I quit smoking on March 22, 2011 with Electronic Cigarettes

Monday, March 8, 2010

I have a new profession!!

Well, I've been threating for years- NO, I did not drop my kids off in the middle of the woods 50 miles from home.... - I took them out of school. The boys anyway, I am homeschooling them. Rayley is still going to finish out Kindergarten, but I'm sure she will stay home next year.

She is also getting to ride back and forth to town with my Mother in Law, to the daycare and then to school. So no more BUS!! She leaves at 6:30 instead of 6:10, but its a quicker trip, with less things being said and done that no 5 year old should know about.

I am enjoying doing the homeschooling, the boys are kinda torn. They miss their friends, but are enjoying the freedom of being home more. They are also learning in a differnt way.

We didnt go with a program, we are just going with what you need to know. I am taking them to the library and we check out books that pertain to what we are studying, like I decided to totally restart American History, from the colonists on down. They thought the pilgrims were the first settlers. Or the only ones who stayed and THEY founded this country. They didnt know about the House of Burgessess, or much about the reason for the Revolution. So we are taking this very slow, and really filling in alot of the gaps. Plus, they like to compare what the colonists had to do in everyday life, compared to what we do, and what the differences are.

We are also working on Math, both indoors and out. We work on what they need to know, plus they learn that math is something you use in everyday life. A tablespoon of viniger per gallon of water is needed for the chickens, you have to cut boards the correct length, not a half an inch too much or too little to build something, you have to cut angles exactly to make a door frame fit, each animal gets a certain amount in weight of food. How many pounds of food gets you how many pounds of meat. If an animal is eating more than its giving money wise.

And of course science. If you think about it, our home is a HUGE science expeiriment. Didnt you plant a pea in school, to watch it grow? We plant a few acres. Didnt you disect a frog? or even a cat, squid, etc? Here, we kill and butcher meat. Chickens, hogs, deer, fish, rabbits. They have to identify the parts, they get to ask what they do- and then eat the meat.

Did you study the chicken, the egg and the outcome? Here we not only raise the chickens, we do it from the egg. The ones that dont make it to hatch are disposed of, and they get to see the stages. They are able to find and dig up the lowly worm, find out what it does that is beneficial, and search the woods for skulls, or bones, to identify animals and such.

They have to know what benifits rain and snow and heat have on land, animals, and themselves. What below freezing means, and how it will affect you. They learn that flooding will erode, dry ground will crack and not grow anything, and that proper irregation is paramount to keeping pastures, feilds and pens clean and thriving. How to watch weather cycles to find out what you should do. which clouds mean its time to scramble and get everything waterproof, or which mean its time to sit and relax and enjoy the day.

Plus, they like to help in the kitchen, and cooking is both Math and Science.

And they are NOT learning things that as a parent I feel is inapropriate. Here lately I learned that our middle school has a drug problem. I had heard about it, but never heard it first hand. Then when I heard one story, I started hearing MORE. we are talking 12 year olds. What I think is worse than the fact that there IS a known drug problem is the fact that so many parents just say "well it happens" and dont think its THEIR kid doing it. It might not be, but chances are, it could be. Its not just the trashy kids doing them. And it can happen to you. I decided the best course of action is to do everything possible to make sure it doesnt happen to me or more importantly, to my children.

I am making sure that they do realize that they are still doing 'school' We get up now at 6, feed and water everything, Do whatever chores need to be done, and eat breakfast, then around 8 we start with whatever book learning we will be doing that day. We also spend alot of time at the barn, checking on babies, and everything else. And we are able to spend as much time on any one subject as we wish.

We have had lots of new babies around here- got the kids 50 broilers for 4-H. And finally about 3 weeks into it, I found a wonderful man who was willing to help me. Cause come to find out, broilers are nothing like normal chickens. You keep them cooler, you feed them differnt, you wake them up to eat, you even use differnt lights on them. Whats amazing is the fact that a organization thats motto is: "to make the best better"
and pledge is:
"I pledge my Head to clearer thinking,
my Heart to greater loyalty,
my Hands to larger service and
my Health to better living, for my club, my community,
my country, and my world."

can be such a cut throat buisiness. All the 'secret recipies', lack of trust, secretiveness, its all too much. I am not saying that people shouldnt be able to supplement diets with stuff,- as long as its not illegal, to tell someone, "oh just feed them chicken feed" while you are feeding them 1,000 calories a day is just wrong. I dont mind doing a little research, and did. I am not sure we will be able to show these chickens- they just wont hit the 8 lb mark in the next 3 weeks. And honestly, had we lost them all to death, I wouldnt be mad, that in itself is a lesson to the kids. What upsets me, is we will meet the mark for clubs that have minimum/maximum weights, and hands out booklets , give differnt feeding plans, have workshops etc. But not one that doesnt. And its not just the chickens either, I have heard it about all animals.

We also had baby pigs. Both Sows had their piglets last week. One had some issues, and I had to help her, but for the most part it was a wonderful thing to get to see.

We are getting ready for planting season, bought and cut up 50lbs of taters this week, that made 8 rows of taters. The kids helped alot, and my sister in law came over to help. The kids were a great help, but they had more fun then they worked, when BR was smoothing out the the field with a railroad iron, they were using the furrows as ditches to hide in. They were a dirty mess before we even started planting!

In two weeks or so, we will be planting the corn and peas. I pray that the entire crop comes out good, it will really help with groceries if it does. Between the hogs and the garden, we will have alot for the freezer.

BR is still working 6 days a week, from daylight till dark, so he cant be in the feilds every day. I hope our schedules will allow for a productful garden.

Once the crops start to come in, we will be spending alot of time in the gardens.

Bow is really enjoying the kids being home- for him its playtime ALL the time. Till they make him mad- he still doesnt talk much- there are some words you can understand, but he just doesnt talk. He does make alot of noise though. Well, the other day the boys were really messing with him. Finally he pointed at them, pointed at the door and said "Bettmatt, scool NOW!" He decided he needed some quiet time.

I am enjoying the boys being home too, I'm able to enjoy their sense of humors, their conversations, and just being with them in general. Its amazing how less needy they are when they have your ear all day, instead of for just a few hours a day. They fight less, are showing more compassion to each other, and aside from a few bad habits they picked up that we are working on, they are fun to be around.

I did take them to vote the other day. The ladies there were very accomodating, and I was able to let them read my ballot, and they were more than willing to give me their opinion on some of the things I was voting on. Then once we left, we were able to discuss it in detail. They had no clue what I was doing, what it meant or anything else. They knew last time I was voting on the President and such. But didnt understand that Texas has a goverment just like the Union does. I honestly dont know what grade they are supposed to learn this type of thing, but would have thought that by now they would have some basic knowledge of the branches of goverment, the parallel between the state and local and national systems and what primaries are. I know that personally I have explained or at least touched on it before, but didnt realize that it wasnt clear to them at that time. I have a feeling that once we get to the Constitution and all of that in our studies we will spend alot of time learning how it all works.

I have learned I was putting too much faith in what they were taught in school. I didnt realize how many gaps I needed to fill in at home. I knew I had to teach them life lessons, manners, being self sufficiant, that sort of thing, but I am fiquring out that if it isnt on the standerized tests, kids really dont learn it anymore.

We are even teaching them about electricity. BR and I had to run a line from the main breaker box to the barn. Not rocket science, but something everyone should know how to do. Well, I had went to town to purchase what we needed. The boys were helping BR and learning about circuts and stuff. Which Brett had been learning about in school.

I got home, and we had to string it up through a tree. You remember the picture of the tree that they were at the top of? the magnolia? well that tree. Which upset them, since they are no longer allowed to climb it.

But it was between the barn and the pole, and was tall enough to hold the line off the ground. the boys were IN the tree, and BR was using a pully system to get the heavy line up to them. They couldnt hold it and tie it off at the same time, so guess who got to climb the tree? yep. First let me say, I am TOO old to be climbing trees.

Well I got up there, got my legs thrown over a branch and was comfy enough to proceed to tie it up. I look up, about 10 feet OVER my head and there is Hoover- standing on a branch leaning on a few others and pretending to be asleep. Since he is notorious for going to sleep I really thought he was.. I knew if he fell from there he would knock ME out, AND hurt himself. Well finally I got it done, then it was time to get down. Did you know it is easier to climb a tree then it is to get OUT of a tree?? seriously?? it is. I was trying to throw my leg over, but between my pants being a little tight, and my boots - I couldnt. So I had to take off my boot to get my leg over the branch. It still took a few minutes. Boots are not the easiest thing to get off, especially when your suspended over the ground hanging on to nothing except future firewood.

When I finally got out I headed to the barn with BR and we got the breakers hooked up. Then I got to climb all over that running the lines... Well, the boys had wondered off and we were just talking, and I was in one of the pig pens measuring where a light would go. He happened to remember to tell me why the 'stray' dog that adopted us might be an asset. Seems he had found a snake where the boys were playing earlier. Then proceeded to tell me WHERE. It was IN a tree. I am SOOO glad that he waited until I was on SOLID ground and AFTER I had climbed a tree.