The deed is done

The ducks are gone…well in the freezer.

Two nights, 4 ducks a night. It took two of us 2 hours each night start to finish. I had to do most of the “dirty” work. He caught them and held them down in the cone. He also helped skin/pluck them. I however got to do all of the “inside jobs” 😝.

I am looking forward to doing something different with the space they lived in. It will take some time for the yard to be usable again. I don’t regret the experience, but I wish we had ended it sooner.

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Banana muffins with cream cheese frosting

My hubby bought too many bananas, that ripend too fast. What to do…hmmm?

I pulled out my go to Better Homes and Gardens banana bread recipe.😀

I put the batter into an oversized muffin tin instead of a bread pan, and checked them at 35 minutes instead of the 50 recommended for a bread loaf. I cooked them for about 37 minutes and I think they came out perfect. Nice and moist in the center with a little crunch on the outside.😉

I had to decide if I wanted to frost them, or just spread some cream cheese or margarine on them. I looked up a cream cheese frosting recipe, and since it was so simple I tried it. I only made half a recipe since I wasn’t frosting a whole cake. I have extra frosting, even after really loading it on the muffins.

The toddler approves of the frosting recipe, which was simply butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla.

He abandoned his “cupcake” after a few licks of frosting, but that’s pretty normal for him.

My twelve year old lightly frosted his own muffin, and enjoyed it. I didn’t get any pictures of that, and I’m sure he wouldn’t have wanted me to post them if I had.😉

Half way there

So, we’ve gone and done it…started a project we were both dreading. 4 ducks have been butchered and frozen. 4 more will be done tonight as long as all goes smoothly.

We started with the named birds, so that we wouldn’t give in and say having only 4 would be easier to care for, or less of an expense.

I am looking forward to not having my property smell like a farm, or needing winter boots to trudge through the “mud” the ducks made in search of eggs. We enjoyed some of our duck raising adventure, but we are done.

Hopefully I will busy cleaning out the duck house tomorrow.😉

Adjusting…

Life sure is different with my son in school, instead of homeschooling.

I have changed my work schedule, so that I can be home when he is dropped off by the bus. I had to give up my unpaid lunch in order to make it happen. I tried my new schedule Thursday and Friday. I didn’t really miss the break at all. I just had a larger snack on my first break, to satisfy me longer. I then took my second break about an hour after I would have normally taken my lunch. The 20 minute break is plenty of time to eat my lunch and call hubby to check in on him and the little ones. Both days I made it home before the bus, but if there wasn’t construction traffic slowing down the bus I may not have. I need to make sure I am ready to leave at 2, instead of 2:05.

Some people might think negatively of me for thinking it is so important for me to be home before the bus. I just want to hear how my son’s day went right away, as my husband hears about it too. I don’t want my son to have to tell the same stories twice. I realize that at some point he won’t be so eager to share how his day went, but I will always have questions for him. “Normal” ones, like do you have homework, and others that relate to his adjusting to the school environment and socialization.

So far, my husband and I aren’t impressed with the amount of work he is getting done. For example: he hasn’t done any real math in his math class after 6 days of school. They have been working on an ISN, or interactive student notebook. All this has shown hubby and I, is that the teacher has control issues. She has the students tape handouts into the notebook, and doesn’t want to see any “guts” or parts of the papers sticking out. She had them decorate the covers, and is covering them with packing tape. Being organized is great, but forcing everyone to take notes exactly the same way, and on the same page/side of a page in a notebook seems like a bit much to me. My son is also in a class that doesn’t really have a title. It seems like a study hall to me, but the teacher asks random questions in it, or shows slides with a projector. It just doesn’t appear to be an actual class. A lot of what he explains about his day seems to be a huge waste of time….which is one of the reasons we homeschooled for 6 years. If he hadn’t had such a rough time this summer, I wouldn’t have put him in public school.

I haven’t asked him about his thoughts at school, and he hasn’t shared any negative ones. I plan on gently asking today or tomorrow. I don’t want to cause thoughts to arise by my questioning, but I also want him to know he can share them with me so he doesn’t feel like he has to hide them or struggle through them alone. Part of his uncomfortableness sharing them is thinking about what others think of him for having “bad” thoughts. So far, he has been told his thoughts are completely normal ones.

We are all getting used to new sleep schedules. This Monday will be my first day being alone to make sure he is up and on the bus on time. My husband basically slept through my actual first day getting my son out for school last Tuesday. I will be here 3 days this week, and I am guessing I will be the one to get up when the alarm sounds. I have an extra day off this week for my Baby’s First Birthday! It will be sad having my twelve year old at school, rather than home to celebrate with us. We don’t really celebrate birthdays, but we could have taken a day trip somewhere. We’ll have some sort of cake, and that will be after my son is home from school. It’ll just be strange not doing our normal type of celebration. The freedom of homeschooling is very much missed. 😦

First “week” of school is over!

So, the first week which was only 2 days of school is finished. Matt did well, considering he has never been in full day public school. He accidentally went to the wrong class both days. He has his math class, then time to go to his locker before his next 2 classes. He is supposed to go to science class after math, but he went to social studies both days.😝

I don’t know how to help him. I thought about making him a note card to remind him, or maybe trying to work on memorizing the two teacher’s names together. He only has 2 female teachers, the math and science ones…maybe he can remember to go to the second woman’s class after the first. We’ll see how he does Tuesday. 

He realized earlier today that he left his jacket somewhere, either the bus or the school. Hopefully he’ll find it. Luckily it was an inexpensive one from Wal-Mart. 

Overall I think I stressed out more than I should have.😉 I want to organize his binder,notebooks and all of his supplies the way I would. I know he needs to learn these lessons himself, but I can’t stand things to be messy or inefficient. His OCD made him color code his folders and notebooks for specific classes all by himself. I may have helped him put those things in order of his classes when they were put into his binder though. 

We just bought him a larger backpack tonight, so we’ll see if he transfers everything to it tonight like I would, or if he waits until Monday…or possibly Tuesday morning. (I’m fairly confident it will be done tonight or tomorrow 😝)

Hubby had to survive Wednesday and Thursday caring for our two little ones without his helper. He definitely missed his helper.
*Update: After our groceries and other items were put away, my son started organizing his school supplies and packing his new backpack.😀 I knew he would.

Stopping to smell the roses

I have to admit I really enjoy watching HGTV, and home flipping programs. I get jealous of spacious homes, and gorgeous bathrooms. Our family of 5 is sharing a 3 bedroom house with one bathroom. Our 3 bedrooms are tiny. Our “master” bedroom is honestly the size of a closet in most of the homes featured on the programs I watch. 😞

My yard however is quite large and over the years we have been working on the landscaping. Stepping outside after watching some HGTV this morning reminds me that I have a lot to appreciate. 😊

Our home and yard aren’t perfect, and having small children means they won’t be any time soon. There are many things I can enjoy though. The rare moments when dishes and laundry are completely caught up on, snuggling with all my boys watching a movie (preferably with my feet up), quiet opportunities like the one I have now to write a blog with the sounds of our pond’s water feature in the background.

I don’t have to be so jealous of what I see on television. Two bathrooms would be AMAZING, but I can live with one. (At least until the babies are out of diapers. 😉) 

Anxiety Sets In

I am freaking out about sending my oldest back to public school. He starts next Wednesday. I worry about every little detail. 

We are sending him on the bus, since we have 2 little ones that would make getting him to school on time difficult, and only 1 good winter vehicle that the person working would need to have long before school opens. So, this all leads to me wondering how that first day getting on the bus at the next to last stop will be for him. Will he have trouble finding a place to sit? Will he feel out of place, will he sit alone, will he be welcomed into a seat…who knows? I want to know how it’s all going to play out, and know he’s going to be ok.

I just want to tag along, to help him with his locker, make sure he doesn’t get lost and to keep him organized and prepared for his classes. I want to make sure he isn’t picked on, or too shy to make friends. I want to make sure he stays focused in class, and trays to do his best. I want to make sure the curriculum is at his level, and that he isn’t being taught lies. 

Having complete control over his curriculum from 1st-6th grade and now giving that control to the state is stressing me out. I hate it! I know he’ll be exposed to things I don’t believe or approve of, but I have to let go. He needs to have more interaction with kids his age, and he also needs some exposure to different authority figures. I think he has had it pretty easy with hubby and I as his teachers. He would question the things I taught, and my reason behind lessons but he won’t be able to do that in public school. He’ll have to learn to do as he’s told without protesting too much. 

I think overall he will do fine, even if it takes a few weeks to settle in. I may be surprised,  and he’ll fit right in on the first day. Maybe his kindergarten buddies will remember him.😉 I know from reading our local newspaper, that many of the kids are still in town.

I’ll be a wreck for the first day for sure.