EEEK! It has been a month! since my last post here! People are beginning to wonder where we are! So much is going on, as usual, so here is an update!
Homeschool is going well. Rachel and Samantha seem to be enjoying it as we ease them into it. They are reading biographies from the library for history. Rachel is tearing through them at a fast pace. She has developed her own sort of curriculum. She takes out a biography and then finds a cookbook that deal with that time period. Last week she made skillet bread and rice and beans after reading about Theodore Roosevelt. She is currently reading about Louisa May Alcott and has a cookbook from the Civil War Era. Samantha prefers to read books that are in a series. She is already up to the Letter X in an alphabet mystery series! Our town librarians are the best as they work so hard to find something new for the kids to read. Not easy with the Smith girls who are there an average of twice per week!
Hannah is loving her riding lessons and has also taken on working in the barn one day per week to pay for an extra lesson. She still hates school, mostly because it is something that she has to do. She would much rather float through her day, doing random things as they catch her fancy. She is very creative and enjoys sewing clothes for herself and her sisters. So me, being the wise mom, have decided that sewing is now a subject for school. It covers math, reading, and history (I found some period costume patterns!). She has decided that she would like to be a physical therapist. She has the perfect personality for this as she loves to help people, is patient and compassionate, and has had an interest in the human body and how it works since she was in second grade. So, she is continuing to learn about human anatomy and physiology this year.
Nathalie. Poor Nathalie. She so far has spent the summer dealing with a series of sore throats and tonsil infections, including her most recent, a tonsil abscess. This required a trip to the Ear Nose and Throat doctor to have it lanced and drained. She is now scheduled for the removal of both her tonsils and her adenoids on August 16th. She requested that we schedule it after the 4-H fair despite all of our concerns that she could get another infection. She was glad she didn't have to miss the fair as it is the only one where she could show her dog. She did very well at the fair considering that Pippi is still very much a puppy. She took fourth in obedience, third in showmanship, and first in agility!
Abigail turned sixteen in June and began studying for her learner's permit. After talking with our insurance agent it seems unlikely that she will be able to get her license before she turns eighteen. Our insurance would go up nearly $1000 per year just for her to get her license. If we were to get her a car, it would go up another $500-$800 per year. At this point it simply isn't in the budget. But she will get her permit and begin the process. She has a job now. She works part-time at a farm/petting zoo, cleaning stalls, leading pony rides, and talking with the public. She is enjoying it, especially the money part! It is only for the summer because that is their busy time.
Sam and I plug along. We managed to sell a horse, 45 chickens, and all but four of the goats we had up for sale. So we are left with one horse (Honey), about 75 chickens, and 14 goats. We are hoping the last four goats will sell before winter (see our website sale page for more info regarding who's for sale). We have helped Sam's parents bring in their hay and brought 500 bales of hay into our barn. We took in another barn cat that needed a home. We don't seem to ever have too may of them as the coyotes and fisher cats take care of the slow and not-so-smart ones. So far we have harvested about 45 pounds of honey from our beehives. I am hoping to harvest another 100 pounds or so before October.
This year we are still deciding about our annual Campfire party. With Nathalie's surgery scheduled for the Monday after our usual weekend for it, we may need to change when we have it. Of course finding a weekend that isn't already booked isn't easy! We'll be sure to let you know as soon as we know!