Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Just An Ordinary Day

Another homeschool lesson, this time from Papa, on all kinds of fasteners and what they are used for. He had the boys try out all kinds of different ones and then walked around the shop looking for fasteners in the shop and how they were used like, how the shelf brackets were held on, or the door hinges, etc.

The boys love this part of the homeschooling because we do hands-on projects while their poor Mama gets stuck with math and science and reading!

Even little Jackson gets involved when he is not too tired! What a cutie pie! At this time, he just preferred to sit on Papa's lap.

It's not all fun and games though. Mama makes them crack down on the book work! They are smart! Ethan works on his math...

 While Braeden works on his subtraction. When they put their minds to it, can get their work done quickly. They love reading the most. In addition to things like math, science, history, reading and handwriting, their Mama takes them to a homeschool gym class in a nearby community with other homeschool kids on Tuesdays. Then once a week, I teach them all forms of art and/or Papa teaches life skills.

The sunset was pretty tonight. Much prettier than the picture shows. If you look closely you can see the sun beam shadows poking through the clouds going upwards.

There was rain coming on the horizon and sky was a beautiful sort of golden amber color above the clouds (which doesn't show up very well). It was breathtaking and I am glad I have this picture to remind me of the beauty.

I snapped it just as Sara and I were heading out to the canning kitchen to start canning the last of tomatoes. They weren't very nice ones, and we had to cut out a lot to make enough good parts for one last batch of tomato sauce.

We kept Lydia entertained by feeding her an occasional chocolate chip. She is certainly her mother's (and Grammie's) little girl, when it comes to chocolate! She just turned one about a week ago and just cut her first tooth!

The chocolate brought a smile to her face and she kept signing "more" so I kept popping them in her mouth. She probably had 8 or so chocolate chips before she was done and now there is chocolate all over the Pack and Play!

She is such a little angel and is a real trooper. I told her that she was going to be helping when she gets a little bigger! She just grinned. I don't think she took me seriously. She was saying "Papa" tonight as we worked. I am sure that will get her lots of wonderful things in the future, by melting her Papa's heart! I call her Lydie Lou. Sweet girl!

Sara ran the kids home to put them to bed and Husband and I started in on the sauerkraut making. We got almost done before Sara got back but she did return to help make two batches, one of green cabbage and one of purple cabbage.

Here are my workers mashing the cabbage into wonderful juicy sauerkraut. It makes my mouth water just looking at this wonderful stuff!

Oh how we love homemade sauerkraut! Our work day ended about 10:15 PM. Sara went back home to her family and we went back into the house to ready ourselves for bed. Tomorrow we start the roof on the lean-to. Husband's friend, Tim, will be here at 8 AM, so my day will start early again! Better get some sleep!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Summer Wrap Up

The summer is fast fleeting. I can feel a chill in the air and have noticed that the leaves are either starting to change to the colors of autumn or they are laying brown and dry on the ground.

 It's been a good summer though and a lot has been accomplished. I thought I would spend a little time recapping what just some of the activities have been here.Of course this is just a small sampling of the activities here but with just these few, you can see how blessed we feel.

 The garden has been wonderfully fulfilling. We have struggled with either too little moisture or way too much but none the less we have were blessed with produce to eat now and in the winter.

Broccoli that makes my mouth water. 

We have had a good amount of tomatoes and peppers for making salsa, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce and more. I dehydrated a lot of the peppers for use this winter in stews and casseroles.
Daisy has been providing us with plenty of milk for not only drinking but making cheese, butter, yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk and of course homemade ice cream. Yum! These are two of my grandchildren that wanted to help me milk her that morning. They live in the city but have the desire to live on a farm someday. I wish they lived closer and could visit me more often.
The chickens have been doing their part in keeping us well fed. Not only are the hens laying about two dozen eggs a day, we butchered 100 meat chickens to put into canning jars for my house and the homes of my children and their families. Chicken is good when it's canned and makes cooking so much quicker and healthier!
Don't you just love "Old Blue"? This old truck is literally falling apart so it never leaves the farm but it hauls our firewood from woods to woodpile every year. We only use in the summer to haul our wood but it starts every time! I just love this old truck. We have had it for a long, long time.
Here we are butchering some of those meat chickens. Most of the family gathered together to complete the task of providing meat for our families. Even the grandchildren helped and loved being a part of seeing where their food really comes from. It was a family affair, for sure! We enjoy working together and playing together too!
We kept the canners going all summer with various meats, fruits and vegetables. I love canning with my daughters. It makes the time go so fast and we have so much fun chatting about things from joking around to having serious conversations. Old fashioned skills help bring families closer! People need each other more this way.   

We were blessed with a new grandson this summer (we now have 8 grandchildren!) and our gardens and animals helped feed our family and friends that gathered here to fellowship with us.

It's time to dig out the fall decorations and wool sweaters! Only 9 more days of summer remain. As much as I hate to see the hot days disappear, I look forward to hearty soups, homemade breads and pumpkin pies to frequent our table.

I look forward to the canning season being done so that I can slow down a bit. I have looked well to the ways of my household this summer and I am not afraid for the snow to arrive, just as I read in Proverbs 31: 10-31. God has blessed us and we are grateful. Very grateful indeed.