Thursday, August 30, 2012


We've started a little study of ecosystems this week.  The boys were so excited to do this project.  I really hope it lasts awhile.   In the bottom half of our ecosystem we have a guppy, snail and a water plant.  For the top, the boys went out and found some earthworms, crickets, and a few other bugs.  They also threw some dead leaves and a stick onto the dirt.   

Here are a few pictures...we'll hopefully have more to say about this later :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fishin' and Farms

Over the weekend, we drove down to Decatur to visit Chad's mamaw.   Chad's dad's family drove up there from Atlanta and we hung out for the day.  There's always some fishing in her her little lake and LOTS of good southern food!  

I just have to mention that I was the only person to catch a fish that day. :)

Today we were invited to go on a field trip with a friend's co-op.  We went to the McBee's Dairy Farm.  It was so fun!   The kids got to see and pet pigs, calves, and goats.  THey even got to milk a goat!  

It's funny as I think about my experiences growing up and how different they are from what my kids are experiencing.  Growing up in southwest Florida, my field trips were to places like the beach, the Shell factory, or canoeing down a river full of gators.    We'd go to the beach and collect sea urchins, anemones, crabs, sea horses, etc and put them in a big aquarium in our classroom.  I loved our canoeing trips.   There was nothing like your boat getting stuck on the bottom of the river and you have to get out and push it for a ways while a gator is just feet from you....finding shark teeth in the river, etc.  I have to say, though, that I LOVE Tennessee.  I'm so thankful my kids get to live here.  It's such a beautiful place.  

Poor Chad never actually gets to fish much these days.  He is usually putting on new bait, getting a line unstuck, or something like that.  

Since Chad's dad can't make it to Christy's upcoming 7th birthday party, we celebrated with him.  It was so touching.  This is the first time anyone has ever celebrated Christy's birthday.  That's hard to even imagine!  She was beaming.  I can't wait for her party!

These calves' faces were cracking me up!

At the end of our tour we got homemade ice cream made with the raw milk from this farm.  It was SO good!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Birds, snakes, and more birds!

We are down to 8 hens right now.   Several have just disappeared over the last 6 months.   We could easily eat a dozen eggs a day, so we needed some more chickens!  We had gotten some a couple of months ago, but, a raccoon kept getting them.  So, Chad built this little house for them.   He's really good at finding scraps around our house so he made this for next to nothing.  It's really sturdy, so hopefully nothing will be able to get in this time.

I found a lady that had some neat breeds for sale and she lives right near a mennonite community.  So, we headed down last weekend and got 15 chicks.  The kids were intrigued by the mennonites.  They loved watching the people riding in horse and buggies.  

3 of the chicks have already died.  One was dead the morning after we got them.   I'm not sure what's happening.  They all seem fine and it happens pretty suddenly.  

She had one Delaware hen that is a few months old so I bought her.  We named her Lila.  She is the sweetest chicken I've ever been around.  She hung out right by Chad's side all day.  WHen he got up, she followed him.  She tries to come in the house with us.  She doesn't even flinch when we pick her up...she loves to be held. 

Chad found this guy under our house :(

And was so exciting!   Ethan came in and said that there was a bird imitating our chickens and following them around.  I went out to see and it was this guy.   He couldn't fly.  I could be wrong, but, it looked like he still had some baby feathers and just wasnt' ready to fly.   It would stand right by the kids and let them touch him.  Our hens started picking on him and there are a lot of cats around here, so we decided to put him in a cage until he could fly.  The kids had a blast feeding him.  We found out that he is a Brown Thrasher. 

After a few hours he started trying to fly and eventually flew off.  Pretty cool! :)

Then, I tried to imitate some artsy people I know :)...and had the kids make their names out of things they found around the house.   Then we all made a picture together....a tree, cabin, and grape vine on a hill.  

Just some pics of our cute little chicks.   I think this top hat is hilarious. 

Sharpening Pencils

Is it just me?   I sit down to sharpen our new box of pencils.  One after the other....they sharpen and then the lead falls out!  What am I doing wrong?   Is it the pencils?  The sharpener?   Me?   Agh!   I always seem to have this problem so I bought brand new pencils...still!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

School Pics

We started school yesterday.  I was not really ready, but, didn't feel like I'd ever be ready so  I figured it was as good a time as any.  We're going to kind of ease into things.   We just starting with the very basics right now.   I've had to let go of all of my expectations and just go with the flow.  

I am totally thrown off by Moses!  He's SO busy right now.  He is constantly into everything...he's 2.   But, I did think he'd be easier to entertain than he is.   He's used to be right in there with the big kids so he wants to sit at the school table with us.   That's fine...I let him color, play with play dough, etc.  But, he gets so destructive and distracting.  So...still trying to figure that out.

One reason I'm thankful for homeschooling is that we don't have to put a label on the kids.  We're trying to not focus so much on what grade we're in this year.   I am worried that Christy is going to feel really behind.  She is already noticing that she can't do stuff that the boys can do and she knows she is supposedly older than Luke.    I know it's in God's hands and she'll be fine.

Christy didn't really have any schooling before coming here, so we're starting with the basics...learning the ABC's , numbers, colors, shapes, etc.  That's been hard for me to.  I know that sounds awful...but, I never really had to just sit down and teach those to Ethan or Luke...we just learned them through the years.  English is her second language so retaining the info is not really happening right now.  But, the important thing is she LOVES school and learning, so I just want to keep it that way.

Ethan is  really is a good helper...he will take Moses and read to him, do puzzles, etc.  He is such a bookworm. He blows me away.  He read tonight for 2 straight hours before going to sleep.    I have to keep our bookshelves stocked with good books because he will just go pull something out and read it at anytime.

Luke is such a funny kid.   He's really stubborn which has been a little bit of a challenge with school...that's actually when it comes into play the most.   But, he's really picking up on things quickly. I think he's going to be good with numbers like his daddy.

No, he isn't really reading this, but, yes, it was his idea to act like he was. :)

This is Moses doing the Facebook fish lips pic. :)