Family & Home

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schooltwoFall is doing what it has often done in the nearly six years since we have inhabited this land – coming and going. While the last two years have seen that subtle day-to-day change in seasons, this year seems a bit like earlier years. It has been a little drier, a little warmer, and the first “cold front” a bit fleeting. Even so, the calendar says it is fall.

I didn’t realize how much time we were spending on various aspects of the garden until the fall garden was mostly planted and now here we are with a bit more time in our days. Since February it seems we have been out there most days planting, weeding, watering, and tending to these plants that feed us. All the while we have been holding a somewhat regular school schedule for the two oldest boys and, more recently, Annabelle.

schoolthree

Without the urgency of harvesting, preserving, or planting in our mornings, we are turning to the school books for a couple of extra hours every day. This transition reminds me of the many times I have read, but never quite fully understood, the words of the pioneers. The challenge of putting down the shovel or dish towel and tucking into the books is an ever present one, and even more so for them it would seem.

schoolfour

Truth be told, the children have never once been more enthusiastic about opening their books than heading out for homestead chores. But I suppose that’s why us parents decide which days are about dirt and which days are about long division.

schoolone

I had a great sense of fear when I began homeschooling; that fear that if anyone was going to botch this, it would be me. But the Lord is faithful and has allowed the children to learn to read and to plant; to write and to weed; to milk and to multiply… despite my inability to organize, well, anything.

boys

There is no denying the passing of time when one is a Mama. Days turn to years and years into a childhood and suddenly our firstborn is up to my chin.

feed-pig

The girls used to love helping me carry slop out to the hogs. I say used to because the hogs have been gone for quite some time – something I apparently forgot to mention here. Two were harvested and one simply got away and we are thankful for the unexpected provision of meat.

seeds

It seemed as good a time as any to plant seeds a few weeks ago so out we went with brassicas and beets and dirt beneath our finger nails. And now here we are, warm and no rain since and thankful I remembered to only plant half the seeds from these packets.

root-cellar

The big project lately has been the root cellar and the roof over it to keep the water away. The roof is now done, the gutters up, the steps put in. This room over top has many possible uses so we will see how it ends up.

new-chicks

And there are new chicks! A few broody hens all hatched out around the same time and so every morning I hear their little chirping from near the barn. It is no less than a miracle every time this happens; a direct provision from God. We are grateful.

Feeding-chickens

And so the flock thickens, as they say (they don’t really say that, do they?). But the chicken flock continues to grow and the young ones are more than eager to send feed flying in whatever direction it might be taken to supplement the weeds and bugs these birds spend their days finding.

The evening milking is barely happening before dark; the morning milking sometimes even sees a sweater. September is here with her golden light and whispers of fall but I think we will plant some seeds indoors this week while we wait for the last warm days of summer to pass us by.

How are things at your place during this last month of summer?