March 18, 2013

The Homestead Journal ~ Week 66~ Sneak Peek of Spring

Homestead Happenings
We got a sneak peek of Spring this week. Monday we spotted a woodpecker in our tree by our bathroom window. I wanted to grab my camera but the batteries were charging. 
The weather was up and down. We went from snow flurries to 60° in a matter of hours. I snapped this shot one early morning as I headed off to work. I suppose it was my reward for braving the time change and getting up and out the door 2 hours before my "normal" time. We live on the time zone line and I feel we should be CST not EST and then we have to play the DST game. 

We are settling into the house still. Its always hard to settle in as we see everything as a temporary stay. I really need to build my cabin, so I can get things how I need them to be.
The girls are slowly decorating their room in their eclectic style. Their room needs the most work, as the previous people used it more as a storage room for all the flooring they were ripping up. Plywood floors are a pain to keep clean and there always seems to be a new piece of metal sneaking out from them. Jacob has his own room, Ezra crashes in there on occasion. We made Ezra a sleeping area in our room, he is happy with that arrangement. Lucas is still with us. Quinten took over the huge closet in the boys room and has made himself a little hide-out. Zachary has made his little space, a fort on the couch. That leaves Isaac and Urijah with a huge room for the two of them, and lots of empty space. Another reason I long for my cabin. My children want little sleeping nooks, not huge empty bedrooms.

Monday I spent some time sewing. I made an apron for work, and made the girls and I new headcovers. I want to do more sewing so I am going through my list of projects. 

The boys have been working in the barn, it was not only a mess of old animal stalls, but lots of trash and junk to remove. Quinten has his chicken coop fixed up and Saturday he brought home his chickens. He had worked out an arrangement to clean out the chicken coop on their homestead. He worked off enough to get a rooster, 2 laying hens and 2 younger chickens, we are hoping turn out to be hens. 

 As a special gift, they gave us a little billy goat. This is Zachary's goat. (Zachary is in charge of the non milking goats) He named him Billy. He loves his goat and he will do great caring for him. He worked hard yesterday getting him set up in his pen. 

What We Are Learning
Unschooling is something many people have a hard time understanding. Many feel its the absence of learning as there is often little to show as far as a paper trail. There are no test scores to record, there are no stacks of papers to grade. There is no peer standards to use as comparison. This is why we love unschooling.

When it comes to curric, we have a vast source of resources to pull from, much of it free. The Internet is our greatest asset. Lessons are child led. My 7 year old doesn't have a science curriculum to follow, he has curiosity and imagination. For example, this week as we walked in to the library, he says " I don't know anything about butterflies, I am going to get  books on butterflies.... And cats". When we got inside we went to the computer, did a search for his two topics, wrote down the call numbers and I told him how to find them. The butterflies were on the top shelf so he needed a stool,but the cats were on the bottom he chose the books he wanted. He read them this week.

 Isaac has been learning more about anatomy. He has a few new books he loves to learn facts about the human body. Quinten is continuing his chicken studies and Jacob worked on his PowerPoint about rabbits. Olivia is still practicing letters and drawing. Zachary worked on double digit subtraction. I think we will tackle borrowing next week as he has the hang of working with large numbers. Abigail leaned about groundhogs and porcupines. 

Our Adventures
I am working 4 days a week now as business is picking up. days this week and appointments are picking up. I post photos of  my week on my grooming blog here

Jacob and Quinten had young men this week, they played basketball. Practicing for their church league. They have a game this Saturday. Isaac earned his achievement by building a 
Friday we had a couples activity at church. Minute to Win it games. Each couple battled twice, boys vs girls. I lost twice to my husband, and the men won the game. But it was a lot of fun.. our first game was this one, and bouncing pencils is not all that easy. Our second game was with a quarter, you make it spin and stop it on its end. Joe got his right away, I got mine but not till a half a second before the buzzer! 

Saturday Quinten had work with another homesteading family, we took a family drive to go pick him up. It was a gorgeous day and the drive was pretty. I can wait for the flowers and trees to start blooming. I love traveling back roads taking photographs.

On Our Bookshelf
We borrow a lot of books from the library. The children pick out their own books, and I grab some that I feel they need for school. 

The Little's Books 
Eloise and the Snowman
Eloise at the Ball Game 
A Perfect Day

The Older's Books
Abigail is also reading some more Little House books
Jacob started reading about Frederick Douglas

Isaac is reading the American Chiller series and The Book of Mormon

Schooling Books 
The Joy of Keeping Chickens
Keeping Chickens, The essential guide to enjoying and getting the best from chickens
Chick Days, And absolute beginners guide to raising chickens
The Knot handbook

Everything you need to know about the human body
Watch animals Grow: Kittens
Eye Witness Books : Butterfly and Moth

Mom's Books 
 National Geographic guide to medicinal herbs : the world's most effective healing plants 
Liberty Defined

What We Are Watching 
My husband talked me into watching The Walking Dead. I started from the beginning and finished up season 2. 

The children are watching He-man and Bobby's World 
I listened to a few documentaries at work, An Inconvienent Tax, Ingredients, The War on Kids and Frankensteer. 

On  The Menu
I plan to share more of our meals here. I will do what I can as time allows. 

Additional Photos of Our Week

 Daddy snapping photos of us working on our projects

 Abigail mixing paint and pencil for her art

  Surprise peek inside of the fort 

 Zachary working with Alma and the goat. 

Olivia got a hold of the camera..
 I loved her series of self portraits, and the ones of her sister. 

Linking up with these Blog Hops 

(I am looking for more blog hops, do you have one to share? ) 


  1. IT's great playing catch up with your clan. They all look so absolutely happy. :) I hope your two young chickens end up to be hens too. It sure helps. I am sure you have heard about our 10 hens...we ended up with a rooster. We are happy though. This means we can have more chickens in a cheaper way. As for goats, we are still trying to decide. While I know goat milk is good for you, I am not sure the kids would be too thrilled to drink it. We are working on trying to find a farm with people willing to let us try it out. :)

  2. I know someone who put a finish on their plywood floors. If you want something with low VOCs, Safecoat is good to use


Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts.

If you choose to leave a comment, put a username in the dropdown box that says Username/URL. You can usually leave the URL box blank, or if the system requires one just put in my URL. Harassing comments from anonymous people will not be published. You will need to sign in if you wish to be rude.

Don't forget to check the "notify me" box to get updates on comment replies!
This makes it easier for conversation. Thanks!