Monday, July 28, 2014

Rummage Sale

We made it through our rummage sale!

What craziness!  What busyness!

I made $75 at our rummage sale, and my mom and grandma each made some money as well.  That wasn't as much as I wanted to make, but I was able to order Blessed Assurance with the money that I earned.  I'm looking forward to using that curriculum this year with all four children.  I love unit studies that we can all do together.  It not only makes planning and executing my school day easier, but it also helps us to bond so much better as a family when we are working on something with a common goal.  Of course, everyone gets different assignments based on their abilities.

We sold about 5 two foot long boxes of books, along with several puzzles and games and a couple of desk chairs.  It was a good weekend.

We really enjoyed the firefighters parades and games.  Our community hosted the annual firefighters games for our state this year and the activities coordinated with the community rummage sale.  Unfortunately, that meant that I missed out on watching the games, but my dad brought the girls down to watch.  They enjoyed the games, but the highlight of the weekend by far was splashing in the puddles made by the firemen's hoses!

A pile of uniforms after one of the games

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What do my daughters know?

I'm planning the new school year.  I thought I had it all planned out.  It looked good on paper, but I just didn't feel at peace about my plan.  Have you ever been there?

I prayed about it.  Prayed a lot.  And I still didn't feel comfortable with my very good school plan.  Then the Lord brought to my remembrance a curriculum that I used four years ago with my oldest (and the younger ones as they were able).  It is called Prepare and Pray, and it teaches many survival and homesteading skills while going through Swiss Family Robinson as a unit study. 

I enjoyed doing it with my son and planned on doing it again as the girls grew up.  But I wasn't planning on it this year.  It requires a lot of teacher involvement (read big time commitment) and the willingness to make messes and go out of my comfort zone sometimes.  I wanted an easy school year this year.  

But such is not to be.  And I'm OK with that, because I can look at my plan for the year and smile and know it will be good this year.  We will have fun.  We will learn.  

I don't know if I'm going to follow the book exactly; my plan right now is to pick skills to work on along with the Bible memory and studies in Prepare and Pray.  I'll do some of the writing and science as well.  I hope to continue to work on US History as we got almost to the Revolutionary War last year.  

I thought that a good plan before deciding what skills to work on would be to list what the girls already know.  Since Isaac already went through this, I am going to tailor it more for the girls, though he will be joining us as well.  I'll probably pick a few skills for him to work on independently.  

So, without further adieu, 

Skills my daughters possess in survival, homesteading and homemaking:
  • how to pick mint and make tea with it straight from the garden
  • how to identify several herbs by sight and smell in the garden and what they are good for (other than eating directly from the plant while standing barefoot in the middle of the garden)
  • why we prefer goat milk
  • the delights of shopping at Farmer's Market
  • how to fearlessly gather eggs from under a broody hen and where the favorite hiding places for the eggs are
  • how to pull weeds so you get the root and not just the top
  • how to wash and dry dishes
  • how to clean the bathroom
  • what foods normally have gluten in them 
  • how to catch a Houdini chicken (Isaac's quote: "Mom, our chickens are the Albert Einsteins of the Houdini world."  Translation:  They escape their pen.  Often.) 
  • how to clean and bandage a scrape 
  • how to make a great salad, including washing the greens
  • what to do if they get lost in the woods
  • at least two easy to find and identify edible wild plants in our area
  • how to safely hike with a buddy
  • how to make homemade popsicles and smoothies
  • how to climb trees (I'm not sure if this counts in this list, but they sure are good at it!)
  • how to make maple syrup and how much sap and work go into just a quart of syrup
  • what part of the plant common vegetables come from and what they look like in the garden: roots, stems, leaves, flowers, seeds...
  • how to pick, clean, slice and freeze strawberries
To some people, this may seem like very simple and basic knowledge.  Others might think these skills are complicated and unnecessary.  But this is where we are at on our journey of learning homesteading and related skills.  Their are other skills, but I'll not bore you with a complete list now.  There may be another list coming soon.  In the meantime, we'll be trying to learn more skills to use on our homestead in town.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Getting Ready for our Rummage Sale

I mentioned in a previous post that we are trying to declutter by preparing to have a rummage sale.  I'm working with my mom in doing this, as we are having the sale at her house.  Today, we worked all day to organize the books that we want to sell.

ALERT: Homeschoolers accumulate a LOT of books!

My dad is a retired schoolteacher.  My mom homeschooled me through from 3rd grade through high school.  I homeschool my four children.  We have a lot of books!  Mom and I both decided that we have too many books, so we have been going through them to pick out some to eliminate from our collection.  Here is where it gets interesting: last year we moved my Grandma (former schoolteacher) to an assisted living room.  In the process, we packed up hundreds of her books.  She will not be reading them, so we are adding them to our sale as well.  Three generations of books to organize for this rummage sale.

We are seriously considering changing it from a rummage sale to a book sale.  I'll keep you posted on what we decide to do.  Right now, I need to go organize some books! See you later!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Weeding Rhythm

I'm getting into a weeding rhythm.  Almost every evening, I've been going out to the garden at 8:00 or so and weeding for 20-30 minutes.  The air is cooling off in the twilight and the garden is peaceful and quiet after a busy day.  It is a nice time to relax and pray.  I don't like weeding very well, but I think the main reason for that is that I've always tried to weed the whole garden all at once and spent several hours doing it.  It is much more enjoyable if I know that I can quit after a short time instead of trying to get every weed.

I haven't come anywhere near conquering the weeds, but there are parts of the garden that are getting neat and orderly looking.  Unfortunately, my beets, carrots, and onions don't seem to be doing much.  Maybe they just need a few more days.

I'm hoping to pick up some straw in the next few days to mulch the garden as I weed; when a section is well-weeded, I'll mulch that part to try to keep the weed growth down.  It will be interesting to see how well that will work.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July!  This is a day to celebrate our freedoms in our country, but let's also remember the freedom that we have in Christ!  That freedom goes beyond any earthly freedom.  We are free from sin's power and condemnation.  Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life."  He also said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."  If you know Jesus, you can know true freedom.

Have a safe and special Independence Day!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tooth Fairy Gift

Does the tooth fairy come to your house when your child loses a tooth?  Though all of our children know that Daddy is the tooth fairy, they still eagerly look forward to what he brings.  At our house, we have rarely left money.  We prefer to leave a small gift that we know that child would enjoy.

Last Saturday, our nine year old lost a tooth.  Sometimes the tooth fairy is late coming to our house.  Does that happen to anyone else?  Anyhow, yesterday,
Grace left this note by Dad's crossword puzzle area.  Needless to say, the tooth fairy finally remembered to come last night.  

When the need for a gift was realized, our first response was to run to the store for one.  Then we rethought that.  Grace loves mazes and hasn't had a new maze book for quite a while.  We went online, found 15 free printable mazes that we liked and printed them out in a half page size.  I cut the pages in half, stacked them and bound them with our spiral book binder.  I made covers from cardstock and decorated them.  Bruce put it under her pillow.  

When Grace found it this morning, she was super-excited.  She has already done most of them, but decided to solve them with her finger so she could do them over and over.  Pretty good idea!

I view this as a success, as it would have been super-easy to just make an extra trip to town to buy something.  This project took about as long as a trip to town would have and resulted in spending no money and a very personalized gift for a special young lady.