Family Fun

Family Fun

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Brian and I went to a party on Saturday.By ourselves. None of our little ones. How odd. It felt like going back in time...a long time ago when it was just us. When I didn't have to be accountable for 8 coats, just one. When I got in the car and just sat down...didn't buckle car seats and ask if everyone is buckled. When I could run in with him to the gas station, holding hands, instead of sitting in the car so no one abducts my treasures. And it was refreshing, but I totally missed my children. They are such a huge part of my life...not just responsibilities but actual joys and pieces of me. They make me laugh and feel needed and I love to love them.
Trinity is having a friend over for the night. This friend has been a hard one in that she is very confident and take charge and that occasionally leads to bowling over Trinity. Which results in sulking or moodiness for days. I have tried to help Trin understand that she has a voice, but impart that balance so she doesn't become the one being overbearing. It is tricky as I am only the instructor and it would be easier to be the one executing the moves. Praying that both girls will grow in their personalities and bond their friendship. We are going to go to the Rhema Lights display, a beautiful tradition that we are all looking forward to.
Twinkie(yellow lab) has an injured leg from chasing the 4 wheeler. She is ginormous but we have to lift her up the stairs now. I improvised a sling out of a blanket and two people can assist her now. Hoping she heals Quickly. One of the guineas didn't go in the coop one night and I found him with a broken leg the next morning. He seems to be doing a bit better. Not much we can do for that, so I just make sure he has food and water and gets put away at dark. I do hope he heals, the guineas have been a fun addition for us. I do not think we are going to get more in the spring though...we are planning on alot of chickens and they are the more important role right now.
Last time I went to Whole Foods I looked for vegan marshmallows and did not find them. I found "healthy" marshmallows but they still had gelatin. Very disappointing. I came home and googled it and found out that there are Sweet and Sara brand vegan marshmallows in the refrigerated section! I can't wait to get them for Trinity. It has been 4 years since she became a vegetarian and I love the thought of giving her a cup of hot cocoa with a marshmallow swimming on top. Or not having to make 2 sweet potatoe casseroles.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I have alot to do I decided to sit down at the computer to get focused lol! :P
Tomorrow is a town scavenger hunt with the homeschool group, followed by a cookie contest and exchange. So I need to make a ton of cookies. Pretty ones even. I am a wee bit competitive sometimes and want to win the contest just because I am the only one who loves to bake in the group and it would stink if I lost to someone who didn't care. Argh...that sounds petty...
I got my drivers license. It feels so good to not be afraid while driving. WHen I took the test the woman had me go into a neighborhood and parallel park. When I was done she looked me in the eye and said," You obviously know how to drive, let's head back." I was thrilled! And glad that 14 years off driving qualified me lol...I actually was nervous. I recall being told in driver's ed that older drivers have a harder time because of bad habits they have picked up...but I think driving without a license for so long prevented me from picking up alot of those habits.
Saturday I am going to provide childcare for a church outreach, then Brian and I will go to the 20's and 30's party for a bit. With all the negative stuff that has happened with one of the women at church I am really looking forward to a positive connect. Our 20's-30's group has gotten pretty close. It is really fun.
I am not pregnant this month, but am settling into a rhythmic cycle. That hasn't happened for over 5 years. Pretty interesting. I am going to try to lose 20 pounds before I get pregnant next. Though I am neither trying to conceive nor abstain. WIth regular cycles I feel as though it is probably going to happen though. Which is a joyous thought. The kids have been praying for a new baby daily and it makes me laugh, but also makes me sigh...8 seems a little big! Big is fun though.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

OK, I need to write this stuff down. It makes it more concrete for me.As if internet journals count for, well to me they do.
I want to have a few decent pictures of me taken. My dreads are over a year now and look far different than they did. I want that shown in photos. Problem being...I am the only one who takes pictures here. So I will change that, and soon.
I am going to declutter my blog following list. I have some I do not feel uplifted after reading anymore. There are new ones I want to read. I am on it.
I have decluttered so much of the house this year. I only have 3 weeks left and I want to finish. It is time for brutal let go...some of the much played with toys are not in line with my vision for the home. They will be gone this week. I am going to do a final go through of closets. I would rather have less good stuff and right now I still have ALOT. I so wish Brian would be on board with getting rid of all the video game type things. I would keep just the Wii, but we also have a N64, 3 DSs, a DIDJ(that never gets played with...literally), and 2 gameboys. I HATE the little boxes!!
The end...for today

This was the view from the front door a week ago. I love nature!!!

Logan,Trinity,Christian, and Epiphany

Griffon, Jubilee, and Gavin.

Halfway through December...aaack! It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time flies. 2011 is fast approaching. My eldest will turn into that scary being...a teenager. I have told her many times that she is not going to be a teen but a young adult. She generally laughs and rolls her eyes at that, but so far she is not going the way I see the others her age in church and the community acting. She has occasional sullen moods, but nothing extreme. I hope she can stay out of the depression that overtook me at her age.
We have been going non stop for weeks now. I am taking today to just be still, relax, do some fun light schoolwork and smile.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The kids' pumpkins this year.

So...Epiphany's arm was broken. We got her very purple long arm cast off a week ago, and she is right back to climbing everything.
Schooling has been awesome this year so far. I have never felt as good about it as I do now that we are sticking to a schedule, and the kids are doing great. We started using the Disney Imagineering science series and it is phenomenal! We have also been focusing on geography more, which is just plain fun. Brian has been more involved in their schoolwork for the first time and it is pretty cool how good that feels.
Some tense situations at church have left me feeling unsettled, but I am okay with that. As I become stronger in the Word I can see so much more opposition from those who do not place much value there. It is odd too, because I say nothing offensive nor relevant to others, yet they take it and twist it to start "wars". Then they get upset that I won't argue with them...but there is nothing to argue! I don't know yet what I will end up doing or not doing but I trust the Lord will lead me regardless.
I have been making lots and lots of donuts lately. It is pretty neat that I can make donuts at home that are comparable to a chain treat! We have had Crispy Creamy donuts, apple cake donuts, and pumpkin spice donuts. Each is the best, for different reasons.
There is a Bald Eagle living nearby. We have seen it four times this week. Today it flew over the boys in the backyard. Glorious!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I am about to leave to go to Epiphany's orthopedic appointment. Yes, another one of my lovely children broke a bone. Pip fell off the horse tire swing and broke her radius. Hopefully we won't have to cast it, although she is such an extreme climber it may keep her safer.
So 5 negative tests later and I finally believe it. No baby in the immediate future. I am good with that, mainly because of my dream of a December baby. I really like the groove we are in right now.
I am bone tired from the heavy school schedule, and trying to prepare for fall/winter. We are doing Dave Ramsey's program and that is emotionally draining. The good news is that we should have baby step one done fairly quickly. We sold our silver at a great amount and that fills it up nicely. I gave the donkeys away to a great home, that will save a ton in feed. Little things will add up. I do like the principles he talks about, it is just such a long term process. I fully expect to have everything including the house paid for in 8 years.That will be a glorious day!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I flew back to Michigan to see my dad. In the two weeks since this was taken he has lost all his hair. I dread answering the phone because I am afraid the news will be that he has passed.

We had show and tell with the homeschool group at a local splashpad. After the presentations(which went very well) the kids got soaked. It was alot of fun. Pip wasn't too sure at first, but she had a blast. Trinity showed the melee swords we made, Gavin showed his bottle cap collection, Logan showed a mineral/rock collection, Griffon printed a page from his Moshi Monster site, and Christian demonstrated his skill on roller skates.They all spoke clearly and made eye contact, although a couple need to work on confidence.

Trinity and Gavin at the library field trip.

Griffon,Logan,Gavin,and Christian at the library field trip.I love my stairstep boys.
I made maple pear butter. I am not a fan of pear or apple butter, but it turned out good. The kids love it. We got 25 gallons of pears(I can't remember how many bushels that is...I think about 4 ) because an elderly couple has two pear trees they wanted harvested. The kids had a blast climbing the trees and throwing down pears. There were thousands, we didn't even come close to clearing the trees.
The new school setup is working well. It is tiring for me, but the kids are thriving with the new schedules and workload. Math u See is a perfect fit, I wish we had started with it. Rod and Staff spelling is also a great fit. Story Of The World is my fave curriculum of all time. We are on book 2 and it is alot of fun. I am still very impressed and happy with God's Design for Science...even though science is not even close to my fave subject. We did the major bones of the body today and they seem to have them down well.
As always, so much to say and so little time to sit still and get it done. I will have to be back later.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Brian, Riley(nephew)Christian,Logan,Griffon,Trinity,Jubilee, and Gavin. This was in the gardens at the Philbrook museum. Our first group trip of the year, we got to see mummies, art, gardens, and a historic house from the twenties and thirties. It was really good.

Me with Epiphany on my back, and the whole crew.There was a pretty little cat behind us distracting everyone.

From one year ago. We had an eighties party. Brian used the feathers from our chickens to make his earring.Heh, and he wore a Miley Cyrus shirt! :) Pip was a wee thing!
I bookmarked several cool pages today. One is a geography quiz online that is plain but lots of fun. One is a veritable smorgasbord of homeschooling goodness. World geography, animal facts, math, is colorful and quizzical and wonderful.One is about making yogurt with my crockpot! I am totally on board to try that. It sounds way easier than all the other tutorials I have read. I will update on that when it happens.
So my brother went up to MI to see my dad after he collapsed and ended up in the hospital this week. He called to tell me that it is urgent we (my sister and I ) get up there before the next chemo treatment, as they do not think dad is physically strong enough to make it. I can't afford a plane ticket without two week advance planning, they are over $1,000 right now. My sis and I were talking it over, trying to figure out driving or what not and how.I had to take Trinity to youth group. One of the pastoral staff started talking to me and I told her how my brother had prayed with my dad about salvation, and how both my dad and his wife had accepted Christ. She told me she has a friend who does grace flights as a ministry and offered to call him, not promising anything of course. I really didn't think much of it. Then she called back and said he and his wife want to fly my sis and I to MI to see my dad...for free. This week. I am in awe. He is supposed to call me tomorrow so we can work out details. God is good, His provision is always there. I am scared to see my dad though. Mike said he looks like a skeleton, he has lost alot of weight and was too thin to begin with. There is fear he will starve to death, between the diabetes and the chemo. I need to tell him in person that he was a great dad to us though. I talked to him on the phone for a few minutes but he can't hold it for more than 4 minutes so it was quick. I hate that I wasted time crying, but it is so hard to hear my young 52 year old strong father not be able to do more than whisper a few words, and to hear him talk about his upcoming death. And here come the tears again. Stupid cancer!
Overall I am ok. This sucks, but life is still good. I am abundantly blessed. My children fill my heart with so much joy it is overwhelming. I love figuring out how we are going to learn this year. Brian is my best friend. I got my other foot tattooed yesterday. To match my ugly duckling with Romans 3:23 I got a swan with 2 Corinthians 5:17. Pics of that when they are both healed. Feet tattoos are almost evil in how sharp they are. I have never had a tattoo that hurt before(I have 13). My feet sucked. I made a few faces. I didn't move. I didn't cry or flinch. They hurt though, almost worse afterward. Well worth it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jubilee in the scorching heat, at the church Baptism.

Mandi(my sister) holding Epiphany, with her son Riley.

Griffon (5) swimming.

Gavin(10) hanging out .

The wicked awesome side at the Baptism/pool party.
Sunday we had Baptisms at our church. We went to Shepard's Fold Ranch and had a pool party afterward. My sister was baptized, which is phenomenal.Brian was very ill(stomach problems) so I had to take all 7 alone. I admit, I did not have the best frame of mind. I do not have the luxury of just skipping out when I am sick. I was frustrated because the very large brunt of this household is on me. And that attitude sucks. I prayed, and opened up the grace valve in me lol. I felt much better when I lost the poor me attitude. The kids behaved wonderfully, so it is not as if I was really struggling. Brian being sick is no little thing, he is not easy to be around.
We went to two museums this week.On Tuesday we went to Woolaroc, the woodland home of Frank Phillips. It was beautiful! Trails to hike, live animals roaming the grounds. The museum was fantastic. The downside for Trinity(our veggie girl who feels very strongly on all things animal) was the sheer overwhelming number of taxidermized(???) heads. Polar bears, elephants, bison, elk, you name it. They were well done, and gorgeous to see, but dead and mounted still. Overall it was most enjoyable!
Today we went to Waite Phillips home museum, the Philbrook Art Museum. It was also wonderful. The amount of money this family had is mind blowing! There was an Egyptian traveling showcase with mummies, the kids really loved that. The gardens were awesome, formal English ones.
The heat continues to be overwhelming. 107 today. The horse has been drenched with sweat, the pigs seem to be ok. I really really need some cooler weather. I am nervous to check the beehive tonight. I hope there are no comb collapses from the heat, that would be terrible!
We are having company on Sunday. An old family friend is coming by with his wife and two littles. They are both artists and I think very highly of them, but we have not seen them for 6 or 7 years. I am looking forward to it. They are eager to see the country lol, as they are ALL city.
My dad's cancer has a name. It is adrenal carcinoma. The prognosis is not good, it is stage 4, and he is starting chemo this week. I still don't know what/how to go see him, but it needs to be soon.I started crying today while driving to the museum and had to really swallow it. I can't break down just now...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Griffon(5), Epiphany(14 months), Jubilee(3)

Jubilee eating a homemade creamsicle, showing off her bright pink cast. It comes off in 2 more weeks!

Gavin saving the universe(from bubbles?lol) This was taken in the backyard by the huge brush pile they made when putting our house here. We have cleared 75% of it, and when it is gone we will hopefully put in a barn.

Logan(8) on his birthday. He is such a shy guy that it is good to have him looking friendly for a change! He is starting to come out of his shell a little.

I got the call today that my dad has cancer. It has already metastasized to his lymph nodes. I hate waiting days to find out more. His oncology appt is later this week or early next week. He was crying too hard to get many details. I hate that I already went through all this, when my mom died at 46. My dad is only 52. I LOATHE CANCER. I am trying to figure out how to get to MI to visit. Do I take all the kids, knowing I am probably going to be extremely emotional? He has not met Pip yet, and she is still a nursing fiend so she would obviously go. This is just a crappy decision. From the reading online(I know, never a good idea) he probably has less than a year to live. Add to that the fact that he has barely controlled diabetes...I am just worried he will die before I can hug him again.
This strengthens my quest to be vigilant what goes into my body and my children's bodies. I read a study today finding that cancer grows faster when artificial sweeteners are used, and when high fructose corn syrup especially is around. Not a surprise at all, but verification yet again.I do not want to lose anyone else I love to cancer, I do not want to be ravaged by it myself.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

First picture is the observation window of the top bar hive, and our busy bees. They have filled over half the hive now. It is so calming to see them work.
Next picture is Hans(in front, Berkshire boar), Fritz, (middle, Duroc boar), and poor Opal in the back, our Spotted gilt who we just lost. They have grown substantially since that pic was taken, I will work on getting big boy pics up.
The last picture is the Trinity(12) and Christian (11)doing some incentive training(also known as feeding the pigs by hand to make them like us). The pigs are big enough now that the kids don't go in for fear of over exuberance causing them to be knocked in poo or mud. Gross, I know, sorry.
I am getting my next tattoo tonight! I am so glad, this has been in the works for months and timing hasn't worked out yet. Brian called and said Rev is ready, so tonight at 9(after the shop closes, one of the perks of being an employee's wife)I get to go in. I am getting an ugly duckling on my left foot, to symbolize all having sinned and falling short of the Glory of God. On my right foot, later, I will get a swan for being a new creation in Christ. I am pretty excited.
The kids have been really rocking the housework today. I am proud that they have helped without complaining. The house looks great.
Riley has been staying home lately. It is so weird not having him here, but I get SO much more done. He is really excited to be sleeping at his house, and to see his mom each day.He starts school on the 19th. I can't believe the little man I have taken care of for 4 1/2 years is not living here anymore(after next week). He is sweet though, and I look forward to being his auntie instead of a caregiver.
The scheduling of this next school year is intimidating me big time. I am confidant though that it will be for the best. I will post what ends up working when I finish.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The first picture is my family, my sister and her son, and my brother and his family. We are in black, Mandi and Riley are in white, and Michael and his are in red.
The second picture is Christian(11). We were doing some steampunkish art. That is inside our chicken coop lol.
Third is Jubilee, also in the chicken coop. Wearing her brothers pirate hat with her sisters fabric belt. Good thing sepia hides color, it was a contrast! I was really happy with the pics though. I am hopefully going to come up with steampunk outfits for the whole family for halloween.
Opal died today. She was our Spotted pig, and we were very fond of her. She was the most talkative pig we have ever owned.I went outside to feed them this evening and she was dead from the heat. We have a covered house for them, water always available, and I dump 10 gallons to make mud puddles twice a day. I am just so disappointed. She was about 150-170 lbs, so not far from being finished. That means on top of feeling sad that she died from heat I also have to deal with the loss of investment. She was two months away from being butcher ready. That is alot of meat that my family won't get to eat now. It just stinks. Hans and Fritz both seem fine, but Opal did too until she just died. Ugg. I will be hyper vigilant about watering the boys until this heat wave lifts. It was 102 real temp today, I don't know what the blasted heat index was. I am lugging buckets to the orchard each day to keep the trees healthy, and also to water the bees. They have done such an amazing job of making comb, I pray that the heat doesn't cause collapse. That is the big concern with top bar hives. I trust the bees can handle it, they have so far.
We had Pastor Derrick and his family over for dinner tonight. They are a little younger than us, and we really enjoy hanging out. I think they feel free to let their hair down with us which is nice. They brought Brian some coke from the mexican grocery store. Brian has been hyped about trying some since he read about mexican coke still being made with sugar, vs american coke with high fructose corn syrup. He doesn't drink soda very much, but he may have one every month or so now that he can get this.
Our local homeschool group is restarting. I am pretty excited about the year, they already have alot planned and it sounds great. I think most of the drama is behind them now, so we will rejoin. The kids have missed it alot. I have really restructured this year, so I am hoping I can fit it in easily!
Tomorrow I am getting a dollar store pregnancy test. I am really hoping to see two lines, but I had a very specific dream of having a baby in December and naming her. If I do end up pregnant with a girl her name will be what I dreamt, seeing as that is how I knew I was pregnant with Epiphany, and how I got her name.
Woohoo, posting pictures worked! Because I didn't ever see the tab to do that before(didn't really look ;) .

Thursday, July 29, 2010

We are halfway through July already...time is flying ever faster.
Jubilee is in a bright pink cast. She broke her arm jumping off the couch while I was at Bible Study last Tuesday.Holding her arm for x-rays and feeling the bone shift was terrible.She didn't cry at all, never needed any pain meds. Just like Christian when he broke his leg.It is uncanny how stoic they are, and I see that they get it from me, but I am not sure I like that. If they hurt I want them to express it, and not feeling pain when your body is broken is not really a good thing.
We have been floating on the Illinois river twice so far, and will no doubt go again. It is a thrill to me, even with being stage 1(no rapids). The kids love it. Brian and I will likely be the old couple going every day after we are empty nesters lol.
Bella is doing good since the colic incident. Hans is recovering from a recluse bite.All the other animals are doing well. It is super hot, so chores are doubled, but it is peaceful.
I put dreads in for Emily and Anthony. They both look great, but I am not sure either will keep them. There is alot of maintenance the first year with dreads. Mine are still coming on well. Not pretty yet, but I am able to see that they will be!
I am printing out our first months worksheets. We are going to do a new schedule, and I am excited about it. This is shaping up to be our best year yet!
Sooo tired lately. I am waiting until Wednesday to take a pregnancy test. I am very hopeful that we will be further blessed. The children have been requesting from us and praying to God for a new baby. It makes my heart sing to know that they see babies as a blessing, and do not feel burdened by our large family.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

We are chugging away at Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. The kids love it...always begging for a few more chapters. We are also doing a unit study on the 12 Olympians as we go. We have done a paper mache Mt. Olympus with little figures to put on it as we study each one.We are building a lapbook based on it.I am pleased with the improvement in handwriting as we do worksheets to go with the studies. We are also working multiplication tables like mad. It is clicking better with Trinity and Christian than it is with Gavin and Logan, but we are getting there.Schoolhouse Rocks has some great songs to help, so we did that this morning too.
It is HOT today. Getting to 90. I am thinking of heading to the beach, maybe after the library.We found a book that forgot to get returned...oops.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The chickens caught a snake, the kids chased the chickens to try to save it. Chickens won. Kids cried. Thank goodness for chocolate chip cookies at the picnic table to bring some cheer back. I was laughing the whole time. If it had been in black and white it would have been perfect old time humor.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Catch up

Neglect of blog...not the first time, surely won't be the last. I have added to other blogs I read and I really do want to update at least every few days. There is a much greater sense of connectedness.
Today was busy. Lol, what's new though,right? We are up to 32 chickens and have 2 guinea keets now too.That breaks down to 19 adult hens, 3 adult roosters, 7 teenage hens and 1 teenage rooster(who was banded as a pullet), 2 chicks(both banded as pullets, we will see.) The teenagers are otside now, in a special coop/run. The young ones(including the keets) are in the parrot cage in the playroom. We also got Bella. She is a 19 year old buckskin quarterhorse. Trinity and Christian got her as a joint birthday gift. She is sweet and perfect for these beginners! We also aqquired Zelda, a rose island boa. She is almost a foot longer than Copper and makes me very nervous. I have not held her yet, and am not entirely sure that I will. The kids do though, and Brian really likes her. She is beautiful. Maybe I will warm to her.
Haircut day for the boys, they look so clean and ready for summer. We went to the playground in town for homeschool pe day and everyone got filthy on the equipment. It was a fun dirty...the kind where they are all grimy and tired and satisfied. Then we dropped some dressers off at a church friends house, came home and started decluttering . I have reduced our "stuff" by at least 300 items this year. None of it is missed. It blows my mind how easy it is to end up cluttered and overwhelmed. I also have not been replacing it, so the house looks huge and empty and I LOVE it. The closets used to be overflowing...they are now half empty, but everyone still wears the same clothes. I got rid of the extras I always felt the need to have.
The broken down house next to us sold. The lady(I think her name is Donna) came by to tell me they moved in. We do not drive that way, so I had no idea anyone had bought it. She had her 9 year old son in the car...he did not get out but seemed really interested in all my boys :D . The boys were very excited at the prospect of a neighbor with a kid...we have never had anyone who could drop by, or walk over. I definately need to find out more, will be bringing some kind of baked yummy over soon. I hope this can be a friend for the kids.
The sun is going down...time to finish chores and get some more clothes sorted to donate.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

We went hiking at Mohawk Park today after church. I was wearing Pip in the sling and fell down a flight of wooden trail stairs. My ankle cracked, I am 75% that I fractured it. The sling was our saving grace, Pip was fine. I will go to the VA tomorrow to get an xray...the guy on the nurseline was really rude which discouraged me alot.We could have driven to Muskogee but I would rather wait a day and go to Tulsa for kinder people. I think it is stupid to have to wait to find out if you have a broken bone, but that is the system. :P
The kids (and Brian and I) had a great time on our walk other than the fall. Trinity found the prettiest reddish orange mushroom, Logan spotted some animal holes, and we just had a peaceful day.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Another beautiful springy day...that is kicking my butt due to allergies. It isn't going to prevent me from rejoicing though...this weather is magnificiant and I will spend my day outdoors enjoying it.
I made Mickey Mouse pancakes for breakfast, haven't decided on lunch yet. I should hurry up and decide since it is pretty much lunch time ;) .
The wee chicks are growing wonderfully, and are feathered nicely now. I can't get over how big they got. I don't know why but the chicken dust is not nearly so bad this time around.That is nice. I need to gather eggs from the outside chickens...every time I go out there is a layer in the box. I can see the mound of eggs under her, but I hate to disturb them. I think I will get 30 eggs when I get them.
It is almost piglet time too. I have the pen set up, though Brian is talking about switching the setup a bit. I don't care, as long as we get them soon. I love piglets!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I found a second nest in the horse trailor. There were 20 eggs there, plus the 8 I got from the coop. The ones from the trailor were exceptionally clean already too.Bonus!
Yesterday we went to the statuary and got two birdbaths. One is tall and thin, with a celtic base and square celtic bowl. I am going to paint it green. The second is an ocean scene, with boats in the bowl. It is shorter, one piece and very sturdy. I will paint the base brown and leave the top natural. They are beautiful, and we look forward to birds, butterflies and bees having water.
Brian got to try some homemade mead this weekend and it seems to have clinched the desire to start with bees. We may be ordering our first hive kit today! We are very much enamoured by the top bar hives, but are going to start with a Langstroth this time. I am beyond thrilled that we are undertaking this!
Last night was rough, as my fever spiked and I hurt all over. It is carrying into today, but there is no rest for the mama lol. I hope my kids grow up strong and resiliant, but I also hope they have someone to love them through it. Brian was sweet, turning up the heat and covering me with extra blankets in the wee hours of the morn.
I got a cast iron sauce pan at the thrift store yesterday. I reseasoned it as soon as we got homne and am thrilled to have picked it up for a mere 5 dollars! Bargain hunting is such a thrill!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My blog list grows steadily larger. I love reading the stories of other people, and seeing ways I can better myself and our household. It ties in so nicely with Proverbs. We are reading Proverbs at my Tuesday night ladies group and it is great to go over every word like that. Monday night is couples group here, we are doing "Laugh Your Way to A Better Marriage" and it is Hilarious!!! Brian and I are both getting much out of it, and are happy to see that alot is stuff we have done for the last 16 years anyhow.
It is drizzly again, and supposed to be icy/snowy for a few more days. I am itching for Spring! I want to do more gardens, I want flowers and green and outdoor adventures. I Need to slow down and enjoy winter. I am trying to teach this to the kids, and showing them is of course the best way to teach them. We are drinking hot cocoa, eating soups and stews, sitting by the fire.
The 3 boys in gymnastics shared a class today as their coach was absent. I think he is at a meet out of state, but he forgot to tell anyone. We had a sub who was good at form over function. It was a good change of pace, though we will be glad when Richard is back. We practiced a bit more at home afterwards and they are doing well. Christian did some handstands with us, and wants so badly to go back. His break was too severe and he won't ever get to go back but he can do some things at home so he does. I love his strong spirit.
I am off to bake some bread and who knows whereelse the day will emander.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Brian stayed home from work today. I highly doubt there would have been many customers looking to get pierced during our worst storm of the season, but you never know. It would not have been worthwhile to drive to Tulsa and back for just 1 or 2 people though. Thanks to we had alot of fun. 6/9ths of us played outside for a bit. Even with near whiteout conditions it was awesome. Brian and I walked together to take care of the neighbors beautiful Gypsy Vanner horses. They are a sweet bunch, albeit rather intimadating in a herd like that. It was so peaceful...walking in the snow, hearing our boots crunching, just he and I. He is such a gem, still makes me feel so lucky to have him as mine.
The cinnamon rolls in the bread machine were a HUGE hit. They were easily better than store bought, and really were not difficult to make. It did take almost 2 hrs, but that was 1.5 hrs in the bread machine on the dough cycle.Really not bad, and a great treat that the kids will get once a week. The blueberries on the side made it better for all of us though!
I am thrilled that Logan is truly reading now.He didn't even stumble...once he got it he just ran! Still working with Gavin, he is getting eager which is what I have been watching for. Christian got eager to read and then took off, same with Logan. Oh, how spoiled I was with Trinity. She just read starting at age 4. That's how I did it too. I never expected I would have late readers, never thought I would deal with the disapproval that (especially) homeschoolers face when their child is not ahead of the game. Griffon should read this year also, and Jubilee is showing pre reading skills already, so hopefully the struggling will have been confined to Christian, Gavin, and Logan.I am so proud of them though, that even as non readers they have always had a zest for books.
The guineas are locked up with the chickens tonight. We tried shooing them out so they would go home to Bill( a convicted child molester who lives two houses away, who free ranges his birds but comes knocking to ask where they are if they stay here) but they kept perching in the trees by the hen house. I really don't want them to get eaten, and with this weather and the knowledge that they would just perch in the trees, we let them stay. And will from now on. They are still his, we just feed them and enjoy seeing them around. I think the female has been laying in the laying box, but am I going to know what egg is hers from 16 eggs? I get stuck in regards to my feelings about Bill. He is crazy...literally not all there. He is at least 75, probably more like 85. He comes on our property often, in a skulking kind of way. He reminds me of Gollum...I am horrified by the thought of what he has done, but I pity him for his current state also.Not enough to invite him near my children, but I have often thought of taking some baked goods to him. I do NOT want him to feel like he is welcome near the kids though, and it seems a hard line to see.
My nose is so runny, and my nostril piercing is getting agravated. I have a small bump(scar tissue building up) that bugs me to see. I did sea salt soaks to no avail, and emu oil made no noticable difference, but peroxide has helped alot. The congestion going away would be a good thing though.
Time to tend the fire.
Busy morning so far...I will be back in a bit to write more. I am making bread machine cinnamon rolls that look amazing. I got the recipe off the money saving mom blog on FB. I also am entering to win a cool homesteading video on the blog here: . That would be very cool! So back soon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

There is supposed to be an ice storm headin in tomorrow. The predictions make it sound as if it will be worse than the 07 storm that knocked out our power for 2+ weeks, a thought that has me sick. I am not actually fearing the storm, but a feeling of dread fills my stomache as I recall trying to keep us all warm and put on a happy face for two dirty and frigid weeks sleeping in one room of 8 people.
I have stacked wood in the laundry room, we have a stocked pantry, and I will spend the day cooking tomorrow so we will have ready to eat food. The generator will be ready, water is on hand. I hope we do not need to use any of this precautinary stuff, but definately better safe than sorry. Brian is kinda excited to use the snow chains some more.*eyeroll* Silly man...
I completely redid my school area, deep cleaned and decluttered the library, deep cleaned and decluttered the master bathroom.It is some kind of odd nesting, except I am not pregnant.It feels good to simplify our already simple stuff though.
I have been doing good with the coupons. We save a consistant 15 dollars each trip. I know there are families that do way better, but this is working for us. So we save what we can, and plan on enlarging the gardens, plan on getting our piglets, and being as self sufficient as we can for right now. We should be getting about 8-10 chicks in a week or so. :)
The kids are playing happily is beautiful. There is a slight cloudiness, but the sun is shining and jackets are not even needed. Very nice winter weather :P ...a great precursor to ice storms.
We will be feeding the neighbours horses while they go to a show again, and M called to iron out details this morning. She wants to pay us for being neighborly, which I prefer her not to do. She really pushed though, and offered to bring over a round bale for the donkeys and llama which would be a HUGE help to us, so I reluctantly, but happily agreed. This feels extremely uneven though, so I need to cook up some goodies to help balance things a but more.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I figured I would blog about our loverly animals today. It is a gorgeous foggy day and I spent a good portion outside working to the sweet birdsounds of 20+ chickens and two loud guineas. We have a rooster named Goliath(black Jersey Giant), a bantam roosetr who I don't know the name of, a bantam rooster named Dusty, and a flock of prolific egg laying hens. We get 6 on a bad day, 20 on a great day. Pink, brown, green, and white. We will be getting more hens in a couple months to supplement the pigs with eggs.
Twinkie is our yellow lab. She is old, moves slow, and allows the baby to climb all over her. She smells bad at times, but I can not imagine a sweeter dog,ever. We got her from the pound two years ago and she is Christian's best friend.
Tigger is our orange inside cat. He is old, ashmatic, and aloof. We got him from the pound 9 years ago and he has been a really great cat.
Panther is our black outside tomcat. He is Very aloof, a fantastic survivor, and surprisingly cool to have around. Most of our cats have vanished outdoors(coyotes, stray dogs, any number of predators) but he stays alive and dominates. We got him from a friend of my sisters.
There are 4 fish in 2 tanks. I don't care for fish, they are not mine, but I do feed them.
There is Copper. He is a royal(or ball) python and has grown alot since we got him for Gavin's birthday in June. He eats live mice, fast thankfully, but still. I will hold him if someone has him out, but I do not stick my hand into his home and I don't particularly care to hold him. He is beautiful though, and I marvel at God's diversity in animals.
Two donkeys reside out back. Not little grey cute donkeys, large black pretty girls. They came to us as a rescue mission, and Brian adores them. They are good for nothing right now(as in we can't ride them until they are older) but they are still pretty cool. Cuzco the llama lives with them. Brian called me one day and said he bought a llama. WHy? Because he could. Yes, he spits, but only at the donkeys.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tulsa Zoo Tragedy

Yet another animal has died at the Tulsa Zoo. They just brought in two females to breed with the male giraffe and both have died. The giraffes arrived in October and the first one died in Dec, the second one died yesterday. Although they are a good zoo I can't help but think they have an unusually high animal mortality rate. The two brown bears also died last year, the polar bear died. I think this is going to bring a huge amount of negative publicity, maybe some cut funding, and it will all really hurt the zoo.
I think I am going to get some decor for my hair. I like the peyote stitches alot and they seem a bit more natural looking than the beads, although I like the beads too.
I am going to do my placenta print tree of life this week. I found one on the web that I am going to model mine after, it was beautiful!!!I want to use reds, oranges, and several greens to accent it, and possibly coat it with a sparkle gold dust. I am nervous...I only have the one placenta so I really need to get it right!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It is chilly today! I coincided turning down the thermostat with the coldest day since 1980something here in our piece of Oklahoma. Lol...I woke up thinking how this wasn't so bad...I was even a bit toasty. I started chores...was actually really toasty. Hmm...I checked and the heat was at 73! Brian got home, didn't know about our(the kids and mine)idea. So he turned the heat up to be helpful. Sweet, silly man. He will be in for it tonight.It is going to be a windchill of -20.The heat is again set at 65.I put blankets at the windows, everyone has socks on, and they said they will sleep with nightcaps on hehe.
We had latkes(potato pancakes) today to go with Story of the World lesson on the end of the Jewish Nation. They were very tasty.We ate them with ketchup instead of jam though. Noone wanted to try jam or sugar on hashbrowns.Not even me.
I read about large Blacks(hogs) and bees today. I still want to do bees, but am not thrilled to do the large blacks. They are Brian's first choice by a long shot though.We are getting berkshires this year anyhow, as we will have to get on a waiting list for the Large Blacks, and find a true breeder anyway.
I am going to attempt more with photography this year...I want some of those really fun and abstract pics that I see on other blogs. In fact...I am going to try some tonight.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I turned the thermostat down to feels sooooo cold to me now. I know alot of people keep it here and always have.I am not one of those people. I despise having cold feet.Or a cold nose. Or cold anything. I despise the thought that my discomfort in an area that I can physically adjust could impact my future generations in a much bigger way! SO I turned it down 6 degrees. I am a pretty stubborn(in a good way) person so I believe it will stay down for the winter. The kids always cheer these projects on, and I rejoice to think that a new generation of earth loving enviromentalists is being raised. Good stewards of the earth, in Jesus name!!!
We did a great science lesson today, the best part was reading about George Washington Carver. I was pretty frustrated that the book portrayed his "owners" as such good people for giving him their last name and raising him after his mom was stolen and lost, but they were still slave owners! He had such a tragic beginning, yet rose to be one of the MOST admirable men I have read about. It was a fantastic way to show the kids someone who lived their morales.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Clearing out

Griffon is doing much better.His face is still grotesquely swollen, but it is not swelling further. He threw up so very much throughout the night because of the antibiotics though :( .
Trinity and I went on a nature walk this morning to get some photos for her American Girl contest. We got several great ones, but the closeness, conversation , and the deer we saw were far greater rewards! As we were walking and chatting a deer rustled about 50 feet from us and bounded away! It was majestic and breathtaking. Trinity is the first of the kids to see a deer on our property. We want to make these walks a staple.
I am donating a ton of stuff. Because it is stuff. Not that we don't use it...not that we don't like it. Because it is stuff and bogs down our life. I do not want to have things to make us feel good or fulfilled. The kids are so on board with this. I am also going to strive to not buy new unless there is no used option. No new shoes, clothes, things. Ebay, Etsy, Craigslist, Thrift stores.I think this will make a huge difference this year! I am going to track our money fiercely. We spent on average 400 dollars per week on groceries last year. The past month I was frugal and clipped coupons and got that down to 200 per week. We cut fast food almost entirely and only went to a resteraunt one time. I would rather go to a resteraunt a little more is good for my spirit to eat in a fun enviorment with the family.