Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wonderful Goodness!

Finally!  After all those years in Willseyville, trying to get some corn to grow AND be edible, and never being able to, we have corn!  And you can eat it too!  We planted some Silver Queen as an experiment in our little garden plot. The seeds were given to us, and after treating the soil with lime and some fertilizer, and with a hope and a prayer, we planted corn.  We watched through the summer as the stalks came up, and hoped.  So far so good.  When the girls and I came home from volleyball practice this evening Dale had corn husked and cooking to go with supper.  YUM!  Our very own corn!  It was delicious.

Another wonderful gem we have added is farm fresh milk.  Just so happens that when I drive to school, I go right past this farm, and they sell their milk.  For just $2 a gallon, we get the rich, creamy, real stuff.  

We had black bean sloppy joes tonight, but the real stars of the meal were the corn and the milk.  We really gorged ourselves on those!  

The last few days have been hot, and so very muggy!  Today has been rainy, thundering, and more rain.  It is supposed to be ushering in a nice cold front.  The high just a day ago was 90, and the dew point was around 70.  Tomorrow the high is supposed to be in the 50's!  Needless to say, I am breathing a HUGE sigh of relief.  

Many blessings!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Does That Come With Earplugs? Please?

We are nearly three weeks into our school year, and I've already learned to expect the unexpected.  Like, two hours before our very FIRST match of the season being told that Mr. Greene had to officiate and I was the head coach for the day.  Oh yeah.  I went from wicked excited to a bundle of nerves.  It wasn't as bad as I thought, though I felt like a bull in a china shop most of the time.  Some of my instinct on what to do when were right on, but I kept second guessing myself.  I need to trust and make the decision more quickly.  At any rate, despite winning the first game in the match, we lost.  The girls were tight, and got frustrated and soon discouraged.  I could watch their countenances falling and their playing go downhill as a result.  They would make an error, and they let it get to them.  They need to learn to let it go, and press on, and not allow themselves to get flustered.  That comes with time and experience.  We had our second game this past Monday up in Buffalo, NY.  We are in for a lot of driving this season as we are the new kids on the block in the league so we have to go to the away games, but they don't have to come to us because this is merely a probationary year.

They lost the match on Monday, as well.  But, overall, I saw improvement.  They seemed more relaxed, and yes they made mistakes, but there were some really good plays too.  They are growing and learning as volleyball season progresses. 

Last Friday was our school retreat.  What fun that was!  We spent the day with horses, hiking, playing, and eating.  And it counted as a school day.  It just doesn't get any better than that.

"Buggy" on Thunder the mule

Isaac on Thunder.  He also rode Ginger (who is definitely preggo, yay!).  I had a hard time getting him off when it was time for lunch.  The big kids were going on a trail ride after lunch, and Isaac kept asking "Can I ride the horse again?"  Oh boy.  Another riding addict is born!

Emiliee on Thunder.  She is used to horses.  She has a pony named Charlie, and I got to see her ride at the Fair back in August.

When you have a group of teens together, there is always some sort of tomfoolery.  This time it started with Benjamin (almost 6 '6") asking "Hey Mr. Greene, can I ride a sheep?"  He told him "sure if you can catch one."  Let the games begin!

What is good for the goose (sheep) is good for the gander (pigs).
By the way, that muck right in front of the kids spread eagle against the wall is knee deep liquidy goo.  They were waiting for Benjamin to chase the pigs out of the door on the right.   

This one got out, and then the chase was REALLY on!  

Playing on the fort.

This is a mini golf course (all 4 holes of it) based on the story of Jonah.  The devotional I did after lunch was on the book of Jonah, so I had the kids (Pre-k through 7th grade) sit in the boat.  It was called the USS Ninevah.  :)

Swinging!  Who doesn't love a tire swing? 

While we were at the fort, the older group came back from their ride.

Benjamin on King.  They look alike.  Tall and bony.  I don't know if you can pick it out in the picture but Benjamin is eating an apple.  Quiet a few of them were.  They must have raided the orchard on their ride.

We also had school pictures last Wednesday, so grandparents, be prepared to receive something new for your dartboards.

Today I got a new student!  Matthew is joining our little group.  He is 4, will be 5 in November, so he is almost exactly the same age as Isaac.  But let me tell you, he is a big boy!  Very tall, and quite robust.  I found out very quickly, that as hard as it is to understand Isaac sometimes, Matthew is even worse.  Also, his mom speaks a lot of Spanish at home because of her boyfriend, so apparently he knows a lot of his colors and numbers in Spanish.  Not so much English, though he does speak it fluently.  Except for colors and numbers, apparently.  No one told me I had to be bilingual for this job!  Good thing I took four years of Spanish in school.  

I quickly discovered that Matthew does not like to sit at a desk.  He does not like to color.  Or write.  Or sit still for a story.  He isn't big on crafts either.  Oh, did I mention his broken arm?  Thankfully his cast comes off next week, and then maybe I can get a clear evaluation on his fine motor skills, which seem underdeveloped right now.  He didn't break his dominant arm, but I am still giving him the benefit of the doubt, so to speak.  At any rate, I have figured that he is a solid pre-schooler.    So, for those keeping track, I have a sort of pre-preschooler, a preschooler, a K4 student, and a solid Kindergarten student.  Whew!  Anyone want to come help?  Oh, yeah... and I might be getting another one!  But that isn't certain yet.  

So, after a hectic day with a new student, and  Pre-preschooler underfoot, I was looking forward to getting home, putting up my tired tootsies for a few minutes, and enjoying some real quiet time.  

Not gonna happen.

The kids started band this week.  Oiy vey.  Elizabeth started on my flute.  I know, from experience, that learning how to blow into that thing so it makes some sort of pleasing tone isn't easy. Elizabeth is finding that out too.

Josiah is playing trumpet.  Or trying to.   

Caleb is doing surprisingly well with the French Horn.  If you think sounding like an elephant blowing his nose is good, anyway. 

Jerusha started the recorder last year in the second semester.  She is working on that, and learning to sight read this year. 

This classy guy, with the flood water chaps on, is playing a bass clarinet.  It is almost the same as a saxophone, except it uses a reed as the mouthpiece, and the saxophone doesn't.  He has his chaps on because he was going to work to help clear some land right after he practiced.  

Budding musicians.  Glad I'm learning sign language, because the ensuing din will probably cause permanent damage to my ears.

This Saturday we have a volleyball tournament up towards Buffalo, of course, but not as far as we went yesterday.  It will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  We have to leave early from school.  That means we'll be up bright and early... say 5 a.m. or so, on a day off. 


Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor (Filled) Day

Sometimes things just don't go as planned.

At the beginning of last week, the kids and I decided we wanted a "P.J." day.  You know the type: P.J.'s, games, reading... that sort of stuff.  I thought Labor Day would be a good day for that.  On paper it looked good.  In theory it was sound.  Realistically... never happened!

Saturday, after Dale, Caleb, and Benjamin got back from their duties at church, saw some of the family going off to pick blueberries!  An acquaintance, connected to the church and school, offered them to us.  They were ours for the picking!  We filled four of these buckets.  Yummy!

The Greene's had told us we could pick some corn while we were taking care of their animals for a few days.  Yup, we did.  So, I had corn to freeze.  Yummy... er, ditto!

The Greene's got in very late Sunday night.... or rather very early Monday morning.  Late morning Mr. Greene called to see if any of our kids were available to help up at the camp to prepare for the School Retreat this Friday.  So after lunch, Benjamin, Esther, Josiah and I made ourselves useful.  Unlike the sheep, which were out, running around, and shamelessly enjoying some freedom.

I think this one was feeling sheepish.  *snort*

Freaky eyes on these two!

Benjamin driving the tractor full of... well, let's just say the barn and horse stalls look really good now.  They made two runs with the honey wagon filled.  

Friday we were in Olean picking up glasses for Benjamin, Elizabeth and Josiah. This is Josiah's first time with glasses.  And no, he won't let me take a pic.  He says he looks "dorky".  I just told him, "Well, you picked out your own glasses!"    Anyway, while we were up there, we ran a couple of errands, and Dale got me these flowers as a "congratulations on finishing your first week of teaching".  Look at how they turned the water pink!

We are into our second week of school, and there is LOTS going on.  Monday, of course, there were no classes.  Today we had volleyball practice, the last one before our first game.  Caleb wasn't well, so he stayed home with Dale, and I brought home some work for him to do if he felt up to it.  Isaac is feeling suspiciously warm to the touch, so I'll be keeping a close eye on him tonight.  Tomorrow, my ASL class starts up again after school.  The girls are taking it IN school, so looks like I'll be on my own unless they want to join in for the practice.  Thursday we have school pictures, and Friday is the School Retreat.  This week is going to go by in a hurry!

I have to report that my "new" student has been doing very, very well!  And, I found out, I might be getting another little one!  My class will be up to a whopping 4 kids.  That's okay.  I don't think I could handle a whole gaggle of this age.  Whew!

This week are studying the letter Mm, and our story is about Milton Mule.  Handy, as the Greene's have a mule on the farm, so they will get to see and pet (and maybe ride... oh, gulp!) a real mule instead of just reading about it.

Have a blessed evening!