Christmas advent!

I think most people are preparing for Christmas earlier this year and while it’s not unusual for me to start Christmas shopping in March, I still usually have last minute gifts. As each year goes by I feel like we figure out more and more what our family traditions are and it gets easier to prepare for the season.

I have always liked the idea of the different Christmas book each day leading up to Christmas. As we don’t currently have 25 Christmas books and I don’t intended to buy that many new ones right now I have modified the idea to fit with what we already have. I did buy a couple of new but used books from ThriftBooks, my favorite place to buy books, and because they are having a buy one kid’s books get one free (under $5)!

So this is just our list of books. There are a lot of good Christmas books out there and I hope to add a few more maybe next year.

This year we are doing ten books, five Christmas movies, and five Christmas records. For the last five days I plan on doing our favorite holiday baking recipes. Each day the kids will get to unwrap a book, chose a mystery recipe envelope or pick a record to listen to and on movie night unwrap a movie, to make it a surprise and less arguing over who gets to pick.

Like I said, these are the ones we already have. So while they are some of our favorites there are definitely other movies and records we would love to get someday! I have become a big fan of owning what you love and paying for less subscriptions like Netflix or Spotify. The less monthly bills we have the better and when I own a record it’ll always be there. Unless the kids keep touching them….

I encourage you to figure out what you already have and find ways to make it fun and work for your family! And maybe add a little something new slowly as you can.


Mushroom lights

Party prep for Remington’s 2nd birthday has started!

Here is a clue. It involves mushrooms.

These two lights are from IKEA and while they are nice the way they are, I wanted them to be mushroom colored. It’s a simple tissue paper mod podge project.

It took maybe 10 minutes total and I’m very happy with how they look!

I can’t wait to work on the rest of Remington’s party plans!


Meet the gang!

We are slowly growing our little farm!

Our first animals we got in early summer, were chicks. Before we had moved. Moving with animals is not the easiest but they had just started laying when we moved so it was nice to not have to wait for eggs.

Baby chicks
The Newsies

We ordered 15 from Hoover Hatchery. One chick came with a hurt leg so we called it crutchy and the one barred Plymouth rock that ended up a rooster is Spot Colins and the rest are just “the Newsies” because they all look too alike.

Next are two cute little kitties! Atlas and my idea was Almanac but the kids kept saying Almond Ax so that name has stuck. They are cuddly and wild but luckily like to be outside.

Atlas & Almond Ax
A good reading buddy.

Our pig, Opal! We lost her within hours of getting her back in September but some how, after chasing her through the woods three times, she came back and Anthony pounced on her. I had no idea pigs could scream that loud!

Opal, day 1

The newest member of our family is our adorable puppy, Tamarack SnowLark. That’s what happens when no one what’s to actually pick a name, you just use all the name ideas. She is part Anatolian Shepard and part Maremma. While she is a LGD, for now she is mostly learning to guard our house and the kids. Someday soon we hope to have some sheep and maybe a goat to guard. It has been great to have a dog around. Because she was raised in the barn with goats she is still unsure of what to do in the house and has never even explored past the kitchen table and absolutely will not eat or drink out of dog bowls. Though she will eat the kitty food out of theirs!

Tamarack SnowLark
It’s a good thing she likes snow!

So there they are! Our little farm crew. What animal should we add next?!?

xo Charissa

Welcome to Birch Bark Cottage.

I’ve been so bad at doing any kind of blogging. But with social media going the way it is I feel more inspired to update photos here. So here it is. Our new (well last September), hopefully forever, home. At least the land, we do want to build a bigger house some day.

This photo was from October, not long after moving in. It has been a lot of work to get it to an actual home. It had no power, no water, no insulation, and a whole bunch of other “no’s”. Really just some walls and a couple of windows that needed to be replaced.

So here it is today! We added on two bedrooms and a mudroom area with a second door. We now have solar, though the panels are still in need of a permanent home. We have added some friends (I’ll do a separate post for them) and a lot of snow! There is still much to do but it’s finally feeling like home.