Friday, October 31, 2014

Lilla Rose November Flexi of the Month

The Compass Rose is the new Lilla Rose Flexi of the Month. Supply of Flexi of the Month is always limited so order quickly to get your preferred size.

Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake Your Butter

I recently found a source for raw cow's milk. We are really enjoying it. It tastes amazing but it can be used for so many things.

My first use for the milk other than drinking and cooking was to attempt to make butter. My first attempt taught me a few "not to" tips.

I began by scooping the cream off the top of the milk. This gallon yielded me about 4 cups of cream. The other gallons had closer to two cups each. I left the cream out on the counter overnight to culture.

The next morning came the fun part. I rounded up the seven best helpers I could find and let them shake the jar.

And shake.

Giggle and shake.

Shake extra hard.

A little gentle jostling.

Extreme shaking.

A little light rolling.

Shaking and grinning.

Some more rolling.

Here's where Mommy got a little impatient. I read on the Internet you could also put the butter in the blender. I tried that and overchurned it. We ended up with 4 cups of full fat buttermilk. So we tried again.

This time after shaking, we shook it some more. And then a little more. The first time we had butter to work with we used cheese cloth. The next time I strained the buttermilk off using a spoon to hold the butter back. The cheese cloth was just an unnecessary step.

Then the butter needs to be rinsed with cold water. I added water to the jar and . . . you guessed it shook it some more! I added water 3 or 4 times and poured it off until the water was clean. The cold water helped the butter stick together. After the milk was all rinsed away, I added some salt as we prefer salted butter.

All together we netted about 1 lb (4 sticks - 2 cups) from two gallons of milk (around 4 cups of cream).

Up next, homemade bread!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Dozen Years

I can't believe it's been 12 years since our first son was born.

Since the beginning, you've been all boy.

You've never been one for sitting.

Unless it was on a tractor.

You almost always have a smile and silly saying.

And are such a handsome boy.

One day, your determination and focus will serve you well in manhood.

And your love of food will make you easy to please. :)

I can't believe how much you've grown.

 And how strong you are.

You may now be taller than your momma.

But you'll always be my baby.

I love you, son. I'm so very proud of the young man you are and can't wait to see the man you become {though time could pass a little slower}.

Happy 12th Birthday, Ty!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Life on the Homestead

A fall favorite around our homeschool is visiting Parker Homestead. We enjoy walking around and learning how rural pioneers survived way back when. It's also fantastic to spend the day with our homeschooling friends. This year our group represented seven families! The Tims' Family attended and Mr. Don jumped right in to show the kids how it's done.

Trying to use the cross cut saw is always a hit. Maybe I need to get a saw and some logs and help these kids burn off some energy. Cutting wood warms you twice!

Of course, the best station is the old fashioned games area. Boys and girls alike enjoyed firing the sling shots and playing with marbles.

This gentleman shared some of the weapons and gear used by the military during the civil war. This fit in well with our recent studies in year 5 {1850 to Modern Times} of My Father's World.

Liberty and Felicity had the best seat in the house. Liberty needs to work on her exit though. Several times she had to be rescued from a trapped headstand. She never did figure out that bailing out head first wasn't the best method.

This boy cracks me up. He loves to rough house, be Mr. Rough and Tumble, get as dirty and sweaty as possible, and then come to me and say, "Take my picture, please."

Liberty's favorite part of the homestead was the playground in front of the school. She and Mary Claire are very close in weight and the see-saw proved to be lots of fun!

We can count balancing the see-saw as math, right?!?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Nina and The Pinta and The Mighty Mississippi

We've had a busy month. We loaded up and headed to Memphis to visit the Columbus Foundation ships, the Nina and the Pinta. I was able to gather enough people together for a group rate and tour {it helps when 9 of the 15 are from your own family!}.

If you can come up with 15 paying visitors, I highly recommend scheduling a tour. It was neat to have the crew members explain various parts of the ship and answer our questions.  Not only did they tell us what ship life was like back in fourteen and ninety-two, but they also shared how they travel from city to city. While I think it would be a neat experience, I'm too spoiled by my sleep number bed to try a bunk on a ship!

The kids were extra excited that Mammie and Graddaddy could come with us. Dad really likes history type events. We're hopeful that we can drag him along on a few more field trips in the upcoming months.

Here Ben and Henry pose on the "poop deck". We were delighted to learn that poop deck has nothing to do with the modern use of the word. Back in Columbus' time, priests would bless ships from this deck. They often conducted a puppet mass from the roof of the cabin. Hence, the poop deck.

We visited in late September on a 70* day. The heat from the black boards of the ship made it quite warm. I'm sure it would be cooler at sea but poor Felicity couldn't handle the heat. Thankfully, Mammie didn't mind taking her below deck to the shade.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Goin' on a Picnic

Last year we joined a homeschool group near us. I attend the Mom's meetings and we attend a few field trips. This year, we decided to participate in the family picnic.

After a few introductory, get to know you type games {including Gorilla, Man, Gun - which has been played numerous times since} the kids had a great time meeting other homeschoolers. There were teams playing volleyball, soccer, basketball, baseball, frisbee and dodgeball. It was awesome how open all the kids were to letting those which less skill play right beside them. 5 year olds were playing beside seniors!

The younger kiddos had a great time exploring the playground. Liberty and Mary Claire drew a lot of attention walking across the playground holding hands. Poor Libby was having the worst time trying to clean all pea gravel off the equipment. It took a long time, but she finally gave up and played instead of cleaning.

Henry was his normal smiley self and bounced from playground, to ball court, to ball field and back again.

Madisyn learned a few new games and had time for visiting as well. She visited all the games and learned a little at each one. 

Ty really enjoyed playing dodgeball. Thankfully, he realized that his much smaller brothers aren't the best teammates for an at home match. Dodgeball is an activity better suited for people close to the same size.

Poor little Licy got sunburn but still managed to be all smiles. She hung out with Mom and Dad and we had a great time visiting with veteran homeschoolers. I even realized that one of the moms I met at the last Mom's meeting is married to someone from my little hometown! It's truly a small world!