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Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child: Days Like These

Monday, November 17, 2014

Days Like These

     My day started out at 7:30 a.m.. Might not seem early to you, but considering I am a night owl, it is the perfect early time to get up for me. I drank 2 cups of coffee, checked my emails, and surfed the web before getting my daughter up at 8. She was not ready for breakfast yet, so we headed outside to feed the animals. She fed the chickens and rabbit; I fed the dogs and pig. It is supposed to get very cold this week. Since we were already outside, we decided to clean out the chicken coop and give them fresh hay. We also gave the rabbit some fresh bedding.
     Moving to the garden, we picked all we could pick off of our tomato plants. They were not as big as we would have liked, but they are still something! Since we had a horrible luck growing tomatoes in our garden this year, we planted a couple of plants my awesome neighbor, Bree, gave us late last summer. Her grandmother found several volunteer plants grow on the side of her house. Hoping for a mild fall season, we decided to go ahead and plant them. We planted them in the front yard where I really really wanted to grow the garden this last spring. The ground was raised with mulch and allowed to break down for several years. Our fall season was nearly over before it started. Good thing I also planted some of the tomato plants in pots. We pulled in the 2 potted tomato plants, along with the avocado tree, apple mint, green onions and the spinach pot. 
     About the time we were finishing bringing in the plants, Hubby drove up from work. His job is from 3:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and a today we would get to spend the rest of the day with him. We all had sandwiches together for brunch, then we watched a YouTube video on mountain properties for sale. After, we all went back out into the yard to do our various tasks. We helped Hubby a bit with making the new pen for our pig, Porky.     
     When we asked what would better help him get ready for the cold snap, he said we could bring in the wood. My daughter and I drove the little tahoe around our property. She got her first behind the wheel driving lesson. She is a natural. We decided we had not gathered enough wood off of our property, so we drove around the county road. Yes, I was behind the wheel this time. We found lots of good wood. Some of it was already cut wood that the tree trimmers that work for the electric company had trimmed and cut a little while back. Some of it was just old tree limbs that had fallen onto the side of the road. We filled the whole back of the truck! When we returned home, we unloaded our finds into the garage, but left the stuff that needed to be cut outside of the garage so Hubby could cut it with the chainsaw. 
     My daughter and I decided it we were too cold to work outside anymore. We came in, cleaned up and got our jammies on! We were also starting to get a bit hungry again and decided the potato soup we tried at the homeschool co-op we attend sounded fabulous! We messaged the lady that made it and asked for her recipe. Even though we did not have all of the ingredients, it did not stop us from making it. Potatoes were peeled and put on to boil. Onions sauteed on the stove as we headed upstairs. We had orders to sew!
     One of my big sellers on my Etsy shop are Barbie/Monster high doll bedding. My daughter created them one night when she decided she wanted to make doll bedding for her best friend for Christmas. We had two orders to get out. She got out the fabrics while I got everything set up for sewing. It took us a couple of hours to cut all of the pillows, iron, pin, sew, unpin, turn, stuff, re-pin, sew, and then iron and de-fuzz all of the tiny pillows and blankets. Especially when we were constantly running up and down the stairs checking on our soup! When we finished the doll bedding, we got our coats on and walked down to the mailbox to mail our packages out. 

     Finally, we sat down to try our first attempt at making homemade potato soup! There is nothing better than a homemade soup, let me tell you! We substituted milk and sour cream for the canned evaporated milk, and let it simmer down a little longer to let it thicken up. It was fantastic and we nearly ate the whole pot between our lunch and again at dinner! 
     Our awesome neighbor, Bree, came over again to bless us. She brought the kiddo a small bag of black walnuts to learn about and harvest. Bree visited a bit and then left to return to her house. My daughter and I snuggled into my bed for some homeschool. While she worked in her math book, I read to her from a book called Windows To Our World. It is a journal story from Sarah Brown of Dyslexia Games. I am not sure how much my daughter completed in her math work book. We were captivated by this book. Sarah as a child reminds me of the little girl laying next to me, all cozy and warm and giggling. As some of you know, my daughter is dyslexic and has other learning related disabilities. We do not let her use this as an excuse or a way out of learning. Like little Sarah in the book, we allow her a lot of time for her own self driven learning. I hope this book furthers her new found love of learning through self driven research and exploration. May she also live a life full of love and blessings from our Lord. 
     Hubby is in from the cold and nearly ready to eat dinner. Since hubby is not a fan of potato soup, I made him taco salad from the taco meat I store in the freezer. Having some pre-made meat for meals comes in handy. Especially on days like today where all the kiddo and I want to eat is the yummy potato soup we made for lunch. (This is when we nearly finished off the big pot of soup we made.) It also helps to keep our food bill down by making a bigger batch of meat from a family size package of hamburger caught on sale here and there. On Thursdays, when I work too late to cook the hubby dinner on time, he can pull out a meal starter to make a quick meal. It is important to me to home cook meals for my family, so having pre-made meals in the freezer helps to make me feel like I have still cooked for him. 
     After dinner, we watched a little t.v. and some DIY videos on how to make an indoor growing station for the plants we brought in. We discussed what improvements and additions we wanted to try on our mini farm. My daughter and I played some board games while Hubby and I talked. At 6:30 p.m., it was time for him to head upstairs for bed. This is the worst thing about his job, but I can't complain when we get him from 9:30 a.m. till 6:30 p.m. all to ourselves. The kiddo and I cleaned up our board game mess after Hubby kissed us both goodnight. It was time to check out the black walnuts we were gifted!
     My daughter broke open the first walnut with a hammer and found it to be soft and a bit fleshy feeling. It did not take us long to realize, research was definitely needed. We found videos on YouTube, and watched a great one. Too late, we discovered she should have worn gloves. She looked down at her hands and discovered they were slightly stained. We had no gloves, so she decided to go ahead and finish getting the fleshy parts of the one walnut, and search for gloves in the morning to finish the rest with. (Unfortunately, we found no gloves and both of us stained our hands. Fun stuff though!) 
     After cleaning up from the walnut mess, she hopped in the shower, and then snuggled up on the couch and finished her writing assignment from her homeschool co-op class. I have never seen her this excited to write before this class. Occasionally, she asks me how to spell a word. I sit at the computer and work on my own writing assignments, sprinkled in with a bit of Facebook. I post the picture of our homemade potato soup on my blog's Facebook fan page and message my sister back on Thanksgiving arrangements. My daughter comes in to read me her story out loud. We watch a few funny cat videos until it is time for her to clean her room before bed. She reads her library book for 20 minutes and then turns on the music she listens to while she sleeps. This is my cue to come to her room for prayers, good night giggles and sleepy kisses. We also make plans for the next days lessons, activities and 'to do' lists. 
     Later, while listening to the soft music coming from her room, I check my emails for the night. The co-op's blogging group emailed an assignment of writing about what we are thankful for. I reflect for a moment on the usual 'go to' thoughts on blessings and being thankful, but my mind keeps drifting to the days events. We worked hard, we learned lots, we laughed often and we loved much. I decided this is what I am most thankful for..... days like these. 

DISCLAIMER- This post is not a paid affiliate post by Sarah Brown, Dyslexia Games, or the book Windows to Our World, however, my Amazon link to the book IS a paid affiliate link. I was not asked to do a review of this book, but in this day of my life, we enjoyed reading it. Loving this book is my own honest opinion and I am just passing on a 'window to MY OWN world.' The Etsy link is to my own store, and if you choose to buy from us, that would be a blessing but in no way effects how I feel about my readers. Thank you for sharing this day with us!