Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Month Gone By...

With great expectations come great challenges.  And this month has had its fair share of challenges. We spent some time dealing with EMan at the hospital who swallowed something odd (he thought it was a rubber band bracelet but I never did find out).  Turns out he's ok.  I guess it's amazing what one can swallow and be just fine.  However, don't try it at home.  Then I spent 4 days with my neck and back muscles frozen from stress and had to get some help from my awesome sister-in-law massage therapist in order to even move.
CJ saved all the worms we found as we trenched an 18 foot long and 18 inch deep perimeter for the chicken run.
 Shortly thereafter we had an animal (hawk or owl is the educated guess) kill two of our backyard chickens, which prompted some serious clean up followed by some serious building.  The greenhouse that the chickens were living in had finally broken and they were able to escape, so a new coop and run had to be built immediately.
 I feel super proud of myself now that I have learned to roof.  I have a new appreciation for roofers and construction workers of all sorts.  That's hard work!
 Now, though not completed, the chickens have an ultra secure locked down facility to roam and dig for worms.  Hawks and owls not welcome, nor any other predator for that matter.
 Along with our yard clean up was the construction of a new garden bed in the front yard.  It required a dump truck of 3.5 cubic yards of planters mix dumped on the road and wheelbarrow-ed to the site.  Good thing I had helpers!
 After all that dirt moving we painted the bed, finished cleaning up the yard and had sprinklers installed.  The install I didn't do by myself because I may have forgotten to mention it, but I did most of the work up to this point by myself with the help of CJ and EMan because Mr. Steve had three weeks of work outside of the state...

Friday, March 27, 2015


I have already posted about this on the preschool blog, but boy did we have fun learning about insects this month in preschool and our homeschool science.  We have now watched and documented ladybugs grow from grub to beetle, butterflies grow from caterpillar to butterfly and praying mantis' hatch.  Seriously, I guess the third time is the charm for hatching praying mantis'.  Though... now just a couple days later the couple we saved have all killed each other... I'm sure I fed them plenty of fruit flies... Bummer that the preschoolers didn't get to see them.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rock Climbing

Today we went on a new type of adventure.  We went to a rock climbing gym.  We have a rock climbing wall on the side of our garage that we built a year ago.  I'm certain I took pictures of it to blog about it and just never actually wrote it down.  But trust me that it's cool.  It is 16 feet wide and 8 feet tall.  It's actually a traversing wall, though I didn't know that until our climbing gym lesson today.  Anyway.....

We set up a mom and kid homeschool lesson at the climbing gym to learn the details of what they have to offer and how to climb with ropes safely. The first action of business was to warm up and get an idea of what we'd be doing.  We learned about traversing, in basic terms: going across the wall rather than up it.
 Just a side note: CJ walked into the climbing gym and the first thing he said when he saw the 40 foot climbing walls was "I'm not doing that!"  However, the instructors were awesome and made it fun step by step.
 Next we learned about harnesses and how to put them on correctly.  At that point one of the instructors took the kids to an auto-belay and let them take turns climbing.  My friend K and I sat with the other instructor and learned how to tie all the ropes and belay correctly.
 It was very exciting then to have the opportunity to climb the wall next to CJ.  One of the instructors belayed me and CJ was on an auto-belay.  He made it pretty far and I was able to make it to the top.  Super fun and honestly very scary.  I hid all my fears because I didn't want to pass them to the kids.  I made myself keep going up and make it to the top, though I'm sure if it were just Mr. Steve and I, I would have been a little more vocal about my nervousness.

We had a wonderful time taking turns climbing and belaying the kids.  They LOVED the experience and even though CJ thought at first he wouldn't do it he discovered that it was an activity that he loved.
Actually, he loved it so much that he started asking to go back before we even left the gym.  I think we may have found a new favorite sport and way to get PE credits.  Climbing, here we come!