Friday, November 29, 2013

Ahhh I needed this.

And here I am again at the end of another month wondering where the heck time went. Life is always busy, but these fall months have been a whirl wind. I knew I would turn around and the holidays would be upon us. Here they are. While these months may or may not have been busier than before, our time is certainly less flexible. Daylight hours are too short, and filled with school. Weekends are a rush of errands, farm work, and church. I hesitate to say much. I don't want to sound like I'm whining and complaining. I know we made this choice. Truth is we really like our jobs. We really like the school. I am grateful, and I don't think this choice was a mistake. I'm just tired. We are still adjusting.

Then this week at school came. It was more laid back. My class did different and fun things. We cooked a pumpkin and made bread in the crock pot and butter to go with it. We made crafts. We were supposed to have 2 1/2 days, but because of threatening weather our 1/2 day was canceled.  A five day weekend was ours to enjoy.

Our Thanksgiving was laid back and relaxed. We watched the parade. We had a small group (for us) of nine for lunch. We had a typical spread with a few surprises which included a lot of local ingredients and things from our farm. It was delicious, and we all stuffed ourselves. After dinner we went for a walk.

Grateful Turkeys
Can't go without the dogs.

We visited momma turkey hen. We had three hens sit on nests this fall. The first hatched a small clutch that we found cold and weak. None of that first clutch survived. The second hen hatched out 10 which seem to be strong and thriving. We have moved them to the brooder pen. This hen is still sitting on her eggs. We  really didn't expect any fall poults. We consider these a bonus, and hope they will be some nice big Thanksgiving turkeys for next year.

Producing for next Thanksgiving

Normally, we go and chop our own tree at a local tree farm. Yesterday, kind of on a whim, we decided to chop some from our own property. Generally, our pine are tall and straggly, but there were a few in a more open area that were a bit fuller, and decent for a Christmas tree.

This tree will work.

Mamaw's tree.

They may not be as nice as the commercial trees, but they are pretty in their own natural way. Of course the saved time, money, and self sufficiency of it makes me smile. It also makes me think we should thin out some of our pine groves, or transplant some to more open areas so we can have our own trees every year.

We took the trees back to the house. We trimmed ours a bit to fit, cleared the space, and dug out the tree stand. Tim got it all set up, and Lydia started to fill it with water. Then we heard the water pouring more than into the stand. Then we saw the carpet getting wet. Our stand had a hole in it. So, the tree is back outside, in a bucket of water. Tim is looking for a tree stand this afternoon while running other errands. Decorating will wait for tomorrow. We ended the day with more food and games.

Today, Tim spent the morning cleaning up outside around the farm. He got a trailer load of scrap. It is amazing how things accumulate around the farm. I intended to start Christmas baking, but cleaned up the rest of yesterday's mess, paid some bills, did a little online Christmas shopping, and here I sit some more on the computer. It has been a nice, easy, and relaxing day.

And it is only Friday!

It seems like our weekend should almost be over. It feels like I should be in that night before school press of laundry, lunches, paper grading, and crock pot meal planning, but it is only Friday. It just now is the weekend! Lydia even remarked how long this weekend feels, and that we might be bored on our 3 week Christmas break. Oh no, I do not think so girl! This is fabulous. All of us at home, and house and farm projects getting done at a leisurely pace. This is just what I needed, and Christmas break will be even better. I am giddy with anticipation for summer.

This extra long holiday weekend is just what I needed. I feel refreshed, and ready to go back to it, at least in a couple days that is.

Monday, November 11, 2013


I think it is a universal challenge for parents with more than one child. With the oldest, it is easy to protect, to shelter, to control what they see, read, or eat. Then when the next child comes along it is more challenging. The older child is an influence on the younger. The older child is watching and doing things appropriate for their age, but the younger child is exposed. By the time you have four children with an eight year age difference, the youngest child watches things you would have never have dreamed of letting the oldest see at the same age.

As we mom's always tend to do, I've felt some guilt over this. Nolan and Vivian didn't watch Bob the Builder, Sesame Street, Dora, or many other little kids shows like their older siblings. Kellen and Lydia were already beyond those kids shows and the younger ones wanted to watch what the older ones wanted. The trend has continued through the years, and I've often been amazed at what we allow the younger ones to watch when I think of what the older two loved at the same age. They all watch Dr. Who for goodness sake! At seven (Vivian's age now) Kellen's favorite show was Fetch (PBS.) It is what it is, I guess, and I don't know how it could have been different unless we didn't watch any TV or everyone had their own TV in their rooms.

The same has happened with their music. The youngest never really listened to children's songs. They listen to what Kellen listens too, and sometimes his choices are interesting to say the least. He has quite eclectic taste in music, and thankfully has been wise enough to weed out most music with explicit lyrics, especially when his siblings are present.

Today Lydia, Nolan and I were working in the kitchen. Nolan was singing something softly. I really didn't hear it, but Lydia says to him, "Nolan, I think that song is about gambling." Her tone clearly implied that he shouldn't be singing that song. Nolan argued that it has nothing to due with gambling, but was about chasing the the Lucky Charms leprechaun.  Say what?!

So, he sings me a bit of the song, "Up all night, just to get lucky."

It was hard to keep a straight face, but I managed to ask him how he knew the song was about Lucky Charms. He back tracked a bit, and admitted he didn't know for sure. He continued to make his case for how this made perfect logical sense. Lydia went right along with him. I just smiled to myself, and said a quick prayer of thanks for their adorable innocence. May it last for a long, long, time.