Friday, November 23, 2018

Life lately

Hey Friends!

There's so much I've been wanting to share with you lately - things I've mentioned in passing here and there but haven't had the time to do a full post about - so today I thought I'd write a brief catch-up post on all sorts of different things.

If I forget to mention something you've been wondering about, please let me know in the comments below or on Facebook.

Our chooks
Lovely shady spot at 3pm in the afternoon. 
The chickens are onto their third raised garden bed already. I've been moving them fairly quickly because I wanted to get each of the gardens planted as soon as the chickens had fertilised them a bit. I'll probably leave the chickens in their current garden for a while, as it gets morning sun and a little bit of light evening sun, but is mostly shaded from the hot afternoon sun, making it the ideal place over summer. I've also attached a small tarp to the top of the chicken coop, which can extend over the run a little way to protect the chickens from rain or sun if need be.

Moving the chickens is pretty easy, as long as I have the help of one or more of my children to lift the coop, platform and run with me. The chickens don't seem too unsettled by all the moving around either, which is good.
Homegrown eggs. 
One of the chickens has been laying every two or three days, and the other chicken doesn't lay at all. It would be nice if they both laid, because that would probably keep us in all the eggs we need, but I'm not too worried. I mainly wanted chickens for the job they do fertilising my gardens and eating pests.

Our garden
Kale and cucumbers. 
I planted telegraph cucumbers in the first garden my chickens had lived in. Unfortunately the ducks then jumped into that garden and ravaged the kale that had been protected by the chicken run, trampling the newly planted cucumber plants in the process. I think the cucumbers might survive, but I planted a couple more just in case. We love cucumbers around here.

I've planted potatoes and spinach into the second garden the chickens lived on. I've also liberally sprinkled it with coriander seeds I saved last year.

The garden the chickens are currently on only has a zucchini plant in it, but that's getting a little bit damaged by the chickens, who seem to like nesting on it. It might not survive the chooks.

Strawberries are going gangbusters all over the show. There are always lots that can be found by anyone wanting to go on a treasure hunt around our yard. J ate the first homegrown raspberries this week and there are blueberries, blackberries, plums, nectarines, peaches, feijoas, apples, nashis, lemons, oranges and mandarins currently budding or setting fruit.

House painting
I spent most of October painting the upper level of our house. It all got done thanks to some stellar weather, and is looking like a whole new home. I went for a single colour palate to keep things fresh and simple. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and thrilled that I won't have to climb up scaffolding again anytime soon.

The children and I went to the Auckland Botanic Gardens this morning for a wander and a picnic with our homeschool group. We listened to Anne of Green Gables on our drive there and the kids were inspired to name all the little woods and groves we came to by Anne-worthy names like The Whispering Woods. We had a delightful time.

J finished his first Good and the Beautiful language arts and literature curriculum this week. He loved doing it and flew through it. He's now confident on all his letters and the sounds they make, so I've purchased another Good and the Beautiful curriculum for him that will help him learn to read. I'm planning to buy him a Math U See curriculum also, because L has been learning so much from the one she's doing and we both find the DVD explanations really good.

I managed to purchase a lot of science equipment last week from a woman who has just finished up homeschooling. I bought a microscope, a bunsen burner, a magnifying glass, beakers and other items that will help us do interesting experiments at home. I think science will be a focus for us in term one of next year, once I get my head around it.

The girls are making great strides on their music lessons. L has started doing group violin lessons once a fortnight, in addition to her individual lessons, and she really enjoys those. S is preparing to play We Three Kings at her Christmas recital next month.

We are going to see Shrek the Musical at the Aotea Centre next week, which should be a fun experience for the crew.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free - Galations 5:1
This week the children and I spent every spare minute doing creative journaling, after a friend showed me her gorgeous journaling Bible at homeschool group. You can check out my friend's pages on instagram. They are stunning.

And that will have to do for this update, as my laptop is running out of batteries and my charger has stopped working.

Emma xx

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