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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 revived our tradition of Make It Mondays yesterday, starting by baking chocolate chip cookies. Alex asked if he could bake cookies. I showed him the recipe, he gathered all the ingredients and did the mixing, I helped put them onto the trays to bake. I told him tips like that the cookies are done when they lose the glossy look, he liked knowing that. Then we finished the pinecone bird feeders the kids had made and took them outside to hang for the birds. Alex also started working on carving a block to print for cards. He plans to... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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I spent Friday-Sunday at the lovely Wild+Free Farm Village in Highland County for mama camp. It was such a lovely time of renewal and rejuvenation. We talked, had sessions with founder Ainsley Arment, hiked, did the zipline, (braver mamas than me, I had fun watching) had bonfires, and ate delicious food that we didn't have to prepare or clean up. I was so happy to be able to spend the weekend with my PA friend Nicole. I miss our evening times meeting for tea, it was so good to catch up in person. My friend Brit's family lives at the... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We processed 35 birds on Saturday with the help of our dear neighbor friends, our 28 Freedom Ranger meat chickens and several of their chickens and ducks. The day went so smoothly, we were thrilled. The birds were plump and full of good fat, butchering went smoothly, our children all played well together, we enjoyed a good lunch and dinner around the fire. We ended the night sitting on rocks around the fire, eating pizza and smores, sharing stores and laughter and soaking in the beautiful crescent moon and starlight. As I sat there I realized that this is it,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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In my kitchen this week I preserved more pickled jalapeno peppers, the pepper plants in my garden produced so abundantly this year! We've enjoyed roasted pumpkin seeds after the boys carved pumpkins. The boys have been building sweet little fairy houses under our big, old lilac bush: The boys have also enjoyed playing together with Legos this week, and are already talking about what Lego sets they want to get for each other for Christmas. Eli wrote this sweet note for Alex after lunch earlier in the week: The morning sun on the golden mountains was so beautiful this morning!... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We celebrated Halloween this week by taking the boys trick or treating at the college dorms. They loved seeing the college students dressed up, and glimpses of their rooms. Alex was so observant~ he told me he liked seeing sports trophies in their rooms. Halloween night was stormy with a tornado warning, so we stayed home and the boys did a "spooky dance party." Levi was so spooked out by the creepy music and boys in costumes that he jumped up onto the back of the couch to hide behind me, much to everyone's amusement! Luckily the worst of the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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Eli woke up sick Wednesday morning with a cold and sore throat. It's been a good week for slow mornings and hot soup. Delicious tomato soup from "The Prairie Homestead Cookbook" Sweet young Americauna in the nesting box Eli's felt well enough to help paint the fence in the evening Newly painted fence front looks so good, now we're working on the back. Kneading bread on my great-grandmother's bread board Alex is creating a dinosaur timeline, so cool! The weather is predicting rain this weekend, so we'll work on painting more fence this afternoon and evening. It sounds like it'll... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We went to La Morena, a great authentic Mexican restaurant, for a homeschool field trip yesterday. The kids got to mix dough, press and cook their own tortillas. Then we ordered a few things from the menu to try for a morning snack. It was neat to get to be in the kitchen of one of our favorite restaurants. The homeschool field trip group has been a lot of fun. Today we are excited to visit a local sugar cane farm with the group, then have lunch with friends! Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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After a day away yesterday we enjoyed a slow start to our Sunday. I read more of "My Side of the Mountain" to the boys by the fire. Even the pets joined us for a cozy morning together. We got lots accomplished today~ cleaned the bathrooms, did laundry, painted the kitchen and butchered three roosters. I am so thankful that we took the time for a slow start. Woodstove Season is one of my favorites~ I look forward to many more mornings reading aloud by the fire. Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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Yesterday was homecoming at Bridgewater College, so before Alex's soccer game we headed to the college. We watched some of the alumni lacrosse game (where we got to see a player run off the field and into the stands to propose to his girlfriend!) and enjoyed the homecoming festival. We got ice cream at the festival and headed to Alex's game. They lost, again, but Alex is enjoying playing. After Alex's game we headed back to the college for the football game. The football team is undefeated, and added another win yesterday, 53-10. My sweet dad had gone early to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We met our Highland County friends at Braley Pond Friday afternoon. It's a lovely spot between us to hike and play. We walked in the woods around the lake to the opposite end where the kids skipped rocks and played with salamanders for a few hours. We all went to White's Wayside for dinner, our favorite little farm to table restaurant in Churchville. After dinner the kids played chess together. We look forward to having a game day with our friends sometime. This was such a beautiful spot, I'm sure we'll be back often! Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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October has been so warm that I was unprepared for the first frost warning last night. Luckily I checked the weather yesterday morning and saw we could have frost the next two evenings. So after crawling around the chicken run for hours gathering the shredded tarp I headed to the garden. I dug potatoes and sweet potatoes, carrots, golden and red beets, green peppers, jalepeno peppers, tomatoes, dill, kale, bok choy, lemon balm, mint and cotton. The boys came out to help me harvest more squash: butternut, New England Pie Pumpkins and Mrs. Amersons Winter Squash. There is still lots... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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Nick wrote about our recent odd emergency, and put it so well: "The wind last night shredded a tarp we were using to provide shade for our chickens. Turns out a tarp is just woven strands of plastic that will disintegrate quickly. Chickens are super curious and would quickly think those little plastic ribbons were chicken candy. But the strands could get knotted in their digestion. Chickens have an uncanny ability of doing themselves harm. We've lost chickens that pecked at duct tape string or spray foam, so we knew this was a crisis. Millions of bits of plastic everywhere.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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There's been lots going on around here, so I thought I'd share a few photos from our week. Fresh produce from our garden: carrots, lettuce, bok choy, golden beets and tomatoes We've been eating lots of eggs. This lunch was fun because it all came from our farm: egg salad, lettuce, carrots and tomatoes. We spent Friday morning at our friends place in Highland County, marking Maple trees that we'll tap this spring. The woods, creek and camaraderie were lovely! Sunrise over firewood The boys have enjoyed working on painting our workshop building The boys are also working on replacing... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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"I need a break from all the noise. I want to breathe clean air and swim in clean water. I want to sit on the porch of an old cabin and listen to the stillness. I want to be out where things are simple and every breath is a reminder that there is beauty and magic left in this world." ~Brooke Hampton I am enamored with the beauty and magic in my everyday life~ cutting fall blooms for my windowsill, picking a basket of vegetables from my garden, sitting at the table while the boys draw together. Chicken stock is... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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Alex holding Roo2 I think about and enjoy time with my boys each and every day, but I especially enjoy taking time on their birthday to treasure memories. We joked with Alex about his very first birthday, when he was terrified of the single candle in a baked apple. We remembered how he was born at 10:27 a.m., I was 27 years old, and our hospital room was number 27. Sweet brothers reading about and drawing dinosaurs together Lately Alex has been interested in rocks and fossils, dinosaurs and sharks. On the 40 minute drive to soccer practice last week... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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My sweet Alex turned 11 today. We started celebrating with tacos, cupcakes and yard games last night. Then today we headed to the Baltimore Aquarium, so our shark-lover could see the sharks and fish. It was so fun to see the boys captivated by the fish. We were lucky and saw the shark tank during their feeding time, it was so neat to see the sting rays and sharks gobbling up the little fish and shrimp! Instead of birthday presents the boys can chose a birthday trip. Alex asked to go see sharks, and was delighted with a day at... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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"We live in troubled and troubling times when despair is everywhere and the human race seems profoundly lost. It is no wonder that people are flocking to natural lands for refuge from the mayhem, for space to grieve and recharge. Yet respite is not the only, nor even the chief benefit of these lands on the edge, places filled with all manner of elemental and earthy stimuli, most of them beckoning us beyond safety and ease. These places and their wild inhabitants call us to step away from our lonely, civilized comforts and into our place in the family of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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Alex and I went with our homeschool field trip group to Natural Bridge and Caverns today. Eli stayed with Grammy and Grampa, since it was a long day out. He had fun playing games, reading, watching cartoons and walking to the Indian buffet for lunch. Our field trip started with a tour of the natural bridge~a beautiful geological feature that the ranger told us doesn't contain any fossils, because it's been here 2 million years before the dinosaurs! Alex was impressed by that fact. The trail through the natural bridge leads to a Monacan First Peoples display, where we enjoyed... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We've been really enjoying going to sports games at the college~ the women's soccer and football games are our favorites. Saturday afternoon Alex, Nick and I braved the heat to meet my dad for a college football game. Eli got to stay with his MeeMee at Nick's family reunion, where he enjoyed playing football with older cousins. Bridgewater won, 40-6, and we stayed to watch the players ring the bell on Memorial Hall, a tradition that the sports teams get to do to celebrate after a win. I can't say I'm really interested in televised sports, but there is something... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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Alex likes to pick up and hold one of our roosters, Roo Two, for "love lessons." We are thrilled that our rooster is so friendly, I love seeing Alex holding him. Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We went for a hike at Natural Chimneys yesterday to search for signs of fall, even though it still feels like summer. We found yellow Walnut tree leaves, lots of walnuts and acorns, and brown Sycamore leaves. The mile or so of the North River that runs through the park is dry now. Luckily I had read that it's usually dry in this stretch from July-early October, otherwise I would have been even more depressed about our drought. (Our last measurable rain here was 1 1/4" on August 18.) It was pretty neat to walk through the river bed, and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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We got a logging truck of white oak delivered last night, wood that we'll cut, split and stack for firewood for next year. We were thrilled to find this, as we paid over $2,000 last year for mostly green, not-split-small-enough firewood. If we get another load like this it's a couple hundred less, so I think we'll get another one and have it put on the edge of our pasture to process this winter. We'll have lots to do in the next few weeks (or months) to get this wood cut, split and stacked. It'll be good hard work to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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Our meat chickens are four weeks old, and we put them out in the tractor Nick built in the pasture yesterday. It took lots of coaxing to get them in. Hopefully Alex and I will be able to move it together every day, so they have fresh grass. The boys climbed in too, then Mr. Petey cat came to explore. It made for a pretty amusing scene! Our 38 laying hens and 2 roosters are doing well too. Alex gave Roo Two, one of our Buff Orpington roosters, a "snuggling lesson" yesterday. He was able to pick him up and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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I've gotten behind on blogging the past few weeks~ as we've taken some family road trips, our homeschool field trip group started, and I'm still preserving summer's bounty from our garden. I wanted to share for my blog record some kitchen successes. Salsa cooling from the canner, our new favorite granola recipe, and egg shells ready to be crushed up and fed back to our chickens for calcium Eggs baked in cream and butter~ amazingly delicious! (From "The Prairie Homestead Cookbook," love it!) Sausage stuffed butternut squash I've canned 337 jars of food this summer, and still need to pickle... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead
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When I registered a few weeks ago for the Wild + Free mama camp (with my dear friend Nicole!) about an hour from here in West Virginia I met the woman whose family moved here from Texas to be the caretakers of the Wild + Free Farm Village. We decided to meet in person, and got our families together to hike today. We met at the border of VA and WV, to hike to High Knob Fire Tower. It was a strenuous uphill hike to get there, but the views were beautiful! Brit and her family were so nice, and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2019 at Adventures On a Rural Homestead