Friday, April 29, 2016

A Day in Our Life

Most days we meet at the table at 9:00 and talk, work, read aloud until about 11:00 when I prepare lunch.

As we learn and read, we try to find countries on the globe.

 This day Emily began to cut up some straws which we later strung to make necklaces.

While I am making lunch, Emmy asks me to put her hair in a ballerina bun, she puts on her Elsa dress and dances.
After lunch, I get outside to work around the homestead for a couple of hours - right now my work is preparing the garden.  By late afternoon, I generally spend a couple of hours on the business doing computer work, wood burning, and packaging.

During my work time, Mike usually works on some building projects and most everyone else is outside with him.
He just finished a little shelter for our Nigerian Dwarf buck and will start a fenced in area for him today so we can keep him separate from the girls for most of the year. 

Certain days of the week we have some other activities, such as an art/music class on Monday afternoon for Abraham and Sarah and homeschool gym time on Friday afternoons.  We try to not have to leave the house on Tuesday and Thursdays to minimize driving and to be more productive.

Warm wishes,

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Knitting and Reading

Yeah!! I am here joining Ginny with what I am knitting and reading.

Well, we are working to getting back to our principles of not spending/consuming unless necessary or for a well thought out purpose (such as a trip to visit family).    So, part of that goal means using up and making do.  As we rely on our home based business for nearly 100% of our family's income, we never really know what each week will bring in terms of our income.  So when business is busy, we have had a tendency to spend (give too) but really spend probably too easily.   When business is slow, as it had been prior to the last couple of weeks, we pray, pinch pennies, and wonder if God really wants us to be doing what we are doing.  It is so funny, but, right when Mike starts inquiring about some side work, the business starts booming, as it did recently.  So our prayers were answered and our needs were always met.

Anyway, back to the knit along.  Well, I have lots of yarn.  Of course, I often find that I don't  have what would be my first choice for a particular pattern.

So, I just love the new Moonlight Garden Shawl Pattern by Mandarines.  She is offering 15% off the pattern through April 30th using the code mandarinesmaykal.    Melody, of Mandarines, is also having a Shawl Knit Along for the month of May.  She has several beautiful shawl patterns to choose from.  

So, although I would have loved to order some beautiful O'Wool Local yarn - which is a blend of alpaca/fine wool for my Moonlight Garden Shawl, I resisted and am instead using up what I have which is the only DK weight yarn in enough yardage from my stash.  It is from Peace Fleece in the colorway Distant Maple which is shades of green and purple with specks of blue.  If I could, I would have chosen, a soft brown color in an alpaca blend to create a nice drape.  But this will work and I can see myself using it just as the name suggests - wrapping it around myself in the evening as I walk around our homestead checking on the garden and animals or pushing one of the children on their swing.  

I am also crocheting a pillow cover - actually I plan to make two to add a little refreshment to our couch and to go along with the lap blanket I recently finished.

So glad to be reading a good fiction book - a classic - My Antonio, by Willa Cather.  

What are you working on and reading?

Warm wishes,

Monday, April 25, 2016


I am back in this space after not getting the hang of squarespace.  I like the feel here and also it really contains so much of our family's journey.  Looking back at how our dreams have been realized one step at a time, but of course not without occasional interruptions and challenges.

We are mostly settled on our new homestead in the midcoast Maine area.  The house is an antique Cape, although, it has been "cheapified" over the years and I hope to add some rustic charm and character over the coming years.  It is smallish, 3 bedrooms (the girls' bedroom is quite large, though) but it has a nice open living space with a large kitchen.   The land, at 7 1/2 acres, is what is most exciting.  We have lots of maples to tap next spring, plenty of firewood available to cut, gardening space, an overgrown field that can be reclaimed for growing or pasture and much more.  

Being in a new area, however, no matter how beautiful and no matter how much more it has to offer our family in terms of homeschool groups, classes, a bit more of a diversified population (not really diversified but at least in terms of age and vocations, etc..), it has still been harder than I thought it would be.

As spring has returned, though, our eyes are on the long days of work ahead.  Firewood and fencing the garden are our first priorities.  We also plan to plant blueberry bushes, rhubarb, and asparagus.

Thank you for reading and I hope you will find your way here from time to time as I share bits and pieces of our life with five children still at home, 5 goats (at the moment), 12 chickens, 1 duck, 1 dog, 1 kitten, and 2 pet bunnies, as well as what it is like to learn and work together on our home based business which supports our family's simple lifestyle.

Monday, October 5, 2015

First Heavy Frost

Early yesterday morning these two asked for all of their winter attire and headed out trying to scrape up enough frost to make an ice ball.  They succeeded and its home is in our freezer.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Moving Forward

We are under contract now to purchase our new home in Central Maine.  There is much to look forward to - having wooded land, making plans for guest cabins, making gardens, and building outbuildings.  

Speaking of outbuildings, there is only currently an attached garage which will become the workshop right away.  But we are wondering what will work best to shelter all of the animals on the day we arrive.  What can we do for their immediate needs and then what kind of small barns can we build inexpensively and simply?  Any thoughts?  We will have 3 goats, 14 chickens (two of which are special needs and need their own separate area and a rooster and his girlfriend that need their own space) and one duck.  We are planning to close our shop for about two weeks when we move so we can concentrate on building.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Knitting and Reading

More of my favorite knitting - baby vests.

The Ria is a  new pattern for me and I love the simplicity of it.  I have a question, though, it seems as if my yarn overs don't result in as obvious of a hole as there should be.  Any thoughts?

My friend shared these copies of the publication, Plough with me and I am so glad she did.

Joining in with Ginny at Small Things today.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Common Ground Fair

Something on my wish list for many years, we were able to go to this past weekend.
We went on Saturday and it wouldn't surprise me if there were record crowds that day.  With a brilliant blue sky and the temperature about 68 degrees, one couldn't have asked for more.
So many people, but most with happy faces, smiling, enjoying one another and their children.

There is a whole separate area designed for children - hulling and thrashing beans, hammering nails (children hammering with full size hammers within feet of one another - imagine that!).  There was cardboard hill sliding by the band tent.  So many children laughing, forming instant "friendships", and getting along.  Dust flying up everywhere because it has been dry for so long.

One of the highlights for our entire family was the sheep herding with the collies.  We also enjoyed some demonstrations about making sunflower oil and of course, I was drawn to all of the wool.

My purchases included the yarn pictured from Hope Spinnery that was naturally dyed with indigo.  I am using it to knit the the Ria Vest Pattern.  I also loved the artwork by Toki Oshima and found out that she teaches classes to homeschoolers nearby.

This fair is huge and we certainly didn't see everything.  By mid afternoon, we knew that our younger children had reached their limits for the day so we headed out to the trail through the woods that leads back to the hay field that had become a parking lot.