Monday, November 25, 2013

Between Thanksgivings

Well, we had one family Thanksgiving yesterday and another one is coming up on Thursday, so right now, we are between Thanksgivings.  We were fortunate to be able to see my family yesterday for Thanksgiving at my Mamaw and Papaw's house.  We head up to Nathaniel's parents for the actual holiday.  Right now, the kids are practically buzzing from excitement.  Two trips in one week!   They still have school tomorrow, though.

The weather has gotten much colder.  We did turn on the heat lamp for the chickens while we were gone, as it got down to about 15 degrees and didn't make it above 30.  They could have handled it, but we do spoil them a bit.  It's the first really cold snap, and we weren't going to be around to see how they were doing.  We do keep a heated waterer in the coop in the winter.  Otherwise, they wouldn't get much to drink.

Malachi enjoys making "levels" on paper of his own versions of video games.  Today, Lydia brought me her version: chickens.  To win, you have to avoid stepping in chicken poop!

And lastly, 6 kids on a couch:
 Because what could be better than 6 kids on a couch, unless of course, we had 7 or 8 kids to put on the couch!  ;)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Baby Carrier

I made a baby carrier for the first time today.  Now, no, I don't have a baby to carry, but my sister does, and this is one of his Christmas presents, as modeled by my "baby".

I know I'll probably have to make a few adjustments once I try it on her and baby Silas, but I think it's going to work out very well.  In the photo, I'm supporting Lydia with my arms because I didn't tie the sash around, which you would use for bigger babies/toddlers.  Lydia is actually only 31 lbs, so she isn't too big for this type of carrier, even though she's 4  1/2 years old.  I will probably make a sling for myself when we get a referral, since it is advisable to carry your newly adopted child as much as possible, even if the child is 3 or 4 years old.

and I mostly used this tutorial:, although I bought 3 yards of 60" fabric.  I had plenty of fabric, though I used the entire 3 yards' length for the sash.  I am kinda wishing I had bought more of this fabric, though.  It's really pretty and would make a nice shirt.

Monday, November 18, 2013


I've been neglectful on the blog lately, so here's a catch-up on what's been going on around here.  Lydia is still loving preschool, and I'm still working there 2 days a week.  I had teacher conferences with all three kids' teachers within the last two weeks and am very glad to know that everything is going well with school.  Malachi joined the Garden Club at school, and Elijah is playing intramural basketball there.  We joined the Y last week.  I'm going to try a zumba class there with a friend Thursday night.  I've also attempted weight lifting for the first time in over a decade.  I got sore on a pitifully low amount of weight.

I've started selling some things in the Etsy shop for Christmas, so that was nice.  I didn't really sell much of anything last month, so I'm glad to see it picking up.  I've been sewing quite a bit to keep up.

I'll try to not neglect the blog too much in the future!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Book Review - Blessings for the Evening

Blessings for the Evening

Most of the books I have reviewed have been fiction, but this time I am writing about a collection of scripture and blessings by Susie Larson called Blessings for the Evening.   I admit that I didn't read this book one blessing per night, partly because I tend to read several pages of any book at once, and partly because I wanted to get it read for this review.  I do plan to go back and reread one blessing per night, though, since I think it is a nice way to end the day.

Each night's reading in the book has one scripture reading on the first page and one blessing that corresponds to that scripture.  The words are printed over gorgeous nature photography.  There is an index in the front, which is nice for finding particular words of encouragement.  Titles range from "A Thankful Heart" and "Let God Carry the Load" to "Christ in Focus."  There are also a few season-specific blessings at the end of the book for Thanksgiving, Christmas, grieving, etc.

I really enjoyed this book.  It is a soothing and empowering read.  It would be a lovely gift, too. I highly recommend this book.

I received this book from Bethany House for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.

Egg Count

I haven't talked about the chickens for a bit, but they are always popular around here.  Lydia and Malachi are especially fond of the chickens and anything to do with chickens.  I found a book at the library called Chickens to the Rescue  by John Himmelman, which is a really cute picture book, and we have read that several times.  This weekend, the kids took pom pom balls and yarn and made dozens of homemade chicks.  I keep finding these all over the house.

As far as our actual chickens, they are doing quite well.  I only let them into the whole yard for an hour or two a day, since they have a tendency to scatter out into the neighbor's yard, but they have plenty of space in their higher-fenced yard, which we call the second yard.  They always have access to a very small first yard that we've covered the top with netting to keep out predators.  So every morning, I let them into the second yard and give them table scraps to eat. They love that.  They must be pretty happy hens, because they lay very well.  We have 15 hens and 1 rooster.  For several weeks, we were getting 14 eggs a day.  For the last week or so, we've been getting about 12 a day.  It may drop a bit since there is a cold front coming through today, but the last time a cold front came through, they didn't drop in production.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Leaves and Clover

 Last year, we had a storm that uprooted this tree.  Although Nathaniel cut up the rest of the tree, the kids love this stump, which they call the cannon.  So today Elijah and I raked a huge pile of leaves in front of the cannon, and Malachi and Lydia had a blast jumping off it into the pile.

I also never mentioned that I planted a cover crop of clover in the small garden this year.  I didn't get it in until mid-October, and I thought it may be too late since it turned quite cold then, but it is coming up!

In the spring, we can till it under, and it will give nutrients to the soil for next year's garden.  At least, that's how it's supposed to work.  I've never actually planted a cover crop before, but I've been meaning to for the last couple of years.  I also plan on pulling some of it for the chickens, since they absolutely love clover.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Yeast Rolls

 I love rolls, and I'm certainly not the only one around here.  Normally, I make whole wheat rosettes or sourdough rolls or oatmeal molasses rolls, but every once in a while I'll make white rolls.  It's pretty much celebrated like dessert (and probably about as healthy).  Nathaniel and Elijah are especially fond of the puffy white yeast rolls found in restaurants, so when I saw this recipe, I decided to try it. (
I did modify it, though, because you know I can't help myself.  It took just under an hour start to finish, which is really quick for homemade rolls.  Here is the recipe I use:

1 c plus 2T warm water
1/3 c melted coconut oil
2 T yeast (I've used active dry and instant.  Both work.)
scant 1/4 c sugar

Mix these together and let sit for 15 minutes.  Then add:
1 egg
1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
2 c bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt (I used sea salt.)

Knead a bit until soft and smooth.  Then make it into 20-24 little balls and put in a greased 13" x 9" pan.  Let rise about 15-20 minutes.  Bake in a 400 oven for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden brown on top.  Enjoy!  These are really fabulous served with soft honey butter.  The boys and I devour these pretty quickly.  (Lydia doesn't eat rolls much.)

Also, I wanted to share the doll cape I made:

I made one last year that didn't have a hood, but this year I wanted to make a hooded one, and I adjusted my (homemade) cape pattern to add the hood.  I think it turned out so cute!  I sold the other one I made, and I hope this one sells, too!  Nathaniel wants me to make a kid-sized one for Lydia.  I think it'd be so cute, but I'd want to use a different fabric.  The doll one is fleece, but I was thinking maybe a twill or something.  I don't know.  Maybe I'll have to explore the fabric store again! :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween Pictures

As promised, here are the Halloween pictures.   This year we had Harry Potter, his owl Hedwig, and a black cat.  Now, the black cat was sometimes just a regular black cat, and sometimes a black jaguar.  Oh, and for a while, she was Hermione Granger (from Harry Potter) when she was turned into a cat.  I bet you didn't realize how multi-purpose a black tail and ears can be!

 Before trick or treating, the younger two thouroughly enjoyed painting pumpkins.  Lydia didn't want to carve one this year.  She's really into painting, and I was fine with that.  Of course, we may even carve one later, because we're odd like that.

Trick or treating went really well.  The weather was glorious!  Nathaniel and I enjoyed the walk while the kids got loads of candy.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Magic Nuudles

They really wanted a picture, but you can see how well they posed for it!

For Malachi's birthday, he received some Magic Nuudles.  They are basically like those biodegradable packing peanuts, except they come in lots of bright colors.  You put them together by touching a noodle to a damp sponge, then it will stick to another noodle.  Malachi and Lydia had a blast putting together creations, but they were most excited about melting them in the bathtub afterwards.  We did find that they melt faster/better in warmer water, so the ones they tried to melt in the sink in cold water didn't disappear as planned.  But the box is packed full of nuudles, and they only used a small portion of them, so this is a great toy for long winter days.  And clean-up was both fun and easy for them.  I didn't have to worry about figuring out where to put their creations, because they were so eager to melt them!