It’s been 7 months today, since our last post, while I worked on a great big work project. But we are back now, ready to really rock and roll again! And with a whole new brand design look, too! What do you think? Do you love our [Read more…]
The kids and I enjoyed a very interesting visit to a nearby honey bee farm, on quite a beautiful day of this spring. We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather that day! It was sunny and awesome. We invited some friends to come along with us, as a little educational homeschooling field trip.
* We are/I am . . . sharing all kinds of things we learned about beekeeping in this post.
But YO, DISCLAIMER!: We’ve been trying to remember all of the great information we were taking in by ear that day, as accurately as possible, and did a little research here and there, too. But no guarantees we got it all exactly right in this post! We’re just new beekeeping-learners, chatting with you, here.
So, having very local, raw and organic honey in our house is a must for us, at all times. We not only enjoy it immensely as a sweetener in tea, on oatmeal, toast or waffles, and in many recipes, but teaspoon a day goes a long way with helping fight the symptoms of some our environmental allergies! Not to mention the numerous other health benefits, that consuming organic honey provides. And seriously, this natural medicine could not be any sweeter, or delicious! So we’ve been buying honey locally for a few years now.
But this spring, I found an even closer source, right down the road! It is one of the locations of Bee Well Honey, in Sagamore Beach (MA). They have a very convenient road side stand there, where we can pick up more honey any time at all! After learning of them and picking up a big jar of honey, I reached out to them via messaging their Facebook Page, and asked if they would be interested in doing a field trip for us, and teaching us what they could, about beekeeping. We were thrilled that they responded they were, so the communications and plans to arrange it, went from there.
We thought we’d share with you some photos, and a bit about it. While we can’t relay all we learned to you that day here in this post, we hope it inspires you to want to learn more yourself, about how honey bees play such a crucial part in environment, and in all of our lives! Without them, we’d all be in a world of trouble. And maybe, you’ll even feel inspired to find a honey bee farm in your own local visit, and arrange a visit for yourselves.
The beekeepers, Rich and Aaron. One lives here on this property, with his family, where there are some beehives. The other lives at another beekeeping location, in a nearby town, where the processing of the honey is also done. However, they have beehives set up all over the south shore, which they manage. And the system as a whole balances and benefits us and our environment, in countless ways.
After intending to for far too long, I am finally sharing with you our kids’ little gardens, today!
All 4 of our kids help in our family gardens at some point or other through the gardening seasons; although some do with more joy and ambition than others. There is always some weeding, dead-heading flowers, or picking vegetables, that needs tending to. I do much of it myself, but sometimes I could use another pair of hands, and the company is nice sometimes, too.
But just prior to the gardening season in 2013, I pitched the idea to the kids, of having their very own little garden.
I explained that they could plant and grow whatever they wanted, but they were also responsible for keeping it up. That meant keeping it weeded, watered, dead-heading their own flowers, and generally tending to it with love. Not only that, but after their father built the frame base, they had to be a team and prepare the bed themselves. They all loved the idea, and each have had their own little garden ever since!
It may have been more work than they anticipated, that first year! Because although we have had loam brought in by the truck full for our other garden beds, we had a perfectly good dirt pile next to the driveway that we didn’t really want there. It had been overgrown with weeds and grass, though. Basically, it was less of a dirt pile any longer, and more like a grassy hill, riddled with rocks! So they did work hard, like a team. The boys dug the hill up, pulling and shaking out the grass and weed clumps, and putting shovel fulls earth onto the handmade screen on the wheel barrow. The girls sifted the dirt through, to remove all of the rocks, and then wheeled the barrow over to the garden bed, and dumped the dirt in.
That was the less than fun part. But they made the most of it, and it was good and done for many years to come.
Now let’s look at their gardens, today…. [Read more…]
When she started out homeschooling, we felt like we had a lifetime ahead of us. Certainly any thoughts of high school, graduating from high school, or possibilities of heading off to college, just seemed like….another lifetime. It was something I would always be prepping for anyway, for someday. But, it was so far off. And there was a whole lot of living, loving, and learning to do, in each day, between now and then.
And we did a whole lot of all of those things. But like any of the most precious times of your life, in what seems like the blink of an eye……
Well, here we all are. On the other end a lifetime, I guess, with the oldest of our four children. With our first homeschooled child. The one we always called our ‘Trail Blazer’. She is graduating from high school, and definitely college bound.
We’re here at the end, and yet, a whole new, beautiful beginning.
The kids and I are well into a new school year here, and things are going really well so far. Our oldest is a high school sophmore now, and the 3 youngest (triplets) are fifth graders. So naturally, each year has gotten more academically involved, deeper and serious for all of us; myself as the teacher, and they as students. But I can freely admit that I am learning almost as much as they are, and enjoying my re-education as we progress with each year. I love finding new ways to keep their homeschooling experiences fun.
One new idea I came up with this year, actually came about as I was brainstorming a gift idea for a special-little someone-else in my life. While that gift is more elaborate and expensive, and personalized from me, it occurred to me that it might be fun to incorporate the general idea into our schooling, on a more budget level, for my own kids. So I mentioned the idea to them, of keeping their own sketch books throughout the year, and was not prepared for their level of excitement about it! I also wanted them to customize their very own a little bit, so they treasured them more.
The intentions for these sketch books are for the kids to just use freely whenever they want to, to practice drawing, write a little poetry, journal some thoughts, or even just doodle as they feel like it. But I did let them know I may ask them to use their sketch pads to express their thoughts or feelings in any way they’d like, following field trips or other home schooling or life events worth noting, in an artistic way. These pads are for dry medium only, but naturally you can adapt the general idea to any kind of pad, as well as customize the cover using any material you’d like. But today, I’m just sharing with you what we did.
Here’s the basic supplies we worked with:
- Inexpensive spiral bound sketching pads
- Modge Podge
- Foam brushes
- Scissors or an X-Acto type blade
And, 12″ x 12″ patterned scrap booking paper. These are the sheets my kiddos picked out for themselves.
Now things are about to get ever-so-slightly-messy. Especially with kids. So I thought I would tell you my cheap little trick I use for protecting the table for all of our craft happenings . . . . . .
TIP: Plastic party table covers, from the Dollar Store! One usually lasts us for many, many projects. When we are done working, we make sure any paint or glue on it is dry, and then we just roll it up in a ball and put it away for next time. (You could fold it, if you really need to. I know some people are like that. Hey, I have my own weird issues, but they are different. I’m not judging! lol)
So the first step is putting a quick layer of Modge Podge on the back of the patterned paper.
You don’t want to put any excessive amount on, or go over and over it, or the paper will get kind of soggy, and buckle.
But you do want to go right to the edge of the paper.
Then also put a layer all over the cover of the sketchbook.
Then carefully place your Modge Podge’d paper, onto your Modge Podge’d sketch pad cover.
You can line up your paper evenly, by using the spiral bind as a guide.
Be sure to smooth out any air bubbles in the paper.
Now, the paper was not cut to size on purpose. You could figure out and prepare the exact size paper you needed ahead of time. But it just seemed easier to me to just put it on their, and then either trim off the excess, or just fold it over into the inside of the cover.
These particular sketch pads were conveniently 12 ” tall, but only 9″ wide, so we had 3 extra inches to fold in. The putting Modge Podge on both surfaces is just a preference, and may not be necessarry. I just know with my kids, these sketch books were going places, and going to take a traveling beating. So, I figured the more secure the paper was adhered, the better.
Granted, not all of them came out with the paper put on perfectly straight anyway, because they are kids, and doing the best they can. And perhaps not as particular and picky as I am! (Which really, has got to be a nice feeling, sometimes!) They just had fun making them, and were really excited about the whole project. Which is really the best part: Kids being proud of what they made, and caring for those things that much more, because it is their own creation, from start to finish.
I’ll tell you, it’s been weeks now, and these sketch books have proven to be a really great idea for my kids. They have really used them, on their very own whims. Regularly! Every day. It’s a beautiful thing to catch your kids sketching this or that. Sometimes really working on a particular one over time, trying to make it come out just right. This is how all of my illustration skills were born!
As you can see, we further personalized their sketch pads, with their initials. Those were all cut in vinyl for them, but they each specified the exact initials they wanted, colors, design and arrangement. I think they all came out so great! And each cover really does well express their individual styles and personalities.
I hope this idea inspires you in some way. I know that for me personally, any notebook or sketch book full of blank or lined paper, gives me the butterflies. IS there anyone else out there, who understands what I mean? The opportunity for expression just laying before those two covers, is exciting! So consider making yourself a special one of your own, and just let whatever wants to come out of your head to your hand, come out. See what happens inside! You may be surprised, and you may just enjoy every minute of it. Everybody should just take time to chill and doodle, sometimes.
Thanks for coming over. Please share this idea if you are so inclined.