How to get something done

Many of you have probably seen this film short done by a fellow mom and her 20 month old baby. Please, take a minute and enjoy some of the humor of parenting.

I saw it, enjoyed it, watched again with the kids and all had a good laugh. I scrolled through some of the comments and enjoyed pictures of “naughty” babies that other parents shared. Then I ran across a comment that said the baby should be trained to not touch and mess up what mom is doing. This got me thinking.

Babies have an incredible interest in the mundane of life, desiring to do everything they watch us doing. If we train them to stand to the side and do nothing, they will probably continue in that state as children and teens. What would it look like if we just redirected the baby’s efforts a bit? I grabbed my 15 month old and a camera to reproduce the short with a different slant. Hope you enjoy!


The new life of Spring is coming a bit late around our place this year but it’s about to hit in full force!

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The cat is miserably fat and spends much of her time laying around.

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We have eggs in the incubator which should hatch in about 5 days!

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The goat is heavy with expectancy too – though it was hard to get a picture that shows how big she is right now. I’m guessing at least twins.

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And there is also a new human due to arrive hopefully within the next two weeks.

pic 318 I think the animals have me beat in number of offspring, but we are anticipating a fifth sister for Lance! Now the question is – who will pop first?!


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Before I could get this posted, the cat was relieved of her burden and produced our largest ever litter of kittens – 8!

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We just found them yesterday, much to the delight of the children.

How does your garden grow?

With lots of hard work – that’s how!

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Here is our garden as of yesterday.  Each crop has a special memory tied to it: I planted potatoes with the kids as a norther blew in, me digging a trench while two kids dropped in seed potatoes at a spacing measured by a stick and two kids covered them. Even though a bit chilly, it was gratifying to be out there with my little crew. I remember another night in the dropping temps, covering little plants by flashlight with tarps weighted by rocks. Even the corn has a crazy memory of planting and weeding as the weather first rains, then hails, then turn sunny and oppressively muggy all in about 45 minutes while we worked. pic 194

A crazy amount of rain has really helped our efforts along – but also necessitated some erosion control.

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Last weekend we recruited some labor from Brian’s brother and procured a trailer load of compost from the nearby horse farm.  The owner kindly used his tractor to load us up.

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It’s crucial to keep the grass competition away from our peach trees if we want good growth and production. The compost will go a long way in maintaining the weed pulling we did when the Big Event group came to help out. The trees are so happy and beautiful – and there are even a few little peaches this year!

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After landscaping with Brian’s brother, the next day we unloaded the rest of the stuff onto the garden. Iris was our main help.

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Brian tested his new toy – a super tiller that takes quite a man to handle. It does a fantastic job breaking up soil and mixing stuff in.

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Ivy took this picture to prove that I help a little – even though Brian does the real muscle work. Eden and I unloaded most of the compost. The kids were all super good while we worked and at the end they helped sweep out and hose down the trailer to be returned. Then we all bounced along down the road to return it – it was getting late and I told them they were so cheerful and helpful that they got to have a trailer ride instead of just being put to bed.

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Yesterday we pulled our onion to make room for the next crop. Iris tried the onion flowers but I don’t think they suited her. Eden and I had a big discussion over which plants were potatoes and which were tomatoes – confusingly similar words.

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Iris takes a break from gardening to go swimming in the rain bucket. Same day as previous picture, second outfit. These kind of days the children literally have to “wash up” for meals!

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Brian is a count the cost kind of guy and really, gardening is  probably only worth it because we really like it. I love that it makes an excuse to be outside, it provides an opportunity to teach the little ones and some of the produce I would grow just because it tastes better. I’m glad God sends the sun and rain and only a few pests each year so I have time to learn how to deal with each one. If gardening was the first job in paradise, maybe it’s no wonder we enjoy it so much.

Archiving ideas

We’ve had several co-op days where I recreated and expanded on some unit studies I did back when Lance and Ivy were little. To save the work of researching several years from now when I need to do it again, I thought I’d post what we did:

Three little pigs

This was a new unit I created which turned out to be a lot of fun!

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First we read the story, then built the three types of houses. The boys did the heavy lifting on the brick house.

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When houses were complete, I used the blower to test the construction. Only the brick house survived the huffing and puffing!

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Next we did piggy bank math – stacking the proper amount of pennies on each numbered pig.

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Made pig-in-a-blanket for snack – they thought this quite funny.

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While we waited on the snack to bake we acted out things that pigs would do – here they are eating the toy food.

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We also painted “mud” onto pigs. We ended with a yummy lunch of pig-in-the-blanket!


Last week we read about dinosaurs. Most of my previous activities couldn’t be replicated for our class so I chose some new ones. The book I wanted on a dinosaur dig wasn’t at the library so I just read one of the silly ones, “How does a dinosaur say goodnight.” The kids liked it but it left my projects somewhat unsupported. Oh well.

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Here we used macaroni to make a dinosaur skeleton. I had to set rules on how much pasta could be eaten.


We made dinosaur feet from paper bags and danced to the “fossils” song from Carnival of the Animals by Saint Saens.

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Then we split up with half working a dinosaur puzzle…..

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…and the other half digging for salt dough fossils and bones (yes, it’s more than half but this was at the trade off point).  This was very popular with everyone!

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Final activity was a baking soda and vinegar volcano along with the older kids who had studied that very subject in their class. Plastic dinosaurs were properly buried in lava.

That will do for now. I’ll try and post two more classes soon.

A little project

Katie wanted to help me out last week and when our first project (finding and assembling the crib in the barn loft) fell through due to lack of hardware, I had to come up with something else.

There was a little table I had been thinking to make for our entryway and now seemed as good a time as any. So while Katie cleaned the shower (which had been bothering me for a while) I drew up the plans and cut the boards.

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I finished cutting about the time she finished cleaning and together we  assembled the table.

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Start to finish it took about two hours and supplies cost me nothing – just boards from a fence my brother took down and whatever screws I could scrounge. Amazing to me is that it sells for $100 on etsy. Felt like I had earned money that afternoon!

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Here’s the whole entry way for perspective. Supposedly guests could put their shoes there. It was a fun little project.

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