Friday, February 24, 2017

Homestead Happenings - Jan 2017

January forced us to slow down as the weather turned bitterly cold and we had snow most of the month. My step-mom, Diana, made me an apron matching the girls'. I'm one happy apron-wearing mama!

My new deck served as a snow collection point and a good place to measure how much snow we received. 

Front deck just after one of our snow storms. Good thing we could still see the outline of the sled we use to hall wood in!

Lots of time for playing dress up during January. Rina is wearing Hailey's sun hat in this pic. 

Now she's in one of Hailey's winter hats. 
Play veil 

One of Hailey's medieval Narnian dresses. 

My poncho from Mexico that my Grandma and Grandpa Puffball brought me when I was a kid. Can't believe I still have it!

Dad and Diana got her this adorable dress. Can't wait to see her in it this spring. In the meantime she couldn't wait to wear it, and just put it over her winter clothes. 
Back to the homestead. Who says sheep are dumb? It was super cold out and Angel's hooves were cold, but she didn't want to go into the shed because the sun was finally shining. She decided to stand in her feeder to keep her hooves warm!

Speaking of Angel, do I detect a lamb bump?

Dixie, our "let me MAKE you love me" ewe, keeps knocking down the sheep shed walls. She's a stinker but we love her!

Another snowstorm means more snowball fights. These kids are serious!

We use these crocks for toy bins in the living room. Sometimes, Rina likes to take all her toys out and sit in them. She absolutely loves her cleaning set and helps us "clean" the house regularly.
Some friends gave Rina her first Radio Flyer tricycle. Her feet don't touch yet, but that's what having older siblings is for. It's cute to see them sitting behind her and pedaling her all over the house. 

Rina decided she wanted to start going potty in the toilet like the rest of her family. At 20 months this has been a challenge as she isn't able to get her pants on and off yet by herself. She is determined though and so we are taking turns getting her to the toilet every time she yells "pee!", which feels like about every 5 minutes cause the girl drinks juice and milk like it's going out of style. 
Michael got bored this winter and challenged himself to making wooden mugs by hand. He did all the welding on this himself. He wants to make 12 of them. It's pretty impressive how this thing fits together so tightly! The guy never ceases to amaze me. 

Well that's about it for January. Just tried to stay warm with our too tiny stove. But we did it, despite subzero temps. Only lost one hen in Dec, but all the other animals did great through the cold snaps. Managed to keep our pipes from freezing and thaw out our pump before something broke. 

It was nice to slow down since so many events and activities were cancelled. I'm learning to look at it as a gift instead of an inconvenience. God kept Michael safe as he traveled over the mountain pass twice a day for work and provided a place for him to stay with friends when it was too dangerous to make the trek. So very thankful for His provision and protection. 

Blessings, Jackie

Monday, February 6, 2017

Narnia Unit Study 2016-17: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe


 All of us waiting for High Tea to be served in place of luncheon. Do we know how to have fun homeschooling or what? What a privilege to have an excuse to have high tea with friends.
Hailey taught us all about the history of taking tea and proper tea etiquette of both low and high tea.  
Josiah taught us about the controversial race to the North Pole and how Arctic explorer, Peary, got the credit of being first to arrive. Very interesting story. 
Naomi taught us how we get different seasons. 

Gracia explained what happened in the London Blitz. What a scary time for the British people!
Alli's presentation was on the evacuation of women and children from London during WWII. 

 Since Lucy was invited to tea at Mr. Tumnus's house, we decided to do a high tea for our lunch.
We had finger sandwiches, egg and cheese quiche bites, deviled eggs, scones with homemade lemon curd and Devonshire cream with two different teas to choose from. 

Of course proper tea etiquette was encouraged. 
Amanda and Rina enjoying high tea together.

The White Which rode in a sledge. Josiah taught us the differences between cutters, sleighs, sleds, sledges, etc. 

Gracia taught us about Beavers. Josiah happened to have a beaver pelt that he and his father had recently naturally tanned, so she was able to use it as part of her presentation. 

Naomi taught us about the fascinating art of ice fishing. 

Alli's presentation was on bird migration. 

Hailey's presentation was on bird watching, in particular the history and hobby thereof. As an activity, we all went outside with binoculars and bird identification books and tried watching for birds on our property. We chose the worst part of the day to do this, so we didn't have a lot of luck. 

We had a lunch similar to what the children had at Mr and Mrs Beaver's den. Fried fish, bread, mashed potatoes and a sausage pumpkin dish I had left over. For desert - marmalade roll! Delicious. This was a first for all of us, but is was a hit. We ended the meal with a nice cup of tea. Then the kids when out and played a WWII era children's game, called the "Statue Game". 


Gracia taught us about Chinese characters. 

Hailey's presentation was on Norse mythology. She was able to use one of her favorite Usborne books as a visual aide. 

Alli did her presentation on hieroglyphics. 

Josiah taught us about animal tracking.

Naomi explained to us the science of fog and then gave us a great demonstration. 

Mrs. Beaver even joined us for a Christmas dinner. 

What a fun spread as usual. This time our theme was a traditional English Christmas dinner. We had salmon pate' with toasted bread rounds, boiled potatoes, pigs in a blanket and plum pudding, made the traditional way. I steamed it for hours. Everyone liked it though. What a feast! Fun to have an excuse to try cooking different things.  

 With families being out of town, we all decided to finish up the last week of the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe on our own. But we did get together one last time for a Christmas/sledding party. We bought each of the kids a pre-assembled gingerbread house kit and to let them each decorate. They had a ball doing it!
 Here they all are with their completed works of gingerbread art. Sometimes ya' just gotta party!
After another traditional English dinner that involved turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce and roasted parsnips and potatoes plus pumpkin muffins, the kids all went outside and took advantage of the little bit of snow we had left and had a sledding party. 

We all really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next book in the series. See you when we're done with The Horse and His Boy!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Christmas on the Homestead - Dec 2016

Last family picture of 2016 - Christmas Day
A few days before Christmas, my other set of parents, Dad and Diana, bombed up for the morning to exchange gifts and took us to lunch. Nana happily received some Rina snuggles.  

We gave them a blog book with all of our Heppner and Nehalem Bay family campouts that I've blogged about. They loved it! Such good memories. 

Nana made Hailey and Rina matching camo aprons. They are adorable! They wear them all the time. I want one!

Nana also brought Rina a beautiful cross-stitched dress from her summer vacation in Italy. So special! They also gave her the dress that is under the apron. She loves it all.  My niece, Jess, and nephew Andrew came up with them, so that was a special treat.
We had a very pleasant Christmas Eve. The kids got to open their presents from Michael's folks. Craft pillow and warm socks - Hailey was in heaven! Josiah got a camping utensil tool and alpaca socks, too. 

Rina received a sweet new outfit from them.
Michael helped Rina open her stocking first thing in the morning as soon as the big kids got up. 

Since Christmas was on a Sunday, we opened our stockings in the morning and then made the kids wait until after church to open gifts. Mom and Larry joined us.

Snapped this cute picture of Rina in her Christmas dress. This was the first time she let us put a hairband in. She loved her dress.

 Hailey in her Christmas dress. 
 Josiah - looking every bit the teenager. 
Sibling picture. Hard to get them all in one place! 

Grandma Kricket knew just what color of scarf Hailey would like!
It didn't take long for Rina to figure out how to unwrap presents. She was very meticulous and made sure it was ALL off the present and into the garbage before playing with the gift.
Michael can now reload Josiah's bullets for his hunting rifle! 

This was Rina's big gift from us. She uses it all the time. It is a working cleaning set. Now I can clean and she isn't trying to grab my broom or mop, she has her own. Love practical gifts like that!
I got a waffle maker that I use all the time and gift certificate from Michael to get my hair done. I'm so excited!
Josiah's big gift from us was this Ninja snorkeling mask. He was thrilled and tried it out in the bathtub to make sure it works. He can't wait for this summer to start river/creek walking again, using this thing. 

We got a screaming good deal on this drone for Hailey. She wanted one desperately, ever since Josiah had bought his with his own money. She was very surprised to get it. 

We gave Mom and Larry a blogbook, too, filled with all our adventures of dirt-biking and four wheeling in the Alvord Desert since I started blogging. They loved it. So glad we were able to find a gift that was meaningful for the parents this year. 
Opening gifts is exhausting for a 19 month old!

As usual, God blessed us more that we could ever hope for during this season. But honestly when it is all said and done, the only gift that matters is the gift of Jesus. What a privilege to be able to share in celebration that most extraordinary gift with our family!

God Bless,


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