Updates from the Homestead

  We had a very nice Christmas.  The day was relaxing.  We had our Christmas meal on Christmas Eve and then just enjoyed leftovers and goodies on Christmas Day.   

Here are some pics to share ……


I did not waste any time however and yesterday with the help of my kids we got Christmas all cleaned up.  The tree is out back ready to take down to the goats for a little Christmas time treat, the decorations are all put away and the house all cleaned up.  Now maybe I can think better! I love the holidays but I also love the feeling of putting it all away and looking forward to brand new year with all of its excitement, goals and planning.   

Seems as though my year will start off with plans right away!  There are two weeks now until Richards wedding! Yikes!  

Yesterday I was starting to feel a bit stressed with details.  So I did what I always do when I feel that way.. started making a to-do list..  it is amazing how that helps me.. write it down, see what needs to be done, figure out when it needs to be done and I feel my stress level fade a bit.   

I have at least three trips into town lined up this next week to deal with things..  clothing, cake, decorations, etc..  Then the following week will be devoted to dealing with the food preparations and getting my house clean and in order.  Since it is a small wedding the reception will be here at my house afterwards.   

I have a question.. does anyone have a good tried and true punch recipe they would care to share?  I don’t make punch and was hoping to find a recipe that someone has some good experience with.    If you do you can leave the recipe in the comment section or send it to me in an email: crystal@thefamilyhomestead.com  

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to set goals for myself for the upcoming year.  I have some basic goals in mind.. like make tons and tons of soap!  I have not had the time as of late to stay on top of it like I usually do and my inventory is suffering because of it.  So I think February and March and maybe April will be devoted to soap making.   

I can’t wait to start planning out this years garden as well!  My garden was so much fun and gave us so much that I am really looking forward to doing it again.  We are still enjoying spaghetti sauce and salsa that I made from my garden tomatoes as well as other goodies I made.  So that has me thinking about what else I would like to plant and plan to use in some way.   

Those are just a couple of my goals.. I think my mind will be able to focus on goal planning with more clarity after the wedding!  Or maybe after January.  My best friend’s son is also getting married in January and I have committed myself to helping her out too.  His wedding is two weeks after Richards.   

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday! 


  1. This punch is wonderful. We use it at showers.

    Ginger Ale, Pineapple Juice, Raspberry Sherbert. Its a beautiful pink color and oh so yummy. Love, Tina

  2. We have always made a punch for Christmas or any other family event,its a very simple one of any clear pop(sprite,gingerale 7up) a bottle of pinapple juice a can of frozen pink lemonade and a couple of cups of orange juice (you can also use a can of frozen orange juice here instead)

  3. Similar to the other recipes left here...

    We always do punch for a piano recital - usually use a lemon-lime drink (sprite, 7-up, store brand...) and lemonade - ratio of 1 two liter bottle of pop to each pitcher of lemonade (the amount made from 1 frozen can of lemonade concentrate, however much that is), then add scoops of lime sherbet. I've taken to scooping the sherbert ahead of time and putting it on a cookie sheet and back in the freezer to harden (then, sometimes, taking the individual scoops off the sheet and putting them in a bowl and back in the freezer again for minimal sticking/effort at serving time).

    Alternately, I believe my mom has used grape juice in place of the lemonade and scoops of raspberry sherbet if you want a pinkish punch instead of greenish. This year, we couldn't find lime sherbet and ended up using strawberry-kiwi instead. Anyway, I suspect you could combine just about any fizzy drink and non-fizzy-juicelike drink and add sherbet of your choice - you just might want to check the flavor combination ahead of time. It tends to make a pretty, fluffy-looking (lots of ... suds? on top) punch.

  4. I don't really have a particular recipe, but one thing I learned from my mom is to always put in about 2 cups of tea/punch bowl. I don't know why but the tea really gives a nice lift to the flavour of the punch. I just make a huge jug of unsweetened black tea the day before and chill it until needed.

  5. Speaking of making tons of soap..........I just wanted to share that I bought the ingredients to make your laundry soap recipe. I'm going to make it today. I'm looking forward to seeing how well it works. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I'm glad you had a nice Christmas.........Blessings and Happy New Year!!.........Teresa from Red Maple Roost

  6. Add 1 (2 ltr) of Sprite or 7UP (off brands work great too) to 1 lg. jug of Hawaiin Punch then add a tub of Rainbow Sherbet. It's pretty, takes great even once the sherbert has melted and well, packs a 'punch'. I always receive a lot of compliments on this punch. ALSO, a friend of mine thought it would be interesting to exchange the Sprite for Orange Soda ~ she said it was fantastic! Enjoy!

  7. I worked at a wedding venue for several years, and when we would have "open house" for customers to come in and look around, we served this punch. Warning: it goes really FAST. Crystal Light Peach Iced Tea and Sprite or 7-up (used the diet to cut back on calories). Dump one little tub of the peach tea into your punch bowl and add the 7-up to taste. Depending on the size of your punch bowl, you may need to double everything. Experiment on your family and see if they like it. You can also use the Raspberry Ice flavor Crystal Light with good results too.

  8. 2 liter ginger ale

    Tall can of pineapple juice

    A bottle of white grape juice

    Refrigerate all bottles till ready to put together.

  9. Rainbow Sherbert and Sprite

    Leave sherbert out to soften and just add sprite.

  10. We used the 7up/fruit punch recipe for years until we found this new recipe. I love it because the OJ gives it a bit of nutrition!

    1 frozen OJ concentrate

    3/4 cup water

    4 cups vanilla ice cream

    1-2 liter ginger ale

    1/2 tsp. vanilla

    Mix and enjoy! I found that this filled my punch bowl to just a bit over half full.

  11. My grandma always used to make punch with Sprite, Hawaiian Punch and scoops of vanilla ice cream. From the looks of the responses you received, everyone has similar expereinces with punch making. Good luck and best wishes for a great wedding and reception!

    From ~ A Proud Military Wife

  12. 1- 2 liter of Gingerale

    1 can of Orange Juice(46 oz)

    1 can of Pineapple Juice(46 oz)

    1 quart of Lime Sherbert (added as small chunks)

    You can make all at once or half the recipe..


  13. Squirt and Hawaiian Punch makes a very tasty punch.

    Adding sherbert to it makes it even better. For some reason, using Squirt instead of the usual 7Up or Sprite gives it a little extra kick.


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