Thursday, December 30, 2010

More Snow Fun

When I walked out to clean out the chicken coop yesterday afternoon, I couldn't help but to snap photos of the children's sledding runs.

a gentle run with a small jump

a black diamond run

Warm wishes for a joy filled day,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I had this funny feeling when Isaac (he is 12 years old) came in from outside, stuck his head inside the door and said, "They have fires in igloos, right?"  

I replied, "Yes, with a hole in the roof, of course."

A little while later he came back in and asked, "Mom, can I have some matches?"

(just a note, there were no little ones outside with him when he did this)

As I went out to check on him a little later  I discovered ~

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Morning Chore

Each morning in the winter, when the temperatures are very cold, I take over Abby's morning chore, and head out the door with a warm pail of water and some grain for the chickens.
Here is the view as I walk out the front door, this morning the sun was rising.behind the evergreens.

I am still in my flannel nightgown with long underwear and wool sweater under my barn coat.
The fresh cold air feels refreshing as I listen to the crisp crunching as my boots step on the snow.

As I walk toward the chicken coop, and look to up to the left ~

the beautiful morning sky is turning blue with the moon still bright.

 and I enjoy a brief visit with the  chickens.

What a blessing that I get to experience this each morning, even when, like yesterday, the wind was howling and the snow was falling down my back - I rejoice about the amazing gift we are given to live on such a beautiful earth.

Warm wishes,

Monday, December 27, 2010

Images from Christmas Day

Abraham looking at a puzzle he received from his brother

hand knit mittens for Abraham

Abby made her Poppa a pillow with "poppa" embroidered on it
Wooden play people for Abraham and Sarah

Presents wrapped with recycled papers and yarn with painted words and pictures

Sarah with a hand knit sweater from her Poppa

An afternoon hockey game - the children were given hockey nets from Poppa

This week after Christmas is such a nice time to reflect, organize, spend time playing games inside  and outside, and to make some plans for the coming months.  What are you doing this week?

Warm wishes, Tonya

(I am also putting the finishing touches on the newsletter - sorry for the post-Christmas delay.  They will begin to be mailed on Friday.  I am really excited about this issue.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blessings on this First Day of Winter and Warm Christmas Wishes

We are ~

enjoying the antics of having a puppy and a a kitten

keeping busy while mom and dad finish the last of the orders

bringing some of the outside in

making gifts

 and baking ~

I will be mostly off the computer the next few days, enjoying the baking and making with our family.  We had a last minute order rush which resulted in two trips to the post office yesterday.  But, now all is officially done, and my heart and mind are eager to turn toward this week of joyful celebration.

Wishing all of you a warm and wonderful week,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Handmade Holiday - Last Post

It  has been a joy to do this each week since July.  I have been introduced to  many new people through their blogs and have enjoyed all of the creative ideas.  Thank you so much for sharing and I apologize to so many of you that I probably did not include .  We have dial up internet, so the going is slow and I don't alwyas get the chance to visit everyone each week.

Hopefully, this Christmas will be filled with some handmade goodness for you to share with others and also that the process of creating has been a positive one for both yourself and for your children that may have wanted to join you, and just maybe one of your children has learned a new skill or two as well.  Also, maybe by giving a handmade gift to friend or relative for the first time, just maybe, this will light a little spark within the receiver that it is possible to make and give handmade useful, beautiful, and/or thoughtful gifts instead of having to drive down to the mall or big box store and buying something that may have been produced in less than ideal circumstances by people earning very little and have to work in a very unhealthy environment.   

Small things truly do matter and by living a life true to my beliefs is all I can do.   My hope is that the ripples may someday turn into waves.  Anything is possible, right?

Ok - here are some more wonderful ideas from some of you ~

Homemade Laundry Detergent from Earth Mama

Beeswax Lantern from Moment to Moment

A Wet Felted Playscape from The Little Gnomes Home

A Simple Knit Hat from McGreen Experience

Peg People from Peas and Carrots
Warm wishes,

Saturday, December 18, 2010

And the winner is...

Molly McGovern - please just email me your address so I can get the honey and beeswax off to you on Monday.
Thanks so much to everyone, this was really fun to do.

Also Tracey, could you email me again (the winner of the maple products) - I deleted your email message - so sorry.
Warm wishes, Tonya

Friday, December 17, 2010

Skating and Christmas Preparing

Yesterday was our first day out on the pond... so much excitement and fun.  Last night the children headed out on the ice after supper.  We discovered a flood light that shines on the pond. What a wonderful blessing.

Daily, little holiday preparations take place... (most of our holiday orders have been filled and shipped - which is such a great feeling)

stringing cranberries and popcorn

baking for friends and neighbors - this is a batch of cranberry, oat, walnut, with white chocolate chips cookies

There is a nice relaxed feeling as we prepare for the coming week of celebration.
Warm wishes,

(The honey giveaway below, will close at 7:00 pm tonight.  I will announce the winner then.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

From the Bees Giveaway

We are so blessed to have another neighbor, Northwoods Apiary, just one mile down our dirt road.  Josh tends the hives himself and harvests certified organic raw honey and he collects the beeswax.  Our family buys the honey in bulk from him and adds our own label.  We also buy the beeswax in blocks, melt and strain the wax into one ounce bars to sell in our shop.

This honey is the best honey I have ever tasted.  It is in a cream form as it is raw.  So yummy.

I am offering one jar of honey and 4, one ounce bars of beeswax in a giveaway today.  To enter, just leave a comment.  I will pick a winner randomly on Friday evening, the 17th at 7:00 pm EST.

Thank you  for this wonderful space.   It has been such a blessing to me and my family to share and learn with so many kind people.  We are enjoying the opportunity to give back just a little.

Warm wishes,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Workshop in the Living Room

With the rain covering our snow and the resulting muck and mud covering our yard, we set up a little workbench in the living room for Abraham and Sarah. 

Mike and I continue in our workshop, working on our stainless steel counter top in the kitchen, drilling, sanding and packaging.

Knitting is getting done in bits and spurts as I work towards finishing gifts for our family.

Warm wishes,

Monday, December 13, 2010

Handmade Holiday - 2010

Knit dishcloths from Honor Crowned Crafts - a wonderful last minute gift 

Cranberry white chocolate chip oatmeal cookies - a great idea from cardigans and kids - would be wonderful for neighbors

Adorable potato printed mushroom shirts from Twig and Toadstool

a wonderful gift for baby from Groovy Moments

knit hat and mittens with a link to the free pattern at While the Water Boils

jacob's ladder tutorial from Duo fiberworks

The winner of the neighbor giveaway - is #75 - tracyp - please email me at as I don't have a way to contact you.
Thanks everyone for entering.  I am going to be passing on another neighbor giveaway tomorrow.
Warm wishes,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Light and Love

May your days ahead be filled with light and love during this beautiful season.

I will be back on Sunday with the winner of the giveaway (you can enter below).  
We are busy as elves here at  home filling holiday orders.
Warm wishes,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yarn Along

Joining in again with Ginny ~
I am knitting for business today - a custom order for six of these little guys, knit with hand dyed rainbow yarn.  The pattern can be found here

In regards to reading, we have been enjoying our Christmas book basket, that is just about all the time I have during these busy days with our business - squeezing in a book to read out loud to the children here and there throughout the day.

Warm wishes,

(Don't forget about the giveaway, below.)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meet our Neighbors and a Giveaway

The Wheelers live just across the road and down about 1/4 mile.  They have two wonderful boys that are similar ages to Abby and Isaac and they also homeschool.  We are very blessed to have them nearby considering the fact that we live in such a rural area.

They have a full time family business making and selling organic maple syrup other delicious food products. 

I had fun picking out some of their offerings to offer to one of my readers in this giveaway.

Chocolate Maple Mudd - Chocolate Peanut Butter
Spicy Maple Mustard
Dill & Honey Mustar
Maple Buttermilk Pancake Mix

To enter, please just leave a comment. 
The drawing will be on Sunday evening at 7:00 pm.

Warm wishes,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Handmade Holiday - 2010

a so sweet felt camera from Aux Demilunes

primitive table runners from The Blessed Hearth

wool blanket from Moment to Moment
(also some other great repurposing ideas)

Hand embroidered cards from the Knitty Gritty Homestead

a quick knit headband from Blue Skies Dragonflies

Warm wishes for a week filled with peace and lots of handwork,

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Over the last week we have experienced death twice on our little homestead.

Last Thanksgiving night Abby's little cat, Alice, at just two year's old fell very sick and within 6 hours has died.
At about 10:30 pm that night, she woke us with two loud howling sounds and then all fell silent as Mike and I stroked her soft fur and her little body fell still.  That was the first time I had been beside a living thing as it departed this life here on earth.

We waited for family to leave the following day to share the sad news with the children.   Oh, so sad.

Yesterday, Sarah found a sick chicken out in the coop and asked to bring her in.  I said sure and suggested that she get a box and put some hay in the bottom.  Sarah spent about an hour feeding and holding and just loving that hen.  Then, just about 60 minutes later, the little chicken gave two loud last gasps of life and fell over still.  She had witnessed the last moment of life as just a week ago, my husband and I had experienced.

My thoughts have been filled once again with the question of my purpose here on earth - why have I been  given this precious life, and more importantly how I am to spend these moments that I have here.  How am  I to live a life that reflects God's love?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sweet Moment

Sarah with Lily yesterday morning

Don't forget to check out the new winter edition of Rhythm of the  Home.  It is filled with wonderful articles and projects and it is free.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Yarn Along

Joining in again with Ginny ~

This week I am reading a new book, Stay a Little Longer by Dorothy Garlock.  This is a very easy read about a family's struggles post World War I.   I need a light read for bedtime and this is easy and enjoyable.

This yarn is my second go around for a pair of slippers for Abraham using this pattern here.
The first pair I cast on 40 stitches with bulky yarn on size 4 needles and I came out with this cute pair shown below - perfect for an infant.  I am now going to try again in the above worsted weight  yarn, casting on 56 stitches with size 4 needles again.

Does anyone have a suggestion to put on the bottoms to make them not slippery? 

Warm wishes,