B is for Building on the Homestead

This week’s letter is B, and for us nothing would be more fitting than building. My amazing, hard working husband has spent the last 2 weeks building a (hopefully) goat proof fence for our new goat babies. He has taken the time to teach me:

  • how to cut, bend, and put fencing wire onto gates
  • how to hang gates
  • the ins and outs of designing the fence itself
  • and lots of other handy stuff

I probably can’t do many of those things very well … or on my own without reminders of what exactly to do for that matter. But we have lots more fence to do in the future, so many opportunities to get better!

We have fenced the goats’ stall in the barn, cleaned it all up; today I will get all the materials down for the floors, get their pallets in place, and clean up the barnyard a bit. We need to adjust the height of one of the existing gates, and put away all the tools that are currently in the tack room/feed room. I need to wash out the feed buckets we have, make a run to TSC and then I think we will be about ready!

Preparing for Goats on the Farm

My children came up with a few other B words that are important on a homestead or farm …

  • butcher
  • butting
  • butter
  • barns
  • bugs
  • bulls
  • buckling
  • babies

 

it’s as if he knows he should be expecting something …

 

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O is for Organization {how we plan and organize our days}

O is for Organization {how we plan and organize our days}

Organization.

I have talked about organization in our home and homeschool before. I keep a general routine in place, and organize our school in such a way that it makes me life easier.

Posts to how we organize:

Organizing and Schedules/Routines

Our homeschool and life routine is ever changing (though not by much) simply because we have a baby in the house whose feeding and sleeping schedule changes as she ages. Here is what we are doing now with a 4.5 yo, 2.5 yo, and 6.5 month old.

  • 6:00am Hubby and I are up emptying dishwasher, starting laundry, making breakfast, etc
  • 7:00am Wake time for all, I nurse and bottle baby while older two eat breakfast
  • 7:30-8:30am In this time I clean up the kitchen, pump after nursing Ila, and we begin our Sonlight P4/5 read alouds and circle/calendar time.
  • 8:30 Ila goes down for nap 1
  • 8:30-10:30 We continue school-this includes Bible, our SL read alouds, Max’s BFIAR, calendar and circle time song/poem/memory work, Lexie’s AAR, Math, HWOT, and a science video some days. We are also memorizing maps (which we’ve been doing informally for some time) just continuing work on: the 50 states, continents, and countries Daddy has visited and their geography (this is for fun and is NOT formal). On Fridays we do an art lesson using ARTistic Pursuits (which we LOVE-link & review coming soon!).
  • 10:30-11:30 Lexie goes downstairs for independent play, Max goes to their room for his Independent play.
  • 11:00 I get Ila up, nurse, solids, bottle then she chills while I make Lexie and Max’s lunch.
  • 11:30- L and M eat lunch, then play outside weather permitting
  • 12:15- Max down for Nap
  • 12:30 Ila down for nap 2, then hubby or I do Lexie’s nap with her and she goes down stairs to rest; some days she may quietly play dolls upstairs, or she can rest for an hour then go outside for an hour.
  • 3:00 Max up, Ila up and nurse, solids, bottle
  • 3:30 snack for Lexie and Max, then outside to play weather permitting
  • 4:30 Ila down for last cat-nap; I start dinner
  • 5:30 Ila up from cat nap
  • 5:45 we eat dinner as a family (Ila will soon get solids with us here), then baths and silly show or books with Daddy
  • 6:30 nurse and bottle Ila
  • 6:45 Lexie and Max to bed (daddy does this while I put Ila down)
  • 7pm- Mommy and Daddy begin their night! =)

The only things here set in stone are the kids’ naps and eating times. Everything else has just fallen into place naturally. I prefer getting school done in the morning so we have the afternoons to read, play outside, run errands, cook, etc. Once it is off my plate I feel like we have the rest of the day to do whatever we want, or continue learning about other things. As they get older and school takes longer, that will change but for now we can accomplish all that I feel is important in a few hours in the morning.

We clean up after each transition- so: before independent play, before naps, before daddy gets home, before bed, and always before we can go outside. This also encourages them not to ransack any one area in the house and leave it! 😉

On Tuesday night we pick up the entire house- everything goes in its place and Wednesday morning is cleaning day! The kids go down stairs after I put Ila down for her nap, and at that time I clean. They have already taken their clothes to the laundry room, picked up any toys that were out, helped clear the breakfast table, etc. I clean the house top to bottom alternating a different “deep clean” area each week (fans, blinds, baseboards, walls, etc). I try to use Tuesday night as my declutter/clean out time. I do a whole-house declutter three times a year, and I usually hire a company that does Hard rubbish removals. It’s surprising how much junk collects up over time! Fellow parents might already be aware of this, but the biggest mess in the house is usually toys that are strewn everywhere. If you’ve got the space, a playroom can take care of this problem. A friend had a nifty hack and got something like a prefab she shed to use as a playroom as they didn’t have enough rooms in their house and it works great for them.

Planning

For my homeschool planner I use the Mardel Simple Plan Homeschool Planner and I LOVE IT. I did use the Ultimate Homeschool Planner for a while and I did like it, too. I think either of these will fit most homeschooler’s needs. I just prefer the Mardel planner (and can’t link it for you because they don’t have them in stock until June or July).

For home and life in general, I use (and LIVE by) my Erin Condren Life Planner. I use it for everything not homeschool related-tracking Ila’s schedule, menu planning, to do lists, bills, purchases made, my monthly oils order, library books, husband’s travel, our travel plans, etc. basically everything NOT homeschool related. The ECLP is spiral bound, which is fine, but I chose to arc mine and will probably never turn back. I love it!

I may even arc our SL instructor’s guides; it might make it less desirable to others for resale, but we will be using the cores for all 3 children, which means I will have them for some time and I want them to be as convenient for me as possible, and that may mean arc punching them. I am still debating, but will definitely let you know what I decide and include a post!

So, that’s it! O is definitely for Organization in our home and homeschool.

How do you stay organized and on top of things in your home?

L is for Laughter {Blogging through the ABCs}

L is for Laughter {Quietinthechaos.com}

My word for the year is smile.  I posted about why that is my word for this year here.

So going along with that, I have chosen laughter for L.  My children are truly happy children.  They are full of laughter and silliness.,  Everything is easy and happy, and unless they’re just having a rough day, our home is full of laughter.  Often times that laughter is between Lexie and Max as they play and pretend together.  They are best friends, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Is there anything better than laughing?  My husband can look at me and I will burst out into giggles.  Laughing reminds us that there is still so much good in the world, when we are surrounded by so much bad.

L is for Laughter {www.QuietInTheChaos.com}

Laughter allows us to be carefree, if only for a minute.  I mean, try laughing or listening to the laughter of a child and thinking about something worrisome at the same time.

You can’t do it.

So along with smile for my word of the year, I am adding laughter.

Because in 15-20 years, I won’t remember the 4 loads of laundry piled n the couch, or the crumbs on the floor, or all the clothes Mister decided to pull out of his drawers in search for just the right thing to wear (oooh, two year olds).

But I will remember the laughter, and the joy it brought all of us.

Baby Summary 19 Weeks {QuietInTheChaos.com}

So laugh, and be merry!

(Yes, i did in fact skip over K in this series.  I had a word for K, but just couldn’t come up with a post I was happy with.  So I have moved on to L.)

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