Friday, December 28, 2007

Whose Egg is Whose?

The new chickens are being so good! They go back in their house just like they should. The rooster is much quieter than our other one, and it is so nice to not have to worry about him chasing the kids! Even our other hens are starting to get it, and go into the house.

We will be leaving for the weekend, but before I go I thought I'd leave you with a little guessing game. In the bowl below there are three eggs, one from a free range chicken, a chicken egg from the store, and one from a duck. Can you guess whose egg is whose?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Lydia's Got Hillbilly Smile

Mere weeks before her sixth birthday Lydia has lost her first tooth.

Do you think she is proud?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We had our family Christmas over the weekend. It was a good time with some typical 100 Acre Wood stories from when the Miller's are together. Delilah will probably tell them as most of the funny stuff involved her family! Tim and I are looking forward to a quiet Christmas Eve and morning. We will be heading to Ohio on Friday. Just wanted to take a minute to wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Chickens

We have had a lot of ups and downs with chickens. There have been issues with predators, getting the chickens to roost where they should, and never being able to find the eggs because the hen keeps moving them. We have a temporary chicken house that our chickens won't use, and a more permanent one in process. Just when I swore we would not get any more chickens until the chicken house was done, an acquaintance offers us free chickens.

Well it is hard to pass up free livestock, especially when they are only one season old. They are beauties. Most of them are Buff Orpingtons.

There are two Light Brahma hens, and a mixed black hen, and a New Hampshire Red rooster.

We got these chickens Saturday, and today found their first eggs! We also found eggs from our little hen that hatched this spring!

For now the new chickens are only in the temporary house. We do want to free range them though. Since there are more Orpingtons than we have Rhode Islands, and because the Orpington rooster is very gentle, and our red (Alpha) is not, we've decided to get out the stew pot for a few roosters, and incorporate our other two hens with the rest. The stew pot is waiting for Alpha, his male offspring that got away the last time we butchered, and the new red rooster.

After the extra roosters are gone we will let the others free range. We have a light on a timer in the chicken house, and are hoping that will draw them in to roost where we want, and that our other hens will follow. Think it will work?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Contest for Homeschoolers

Homeschoolers are always looking for free stuff! There is a contest going on that could earn you $50 gift certificate for homeschool estore. Head over to Just Some Stuff for the rules and details.

  1. How many children do you have / homeschool? - Four, but only two are school age.
  2. How long have you been homeschooling? This is the fourth year.
  3. Have they always been homeschooled, or did they ever go to public/private school? Always been at home.
  4. Do you plan on homeschooling until graduation? Not sure. It seems that way now, but I am open to other possibilities.
  5. Do you belong to a co-op? Yes, we really enjoy it.
  6. Do you school all year long, or use some other schedule? I'd like to say year round, but I did find last summer with the homesteading projects we did very little book work, but there was lots of real life learning going on.
  7. Do you use textbooks only, or do you like to supplement with other materials? We use very few text books. Unit studies are working well for us now.
  8. Are field trips included in your school plans, or are they just family time? Both.
  9. Do you and your kids do crafty stuff together for school time? Sometimes. I am not that crafty, but sometimes I try.
  10. Would you consider everyday household life stuff ‘home ec’? Sure, I guess.
  11. Do you have any advice for new homeschoolers? Relax. Concentrate on the basics, and let the rest come. Lower your standards for the rest of your household duties. (cleaning?)
  12. Do you have advice for homeschoolers with little ones under foot? Encourage older children to be self learners. Once they are reading well, there really is a lot they can do with out you. Give them partial responsibility for their education.

There is my contest entry. Head over and enter too!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Seven Random Things

Crystal tagged me for the Seven Random Things Meme. I have also been tagged for this at my other blog, so look for one over there soon about money type things. This list will be more personal.

1. In grade school a friend and I would dissect chickens for fun. A neighbor would give us their sick or recently dead chickens to use.

2. Unless you are family, or I've known you so long you feel like family, I am pretty quiet and reserved in person. I often wonder if people who know me, but aren't in that family category, and read my blog think I have a split personality.

3. My degree is in Economics. I later went back to get my teaching certificate.

4. I found my first gray hair when I was sixteen. I colored for awhile, but have long given up on that.

5. I recently was asked if I was Vivian's grandmother. The worst part about it was I with Nolan and Kellen too. Did this person think I was a grandmother to a nine year old too? I'm 36! Maybe I should start dying my hair again!

6. I never ever thought I would be a stay at home mom, let alone a homeschooling one, but now I wouldn't have it any other way.

7. Tim and I jokingly call our kids Amish Hillbillies. My family heritage is completely Amish, and his is straight from the hills. Where and how we live seems a good fit for Amish Hillbillies.

Per the rules of this game I am supposed to tag seven people, but I'm cheating. If you want to play let me know, and I will put your link up!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

I'm Blaming My Disorder

MADD strikes again!

This weekend I started wrapping Christmas presents, and making candy. I had to gather photos from the year for two projects. It was fun going through all of last year's photos, seeing how all the kids have changed, and remembering all the things we did. I needed to order some prints for a gift I am working on, and for our Christmas letter.

I went to pick up the prints yesterday. In the car I sat down to look through them again. Even though I had just looked at all of them on the computer, it was very enjoyable to see them in print. Enjoyable at least until I got to the end of the sizable stack where the prints ordered for the Christmas letter were.

For our Christmas picture this year we took a picture of the four kids in front of our Christmas tree, before we cut it. This is the one we chose to use:

This is the one I have 50 prints of:

This is a nice picture of the wreath Kellen made, but it isn't exactly what I had in mind to send with the Christmas letter. Yes, I checked it was not a store error. That is what I ordered. Hey, it isn't my fault. Don't you know I have that mommy disorder?.

Anyone have any ideas of what to do with 50 prints of a wreath?

While you are thinking here are some laughs for you straight from the funniest person in the family, Nolan.

We were getting ready for a 4-H banquet, and I actually put makeup on, including lip gloss. When Nolan saw me he got all giggly, gave be a big smile, and said, "Mommy I like your lips. "

That same evening I was getting Vivian dressed. She was wearing heavy tights. Nolan was watching me and wondered why I was putting "sock underwear" on Vivian.

When we put the tree up, we talked to the kids about Christmas and why we celebrate. When Nolan was asked about why we have Christmas he replied, "So we can eat cake." When asked what Jesus had to do with Christmas, his answer, "Jesus likes cake too. He eats cake on Christmas."

Together we read a children's version of the Christmas story. We talked about the star that led the shepherds to baby Jesus, and explained that is why we put a star on our tree. We talked about the gifts that were brought, and the gift that Jesus brought for us. It was a nice family time.

When it was all done though, Nolan was still not convinced. When asked about the meaning of Christmas, the answer was still about eating cake! I'm not even sure where the eating cake came from, but that is what Nolan thinks. Just try to convince him otherwise!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Last weekend we went to get our tree. Our family tradition is to go get a real, cut your own tree. There are not a lot of Christmas tree farms in West Virgina, and it is a good haul to our nearest one. Luckily we really like the people there, the trees are well cared for and very reasonable. That all makes the drive worth while.

This year we are putting our tree in a different spot. The spot requires a tall, but not too wide tree. After scouring the tree farm for at least and hour, we finally found the perfect tree.

The three oldest kids took a turn at trying to saw the tree. Then Tim finally brought it down, and we carried it back to pay for it and tie it to the van for the trip home.

The kids did the majority of the tree decorating, I showed you an example in my Wordless Wednesday. Pretty much the tree is jammed packed with ornaments right at the eye level of the three oldest. The rest of the tree is pretty bare. The bottom is especially bare where Vivian continually removes anything that is places there. The middle of the tree is also constantly rearranged by Nolan.

The kids have also put out most of the other Christmas decorations, so just imagine my whole house jammed with decorations in some corners, and completely bare in others. Kellen created our wreath. I've been unable to convince Vivian that all the plush decorations that Tim's grandma has made over the years are really decorations, and not her babies to play with. The kids set out the nativity with the clock as the central point. (I have not idea why.) I'm finding ornaments all over the house. Christmas here is not Martha worthy, but it is interesting to say the least.

We got our first real snow today. We were supposed to go on a field trip today, but the roads coming off the ridge are not good, and I just didn't feel up to the battle. I thought we'd stay home and I could get a lot done. It hasn't happened yet. The kids have played in the snow. We've made hot chocolate and enjoyed the fireplace. Tim did some work under the house this morning (he can tell you that story) , and he and Kellen caught three rabbits that had gotten out. I guess for the morning anyway we are on a snow delay.

When the Kids Decorate the Tree

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Mommy Disorder

The other day I was cleaning up the kitchen when the washer finished its cycle. It was a nice fall day, and I was hanging the laundry on the line. I put down the dishes I was working on, and unloaded the washer. I took the basket of clothes outside, and was very surprised to see another basket by the clothes line, half full of wet laundry. Now how did that happen?

Hmmm.... Think back....Oh now I remember.

I was hanging up laundry when I heard a strange sound in the front yard. I ran to the front yard, clothes pins in hand, to see what the noise was. I discovered Kellen blowing leaves with the leaf blower. He wasn't exactly blowing them out of the yard, more like in circles around the yard, but he took the initiative to help with the leaves, and that is alright by me.

I gave him a quick tutorial on blowing the leaves out of the yard and into the compost, flower beds, and garden. He wasn't doing a perfect job, but for nine, he was doing a pretty good job, and he was blowing more leaves out of the yard than I was going to get done that day. I left him to blow leaves, and went into the house, clothes pins still in hand.

Walking by the computer, I decided to check my email quickly. I read a couple emails, and responded to some. Then I went to the next room; the kitchen.

Lunch dishes were still on the counter, and the dishwasher needed emptied. I went to work on the kitchen, and was almost done when the washer finished its cycle. Wanting to keep laundry going, I stopped cleaning the kitchen, and went to unload the washer.

Taking the load outside to hang up, I discovered that I had never finished the load I was working on when the leaf blower distracted me from my work. I hung up the two loads, and took down a dry load. I returned to the house with the dry load, walked through my kitchen that still was not completely cleaned up, and past the computer desk where I noticed there were clothes pins lying on the desk. Now how did those get there?!

What has happened to my brain? I normally am a very organized, methodical, efficient type person. I have plans to get things done. I start projects, and finish them before starting new ones. Over the past few years though I've been increasingly distracted.

I've self diagnosed myself with a new disorder; discovered by me. I'm calling it Maternal Attention Deficit Disorder: MADD. Too bad that acronym is already taken! Is anyone else afflicted with this? Do you find projects half completed? Do you forget what it was you entered a room for or what you were doing before the baby started crying? Maybe you have MADD too.

My self prescribed solution to the problem: enjoy it while you can. Someday our lives will return to their neat, orderly methodical ways, and we will miss having little ones pulling us away from the task at hand. At least that is what moms with grown children keep telling me. I'm taking their word for it. Now what was I doing before I started typing this post?