Around the Farmstead Week 1

by Merissa on March 17, 2017

in Fun on the Farmstead

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Around the Farmstead Week 1

I'll admit that I've been a little out of it lately. The past few weeks I've been reading some of my old blog posts and going through some of the things I've shared and I had to wonder a little bit where that girl went. Well, that girl had a few kids (with special needs), moved several times, found out she had an autoimmune disease, and I think life just kind of took over. After reading back through some of those old posts I thought it might be fun to revive a mixture of some of the things that I used to love to talk about...things I'm reading, general happenings around our farmstead, and yummy things we are currently making/baking. I'm not going to promise a new post each week, but I will update when I can.

And I want to hear from you too! Let me know in the comments what you are currently reading, or doing, or making!

Above you can see a picture of my the snow. I'm glad they are hardy little things! Cabin fever has very much been a part of our lives for about the last month and we are pretty tired of the snow. Unfortunately, the weatherman said this week that there is still more to come. That's March in South Dakota for you!


This Week We Are Reading

The boys and I are reading the Magic Treehouse Books out loud right now and we are currently on book 5, The Night of the Ninjas. I've had a hard time finding good "early chapter books" at our library but have gotten a good selection to pick from between Thrift Books and Scholastic.

Right now I'm personally reading Forfeiting All Sanity which has been good. Definitely, makes me not feel as alone in our journey! I'm also reading Off the Beaten Path: The Dakotas. I'm hoping to find some awesome places that we can explore this summer on our day trips and camping outings and even though I've lived here my whole life I've been finding some fun and interesting things in these Off the Beaten Path books.

Pumpkin Waffles

This Week We Are Making

I finally finished off the last of my canned pears this week which I was using my morning "Sunrise Smoothies" so I had to change it up. Now I've got a mixture of orange juice, banana, collagen powder (which has been a great morning protein boost for me plus is helping my hair grow back from my autoimmune disease issues), and whatever frozen fruit I can find at Costco. Currently, it's blueberries. One day this week I made the boys a special treat, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles!

For supper this week we've made some grilled chicken with orange sauce (Have I shared that recipe yet? SO good!), Hamburger Vegetable Soup (which we've been able to eat on for days), and BBQ Meatballs which are always a favorite. I've needed plenty of slow cooker meals this week because we had quite a few appointments. Next week should be a bit slower paced, hopefully.

water beads

This Week We Are...

Learning all about rainbows and colors for the loose preschool lessons that I'm doing with both of my boys. We had a fun Rainbow Water Beads sensory bin, we did some rainbow crafts, and read some rainbow themed books we found at the library like A Rainbow of my Own by Don Freeman (the man who wrote the Corduroy books!).

What are you making, doing, or reading this week?

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7:27 am

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle Halley March 17, 2017 at 9:37 am

I loved this post. Thank you for sharing a bit of your very busy life. Be well sweet friend.


2 Merissa March 17, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Thanks Michelle 🙂


3 Tracy March 17, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Fun post. I hope you share your recipes for grilled chicken with orange sauce and hamburger vegetable soup in the future. Sounds yummy.

I have to buy some molasses but then I want to try making your graham cracker recipe with the gluten free substitutions.


4 Merissa March 17, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Let me know how the crackers are gluten free! I will work on sharing those other recipes soon!


5 Denise March 17, 2017 at 1:27 pm

I have been knitting mittens all winter to donate next fall to kids that need them. Up to 40 pairs now. We (my hubby and I are reading Making Love Last Forever by Gary Smalley. In homeschooling we are working on writing letters and numbers. And making homemade bread and healthy meals.


6 Beth V. March 18, 2017 at 11:49 am

Thanks for sharing your struggles. Life does have a way of challenging the goals we set for ourselves. If you can manage interactive rainbow lessons with your little boys while keeping up with a homestead, you are doing better than you think. I am about to embark on your bacon and bean soup recipe and hope to get some school papers graded. Luckily, my niece and nephew are here keeping my 2 kids occupied. I just finished reading “Cooking for Picasso” which was a great, quick read and a welcome escape from our snow in NJ. Great to hear from you!


7 Nora March 18, 2017 at 11:51 am

From the interesting activities you discuss, can you share progress made with your child’s sensory development?


8 Merissa March 18, 2017 at 4:25 pm

My oldest has come a long way since we started working on his sensory processing disorder, he does see an occupational therapist once a week and then we work on projects the rest of the week. Activities like I mentioned, are helpful for us, as are some other random things that we’ve found that work such as therapeutic listening, chewelry, and following a strict routine.


9 Blessings! March 19, 2017 at 10:09 pm

With or without health issues, I think routines are fantastic! Our family loves routine! *big smile* I wish you all the best as you learn how your boys learn and how to teach them. Evey child is different and we know that in our head but when we are blessed to care for some of our very own full time be they birthed or adopted we learn first hand how different each child truly is. *smile* A schedule and routine works well for our children; ergo, I do my best to keep one, and I find that I am more at ease when I keep to it. *smile* Have a great day! Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more! p.s. Do you home school motisory style? I’m curious is all. *smile*


10 Merissa March 20, 2017 at 8:45 pm

I agree…a routine is so important! We aren’t using a Montessori style but diving more into a Waldorf or unschooling approach. Very hands on for my right brain learners!


11 Corinne Smedes March 18, 2017 at 1:25 pm

Hi there, I just received “Foreiting all Sanity”” to. We have 2 adopted boys, and found out in their teens that they both have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. We hope and pray you have a close group of friends ( we have an amazing church) that has been supporting and helping us. You are not on the journey alone. May you take all your cares to your Heavenly Father, He will give strength. Love Corinne


12 Merissa March 18, 2017 at 4:22 pm

Thank you, Corinne. It’s good that you’ve found a wonderful support group!


13 Amy Higginbotham March 18, 2017 at 8:54 pm

As a teacher, I recommend several series for your boys: My Weird School, According to Humphrey, Boxcar Children, Black Lagoon, Ready Freddy, Calendar Mysteries, Race the Wild, and Puppy Pirates. Hope this helps.

You are such an inspiration to share your lifestyle that most of us only dream to have. I enjoy your canning videos. I’m an amateur at canning and would love to see more videos as your harvest comes in this summer.

What are your thoughts on hand washing dishes? Our dishwasher broke a few months ago, but I’ve enjoyed the simple task and solitude of hand washing dishes. I have a family of five and I work full-time so we take out 2-3 times/week. We’ve been in our home for 25 years and finally purchased a few acres in the country. We are building a modest 3 bedroom, 1 story home. I’m considering NOT installing a dishwasher. I would appreciate any input from your readers.

I’m praying for the health of you and your family and sending you blessings of springtime bunnies and pretty flowers from North Carolina!


14 Merissa March 19, 2017 at 7:26 am

Thanks for those suggestions! We have a few of the Boxcar Children books but I will look into the others. As for the dishwasher…I’m not really big on dishwashers. I have one in our house now but don’t use it often, before this I’d never had a (working!) one before and got along just fine. I feel like it’s almost therapeutic to wash dishes and if I do them right away after we eat our meals they never seem to pile up.


15 Blessings! March 19, 2017 at 10:04 pm

It’s funny because I find it almost therapeutic to do dishes by hand too. It was nice when we used bottles when our two were in need of more than I was making, but once we were done with that season, I prefer to make the time to wash our dishes by hand. *smile* Our son has even taken a turn from time to time even, and with a scrub brush sponge thing we have now with soap in it he does an even better job. *smile* Have a great day. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!


16 Blessings! March 19, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Our family enjoyed only a few of the magic tree house books, but we devoured the adventrues in oddyssey books. They are quick reads, but were good reads all the same. Our son enjoys Paddington books and our daughter likes Ready Set Dogs books. There are also some abridged versions of books like Peter Pan and The Secret Garden or Moby Dick for only one dollar at Target in the fall, that’s where I’ve found them in the past. There’s also Ten Boys and Ten Girls who … did different things I found them at Christian book dot com I think. They are ten boys who… and there are about five books in the series with questions in the back if you are interested. Also the readers from Christian Light Publication or Rod and Staff are good quality stories if you are on the hung you may enjoy checking those out. *smile* Step into reading has some good options in their higher level books but they are hard to find. Also the “who was” books are good. *smile* Okay, that is a lot from this mom who didn’t read a lot when I was growing up but was blessed with avid readers for two growing blessings. *big smile* I hope it helps you find more books to ravish with your boys. *big smile* Have a great day and thanks for sharing what you are reading. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!


17 Merissa March 20, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Thanks for the tips, I will look those up!


18 Angi March 28, 2017 at 7:46 am

Love reading your posts! So much great information! Look for the Henry and Mudge books at the library. Your boys might love stories about Henry and his dog Mudge! When my daughter was 3 or 4 she’d pull random books off the library shelves and found some great stories this way! Also, the Biscuit books are cute. Thank you for taking the time to keep up your blog! ☺


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