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Like throwing hundreds to the wind…

April 25, 2016
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It’s happening..

It’s that time of year when the programs have an end in sight! The homeschool co-op, Awana, Youth group, and music programs all have a expiry date and I am drooling in the anticipation of the low key evenings that ensue.

This past weekend, we decided that since the schedule was wide open (which is a total rarity on any given weekend round these parts) we would go to the Saturday night service at church, and have Sunday to enjoy with each other. We were able to watch 8 baptisms and hear their testimonies, what a joy it is to hear the testimony of others! My favourite!

We were able to accomplish so much this weekend, including the setting up of our SECOND new trampoline… ugh. The original trampoline suffered a tear that sent Ashlyn straight through the hole, to meet the hard earth below. Then the FIRST NEW trampoline decided to see what flying felt like and blew itself atop our playground set, consequently breaking each of its poles, tearing the net, and puncturing 4 holes in the bounce pad. If that wasn’t enough, 2 days later it flung itself into the field doing somersaults. (and yes it was tied down with a 6 inch fence post dug into the ground, which was ripped right out.. there are some seriously strong winds out here!) The poor Hubs and his co-worker had to wade into the thick springtime muck up to their ankles to go and slog it out, tying it to the nearest tree so it wouldn’t blow onto the road in front of some sorry unsuspecting driver. (the kids baked cookies for said co-worker for his effort :)

 

We debated on even buying another one this year, (watching the first new one fly away was like throwing $100 bills into the wind) but the more time I spent with the children, day in …and day out, while envisioning a summer without that grand toy, I caved. That baby provides me with some serious quiet time, so when I saw it in the Canadian Tire flyer on sale (for less than I paid for the first new one) WITH a 50$ bonus card, I hightailed it over there.

We’re now employing a new anchoring method in the form of 6 rebar canes that are hammered into the ground over each of the metal legs. I tried with all my might (and maybe more convincingly, the Hubs might) to pull it out of the ground, and it was as stuck down as …well…as something that’s really stuck down. heh.

I also picked up a patio bin to house all of the chair pads from our patio set, and man, is that ever a wonderful thing. No more racing out to throw the pads into the living room door to toss all willynilly into some corner to wait out the rains, instead they’re locked and loaded into this handy bin. Voila.

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We also did more work in the raised bed garden area… but more on that another time! These outdoor projects just keep me ticking…this year, though I am taking special precautions with my back, I’ll do anything to avoid those 3 weeks in bed!

Happy Spring Y’all!

 

‘Rarest Art of the Apothecary…’

November 30, 2015
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I read this last night before bed. I find reading Spurgeon is like reading my favourite food, he has such a way with words.

“Spices for anointing oil.”
Exodus 35:8

Much use was made of this anointing oil under the law, and that which it represents is of primary importance under the gospel. The Holy Spirit, who anoints us for all holy service, is indispensable to us if we would serve the Lord acceptably. Without his aid our religious services are but a vain oblation, and our inward experience is a dead thing. Whenever our ministry is without unction, what miserable stuff it becomes! nor are the prayers, praises, meditations, and efforts of private Christians one jot superior. A holy anointing is the soul and life of piety, its absence the most grievous of all calamities. To go before the Lord without anointing is as though some common Levite had thrust himself into the priest’s office–his ministrations would rather have been sins than services. May we never venture upon hallowed exercises without sacred anointings. They drop upon us from our glorious Head; from his anointing we who are as the skirts of his garments partake of a plenteous unction. Choice spices were compounded with rarest art of the apothecary to form the anointing oil, to show forth to us how rich are all the influences of the Holy Spirit. All good things are found in the divine Comforter. Matchless consolation, infallible instruction, immortal quickening, spiritual energy, and divine sanctification all lie compounded with other excellencies in that sacred eye-salve, the heavenly anointing oil of the Holy Spirit. It imparts a delightful fragrance to the character and person of the man upon whom it is poured. Nothing like it can be found in all the treasuries of the rich, or the secrets of the wise. It is not to be imitated. It comes alone from God, and it is freely given, through Jesus Christ, to every waiting soul. Let us seek it, for we may have it, may have it this very evening. O Lord, anoint thy servants. ~Spurgeon.

Thank you, God, for the very special gift of the Holy Spirit. 

Recipe for the Repertoire.

June 1, 2015
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Listen.

I love to eat. I am skilled in this department. The proof is in the many puddings I’ve consumed. My thighs are my attestation.

That’s why, when I say … ‘Try it, you’ll love it..” you need to heed me.

This recipe came to me by way of potluck…the best way in my opinion. Potlucks have earned a place of honour on my list of functions to attend. They’re a downright foodie blessing. My friend Mrs. Mitchell and many other friends came laden with pots of luck, and boy, they did NOT disappoint.

And because I know you’ll love this recipe as much as I do, I’m posting it here.

Mrs. Mitchell’s Veggie Pizza 

You’ll Need:

1.5 packages plain cream cheese, 3/4 cup sour cream, 1 package DRY ranch seasoning, 2 tubes of pillsbury crescent rolls (the regular not the large), 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, (and this is the part where you get to be fancy…) your choice of diced veggies…I used broccoli, peppers (red and yellow) kalamata olives, tomatoes, red onion and cucumbers (approximately 4 cups worth of veggies, and to make it super simple, I used my slap chopper to dice and it was a breeze!) IMG_0076

First: un-pop the cans of crescent rolls (this part scares the be-jeepers out of me..if The Hubs is home I make him do it, but this time around I had Gabe do it even though he’d never done it before, and he nearly had a heart attack when the can popped, oh, I had tears I laughed so hard…) unroll the sheet of crescent rolls but don’t separate them. I used a pampered chef bar pan for this and I ended up with one square of dough leftover and just cooked it up on another cookie sheet. Cook the dough as per the can instructions. Then let the baked dough cool.

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Next: mix together the cream cheese, packet of ranch seasoning, and the sour cream in a mixer until it’s of a whipped consistency, then spread it onto the cooled dough.

Then: sprinkle the veggies onto the spread evenly, and finish with the grated cheddar cheese. IMG_0068

Chill until cold. Slice into squares and serve!!

(And if you’re like the boy and I, you can hit it with a bit of sriracha to spice things up!!)

 

The beast in the back bush.

May 31, 2015
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We got ourselves a workhorse.

2 Years ago we had our back bush logged, when the lumberjack asked us if we’d like the treetops left behind to chop up and sell for firewood, we agreed.

We really had no idea what we were agreeing to. It’ll be a crazy amount of work to clean up what was left behind. What used to be a bush with several natural pathways and clearings, became a congested mess after the skidder went through and left many a log in it’s place.

So, for 2 years we’ve been dreaming up what the clean up would look like, and we’re finally there. The lumberjack said there was a pretty penny worth of firewood back there, and if we leave it any longer it won’t be worth much, as it would just rot away. Right now, he said it’ll be perfectly dry and well seasoned…so it’s time.

It changes our weekends for the next while as we now have a mighty big project on our hands.

The Hubs was at work the other day and just happened to find out that a farmer was selling his ATV at the right price. We’d talked about enough for him to know if he found a steal of a deal, that he should just go for it. And that he did. We picked it up that same night.

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As you can well imagine, the kids have been beyond excited to buzz around the yard with Dad. I, too, have been doing my fair share of checking the crops and lanes *cough*.

Interestingly enough, the week before we had gone to a local store to check prices on their used equipment, and that very day they happened to be offering a safety course for kids on ATV’s. We went ahead and signed the kids up and they each got a crash course on the ins and outs of driving an ATV and what safety precautions should be used. Perfect-o.

Yesterday, was the day we began what we actually intended for this beast. The making of firewood.

IMG_0063The bigs piled into the trailer to be hauled back to the end of the 50 acres, and the little came on the ATV with us.

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The entrance of the forest is grown in and we had to make our own pathway through. There was some long grass to tromp through, so I was sure everyone tucked their pants into their socks and we all wore long sleeves. The mosquitoes were awful by the entrance, but once we got in, there were few, yippee!! And then the shavings began to fly! We were officially making firewood, oh how good it felt!!

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The forest is such a beautiful space, even in the midst of the fallen trees and bugs, I get a great sense of peace. I’m determined to make a space that I can easily sneak back to, to have quiet time with God. That would totally beat being in the corner of my walk in closet!!!

 

 

How Old Do I Look…

May 1, 2015
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In my afternoon lull (It happens every day around this time…school is done, another coffee is being brewed and the children are enjoying their free time..) I sometimes stumble upon silly things like this:

How old by Microsoft

I’ve now uploaded several photos of myself and it’s surprisingly accurate … I’ve gotten a range of 32-37 depending on how I’m smiling. The Hubs got 45, when he is only 38, and that just tickles me pink…(it was a picture of him with a large beard … so I guess big facial hair puts a few years on you)

Another great app is Face Swap, oh goodness, the joy this had provided me!!

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My gorgeous cousin somehow becomes hideous on my face, it makes me Laugh out Loud every time I look at these photos. If you are in the need of some good laughs, download this App!!

Let me know how it works for you :) Enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend!!

The daily grind..

April 27, 2015
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Well, we’re back at it…a 5 day holiday was just what I needed to feel re-charged and go head long into this final phase of our schooling year. I’ve gone through each of the kids books and we’re on target for completion at the end of May, because of the delightful season change and because we are finally able to step foot OUTDOORS without fear and trepidation of being assaulted by the elements.

Although, the kids have agreed that we’ll keep up with a couple pages of math per day throughout the summer months so that come September they’re not re-learning for the first few weeks. Soon, I’ll be thinking through what needs to be ordered for August and then it’s time to close up shop for the summer. I find that if I think ahead now, I save myself a lot of grief trying to figure out curriculum come fall, best to do it while my head is still in the game. I say ‘close up shop’ but I have to admit, some of our best learning comes through the summer. The kids have a chance to read for as long as they’d like about whatever interests them, explore to their hearts content, and imagine anything their mind allows them. This, I might add, is how that jewel of a game ‘Helen Keller’ was developed…good ol’ summer pastime.  I do find I need to provide a few prompts now and again, and I do plan to have a few boredom busters up my sleeves, but the freedom summer provides is something my heart is yearning for.

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In gardening news, the seedlings are growing well. So far I have the following growing on bench under the windowsill:

Cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, red peppers, green peppers, sugar- baby watermelons, pickling cucumbers, green beans, cauliflower, leeks, basil, parsley and for fun: lavender, burgundy sunflowers, and pink pampas grass, white foxgloves, and a lupin from PEI.

While I was in AZ, The Hubs and the kids worked from sun up to sun down on that Saturday, to clean up a scruffy fence row that lined the side of our backyard. It was decided a few months ago while the white stuff was still piled high, that we would be putting our future garden there. (We had put one closer to the house last year, but the soil conditions weren’t favourable, it was actually a lot more clay and stone than good soil and the plants showed the lack of nutrients.) When I got home and saw all the work that had been done by my lovies, I could have cried…this is just how my family is…they completely understand that dirt is my love language.

Soon, the neighbour will be bringing over his roto-vator on his tractor and will be giving us a nice deep till, that turns the dirt into a beautifully fine seed bed. We’ll work in some compost from the farm and pick stones  and then it’s planting time! This year I’d like to make a bean trellis and try to train the cucumbers to grow vertically as well…we’ll see how that goes.

Anyone else with big gardening plans? if so, I’d love to hear about them!

 

The thing that provides the P&Q.

April 13, 2015
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There’s a purchase we made many a year ago that has hands down provided me with the highest amount of peace and quiet around here. (which to a homeschooling mama is of a very high value…Love my babes, but quiet? …doesn’t happen too often. So, this baby is ranked right up there with like … oh I don’t know, something I really love, like my bed, or nikon camera…or The Hubs)

The day we set up the trampoline brings fist pumping and hoots and hollers…from me. The kids get quite excited too.

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In order to set it up properly, you must first begin with making your best zoolander face with Russian fur hat … then get down to business. The business of taking a picture of your gigantor shadow that is.

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By the time I actually reached the trampoline, The Hubs was nearly done. This year we decided to replace the net as the old one was torn and was holding no real safety value whatsoever. We also put new pipe covers on as the old ones were getting quite faded from the sun and torn up, and that trampoline just went from shabby to chic!

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All the kids jumped in and helped and before they knew it, it was done! They were able to play their favourite game…

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It’s called ‘Helen Keller’. I know…when I first saw them playing it, I thought the same thing as you. They. Are. So. Homeschooled.

I just love it to death. Do you see the little one with her eyes closed? Honestly, it tickles me pink. I recently read them Helen’s biography and it deeply moved them. So much so, that like any normal child, they want to experience what her life would’ve been like…except for some reason my kids think that doing it on the trampoline is even more fun, because it doesn’t hurt as much when you fall. I swear to you, this is pure innocence right here … makes me experience the sweet ‘aww’ moment and yet at the same time I want to laugh my face off, because it’s just so totally “homeschooled”.  The Hubs and I just look at each other with raised eyebrows and a grin on our faces.

As I walked away from the three little Helens, I noticed our lawn is becoming totally chewed up…

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Here’s my Ronald McDonald garden clog to give you a reference of size.

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And I know just who is doing all the digging too…a skunk. I call him Stan the stinker. He’s been out several times on the back lawn when I wake up, he likes to eat all the birdseed that’s fallen from the feeders. I could try to scare him away with my red rider, but he holds such a devastating repercussion that I just can’t find the guts to do so.

So, Stan the stinker just does whatever he wants. For now.

Stan- 1. Leanne-0.

 

 

Gus..

April 7, 2015
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This red-tailed hawk flew overhead yesterday, he was sweeping over the fields in gentle back and forth motions, spying out his next meal. His nest is at the back of our fifty, and swoops overhead a few times a week.
I keep calling him Gus, but I think he deserves a much better name, so if you or your children think of one, let me know in the comments and I’ll announce the winner on www.farmingfolks.com tomorrow!