Monday, December 7, 2009

Catching Up

We've been lighting our candle (now 2) at dinner to help us prepare for Jesus' birth. We've been learning about different saints. Including Saint Nicholas of course whose feast was yesterday. The kids each got a small gift, that was left in their shoes.

This week my goal is to set up our nativity. The nativity I have was my mother's. I remember one year us kids all bought it for her for Christmas. I was somewhat younger that year, I don't think I contributed to the cost, but I still remember it.

Faith enjoying her Saint Nicholas gift. Polly Pockets!

Our Christmas card photo was taken, and cards have been ordered. What a fiasco that was this year. It took 3 attempts and several clicks of the shutter before we came up with one that all 3 kids looked good in. Not sure why it was so difficult this year? To make the hunter husband happy some cards will be sent, to a select few, of the girls with Jacob and his first buck.

School Work
The kids have been working really hard. Especially Jacob. High school is giving him a run for his money. Seton offers a college prep. level education which is a really good thing, but it can be tough if you would rather do enough just to get the diploma. I'm proud of his determination!

Now that we are working during the week it has been nice having Mike available to work with Faith. Freeing up my time to dedicate to Jacob on the days he's struggling.

Mike working with Faith on Math. Not her best subject.
In the Knitting Bag
Finished the socks for my sister Laura's priest.
I took the afghan out of hibernation that I started back in February, and I've been working on it when I'm at home.
I casted on a sweater, in a lovely shade of green that is worked from the top down, by Diane Soucy.

Really don't like having more than one project on the needles at once, but the afghan can't be taken out side of the house very easily.

In the Kitchen
I've tried a couple of new venison recipes that the family seems to really like. (If anyone is interested in them let me know.) Since we now have 4 deer in the freezer, figured I better get a little more creative.

On December 5th after mass our church had their monthly pot luck. It worked out really well because the town had their Christmas parade on the same night. Everyone ate and then went outside to enjoy the parade. My motive was to use up some of the many eggs my chickens have been laying, so I made 36 deviled eggs. I wasn't too confident this was the best item to bring, but to my surprise they were gone before half the people had gone through the buffet. Someone came over to me later, she was at the end of the line and didn't get one, and told me to bring 2x as many next time.

My girls made chocolate covered decorated pretzels for the pot luck also. It isn't easy for me to let go of the control in my kitchen, but they did an awesome job! (And I let them do it without much help. Big step for mom!) It made them feel good to bring something to the bounty too.

Haley dipping the pretzels in chocolate.

Faith putting on the sprinkles.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Putting My Best Foot Forward

Can't remember when it happened, or how it came to pass, but I'm not a big fan of Christmas. Aghast! I know!

There are several things I love about Christmas: the tree, the music, the cookies and the love and goodwill that can come from a complete stranger.

Then there are the things that bring me down. The commercialism, the wishes of "happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas", the anxiety of getting all the gifts bought and wrapped, the added stress on a single income budget and etc..

Last year I believe I had an easier time with Christmas. Most likely because I was caught up in it being our first in VA in our new house. This year however, with it being our first without dad I'm trying to go into the season with my eyes wide open. Maybe if I go into it fully aware that it will be difficult and I need to focus on the true reason for the season all may just turn out well.

Mom is flying in December 22 and staying until January 4. I'm bound and determined to make this a wonderful Christmas for her and in order for that to happen I need to be in the right frame of mind.

Advent starts tomorrow. I already have the wreath on the table with candles ready to light. (Need to replace them with new ones, but they'll get us started.) After reading the blog of an online blogging friend, I'm going to use her ideas of incorporating the Jesse tree into the ornaments for our tree, and remember the saints who have feast days during Advent. As I did last year, I will celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas with a small gift for each of the kids and we'll read the story of St. Nick.

I expect there will be some days that will prove to be more difficult than others, but I'm going to put my best foot forward and make this a blessed Advent and Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Feeling Blue on Thanksgiving

Growing up my mom always did an awesome job hosting Thanksgiving. Even if we didn't have company for the day, she would decorate the table and make every last side dish you could imagine for dinner. I only remember one Thanksgiving dinner at an Aunt's house as a child, the rest were always at home.

When her and dad moved away to Florida, our family started having their own dinners at home with our kids. Now that Mike and I have moved so far away from family there really are no prospects of Thanksgiving dinner with family. The friends we have made here already do their own traditions. Last year was our first Thanksgiving in our new house and Mike's mom was here making it very special.

This is our first Thanksgiving without my dad, making this one even more difficult. Even though we most likely wouldn't have spent the day with him and mom in person, we still would have chatted on the phone. The chat most definitely would have included his story about how he dropped the turkey on the kitchen floor as a young man.

Mike has also decided to go into work for a few hours. This not only will help someone else have time with their family on the holiday, but hey, the extra money from the OT is nice before Christmas. Can't be upset with him for that, but it will make the day all the more lonely.

The other day I watched the Food Network. All their shows are on preparing Thanksgiving, from the food to the decorative table. Giving me every reason to feel inadequate in my abilities to prepare the same festive mood!

So, I have several reasons I'm feeling down this year for Thanksgiving. Guess I better spend some time in prayer on this one.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Is it worth the effort?

Hanging laundry on the clothes line? Am I saving money on the electric bill? I don't do every load, because my family really hates the towels when they've been hung on the line so I'm not really sure it helps to only do a few loads a week.

I have some friends back in New England that actually run clothes line in their basement and hang all their laundry all winter long there. They are completely convinced this is a benefit for one reason or another. Some conservationists think it is an essential way to "save the earth".

My brother-in-law is dead set against any laundry hanging out on the line. He thinks it makes your house look like a ghetto apartment. Now that we live out in the middle of no where without anyone driving by the house that isn't a real issue for me.

It does offer a schedule on the laundry chore. Instead of it being an interruption in the schedule of the day to stop and fold laundry when the dryer rings, the laundry gets hung first thing in the morning and taken down later in the day before dark.

Weigh in with your thoughts.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Catching Up & A Thankful Woman

On the home front:
In our house in CT we had lots of books. I believe most home school families do. The shelves those books occupied however were really nothing to write home about. They were purchased on the cheap, as we needed, as we expanded. It was a real hodge podge of a mess. So, when Mike and I were planning the move we believed it was just crazy to spend the money on the movers to move the bookshelves that were really of low quality. Now that we've been in our new house just over a year, the only thing really left in boxes are the thousands of books that had no home.

Our family room is finally being used as it should be and one missing link to that room were the books on bookshelves. My wonderfully creative husband bought some materials and put together an awesome book shelf. He keeps reminding me he isn't a carpenter nor does he have proper tools for such projects, but I think he did a wonderful job!

Now I will have to get to work unpacking those boxes!

In the knitting bag:
The yarn shop Woolworks in Connecticut had a store wide sale this past weekend and the store owner, and good friend, Jen allowed me to partake. I replenished my always depleting sock yarn supply. Any of my knitting readers out there should definitely consider calling her up and placing an order, the variety of yarn and prices are spectacular. Have yet to find a shop that can compare anywhere. Here is what I got:

Have another pair of socks on the needles for my sister Laura to give as a Christmas gift. These will be in the mail to her by the end of the week.

Just a footnote to these socks (pardon the pun) if you've never worked with Comfort Sock yarn from Berocco, don't hesitate. It is sooo super soft and is a great price.

A Thankful Woman:

My list of 5 things for this week:
  • My husband's ability to hunt. His hobby of hunting provides our family with meat in our freezer and to feed our hungry bellies. (Wish my knitting had the same benefits.)
  • My knitting. It doesn't feed any hungry bellies, but I pray it shows my love to those who receive it.
  • My chickens. They give us an abundance of eggs and more hours, than I care to admit, of entertainment.
  • My belief in God. Not quite sure how people without this can function in their lives.
  • My love of baking and cooking meals for my family. This makes a huge part of my job that much easier.

Monday, November 16, 2009

5mart Martha Monday

Didn't do so well on last week's list. Actually considered skipping a week and not making a list, but here I go again. As my blogging friends have said you need to at least have a starting point and it is okay if you don't get to everything on the list.

This week's list:
  1. Finish the socks I'm making for my sister Laura to give as a Christmas gift, and get them into the mail.
  2. Continue making daily house keeping visits to the kid's bathroom. This really worked out well for me I didn't faint when I did the weekly cleaning.
  3. Investigate some new recipes for venison.
  4. Clean the shelf in the laundry room.
  5. Clean and organize the canned goods in the pantry.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Progress at Rock Climbing

The kids have been rock climbing several times and last week they started their home school rock climbing 6 week program. This week Haley finally made it to the top! I'm so proud she decided not to give up this time and the sense of accomplishment I read on her face was priceless. It's these little rare moments I thank God I've been given to enjoy as a stay-at-home mom.

Their instructors are teaching them little things about rock climbing. It's pretty cool! They don't just go in and climb, they learn different holds, how to tie a proper knot, and problem solving. The benefits to their self esteem and confidence are just a bonus.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Thankful Woman

My list of 5 things for this week:
  1. For my veteran husband. They were some difficult years, but I'm so proud to be married to a veteran.
  2. I'm thankful I'm an American. We live in an incredibly awesome country, I believe this with all my heart. Most likely the reason I spend more time than most people watching the news.
  3. My children! They are truly a blessing from God.
  4. I'm thankful to be a stay-at-home mom who is allowed the privilege of being my children's teacher.
  5. Last, but not least on the list, I'm thankful for my ability to multi task. This comes in handy when considering #4. LOL!

Monday, November 9, 2009

5mart Martha Monday

Was a little more productive with my list from last week. Didn't make it to Goodwill with dad's clothes and the ironing "pile" still didn't get tackled. The good news is the "pile" only has one shirt and a lot of cloth napkins so this could be why I'm not feeling pressured to get it done. Would like to have it gone from the floor of my closet is the real reason it will be on the list again this week.

Thanks to my on line blogger friends and their words of encouragement last week! The list can't rule my life only give me a starting point. I'm learning this, thanks to you!

This week's list:
  1. Bring the last bag of dad's clothes to Goodwill. (continued prayers please)
  2. Tackle the ironing "pile".
  3. Clean the shelf in the laundry room.
  4. Make daily house keeping trips into the kid's bathroom. So, when the weekly cleaning comes I don't feel like passing out from the sight of it.
  5. Write that pesky business letter I've been putting off.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Can Feel My Blood Boil!

I know we are told not to judge. Let me say that this is definitely something I struggle with and it is part of my daily prayers to correct this flaw in myself. However, this morning I can't help myself. To my defense if you're going to put yourself out in the public eye and take a political view on something you need to be subject to a little judgement and criticism. So allow me this indulgence because I just have to voice my opinion and frustration on a particular Catholic woman.

I'm so sorry! Just the sight of her sets me off! She claims to be a faithful Catholic, but her words, actions, and votes just don't portray it and I'm so frustrated! Am I alone out there on this view? Please come to my rescue and tell me how you feel. Tell me if I'm wrong, I can take it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Catching Up

On the home front:
Saturday! Mike is back at work. Most people get to really love the weekend, but with a husband whose work schedule is Saturday, Sunday, Monday 12 hour shifts, it really stinks. The poor guy doesn't even get the opportunity to go to church with his family! Next weekend he took off, to get some hunting in, and I'm so looking forward to it.

This past week the kids and I started doing school during the week, so we now have our weekends free. Mike and I decided that with the colder weather setting in this would be a better schedule. We most likely won't be doing any impromptu "field trips", and this would give Mike an opportunity to help with the school work load. Our first week went really well and I have to say although I was hesitant in the switch it feels good.

Last week we made some changes in the house I haven't updated you on. We finally have our family room set up in the downstairs. It's taken some getting used to and Mike still needs to make the book shelves, but it feels better to be utilizing our entire house. It is really nice to have an entirely new view of the yard.

In the knitting bag:
Finished the leg warmers I was making for Faith. (can't recall if I posted these yet) She may get to use them tonight for church, it is really cold today.

Finished making the socks for Haley. She chose this yarn back in March, but I'm making her wait until Christmas for them. (However, I'm thinking now I'll surprise her with them on Saint Nicolas Day.)

Took the afghan I started some time ago out of hibernation. This feels really good on my lap with the cold weather. However, it is too big to take out of the house so, I'm left finding something else to cast on for when my knitting goes with me. Most likely this will be a pair of socks.

On the side:
The kids started their rock climbing program. My kids have been rock climbing a few times now at a local place. I decided to contact the owner and see if he would be willing to put together a program for some home schooling kids. We have 11 kids doing a 6 week climbing program, and this was their first week. Everyone had a really great time and we are all looking forward to the weeks to come.

Monday, November 2, 2009

5mart Martha Monday

Well, from last week's list I didn't do anything. Hadn't realized it until this morning. Wow! This is why I hate making lists. If you don't get to the items on it you feel like a failure. Even though I didn't do the items on last week's list I was still very productive last week just in other ways. Also, there were extenuating circumstance why a couple of the items didn't get completed. I will not allow this to detour me! It's just a list! Right?

Thank you to Therese for the idea to create a list. Be sure to visit her blog.

This week's list:
  1. Iron the "pile".
  2. Work very closely with Jacob and Haley and their lesson plans for school work.
  3. Bring the bag of dad's clothes to Goodwill. (This is difficult on many levels. Prayers please!)
  4. Hang the dark clothes on the line. (Hopefully the weather co-operates this week.)
  5. Work on getting an earlier start in the mornings. (Don't be aghast by this. I am a person who loves to sleep. It is an inherited trait, and can't be helped.)
Lord, please help me to be more Martha like in my duties, and not be ruled by a list.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Halloween used to be a lot of fun! We lived in a neighborhood so conducive to trick-or-treating, I believe they used to bus kids in from all over. One year when the weather was warm enough for my nephew to go barefoot (he went as Tom Sawyer). We sat out front in lawn chairs and handed out snacks and candy to 200+ kids.

Now, in Virginia, it's an entirely different scenario. Jacob and Haley have outgrown the trick-or-treat thing, but Faith can remember going in CT and is still young enough to want to go. Last year we closed on our house on Halloween, and the excitement of moving in took away from any ideas of trick-or-treating. We were able to appease Faith by letting her dress up in her costume to go to church and after mass there was a pot luck supper and the kids were given goody bags.

This year, we are all settled in, and there is nothing planned at church. Our closest neighbor here is a half mile away. We had to get creative. We decided to have a trick-or-treat hunt. Jacob and Haley hid 30 pieces of candy around the yard and Faith took her bag and went hunting. The coolest part was we did it on our own time table. When it was light out and dad was off of work to enjoy. Smiles were abound all around!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Guilt Free

Psalm 139:13 - For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

Read this psalm today. I've heard it and read it probably 100 times and it finally hit me this morning!God knits!!

I feel like a light has been turned on inside me! I've been given permission, by God himself, to knit away. Guilt free.

Here are pictures of my most recent Godly like activity. LOL!!

Leg Warmers finished for Faith

Socks started for Haley - She chose this crazy yarn.

I was able to capitalize on this beautiful wool at half price. Thanks to some of the money I've earned from the sale of socks. Also, thanks to Jen at Woolworks for the great buy.

Blog Giveaway

Shelley is having a giveaway on her blog today. Be sure to visit and read about her family and join in on the giveaway. Good luck! Should be fun!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Thankful Woman

Each week Judy invites us to share the 5 things we are most thankful for.

My list for this week:
  1. I'm thankful for the strength you give my husband to be the sole provider of our family. He is tireless in his work.
  2. Thank you Lord for giving me strength to be the care provider of our family. Cleaning toilets is the worst part of this job, but I know it gives you glory and therefore I will do it courageously.
  3. What wonderful Catholic home school friends you've put into our lives. Their friendship is a treasured gem.
  4. For the beautiful home you provided us. It has served us well over the past year. Especially giving my father a place to spend the final days of his life surrounded by the ones he loves.
  5. Thank you God for my mother. The strength you've given her has proven to be an inspiration I never expected.
I'm sure there is so much more, but for the moment these are the ones that are in my heart.

Monday, October 26, 2009

5mart Martha Monday

There were a couple of things from last week's list that didn't get completed. Empty a box from the move and cleaning the hall closet. However, to find space for things that are in the box I had to clean out another place. So, my energy was just redirected.

This week's list:
  1. Work closer with Haley to be sure she is doing everything in her lesson plans.
  2. Get the items in that box into the space I made for them.
  3. Create a Christmas list including expected price to spend for each child.
  4. Hang at least the dark loads of laundry on the line.
  5. Iron "the pile".

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What color are you?


You give your love and friendship unconditionally. You enjoy long, thoughtful conversations rich in philosophy and spirituality. You are very loyal and intuitive.

Find out your color at!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Knitting Accomplishments

Been busy knitting! Got the sore arm and shoulder to prove. Not to self: Remember not to sit for long periods of time knitting. Remember to get up and stretch!!

Finished another pair of socks for my sister to give to her priest for Christmas. She liked them so much she ordered another pair for her other priest! That will be 4 pairs of socks I've made for her to give as gifts! The coolest part is she has been paying me for them giving me more money to BUY YARN!! Note to self: Remember to take pictures of socks before putting them into the envelope to be mailed.

Made myself a felted purse. It turned out bigger than the last one I made with this pattern, must be because the yarn was different and felted up different. I'm happy with it regardless. I'll get used to its' size.

Now I'm working on a pair of leg warmers for Faith. She loves to wear skirts and dresses and with the cold weather coming I thought these would prove to be easier than pulling up tights.

All of this done, but I still have a few things from Monday's List of tasks yet to be tackled. I may opt for the knitting time instead! Tah hee hee! Can knitting be considered Martha like? hmmm?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trust in God

God tells us to trust in him, for everything. Am I the only one who struggles with this? In my daily prayers I find myself constantly asking for help with this.

I'm a control freak! There I've said it. Wish there was a support group for people like me. If you trust in God you need to let the control go. It is so easy to get caught up in the worries about money, safety of your children, and health of your family. Or to be concerned with today's political fiascoes, news and causes.

But, I need to take pause and see my prayers are always answered. When I'm not trying to control everything, that is when God is there. He takes care of our needs, my children's safety and our health. He will prevail over the evil in this world.

Psalm 62:8, Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

God, I am weak. Help me every day to put my trust in you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Thankful Woman

Again, I've found my online, knitting,Catholic, home schooling friend's blog doing something that I'm going to join in on. Each week Judy invites everyone to share five things for which we are truly thankful to God! A thankful heart is a JOYFUL heart!

5 Things I'm most thankful for:
  1. My strong husband. Who is the provider for our family, and my best friend.
  2. My family. Although we don't get to be together often I know they would be at my side if a serious need ever arrived.
  3. My children and the gift of being their teacher every day, both in academics and in life.
  4. My personality.
  5. My faith. Given to me by parents and the example they set forth was outstanding.
Thank you Lord for this and so much more!

Monday, October 19, 2009

5mart Martha Monday

One of my online, knitting, homeschooling, Catholic friends, whose blog I read periodically, does something called 5mart Martha Monday. It is a list of 5 temporal/practical work goals. Each week you make a list of 5 things you want to accomplish. Making you more like Martha from the bible.

Although she has taken it a step further and has made herself an additional list of 5 spiritual goals, making her more like Mary, I thought I would at least start with a Martha List.

5mart Martha Monday temporal/practical work goals:
  1. Empty at least one more box from the move. Yes, the move a year ago.
  2. Clean and better organize the hall closet.
  3. Finish the felted bag I'm knitting.
  4. Finish reading Lillies of the Field. So, I can discuss this with my son.
  5. Hang at least the dark loads of laundry out on the line. (Hope the weather cooperates.)
Lord give me strength, I'm not good at lists!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Looks like we made it.....

Mike had to go away for work this week. He left Sunday and will return tonight. Woo hoo!

I realize there are some families out there that go through this on a regular basis, but ours just isn't used to this. It is pretty rare that we have to be separated, and have it be for so long.

When Mike and I were first married he was in the Navy so separation was constant. I think that is why when he has to go away now, I kind of twitch and something from the past comes back to almost haunt me. Bad, lonely, worrisome memories!

Also, it seems whenever he does go away, something either breaks or goes wrong. One time when he left for a hunting trip. Haley was young, and she locked a door in the house that had no key. Screw driver and some ingenuity I was able to rectify it.

Last week he was gone for one night, and I was woken up to the back door bell ringing. It had rained really hard that afternoon so it must have gotten wet. It was midnight and I was outside taking the doorbell apart.

This trip, after we dropped Mike off, on the truck ride home, the engine light came on. Pushed the button to On-Star and they ran a diagnostics test. Nothing to worry about some kind of a fuel sensor. Mike had filled the tank with a different brand of gas. This has happened before and thankfully I was aware of it.

So, here we are, the 6th day he has been gone and we are all still in one piece. The house hasn't burned down or sprung any leaks. (It probably helps it is a new house.)

Think it is safe to have the kids remove their helmets yet?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

An Addition to the "Farm"

Not quite sure what possessed Mike and I to get another pet, but we did. We even discussed it first and still decided to go for it. Here is the newest addition to the "farm".

Mike has been really busy working and even doing some traveling for work so, the little guy/gal has been sleeping in a cat carrier on the deck at night. During the day we put him outside in a cage on the grass. As you can see from the photo, the kids have even taken to allowing him time in the house roaming around. (This is allowed when they agree to clean up after.) Due to the constant interaction he/she has with humans the little bunny has become really friendly.

So, I've justified our insanity to this new addition as an opportunity for a home school science lesson. Faith, the 5 y.o. can even tell you that bunnies do not hibernate. Now we need to figure out what sex "it" is. For now the name that has stuck is just, Bunny or Bun-Bun.

Monday, October 5, 2009

For Your 50th Birthday

(Joe or Susan if you have happened to log in to read this post, please turn around and leave, just this once. Don't want to ruin your birthday surprises.)

My brother and his wife both turn 50 next month, and I've knitted them each a little something. Well in advance of their birthday's I might add. This makes me quite proud and I hope they love them.

(that's my son modeling the sweater, he is too funny)

I made Susan another pair of socks, but knit those back in March, and the pictures are no longer on my computer. But, you get the idea.

Just One More Reason!

Home schooling is such an awesome opportunity all the way around. Just had to take this occasion to share one more reason I love it.

When we decided to home school one thing we knew we wanted to include was our Catholic faith in the teaching process. We found the best curriculum, for us to do that, was to use Seton Home Study School . The kids are completely enrolled, Seton maintains all the records and therefore transcripts and at the end of high school will receive a full diploma. Seton sends us our 36 week lesson plans and all the books each year. It is wonderful!

This morning Jacob was reviewing his lesson plans for Composition and was excited to share with me the suggested topics he had to choose from for this week's assignment. Here are some of them that really struck me:
  1. Why our country should insist on legal immigration;
  2. Why we should erect a fence along the Mexican border;
  3. Why illegal immigrants should not receive free tuition at state colleges.
It really impressed me that they would include some really good hot political topics for our times. And do so without any predisposition of what my child's opinion should be. Even if he isn't going to choose one of them it gives us at home the opening for discussion and possible debate on such heated topics.

I believe today in public school it provides government, with a highly liberal agenda, access to our youth to steer them into their beliefs. More commonly known as indoctrination. If these subjects were to come up in that setting, away from my husband or I, we would most likely never know it, nor have the chance to share our views on the subject with our child.

Once again God has shown me today that although it isn't easy, and becoming increasing difficult, to raise a family on one income that we are making the right choice and the sacrifices are well worth the long term outcome.

As a footnote:
This week Faith, in Kindergarten, is learning the history and mysteries of the rosary. Here she is coloring, in her school book, a picture about St. Bernadette and Lourdes. Gotta love it!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Trip to the Orchard

Ahhh fall in Virginia! A little different than what we had in New England, but it is our 2nd fall here, so I'm learning to understand how it works. One day you wear a sweater to go outside the next day you have the central air on. Well, it hasn't warmed up again that much, but if I remember correctly last year, it is just a matter of time.

One tradition that hasn't escaped us in the move is apple picking and yesterday we took our annual trip to the orchard.

Although the only apples that were available for picking were Granny Smiths, they allowed us to pick, and if we didn't want all we picked we could put them in the bin back at the barn. Free migrant help for them and a memory for our family, fair trade.

Thank you God once again for the blessings you've showered on me and my family.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ah another hunting season begins!

It is obvious to anyone who drives by the house or comes for a visit, it is hunting season here in Virginia. The remnants are all over.

Not sure why this happens, when they do have a "hunting/mud room" just off the slider in the downstairs. I've been told for the past 22 years of marriage that I need to just bear the chaos during hunting season. And I guess since we've been married for 22 years that is what I've done.

So, if you plan to drop in at our house for a visit during hunting season, please understand.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My life and I love it!

As you know by now we have been raising 12 chicks, 7 black stars and 5 red sex links. Well, what I may not have mentioned was not long after getting the chicks we bought 2 red sex link pullets so that we could have some of our own fresh eggs right away.

2 of the chicks have turned out to be roosters and not hens. Yes, 2! I know I had mentioned the one, but now we are sure that we have 2. One black rooster and one red rooster. Leaving us 12 able little hens to lay us eggs.

Because we live in an isolated area without traffic or close neighbors we allow the chickens to "free range"/wander at will. A couple of weeks ago, we aren't sure what the culprit was, but something took one of the chickens. Checking over the flock showed we were down a pullet hen. It was a sad day!!

Mike went right to work trying to trap the heathen animal that may have done the deed. No luck! However, silver lining in the story, a few of the chicks decided they were old enough and begin to laying their own eggs. Giving us roughly 5-6 eggs a day now.

This morning while the kids and I were starting our morning routine we heard a LOUD cackle from the woods! Jacob and I went off to investigate. I scared off a Coopers Hawk, but didn't hear or see any sign of the injured hen. No wonder the traps weren't yielding the beast!
My son was a young man on a mission. He grabbed his gun and waited to see if the villain would return. Just as he was about to give up, and had returned to the house. Again another LOUD cackle. What? She was still alive? He ran over yelling, scared off the hawk once again, and set to work trying to find the little frightened hen. He even took the hunting dog out on a leash to aid him. After a good hour of searching he turned up nothing. We continued on our day figuring we were now down to 10 hens and 2 roosters. Counting up the remaining chickens showed we had lost a black one.

One of the things you do as a chicken owner, who has free range chickens, you find yourself counting little hen heads to be sure they are all still accounted for. On a day that one has been compromised this happens several time in the day.

So this afternoon on one of my many head counts in the day much to my chagrin... I find 13!! What? 13? I count again, and again, and again. Yes! 13! The same number we had when first arising this morning? Not possible!! But, there she was the black one we thought we had lost. Her feathers a little ruffled on the belly, but just fine otherwise. I AM so Happy!

It is these little things I know most people must scratch their heads at and think, "She really needs to get a life." But, this is my life, and I love it!

I suspect this won't be the end of our dilemma or run in with the dreaded hawk, but for now we have evaded any loss.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Counting My Blessings

I love my life! Yes, I am truly blessed. A husband who works really hard to provide a decent life, and allow me to be at home with our kids and home school them. Three beautiful, healthy children. There is no place I would rather be on any given day than right here at home caring for my family.

In fact, some times I can go 2 or 3 days without ever having to get in the car. And you know what? I like it that way.

Some people may say, "You poor thing." or "You really don't have a life." But, you know what I think, "What a blessing."

So today I am spending time in prayer thanking God for what I have, and for making me so happy with my life.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Catching Up

It has been over a week since I blogged? Can't believe it. Really haven't been that busy other than school, house work, knitting and the usual stuff.

Knitting Update
Finished a pair of socks for sister Laura's friend Moe. So, I've made a little more money to support my yarn habit. Although I haven't bought any yarn yet, I hope to soon. She even placed another order for a pair of socks for their priest to be a Christmas gift. Maybe I should spend more time knitting since it is making me money. Hee hee! (Any excuse for an addict.)

I casted on a sweater for brother Joe to give him for his 50th birthday, which will be in November. It doesn't look like much yet, but here it is. (Joe if by chance you are reading this, ignore this and let it be a surprise please!)

On the Home Front
Back in May, if you can recall, we got 12 chickens.
Right from the beginning my kids believed that one little chick would turn out to be a rooster. They even named him "switch blade". (He is the one in the back with the white dot on his head.) I didn't want to believe it.

And then... one morning while letting them out of their coop I could hear a faint crowing sound from within the coop. Sure enough! We have a rooster! He is kind of pretty, guess we'll keep him around.

Now that the days and nights are cooler we have our windows open and get woken up every morning to "cock-a-doodle-doo". Repeatedly!!!

Today is mom's birthday. Happy birthday mom! Her and dad shared a birthday. Dad was 6 years her senior. This is her first birthday in 52 years without him. She will be in my prayers all day.

Happy birthday dad, to you too. From heaven I'm sure you will be watching over mom today.