Thursday, August 28, 2014

What's Been Going On?

 I wanted to add a little pizazz to the front of the house so after much consideration on what color best goes with a tan house, I settled on a bright aqua color. It's a little racy, but I'm really diggin' it each time I look at the house. I considered a deep eggplant, but ultimately went with something a little out of my comfort zone.

The garden is going in full gear. The tomato plants are full of green tomatoes, my green pepper plants are producing like I've never had before, we've been enjoying sweet carrots (so has a vole or gopher that has come up through my raised beds:P ), and the potato plants are dying back and loaded with huge healthy spuds.

I've also been canning and preserving the last couple of weeks. I ordered half a box of Colorado Peaches and Pears last month and I made more yummy pear sauce, and some frozen peach pie filling. My cukes are also producing like crazy so I decided to give pickle making a go and see what happens. I'm not guaranteeing that they turned out good but it was worth a shot. We'll see in another week when we can dig in.

This fall our oldest has started homeschooling, and even though we still have a one-room school house about 20 miles away, we decided that homeschooling was the best option for our family. For me, I knew that I didn't want a strict curriculum with textbooks that told us to do Lesson 1 and 2 today and move on to the next one tomorrow, regardless of whether or not my child understood what was going on. But I also didn't have the courage to just wing it and plan everything myself and pick out books.
  Let me tell you this, navigating all the options and methods out there can be a little overwhelming and time consuming. There's almost too much information out there on the old inter-web. Here's a link with a quick summary of each of the most popular styles. We finally settled on the Charlotte Mason Method. Here's just few basic reasons why:

  • She believed in using "living books," which are written by one person with a passion for that subject, making the book "come alive,"rather than a text book that was written by multiple people with knowledge in small areas within.
  • She encouraged lots of time outdoors and nature studies.
  • She strongly believed in narration of the books that were read to ensure the children understood and could recall back what they just read/heard.
  • She was an advocate of short lessons for younger children (Which in my opinion, a 6 year old doesn't need to sit in school all day long to get the most out of a lesson).
So after researching some different Charlotte Mason based curriculum, we finally settled on the Living Books Curriculum. It provides you with a teaching guide that gives you a book list and week-by-week lesson plan to follow. I enjoy that fact that if something is a little too easy, I can switch it out for some thing a little more challenging or vice versa. I don't have to stick to a text book and strict lesson plan schedule.

This past weekend we got a little over 2 inches of rain out here on the ranch so we're enjoying some humid days and very dewy nights. It's starting to feel like fall out here with warm days and cool nights and I'm lovin' it! What have you all been up to this summer? Enjoy your holiday weekend!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Colors of the Rainbow

The ranch is full of colors at the moment and I just wanted to share a few with you.

I love these sunflowers that have red in them. It's just a little more jazzy than the plain yellow.

 Even though these wild lovelies are named Scarlet Globe Mallows, they appear more orange in my opinion. When my husband and I were dating way back when, he would go to one of the local floral shops in the "big" city (which means the population is under 80,000) and he'd pick out some of the more wild/colorful looking flowers for me. One day he brought me a couple of the most beautiful orange roses and I've loved orange flowers ever since.

 The plant up top is sweet clover. True to it's name it has a strong sweet smell and the bees love it! This year we seem to have an over abundance of it. Now that it's getting to the end of it's season and starting to dry out, it becomes a very large fire hazard out here on the prairie.

My garden is finally starting to kick it in gear. We started the summer off cool and rainy. I can't complain, it's been beautiful, but it's not so great for veggies that are craving some sun and heat.

The rain gauge has been empty for a while now. The only thing that has been in it was the two inches of sand I dumped out that the girls poured in. We're starting to heat up and get dry out here on the range. Our oldest turned 6 earlier this month and was lucky enough to get a pool for her birthday. I think it would be safe to say that they would live in it and pretend to be mermaids for the rest of the summer if they could.

 Haying season has been in full swing for a couple of weeks now, and there isn't much left to cut. After our main hayfield was hailed out early this summer, we've been blessed to get enough rain since then for the guys to get a decent second crop out of it. 




 Mary Toodles has finally learned to use her pedal bike so now she and her sister are the local biker gang on the street. We start each of our kids on a Strider bike and when they out grow that, we move them up to a pedal bike. I've noticed that they seem to be able to handle balancing a bigger bike better and faster and we haven't had the need for training wheels for either of them. 

I hope you're all having a good and safe summer where ever you may be!

Take Care and God Bless!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sunshine On My Shoulders...

Makes me happy!

Well, we reached a nice and toasty 50* today. After spending last week in the negative temps, today felt amazing! This mom has been a little house crazy and has been sooooo thankful that the kids and I can get out and actually enjoy the day. This past weekend we got about 6-7 inches of snow, but today's weather took care of most of it.
 The creek that runs between the houses filled up and started flowing pretty good towards the end of the afternoon. It's normally dry most of the year except for days like today when the water is flowing all over. We're supposed to be in the mid 40's for the rest of the week and into the 50's again this weekend. 

The lambing season is over and the first calves are on the ground and there are plenty more to come! Have a good rest of the week and enjoy the weekend everyone! Hopefully you're all enjoying decent weather where you're at.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sun Bathing

Today you can find me lounging around here in this rocking chair, sun bathing like a lazy cat. We've been a busy house this month mixed in with all kinds of sickness. Earlier this month our middle child, Mary, turned 3 and the very next day hubby turned the big 30. I threw him a party with Pioneer Woman's Lasagna followed by German chocolate cake with coconut frosting. I figured we'd better do something on this big day since Mary's birthday is the day before his, and he doesn't really get birthdays anymore. Oh the price of being an adult :)
We finally had our "house warming" party and had the house filled with friends and family. We're only 7 months behind, but that's okay. Most had already seen the house so it was more of an excuse to have everyone over and have a good time and let the kids run wild. Then this past weekend, hubs wanted to break-in his new garage by having a man party. The menfolk came out and I made some nachos and they drank some beer and smoked cigars and played poker until midnight. When everyone went home around 12:30 in the morning, we quickly realized we're too old for this staying up late stuff and paid dearly for it the next day.
On Sunday we had our little man dedicated at our local church. We as a family and extended family, decided to make the commitment to submit little Jack to the Lord's will and to raise him according to God's word. It was a beautiful ceremony, and such an amazing promise to share with our family and even the church family.
The household has been sick on and off all month passing yuckiness from one to another. I have been fortunate to not catch anything until this past week. How I managed that, I'm not sure. But now my turn has finally come up and I'm paying the price. I feel like I have a helium balloon attached to my neck and running a low fever on and off. Just enough to drag you down. On top of that, all the kids have the same cold, cough and fever. Blah. So today I've finally dug down somewhere deep inside and pulled up the energy to get up and open the blinds and let some glorious sunshine in, try to catch up on some laundry, and do a little cleaning around the house. I think I'm doing it more because I would be really embarrassed if anyone came over and saw the state of my stale dirty house right now. It's not fun trying to take care of the kids and house when you're sick yourself, but we're chewing up lots of Vitamin C and water in hopes of feeling better soon.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Decking the House!

This is the view out our front door this morning. The sun is shining bright and there's about a foot of snow on the ground. When the hubby checked the temp this morning at 6:00 it was reading -30*. That's right...negative! Our high for the day is a whopping -10*. But hey, next week they're forecasting 15* and higher, so it'll be t-shirt weather again. It's really amazing how warm 15 degrees can feel after a these kind of temps.
Luckily my brother-in-law, father-in-law, and hubs finished adding a garage onto the house a couple weeks ago so the car is outside in the cold weather, and the kids are bundled up riding their bikes and playing inside the garage. Since it's been so cold, the kids haven't been able to go out so we've been crafting, crafting and even more crafting to keep us from going crazy being locked in the house. Here's some of our work:
Here's the pom-pom garland from the latest country living magazine that I told you about in my last post. We even had a few pom-poms left over so the girls decided we need to hang more up on the light over the table. What can I say, we liked the pom-poms. My husband on the other hand, not too impressed by all the fluff. Oh well!

Here's our simple little tree for the year. Lots of icicles, handmade wood ornaments from my husbands grandfather, pine cones that my mother-in-law was so kind to gather for me when she went to town, and some 3D glittery stars that we made following the tutorial by my MIL over at Gumbo Lily.

We had some extra pine cones and so we decided to make these adorable pinecone gnomes from over at We Bloom Here. You can't really tell from the picture, but they do also have mittens on. I didn't have pipe cleaners like she used to make arms on hers, but I just glued the mittens onto the actual cone and they're super cute.
Say hi to frosty the front door! This was a super simple idea I saw over on Pinterest and just thought that it would spice up the front door a little bit for who ever should happen to stop by. 
And last of all I just want to share one of my favorite Christmas songs with you all. Burl Ives' "Holly Jolly Christmas". We've had songs going all week long to get us in the spirit. I love listening to the classics like Bing Crosby, Burl Ives, and Nat King Cole. They just make me feel like a kid and again and look forward to the holiday. Enjoy, and I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!