Who, what, when, where

Who we saw… Cousins!!timberlee 057 timberlee 148Friends!!

Our buddy S.P.

Our buddy S.P.

DEAR friends

DEAR friends

Tommy's best bud, Joe.

Tommy’s best bud, Joe.

Jimmy and Benja's dear friend, Judah

Jimmy and Benja’s dear friend, Judah

What we did…GaGa Ball!!timberlee 136 timberlee 065Zip Line!!

Good lookin' bunch, doncha' think?

Good lookin’ bunch, doncha’ think?

My four oldest.. all zipping at once!

My four oldest.. all zipping at once!

High Ropes!! .timberlee 083

Our own American Ninja Warriors!

Our own American Ninja Warriors!

Archery!!

Pocahontas and Sacajawea

Pocahontas and Sacajawea

Kissed babies!!timberlee 061Wrestled!!timberlee 118

Macho Man Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan

Macho Man Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan

Stamped Leather

We all LOVE the leather shop.

We all LOVE the leather shop.

Carpet ball!!

It was so fun watching the kids watching...heads swinging back and forth following the ball.

It was so fun watching the kids watching…heads swinging back and forth following the ball.

When… Only Friday -Sunday. We meant to be there Thursday as well, but our tire came off the trailer (SPARKS!!) and we didn’t make it to camp til 11:30pm. Friends had our site ready and were waiting with flashlights to help us set up. Priceless.

Where… ICHE family camp!! See you there 2015!!

 

Hog Heaven

motorcycles 008We love motorcycles! Surprised?? My dad has a vintage BMW that he has taken all over the country. My mom used to have one as well. Jeremie used to have a bike to get to college. I just think it’s so fun to ride them.

Benja doesn't look like it, but I was surprised that he was a little scared.

Benja doesn’t look like it, but I was surprised that he was a little scared.

I still have my little leather motorcycle mama jacket in a rubbermaid somewhere, hoping to get pulled out if Jeremie ever gets another bike ;) While we were back home, my dad took all the kids for a ride. motorcycles 013There are so many of them, it was getting dark by the time the last ones got a turn. motorcycles 020Then Mitna and Bompa took all the babes inside for ice cream while Jeremie and I went for a ride. Fun!

Off into the sunset, or I mean, moonlight!

Off into the sunset, or I mean, moonlight!

Of course we also did more tame things while we were there, like reading books :) grands 003

What we’ve been up to…

timberlee 155

It’s quite the mess in there.

Working on the greenhouse. I feel like winter is just around the corner and I know I’ll be wanting to start some seeds in here soon. The animals have wreaked havoc on the siding so Jeremie has a lot of mending to do. And he is adding glass to the east side which should let it a lot more light. I have set a deadline for November 1 for it to be arranged such as that I can at least walk in there. Now that I’ve made that deadline public, perhaps there will be more pressure to complete the project? No nagging allowed.

Benja measuring boards for daddy.

Benja measuring boards for daddy.

Knitting again… I feel the nibbles of a knitting bug. Perhaps he only comes out in cooler weather? I love this little Milo sweater. This cute grey number is for a friend’s baby, hopefully arriving soon!

sweater

Helping out friends, selling soap at the farmer’s market. Girls manning the booth, so the mama’s could go to a “coffee meeting”.index

Maude, being a lazy bum! But we love her..timberlee 169Life has been a whirlwind of activity since we came home from camping. Friends, meeting, trips to Jackson, work, butchering, gardening. I feel like we jumped back into real life with 2 feet and a major splash!

Apologies!!!

I have been remiss in my blogging responsibilities!!!! We have been busy having fun at family camp this past week. While I have many, many thoughts and photos to share with you, it may be a few days til they get posted here. But in the meanwhile, I am so sorry to have let that nasty rabbit picture be the first thing you saw on our blog page for so long. Here’s a little cuteness to make up for that …Oh, wait. There are no pictures of cute kids camping. Why not? Well, first of all because they were whirlwinds of activity. I could barely shove food at them before they were off again on another adventure. But also partly because you can’t find them behind the dirt. We have plenty of pictures of grubby, marshmallow-y sticky, sweaty kids. But cute kids..not this time ’round. ;)

How about a funny picture instead? 10 bikes strapped to the back of the van for the 500 mile trek to Wisconsin. Fun times to be had. timberlee 003

Warning: Graphic Post!!

butchering 004Doesn’t everyone have to get the butchering out of the way before leaving for vacation? Just filling the freezer with rabbit meat and chicken. We still have 2 tractors of broilers for our animal babysitter to care for, but the headcount is a much more manageable number after today. butchering 010Tommy is my main helper with butchering the rabbits. Doing rabbits is so much easier than chickens.. no feathers. We knocked out 12 rabbits in about an hour. I have another generation of bunnies ready to run in tractors for about a month before they end up in the freezer. I am finding that rabbits are cheaper, easier to raise, easier to butcher, and more beneficial for my garden than raising broilers. And the meat tastes very similar, so I may intensify my breeding schedule to get more meat per year. butchering 022Then later in the day, Jeremie, Tommy, and I processed a few chickens. Our pens were getting overcrowded and our watering system (5 gallon buckets fed by a tube to a hanging waterer) was getting emptied too quickly for our once – a – day animal sitters. I was concerned these birds were not big enough, but dressed out, they came to an average of 4.5 pounds, a decent size. We’ll process the rest after our vacation. It was a cool overcast day. A huge blessing considering it has been in the high 90′s and sunny all week.

I wear my trusty yellow gloves all day on butchering day. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to go gloveless...maybe not.

I wear my trusty yellow gloves all day on butchering day. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to go gloveless…maybe not.

I have weird kids that like to play with the wind pipes and feet of dead chicken.

I have weird kids that like to play with the wind pipes and feet of dead chicken.

Maybe we should buy them some real toys?

Maybe we should buy them some real toys?

Into the whiz-bang plucker on loan from a friend!

Into the whiz-bang plucker on loan from a friend!

Benja was so helpful in putting together our drying rack. We dry the chickens and rabbits before we bag them in shrink wrap freezer bags. Eliminates freezer burn.

Benja was so helpful in putting together our drying rack. We dry the chickens and rabbits before we bag them in shrink wrap freezer bags. Eliminates freezer burn.

annyeonghaseyo!

That is the English pronunciation for “Hello!” in Korean. I have befriended a lonely Korean lady lately. She has only been here for a few months and her American husband has had to leave for Hawaii, for his job, while she remains here in Tennessee. She has some kind of complications with her green card. Her name is Ji Yeon and she told me she was overjoyed to see another Asian face. It was fascinating for me to visit with a ”real” Korean. As opposed to me, a “fake” Korean who imagines herself American. I kept laughing while she was talking because… well, I’m not sure why. She probably thought I was crazy. She and her husband lived in Seoul, South Korea for the first 5 or 6 years of their marriage and she hopes to return there soon. She is not loving America, I am thinking. So she came over for dinner one night this week and brought along her young son, who, up until 2 months ago, lived in a downtown apartment with his family and extended relatives. Now, he attends public school from 6:30 am to 3:30 pm. I was happy to see him be able to run around outside and enjoy our farm animals.daniel 004 He really enjoyed the horse ride and informed us all that he will be back soon for another one. He thought it was quite hilarious to chase and catch a baby piglet as well. How good for him to be able to experience nature and fresh air and exercise. His mother and I have plans for an excursion to Fort Campbell where there is a large population of Koreans and, best of all, Korean restaurants! daniel 007

He gets it!

I am reading a fabulous book. A book so good that I have to share it with you. I started to highlight my favorite parts, but then had to stop when I realized the entire page was yellow. John Taylor Gatto was a public school teacher in New York City and was a 3 time New York City teacher of the year and New York State teacher of the year. He now travels and speaks extensively about education reform. He is an outside the box thinker. He is outspoken, blunt, humorous, and honest. I have never been a “school at home” type homeschooler, but, to be honest, sometimes I wonder if I should be more that way. I am surrounded by people who place a HIGH emphasis on academics. I stoutly maintain that the best learning is done by living life, not by sitting in a desk. But occasionally doubts can assail. This man, John Gatto, a school teacher, affirms what I wholeheartedly believe.. “It is absurd and anti-life to be compelled to sit in confinement with people of exactly the same age… In centuries past, children and adolescents would spend their time in real work, real charity, real adventures and in the search for mentors who might teach them what they really wanted to learn.” Another fantastic quote..”School people should stop implying they possess some magical secret that bestows a good life on those that catch on to it and dooms others to lifelong ignorance…We need to get students out of the classroom more often.” and “The curriculum of family is an attitude that allows many different activities. It acknowledges that parents are the crucial factor in growing up strong and sane.”

Mr. Gatto, in his position of homeroom teacher, allows his students to attend “school” only 2 days per week. The other days, he assigns them to other tasks. Such as community service (nursing home, food kitchen) one day. Family service (shadowing mom or dad, helping out with siblings) one day. Pursuing an interest (independent study in an area of personal interest) one day. He is constantly in hot water with his school board. He regularly bypasses protocol and leads his students on discovery trips all over the city. What a teacher! What vision!

John Gatto recognizes that schools do not “fail”. They are exceedingly successful at what their purpose is. Horace Mann, John Dewey, Plato.. these men wanted to and have succeeded in fractionating the family and indoctrinating the children to “move like laboratory rats when a bell is rung.” “Schools teach that nothing is very important-certainly nothing is important enough to spend more than forty minutes on it.”

The most scary quote of the book? “No effect of compulsory mass-schooling is more resistant to remedy than the damage it has done to the American family by separating parents and kids.” This book is not written by a “whack-o” homeschooler. It is written by a man who loves teaching and wants children to have a “real” opportunity to learn. It is called A Different Kind of Teacher. Read it!

Weekly Garden Update 8-31-14

Same-o, same-o

Not much going on here. Some greens and carrots sprouting for the fall garden. Beautiful luffa gourd plant.

I can't believe the cows don't eat this. It is right inside their pasture.

I can’t believe the cows don’t eat this. It is right inside their pasture.

Moles!!!! They are coming to eat my delicious earth worms, I assume.

I have tunnels and eruptions all over the garden. I can only assume I am growing fat juicy worms.

I have tunnels and eruptions all over the garden. I can only assume I am growing fat juicy worms.

Corn looking good. I hope it doesn’t become ripe while we are away in Wisconsin! garden 003We harvested this beautiful rabbit manure and compost from our rabbit / chicken pen. Just waiting to side dress my greens with it when they get a little bigger.garden 005