Fall in the Meadow

It’s been rainy and dreary all week but the cool air is refreshing from the summer heat. Our windows are open. Our cinnamon candles are lit. And we are playing outside more. Even if it means having to clean the carpets of dragged in mud!!! Because, at the end of the day, who can resist a little girl in a red riding hood? Or grass turning burgundy wine? Or sun gold flowers dappling the countryside with the last bit of bright summer color? And then there is exploring and homemade maps…

Less Screen Time

So I have in my head this great weekly wrap up on the rocks and minerals unit study we are doing right now. (Sorry, you’ll have to check back next week! ūüėČ But instead I spent much more time doing this…

and this…

and much less time on my computer.

Life is good!

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Berry Picking in Nebraska

It wouldn’t be summer without strawberries. And as I am contemplating real food and where our grocery money is allocated to, I felt like we just had to experience picking our own berries from the farm.

Where we went: Bellevue Berry Farm in Nebraska

Where you can also go:¬†Martin’s Hillside Orchard¬†and Fontanelle Orchards

Lessons learned ~

  • Go earlier in the morning. This was a spur of the moment trip so that part couldn’t be helped but we would’ve gotten a whole lot more berries if an overheated 2 year old were not having a melt down!
  • Farm strawberries are MUCH smaller then store bought. Not sure if that is because people pick them before they are mature enough or (as I suspect) we’ve got a warped perspective on the size a strawberry should be based on the ubber-giant supermarket variety. I’ve heard smaller is better when it comes to berries, especially blueberries.
  • Kids will eat fruit right out of the field. I am going to have to try this theory out with vegetables. Some of my kids won’t touch a strawberry if it’s on their plate for lunch next to their PB& J sandwich. But put one on a plant and suddenly it becomes eve’s temptation…it will be picked!
  • Sun-ripened is oh so much sweeter. Need I say more?
The haul ~ just over 5 pounds of strawberries
Price ~ $6.75
Bye bye Berry Bitty City!
What to do with all those itty bitty strawberries? Serve them up with a dollop of cream on some shortcakes. Mmmm mmm good!

First Feedings and Other Musings

It’s quiet here tonight. Everyone is in bed snuggled deep in sleep. Even husband has turned in early in order to rise early feeding hungry teenage mouths. I find myself relishing this little piece of time. It is mine alone. There is no agenda. I am free to play or plan or work as I choose. I dabble a bit in the online library catalog requesting some stories that have been rattling in my head but that I keep forgetting to write down. I wish list a few more good picks from a pleasantly-stumbled-upon blog lushly titled Farmbrarian. I sip my Verona which has been out of stock for over a month and my taste buds delight in reacquaintenance. I listen to an NPR interview with Kirstin Kimball over her book The Dirty Life of which I am reading and laughing over. I am dreaming of a family cow and have pangings similar to baby fever.

And now I am here thinking of my littlest one.

He started solids this week.

And he is loving it.

I am a bit saddened. I waited until 6 months…long enough to build up my milk supply and get a few teethers in. I know I could go a full 12 with only breastmilk. I did with Ivy. Not by my choice but hers. She refused any sort of solid food whatsover whether it was rice cereal or applesauce. She wanted only mom’s milk and food did not interest her in the slightest till she was about a year old and then she went straight to table food. I worried and fretted for nothing. She was a fat little butterball getting all the nutrients she needed with plenty of cushion on her. But I would’ve liked a little more freedom. Freedom for daddy or grandma to feed her some solids so mom could do a grocery shopping trip or library trip alone. And with the annual garage sale outing coming up I started with this little guy. He takes to the spoon like duck to water.

Still, he had his first non-breastfeeding poop yesterday and a part of me cried a bit on the inside. No more cinnamon-yogurt-yeasty smelling diapers. Sniff sniff. I will spare you the picture! But the thought turns my attention back to cloth diapering and finding a detergent that works for hard country water. So I am all ears if anyone has any suggestions. Until then, I will enjoy a little me time.

Seeing Green

~ Breakfast ~

Buttermilk Coffeecake with Green Buttercream Frosting

(in the shape of a shamrock, of course!)

Green Milk

(drunk in our cool new St. Patty’s shirts)

~ Lunch ~

Green Mac N Cheese

Grahams with Green Buttermilk Frosting and Gold Sprinkles

~ Dinner ~

Slow Roasted Corn Beef

Roasted Cabbage, Potatoes, and Carrots

Irish Soda Bread

(And no pictures because my battery ran low!)

Baby Bjorn and the Spewing Adventure

Have you ever tried to nurse a baby while simultaneously making sure a 3 year old’s stomach contents land in the bowl? It is a superwomen-like ability and I am pleased to say I had the pleasure of fielding that hurdle today. I also had the pleasure of nursing the baby and NOT catching it in the bowl but instead looking down at my baby’s shocked expression and quivering lips as his whole head and body is covered in someone else’s puke…as is my shirt, my pants, the couch, the floor, my socks, and the 3 year old. Did I mention we are having a sick day in our neck of the woods?

Well, not technically I guess. The older two are still over in the learning room doing their school thing. And I am gritting my teeth and trying to be ever so patient as my 9 year old is freaking out about a do-over in his lapbook because he messed up on the coloring. I try to kindly explain how mommy is a tad busy in clean up duties at the moment and he will just have to lump it or figure it out for himself. I have a baby to bathe, a 3 year old scared little girl to bathe, a couch to clean, clothes to change and I think my toddler might be poopy.

Our saving grace today? The Baby Bjorn potty. I have two of them in addition to our traditional potty chair. These little babies are small enough to take with in a van trip or to tuck away in every room of the house. It is a one-piece ¬†potty, all rounded and smooth-like making it a breeze to clean and sanitize. I love this potty. And today I found it can also be used for the official “puke bowl”. I know this because it has been the thing I’ve grabbed in a pinch at least 5 times today and saved me from cleaning the floor, the bed, the couch (again), and our clothes.

I am having the first five minutes of peace right now as the baby is finally asleep and so is our precious sick girl. And she sleeps soundly with her new puke bucket tucked safely on her head…you know, just in case!