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!


grammafaithie said...

GOOD JOB, Sue. It really looks nice and will be so much easier to keep clean!

Liz in Seattle said...

Woohoo! You rock, girl. Let us know if you find another cattle farmer with a bit o' beef to sell :-)

Mimi said...

Wow! That backsplash looks fabulous! I hope you feel better soon, and congrats on the fish!

Bluecanopy said...

goood to hear all the news! looking forward to more hschooling updates, mentor. tile looks great, i CAN'T believe you've been there for a year!!

Susan Sophia said... either!!!! It's amazing how time flies!