have done this, you are cursed
more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly
you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall
bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." (NKJV, Emphasis added.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Leaves, leaves and more leaves!!

Our across-the-street-neighbor has a giant Oak tree in his front yard. When the north wide blows, guess what?? We get all of his leaves! Oh well, that's just the way it goes. Anyway, Abby, Caleb & I worked on raking & cleaning them up yesterday & Friday.

Our neighbor's giant Oak tree

Leaves, leaves, & more leaves!!
Abby raking away!
My arms sure got a workout doing all of that raking!
Yes...that's Me behind one of the giant piles!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Walter Marshall - 1692 Quote

Today, while reading through Jerry Bridges' Pursuit of Holiness, I came across this quote from Mr. Walter Marshall from the year 1692. I thought you all would find this very interesting, and maybe even a little convicting:
"What a strange kind of salvation do they desire that care not for holiness... They would be saved by Christ and yet be out of Christ in a fleshly state... They would have their sins forgiven, not that they may walk with God in love, in time to come, but that they may practice their enmity against Him without any fear of punishment."

When I read this quote this morning, I soon thought of a passage of Scripture I learned a while ago that reads: "And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with it’s passions and it’s desires." (Galatians 5:24) [Emphasis mine.]
As is implied in that verse, those who are truly Christ’s will follow Him. The reverse is true, too. Those who claim to be Christ’s and yet do not obey Him are not truly His. After all, what does the word Christian mean? It means "Christ follower," literally.
In conclusion, then, let us who claim to be His, truly follow Him in all things no matter the cost. Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." (John 14:15)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Pictures...finally

Note: these pictures are not in the correct order. If you read from the bottom up, then it will be in the correct order.

Here are some pictures from Thanksgiving:

We enjoyed supper with our cousin Reece.

After more than 6 months, Jaden wasn't shy with Reece (Surprise!) :)

Visitin' with Reece

Thanksgiving meal: lunch. At lunch we did what we always do on Thanksgiving: give thanks to Almighty God for His many blessings! We go around the table, and everyone gives at least three things (usually more than that, though!) they're thankful for. I think it is a good tradition.

Yes... Joel does know how to cook (actually, he's pretty good!) :)

The table all nicely decorated (Thank you, Abby!)

Italian Vegetable Casserole

Preparing Italian Vegetable Casserole. Italian Vegetable Casserole is a super-duper dish! It's vegetarian & it is yummy! It is one of my favorite dishes! If you'd like the recipe, feel free to ask!

Working in the kitchen. Joel, Abby, Johanna & I were in the kitchen from 8:00am till 4:00pm. Sometimes I wonder: It takes hours & hours to prepare the food, then it gets gobbled up in 10 minutes! Is it worth it?! Anyway, I think it was worth it.
Hope all of you blog-readers had a great Thanksgiving!
~ Phoebe