We also spent a lot of time baking. Seriously.
On our holiday baking list this year were, Gingerbread cookies, peppermint brownies, raspberry jam thumbprint cookies, peanut butter and chocolate truffles, mexican wedding cakes, cranberry snow candy, black bottom cupcakes and yes, more gingerbread cookies! We even had a day where we decorated gingerbread with some friends.
Our two other planned losses were a rooster (we had two and only have 8 hens!) and one of our hogs.
After butchering the turkeys last month, I have to say this chicken was CAKE! It went super fast and easy. Maybe starting off with a big bird is the way to go- it makes everything else seem like child's play. We ate him (our first home raised chicken) 2 nights later. While he was young, (only about 7months old) his thighs were a little tough but everything else on him was great. Since he was a Buff Orphington, his breasts weren't as large as you'd find on a meat chicken but still turned out all right.
Our hog experience was slightly.... a mess. I'll spare you the details and any photos. This was our first home raised, home butchered hog. Gavin did it on one of the worst days of our most recent storm. We'll be butchering our other hog at the end of January. Hopefully the weather will be better and the process will go more smoothly. I'll share shots of that one later. But for now, there's one hog in the freezer!
A special little someone turned 4 this month and we also celebrated both my Dad's and my MIL's birthday.
He was thrilled to get his very fist gun this year. A Daisy pellet gun. He's been out back shooting a couple times a week trying to improve his aim. For just turning 4, I'd say he does pretty well.
Mason has taken to reading all the books he can get his hands on. Well, maybe not really reading, but at least pretending to. We read through "The Courage of Sarah Noble" as a family in the evenings. While it is a book geared towards 3rd or 4th graders, even my 8th grader was eagerly waiting to hear "what happens next" each night.
Christmas was a blessing. We enjoyed the time together as a family and of course, attempted to snap another family picture. Ya know, one where everyone is smiling at the same time and all looking at the camera? This one didn't turn out too bad I suppose.
One great thing about winter? Being forced to be indoors. Not that I enjoy having to be inside all the time. Actually, I'd much rather spend my time outside but with all the rain and hail and storms we've been having, inside time allows for more inside tasks....including quilting! I've been trying to work on a few quilts here and there and I'm proud to say that I'm actually making progress. Being cooped up also allows more time for reading. Another favorite past time of mine. Do you enjoy reading? Would you like to have another book added to your collection to read through this winter? Well, if you've actually stayed with me though this entire post then you're more than entitled to entering the giveaway for "Country Wisdom and Know How." Really, if you've made it through all of this I wish I could just give each of you a copy for being so faithful! But I only have one to give away so here we go:
Here's a brief description: "Reminiscent in both spirit and design of the beloved Whole Earth Catalog, Country Wisdom Know-How is an unprecedented collection of information on nearly 200 individual topics of country and self-sustained living. Compiled from the information in Storey Publishing's landmark series of "Country Wisdom Bulletins," this book is the most thorough and reliable volume of its kind. Organized by general topic including animals, cooking, crafts, gardening, health and well-being, and home, it is further broken down to cover dozens of specifics from "Building Chicken Coops" to "Making Cheese, Butter, and Yogurt" to "Improving Your Soil" to "Restoring Hardwood Floors." Nearly 1,000 black-and-white illustrations and photographs run throughout and fascinating projects and trusted advice crowd every page."
This giveaway is open to everyone!
Giveaway ends January 15th at 8pm PST
For 1 entry, please leave a comment below; any kind of comment is fine.
For a 2nd entry, please Facebook or Tweet about the giveaway and leave another comment telling me that you did
For a 3rd entry, please blog about it and leave another comment telling me that you did
Winner will be drawn randomly by Random.org on or around the 16th.