A Day (Well, Morning) In the Life of a Newbie Homesteading Family

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

6:04 AM: Peter wakes up, and I tell Andrew it's his turn to get him. But before he has to get out of bed...

6:05 AM: Mary Claire wakes up and lets Peter out! Andrew takes them both downstairs and I try to go back to sleep but Mary Claire keeps getting in bed with me and the cows across the road are mooing like CRAZY.

6:40 AM: I give up trying to go back to sleep and go downstairs, where I lie on the couch doing daily readings and trying to pray while Andrew brings me my coffee and gives Peter and Mary Claire breakfast.

7:24 AM: Elizabeth and Cecilia wake up and come downstairs, lying on the couch playing with their sticker books that I got them a couple days ago. I try to finish my cereal while Andrew gets Peter out of his high chair and cleans it off.

7:30 AM: Andrew leaves for work, Peter needs a new diaper. I decide hey, maybe today's the day I'll do one of those "day in the life" posts!

7:40 AM: Get Elizabeth in underwear, watch bluebirds out the window, find a "tick" (according to the twins) on the screen only to see it's really a baby spider. "Da cutest little teeniest tiniest baby spider!!!" Elizabeth coos.

7:50 AM: Pour bowls of Cheerios for Elizabeth and Cecilia. Cecilia grabs a book and goes to eat her breakfast, because why would you sit still long enough to eat and NOT be reading a book?

7:57 AM: Peter pours Elizabeth's abandoned bowl of Cheerios all over the floor.

7:59 AM: Peter figures out how to open the screen door. Thankfully I'm right there and lock it before he can do any damage.

8:04 AM: Mary Claire and Peter pack a backpack to take Blue (a free yard sale find) to the vet, restaurant, and to play "ball catch"

8:10 AM: I tell the girls that if they get dressed, they can come help me water the garden and then we'll go for a walk down to the pond and look for blackberries.

8:14 AM: Everyone is dressed (except for Peter and me, because I know I'm going to get sweaty and wet and Peter's probably going to soak himself with the hose), so we go outside where the girls decide to ride bikes instead of "helping" me. Probably all for the best.

Peter amuses himself by riding a truck, pushing a shopping cart, and eventually sitting on the porch while I keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't make a break for the road. 

Elizabeth is still trying to figure out the tiny bike we found at a yard sale over the weekend...

Peter has decided to run down the driveway toward the road.

8:19 AM: I distract Peter with an old tire the neighbors gave us (for an eventual tire swing, but right now just to roll around and climb in) and look up to see...

The straggler is finally awake! Every week or two he sleeps super-late, and I'm thankful that we're flexible enough that we can let him get the sleep he needs. Sweet boy evidently saw that the chickens had already been let out (his morning chore) so he makes up for it by taking the compost out without being asked.

8:26 AM: Various screams from the kids while I try to hook the main hose back up to the soaker hose rouse my mom from her house. I grab John Paul some breakfast and tell him to eat quickly and get dressed so we can go for a walk. Peter and the twins and I look for ripe plums that have fallen to the ground - they taste pretty good but they're tiny, ugly, and impossible to pit, so I plan on making a tart for dinner with them. Peter eats a ton, pits and all.

8:33 AM: John Paul is dressed and riding his bike! The bikes had been living in a shed since we moved, and yesterday he took the training wheels off his so Cecilia could have them. I said, "Okay, go ahead and try to glide on it before you start pedaling..." and 5 minutes later turned around to see that he'd figured it out!

Check on the garden before we go for our walk - I'm worried the broccoli's gonna flower before we harvest it... The heads are tiny, and we've never grown broccoli before so I'm not sure how much of the warm weather it can really take.

Elizabeth sees two goldfinches!!! She loves them so, so much. Then she brings me a handful of weed flowers, which I heartlessly tell her to throw in the grass because we're leaving for our walk.

Remind John Paul to take off his helmet so he doesn't get too sweaty on our walk. He chooses to put it on top of all the garlic that's curing in the sun.

Elizabeth finds a fallen sour apple and eats it.

Cecilia has already run ahead and found as many ripe berries as she can, but I spy a few more...

Thankfully she didn't eat them all, because Peter is in the carrier on my back crying for "Bewwy! Bewwy!!!" She feeds him one and I find another patch for John Paul to go to town.

Cecilia picks a few more to share. John Paul eats all of his.

I'm appreciative of the new wildflowers we see on the path down to the pond - right now cornflowers, daisies, and yarrow are blooming, and the pollinators are happy!

I don't even ask John Paul to save berries for us - he's walking in the tall grass, thorns, and through the pine trees. He deserves every fruit he finds!

Cecilia shares berries with the twins and my mom, all while Peter whines for more on my back. Sadly, the mulberries still aren't ripe, so no more berries unless we find ripe wild blueberries later.

(I don't let him down near the pond - usually he just runs up the hill, and it's not deep but the mud is thick and sucking, and I'm not convinced there aren't snakes in that tall grass...)

We count at least 7 turtles bobbing at the surface of the water. Can you see them?

The other day we noticed some volunteer pumpkins growing in a spot where we dumped some compost (it had black walnut shells in it, which kills most plants, so we had to dump it away from the garden. Evidently it did NOT kill the pumpkins!). They're flowering! Should be fun to find out what actually grows...

My mom has pulled up a ton of pokeweed, which we seem to grow VERY well (along with honeysuckle and poison ivy). The kids want to go down to the creek but we haven't gotten control of all the poison ivy down there, so I send them up the hill the other way to look for wild blueberries.

The cat has apparently joined us for this walk.

Elizabeth finds a ripe-ish berry! And still hasn't finished her sour apple...

No berries for Peter, and he's DONE on my back because he sees my mom's trailer. He loves climbing up on it and pretending to drive, and this is pretty much how all our walks end.

The girls and Peter play on the trailer for a while. John Paul has gone back to the house to ride his bike. I take a picture of a new plant... Could it be milkweed? Maybe?

Mary Claire picks some yarrow, and Peter has pooped so we head back to the house for a clean diaper.

But obviously we get distracted. The apple trees we planted in the fall have succumbed to some sort of disease, and we need to figure out what it is so we can treat the leaves and keep this from happening again. A picture should help?

We get sidetracked again in search of a diaper, because I remember the teenage chicks have been getting out of their little playpen in the barn... I need to go in and get them back in because they can get out, but can't get back in. They're not quite ready to go in the coop with the big girls! And the soaker hoses need to get turned off so we don't flood the garden. 

Surprise, surprise! 4 of the 9 "teenagers" are out, but luckily none of the guineas are. My mom and I chase them into a corner and lift the little play yard so they can go back in.

And the sad chick with the twisted beak is getting more and more pitiful... The other chicks have started pecking at it, so we need to figure out how to put it down, poor thing.

We toss the bunnies a handful of dandelion greens, which they ADORE, and my mom takes Peter in for a new diaper.

Then (Hallelujah!) she reads to him from one of his current favorite books (The Little House) so I can get myself some second breakfast (because I'm a hobbit).

9:46 AM: I eat and put down the camera, deciding sharing a "morning in the life" is plenty!

The rest of the day went as usual - played outside, sent the kids to my mom's house so I can get Peter down for a nap (20-30 minutes straight of singing "Jesus Loves Me" - I'm trying to work on making that good prayer time...), tried to get the kids to eat lunch quietly on the porch so their constant door slamming doesn't wake Peter, get annoyed when the constant door slamming wakes grumpy Peter...

Maybe I'll make it through a whole day with one of these posts... But the morning's so full that if you managed to read even *that* much I'll be impressed!

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