School at home

As I’ve mentioned before we are home schooling for middle school, much like before it had its ups and downs. Most of our curriculum works well for us, while we have had to supplement elsewhere for other things. Not due to the lack of content, but because they just happened to have already learned everything in that subject area.

We are still struggling to find the right curriculum for us and I wonder, how many of my readers are homeschoolers themselves? Do you have a curriculum you absolutely love?

Let me know!

Have a great day folks!

Disclosure

I’ve been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning offers standards-based language arts and math curriculum. Science, social studies and art lessons are provided as a bonus for most grades.

Always Busy

I wish I could slow down time once in while so I could sit down and update here more often. I’m always on the go, only sitting down for meals, folding laundry, and reading a quick paragraph in a book before I fall asleep at night.

The garden has been keeping me busy, with the harvesting

And the canning

I have pickles, apple sauce, pie filling, stew starters, relish, and pasta sauce.

We’ve been talking about downsizing the garden, because it was really too much to handle and perhaps maybe having a small garden for us and not selling at farmers market is the way we need to do things right now.

We’ve also talked about downsizing on the amount of chickens we have, we sell to many different places but the stress of it all is getting to be a bit much (I displaced a rib last week). Maybe 30 backyard chickens instead of 200+ (anyone interested in buying some organic, pasture raised golden comets that just started laying?)

I am ready for winter, I am ready for slowing down, and I’m ready to spend more time playing with this little ball of fur.

I’m also ready for sheep 😂 I keep hearing my husband tell people that sheep will be next and I did find two FREE Icelandic sheep on Craigslist today.

Time will tell, I have the herding dog, so sheep are the next logical step right?!

Have a great day folks!

Oh hey!

So my screen break took a little longer than the rest of my household, they all immediately jumped back in, while I dipped my toes with audiobooks, waded in a little more with kindle unlimited and now here I am with projects and introductions.

School has started and some of us have returned to our old ways of learning and by that I mean we are once again homeschooling. While Leif remains at our local elementary school that I do love, Lorelai skipped ahead to seventh grade and is now currently sitting next to her best friend (who has also joined our homeschool world), reading the free choice book.

During my absence, I have harvested and canned food from the garden, as well has competed a few items.

We have really gotten into playing outside

We observed our critters

Went on a homeschool field trip to Boston

And we have a new family member.

Meet Runa

She is a ten week old Australian Shepard, we are kind of fond of her 😏

For now

This August we are having our first annual screen free month. Our only form of communication with the outside world will be in phone calls, snail mail, or good old fashioned visiting.

We have long talked about cutting back on screens, which is hard in our house.

I grew up on a farm in the middle of the woods in a teeny tiny township in Maine. From ages 7-10 we had no electricity, we had an outhouse, our dirt driveway was almost a mile long and in the late winter and early spring we had to leave our car at the mailbox at the end of the driveway. We either walked to the car from the house or vice versa or sometimes we would take the horse and wagon.

Even when the poles came in and we had running water and an indoor toilet, we still didn’t watch much tv. We had the option to, but when your limited to three channels, books and imagination just seem better.

My husband grew up with video games and cable tv and went to school for video game design and is now a software engineer. So of course he is into electronics, it seems to be the norm to have TVs and video games, computers and iPads in the house. But even a little can be too much.

So folks, we are going on a break as I said before. I’ve printed off all the patterns that I will probably not get to, but feel like I might at some point be kicking myself in the butt for not finishing.

Some already started

And some almost finished

We have books, animals and woods to keep us busy. We have homeschool field trips lined up, our annual summer trip to Santa’s village, and camping to look forward to.

The sky will be our television, with it’s glistening stars. The sounds of nature or one of the instruments in the house will bring us our music.

We have plenty of canning that will be happening this month as everything grows in.

I am excited to see how this experiment goes.

See you in a month folks!

SURPRISE!!!

This is the very last thing I expected to see this morning as we gave the roosters the old heave ho a few months ago.

But she waltzed out of a wooden area with her “missing” Rhode Island Red Mother, who is currently sitting on another egg. I wonder how many other babies will join our farm! Naturally this one was has been named…Surprise! Stay dry little one!

(They we’re hiding in the nesting boxes we use in the greenhouse in the winter, we’ve put a metal roof on to protect them from the storm. Mama refused to go into our broody pen with the baby, so we decided to keep them together where they feel at home)

The calm

All is quiet on the farm..for now. We have a big storm coming out way that is bringing five days of heavy thunderstorms and high winds, it will give us a break for the weekend and then the forecast is showing more rain starting next Monday.

We need it though, everyone does. We have friends whose wells have gone dry, the grass is browning in areas, and every time we water the gardens we are just hoping that it won’t be the last time.

Right now the garden is growing, slowly, we have some produce but birds are our current foes, even with our scarecrow.

The greenhouse is full of tomato and pepper plants, just starting to fruit.

New babies have made their way to the farm

Our temporary guests for the next 8 weeks.

We’ve been interacting with all sorts of wild life this week. Toph and I stood up the other day after an hour picking blueberries to find that not 100 yards from us was a coyote eating his breakfast.

Mr. Coyote took off as soon as he saw us, for that I am thankful, I am not a fan. They were heard yesterday morning while we were doing morning chores. Down in our lower field, yipping in excitement.

The evening after our encounter with the coyote, thinking I would never get as close to nature as I did the previous morning, I headed down to the field to once more pick blueberries to pack in Leif’s lunch for camp and what do you think I saw?!

This deer and I stood in good company with each other for twenty minutes at least. She looked at me several times, I talked to her to let her know that I wasn’t there to hurt her (Can deer understand humans 🤷🏻‍♀️). She even obliged me with a selfie (because you know when there is a deer filter on Snapchat, you just have to do it)

We saw a second deer the next night in a neighbors field as we headed out to move our chicken wagon into the next paddock.

Our very own Moose had a big week also

This beautiful pup of ours was entered into the local pet show at the library and won an award for his brindle coat.

He also made a new best friend

Lorelai also made a winged friend.

We ended the week with our weekly farmers market, that included music this week. I had new colors for the reusable water-balloons I have been making

These have been a big hit this year. I’ve made almost 100 and I can hardly keep up with the outside orders for them.

After a long week, I think I will join Ailey in the couch

If you are in one of the areas expected to be hit with the storm (south of us is really going to get the brunt of it), stay safe and dry.

Have a great day Folks!

Staying cool

Leif is back to his normal, crazy self. He has been spending his afternoons swimming in the lake.

I’m looking forward to my back being healed so I might join him. We don’t have air conditioning at our house, the lake has been our way of keeping cool this summer.

His evenings are spent camping out with dad

This morning he spared an hour of his “survival practice” time to help pick blueberries to freeze and make into jam.

We like to start harvesting berries as soon as they are big and plump. We freeze them for winter snacking and use them to can jams & jellies.

The rest we leave for the bears, because it my personal experience, if you leave fruit for bears, they will leave your animals alone. I’m sure it’s not exactly true for everyone, but on our farm, so far I’ve see plenty of bear scat near where our animals are and yet the bears leave the critters alone.

We have been trying to beat the heat by working in the early mornings and getting chores finished before it gets too hot.

The garden is happy right now, we have been picking plenty of veggies to sell at the farmers market (North Conway Farmers Market if you are up in the White Mountains 😉 )

Sunday while it was still cool out and I had the house to myself, I overdyed some yarn I had dyed a while back.

Some New Zealand wool and Corriedale, while I like the colors somewhat, I wanted something different.

The New Zealand wool still has a spot of orange on it, I’m not sure what I will make with it.

The Corriedale (to me), is simply stunning.

It’s also currently up on the Etsy shop.

I am crossing my fingers we see cooler temperatures soon. It is too hot to spin wool and I’m trying to crochet/knit in the early morning hours and late at night when I can stand to touch yarn.

Stay cool folks! 😎