Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Gifts from the Farmhouse!

Merry Christmas From the Colvin Family!
Take a peek at our Christmas preparations, and see the most important GIFT we've ever been given...
(I wrote this post last week, and as usual with allllll that's been going on it took a while to get it posted...I'm sorry!)

Christmas cards are going out, we're starting to decorate...rustic old farm style, we've been baking Christmas cookies galore, and the children and I have been making costumes for the Christmas play at church.... hit the music!"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..."

No other holiday brings a collective excitement to our home like Christmas!

Charity (6) has a countdown and has been painting "stain glass" ornaments, Levi (9) is my willing partner in odd decorations, Luke (12) with his big heart has gifts stashed everywhere, and Faith Anne is sewing up and embroidering a stack of....well, I can't tell! Noah is my quiet hunter, waiting for his prize deer to make Christmas dinner special. Titus has the Christmas bug bad too! He heads to the workshop every chance he gets, and  is making beautiful quotes and names with the scroll saw.

 The older boys all have stars in their eyes. Their gals will
probably be the only ones getting gifts from them this year! Caleb gave his gift early...Shelby Bennett, as of last Saturday, is wearing a beautiful diamond ring! Yes, they are engaged. It's very strange for this plain family...Adam, Caleb, and Isaac have all become jewelry conscience this year. 

We make a lot of our gifts. For me it's fun to sew or bake up a gift that I know will delight those I love. The guys head to the shop and fashion theirs out of wood. But a shopping trip with Daddy is a tradition in our family too. Last week we took the two "little" boys to Crossville, and had fun thrift hopping! Five thrift stores latter we each had treasures to use as gifts that cost ten cents to a few dollars! We pray the children will understand it's not the amount you pay for a gift that is important, but the love that is shown in the giving that is.

As we roll into Christmas week are there special people on your Christmas list that still need a meaningful gift? We are offering Farm Gift Cards on our main web page. They are an alternative to our traditional CSA and are being offered in large increments for this reason. We can easily sell them in $15, $25, or $100 also, just contact us with the easy link! We'll mail them directly to you, or in a beautiful Christmas card to whoever you'd like to give them to as a gift. It's a great way to say, "I love you", and also spread the word about eating local, and our farm. THANK YOU!
We made cookie plates with greenery on them to make them look festive for our loved ones.

One of our traditional Christmas cookies is Chocolate Crinkles. I'm not a big sweets person, but at Christmas, tradition takes over! This recipe comes from my Momma, Dorothy Krueger, and is Adam and Matthew's (our oldest son) favorite cookie. Folks at the Oak Ridge market have been enjoying these the past few weeks. Now you can enjoy them whenever a cozy cook day feeling hits!  It makes a large batch, but  the dough or baked cookies freeze. We like to free 1 to 2" balls that are slightly flattened. Then I slip them between wax paper for easy removal and bake up any amount at short notice during the winter!

Chocolate Crinkles

1/2 C. Butter
1/2 C. "Crisco" (we use Coconut Oil)
2 1/2 C. Sugar
2 T. Vanilla
4 Eggs
4 squares Baking Chocolate OR 3/4 C. Cocoa & 1/4 C. oil
4 t. Baking Powder
1 t. Salt
4 C. Flour
2/3 C. Milk

Cream butter, "Crisco" , and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Next add chocolate line, baking powder, and salt. Mix. Lastly add milk and flour alternately. Mix cookie dough WELL. Place covered mixing bowl in refrigerator and cool 2 to 3 hours (overnight is best). 
To form cookies roll dough into 1-2" balls and dredge in confectioners sugar.  Line a cookies sheet with parchment paper (well worth the price) and place the balls on the pan. Bake at 325 degrees for "8-10" minutes. Watch carefully and remove as soon as the edges are slightly brown. Let set on cookie sheet 5 minutes (unless overdone!) before removing. Keep in an airtight container with a piece of bread in it. (I know this sounds odd, but the bread keeps them moist).

Everyone loves whole wheat chocolate chip cookies! My
the made the house smell yummy!

Samuel (3) baking cookies with Grandma
(The Farmer's Wife).

All the "littles" helped make our holiday treats.
I like to spend one-on-one time with each child as we
make each kind. Charity and
I made Chocolate Mint Cookies together.

While I was baking on the other side of the kitchen with a
child, the other children worked at the table making chocolate
covered pretzels....a family weakness.

Luke and I experimented making "red" fudge
to fill the indents on the Chocolate Thumbprint
Cookies. Since we never do anything in a small
way, there were leftovers to use up. The chocolate dipped
Rice Krispie treats got a red drizzle...

We also have a special spinach dip that we put on our Christmas Eve buffet  that I'd like to share. It's sooo easy to make and stores well right up until New Years when we serve it again. I hope you try it also!

      Spinach Dip

10 oz. frozen chopped spinach
1/2 C. Helman's Mayonnaise ("tastes best") 
(This year I'll be trying plain Greek Yogurt with salt to taste.)
1/2 C. Sour Cream
Plain Bugles

Cook and drain the chopped spinach well. Mix in mayonnaise (or yogurt) and sour cream. Refrigerate and serve with our traditional plain Bugles. (We've also used Toll Crackers Club Crackers in a PINCH. But Bugles have been our once a year traditional splurge.) 

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16
This special manger scene from my Momma is in the living room,
but the Wise Men are traveling from afar so
they are the centerpiece on our 12' farmhouse kitchen

The most important gift ever given is represented in the farmhouse in many ways. Our focus is Him...our Saviour Jesus Christ. We're a Christian this time of year more than ever, we turn our hearts with thankfulness to the GIVER OF ALL GIFTS, and praise Him for the ultimate gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

Could you give one of YOUR children up for the harlot, (John 7:53-8:11)  a thief, (Matthew 27:38-54) or the greedy (Matthew 9:9)?  How about for me? "No.", you'd answer, "I'm sorry I couldn't." But God did! He offers you and I the gift of eternal life IF we accept the gift of His Son's death in our place to cover our sin. 

" For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 6:23

"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
Romans 3:23

If we but cry out to Him asking for forgiveness for our sins...for we have allllllll sinned. He is ever faithful in covering our sins with His blood! There is nothing to earn, no church to appease; just an Almight God that wants a personal relationship with you! How amazing! What a gift!!

Do you want the ultimate gift that will fill that aching void in your heart? Only Jesus Christ can cleanse you, and fill that spot He created in your life. Call out for the ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS GIFT today! 

"And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
John 1:14

"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift."
2 Corinthians 9:15

Seek Him today, 
for Wise Men still seek Him.

Abundant Blessings
Merry Christmas,
The Farmer's Wife

One of our sows gave birth outside the barn. There were
ten CUTE piglets which is great for her first litter.
I love seeing hogs in their natural environment!

Aren't I cute?!

These hogs have just been sent off for processing.
Look for fresh, non-GMO fed hogs to be
sold at winter markets within the next couple

The heavy frost we received this
morning looked like snow!
It was gorgeous.

Samuel really enjoyed trimming the tree
this year. It sure was fun to see it
all through his eyes!

Adam helped Charity hang ornaments
up high...this is his last Christmas at
home, so we're making the most of the memories.

Hope and Josiah (1) help put ornaments on the
tree too...

Samuel put the angel on the tree with Uncle
Adam's help. The new rag light garlands trim
each window.

Steve helped me hang the rag light swags.
Thank you sweetheart!
I saw a picture on Pintrest of a rag light
swag and wreath. I fell in love with the
rustic homey feeling after making the first one with
the children as a school project. We ended up trimming 6 windows with them! I love the warmth of the rooms!

Simply rip or cut strips of cloth into 1 X 7" strips.
Seperate your colors out into different bags. Then measure your lights around the area you will be trimming. Overlap any sections of lights back over themselves and twist tie the double layer of light wires together. Next, tie the lights up between two chairs. Begin to make your light swag by tieing the strips of cloth in a chosen pattern between each light. Fill in any gaps in the end before hanging your lights!

We had our extended family in for "Christmas Adam".
Our children name this "holiday" when our traditional
Christmas Eve celebration was preempted by a special service at
Christmas Adam is Christmas Eve Eve...

Adam's fiance Allison is excited
about the Welcome sign given her for
her new home!

Jeannie Brock got into the hyper
mood of the children...
It's 12:03 a.m. Merry Christmas!