Family & Home

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101 articles in category Family & Home / Subscribe

We are slated to have our first real frost and so we are running around gathering blankets and sheets for covering plants, harvesting the last of the summer plants, and getting the wood stove and warm clothes ready. While these things often come and go and we’ll probably be rolling up our shirt sleeves just next week, it’s fun to cozy in at this time of year.

This week I have a weird hodge-podge of mostly unrelated photos from around the homestead, so here we go…

The older the children get, the more they weave themselves into the fabric of the homestead everyday. Whether it is dishes, feeding and milking animals, or working on various projects, someone’s usually helping with something. Last week, after chores and school were done for the day the boys asked if they could go have their free time. Sure, I said, thinking they’d be running up and down the dirt road or playing or working on their usual projects. Thirty minutes later I found them in the pasture chopping firewood. Then again, when it’s time to wash the dishes, the old “like pulling teeth” adage sure seems to ring true. You win some, you lose some?

We have been taking cuttings from some trees and blackberry bushes around the property. And by we I mean Stewart. But I am excited at the prospect of free future trees and bushes.

And, in preparation for winter, Stewart put in these buried cold frames for growing greens. We’ll be covering the kale, turnips, radishes, and lettuce on frosty nights but hopefully these guys will extend our already long growing season even further.

Are you all staying cozy… or just barely leaving summer behind?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.