December 01, 2013

The Homestead Journal ~Week 106 ~ Happy Birthday and Some Newly Completed Projects

On The Homestead 
We are finally getting situated in our tiny cabin. Its been an adjustment, but we are working out the kinks. Cooking has been resolved with the installation of the wood stove. We are able to cook most everything on it. Not that campfire cooking didn't work, its just not fun in the cold weather! 

Quinten, came up with an "oven" idea. It was neat because someone was telling me about making bread on top of a stove and I never got a chance to talk to Quinten about it, before he figured it out on his own. 
Abigail made pies. She didn't have enough fresh pumpkin so she mixed half and half with canned. The crusts were store bought, and one was a chocolate crust, so she mixed cocoa in the pie. I will admit, I prefer the regular one, but the children ate the cocoa one just fine!
Even tho this week was Thanksgiving, we had decided to not celebrate it. But my 13 year old really wanted to make a nice meal. We bought a turkey because they were .69 lb.  We had a bag of stuffing he cooked up, and made gravy from the bag in the turkey. The rest of the food was made from scratch. He made rolls, and green bean casserole. We didn't have the soup mix or the onions, but he found a recipe that he made on his own and used the dehydrated onions from our food storage. It came out pretty good, but I think he use a bit too many onions.

We celebrated my oldest daughter, Abigail's birthday on Friday. She was born on the Friday after Thanksgiving, so we had a big dinner for her. This is her and daddy 11 years ago! 

I love ambient lighting. These little white lights are perfect. 4 100 light strands fit the cabin perfect. I would like to get enough of a solar bank to run the lights and laptop, but for now we use the generator. 

The three older boys finished up the counters. I posted this on FB earlier in the week. They used all reclaimed wood for their project. Our only cost was for the screws. 

"I have been doing the blog journal for 2 years now. I use to log what we did for school work. Some have wondered why we have stopped.

We are unschoolers and do very little structured school. My children learn via life. Some people like measurable education. It was hard to journal separately on the blog. Some ask..."how do you know they are learning".

I watch them, I talk to them, we discuss things. That's how I know.

I was thinking about this last night as my 14 year old was put in charge of building the frame for the kitchen counter. This involves many skills, most importantly, good math.

I could give him a worksheet and have him do the math on paper. Mark the ones wrong and give him a grade. He would stuff the paper in his books or toss it. But he wouldn't quite grasp the necessity of getting the math correct.

But last night, he did the math, checked it himself and built the shelf, to near perfection. The height and width were perfect. The length was off by 1 1/2".

So today he has to correct his build. He doesn't have a big red check mark on it, he sees he made a mistake and he can see how to correct it.

This is how much of our math is learned. With the younger ones we start with basic things, like counting out forks for dinner, we move on to shopping, cooking meals, and helping with budgets. " 

I need to finish it up a bit. We plan to put more plywood shelving on the longer portion for food/dishes storage. I would like to put a sink in front of the window, but I am not sure what I want exactly. 

I picked up 10 more of these buckets from Walmart. They come from the bakery dept and they charge me $1 each. I love them for storing everything! Rice, pasta, even water. 

I had a few full days at work. We were closed Thursday and Friday so I made up for it Tuesday and Wednesday.  This is one of the cuties I groomed. I love the pink ears. 
see the grooming blog for more photos 

Monday we had to go into town for court for our child support case. We sat in the van and chatted etc while dad went inside for a bit. Lucas was practicing his writing. We ran some shopping errands while we were in town. Some of the children  turned in their Book It certificates for Pizza Hut and we picked up Little Caesar's for the rest of us. Got kicked out of the laundromat for having pebbles in one of the boys pockets. It was a busy day all around! 

Additional Photos To Share 

This is a very pregnant Black Betty.  
We suspect Fiona is pregnant too, but we have not felt a baby yet. 

 This is where the goats were sunning on a chilly morning. They are free range, and stay close by the cabin. You can see the pond in the middle left side of photo. 

This is the pond, it froze that morning, but it was about 11 when I took this photo. 

Quinten had fun with his frozen water bucket!

November 30th, Sunrise 

Warm and toasty wood stove! 

For more updates, links and resources,  come check out our FB Page!

Linking up with these Blog Hops 

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


  1. It is lovely to catch up here! Your cabin looks so lovely with that soft lighting! I love the oven idea! I had no idea you could do this!
    Have a wonderful week!

  2. Oh, wood stove....nice! Things seem to be coming right along! You've got some great helpers!

  3. Loving it Nicole! Good for the kids getting in there and cooking the way they do. And building a shelf? Super. I love hearing all the things you do. The stove sounds awesome. So glad you finally got it.

  4. Your kids amaze me. They are super smart.

  5. I love the lighting! And the oven on the stove top, great idea! We are also unschoolers and learn as we live, utilizing the kid's curiosity and running with what they are interested in! I wanted to give a small suggestion, if you would like, you could put fabric under your countertop, to hide all of your neat buckets. I saw this on another frugal LDS mom's blog and thought you might be interested. :)


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