Sunday - This was a very mellow day. Papa wasn't feeling so hot, and wanted to work on the website some... so we didn't get much done. I did get the Herb pantry inventory done...but didn't get it into the computer yet. :-)
Monday - Started defrosting 17 chickens today, to prepare for canning tomorrow.
Chazaq is really starting to get His walking. We took some video. I hope we get it downloaded to share with you by Sunday. There is crazy hooplah and celebration from all his siblings, which ends up distracting him from His walking and he decides its funnier to be a ham...but then he gets back to it...because he really enjoys the achievement. He even lifts up his own arms and squeals in victory...it is very cute! He is also cutting his fifth and 6th teeth right now.
Hailey and I decided to experiment with expanding our Gingerbeer recipe...We had some dried Sassafrass and Burdock...so we thought we would see if we could make a culture out of them and make a similarly yummy lacto-fermented "soda" like we do with our ginger root. Our ginger root is, however, fresh--and these are dried...so there is that little (big) difference...but hey...its homeschool science right?! The sassafras already shows promise...not so sure about the burdock.
Gideon is really starting to grow into the next level of development. He is figuring out how to read (even though I have not started instructing him in it yet!) and he has discovered a new love and talent for drawing. It just came out of nowhere. One day..he was scribbling with no self control or sense of interest and the next week he was making really creative and intricate drawings and coloring inside the lines with deliberate patterns and intentions to his picture. We were all astounded at the abrupt difference!
Tuesday- The big canning day is finally here...The first one in a needed series anyway. This one is for another family...then I hope to can chicken and broth for us sometime this month. I am also toying with the idea of canning venison. It has been a long day..I meant to take pictures...but it didn't happen. It was quite the project though. I am sitting out on the porch for the last round of it now. It is 9pm..and cold, but I have a computer on my lap, and a blanket and scarf and a cat keeping my feet warm...it could be worse! :-)
I made an AWFUL mess of the stove today. It certainly was broken in today!! Ben is doing clean up right now for me (isn't he WONDERFUL?!). He was also responsible for a lot my heavy lifting of HUGE pots FULL. Hailey tied him for my MVP today...she was right by my side de-boning chicken and filling jars and doing all sort of odd jobs. It was a wonderful team effort...this Mamma is blessed. I am really gonna miss him when he has to pick up the pace outside the home for work next year!!
OK..my fingggers are getttttting REALLY cold all the sudden I am havving a hard time hittting the keeeeeys. Time to put the computer down and puuuuut some gloves on!
Wednesday - We got our nut crackers today. So we all pitched in and helped crack pecans. Its a labor intensive job, but they are so fresh tasting...it is worth it! Hailey did a little post about it here. Pecan hulls smell so nice when they burn...but they give off more smoke than we care for. :-)
OK...so I might have gone a little overboard with sharing recipes today on the blog! It is something I have been meaning to do more of...so I shared A LOT all at once...I hope people will actually try them and use them!
Thursday - Creative farming - The chickens got out today and were roaming like the good old days when they truly had free range (before a stray dog killed 3!). Hailey and Elijah just came back from the barn, where they had rallied them back into their area. Their methods were a little unorthodox...they used the cats to herd the chickens...how you might ask? Elijah had a laser pointer in His pocket (standard tool issue for any farm boy of the 21st century, right???) He discovered that he could steer the cats as he teased them with the laser pointer. They chased after the laser toward the chickens and the hens fled in the direction that he steered them. The 2 cats were oblivious to the chickens, all they cared about was chasing the laser pointer. They had not idea they were being used to herd chickens!
Friday- Today Gideon (4) and Naomi (6) were upstairs visiting Gideon's new pet caterpillar (that was found on the lettuce we got from our friend's organic greenhouse). They were discussing all things relating to caterpillars as you would imagine a 4 and 6 yr old would. Than Gideon, got a "light bulb" and declared, "I know what I am going to get you for your birthday Naomi!" She says, "I know!" and He says, "What?" and she says, "Is it a caterpillar?" And He says, "YES! How did you know??" And she says, " I just knew". Some time passes and they have now turned their attention to a remote powered "moon light". It was formerly a part of the decorations in our last house in the boys' room (The boys' room was a "camp theme" with the constellations on the ceiling and this moon light they are now discussing. It can turned on by remote control and lights to the different moon phases.) Gideon says, "Daddy, when can we put my moon back up?" as he has just rediscovered it and is admiring it and remembering his old bedroom. Daddy said, "Not for a while yet son, but I will replace the batteries for you and we can prop it somewhere for you to see it at night until we finish your room." (We put a second floor on our house last year, taking it from 2-br to 4. It is still in the rough stages, with rough framed walls as we are "turning over a new leaf" and trying to better live within our financial means...it will not be finished until we can do it with cash. It is a few large projects down the list at this point.) Anyway, Gideon and Naomi continue to talk about the moon and stars. Then out of nowhere Gideon declares, "I know what I am going to get you for your birthday Naomi!!", to which Naomi says, "I know what it is!" Gideon, says "Really.. what then?" She says, "A moon". Gideon declared with absolute astonishment, "Naomi!!!! You are AMAZING! How did you know that? You knew it the first time with the caterpillar, and now the second time with the moon! You are AMAZING!" (Daddy chuckles.) And this is the difference between being 4 and 6! :-)
Chazaq is nearing his first birthday anniversary at the end of the month. He is really moving into the toddler stage fast. He is walking with baby steps further and further each day, but he has also started trying mini tantrums on for size. When things don't go his way (the bathroom door is shut so he can't get in to eat the dog food, or he doesn't want to wait, when he sees food coming out, or he wants mommy and she is not moving fast enough...things like that, he tries a shrill scream to express his displeasure. He is really is a very good natured baby, and I know every child goes through this...so here we are at the beginning "training stage". He is so small in stature. I can see how some parents do not train them this young thinking that "they are just babies" so they ignore these behaviors or (heaven forbid) they feed into them by indulging them...but that is not how we choose to approach it. It just seems to prolong the problems and seed the habits in the child for a couple more years until they are, 3,4, 6 (or teen agers, when the cement has dried and cured!). We do try to divert their attentions as much as possible at this very young age. But we also correct him and will start giving a mild physical consequence when he does not heed our words. Our main objective (as it is with all our disciplinary approaches of all our children of all ages) is to make it very clear to them, that this is not acceptable behavior in our family...in other words "this is not an option" and it will not profit them to continue in it. It is not easy..but it nips these things in the bud and we find it to be much better to the child and everyone around them for all his years to come. They quickly learn that the world doesn't revolve around them and that (although they are loved and accepted!) there are certain ways that they must learn to control themselves. We talk a lot about "choices" as they get older and better understand that....but it all starts right here...even before the end of His first year (since HE has ushered it in that soon)...Ahhh the responsibilities of parenting. :-
Shabbat- We had a wonderful day of fellowship yesterday. We took two other families to meet with a new family that moved into the area in October who keeps Sabbath and Torah. I met them through a friend in my Christian ladies group. She said, "We just met some new neighbors that I think believe like you do.", so we got their info and brought a party! :-) It is so interesting to see how YHVH is moving people into the area with similar vision, who do not know of each other until we bump into each other through His precious Divine appointments. This family is also new in the walk, not quite 3 years, if I understood correctly. Anyway...it is so cool to see how The Father connects His "church" in this organic way, without a building...just people reaching out to people. His ways are so much higher than ours. Of course none of us knows EXACTLY what YHVH is doing in this "big picture", but we each just follow that still small voice and act on it...and He unfolds things right before our eyes. Living a "faith led" life is always an adventure and always points right back to YHVH (when we are on target anyway!
We'll see you next week! (By the way - We love your comments and emails "behind the scenes".)
Ben and Pamela and The Tribe