Wow!  I can’t believe it’s been 2-1/2 weeks since my last post!  We had a wonderful CHRISTmas and I hope you did as well.  It’s hard to believe that another CHRISTmas has come and gone, as well as another year.  Where has the time gone?   I may ramble a bit, but I’m going to attempt to update you on all that has been going on around here. 
We are in the midst of a cold spell here in Southeast Tennessee.  The last couple of mornings, I’ve awoke to 11* temps.  They’re even talking about possibly some snow on Thursday!  My kids might possibly be going back to school tomorrow only to be out again on Thursday!  LOL  I’m sure they wouldn’t mind, though! 
Let’s see… what has been going on around the farm since my last update?  Well, we lost the 2 baby chicks that we had.  Not sure what got them. It could be any number of critters.   The kids seemed to take it very well.  Thankfully, I’ve not had any other hens trying to go broody since then. 
My older hens have all but quit laying most of the time, but now all my younger ones are laying full force.  We went from getting about 6 to 8 eggs a day to now getting anywhere from 12 to 22 eggs a day!  Mostly 18 to 22 a day!  In case you’re trying to do that math, that’s 84 to 154 eggs per WEEK!  Yikes!  and my sales are down which is not helping matters any.  I’m staying over run with eggs most days.  But, God has provided them for a reason and they are being used, just a little slower than I would like. 
We did manage to get most of the work done on the pantry/laundry room/bathroom, but there is still quite a bit to do.  We still have to finish fixing one of the walls in the bathroom and build the cabinets to go in there, finish putting up cabinets in the laundry area and painting and putting the peg board up in front of the hot water heater, finish painting behind the washer and dryer, and do a little touch up painting. 
Can I tell you what a blessing it is to have my dryer in the house now?  Especially in this cold weather?  I’m so thankful that God blessed us with being able to get this done this year.   And for blessing us with our new gas hot water heater.  WOW!  What a difference it has made in our electric bill!  Our electric bill has not gone over $80 since we installed it back in September!  And our propane bill is not that bad either.  For the 2 heaters and hot water tank, we’ve only used 145 gallons since September.  What a blessing this has been! 
 Of course, we also dealt with the death of Brian’s mom right after Thanksgiving.  It definitely made a difference, but we tried to remember all of the good times.  Christmas was her favorite time of the year, and we tried to keep that in mind.  We had my father-in-law over for breakfast Christmas day, and then he went to visit other family as usual.  We all seem to be doing fairly well, but there’s going to be some good days and some not so good days for a while.   Please continue to keep our family in your prayers. 
Brian and I also worked over New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to combine our 2 closets into one and turn the other one into an office/craft space for me!  So, I’m writing this post to you from my brand new work space!  It’s so nice to be able to have a space to call my own and, when I’m done, I can close the doors on it and it will be there waiting the next day.  No more folding table that I have to put up and take down all of the time.   There’s still some work to do, but that will come with time.  I can’t wait until I really have the space and time to scrapbook again.  What we’ve done so far is more of a “prototype” for what will be the permanent work space later on.  We’re making do with what we already have on hand and not having to spend any money.  Things happen a lot slower this way, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way.  You really do appreciate it more when you have to wait than when you slap down a piece of plastic to pay for it all upfront but then are paying on it for months/years to come WITH interest. 
Well, I think that brings you up to speed with where we’re at right now.  I’ve got pictures to show you, too, but need to download them first.  I’m a little bit behind.  I also want to show you the blankets that I crocheted for my kids for Christmas this year. 
Speaking of making gifts….  did you make any gifts yourself this last year?  What are your plans for this year?  I would love to  hear them!  My goals for this year are to make more gifts than I buy.  I’ve already started on a blanket for next Christmas.  If I can find a little time most days to work, I can potentially crochet 2 items a month.  We’ll see how it goes.  Of course, I want to make more egg ornaments,  as well as a different ornament for this year.  And who knows what crafty ideas I’ll come across as the year goes by!  I hope to find some really neat ideas to use! 
So, Happy New Year to you all.  May you keep Christ the center of all you do in the coming year! 
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