Happy New Year from the homestead!
How can it be that so many months have passed since I last updated this blog? I suppose the time has passed by quickly since it really seems only days since I last wrote here. Can I even begin to update you all on the happenings since last April? I am not sure my memory is that good, but I can certainly try to get us all caught up, in hopes that 2016 will be the year I do a better job of managing this little corner of the internet.
We finished off April with lots of planting in our garden. We had over 2000 square feet of fruits and vegetables planted, and were happy with the layout and the many many seeds we had sown together! We were looking forward to a bountiful harvest, with plenty for now, and some to can and preserve for later.
May brought rain. Lot, and lots of rain. I learned long ago, as the daughter of a farmer, that you NEVER complain about rain. So we didn't. But boy oh boy did we see lots of rain. It rained practically the entire month of May. When it was all said and done, though, our garden was a total loss...well except for the tomato plants. The hundreds of onions that we had planted were nowhere to be found, and all of the beets, carrots, okra, green beans, zucchini squash, yellow squash, and cucumbers had been washed away as well. I looked and looked, dug and dug, but could not find a single beet, and I had planted hundreds of them. It was all gone, with not a trace of vegetation left...only mud puddles. The rain that was usually such a blessing, had washed away everything. We were able to salvage the tomato plants, and they ended up producing well, thanks to our bees. Yes, there are still thousands of bees working and living under the floor of our barn. We have plans to get them to move out and into a honey cow, but so far we haven't been able to do that.
June, July and August brought the summertime. The kids were thrilled to be off of school for a bit, and we spent our days doing chores, keeping up with the grass, and trying to stay cool wherever there was some air conditioning.
September came quickly, and it was back to school time. We broke out the new curriculum for the year, and tried to find a new routine for our days. As the kids get older, their workload increases. Finding a new schedule that worked well was not easy, but we figured it out! Natalie is now in seventh grade, and Levi is in fourth grade. We have also finally found a COOP in a neighboring town, so once per week we all enjoy some fun classes with fellow home educators! Natalie has classes like Cupcake Decorating and Drama, while Levi prefers Zoology and a Knights and Castles Class to go along with his Bible With Legos class. It is always hard to be the new kid, but the kids adjusted and made a few friends, which was nice. We are blessed that this COOP keeps Christ at the center of everything!
October brought the fall, though not necessarily fall like weather. We continued to work away on our education and tried to get along as best we could. I don't know about other families, but around here, things aren't always as peaceful as I would like them to be. We are learning and growing together, though. I just keep praying for Natalie and Levi to be best friends...one day at a time, right?
In November, we finished up COOP for the semester. There was an Expo on the last day, where all of the children's work was on display, and Natalie's drama class performed a cute play. Natalie was Dr. D. Little, and of course, she was awesome! Levi's work was fun to see, and they were both proud to wrap up the semester. No more being the new kids, as next semester, they will be veterans.
We enjoyed a family Thanksgiving and were able to host this year. It is always fun to get together with family and talk and laugh together. We truly have so very much to be thankful for. We also enjoyed the annual Thanksmas celebration with Nathaniel's family...the one day of the year that everyone is together.
December finally brought some cooler temperatures, though it never really felt like winter. Natalie had her piano recital, and played WONDERFULLY! She really is amazing and is picking up the instrument so quickly. She is also self-teaching the guitar, and rocks that instrument as well. I think she has quite a bit of musical talent, which makes this singer-mama very very happy! We sang Christmas carols, sat under the lights of the tree, drank hot cocoa, and watched plenty of Christmas movies on Netflix. We love the Christmas Season, and the opportunity to slow down and focus a bit more on the birth of Jesus, when the rest of the world is actually thinking about the same things. We once again enjoyed time with family, and the days off from school. It was super warm on Christmas Day, but soon began to turn cool. Hello winter!
Here we are, halfway through January 2016! Nathaniel is still enjoying his job at Baylor. The kids and I have eased back into homeschool, and Nathaniel and I are beginning a new sideline business to try to bring in a little more income to help us out around here. We are praying God will bless our efforts and our new little business. We are working hard to get things started and are hoping it will be a successful venture for us .I am enjoying the chance to get organized and I am trying to do a better job of meal planning each week. New file folders, pens, and my label maker mean this girl is one happy lady! Crazy, I know, but I love it!
I'm hoping I will do a better job of updating here this year. It's gonna be a big year around here including Natalie's 13th birthday, Levi leaving single digits as he turns 10, Nathaniel and I both hit the big 4-0, I celebrate 14 years cancer-free, and we celebrate 15 years of marriage. Like I said, big year for us, and that doesn't even include all of the blessings we don't even know about yet. We trust Jesus, and we know that there are blessings for us in the year ahead. We are already thankful for the ways God will guide and provide for our little family. He is a good, good Father.
Blessings on you and yours in 2016!