Dear friends! It is always hard to know where to start after being “away” for so long. I thought I would share a collection of pictures and favorite memories from this past spring and summer.
A rare “big camera” capture of me with all three of my little ones. This was May, I believe.
Sweet sleeping babe, 7 months.
James and Evelyn in the kitchen sink.
I love the light and shadows inside our barn. I want to hang an old fashioned rope swing from the rafters near the barn doors. We read Charlotte’s Web together this past winter and the children in the story (Fern and Avery) play on a thick rope with a knot at the bottom fashioned into a swing in their uncle’s barn.
I have no idea what my James is doing in this picture, but it’s hilarious to me. He is our entertainment, continually. He complains every morning on our walk to the barn that the grass is wet and uncomfortable on his legs. I am teaching him that it is okay to be uncomfortable sometimes-that is life.
This spring we brought home 2 more pekin ducklings. They are males and now fully grown with fun curly drake feathers. We also raised 3 Easter Egger chicks and now have 2 beautiful laying hens. The third chick turned out to be a rooster and we couldn’t keep him because he was a bully with the others. The hens lay the most beautiful blue/green eggs. One hen, “Goldie”, lays eggs that are more blue than green and the other hen, “Nonnie”, lays eggs that are more green and speckled.
A “Nonnie Egg”
Every time I have baby birds in a brooder I swear I will never do it again because they are so messy and smelly. I was so relieved when they were big enough to be out from under the heat lamp and inside the barn.
Good thing they’re so cute.
Two favorite pictures from this past spring: Wynn with Fluffy and James with Clover Bunny.
Wynn rounding the ducks up for bed.
My precious girl at 8 months. She was so fussy the first 4 months but then transitioned into the happiest baby, always smiling. Her hair is red and her eyes are blue. I call her “my little red-haired girl.” She is fascinated by all the animals and adores her big brothers.
When the forsythia started to bloom this spring.
James in a favorite spot near our house, April.
Make-believe and dress-up. This boy is almost always in a costume or playing some part.
One of the coolest things we did this past year in homeschool was to start our own little business we call The Golden Egg Company.
My Farmer Boy has been selling our eggs and other homemade locally-sourced goodies each month. We have been whipping butter from cream and then making: cinnamon honey butter (using local Brushy Mountain honey), garlic rosemary butter (using herbs from our garden) and a really yummy maple nutmeg (local syrup and hand-grated nutmeg). In May we picked 8 gallons of strawberries and made and sold (and ate and ate and ate) strawberry jam.
This has been a really amazing way to incorporate math into homeschool. We did not use any sort of math curriculum this past year (after starting off with one and seeing my 5 year-old dread it). Our little company has given us practice with graphing, counting, money and making change, measuring, etc. My Farmer Boy has really thrived with this style of learning.
We went to Michigan and spent 7 weeks at our beach cottage this summer. Wynn sat in our front yard over the 4th of July and sold $200 worth of butter, ice cream and lemonade, haha. I thought we had made enough jars of butter to keep him busy for at least a day but he sold out of butter in one hour and we ended up giving him lemonade and ice cream bars to sell-he was thrilled. He is happiest when he is working hard.
A few favorite pictures from our Michigan summer:
And finally, we celebrated our baby girl’s first birthday at the end of August. I could cry buckets of tears if I let myself dwell on the fact that she is so quickly transitioning from baby to toddler, but she is also so much fun at this age, so full of life and giggles and personality. In many ways I feel like I am just now coming out of a 2 year-long fog that started with a long, very sick pregnancy and then figuring out life as a mother of 3 with a newborn. Honestly, it feels so good to be at the stage we are now. My cup runneth over.