Tag Archive | children

I am thankful….

I am thankful that my Hubby puts up with me as much as he does. I do love him even if I did say I wanted to buy a donkey and name it Babe (my pet name for him).

Growing a large family

I am thankful for my kids. Parenting is stressful, tiresome and some days down right awful. But without them I don’t what I would be doing or who I would be. I was meant to be a mom.

Growing a large family

I am thankful for my family. Sometimes they are stupid, crazy or weird. And some of them are all of the above all at once, but how would I know how to be normal if I didn’t have something to learn from. (To all the family members that read this, that wasn’t meant for you. Nope would never say that about you.)

Growing a large family

I am thankful for being able to homeschool and being able to have a homestead. I guess that falls under being thankful for my Hubby since he works very hard so that I don’t have too.

Growing a large family Growing a large family

I am thankful for my Autistic daughter. I am thankful it is only that and not anything worse. I have friends who are dealing with the possibility of death as an end result for their children’s condition. And I am very thankful that my daughter can walk, talk and function at a higher ability than some with this diagnosis. I know it could always be worse.

Growing a large family

I am thankful for my grandparents. Without them, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today. They stepped up and made sure I had a stable home and a place to call home. For that I am forever thankful. Even though 2 are gone, they are never far from my heart or my thoughts. I am an introvert like my Grandma. I only keep a few close friends. I am a farm girl like my Grandpa. And also got his love of Country Fried Steak and dumplins.

Growing a large family

I am an animal lover like my Grandmom and also got her need to feed and take care of people. My Grandmom was a picture of grace until you got on her bad side. Then the gloves were off. I feel like I am like that. I will always be polite, even to someone I don’t care for, but if you insult me or my family, you better watch out.

 

 

 

 

I have my Grandaddy’s sense of humor. In fact, I was just telling my hubby and kids that my Great-Grandmother (his Mother in law) never liked Grandaddy because of his sense of humor and the way he would eat his food. Like fried chicken, she always used a fork and knife, where Grandaddy would pick it up with his fingers. I notice my hubby using a fork sometimes where I am like it’s finger foods, I’m using my fingers! So in the end, I am convinced that my great-grandmother wouldn’t like me either. And especially not now that I named 2 different chickens after her. See there’s that sense of humor I was talking about. He also taught me about love and devotion. Seeing him still committed to my grandmother after she has been gone almost 22 years is inspiring. You don’t see love like that nowadays and I hope my marriage is just like theirs, Strong and withstanding time.

Growing a large family

So what are you thankful for?

 

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Holidays upon us..week 7

Well it is here. The holiday craziness is officially upon us. I know I am a little behind because of illnesses and remodeling. Yes, we decided to remodel in the middle of the holidays. We did the same thing 4 years ago too. We are just crazy like that. But thankfully it is done and now I just have to reorganize my house. I am also writing this while dealing with a very sick little girl and a million things on the to do list. But I always pull it off. Sometimes by the skin of my teeth. But hey that’s life.

So what should you be doing….

Hopefully you already shopped, are ready to shop, going shopping for everything!

Grocery shop for Thanksgiving no later than this Friday. It will save you from dealing with the massive crowds.

Make a plan for your Black Friday shopping. I am not participating because it seems the stores open earlier every year. I like to enjoy my Thanksgiving with my family and friends and shop on the actual Black Friday but I will just be shopping from this very computer I am writing you from.

Christmas shopping should already be happening. We have had boxes coming in at least 2-3 times a week here. I am almost completely done with my family outside of my household and just need to concentrate on my kids now. Hubby already bought his present so that’s one less person for me to worry about.

Hopefully you found my Holiday series helpful. I enjoyed writing it.

Happy Holidays ya’ll!

Peak into our homeschool life

Like I had said in an earlier post, we didn’t start a new school year in August. We are still finishing up Kindergarten, 7th and 9th grade. Our new school year begins in January, after our holiday break.

But I wanted to give you a peak into some of the things we have been doing.

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Scavenger Hunt at the park

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Beginning spelling and yes he is shirtless 99% of the time

Growing a large family

This is after he beat me at Go Fish for the millionth time

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Pumpkin fun

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More Park Fun

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She free-handed her pumpkin drawing then carved it.

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My lil farmer boy

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Homeschool Day at the Florida Aquarium

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Turtle Learning at the Florida Aquarium

We have had a lot of park days lately. We also have had quite a few field trips.

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Eat at Home Challenge

For the last 2 months, we have really struggled with fast food. Our lives have been so busy with at least 3-4 activities on the calendar every week that it was easier to just grab something while we were out. But then there was also moments of how about we go here and there for dinner. Or do you want to get this or that for breakfast. It got out of control.

My proudest moment was when I had to take my daughter for a last-minute, late in the day doctor appointment. After the appointment, I had to make the, normally 30 minute, drive back to our hometown during rush hour traffic and stop at the pharmacy. It would have been easy to get sucked into the let’s just pick something up game. But I refused! I knew I had meat thawed in the fridge that needed to be used up. I knew we had already ate out at lunch time because of a homeschool meeting. I knew we were going over to my mom’s for pizza the next day. And I wasn’t going to do it! I got home and with the help of my middle daughter. I made dinner at home. It was completely from scratch. But it was the best I could do under the circumstances and much better than fast food. We had pork chops, mac and cheese (organic from a box) and broccoli. And I was darn proud. So proud, I turned around and did it again on Saturday. And then again on Monday.  3 busy days that could have been easier to just throw the towel in and hit the drive through. But I didn’t!

So to take it a step further, I am challenging myself to a 2 week eat at home challenge. I am going to start as of this Sunday. That means I am already 2 days into it. I actually signed up for this challenge through Eat at Home Cooks. I really love this blog because it gives some simple tips and makes it easy for all of us to eat at home. Not to mention the recipes are yummy.

And let’s be honest we all need to eat at home to make room in the fridge, freezer and our waistline for all those holiday foods that are coming up.

Holidays upon us week 5….

Week 5 and 1 holiday down! How was your Halloween? Let me start by saying my plan of action didn’t happen like I thought it would because I didn’t actually go around and find out trunk or treat times. So we ended up in the one neighborhood in our entire city and now I know where everyone tricks or treats on Halloween.

Only 2 of my kids went trick or treating, my oldest was sleeping over at a friend’s house and my middle daughter had a homeschool glow party to attend. So it was just the littles with us.

Halloween 2015 Growing a large family

I was so proud of my zombie make up skills. I started to use the cheap Halloween make up and he immediately turned red. So I used my eyeshadow and lipstick. He loved it.

In character

In character

Our witch had a great time too. Until the next morning, when she realized she lost her hat at the last stop of the night.  Story of our life.. always losing something. But I did learn 2 valuable lessons for next year…

  1. take my own advice and actually plan by finding out the exact times
  2. Buy a wagon for little man to ride in. With his feet problems, he had a hard time walking a long distance.

So we are now in the first week of November. This is the perfect time for a nice deep cleaning. Get a jump on it instead of trying to pile in cleaning and cooking the week before. Halloween is over so I plan on getting rid of all the cobwebs in my house this week. Put away Halloween decorations and pull out anything for Thanksgiving. Reorganize kitchen and give it a good scrubbing. I am also hoping to steam clean the main carpet areas.

Friday before Halloween, I officially started Christmas Shopping! Definitely sit down, look at your list and get started!

Also you want to get an official response on who is coming for Thanksgiving or maybe where you are going. Get the menu set in stone this week and let everyone know who is to bring what.

Do you have family members that can’t stand to be in the same room? Me too! Usually this is never a problem because it just worked out that they weren’t in town at the same time. But this year, I am running into this exact scenario. I am going to tell you how I am handling it. I called one (the one I knew would be upset the most) and explained SO & SO is going to be here on Thanksgiving. You are more than welcome to come but I understand if you don’t want too. The response I got was “we will play it by ear.”

So what do you do with a response and situation like this? You don’t want to rely on someone for cranberry sauce and then they don’t show out of pettiness. Give them the small stuff. Say well if you do come, we would love if you would bring a dessert or a drink. Don’t give them any part of the main meal. Give them an item that someone else is also bringing so if they show and you have extra YAY. If not, then you are still covered.

In my family, I take over and do 99% of the cooking. My hubby likes my particular way of cooking things and I enjoy cooking and feeding people. It’s the southern in me.

Happy Holidays, Ya’ll!

Holidays upon us…week 4

Growing a large family

 

Halloween is here!!! Finally we are going to get one holiday behind us. But be prepared because Halloween always means the rest of the year is downhill!

This week is going to be easy! Finish up last-minute preparations for Halloween. If you have small children, enjoy watching their excitement over this fun holiday. I love doing crafts and making special treats leading up to the big day.

Now would also be a good time to go over safety rules with your child. Review the rules almost everyday, especially with little ones. It will take all week for it to stick in their heads.

Another thing to start doing is going through your winter clothes. Living in Central Florida, we really don’t get the freezing cold temperatures all the time. But we do get days that start off in the 30’s and finish in the 60’s. And with the El Nino this year, we are predicted to be wetter and colder. So I like to be prepared ahead of time for anything. I have had that moment of panic where I realized my kids didn’t have jackets warm enough for a 20 degree morning. It was not fun running around trying to find last-minute jackets. Mind you I did find an amazing deal on some adorable jackets, but that doesn’t mean the stress was worth it! I would also go ahead and wash the jackets, mittens, scarves and any extra blankets that might have been in storage the last few months.

Fresh Market is now taking orders for the holidays. Here is the link.

Keep on looking for gift ideas for Christmas and keep on decluttering the house. In the last month and a half, I have made several runs to Goodwill and I will probably still make a few more.

If you are one of those wonderfully crafty people that love giving handmade items, now would be the time to get started!

Be safe and have a Happy Halloween!

 

***I am in no way getting paid for the endorsement of Fresh Market. Just had a great experience and wanted to pass it along.***

 

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Cayuga Ducks

I have 2 Cayuga Ducks on my homestead right now. I love these ducks. I have 1 male and 1 female. I named them Hook and Dark Swan in honor of the show, Once upon a time.

Hook is such a sweetheart. He is one of the ducklings we hatched.

Cayuga Ducks~Growing a large family

He likes to chase after our feet and nibble at our boots. He is also very spoiled by his Mama. He always waits for his food because he knows I let him eat out of the food container. He is also very curious of everything, like my camera.

Cayuga~ Growing a large family

The male Cayugas have more green coloring on their heads than females do. Also you know a duck is a male because they will get a few feathers that flip back towards their head near their tail.

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Male Cayuga~notice coloring on head and flip tail feather

Females are also more vocal. That is how I knew my Lucky Duck was a girl. Now my female Cayuga isn’t as vocal as Lucky, but very much has the features of a girl.

Female Cayugas have darker beaks and are mostly black with very little variation in coloring. Also the biggest giveaway is no flip feather on their tail.

Dark Swan is more standoffish when it comes to people. But if you have food or treats then watch out. She pushes most of the chickens out of the way to get to them. She is more calm and doesn’t freak out when you walk near her, which some males have a tendency of doing.

Cayuga Duck~ Growing a large family

Female Cayuga~ no flip tail feather and the coloring is more on the feathers and less on the head.

For a year, I told my hubby that I wanted Pekins. They were the best ducks for my homestead. But one day, I was reading a duck magazine and when I read about Cayugas and the amazing thing they do, I had to have them.

Cayuga Egg~Growing a large Family

That is the best first egg I have ever gotten. Only the first egg comes out black then they start getting lighter in color. My one Cayuga female has been laying for a few weeks now and has laid more eggs than some of my chickens. Ducks will out lay them and keep laying during the winter.

Another exciting moment was when I found the egg in the nesting boxes! Most of the time ducks will just lay an egg where ever they want and you have to hunt it down. Not with my girl! She has laid every egg either in the nesting box, coop or run. It makes my life so much easier! Hopefully she can train any other girl ducks we get to do the same.

Duck eggs are best used for baking. It gives it a much richer taste. Some people will use duck eggs just like a chicken egg. But then others say it has more of a game taste or is much saltier, depending on your breed. I personally have only use them for baking.

And of course this……

Cayuga Eggs in Incubator~Growing a large family

 

My Hubby is going to kill me.

 

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