smithical

first day of school: highlight on Bible Class

Posted by in family, family fun, homeschooling

the first day of school is always fun, sin’t it? the anticipation the night before of waking up to freshly sharpened pencils, new books, new notebooks, and new things to learn are always high on the student’s mind. rowan had a hard time falling asleep last night. maybe it was the “last-day-of-summer ice cream cone” he had eaten just hours before? or maybe it was the anticipation of TheAlarmClock i gave them for this year’s school. i set the alarm for 8:00 a.m. which i think is way too late,…read more

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squeezing the last bit out of summer…

Posted by in family fun, homeschooling

Ahhhhh….now THAT, my friends, was what I call SUMMER! Hot, humid, sunny, grilling, pools, the ocean, ice cream! SUMMER! The boys and I were the guests of our friends at the Pitsburgh Zoo this weekend. It was perfect weather for zoo-walking…not to hot, not too cold. It got crowded towards the end, but we had the playgrounds all to ourselves at the beginning since we decided to walk the zoo backwards – a brilliant suggestion by my friend Nikki, who guested us there with her son, Danny. We’ve always loved…read more

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reconstructing a lovely salad

Posted by in Uncategorized

when kenny and i worked together in town, we frequented the very close restaurants nearby for lunch. one of our favorite dishes at a local middle eastern eatery was this salad and we’ve tried to make it ourselves several times. i think last night’s version was the closest yet, so i’m writing it down and sharing it with you! Chickpea and Tomato Salad 1 16-oz can chick peas, drained 1/2 white onion cut into chunks (larger than minced..a little bit larger than diced) 2 tomatoes, stripped of seeds, diced 4…read more

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back-to-school traditions

Posted by in family, family fun, homeschooling

i have to admit, i’m a sucker for fun family gatherings, events, or parties. who isn’t? ¬†ask your kids: if every day could be a party, would they disagree? it’s back to school time in this country as the majority of schools start their school year this week. we start lessons on monday and i’m already thinking about how to start with a bang…which translates into PARTY! i love hearing other family back-to-school traditions and how they spend their last day of summer vacation together, or what they do to…read more

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winding down from a week at the beach…

Posted by in Uncategorized

This weekend, we returned (semi-) relaxed from a fabulous beach vacation. It was the first beach vacation we had as a family and was the highlight of our summer! This was our beach. We had the perfect location as our beach access was private and our house on a cul-de-sac. We loved being able to keep an eye on our kids so easily as they were pretty much the only ones running around our umbrellas and to the water in front of us. The boys didn’t sit still once when…read more

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the chicken who thought she was a sheep

Posted by in farm, Uncategorized

do you remember this picture? well…we think that one or two of our chicks believe that violet is “mom.” there are one or two chicks who refuse to go into the to coop at night and instead hang out with violet grazing. we believe that she roosts in the barn, near violet. this picture was taken this morning, before the chicks were let out of the coop. obviously that chick spent the night outside the coop. with the sheep. i wonder if she’ll bawk or bleat?

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homesteading year 4, part 1: expectations

Posted by in earthkeeping, family, farm, food, gardening

for the first year living up here, we did nothing except try to plant a garden (didn’t happen) and had a baby (adam!). that was a lot for us, so we took it easy the fall and winter of our first year. but plans started picking up the following spring and we dove head-first into homesteading our little plot of land out here in the rolling hills of western pennsylvania! that next spring, we ordered and DROVE to ohio to pick up our 15 egg-laying chicks. they were still wet…read more

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homeschool year 3, part 1: patience

Posted by in homeschooling

it’s august, and planning for the school year is in full force. as i sit and look at the mix of curriculum we chose for the coming school year, and as i plan the calendar for our local homeschool group’s field trips and co-op class schedule, i am having flashbacks of entering our first year of homeschooling, just two short years ago. i had a packaged Kindergarten curriculum that we bought that summer and i had been reading through it each night in preparation for the september start date we…read more

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7 quick takes

Posted by in family, family fun, farm

1. my “little” brother is in town. he spoke at a conference in TheBigCity and now he’s spending a few days up here in the boondocks. Rowan, Sawyer and Adam are monopolozing his time by climbing on his shoulders, coloring him pictures and cards, and planning out his entire schedule. Yesterday, they took him to Playthings Etc their favorite store ever, and the swimming pool, where we were only one of two families there (warm and sunny! where were all the people?). today they plan on getting in 18 holes…read more

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the best novel of the summer. so far….

Posted by in books

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith! I was shocked by how much I loved this book. I had been hankering for some history or historical fiction and jokingly suggested another book about vampires (after loving The Historian earlier this summer). Then I remembered this book I aw on the shelves at a local Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago. I requested a copy from the Big City Library (since it’s not in our little country library yet) and when I received it, started to browse the first few…read more

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