Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Why we homeschool

I know it's been longer than I keep saying, but such is life. Today was the first day of public school. To me, this means one kid gone all day and two and a half to get on some sort of a normal schedule. We are homeschooling. Gasp!! lol It's going good and was really the only time I didn't have to get after the children today. I think it's going to work out. lol We made homemade laundry soap, played piano as well as worked on our R's. Miranda worked on being cute, nope, wait she's got that one mastered. lol

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Keeping going

The chickens are in the basement now, at least until the new coop gets done. And I actually got a bit of the dining room cleaned (you know, the bit that ISN'T my craft area). I felt great getting up at a decent time this morning and getting things cleaned. I might even start a trend, lol.
I'm dealing with a little bit of an issue right now. We have recently had a kitten wander up onto our porch. She is grey and long haired and oh so cute! Hubby says no. And he's being firm about it; I swear, I really did try. She's sick and I'm treating her with Amox. I also had to treat her fleas. I'm waiting to hear if my old boss will take her to be adopted out. It really pulls at my heart strings. Oh well, it'll pass.
We finally had a beautiful day. We went out and I started pulling big staples out of the pallet wood I snagged. I was thinking it would be a quick......oh, what was I thinking!! I worked, in the heat, for an hour and a half and have one pallet pulled apart and the staples out. That. Is. It. Ugh, oh well. I just keep repeating, "free wood, free wood, free wood". lol It started to pour shortly after we finished up outside. I'm hoping for another good day, or at least another good couple of hours tomorrow, to get some more work done. I'm hoping that by Saturday I will have enough wood prepped to start putting the posts in the ground.
Well, I promised Matt I would sew up his ripped pj's before bed, so off I go!

Friday, June 11, 2010


It's done! The new chicken tractor that I've been working on for a week is done! I could not be more excited. I have so much that needs to be done around here and I'm finally getting it done. Learning to work with a new baby, again, is proving to be difficult. I just can't seem to accept that I can't work on something for hours and get it done. She's getting better at letting me work now, at least.

Here's what we started with......

Here's what we had after day know, when I figured out that I had not bought enough wood to finish it, ugh. This is where it stayed for about 4-5days.

So, I had the kids take the old run apart. It was falling over anyways. And here we have it!!! Full of chickens even. Not too shabby. The tarp is to protect from the rain we are expecting. In a few days I will put the big girls in there so they can get usd to each other so I can start integrating the babies into the big coop.
We have started homeschooling these last few weeks. It's going.....slow. I'm doing a more laid back method so that maybe the kids won't notice that it's schoolwork. They just seem to be so opposed to learning. After watching us one day, hubby said that we should just homeschool them all permanently. I'm sure that's because he thought it looked so easy for me. It wasn't bad, but I feel like I need to become more organized to make it work better. We've been spuratic at best, but I want to start scheduling a M-W-F deal to help them get used to it. That way we can run our errands on T-Th or not at all. lol That's the problem that we are having: errands. That and I have been sleeping too late and other things need to be done. We have been concentrating mostly on reading. EX: Matt and I are reading the third book in the "A Series of Unfortunate Events" series. He reads X amount of pages to me. We write down the words that he doesn't understand and he then defines them using his dictionary. He is good about the reading part, not so good about the independent work part. Which means that we don't move on from there. We will keep trying. I also want to buy a book I've heard rave reviews about to help teach Ashlynn and Jay to read. I'll let you know when I get it. Logan is ahead of the curve in his class, but he still has to read out loud to me, from a chapter book. Then he has to summarize what we just read so that I can be sure that he's retaining it. I also found an online math program for k- 6 that is free. We will start that next week. Hubby and I will work on the history/social studies curriculum this weekend. It's still a work in progress.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

oh the pain...

Headaches. Seriously? When did I get old? I remember being able to live on three hours of sleep for like two days with no repercussions. Yuck. Now nine hours is about my minimum and with less I walk around with a killer headache all day. Yikes. Ok, I'm done, lol.

Well, it's been a while but I feel like life is starting to gain some sort of routine and it's time to start getting things done again. I am really wanting to get into my homesteading stuff head first. I got more chickies!! Now we have eleven babies and three adults. I love em! lol This means we need a new coop. I bought a design set and am getting ready to get going. Info and pics to come!

Also, it's time to get the garden going......late. I started to turn the soil in the first bed and the cats decided that it was a great, big outdoor litter box! What?!? Yep, that's right. They won't use the one in the house, but the one outside, surrounded by grass and woods and big open space, yep. That's the one. Yuck. I'm working on bed number two. I'm going to clear it and plant seeds and then cover it with chicken wire. I'm hoping that will keep them out of it until I get a fencing solution done. I really just need to get out there and get it done. I'm thinking that I'm going to follow a simple garden design I found in Mother Earth News magazine. I love that magazine, lol. I'm also thinking that I'm going to bag garden, I hope I got that right, with the bags of garden soil I have in the basement. Also, I'm going to get some tires from dad's house and plant my potatoes!! We WILL have food. I WILL grow it. I WILL expand my horizons and knowledge.

I'm sewing.....sort of. I've made two dresses so far for Miranda. One was a pillowcase dress and the other I made for her christening. I want to do more. I really need to do more, or I fear that I will never fully realize the potential of my crowded dining room, lol. I will persevere. lol I plan to make jammie pants out of old sheets for all. I will document.

Knitting. Yep, that's all I have to say. My mojo is gone. I still oogle and drool over patterns. Make plans. Store in my que. Think of what yarn I have or need for what projects. I just am not wanting to finish what I have going. However, I have promised myself that I will finish at least one of them before I start anything else. I'm working on my maternity sweater, I know, I know, I'm not pregnant. I was when I started it, lol. I'm gonna finish it. I also am working on a pair of leggies for Miranda. I will finish the first one before I cast on anything else. I will. Enough said.

The house is better than it was, although far from perfect. I have instituted a chore chart. It seems to be working. The kids are a little resistant, but oh well. The house is no longer trashed and there is plenty for them to do when they are "bored". I just had to accept that they would never do the chore perfect, or how I wanted it done exactly, and all was well to delve out the chores.

Homeschooling. I will do it. I am starting it. I am planning for summer since school will be out in less than two weeks. More to come on this.

We are busy and I am staying up too late. lol It's bedtime. Life is getting on course and there will be lots to report. See ya then!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Aaaaahhhhh, so tired

I wish I had more to say, but that's pretty much it. I am beat; and apparently, they know it, lol. Getting back to real life has proven to be exhausting to say the least. There's just so much to do and a newborn who has no desire to let me do it. I'm trying to get everything at the house taken care of, but it is slow going. However, it is going. I am trying to get on top of things a little at a time. If I get the kitchen cleaned every day, then it is clean and gives me something to look at. If I get the laundry done every time it needs it, well then it doesn't pile up and get out of control. I know it's a simple concept and it's not like I'm saying something that everyone doesn't already know. However, how many of us are diligent. LOL Probably more than I know. I'm usually not very diligent as life has a way of getting away from me. It helps that I have diapers to wash. What a weird comment, huh? They have to be done every 2-3days and so it forces me to get down there and do them, which usually leads to me doing at least one more load.

I'm feeling really invigorated by the wonderful weather that we have been having. It makes me want to get outside and see my girls and start planning my garden. I still have a lot of research to do, but I am itching to get my feet in the dirt so the planning will get done. Hubby hate this time of year cause it means yard work. I, on the other hand, love it because it means gardening and beauty. There will be lots to report!! I'm going to buy my potato starts this week/weekend so they can go in on St Patty's day. I guess that means that I need to plan where to plant them, lol. I've got a few ideas in the works.

I've been trying to use my bread maker so that it doesn't become another appliance that just sits around. To be honest, we really don't have appliances that sit around these days. My new coffee maker is REALLY going the extra miles these days. lol I made some pizza dough in it tonight. It looked pretty, but I'm not sure how thrilled I was with it yet. However, it really seems to have been a pretty big hit. This is what is left of two large pizzas. At least I'm making dinner every night now. I haven't done that in months!! Usually we have cereal night at least once a week. lol

And.... a pic of my beautiful princess, just for good measure. lol

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Baking Bread and my Moby

Well, life is officially in full swing now and I'm trying to re adapt. Hubby got me a bread maker, which I am very excited about. I am in the process of making my very first loaf in it!! I had one years and years ago but as a younger much stupider adult I let it go to pot and had to throw it out. I didn't know what I had, obviously. lol I'm excited to get to my whole housewife deal and get going on the things I couldn't handle when I was pregnant. Here's my beautiful new Oster!!

I have a cranky, pukey, gassy little fuss for a daughter today. I've noticed that this is our trend when we have to run all day. She's used to being able to take her time to eat and burp and hang out with mom and I don't think she handles being rushed too well. So, I have a solution. I bought a Moby wrap about three days before she was born and I darned well intend to use it!! I gave it a whirl about a week ago but have baby brain and sleep deprivation and couldn't figure it out looking at the instruction book. Good thing for Ravelry!!! It has been my saving grace for many things not to mention a great place to meet and talk to others interested in the things you are interested in. So, one of the girls in one of my groups posted some YouTube links for tutes on the Moby. Now, why didn't I think to look there?!? Oh well, once I got looking, I literally spent like an HOUR looking at a bunch of tutes since I want this thing to be an alternative to sitting on my butt all day with babe in arms. I'm digging it so far. She is napping in it right now and it has made it so that I can post here and play with my new bread machine, lol. I'm going to go start dinner and do dishes here in just a few minutes........MAN!!! This thing is great!!

Look at what happened to me! I grew up in the city and now I'm a baby wearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, homeschooling, gardening, chicken keeping, baking from scratch, crazy lady. LOL It's funny how life works out.

Miranda Rose Francis

I know I should have done this earlier, but I have been recovering from surgery and enjoying letting someone else take care of me for a change, lol. It's been nice and I while I am trying to enjoy getting back to my real life, it sort of sucks. I'm so tired, lol. Anyhow, here's here stats!!

Miss Miranda Rose Francis came into the world via csection on Monday, February 15th, 2010 at 8:29am. She was a whopping 9lbs 7oz and 19 inches long. She's short and chubby and totally adorable. Her head and chest were both 14.5inches around making for an interesting delivery even for a csection. She's a trooper eating and she's fairly easy although a gassy little fuss at times. We love her and she is definitely a part of this very interesting family!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

No Poo: Week 2

Well, here it is. Week two and a couple of days, lol. My hair tends to feel kind of greasy on the second day, but I'm hoping that's just a phase. I'm thinking of doubling my baking soda and water. However, I'm also thinking of cutting my hair, again, lol. I've still got some damaged parts that need to go. I think I'll ask hubby his opinion. We shall see.

Here's another pic. My cat likes to lay like roadkill over my bump. I wonder what she'll think when she can't do that anymore, lol.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Homeschooling" the Youngest

It amazes me that homeschooling is such a taboo topic, especially when we are supposed to be doing this if we don't put our children in preschools. Aren't we supposed to work on ABC's very young? Counting? Learning colors? Even beginning reading? These are things they are supposed to be able to do, or at least somewhat grasp, before entering kindergarten. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been subjected to kindergarten 'testing'; where they decide what class to put our kiddos into based on their abilities. I have been really getting into the idea of homeschooling my oldest for numerous reasons and wanted to start with my youngest. He is a sponge, after all, and easier to teach as he is only 3years old. I used to stay home with my oldest two boys when they were little. However, between the situation, work and never sleeping, I never really learned how to be a stay home mom and teach my kids. I'm learning that now, although it seems like it should be something that I would know by now. I am very greatful for my situation and that I'm able to stay home with the kiddos and try to give them the individual education that they need. That said..... Jay loves to learn. We got him this wonderful leapfrog 'scribble pad'. It is awesome!! lol Jay pushes the letters and then traces them on the pad and it erases as well. He enjoys it so much. It really makes me feel like there is hope for teaching the kids. I have to be honest; I have lost a lot of my gumshoe for homeschooling lately as it has been replaced with the anticipation of this baby being born. I'm sure I will pick it up again, very soon. This is just the beginning.
In other news, I am still pregnant. While I am not waiting to go into labor since we are having another section, I am seriously beginning to feel like I will always be pregnant. lol I know this phase will end, with a beautiful delight. I am knitting for her. I am working on a coming home outfit for her. She has a hat and socks now, and I am working on a dress for her to match. She is going to look adorable!! We contemplate what she might look like, you know hair, eyes and such. I can't wait to meet her. More news tomorrow as it will be the end of week 2 of No Poo. I'm going through the greasy part they warn you about. Two more weeks until it should subside, I hope. lol See ya tomorrow!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Brand New World!

It happened! My baby sister gave birth to her baby boy on January 20th at 8:30AM PST. Brennan was 8lbs 1oz and the most beautiful baby boy. It's all I can do to keep from plastering his face all over the internet. Thank goodness I believe in the privacy of others. lol The good news is that it finally got me off my rump to mail Brennan's goodies. I'd been putting it off because I wanted a pic for all you lovely folks. lol Here it is; a crocheted blanket, knitted wool hat, newborn size socks, and my very first baby sweater. I'm pretty impressed with myself and hope that the new mama understands how much time, dedication and love that went into those goodies. It's something I always worry about when I give a gift like this to anyone who does not craft. Although I'm sure she'll understand because our mom taught me to crochet and was quite the addict as well, lol.
I also finally got going on Miranda's goodies. Hubby's been teasing me for months about how if I keep knitting for everyone else that our little girl will be freezing when she gets here, lol. He's a silly man, but good point. I am working on her going home outfit. I finished her hat today and started her socks. I plan to make her a matching dress. I'm not sure if I'll have enough time or energy between the baby stuff, house stuff, family stuff and homework. I'm hoping to have the dryer fixed this weekend, please lord, so that I can get a better grip on the laundry situation. Not to mention washing baby clothes and prepping my diapers. We'll see what happens. I think that's all for now. Although my little girl went to her first sleep over tonight so I may have more to report soon. I have not gotten a call, yet. lol

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

No Poo: Week 1

So, today I embarked on yet another new idea. I think that perhaps I'm the kind of person who is open to new ideas, but more so if they are not mainstream thinking. I figure in my 31yrs on this planet I have tried pretty much most conventional means of most things, within my financial abilities of course. If they aren't within my financial abilities, then what is the point since I certainly would not be able to continue them. Anyhow, back to my original train of thought. I've been looking into this No Shampoo idea for about a year now. The last time I bought shampoo and conditioner, and of course they were pretty much industrial sized, I decided that when they ran out I would give this new idea a try. My hair has become fried over the years. It feels like straw and is frizzy whether I blow dry it or not. Although, it does look better when I don't blow dry. So, I am using the information off ,a blog with lots of No Poo info. Anyhow the idea is to use baking soda and apple cider vinegar to clean your hair. I have heard many great things about this like how manageable, untangley, soft and natural your hair ends of being. I know that pregnancy hormones is not necessarily the best time to give this a go, but I figure if I start now that I can figure out what method and all that jazz that works for me instead of trying to figure it all out sleep deprived (or more sleep deprived than normal, lol). So that's the new thing. I'll keep track of my trials and results here. This is day one, week one. I used the method of mixing 1.5Tbsp baking soda with 1.5C warm water. It seemed to go ok. They have another method, which is to mix 1Tbsp of bs with just a smidgen of water to make a paste and rub it in. I thought I would try that next time. They recommend only washing your hair 2-3x a week as that is all you should need. That's pretty much all I do anyhow, even though hubby thinks it's weird and all, because otherwise I dry my hair out even more and who needs that.

And here I am, day one, air dried. LOTS of curls. More than normal. When I blow dry it, it is straight and looks dry and straw like. When I let it air dry, it usually has a bit of body but not much curl. Excuse the look on my face; I just woke up from a too short nap, lol. When I went in the bathroom I had tons of curls. I've got lots of hope for this experiment. I combed my hair when I got out of the shower and before I put it up in a towel. I think it looks cute, although a little haywire, lol. Keep in mind, though, that I slept on it out of the towel before taking this pic. Also, it's a little fuzzy because the batteries in my camera are dying. I'll have to get hubby to grab me some more tonight. That's all for now, folks!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Getting bigger!!

...and bigger and bigger, lol. Here's me at 35wks, today. I keep thinking that I can't get much bigger, but I'm pretty sure I always feel that way at the end. The good news is that she dropped and I can eat again!! I was beginning to think that Rolaids had become a new food group and no one had told me. The heartburn isn't gone completely, but it has dissipated quite a bit. Although now I am waddling much, much more. We have a Dr's appointment tomorrow and I'm kind of excited to see what will happen. Not that I haven't been here before, but I also have not had any baby other than this one and Matt drop. It's funny. My mom used to always tell me that every woman and every pregnancy is different. Boy!! Did she ever hit that one on the head. I also carry this one and Logan very high and all three of the others very low. To each their own, I suppose. lol Well, I'm beat and can't justify being here when I am SO behind on my homework, lol. I'll have crafty pics and what not tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Living in a postcard

We are finally expecting to warm up in the next week or so. It will be greatly appreciated but the pretty winterland we've been living in will be gone (probably not for too long though).

I have decided to put my foot down with myself; no more knitting for anyone else until my daughter has some fibery wonderfulness too! LOL I have been getting out of control with knitting for other people and I have not made one single thing for our baby. Ugh. Well, I have four weeks left and I intend to get my butt in gear! Other than that, the only other thing to report is how tired and burnt out I am on school. I also have four weeks of that left and cannot bring myself to be very productive at all. Oh well, tomorrow's another day....

Friday, January 8, 2010

Life in Isolation

We continued to be snowed in. It's not so bad, really, except that the kids have cabin fever and are starting to drive me a wee bit crazy. lol Hubby says he's going to go dig out the van so he can go to work tonight......we SHALL see. lol I know how thrilled he is in going out into negative temperatures with a snow shovel. Oh well, we know too well that I am not able to do it. We'll be wishing for some of this cold weather in August, I am sure. Human nature, we always want what we don't have.

Today I have been knitting. My little angel has either a knee or elbow poking out and causing a horrid bruising/stabbing type feeling. Yuck. It really makes me not want to do anything (although I need to get up and make lunch soon). The nice thing about feeling ucky All. The. Time. is that I am getting some knitting done. I did my very first rounded hat with dpn's and it only took two days, not constant for two days but ya know. I'm working on another set of newborn socks to match the hat. It's for a swap. I then have to finish the goodies I've been working on for Brennan (my sister's baby that should be here this month) and get those off. I have not made one single thing for my little one. I want to be done with everyone else's baby stuff by next week. That gives me four weeks to finish Miranda's goodies before she gets here. I really, really wish I had more time sometimes. Others I wish I was done. Soon enough. We have the cradle now, although it needs a sheet for the mattress, and we are going to pick up the car seat this weekend. I also went ahead and ordered a few maternity shirts. I know, I know, I said I wouldn't but even hubby's long shirts don't cover the belly anymore. Besides, I paid six bucks for one and seven bucks for the other and they will work for nursing as well. Besides, they are beautiful, lol. Anyhow, here's my finished baby hat.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snowed In!!

So I know that the whole world is having crazy winter weather and we are no exception. Hubby was supposed to work tonight, but I could not be more thankful that the schools are closed tomorrow. How did I make that jump? Well, hubby's employer is a big box company and the employees are supposed to be able to call in for weather that is unsafe to drive in, ie. tornadoes, blizzards and the such. Well, apparently his store does not honor this policy as we have learned in the past. However, if the schools are closed then their absence can be excused for weather. I have been looking outside all night since the snow started coming down really hard at around two ish. It's hard to tell if it's still snowing or if the wind is blowing so hard that it looks like it's snowing. Yikes.

The kids had a good time playing in it when they got home today.

I started on my first hat knitted in the round. I'm pretty excited about it as it's going well and fast. I am prepping for another swap and this hat goes in the box (along with a pair of socks, if I can squeeze them out of the skein. That's the limitations for the round: one skein.). I've been feeling especially yucky and out of control today, so I've mostly knitted. It makes me feel calm, or more calm than the crazy that seems to be my norm lately. Here's the work in progress.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Goings On

It has been crazy lately. I am trying to buy a cradle off of that I think is just beautiful at a reasonable price. We have been trying to hook up since Thursday. It's been crazy. We keep missing each other and what not. We are going to try again. Here's a link , isn't it beautiful? Anyhow, I'll post some pics after I get it set up and adorned.
It's been snowing here lately, A LOT. I don't have any new pics, but it's happening every couple of days, at least an inch or two. It's keeping us busy. We are also having negative temps. It's not so bad as long as you don't have to, oh I don't know, stand outside with the world's dimmest dog who is chasing the cat across the street even though she's on a leash and not going pottty. lol So there's that.
We came home from an outing the other day to find that the dryer had gone ca put. Yikes! Seriously, we have six people and a baby on the way to do laundry for and I do not foresee it being fixed anytime really soon. Hopefully my FIL will be coming over to look at it for us soon (I'm going to try to talk him into it tomorrow). He says it sounds like a belt. How nice would that be?!? If it's not, it won't be getting fixed/replaced until the end of January/beginning of February. I guess it's not too bad, but I have infant clothes to wash and cloth diapers to prep. We hung a clothesline in the basement this evening. It should be warm down there because it's where the furnace is, but there's two broken windows down there and it's freezing down there!! lol We are going to look into a dry rack or two tomorrow. I know that if I set it up in the shower and close the bathroom door that things will get dry pretty quick. I've never had a bathroom heat up so nicely before...... it makes me smile. lol Anyhow, that is what we are up to these days. Hopefully I'll have some knitting progress to report on soon.