Our family's homesteading adventures in the mountains

Hotshot

Hotshot is a horse (a gray gelding), and one of the more recent members of our farm. He belongs to a friend of the family who didn’t have a lot of extra time to spend with him, so she generously gave us the opportunity to keep him at our place and have a chance to see what goes in to keeping a horse.

He is incredibly gentle and friendly, and overall quite well behaved. He does have  some room for improvement when it comes to a few areas like taking a bit, loading in a trailer, or standing still, so I’ve been learning about horse training and working with him to be more respectful of our requests.

It’s great to have him around and hear him whinnying when it’s time for his hay.

 

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Chicken update

We have 19 chickens now.  The first batch consists of 8 laying hens (2 Australorp, 2 Orpingtons, 2 Brahams and 2 Dominiques) + 2 silkies.  One is our fearless rooster, Billy Joe.  He is smaller than the hens but he sure thinks he is something.  He crows all day.  Emmy Lou is our female silkie.  She went broody this spring (and is currently) and hatched us a chick.  Only one egg hatched but it is the cutest little thing.  It wasn’t even her egg (oh the scandal!)  It is a cross between an Austalorp and Billy Joe.  It was so much fun for everyone to watch the process and see Emmy Lou mother the little chick.  Much more natural then raising them in a brooder box.

Our second batch consist of 8 Austrlorps.  7 hens and a rooster.  Mr. rooster is still nameless but hopefully will have one soon.  He is practicing his crowing.  The hens will be laying in the next month and we hope to sell surplus eggs.

Nick is running the chicken portion of our farm.  The first time around we got a sampling of breeds so we could see which ones we liked.  Nick decided the Australorps are a good fit for us.  They have a great lay rate and are docile.  He is working to raise them in the most natural way possible such as using the deep litter method in the coop.

There sure is nothing like those farm fresh eggs!

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Really?

Well we are coming up on a year at our farm.  So much has happened!  Over the next few weeks, I am going to be updating where things are at in each of the different areas.  33?   (more…)

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

100 Easy Lessons

I am happy to announce Naomi has finished her reading lessons.  I love this book. I have taught everyone (5 now) to read with it.  When they have completed the program they read at a solid second grade reading level.  After completing the book, we go on to do lots of practice in real books.  So far each of our children have become voracious readers and I expect Naomi will follow in the same footsteps.

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

My dresser- finally finished!

Brian bought this dresser for me at the thrift store last fall.  It was a great find.  It is a solid wood dresser from the 50’s.  The only problem is how ugly the paint job was. Oh how I wish I would have taken a picture.  I started dreaming of all the fun ways I could refinish the dresser.  Problem was that I was pregnant.  The going was slow and the boys (and my Dad) ended up helping we quite a bit with the sanding.  By the time the dresser was ready to receive it’s new finish, I was recovering with our new baby.  In May I finally got to finish.  Drew helped me a lot especially putting on the poly.  So here are  a couple pics up close.

5 years ago 1 Comment Short URL

What’s in a number?

We have homeschooled our children since the beginning.  Our curriculum and methods have changed over the years but our belief and commitment  have not wavered. Our main focus has been teaching the children how to learn.  Most people I talk to admit to coming out of high school and not remembering the content of the bulk of their classes.  So the idea has been that if they know how to learn, they can learn anything they need to in life.  Our curriculum is a  bit unconventional at times, but as our oldest enters his last year of school, (sniff, sniff) I am content with our results.

There are many principles and ideas that govern our homeschool choices.  One is the idea of making learning hands on.  Any type of learning becomes more memorable with a real life experience to hang it on.  When children can see what the heck they are going to use things for, it makes a lot more sense.  So here is some  examples of ways Nick has used real hands on learning in the past year.

Rebuilding a farm gate (lots of math here)

Starting a beehive  (reading, serious research into caring for bees, equipment and such)

Putting up an electric fence (reading, research again and a hands on science lesson)

Raising chickens (reading, research, science behind egg laying and nutrtion)

Training for a race (physical education, self discipline)

Building websites (computer science)

Horse training (reading, research, science)

Many repair jobs and home improvement projects (various)

There is so much more but this is a good sampling.  I am proud of the character and skills that Nick has developed.  He is going to go far in life due to that character and ability to tackle many things.

So what does this have to do with the number 34?  Well I really believe that his foundation and character is going to be what is important in life but I can’t help but be thrilled that 34 is what he got on his ACT.  It was his first time taking it.  It is funny because out of all the subjects we do, science and english have been what we have done in the most unconventional way.  He got a 36 in science and english.  Woo-hoo.

 

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

6 months old!

Our little girl is 6 months old already.  Where does the time go?

Tali loves her exersaucer

Tali loves to put her feet in her mouth - when her mouth is already full of cereal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm ready for my food, Mom

Yesterday we did a photo session.  I gave her a flower to hold and of course all she wanted to do was suck on the flower.

5 years ago 1 Comment Short URL