Monthly Archives: May 2013

Starting over

This weeks theme among blog friends including me is starting over. You would think it was Jan 1st around here, but no its May..although you couldn’t tell by the weather!  All of us have various reasons for starting over and what exactly we are starting over with. Farmgirl is starting over with a new place, new shop, new town or will be soon. Mike is having to start over with one of the first projects on his homestead, rabbits. I am starting over with saving for my dream homestead.

At one time we were almost to our goal money, our credit wasnt moving. We had to spend money this year on spring animals and with that the added expense of expansion. We had to get a bank loan and a new truck which has sucked us dry of any spare money.  Our savings is near to nothing again. This month is a new start on saving.   At least we arent starting with nothing..we have about 1300 towards our 10,000 goal.  I visited my best friends mother today looking for free homesteading goodies. She had none but did have advise which is always good.

God has a plan. His ways are not our ways and things are not in our timing most of the time.  What happens today will impact tomorrow.  God works things out for good in all situations..we often times dont see it till down the road.  I know it is frustrating for Farmgirl to have to put her homestead on hold once again..to start over, but it will work out.  It has to be devastating for Mike to have to lay to rest a huge herd of rabbits, but it will work out.  I can do nothing but shake my head at the though of having to live here another year and have to save yet again hundreds of dollars that dont seem to be in our future, but it will work out. Each situation although different is the same. We will be thankful later at some point that this happened. (may be years down the road) We will be wiser, stronger, and better equipt to handle challenges that lie ahead.

No matter what happens in your homesteading life, just know there is a reason and be comforted in that. Look for the positive and move forward towards a better tomorrow.

Happy Homesteading!!  😀

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Categories: Homesteading | 4 Comments

Lessons from Homeschooling

This morning as I decided it was a lazy day for our family, I was on facebook and read an article.  It was 10 Lessons I’ve learned from Homeschooling. It is a great article and got me thinking…. what would I say my top few things would be that I’ve learned.  I’ve only homeschooled for 2 years. I do have a few that I sort of live by.

So here is my top  that I want to share with you:

  1. Stop worrying that you aren’t doing a good enough job. You are.  God has called you to homeschool and he will give you everything you need to make sure your children are well rounded.  I’m not saying you should sit and do nothing, but if you are worried about it, then you probably already have made sure you have a well rounded child. You won’t see it every second. Some days you might not think they are learning anything at all!  It’s those far and few between points when your child suddenly spats out what he learned in science to your neighbor, that you realize it’s sinking in.
  2. Make sure people understand what homeschooling entails and your schedule. My family and friends, the first year, thought that homeschooling meant my kids were playing in the yard and I had time for visits anytime they wanted. I would be in the middle of teaching science and they would call, wanting and talk for hours. They wanted me to go with them here and there as if I had no kids.  It wasn’t until they sat with me a day and then realized it’s not fun and games.  They realized how much work it was and  that they were truly disruptive to an already stressed mom just trying to get her kids to focus!  My friends and family now know that I am unavailable until noon. It may take some time getting them used to it, but oh well. That is what voicemail is for.
  3. Focus on a couple of subjects and be ok if you slack on the others. This year started with a lot of goals..my kids were going to do Grammer, Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies, Writing, Art, and a Foreign Language.  By the middle of the year we had dropped the Foreign language, Art, and Social Studies and combined Grammer with Writing. At the end of the year Writing had mostly gone out the window too.  I’m ok with that. My kids will learn vocab and sentence structure even though they don’t know what a prepositional phrase is. As long as they can write well and know how to convey a point, I’m ok with them not know every single part of speech in a sentence. I surely don’t remember it! I didn’t remember any History till High School!
  4. Don’t be afraid to school year round. I know kids need a break, but homeschooling is not public school.  Public school they are going and going for 8 hours. They are crammed with information, then come home and have two more hours of stuff to do.  My kids are going only half that time, so in the afternoon they have breaks. Since we dropped some of the subjects over the year, I am doing them this summer. I believe Writing is very important and the program we are using, Excellence in Writing Intensive A, really has made a difference in their ability to do a report. This is going to be very crucial when college comes. It really does a great job at using Grammar to expand the paragraphs and so that is all I am concerned about. I also am having them do the next level of math. All in all it should take them two hours to get done instead of 4. In the morning most people aren’t even up yet when they are up and so by doing two hours in the morning, it really doesn’t make that much of a difference, but it does in their brain.
  5. Take one day at a time and look at the big picture.  A friend of mine recently decided to put her kids back in public school. I was a little disheartened by that, but since I am not in her shoes, I cannot completely understand. It is very important, if you have children who struggle, to take one day at a time. My son has ADHD and we have opted to not use medication. School takes twice as long and I am constantly in there looking over his shoulder, but I think that it is better for him then being in school pumped full of medication so he can sit still. There are days when he is so distracted it takes us from 8 am till 4 pm with minimal breaks, just to get done. Other days he is super focused and can get done in a few hours.  You have to roll with the punches. Make sure to look at the broad picture and not focus on one horrid day.  Believe me there have been days when I was crying to my friend wondering why I was homeschooling and wanted to quit. I’ve also had days when we were done in like two seconds and we had such fun going somewhere special because we had the time.
  6. Don’t expect anything to get done during your homeschool hours. I am really bad at this. By the time some of my homeschooling days are over, I haven’t done one thing on my list.  I expect my kids to work independently because they are 11 and 12.  I enjoy doing household things while they are working on school because I am nearby. The problem comes when I want to go outside to weed the garden in the cool morning, or when I need to do chores….the kids go on “break” until I return. We have had to revamp school days and start later, I’ve had to stop everything to sit with a child to make him focus, and I’ve had to call vacation days to get all my stuff done that hasn’t gotten done all week.  Homeschooling needs to be just that..school.  If your child needs you, you need to be available at the drop of a hat, not tied up in a project that you cant quit for an hour or two. There are children who work independently and then there are children that need you to sit by their side till they are in high school.
  7. Make your family a TEAM.  We wake up and all do chores. I do the animals while the kids are up eating breakfast and getting dressed (ha if they do!). I get ready with a shower and breakfast while they are cleaning their rooms. Then we set to work…I wash the dishes, one child dries them while the other does their chore of vacuuming and straightening the living room.(They switch those chores every week)  Then I tell them the first subject I would like them to work on and I start a load of laundry.  By getting most of the chores out of the way in the morning before we start, it is easy to not be distracted during school. The house is mostly clean too! My children get a 15 minute break between subjects and they must pull a timer so they don’t go over their time. That is the time I hang laundry outside or finish cleaning the kitchen. By having my kids help with the housework, it definitely takes most of the burden off of me. As laundry gets done I sort into each child’s clothes and they fold and put them away. It doesn’t always get done like that everyday, but if we end up not doing the chores in the morning, they are done right after school. We all live here and each have to take care of something in the house. Mom cant do it all and shouldn’t have to do it all.

Well sorry it’s not 10 but I think 7 in two years is pretty good 😉  I hope this helps just a little and encourages you. We are far from perfect and you would know it if you came and observed for a day. My kids would also do their work in a timely manner, so pop on over!! If you have questions or comments please feel free to leave them.

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Homeschooling posts | 4 Comments

Another Farm update

Well as you can see I haven’t been on much. I just recently caught up with all the reading of friends blogs. I am never on facebook anymore it seems. I was off over the weekend and what happens?? My best friends brother had their baby…sigh..been waiting and missed it! Facebook is better than any ol newspaper!  Ok enough on facebook..so whats going on over there at the Simply Grown Farms??  Well nothing   😉

Ok not entirely true. My lambs were sick..did I tell you?  I dont even remember!  They were. Lambs are very fragile until about 4 months old. They get pneumonia if you look at them wrong!  With all this rain we’ve had and the cold blowing wind, it was hard to keep them healthy. I was giving them antibiotics and just plain got tired of it.  Who wants to go out there everyday and give 6 lambs shots?? Not me!  One day I had, had enough.  It seemed like they weren’t getting better. I said, “You stupid lambs can just die! I”m not giving you anymore meds.”  And they all survived and are doing fine.  We have names for them now..not fancy names cause most will die.  We’ve got Big Boss Man..he’s our male we are keeping to breed.  We have Cow, the spotted one, Fat Face..he’s all furry and fat in the face, Chubby who always looks bloated, then Orange and Green. The girls are still named by their ear tags which seem to fall off every year before we can butcher so I’d better come up with better names. My dad suggested Lamb Chop…hm..we really dont plan on killing the girls, but maybe if they dont fill out and get a tad taller!

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Back Left-Fat face, Back right- Big Boss Man, Middle back-Cow, front left-Orange, Front middle-Chubby, Front right-Green

My chicks are growing like little weeds. It is extremely cold out right now. It was almost 80 two days ago and tonight we have a frost advisory..go figure.  Here are the first set that were all pullets (girls). They are Buff orpingtons and Jersey Giants. The next picture are my younger straight runs. They were huddled in the coop cause I had the door open. They are Jersey Giants and Golden Laced Wyandottes.

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You know its cold when the adults no longer feel the need to free range. They decided to all huddle up together right outside the coop.

IMG_0810 Yes people I have a lot of chickens.  I have 27 adults, 8 teens, and 10 preteens. Not all will make it to winter 😉

I still have no turkeys. I had originally wanted 5..he talked me into 8..I called and told his wife I would feel more comfortable with 2 and if they die I will get more lol.  I need to call him because they should be ready this week or next..a friendly reminder I’m still alive and want turkeys never hurt anyone right?

Remember our cute little puppy Diesel?? Well he is now almost 4 months old weights close to 40 lbs and is in his terrible two’s of puppyhood.  I snapped a picture. Sorry its dark, but if I hit the flash it made him look all light colored and he really is not. Look at those EARS!!

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My garden shares are coming along great and I already have many cool weather veggies coming up. I am almost ready to pick radishes. I am picking rhubarb tomorrow. I think so far this homestead thing is working great this year!

Hope all is well with your homesteads!

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Gardening, Homesteading, Livestock | 5 Comments

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