We have been enjoying family time. We had a great weekend. It started with Cookies with Santa at our work on Thursday- and I love the picture- it is one of the only ones we have of our whole family recently. Friday the girls did not have daycare and we got off work early at 1- so they got to hang out at work with me for a little bit- while hubby came in (we work at the same place- I go in at 7-7:30 and he comes in at 1:30- he works second shift..)- and then we got to spend some time together- which was awesome!
Christmas Eve, I hosted dinner with the in-laws. I made stuffed shells- Italian is a new tradition- and quick and easy for me to cook. We opened presents with the in-laws, and everyone enjoyed their gifts. I don’t have many pictures because we were just enjoying the time. Christmas Eve day- we opened presents from my mom- she always ships hers. Both my Grandma and my dad send us money/amazon gift cards- so it is always hard to decide what we want to spend it on. I always love seeing what my mom gets us- she does such a great job picking out gifts. We got to open our Christmas Eve presents- another tradition came down from my family- new pjs to wear that night. The hubby and I got matching pants and the girls both got Star Wars.
Christmas day we woke up and the girls got to open their stockings. That is the rule we had when I was a kid- that we could open stockings before Mom got up- and then we could get Mom up- so we continued that with my girls. They were very excited- Santa did not wrap presents this year- and they both got new bikes. Tooty was so excited- and rode hers all day. I got a necklace from the hubby and I was surprised- he ordered and got it from the mail without me knowing! He took the girls shopping this year and they did a great job. Tooty still needs to learn a little more-she tends to pick what she wants- but she loves to give gifts and with some guidance will do a great job. She did get me a mother- daughter necklace- awesome! I also continued the tradition of a pack of underwear for Christmas- and both girls laughed when they opened them. Sheldon did a great job- I normally have to borrow the large pitcher from a friend- but now I have 2 for when we have people come over!
December’s shipment came in- I am excited about the okra, tomatoes and lettuce- 3 of our favorite veggies. I usually have traditional green okra- so I am excited about trying the Burgundy out! Not sure about the Lovage or Anise- but push comes to shove- I plant it and sell the produce! We try it and see how it goes!
Beware of shameless plug here-
I am a member of the Affiliate program- which means I do get paid a small portion if someone purchases a membership from my site. If you’d like to help my homestead journey, you certainly can click on the link in this post or on the link on my homepage. Thanks in advance if you do!
I couldn’t muster up much energy the weekend before Christmas. I did end up sick- what a bummer. So I mustered enough energy to supervise the girls making their Gingerbread Barns- they turned out so cute! We don’t even eat them- but put it out for the birds/animals in the woods to eat. Then the next day, I mustered up enough energy to supervise putting up the outside lights. This year we started new- not much was bought before hand- but we do add one or two things every year. We lost everything at the other house- and that depresses me- but I love lights- and love decorating for the girls and others to enjoy. I can say the hubby had a great idea to add those little hooks that screw in so we can hang the lights. Yes I may have hooks all down my house- but decorating and undecorating will be so easy! Great idea! So here are some pictures to enjoy…
We all know sickness has been going around. I have tried to prevent it as much as I could. But it just hit Thursday night. I was so cold that I had to use 3 blankets to get warm and shivered for an hour before I fell asleep. So I got up to go to work- put on my Ugly Christmas Sweater and headed in. I almost fell asleep 4 times at work before I found out the boss would let me go to the doctor. I was trying to make it- but I knew I couldn’t. They worked me in pretty fast- I was only there for an hour and half, and part of that was a breathing treatment. 4 Meds later- which luckily they gave me a coupon for my inhaler so I wouldn’t have to pay for it- and I went home to rest. I fell asleep and still feel like crud. Upper respiratory is kicking my butt. I did get a steroid and antibiotic shot so hopefully in the morning I will feel much better. This weekend we planned on finishing the Quail Coop, putting up the outside lights, baking some cookies, visiting Santa one last time at Bass Pro Shops and finishing shopping. I don’t know how much I will get done. I’m going to take the time and rest so I can be up to par for Christmas so my girls don’t have miserable Mommy.
Here’s to hoping you don’t catch the sickness! What are yall doing this weekend?
Bless my Mom- she is amazing! We were talking on the phone one night- I live 1200 miles away from all my family y’all- about how I wanted to get some tablecloths and cloth napkins for my table. So for my birthday in October- I received some adorable Halloween kitchen towels, beautiful Fall placemats and 2 sets of matching napkins, a cute pumpkin spoon rest, a cute wooden fabric sign for Halloween, and a set of placemats and napkins for non- holidays. She had so much fun shopping- that I got a surprise package a week ago with some Christmas Goodies. We were talking on the phone about Holidays and trying to figure out what I did and didn’t have, I did mention I didn’t have anything with Santa on it, by the way she had already bought my stuff to send- which is funny. Well she is awesome- I received a cute Santa spoon rest for my stove. I also got beautiful winter placemats, a set of 4 Christmas napkins (which we did talk about how I LOVE gingerbread men), a set of 4 winter napkins (they remind me of the country), some Winter bathroom hand towels(polar bears y’all!), some Christmas bathroom hand towels(Ho, Ho, Ho in the perfect color to match my monkey bathroom), and an adorable set of kitchen Christmas towels- she already sent the winter Kitchen towels. My Christmas kitchen towels are adorable- kittens with Santa hats and lights wove in between! She spoils me greatly!
I am also attaching a picture of Tooty’s homemade ornaments from school- these always happen to be my favorite. I love the adorable ornaments. I have to write down which ones she made on my list of ornaments so we can keep track of whose is whose. I think when we undecorated the tree this year, we use old popcorn tins to put our ornaments in- I will designate a bin for each girl and then one for the hubs and I. What is your favorite ornament?
Well Sunday started out like any good ol’ weekend day. It ended quite miraculous actually. I woke up to go ahead and get some laundry and cleaning done, while the hubs was helping his father with something. He didn’t get home until later in the afternoon- so plans changed a bit. We went to the Walmart- I prefer if I didn’t have to- but I needed some things for a project, and of course came out with way more because I had the kids and the hubby. We got some more gloves for Sheldon to donate to the Veteran’s Home with her Beta Club project. I asked her about the KKid’s project, and apparently only she and one other child donated skid proof socks for the nursing home. I did buy myself another pair of gloves, because somehow I don’t have any, and can’t seem to find them anywhere. I also picked up a few Christmas gifts. A bunch of money later and we came home to unload before going back out in the car.
We did see some people we know in Walmart- which is a funny story about how Tooty found out where we were going. We were headed to the drive through for dinner at Milo’s. We don’t get to eat there very often- Milo’s is expensive. I had told Tooty to be good we were going to a surprise after we had gotten supper. She said, “I know we are going to see lights.” I looked at hubby and said, “YOU told her??” He looked at me and said, “No.” Then she proceeded to say, “I heard Finch say it.” Both hubby and I busted out laughing. Finch is the hubby’s boss, and she happened to be with hubby when he was talking with him in Walmart. So there you have it, the kid has ears!
But on to the wonderful night- We went to Shadrack’s Light Show at the Birmingham Race Course. You do have to pay to get in- but it is totally worth it. I got a few pictures and a video to share- the big theme was the 12 days of Christmas, and let me tell you it is awesome. We tuned in to the station they request- as they have the lights timed to the music. I felt like a little kid again. So see some of our pics below- and if you are in the area- I encourage you to go. We love seeing beautiful lights, and getting to watch light shows!
We have been getting about an egg every other day. Female Quail do make noises. Normally it is around 6 am when she starts calling. The only thing I can think is that, that is when she lays. I am hopeful to get her actual coop finished soon, so we can get some more in the Spring. I have learned, she likes her fresh water. Right now I don’t have a regular waterer, because she is still in her “cage,” but she doesn’t try to get out anymore. I thought she was going to last night because I was putting her water in there, but she just wanted water.
She usually rolls her eggs up front to the cage, if I don’t get them in a timely manner, she rolls them back and buries them in her “nest.” It is pretty funny actually. I think Sunshine and I have come to an understanding. She is picky when I give her some extra seed , and I am not sure why, but she flings her food and her seed everywhere. Ie: as soon as I put it in there, she is flinging it. I am hoping next weekend we can have the coop done so I can put her in there, but she may stop laying. It took her awhile to start laying again, she was laying an egg a day from our friend’s house. So I am hoping this doesn’t disturb her more. I wish I had a male and some more females in hopes that we could have our own. I want to breed them.
I have been learning as we go on this Quail journey. Quail are kind of disgusting- she gets poop and seed in her water every day. Once she has the coop- I am going to see if we put the waterer like the chickens have if that will make a difference. In Spring, I am sure we will learn more. So I will keep you updated.
Yesterday was a day filled with some fun. We had a Girl Scout Breakfast with Santa event. The girls had a blast. Sheldon dressed up as an elf to help at the event. We got to sit with Santa and have a great breakfast, color some pictures, make an ornament, and they got to play some great games. I didn’t take as many photos as I’d like, but we were enjoying the time spent together.
We went to a friends house to visit in between our next event. We drive every year in the Moody Christmas Parade for the fire department. Tooty had so much fun telling people Merry Christmas over the mic. She threw some candy but it was more fun to talk I guess. My arm is sore from throwing candy out the window. Sheldon walked the whole parade with the Girl Scouts and passed out candy. I did give her our Halloween candy so it wouldn’t still be sitting here. We don’t do candy a lot, normally I have to find someone to take it. Again, I didn’t take many pictures as we were having fun. I did do a good deed after the parade, a man was holding 2 horses waiting on his trailer. One of the horses was getting antsy, so I decided to go see if he needed any help. He refused, but I think that just talking to him made the time pass and he didn’t seem as agitated. We were going to get ready to leave but some jerk honked their horn and a fire truck sounded their horn. I don’t think they knew the horses were there but still, we decided to stay until the trailer came. One was black and the other was white. They were beautiful, and I did give them a peppermint and now my new work jacket/jacket smells like horses. The sad thing is I was very excited as a work jacket is supposed to smell like the “farm.”
Here is a glimpse of our day yesterday- Please enjoy!
Christmas always brings about an emotional time for everyone. It was so hard to get into the season. I am so blessed this year- and I have much to be thankful for- and I feel so guilty because I yearn for more. Not more as in things- but more as in time- More time with my mom- more time with my Grandma- and my dad and sisters and step-mom- more time with my cousins and my family. Thanksgiving has always been hard and was ruined for me when I was younger- I called to wish my Godmom a Happy Thanksgiving and found out she passed, then a few years ago my Grandpa passed. So needless to say I try to make it a good holiday but it seems to get worse as I get older.
I made a choice to move to Alabama 12 years ago, and when Sheldon was younger- we made way more visits than we can now. Things happened, and the last time I was there to visit was 2 years ago- so I miss it- I don’t forgive myself for missing my Grandfather’s funeral and missing my great- grandmother’s funeral- all in the same year. I know God has a plan and that it all is for a reason, and led me to where I am today. I need to forgive myself, and Lord knows that is the hardest thing I struggle with. So yes, I cried today, and I am crying now as I write this out to post. Who knows if I will even have the guts to post it? But every year I am away from my family it gets hard- I won’t get that time back. So yes, when my mom came to visit in July- I cherished every moment. And I feel so selfish for wanting more- but you see I grew up very family oriented- and we spent a lot of time together- it didn’t mean we were out spending money- those are the memories I remember- the time spent laughing and crying and just being there for each other.
So here I am- trying to raise my children- and do what is best for us all- and yet I can’t help but wish I had my family here. It is a hard for me to wake up every day and know I don’t have the money to visit them- and may not for at least another year or so. I am so very grateful that my mom can come down and visit- and I wish my Grandma would be able to- but for health reasons she can’t. Since I can’t forgive myself already for the time lost- how can I forgive myself for the time I am still losing? I don’t want this to be a pity post- but the holidays are hard for everyone- so I do try to do a little more- I smile and try to be nice to everyone- you never know what kind of struggle someone is going through.
I need to be thankful- I worked so hard to get to where I am right now. But sometimes I feel like I am always sacrificing for everyone else- when is it my time to get what I need/want? My Grandma and Grandpa always told me- and my mom- you can’t take care of everyone else if you aren’t taking care of yourself. So this is me trying- trying to forgive myself- trying to slowly reach my point of happiness. Happiness is what you make it.
On a lighter note- I am thankful this year I have my own house. It is not my ideal location- and we don’t have enough land for my farm that I want- but I am going to do the best with what I do have. I love coming home to my house and thinking- This is Mine! I am very blessed with two beautiful girls- whom are becoming great people. I see it every day, and know that at some point- they will not be here in my house. I am thankful for a car that I do not have to worry about. That is a huge blessing- now I just worry about a payment. ( I worry, I worry too much- and yes- I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders and have to learn to let go. That is a post for another day.) I am thankful I have a job.
Here’s to the next few weeks and then next year- Learning to Let Go- and forgive myself- and making more happiness!
I expect yall to keep me on task with my goals! Right now, the weather has put a halt on projects. The much needed rain Alabama needed is here. But these are my goals for the next 2 or 3 months.
Finish the quail coop. (So we can move Sunshine into a proper home. Plan is to get at least 6 more girls and one male so we can have babies.)
Set up the rain barrel. (This should have been done already- but no biggie because we would have had to drain it soon so it wouldn’t freeze- and any tips on helping it not freeze would be helpful.)
Rearrange the compost pile and finish the other bin for it.
Make the plans for my bigger chicken coop. ( Plan is to get at least 6 more chickens, and 2 roosters, I may be separating the girls so I can eventually sell eggs or babies with their breed specific.)
Clean out the shed- and reorganize it. (So I can store more things in there.)
Help my mother-in-law get the shed and little house cleaned out. (Which means going through and decluttering some of our things- which may mean I find the rest of my Christmas decorations!)
Make the herb planters.
Plan out the garden.
Order the fruit tree package from a local farm- they normally have a sale in January.
Work on building a backdrop for the girls and us to shoot, whether it be arrows or bullets- we are going to try to practice.
I am sure this list will grow bigger as some things get checked off- and as the weather changes so we have more things to do. Do you have any plans for the next few months while the weather is cool and there is not much to do?