We want to wish you all a very happy holiday season! We’ve been MIA here on the blog for the better part of the month, but wanted to let you know that we are still here 🙂 The past few weeks have been filled with preparation and celebration of the Christmas season, so between that and a toddler and a now mobile baby, I decided I would rather wait to write until things slowed down a bit.
We have been celebrating Advent with a version of the Advent calendar where the kids unwrap a book a day that talks about the Christmas story or what the spirit of the holiday is all about. We also use an Advent wreath and light a candle every Sunday leading up to Christmas, ending with the Christ candle on Christmas morning. To help us all to remember why Jesus was sent, we do daily devotions from a book called The Jesse Tree. Then before bed, we wrap the night up by singing Christmas carols.
Of course there were treats to be made, gifts to be made or purchased and then wrapped, and plenty of playtime in the snow. I was even able to ice skate once with Pumpkin:) The past week and a half, we were able to set the right mood in the house with an early Christmas gift. I was given a CD/Record player, so I was able to listen to some Christmas music the way I always used to.
So far it has been a very enjoyable holiday season. We still have a week of visits ahead of us, we will continue to talk about Jesus’ birth as the Epiphany comes, and there is the new year to celebrate along with Miss Lady’s 5th birthday and my 29th birthday.
It seems I have forgotten once again just how much work a mobile baby can be! I had pared down significantly on the amount of things that I typically do around the holiday season, and in the end I maybe completed 3/4 of it…or less. I’m not complaining, it just took me by surprise considering how little I actually planned to do. E has become very active these days, crawling around the house, putting EVERYTHING into his mouth, and he even began pulling himself up on things. And if Doodles is awake, I am always on high alert…I mean where can I put the jar of peanut butter that he won’t be able to get at it? How many handfuls can he possibly sneak? And really, when will that little boy stop flushing things down the toilet?
Amidst it all, we were able to get our bedroom painted (finally), curtains hung, and we began replacing our bed frame. We need some parts to finish assembly, but the headboard is up! I was able to get the better part of the table frame assembled for the classroom (that’s a project that has been in waiting for over a year now). I think I can finish both projects not long after the new year, and of course, there will be posts to follow.
I also began cracking open the black walnuts and with some help, picked the meat out of the ones I had cracked. I’ll do a whole post on the black walnut process after the new year as well.
If you are wondering what Scott has been working on, he’s been busy with snow removal and catching up on a lot of reading (mostly about things we want to do on the homestead in the future), as well as tackling some of the many, many, many organizational projects around here. He has also been working on pruning trees and spending more time with the kids.
With the coming of the new year, we are beginning to think about what our goals and plans for the new year will be. Our first year of homesteading is now behind us, and we can plan with allowances for our mistakes from this past year. We were warned in everything we read or watched that the biggest mistake a newbie homesteader makes their first year is taking on more than they can handle. When the year started, we took that into consideration and tried to plan accordingly, but we forgot to plan time for the unexpected. Equipment will break, people can be unreliable, the weather can be finicky, and babies and toddlers take more time than I accounted for. Not to mention failures. Failures will always happen.
This year we had our best ever financial plans, and for the most part stuck to it, but we had medical and dental bills that we didn’t expect, and equipment that broke and needed expensive repairs, and again, we forgot to account for the unexpected. I think that what always amazed me throughout the year though, was how God has provided for us in ways we did not expect. Somehow we were always able to make the finances work. Somehow He always showed us another way to get things done. When there was something we needed, He provided. I cannot wait to be able to pay it forward as we get more and more established!
This coming year, we will plan for our gardens, plan for more chickens, prepare for our bees, and set new goals for things we would like to learn or accomplish. We can try to remember to leave room for the unexpected, and we hope that we will have more stamina in the new year as we continue to adapt to a new lifestyle. We have a lot of ideas for the new year, and we hope you will stick around to read along and learn with us, and to see what goals we set, which of our goals we reach, and which ones we don’t. This new year may also bring a few changes to how things are set up on the blog, so don’t be surprised if things look different at some point when you come back. We want to sincerely thank you for taking the time to be with us here and for the input and comments you leave 🙂
Today I leave you with well wishes for your new year, new plans, new goals, new achievements…may God bless you in your endeavors and grant you and your families good health. A (belated) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Love~Danielle (and Scott and the kids)