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New history curriculum

One of the many good things about homeschooling is being able to school on your own schedule.
For us, this means year round, with days off whenever we choose, but not on a set schedule.
Because of that, the completion of various textbooks fall throughout the year.
This is great because only one part of our daily routine is changed at a time.
  It is helpful not to be tackling several new textbooks at once.
I searched high and low, and spent months deciding on Mystery of History, 
and two weeks into it---we love it!  
I decided not to do the timeline and the cards, we will only do the cards, 
and we are keeping them spiral bound for now.
The first 3 card pictures are 3 kids "summary" of lesson two.  
On the back of the card we wrote what happened each day of creation.
We quickly review these cards daily.  Eventually there will be too many cards to review each one daily.
When we get to that point, we can review random cards, of sections at a time.
The last two pictured are of Jubal and Tubal-Cain.  Below, Tubal-Cain is frowning because he hit his finger during his iron working. ;)
The best part of Mystery of History for me is the CD, which means I do not have to read aloud to the kids.  
Past experiences of the kids reading history for themselves, have not turned out well, so this is perfect! The first week we listened to the first ten lessons in one sitting, we did this 3 times with no complaints!  Then we reviewed each lesson and did the cards and any worksheets.  This curriculum gives plenty of options for additional reading and projects, but it can be done as simply as the teacher wishes.  We love it so far!

Oink! and more

Meet Pete the pig.
He sure is cute right now, only about 8 weeks old.

His is our boar, who will grow up and mate with Pippa pig, and make lots of bacon babies.
Avery is so very creative, she made this ukulele for a beanie baby.
Those are real strings!
She obviously  has more time and patience than I do.
And she drew this cute pic on her math sheet, about her goat crying it's eyes out because it has to get disbudded.

Doesn't this goat look look like a midieval warrior?!
There was a hole in the hay bag, and she got her head stuck in it, but she is fine.
Emmi harvested her mini-sunflowers today.
The pigs got all of the stems.
She and Avery pulled off all of the seeds.
Yummy goat treats!

First ever selfie and misc goings on

My kids said that my readers deserved to know what I look like--scary as it may be.
The only time I remember posting a pic of myself was when I was in China with Waid, in 2010.
I quickly figured out that the only hard thing about a selfie, is looking at the right spot, 
so now you all know what I look like.

We found a deal at a thrift store in Birmingham last week--$20!  All those stitches, but no digital stuff to break!  The base, and most of the machine is metal--imagine that--I think it is a school model.
I hope to teach some girls to sew this winter, now I don't have to worry about them tearing up my Babylock machine.
Jenna bought a Ukulele.  She picked up the chords right away, and is having a great time with it.
Chicks arrived last week.  I was at the Chiropractor before pick-up, and mentioned it to a worker there.  She couldn't believe chicks actually came through the mail, and thought I was pulling her leg.
I'm world famous, as you know HA HA!  I got invited to a naval ship commissioning!, unfortunately we could not go.....but I still felt really important.
This is about the only brand of chips we buy, they are non-GMO.  The kids have wanted to try this flavor for some time, I just thought it would be weird.  Strange flavored chips are a big deal in China, like cucumber, tomato chicken, lemon tea, and fish soup, to name a few.  Anyway, I'm here to tell you that these are good, they just taste like Bar-B-Q.  I know you all come to my blog to expand your minds, so I've done my job with this little tid-bit today he he=).
While DH worked on the new chicken house over Labor Day week end, I shopped online at Old Navy  and The Children's Place.  I just had to share the TCP deals I got.  Ten pairs of leggings, ten long sleeve T's, 
and for boys, six pants and 2 shirts......for just under $190, averaging $5 each piece!!!!
I've got to remember to check out Labor Day sales next year!

New home for chickens

As you can see below, our chicken coop was falling apart.  
I have no idea how old it is, we only know the barn is over 80 years old.
The coop sat on a home made slab, which was crumbling at one end.
See, it's not pretty----at all!  
When DH has time, this thing is coming down!
The new chicken mansion is in a "lean-to" on one side of the barn---
actually where the tin is silver in the picture above.  
DH ran wiring and installed lights.
Beyond the new coop, under the same roof, is the very old milking pit that was used 
before the grade A dairy was built in the early 1970's.
Here is the "baby" pen, ready for 25 new chicks to arrive on Friday.
There are 6 nesting box units.
Two were in the old chicken house, four were bought used for $20 each!
I hope the chickens appreciate this gorgeous old barn wood wall.
It appears that most of them are admiring it here.
Our  50 chickens seem to like their new home!

Growing, Watermelon and discoveries

We tried on fall clothes this week......looks like all of Waid's clothes are too short.
Here's the breakdown from the chiropractor's office recently:
AJ          5'0"        68 lbs      13 years 
Emmi      5'0"        90 lbs      12 years 6months
Wes        4'4"        62 lbs      12 years
Jenna      4'11"      78 lbs       11 years 9 months
Avery      4'8"        65 lbs      11 years
Waid       4'7"        59 lbs      10 years 8 months
Poor Wes, everyone has officially passed him in height.  This is the first year he will be getting hand-me-downs from his little brother.  Wes is 12, and wearing a size 6-7 pants.  He may be legally classified as a "little person", but since the endocrinologists have no answers for us, we will have to wait and see.

These are our first ever homegrown watermelons. 
 Emmi did a fantastic job watering and weeding her little garden!

Jenna, Avery, and AJ said it was the best ever!


Emmi found a spiked collar in our tack room (Kristen's I think), and decided that Obadiah needed to wear it.   Maybe having spikes will make up for not having a horn.
The hurricane brought wonderful breezes to us this past week.
And for the discovery.......
This is a very old automatic waterer on the back of the barn.  
I had seen it, but thought it was rusted together.  
DH had seen it, but didn't know what it was.
The iron pipe goes up the wall, we bought a $2 fitting, and draped the hose across the fence, and VOILA!!, a fully functional automatic waterer.   We, of course, are feeling really dumb for not getting this up and running the first two years we lived here!

Busy week

We had a great black eyed pea crop this year, and it's still going.
One day last week the kids took turns and worked throughout the day.
At the end of the day, there were 20 pounds of dried peas.
I had them in a large container that held them all......until we found 1 little worm.
UGH!  SO then we had to sift through every bean and make sure there were no more worms.
DH then sealed them in quart jars instead of the giant container. I'm sure that was the smarter option, so if we missed any worms, they won't spoil ALL the beans!
We have a new goat, Obadiah, and a loaner goat, Bill.
Bill's family will get a baby goat for the trade and loan.
Little Obadiah is too young to mate now, but will be our long term breading boy.
Obadiah is quite handsome with those blue eyes.  Notice there are two horns........

on the second day we had him, one horn was broken off. 
 I'll refrain from posting the graphic photos that we sent to the vet.  
Poor Obadiah was running about the barnyard like a unicorn on drugs, with the broken horn flopping all around, he was very upset.  Thank goodness DH was home, and able to restrain Obadiah.  I had to cut the tissue around the horn because the horn was dangling, still partially attached.  
DH has been busy making some repairs and winter preparations.
He ran new wiring throughout the barn last year.  The wire bringing power from the milk barn to the barn had not been re-done.  It developed a frayed spot between the pole and barn, one evening in the spring, it shot some sparks and then we had no power to the barn.  No problem in the summer, but he knew it had to be repaired before the days get shorter, so he strung up a new wire and connected it all. (He is an electrician).
Then my wonderful husband did something amazing.......he connected one of the generators to the electrical panel in the milk barn, and made necessary changes on some of the wiring.   Now, if the power goes out, we do not have to run extension cords to the refrigerators and milking machine, etc.   All we have to do is crank the generator and flip a few switches!
(A cover will be made for the generator when not in use).
This may not seem like a big deal to some, but keep in mind that DH works for the power company, which means in times of storms, he is not here.  Therefore, I am the one left to deal with generators, storms, ice, 100 animals and 6 kids.  We had a whole house generator in Trussville, which cut on automatically during power outages, it was amazing, and the envy of all the neighbors.  We had hoped to get one here.  Due to the way our house was added on to, how the wiring was done, etc. (that I really don't understand), we will not be able to get a whole house generator (unless we want to spend over $8k).  At least the new set up for the barns will alleviate some of my "storm stress".