This is going to be a weird compilation of random stories, animals and some pictures of the farm I took last week.
I don’t know how other families work. I can tell you how ours does.
When we built our current house on the farm we were trying to fit a lot into a small space. DH and I were talking about rooms and space and what we wanted the house to be like. We decided to do an open plan. It is more than just one big room. Our main floor is pretty much 1 giant room with a kitchen in it.
Really. No dining room. No living room. No den. No family room. No hearth room. We have one room that has the kitchen in one corner, a dining area in another corner and some couches on the other side. There are bedrooms and bathrooms of course, but as far as “living space” is concerned – it’s one big room.
I asked DH if he thought that was going to be OK or if we might want other rooms in the floor plan.
He responded, “There’s no point in having more than one room – we are a herd.”
He’s right. He’s always right. Where ever one of us goes the other 5 follow.
It’s true. On days when I homeschool we are either all upstairs in the homeschool room or all downstairs. If I run down stairs (to switch over a load of laundry or grab another cup of joe) guess who follows me? Children.
Even when I tell them, “I’ll be right back. Stay here. Work on your math while I’m gone.”
It never fails – I’ll turn around in the kitchen, with my fresh cup of coffee and there they are, right behind me…. not upstairs.
We’re a herd.
So, my little “herd” was in the house the other day:
My youngest asked out of nowhere: “What Does ‘R’ stand for?”
AK (youngest daughter) starts to ponder and think about this mystery.
She’s looking around the room, thinking…..
Sudden’t she triumphantly exclaims, “I know!”
“It stands for Apple! “R” stands for Apple.”
SJ (oldest daughter) who has been listening and watching the dialogue unfold, decided to join the conversation.
She said: “How can R stand for Apple? Apple doesn’t start with an R”
Then AK replied: “Duuuh.. Apples are Red.” [ Big emphasis on the “R”]
Here’s another story about my 3rd child (AK, my youngest daughter).
AK had a pet ferret. His name was Frrt. Pronounced: Fert. Every English word has at least one vowel – except for this word….. “Frrt.”
For more on my (short) life with a ferret:
Frrt smelled like roaches, ran around all hunched up and had no idea what litter boxes were for. He was pretty cute and if he didn’t smell so bad I would probably still have a ferret living in my house.
My daughter loved her “big wiener boy” and never minded that he smelled like death.
In addition to her live pet, Frrt, she had a stuffed version that went everywhere she went. Since she couldn’t take her real ferret with her, she toted a stuffed version around everywhere she went. Everywhere.
The stuffed version of Frrt had the same name: Frrt. We had 2 Frrts. One that was stinking up my house and the other one was a stuffed animal that traveled with us where ever we went.
I’m not sure where we were….. but there were other children around & a little girl was talking to AK and admiring Frrt (the stuffed one).
The little girl asked AK, “Is that weasel?”
AK was happy to explain, “No, he is not a weasel. He’s a ferret. If he was a weasel his name would be “Wease” not “Frrrt.”
Since, I am on a roll. Here’s one more short story that happened in my house the other week.
We have 4 children. We believe in work. We are pro-chores. We are into teaching responsibility to young people. I see no reason for me to be running around working my tail off to cook, clean, teach, milk, feed, water, etc, etc, etc while 4 children play video games. Nope. Not in this house.
So, everyone helps. It’s beautiful.
Not only are they contributing and learning great life skills, they know they are needed. Just take one of my children away for a day and see what happens to this well-oiled machine. We all have jobs to do & when someone is missing – they are greatly missed.
The girls help a lot in the kitchen. The boys help a lot with the outside chores. There are the normal mowing, trimming, blowing chores… the garbage duties… and then there is the garage.
The garage cleaning is at the to of DH’s “must do” list. His garage is his temple. Some of you have man caves…. my guy has a garage. The unfortunate part is that our garage is the main hub of all outdoor activity. It stores all of our shoes. It stores all the kids junk (bikes, 4-wheelers, helmets, toys, etc). It is where our outdoor cats eat and drink (and typically hang out). It is the most frequently used entrance/ exit to our home. Right now, our garage is even housing a brooder filled with 3 week old chicks. No, there is never a car in our garage. The garage stays in a constant state of “trashed.”
Because DH likes a clean garage, our oldest son is in charge of this duty. Each evening when all the farm-gear has returned and all the kids have made it indoors for the day, the garage is “cleaned.” This involves: Putting everything where it should be & blowing out all the dirt, dust, straw, hay, chicken grit, cat hair, filth and rubbish that accumulated in the garage that day.
My oldest son (17) was reading when he came across a random piece of trivia that he wanted to share. He exclaimed to everyone in the room,
“It takes 6-10 years to become GREAT at doing something.”
Because we are a “herd” and always together – everyone heard his revelation. This evidently got my kids considering all the vocations they had been doing for over 6 years.
My oldest daughter (who has been helping in the kitchen for most of her life) Proudly announced from the living room, “I am GREAT at Doing Dishes!”
AK (second daughter) decided she isn’t great at anything yet.
And we all decided that my youngest is basically a freeloader.
But My oldest son, who was reading the trivia to us all, enthusiastically chimed in with, “I am the Garage Master!”
Happy 4th of July Everyone!