Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year and a December Recap

Happy New Year to you all! I pray that God blesses you abundantly this 2011!

December has been a super busy month for us and I, obviously, only blogged twice the entire month! Here's a quick re-cap of what went on at our homestead in December.

We started the month finding our tree and getting ready for Christmas. We gave away a lot of handmade gifts this year which included canned goods, like applesauce and jams along with homemade soaps. The older boys love to help make applesauce. I think it's the peeler/corer tool. If you don't have one of these, invest in one and watch your children enjoy helping with ever last apple!

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 animal count, here on the homestead, dropped by three this month. One was unplanned and sad, the other two were planned and worked out great. The first, unplanned one was having to say goodbye to one of our dogs. He was 13 and I'd had him since he was 6wks old. We had found out in October that he had bone cancer in his left foreleg. Just before Christmas he was barely walking and we decided that it was time to put him down. My eyes still well up at the thought of that day but I am glad that he is out of pain now.



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.


Layton is a big boy now so he gets to cut his own cake!


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."

Rules:
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.
Enjoy!

59 comments:

Laura from The Wood Garden said...

I think your family photo looks lovely!

Please enter me in your giveaway. I can always use another homesteading book! :)

Farmhouse Blessings said...

Happy New Year ~ though I don't often get to comment, I am so blessed by reading your blog. It has encouraged and uplifted me often during the last year. For that I am thankful!

I enjoy my copy of Country Wisdom. Always something new to learn. Please don't include me in your giveaway since I already have my copy but still wanted to leave you a little note.

Blessings, Lea

Aimee said...

Looks like a wonderfully informative book.

Valerie said...

So glad to hear you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years! We did too...many blessings and so much to be thankful for. :)

The give away looks very inviting....I LOVE books, especially about homesteading. :)

It was nice to look through the blog listing and see a post from you...you've been so quiet this past month. Have a wonderful New Year!

Dodi said...

I would love to be entered into the giveaway..we just started into this new adventure of homesteading:)

Andrea said...

I'm so glad I found your blog through Homestead Revival. Would you enter me in your giveaway please?

Why Not Sew? said...

I really enjoyed your post. Wowser you had a lot going on. Your family picture looks great. Sorry to hear about your dog. That's tough. I was just thinking about your blog and how I'd like to read a good ol homesteading post! What a coincidence. Interested in your hog butchering post.

graceglory said...

Glad to see a post from you. Cute family pic. The book looks wonderful. Thanks for inspiring me in my homestead-ish journey!

KellyB said...

Oh I feel for your hog butchering experience. Thanks for a great giveaway.

Mica said...

Happy New Year, Thanks for the offering. May you have a blessed year! Mica/The Child's Paper

Deb said...

Happy New Year to you and your family. I'm so sorry about your doggie; that is always so hard. I'd love to be entered for your giveaway! Thanks!

Christa said...

Happy New Year! It's always good to read a post from one of my favorite blogs again.
I would love to win this book. I've wanted this book for some time now. Count me in your giveaway.

Blessings...Christa

Christa said...

I'm not a professional facebooker so I had to figure out how to share your giveaway on my facebook. I did it!

Amy Johnson said...

Happy New Year! Thanks for offering a great giveaway.

Leslie said...

there is quite a lot going on at your house....i love the family photo, and the pic of your little one reading. that is too cute!!!

Jocelyn said...

Looks like it was a great month. We had one very similar.

I would love to enter your giveaway. That book is fantastic!

Morgan said...

Love all your Christmas fun! I have borrowed this book from the library several times; it would be well-loved at my house!

Jo said...

Your cookies are WONDERFUL looking. I have been looking for a good gingerbread cookie recipe. Do yours stay moist? I spotted this book in the bookstore and almost bought it until I remember I was suppose to be being frugal...I hate the days that I remember that> :)

Emily said...

I'd love to win this book!

Michele said...

I have drooled over this book! =)
-Ashton

lisawith4 said...

It was so good to read about your December. Those gingerbread cookies look so pretty. Ours were a little crazy but still tasted very good. Could I get the recipe for the cranberry snow candy? that sounds interesting.
I missed you this month but totally understand the need to back away from the blog and focus on family time and Christmas. I think I only posted 3 times the entire month.
It felt good to take a break but I think I'm ready to get back to it. Also still considering opening an Etsy shop.
Happy Birthday to your little man. Such a big boy. I remember when my boys got their first Daisy BB guns. The still play with them sometimes and they are 14 and 12!

The family pic is great. Mason is growing like crazy!! And I always love Timber's blonde curls. Adorable!

Have a wonderful week! My kids start back to school tomorrow. It always makes me a bit sad. Wish I could have them home all the time.

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

Can one have too many homesteading books? I don't think so! Count me in! And thanks for an great give-away!

I'm so sorry to hear about your dog! Breaks my heart. My dad had to put his down in December as well and he really had a hard time with it. I'm afraid our time with our oldest Golden Retriever may not be long - I noticed she keeps tripping and I'm not sure why. Perhaps I'm just imagining things...

Jessica said...

Looks like it would be a helpful book.

My Way Home said...

Happy New Year! What a delightful give-away! Thank you for the offer!
-Stephanie
www.mywayhome4u.blogspot.com/

Merissa said...

Sounds like a book I'd love to read!
littlehouseliving(at)gmail(dot)com

Joseph and Emma said...

I'd love to enter for the drawing as well! We're just starting our journey toward homesteading and I think this book would be perfect on our shelves. Thank you!

Emma
http://cityrootscountrylife.com

Happy Little Homemaker said...

Ooooh! Please pick me! I LOVE reading this kind of stuff!

autumn said...

love your blog!!

free indeed said...

We live pretty basic and raised our family of 6 children that way. Now that they are moving on in life, they care coming back to wanting to live a simpler life...having kids does that to a couple! :) I would love to win this book for one of my sons. He loves gardening already and would love to move to a home with property so he can raise animals as well.

Becky H said...

Looks like a great book with a lot of information to use on the farm. Thanks for the chance to win. Have a blessed day.
beckyhoney@centurytel.net

Gina said...

Builing a family library for our daughters and their families. Would love to add the book to it.

Ma said...

I've seen that book before at a bookstore a few years ago & really wanted it. Hopefully I'll win!!!
Also, when I read about you putting your dog down I had my mouth open as you pictures looked just like our dog "Lady" She was 17 and a beagle mix. She looked so much like your dog. We also finally had to put her down but we'll always remember her fondly.

Bartley's said...

It's so nice to see boys who enjoy cooking. My husband and I love to cook together and I am thankful his family introduced him to the culinary world.

Jessica said...

I had the pleasure of getting to take a peek at this book one time and I LOVED it and have been wanting it ever since. What a neat giveaway. Beautiful family!

The Hungry Crafter said...

My condolences on the loss of your dog; he looks like a sweetheart. All my best wishes to you and your family for 2011.

coycoy said...

Oh, it looks like you had so much fun with those cookies. They are lovely! Great blog - just stumbled upon it today.

coycoy said...

Just tweeted about this giveaway!

http://twitter.com/#!/angkaye/status/24329314879148032

Hopscotch Dandelions said...

Looks like a great book!

teekaroo said...

Reading about your dog made me tear up a bit. We lost a few dogs this past year to different things, mostly old age and I miss them terribly.
That book looks like a wonderful book to look through while being cooped up inside.

teekaroo said...

Just blogged about it!

Judylynn said...

Thanks for this giveaway. I'd love to win!

seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Judylynn said...

I tweeted @seizethebooknow.

Brenda said...

Hubs and I love these types of books. We live on 10 acres surrounded by woods and try and use as much of it as we can.

Amy B said...

I'm a new reader. I came over looking for some quilting advice and loved reading your blog. We are homesteading newbies and the book would be great! I am not a blogger or much for Facebook/twitter so just one entry for me!

Renee G said...

I would absolutely love to have a copy of this. We live in the country on about 80 acres and would love to explore ideas of what we can be doing for the land/and for us.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(dot)com

Robert and Courtney said...

We love books around our homestead. And I haven't read this one. Thanks.

MamaAnt said...

I would love to win this book.
Thanks.

Dianne said...

DH would love that book. He's a big fan of Carla Emery's book, which sounds similar.

Leah S said...

This book would be a lovely addition to my bookshelf. It could sit next to my Foxfire series when I'm not toting it around. :)

Niki said...

Include me in your book giveaway :D

Thanks!

Cheryl said...

This looks like a great book thanks for the opportunity!!

Stephany Z said...

I am very excited about all of the homesteading information on your web site. I love gardening, canning and bread baking, and I am looking forward to learning how to quilt and make soap from your blog.

Sharon said...

Please include me in the drawing. I love to read & that is just the kind of book I could use.

pete said...

Hi - please enter me in your draw. My wife and I would love to use this book.

Thanks,
Peter

pete said...

Hi - Peter here again. I just posted your blog note on my Facebook for extra promotion! By the way, I notice I am just about the only man entering the draw but was attracted here by the book giveaway and the enticing of my wife Niki! We aspire to be a resourceful family.

Thanks. It looks like a great book.

Niki said...

I just posted to facebook. :)

Niki said...

Also posted a blog on this giveaway :)

To see it go to:
www.contentedmama.blogspot.com

Thanks for offering the giveaway. It sounds like a really interesting book!

Virginia said...

Would love to win this :)

Virginia said...

Would love to win this :)

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