Friday, August 31, 2018

First Field Trip

We took our first official field trip yesterday - to Miss June's farm.  She invited us over to pick tomatoes for me to can.  I had asked if she would sell me some seconds, and she did, but then she graciously asked us over and let us pick as much as we wanted.  She showed the kids the garden spiders, which were the pretty writing spiders with interesting webs.  Lydia identified and picked off the stink bugs from the tomato plants.  June also gave the kids a dead Monarch butterfly that she had found.  Lydia has been making a study of it.  A couple of times a day, she makes observations on how it has changed.  (Right now, the wings are more brittle, and she hypothesizes that the colors may fade.)  She tells me that zoologists make lots of observations, so she needs to do this.  She also explained how she can tell whether the butterfly was a male or female based on the black spots on its wings.

June let the kids pick the low-hanging pears, too, which I was very excited about.  June's pears aren't pretty, but they make the best pie!  The kids had a ball, and I ended up spending hours canning salsa and crushed tomatoes afterwards, so it was a very good and productive day. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Shop Class

Lydia and Gyunay have been embracing many ways of learning.  A long time ago, my dad set Lydia up with some nails and a pre-drilled board for hammer practice.  She wanted to do that again, so out came the nails.  I couldn't find the board, but we had some thick foam from some sort of packaging, so she and Gyunay had fun hammering into it instead. 
They've already done this a few times.  I'll have to get a board for them to try next, and I think I'll let Lydia do a small building project soon.  Add it to the list of projects!  Really, though, she is flying through her class work and has time for more of these fun projects that will really teach her hands-on skills.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

We Can Do Hard Things

Homeschooling is going well.  Gyunay has to be coaxed along, as he doesn't like to do hard things.  So today, our motto is "We can do hard things!"  It actually helps, and he was very proud when he finished his math puzzles.  He is making progress; we just have to keep going over things again and again to make sure they stick.

Poor Lydia ended up with a virus already.  We had a visit to the doctor yesterday, so today she got to sleep in and do school in her pajamas.  She had a lesson on how to figure sales tax with her daddy last night, so she is ready to complete orders in her Pet Store Math.  It is by far her favorite part of the day.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

First Day of Homeschool

Today we began our first official day of homeschool.
Lydia's starting fourth grade, while Gyunay is our kindergartener.  The big boys headed out to middle school (Malachi - 8th grade) and high school (Elijah - sophomore).
Currently, my homeschoolers are on recess, so I'm catching up on a few things.

Also, here is the back of the house, post-paint job.  And you can see my sweet potato garden in the foreground.  I hope they produce as well as they look!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Mini Trip

Nathaniel took a couple of days off of work to take a mini-vacation with us.  My parents had given us money back at Christmas for our whole family to go to the Children's Museum in Indianapolis, but we just did it last week.  That turned out to be great, because there were no crowds!

She was so happy that on the super hero personality test she got Wonder Woman!

Gyunay really loved putting the terra cotta warrior statues together.  He actually asked to go back and do it again before we left, so we did.
The kids also loved staying in the hotel and swimming in the pool.  The next day, we got to visit an old friend of mine and explored Lafayette's little zoo and park.  We came home pretty exhausted!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Garlic and Chickens

It's been a while since I posted about the chickens.  They have grown, and the roosters are starting to crow.
Five of the chickens are roosters, so we will be harvesting 2 really soon (probably this weekend?) and another 2 in a week or so.  It's been a while since chicken was on my menus, and we will all enjoy a good chicken dinner.

All of the roosters are buff orpingtons.  Isn't he handsome?

Today, I cleaned up all of the garlic that I harvested in June and early July.  It's been curing in the garage since harvest, so today I trimmed off the stems and roots.  It's a good amount of garlic, the most I've ever grown, but not enough for a full year for us.  I hope to grow more for next year, but I haven't decided where to plant it yet.  I've got some time, though.  I don't plant garlic until mid-October.

And finally, we finished painting the outside of the house.  It was a family effort, and it looks so great.

I am very pleased with the darker gray color.  I'll have to post a picture of the deck later.  Nathaniel painted it, too.  I haven't got all of the stuff moved back onto it yet, though, since we wanted to wait a week to give it plenty of time to dry thoroughly. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

July Garden Harvest Totals

Arugula - 2c
Beans, Dragon Tongue - 1 lb 5oz
Blackberries - 4.5c
Cantaloupes, Ginger Melon -1 (weighing 9.86 lbs)
Cantaloupes, Jenny Lind - 2
Cucumber, Edmondson - 8
Cucumber, pickling - 7
Cucumber, Tender Green - 41
Eggs - 130
Garlic, hardneck - 8
Kale - 1 bunch
Potatoes, Red Pontiac - 5 lbs 12 oz
Potatoes, Yukon Gold - 4 lbs 4 oz
Radish - 2
Tomato, Black Vernissage - 14
Tomato, Carbon - 7
Tomato, Dr. W. Yellow - 2
Tomato, Golden Jubilee - 1
Tomato, Old German - 2
Tomato, Pink Brandywine - 8
Tomato, St. Pierre - 5
Tomato, Woodle Orange - 5
Zucchini, Tatume - 20 (average weight of 1 is 1.5 lbs)

Plus herbs - basil, dill, mint, sage, stevia, thyme
and a few cherry tomatoes

Total tomatoes - 68  (which sounds like a ton when you consider that we ate ALL of them fresh!)

Thursday, August 2, 2018

10 lbs!

I grew a giant cantaloupe:
To be specific, it weighed 9.86 pounds.  It was good, although still not as good as a Posey County cantaloupe.  It is a different variety, called a Ginger Melon.  I have a few more on the vine, and although they are large, this was the biggest.

We've been pretty busy the past couple of weeks.  We enjoyed spending time with cousins and Nana and Pa.  Then this week, Grandma came and took the kids for a little road trip to Kentucky Down Under.  The kids had a blast.
As for me, I've been up to my eyeballs in peaches.  On Sunday, we went and picked 92 pounds of peaches and white nectarines.  We also picked up 20 pounds of cooking apples.  So I've been peeling, slicing, canning, and freezing.  I've made cinnamon peach jam, blueberry peach jam, blackberry peach jam, honey peaches, honey nectarines, and applesauce.  I've still got more to do, so back to the kitchen!