Keep up with the goings on around the farm!

Keep up with the goings on around the farm!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

172 days to go!

Yes, that is correct, 172 days of school left. I usually don't start counting the days left yet but my oh my! Since the boys have been back to daycare we already have a cold. Thank goodness Adam was able to take the past two days to stay home with the boys because there is nothing worse than having to miss any moment of the first week with a new class! I certainly love my job but I wouldn't mind taking a break until the kids are older. It is a lot for me to keep track of all of my responsibilities and do any of them well. My goals are to stay as healthy as can be so that I can spread myself as thin as I need to to get the jobs of mommying, wifing, teaching, and existing done! Lucky I am not lazy and like being busy!

This morning we woke up at 7:00 (believe it or not but that was sleeping in for me now that I am up at 5 every morning during the week). Ben came into our room, tried hard to snuggle and go back to sleep, then popped up and said I'm hungry! So we began our day; breakfast, tea, we picked the last of the figs and preserved them. We also pulled out some of the frozen peaches from our orchard visits and made our first ever batch of peach butter. Right now Simon is napping, Ben is chillin with a movie and we are all feeling sick and drained from the change of schedule and introduction of new germs.

We do have exciting news and I should take a picture soon for you. Adam bought his first big machine! He is so excited that he will now have some mechanical help to move the large piles of materials and giant stones around the job sites and to work on preparing our fall beds. We both want so much to get planting but neither of us has the energy to pull out that rototiller and work the hard Georgia clay...Adam has been doing too much digging this summer in god forsaken temps and I perpetually have two little ones tugging on my skirt! So needless to say this is an exciting moment for the farm. We plan on garlic and onions this winter. Two easy crops here that will need little attention with delicious results!

We are also beginning to think about winter which is rather hard to believe since we are still seeing temperatures in the 90's. But this winter we get to go back to our roots and heat this little home with wood! I am so excited about this. For all my years toting wood around at Millwood I never though I would miss it, but I do. The dust, the perpetual sweeping of the floor between door and stove, remembering to keep the kettle filled on the stove, splitting, stacking, worrying about having enough wood. I actually miss it all! I like even better that if I am blessed with a night in which I am not woken by Ben, Simon, Rama, Leo, or Adam that we won't freeze if I can't pull myself out from under the blanket to stoke the fire, we have back-up heat! A little luxury that I wish I could share with my Dad. Anyway, we are thinking about this and beginning to organize our wood, we also need to get a flu for the chimney. I am hoping that Simon is maturing enough that he will understand the danger of the woodstove. Right now he thinks it makes an excellent climbing wall.

Oh yeah, this is big news for me. Ben suprised us by counting to 10. Mothers all around me brag about how smart their kids are, I know Ben is smart but he doesn't show us all in academic ways (which is fine with me, he is so creative and kind!) My colleagues brag that their two year olds know all the letter sounds already...while we are hard pressed for Ben to correctly name a letter! But he does point letters out all the time, and numbers, and as he was putting his trains away he counted each one up to ten followed by non sequential teens! This is a relief to me because of course I am a teacher and my kid is supposed to know stuff right! Really motherhood has taught me to be a better teacher, I certainly appreciate each kids uniqueness a bit more, and as always my heart goes out to the kid who doesn't know their letters but sure can tell me an interesting story that will knock you off your feet with the giggles! All in good time...unfortunately state assessments will argue against that and insist that all children learn everything they need to at the same time etc. Makes me want to puke. Another goal of mine...ditch public school and open an outdoor that encourages natural exploration, creativity, and story-telling. We can always dream.

Lots of love.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Go Figgy? and Happy Birthdays!

Well, August is here and might I say moving right along! We celebrated Benjamin's 3rd birthday and Adam's 37th this past week. My goodness, how time flies (an old adage, but so appropriate...). To prepare for the festivities Ben, Simon, and I made a banner for the newest addition to the farm, a pint sized picnic table. The banner has held out through three crazy Georgia summer storms and looked quite good yesterday during a home-made peach pop break! You can see Simon enjoys the table, the shade, and the pop. Ben also decorated his own party hat that he was kind enough to share with his Daddy for part of the night. Sadly somehow Mommy missed a picture of that though. For my talented sisters, notice the two tie-dyes on Ben in one day...they are by far his favorites and it is always his first choice. Lucky for him he has two Aunties who love him so much to keep his drawer filled.

What else...

Yes, yesterday we picked a big basketful of figs from our most productive plant. Today we cooked them up and canned them for some sweet and tangy preserves to enjoy this winter. It is fun to have a little harvest our first year. Ben is keeping a close watch over the apple trees insisting that we take almost daily walks to check on their progress so I imagine there will be more canning of applesause and maybe apple butter in the coming months. Aren't those figs beautiful!

This morning we all packed up for work and left the house early, you can see there is only one morning person in the family...Simon. He insisted on wearing Ben's cape out the door this morning and put on quite a display for the camera...Ben on the other hand is like "you got me up, let's go!" Now that the two most recent sewing projects have finally been completed (recycling old sheets and bedspreads into blackout drapes for the bedrooms) there is room on my table for a new project...I think Simon needs his own cape!

I spent the day learning a new software to differentiate instruction in my classroom, hopefully I will find the time to use it...the other part of the day I spent painting, cutting, taping, and decorating my new classroom. I can already feel a more mature area with less dramatic play furniture and more open space for bigger ideas (yeah right...wishful thinking!) I am pleased with my room so far and I am even thinking that I have enough energy this year to start a farm to school program. Maybe starting with a garden club. We will see.

I have an empty house (Adam is on a trike ride with the boys), so I am going to say good-bye tonight, finish my glass of wine, maybe read a quick bit out of my new Chicken Magazine, and probably be quickly interupted to put the boys to bed! Lots of love from the farm and if the jars seal right maybe some fig preserves this holiday season too!

Mmmmwwwaaa! from our first decent down Line Creek in our hometown! Lucky woman am I.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Montana...and back.

We ended our summer (or at least mine), with a Churchill gathering in Big Sky, Montana. We spent two weeks there and it is probably going to take that to get the boys out of mountain time...just in time for me to begin the school year! It was worth it all, we found Montana to be beautiful and filled with adventure. Adam and especially liked the Bozeman area, pretty cool town; lots of fun parks for the boys, pawn shops with great gear, and gorgeous views everywhere you turned.

We did quite a few hikes, spent a couple days in Yellowstone watching the earth boil, were stopped in the road for bison crossing, and got all bad-ass for a bit of downhill mountain biking (this time without the boys on back!) The mountain biking scared me immensely but I am super excited that I have a photo of me looking totally hardcore to flash at my new students this year, maybe scare them a bit! Adam guided his siblings and spouses down a section of the Galatin River. We went inside a mountain and saw totally amazing caverns! I stayed with back with the Grandparents (fallen out of far too many rafts to be game for it). Instead we checked out Virginia City which is a ghost town and the history reminded me that we truly were in the Wild Wild West!

Now that we are back at the farm we are trying to adjust to the idea that I am headed back to school. I have almost finished my role in the second bathroom so pretty soon we will be operating with two toilets, which is totally necessary since now Ben is officially in big boy undies all day! Super psyched parents are we that now we are back to one set of diapers to change and wash. Adam just finished a gorgeous pond in an atrium, it was a fun project for him because he was working with a vertical space rather than an open slope. He has several jobs in the works but I am not sure exactly what they are, I think some stone step rebuilds, and I am sure in a few weeks the fall planting season will begin. I get to teach first grade this year, so I am looking forward to a bit more maturity and a new curriculum to keep things exciting. Let's see, what else...we built the boys a mini-picnic table outside. Totally helps out the sandbox dilemna of needing to shower before lunch! I like it. The boys like to dance on it, especially Simon. He is also incredibly fond of wearing nothing but his hand-me-down yellow rubber boots which are still a bit too big. He is insistent on it though! Which brings me to another thought...the boys are goofier than ever! Ben is picking out more and more of his own clothes, yesterday hiking in a tie dye, patchwork plaid pants, and camo canvas hightops with striped tube socks! Simon adds his silly self with his "pizza delivery" dance as we call it because his hand is up flat like he is carrying a tray with is other hand and knees keeping the beat! We love it!