Homesteading Practice

Based on the gifts I received this year, it seems Santa felt I needed some things for the homestead and surprised me with some unexpected gifts.

One gift I really needed was a yoga DVD. Getting in better physical shape is a must for the homestead. Not that having a homestead won’t help get me in better physical shape, but doing that now should make the transition much easier.

I also received a cast iron Dutch oven and small square skillet. I’m absolutely convinced that no homestead is complete without cast iron and am sure it’s written as a law in the homesteading manual somewhere 🙂 Of course lifting my cast iron skillets and Dutch oven several times a day would also go a long way in helping me get in better physical shape.

The two surprise gifts I received were a yogurt makers and a mozzarella cheese making kit.

I tried making yogurt before and while it tasted fine, it was pretty runny. Hopefully this will put me on the road to making some good yogurt.

Apparently, Santa was listening to me talk about all my plans for making my own cheese one day. I haven’t done a lot of research, simply because I’m not living in the country with my own goats or a cow for milk. Now that I have the kit, I have to at least try making some cheese.

What I really need to research now, is where I can get fresh raw pasture fed cow milk for yogurt and cheese making.

Santa also brought me some books on homesteading, raising goats and chickens. I also received some magazines on hobby farming and sustainable living. Educating myself is one of the best things I can do to prepare for our homesteading lifestyle, so I’m appreciative of these books and magazines.

The future holds some wonderful possibilities for us and continuing to prepare is vital to our success.  Thank you Santa for sharing my homesteading vision and bringing me such wonderful gifts!


Ending Christmas Day

Lili woke up early this morning, wanting to know if Santa had arrived. She was trying hard to patiently wait for Naomi to wake up, not able to lie still and wanting to talk. None of us knowing exactly when Naomi will finally begin to stir, I asked Lili if she wanted to wake Naomi. Without hesitation she jumped out off bed and headed to Naomi’s room. Soon, both girls came bouncing down the hall waiting for all of us to go downstairs. The anticipation of Christmas morning almost more than they could handle. I told them to go check to see if Santa had come, both quickly turning around and wasting no time getting down the stairs. I could hear excited chatter and then both coming back to report their findings. Soon we were all ready to go down together and with a fire burning in the fireplace, we settled in to begin opening gifts.  A reminder of the rule – one person at a time opening a gift, going youngest to oldest. Everyone watching and waiting to see what the recipient received before the next person opens a gift.

Soon, all the gifts were opened. Wrapping paper, boxes and gifts now occupying different areas of the living room. The mess on Christmas morning is always welcome. It’s a lovely sight that I look forward to each year. As I begin to pick up, I sing Christmas songs and remember the smiles, laughter, excitement and surprise.

It was a good day!

Merry Christmas!



As hard as we try, we just seem to be drawn into the commercialism of Christmas.  My best intentions of finding or making the most creative gifts tend to get pushed aside.  Amazon becomes my new best friend in an effort to avoid the long lines in the stores.  Still, there is that tiny spark of creativity in me that is fighting to be ignited.  The spark that wants to do something different this year, even if it’s a gift for one or two people.

Today I did it.  No, it’s not a handmade gift, but it’s a gift that will keep on giving throughout the year.  It’s a gift that will allow my girls to express their own creativity and one that I’m quite sure they are going to appreciate each and every month.

Even though I was little late getting it ordered, each of my girls are getting Kiwi Crates.

I came across the company about a year ago and thought “What a great gift idea,” but I didn’t do anything more.  When I came across the company again this year, I started looking thru the website and read this . . . .

Kiwi Crate was built out of a passion for hands-on fun that encourages creativity and curiosity in children. I had a deep appreciation for these projects, but often found that my greatest intentions fell short. It was tough to find the time to come up with engaging hands-on activities, let alone get the materials.

So, as I started to develop creative projects with my kids, I thought, “why not share them with friends, who are also busy?” At playdates, the kids had a bunch of fun, and the parents appreciated having all of the materials and inspiration for the projects provided. Several parents mentioned, “I wish I could do this at home with my kids!”

Kiwi Crate was created to fulfill that wish and to celebrate kids’ natural creativity and curiosity.  We want to make it fun, easy, and delightful to spend time building, exploring and creating together.  Since its inception, the Kiwi Crate team has grown.  We’ve added creative parents who dream up the projects, valued experts who review them, and a community of kid testers who keeps us on our toes and ensures the projects are fun and engaging.

We love working on Kiwi Crate and cherish the involvement that our kids and friends have in bringing the product to life. We’re excited about the opportunity to help provide these types of experiences for your family to share too.

Happy exploring!


Founder, CEO, Mother of Two

My girls love crafts, but they happen to have a mom who isn’t the most creative crafter in the world.  I’m great at pinning things on Pinterest though, just not so great at gathering things together to make all the things I’ve pinned.

Since my girls love getting things in the mail and love crafting, this seemed like the perfect gift.  It’s not something made by one of the big toy manufacturers that will be placed under millions of trees this year only to be soon forgotten.  This is a gift they will look forward to receiving and working on each month.

If you have a craft loving child in your life and are looking for something a little different, check out Kiwi Crates

Now, to try and ignite that spark a little more and try my hand at a homemade gift.  🙂