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traditional homemaking: a homemade winter! - Page 3

post #41 of 324
Oh Mama Fern, we are celebrating Solstice here tonight (it's 4:47am tomorrow). No special decorations really, just a little feast of roast grass-fed beef etc and opening our presents with my parents who are visiting
post #42 of 324
Happy Solstice everyone! For those of you celebrating, I hope it's a wonderful time!

We do Christmas here, so I have a few more days. I still need to sew up some more fabric bags and then wrap. I'm more or less set though.
The only thing I can't decide is what to bring to dinner Xmas eve at my Ils. We just haven't figured out any sort of food traditions yet. It's always kind of random. I know we'll be having ham. I need to bring two sides. I'm thinking about bringing a waldorf salad and then these potatoes. You take sweet potatoes and russett potatoes and scoop them both out of their flesh. Keep russet potato skin as if you are going to make twice baked potatoes.
Then make a puree out of both. Then put them in piping bags and pipe one side of flesh with sweet potato and the other half with russett potato. So everyone gets a little of both and it. It looks really pretty.

Otherwise I'm open to suggestions. I know I'd like to do a salad for sure. I'm open to a great salad recipe as well as any side suggestions.
Let me just say that dh's parents are very plain when it comes to food. They do not like anything fancy, or anything with too much flavor. one time I made my homemade pasta sauce for them and they complained that it was too spicey (as in herbs). It makes it very boring to cook for them, but it is what it is. I have not been able to change their tastes in 7.5 years!

Have a fabulous day everyone!

Found a link: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Two-Ton...es/Detail.aspx
They do not look so pretty in that picture. The one I have from a magazine, the potatoes are piped into the skin side by side long ways. It's looks very very nice. But you get the idea.
post #43 of 324
A Waldorf salad does sound nice...I'd like some now. I also love cabbage salad...just sliced cabbage with some EVOO and ACV and S&P. Yum.

We don't "celebrate" Solstice, but in my head it is always a day I observe. I fight SAD through winter, and I have created a sort of ultra-intimate personal ritual of the day. Here comes the sun. And soon we will be back in eggs.

My dh did some work on our barn doors last night to allow me to more easily let animals in and out and close the barn when it is bitter cold. He is learning how important it is to get them outside to play in winter. We sent the ram home yesterday and then let the girls all outside, and they pranced and kicked up their heels in joy. Even the goats were happy for some fresh air.

Yesterday was dd's actual bday. We didn't do anything special, as we had the party the day before, but her sun school teacher gave her a gift, and then she came home and played with a little friend. I didn't do anything much, but I did cast on for a cowl. I hope to make some progress on it today.

But...ds is home sick. He's 8yo, so he can pretty well take care of himself. Just a bad cold, but he doesn't need to be spreading it around the classroom. So he is home on the couch while I try to have my day around him. I'll probably make him some chicken soup. Dh has steaks thawed for the grill for dinner.

So today, really my last day before the kids are home for break for almost 2 weeks, I'll be trying to get things tidy. Putting away laundry, making beds. Ignoring the constant postnasal drip cough from the next room. And making him a chicken soup with garlic and ginger. If I am lucky, I'll also get in my workout...but for some reason, it is really hard for me with someone else in the house.
post #44 of 324
We are hoping to get our garden started up soon. My dh has to clear out the garden, because I did NOTHING with it last year. I want to get all of the seeds started inside this year and hopefully this garden will work out better than my previous ones With the baby coming at the end of jan, and planting season in feb & march I want everything in order. I've been so sleepy and lazy though, I hope I can get everything ready in time. I have all of the diapers washed and most of the clothes washed and put away. It's the cute things like the curtains and baby quilt that I haven't even begun! We did get a freezer this weekend, so maybe that will motivate me to keep up with the garden better
post #45 of 324
Happy Solstice! Wow finally 1/2 way done with all the holidays (we do hanukkah, solstice & christmas/santa) for the most part. The solstice is getting to me this year, as I had the most bizzare dream of sweeping the interior of my house with cedar branches. I think its just a message that I need to clear some bad ju-ju and start fresh with our house as a whole.

In the meantime - DH & I got some wonderful alone time as our boys got to visit the GPs. . Love my boys, but we were overdue for time off for good behavior. We started & got finished with 1/2 of our gift shopping, picture cards ordered and even started wrapping gifts. We are for the first time ever ahead of the game for this holiday!

With all of that craziness, I did not get to indulge in any homey crafts such as my plan of baking. I missed my kitchen this weekend and can't wait to get back there ASAP.

I do need some recommendations for yarn & needle sizes! My sister is a bit of a knitter and crochets some too. I want to get her some needles (whats a good size?) and some yummy yarn for her as her xmas gift. I think I was going to suggest a hat or arm warmers for her as she's expecting a l.o. in May and might want to do either one of those. Help!
post #46 of 324
So I don't know if this thread is inspiring or depressing! You mamas are so talented! But I'm gonna keep following so I can learn stuff.
I did find someone in the area who is willing to teach me how to knit, so that's exciting!
post #47 of 324
Thread Starter 
welcome, dent. it's inspiring

wonderful celebrations + preparations, yay!

we celebrate christmas but we love to observe the solstice, and this is our first year really doing something for it - candle making, hurrah. happy solstice! ijooj, i too look forward to more light. i love the heights of summer and i always feel as if i've been plunged into the deep this time of year. it is past 8 here when the sun comes up (er, sort of! it is so dark out even now!) and 3.30 when it is disappearing, and i pretty much want to stay in bed

i love the stories of animals loving to play outside!

my sweet arrives from london today, and we have a billion preparations to make for the holiday, i'm very, very nervous now. oops we'll be picking up a violin for my tall girl to play holiday songs for us, and i hope to do some serious work on the second sock i'm making...i have a lot of sewing + baking to do but must leave it til tomorrow.

i just don't have a gift for my tall one!! she has asked for something old fashioned and i am at a loss i tried to find double dutch skipping ropes, no luck so far, though i may just make some and i was thinking of getting her a dress pattern + fabric...but what?! she's nine...any suggestions for me?

post #48 of 324
I'm almost done with the crayon roll I'm busy knitting a cowel, sewing pillow cases and need to wrap presents! Not to mention cooking dinner and dessert for ds and me (food intolerances). I feel very busy. I prefer the cooking and crafting, but I have to vacuum before my parents get here Wednesday. Seems overwhelming, but fun too

I hope everyone is having a fantastic day!!
post #49 of 324
Originally Posted by artparent View Post
i just don't have a gift for my tall one!! she has asked for something old fashioned and i am at a loss i tried to find double dutch skipping ropes, no luck so far, though i may just make some and i was thinking of getting her a dress pattern + fabric...but what?! she's nine...any suggestions for me?

How about an apron? Or a bonnet, a handheld chalkboard (like kids would have used in school), an old style rag doll... that's all the ideas I have for now. I'll post more if I think of something!
post #50 of 324
A pinafore dress? I am still waiting for someone, anyone, to make me a pinafore dress. It appears I will have to learn to sew to get mine, too.

Tops? Grown-up tea set? Special pans for baking cakes for tea?

Gifts are hard. Why is it I nearly always love anything anyone gives me, and yet I am paralyzed when trying to find gifts for others?

I'm a couple inches into my cowl. Hands need a rest.

Tomorrow, we are visiting dd's daycare teacher, whom she has not seen in months and months. I will try to bake her a quickbread--banana or cranberry-orange--before we go. I have thrown my hands in the air and am keeping both kids home. Their winter break starts now. I am hoping to get the opportunity to swing in at the yarn shop sometime over break to get some nice chunky yarns and big needles for a few fast, satisfying projects.

I may also end up deciding to learn how to etch an emu egg myself. Who knows, I might be good at it if I try.
post #51 of 324
Originally Posted by MamaFern View Post
im busily sewing this as part of my middle ones Christmas gift. i actually bought the pattern over a year ago, cut out the pieces last winter and planned it to be her gift then, but it never happened.
Oh my WORD, and she's sold out of the patterns now. NOOOO!!!! DS absolutely adores horses with all his tiny-almost-two-year-old heart and I am trying to figure out how to sew him a stuffed one. Maybe would you be willing to share the pattern love? I promise not to sell any, it's just for DS's birthday next month.

I'm still trying to get up the courage to start Toby's Waldorf doll. I know, I have like 3 days before Christmas, it's time to get started! But I am lazy and nervous. Whine. I think I will start tonight though. I ended up getting a new sewing table from IKEA (it was $100 and I got it for $20, yay for Black Friday!) so I have no more excuses.

I gave my grandma and grandpa hand knitted mittens and a hat and they looved them. Phew. I went to a Real yarn store (not just Jo-Ann's) the other day and bought real wool + alpaca yarn in bulky red. I am knitting Toby a scarf to match Little Bear. Toby discovered Little Bear DVDs last week when we were sick and adores him. I much prefer Little Bear to Caillou too, and thus far those are the only two DVDs Toby likes besides Baby Signing Time which I am soooo sick of.

Toby also got to meet Father Christmas at the yarn store. It was really cool.

I really wish we lived in London. Or Hawaii. But preferably, London.
post #52 of 324
Today I'm going to dive into baking. We decided to give DH's family heaps of baked goods instead of individual presents. I made some goodies years ago and people kept asking for them, so they should be happy!

So, I'm thinking of making:
  • fudge
  • brownies
  • sugar cookies
  • snickerdoodles (like sugar cookies but rolled in sugar and cinnamon)
  • jiffy cookies (cooked on stove, cocoa/oatmeal/raisins/coconut etc)
  • peanut butter cookies
  • some kind of quickbread

Most of the family LOVES chocolate, but there's also 3 older people and one diabetic so I'm trying to balance out the chocolovers with some less sweet things. I need to cut the list but it's so hard! Also, we're keeping some of everything too.... and I want to eat it all!

As for gifts on my side of the family, we're keeping them low cost. I found a bean bag toss game at the thrift store which I'll give to my two nephews. I just need to make some little bean bags. Other than that, I don't have anything to make.

(Well, I guess everything listed is enough!)
post #53 of 324
Well, I still don't feel fully human again. This sinus cold has really kicked my butt. I did manage to get up yesterday and sew the boys' pj's so that's one more thing crossed off my list. I also got 4 more pairs of pj pants cut out while I was waiting for the embroidery machine to finish their shirts. I feel good about that.

I haven't been able to keep up with the house as much as I would like though. I just don't have the energy for it. I swear I cleaned up the living room 5 or 6 times yesterday after the kids before I just gave up. I also haven't had the energy to cook so the family has been living on mac & cheese and sandwiches. The only saving grace is that we're not hosting any get togethers this season so if my house is a mess it doesn't matter.
post #54 of 324
OMG! I have one busy week away from the thread and come back to a bunch of new posters and 3 pages of a new thread! Hooray! I'm back!
Welcome everyone!
It was fun reading all of your goals for the new year. We're buying a house this Spring ($8,000 tax credit!) so that is a big life goal to achieve. That will mean prepping for a garden and doing lots of home related chores (painting, curtains, and beyond!). I'm hoping to have a craft room to facilitate more creative time. Maybe then I'll do all of the sewing projects I'd like to! I'm hoping that I'll have more time as DS gets older.
My mom will be moving in with us which should help with DS. She's fun to craft with and we always find projects and causes together. There could be some adjustment issues, but I'm hoping that blows over quickly. Hey, that's pretty Traditional: multigenerational living!
We're starting an intergenerational women's group at my church which will be really great. I think we're between 8-89!
In June I will graduate from my midwifery course and be ready to begin an apprenticeship! Woot!!!
I'd like to get smarter about gardening and put up as much food as possible.
I will start teaching again this year. Child Birth Ed, Fertility Awareness, and some craft classes. I'm hosting a Birth Circle in January!
So, that's the future! The present: Made and mailed out holiday cards. The herb workshop on Saturday was awesome. Made jewelry with the kids at church on Sunday. Enjoyed a Women's Solstice Celebration on Sunday night. Shopped for all the nephews last night- books for everyone. Braved the grocery store with the MIL today. Need to bake some zucchini breads tomorrow. Carolling at church thursday night. Friday dinner at the in-laws. Saturday a day of relaxing (we'll see if it really happens). Sunday church and lunch with a shut-in. All of this was so easy before motherhood. Now, it's very challenging! Still, I'm trying to enjoy the festivities and minimize the fuss.
I love this thread!
post #55 of 324
Two days until Christmas Eve. Much to do, yet need to keep the kids on routine. In fact, I told dh yesterday, that while he's home for a full week next week, we need to keep the kids on schedule. We don't run a tight ship around here, but they absolutely get crazy when they are off their routine. So today, even though I have a lot to do, I'm going to take them to the library storytime in the morning.
My goals are to clean my house. No one is coming over, but I really would like a clean house to enjoy over this weekend. Need to do it all, dust, vaccum, bathrooms.
I made some snacks for the weekend yesterday. I read somewhere here on Mothering, that one families tradition was to have different foods already prepared, so that Xmas day, everyone could just graze. I really liked this idea, so that I too, do not have to cook and can just relax. So yesterday I made a ranch chex mix and a popcorn mixture with nuts and cranberries.
I'm going to be making tortilla roll ups in spinach tortillas with turkey and crandberry sauce and some veggies. I'm going to put it on a platter in the shape of a Xmas tree. We'll have some dips, some celery with pb for the kids. Ham and cheese pinwheels and some other various things. So that's on my list to do for today and tomorrow. Still have to run a few errands that I wish I didn't. But all this work will be all worth it.
post #56 of 324
I love the idea of a holiday when mom doesn't cook.

I have had my children home and the house looks like it. Going to make cottage pie today for lunch, since they are here and I will also have my nephew at lunchtime. Dh should be home around lunchtime, too. Last night, I made pizza and I always make a few, so I have a lot of leftover pizza. Breakfast, I guess.

Today is also our anniversary. 12 years married. And our 3-year anniversary on the farm. I'd say time flies, but today it doesn't really feel like it.

I am trying to work on my writing work in progress again; got this month's Poets & Writers and it's such an inspiring issue. I picked up a pen and just worked on a couple of things I needed to get down. Now I am ready to pick up the novel again. I hope to make some real progress in this coming year.

I'm feeling very burnt out. I have been without a break, and dh has been coming home from work and "working on stuff" outside until late every night. I know he's avoiding inside because he wants alone time but I find it incredibly selfish that he can't figure out there's another adult who needs it, too. So I am not feeling happy this week. Doesn't help that December is always a time of family drama (as we do not observe Christmas but the entire rest of the family does), tight finances, feeling cooped up/sensory overload, weight gain, colds and flu, etc. Let's just fast-forward to March.

I am really, really hoping to get to the yarn store and get some nice yarn. I suppose there's always Saturday...
post #57 of 324
Congratulations on your anniversary. 12 years is something to be proud of!

I hope you get some rest mama and I also really hope you get some new yarn!
post #58 of 324
Christmas Eve is our "grazing" day. We put out buns, cold cuts, cheese, crackers, garlic sausage, cookies and bars.... The kids love it because they get to fill their plates with what they consider "fun food". Nothing's better than eating cheese and crackers for dinner. I'm going to the grocery store today to pick up the last of the "fun food" for Thursday.

I'm still feeling yucky with this cold so I don't know how much cleaning I'll get done. I need to do the floors in a bad way. They've been neglected since Saturday and with 5 kids and a dog it does not take long for them to get sticky and dirty. On top of doing that I need to wash all my bedding, again, since ds's night diaper leaked and he managed to get everything damp and pee smelling. I just washed everything less than a week ago. It wouldn't be so bad if it were just the sheets but I also have do the feather quilt and cotton quilt which both takes ages to dry.
post #59 of 324
I am loving this grazing idea. We're doing an easy dinner friday- a pot of quinoa and a pan of roast veggies and salad. That still leaves breakfast and lunch though... DH will probably do breakfast (if I ask) and I think I'll make soup for lunch. Not too hard on Mom.
1jooj- you have my sympathies. DH is the same way unless I stand in front of him and say, "Hey, remember me? I'm a person. I need a break!"
Today I walked to the post office with DS on my back in the blowing snow... it was intense. He was so bundled it was silly. There was a card from DH's godmother with a check for $300! That's going right into the house fund!
Finished wrapping gifts. Making a potpie tonight. The place is a wreck- let's hope tomorrow I can channel Mary Poppins!
post #60 of 324
Hello Traditional Homemaking Mamas. I would love to join you if I may. I am so attracted to the idea of TH, always have been. Growing up, my own family was very far from traditional homemaking. So even as a child I craved it.
Having a simple, peaceful, loving home environment is so important to me.

We have 4 children, who attend school (a co-op preschool and a charter elementary school). Given the uniqueness of their schools, we are very involved in their educations and strive to have an educationally stimulating home environment. I love to teach the kids about traditional ways.

I also knit, garden, and am trying very hard to work more on having family meals. (For a long time we did separate kid & adult meals, to simplify life a bit.) I look forward to learning more from you all and implementing more into my family life.
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