Monday, August 27, 2007


Wow! What a hectic 2 weeks it’s been!

With James in Uganda for 3 weeks I worked hard at getting some decluttering and cleaning done before he arrived home on August 15th. I did accomplish some of this.

Nicholas and Joseph learned to ride their bikes without training wheels while daddy was gone and had fun surprising him with this bit of news when he got home. “Watch this dad!”

Since he’s been home we’ve been busy recouping from illness. Thankfully the children did not catch whatever it was he brought to me! Just a nasty cold we think he picked up on the airplane as he was cooped up with 200+ people on 2 different aircraft for 8+ hours.

He’s been home here since arriving from Uganda, today is his first day back to Seattle and the FHCRC. While home, and after much rest and recouping, he chopped all the wood rounds that were in our shed waiting for him. I’m hoping it’s enough to get us through the winter but I’m skeptical. We may need to buy an extra cord of wood since it’s too late to fell a tree for this winters burning.

As James mentioned already, we went fishing last week! It was really fun! I actually love beach fishing. The kids can play behind us building and digging while we cast and reel. I caught a Coho salmon! The first in like 4 years! It was only MAYBE 2# but it sure was tasty! Here he is cutting it up for dinner. The kids look on, they think it is so cool!

This last Friday (the 24th) we headed to the Kitsap County Fair. We mostly went to visit all the animal barns. Kitsap Fair also has something for the kids called “Farmer for a Day”. It’s just a big area with play things having to do with farming. Joseph loved the area where you could pick apples from wooden trees and set them back up again. He did this over and over and over again. Charissa loved the washtub where she could scrub clothes on an old washboard. They also picked potatoes from a huge potato bed and milked a cow (not really). I, personally, LOVE the cow barn!!! I LOVE cows! It only rooted further my deep-seated desire to have cows some day. We got to talking to a rancher from Sequim, WA about his Miniature Herefords and found out that he had a ½ head to sell. So we jumped right in and in 3+ weeks our freezer will be full of about 180-200# of fresh beef! On October 6th in the Sequim area (on the Olympic Peninsula) they have farm open houses. About 10 farms open their homes (and barns) up to the public to come see how they operate. Straitside Ranch (where we bought the beef from) is one of them and we look forward to going and touring that Ranch and others. Will be a fun day!

This past weekend, we ripped out the WOOD backsplash behind the kitchen sink. Wood does not make a good backsplash behind a faucet unless it is sealed with thick coating of varnish and caulked like crazy. This piece not only was just painted but it really wasn’t wood at all. It was particle board and soaked up the water like a sponge. We tore it out and replaced it with tile. My first tile job but I like the outcome.

Today marks the start of our new school year! Kelsey as a 5th grader, nearly 11 years old! Charissa as a 3rd grader just turned 8 year old! Nicholas as a 1st grader, nearly 7 years old! And Joseph, excitedly a Kindergartner, just turned 5 years old! I’m looking forward to this year as it will hopefully be far less chaotic than last year. With our move last September and our testing out a program that clearly did not fit our family we had a pretty chaotic year. I’ve settled on Story of the World and pieced together other curriculum and will follow a somewhat Charlotte Mason approach.

The garden is doing well so far. We just picked our first beans and I’ve also been picking a few tomatoes. My 9 plants are covered full of green tomatoes so hopefully they will ripen nicely. I’ve covered them with a nice big tent to keep moisture off the leaves, which seems to be something necessary in the wet Western Washington. I’ve got about 3 small sugar sweet pumpkins of a good size but the Jack-o-lanterns aren’t doing well. I have another squash plant (I’m not sure what kind but maybe acorn) that is doing really well. They are small yet but lots of fruit on it. I have 2 apple trees nearing completion! I hope to make jelly and maybe some sauce.

We are still contemplating how to expand the chicken coop as we REALLY WANT to double our flock! But more coop room is needed first and it’s a big job with everything else going on (like the guest cabin, etc.).

I hope the rest of your summer is full of fun and joy!

Our farm is always open; never hesitate to pay a visit!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Out of the mouths of Babes!

The boys are sitting on the steps playing and singing a song their sister has been running around singing. It's called "Everybody Dies Famous in a Small Town".

They are both singing their own interpretation of it and I overhear Nicholas sing:
"Everybody dies strangely in a small town".

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ag Review--The happenings at St. Brigid Farm

It's been awhile since I've done an update on the farm. We've been getting a little drizzle this morning and I went out to the garden and snapped a few pictures. The garden seems to be doing well. I need to find a better place for the salad garden, it didn't do well. Either that or add more mulch as I think it's because too much clay in the soil. I really am tired of buying salad and know that I could grow it for most of the year here if I had the right spot, shade in the summer, sun(or at least a brighter spot) in the winter. I must get busy on that, along with my long list of other things to do.
My mom is here for nearly a month and has been really helpful with getting things done around the house. She has been mending and sewing for me. She is very crafty.
Firefly, our milk producer, has been giving slightly less milk but still enough for us to drink, a little less than 1/2 gallon a day, sometimes about 1/2 gallon a day. The chickens give about 14-15 eggs a day. I think that a couple of them have gone into a premature molt, something that can be caused by stress. I'm thinking the extreme heat we had for a bit might be considered stress on them.
Below are pictures of the garden and a project my mom did.

Here is a bean plant reaching high into the sky!

A row of pole beans. Next year I definitely need to find a sturdier support. I have some ideas.

Cherry tomatoes. I have 2 plants FULL of yellow flowers and green fruit.

Apples from one of my 3 apple trees.

When we moved in it was fall we didn't do any planting of bulbs or perennials but thought we'd see what would come up. The previous owner was busy. There are numerous perennials and bulbs that have come up but I don't know what they are. Here are 3 among many that I am trying to identify. If you recognize one let me know what it is. The orange ones above attract hummingbirds.

The tomatoes, and well, all over the garden, are full of these lovely creatures!

And last but not least. My cupboards don't have doors and when we bought the place the last set on the right had the red curtains. We discovered they were twice as wide as they needed to be so we divided them in half and covered the 2 on the left. I had some red checked fabric we used for the center and then tied them all together with the strips of opposite color. I love it! Thank you mom!

We are really missing daddy!!! Eight more days till he is home. Charissa slept in my bed last night and when she woke this morning the first words out of her mouth were just that, "Eight days till dad gets home."

Friday, August 03, 2007

"Daddy, will you miss me?"

The girls and I went to the library this evening. I was searching for books to take home to the boys and I came across a book titled "Daddy, will you miss me?". It caught my attention and wondered if it was another book about divorce or something, but I opened up the front cover and read.... To a child waiting for his father to return from a trip, four weeks can seem like forever.

Okay, this is not what I thought and I immediately turn to the first page and read...
My daddy's going to work, far away in Africa---without me.

This hit the spot for us. We are all missing daddy so much!!
But every day feels longer than the one before
and every day my daddy feels further and further away.
So, I try to imagine my daddy in Africa
when I look at the map hanging on my bedroom wall.

We marked our calendar tonight...only 12 more days. Charissa collected a box of trinkets to show dad when she gets home and Joseph hid away his birthday crown the his sister made him, just for daddy.

This ones for you, daddy.

Note: I do not like how YouTube puts other videos along side yours. Some have been very crude. I apologize ahead of time, I have no control over what you might see if you click to go to watch from their website.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.
Proverbs 16:21

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Proverbs 15:1