Sunday, June 29, 2008

For Real This Time

What on earth happened with that last post? Well, I was typing along, minimized to download some pictures, maximized, got back to work, went to put in some pics, and lost the whole thing. I am so technically disinclined, that I hung up the whole mess and went to bed. So, I am back, and there's lots to tell.

This week was kind of crazy. On Wednesday, I had to get the four older children to my MIL's so that I could take Henry to his four month check up. He is amazingly huge: 16lbs., 7oz. AND, he's 27 inches long! Holy cow! He's already almost as big as his two oldest brothers were at one year. I'm going to be looking up at him when he's 10. He had to get three shots. I've said it before, and I'll say it now, I hate shots. I know they are for the greater good, but, wow, hearing my baby scream like that just goes right through me. He was pretty cranky Wednesday evening, and all of the next day.

I thought that if we took Jim to his appointment at the VA Hospital in Bath, NY, it would give Henry a good chance to sleep in the van. Well, on the way out there (it's about a 90 minute drive), I kept feeling worse and worse. My right breast was really painful, and I thought, "Uh-oh, I'll bet I'm getting mastitis." Yup. By the time Jim was done with his appointment, I was very sick and couldn't drive back home. We were planning on stopping at a friend of his who also keeps bees so that Jim could check on this guy's hives. We still went, but I laid on their couch and slept for most of the time we were there. Thankfully, the children were very well behaved. When we got home, I took my temp, and it was 102.6. I called my midwife and she called in a prescription for me. I was so relieved that I didn't have to go to the ER. Friday, was no picnic, either. My temp went up to 103, and I really felt lousy. However, after a couple of days on the antibiotic and lots of Tylenol and water, I am feeling much better.

We are all singing the "Rain Rain Go Away" song. We still don't have any lettuce, spinach, green beans or summer squash in our garden. I also don't have my herbs planted. This isn't working out quite as well as we were hoping. My MIL said, "It'll really eat into your winter food bill." As if we could help what the weather has been doing for the last three weeks. We haven't had two dry days in a row in ages. Our garden soil is very heavy, so we would be mudding everything in. It works much better when the soil is dry. Hopefully later this week.

I guess we are going to start school again this week. I think we are going to keep it light and simple, though. We can just do some measuring review and money for math, and they are still on a mad hunt for all sorts of bugs to identify for the summer reading program at the library. That will cover science for about a month. July is usually very laid back. I will have all of their materials together to do proper work by the beginning of August. Even taking several days off, we could still be finished by the end of March. I think I'm going to stretch it out a bit more, though and go until at least the middle of April. If we breed our sheep later this year, like we did last year, then I won't have that much work to do until the end of April. Four kids with very little to do when the weather isn't all that nice yet is a recipe for disaster. They behave much better if they know what their schedule is going to be and they aren't left to their own devices all day.

I did not make the deadline for the afghan. The wedding was last Saturday. Let me say that it was just beautiful. What amazed me is that the young man had only kissed his bride one time (!) before the wedding and that was when he gave her the engagement ring. They courted for about a year and a half. I didn't know anything about courting, so I read a few things. It seems like a very nice way of getting to know a person without having to have "relations". I would think that the physical part of it would work itself out, but really knowing each other's souls should make their marriage very strong. They were renting a cabin in the Adirondaks for a week after the wedding. I told them I hoped they had lousy weather so they didn't have to go out. ;-)

As far as the afghan goes, I started on the last section of the trees pattern today. It will take me the rest of this week to do that part, then I have to do the border and sew it on. I will definitely post a picture of it when it is finished. I want to get it done because I will need something smaller to take to Rochester with me on July 7 when we have to take Noah for his check-up with the cardiologist. More on that another time. For now, I'm going to go knit a couple of rows!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Life in the Lilac Bush

I have a lilac bush outside my kitchen window that is providing me with lots of entertainment this spring. First, there was the cute little family of sparrows. Every morning at about 10:00, the babies would come out on the outer branches and the parents would take turns flying out to get food. They would come back, feed the babies in turn and then go back out for more. What a wonderful treat to see that every morning. Now, we have a family of robins. I'm not sure if the babies have hatched out yet, but Mom and Dad are busy getting ready. Both of them are in and out of the bush several times a day with goodies in their beaks. I'll try to remember to keep track of when I see the little ones.

I had a busy beginning of this week. I had to get the older boys' portfolios done for their homeschool evaluation. Getting the portfolios together was easy. All I had to do was to put their work into the plastic sleeves. Unfortunately, I wasn't so diligent with their calendars. That took some work, but I got it all turned in to the school on Friday. One more year under our belts. Now, I have to get DS #3 ready for registration by taking him to the doctor next week for immunizations and a dental check up. Luckily, in Pennsylvania, the kids don't have to be registered with the school district until they are 8. After they are registered with the school district, they don't have to follow a "grade appropriate" cirriculum. This works so well for us because DS #1 is gifted and has been doing algebra for two years (he's 11 now). DS #3 has some learning delays and is just starting to learn to read at age 8. This is why I love homeschooling. I can tailor the instruction to each child and work with them until they really get it. At evaluation time, all we have to prove is that we have made progress. For example, DS #2 worked on multiplication and division for almost the whole school year. It really took that long to make sure that he had it down and would be able to move on in math. He would happily stay with simple addition forever, but time does march on.

The garden work has stalled a bit. I rained for a few days in a row, and then it got HOT. Jim has been working with the bees, because that isn't too labor intensive, but he is going to try to get the bed ready for the cabbage and cauliflower this afternoon. I will get those popped in by tonight, if it doesn't storm this afternoon. The tomatoes and peppers should be able to go in next week. Then, we'll just bang the rest out with the seeder. I can't wait to look out my front door and see all sorts of things growing! Fresh, organic food will be so awesome.

I am rocking on the Tree of Life afghan. I am on the second panel of trees. Only 13days until the wedding. I think I will have it finished by then. After that, I am going to make the eggplant colored tank top that I want.

The baby is sleeping, so I am going to put in a couple of more rows!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Busy Bees

We have been so busy around here, the days are just flying by. We finally got the brussels sprouts and broccoli in. The patch for the cauliflower and cabbage should be done today if it doesn't rain. We also got the onions in, but we have to dig the furrows to put in the leeks. Slowly but surely, we are getting a garden.

Jim has been busy with the bees. Last Sunday, he split a hive and, so far, both hives are doing well. He got four packages of bees in the mail yesterday and got them hived last night. They seem to be doing all right, too. We are just hoping that they don't swarm!

Our big excitement on Memorial Day was that the old broken down silo finally gave up the ghost. It's been fairly windy here and it was leaning more and more every day. Finally, a gust hit it and down it went. Thankfully, it twisted so it didn't take out the end of the barn. There weren't any animals around it; nothing was hurt. Only the pigeons lost their home.

I've been working on the afghan that I'm giving as a wedding gift in 20 days. I will have to knit like the wind, but it looks pretty good. I'll be having lots of late nights and early mornings to get it done in time.

Today I am searching for the plastic sleeves that I know I have so that I can get the boys' portfolios ready for our homeschool evaluation on Tuesday. It will be the third time we've been evaluated, so I'm not so nervous anymore. If I could just remember where those pesky sleeves are...Grrr!!

Okay, I have to be political for a moment. What is going on with this mess with Florida and Michigan?!? How stupid was it for the Democratic party officials in Florida and Michigan to change the dates of their primaries, be told their delegations would not be seated, and then cry about what happened? As a parent, I know that what I say has to count, so I try not to say stupid things that I know will come back to haunt me. The consequences were put forward and should be enforced. It is, in my opinion, wrong because the people in those states who wanted to vote a certain way didn't get the chance. This is a democratic society. We are all supposed to have a vote. All this stupid bickering isn't good for anyone. Note, I am not even for Senator Clinton, Senator Obama or Senator McCain. This election cycle isn't floating my boat at all. Ron Paul for president!