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Kyleann33
Interests: I love being a stay at home mom. Alex & I go for walks, visit the library, explore creeks & parks, bake and paint together. I also love sewing- I sew children's clothes to sell in a baby boutique and cloth produce and market bags to sell in a local food store.
Recent Activity
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The day before we left for Virginia I did my last long run before the Harrisburg Marathon~ 23 miles! Since I ran on a Friday my running buddies were at work, so I ran alone until my Dad joined me on his bike at mile 17. Then Alex asked to bike with me, so he joined us for the last 5 miles while Mom and Eli played at the park by the trail. It was a beautifully cooler day, and I had lots of time to think and enjoy time to myself. My pace slows significantly when I get to... Continue reading
Posted 14 hours ago at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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Nick's cousin Laurie invited family to gather together at her farm outside Bridgewater, Virginia this past weekend. We left Saturday morning, and stayed in Va. until after lunch on Monday. It was so fun to get to relax and chat with family on Laurie and Park's beautiful farm. Nick has 3 cousins and an aunt and uncle who live in Virginia, and his aunt and uncle from Florida were there too, along with his relatives from Maryland~ his mom, sister and her children, and his uncle and aunt. The kids had fun watching the cows, and isn't that view gorgeous?... Continue reading
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We celebrated Alex's 9th birthday last week, 9 years with our sweet boy! We enjoyed a day at the Landis Valley Harvest Days, where the boys got to pick a pumpkin, watch wool dyeing, see things like sauerkraut, applesauce and molasses being made over wood fires, and their favorite part~go on horse-drawn wagon rides. We got to see my Aunt Sondra at the spinning and weaving tent, and one of her friends showed us an easier way to use a drop spindle that I'm eager to try. (Eli's enjoying popcorn) Alex asked for apple pie and chocolate cake for his... Continue reading
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The boys spent Saturday night with my parents so Nick and I could have some date time. We all had a wonderful time, and it was so fun to see the pictures of Alex and Eli flying their kite at the park! I love seeing Alex's arm around Eli. I savor moments like this, treasuring the times they are sweet to each other. Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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I wanted to try dyeing some wool roving and silk capes with the boys to celebrate Michaelmas this week. We dyed wool with Poke Week with my aunt last year, this was the first time I've tried dyeing on my own. After lots of emails and consulting with my aunt we cut the Marigolds from our garden and some Goldenrod from our front meadow. I used this tutorial, and we started by soaking the flowers in warm water overnight. I also soaked the wool roving overnight using 2 tablespoons of alum dissolved in boiling water (and warm water to cover... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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We've been reading dragon and autumn stories this week, and talking about courage. We celebrated Michaelmas today by baking dragon bread, a tradition we've done for the past 5 years. I also got a dragon cookie cutter, and yesterday we baked gingerbread dragon cookies. I've loved reading these lovely stories to the boys this week. As more darkness enters our world in autumn and winter, take courage. It's also a wonderful time of year to think about what is scary to us, to hold that in our hearts and see how we can face it. Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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Alex has had a digging pit since he was 3, in fact it's one of the reasons we wanted to move from our last house~ we needed more digging room! The boys spend hours every day digging together, making walls with mud, sand and water, and driving trucks on the roads they make. They call it the "Brotherville digging pit," and it's next to the "Brotherville Nature Preserve." (The space around our 3 apple trees where they've asked Nick to not mow the grass.) There's even a spot to lie down when one needs a break from digging: I hope... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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One of our favorite autumn books is "The Apple Cake." After reading the story this morning Eli helped me bake a delicious apple cake. I put together a recipe I found on Instagram and my family's quick cake recipe. Apple Cake 1 1/2 cup flour (I used sprouted Spelt) 1/3 c maple syrup 1/4 c coconut sugar 1 egg 1/2 c melted coconut oil 1/4 tsp salt 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp cinnamon Chopped apple, I used 2 1/2 apples Combine melted oil, maple syrup, eggs and sugar, mix well. Add dry ingredients, stir in apples. Pour into greased... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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I'm running 21 miles on the trail tomorrow, and have done a lot to prepare food-wise the past couple of days. I mixed up my electrolyte drink yesterday, with Eli's mixing help. I keep it in the fridge, then will add it with ice cubes to my hydration backpack in the morning. I also made my running gel that I'll eat every 6 miles. I mash together a banana, baked sweet potato, chia seeds and thin it with apple juice until it's like a thick milkshake consistency. Yesterday I baked sweet potato raisin cookies, I'll probably eat a few of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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Alex headed outside with a clipboard to draw ants yesterday afternoon. I love this drawing of an ant queen: Eli was inspired to draw too, and went into the chicken run to draw the chickens. First he sprinkled some feed on the ground to attract the hens so he could see them better. He drew some, then asked Alex to come hold a chicken for him to see it and draw. Alex sat with Bold Rocket (yes, we have a chicken named Bold Rocket) in his lap, and was amused when she closed her eyes to rest while Eli drew... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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The chicks are almost 5 weeks old, and in the kind of comical gawky-looking stage. It's amazing how much bigger they are than just last week, and how their color is changing! They are in the 6' x 10' covered run now, and it's sweet to see them go back into their nest in the big dog crate for their rest time and at nights. The boys and I were on the couch for morning lesson yesterday and had the screen door open. As Alex was reading aloud I heard a rustling in the ground cover outside the door, coming... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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I don't know if I've shared in this space yet that I've been training for the Harrisburg marathon. It's just 8 weeks away now, and I'm very excited. I've done 19 miles so far, with 21 miles on the schedule for next weekend. I've been following the Jeff Galloway run/walk plan, and have been pleased with how good my body has felt without injuries. I'm not fast, and often run alone. 19 miles took me about 3 1/2 hours, as my brother says "That's a lot of good thinking time!" I've been making my own gel for running fuel by... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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The boys wanted to bike somewhere Saturday morning, and we needed some groceries from the local natural food market. So we drove into town and parked at one end of a little park with a paved trail, and the boys biked to the grocery store where we had smoothies and coffee before shopping and going back to the car. It was a lovely little outing. While he was biking Alex said he needs a bigger bike. We've been planning for weeks to get him one, so that afternoon Nick took him for a new bike and new helmet too. The... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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I've been trying to enjoy the snapshots of our life lately. Instead of seeing the empty popcorn bowls and smoothie mugs that need cleaned up after our morning lesson time, I'm noting the beauty. I love the feel of the smooth wooden bowls as I wipe them out to stack in the cupboard. I love the possibilities of the beautiful crayons in their walnut wood holder, my knitting in progress, the baseball game ticket the boys are now using for a pretend parking ticket. I like seeing the view from the couch into the kitchen through the curved doorway. Eli's... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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The boys and I had fun digging potatoes this week, and we enjoyed some mashed potatoes with our dinner. Eli liked seeing the different colors of the potatoes~ we have regular brown, also red and dark purple potatoes. We also picked tomatoes, basil, a late zucchini and another winter squash. Last year we had over 20 winter squash, and this year we only got 5! It's been a great year for our tomato plants, and I've been drying lots of mint and lemon balm for winter. Next year I want to plant more potatoes, and sweet potatoes too. Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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It's amazing how much bigger the chicks are this week! Their feathers are starting to come in with pretty speckles. And they are rowdy, curious explorers. It cracks us up to see them do things like jump up and ride on their mamas back! We also enjoy watching the "aunties," our other two big hens, watch the chicks and mama through the fence. Big Brown Eyes, the chicks mama, was the lead hen before she went broody. She's been separated from the other two for about a month now, but when she gets out she firmly establishes with fierce pecks... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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Yesterday was a banner day for food preservation. After my morning run the boys husked 5 dozen ears of corn while I got the green beans started in the canner. We froze 5 dozen ears of corn and canned 24 pints of green beans, and hung out 3 loads of laundry to dry. I was very ready to sit down at the end of the day, and glad to have all this good food tucked away for winter. We're reading the harvest and autumn chapters in "Farmer Boy" this week, and I'm excited for projects like digging our potatoes, checking... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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One of our homeschool groups has dates at the local Farm Camp again this fall through December. The boys were excited to attend the first session yesterday, where they worked in the gardens. They picked beans, dug potatoes, washed squash and helped arrange a market stand. One of the farmers is a lovely man we got to know from a Central Market stand, the boys enjoyed digging potatoes with him. We shopped at the market stand before we left, and came home with delicata squash, spaghetti squash, cucumbers, eggplant, radishes, turnips and four bags of greens! This weekend we're looking... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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We're using the wonderful Playful Pioneers curriculum this year with the Little House on the Prairie books. One of the activities this week for our reading of Farmer Boy was to make butter. It didn't dawn on me until after the kids had shaken the cream in a jar for 40 minutes that our cream had started out very thin. We put it into the mixer, and after 20 minutes it still wasn't butter. Discouraged, I just let it sit on the counter for the rest of the day, where it did form butter on top. We washed it and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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I've been working on sewing some flannel pajama pants for Eli, and while I sew he likes to work on embroidery. As he was sewing yesterday he announced "Hey! I made an Alex letter!" He showed us the "A," and Alex loved it so much he bought it from Eli for $4. Haha. I love seeing what Eli creates, and that he loves to sew. Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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The squirrels have been very active here in the past few weeks, we've noticed them gathering nuts for winter. We've been reading "Earl the Squirrel" this week, and Alex and I enjoyed making squirrel drawings. Drawing and painting are super intimidating and scary for me, and not something I enjoy at all. But I've been making myself draw more lately, and have been coming to enjoy it. I want my children to see that anyone can create, and have fun in the process. I love the freedom and joy that Alex brings to drawing. Drawing is his main entertainment, he... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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Our chicks are 1 week old today, and growing so big already. We can see their little wing feathers coming in! We let them out from their big dog crate into a section of the chicken run this week. It was so fun to see mama hen teaching them how to scratch. And when she dug up something exciting she would do a special cluck for the chicks to come over and eat it. She also showed the chicks how to dust bath, seeing a tiny check fluff dirt up onto it's back is a very sweet sight. We are... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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We've been reading "Charlotte's Web" for the kid's bookclub this month. It's been fun to read about the county fair in the book, and then we got to go to the fair in my hometown this week. We went on the night of the pig show, which was so fun to see. We saw the sheep show prior~where sheep are led around on leashes, and stand still for the judge. But the pig handlers had to use sticks to guide the pigs around, while getting them in front of the judge and making eye contact with him. It was fascinating,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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All 8 of our chicks hatched, we're so delighted. There is only one with a name so far because it's so different from the rest. Alex named the black one "Charcoal," and it's his favorite. Sure hope it turns out to be a female so we can keep it! Nick gave the chicks their vaccines yesterday, a process which made him very nervous. It's tricky to pinch the skin on the back of a tiny chick's neck to stick a needle into it! We sure are loving watching the chicks with their mama. She softly clucks when she wants them... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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This is where we were yesterday from 9:30 a.m. until 7 p.m., keeping watching over Big Brown Eyes and her hatching chicks: There was guitar playing, snacking, drawing, lots of photo taking, and excitement. We've seen chicks hatching in an incubator before at local fairs, and we've gotten day-old chicks shipped to us. But it's so fun to see them tucked under their mama! Most of the chicks are speckly yellow, one is black with a yellow spot on its head. We think all 8 chicks hatched, last we saw there were 7 chicks and the last egg had a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2017 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead