The crew is off visiting their Grandma and Grandpa Oliver for the last few days of their Christmas break, so Mr. Fix-It and I have been doing up the chores in the mornings and evenings while they’ve been gone. I’ll be glad when they get back home! I have to admit, I’m a little out of practice. {smile} Most of the time these days I’m more of a supervisor and emergency assistant than a chore-er for the daily stuff. Our little farm-hands keep the daily chores well in hand alone. But the recent cold snap has made hauling water by the bucket both necessary and particularly unpleasant (the hand carrying the bucket is always freezing!) so I’ll probably keep helping for a while after they get back too.

It's a good thing our "real" camera has automatic stability--my camera phone pictures are turning out SO blurry lately!

The kiddos each have their own rolling duffel that we use when they’re traveling without me. It makes it easier to keep their clothes sorted. They each have this one by CalPack and we are very happy with them!

It was so cold this morning when I let the chickens out, they turned around and practically ran me over trying to get back in the house. They were jumping back in their nest boxes while I was trying to get the eggs out!  Plus Penny was so excited that I was out there with her, she was galloping around like crazy and slamming into my legs while I was trying to walk. A 75 lb dog slamming into your leg while hauling a bucket of freezing cold water across the yard at 7 am–before your coffee–there’s no good ending there, friend. {sigh}

At least Mr. Fix-It fed the sheep and cows. In this kind of weather, the sheep’s outer wool would be soaking wet (and probably a little icy!) and I would be wet to the waist from them smooooshing into me around the bucket and trough. For some reason, Mr. Fix-It doesn’t have the same trouble that I do. He thinks it’s because the animals respect him more…I think it’s because he’s a foot taller than me.

It’s a good thing our “real” camera has automatic stability–my camera phone pictures are turning out SO blurry lately!

In the mean time, I’ve been doing some New Years’ reading about resolutions, and goal-setting, and plan-making. I love this simple, but thought-provoking post from June at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home. I also created a Happy New Year! Pinterest board to collect New Year’s Eve celebration ideas and a bunch of fun goal-setting worksheets for the kiddos. (I think we’ll be using this one from Teacher’s Pay Teachers. It’s a free download if you sign up for a free membership. Or maybe this freebie from Ladybug’s Teacher.) I also love the idea of a 2013 “mini book” for the crew to reflect on last year. I’m not sure we’ll get to this one, this year, but I’m keeping it in mind for next year. New Year’s is not really a holiday I’ve ever spent too much time on before. But we’ll be sitting down together to do a few of the goal-setting worksheets this weekend before we head back to the school year on Monday. {smile}

When we pack the crew, they each get a duffle bag for essentials, a backpack for toys and car activities, and their pillow pets. Then, depending on the situation , their coats and sleeping bags.

When we pack the crew, they each get a duffel bag for essentials, a backpack for toys and car activities, and their pillow pets. Then, depending on the situation, their coats and sleeping bags.

Part of setting goals is looking back over last year and seeing what worked and what didn’t. Well, I spent some time looking back over the year in pictures for a few days. That was fun. Now I’m also reflecting back on some of our other adventures.

Like how we somehow managed to run out of 5-gallon buckets last winter about this time or how lambing season started a little earlier than the year before. And then in February we started planning our garden and I suffered the horror of the mouse-toaster-trauma that ended our use of that particular appliances in our household. Forever.

In March we suffered an unexpected loss in our extended family and I struggled with my grief again for several weeks. I even wrote about 10 ideas for coping and how to keep putting one foot in front of the other. But lambing didn’t stop, and we added ducklings to the homestead! Then we had a new bull calf and I admitted that our family dog has a strange love of cows. Our cool-weather garden crops were in by April and I wrote about helping children be good animal visitors after we took our sheep and chicken show (no dogs and ponies here!) on the road and did a public event.

After Christmas, they love to take all their new toys with them because they don't want to miss a moment of play time!

After Christmas, they love to take all their new toys with them because they don’t want to miss a moment of play time!

May was tough for me, as usual. But farm life kept marching on. I wrote about companion planting in our garden and letting our children grow up slow, and how to have inexpensive staycation fun in Ham Town. Then I posted about choosing summer daycare and we built a new duck pen.

By June the summer was rolling right along and I didn’t write very much over the next couple months because we had our hands full! But I did manage to wrote some of my most popular posts ever, including 6 Tips for Raising Hard Workers and 5 Tips for Helping Siblings Get Along, our 5 Days of Summer Reading series, and 10 Things Our Boys Need to Know. In August I got bit by a sheep, tackled a snake in the chicken house, and spent some time reflecting on how the farm has been such a huge part of growing our family.

I started the fall by purging, purging, purging, as part of my simplifying our life plan and we donated bags and bags of stuff we’ve never missed. We caught a possum by the chicken house, spent some time fixing fences, finished up a Jamestown unit study, and had our most successful lamb harvest yet. I also touched a lot of hearts (and nerves!) when I wrote about how we don’t participate in Halloween.

Our winter has been pretty full too and we’ve been busy with our nature journals this year, collecting feathers, learning about owls, and hosting a Backyard Nature Birthday party. Our idea of “taking it easy” isn’t for everyone, but we did some of that too!

Have you taken a few minutes to reflect on the past year yet? Anything in particular stand out for you? I find it interesting to look back and note how seasonal our life is with the farm as the foundation. Frozen water and lambs in the late winter/early spring. Chores, chores, chores, and gardening over the summer. Lamb harvest, chasing chickens, and school projects taking up most of the fall…do you see a yearly routine around your homeplace?

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Momma Does the Chores and a Farm Year ReCap…the Daily Farm Adventures — 2 Comments

  1. I feel lie the older I get, the more I see my garden as the staple through the seasons…planting, sprouting, growing, harvesting, and preparing for the next season. It’s therapeutic and I love it!

    • Your words are such an encouragement! I’m trying to get there. I love to see the basket full of fresh food we harvested. But sometimes all I see is work, work, work. :/

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