As a child I was all about Christmas, so much so that there just seemed to be a void after it. Now that I am an adult I still love Christmas. I love the build up, the home life, the good food, the songs and smells, the movies but I also love what comes after–the New Year. It is so exciting to plan and dream about a whole new year stretching ahead of you. We have decided to take a sabbatical from vegetable farming for the year and hope to travel a bit over the summer. Yellowstone is in our future. I also want to get more familiar with the animals–especially the sheep. I have always dreamed of having fiber animals and I am excited to explore this option more. I already have some projects I am working on and I will share them soon in a post.
I am also really excited about our new book Home School Farm. This was such a labor of love, both for me to celebrate the life we have built here, and for you to share tips and inspiration for finding your own simple, balanced life wherever you are at. It a chronological guide that just happens to start with January so if you are looking for ways to slow down and enjoy the seasons and connect with your family and the land this book is for you. Right now it is available as a ebook (it is also available as a Kindle edition) but we are taking preorders for print copies for $19.99.
I hope you have a very blessed New Year there are so many things to be excited about a new start. What are you planning on starting this year?
This year we lost my grandma. At 88 she was still a vital part of my life though she had been suffering from ill health for the past couple of years. I remember Christmas at grandma’s most. My favorite Christmas gift is still the very life like baby doll she gave me one year.
Once we moved to the farm I loved sharing what was going on around here with her and she even had some tips from when she grew up on the family farm.
One thing she taught me is Christmas is about family and homemade gifts are best. I normally got something crafted from her own hands or a book she thought I might like. I credit her for my love of simple, handmade things.
And so today we have been continuing that tradition. Now the girls are taking over. Something that is relatively new to me is my love of edible gifts. It is still handmade and such a joy to learn what my family and friends have been creating and eating over the year.
I didn’t have much time or energy this year for crafting, but Avril and Mavis have taken over. They decorated the house and wrapped the majority of the presents and today has been filled with last minute creating and planning. Can’t tell you yet what we have been working on but it has been busy in the best kind of way. And the snow is just starting to come down. Merry Christmas to all of you!
It has been a crazy fall. As the children get older their interests grow. We have limited the activities that they can participate in to one sport. They both chose basketball, which means that we are in the thick of basketball season right now. In addition we have had an unseasonably warm fall (until this week!) which means that we have kind of extended some of falls projects into winter.
And somehow through it all Christmas is upon us. Winter is normally my favorite time of the year. It is a time to settle in to home life. Crafts that I enjoy like knitting, sewing, crocheting, and cooking are well suited for the long evenings and nights of winter. But this year I am feeling abnormally busy. I had planned on letting knitting season pass me by then someone posted this article on facebook about how a new study finds that hand crafts help improve mental health including feelings of well being. If I am honest I have been more then a little stressed out this fall. A little relaxation and mental health activities would do me good.
So I decided I better start knitting.
A couple years ago I was at our local thrift store and saw some of my favorite yarn on sale. While not my favorite color I snapped it up as a deal. It has made its way into various projects over the year but I still had enough left over to make—-a baby blanket! Yes baby number 7 will be joining our family early next year. I have never made a blanket for my babies but it just seemed like the perfect project. I picked out this pattern. It is knitting up quick and fun and while the pattern looks complicated it is a repeating pattern so it doesn’t require a whole lot of concentration.
My knitting inspired Avril to make her own gifts for the baby. She went on Pinterest, found the pattern, yarn and needles and created these all by herself.
It is so fun that my children have shown an interest in handcrafts. I will definitely have to carve out some more time for all of us to work together on this. I am still planning Christmas gifts. One thing Proeun and I agree on is we don’t want to add more “stuff” to our home but I am finding some great kits for kids at Imagine Childhood (see link below).
I am also having great fun looking for inspiration at some of my favorite sites like Ravelry, Soule Mama and Purl Soho. I have been a long time subscriber of Taproot Magazine and a new copy just came in the mail. I have also discovered Making Magazine through them and have a copy coming in the mail soon.
Soon we will be receiving our yarn back from the shearings of our Lincoln Long Wool Sheep last year. I am super excited to get some roving and yarn from our own sheep. Now I am researching felting projects. There is simply too much fun to be had. I am feeling better already. Now I just need to find time to sew.