Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Upper Pennisula vacation 2011

We have spent the last 8 years on vacation at the St. Mary's River in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The St. Mary's starts at the end of Whitefish bay and runs the length into Lake Huron. We rent two cabins with friends and basically spend a lot of time fishing and sitting in front of the campfire watching the freighter traffic go by. The freighters (some of them 1000+ feet long) always amaze me because they are so big, and so quiet, well most of them. They navigate through a very small section called the "rock cuts" and travel down right in front of our cabins.  We really enjoyed our vacation again this year, but it is always good to be home!

Eldest Fishing

Spider right next to me at Whitefish Point EEK!!

Whitefish Point

Sand bars at Tahquamenon Falls park 

Hubby and Eldest with some of the fish we caught!

Every year Hubby puts together a "pirate scavenger hunt adventure"

Capt' sleepy

What we spent a lot of our week doing

B with her injured foot (thankfully it happened our last full day)

M has the crochet bug just like mom:)

"The Next" and his amazing guitar skills

The youngest showing off

We stay right where the word Barbeau is on this map


Here are some of the things I have going in my basket right now.

These are crocheted socks I am trying to get finished! 

This is a crocheted 100% hand spun angora bridal shawl I am working on.

This is the soap the girls and I created a couple of weeks ago.  Lemon poppy seed and Almond biscoti YUMMM!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Few and Far Between

Every year I say I am going to do better with my blog post.  Every year I do, but there are always those down times.  We have been busy here, coming off of the 4-H fair and moving into our vacation and then school starting.  I can't believe I have been homeschooling for 9 years.  If you would have told me that 15 years ago I would have laughed at you (hysterically)  Now, I wouldn't trade it for anything.  It has been one of the greatest journeys of my life and I realize how much I am blessed to get to know my own children so well.  I have realized this has become one of those "lost arts" today.  We are taking a different view on our year, our oldest has technically graduated and will spend the year C.L.E.P. ing out of everything he can and researching scholarships.  After getting one through with flying colors, I have a new outlook on our homeschooling journey and realize everyday is a new lesson (if you are looking!)  Coming out of the public school system and not doing real well with my journey, I have learned SO MUCH the last 10-15 years on my own.  It is a matter of loving the journey of learning.  After spending 5 months remodeling our house (it was supposed to last 5 weeks) and my Mom being seriously ill and in the hospital during 12 weeks of this, I realized that Life just happens and we need to let it, and learn from it.  My kids will learn more from that, than any 8 hour scheduled classroom day.

We have slowly been getting things out of our garden and I do mean SLOW.  Usually by now, we are swimming in zuchini and summer squash,  and I am canning like crazy.  This year I have gotten 5 (total).  We leave for vacation Saturday for a week and I am thinking that it will either hit while I am gone, or when I get back.  Either way it is all good.  The girls and I canned all of our beets today and got about 15 quarts.  My Bek is excited about that, anything pickled is her cup of tea:)

I have been doing some spinning and dying (never as much as I want, but always in the season I am supposed to be in).  I hope to teach some classes this fall.  In trying to find a niche in all this fiber arts stuff, I know I am to be a wife, mom and homeschooler first.  So that leaves very little for classes or shows to attend.  I have found that there is a "lag" in learning how to do some of these lost arts.  I was inspired by Homemaker Ang who does classes at their off-grid farm.  I attended one of them last fall, and came up with some ideas of my own in fiber arts.

I am contemplating getting more goats (shhh don't tell hubby;) I have been researching Kinder goats and am in love with them!  The only problem with this is I will have to do a road trip to probably Ohio.  I am looking for milk to drink, butter to make and cheese to create,  and this breed seems to fit the bill. 

Our kitchen is almost done now.  We are waiting for trim and a few minor things, but I have counters, sink and running water, in the house!  I am a very happy woman!

"Trix" on my drum carder (Hubby named it for me:))

"Trix" on the wheel

Trix after carding




The island...I love this island

The kitchen

Added cupboards from the old kitchen

The new dining room
The island...again

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chubby Bunny

Hubby is up working a week of third and fourth grade at Rock Lake Christian Assembly.  He must of gotten in "trouble" for something because this was the picture I recieved this afternoon.  He had to do chubby bunny's, which is basically shoving marshmallows in your mouth until you can't coherently say "chubby bunny" anymore.  He got 20 in.  That is a new camp record.  Should I be concerned? :))

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The End is near

I can't believe it is August already!  We had 4-H fair last week and today 5 of us leave for a week of camp!  Hubby and the three older ones are faculty and our youngest is a camper.  That leaves Bek and I here to run the farm!  We have one week home together and then we will be leaving for our vacation in the Upper Pennisula.  I can not believe how fast this summer has gone.  I go into it with the mind set to slow down and the next thing I know school is starting again.

Fair was great.  We didn't have as many entries as in the past, but the kids brought home 2 rosettes, 2 honor awards, 9 blue, and 1 red ribbon.  Our youngest did a cast and mold out of eurethane (dad is a chemist) and won a rosette for his entry!  We were so excited.  There were no animals up there this year for us.  Bek's fair rabbit died shortly after fair last year, and with the crazy spring we had and her broken arm she just didn't get one ready.  Maybe next year.  I have to admit I really enjoy fair week.  I even enjoy it more than some of my kids.  I was a 4-h'er as a kid too.  I did photography and dog obedience.

The girls and I made two big batches of soap yesterday.  It was so nice to get back into the kitchen and do some serious business in there!  It is not completed yet and there is still stuff packed in the garage, but we are supposed to get counters and my sink this Wednesday and then all the little stuff will come.  I think I have missed my sink most of all.  I am tired of doing dishes on the back deck.

I am doing some creations with my angora fiber.  We have been learning how to felt (thank you Youtube~) and I have some different ideas for the shop that I hope to work on.

Bek loves her BBQ!

Josh's broad sword project

Josh's project

Kayla's drawing

Bek's blue ribbon peach cobbler
Kayla's blue ribbon cookies

Josh recieving his Rosette

The band recieving their Rosette

Dyed fiber for felting

Dying fiber for felting

Homemade Jalapeno Poppers

Girls and I making soap!