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So, as we say good-bye to summer and prepare to embark on this totally new adventure of homeschooling, we thought that we would start things off with a little family field trip to the local aquarium. We wanted to make sure that we were getting out there as a family and really taking the time to spend time together and do something fun. The Monkey loves sharks and fish, so going to the aquarium made sense as our first family field trip. Although our funds don't permit us to do as much as we would like, I'm glad that we were able to squeeze this in before the hectic times of the new school year took over.
Well, it was short and sweet, but Spring Break has come and gone. And, boy, was it busy! My sister came out to visit and we had a LONG list of things that we wanted to accomplish while The Hubs had vacation time. The first thing that we did was work outside on the garden and coop. The coop needed it's paint and the garden had to be tilled and made ready for seeds. Then the boy decided that he wanted to use some of the paint to paint the garden fence. Guess he likes color added to his life as well.
The next thing that we tackled was the classroom. The Monkey didn't seem to mind having all of his toys moved from what was once his playroom into his bedroom. He actually seems to like it (although, he says that he gets a little bit lonely b/c we aren't always up there with him), but he has no problem with dumping all of his Legos out on the floor or hiding under his bunkbed in his new "fort."
Finally, we finished up reorganizing the storage room in the basement. It was amazing to see some of the things that we held onto. It was nice to finally go through everything (I mean, we only moved 4 years ago) that was packed up and actually get rid of a bunch of excess baggage. I can't believe the things that we held onto...I mean...goodness. But now there is plenty of room for a stand-alone freezer and all of the canning that we will (hopefully) do this summer with our extended garden. Whew! It was a very busy week, but also really good for uncluttering the soul.
It's not as big as we had originally thought, but the coop is now built and ready for it's new inhabitants. It just needs to be painted and spruced up a little for it's feathered residents, but other than that, it is ready to go. And it didn't take that long to put together. It was nice that we were all able to work outside together to get it done and it solidified the reasoning behind why we are doing things like this (getting chickens, homeschooling). It reminded us that we are a strong family unit, that our time together is precious, and that we can accomplish anything. We are able to come closer together and work hard to achieve a common goal. The Hubs certainly felt a deeper understanding of how people who actually live and work on a farm are able to fill their days with chores and projects that need to be done around a homestead. Although our home is a far cry from large acreage and a working farm, it is still our homestead (now with chickens!), and with our expanded garden (soon to be 24'x24' with bordering containers), it is enough to fill our days and add the goal of simplifying our lives through honest, country living.
You know, when we first invested in chickens, I didn't think that they would be a bother. And, honestly, they aren't. Not really. But they do have attitudes. Especially Roxie and Molly. They both are trying their hardest to be Mother Hen (although Molly is taking the lead in that race). And the chicks are ALL growing so fast. I'm surprised at the rate that they are getting their big girl feathers and losing their fluff. Their wings are almost filled in completely and they have the cutest little tail feathers. The problem with them having big girl wings, however, is that they are learning that they can actually...well, fly. They don't fly like a robin, of course, but they are able to flutter enough to escape their brood box and make their way around the shower and spread their pine shaving every which way. I can only hope that they don't figure out how to open the shower door. Then we are really doomed...
Well, we have picked up the chicks. They are completely adorable and I have to remind myself that we cannot allow ourselves to become too attached, because, as adorable as they are, they will eventually become dinner. I have to confess, though, that holding them and caring for them is amazing. They are so small and fragile and already I can feel my heart strings being tugged. But, the reality of it is, they are for a purpose. They are for eggs and eventually food. I think that is going to be a difficult part of our transition into country living, knowing that we have to butcher something living in order to provide food for the table. I can only hope that when the time comes, both the Monk and I can remain as pragmatic about this process as we have been when we set upon it.
Well, the coop has been ordered and is on its way. We are out to get the chicks this weekend and start them in a brood box in the house until they grow big enough to be set outside in the coop. I have so many ideas running through my mind about how I want to paint and decorate the coop (I know, who thinks about these things? Apparently I do.). Since this is a such a new experience for us, I want our coop to be cool and interesting. I also don't want it to be just another eyesore in our backyard (which, truth be told, is what all of the backyard really is at the moment - one big eyesore), so I want to add some color and fun to what is actually just a big square of dirt. Hopefully, if the coop (and the garden fence) are colorful and cool, then it will help us to be more inspired to fix up the backyard more quickly.
I always seem to be saying this in regards to this website...where does the time go? Away, away, away. So, as this, my last professional school year, is coming to an end and homeschooling will begin, I am hoping that time will slip away from me a little less quickly and I will be able to maintain this a bit more faithfully.
OMG! It is absolutely amazing how much a family can get done when there is a ton of sumlight (I so love summer time!) I had a wild burr to organize the bathroom cabinet (raided the local DollarTree for a bunch of baskets and such). So on Friday, totally redid our upstairs bathroom and got it all organized. Then, on Saturday, we worked in the yard, cleaned up the house and planted our new apple tree (given for free by a local nursery). It was a generous gift that gives in return. All we have to do is take apples that come from the tree to the local food pantry when the tree starts to bear fruit. A very cool deal. Then we hit the Culture Fest in our hometown and walked around for a good portion of the afternoon. Afterwards, we had a Tr3asures BBQ with our fire pit, funny faces, a s'mores. While the boys cleaned up, I read Warm Bodies ( a wonderful and fantastic book so far!).
Sunday gave us a bunch at a beautiful manor and a trip to the butterfly pavillion. Some more family time and then some small chores around the house rounded up the weekend.
Summer offers so much more time to actually get out and do things. The sun is warm upon the day, the light brightens the sky for so much ln
Here are the posts that I will keep of all of our family fun moments. We try to have them a lot and really enjoy our time together (esp. since we know that little ones become big so quickly).