29 April, 2009

Pre-teens and a camera

Seems that one young lady that I know and love, got a hold of my camera while we were at her house week before last. This is what she took.

Aric laying on the couch beside Becca.
Jadon playing with his coat.

Thomas making a funny face.

Caught red handed!!!

Ahh the photographer.

Matthew making a really silly face.
Noah and a pretzel that looks a little like Matthew.

I think that there might have been one more photo but really how many do we need of little boys sticking their tongues out at us?

Now this last one I think that I actually took, before I ran off to put Caleb to bed. They were all enjoying the caramel corn that Mary had made earlier in the day. I didn't get any, cause they ate it all.

I am thinking that maybe I should get Becca a camera for her birthday, I do believe that she might really enjoy one.

28 April, 2009

Some pictures around our place.

So I went out yesterday and was looking over the couple of spots that my FIL had tilled up for me. I needed this done to plant the blueberries, blackberries and the grapes. I still don't know for sure where I am going to put the blackberries yet, but I have an idea.

I realize that they are way to close together, but at least the ground is broke. I also know that the grass should have been cut super low, than raked up. So I am thinking that we are going to have to have him come back over and do it again, so that the ground is turned over.

It is hard to tell but there are actually 4 plots here.
Thomas and Aric were raking the tops off of these beds.

Here is the start of our orchard, but after looking over at Lisa's blog I see that I need to do the bottom of these trees differently. We just made a big circle around the bases and left them. I did get this mulch mat while we were up in KY and I put it around the plum tree in the front yard, so I might see if I can find more of those locally. If not I will get them up there next month.

We have several different apple, plum, pear, and peach trees out in the orchard. I think one of my peach trees didn't make it through that last frost though. I have thought that I would add more trees next year, but we'll see.

Here you can see what I was cutting, and how much more I have to do. Somewhere down there in the left corner is a pole and a dirt road, that is the edge of our field, the large trees are our wooded area.

This is where the grapes are going and behind that is the garden, I am going to ask a neighbor to come turn this over because it is just too wet to use the walk behind tiller on.

27 April, 2009

Rachel and Jen

While we were in KY we went over to our friends house and all the children played with each other but this whom Rachel played with the whole time.

Lovin on Jen.

she is such a great dog.

and then there was the barn cat.

25 April, 2009

Being crazy lazy today

I was all set to go outside and get another day of mowing done, but then my FIL called to say that he wouldn't be over as he wasn't feeling well.

I am sore, tired and just totally being lazy and I know that.

I really need to be emptying out a bedroom so that I can move Rachel and I into it. Once that is done. my old room with be empty. What I would love to do is gut it to the studs, which really won't be that hard since my house has wood walls, yes there is actual wood over the studs through out my entire house. Then it was all covered including the ceiling with WALLPAPER!!!!!! But the worst part was since this is supposed to be a tongue and grove type wood, most of the boards have shifted some or something, but the couple that we bought the house from thought the best thing to do was take dry wall mud and fill in the gaps. UGGGGGGG. So here I have this cute tiny house that was built in 1939 that has no insulation, drafty old wooden windows and beautiful wood that has been ruined.

So what's a girl to do???? Why, pull all the wood out, run electrical wire and plugs where needed, insulate, slap in two windows, then drywall, mud, and paint. I can't wait, well except the insulation part and maybe the windows as I've never put in a widow before. But hey, there is always a first time for everything. I will probably have my mom & dad come out to help when I get to that point. I may also only replace the front window as the side one is where I plan on adding a new bathroom, but then I suppose that window could be reused in the bathroom. Need to think about this.

Now that the room is done in my head and life is good, the boys are going to go in there for a while, and they will only be sleeping in my newly remodeled room, but then again I might just move out remodel and then move back in. We shall see.

I am going to put the boys in there and take their room and make it our dining/school/my sewing room, I might even put the tv in there. They have to sit at the table to watch, might not be so tempted to spend the day watching sitting on that wooden bench of theirs. They have two closets in there and they will be great for storage of everything that I don't want them getting into which lately seems to be everything.

We need a larger home, but until the Lord opens the doors on that one, I am going to make the very best of this one. Even if it means getting rid of almost everything.

I have always said that if you took all of the school, craft, and sewing stuff out of my home it would be empty. But in that same thought what ever would I do without it all here.

So instead of doing what I should be doing I am sitting here writing about what I should be doing. It isn't going to get done if I don't get up and do it.

Off to clean some more, I just don't think that I am going to make it outside today. Probably save it for Mon after my eye Dr's apt.

24 April, 2009

Mowing the grass, part II

Well I went out this morning when my FIL arrived, see he has a tiller and we don't, and I needed to have some ground tilled so that I can plant my grapes, blackberries and blueberries.

He got here and we went outside and I showed him where I wanted them to go and how wide the area should be, so he made really quick work of that.

Thomas go the new weed eater out of the box and put it together and took off around the house, getting it look nice again. Once he was done we changed the oil in the mower, it was having serious issues with me trying to cut the ditch last night. Doesn't like the angle I guess. So Thomas had what he thought was the oil plug under the mower, but I wasn't sure and well I didn't get what he was point to. FIL came over and showed us, even took out the plug-which was a good thing.

Back in business, I take off in the orchard did a couple of passes and it was already 10:30-who turned on the oven. It was time to stop, at least where I was currently cutting, way to much son for this pale skinned lady. So I went up under my lovely large oak tree, which provided great amounts of shade for most of the day. I worked up there for a while, but still have a good bit in front of the barn, around what was the pig pen, and under the tree-where I have the iron table.

I was finally drawn into the house by hunger and a plan, I am going to move everyone around and put the dining room in the boys room, put the boys in my room and put our room in the third small bedroom, where the dining room was going to go. So I came inside to get started on cleaning out a room, but instead I sat down to cool off and ended up taking a short nap on the couch. Once I woke up I did make it to my room and went through some stuff-really need to get rid of a lot more, vacuumed the corner I cleaned up, and debated about taking another nap on the bed.

Around 5, maybe 5:30 I went back outside as I knew it would be a lot cooler and tackled the orchard. It took me till well after 7 but I got it done.

So tomorrow, I will be working on planting those trees and bushes and perhaps cutting the last bit of high stuff and waiting for the lower stuff.

Off to bed, I am not going to sleep on the couch again. Pictures tomorrow I promise.

23 April, 2009

Mowing the grass

I didn't make it outside yesterday, just lazy I guess.

But I did get out there today, and my hands are killing me. I have a brand new weed eater push mower. We had one last year too, but Thomas didn't check the grass and killed that one before it was a month old.

So today I went out around 4 and started on the back side of the house, there is at least an acre of land just around the house. I normally cut a little go work on something else come back and so forth. We not tonight, I went out there and hit the back yard, then did the side yard, then the front yard, and then had started on the ditch. UGGGGG my palms are very red and sore. We had to run into town for oil for the mower and to get a new weed eater, the one we have is dead.

Thomas will run it around the house and other places where I just can't get to with the push mower. I am hoping that Thomas will be able to get the riding mower put back together so that we can use it too.

But until then I am looking at a self propelled mower in the hopes that it won't hurt my hands so much.

Off to bed so that I can get up and cut another two acres or so, and then plant some grapes, blueberries, black berries and the last of the fruit trees.

22 April, 2009

Shelling popcorn for the first time.

Rachel was hard at work when we first got there.

Jadon taking his turn, it was very windy and chilly the day we did this.

Matthew was giving it his all in turning the handle. Becca was watching to make sure that he did it right.

Thomas and Aric are taking turns at the shelling machine.

Caleb was stretching to reach the top to put an ear into the shelling machine, while Noah was turning.

Caleb and Ashlee picking up some that had fallen out of the pan, this was just part of what we did and then some that was already shelled when we got there.

They all had a wonderful time and thought that it was pretty cool to make popcorn. It was very windy and chilly on Monday when we did this. The best part was when we got back to Mary's and we tried 4 different caramel corn recipes, yummy. The children didn't really care for the Gingerbread caramel corn, but they all enjoyed the regular kind. So much so that I didn't really get any. Oh well we have plenty of popcorn here at home, plus we even took some still on the cob.

Back home

We made it home yesterday right around 4, which means that even though there were a few stops that I thought took a little to long didn't.

But now I must tackle the yard, the grass a grown a foot. Well it looks like it has grown a foot.

Still have plenty to plant and and getting the garden started.

Off to work outside for the day.

20 April, 2009

Blogging from KY

The children and I have been here at Mary's for almost a week now and having a blast.

Sadly our time is almost over, we are heading home on Tues.

Here are some of the things that we have done:
went grocery shopping-had to stock the pantry for this large army.
tried to mow the yard-Mary hit a rock on the second day and the mower is now at a friends house getting fixed.
made a new skirt-Mary did this, Ashlee needed one, but Mary cut it in a way to make it hang on Ashlee in a certain way that it ended up being my size and would have produced a large waste of fabric, so I bought zipper and now have a great new skirt.
patched up wholly jeans-seems that all the jeans that they packed needed to be fixed so that they could attend church.
went to church-great services both in the am & pm.
eaten some great food-some of our normal meals, like nachos, oatmeal, pancakes, breakfast quiche without a crust, homemade pizza, just to name a few things.
went to the Bulk food store-I got a 50lb bag of oatmeal, baby pretzels covered in yogurt, and sugar wafer cookies, and will probably get some more before we head home.
Went to the park to play and celebrate Caleb's birthday with chocolate cake and popcorn.
Tomorrow we are going over to one of Mary's friends house to see their garden, greenhouse and possibly get a little bit of fresh popcorn.

I still need to get the pictures of our park trip off of Mary's camera and will post those soon.

I so don't want to go home but we must, but we are going to try to come up again next month for the Reenactment. I am very interested in what happens at one since I have not ever been to one before.

But it is crazy late and I must get some sleep. I will probably post again once we get back home

17 April, 2009

An afternoon at the park

Christina helping Rachel climb up the slide ladder.

There is a lovely little park just down the road from Mary's house that all of the children enjoy playing at. The weather was beautiful so we loaded up and went down to celebrate Caleb's birthday, we took a large bowl of popcorn and a yummy chocolate cake. Everyone played and had a great time.

They made it to the top and are getting ready to go down.

Aric and Matthew on the swings, I think Aric had something in his eye.

The train tracks are right there next to the road so getting to see the train this close it really fun. Thomas and Matthew are watching. We've also decided that we've seen some of these same cars here in AL.

Becca and Noah on the swings. Swinging is their favorite thing to do.

In the front we have Christina and Rachel, Becca and Kaden, then in the back are Matthew and Jadon.

Caleb at the top of the slide.

Happy Birthday!!!!

Caleb 3 years old.

14 April, 2009

test 2

Yet another test, seeing which way I prefer.


I am try this posting different ways from my phone.

Making some changes

I thought that I would change the look of the blog to a more summer look. I like this template, it has pretty neutral colors, but I am still looking for something that I can keep all year and just make a seasonal change as needed.

I do have to say that I don't like that you loose all of your pictures, all the more reason to find one I really like and leave it alone.

So what do ya think?

12 April, 2009


After looking at a few more blogs, I think that I have found the containers that we are going to use.

These with 6 drawers each but you can add more to them so I am going to get 10 of them so that each of the boys have 12 drawers. I have figured out what they will each do during the day. We will use funny faces on each drawer once they are finished with their work. These will also take up a lot less floor space than the shoe racks would. We just don't have the room to do the left and right aspect. But I do believe that if they can see that they funny faces are there then that will be good.

So far the ideas that I have for hands on/fun drawers are lots of math, arts & crafty things, science. So here is my list:

Draw Write Now books
Math Dice
Counting bears & scale w/activity cards
Frogs, logs and activity cards
Cuisenaire Rods & different books, Roddles
Lacing beads
Geo Shapes/Pattern blocks w/triangle tray or hexagon tray, different activity books
Geo boards and activity books
Dot to Dot books-numbers, letters, math puzzles
Word searches
paper airplane book-they have to copy the parts and put the plane together
Wikki Sticks and books
Can you find it? books
Geo puzzle
toob farm animals
Dr. Drew blocks
Klutz Lego book
Klutz How to build Castles
Snap Kits
Stained Glass coloring pages
Equate Game
Horse Bingo
Math book puzzles
Varies Art books
Lap Harp
Caluladder pages
Match It
Math War
Nature Study book
Water colors
Human Body pages-various workbooks & Enchanted Learning website pages
Building thinking skills -Not sure what books or software I am going to get yet.
Quilt block History of Pioneer days
Melissa and Doug wooden ABC's
The Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine
Piano books
piano practice
guitar books
guitar practice
a wooden loom
Magnetic letters
Magnetic numbers

Their drawers so far are lining up like this:
Thomas Aric Noah Matthew Jadon
1Bible Bible Bible Bible Bible
2Hands Piano Snap LA/RA LA/RA
3LA/RA LA/RA LA/RA hands hands
4Piano hands Math Math math
5Art Math HWT HWT Art
6Math Art Piano Art Piano
7Science Science Science Piano HWT
8History History History hands Hands
9Snap HWT Art History History
10hands Snap @Piano Science Science
11HWT @Piano Hands @Piano hands
12@Piano Hands hands hands @Piano

Of course the 6 hands on/fun boxes will change, Piano will be every other day or I will rotate so that everyone gets time at the piano. Plus I am going to add in guitar books but we need to get a guitar first.

But this is the tentative plan for now. I am sure that as we start working things will change.

10 April, 2009

Downsizing, organizing, and planning

I am getting ready to downsize in a huge way. I am just feeling more and more that we are to give away things, but not somethings.

The children have way to many clothes, like buckets and buckets and buckets. I am not kidding. How this happened I really don't know because honestly I haven't really bought anything for anyone in the last 3 years. Socks, underwear, a pair of jeans for my supper skinny guys and shoes.

But even knowing this does not explain why I have at least 20 totes and that many large garbage bags full of clothing. Richard is just as bad, he has so many things that he doesn't even know what he has.

Now my clothing is pretty simple, I have two skirts that I wear on a regular basis and about 6 tops. I have a new work skirt laying on the ironing board waiting for elastic and to be hemmed.

I want to get everything cleaned sorted and just give it away. There is a few boxes around here for Hannah House and Kings Ranch that I could put the stuff into, there is also a church over in my Mom's town that has a thrift store that is currently asking for donations. Then there is always the 25 cent yard sale. Just put up a huge sign that everything is a quater each, might make a fortune. LOL probably not.

But then there is the stuff that just gets in my way, all the kitchen gadgets, the movies, and the tv. As much as I would love to send the tv away, there are good things about it, like those Planet Earth DVD's, we don't have Directv any more and I will probably leave it that way. We just have a Netflix subscription and what I find a Walmart. I finally bought Wall-E the other day and it is really cute, I might get them Bolt in a month or so. We are also looking at getting some fun DVD's for school work. I have seen where you can get all of the Magic School Bus. But before I get these things I need to get rid of a ton of others that we no longer watch or just don't want. Perhaps I will make a DVD box of movies and send them to my sister in Germany.

I would rather spend my extra money each month on books, puzzles, games and other things that are going to have a purpose. I love the fact that the boys can be doing something and they are learning but don't realize it.

So my goal for the rest of the month is to go through all of those bags first since they are really a pain to store. We are going to pull out 7 outfits each, once they have their 7 they will be able to change with a new bag if they see something else that they would like to keep, but other wise it is all going away.

Oh and I didn't even mention all of the books that we have. I am wanting to sort our books by subject, so that we have science, history, math, and so on. A lot of the books that we have are things that I was able to pick up for our school board back in FL. So they are old library books, most already have the Dewey system stickers on them. I have thought about using that to organize our books which would be a great learning tool, however our little library here doesn't use it. You can't even look up a book yourself you have to ask the librarian to do it for you. And the picture books are just there. The other library they have their books color coded based on the authors last name, that way you atleast know which cubby the books belong into.

The bonus here is once I get all of this done I will have a lot more space in that new storage barn. The faster it gets cleaned out and organized the faster I can make it our school house. The hardest part will be figuring out how to put AC out there without making a whole in the side. See I just ordered a stock building, you can have windows and such put in, but I just wanted a building to get us started. Richard has already mentioned something about getting a second one later. So what I will do is get a larger building with windows and a normal door.

The best part will of course be all the extra room in the house. The boys have been double bunking with Thomas & Caleb sharing, and Matthew & Jadon too. We really need to get that third set of bunkbeds up. I am praying that we will be able to add on or something in the next year or so. That would be the biggest help, to make a large boys bedroom, a smaller girls room, a true school room, and a family room. I can see in my head what I want, I just don't know if it will work.

Oh well I am off to sort clothing.

09 April, 2009

Falling asleep on the couch

We have a very well used couch, it has a sleeper in it, but the cushions are pretty much flat. At the same time for the last 4 nights I have fallen asleep on the couch, only to wake up really late/early depending on which way you look at it.

I get up go to my bed and stretch out normally I can go back to sleep, not today. I have Veggie Tales songs running through my head, and I just laid there singing.

So I finally got up and made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, brushed out my hair, jumped in the shower. Talked to Jadon as he had woken up to go potty. Got a glass of water and now I sit here waiting for the day to begin. Listening to my neighbors rooster crow, wishing that I still had my own.

Oh and Jadon is now sleeping on the couch beside me.

08 April, 2009

Planet Earth DVD's

I have seen this series for a while now, but it has always been all the episodes together with about a 80.00 price tag. But the other day I saw them at Walmart for 10.00 each. I know you're going to still spend that same amount, but it is just easier to budget 10.00 at a time.

Anyway last week we I picked one that looked good and this is what we use for our end of day wind down time. Believe it or not but listening to David Attenborough talk and watching the wonderful nature films just settles down my boys that they are able to calmly go to bed and they have been sleeping better too.

We picked up the a second DVD yesterday, there are 11 total episodes looks like most have 3 per, the last one only having 2. Each is a full hour long, with a diary entry at the end. Tells us things about how things were done while filming.

This is a great set and I do plan on getting them all again when we get a Blue-Ray player for Christmas.

Electronic Snap Kits

Today on the way into town to get yet another load of stuff from the storage stall, I noticed a 30% off all toys at our Radio Shack, so I stopped.

Well they had the Electronic snap kits the big kit 750 experiments with the computer interface.

I looked it over for a moment trying to remember how much it was from Rainbow Resource and said I'll take it. The boys have been having a blast with the little set that we have, that Richard had found in someones recycling back in FL-it was amazing the things that people throw away. Anyway since we got that one free, I didn't have a problem spending money for this one.

When I walked outside to the van, the boys were like wow what did you get? As I passed it in to Thomas he was like HEY THIS IS THE BIG ONE!!!!!!! The smile on his face was great. I even took a picture of him holding the box. I just need to email it to myself then I can post it. Or find where I've hidden my camera.

Going to do try something new.

The older boys seem to have serious issues with the very small amount of book/seatwork that they are required to do every day. So I have been reading about this Workbox, there are plenty of blogs on this subject and all the different ways that people are using it. Heather's blog was the first one I read and I really enjoy her's and have gained a lot of great ideas, not just for boxes but for just new things to add to our school.

So last week I went and got the shoe rack and the shoe boxes from Walmart. Not really wanting to go this route since I currently have 4 students and 2 more that are really on the move, and little miss on the fast tract and she's only 1. 7 children times 12 boxes is 84 boxes and at least 4 different shoe racks probably more, or a great bookcase.

So yesterday I was blog hopping and found a different idea that I am thinking will work better for us and take up a little less floor space(which we are very short on to begin with). Here is Ginger's blog post about how she is making it work. I really like this idea, plus I think that I could put a second set of three sets of drawers on top.

I am going to order the book probably tonight, I am still unsure of which way I want to order it yet.

Once I've actually read the book I will post more about it.

01 April, 2009

I'm back on line

I lost my modem and apparently my wireless router last week in some of that bad weather. I had to call a second time to find out where my modem was on Mon and finally got it today!!!!

So here I sit with a cables running through the house so that I can be on line.

Don't know why I didn't post this right away but here it is now.

Hope no one missed me.