It has been awhile!

Hello friends and family. I am taking a break from market for the month of March (at least) so I am hoping to devote more time to taking picture and posting them to the blog. I started K and G in year 1  beginning Jan 4th. I am calling this year “light” as I learn more about the Charlotte Mason philosophy and because I still working one day a week. I am enjoying schooling them together; they each challenge each other in different ways and it makes it easier for me! K is doing a more difficult math and handwriting curriculum but their other subjects they are together. The biggest challenge has been training MJ to sit and play no “disrupt” our school time. She has to sit during morning Bible and our evening reading and the other times she has to sit on the floor and play quietly. Today was the first day this was a success.

A sweet couple from our church blessed the kids with this amazing dollhouse for Christmas. The second two pictures show the Christmas present Adam built me; a mobile island! I love it and it is so beautiful. He also built me a second canning shelf which we have put to good use.

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Tea time in January!

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We finally had time in January to make sausage. We made breakfast patties and stuffed sausage links as well. It is delicious!

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Adam began tilling the garden plots in February to prepare for spring. We lost our hoop house plastic during a bad storm in early January but now have a small greenhouse in the backyard for starting seeds.

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This is what a typical Friday looked like for me until this week. I need a break! These pictures only show the sourdough bread which is one of 4 types of bread I make. It gives you an idea as to why I bake literally all day!

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K loves to cook with her Daddy!

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Valentine’s weekend we had a bonfire and then laid a blanket on the half acre and stared at and studied the stars. It was remarkable. We should be still like them under the stars more often!

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This is the last of our winter garden. We are trying to be creative with how to use the rest of our greens! The kids enjoy just eating the collards raw out of the garden, but the mustard has bit of a kick. The strawberries have spread since last spring so we are hoping to harvest more strawberries this year.

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Adam built a log holder onto the smokehouse. Not only is it beautiful but it will help save money from buying wood chips for the smoker. My FIL trimmed their pecan tree AND chopped all of the wood into logs for us to use for the smoker.

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These girls should be laying soon (2 turned out to be roosters so they will be dinner in a few months!).

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Meet Bruce. He is our beautiful Rhode Island Red rooster. He helps us out by making sure we are awake by 4:30am. Thanks Bruce. We couldn’t have done it without you.


Sorry about the terrible lighting! Our meat birds arrived last week and they are under a red light for warmth. There are also 2 ducks in there with them. Can you spot the duck?


They are having fun in nature and waiting for spring. It has been so fun seeing all of the robins return and studying the different birds!

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I hope to post again soon!

A room transformed and a talented Dad!

I have mentioned in previous posts, our dining room is also our school room. The problem is our dining room furniture takes up SO much space it leaves little room to organize for school. I have been wanting to sell our dining room set for awhile but it has been a hard decision. We were blessed with the dining room set when we moved into our first “home;” it was my grandparents dining room set from when they were first married. We have had the set 12 years; we have refurbished it and had many memories around the table. It even had writing on the under side of the table from where my dad and his siblings played tic-tac-toe. However, we knew it was time to move on.

I knew exactly what I wanted to replace the table; a farm table with benches. Have you looked at the prices for a homemade, sturdy farm table? They are so expensive! Luckily, my dad is incredibly talented with pallets and he graciously built us the most beautiful farm table! He also built many other items in our dining room including a pallet shelf when you walk in the door. I will post before pictures of the dining room so you can see how amazing it looks now! It is still a work in progress for school but we are so blessed with the increased space for now! (I don’t have as many before pictures as I thought!) Picture this: we had a table with 6 chairs, a large buffet, a china cabinet and a mirror on the wall. Now we just have the table and benches!

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Here is what it looks like now. Pictures don’t come close to showing how beautiful the table looks!

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This is the shelf when you walk in the door. It helps eliminate the table from piling up with stuff!

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This is the wall where the mirror was and this is where my large maps will hang once they are laminated.


The mirror up top in the first picture is a piece my dad built from our old piano. The shelf on the top left of the picture is also from an old piano. We also have another shelf in the hallway (you can see the piano inscription on the front in the second picture) built from the front of a piano and our coffee table (last two pictures) is built with the legs and top of our old piano. Needless to say, we like handmade, antique-looking furniture!


This picture is taken from the living room into the dining room. I wish I could capture a picture of the space as a whole. I love it!


And here is a little cuteness to end this post! This was her $0.45 birthday dress and she is showing you her pink fingernails and toenails.

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Beautiful weather and 2 birthdays

Our girls have birthdays ten days apart. We had family parties this year and it was very laid back and a lot of fun! Here are some pictures from our celebrations.


I made a rustic carrot cake. It was healthy and delicious (although not very pretty).


This is typical. MJ is always eating off of someone’s plate. That girl loves to eat!


Yummy shrimp boil


My dad’s little mini-me


My in-laws have a walking trail on the back of the property. Each grandchild has a sign on the trail. K was our tour guide!

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K is now 6 and MJ is 2. They are both so much fun and keep us on our toes. K asks a lot of questions and she LOVES to learn. She also loves to climb trees, get dirty and help Adam on the farm. K is our chicken whisperer! MJ is fiesty but her facial expressions always make us smile. She has a mind of her own and is always more than willing to share what she thinks. She loves to be busy, do yoga with me, be outside with Adam and she LOVES to have her nails painted. She is very dainty and a little obsessed with shoes. MJ is officially potty trained, she sleeps in a big girl bed and we took away her paci. I no longer have a baby😦

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The older 2 needed rain jackets so they opened these at MJ’s celebration

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The baby takes a paci and sucks on it and says, “Mama, Dada, knock-knock” and then laughs. It is also cries unless you pat its back. She loves it!!!

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She is so dainty she had difficulty wanting to tear the paper. Aunt Debbie and Grandmommy had to help!

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New earrings

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The kids each had a gift bag to open. They received new placemats, watercolors and crackerjacks!

The kids each had a gift bag to open. They received new placemats, watercolors and crackerjacks!

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In a few months, G will be 4! We are loving these stages with our kiddos!

Waxing, waning and cumulonimbus

We started school back in late July and I keep forgetting to post photos!

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We don’t have “extra” space for a school room so I have been slowly converting the dining room for school. My dad is building us a “farm table” and the goal is to sell the dining room set. This way we will have more wall space for our maps and it won’t seem so cramped in the dining room. We usually do our reading on the couch and writing and drawing at the table. Here are some pictures of our “school room.” I have two really large maps; a world map and a USA map that will go on a wall once we sell the dining room set. By the way, the dining room hasn’t looked this nice since our first day back to school. The kids (mostly my little fireball) are constantly moving the small table and chairs from room to room and there is ALWAYS stray papers, scissors, crayons etc on the floor mixed with leftover food from meals. So, take these pictures with a grain of salt and realize that this is not how our life typically looks!

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We do year-round school mostly but we joined a c0-op with some friends and that began in August. The co-op is for G’s age group and we are doing Before Five in a Row together. It has been really fun so far and it is inspiring to see how the other mom’s teach their kids and learn from their ideas! This year we are doing Before five in a row with G and Five in a row with K; I try to pick books with similar themes and then I just go more in depth with K, although G and MJ are usually listening. G surprises me; he will be off to the side playing while I am working with K but later on he will repeat what I was teaching her.

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As much as I would like to finish school before lunch, that is not usually how are days pan out. Because we live in Florida, it makes more sense to play outside in the morning and start school later when it heats up outside. Plus, most mornings I am busy with chores that have to be done early; Monday is laundry day and I try to have it hung outside before 9 or 10am. I sometimes work in the morning on Tuesday and Wednesday and then Thursday is Kombucha and granola day and Friday is baking day. The kids enjoy their mornings outside and I enjoy being productive during those times! We do try and do Bible first thing either during breakfast or right after breakfast; our days are more peaceful when we read the Bible together first thing in the morning! Plus, scripture is fresh on their mind during squabbles later on and we can refer back to memory verses during times of discipline.

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K will be 6 next week so we officially registered her as a homeschooler this year although I have no idea what “grade” she is in. It doesn’t really matter to us as long as she is progressing and enjoying learning! We are finishing up Math U See Primer with K and working on better quality handwriting and simple reading. I am trying to find a way for letters to interest G and we will start working on Math U See Primer with him soon as well. So far we have studied creation, learned the phases of the moon, studied China and the clouds and this week we are focusing on Paris and art (We love the Madeline series!). It is so fun to go outside at night and have the kids tell us the phase of the moon and study the clouds during the day and try to guess cloud combination (is that a cumulonimbus or a cirrostratus?). I am learning so much that I didn’t know or have forgotten (did I ever know about a waxing Gibbous moon?); and although there are a lot of hard days, some with tears (from everyone), I love teaching our 3 little monkeys!


Heat, sweat and some tears (or maybe that is sweat again?)

How do you cook when your A/C breaks in July and your house is 90 degrees inside at 8am? Why you cook your breakfast in the smokehouse! These are some pictures during the 16 days our A/C was broken at the end of June/early July. It was a very HOT time in our house, but we made a lot of great memories! We were very creative with cooking, we all slept in the same room, we spent A LOT of time outside and we drank A LOT of water! We are so thankful for our new A/C unit and we keep it on a higher temperature now; after living without A/C, it is much easier to tolerate an increased temperature!

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Family pics

As you can tell, the pics of the kids were taken near July 4th.

What happened to my little girl? She is so grown up!

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You see that mischievous face? That face is MJ’s personality in a nutshell!!

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The little man is who is ALL boy but still so sweet!

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Look at the first picture how MJ and G are making the same face! Then look at the last picture and how G and K are making the same face. Silly kiddos!

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G and MJ look like twins in our family photo!



June in review

Another month has passed. Whew! Where did it go? So I don’t have a lot of pictures to show what we had going on in June but it was definitely a busy month! The beginning of the month began with my birthday. My wonderful husband made me breakfast in bed before he left for work at 6am. He went out and picked fresh blueberries and blackberries and made me an omelet with veggies and herbs from the garden. The flowers also came from the farm. What a wonderful way to wake up! The kids and I went blueberry picking in the morning and then spent the day together making kombucha and bread for the weekend market. I worked the day after my birthday and one of my co-workers baked me this beautiful cake. My MIL also baked me a beautiful (and delicious) Italian cream cheese cake but I don’t have a picture of that one.


June is always a busy month putting up food for the winter: peaches, blueberries, tomatoes, squash, beans, peas, cucumbers. Adam built a produce bin so we can store our winter squash and potatoes. It is beautiful! All of our spaghetti squash are volunteers, meaning we would throw the empty spaghetti squash bowls to the pigs last season and they would munch, chew, dig and root and now we have a beautiful harvest without any work. Another benefit to raising pigs!


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The older two kids had VBS in June, however it was a little overwhelming for G. K is a people person and she LOVES the noise and chaos. She had a great time. Here is a picture of her on “crazy hair” night.

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We had a lot of bunnies ready in June and we were a little behind in butchering. These are some bunnies that are a little older but they are still cute (and delicious!).

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Our anniversary came a few weeks after my birthday. We celebrated 12 years of marriage this year! Adam was on-call so we didn’t go on a date until a few weeks later. We are so blessed how God has blessed us in our marriage and we give Him all of the glory!

I have been selling kombucha and bread (and sometimes jam and veggies) at a local farmer’s market. It has been fun educating people on kombucha and encouraging them to start making it themselves. I feel like I have finally perfected my bread recipe and Adam is glad that I can finally make sandwich bread.

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We decided to move MJ out of her crib; mostly because her “room” is really small (think SMALL office) and the crib is very bulky. It was such an easy transition and she is loving the independence of getting in her bed by herself. We were able to bless another family with the crib (we just kept the mattress). The crib was bought new for my nephew, who turns 14 in August, so it has lasted through 5 kids so far!

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Our air-conditioner broke toward the end of June so we have been busy coming up with creative ways to stay cool. We are all sleeping in the same room (slumber party!), using many fans and not cooking much to keep from heating up the house more.

Thankfully, the early morning and evenings have been quite cool due recent rain, and there has only been a few days that are really hot (inside and out). This is how we feel some days fighting the heat (the heat usually wins).

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Here are some fun pictures from June. MJ loves to talk on the phone!

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