Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pears, cheese, and activities

Monday- Sept 8
We did lessons this morning. This afternoon Christopher and I went to the gas station, the grocery store and library. The boys who were left at home had various work assignments. 

When I got home there were 5 bushels of pears sitting on the patio. We had ordered them and got the call Friday evening while we were out in town that they were ready to be picked up. Saturday was so busy we didn't get to it and so I thought I would get them while I was out and about today. Meanwhile they came by themselves. Not really. My brother-in-law brought them when he came to do some farm work. (The cattle on "our" farm belong to him.)

Tuesday- Sept 9
We skipped most lessons today to get some other needful things accomplished. We did do Math and memorized our verse for the day. 
Christopher's verse for Monday

Melvin's verses for Monday and Tuesday- the smiley face gets made as we say the verse 3 times throughout the day. The circle for once, the eyes for twice and finally the smile for the third time.

Actually, Stephen and Austin kept on going with their studies. I caught a few photos of things Austin is working on.
Reading The Illiad

Apologia Physical Science

Notebook for the same

We have an overabundance of milk right now so I made a hunk of cheese. 
I cut the solid mass into curds


Then I stir it with my hand over a low heat cutting up the bigger chunks into curds

My improvised press- a blanching kettle, a tin and weights Oops! The slop pail and some toes got into the picture.

The finished chunk. If I allow the boys free access they will eat this in a few days. They love it fried. 

The pears needed to be sorted and the ripe ones done. We canned some and made jam out of the very soft ones. We are doing a year-long sugar fast as a family and so I made sugar free jam, using white grape juice concentrate to add a bit of sweetness to it.
Cooking jam in the crock pot

I put some cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in it.

 I also did something for the first time- posted something on eBay to sell. Check it out here and here.

Wednesday- Sept 10
Back to the books today. And more pears to can after school.

While doing Barton with Melvin I was giving him words to spell. "Camshaft" was the word. He asked whether it was a compost word. (Meaning compound) You can notice one trait of dyslexia if you look at the word "divers" in his verse above.

We have reinstated a practice we began earlier this year when I was pregnant. That is getting the boys to plan and cook meals. Stephen and Matthew made us a yummy supper of burgers and (homemade) fries.

Thomas had "men's meeting" at church this evening which is a monthly occurrence, necessary to the survival of the church.

Thursday- Sept 11
Same old same old. :) We finished the pear canning this afternoon. We still had a generous peck left that were a little too green and at the rate the boys eat them, they said they will eat those fresh. 
One day's work

We did have a bit of diversion when another homeschooling family popped in here to get some milk. The two oldest in their family are boys and have a lot in common with our two oldest. Stephen was pretty excited that they brought him a couple cans of calcium carbide which he uses in a homemade "cannon". It only shoots air but makes a BIG bang! 

The youngest boy is close to Christopher's age and they even look kind of alike. One more boy and two girls completed the group of children that came to visit. Mother and I have a lot in common with homesteading and homeschooling.

Stephen had an evening in town with the Kid's Club our church youth are doing for the young town children.

Friday- Sept 12
Our last day of school this week. In science we studied Mercury. Very interesting! Mercury's days (the amount of time it takes to rotate) are 59 earth days long and it's years (the time it takes to revolve around the sun) are 88 earth days long. Its days are 750 degrees hot and its nights are -300 degrees cold. If you stood on Mercury you would see no color because it has no atmosphere which is necessary for seeing color. Mercury is so close to the sun that you would only be able to see it in the late evening or very early morning as the sun rises and sets.
The boys are practicing a lesson we learned in Bible. If you look at your hand you can't balance an object but if you look at the top you can. Illustrating looking to ourselves or to God.

The boys had P.E. at school again today and brought home a half bushel of tomatoes from the above-mentioned friend. 

Stephen had an activity with the youth group this evening doing some work for a neighbor. Thomas & I had a date-at-home after supper. Sometimes we sit out on the deck but it was too chilly this evening so we shut ourselves up in our bedroom. 

Thomas' sister came today to help their mother with sorting her possessions in preparation for an auction next week. They both popped in for a late supper. Stephen came home for supper with them. He brought a bushel of apples (the first for this fall!) and a bushel of small late season peaches that a friend picked up for me at an orchard near her. We keep a network going here to get things for each other! :)

Saturday- Sept 13
Stephen left around 4:00 this morning for a day in PA with some of the youth group. They attended a seminar leveled at Urban Evangelism. He got home sometime around 9:30 this eve. 

Thomas spent most of the day at his desk. 

The rest of us worked on the cooking, cleaning and laundry that needed to be done. 

Austin swept the carpets in the breezeway where we have our classroom/office, dug a few potatoes and mixed & fried burgers for tomorrow's lunch while keeping clean dishes put away. We are preparing for Children's Day at church tomorrow. 

Children's Day is actually in November but we kind of celebrate it whenever, just making a special day for the children.

Matthew sliced a couple sweet onions for tomorrow's lunch and peeled & diced potatoes for a chowder for our lunch today. He also helped with some laundry and other odds & ends. 

Melvin made bread loaves and buns for the burgers, peeled and cut up carrots for the chicken chowder we ate for lunch, as well as keeping the dishwasher filled and dishes hand-washed. 

Christopher fried burger and shredded cheese for a pizza for supper. He was up early this morning and then slept a good while in the late morning/early afternoon.

My bro-in-law picked up a whole banana box full of free bananas this week. He brought us half of them! We have so many yummy fruits to enjoy right now. It helps to satisfy the boys' sweet tooth.

That's it for another week. 

How was your week? 

What fruits are you enjoying right now?

Do you celebrate Children's Day?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Of corn and tomatoes and other things

Tuesday September 2
Stephen raised corn this year. A week or so ago Matthew said it is ready. I kept bugging Stephen about what he is going to do with it. Finally this morning I told him he better just go pick it! He brought a nice amount of starchy corn in. We did that this evening after school work was done. We were so tired that lessons took a long time. Then the corn took awhile also because of the same. Thomas took Matthew out for a father-son evening.

I also made some cottage cheese. I had heated the milk to make yogurt yesterday and forgot it, so I turned it into cottage cheese.
This still needs to be crumbled and have cream and salt added to it. Yum!

Wednesday September 3
We did lessons this morning and then ran about. 
Still studying early Explorers of America

A friend said she had 10 dozen eggs and do I want them? I needed my sister's juicer for tomatoes. Another friend said I could pick the corn in her patch. She said it would probably be just enough for a meal. I went where she said it was and picked and picked. There were 5 banana boxes full. I wondered if I understood her correctly. She wasn't at home to ask. Another friend who is gone on vacation said I could pick her tomatoes so we did that and got a tomato box full. We came home at 4:30 and worked on tomatoes. Did 36 qt of juice. The boys went to the river for a swim around 6:30 or 7:00 and came back after dark. We went to bed around 10:00 and left the mess. Not totally but we didn't wash things up well.

Thursday September 4
I called my corn friend this morning and she said yes, I was supposed to get all the corn that was there. 
We had eaten some for supper before I took this photo.

No lessons today. We washed lots of dishes and did the corn. I have my weeks scheduled during September with Fridays off from school. That way when these days come up that produce needs to be done (NOW!) we can easily do it and still have a day to play with. It catches up to me when I have so much to do. I was quite weary again today and had to take an Ibuprofen to still a headache.

Friday September 5
We dove back into the books today. Began studying science once again. We had started a study of Astronomy that we are continuing. We finished the study of the sun today. 

I don't know why these turned sideways on me!

Know how hard it is to find pictures of the sun?!

Turn the wheel to view different things about the sun.

This afternoon the boys went to the church school for an hour of P.E. which consisted of a game of softball. Stephen went on from there with the youth group. They are camping this weekend and Sunday. (I don't think of Sunday as the weekend. It's the beginning of the week.) I cleaned part of the church sanctuary while the boys played. 

When we came home Thomas and I left for a shopping trip/date. We got a few necessary items and had a date at Golden Corral. Dates are too short and far between for all the matters a family our size needs to work on. But I treasure every one.

Can you tell us something interesting you've learned recently about the sun?

What are your dates like?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor Day

Our Labor Day wasn't totally a holiday. We had a heavier school schedule today, beginning with My Father's World's Exploration to 1850. 

We started a study of the book of James called, Boy Have I Got Problems. We intend to memorize the book of James this school year. 

I do a daily session with Melvin in Barton Reading & Spelling which is especially for dyslexic children. 

Melvin and Christopher are doing Intermediate Language Lessons which covers 3 years of study (4th-6th grades)

Matthew is doing All-In-One English. 

He also is doing a book study of Johnny Tremain. 

For History we have a number of books we are going through.

Exploring American History

The Last 500 Years

Building a City on a Hill

In God We Trust

There will be more later but that's all for this week.

(Sorry about the photos that are sideways. Just turn your computer on end. Ha.)

After lessons we went to work making food. Fixing lunch -coleslaw (leftovers someone gave us from yesterday's fellowship meal), beans and cornbread- and making food for a church picnic this eve- sloppy Joes, buns, grape juice and potato salad.

Thomas and the 3 youngest went to the church house early (2:00) to check on supplies and etc that trustees are responsible for. Stephen and Austin decided they would rather stay and milk before going over instead of stopping through a ball game to come home and milk. I stayed to finish the food and do lesson prep. 

It was 5:00 or better until we three left home. Because we are trustees I was responsible to look after getting the picnic together. I did get to sit and watch the ball game for awhile. They had so many playing that they made 3 teams that rotated. The ladies all helped to set the food out then so it wasn't like I had a lot of work to do. It's just that being responsible is a little heavier load. Everyone brought sloppy Joes, buns, a side and a drink. A simple and interesting meal.

We are having our dog days in an Indian summer this week. Upper 80's low 90's. At least it's not 100's. The boys thought they might get a swim in this week. Stephen was lamenting the other eve that he hasn't even swum this summer. And truly it has been such a cool summer there wasn't much of a chance. 

How was your Labor Day?

Did you have a hot summer or cool?

What are you studying this year? (You don't have to be "in school" to study!)

Would love to see your comments!