Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Planning update

Last year I went back to my homeschool tracker program in January.  I really love the ease of putting all the lesson plans into a grid and then moving them over to the assignment grid each week and being able to print out a daily to do list for the kids. 

I should say that its easy, after its all put into the program.

I am currently putting in all the lesson plans for the year into this program.  For some subjects, like math, its extremely easy.  Others like history or science, not so much.  For those subjects, I have to sort lessons outs and I'm working on making note sheets for the kids.  For example, TL's biology has the reading assignment, vocab words, and questions all ready for him to work on.  Its taking some time to do this, but once its done, I can use it for all five kids so no problems really.  Same thing with History.  We use Tapestry of Grace so I design sheets for the kids to take notes and work off of each week.  It seems to work out much better for them and me.  I know, I make a lot of work for myself but I'm OCD and everything has to have a place.

On the farm:
We're starting to get some veggies in.  The massive load should be in a few weeks and then I'll be canning canning canning!

The chickens are getting huge!!  We need to finish up their nesting boxes and do a little clean up to their coop.

My dad is here right now and has been busy for the last ten days doing projects with the kids.  They power washed the deck and put a new screen door on.  TL and dad put up motion lights outside the barns because we don't have any outside lights here and it gets dark!!  Dad also fixed the lights inside the big barn and outside of the garage.  And he fixed the exhaust fan from the bathroom....the pipe was filled with bird nest fixins.  And most importantly he fixed the shower.  I think all of his projects are done except to help me hang up stuff in the house.  We still don't have anything on the walls.

In the house:
I made my own laundry detergent the other day.  No problems at all; it was easier than I thought.  It seems to clean the clothes just fine so I don't have any problems with that.  I've also started using vinegar mixed with essential oils for softener.  Works great!!

I hope to work on making some mixes for taco and ranch seasonings.  And I'm going to be blessed with a freezer (mine died a few months ago) next week so I can start working on stocking up again and freezing some meals. 

I also hope to get the living room and dining room painted in the next few weeks. 

And I'm still doing cleanup outside.  The weeds shot up during our two months of rain and then I didn't have a weed eater, so you can imagine how it looks.

Take care everyone and have a blessed week!!


Saturday, July 20, 2013


Summer has finally arrived here the last few weeks.  We've enjoyed rain only once or twice a week instead of every day.  I'm still trying to weed eat around the farm and the garden beds as those areas are about two to three feet high.  All that rain just fed those weeds.  I did just pull out a bunch of them, it was easy peasy to do because the soil was so wet.

The chickens are huge and running around the yard.  They love to perch up in the corn crib, which is the barn where their coop is.  I don't think they realize that that's not entirely theirs, but whatever.   We should start getting eggs in another two months but first we have to build more nesting boxes.  I didn't expect thirty chickens and up till this week all have survived.  We lost one the other day to illness.  I pulled it out and gave it medicine but it didn't make it. 

TL returned from boy scout camp this week.  He had a great time and really got to know some of the boys.  He was appointed ASPL during camp, which is great.  He has two eagle required merit badges to work on during this summer/fall to earn life hopefully by Christmas.  I think he's excited to see how close he is to Eagle.

The girls have made an entire list of badges to work on for American Heritage girls.  I hope to go through one or two this summer.  They will also earn three at camp, which is in August.  I know they are a little nervous, but they will have a great time.

I've been working on lesson plans.  I hope to have most of them done before August.  My dad comes this week though and we'll be doing projects around the house so not sure how much I will get done.

I've designed our school year as I've wanted it in the past but never really been able to do it.  We will start August doing math, spelling, and reading.  September we will start a full schedule through the second week of June.  We will take a week off in September because my mom comes.  I have figured out that we will have seven weeks of school and then one off.  I will change up the weeks if I have to for visits from Kevin or my parents.

Here's how it looks so far:
                  August 5-Sept 20     school
             Sept 23-27              off
            Oct 30-Nov 15          school
            Nov 18-22                off
            Nov 25-Dec 20th       school
            Dec 23-Jan 3            off-Christmas break
            Jan 6-Feb 21            school
            Feb 24-28                off
            March 3-April 18       school
            April 21-25               off
            April 28-June 13       school

This gives us 39 full weeks of school.  I plan to school on most of the holidays that schools are off or we will do field trips those days.  The Christmas break will be flexible depending on when Kevin comes home. 

This week we'll be working with Grandpa and enjoying the pond up the street.  We swim all summer on a family pass which is pretty cheap.  Love fun summer days!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cow chasin'

Seriously, I need to write a book.  We went to our friend's house last night and got home around 10:30.  I pulled into the driveway and my lights hit the cow standing out in front of the barn..........which means they got lose out of the pasture.  It moved into the pasture which holds my garden and there were the rest happily munching away.  I was upset thinking that they were eating my plants but they didn't.  Anyway, they went over and stood next to the gate that led them into the pasture with the barn so we opened it up.  Two got spooked and took off in the other direction.

It was dark.  Pitch black and we don't have any lights outside on the farm and I can't get the ones to work that are here.  When the previous owner comes next month I will have him show me the trick of turning the lights on.  But I digress.

Here we are hunting them in the dark.  We found the gate they got out of.  TL and his friend had gotten rid of some weeds for me and forgot to close the gate.  I felt bad because I had to call the owner so late because I couldn't remember how many cows there were.....he was adding some and took some home, another one had had a calf.....too much for my little mind to keep track of.

The other two had ended up going through the gate before we shut it and got back in themselves.  In the end, we caught all before the owner even got there and he only lives ten minutes away.

good times.  good times on the homestead!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Been so so busy

May and June we had about forty inches of rain.  I didn't have a weed eater, so my trim and around the garden beds got to be about two feet tall.  This was the first week of sun we've had, and I've been working all week and haven't made a dent in the trim and weed eating.  Guess what I'll be doing this week?

I spent thirty hours selling fireworks at a tent in front of Wally World to raise funds for our church.  We have a building we call the Refuge with a large gym and a large game room.  We offer free after school programs for K-6th grade and open it up to the teens every Friday night.  We include free snacks in with this, so it takes a lot of money to run.  The town where our church is has about 600 people, and we have about 125 kids run through the programs each week.

I also had to get TL ready for boy scout camp, he returns today.  Today is the first day of rain in a week and its pouring.  I hope they're a little drier up there trying to pack up.

Last week we also hosted a boy scout troop from NE on their way to camp in WI.  They need a place to over night and I offered my place.  They were going to set up their tents but didn't arrive until almost dark as the youngest had gotten car sick.  There were four boys and two leaders so we had boys all over the living room.  I tell you, they were the nicest boys ever.  They played dolls with the little ones and let Bug-a-bug do their hair.  They even took time out of camp this week to get together and call and wish Bug-a-bug happy birthday.  We are excited as they have asked if they could stop in again on their way home and relax with us.  Of course we said yes!!

And of course it was Bug-a-bug's tenth birthday this year.  She's very excited that she will be getting her military id soon. 

I'm busy trying to work on lesson plans and some sort of schedule for next year while trying to keep up with the inside and outside.  I made a new chore chart and it seems to be helping a lot.  I'm also trying to work on a few wallhangings to get up when my dad comes next week.  I hope to do some painting while he's here and he can take the kids out for a while so I don't have to worry about them putting their hand in the paint.  Right now we have nothing on the walls and I really want to get stuff up soon.....we've almost lived here for a year already!

Garden produce should be coming in soon.  I'll be a canning mad woman.  I haven't canned in about twenty years so this aught to be interesting.    I'm also working on making our own laundry soap and softener this month.  I buy from a wellness company but we just can't afford it anymore....its too pricey.

So just super busy this summer.  I hope to take the kids to some state parks and check them out on the cooler days and already have field trips lined up to a Civil War Reenactment and a Pow Wow in Sept.  Oct we will hit the zoo and another state park.  I plan on doing a field trip once a month if I can.

Take care all and enjoy your summer!!