Several years ago our kids requested no more toys for Christmas for our grandkids. They already had so many toys that the mountains of additional toys they received each Christmas was beginning to be overwhelming.
So we started a tradition of Experience Gifts for them. We’ll gather them all up and go do something fun with them. We’ll take them out to eat, do a fun activity together and bring them to the Homestead to have a slumber party with their cousins.
Sometimes the activity is a live Christmas play, the Children’s museum or a drive-through Christmas light display at the lake. This year we took them to a Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course and also Rock Climbing. This annual experience gift is so much fun for them and us too!
But when we gather as a family on Christmas day, although the grandkids already received their gift a couple of weeks earlier, I hate that there’s no gift for them on this day.
So I decided to make Santa Sleighs for them this year. A cute gift and a little sumpin’ sweet for them too.
Fall is here, y’all! Now I know some folks relish in changing the décor for their homes or porch with each changing season. Although it looks great, seasonal décor changing has never appealed to me. I guess I’m just not a Pinterest-worthy decorator. LOL
But still, there’s just something about the arrival of cool temperatures after a long, blisteringly-hot summer… I started getting the hankering for some cute flannel and/or plaid accents.
So I thought it would be fun to make flannel-shirt decorative pillows for our guest bedroom. It was easy, even for my novice sewing skills. And here’s the kicker: I use those decorative pillows in my guest bedroom to store my spare sheets. It would be a great place to stash the grandchildren’s PJ’s and what not I think too. Clever, no?
RancherMan & I had a wonderful porch addition built to augment our back porch. Even before the porch addition, we’ve always spent our evenings out there enjoying that Texas sunset.
And when we have company, we all naturally congregated on the back porch. But now with the addition there’s even more room to spill outside & visit. And I’ve landscaped it up (on the cheap though, y’all)so it really is an oasis!
Recently I found several cute glass jar lantern lights at various craft & antique shops when we took a fun quick trip to Granbury, Texas. Of course I thought to myself: “I can make that!”
I’ve always used cloth napkins. I mean, why not? They can even make a meager meal feel decadent!
It’s a smart financial as well as environmental move for me. There’s no disposable plastic-wrapped paper napkins for me to buy over & over again & throw away! I’ve got cloth napkins that are over 20 years old. They still look great & are serving their purpose quite nicely.
Recently I wanted some red/white gingham napkins. But y’all know how much I hate to get rid of this whatsit to buy that whatsit. It just seems like an environmental waste to me. But I REALLY wanted those cheery red & white napkins!
My baby sister has recently been bitten hard by the ‘green’ bug. Oh she’s been environmentally-aware all her life, but now all of a sudden she’s taking it to the next level. These days she’s even making her own homemade yogurt and cottage cheese.
And although she’s always enjoyed hanging a few things on the line, she’s transitioning into hanging more & more clean laundry under that blue Texas sky to dry. Not only does she love the savings, but she’s discovered there’s really no substitute for that amazing aroma of sunshine on clean laundry!
When she had a birthday recently I put on my thinking cap. Y’all know we like to make homemade gifts whenever possible, but what would she like. Hummm… I KNOW! I’ll make her a clothespin apron!
To save our 1880’s barn we hired a contractor come shore up the exterior. We originally asked them to remove the the old ragged exterior boards and replace them onto the barn after the repairs were made.
But after removing these old boards and sorting through the ones too far gone for the barn, it was apparent there would be nowhere near enough wood to replace the entire surface. So we had them use new similarly-styled wood planks. We allowed the new wood to age for one year and then we sealed it for protection from the elements. They did an awesome job and our old barn has maintained it’s beautiful old look. (If you’d like a virtual tour of this beautiful old barn you can see it here.)