Monday, December 16, 2013

PREPARE! REJOICE! (and keepin' it real!)

Dining Room ready for Sunday dinner
Guadete! Look East!
Josie tasted the Advent Candles (real)
And WHAT am I supposed to do with all of the soppy snow gear? (real)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Farm Mama Daybook

Today, Wednesday May 1, 2013

Outside My WindowA bright morning sunshine.  Yesterday was a beautiful day,  today looks just as promising.

On my mind...We are wrapping up our school year.  Today is the last day of the homeschool enrichment program that my older children are part of.  My mind is full of of thoughts for next year.  Decisions to be made,  many things to consider.   I am so grateful for homeschooling,  but I allow it to give me great anxiety sometimes. On a more positive note,  it is my oldest sons last day of "high school".  He is an amazingly bright young man and I am happy with all that he has done.  Our homeschooling experience, while difficult at times,  was a good one.  I cannot wait to see what is next for him.

I am thankful… that the battle with negative thoughts I was dealing with last week has been conquered.  I am so thankful for this.  Now I am able to actually deal with the situation and move on. 

Which came first, the kitten or the egg?

From the kitchen… I will be filling the pantry and refrigerator later today.   Breakfast was our standby of oatmeal and coffee.  I am looking for some new breakfast ideas for the warmer weather.  We really do not eat cold cereal so that's out.  If anyone has any ideas for quick-ish, nutritious breakfast foods,  I'm all ears!

I am wearing…Still in my jammies here.  I keep thinking how much smoother our day goes when I get up and around before anyone else stirs in the morning.   That is really hard when the little girls will wake up when I try to get out of bed,  no matter how early it is.  So,  for now,  I spend most of the morning in my jammies.  There are worse things.

I am creating...With plenty of plantain, chickweed, mint, and wild arugula, I've been doing some foraging.  I have some plantain oil steeping in a dark cabinet and some chickweed oil steeping in the sunshine.  I plan on making some soothing salve for the cuts, scrapes and mosquito bites that come with the summer sun.

Fresh plantain

This will "steep" for 4-6 weeks

In the garden...All of the beds have been cleaned out, loosened, and seasoned with some compost.  Markie and I planted beans yesterday.  I will be putting in a bed of asparagus tomorrow.  I think I will move the tomatoes and peppers into the garden on Mothers Day.  It doesn't look like it will get below 50 degrees at night any longer.  The lettuce is popping through the ground,  before long we will be making lunch from the garden.  The onions are also sprouting,  as are the potatoes.  I have plans to put carrots, beets, zucchini, cabbage and cukes in the ground next week.

I am reading…
I have been enjoying some Flannery O'Conner stories late at night.
I am hearing…The sound of some children running around upstairs,  the dog grooming herself, and besides that,  it's really quiet.

One of my favorite things…Late evening walks with my beloved.  We've been trying to make a habit of this.  I wrap Josie to my back and Celia in the stroller and we walk until the sun goes down.  A lovely way to end the day.
What the children are doing...
Markie is beginning to read.  He is the ninth child I have guided to literacy.  He started "the pink books"  (CHC users know what I'm talking about!). He just passed book three.  We will continue math, reading, and some writing over the summer months.  It all takes a less structured turn this time of year, but education never ceases. 

Here is picture thought I am sharing…

Do you see the hen?

 Hope you have a blessed week!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Jesus, Her Joy!

Molly Elizabeth made her First Holy Communion yesterday.   She was exuberant.  There were times she just couldn't contain her excitement.   I have never seen a child more eager to receive Our Lord.  I have never seen anyone more full of joy than what she was after she returned from the communion rail.  Father's homily was perfect for the occasion.   Live Jesus.  In our own way,  at our own level,  live for Jesus.

The three first communicants being enrolled in Our Lady's Confraternity of the Brown Scapular. 

Molly,  at her own level and in her own way, lives Jesus with joy.   And now that she has received Jesus in the Holy Eucharist,  she lives that joy tenfold.  My prayer is to grow to her level and live Jesus with that same kind of joy.  I have a long way to go.  I know Molly will help me along. :)

Today I am taking my daughters to a final profession of a Sister of the Visitation.  The motto of this particular cloister?  LIVE JESUS.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Seven Quick Takes

Markie - king of the mountain!

Seven Tidbits from the Past Week

I've never participated in seven quick takes before.   I thought I would now,  as it makes blogging quite easy.

1.  Mother Nature cannot seem to decide on a season.  We've seen snow, sleet, rain, (oh lots of rain!)  wind, and a bit of sunshine all in the past five days.  This can make planning anything pretty tricky.  We did manage to get a nice walk in this afternoon. (All pictures in this post were taken on that walk.)
Miss Molly, ready for a walk
2. Molly will be receiving Our Lord for the first time on Sunday.  She has been preparing, praying, and she is very excited.  

Sweet Cecilia
 3. Cecilia had a follow up appointment with the plastic surgeon on Tuesday.  Her toes have healed up very nicely though there is some concern with how rigid the scar tissue is.  We are massaging her feet a few times per day and soon we will start her on physical therapy.  My very sweet neighbor brought over some emu oil which is said to be very good for skin ailments.  We will do everything we can to keep her from having to have surgery again.  

The  children in the atrium
 4. Greta had her last day of the year in the atrium at St. Thomas the Apostle.  She participated in a budding Catechesis  of the Good Shepherd program.  She really enjoyed the stories presented to her and the variety of work that she could choose fromThis program was for three and four year olds..  Mark and Cecilia hope to join her in the fall when it will be open to three to six year old children.

5. My three oldest children, Nick, Abby, and Gabe, will be in a production of Shakespears "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Mother's Day weekend.  If you are in the area - come and enjoy the show!

Josie riding on mama's back during the afternoon walk.
 6. Josephine is on the verge of taking her first steps.  She stands unsupported constantly,  very proud of her skills.  She really is the most joyful little baby I have ever met. 

Joyful Chaos Homestead coming into view as we return from our walk.
7.  I snuck out for a few hours one evening to enjoy a cup of coffee with two of my dearest friends.  It was nice to sit and chat uninterrupted and undistracted.  Josie and Cecilia were more than ready for mama to come home and snuggle them to sleep.  I came home encouraged and fortified,  eager to live my vocation as a wife and mother to the fullest.  

For more quick takes,  visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Farm Mama Daybook

Sunday,  April 21, 2013
 ~ Chilly Spring Edition~

Outside My WindowA clear blue sky.  It was a down right cold 27 degrees when I got up early this morning.  It is a balmy 50 degrees right now. The wind was so bad last week it knocked down the windmill in my garden and blew loose garbage all over the place.   The boys are on their go-cart mucking through the field.  The horse is out in the pasture grazing the early green grass.  The goats are not with the horse. The goats are not happy about this.   Many of the chickens are loose and plucking around the yard. 
The entry way to the garden.  Tony used a hog panel to make an archway over the entrance.  A hog panel also makes a nice makeshift gate to keep the plucky chickens and naughty goats out.

On my mind...I have some nagging negative thoughts lurking around my brain today.  I am working on finding the positive in this particular situation and banishing the bad stuff hanging out up there.  It is a constant struggle.

I am thankful… I am thankful that the days are growing a bit longer and we are seeing more and more sunshine. 
Kids enjoying the sunny day!

From the kitchen… Yesterday was Gabe's 14th birthday.  He requested bacon cheeseburgers, (on those fantastic homemade buns!)  fries, and mozzarella sticks.  Today we had leftovers for lunch.  I have a loose menu plan for the week.

I am wearing…Jeans, t-shirt, and a hoodie,  all with bits of hay and mud stuck to them.  I have been in and out of the barn all day. 

I am creating…It's all about the garden right now.

A neat little bed of various lettuces.

I am reading…
"The Dirty Life" by Kristin Kimball.  It is pretty enjoyable.  It is helping inspire me to keep plugging away at the garden, the chickens, the goats, the pigs, the muck, the hay,  the feed, the poop, the slop, the compost...
Dexter and Lily, cute and curious.

I am hearing…The whining of the go-cart engine, the muffled sound of the radio from the garage where Nicholas is working on his car, Celia and Greta chatting about a book they are looking at, Josie making nursie sounds in my lap and the gentle sound of the wind chimes outside the closed window.

One of my favorite things… The view

  What's happening in the barn....
We are preparing to welcome two piglets next week.  This will be our first go round with pigs.  We have had a hog raised for us over the past few years,  now we plan on doing it ourselves.  We moved our bantams to a temporary pen in the barn a few days ago.  We housed them with the ducklings until they are big enough to move in with the rest of the flock.  Unfortunately one of the little bantys  found her way into the tub of water for the mallards and was not able to find her way back out.  I was so sad to see her little body floating on top of the water this morning.   One of our older mama cats birthed two kittens in the hay bin this morning as well. 
Dusty Mama and her babies, only about 6 hours old.

The little banties.  Soon they will move in with the rest of our flock. (24 hens and a roo)

Sammy and Henry's mallards. 

What's happening in the garden....Potatoes went in last week.   I planted thirty three seen potatoes in 11 potato sacks in hopes of growing them vertically.   Abby and Gabe both work at the corner farm market in the summer and we bartered with the owner for 100 pound burlap potato sacks for a sack race in the fall.  These were perfect for planting potatoes in this spring.  Sammy, Henry, and I put a bed of lettuces in last week as well as one hundred onion sets.  The garlic we planted in the fall is coming through the ground nice and green right now.  I have four trays of tomatoes and two trays of peppers under grow lights in the basement.  It will be awhile before we get them in the ground with the cold nights we've been experiencing. 
Eleven 100lb. potato sacks planted with three seed potatoes each.

What's going on with the children.... They are all,  for various reasons,  really excited for summer.  Nicholas will be working hard saving money for Hillsdale College in the fall. Josie is eager to take her first steps.  One gearing up for college and one gearing up to walk.   Abby will be working hard saving money for a car.  Gabe will be working hard saving money and just because he likes to work hard!   The rest of the children are looking forward to long days outside. 
Josie Posie  pretty pie!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Legands of St. Valentine Party

We gathered a group of children around real quick before Ash Wednesday to celebrate and learn more about St. Valentine.  Here are some pics of our wonderful time!

Craft Table

Festive Decor!

Mama's and kids! (just a few kids!)

Yummy food table.   A sweet friend loaned me her drink fountain so we kept the pink lemonade flowing! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Back to Blogging in 2013

  It has been well over a year since I have last posted.  I am not going to get into any philosophical explanation of my absence (though I wouldn't exactly say absence is the word,  I am active on facebook.)  or dole out excuses for not keeping this up.   I am just going to pick up where I left off, blogging about our day to day.  Food, faith, children, homesteading, chickens, homeschooling.  I am going to pick up because I want to,  I enjoy journaling our adventures.  I really enjoying looking back over past blog posts.  So I'm just going to jump right back in.  Starting with what occupies most of my time, budget, and mind - cooking for fourteen people! 

  Following is our menu for two weeks.  I am working real hard at keeping grocery costs low and keeping everyone full and healthy.  Not an easy task at all.

Chicken scratch menu plan
Friday 1/4 (we follow the traditional rules and abstain from meat on all Fridays)
Breakfast:  Oatmeal, coffee/tea
Lunch: Fried eggs and toast, orange juice
Dinner:  Tuna melts and peach cobbler.  (frozen peaches from the past years local harvest.)

Saturday 1/5
Breakast:  Oatmeal with peanut butter, coffee/tea
Lunch:  Baked southwestern chicken egg rolls, chips and salsa
Dinner:  Left over chicken and dumplings from Thursday's dinner

Sunday 1/6
Breakfast:  Oatmeal, coffee/tea
Lunch:  Pot roast with mashed potatoes and gravy and fresh artisan bread. 
Dinner:  Goulash and mixed frozen veggies

Monday 1/7
Breakfast:  Oatmeal, coffee/tea
Lunch:  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pretzels, colby cheese cubes,  milk (we take ours raw)
Dinner:  Huge pot of chili with cheese, peppers, and sour cream,  homemade corn bread

Tuesday 1/8
Breakfast:  Homemade oatmeal muffins and cobly/jack cheese cubes, coffee/tea
Lunch:  Leftover chili
Dinner:  Pulled pork in the crockpot on homemade rolls, oven fries, frozen mixed veggies

Super easy homemade sandwich rolls. Lots of them.
Wednesday 1/9
Breakfast: Oatmeal, coffee/tea. Noticing a pattern here?  We have oatmeal nearly every morning.  I doctor it up in various ways each day.  I purchase #25 each month from or local farm to consumer co-op.
Lunch:  Left over sandwhiches
Dinner:  Sweet and sour crock pot chicken over rice,  mixed veggies

Thursday 1/10
Breakfast:  Bagels with cream cheese,  smoothies, coffee/tea
Lunch:  Spaghetti,  salad, artisan bread
Dinner:  Second Thursday potluck following evening mass

Friday 1/11
Breakfast:  Oatmeal, coffee/tea
Lunch:  Migas (eggs, tortillas,  tomatoes, peppers and cheese)
Dinner:  Taco bean soup, artisan bread

Gratuitous adorable baby picture