Monday, May 24, 2010

Our Property

Through the unfolding of events over the last year, we have found ourselves on a piece of property that is about 12 acres and wooded. Some think we are doing well because we got this big house on this big piece of property when in reality we are renting. The rent is less than half of what our mortgage was in our previous house. Despite several efforts over the last 4 or 5 years, our house didn't sell. It has come to a point where the house is in foreclosure. I won't go into great detail here, but let's just say we are feeling the economic crunch with many others right now. I publish these things so the truth will be out there.

Nonetheless, we are making the best of our current situation. Through the woods we have cut a walking trail. The trail is rough right now, but walkable. It has been a wonderful bonding experience for our family to have a project such as this in front of us. The nice part is that it really didn't cost us much money. My husband had to purchase a new chainsaw blade. Other than that, we have a lot of "sweat equity" in it.

We are estimating that the trail is about 1/3 to 1/2 mile long. It starts near the house and ends near the house. Every day we find footprints left by the wildlife that wanders the woods at night. Talk about an excellent opportunity for nature study!

We are looking forward to many, many adventures on a trail that we can call our own.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Laundry Soap

While at the Tractor Supply Store purchasing pullets this spring, I noticed this issue of Mary Janes Farm magazine on the rack near the check out. It caught my attention and I thought "What the heck". (Truth be known, I'm a sucker for magazines. Don't know why. I just love them.)

I found a recipe for laundry soap and was intrigued. After doing more research, I found that making your own laundry detergent is economical. Hmmmmmm....

So tonight, we made laundry detergent. I haven't done the calculations yet and I'm waiting to see if this actually works. In the meantime, I'll share pictures.

These are the ingredients. I found these items at the grocery store in the laundry aisle. (Confession: As much as I hate that place, I checked "Wally World" first. They did not have all of these items. So much for one-stop shopping.)

My husband even got in on the action. He likes the saving money part.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Homeschool Convention and Where Did My Babies Go?

Had an amazing day at the CHAP Convention yesterday and am gearing up to go again today.

When I go, I have my list of books I must purchase to get ready for next year. My first stop is usually at the Queen Homeschool booth to purchase our Math U See books for next year.

So yesterday, I went up to them and said, "I need a complete set of Alpha, a student book for Epsilon and a complete set of whatever comes after Zeta." The very courteous young man helping me said, "Oh, that would be Pre-Algebra".

(Imagine here the scene from Christmas Story where Ralphie's mom called Schwart's mom and told her that Ralphie heard a bad word from Schwartz. ~ What?! What!? WHAAAAT?!?!?!? That's a little glimpse inside my mind at that moment.)

I was shocked! Pre-Algebra!!! I mean, I should have known because I am familiar with Math U See as we have been using it for a few years now. I started thinking in my mind, "Okay, DD12 will be 13 this summer and she will be 8th grade in the fall, so I guess that's right." All of this happened in about a milli-second. I tried to keep it together and not let this guy know what was going through my head - I wanted to know where in the heck my baby went and that I wanted to leap over the table at him for telling me my firstborn is growing up so fast. But, hey, can't shoot the messenger.

After a quick moment, all I could do was look at this poor young man and say, "I'm not emotionally prepared to make that purchase right now. Give me the Alpha and Epsilon books, but I need time to digest 'Pre-Algebra'."

Whew! They grow up right before your eyes, don't they?