Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Back from Christmas

We're back home and trying to dig ourselves out of the piles of laundry and presents.  It was great to visit family for Christmas.  Now we've got some projects to tackle at home.

The chickens faired pretty well while we were gone, but they were eager to get out of the coop.  They are currently ranging all over the yard.  All 16 are still accounted for, and they are still laying around a dozen eggs a day.  One day last week before we left, all 15 hens laid an egg, so I know all of them are currently laying.

Here are a few pictures from Christmas:

Aww... the kids at my parents' for Christmas.

At Mamaw's later that day.  I should have had Elijah tuck in his shirt before the picture!

This is the stained glass window I made for my sister-in-law.  Nathaniel made the frame.  She's thinking of hanging it as a diamond, where the middle will look more like a cross.  I made it so you could pick which way to hang it.

And lastly, some really cheesy smiles at Aunt Sherri's house.  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sewing Owls

Today, we started making owls.  The kids had seen some felt owls on etsy that are dressed like Batman, and the boys were eager to make them.  Lydia has been begging me to teach her how to sew for some time, too, so this seemed like the perfect project for all three kids.
 I cut out the owls from felt, and I sewed the eyes and nose on Lydia's.  She then climbed up in my lap to learn how to whip stitch it shut.  I thought she'd get bored, but she stuck around to sew the whole owl.

She is very proud of herself.  Nathaniel took these pictures of us sewing, because she kept exclaiming, "Look, Daddy!  I'm sewing!"
So now her owl is done, and she wants to make more.  I told her maybe another time.  I think I'll cut out some felt animal for her to sew and surprise her.
The boys haven't sewn theirs yet, but they are plotting ways to make their owls look like superheroes.  I'll have to let you know how that turns out!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I forgot to mention that we cut the boys' hair a few days ago.   Malachi's in particular was getting way out of control.  It looks really different now!  I always notice his eyes more when his hair is shorter.  They seem huge and more expressive.

Unfortunately, they were not really into posing for the camera, so this was the best shot I could get.  
Lydia, of course, is nearly always willing to pose for the camera.  This is one I took before her church Christmas program.

She'll be dolled up again today for her school Christmas program.  Lots of fun, and she has plenty of beautiful Christmas dresses.  We get lots of hand-me-downs from my nieces, plus my mother-in-law picked up a dress on clearance last year, so I think she's got 3 really Christmas dresses and another two that certainly could work as well.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Still Snowy

Most of the houses around here don't have snow anymore, but our yard is still covered.  Even our roof still has a little snow on it.  We live in a little valley and have tons of trees, so the snow just doesn't melt too fast here.  It doesn't look pretty anymore, though.

This was all of the chickens' (except for Crest) first time in snow.  They didn't like it.  Of course, it's been very cold as well, so they've mostly been hanging out in the coop.  They have slowly begun getting used to the snow, though, and now that their yard is only partly snow-covered, they are coming outside more.  They must be pretty content, though, because they are still laying 12 or 13 eggs a day.

I haven't been on here in a while because my biggest blog fan, my Papaw, died recently and I just hadn't felt much like writing.  I keep thinking of things he'd like to know, like how I've got lettuce sprouting in the playroom - even in this cold!  He loved "seeing" my garden, chickens, and of course kids, on the blog.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Tree Trimming

I have so many memories of Christmas trees.  At Mamaw and Papaw's, the tree was huge, and gray, and covered in multi-colored lights and more ornaments than I've seen anywhere but a Hallmark store. When I was a child, I used to love to sit on the stool in front of the tree and just stare at all of the ornaments.  

 At Grandmommy and Grandpa's, the tree sat in the front window, with little white lights and was covered in mainly handmade ornaments, most cleverly and carefully made by my great-grandma, Mom.  (Yes, it confused everyone outside the family that we called our great-grandma "Mom".)  

At home, we kids decorated the tree after Dad put the lights on.  We usually sang Christmas carols while we worked.  My sister and I often sang when we were little, and at Christmas, relatives often requested songs.  

Today, we finally got the living room cleaned up and the tree set up.  The kids helped carry up the decorations.  Elijah and Malachi put the tree together themselves, and Nathaniel and Elijah put the lights on.

Then all three kids delighted in decorating the tree.  I'm so glad that they like that tradition.  I put on the radio, on a station with Christmas music.

So, now we sit inside where it's warm as the ice and snow collects outside, and I am reminded of so many memories.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Homemade Chapstick

Today, I finally made homemade chapstick.  I've been thinking about it for over a year, and I've had all the stuff for about a month.  Today, I finally used this recipe: http://www.nourishingminimalism.com/2012/10/peppermint-lip-balm.html and made 26 tubes.

The kids are really excited about it, and they each have one for themselves.  I plan on giving the rest out at Christmas.  Next up, I need to make some foot cream for Nathaniel and some lotion for me.  I've been looking at recipes and how-to blogs for quite some time, can you tell?  

Sunday, December 1, 2013


We enjoyed Thanksgiving at Nathaniel's parents this weekend.  Nathaniel loved giving Max his gigantic stuffed horse.  Max wasn't so sure at first, but he was soon bouncing on it and grinning.

Lydia also enjoyed getting a turn with the camera.  She even took pictures of herself:

All in all, we had a nice weekend.  We have so much to be thankful for!  We were happy to get back this afternoon and have some time to get settled down before bed.