Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Been Awhile

Miss Ida May smelling the flowers as I plant them.

Ayla on her birthday with her " wittle " kitten Mulberry.

More of Ayla and Mulberry. Best friends. He even goes down the slide with her apparently of his own free will!

Haven't had much too say! I'll try to briefly update as best I can. I've been busy with the creamery. Beretta had the last calf of the season in May. That makes 4 heifers and 2 bulls. How I love looking at all those sleek shiny little babies grazing with their Moms and hurtling themselves back and forth at twilight! After a major struggle where I was sure our 2 year old Jersey bull was gonna kill Dante, we managed to get the assumably pregnant ewes out of the bull pasture and in with the milk cows. I've now bartered milk for their shearing fee with friends, but can't get the ewes out of this new field and the 1/2 mile to the barn for the actual shearing! I need a Border Collie.
The garden is doing great! I spend a lot of time out there and am trying to keep ahead of the weeds. I made an amazing Swiss Chard Gratin with things from the garden and the creamery. Our diet is consisting mostly of garden produce and relying on the cows for protein. By that I mean their dairy products and the eggs we barter milk for as well. We have a HUGE sow that we are fattening up for slaughter, and that scary Jersey bull too. I can't even really get the cows into him, it's ridiculous!
We are getting rid of the TV and I can't wait! It's a move I'VE wanted for years. We'll still be able to rent movies as needed. Lately I've been thinking a lot about why I homeschool. Mainly because I keep getting asked that, and it seems people are constantly challenging me about it. My top three reasons that I now tell people are:
1.) I want to teach my kids how to think. Memorization is not proof of higher intelligence, just proof of memorization. I want them to REALLY be able to think. Be able to competently make decisions and find soloutions that will actually apply to them.
2.)I want my kids to be GOOD people. This is super important to me. I cannot believe how bad Jude was bullied trying to play sports this year. I'm completely blown away by these rude kids. Jude is smart, sweet, and diplomatic. He even got bullied in boy scouts! Sadly it doesn't go well with those other boys. What a shame those qualities make him a target. Even little Ayla got picked on at her last day of gym class. This is a class of 3 and 4 year olds. Ayla is short and a bit cuddly, if you know what I mean. She is not fat. 2 girls in that class said she was big and that she broke a tire swing because of it. Totally not true, but shows how young it starts.
3.)I love to learn with my kids.
Veda had her 6th birthday on May 14th, and Ayla had her 4th birthday on June 14th. I can't believe I'm the Mom of an 11 year old, soon to be 9 year old, a 6 year old, 4 year old, and an almost 2 year old " baby "! Time is flying!
Emotionally, it's still a roller coaster. Many ups and downs. Many decisions still to be made. Many ambivalent feelings. Just taking it a day at a time and trying to be smart about it and see the whole picture. It's tough--but this is really living. I'm grateful for that.


  1. Glad to see you back, Jessika! I've missed your posts. And FWIW, the homeschooled kids I met last year at the fair while showing our cattle were some of the friendliest, most well adjusted and well behaved kids I've ever met. They even did their homework in the barn with all of us adults around. :)

  2. Ha, I see we both took a break! No worries, friends always catch up right where they left off. It is awesome to see pics of the kids looking so happy and healthy...cows too :0)

    Take care, Lynea

  3. Thanks you guys, I've missed you too! I look forward to catching up with you too!

  4. Hey-was I happy to see you today-it made my day!!! Hope all is going well-had a great time on Sunday-it was alot of fun they are so precious!!! How was Judes banquet? Love,hugs and kisses to you all!!!!!

  5. I loved home schooling my children. They'd tell you that they got a better education and more time to play than any of their in school friends.

  6. What wonderful photos! Just precious!

    My kids were homeschooled for a while and then we had some life changes and they began public school. I cherish the memories of the times we had together when we homeschooled.

  7. homeschooling is better.

    i was so proud when my daughter told mommy "i don't like coloring books. i like plain paper" her art is amazing, detailed, visualized and actualized. i don't think she has ever colored in a coloring book.

    that little creative desire would be crushed in any school. in order to manage more children than one or two, kids are expected to fit within a predefined paradigm. the "self" is lost and institutionalization begins.

    when we lived in CA i worked at a solar company. i had the pleasure to meet several adults that were home schooled. Happy, peaceful, intelligent, confident, comfortable in every situation were the qualities that i noticed each and every time. i thought to myself that is how i want my kids to carry themselves when adults. therein began our journey toward homeschooling.

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