Friday, December 11, 2015

The Cricket in Times Square

Read Aloud for November:

We all really liked this one, a very fun easy read.

We took a field trip to an Asian food and gift store. We were not impressed, It smelled horribly like dead fish. It was literally so strong It made me want to leave. Here are a few quick pictures I took before we left.
 Canary loved the  the live fish, I do not think she minded the dead fish smell.
 Um, interesting find! No other comment on this tea!
This was not nearly as neat as we expected or as interesting as the shop in the story.

Robin remembered from watching Mulan how Crickets are good luck in China but we never knew the folktale behind it until it was explained in this book.

Super cute candy cane mice we made.

We listened to some of the music the cricket imitated at the newsstand. A Little Night Music by Mozart was a favorite.

We watched videos of a New York Subway train om Youtube.

Papa Bird sent us an image of an airport news stand while traveling to Australia. We discussed that there were news stands still around and that people will read them when commuting to and from places.

Commuting: A new vocab word for all

The kids wrote down foods they discussed in the book and we made a menu to have a special lunch.
This is Robin's list
The little boys made one too, but I could not find theirs for a picture.
If there is a movie based on the book we  for school we watch it when we were done and compare and contrast.

 This time we watched the new Annie movie instead. It is set in  modern day New York so I thought it may be a good movie to reinforce the setting of this novel.

During the movie Duck says to me,"I sure would love to be rich and famous!"
I respond;" Did Chester like it in the story we just read?"
  I do not want to give his answer away if you have not read the book but it was nice to bring to life a lesson  from the book we just read in the story.

Some of the foods we ate during the movie that were mentioned in the book. We had BLT's too but ate those too fast for a picture.

Some other books we read.

The Art project we did this month tying in a character from our story. I wanted the kids to make life- like mice but they had other ideas! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

And just like that it was winter.

Well, it is not winter officially yet but in my world I really consider the first snow that sticks, Winter!

 I walked outside at 9am to see this just outside my door, it is going to be a magical day!
 First time the ducks saw snow and they cared less they just waddled right to the pond. They were more  concerned with the water being partially frozen.

The chickens on the other hand did not like the snow. They ran right out of the coop and huddled under the awning  at the back of the barn.
 Sun shining through green leaves not quite ready to admit it is winter!
 Blissfully happy this afternoon taking care of the animals. It was so beautiful I walked out to the back of the forest with just the dog and no phone leaving the little birds inside the house wondering what took me so long outside.

Bright blue sky, warm sun, pure white snow. So enchanting. I must have stared up at the contrast of the bright blue sky and the glistening snow for 10 minutes.

Snow dog having fun, she was tracking coyote prints.

* These picture were taken with my son's $100 camera not my nice one and not edited in anyway that is how beautiful a day it was.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

So how do you poo? Do you sit or do you Squat?

You all have heard of the squatty potty right? Well, if you are a crunchy mama (these hippie folks who like to use all natural treatments of everything) you already know. But if you are a mainstream mama (most of society just following the heard and doing everything deemed 'normal') you may not know.

So I am here to enlighten you today  below is a WONDERFUL and hilarious clip. MUST WATCH

A family member has been using a stool to get  their legs up in a squatting position for as long as I can remember. I never knew why until 2 years ago when I was first introduced to the squatty potty on one of my crunchy/hippie forums. I have been using a stool since then, but now that I am  having kids with constipation issues I think it is time to invest in a squatty stool.

I have these on my amazon wish list, hopefully Santa sees this and can make my Christmas wish come true.

Check out this amazon review:
"I never thought I would ever review my morning constitutional but this product needs to be taken serious. I had seen an article many months ago about how we doody "wrong". I thought it was a bunch of bunk until one day I was walking and suddendly was in a very uncomfortable situation where I was nowhere near facilities, modern or otherwise, so that I might take care of the increasing pressure building up in my butt and at 62 years old I could not depend on the sphincter to not give out before I could get home, so I did what anyone would do and ducked into some dense bushes before I exploded and had a heavy load to cart home in my britches. In a matter of seconds the deed was done and I could not believe the size of the prize*....which got me to thinking more about the squatty potty. Before I purchased this product I would return to the Loo 3 or 4 times a day but now it gets done all in one squatting. I am a short person (4'9") and the 7" is a perfect size for me. In fact, a taller person could use a shorter one if they were made available. I gave the 9" to my son for his children to use and they have not had the problems with elimination that they were having before they had this great little stool. I recommend this for anyone who does not feel total relief after their daily doo.
*I did return to the scene of the incident and did the responsible thing by picking up what I left behind"

Now since we are on the topic of  pooping let's talk pee as well. When I was pregnant I came across THIS link my a favorite blogger of mine "mommypotapmus"  that says woman have week pelvic floor muscles  because in the U.S we do not squat when we pee.

So there I was wiggling and dancing as I painted the chicken coop all by my lonesome. I was drinking a lot of water because I was hot and working hard!!My mother in law was inside the house watching my sick cranky kids. I knew if I walked back to the house it could take 20 minutes just to pee because I will be bombarded with questions and have the sick clingy toddler who will not want me to go away. So I remember how good squatting to pee really is (Thanks  mommypotamus!) and I remembered that my good old friend Buffy told me not too long ago peeing around your coop can help keep predators at bay.( Double win!!!)

Side note: we have 6 missing birds right now and lots of feathers left behind ( my favorite green egg layer is gone too!)

So I pulled my pants down, ( no one can see anywhere on our land. Maybe I drank a lot of water or maybe it really was the squatting action that relaxed my muscles fully but I peed FOREVER!!! Two minutes later (give or take I wasn't counting) and I was back  to painting again. No lost time and .....maybe .....just maybe helped deter some predators away from my lovely hens.

                                             (The coop all primed on 4 sides by me!!!!)

Another win for the squatty potty.

More on pelvic health? Here is another great read. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy, content, warm...

"I am rich today with autumns gold" -Gladys Harp

It is that wonderful time of the year here in the Northern part on the US that  the trees turn beautiful shades if crimson, magenta, golden yellows, flaming orange and the leaves drift slowly to the ground. That sound of the wind tossing leaves from the trees, leaving theme swirling on the porch where they creep lazily into the house.
(Little Baby C's toes)

Crunch, crunch go the leaves under  my  feet!  Ahhhhhhhhh the wonderful smell of dead decaying leaves, it smells like fall! It really is a wonderful smell, it brings: warm sweaters, snuggles, bonfires, s'mores, football games and warm pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin, it really is my favorite. Anyway you spin it =  Delicious: pies, muffins, cookies, smoothies and if course who could forget the overpriced yuppie Starbucks  pumpkin. Spice Latte.  Try it breve with whipped cream, yum!

It is a cold fall night in the nest tonight. I still refuse to turn on the heat. I try and wait longer and longer each year trying to cut costs. I am  freezing tonight after eating a  slightly  warm bowl of chicken soup left on the stove from dinner 3 hours ago  and drinking a cup of mostly hot peppermint tea that I forgot I made myself. I just could not warm up. So I jumped in the shower to let steamy ribbons of  mineral rich  well water warm my body. I finally emerged and dressed in fuzzy pink pants, an old grey sweatshirt, my blue knit hat and wool socks I am finally laying in bed...... toasty  warm.  Nestled in my cozy cream flannel sheets, a pink and white shabby chic quilt and a brown/gold/red comforter on top.

Some of my little birds are sick tonight with fever and headaches. Fall brings viruses too!

I lay here ...... happy, content, warm!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Getting into the school swing

I homeschool my children, which means for me constant change. Every year sometimes even multiple times a year I change up what I am doing and how I am doing it. If a certain textbook is not working I find something new. If a certain way  of teaching is not working I find a new way. Each one of my children is so very different from the rest. That means constant change. what works for one may not work for all of them.

That means lots of work on my part. I do not just buy a box curriculum and follow along daily nor do I use an online school. I write my own lessons, come up with my own ideas and that means lots of work and change. I spend countless hours searching pinterest, my favorite art blogs and the library for just the right things I am looking for.

Why? because my kids are worth it. When they remember things is great detail from years before I know I am doing it right.

This year is the first year we have taken a pretty long break.When I added baby #5 to the mix and bought a farm at an auction spur of the moment it really set me back. Baby Canary is now almost 18 months and we have lived at the new farm for about 7 months. We usually school year round but I found that impossible to do when the house was in boxes and we were still working on getting the old house ready as well as getting the new house livable. So much went wrong at first: We ripped all the heating out and found our new heating was not working, we had to dig a new well, so many things went wrong the list is soooo long.

I am still unpacking we are STILL remodeling, painting and shufflings things from room to room, we still do not even use every room in the house yet because they are not ready - baby steps we are moving forward.

My homeschooling stuff is finally ALL unpacked and sorted through well mostly so now I am excited about teaching the kids because I will be able to actually find what I need.

Back to schooling- back to lesson plans -learning is fun!

When are we starting school? Not sure, I hope to be ready next week *if all goes as planned*

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hot July!

"Hot July brings stormy showers
Lemonade and Lazy hours" ( not so much the lazy hours here!)

Well it brings lots of rain, we have had a record amount of rain this year. I feel like I am in the rainforest.

I do love the rain and big windy storms!

Now that the ticks are dying down the mosquitoes are CRAZY, TERRIBLE this year, we almost cannot go outside it is so bad.

Yummy Blueberry mint Lemonade (fresh squeezed of course)

Homemade Popsicles- the only way to eat them and know they have wholesome ingredients. Mostly they have been yogurt and fruit, next week I am making carrot, beet, strawberry and apple-kale popsicles.

First real swim in the pond this year, it has been too cold or rainy

Canary loved watching everyone else play but did not want to go in today.

Canary chasing chickens.

Trying to feed the dog pine chips.

Now trying the chickens.

The babies in their not quite finished home. They will be trapped in there for 48 hours so they get acclimated to their new home and want to go there at night to roost instead of the crammed brooder in the barn.

Hmmmmm, both eggs from my chickens they all free range the same 15 acres and have access to the same feed. One seems to be a much better forger than the other.

When boredom strikes build your own slide from debris on the farm.

Papabird off to TSC

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Here and now

 My new motto- good reminder - everyday
 Words from Robin "Can we tie dye everything and live like hippies?" "Uh ya, Robin we kind  of do!"
 Rainbow Tie dye for our Girl Scout Zoo overnight.
 Nature find by Owl.
My favorite place to be.
 The start of my garden, unfortunately it is all DEAD now. I think I planted in a bad spot I need to  get my soil tested.
 Read aloud outside in the hammock

Project on canvas the littles did last year, finally up on the wall. Each child did their own quarter of the sun with provided paints and scrap book paper. They had some rules but each expressed their own individuality in each section. This will be the focal point on the kitchen wall that I am doing a college gallery on.

Example of a a bright fun gallery wall.