Friday, September 28, 2007

Sweet Sensitive Nolan

Not a title you see very often is it? Though I do tend to tell stories about Nolan(3) that show his stubborn or ornery side, he really does have a tender side. He can be very sweet and loving. He is the biggest cuddler, and is the only one of our kids to get attached to a security item. He has a red fleece throw that he sleeps with. In a pinch, he can be consoled with a substitute, but that is not always an easy task. Anyhow....

Today I saw the sensitive side of Nolan. We were on a field trip. Part of the day included a living history drama set in the late 1700's. The audience played the part of perspective settlers and various characters came along to give us bits of information. Early in the drama we met an Indian. He was a friendly and was giving the news to our guide. I asked Nolan if he saw the Indian. He looked at me slightly bewildered and said, "No. What Indian?" I explained to him who the Indian was, and went back to watching the drama and keeping Vivian occupied.

A few minutes later, I feel Nolan cuddle up to me. When I looked at him, his eyes were wide and brimming with tears. He looked up me and holding back the tears asked, "He isn't going to shoot us is he?"

The poor thing was so scared. He didn't understand that we were only watching them pretend. He was much better after I explained to him that it was pretend, but he still stayed close for a few more minutes. It melted my heart. My sweet sensitive boy.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Looking on the Bright Side - TT # 7

Tim has been working a lot of hours. There are many days when he is gone before the kids get up and not home until after they are in bed. It is normal for this time of year, and I could complain. . .for pages and pages. Instead, I am trying to think of thirteen things that are good about it:

1. The kids think peanut butter and jelly for dinner is a treat.

2. Hours of uninterupted blog surfing. . .once the kids are in bed.

3. Feel like a chick flick? No problem.

4. Thirty eight hours of overtime in a two week period makes for a nice paycheck.

5. It is temporary.

6. No Monday night football.

7. The bills are paid. The savings are growing.

8. Make your own raise. Every night of work is a boost in his commission check for the whole year.

9. I don't really need anything on the honey do list completed.

10. Leftovers don't seem like leftovers to Tim.

11. When he is home, the kids only want daddy! (read I get a break!)

12. Put the kids and bed the whole tub of ice cream is mine!

13. And the best thing. . . It is almost over! One more week!

There! I came up with thirteen good things. That was hard work!

Thursday Thirteen

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Living in Shawshank?

The other day I was putting clothing away in the boys' closet and found this. When I found it the hole was covered up with the piece of wall taped to keep it on. The hole is about two inches deep.

When questioned Kellen claimed he wasn't trying to dig his way out. Good thing because he was digging his way to the girls' room, not out of the house. He was trying to make a hiding space for his pocket knife; the one he no longer has after this episode.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Links . . . On the right day.

Make It From Scratch!
Next week the theme is "Where in the world are you from?" Hope to see lots of countries and states represented.

Festival of Frugality
Lots of money saving ideas!

Carnival of Money Stories
Personal experiences with money.

Carnival of Family Life
Always a wide variety of interesting articles.

Carnival of Debt Reduction
Ideas and tips to help you get out of debt.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Glad We Aren't Little House on the Prairie

Tim and I have often commented that it would have been great to live in the 1800's. Great to be self sufficient pioneers living off the land. I think our view is a bit romanticized.

For school this year Kellen is doing an unit study using the The Little House Collection (9 Volumes). There really are a lot of similarities between our way of living and theirs. They raise meat and vegetables. They forage and hunt for food. We do too, but there are a couple of major differences. For one thing we have a lot of tools that make the jobs easier. I don't think I'd want to build a log home in the manner that they did. The second thing is we are not really and never will be completely dependent on the land for our survival, and I am glad for it.

I look at our pantry stockpile for the winter, and am glad I have a nearby grocery store to fall back on. Yes, there are a lot of jars of food, mostly green beans, but after an unusually hot and extremely dry summer, and troubles with insects, there are many things planned for that are missing.

There are no jars of fruit. The blackberries produced minimally. There were no pears or persimmons. The apples barely produced, and were consumed by the animals before I got to them. In the freezer are a couple pints of blackberry jam and a few quarts of strawberries picked at a pick your own farm.

There are lots a green beans in the pantry, and a smaller than planned for amount of tomato products. There are a few jars of pumpkin and hot peppers, and about 15 pounds of potatoes. There is no corn, thank you very much cutworms, no beets or turnips. Certainly not enough of anything, but beans, for the winter.

The meat department is a little better. There isn't much in the freezer now, but there are rabbits and chickens that soon will be. Hopefully we will have a few deer soon to put in there too.

Though disappointed with some things that didn't go as planned, I really can't complain. I am very thankful, though, that we really aren't dependent on our land to feed our family. If we were, or if a trip to town took me a whole day, or if my only money to buy things came from what we got from our land, we would be in for a long lean winter.

We do enjoy the gardening, the labor, and the reward from it. That part of the life of the Ingals family I am happy to share, but I am so thankful that our survival doesn't really depend on it. Thankful that we live in a time where there are many tools to make the job easier and grocery stores to keep us fed all winter long!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

We have a yard!

Can you see it? Look closely. There is grass, real grass in that there yard! After two years of living here, grass is a pretty exciting addition! The siding on the house is nearly complete, only a few pieces on the ends of the house left to do. It has been delayed again by yet another project; a storage building/chicken house. I've requested that the builder, aka Papaw, put the priority on the storage building.

I want to get those chickens trained to sleep where they belong, and maybe get a few more too. I also would like to get rid of our "temporary" storage area. Siding on the house is pretty, but I am opting for the practical. The truth of it is what gets worked on depends on which logs are next in line for the sawmill. The red oak goes on the house. The pine and other woods are for the storage building.

The siding on the front of the house is done, and that is enough to get the lawn in. I never realized how much work it is to put in the lawn. Thanks to Papaw who did most of the work while Tim is in his busy season for work, putting in about 60 hours a week. Here is what was done.

1) Till up the yard.

2) Rake it to smooth out the tracks and even up the ground.

3) Fertilizer was put on. Lime was later added too because there was some left after covering the pasture. Nolan (3) woke up the morning after the lime was spread, and said, "Look! Kellen it snowed last night! "

4) Grass seed was spread.

5) Rake again to cover the seed.

6) Water. We had enough rain water in the tank for the first watering. It is important to keep a new lawn well watered until established.

7) Keep kids and animals off it until established. Uh. . .I'm trying, really I am!

The grass has sprouted and hopefully we will have a nice lawn yet this fall, and a lot less mud to deal with!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Little Appletones

The Little Appletones got together for another practice. This time I got it on video. For your listening. . .uh. . . . pleasure.

Monday, September 10, 2007


I'll never forget September 11th. I was teaching in the public schools; eighth grade history. I was pregnant with Lydia. I didn't know what had happened until another teacher pulled me into the library at lunch time. There we sat for our forty minute lunch staring at the television and not sure what to think. After lunch we had to go back and try to pretend it was a normal day. The prevailing sentiment was that the news would be best given to the students by their parents.

How the world has changed. . .

Tomorrow I plan to spend part of our school day remembering and teaching my children about September 11, 2001. Here are some links that I am finding that we may use. Feel free to add any you know of too.

Patriot Day and Remembering September 11.
These sites list several others for your consideration. Some of the sites include lesson plans.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Crappy! We had a rough day, and it is no wonder when

A. All four kids woke up at various times throughout the night. Three of them slept in our room for part or most of the night. Two were in our bed (though not at the same time.) No one got a good nights sleep.


B. It is the first time all week we've had a normal schedule. Can I still call it a normal schedule when it doesn't happen until Thursday? The kids, apparently, did not remember how our normal day goes.

A crappy day was practically unavoidable. Tim is working late tonight. (again!) We are having dinner and maybe watching a movie and going to bed EARLY! Tomorrow will be a better day!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The First Day of School & Tuesday Links

Actually, we've been doing school, but today was the first day of co-op. The way my kids were acting this morning you would have thought it was the first day of school. They were so excited for co-op and to see their friends. It was cute.

I also felt like it was my first day of school. I actually taught a class today. Last year I hid in the nursery all year. I did have a good excuse the first half, as Vivian was nursing a lot still. The second half of the year she really didn't need me so much, but I stayed and played with the babies anyway. This year I am going to help more with the older kids.

We are studying the Civil War this semester, and I taught a geography/history lesson about which states were Union and Confederate. I felt like I was teaching school again; planning a lesson, running a classroom, it was kind of fun, but I am glad I don't have to do it everyday anymore.

The kids had a great time. Vivian wouldn't stay in the nursery though. GRRR! She went with the preschoolers. She does this at church too because she is the only one in the nursery. She didn't know any of the adults in the nursery, but knew the preschool teacher. Nolan was there also. The kids are already looking forward to the next session in two weeks. Kellen is giving me suggestions for what I should teach the whole semester too. He wants me to do the food. He said the food is his favorite part and my cooking is the best. Aw isn't he sweet!


Make it From Scratch

Festival of Frugality

Carnival of Money Stories

Top 100 Personal Finance Blogs

Carnival of Recipes - Late summer favorites. Next week recipes that make you remember childhood.

Carnival of Natural Family Living

Carnival of Homeschooling

Carnival of Family Life

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Growing By Leaps and Bounds

Have you ever noticed that instead of growing and developing in baby steps kids seems to grow by leaps and bounds? Just this week I've noticed that all the kids are suddenly so big.

Kellen(9) has become a big helper, and with a good attitude most days. Yesterday, he was working with the men, helping to paint the neighbor's barn roof.

Lydia (5) always the the little momma, has suddenly become a real helper. She makes lemonade and snacks for everyone, and tries to do her sister's hair. Not to mention she has grown out of two sizes of clothes and shoes this summer.

Nolan (3) is getting himself dressed and undressed. His vocabulary has increased greatly and he talks like a little man. Well, a little man with improper grammar. He makes his past tense by putting ed on everything. "We goed to the store." It is cute, but we do correct him.

Vivian (18 months) also is growing like a little weed. I bought her a pair of shoes about two months ago. She wore them a few times and then we could not find one of them for the longest time. When I finally found it, it didn't fit! She is learning new words like crazy. She has opinions, and is learning to express them!

When did my kids get so big? Do they really grow by leaps and bounds or was the summer just so busy I didn't notice how quickly they were growing until things slowed down?