Every year, about this time, children all over the U.S. go all dreamy eyed and have a hard time concentrating in school. Who can blame them. Summer vacation is looming large just ahead. For our district it begins next week. The time has come to drag out the shorts and swimsuits, put away all the winter clothes, and start thinking about what to do with these kids for an entire summer. We have one kid that is planning a celebration bonfire in our back yard. She couldn't be more excited to see the back of the school year. Our other grade school-er is not so amused. She loves school so much that even Christmas vacation is too long for her. She never wants to take a sick day, or miss even part of a school day for any reason. Mondays are her favorite day. So, staring down the barrel of a three month long vacation is already causing her consternation. It's looking to be a long summer for her and for me.
I'll be honest, I don't have the first idea what I'm going to do to entertain these kids, but, I do have Pinterest, and we're starting a pseudo backyard farm, so, maybe it won't be too bad after all. Plenty of chores to do, and when things slow down, they can always pick a Pinterest idea and we can go with it. My preference is to just take summer as it comes, and not pre-plan things. If we decide to just jump in the car and go to the aquarium, then it's a great surprise. On the other hand, if we had planned to go to the aquarium and something happened that prevented us from going, it's going to be a disappointment. Kids moan and groan enough without giving them a reason.
We have our new baby chicks, who are not so babyish anymore. The youngest four are looking a bit like those Jim Henson characters in the Dark Crystal, the skeksies. The oldest 8 are looking like almost chickens, some more than others, and just need to finish filling out and getting their final feather patterns grown in. Two are meat chickens, so, they are just about ready to become frozen chicken, and one is the spare rooster that is not too far behind the meat chickens as far as his fate is concerned.
I'll get some pics posted this week.
We've added two more growing spots for a total of three, and have compost working on a fourth spot. This fall we plan to expand all four spots by spreading cardboard, and compost on the areas we want to expand into. The weight and moisture will kill off the sod, and the snow over winter will break it all down into tillable compost.
Next spring we hope to add a beehive to the yard. Maybe even some quail to raise for meat. We're still looking at the possibility of moving to some acreage, but, we're so tied to this area for now that we'll make do, and with all the projects I have planned for the summer, and the harvesting and canning that we have already started (thank you Bountiful Baskets for all the great produce that keeps coming.), I hope to keep these kids so busy that school will seem like a welcome rest. Sure, there will be plenty of play time, night games, camping in the backyard, swimming in the pool (we invested in a 15 foot wide 3 foot deep wading pool last year and it was a great investment), and all the festivals we attend over the summer (love the Scottish Festivals the most, but there is also the Asian fest and the city festivals), and the endless backyard bbq's. It's going to be a great summer.
I'm a mother of eleven children, wife of 37 years, Latter Day Saint, and 911 Dispatcher and a budding homesteader. Come along with me as I journey toward self sufficiency, one baby step at a time.
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