French Revolution High School Level Study

Just out of curiosity, is anybody else interested in a high school level study of the French Revolution?  We use the Mother of Divine Grace history curriculum, but I really think the French Revolution has had more impact on our Western culture than, perhaps, the Spanish history covered in eleventh grade.  I don’t know much about the French Revolution myself, being public schooled and all, ;-) but I’ve pulled together a book list already and will be working on getting it all organized and developing essay topics.  Just wondering!

Holy Thursday at My End of the Pew

There was mostly an older crowd at Mass tonight, and so the sanctuary was unusually quiet. It wasn’t so bad when Tommy fell asleep beside me, snoring softly through his spring-induced congestion. But then Evelyn got hungry. She slurped noisily and moaned contentedly with each swallow. And I, I just kept my head down, for those slurps and moans resounded throughout the whole church!

{P,H,F,R} We’re Underway

First, a little bloggy business:  I have a facebook page here (not under my regular email address, so you won’t find me that way) and a twitter account here.  If you’d like to friend or follow, please do.  No entry shall exceed 149 characters, and there will be no more than one per day.  :-)


IMG_1755Baby Tea Leaves sweater for Evie to wear this chilly spring.

IMG_1519The hat I made, which lays more smoothly than this photo would have you believe! Whenever I put it on her, though, she spends all her time staring at the brim, which I think is probably not good for her eyes, so I try to keep the brim pushed way back on her head, funny though she may be.

So Barbara remarked a couple of weeks ago that she was going to be starting a new Tiny Tea Leaves cardigan for Faith. Before Evie was born, I was mostly sewing, and I’ve been a bit frustrated by my inability to move forward on any of my projects, what with only having one arm and all. ;-) On a whim, which is mostly how I roll, I downloaded the baby version of the pattern and ordered a hank of the very expensive yarn the pattern was written for. Because, why not. Sometimes, a little luxury is a good thing. :-) Now, mind you, I had no idea at this point whether or not I could knit one handed any better than I could sew, but because I’m also impatient, I grabbed a random skein of blue Swish from the cupboard and cast on for a newborn hat I’d been admiring. The good news? You can knit with a babe in arms! I’m about halfway done with the sweater, I think. Maybe a little more. I’ve really enjoyed knitting it, and I thank Barbara very much for the idea. (Also, that yarn? It’s delicious.)


IMG_1741blogDucks. We have a love/hate relationship.

Happy is trees in leaf, trees in bloom all over the place. And even ducks in the garden. Much as I want to, I can’t hate the ducks when the weather is this fine.


IMG_1727blogA mixed bag of cream legbars, New Hampshire reds, speckled Sussex, and barred rock.

Our first batch of chicks hatched just as the temperatures plummeted. Normally, we brood them on the porch, but it was just too cold, so they are hanging out in the kitchen. People sit there on the floor and pet chicks all day. Chicks – and chickens, for that matter – make contented little peeping or clucking noises all day and all night, hushing only when something startles them. The other night, I was nursing the baby in the wee hours, and she let loose with a good, healthy burp. A chick-startling burp. Which I thought was funny. :-)


IMG_1764blogStill waiting on lots of books. Still ordering lots of books.

I forgot, in all the new-baby-ness, that it’s Homeschool Planning Season. I am now inventing courses in Mycology, the French Revolution, Meteorology and Electricity. Absolutely not my favorite thing, till about mid-year, when my students tell me how much they’re enjoying my course! And when I ask for an After Action Review* at the end of the year, there’s usually not too much they’d change. It’s a lot of work to put a special course together for a particular child, but it’s always worth it in the end.


IMG_1737blogThe children have been playing with the black walnuts, cracking them open with a hammer on the concrete and eating the meats. I thought they’d be bad by now, but they assure me they’re quite tasty.

IMG_1714blogEvie playing on the floor, till she could barely keep her eyes open!

*Somebody mentioned the other night that April is the Month of the Military Child, and Davey looked at Evelyn and remarked, “She’s not a military child, is she.”
“Of course she is,” I countered. “We’re a military family, and she’s a member of this family, so she’s a military child.”
The thing is, even though we’ve been out of the Army for over two years now, the Army is still very much a part of who we are. I suspect it will always be that way.

Pretty Happy Funny Real

How long has it been since my last post? Well, no matter. I’m here now. Anyway, I did warn you. :-)

Evie Makes Faces
Pretty, happy, and funny: Evie celebrated her six week birthday yesterday, and I tried to get a picture of her smile for you, but all I got was wiggles, grunts, and an aborted attempt at protest. Still, she’s a cutie.
Real: She weighs in at nearly twelve and a half pounds! She won’t even consider going more than 90 minutes without a meal, except at night. At night, I have to wake her up.


Pretty: Our broccoli and Brussels sprouts starts, all beaded with rain.
Real: They’re still not in the ground. It’s been a combination of unpredictable weather swings, a new baby, and chickens escaping into the garden area, but I’m committed to planting them today, before our next round of rain comes in tonight!


Happy and funny: For some reason, Tommy got it into his head that muddy rain puddles and fire trucks are obvious mates! He enjoyed himself for a good long time, though.
Real: We got about five inches of rain in the past week. Our farm is muck, muck, muck. Nobody cares to venture out back of the barn, not even the cows. I apologize for making them walk through it every morning. Our Ohio River is running pretty high, too.


Happy and real: We are no longer in the rabbit business! And you can be grateful I didn’t show you the photos of Dave and Laney making them into meat. Some of them were quite good!

Linking up at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

How Come I Can’t Have Everything I Want?

Well, hello, there! I’ve been away for a while.  I’ve had some things to take care of, you see.  Things that just couldn’t wait any longer.  Things that needed my personal attention.  Because I am the keeper of the Grand Plan, and I also have the ability to backward plan.  This is, apparently, not an inherited trait.  Anyway, the incubator is running, the calving schedule is known, and information has been acquired for upcoming decisions.  I also ordered a load of gravel, scheduled a consultation for two with an orthodontist, and had my calves polled.  It’s about time.

My children have suddenly discovered how to combine the unit blocks with the train sets to make elevated tracks.

My children have suddenly discovered how to combine the unit blocks with the train sets to make elevated tracks.

I realized on Sunday that I have to get back into the swing of things.  I haven’t been doing much lately, and I guess it was starting to wear on me, because I was getting pretty darned irritated over things that don’t usually irritate me. I figured that meant I needed to get back to being me again. People always say you should take care of yourself first (and then offer the airplane/oxygen mask analogy). I don’t think that’s necessarily reasonable, as the needs of those around you are often more pressing, but you should definitely make a little room for your own self.

I knew these two were made for each other, but they've been together for years without anyone else noticing!

I knew these two were made for each other, but they’ve been together for years without anyone else noticing!

That’s why I decided that Evie would just have to get along without me for a while each morning and told the girls I’d be doing the morning milkings from now on.  Evie is usually pretty calm and quiet in the mornings, and I figured the backup Barn Buddy could transition to backup Baby Bouncer, and I could spend a half hour doing something I really enjoy. So far, so good. Evenings are another story right now, but I can take the mornings, at least.  And I really like my cows.

Now that they know, however, they've had various track configurations meandering around the living room for days.

Now that they know, however, they’ve had various track configurations meandering around the living room for days.

I have a few other ideas in my head that I’m kind of excited about, and I’m looking forward to some small pockets of time here and there so I can move forward with them. Little things I’ve been thinking about forever, but haven’t been brave enough to actually try. What does that say to my children, I ask you? How can I tell them to put themselves out there, when I myself am worried that no one will like what I have to offer?

I sure do appreciate the new upwards building schemes; much more compact than the older editions.

I sure do appreciate the new upwards building schemes; much more compact than the older editions.

So… onward. If mine were traveling plans, it would all be a piece of cake, as Evie is a most excellent traveler. At home, though, she wants to be held. All the time. She’s not quite ready to be her own person just yet. And that’s okay, because I’m not ready for her to be her own person yet, either. I guess I’m in a bit of a pickle. :-)

Gratuitous baby picture, with her mama this time.  I look old.  Not a word.  :-)

Gratuitous baby picture, with her mama this time. I look old. Not a word. :-)

Anyway, little Evelyn will be one month old tomorrow. She smiles much more readily, like it isn’t quite so much of an effort anymore. I just look at her and she grins, which makes middle-of-the-night nursings that much more enjoyable. She’s already outgrown those newborn diapers I got her, too, but I don’t mind. It was worth it to have them, even for just those three weeks, because she really was leaking a lot. It’s a little hard to find her decent clothes right now, because everyone has switched to spring and summer clothes, but it snowed today. (I know. I don’t even want to talk about it.) Still too cold for bare arms and legs!

And that is, I think, all I have to say for now. It will probably be another week or two before I write again, because when I have things to do – and, consequently, things to write about – I have no time to write! Another conundrum. :-)

Evie Yawns


You know, I have the  hardest time remembering her name.  I always want to call her Penelope.

I’m not doing much these days.  I take pictures.  I nurse the baby.  I cook food (and dessert).  I hold the baby.  I tidy minor messes.  I kiss the baby.  And if the baby should happen to be asleep, I milk a cow.  Nope, not doing much at all.

Children in Their Natural Habitats: Megan


The other day, I went upstairs to make some photographs of my birthday girl.  Alas, she was not there, but I did find some other children, and the light streaming through their windows was so lovely, I started shooting anyway.  When I walked in on this little scene, Megan had her head under that pillow and Rosie, our resident neat-freak, was cleaning her room.  I next went to Tommy’s room, where he was playing with Legos, and was so delighted by his photos, I was inspired to make photos of all the children in their “habitats”.  Two of them realized what I was about and were able to pull off about two minutes of tidying before I caught them, but this is pretty much the natural state of my children’s spaces.  The rest of the series will follow!