Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017


Every year I am alive is a good year. I have 61 years left on this earth I will live a healthy 100 years!!

I am having a hard time reflecting back on this year not because it was sad. It was good, great even. 2017 brought on lots of joy, change, success, and failures. The truth is I am very much looking forward to a fresh new year.

2016 was amazing and 2017 will be even  better.

In 2017 I will turn 39
My oldest will turn 17
My youngest will turn 3
I will be celebrating 19 years with Papabird
And my Dad will turn 66

Time flies so fast, every second matters.

My Resolution this year is to make life magical: there is wonder and joy all around us we just need to be open to all the amazing wonders of the world.




"Being Spiritual means:
Whispering to the trees,
Laughing with the flowers,
falling in love with sunsets,
consulting with the waters,
and worshipping the stars at night.
One  hand to her heart 
and one hand touching mother earth....."

Monday, December 26, 2016

The River of Change

"When the  river of change flows  into  your life  it  can  be very  frightening,  It  can bring  up all our resistance and fear of the unknown."

Change is important, stagnant water is not healthy


Success...

I started my homeschool journey 12 years ago. I never intended to homeschool. I never even knew a single person who homeschooled but that is just where my journey led me. There were many set backs and the journey was hard but by the time I was 3 years in I new my goal would be to get my first born in college by 14.

At age 14 my son who never knew another teacher besides me started full time at the University near our city.21,000  students wandering the campus and my 14 year old was one of them, it was a terrifying and proud moment.

My son is thriving, he is 16 now, sophomore in college with a 3.8 GPA and working part time.


Drowning....


2 years ago we won  an outdated 1970's house on 15 acres  during a house  auction. It  all happened so fast we were not ready to move nor did we think it would be sold for under 300k. 30 days from the moment we raised our  auction card number that won our house and we were scrambling to make it livable enough to move in and get our other house ready to rent. We would not be able to float two  mortgages for too long.Neither house was ready to move in or out.

We have been on an incredible journey for 2 years trying to juggle work on the house, work on the land, the out buildings, the farm animals, homeschooling, maintaining the office building we own and running a company. Setbacks came and went and everything takes 3x longer than we expected 

I have too many things to juggle and I realize  that I am  only giving a small percent of my time to each one  just scratching the surface ...........not getting anywhere..... treading water in rough seas.


Solution...


I found a school that is project based and most like homeschooling than any other school I have seen, I spent the day there observing while my kids participated.. I realized that day  that my half ass version of homeschooling was about what this school does. No one is getting to college early that way. So I decided that if I enrolled them they would at least be getting the amount of education that I have been giving them for the last 2 years while freeing up more time for me to get things done at the house/farm. I can catch them up and get them ready for college later if that is the journey we decide on.

They are enrolled and start Jan.4. these were very hard papers to sign, again I felt like I was signing FAILURE on the documents.I failed them.

Papabird has been  trying to convince me to use a weekly house cleaning service: I have been resistant. So for Christmas he bought me a year of weekly service forcing me to use it. This was a hard gift to accept because it felt like I was receiving the gift of FAILURE.


.


 


Moving on....
Sailing down my river. Maybe this school will be temporary, maybe it will be permanent. When I started homeschooling I only planned too do it for one year I did it for 12!

I am a strong believer in the journey and that people, things and situations come into your life for a reason. For now I am asking my children and myself to give it a try for the rest of the year. then in June we will re evaluate and see where to go from there.



Monday, November 14, 2016

Destination: Puerto Rico

My first trip with no kids.

Destination: Puerto Rico 2 flights 6.5 hours

View from the plane as we were landing. I was separated from Papabird on both flights the second flight  we were supposed to sit together but he got bumped to first class but then gave the seat to me because I never sat in first class before. It was nice I sure would like to fly first class every time.

I was giddy the moment I saw the ocean literal giggles in my head of excitement and a goofy smile from ear to ear. Just as exciting to me as my 8 year old self waking up to the glittering Christmas tree with gifts from Santa. Magical.

There is just something about the ocean especially tropical waters that  envelopes me in utter peace and washes all my worries away. I feel home!
View from the living room in the house
We stayed in old San Juan the first day. A gorgeous  500 year old house it had so much history and character a bit run down though, it could have used some  updates.
They had cats everywhere- I later found out it was because of the Save A Gato program 



Old San Jaun was beautiful, I love the bright color buildings. It looked like all the books I read in college when I studied Latin American culture.

We traveled to the other side of the island to stay at resort where my husband had his important work thing

As soon as we were checked in Papabird had a meeting so I headed to the ferry that takes people over to the private island.

This was a 15 minutes walk through multiple buildings to get to the tram that takes you down the cliff to sea level. We stayed in the farthest building from the tram on the very top floor ( Papa bird knows I like the top floor anywhere) We had the best view from our balcony than any other building.I yearned to get my toes into the warm tropical sea water. I had yet been able to do so.We could see the water and hear the ocean from the house in San Jaun but we were up on a cliff and unable to get into the water.

The resort was large
The tram that takes you down the cliff to the bottom level of the resort. It looks like a fun coaster but it was pretty slow.

 Bliss- toes in the water.

The island was beautiful 

I have never seen a sun rise, sure I have been awake when the sun was coming up but I have never seen it rise up from the horizon line making it's very first appearance.

Papabird thought I was crazy but I was up at 5am (I can NEVER sleep when not in my own bed) so why not enjoy every second and watch a sunrise.
My first attempt, my timing was off and I went back to bed.

My second attempt- breathtaking, a moment to remember always.I may have damaged my retinas forever but, how do you watch the sun come up without actually looking at the sun?

And the Moon ( not the best quality but I only took my iphone not my DSLR)
Seriously there is NO other view in the world more amazing to me ( besides the birth of all my 5 amazing children) than a full moon over the ocean.
This night was perfect. Clear night, warm breeze, ipod in playing my favorite songs. I sat on our balcony until the moon was no longer in sight. I was lost in my thoughts and full of emotion. 


View from our balcony, it looks directly East right to the resorts private island.
 All my favorite things!!! A Rainbow over the water on the ferry  while riding  back to the resort after a day of longing on the beach..
Sandy toes, crashing waves,mountain view and a rumtastic tropical drink!!

The water changed color after a small rainstorm.

There were so many amazing places and adventures to do while visiting Puerto Rico but on the few days that Papa Bird was free from meetings I just wanted to relax and hang out with him.What I really needed was to just let the salty ocean bath me and wash away all my stresses.

During his busy times I was happy and content to sit, relax, and enjoy the beach.

My trashy novel that kept me company on the plane especially since the audio went down and there was no wifi or movies on my way back.


I also discovered a new Gemstone. I fell in love with it right away and bought a few pieces.

Rejuvenated!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Nature Schooling - Sept.1,2016

School goal:
  1. Start morning walks about 1-2 miles long making baby C walk the whole trail without being worn on my back 1-2 times each week. 
  2. Do some nature journaling
  3. Play at the playground after our walk.
Hopefully this will wear out the 2 year old so she takes a long nap in the afternoon so I can focus my attention on getting my 3 middle children caught up to where I would like them to be. So far the biggest problem is that I want a nap in the afternoon now!

Backpacks full of pencils, journals, water, snacks, pocket knives and whatever else they add.



Robin sketching some flowers
 I saw this beetle a few weeks ago at a local farm friend's house. She did not know what it was either but it was on her porch near her milkweed. When I saw it again on milkweed at the park today I knew I had to go research it as soon as I was home. It is such a neat bug with a very bright distinct X on the back.
Up close image of the milkweed bug.

Some little girl took baby C under we wing and said that she will babysit her for me. It was so cute watching her and baby C work together to get into this swing.

This first picture says "I like birds" but "I" cut off the I when I took the picture
 Later that day Duck started drawing birds on his own in his mini Composition book ( my kids love those mini books) These cute little birds make me smile.

Later that day Duck started drawing birds on his own in his mini Composition book ( my kids love those mini books) These cute little birds make me smile.

WORD OF THE DAY:
Nemophilist (pronounced ne-'mo-fe-list), is an obscure word that hasn't really been used for over 100 years – but it is a word that surely deserves a comeback! It meanssomeone with a love or fondness for forests, woods, or woodland scenery, or someone who often visits them - a 'haunter' of woods.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Once a little boy, now almost a man.

Once a little boy, now almost a man.

Right now my oldest is gone out in the middle of the Altantic sailing and I was laying in bed just now thinking (this is why I never sleep, I think,and think and think and compose blog entries in my head that never make it to my computer) This one I got out of bed for................. this one made me cry.

Where does the time go? 
Just yesterday he would walk into my room at night and quietly say " can I pease seep with you mommy?"

I have been his sole teacher his whole life. 

I taught him to walk
I taught him to read
I taught him to say please and thank you
I taught him to be kind and generous
I taught him long division 
Always at home with me.
 I hope I was a good mom then. He was my first I now have 5. I learned to be a mom to him. I hope I did some things right. I hope he has many happy memories.


It was fun
it was hard
it was trying at times
sometimes I cried
sometimes he cried
sometimes I yelled 
sometimes he yelled
always wondering if I was doing the right thing ( still wondering)

He is a teenager ...
He goes to college full time ( he is 15)
he has a job now.

I see him grow, I watch his personality change and become so very independent.

I feel cheated at times for how fast this time went. 15 years was just a blink- gone so fast.

I am sorry dear Falcon-
You were  my first
my trial
the child I learned to be a better parent with
you got the roughest version of me
my rough draft.

You were and always will be
my blessing
my miracle

Never doubt that you are loved more than words can say.

Being a mom was always the one thing I dreamed of doing until I was told I may never have children.

Then I wanted to be an Astronaut  .....

Now a mom of 5

Life is full of miracles.

"Life is like a carousal,
Sometimes you are up.
And Sometimes you are down,
And sometimes you just go round and round.
Just remember to enjoy the ride"

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The new livestock pup.

The new pup


She is being trained up to be our guardian livestock dog. Our last dog was taking out our animals as well as keeping predators at bay. A big problem since we wanted to keep the farm animals alive and keep the woodland critters in the woods. Since she has been gone we have had more and more predator problems.  Animals are  approaching the barns, coops, and house.

She will be able to keep animals at bay using non lethal means, most animals even wolves will back off from this breed when confronted and search out easier prey. Which is great, that way we will not have to kill those woodland creatures that are just looking to eat on our farm, they will just learn to go elsewhere where prey is easier. #notonmyfarm!

We will be raising this beauty right so she will protect the land. In our last dog's defense she was not the right breed nor was she ever trained to guard livestock. This pup will be trained to guard the animals.

If you click the video above it is great one about a family using these dogs on their farm

This was not originally built to be a dog enclosure BUT nothing here on the farm gets used for what we thought we would use it for. This was built to keep the free range chickens and deer out of my garden. Last year our crop was devastated.I have also only gardened 3x prior in my life so it was a of my lack of skills too.

Now there is a shelf to put potted plants on and the pup can use the bottom.

Reading about special needs of the guardian livestock dog we realized that we needed an outdoor enclosure to keep her in where she can see and socialize with our other animals with out hurting them when we are not around to correct her.

We did our research for a long time to find the right dog for our farm we were lucky to find a breeder of a Great Pyrenees/ Anatolian Shepard mix. ( the best of both worlds)

It will be a long process to raise her right but the rewards are great.


Chicken check in:




These chickens knock over the food containers everyday after the food is gone and they are forced to go eat greens and bugs. Mad that  I am making them go hunt for their food and do what comes naturally and not just wait for expensive drive thru chicken feed.







Monday, July 4, 2016

Why I stepped back from social media.

I hope my friends take the time to read this....


I have decided that for me, social media is something I need to step back from. It is necessary though to connect with customers for our farm and to stay connected to some homeschool pages that I run.


How I used facebook:
I used it as a way to get social interaction with adults. I am home all day with 5 kids and and husband who works long hours and goes out of town monthly. So, for me it was a way to maintain sanity and have adult conversations.

Something changed over the years on facebook, or maybe I changed. I started to find myself itching to check my newsfeed more and more often ( like an addict looking for a quick fix of happy) I found myself not getting any "happy" from it.

I started to find my self wishing for more and more of what I do not have.
I started to feel like this cow! 
(on one side stuck and wanting to reach the otherside)

It seems that the people I am friends with on facebook post highlights of their seemingly perfect lives. Their awesome husbands, the new stuff they just bought. the great vacations they take, their very perfect lives. I would sit  there with chicken poop on my boots in my dirty outdated 1970's house feeling inadequate.

I kept  checking facebook,..... spending WAY more time than I ever imagined looking more and more for my "happy" only to find less of it. Ignoring  the giggles and joy of the children outside catching dragonflies .A  nasty crazy drug addiction.. Facebook, has been my drug addiction and it was getting bad!

So I came up with a way to limit my facebook usage. I have unfollowed all my friends. Yup, every single person so if you do not see me like or comment on something you post it is because I cannot see it. If I want an update on a friend I will need to go to their wall to see it, or just give thenm a call.There is this button on Facebook where you can stay friends but all the posts of your friends will no longer show up in your newsfeed.

So now when I check Facebook all I see are the posts from private groups I am in.






This has been my happy compromise.

Now on to living life instead of watching everyone else live theirs.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A day in the life: Vomit edition!!

As a mom of 5 kids you have to juggle and learn to roll with it. Things never go as planned.

Today:

7:00 AM woke up to find my boys out of bed already which really bugged me, I wanted at least 30 minutes to myself while I enjoyed my less than perfect cup of coffee (currently on week 1 of Whole 30.)  Just a few minutes of being awake Papa bird started asking me a bunch of questions about stuff that I already told him, many times before!~ Irrintating!

Trying to get everyone fed and out the door with snacks packed because I was not planning on being back home until 4PM

9:00 am Out the door 15 min. later than planned because I took the time to make eggs for Duck and Owl.(They are a super food and they do not always eat them so when they want them I comply) They were especially good today ~ yummy farm fresh!
9:08 Crap, I forgot that  I NEED gas. I rushed home last night after Robin's riding lesson due to an emergency (2 year old locked in her room while 15 year old was watching her!) and never got gas.

9:27 Got Falcon to his last Exam, just as I pulled away from the University Canary started throwing up....Crap! Crap! Crap! We are already late to a much needed 2nd opinion at a Denist for 3 of the kids. I cleaned her up as best as I could~ kids were gagging in the car it was so bad ( so was I!!!)

9:40 Papabird  met me at the new Denist he could not fill out the paperwork because he does not know our children's DOB's...WHAT!!!!! ( I am not even going to get started on that one,) So he sat outside with Canary while I went in with 2/3 of the kids that needed to be seen. ( we missed the first appt.)

Conclusion from Denist: my kids have cavities in half their teeth...WHAT??? How? WHY? We eat so clean!!! Owl even needs a baby root canal!! Lost of stress and issues here, crappy insurance no one in our plan will work on kids. This new Denist will not do the work on kids!!! I need to think about that later.......

10:30 Off to  Papa Bird's office to get some paper work we need to get notarized at the bank. 
* Canary  BTW is still reaking of vomit she has been wiped down with baby wipes but still soaked!! Now off to the bank with my vomit covered child. Did I mention this all had to be done today due to a past due deadline that was already being extended for me!

The bank gave the kids crappy suckers  ( their teeth are already rotten , what the hell!)

11:22 Dropped off paper work on opposite side of town...Whew at least that is done!

* it is beautiful outside today 68F slight wind, sunny skies,  trees are blooming. Although nothing is going right I am able to take a deep breath to enjoy this beautiful life that I have on this beautiful planet.

Here is when I had planned to go back and get Falcon, run some Errands then have a peaceful lunch out with my favorite little people ( All my baby birds) But now I need to head home because I need to clean up Canery. I only had an extra set of panties and pants in the car ( newly potty trained) no extra shirt.

11: 50 Home again, Got lunch ready cleaned up Canery and observed her for awhile to see if she was going to be sick again or if we were good to go to our planned feild trip, This time I packed plastic bags in the car with 2 complete sets of clothes for Caneray, just in case. 

1:30 Picked up Falcon from School.

1:45 Arrived at field trip 15 minutes early ( just how I like to be). The kids are doing part 2 of a pioneer/homesteading workshop. for 2 hours.

2:00 I got to enjoy the next 2 hours walking around a Botanical Garden with my youngest and my oldest. 






3:15 Maybe Canary is sick, she fell asleep in the stroller.She never falls asleep in the stroller, she never even likes riding the the stroller, but not today. There was no way I was going to babywear today and risk having throw up down my back, I only have extra clothes for her not me!

4:15 heading home.Goodies the kids made, they later became my Mother's day gifts!

4:40 Arrived home got some of the kids settled and headed of to the grocery store to get some last minute items for dinner. I planned to put together shish-kabobs but am running out of time. I guess I will make that tomorrow.

5:45 Got home, prepped  burgers for dinner. We are having Burgers with chips and grapes.

6:15 I realized my cranky crying Canary has a fever and just wants me to hold and nurse her. I guess I will not be sauteeing peppers and onions for my burger tonight.

6:30 Dinner was not so enjoyable for me being on whole 30 without the time to prep my other side dishes because I was holding baby Canery. So it was just a plain burger for me.

Rocking....

Rocking....

Rocking....

Enjoying these moments  that I am needed and cuddled and rocked Canery watching Private Practice on Netflix.

8:00 Did the nightly tick check- Found one on Owl ( life in the woods) pulled it off bagged and dated it  (they can check the tick faster than you if you develop symptoms). Made sure teeth were brushed and flossed then gave kisses and hugs and off to bed went the 3 of the kids.

9;00 Put Canery to bed

Took a moment today to reflect: life does not go as planned sometimes you just need to take a deep breath acknowledge that change happens on try not to dwell on what would have made a perfect day and realize that every breathing moment on this planet is a precious one and learn how to spend it wisely
.