Category Archives: Large Family Living

Gulf Shores Family Beach Trip: October 6, 2014

I am back posting and back dating these posts, but I’m D.E.T.E.R.M.I.N.E.D. to document this spectacular family vacation. I snapped this photo while lying on the bed early this morning AWAKE again at my regular alarm time of 5:30 a.m. Oh well, at least everyone else was able to sleep in LOL! This shows you though just how close our site was to the beach! We could hear the ocean waves at night when the rest of the world was quiet. So relaxing!


On Day 2 at the beach and, the Prez and I had the lunch making down to a science. Reduce, reuse, recycle lunchmeat containers complete with names written in sharpie!


I saved the sandwich list from the first day and made modifications as requested on my iPhone List app, so it was easy-peasy. The Prez and I decided to make the sandwiches all week and delegated other jobs out. It worked efficiently and we {mostly} enjoyed doing this task each day. We have found in our large family that dividing and conquering is most effective and continuing with the same tasks each day usually lends itself to efficiency as well! Speaking of efficiency, I can’t say we pack light but we are PACK MULES. If you can carry it, you can bring it. Bigger items go on the Little*Tikes wagon, which as I said before has been on family beach trips since 2001! We received quite a few compliments from fellow beach-goers on our efficiency and ingenuity in packing and hauling effectively.


The theme of this day was PLAY ALL DAY and that we did. Li’l Bit LOVED digging and immediately coaxed one of her big brothers into helping her get her hole started. She is telling him just how deep she wants him to dig it. Um … yeah, she gets her way a lot. She’s the baby, what can I say?! Continue reading


Getting Organized! School is in Session on Monday!

I have had a LOT of piles going on in our library … piles of books, piles of notebooks, piles of trash bags, piles of NEWLY purchased school supplies including Ticonderoga pencils! It always feels good to clean out stuff you know you’ll never use again, and it feels good to try some new things and some old faithfuls (like those pencils)! I snagged a pile of spiral notebooks because Office Depot had them for 1 cent! They let me get up to 10 of each color, but I think I ended up with 5 of each.


I started working on our new “I Can Write A … ” board on Tuesday.

I didn’t get to work on it again until today, and I LOVE the way it turned out. Here is a very poor-quality picture of the BEFORE including yet another pile that is now gone as of today!


The resource includes so many writing choices that I didn’t have space to put them all up on the board at one time, but I think that is a good thing! I am still finishing up the notebook with all of the full-size writing helps and templates, but I have it all printed out! I should add Joey doesn’t suggest putting all of the templates in a notebook, but I’m going to *try* it since I have just two students using this! I reserve the right to adjust as needed. 😉 Continue reading


Blessedly. Busy.

I really try to update here. It seems life gets in the way. But that is a good thing, no?

I am blessedly. Busy.

Spending time at the creek with our children … and watching our oldest and youngest son enjoy fishing together … and watching our Papa try to keep up with the grandchildren, which he actually can! Not bad for 70+ years old!





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Living Off the Land

I know, another post about canning. And fresh, REAL food.


I do feel super blessed at the bounty we’ve had this week. Including dozens of eggs, even some from our spring chicks! So exciting!



I’ve canned 16 quarts of corn, which will taste SO GOOD this winter.


I’ve cooked so much fresh food.

I will be canning tomatoes tomorrow.


Last night, I cut up some yellow squash and fried it. YUM. I have fried green tomatoes as well. I know, fried food, but really I fry it in olive oil and with a very light corn meal breading. What’s not to love?


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Cabbage and Corned Beef, Fresh Black-eyed Peas, Fried Green Tomatoes

Let’s chat: What is your favorite summer meal or fresh vegetable?



Five for Friday {Tastes of Summer!}


I’m linking up again with DoodleBug Teaching for her Five for Friday Linky Party. Lately I seem to be late. I’m posting this on the 4th though as I started it that night!

This past week has been full of berry picking, canning blackberry jam and taking pics of my four from China on the Fourth while our other two (and the Prez) were at their last day of Scout Camp.

1. Blackberry Picking on the HOTTEST day of the summer.

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Living Off the Land

One of the joys of our little piece of the Earth is the fact we have more room to grow food, raise egg-laying chickens, and find special treats like lots and lots of wild blackberries.

Our neighbors down the road have bees and the best honey we’ve ever eaten. We will definitely be back by their house for more!










Curly spotted this brand-new fawn in the tall grass he was about to cut with the tractor and mower attachment. We all just watched it several minutes and some of us did touch it. The momma did return before nightfall to move her baby! So precious!


Canning Fresh Vegetables

Really. What is not to love? Curly and I canned this afternoon!

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He made my Granny’s Sour Pickle recipe with his first batch of cucumbers. We’re still waiting on the dill to grow large enough to begin cutting it, so he made the sour pickles. They are yummy!

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I made a tangy batch of pickled yellow and zucchini squash. They also have onions and peppers in there! I’m just so thankful all of the seals worked! Now we just wait and then we’ll enjoy!

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Two of our sons have been finding blackberries around the property. We knew they were here, but they are producing fruit, and we are hopeful to make some blackberry jam later in the season!

I’m beginning to wonder if anyone is out there? 😀 What do you like to make in your kitchen? Please do share in the comments!


Summer School Plans

It is June, and so we are done with the 2014-2015 school year.
Sounds simple, right?
Not so much.

images-1I have a lengthy to-do list, not so much number of items but more the time involved on some of the line items, including:

  1. Turn in grades and attendance to our cover school by June 15.
  2. MAJOR clean-up in library
  3. MAJOR reconfiguration of *some* areas of our library (namely an area for Li’l Bit that will actually keep her interest and ENGAGE her)
  4. Archive school notebooks/papers/reports I will keep. Throw out what we won’t keep.
  5. Begin planning for next school. I will have a 10th grader, two 3rd graders, and one PK4 student.
  6. Purchase needed curriculum for next year (I’ve already begun this thanks to my TpT success and my PayPal account–thank You Jesus!).

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10 Posts in 10 Days: How Does Your Garden Grow?

When we bought this place last Spring, we were working day and night to renovate the kids’ bedrooms, the mudroom, finish out the totally unfinished basement, and make a library out of a really lackluster room at the end of our long ranch house. We longed for the day we could really use the garden plots that were already here and had been used for many years by the previous owners.

Well, Spring has sprung and the gardens are planted!

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On Our Table

I have so many photos that I haven’t posted, so I was thinking of a photo dump. Then I thought it would be more fun to have a theme for the photo dump, so here are some views of our tables taken since January up until this past week!

On the coffee table

The best-ever souvenir purchased on Disney property: a $7.95, 750-piece puzzle.



On the hard-rock maple table in our library

The iPad with The Story of Us: The Dust Bowl on it

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