Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Prairie Primer 2016 - The First Four Years

I almost forgot to post our co-op pics from the last book in the Prairie Primer homeschool unit study. The First Four Years is a small book but it is packed with a lot of good information and things to learn about. We made doughnuts with Almanzo's mother's recipe. Always a hit! The girls twisted them into all kinds of shapes just for fun. 

Josiah showed us some footage of traditional wheat harvesting methods with horses. My grandpa used to do this! These were BIG teams! Below is a video of my Grandpa hitching up his Fjords and farming with them. It was taken a little before he passed away at the age of 91. I miss this man! He was a truly gifted horseman. 


 Jeni got some snuggle time with little Rina while listening to the kids do their presentations.
Amanda and Alli gave Rina a Usborne "Spot the Duck" book and plush ducky to go with it for her birthday. 

 Hailey taught us about different sheep breeds: wool, prolific and meat breeds. It was very interesting. She is excited to be saving up for her first ewe lamb this summer.
Naomi taught us about fire safety in the home. 

 Josiah presented Mendel's Law of Heredity and gave us some charts and examples. Genetics is always a fascinating subject, especially when you're a redhead!
 Gracia told us all about the Saint Bernard breed. Very interesting!
We feasted on rabbit and dumplings and chicken and dumplings, cornbread and creamed peas for our last meal together for the homeschool year. 

 So yummy! I think the food is our favorite part of the Prairie Primer. Some of these recipes, are now family regulars.
 Topped off the meal with fresh doughnuts cooked in coconut oil instead of lard. 
 Amanda was so sweet and gave all the kids gifts the last day of PP. We decided to dress causal that day.
Josiah appreciated his monogrammed handkerchiefs which are super handy for Boy Scout camp outs.

 Amanda gave each of the girls a "Little House on the Prairie" book locket. So sweet!
Rina a got a prairie rag doll from Amanda. She loves it!

And that's a wrap! Our family has now completed the Prairie Primer twice and I'm looking forward to doing it again eventually when Rina is in 4th or 5th grade. Keeping all my books in anticipation. As we move into next year, our three family co-op will be doing the "Further Up and Further In" unit study based on the Chronicles of Narnia. Looking forward to dressing up in WWII era and medieval clothing for this next unit study. We love total emersion!

Thanks for joining us on our journey! Can't wait to see what new adventures in homeschooling await us this next school year.

God Bless,
Jackie

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Homestead Happenings - April 2016

What a month! Yes, I'm so far behind blogging. Hope I can catch up soon. I want my kids to have a record of all the fun stuff they did and accomplished as they grew up, so I continue on, even if I'm waaaayyyy behind. Michael was gone to Europe on a military mission for three weeks in April. The day he left a lot of interesting things happened on the homestead. The rooster, Blondie, started aggressively attacking us as we entered his domain, so I asked Josiah if he would take care of him for me. He got the job done quickly with his bow. Never wanting to waste food, I asked Josiah if he would butcher it for us. 

He and his lovely assistant, Hailey, got 'er done! Blondie made a fabulous dish of chicken and dumplings. I was so proud of these kids! I'm way too squeamish to do kill or butcher an animal. I'd have to be starving!
As we were burying Blondie's inedible parts in the corner of the garden, we heard and saw a swarm of honeybees land in one of our trees. Josiah quickly started working on getting the swarm captured. It took him 4 tries, again with the help of his assistant, Hailey.
It took two days, but they finally got the swarm in the hive.

Unfortunately, they might have accidently killed the queen because they never did find her. So we ordered a queen bee ($47 for a stinkin' bee) and she is doing great and so is the hive. Unfortunately we lost our other hive as the other queen died. Wish we would have bought two queens now. Oh well. Beekeeping is a gamble for sure. At least we have one strong hive going!
Rina loves to watch the hens out in their chicken yard. And I love to watch her!
Homeschooling in the hammock is so much fun! Love these sunny days. 
We got to go on a homeschool field trip out to a ranch/feedlot and walked a bit of the Oregon Trail.

Then we went to an OSU test plot where the kids got to dig around in the soil. My soil scientist's heart just loves to watch this! Can you tell which kids are mine, LOL? Yep, they are easy to spot in a crowd ;)

Our little homestead blessing. We love this girl!


Someone gave us more laying hens to add to our flock, plus 4 older chicks. We lost the Orphington, but all the rest are doing great. We have 15 hens now!
We were so blessed to be able to spend Passover with our friends, the Clarks. We started out with a foot washing and then a Mediterranean finger food feast.
Kids reclining in the living room before the Seder ceremony and meal.
Josiah took this picture as we are ceremonially washing our hands. I love Rina in the background of this pic.
We enjoyed eating the Seder meal with our friends. The Passover is FOR KIDS. God wanted the people to always be teaching the next generation what He had done for the Hebrew people by setting them free from slavery in Egypt. As Christians, we can clearly see the correlation between the Passover Lamb and Christ who was sacrificed for our sins so that we can have eternal life. What a joy to be able to celebrate this event with New Testament eyes!

Blessings, Jackie

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

These Happy Golden Years - Prairie Primer 2016

 Another eventful month of working on the Prairie Primer unit study came to close. This was my absolute favorite book as a young teen! Can't tell you how many times I read it, being the romantic that I am. Laura's uncle was a logger, so Josiah taught us about logging in the west. Love this picture of an entire school sitting on the stump of an enormous old-growth tree.
This picture shows people using a huge stump for a dance floor!
 Naomi was a suffragette and taught us about how women got the right to vote.
Hailey explained to us the history of beading and what materials beads can be made out of. she showed us a few of her own creations. 

Alli explained the differences between eggs in chicken breeds and also showed us the differences between store-bought eggs and home-raised eggs. 

The store-bought eggs were much paler in color and more watery. 

We also examined the little air sac that baby chicks peck as they struggle to break out of the egg. God thinks of everything, doesn't He?

 Delicious dinner of fried chicken, deviled eggs, cottage cheese and salad boats.
 Last day the girls worked on their sunbonnets. 
They are done! Didn't they turn out great?!!! So proud of them for finishing them and not giving up even when it was boring and hard. 

Gracia made this beautiful wedding cake in honor of Laura and Almanzo's wedding. What a treat for the last week of working on "These Happy Golden Years"! Gracia is just getting better and better and making cakes and even starting make them as a little side business. 

 Naomi taught us about sound and sound waves and how the ear works.

Josiah taught us about gemstones- something he is very interested in! 

Roast beef (elk), boiled potatoes, onions and carrots and creamed peas for dessert the second week.We always eat very well, don't we? The food is half the fun when doing the Prairie Primer!

Only one more book left! This year is going too fast. We're learning so much though. What a blessing to be able to homeschool and do an in-depth study of these books. What fun we've had!

God Bless,
Jackie

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Homestead Happenings - March 2016

We couldn't let St. Patrick's Day go by without celebrating! Hailey helped me make a key lime cake for my friend, Jeni, whose birthday is also on St. Patrick's Day. I use any holiday as an excuse to give books to my kids, so each of them got an Usborne book. They all dressed up in their Celtic garb that day. 

Sounds funny, but we got to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and Jeni's birthday at the fabulous new Japanese restaurant in town. So yummy! We always have a great time with this precious family.

My sis visited us during their kids' spring break which happened to be on my niece, Lily's, birthday. Our friend, Gracia (11 years old), made this fabulous Elsa doll cake for her. She loved it! 
Josiah and his cousin, Andrew, wanted to check the honeybees together. I love watching them work as a team! 
My mom and I were able to take a group of Eastern Oregon Christian Home Educators through the Pendleton Underground Tours in March. Mom does touring guiding on the side and I used to work for PUT 20 years ago when I was in college. So fun to see homeschoolers from all over Eastern Oregon enjoying themselves underground! They are in the Shamrock Card Room in this photo with my mom giving the tour. 
Our friend, Alli, who is in our Prairie Primer co-op, had a "Little House" themed birthday party. Her dad made this adorable "covered wagon" and give the kids rides around their pasture. They all had so much fun!

I dressed Rina for the occasion as well. Love those chubby cheeks! 

Michael was overseas for work again for 3 weeks. He got to go to Bulgaria and Romania this time. He visited Transylvania where Dracula's castle is located. He bought Hailey and I these beautiful traditional Romanian shirts while he was there. Michael has had to travel a lot this year for the military. I'm so thankful to have him home right now, and so are the kids!

Easter Sunday with a tired, teething 10 month old. It was cold and windy that day, so my dreams of having family pictures went up in smoke (again). Sigh... One of these days....

Hailey is still just young enough to participate in the Easter egg hunt at Dufur Christian Church where we were visiting family. Josiah is officially old enough to be the egg-hider. 

Easter evening, brought us to Hood River where we visited Michael's folks. Hailey has been wanting to learn how to crochet, so Grandma Kay obliged her by teacher her. I love this picture!

Michael dressed Rina, LOL. Hey, it works, right?

 We advertised that we would remove honeybee swarms, and we got a call. When we got there, the bees were gone, but they left a whole bunch of honey and comb. We got 2+ gals of honey out of all of it, some we gave away as gifts and some we sold and put towards the kids' camps this summer. What an unexpected windfall of honey!
Our little cutie started really walking at 10 months. She is on the go and a busy little thing!

My mom and I were able to take my girls and a couple of my nieces to our church's spring tea. I love this picture of the ladies reading from the Word of God. So precious!

One of my favorite photos of all time! My sweet girls. Hailey is in heaven now that Rina is old enough to really play with her. I've always said she was born to be a big sister! I'm really liking my new camera although I haven't had a chance to use it much. Hopefully now that Rina is walking I'll have my hands free to do some more picture taking.

As usual, I'm nearly a month behind in blogging, but I hope to catch up on all your blogs soon. Spring is such a busy time of the year, but I'm so thankful for the renewed life it brings. 

May God bless you all,
Jackie

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