Our chicks

About five weeks ago we brought three baby chicks home. I affectionately call them ‘the babies’. We already have 6 free ranging chicken in our yard so they will soon have more friends to be with as soon as they are big enough to go outside.

This is the day we brought them home.

The yellow one is a salmon favorelle, the gray one is a blue chochin, and the black one is unknown. We are starting to suspect she’s a copper marran. Time will tell!

Getting some outside time while we clean their cage.

They were running out of space in the guinea pig cage we initially had them in. I’d been stressing about what to put them in when a very large box arrived yesterday with guinea pig supplies. I suddenly realized it would be perfect for the babies! Here is our new set up.

I think it’s spacious enough until they have enough feathers to sleep outside. They spend a bit of time outside every day unless it’s cold and wet. I’m looking forward to seeing them becomes friends with the older hens.

What a WEEK

I think I’m feeling the rumblings of summer and the changing of the seasons. I am ready for a BREAK. Ideally, I’d just press pause and take a long out breath. But, life keeps moving.

Every day, I’ve felt like my feet have hit the ground running, from the time I’ve woken up.

We had to bury a hummingbird that flew into our window and broke its neck. (On Mother’s Day, no less).

My glasses broke. I have a backup pair until my new ones arrive. I was ready for something new, anyhow.

My baby has decided that 5:30 am is the best time to wake up and greet the new day. We’ve even had two days this week when he’s woken in the middle of the night to start happily babbling and talking.

I’m wrapping up 2nd grade. We have one more week of lessons for him. And I’m really digging into planning our next year.

On days like these, when I feel like the tasks ahead of me are never ending and overwhelming, I remember a saying from the Tao Te Ching that I learned about from Dr Wayne Dyer. (I was lucky enough to get to attend his talk in person just months before he passed on from this life.)

I’m paraphrasing here: “I do nothing and nothing goes undone.”

This brings me a calm that I can’t even describe. For me, that means I don’t sit and DO nothing, literally. But that I am being swept along this river of life and everything that needs doing will be done, I need only to do what my task at hand is, in this moment.

It’s May!

Some of our photos from the last few days. We are celebrating May Day tomorrow by going to a nature area park tomorrow for a picnic.

Flowers from our yard:

On our morning walk:

Some of our sweet hens:

Big and little kid wearing:

I don’t know who is to credit for this meme, but this is one of my favorites:

Homeschool photos

Monday morning we clean our school/playroom. Here is before and after.

Some 2nd grade work from the last two days.

Some 8th grade work. We started a short block on Russia geography and culture (brief history as well).

It wasn’t our baking day, but we were out of bread, so bread baking happened. It got a bit dark on top but still wonderful.

I managed to get a strength training workout in and couldn’t help snapping a picture of our bunny when i finished.

I plan on doing a whole post on this, but I’m working my way though my Planning for Peace journal. I’m charting my actual rhythm this week. (Something I’ve done multiple times over the years and I highly recommend!)

Sunday musings

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My husband sent this to me the other day because he thought of me. It’s funny because I had seen it just the day before and thought, ‘Yep, that’ll be me!’

We’ve been using only wood to heat our home this past two weeks (due to some repairs we need to make under our home.)  I’ve never chopped wood before in my life, but it has become an almost daily ritual now. I love it. I mean, I really love it. It feels satisfying to physically use all my strength to split the wood, and gives me some empty space to clear my mind and relax. I especially love chopping in the rain.

There never seems to be enough hours in the day. Or days in a week. Weekends aren’t really days off for me at all. I’m convinced I work harder and have less down time than the weekdays. I always look forward to Mondays. It is a fresh start to a new week. A new beginning. This week we have to trek an hour to take two kids to the dentist. Not looking forward to that. Exhausting. But, it’ll be behind us in a few days and we’ll survive.

Spring is starting to really feel near. I love the rain so much, and I’m not looking forward to the hot, hot, hot summer. But, I’m excited to watch the seasons turn once again. Oh, and I’m so happy for the time to change in a few weeks.  Who else has been waiting, counting the months, for the clocks to spring forward? I have a three year old who never got the memo back in October (or whatever it was) that the time was turned back an hour. So, she wakes every morning at 6am, no matter what her bedtime. Seven am wake ups will be wonderous! I’m an early riser, in order to have some quiet alone time, and while I don’t mind waking at 4am, so I can get two hours to myself every morning, 5am will be much easier to accomplish.

And speaking of spring, our dear chickens can feel it coming too. We adopted our chickens back in August, and they were still babies. Three days ago was the first time ever that all four laid! I don’t even eat eggs, but it still made me excited. The first one to lay out of all of them was Rose, our speckled Sussex. But she was also the one who stopped laying for a few months this winter.  But, then I found this! So beautiful, aren’t they? The colors and shapes are all unique.

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For those who are love chickens and want to know, we have a Maran (Artemis), an Americauna (Ella), a buff Orpington (Peaches), and our Speckled Sussex (Rose). They are the best pets I’ve ever had. I love them dearly. They are easy to take care of, super low maintenance, so entertaining to watch, and they coop themselves up at night. They are most definitely pets, and they’ll live out their lives with us, even if they stop laying one day. P. loves to pick them up, it’s adorable. If I can figure out my feelings about posting pictures of my kids on the blog, I might share a picture of it.

Our chickens are super tame, they love coming into our house when we aren’t looking. Rose makes a B-line for the cat food, though. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to chase her away from that if someone has left the door open. It is hilarious because the other three sort of mill around, looking for crumbs here and ther, but Rose wastes no time and goes tight to the cat food. I always shout, ‘No, you are eating yourselves!’ This is the chicken that had a really hard time figuring out where to lay her first egg last year. She wandered into the play room (which has a door to outside) and nestled onto a heap of play silks. I showed her out. Later,  I was cooking in the kitchen and heard a scraping in the laundry room. Open the door and see the chicken IN our empty washer, trying to see if that’s a good place to lay. (As you can guess, my children often leave the doors open. In the summer, it is hard to keep the doors closed!)

My husband, I think, feels like we have a zoo of animals. Three cats, three Guinea pigs, and four chicken.  It doesn’t feel like too much, most of the time. Keeping the three bathrooms clean (or even sort of decent) is way more work than the animals. Go figure!

 

Homeschool – week 9

This week we started a 4 week math block. We do math daily the whole school year, but during out math blocks, we really focus on it and introduce more new stuff, or have fun with geometric drawing, etc.

Tuesday being my birthday, I. apparently felt it was a holiday and refused to do much of anything, but we got lots of math done on Wednesday and Thursday. He also discovered that he really likes percentages. In Waldorf, 6th grade includes business math, so there will much more percentages in the coming weeks. He’s getting closer to his model mosque being finished, it just needs painting.

P. And H. spent the week playing (their work). We are planning some outings in the morning tomorrow followed by watercoloring, including some color stories.

The week really just sped by, and so did each day. I am facing such a huge learning curve still on this homemaking thing, coupled with really grappling with how to best guide my oldest, day to day. It can feel so tough. I had a few mommy meltdowns this week, which I haven’t had in a while. Emotions have been really intense for me this week.

Tonight when meditating on our week, I had some sudden realizations about I. specifically. We need to get back to working on will-building activities. To being with, I’m going to start spending 30 minutes sitting with I. while he does a hand sewing project (and I’ll work on some other handwork). When we’ve done handwork like this in the past, I’ve noticed such a huge change in him, yet somehow it has fallen by the wayside in our busy days. Time to make it a priority. I will also get back to writing for I. a weekly/daily to-do list. He does so much better having it written out, rather than me telling him orally what needs to happen. This isn’t a chore list, but encompasses everything. Homeschool work, hygiene (shower, teeth), music practice, Guinea pig duties, etc. Since Christmas I haven’t really done this, and I think it’s time to get back to it.

I know how easy it is to read about other people’s lives and envision that they have it all together, or that their life seems to flow so easily, etc. Well, maybe not everyone does that, but I do.  Which is one reason I really limit my time on places like Pinterest, other blogs, and even social media. On the flip side, as someone writing a blog, I know how easy it is to portray my life through rose colored glasses. For one thing, it feel satisfying to recount the ‘good’ stuff, and additionally, it can be really hard to admit the ‘hard’ stuff, especially when it involves myself and my parenting mishaps. I also know how validating and supportive it feels to hear that other people struggle with x,y, z just like I do! Also, just like I tell my husband sometimes, I’m not looking for advice or to be reminded to appreciate these days of chaos. I’m just sharing to be heard. Because I’m home a whole lot with no other adults around. In fact, I can go days without speaking to anyone except my kids and husband. So, what I’m getting at here, I suppose, is simply that I am doing my best to share the uplifting stuff, but also the real stuff. I’m embracing it all.

On that note, how about a picture (or three)? This is what happens if we leave our back door open at all. Four chickens who want to be house pets.  You can’t see them well, but in the first picture, two of our (black) cats are sitting there, watching them. imageimageimage

It’s a whole new world

I’ve been vaguely aware of the existence of 4H for probably 5 or 6 years, but I didn’t really grasp what it was until recently. And, today, after our first real show, I’m still a little dazed. It does indeed feel like a whole new world that we’ve entered.

R is showing cavies ( I didn’t even know that word in English until a few months ago!), aka guinea pigs. He owns two piggies at the moment, and wants to buy more. That will have to wait until we can get them a larger cage. Today was his first time showing, so he was in the novice group. The entire event was huge today, so many people!! And each group had so many kids in it. When I saw how big his novice group was(10 or 11 kids) I was worried that he may not get champion, which was what he wanted. But, he did! He got reserve champion (second place). He was thrilled! He said he’d never felt prouder in his life!

After having spent the whole day there (we left our house at 7:30 and didn’t get home until 3:30), I feel initiated into this foreign 4H world. I’m not a loud-noise-crowded-areas person. So, that is difficult. But, I’ll learn to deal with it, and get down a routine for the shows. (Important to remember: bring more snacks than I think the kids will eat!). I had good company today, as we had three other families in our group and our lovely 4H group leader with us. That sure made the day more enjoyable. It was amazing to see so many rabbits and chickens. Some of the bantam chickens are so tiny, it is incredible!

R cannot wait until the next show. So, I think we are in it for the long run. It is exciting to see him growing and unfolding as he nears his teen years. So much love for that person.