As usual, summer flew by faster than I could keep up with. Can't believe it is already time to start school! Last Monday, we started some new homeschool traditions my kids are loving! We start on our knees in prayer time (each having a chance to pray), then do The Lord's Prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance and sing The Star Spangled Banner. This little routine has been very beneficial in helping the kids transition from breakfast/morning chores to school time. They get to take turns ringing the bell when it it is time to start school. I've been using a jingle bell, but I'm waiting for the antique school bell that Michael bought for me off the internet to come. My kids are ALL about traditions, so I'm trying to use those things to help school be more enjoyable.
I decided to get more organized this year and stick to a strict schedule that includes recesses. Both kids seem to be thriving on it so far, so I think that is what they needed. I'm protecting our school time jealously, and wow are we getting a lot done. It helps so much to have a reader and it is is nice to see Josiah moving towards more independent learning so I can focus on getting Hailey reading. Josiah is in 4th grade this year and Hailey is in 1st. We have our bumps in the road and impatient times, but overall it is going well.
Before we started school, my sis helped me pare down my curriculum pile for Josiah from this to...
My nephew, Jacob, was able to come stay with us for a week while Josiah was at the desert having fun with his Grandma and cousins, Jessica and Andrew. We had a blast with him. We played laser tag and miniature golf and got to go to the park. He is a hard worker and he and Hailey helped weed my huge garden and shucked lots of corn.
Jacob and Hailey also helped us can 22 jars of German Dill Pickles. We've canned a total of 38 jars this year total. We canned regular heirloom pickling cukes (on the left), but most of them are from Armenian cucumbers (right) that we cut down into spears. They are lighter in color and a very crisp cuke, so I'm hoping they will make good pickles. We shall see in a few weeks.We also canned Dilly Beans for the first time. I'm curious to see how they turned out as I made my own recipe. If they are good, I'll be sure to post it.
blender milk soap recipe. This one batch took about 15 minutes to make. They sit for a month as the lye deactivates and then I've got soap to use for gifts or for face, hands and body. Love this stuff! I used to call it my ugly soap, but I can't do that now with these molds. The kids thought they were the coolest soap bars ever.
Michael has been using the upholstery sewing machine I got him for Father's Day a lot lately. The biggest project he's taken on is sewing a huge canvas awning for our wall tent. We used it at the Celtic Festival, but like all men who refuse to sew with a pattern, you soon find your mistakes and what you could improve on. So with a little more work to be done on it, I'm happy to say that this awning will be very useful when deer hunting season comes around.
Hope everyone is doing well. I haven't had much time to blog lately, too busy livin' life! Now that school is starting things are slowing down a bit, so hopefully I'll have more time if my garden lets me ;o)