Thursday, November 19, 2015

Well i haven't posted for a while!  Everything is going well here, i'm slowly having less and less work to do outside.  I stopped watering my mums, nothing's in the garden anymore, no weeding, and most of our animals are in the freezer!  I miss being out in the warm sun but i will enjoy a break from outside tasks (at least for a month or so).

I do still have my greenhouse and no matter how cold it is outside, if the sun is out it's guaranteed to be nice and toasty inside there.  We're still getting cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, lettuce, and figs.  I'll plan to keep after things until January then take a couple months off from it.  It costs too much to heat it and with the lack of daylight hours, it takes a long, long time for anything to grow regardless of how warm we'd keep it.

We have an exciting weekend ahead.  Adam turns 10!  We also have an annual Men's Breakfast/clay pigeon shoot here at our house on Saturday.  There's typically close to 60 men that show up for part or all of this day.  Also Rod and Adam are going to an Eagles game on Sunday, a first for both of them.  Adam is very excited for his birthday weekend.  I believe i promised him Chuck E. Cheese somewhere in there too!

So that's a little glimpse of us here lately.  I've been making a lot of new recipes too that someday i'd like to get around to posting!

Have a great one, Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

day-to-day stuff

Since i should be getting other things done, it makes sense for me to be on here, chatting about our lives.  haha.  I am feeling caught up on big projects so i am justifying it.

Just wanted to share some of our routine and things we are enjoying right now.

Clay is doing tremendous with school.  I literally went into the year with him with NO idea how he'd handle school.  I didn't work with him nearly as much as i did with the other boys.  I think he learned the alphabet song somewhere along the way, but that was about it.  So to see him doing so well, and enjoying the work of learning is beyond words!

The older 3 really like school too, have good friends, a good routine, but do struggle with reading.  Their reading support teacher has showed some recent frustration with B & B's reading skills.  I have some frustration too, but a different kind.  Like why are they expecting so much out of kids these days!  But i get it.  They need to catch up.  I'm just so proud of the things they do well.  Things that don't show up in a classroom.  At least not in this country, or in this century.

I've been wanting to share the devotional i've been doing with the boys.  I love it!  I've tried out many devo's with them and this one really hits the spot.  The daily lesson is not long, but it opens the door for questions and thinking.  They can always relate.  I recommend it if you are looking.  Perfect for their ages (5-9).  Over the summer we went through the Lord's Prayer, every day it broke down a portion of the scripture and talked about what it meant.  Very practical stuff in here.

This is Brad's year to train with me for a 5K.  We'll do the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.  He can run for miles and miles.  But not real fast.  I don't plan to push him, the goal is to finish without walking and not come in last :)   I've been running on my own 2-3 times a week for a couple months.  I took a long break over the spring and summer.  It feels so good for me to run.  I actually think i'm addicted to it.  If i go 3 days without running i get low on energy and foggy in the head.  I love what it does for me.  And if my legs get toned in the meantime, so be it.

The boys had a half day of school today so we went up to Chiques Rock and did a hike and enjoyed the beautiful leaves.  They are just gorgeous right now.

If you made it to the end of this post, it's your lucky day.  I have a recipe that you will like!  It's from Pioneer Woman, i just love her recipes.  This was our supper tonight and it was very good.

November is almost here, I love this addition to the barn.  It's very fall-like, but maybe i'll keep it up all year round :)   Nah, probably not.
The boys sold lots of popcorn this year, they made over $50 all together.  Now the rest of the cobs aren't real pretty, so we'll keep those or give them away.  Hit us up next year for some popcorn, it's a fun experience and makes a neat gift!

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a blessed week!

Monday, October 19, 2015

some updates

Our patio is just about complete, only some electrical work yet to do!  Rod had some guys over and their kids last week for the first patio party.  There was quite the aftermath left to clean up.  But at least it was close to the house!

Before party:
After party:

Rod designed the whole patio and oversaw the progress.  He has a gift with design and creating things that's for sure!  He even found the furniture at a yard sale.  We love the patio and look forward to many good times out there.  It's on the south side of our house so i hope to be out there into these colder months when the sun is out.

Well on Tuesday we butchered our 25 chickens AND my beloved turkeys.  If i had time, i would be sad about the goobers being gone.  But alas, life goes on.  They are fun animals to have around and we'll get some again.  But their poops were getting real big and messy toward the end.  I do not miss that.  Mom, i got Thanksgiving covered this year!

The man who butchers for us gave me a great compliment.  He looked at the birds after butchering and said "i can tell they had a good life, this meat looks great".  Even though our goal is to kill our animals, we do desire to give them a happy life while we have them.  We free range as much as possible, allowing them to do what God created them to do.  I do not like the idea of keeping anything caged up.  I even feel bad for our little snapping turtle in his cage.  But with giving freedom comes some sacrifice, like my flowers don't look as nice thanks to our free range goats, who love to eat my flowers......and climb.....and poop:
We harvested a few peanuts a couple weeks ago, to see if they were ready.  Here's some of what we got.  I think we'll pull the rest out this week, along with harvesting the boys popcorn.  Sad to see the season ending.  We still have a few things going in the greenhouse.

Thankful for another great apple harvest this year.  I did applesauce 2 days, we gave lots of apples away, and got 18 gallons of cider made.  I love picking the apples.  This year instead of the man lift, i used Rod's van.  I parked it under each section and stood on the roof (his idea by the way).  Couldn't reach them all but i estimated about 30 bushel picked this year. 

Day one of sauce making:

I love to admire God's creativeness through animals.  Here are some we've seen around here lately.  They aren't all pretty, but yet they're amazing. 

A snapping turtle found in the creek a month ago.  They think it's the same one that got away from us in early spring (don't ask how a turtle could 'get away') 

Last week, they found a bat in the flower bed.  He fell from somewhere up in the barn, the boys heard it fall.  He soon scampered away. 

Someone caught a 'possum in their cage

Adam took this picture of turkey buzzards hanging out on the swings.  

After all that animal stuff, i should put a picture up of the boys!  We went to Cherry Crest last Thursday, using up their free tickets, and did the maze for the first time.  Usually they are occupied with all the other activities and we've never gotten around to doing the maze.  We did the intermediate route and it took about an hour, i think.  We enjoyed it, that place is pretty amaizing 

Rod took Ben and Brad flying for their first time, they've been waiting for their turn!  They both 
loved it.   I may never get to fly again!

We have 4 events coming in the next month here.  The first being this Saturday, the boys are having their classmates and families here for a barn party.  This has gone really well in the past.  Looking forward to meeting the families in the boys classes this year. 

I'm another year older now, last week i turned 37.   And since Clay said i look like i'm in my "twelves", i guess i won't worry about looking old for the time being :)

Time to get to my window cleaning project.  I've stalled long enough.  Thanks for reading. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Field trip - Phillies stadium

We didn't get to a game again this year, and i've been wanting to do the Phillies tour for a few years now.  A perk of homeschooling is we can go ahead and do the tour on a weekday!  They are only open Fridays and that happens to be a homeschool day, so i took the boys down yesterday.  

Really enjoyed the 1.5+ hour tour of the stadium, broadcasters' both, press box, dugout, and suites.  They gave a lot of info which was interesting to me, but not really to the boys.  They just liked playing around and feeling like big stuff.

This picture shows the boys personalities so well....Adam has all the great ideas but wants others to do them (pretend to talk in the mic).  Ben is our thoughtful one, who dressed Teddy to match him.  Clay is outgoing and gave the post-game speech.  Brad is our goofy funny face, fun lovin' guy.

Phillies dugout.  Ben found lots of sunflower seeds

This is a model of the stadium and parking lot.  It took 28 months to build the stadium. 

We had a really good tour guide, who Clay of course buddied up with.  

I've always known a lot of useless Phillies stats and info, now i REALLY know a lot :)

Friday, October 2, 2015


I bet you didn't know there was a Polo Field in Lititz, called the Lancaster Polo Club that has weekly matches, did you??  Well me neither.  Until we got invited to a match that we went to on Sunday.  We were given tickets up to 16 people.  We enjoyed the unique experience.  The game itself was boring, but the food, wine, socializing, and beautiful weather made it memorable.  We learned a little about the sport that i was clueless about prior.

A polo field is almost 10 acres.  Fans sit around the field, everyone has a good seat

The kids are allowed on the field in between periods, or "chukkers".  There are 6 chukkers per game, each one lasting 7 minutes.  The whole game takes about an hour and a half.  So really, the break times per game are longer then the playing of the game.  kids didn't mind. 
Technically the fans are supposed to fix the divots in the grass during the breaks.  I'm thinking the kids made more divots. 

Game over.  Lancaster won 4-2

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I don't have a lot to post about, things are good.  The boys are liking school this year so far, and i still wonder what on earth i'm thinking on those days when they are home for school!  It's not that it's going bad, but when i think about the alternative of them being at school every day.....that sounds pretty fabulous to me.  But they like where they are, and that is all i need.  Academics don't come easy around here, so it is hard work for all to stay on task and see that it's worth the effort.  

Plus, there's still construction going on here, which is highly distracting.  It is exciting to see our patio coming together.  I didn't know it would take so long to do, but we are almost there.  

The concrete is getting poured today....i think

The boys participated in Hempfield School district's regional cross country run (that's a mouthful).  The top 5 finishers in each grade move on to the Championship at Garden Spot next month.  Everyone but Brad qualified.  He took it pretty well.  I wasn't sure what to expect, it was a well laid out course at our local middle school.  Clay did 1/4 mile, the others 1/2 mile.  

I decided one of my favorite things to do is watch Clay run!   Apparently the other boys felt the same way.  
2nd place

Ben got 5th

Adam got 2nd 

This week starts my apple project.  We have a number of trees, at least 3 different kinds.  All but one were on the property when we moved here.  We haven't sprayed or trimmed them once and they produce like crazy.  I'm making applesauce this afternoon. 

The goats are downright lucky they are cute because they are doing a number on my roses

I'll end with a link from my favorite homestead blogger.  She has almost the same animals we do and does a lot of the work herself, and 4 children like me so i can always identify with her words.