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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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We had a shorter than normal maple sugaring season this year, because it got up to almost 80 degrees this week! So after gathering sugar water and boiling last weekend we pulled the spiles. When Mom and I started the fire under the evaporator pan last Friday it was so warm I worked in a tank top. Then by the end of the weekend it was snowing as we took off the syrup! The boys love the camaraderie of working with family and friends all weekend, and the special snacks we enjoy by the fire. This year we had "Grampa... Continue reading
Posted 12 hours ago at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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We rented a storage unit in Virginia, and each time Nick goes we're sending fragile things that would be hard to take in the moving truck. This week we packed up lots of Alex's boats. It's been so fun to get them all out to admire their details! This is one of my favorites, it has a tape rope ladder leading up to the crow's nest, green tissue paper sail and a flag: This one has a big ice-breaker on front, a covered cabin and a lifeboat on the back: This boat is as tall as Alex, and has a... Continue reading
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Sugaring Time We crunch through the woods searching for the sugaring scars holes from past winters. We drill a new hole, my boys tap in a spile I hang the bucket with a string pat the scars as we say thank you, thank you. White buckets dot the woods sap drip drip dripping as the day warms above freezing. Meeting after work each day family and friends haul five gallon buckets filled with sap to the sugar house. Then it’s dawn of boiling weekend Dad turns on lights strung through the woods to the sugar house. We build a fire... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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We've been using The Playful Pioneers, a literature and project based curriculum for the Little House series, and loving it. We read "Farmer Boy" this fall, then "Little House in the Big Woods," and we started "Little House on the Prairie" this week. I found a wonderful book that shows us the animals and plants they see on the prairie, "Plant a Pocket of Prairie." We were pleased to read about the Dickcissel birds, whose nests Laura and Mary find in the tall weeds, and to see a picture of a prairie chicken, like Pa brought home for their dinner.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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Now that all of our hens are laying every day is like a treasure hunt, and I love to see Alex come in with a big grin on his face and a basket of eggs. It brings joy to our day! We've been getting 4-5 eggs every day. Sweet Eli asked me "If the hens just stayed in the nesting boxes all day, would we get sixteen hundred and a million eggs?" That made us all chuckle. Lunch today will be scrambled eggs with spinach and potatoes, one of my favorite easy meals. Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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In addition to Valentines Day this week we are celebrating three family birthdays~ my dad, cousin Wil, and my brother all have birthdays within a few days of each other. The boys and I spent the morning making cards and reading one of our favorite Valentine books, "Cranberry Valentine." It was the perfect way to spend a grey, rainy Monday morning. Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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We tapped about 100 Maple trees to start maple sugaring season in my parent's woods yesterday. Sugaring is one of my favorite times of the year. I love stomping through the woods, and hearing the plink of sap dropping into the buckets. I enjoy the camaraderie of time with family and friends, and being in the woods to witness the change of seasons. When we tap the trees, like yesterday, there is often snow on the ground. And usually by the end of sugaring season we can see the first green in the woods, usually Garlic Mustard Greens, and it's... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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Eli's bottom two teeth have been wiggly for a few weeks now. Last night Nick realized that one was hanging on by a thread, so they pulled it out. Eli was delighted that the tooth fairy came and left him a dollar bill, and that he can fit his tongue into the space where his tooth was. I think his other tooth will fall out in the next few days. We've been telling him he has a sweet jack o'lantern smile! Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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On Waking The children wake before dawn In the chilly dark That still feels like night. As I lay In the warm den of bed I set blessings for the day- May Nick’s work be fruitful, May the boys be peaceful And revel in learning, And may I rise With joy in my heart. I bundle into my canvas work coat, kiss the boys by the wood stove, say ‘morning to Nick over the bubbling egg pan and crunch across the frozen yard to let the hens out. I pour fresh water into their bowl as they thump down from... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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Drawing has always made me uncomfortable, it's something I think I'm not very good at. Then this past summer I attended Taproot, a lovely Waldorf homeschooling conference, and took a drawing class. We all sat around a large table, and I was so nervous. People would be able to see what I was drawing! That class gave me the push to try drawing, and to show my kids that anyone can create. Since then I've been trying to draw at least once a week, and have come to actually enjoy it. Alex loves drawing, and I see Eli comparing himself... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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My parents kept the boys yesterday afternoon so Nick and I could go see "I, Tonya," the movie about figure skater Tonya Harding. We had a nice lunch in Harrisburg and enjoyed the movie. And the boys had a great time playing at the ice on my parents creek again! Seeing the photos of their play and hearing about the hours of entertainment makes me even more determined to have a creek at our Virginia property. Water and ice play is so much fun! Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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Morning Poem "Every morning the world is created. Under the orange sticks of the sun the heaped ashes of the night turn into leaves again and fasten themselves to the high branches --- and the ponds appear like black cloth on which are painted islands of summer lilies. If it is your nature to be happy you will swim away along the soft trails for hours, your imagination alighting everywhere. And if your spirit carries within it the thorn that is heavier than lead --- if it's all you can do to keep on trudging --- there is still somewhere... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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I read about a series of four old books circa the 1930s, "The Nature Activity Readers," and thought Alex would like them. I searched on Ebay and found the first two books in the series. They are good readers, and at the end of each story ask the children some questions and offer things to do and look for in nature. The first book is organized seasonally, and one of the first stories, "The Walking Bird," is about chickens. Alex loved reading it, as I knew he would. He isn't too interested in reading, so I try to find stories... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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One of the things I love about doing my end-of-day chores in winter time is the light. I love the bare trees silhouetted against the grey pink dusk as I fill the firewood shelf we keep in our sunroom. As I close the coop door to keep our hens safe and warm at night I look up and see the moon between a maple and pine tree in our front yard. I used to really dislike winter, but I'm finding it's made easier by enjoying little details like the night sky and the security of a full wood shelf. And... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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One of Nick's favorite foods is chicken wings, so I was excited when I realized I could buy chicken wings at the natural food store to make our own. I was a vegetarian for 16 years, and had never had chicken wings before. I couldn't believe how delicious these are! Homemade Chicken Wings Mix together: 1 Tbl cream of tarter, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp arrowroot powder. Toss 4 lb wings into this mixture. (We find this is kind of skimpy, and double the recipe.) Sauce: 1/2 c coconut oil 3/4 c hot sauce... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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On the green they watched their sons Playing till too dark to see, As their fathers watched them once, As my father once watched me ~Edmund Blunden As dusk fell last night I watched the boys playing on the driveway hill. They had spent hours outside playing~ with the old broken racks of a food dehydrator. First they threw ice chunks at them to break out the middle part. Then when they had a hollow circle they rolled them up the driveway and tried to catch them as they came back down, twirled them on their arms, and around their... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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After my November marathon and foot pain I took several weeks quasi-off, then 4 weeks of total rest from running. My foot is mostly better, and feels good enough to run again. I was able to run 4.5 miles on the trail this morning, and it was just what I needed. The sun was shining and I had the trail to myself to just focus on feeling strong and to enjoy the quiet alone time. I'm hoping to do a half marathon in Virginia the end of April, as long as my foot holds up with increased mileage. My 2018... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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I've been dealing with some anxiety this week, as I take care of things like getting our Virginia mortgage pre-approval (we got the loan amount we wanted, yay!), researching dentists and insurance there, etc. I realized as I sat down to read by the fire at the end of the day that our beautiful book shelves full of books give me a sense of security. That might sound pretty funny, but especially as homeschoolers and (wannabe) homesteaders, books are valuable resources. I even have some novels that I haven't read, and am saving for the low-energy future I envision in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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When the boys stayed with my parents on Saturday they were so excited to see that their creek was frozen and covered in ice and snow. For some reason our little creek doesn't freeze! So they spent lots of time at my parents creek with my mom, walking across the ice, then trying to break it with big sticks. We're hoping that the pond or creek at our next home in Virginia will freeze. Playing with ice can be hours of fun! Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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The farm where we got our fertilized chicken eggs to hatch had a mix of Barred Rock and Ameraucana hens with a Rhode Island Red rooster. We were hoping to get some blue egg layers like the Ameraucanas. Alex came racing into the house yesterday holding a pretty olive colored egg, he's delighted! We were also surprised by how large it is, instead of a teeny pullet egg it's pretty much normal sized! We're hoping our Buffs will start laying again soon, and we could have 4-6 eggs every day. Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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"What people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why are are here." ~ Anne Lamott I love this quote, and the reminder that childhood (and life) can be messy. I am by nature a neat, orderly person. I vacuum every day and have the house tidy before we go to bed. But lately I've realized the kids need to be allowed to make more of a mess. The Legos are usually confined to the basement, but this winter they've been playing with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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The chickens that we hatched from eggs in August are beginning to lay sweet little pullet eggs. Our three older hens had molted very late, in December, so they haven't begun laying again yet either. So although we have 6 hens they haven't laid eggs for a few months. It's very exciting that the 3 new girlies are beginning to lay, and hopefully our "auntie" hens will start to lay again soon too. Alex spends at least an hour everyday outside with the chickens~ talking to them, feeding them greens and dried meal worms, and building platforms like the board... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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Nick and I are celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary this weekend. The boys stayed at my folks overnight so we have some time alone. Uninterrupted time we plan to spend eating our favorite take out food, watching movies, and going out for breakfast. There is no one I would rather spend my time, my life, and my energy with. I'm thankful for the way that Nick makes the boys and I laugh, every day. Nick must really love me, because he even joined me for a 3 mile run this morning before we went to pick up the boys! He... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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I opened Alex's fourth grade curriculum this week to look ahead for planning, and saw this lovely poem, which spoke to me. I hope it speaks to you too. "The Breeze at Dawn" The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep. ~Rumi Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead
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We have a long paved driveway, over 200 ft back from the road. I order lots of things online~ all of our clothes from consignment stores like Swap.com, homeschool books and supplies, vitamins, etc. We get probably 1-4 packages per week that won't fit in our mailbox and need to be brought back to our house. But lately we must have a new mail carrier, who refuses to do that. Last week 2 deliveries were scheduled for Monday. But only one was delivered, the other came Tuesday when it could be crammed into the mailbox. This week Eli's new Soft... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2018 at Adventures On a Suburban Homestead