Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Thursday, December 27

Christmas cheer...

Holiday homecomings and gifts from the heart have certainly taken the chill out
of the winter winds.

Nearly 8 inches of snow fell in our part of the Midwest yesterday, which made staying at home the best option! With heads bowed against the sleet and icy air, we hurried to complete our outdoor errands, then brushed the snow from our boots and coats, ready to settle back inside.

However; it seems the kids don't feel the wintry chill at all. They had no trouble bundling up, going sledding, and tossing snowballs! Eventually they came back in, rosy-cheeked and smiling, ready for some hot chocolate.

And so, while winter is here, and we are lucky enough to have the magic of a country Christmas, here are a few glimpses of the farm under the spell of a winter snowfall.

Home is truly the heart of the holidays...

Monday, December 24

merry Christmas!

"As the Christmas season envelopes us with all its glory,
may we, as did the Wise Men, see a bright, particular star to guide us
to our Christmas opportunity in service of our fellowmen.

May we all make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit,
taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior."

~Thomas S. Monson, 1994

Saturday, December 22

an early Christmas present...

I know everyone is so busy...I'll keep this short. I received an early Christmas present and just had to share. 

A while ago my mom passed along a catalog from Americana Floorcloths (find them by clicking hereand told me to choose one for my birthday...yay!  

Oh my...the catalog is filled with lovely floorcloths in a variety of designs and colors. There were so many patterns I fell in love with, but an especially pretty red floorcloth kept catching my eye. It was my dream farm...sheep, dairy cattle, pretty red saltbox on a hill...ahhh. 

And so I placed an order...Jennifer Frantz, the artist, was terrific as we emailed back & forth with my questions and her answers. 


Now, her artwork is in our kitchen, just in time for Christmas...it looks so pretty. I love the idea that it's made by hand, just for me. And with winter's first snowfall, a crackling fire while we bake cookies, and kids who just couldn't be more excited, I'm a pretty happy gal!

Friday, December 14

a little candelight...

This vintage-style Santa has greeted us each time we come through our
kitchen door for several years.

And last week, I decided he needed a little candlelight to warm him up on these cold winter evenings. Sure enough, I spotted just what I needed wanted in the window of a little primitive shop on the town square...a green vintage jar with a little tealight tucked inside sweetly sitting on a bent piece of silverware.

However; practicality got the best of me...I knew I could make it myself, and even better, I knew I had everything I needed already at home!

I bent a silver spoon (you can try stainless steel, but I don't possess the brute strength to bend it...old silver is so much easier!) A bend at the bottom of the handle creates a flat spot for the tealight to rest, and a curve along the top secures it to the lip of the jar.

A bit of coarse salt was added to the jar, along with "greenery" & a rusty tin star...I was done in no time at all!

Sweet & simple...that's just how I like it!

Monday, December 10

Advent jar...

Shops around the town square are readying for Christmas. Windows are now filled a rich blend of both traditional and vintage trees. Some trees boast cheery red bows, snowbirds, and sparkly lights while others are hot pink, flocked white, or vintage silver...each bringing back sweet memories in their own way.

Temperatures the last few days were in the 60's and rainy...not exactly the type of weather that brings Christmas cheer. However, one night the rain stopped, the temperatures fell and I woke up to find the truck doors had frozen closed. Luckily, with a little effort, I was able to open the passenger's side door and climb over to the driver's side. Soon the truck was warm and ready to take kids to school. And so it goes...December is a month of surprises indeed...not the least of which, is what weather we'll wake up to.

Like so many we have familiar traditions...a movie basket filled with old favorites, an Advent calendar with pockets hiding a daily chocolate treat, and a stack of well-loved books filled with Christmas stories and poems. Each night we settle in before bedtime to read from a lovely hand-made Advent calendar shared by a dear friend.

This year I wanted to add a little something new to our holiday traditions. Often with the hustle & bustle of the season...school parties, get-togethers with friends, concerts, & church gatherings, simple family time can get lost in the shuffle. So keeping the idea simple, I jotted down 24 ideas of things to do together. They range from playing a board game to building a gingerbread barn, making "real" hot chocolate and popping corn the old-fashioned way.  
Tucked inside a vintage green jar, one slip is pulled out each day to see what the surprise is in store for us.

Time flies...and I'm hoping to create some fond remembrances for our family. As the saying goes, "We're never too young or too old to store up memories."

Please share some of the traditions you enjoyed growing up, or what you've done to celebrate Christmas as a family. I'm sure you'll inspire new ideas for us!

01 09 10