Can you believe how quickly 2016 is going? I’ve seen some Christmas countdowns in the last few days, and they’re still taking me by surprise! Fall if speeding by, especially since I’m knee-deep in these crazy college classes! So many of the memories I wanted to create with the kids just haven’t happened, unfortunately.
That’s why I was so excited to receive a copy of the eBook Homespun Holidays: Fall and Winter from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine to try with the kids. I applied for theSchoolhouse Review Crew for 2017, and as part of the process I was able to pick a resource to try out with my family to review. Homespun Holidays: Fall and Winter was on the list, and I’m so glad it was! You can pick up your own copy of this fun ebook from The Old Schoolhouse Shop.
What’s in the Homespun Holiday:Fall and Winter ebook?
I selected this particular ebook to review because the title sounded homey. Life has been crazy, and I needed an excuse to purposefully sit back and enjoy life instead of watching an entire season fly by.
This book didn’t disappoint! There were plenty of ideas to implement with the goal of enjoying the fall and winter seasons. Scattered throughout the book were holiday memories from the book’s contributors. I appreciated the variety of experiences shared, and the kids enjoyed listening to me read them.
Along with projects and memories, you’ll find delicious recipes inside this ebook. As the owner of only a black and white printer, I appreciate the fact that they were all shared in printer friendly format at the back of the book.
We’ve been enjoying an unusually warm fall, without any snow yet. The weather provided the perfect setting to tackle an outdoor project from the book.
Since we don’t have our typical homeschool schedule on Fridays, I took advantage of this extra time and engaged the kids in making scarecrows.
Of course, I’m not always great at following directions exactly as stated. So we used the book’s instructions for inspiration, and went searching around the farm and house for items to use. I loved the idea of making a scarecrow to represent everyone in the family, so we decided to make one for each child.
We didn’t have pumpkins on hand to use as heads, so we decided to stuff white garbage bags full of loose hay instead. I sent most of the kids out to the barn to collect the hay.
If I had been thinking properly, we would have completed this next step outside. But lack of sleep has really taken a toll on me. So I told the kids to bring the bags of hay on into the house to complete the next step.
That was a mistake; we had hay everywhere! Thankfully it cleaned up pretty easily once we were done stuffing all of their old clothes, but if you decide to stuff your scarecrows with hay or straw–do it outside!
We had a little trouble attaching the heads to the bodies. So we did some brainstorming. We tried using baling twine to tie them on, but I didn’t like how the orange twine looked.
So we brought out the metal clothes hangers. Those were amazing!
They hooked perfectly through the shirts of the scarecrows and we just poked a hole in the head with the hook part. It attached and stayed put.
Here’s Sydney’s scarecrow ready for it’s head.
We worked on our scarecrows for a couple of hours. It was an amazing memory building time of creativity and fun. Our final product may not be as beautiful as the ones in Homespun Holiday, but we love our fall display.
Ellie had a blast finding items from around the farm to add to the scarecrows, taking inspiration from the fall porch display project in the book.
Here’s one picture showing what our final product looked like. We’re still enjoying these, though we plan to take them down when we get our first snow.
There are several projects for both fall and winter, and we’re looking forward to trying out some of the winter ones soon. I appreciated that there are a wide variety of projects to pick from.
Some, I don’t see us ever doing. Like painting on old windows. That doesn’t sound fun to me! But, we will be making thankfulness bags to share with others, and creating a garbage sack wreath for Christmas.
The projects represent a nice variety of difficulty and expense. There’s something there for every family, which was refreshing.
Alright, enough about the projects. Let’s dive into the food.
My kids picked some recipes to try. We had everything on hand to try three of them out right away. So we made Pumpkin Chip Cookies, Brown Sugar Bars, and Autumn Soup.
The pumpkin chip cookies were delicious! And the recipe made 10 dozen. That’s a lot of cookies even for my big family. So we were able to bless some of my family with them, and bring some to a widow at church. It was a great way to teach the kids the importance of giving to others and being a surprise blessing.
The brown sugar bars were good, but the kids didn’t like them as much as the pumpkin cookies. They reminded me of a blondie brownie, but without the oil that normally goes into brownies.
Then there was the autumn soup. Monday night is soup night around here, so we made up a big batch. It turned out great! Look at all this meat and the chunks of fall vegetables!
It’s definitely a keeper recipe, especially since it didn’t call for any crazy ingredients.
There are plenty of other recipes to try in this ebook. We’re looking forward to making some of the winter favorites as we anticipate our first snowfall and move into December.
My Thoughts on Homespun Holiday
I really enjoyed this ebook. It provided the inspiration and motivation I needed to build memories with the kids. Our projects may not have turned out Pinterest perfect, but we had a blast working together.
And I think that’s the point of this book–it’s to inspire families to focus on each other and serving others throughout a season where that can easily get pushed aside. Comfort food, fun projects, and a glimpse into holidays past come together in a delightful way.
It’s a book I’ll definitely be using throughout the upcoming months. I’m glad that two seasons are incorporated into the material, because we’ll get a lot of use out of it. We don’t have to put it away when Christmas is over.
The kids enjoyed the change of pace from our typical homeschool routine. It’s easy to get into a rut, and this book provided some creative inspiration. It was just what we needed, especially since this season has been so crazy!
And since it’s an ebook, I don’t have to worry about it taking up space. Sometimes it can be hard to hang onto a book that’s seasonal if your bookshelves are overflowing (like ours.) That’s one huge advantage of digital files!
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your own family, or want to implement a new tradition or two, I’d highly recommend the ebook Homespun Holidays: Fall and Winter.
What’s Your Favorite Tradition from Fall or Winter?
I’d love for you to share in the comments.