Monday, June 06, 2011

Moving ... Again ...

We're moving again ... blog wise, that is ...

We moved to the new farm and are busy with LIVING LIFE on the farm ... so, rather than posting here, we will be posting about our adventures and so much more on our Two By Two Farm blog ...

 ... school, Cherubs, life, farm, gardens, critters, adventures ...

Please join us there from now on.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Busy ... Busy ... Busy

It's been a while ... a long while ... a BUSY while.

We fenced ... we packed ... we hauled ... we moved ... and then began the process of getting settled.  We're not "settled" completely (yes, there are still piles in a few places) because we've been busy mowing and trimming and taming the beautiful land here, and have been enjoying the springtime.

We have planned two vegetable gardens this year.  The first is close to the house and is 20x62.  We planted it this weekend -- yellow squash, zucchini, a few green beans, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces, spinach, eggplant, and a few herbs.  The second garden is down the driveway a bit and is quite a bit larger at 130 x 70.  It will have more squash (yellow, zucchini, butternut, spaghetti, scallop, and a few others), more green beans, lots of sweet corn, two types of watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.  Cherub 3 also found pumpkin seeds and wanted to give them a try ... small pumpkins and then a package of mammoth pumpkins that claims it'll produce a 200+ pound fruit.  (I am not exactly sure what we're going to DO with a 200+ pound pumpkin though ... ha !)

In the middle of it all, the boys have been busy with Scouts (meetings, outings, planning), and the girls have been busy horse'n around (lessons, riding working our horses, and Cherub 2's volunteering at an equestrian therapy center).  The bigger boys had a great time camping (Spring Camporee), Cherub 6 has been training (boxing) and has had a few matches, and the girls attended a great Trail Clinic and their first Horse Show (4H).

Needless to say, we've been in a bit of a whirlwind.

So -- what's up next ?

There's lots left to do around here, outside.  We're hoping to add chickens to the farm (peeps !) in the next few weeks, and some guineas (oh my - there are wayyyy too many ticks here !!), and also perhaps a few beef cows (maybe this year, or maybe next) .... and who knows what else.  So, the next big "farm" project here is building structures ... a chicken house, and a small shelter for our horses .... and putting up more fences.  Do you have any "around the home place" projects this summer ?

And inside, we have decided that this year we are going to be working on school through the summer, although on a more flexible schedule to allow for plenty of summer fun.  We're starting Monday morning, bright and early.  We have some things we need to finish up, and some lessons that we didn't have time for earlier in the year that we want to work on ... and some of the Cherubs have skills that could use a bit more polishing and/or a bit more effort.  Does your family keep a traditional school schedule with summers off, or do you work on your own schedule ?  What are your family's plans academically this summer, or are summers "just for fun" ?

We have a busy day ahead of us ....

::::::::::: stay tuned :::::::::::

CM Blog Carnival

" ... pull up a chair with a cup of tea and enjoy the latest edition of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival, Habit Training! If not today, make sure to bookmark the page; it's been posted here. If you like me, weren't able to get your submission in this time around, but would still like to follow along, please join in by leaving comments on the various posts!  And in case you're wondering, the reading suggestions for this latest edition were as follows:
Habit Training
'Sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; a character, reap a destiny.'

In two weeks from today we'll be looking at Narration. So, if you'd like to join in with a blog post of your own, please do!! and feel free to submit your post anytime between now and 5pm May 30th, at this link.

The suggested readings (optional) for the upcoming carnival:



Saturday, April 02, 2011

Busy ....

Well, we've taken a bit of a detour from school in the traditional sense this week and last.  We've put away the books and have been working on LIFE SKILLS ... fencing, pasture preparations, mowing, budgeting, packing ... running the "house" and keeping things like meals and laundry going while work is happening at the other house ... because we're in the middle of moving to our new farm.

Actually, we finally finished the fencing (needed to replace the fence on the whole pasture) which was a HUGEEEEE project ... and now that the pasture is nearly complete, we'll start moving household contents.

Check out our Farm Journal for our progress and our adventures ....

Once we're moved, lock stock and barrel (and equine), we'll break out the books and lesson plans again and work on wrapping up our "formal" 2010-2011 school year ... which is usually anything BUT formal ... but you probably know what I mean ...

By then, it'll be time for summer fun, and planning next year's academic adventures, which will NOT include moving.  :o)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

CM Blog Carnival

The newest edition of the
has been posted.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Reminder: The Great Backyard Bird Count

is this weekend.  Be sure to get your list printed,
and spend some time this weekend
counting feathered friends.
Then submit your data -- and prepare to be amazed.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Big Changes

We have been looking at property for soooo longggg  .... we found perfect land but imperfect homes ... just the right home but the land wasn't right .... would we try to build or find something already built .... ready-to-go or in need of renovations.  The list went on and on ....

And then, we found IT ... the perfect farm ... 30 gorgeous acres and a lovely log home ... there's plenty of room for our family ... and lots of room for our animals, and their friends (it seems every animal we have comes with a friend - ha !) ... room for Dumma (my mother) to build her home in a few years after she retires ... and even room for the Cherubs to build their homes someday should they choose to.

The property has lovely land for pasture for our horses, and plenty of room for riding too.  For now we are going to give our chickens to a dear friend, and once we build a new chicken house, we'll order a batch of new peeps.  We're hoping to add some peacocks to our flock then, and also some guinea hens too.  And there's mention of trying to raise our own beef -- but this is still in the research phase.

Gardens .... fruit trees .... oh the plans we have.

The farm is very private (almost 1/2 mil of driveway alone), yet it's less than 3 miles from the center of a cute little town ... and 20 minutes from a much bigger town (it might even be a city ?).  It's located on the "other side" of the mountain that has been such a road block in seeing many dear friends ... so we're looking forward to seeing them more often too.  And it's only a 7 minute drive from a gorgeous lake where the boat and jetskis can be used A LOT -- and that lake has an adorable marina where we can store the "water toys".

We're very excited.  Did I mention that ?  VERY excited.

So, between now and moving day, we're going to be doing a lot of downsizing and a lot of de-cluttering .... getting ready to pack up and move.  And we're hoping to keep things organized ...

We're also focusing a lot of intense attention on our school work, in hopes that we can take a break for moving without setting ourselves behind too much, and without having to work through the bulk of the summer (but that's a possibility we're open to if it's necessary).

And until then, we're going to try to contain our excitement ... nahhhh ... we're getting more and more excited every day, as things fall into place.

We are naming our farm TWO BY TWO FARM ... and will be journaling our "adventures" on a new blog by the same name.


Sunday, January 02, 2011

December Highlights

Cherub 6 -- Aspiring boxer.
Surprise visit from the Watson Men.
December 13th snow.
Christmas Eve horseback riding.
Dumma and the Polar Bears (Bella & Maggie) ...
waiting for Santa Claus ...
And the best gift of all, on Christmas morning ...
... eight beautiful inches of fluffy white
Christmas snow ...
We hope you had a very Merry Christmas,
and a Happy New Year too.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Taking A Break

... because real-life is hectic just now ...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Prayer

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Lord, behold our family here assembled. We thank Thee for this place in which we dwell; for the love that unites us; for the peace accorded us this day; for the hope which we expect the morrow; for the health, the work, the food, and the bright skies that make our lives delightful; for our friends in all parts of the earth, and our friendly helpers in this foreign isle.

Let peace abound in our small company. Purge out of every heart the lurking grudge. Give us grace and strength to forbear and to persevere. Offenders ourselves, give us the grace to accept and to forgive offenders. Forgetful ourselves, help us to bear cheerfully the forgetfulness of others.

Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind. Spare to us our friends; soften to us our enemies. Bless us, if it may be, in all our innocent endeavors. If it may not, give us the strength to encounter that which is to come, that we be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath, and in all changes of fortune, and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving one to another.

As the clay to the potter, as the windmill to the wind, as children of their sires, we beseech of Thee this help and mercy for Christ's sake. Amen.

By:  Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

One Thousand Gifts: Multitude Monday

681.  Gracious and knowledgeable paramedics.
682.  The University hospital.
683.  A wonderful med-student-resident in the ER.
684.  Modern medical technology showing the damage.
685.  Less damage than “last time”.
686.  Swallowing improving to about 75% of normal.
687.  Speech clearing slowly but surely.
688.  Eyes beginning to work together.
689.  Cherubs flying solo … working together.
690.  Dear friend L.E. sitting in the hospital, wrapping us in prayer and love.
691.  Thoughtful loving friends bringing meals and fun to the Cherubs.
692.  Tipping to the right side – but able to walk again.
693.  Leaves blowing in the wind.
694.  Gentle rains …
695.  God’s protection … the clots didn’t do massive damage …
696.  A flood of tears one morning … a cell number … a new beginning.
697.  Waking with a purpose … a direction …
698.  The courage to go there … butterflies in our tummies, not knowing … but trusting in Him.
699.  A gentle prod from a dear friend to go on … to speak … to take that last HUGE step …
700.  Healing tears … washing away bitterness and guilt … a flood.
701.  Hugs from dearly missed friends …
702.  Love given in spite of ourselves … and renewed.
703.  Eggs from the barn … warm toast with jam …
704.  Raking and blowing leaves with Cherubs – hard work keeps stress in check.
705.  Dust on his walker – he’s not needing to use it as much as before as his walking improves.
706.  Lighted candles at dinnertime.
707.  Freezer full of farm-raised beef.
708.  Daddy hugs … courageous Cherubs … hope.
709.  Movie night … as a family.
710.  A wonderful family doctor, who knows us, and truly cares.
711.  A new plan … for studying His Word … and a renewed commitment … as a family.
712.  Courage to trust that He will guide us … courage that’s been lacking lately …
713.  He continued to call to us, even as we went our own ways for a while … His love for us never left … never 
714.  Autumn breezes.
715.   Sled hill freshly mowed; anticipation of fun winter days coming.

To learn more, or to participate in One Thousand Gifts: Multitude Monday, visit Ann Voskamp's Holy Experience.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Update On DadToCherubs

Well, he's making progress. 

His swallowing is improving bit by bit, and his walking is a bit better day by day (although he still uses the walker a bit, esp outside and away from home). His speech is definitely clearer, but it's still a bit slurred and becomes more slurred as he gets tired. And thanks to a great doctors appt yesterday, I think he got the first decent night's sleep he's had since the strokes on 11/4. 

Now we just need physical therapy to start.  We've given up on getting speech therapy and occupational therapy in addition to PT (all ordered to be done "at home" by the hospital when he was discharged) -- apparently he "lost" those when he physically went to the doctors because his meds weren't working well and because his clotting factor was reallllllyyyyy high.   All I can figure is that our insurance company feels it can take better care of him from afar than his family doctor --- and that's why they want to manage his care ?!?!  Ugggggg.

THANKS FOR PRAYING !!  DadToCherubs is on the mend.  Our God is AWESOME.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Update on DadToCherubs

Good morning.

I just wanted to let you know that DadToCherubs was discharged to home from UT on Tuesday, after having strokes on Thursday night.

He is learning to walk again with the help of a walker, and is working through some speech-vision-hearing and a few other motor issues including continued swallowing-issues.  But all in all, it could have been sooo much worse. 

Home nursing and home physical therapy should begin in a day or so … and of course DadToCherubs’s determination to get better will help, at least as long as he doesn’t push too hard.  HA !

I have to say that it was truly wonderful to sit at the dining room table last night for dinner together, again … being one of those token-few families that eats together at the table every night.  After all of the excitement, the discharge process at the hospital, the drive home from UT, the longgggg walk into the house from the car ... and just the “homecoming” … well, it was  exhausting for DadToCherubs … he slept most of the night through (and is still asleep at 930am).

The children are thrilled to be able to see him with their own eyes  … it’s quite a scary process, a sick parent, to go through for a child … esp because our 3 older children well-remember last time.  They all pitched in and worked together as a team this past week while Kevin was in the hospital … we are both so proud of them !!

Thank you so much, everyone, for your thoughts, prayers, kind words, and help. 
Thank you L.E. and family for being there for us … again.   
Thank you for the delicious meals, B family, E family, and M family.
Thank you J.B. for standing beside DadToCherubs yesterday, just in case, as he walked that longggg path he chose into the house … that “safe” feeling meant so much to us.
Thank you McK family for taking the girls to 4H … and to the B family for offering to take the boys to Scouts.
Thank you R.G. for being out back-up plan for horses, and for A.B. for coming to assist Cherub 2 with horse-chores.

We have quite a challenge before us as DadToCherubs makes progress and begins to heal …. But we know that God has this all under control.
He has truly blessed us beyond measure … and we stand in Awe …

Please continue to pray … for healing, for recovery, for strength, for PATIENCE, for guidance …

We’ll keep you posted.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Urgent Prayers Please

DadToCherubs has had another stroke (Thursday night).  

Right now, he is stable at the University Hospital on their neuro/stroke floor … with confirmed small strokes in cerebellum, and a multiple TIAs suspected in brain stem.  Overall he’s doing pretty well, considering … we’re just watching and waiting to see what issues resolve, and which we have to work on … and he’s on monitors while we wait/hope/pray that he’s not going to have a bigger stroke before the heparin can thin his blood / any potential clots elsewhere.

It has been roughly 5 years since his last strokes, and the docs had hoped it was all under control.  However .... 

Please pray for him ... for the docs and nurses and therapists who are treating him ...

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Artist Study

Autumn Leaves
Artist: John Everett Millais