Our Notes

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Come Autumn, Come

                                         


You know me, not a huge fan of the humid, sweltering summer season. This year wasn't horrible I suppose, but wet...oh so wet. And now August...hot. Sticky hot. I'm ready folks. Turn the calendar page and let's roll into a good old fashioned autumn season. Cooler temps, dare I say crisp nights even? All the autumn recipes are starting to filter around Facebook and Pinterest already. I'm seeing lovely apple pies, thick apple butters, the start of the pumpkin recipes...

Poor Stephanie. I pounce on her every year with my own flood of pumpkin recipes. Being anti-pumpkin, she often has to hide me from her daily Facebook feed to avoid my relentless pumpkin teasing. Gotta love friends, right?

I've lamented many a time about the distinct lack of autumnal changes down here. The Deep South just isn't a show-n-tell sort of region for separate seasons. It's green. And brown. Pretty much all year round. Perhaps I view from a different sort of eyesight. There are changes, I suppose. I mean, God didn't forget His whole seasonal plan just because He chose not to color the leaves in as many hues down here. I'll try to look differently this year. There's beauty in every season, even in an area where sugar maples aren't as vividly colored, and where the temps aren't cooperative.

In the school room we have a bit of a mess for our Term 1. Sure, we started 5 weeks ago, but it was a slow start. We are definitely 5 weeks in on some work, but behind on other work. And next week, Dad will be home all week with us...before he has to drive out and head to that job in New Jersey. I'm not complaining he'll be home or anything, but you know there won't be any school work accomplished then. He has fishing and camping time planned. I'm hopeful we can take our Term 1 break week (Sept15th) and get caught up, at least somewhat, but I don't know. 

LIFE. This is why it's just better to pencil in that school plan and skip the pretty ink pens and highlighters and stickers. 

We haven't completely wasted our 5 weeks of school...








...lots of nature for us to dive into as you can see. Can you see our find in that last photo there? I missed him as we passed. The kids did not :-) 

Our studies revolve around nature. Inside with books, outside with the real thing. We are always finding new things to explore. Schooling isn't always about books. There's learning everywhere...in your morning breakfast, your afternoon snacks, your math work, your social studies reading, your house, and your yard. We try to embrace all we can find to enhance our learning. Life skills. We are striving for life skills. Not commonplace education.

Among our regular school days, we have had various projects in the works as well...

...this years Term 1 studies include Little House on the Prairie reading, starting with Farmer Boy, a favorite. We are crafting paper ice houses, planning our own winter evenings, designing log cabins, mulling over whittling projects (well, most will start with soap carving), and planning some handcrafts. Our Astronomy lessons start with a look at the planets, and as soon as I find the right studies, we will venture into learning the constellations. Everything gets lapbooked, or notebooked, into our Term journals...simple, spiral-bound art journals where we will glue in bits and pieces from various lapbook units, hand-draw photos, staple in our notebook pages, etc.

...sewing is always going here. This was bits from a summer project of a Thomas the Tank lap blanket, but the idea is the same...sewing is just one of the many never-ending projects in a busy home.

...like hay. Always needing hay, and this year was not the nest year for hay around here. So wet, for so long. Local fields spent more time looking like rice paddys than hay fields, and cuttings were put off schedule. I'm hoping I've got my hay needs in. Still praying for a home for our 2 cows, which will leave me just the goats. That will help.

The summer included scouring the woods and the fields for the few wild black raspberries we could find. Such spindly bushes this year, but we got some and the jam will be delicious come winter.

...the little moose, or Ewok as he's been called lately...ever-present helper as we work in the kitchen. Just lays there on the back of the chair, watching and waiting. 

We had dentist visits this week. I just booked their morning appointments and all 6 headed in for cleanings and check-ups. Another year cavity-free :-)

Knitting is always in the basket lately as well. I'm fumbly and slow, but I'm persistent. Another dishcloth off the needles. You'd think after the swap this year I'd be wallowing in dishcloths. I am, sort of. All I made, I've given away. My basket is filled with the swaps from friends, and I'm filling the basket for the bath use now. I've switched to working with the #10 crochet thread, 2 strands at a time (the photo shows Aunt Lydia's cotton thread, which I find needs 3 strands to equal the 2 strands I use in Bernat Handicrafter) I really think I prefer the finished cloth made this way over the standard kitchen cotton. 

We're not looking forward to Dad heading off so far away to New Jersey, especially over winter months, but we'll press on. My next big project will be getting our wood supply laid in. I'm very anxious to see some colder weather so we can cut off these air conditioner units and fire up the woodstove. It's time to start cooking and heating :-)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Testing the posts...

On my end, they appear quite weird and all 'coding'...


~~Blessings from Abundant Blessings Homestead

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