Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Looking forward to sunny days

Ahhhh, winter is almost near it's end. I'm looking forward to Spring. I want to start getting working outside. Hopefully, some sunny and warmish days are on there way. Recently, we were blessed with a warm day and went to Lewisville Park to enjoy it. It was really beautiful.

I'm really wanting to get out soon. I was perusing through old photos today and realized that one of the salmon runs actually ran in January one year. I thought it was late February and March. Hopefully, I can head down to the river soon to see if there are still any salmon (very close to my house). I'm also wanting to visit the Ridgefield Bird Sanctuary. I need to look up when the birds usually return so I go at the right time.

Another thing on the agenda, is that we have bred our older goat. She is due in June. It should be fun.

I had signed up for an alternative learning program this year, which kept me really busy. I had used similar programs for many years, but our state legislature put more and more requirements on those programs. So, in order to be able to have my kids take the classes they wanted, I signed them up for an alternative learning program, where they checked in each week. Which was fine, I wouldn't have had a problem with that. But, it ended up getting more complicated and more stressful, and I felt like my freedom to teach the way I wanted was pressured. While they allowed me to teach my own way, the goals had to be all laid out ahead of time and crossed off in a regimented way. It didn't end up working for us. So, now I'm free from that. Which I'm glad for. For now, we're paying for the classes my older girls are taking. We'll see what we do next year.

More and more I'm learning the lesson, however, that for me, a simple lesson plan, reading, writing, arithmetic, nature study, delight-directed learning, is me. And is totally sufficient and superior really to the over-stretching of every last subject. For me, this is mostly following a Robinson curriculum plan, but my own style of that. And, I feel like, maybe I've found what's good for me, and will allow me to enjoy my kids, yet make sure they have a good education.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Five Year Old Isms

Abigail: "Mom, is that a double A light bulb?"
Me: "No, that would probably be a 60 watt light bulb."
Abigail: "Oh, yeah. If it were a double A light bulb it would be really big."

Abigail: "Mom, it's a good thing that Josiah wasn't a chicken. If Josiah were a chicken, I'd be really mad. All we'd have would be girls, except for Daddy."

I love kids.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tasty Chicken

So tasty. We had chicken the other night that we grew last summer from our own chicks we hatched. We raised Barred Rock chickens - used the females for layers and the males for meat. We raised Cornish Cross one year and I felt so sorry for them, they could barely move under their weight by the time they were old enough to process. So, I decided to go with a heritage breed. They were a lot smaller than the chickens you get in the store, oh but they were so tasty. I can't even describe the difference. They were rich in taste, instead of the difference in the taste of homegrown produce versus grocery store. And, I am sure, so much more healthy too! We butchered these Barred Rock chickens around 15 weeks. We raised a rooster once (that we first thought was a hen) out till he was big once and he was terribly tough. Not good for anything but soup. But, I think we butchered him more like 18-20 weeks. So, ours were fairly small (probably a little under 2 equal a store bought chicken). They were in a movable pen which we moved every day (about 16 roosters for a 10' square pen), not completely free range. But, they had lots of fresh grass, and could move about, but probably didn't get as much exercise as completely free range. They had lots of healthy yellow fat on them though from the fresh grass. It was successful, so, I think we'll try it again and see if we can do more next year. Here is a picture of our turkeys from last summer. They were tasty too. turkeys