31 December, 2008

Garden plans

The seed catalogs are beginning to trickle in. I flipped through the Burpee one and still can't figure out why anyone would want a seedless tomato? How are you going to grow more?

I am thinking that we are going to plant, lettuce-Romain, potatoes-red skin, and these really fun purple ones that Richard picked up in TX, tomatoes, green peas, green beans, collards, zucchini, yellow squash, okra, corn, pumpkins, garlic, carrots, green peppers, purple hull peas, spinach, cucumbers for salad and pickles, and probably more but I can't think of what.

I was also looking at the fruit trees and berries. I would like to get apple trees, peaches, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries. Maybe try a few plums, pears. I've also thought about grapes but I am still not sure.

Our Co-Op manager had said that the fruit trees would be in around Christmas, but they still haven't come in. Hopefully soon, but now that I think about it I don't think that even Wal-mart has their trees in yet.

So we need to get the ground ready, we have a very large garden space, thanks to a neighbor. He turned over a plot 165'x65'. But sadly we still do not have a tiller or tractor, I am praying that we will be able to get one this year. My FIL did come over last year and gave us hand, with his tiller, but I think that it was too late in the season so the weeds and grass took over.

My garden goal for this year is to put up as much as possible. I do need to get a pressure canner, lots of jars, figure out the pantry space to store all of the jars once they are full. And pray that we don't break to many jars during the canning process. We've been using our jars for other things and many are getting broken. Time to go back to plastic cups again.

The boys and I also need to sit down and draw out the garden so that we can plan out we are going to plant everything.

We need to get the chicken coop cleaned out, the rabbits poo is also really good to use, the pigs are swimming in mud that can also be used, and when I want the cow manure I can go to Dad's and he will fill the pick up. So we are not short on the fertilizer, but we might need top soil or something. I know that stuff will grow out there, besides the weeds, I just need to be a lot more dilligent aobut getting out there everyday. Trying not to waste our money on buying plants before I have anywhere to put them.

30 December, 2008

Our lifestyle

eWe are a very unique family. I wear only dresses/shirts, wear a head covering, dress the boys in a very modest style, Rachel is already in dresses and a covering-which she waits for when it is time to get dressed
And yet my husband is in the Army. Most Plain communities would not welcome us because of that. But I have an online friend who is living the way that we hope to, that also feel that being in the military is not a bad thing.

Which is good since at least three of the boys say they want to go into Air Force or Army.
I personally feel that serving your country is a very good thing. I also feel that it is a good job. No you will not get rich in the military, but you will /should always have a home, benefits, a steady income. It is also a good way to go on to college if that is something that you want.

We are raising our children to step back from the world. To look at it in a much different way than most people do.

My Grandmother, my Mom and I were talking about being conservative on Christmas day. She mentioned that she had watched the Duggar show where they went to a movie. She could not understand how a family that conservative, would be at the movies any movie. But then add to the fact that it was an R rated one and well that just sent her over the top. Why she kept asking? I don't know, I do know that all of my friends watch movies and they are all conservative. A few of them even know the Duggar's. We watch movies, in our home. Not as much as we used to. There are something that the children are not allowed to see. We are getting better at what we watch overall. We do still have satelight, not sure how long I will be keeping it on, because we really don't watch it. I was watching the Duggar's and other shows about large families, but what I should be doing is focusing on my own.

We've had some really fun nights the past couple of weeks were we just sit here and sing out of the hymnals. I do wish that one of them would pick up playing the piano again. We've played baord games. Tonight once the little once had gone to bed the three older boys played go fish, only to realize that there are a LOT of cards missing from the deck that they were using.

Which brings me back to Grandma, this would also be a bad thing that we are playing cards, when I tried to tell her that one of our favorite games is Dutch Blitz and that I get it in a horse and buggy Amish store, well I thought that her eyes were going to come clean out of her head. This game is solitare without the face cards in it. She had never heard of the game.

So I think that the thing for me is next time I see her I need to remind her that we are, all of us(my friends, & the Duggar's) first generation conservative Christians.
We grew up one way and are trying to raise our children in a completely different way. And it is hard. But everyday we learn a new way to let go of something that we probably shouldn't have, or dealing with that item in a way that is God honoring.

Getting ready to say goodbye

Well as of tonight it looks like the children and I will be heading over to Atlanta to pick up Richard on Friday.
We will more than likely spend a little bit of time over there as we are all wanting to go to IKEA and look around. We also need to go to the Apple store so that they can fix his iPhone, something is wrong with the iPod feature it will only play one song even after you've touched the shuffle button.
He also needs new pair of running shoes as one of his students seems to have taken them. Not to say that people are bad, but it does make me wonder what else might have been taken from his truck whether accidentally or on purpose, after cleaning out the truck on Sunday I really don't think that he would know, unless he was looking for something specific and couldn't find it.

The children and I had to go into town to the laundry mat today so that I could wash my down comforter. I had just walked into the bedroom on Sunday and Richard had changed Rachel. She was in her birthday suit and my hands were cold, so guess what she peed all over me and the bed. But I have found that our little town actually has 2 laundry mats and I kind of like this one better. A lot more larger washer, more washer in general. But I don't like that there isn't anyone there or even a phone number if something happens or you need a refund because the machine you choose is broken. But the there was a good amount of dryers that said HOT on them and they were, because my comforter was dry in 24min. I am thinking about going up there and washing everything that we own once and for all and when I am done it will all go straight across the street to the thrift store. I would love to do this, but I will more than likely just box all the good pants, collared shirts, and smaller stuff and once they can show me that they can and are willing to take care of their clothing then we can go shopping in the boxes.
Then there will be no more of the I can't find this that or the other, because they will each have 1 outfit. That has to be washed every night in the home washer.
I should think that 2 pairs of underwear, each 3 pairs of socks, maybe 2 pairs of jeans that way if they get messy at the barn they will have something to change into, in the middle of the day.
Then once we get all of the laundry done we are going to say goodbye to all of the toys. I only want them to have a few things, Lego's, Lincoln logs, matchbox cars, Thomas the train stuff, board games, books, but I need to get things back into buckets and bins. I would love to get one of those organizers for like a preschool and then we could just box up the items, and when they are done they know what color bin to put things in. But I think that what we are going to do is this thing called ITSO that Target has. I kind of think that it is really based on something that we might be able to find when we are at IKEA. We shall see.

I am great at planning and organizing everything on paper, but don't ask me to actually make it happen. Because you might still be waiting 30 minutes from now.

Anyway I am off to bed. We still need to finish getting all of the Army things together so that Richard has what he needs while he'll be away in Boston.

22 December, 2008

could be Wed night, probably early Thurs am

Or more than likely it will be breakfast time Thursday before he rolls in.

He didn't come home this weekend, so that he could come home early on Wed and then have two full days with us. But then the student he had got fired and they didn't have a new one to give him. So with the runs that he had, he ended up with a 36 hour reset. He could have taken it down in TX, but instead took it up in Florence. By doing that it meant that we would be able to spend the day with him on Sat.

It was a rainy wet day that we really spent most of sitting in the van. We did run around Lowe's and if I'd had 1000.00 I would have a really nice front loader now, but alas it has been a very bad month, so it will wait.

But then I am sure that it has been a bad month for a lot of people and for that I am grateful that he has a job. I do wish that there was a lot more stability in his work, that when they say that he will be home at a certain time then he will, not hours or days later.

We did get a new kitchen faucet that Thomas installed for me today, and he fixed the hose on the shower(we have one of those double ones, works great with bathing the little ones)head. We also looked at the wire shelving, kitchen sinks, kitchen cabinets, area rugs, the huge outdoor play sets, enclosed trailers, and drywall.

There is so much that we need to do in the area of home repair, but the hardest was coming home after having a pretty nice day(it was raining after all), to find our two goats dead.

They were just fine when we left 12 hours earlier, but there were gone. So on Sunday instead of attending church, Thomas and I dug a whole and buried them. It seems so strange to go outside and not hear them talking to us. They were really just pets, large animals to help us in getting used to large animals. We bought them two years ago this coming Feb, around the same time we bought our Great Pyrenees Toby, he also died this past year, just past his 1st birthday. A great big white puff of a dog that didn't like cars, and yet he was run over by a neighbor, who did quiet a bit of damage to her car. But I guess that if animals all go somewhere they are all together again now.

Not sure what I will do now, we have chickens that aren't laying eggs, chicks that are trying to survive this cold weather, a sow and her altered son, and two each male and female rabbits.
Sad little homestead we have here, but then again perhaps it was a sign from God. We are to look to Him, to seek His face everyday in all that we do. Perhaps we did something, or we are supposed to be doing something and He is trying to tell us that.

Off to seek that answers in His word. Have a blessed evening.

18 December, 2008

Finally ordered the book Nourishing Traditions

I've heard really good things about it for a few years now, but just didn't think it was something that I wanted yet.

Well last night I was reading over on Katie's blog about making baby formula. Well don't ask me why but that was it.

So over to Amazon to see what I might be able to find used. I love books, used books can be a really interesting thing. Because sometimes you can get notes that other people put in them. So I found one that sounded good, I ordered it and should get it by Friday.

That was until a few minutes ago, I got an email saying that their ad was incorrect and they were going to order be a brand new, their cost and have it shipped to me.

I am happy and a little sad as I was looking forward to possibly seeing someone else's notes in this book.

Oh well, I hope that I enjoy it as much as I think I will.

08 December, 2008

Planning the nex 6 months of school

As we get ready to begin the new year, I have decided once again to make a year book. It will include things that we do in our school, around the homestead, and just a general look at our lives.

I am thinking that we will work once a week, it will count as handwriting, English, Art, creative writing, and whatever else I can think of.

My thoughts are that they will learn a lot about themselves, each other and our family.

It will be a good way to show Richard what we really do each month too. As he will be going away to school for the Army next month and we will not be able to see him. It gives us a goal in getting the month of Jan in the books.

I will do 2 books, 6 months at a time, that way if they really get into it we won't have to down size and decide what doesn't get to go in the book.

My other thoughts on this project are that they will be able to look back when they are older and see what their handwriting looked like, what they did in school and everything that I wished that I had now. I know that my step mom, has been doing scrap books for years, but I don't really think that she has years-full years of what my brother and I did.

But since I have been saying that I was going to do this for the past couple years, I am really going to make this work.

I am also going to try digital scrap booking, that way I will be able to get some of the older pictures that I have into albums too. We won't even begin to talk about how far behind I am in my scrap booking. So this is a way to get started and hopefully back on track, slowly but back on track.

07 December, 2008

Time flies when you don't have a lot of it.

Richard had Drill this weekend, yesterday he went to Florence and the children and I drove him up there. Which also meant that we would be spending the day in the van. Which is ok on a normal day but it was chilly yesterday.
So we walked around a few stores, I couldn't bring myself to brave the mall. We checked out the library which is really nice, more along the lines of what I am used to back in FL.
Fought a raging headache most of the day, actually took two naps in the van trying to fight my headache. Finally while we were at the library, they have a little coffee shop in the lobby and I broke down and bought a Coke, then took some more Tylenol and it finally went away.
We went to pick Richard up, then showed him this beautiful on the outside old large house for sale. I have since found it on line and it is completely modern inside. Which although it was something completely outside of our price range, it was a very pretty house. But it was also right in the historic district of Florence, which also happens to be very very close to the University of North Alabama. If only we could find a large farm house on some land that would be wonderful.
Anyway, we then went to Target and looked around. We needed milk so we went over to Aldi's and got 4 gallons for the week. Then we finally headed home. Once I started leaving the "city" everyone fell asleep, except for Thomas he always stay awake.
We got to Russelville and got gas for 1.56, and then got a couple bacon cheeseburgers and fries from Jack's and came on home. Got everyone inside and into bed and we also turned in.
So today, we've go the whole day and it still flew by. We got up around 7, feed the animals, made and ate breakfast, then I really don't know where the rest of the day went.
We did manage to sit down at the table at 6, but then somewhere between eating supper, giving the little two baths, some playtime with them and getting them into bed I lost an hour and a half. So here I sit at quarter to 9, and I am going to finish getting Richard ready for tomorrow. He will be pulling out in the morning after they come a jump his truck, his truck is such a thing. If he doesn't start it several times during the weekend, then it won't start. So because we were all gone yesterday it's dead. So sometime tomorrow, a service person will come out and help him start his truck and his day.
I am off to make sure that he doesn't forget anything.
Have a great week and God Bless.

01 December, 2008

Plans for the next month

Well we all said our goodbyes to Richard this morning as he left for work, the good thing is that he will be home again this weekend. It is Drill weekend so we won't really get to see him much but he's still home in the evenings.
I am still trying to figure out how I can get to KY to see Mary and the girls and possibly catch Bryce and Heather while they are home for Christmas, praying that it happens. But there will be other times if it doesn't.
Richard will be home again two weeks later for our family weekend not sure what we are going to do yet, but we will probably be doing our Christmas dinner. He should be home on the 25th like last year, but I won't believe it until I see it. Especially after this weekend and him being told that he should be able to get home early, well it was early alright 2:15 or something in the morning, oh and that was Saturday morning.
Then the last weekend of the month he will be turning in his truck to the terminal in Atlanta so that he can go to school in Boston for the month of Jan and part of Feb, then he will be home for like a week-maybe, he might just go back out on the road till he has to do the next schooling. Well that is really a little more than the next month, but hey it is the plan.
The thing that bothers me the most is that we won't be able to see him for the time he is in Boston, it is a 21 almost 22 hour drive and I just don't know how I feel about trying to drive in snowy weather for a weekend visit. I mean I would love to go up to Boston and see what we might be able to see, but a big van, 7 children and cold cold weather, ummm I think that I will pass. The time will go by quickly, then we will be together again in our unique way that we are together, life as a family of a trucker.