Thursday, May 7, 2015

missions and homestead life

It has been such a full two weeks since I last posted! Our church had our annual Missions Conference two weekends ago. I LOVE our missions conference. It has always been my favorite church event, ever since I was a little girl.We hosted the Peffers here at our home for the weekend. The Peffers serve with Crossworld in Brazil.  It was an absolute delight to be able to get to know Don and Zoe while they were staying with us. Our kids learned so much about Brazil and about missionary living, in general. We were all sad to see them go at the end of the weekend, but we're so thankful for the new friendship! The last two photos of this post are of the kids making an authentic Brazilian dessert with Zoe.

We've been hard at work outside, getting things ready and planted. Brad made make-shift hoop houses out of our old trampoline pieces and some plastic sheeting we bought at the hardware store. I planted some things in those two beds that are frost-sensitive because it's hard to tell if we'll get another frost here. Even though the temperature is supposed to be near 90 degrees this weekend, there's always that chance of freezing temps again. You really can never be sure here in Pennsylvania. I also planted some frost-hardy seeds in the other beds. There is still so much to be done. We haven't even begun to plow up the ground for the big garden. One step at a time, I keep telling myself.

The chickens are growing up. Out of the 26 eggs we incubated, nine hatched successfully last Thursday. So I now have full-grown hens, teenage chickens, toddler chicks, and now the baby chicks. We've got all stages of chicken growth going on here! I'm always amazed when I incubate eggs. It's always so amazing that those little eggs turn into little chicks. We watched this great video on chicken embryo development while we were waiting for the eggs to hatch.We also candled the eggs about a week into the incubation period and again a week later. That was very educational and interesting, being able to see all of the veins and the embryo floating around the first week, and then seeing how huge the little chicken was a week later! It is a really amazing process!

Then there's Chase, the little wild rabbit the kids rescued. She did amazingly good for over a week, but then something happened and she didn't make it. It was hard. Honestly, I'm surprised that she lived as long as she did as it is extremely hard to raise a wild bunny. It was another wonderful experience for all of us even though it was very sad to lose the little creature in the end.

We are finishing up our "formal" school year. We only have two days left to go. Of course, this formality of counting days only occurs here at our home because of the mandatory homeschooling law here in Pennsylvania. Learning will continue on throughout the rest of the spring and summer as it always does. There's really not a day that goes by that we don't learn something new. So as I bring this school year to an end, there is, of course, the portfolios that I have to get put together. These are, again, another state-mandated requirement for homeschoolers here in PA.

After this fog lifts this morning, Ian and I are heading out to mow our yard. I have lots and lots of manure to clean up. And, oh the laundry that needs done! I would totally pay someone to come do my laundry once a week during these warm months. Laundry is my nemesis. But I am going to try really hard to approach my laundry duties with a joyful spirit. (Smile)


Nen said...

I love all of your pictures! I especially love that mug in the top picture. Back in the day (pre-babies)... I used to throw pottery! Maybe someday I'll get to again! I always appreciate seeing something handcrafted!

Thanks for your encouragement about the garden! Ours is tiny for sure.... but things are starting to sprout and someday I hope to have quite a few, like you! :)


Monica said...

I don't have to say it, you know it. You have been crazy busy! But what a wonderful time you're having. I enjoy watching littles learn and grow things! So rewarding.

My Garden Diaries said...

Sounds like a beautiful and full couple of weeks friend! I really enjoyed seeing your kiddos make those desserts with Zoe as it is fantastic to learn about other cultures! And how wonderful to have all your chickens!! And those raised beds are awesome! You are doing such a great job! Keep up the hard work!! Nicole xo

karen said...

loved the photos your shared and I'm sad about the little rabbit and I didn't even know him/her...Oh well. looks like the weather has been nice and spring is fully arrived!

Mari said...

Hi Amber! Thanks for stopping at my blog.
I loved my visit here. Your photos share your life and it's beautiful.
I'm sorry about the little rabbit. I remember my Dad rescuing a baby rabbit when I was young. Ours didn't make it either. :(
I bet your missionary friends enjoyed their time with you.

Simply Quaint said...

Amber what a wonderful experience to have another family from another country come stay with you....such busy days after a long cold winter, we too have filled days, planting, mowing, laundry, housework and some stitching or sewing....

Lisa said...

I also just posted after a two week hiatus from my own is busy, short, and there just isn't always time to be everywhere I'd like to be! Washington state's homeschool law is one of the most lenient in the portfolio required. They do require annual testing or a meeting with a certified teacher to go over what you've done during the year -- easy enough to fulfill if one has a homeschooling friend who is also a certified teacher qualified to do either. :) Praise God for the freedom to homeschool our children! We're three weeks from finishing up formal studies (my kiddos take twice-weekly high school level math and science from a sweet, Christian homeschooling mom). What a blessing!
xo Lisa