Saturday, December 31, 2011

Around the homestead

The holidays are nearly over now! The boys went back to Memphis to be with their grandparents for Christmas, and returned home where we missed them dearly! Even ZB gets out-of-sorts without her brothers at home for so long!

In our great tradition of not having a tradition :-D The boys were welcomed back home with a treasure hunt of sorts leading to a few presents (keep me up too late at night and the rhymes and riddles I come up with as clues are pretty hilarious!) We don't like to associate the birth of Christ with presents and at the same time, there's a huge social pressure for the kids to be getting gifts this time of year. I'm sure it's that way for people even celebrating alternate holidays than Christmas. So we just did a few presents for the boys on days of our choosing, and they are entirely happy with that!

One of the much-loved presents was a new camcorder - the boys had friends over today and have so far spent about 3 hours outside filming mock-fight scenes.

The gardens are getting cleaned up and ready for Spring planting! I did get two beds filled with garlic - a regular California white, a beautiful purple striped one, and Elephant garlic with the huge bulbs. We can't harvest until the beginning of Summer, but it's fun to watch their shoots come up now!

B is also working on building a duck enclosure & chicken coop. They'll be able to live together, and we'll be getting ducks that don't *need* water (though they like to swim every so often), so their needs should be well met here! B is going to build it behind the glass blowing studio... I'm excited to finally see it start to be here! This will hold about a dozen birds.

And finally little ZB is 9 months old! I can't believe she's so close to a year it seems like. I'm trying to give and get as many snuggles as possible, since I know babyhood will soon be gone! She isn't walking yet, though she's just on the cusp! She crawls crazy fast and does all sorts of cute things like shaking her head, clapping, doing a few basic signs, and even rocking on her rocking snail :)

Love to you all - hope you are staying warm this Winter, and I'll try to start posting more often again!


Hello friends! It's been quite a long time since I've updated, and after a call from B's mom (hi!) with a gentle reminder about it, I decided to give an update! Here's a brief timeline since I last wrote. I made a blog post when the boys were either at their grandparents or just about to go there (this is to Memphis, TN) for their great-grandmother's funeral. Since the funeral was so close to Thanksgiving, they decided to just stay with that side of the family for the holiday. ZB and I went to a potluck at a friend's house on Thanksgiving afternoon. When we got home, my email started getting flooded with updates on a dear friend of mine, Karen who went in to liver failure after having battled breast cancer for only 8 months. She had 2 daughters, the same ages as my boys and we've been friends with them in the homeschooling community for about 4 or 5 years.

On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, Karen passed away surrounded by her family.

Her siblings soon set up a website with beautiful photos and info about Karen:

The homeschooling community here doesn't take the loss of a parent lightly, especially since Karen was so active in our community, and her and her daughters were very special to so many of us! We quickly started organizing, and developed a core group of about 7 moms that pulled in amazing resources and put together an auction and benefit night only 3 weeks later!

Leading up to Dec. 20, my life became nearly consumed with putting together this auction - as was the case for all of the women planning it. Preparing for the holidays, homeschooling our kids and continuing my regular work-from-home job is consuming enough, but throw a huge benefit auction on top of it... whew! Hence, blog writing was not a priority.

The event was amazing! A downtown church donated space, local vendors donated beer, wine and food, a caterer donated her time to set up and prepare all the foods, an auctioneer donated his time, and the amount of donated items for the auction was incredible! In fact, we put 100 items in a silent auction, and the other 100 were supposed to go in a live auction, but we didn't even have time to auction off everything in the live auction! We had a great turn out and even went over our monetary goal, raising over $11,000 in only 3 hours! The remainder of auction items are listed for sale on a website that was set up to promote the auction. Our group had two newspaper articles written about our efforts and a TV news spot to promote the unsold items. All of this money is being put into a trust fund for Karen's daughters. We are so pleased with the outcome, and honestly I'm glad it's over - it was wonderful and exhausting at the same time!

The website is:

I will post some photos of around the homestead in a minute, I just wanted to explain my absence first :)

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