Good Pickins’ #13

We have been engaged with several family gatherings and celebrations over the past two weeks or so, hopping from my parents to my in-laws to my brother and sister in-laws who live five hours from us to back home again. It’s funny how after an extended hiatus from normal life, however, the body decides its time to let down its defenses and go ahead and get sick. Anyone else experience an internal system crash when you’re supposed to be on break?

While we and the kids are working on getting back to full speed, I’ll share some pictures with you from our holiday hullabaloo.

The kids, excited about my family’s generosity:


December 2014 050

Fascinated with his new magnifying glassDecember 2014 053

Matching pajamas from a friend. Of course we couldn’t get them to smile at the same time!December 2014 073

Loving his new train village. The best part? It all goes back in one box pretty easily. December 2014 080

Four cousins in a tub. What could be more fun? cousinsNow that you’ve gotten to see all that, I’ll give you some Saturday reading material:

Learning to Live Without Walmart– One family’s list of current self-sufficiency accomplishments, projects, and future endeavors.  This family is a bit further down the homesteading road than we are, but their goals inspired me to continue down the path a little further ourselves!

Teaching Kids the Value of Work- I desperately want my children to understand their place in the family- they are loved, they are valued, and they are equal contributors to the household- and that means in chores too! Allyson at All Our Days shares a relevant book review that hopes to avoid giving your kids a sense of entitlement and encourages them to be cheerful workers in their household. I may have to check out the book Cleaning House myself!

How to Render Lard– Cooking with lard! I have to say, I have never tried this before. (Though we do save and cook with our bacon fat frequently.) But we have a local butcher down the road, who I am sure, will give us some fat if we ask for it. Have you ever tried this?

We Don’t Need No Education- Unschooling. Depending on who’s hearing it, the term can rattle up intense jealousy or complete scorn. Though I myself am uncertain whether unschooling could be The Right Choice for our family, and I can’t say to what extent I endorse it, I must say that this beautifully written article from Ben Hewitt is a striking account of freeing his own children from institutionalized schooling. Thoughts, anyone?

Hope you have a happy and healthy Saturday, to go along with your New Years. 🙂

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