One thing I have been learning, over the past few years, is that you cannot have a large family, homeschool, and have a clean house without simplicity and organization. I confess I am not naturally super organized. Now I LOVE organization, but it is not always easy for me to pull off. So, I have been working on these matters. For one thing I have been purging our house, for the past few years, of unnecessary clutter. It feels really good to get rid of things, and I never miss the things I get rid of. Also, I am slowly implementing ideas I see online for running a more orderly household. My manuals binder is one of those ideas. I took a LARGE binder and divided it up into categories such as kitchen, office, family room, kids things, bedroom, school area, etc. Then I put in page protectors and slipped in manuals for appliances throughout the house. Now if I need the manual for the washing machine I can find it in a jiffy. I am really liking this new way of keeping all of these manuals in one spot where I can easily find them.
We are spending lots of time outdoors these days tending to the garden, letting the chickens out of their coop in the mornings, playing with kitties, and watering plants and flowers. Life has changed a lot in our family since my firstborn was little. Back then I spent a lot of time shopping, attending play groups, doing Bible studies, Mops, etc. I have fond memories of that season, and yet I am enjoying our current season even more. These days we spend most of our time at home enjoying one another and our growing farm life. It struck me the other day, as I was watching Lilly Faith run around the chickens, that the way she is growing up is so different from Lauren's first few years. Lilly Faith is the first baby that knows nothing different than to have animals, a garden and running and playing outdoors all the time. Honestly I think, for our family, the change is for the better. I love being at home enjoying God's creation with my children. There is something about animals and even the garden that children naturally love. Yes, much has changed and I am thankful for it. The Lord is good and continues to guide us through the changing seasons.
It has been a long stretch since I last posted. Life has been very busy and the blog had to go on the back burner for awhile. I wanted to post a quick update on how our garden is doing. We are starting to get a lot of tomatoes, ton and tons of basil and mint herbs, purple hole peas, some green beans, lots of cucumbers and some okra and egg plant. Oh yes, and squash. What we have learned on our second year of gardening is that we do like container or boxed gardening, however, we need something at LEAST twice the size of what we planted this year. The problem is we are not always producing enough in a given day to make for the whole family. We will have a hand full of green beans or three squash, etc. We need a big garden so we are able to pick enough at any given time. I have also learned that some things, such as radishes, have to be planted incrementally. What happens is they all are ready for harvest at a bout the same time and then there are no more. So you have to figure out a system of planting and then replanting ever so often. I don't have that figured out yet. We also purchased a timer so the sprinkler goes on every morning and afternoon at a certain time. That has been a help too. I can see how this gardening thing takes some time to really learn the ins and outs, but we are having fun. The children love to go check the garden and often snack right out of it. I remind them to wash before eating, but they love to bite into cucumbers or snack on raw green beans, etc. I like that it is a healthy and free snack. :)