Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I'll tell the world...

This picture may look a little strange. 
The snap of camera lens was slightly later than I wanted it to be, but still... it got the look on his face.
Do you see it?
Do you see that grin?
Even if you don't, it is there...
And one other thing that you probably don't see is a little girl. The little girl is hurrying back to her car where Moma waits on her.
This is what happened.
My family and I are Christ followers. We believe in Jesus, the Bible, God the Father, The Holy Spirit, we believe. We also believe that it is important to share our faith with others. 
My husband is great at this. He lets everyone know that Jesus loves them. He loves the opportunity to share the love of God with others. 

The Bible tells us to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel..." Mark 16:15
For me and my family our 'world' is here, in our hometown. 
Many don't know, many are deceived, and many are lost without the hope that Christ brings.

This is what brings me back to the photo above and our little story. 
A couple of days before Christmas, we were going to do our LAST 'last minute' preparations for Christmas. My children watched my husband write around 30 handwritten cards for his fellow workers and share his heart with each and every one. It wasn't a generic greeting, he encouraged each one specifically to who they were and spoke of our Savior. I helped him wrap up a small gift to give each one of them along with his note, and we took them to him to distribute at work.

My little dumplin, she took this all in, and she took it to heart. I saw her frantically looking all over the house. "Don't we have a Bible around here that we don't use any more?" 
I looked at her a bit blank and said, "What???"
She said, "Never mind" and went back to searching...
All around the house she went as I was finishing up some things so we could head out the door.
Finally she came to me.
"Moma, I've written a note. I want to give it to someone at Walmart, do you know anyones name there?"
I was unsure of what she was wanting and asked her to explain a bit more...
"I wrote a note, like Daddy. I want to tell people about Jesus and how much He loves them. I want them to know how they can have a very happy Christmas. I want them to know Jesus too. I just don't know their name..."
My heart, a big pile of mush sat there as she poured her little heart into that letter that she read to me. I've witnessed her writings before, but this was different, this was grand and beautiful and it pierced my heart.  This little one had a burden for the lost. She knew how much we needed to share the love of Jesus with others and this was a way of her doing just that. 

As we walked around Walmart finishing up those last few things she shifted that note in her pocket and looked around frantically, trying to find just the right person. Then we finished and we walked out. She still had the note in her pocket and she was on the verge of tears. 
"Carlie, what's wrong?"
"I didn't give the note to anyone, Moma"
"Don't cry, we are still here, we can find someone to give the note to... do you see anyone you would like to give it to?"
She raised her head and a nervous smile came across her face.
"Yes! Will you wait on me?"
I watched with pride and with brokenness as my 9 year old shared her love of our Lord with that man. I watched as he smiled when she gave it to him... not knowing what he might think or how he might react. We are not responsible for the outcome... that is all up to God. We are just responsible to act. To go. To share. 
My little girl taught me a valuable lesson. One that I hope I never forget. There are ways to share His love, every. single. day... We just have to do it.
And for this sad, and desperate world, we need to do it today.

May God bless you today and throughout the coming new year.

Monday, December 30, 2013


Just a little video that shows some of the highlights of 2013 through my instagram. Are you on instagram? My username is homesteadmoma... drop by and say hi!
Have a great day!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Biscotti

I was thumbing through a magazine last night, a gift from a dear friend and found a recipe for biscotti. It sparked a memory... I had told myself that I wanted to make some biscotti for my husband. Knowing him and knowing his likes and dislikes, I KNEW he would enjoy this treat. 
I read over the recipe and it was for a cherry and pistachio biscotti. I wanted to go another route. So I used chocolate with white chocolate chips. 
It is Christmas after all, AND my honey loves chocolate!!!
I had biscotti only one time before. It was at a party that, and let me tell you...
 I really liked the crunchy, not-so-sweet cookie!

So here's my adaptation to the biscotti and it turned out great.
 It is 'drying' on my Christmas tier tray for tomorrows festivities!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
4 oz white chocolate chips or chunks

Cream butter and sugar til fluffy.
Add cocoa powder and baking powder, mix til throughly combined.
Add eggs and mix one at a time.
Add flour and stir til just incorporated.
Add white chocolate til combined.

Chill dough 10-20 minutes in fridge.

Shape into 2 logs and flatten slightly.
Bake at 375* for 20-25 min or until middles are set and toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool slightly.
Cut into finger size pieces.
You can put these back in the oven on a lower temp and bake them a bit longer or you can set them out overnight like I am and let them get a little crunch to them.
In the morning you can enjoy and then store them in an airtight container!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December happenings...

December is here and already we are almost at the middle.
Some of the beauty of the month so far.
This morning we woke up to the most glorious frost. I had to slip on some shoes and walk outside to enjoy it and of course snap a few pictures. It was absolutely beautiful.
Like a winter wonderland of tiny icicles!

The reason we celebrate this holiday. This HOLY-day. 
One of my favorite ornaments on the tree.

A big pot of warm, creamy chicken noodle soup. I added some turmeric to give a bit more nourishment along with the bone broth, veggies, and cream. Yum!

A homemade ornament. I made several over Thanksgiving weekend to liken the big old fashioned colored light bulbs that I love so much!

My scrappy tree skirt and finally a few presents under the tree. Normally I am finished with Christmas presents by now... this year, not so much. My youngest was actually fretting a little. haha

A righty (me) teaching one of my lefties (Carlie) to crochet. She is finally getting it.

A constant sight as of late.
With the colder weather, we have spent more time in cozy pjs and you can find my scholars doing our lessons here, there and everywhere. Couches, chairs, tables, floor... wherever is cozy...

A new scarf that I made for gifting. I really like it. I need to make me one.

A friend on facebook asked me to make a version of the Katniss Cowl. This is what I came up with... I like it a lot. The yarn is gorgeous and the stitch is beautiful.
Some of my favorite handmades from the past gracing our shelves again.
I love this time of year and I hope you are enjoying it too. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Scrappy Tree Skirts

Last year I started seeing ideas floating around pinterest on making burlap tree skirts. I really liked the idea. I like burlap too, but I wanted more green and red. Not having a tree skirt that I really LOVED, I began playing around and came up with my version. 
I call it the Scrappy Tree Skirt. 
(I also have these for sale in my etsy shop!)
I love the layers of color and prints. It makes such a pretty statement under the tree.
Each one different from the last. 
My Christmas tree was not only my favorite thing to put out now. Pulling out our heirloom Christmas tree skirt is too!
May your day be Merry!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The blur of November...

November was an absolute blur around here... It was so incredibly busy, I can hardly believe it has already been and gone. 
These things happened in November.
I turned 38. Yay me.
Our Christmas tree made it's appearance.... early, just not as early as I would have liked. 

My children are still practicing piano, although their lessons have been cancelled til after the first of the year, their teacher has been very, very sick. We are praying for Mrs. Carroll. 
Our co-op had Thanksgiving together. It was completely wonderful. 
Friendship, babies, food, laughter... it was so great.
Crafting has become norm around here again. My kids are jumping in on the bandwagon. Abe crafted this hat out of leftover material that I used to make pajama pants. 
I had an order for stocking caps. 
I LOVE how they turned out!
The kraut that had been fermenting for a month is finally ready! 
Bring on the brats! YUM!
Playing hooky (a cute term for crocheting) is now pretty much a constant. Thankful for orders that are coming through from friends, family and my etsy... which is open again!

I look forward to TRYING to slow this month down a wee bit and savoring each and every moment. 

I'll be back here and there. Maybe not daily, but hopefully a couple times a week....
Enjoy this beautiful month friends!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crochet for the Hipster...

I am extremely thankful and happy today. When learning that I made something that was cool enough for not only me, but for my 16 year old daughter and her friends?? 
This year, handmade gifts all around! Hooray!
It is an exciting feeling! I am completely tickled to be able to make something my fashionable daughter would like to wear! 
That is a success in my book for sure!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Learning to serve...

When I was a little girl, my Daddy would come in from a long day at work and I would help pull his boots off. I remember doing this all the time. It was something I did to help Daddy sit back and relax, to help him realize he was home and I loved him and wanted to serve him. 
Time has passed and now I have four children of my own. I told my kids about how I used to help my Daddy by taking off his work boots for him. Daddy's work hard and when they come home, their feet ache and their backs are sometimes sore. In this little way, we are serving. 

Such a small gesture, but it shows such great love and respect, in my opinion. 
My daughter Carlie, is such an example. She is almost ALWAYS willing to serve. She loves to help and loves to do things for others. When I told this story many years ago, she was the first one in line to help HER Daddy with his boots that evening... and she still is doing it today.

I want to make sure that I am raising my kids to serve. Our greatest example, Jesus, served people. Why shouldn't we? Even if it is starting small. Give your children chances to serve. Let them bring you coffee. Let them sweep the floor. Let them buy a small gift for someone. Let them help your parents clean their house... There are MANY ways of serving. I pray that I will do my best to teach my kids this lesson and that one day when they are all grown, I will see men and women who enjoy serving one another and the Lord. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Enjoying Autumn

Sometimes life gets very busy, huh? I know it has for me. No matter how hard you try to simplify and slow... the busy-ness seems to take hold, even still. 
Let me tell you though, even in our day-to-day busy-ness, I have not forgotten to keep my eyes open and the beauty around me. I am in such awe of the beautiful place in which we live. 
The colors around us are exquisite!
All the reds, browns, oranges, yellows and green seemingly resting against that gorgeous blue sky and cottonesque clouds. It is nothing short of glorious.
The chickens and Wanda (the duck) are enjoying themselves immensely as I have let them out to free range during the day. They think they are all rebels now, as they seem to look at me with a questioning look...

Is this ok? 
Are you mad at us?
You don't like it when we get outside the fence...

Yeah, I'm that fruitcake lady who talks with her chickens, ask anyone who knows me in real life. Ha. 

The children are enjoying the fall weather and the falling of leaves as well. Carlie Jean and Abram have been making leave piles on somewhat of a daily basis. Because, believe you me... we have PLENTY of leaves to go around! I'm glad I'm not one of those who rakes them up. I like them. 

So, life has been moving along swiftly here, but it has been a very happy time. This is my most favorite time of the year. As we begin transitioning to 'looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas' mode.

So friends, don't forget to look around. Even if you are busy, take in the beauty around you in your busy-ness! Have a beautiful day! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

this moment:: Avengers Assemble!

. . . . . . . . .
{this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . .

Avengers Assemble!!!
(Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow and Director Fury)

*sorry for the absence this week, friends... It has been some kinda crazy. I hope to be back next week*


Monday, October 28, 2013

With the changing of the weather...

With the changing of weather... some things happen. We pull out the flannel sheets for the beds. We begin thinking all over again about how desperately we need a wood heater. We wake to frost on the ground. More and more socks are lost in the laundry and/or at the bottom of the bed. *snicker*
One thing that seems to happen for me, is that the needles come out, and the yarn seems to always be at my side and I begin stitching almost every time I get a free moment. It's almost instinctive. Like second nature. When days are shorter and time indoors are a bit more normal, my extra few minutes here and there are spent rhythmically stitching away.
Two of my latest creations have had to do with wee ones. One who is yet to be born, but due on Christmas eve. I, with high hopes of a Christmas babe, decided to go with a Christmas colored Elf Stocking Cap. These are one of my most favorites so far. I love the long tail and the big pompom on the end. I honestly am thinking of making one for myself. 

The second is a sweet little beanie with interchangeable flowers for a newly 1 year old. I am absolutely tickled about how this one came out. Although, I did have to make a second hat. *wink* 
 It is good to get an idea on what size head the little one has. If I had known how to make these things when my children were little... I am sure that my children would have had to have a toddler size when they were first born. :) My bunch has big heads. haha

So, as the week begins and I have nothing pressing too terribly hard this morning except for getting the kids up and starting lessons. I think I will grab me a cup of coffee and sit down with my yarn and enjoy a few moments of quiet and stitch. 

Have a great week, friends!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Real Hot Cocoa

This morning I woke early and it was COLD in the house. I started in there to make some coffee, but then thought that instead of making something hot that just Cameo and I drink, I would make something for all of us. Something with real ingredients and not from a packet (not that we have those anyways). Something that will warm everyone... all the way to their toes!

I made up a batch of my chocolate syrup and then added some to my mini crockpot.
To the chocolate syrup I added enough milk to bring it to about 3/4's the way full. I would imagine this would be about 3 cups if I were measuring.
Then I added heavy cream and mixed in right at the top.
Creamy, dreamy... by far the best hot cocoa we have had all year!
And with the crock, it will stay warm when we need that 2nd cup later on this morning.

Here's some loose directions for everything:

For the chocolate syrup
2 cups sweetener (I used honey)
1 cup water
1.5 cup cocoa
Warm honey and water til incorporated.
Mix in cocoa and vanilla.
Let cool.
(unless you are making hot cocoa... if so, use immediately!)

For the cocoa:
1.5 cup chocolate syrup
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
Warm gently

Serve with marshmallows.