Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Materials for the School Year

I finally ordered our math for the new year, Teaching Textbooks grade 7. It was actually kind of funny when the UPS guy delievered it. Grace came running because she knows usually the UPS here means something fun is being delievered. We all know how much Grace dislikes math. Well she ran up to me and said, "What's int he box?", I replied simply "Math". She turned and walked away.

I wasn't sure if I had posted about this yet so decided to do it anyway. Simply Charlotte Mason has a new product available for picture study. Picture Study Portfolios contain pictures of paintings and a biography as well as instruction on how to do picture study in your home. No gathering materials. One click of the purchase button and you are on your way to a thorough study of an artist. I purchased two to get the year started off. I think SCM sold out the first go around but has more in now. I think they were pleasantly surprised to the response. More artists are also in the works. This just made my life a whole lot easier.

All About The Garden

Today's harvest consisted of cukes, red potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, banana peppers, and squash. The zinnias in the back were also harvested by hubby this morning from the garden. We planted them to help with pollination and pests.

My sister asked last night for cukes and squash. So tonight after dinner this box will go to her and friends. No one in our family likes squash, the plants actually belong to my mother but she and my dad can only eat so much squash.

I had neglected so far to show a picture of our new dehydrator. It has been getting a work out. Today I spent two hours preparing thinnly sliced potatoes to dry for 8 hours. Tonight I will cut up most of the bell pepper to dry.

True Confessions

I am a Glenn Beck groupie. There I said it. I started watching Glenn Beck on CNN 4-5 years ago and then followed him over to FOX News. A couple of years ago we decided to let go of our cable tv and watch Netflix through our Roku box or watch all the free programming these days you can find on the Internet. One thing that I would miss was FOX News and The Glenn Beck Program. We have never looked back after losing the cable. Too much trash commercials and TV available for children's ears and eyes. While meandering my way through the Internet today I find something very interesting. Glenn Beck has started his own network, but it is so much more that just a TV program. I urge everyone to jump over to and take a peek at what will be offered. Soon you can even watch this through your Roku box. His company has amazing things planned.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


  • Woke up to hubby cooking breakfast and cutting potatoes to dry in the dehydrator. I immediately went to work placing the cut up potatoes on the trays. The bell peppers were dried all last night and turned out well.

  • Created a playpen area in the back yard for the baby chicks to get some outdoor play time. They will be five weeks old on Monday.

  • Brought home a sugar baby watermelon last night from the garden, turns out it wasn't ready yet to eat. This morning gave it to the chickens and they have picked clean down to the rind.

  • Took Grace to the library to cash in her reading hours. She purchased three books with some of her money and saved the rest for the next visit. In the month of June she has also earned free ice creams or milk shakes from multiple area restaurants.

  • Today Grace wrote another paragraph in her story, drew an illustration for the story, read for thirty minutes and listened to audio of the first Harry Potter book.

  • Due to an abundance of eggs I made cookies yesterday and will make pound cake tomorrow. Also had potatoes and eggs this morning for breakfast as well as making deviled eggs this afternoon.

  • Hubby working at the art gallery today and some tomorrow to help out the owner.

  • Hoping to get some spray paint tomorrow to paint two filing cabinets black to bring in the house and do some much needed organizing. Need to consolidate three different areas of bills, school paper work, etc.

  • Continuing to read about permaculture and how we might be able to use it here at home.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Harvesting, Baking and Planning

I must be slow on the uptake but until now I never checked out from the library The Pioneer Woman's cookbook. Saw it on the shelf this week at the library and snagged it. Lots of great recipes. Also picked Gaia's Garden For Home Scale Permaculture. Due tot he fact we live on a very wooded, shaded acre we are researching permaculture to see how it would work on our property and what exactly we could grow food wise.

Oldest child asked me yesterday to make some snickerdoodles and never quite got around to it. Probably because I did a marathon session of finishing Damages Season 2 on Netflix. But today after visiting with grandparents and going to a doctors appt. was finally able to accommodate his request.

Scott and Grace were headed out this afternoon for some swimming down at the river and he remembered that his sandals were down at the garden. So off he went to the garden to retrieve sandals and came back with two bucketfuls of vegetables. The garden has exploded with items to harvest. He grabbed what he could and will head back down there this evening. Tonight after dinner my job will be slicing all the harvest bell peppers and put them in the dehydrator for drying. Believe it or not bell peppers require 14-18 hours in drying time. Might as well happen all night. Our bell peppers have been more thin walled than the ones you get at the grocery store so we might be able to shave off some of that drying time.

Also our tomatoes are just about ready for harvest. We have been told by other gardeners that are using the same land as us that tomato rot is a real problem. So Scott went ahead and picked these to let them finish ripening in the window to hopefully escape the rot. Me and my sister hope to make lots of salsa next week.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Silence of the Bees

Call this the week of the documentaries. This morning I watched Nature: Silence of the Bees from Netflix. This one had to come on disc, not available through instant. But I think it was well worth getting sent to me. Anyone that grows their own food should be interested in this. Actually anyone that eats food should be interested in this. Colony Collapse Disorder has been in the news for a few years now. I never really investigated it any further until I started growing some of our own food and wanting to make sure we had flowers available to encourage pollination. The honey bee pollinates 1/3 of all the food you eat. Millions of honey bees have just disappeared over the last few years. Scientists are unsure if a bunch of factors are to blame (pesticides, fugus, virus, bacteria) or one virus in particular that was found in each hive that had CCD which is IAPV(hope I've got this right). Something I also learned from this documentary is that many farmers across the United States pay commercial bee keepers to bring their bees to the farm each year and do the pollinating. One farmer who is the biggest farmer of blueberries in the US pays 900,000 dollars a year to bring in the bees to pollinate. I had no idea! Another interesting piece of news to me was that every bee tested had multiple problems, meaning even if the IAPV was banished from the bee population you would still have all these other factors to fix. No honey bees would mean very little fruit, vegetables and nuts. Plus the fruits, vegetables and nuts that did actually come to fruition would be very expensive. I would highly recommend watching this documentary. The only thing I didn't agree with was their take on honey bees being around for millions of years. There is one section of the video that speaks about the amazing architecture and anatomy of the honey bee, it just amazes me that these guys can't acknowledge that a Creator created these insects and what they do. Evolution could not come up with all of this through just chances of circumstance.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nourishing Your Body

This past week we watched a documentary on Netflix titled Food Matters. It was very enlightening on many levels. Some of the information we already knew or suspected and other information was new to us. The basis of this documentary is we are what we eat. There are so many minerals and nutrients that we are depriving our bodies. Our country grows tons and tons of corn to make thousands of processed food products that have very little or no nutritional value. These same farmers and big agri companies could be growing more of what are considered the super foods and we would be so much better off as a nation. Students in medical school are receiving very little if none at all education in nutrition. Many diseases, etc. can be treated and cured with eating right and mega doses of certain vitamins and minerals. One thing that really struck me was when one of the doctors said an individual could eat two handfuls of cashews each day and would receive the same benefits as taking Prozac. This information would have been very helpful to me when I was suffering from depression 11 years ago after the birth of my second child. Of course please check this information out for yourself. Research and prove it is true before trying yourself. I have also viewed episodes of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Again lots of great information. We are wrecking our families bodies with junk. My family has been just as bad as everyone else. Too much fast food, sugar laden foods, processed foods, etc. One step at a time is all I can promise to do. At some point we have to say enough is enough. Snack time has definitely changed around this house. Nuts, fruit and raw vegetables. I am working on meal planning. It is a slow process but with growing our own garden this year it has helped to implement lots of greens, potatoes, etc. As I have said before, it is a step by step process for our family. Sometimes it is one step forward and two steps back, but we won't stop.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Potatoes Galore

So far we have only harvest 6ft of the white potatoes. We have another five rows of 28ft of red and white potatoes to harvest over the next couple of weeks. The past few days have been all about dehydrating some of the white potatoes. So far we have grated and dehydrated for hash browns and sliced and dehydrated for potatoes side dishes. Next I will cube for roasted potatoes, especially from the reds. Scott also tried a new recipe yesterday. He thinly slice some of the white potatoes, fried them for chips and added seasonings of Italian spices and Parmesan. It was very tasty.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Board Meetings, Camp, and Planning

Today was Grace's third day at Art Camp. She is really enjoying this and will miss it next year. Rising 7th grade is the last grade allowed in. She will finish out the week and then we will get to go Sunday afternoon to see all her work. The church that does this sets up the gym like an art museum to display all the kids' art work. Yesterday after camp we had lunch out and then headed to a town close by for me to attend a board meeting. Recently I was elected for our home school groups board of directors. I will be filling the spot for a year for Parent Support Advocate. Mainly this means I will be responsible for scheduling parent support dinners, seminars, etc. This was our first board meeting for the new year so lots to discuss and there where three new board members, so that meant even more catch up. We have a small group of about 33 families. Today meant typing up a questionnaire for the group and making a new brochure for the board of education to hand out to new homeschoolers in our area. As I mentioned in a previous post we are reading Pagoo and doing a study on hermit crabs and tidal pool life. Well now that this study is under way I need to start planning for the next one we will use. Pagoo was easy because I was able to purchase a inexpensive study guide from Queen Homeschool to use along with it. Well, Minn of the Mississippi doesn't have a study guide. That means I need to make one on my own. This study will be great to do next because we hope to go to Tybee Island in September. Minn is a turtle that travels the Mississippi River until he reaches the Gulf of Mexico. Of course Tybee is on the Atlantic seaboard and has sea turtles, I still think it will be fun. Wish me luck, I need to read through 20 chapters and come up with corresponding activities, questions, etc. to do about snapping turtles.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Purchases and Banana Chips

This week most of our small Walmart's merchandise will be moved to the new super Walmart to be opened next week. As they are doing this they are clearancing out some of it. I got a nice chicken rug for the kitchen and a new desk for the school room for me. Most of the year I was using my sewing/craft table ask my desk. No drawer, shelves, etc. Hubby will put the desk together for me tomorrow and then I can get everything set for the new school year.

We made banana chips in our new dehydrator today. Yummo! Hubby went down to the garden this morning and brought home about 10 pounds of potatoes, 4 green peppers, two banana peppers, handful of carrots, and 6 squash. I think tomorrow we will be dehydrating some potatoes.

On a side note, Grace started Mosaic Arts Camp today. She waits all year for this. Unfortunately this will be her last year to attend. The camp doesn't go past rising 7th graders. Her three classes this year are: photography, art, and scrapbooking.

Hermit Crab and Tidal Pool Study

We are learning so much through this study of the book Pagoo. Today was all about barnacles, sea anemones, and mussels. The most interesting tidbit we learned today was about bivalves and how they stay put in the ocean. All bivalves have a silky strong thread (byssus) that holds them to rocks, surfaces and each other. I never learned this, if I did I sure didn't remember it. Tomorrow we will learn more about bivalves and univalves. Above is a picture of Grace's sketches of a sea anemone and some barnacles.

Mark The Date - September 30th

A new movie will be coming to theaters on September 30th titled "Courageous". This movie is produced by the same church that filmed "Fireproof". This time they are tackling the subject of fathers and being the spiritual leaders of their families. I watched a trailer of the movie last night and it really looks good. Visit their website to watch the trailer and see if it will be showing in a theater near you. This would be a great opportunity for your church to get a group of people to go and view it together. Please visit the website and support the movie. We need more movies like this being made.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Trouble Commenting

Has anyone else had trouble commenting? The only trouble I have is when it asked me to comment under a google account in the drop box. I did read someone commenting on the fact that downloading Google Chrome would help. When Chrome first came out it looked up my hubby's computer so I am a little reluctant to do it. Advice would be appreciated.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Please Visit

My daughter has started her own blog. She is very interested in visiting other kid's blogs. If your children have their own blogs would you please leave a comment on Grace's blog so she can visit. You can visit Grace at Thanks so much for helping out.

Have You Ever Had A Dream

Everybody dreams about ways they would like to change their lives or special things they would like to accomplish one day. Believe it or not one of my dreams has always been to own a business. A little cafe up in town that everyone like to come in for breakfast, a small book store that people from our small town visit to purchase a gift or sit down to have a cup of coffee and chit chat. We have even discussed opening a craft/homeschool supply store in our small town. The only place we have to purchase any craft supplies within a 50 mile radius is Walmart. Since starting down the path of self sustainability a new dream has started taking shape. On the road trip to the library this past week we had a discussion about some of the future dreams for this path. Scott is loving the garden and of course I love my chickens. In the Fall we hope to start working on our version of small fish farming with some of the ideas from aquaponics. Also I want to try my hand at a version of indoor greenhouse growing over the winter for lettuce. All of these ideas culminates into gardening on a larger scale next year and more egg production. We are thinking about trying to sell some of our bounty at a farmer's market next year, seeing where that goes and then maybe even going bigger. Right now hubby is home 4 days a week and working three days a week in a town 1 hour and 15 minutes away. We don't know how long this schedule will hold out and we definitely don't want to go back to him working 5 days a week. We have gotten very used to him being around most of the time and enjoy our time together as a family. So we would like to put a plan in to motion that would ensure him getting to stay at home as much as possible. I have recently started reading some small books about growing and selling. The biggest idea I have learned from the reading is to pick a couple of specialty items to grown and sell. Of course as my title suggests this is all in the dreaming phase at this point. But we have all fall and winter to plan and maybe make some of it work. Have you ever had a dream like this? Want to share? Leave a comment about your dreams.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Movie Day

Grace read Mr. Popper's Penguins a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. We have been waiting a couple of months to see this version at the theater. The movie was really great but very different from the book. I would definitely recommend seeing it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Points of Interest From the Past Two Days

Hopefully some of this will be interesting to you guys, mostly it is to us:

  • This is the third day with hermit crabs in the house and Grace hasn't lost interest yet. That is actually pretty big for her, she loses interest very fast. The past two days she has accomplished all the crab tasks on her own (feeding, watering, handling, misting with water, etc.). She is also enjoying our hermit crab study through Pagoo and the study guide we purchased from Queen Homeschool. She is focused and not fussing about doing work from the study guide. Believe me, this is a big deal.

  • As mentioned in yesterday's post we went to the big library in Spout Springs and checked out lots of books. Grace checked out two graphic novels and two manga books. She is already reading two big chapter books at home (Peter and the Shadow Thieves and rereading Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief).

  • We are about 300 pages into the first book of The Kane Chronicles. This is our fun book that I read aloud to her each day for 30 minutes. It took about 240 pages before she actually started enjoying the book. She doesn't like it as much as the Percy Jackson series but it is growing on her.

  • This morning Scott and Grace got up, went out for breakfast, then on to a nature hike for a couple of hours. It was a great way for her to get in her daily exercise.

  • This afternoon we did the third day of our study of hermit crabs, sat outside and watched the baby chicks play in the sunlight, and grilled out burgers for dinner.

  • Right now I am making home made granola bars while Grace and Scott are down tending to the garden. In a few I will head out for my daily exercise.

  • This morning I did a deep clean on both chicken coops. It's looking like Betty's egg might not hatch. So disappointing for her, she has sat on this egg so well for 21 days. If nothing happens by Saturday she is coming out of that nesting box and going back out with the flock. I hope she adjusts well. I also went to the feed store today to purchase scratch, medicated chicken starter, two bales of compressed pine shavings, poultry grit and oyster shells. Grand total 46.00. The price for a bag of scratch has gone from around 6 or 7 dollars to 12, the price of corn has definitely gone up.

  • The most exciting thing that happened today is our Excalibur Dehydrator was delivered. First of next week we will be harvesting and drying.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another Sign of our Economic Times

Today we visited our favorite big library that is 45 minutes from our home but still in our regional library system. Grace wanted to sign up for their summer reading program. Her being 12 doesn't allow her to join the teen program at our local but does at this library. Also the selection of books is hands down 100 percent better. When we were checking our books out I noticed two signs for the patrons explaining some upcoming changes. Of course I went to the librarian to elaborate. She told us that the Spout Springs library would not longer be opened on Sunday plus there were furlough days that the library would be closed throughout the year. Two libraries in their county were being completely shut down and their library had to lay off all 21 part time employees as well as 4 full time employees. We just went through some of this with our local library with the possibility of not being open anymore. I cannot tell how much of a blow to our family and community that would have been. On the ride home hubby and I had a conversation about what would happen if one day in the future all libraries were shut down for lack of funding. Or he mentioned that like the YMCA now had to have paying members that the library might one day have a paying membership. We would be okay with that because we visit it and use it so much. We also pondered with the fact that probably less than 20 percent of Americans utilize the library. People just don't realize what they are missing out on.

Monday, June 13, 2011

More Summer Science Studies

Today we started working with our volcano kit. The mold represents the three types of volcanoes. The first step was to paint the mold. We found from the get go that the material the molds were made out of the paint would not cling to very well. Hubby came up with the idea of covering the molds with air dry clay he had on hand. So tonight they will cover the molds and let them dry over night. Hopefully tomorrow Grace can paint them.

We did read a little bit about Greek and Roman myths of how volcanoes came to be as well as composite volcanoes. Once the models are finished we have the materials to make them erupt with lava.

Adding to our Zoo

I had already told Grace that in August we would be purchasing hermit crabs to go along with our study of tidal pool life through Pagoo and the corresponding study guide from Queenhomeschool. Well, Grace received some money for her birthday and she wanted to see if the local pet store had any hermit crabs in. Of course you go down to any tourist shop on the coast and they are a dime a dozen. Low and behold they had three left with a new shipment coming in on Wednesday. Grace decided to purchase the remaining three with an entire set up with nine extra dollars from me. I told her the one condition of buying them early would mean we would need to go ahead and start on the study while she was actually excited about having the hermit crabs around. You know how kids are, purchase something new and they are excited for a few days then boom they move on to something else. So tomorrow we will be starting our new study.

They are very active and I can see we might need a bigger tank in the near future. If we see a 10 or 20 gallon tank at a yard sale we will get it and hubby can make a screen for the top.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Head Honcho

He really does take great care of his flock. He thinks he rules the entire backyard.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Habit of Obedience

The habit of obedience is a tough one. Being on top of this 24 hours a day is hard. At the beginning of the summer we implemented a summer learning program. Grace was asked to pick 5 items from the list to accomplish each day and it couldn't be the same items every day except for independent reading. The first two weeks were tough. She didn't want to do it and I heard "No" alot. Of course hearing "NO" is not new to use. There are many things on a daily basis that she would be asked to do and I would get "NO". So we revamped what this summer would be about. Yes we would still do a summer full of learning but we would also work alot on obeying. Doing what you are told the first time you are asked. Most of this is our fault because over the years we have not be consistent. Not anymore. Grace asked me the other day why I assigned her independent reading to do every day. I told her that when I routinely saw her picking up a book on her own to read each day, choosing to read a book instead of being on the computer or watching TV, that would be the day I stopped assigning her to read. I will have to say that the last few days have been very agreeable. She does not fight us about walking every other day, or doing the five assigned learning activities, or reading. She is even making her bed and getting ready on time in the morning. Maybe consistency is just what she needed. This is my purpose for the summer. Teach her obedience and help her find something in the academic world that really interests her (this we are still working on).

Friday, June 10, 2011

Putt Putt Golf

Grace's 12th birthday was on Tuesday and her birthday party will be tomorrow night with some friends. Her cousin would not be able to attend so they invited her out tonight to play miniature golf and get some ice cream. We live near a small tourist town in the North GA. mountains named Helen. Lots of people in Georgia travel here for weekend getaways to tube the river, walk around town, eat, and other forms of entertainment. Helen has a really nice miniature golf course with lush grounds.

This picture was taken from one of the top holes overlooking some of the town.

We also had a couple of spectators.

Volunteering for the Library

Yesterday we went to the library for a retirement party for Ms. Sally. Ms. Sally has been a fixture at this library as long as we have been living here (8years), but I know she has worked here longer. F0r the past 4-5 years Ms. Sally has been in charge of the children's area and story hour for the toddlers and preschoolers. Also for the past five years she has been plagued with medical problems. Ms. Sally was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer a few years ago and it spread last year to her brain, she was able to have surgery to remove it and radiation. Because of all the treatments of radiation and chemo it has weakened her bones in a bad way and has suffered through two broken hips that has to be replaced. After the last broken hip her doctors said she needed to retire. She has always been upbeat and I have never seen her down. We will miss her very much. Last year was Grace's first experience as a volunteer at the library and Ms. Sally trained her to shelve books. Please help us pray for Ms. Sally, that her courage and great attitude will stay with her through more treatments in the near future. Grace mostly did her volunteering over the summer until we started school back. Needless to say shelving is not her favorite thing. We spoke with the new person that will be heading up the children's story hour and asked if Grace could volunteer with that. She said yes, so now Grace will have a volunteer position every Wednesday morning to help during story hour with the littles. This is good for Grace, she is really good with small children.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Look What Hubby Built

Our laundry room/pantry is small and did not have enough shelves. Yesterday and today Scott built me some shelves in the pantry area to house all of our jars will will use for the harvest. Everything that we are dehydrating will be going on these shelves. It felt so good to get all of these items off of my dining room floor where they have sat for 8 weeks.

Welcome to Summer School

Welcome to our summer school. To many it may not look like school, but to all those unschoolers out there I am sure they will acknowledge the learning going on in our house. Today was the long awaited day of dissecting the owl pellet. Over the past couple of weeks I had collected a few items about owls that I thought Grace might find interesting. For our first go around with this sort of thing I ordered a synthetic owl pellet to get away from the gross factor. The synthetic was a bit disappointing because all the bones were in the middle and Grace didn't really have to do any investigating to find much. From our bone chart we did determine that the bones were from a rodent. Now Grace wants me to order the real deal. With the owl pellets being very inexpensive I have no problem with that. All the owls cards above are owls found in North America. We sorted out the cards that could be found in the South and it was narrowed down to Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Barn Owl, and Eastern Screech Owl. Most owl pellets sold for dissection come from the Barn Owl.

Grace looked up pictures on the Internet of the owls found in our area as well as the Elf Owl and the Pygmy Owl. These guys are as small as sparrows. Some interesting facts we learned: A clutch of young Barn Owls will eat a total of 1000 mice before leaving the nest. In captivity some species of owls can live 30-60 years. I have always had a fascination with owls. Talked to hubby yesterday about possibly building an owl box, but we are hesitant because of the chickens in the backyard. Even though they are in covered runs we are still hesitant.

Other things we tackled today was an Imax video about Egypt, 30 minutes of reading on her part from Peter and the Shadow Thieves, one chapter of a read aloud from The Kane Chronicles, and she is also working on some animation from software she downloaded from the Internet for her Bamboo pen.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Days

I wish I could say lazy summer days but we are still just as busy in these first days of summer as we were during school. Of course Grace doesn't realize that we are actually still doing school just not math and writing. Today I made a list for Grace to accomplish. She did some watercolor painting of the baby chicks, read 30 minutes from her book, I read a chapter from our read aloud and she did a vocabulary page. This afternoon we headed back to a friend's house to swim for a couple of hours. Once home I immediately started in on dinner. After dinner my sister came over and I gave her some of the veggies from the garden then we went to my mom's house to bring her a bag of veggies too. The baby chicks are progressing very nicely and so much fun to watch. The dogs are much more relaxed this go around with chickens in the house as opposed to having the 6 Buffs. I guess 6 make more noise than 2. Although Angel (toy poodle) is still very protective of them. Scott went down to the garden again tonight and came back with three heads of lettuce and some carrots. The carrots were still a little early and very small. Hoping tomorrow we can stay at home and be lazy. Oops, I forgot, the library is having a retirement party for one of our favorite library ladies. But that's okay, Grace can turn in her hours for reading and get some prizes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Garden Update

The garden is coming along very nicely. Tonight hubby brought home 3 squash, 1 head of iceberg lettuce, 1 head of romaine lettuce, 1 bell pepper, numerous red potatoes, a few sugar snap peas and a few strawberries. The red potatoes were a big surprise. We had no idea it would be this soon. Definitely not prepared. In the next 1-2 weeks we will be harvesting all the red and white potatoes. They were planted in early April. So tonight I got on Amazon and ordered our dehydrator, some oxygen absorbers and the book "The Dehydrator Bible". No one in our family is very fond of frozen vegetables and even less fond of canned vegetables, so drying seemed the only way for us to go. The two heads of lettuce will probably be the last until the temps cool down in the Fall and we can plant again. Just too hot right now. It is such a blessing to see the harvest of what was planted a couple of months ago. It can be very addicting, just like hatching baby chicks. My husband mentioned the other day that he would be happy just to be a farmer, maybe one day.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A New Week

We had a very busy weekend and now the week is shaping up to be busy also. Saturday was a pool party, Sunday was church and Grace had a friend come over and spend the night. Today Grace went back home with said friend and didn't return until tonight. Tomorrow we are heading out to Dahlonega to visit my niece's first apartment. Tomorrow is also Grace's 12th birthday so we will be going out to lunch. Her actual party is this Saturday and they will be playing laser tag. This afternoon I got the delivery from Home Science Tools so later in the week we will dive in to a study about Barn Owls with some books from the library and working our way through an owl pellet. The baby chicks are well and growing. So much more fun having them in the house than out in the coop. Looking forward to one more egg hatching next week. I am doing alot of reading this week as well as cross stitching. Mostly spending alot of time indoors due to the mid 90's temps. Very humid! Can't do much outside. Me and Grace have started watching what we eat more, drinking more water, and walking. I think Grace has already lost about 4 pounds, while my old self have only lost 1. It stinks getting old!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

End of the Year Picnic

Each year our homeschool group has a end of the school year picnic. The past two years a family in our group has graciously hosted. 11 families showed up for the event. It is tradition that any graduating senior have to walk the diving board and all the other kids line up and blast them with water guns. The temps have been incredibly hot the past two weeks. Only the first week of June and already in the middle and upper 90's. Good food, good fellowship.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Today Grace attended her first real grown up class. That means I wasn't involved. A group of homeschooled girls ranging in ages from 11 - 16 came together for a CPR/First Class through Red Cross. Once I picked her up she was full of information and so ready to save a life.

Next week I hope to receive in the mail our box of fun science items from Home Science Tools. Grace requested an owl pellet to investigate for bones. In the meantime I found a great book to go along with the owl pellet. An Owl in the House, A Naturalist's Diary by Bernd Heinrich. This book chronicles the journey of a man finding a baby owl, raising it to be released back in the wild and the many years that follow where the owl stays close by. Really looking forward to using this as a read aloud next week.

Our local Walmart is a small one with no grocery store. That is all about to change. The Super Walmart will open this end of this month. In the meantime many items are being clearanced so they will not have to move them to the new store. Today was some of the fabric. The picture above is two yards each of material I want to make into skirts for myself. The bottom picture is two yard each of material to make Grace a couple of skirts. The best part was 8 yards of fabric for $15.00. That means four skirts for $15.00.

Recently I have also picked up some more great books from the library to read over the summer for encouragement and research for homeschooling. Free Range Learning, Educating the Whole-Hearted Child, and John Holt's Instead of Education Ways to Help People Do Things Better.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Baby Chicks

The last batch of baby chicks was born on Monday. Everything has gone off without a hitch so far. We bounced back and forth about taking the chicks from the mother or leaving them for the duration. Yesterday morning the decision was to leave them with her because she finally came down out of the nesting box to show her baby chicks what to do. But by the afternoon she was trying to steal an egg away from another sitting hen. We decided it was time to move the two inside and tell Speckles to get over the sitting, she was booted back in to the run with the other hens and rooster.

Now we have a brooder back in the house again. Only this time we have two chicks to take care of instead of six. They were very noisy for the first couple of hours looking for their mom. Grace held then for quite a while and this helped tremendously. They woke up three or four times during the night, but seem to be eating and drinking well on their own. Today is day four of their lives.

I knew I had not shared a picture of the Buffs in a while. These girls are just the best. Friendly, calm, everything you would want in a hen. Growing very big very fast. They are only 10 weeks old.