August (as well as the end of July) came and went in a flash it seems. Now, here we are starting September and definitely into the fall season. Here’s a run-down of the last month+ for posterity:

Children – Q.’s vocabulary is increasing dramatically. He is the first child we’ve had to take talking in full sentences this slowly. He is very intelligent but is just a “man of few words.” He understands everything, is very industrious and creative and *strong*! He just chooses to communicate with facial expressions and simple sentences still. Hey, he’s the fifth and everyone is good at knowing what a little one needs and interpreting when necessary right?! πŸ˜‰ Anyway, he surprises us everyday with saying something “new” clear as a bell out of the blue. On 7/12 he said his second sister’s name fully rather than his nickname for her. That recieved much attention from everyone that heard it. πŸ™‚ He still refers to everyone in the family by name on his own *except* his 3rd sister…very stumping. When we ask him to say her name, he clams up. When we ask him to say her nickname, he does so although very quietly. He loves her (gives her hugs and kisses readily) and plays with her well so it just must be a preference thing. πŸ™„ On 8/20 he said “wa-da” for water instead of his generally term “da” for either water or cup! That right there is a big milestone. You don’t know how long my dh has been trying to convince him to do that. πŸ˜‰ I will repeat the proper word for him when serving it but haven’t pressed because I know eventually it will come and I am enjoying his “toddlerness” for all it’s worth! Really, do you know any 20 year olds (or even 10 or 5 year olds!) that still use a “baby” term for water?? πŸ˜‰ It will come without me rushing him… πŸ™‚

P. moved out size 3 months and even most 6 month sizes before she was even 3 months old! While W.’s mother was visiting, I unpacked the 6-9 month sizes. They were a bit too big for, oh, about a week or so! πŸ˜‰ At the end of August, turning 4 months, they fit her *perfectly* now! Another couple of weeks and I’ll be getting out the 12 month (!) sizes…??? She seems to be following in her oldest sister’s footsteps in growth rate. We grow ’em big around here! πŸ˜† She has been rolling over both ways for some time now. Pretty consistantly now since W.’s mother was here…so even before that she had caught on…before turning 3 months! She’s in a hurry to get moving I guess. πŸ˜‰ Again, it was hard to tell if she was actually doing it or not on her own because the only times we caught her at it was on our bed. Was it the slope or squishiness of the matress? Finally, I set her up on the floor to play the last weekend of July and *flop* there she went onto her back! When she got over her surprise, she managed to get back onto her stomach. So, it’s “official” although I don’t have a specific date…

E. celebrated his 5th Bday on the 8th of July…but I think I mentioned that in a previous post. πŸ˜‰

And, speaking of children, we found out on 7/25 that we will be an Aunt and an Uncle some time around Easter next year!!! Yay! πŸ™‚ I have no siblings to grant me that priviledge and W. only has his sister…so we thank her for the opportunity! πŸ˜‰ I can’t wait and hope to be as good a one as she’s been! πŸ™‚ I think I’d as for prayer for them some time back… It worked (they aren’t believers though) and we are still praying it will bring good (spiritual) things into their lives.

And, still speaking of children, I have yet to have my last appt. w/ my midwives. Vacations, moving, and postpartum cycle weirdness (for me πŸ˜‰ ) have kept the scheduling of it off. Since I do not see a “regular” physician, I’m hoping to do it soon and have my every-two-years pap and then be done medically speaking until the next time around – Lord Willing. πŸ™‚ I’m latent in many postpartum “symptoms” again – significant hair loss (that I noticed) only occuring around the last weekend of July. So, not sure what’s up. Something similar happened after E. and it turns out it was a estrogen/progesterone imbalance. Progestrone cream worked wonders and it may be the route I’ll have to take this time it seems.

Chickens – We received our last egg 7/19…the last date recorded in the Egg Report I believe. Lacey (Silver Laced) went into a molt heavily. Miriam (Golden Comet) lost a few but nothing much to speak of. Fluff (Buff Orp) lost maybe a totally of 2 feathers…or so it seemed. πŸ˜‰ Really, she didn’t seem to lose any. A stray one here or there but that’s it. So, at the close of August, it’s been over a month since we’ve gotten any eggs and now we are moving into the cold season. My husband has said quite firmly that the chickens will *not* be in the garage this winter…however, we have yet to fix up the shed as a “coop” let alone in any sort of way to keep them warm, happy and cozy…which = egg laying through the winter. All ready the temps are dropping into the low 40’s and daylight is decreasing rapidly. If we don’t get them set up soon, I’m worried they’ll just end up being “glorified pets” all winter. I really don’t want (nor do we need or can afford) that expense right now. They are a little over a year old now and I know that production won’t be what it was BUT… My children don’t want me to discuss the alternative just yet. πŸ˜‰

We had another grand “scare a bear away” adventure on 7/22! The chickens were in their pen close to the house when we heard loud cackling. I was going to ignore them knowing it couldn’t possibly be an egg (pessimest that I am πŸ™„ ) but then thought better of it. I leaned over from the chair I was sitting in at the table to peer out the sliding door at them and my eye caught a big black form slowly advancing through the backyard and very close to the deck. If you know our backyard, you know how very close to the chicken pen that bear was. So, I jumped up, handed P. to M. and went streaking out the door (which was open) hollering and waving my arms. The bear just looked at me like I was crazy but did turn on his heels and amble over to the bushes behind our shed. After trying to determine *just how far* he had ambled, I flipped over the wire, let the birds out and shooed them as quickly as I could toward the shed (bear!). They were very wary and on the alert (considering what had happened to their friends in the spring!) and I really didn’t have to make much effort as they made a bee-line to the shed as fast as they could…all except one! Fluff made a bee-line to the *house*! LOL She wasn’t going toward that bear Oh NO! So, I had to turn around, chase her down (just as she was going in the sliding door!), scoop her up and race with her to the shed! All the while the children are hollering, “Hurry Mom! He’s in the bushes watching you!” The bear had a yellow ear tag and apparently the children could see in bobbing around back there! 😯 I slammed that door shut and beat feet to the house. Whew! Granted, it’s taken longer to *tell* it than it actually took in real life. πŸ˜‰ We think it was the same one who had been here a week before which got close to the shed sniffing the air and almost near the door. Oh yeah, he knows where they are. 😑 Anyway, since that latest incident, we haven’t seen any more…but that doesn’t mean that aren’t out there… Vigilance. Constant vigilance. Not only for the chicken’s sakes but for my most precious treasures mostly!

Weather – The end of July and through the month of August was nearly constant rain. Soggy dreary days. 😦 But, that’s not out of the ordinary. I just didn’t want to admitt summer was coming to a close. *sigh* The air definitely has a crispness about it now. Like I said above, the temps are dropping into the low 40’s at night now. 42° F just the other night. I noticed significant leaf turning on 8/28 (dh’s bday).

House – The house is still what it is. πŸ™„ We are *still* working our way through this re-fi! *sigh* Just some conditions that have to be met and it’s taking forever. Of course, now we are moving into winter again and many of the “fix ups” we wanted to have done (and this would give us the $$ for) aren’t going to get done before the cold and snow set it unfortunately!! Some are really necessities. 😦 We are praying fervently that the whole process will speed up significantly in the next week or so and then we might have a good chance of accomplishing what we need to. Pray with us? Thanks! πŸ™‚

Travel and Recreation – Once again, we did not get out of town the whole summer nor did we go hiking, etc. like we desperately wanted to. Dh just swamped with work and finding it hard to break away. Finances dictate that he can’t much anyway. 😦 But, a quick hike wouldn’t be too much to ask right? Well, it must be because now the family vehicle is broken down again! So, even if he could take a break, we do not have a way to get us all here or there. *sigh* Again, praying “it” all comes together… I really wanted to get down to my parents place to enjoy the woods and pick some berries and do a little fishing and…and… Maybe it’s not too late. There are still a couple more weeks before the snow flies. πŸ˜‰ Dh does have some work he needs to do for them so maybe we can call it a “working weekend” and justify it. Just have to get that vehicle up and running…

Garden – My flowers continued to do well despite the rain. In fact, my gladiola (given to me by a friend for Mother’s Day) bloomed the first weekend of August. The heavy rains and winds we had during one storm knocked it down but I braced it up and now have a second blooming as of this past week. So pretty! πŸ™‚ I got 20 tomatoes off my tomato plant the same friend had given me. Yum-yum! Thankful for every little bit. πŸ˜‰ We got approx. 48 oz. + of raspberries this year. Most we ate fresh but some we had to give to the chickens. Due to day after day of rain and us not venturing out to pick them, many molded right on the bushes. No telling how many we lost on the ground. When we finally did get out there to pick, we saw a lot of them had fallen off due to the winds, etc. Oh well. We did have a better crop of them this year than the past couple. Dh took down a small tree that had been blocking sun on the patch. Hopefully, next year will be just as good and we can get to them before the weather. I have 3 very small zucchinis to pick. Again, oh well. At least they are enough for one meal. πŸ™‚

Business – Although I had cut out most of my personal computer time, I did spend time on it each day working on business stuff. I’m quite happy with the changes I’ve made to my little store and am still in the process of improving dh’s site. I don’t have Photoshop or other “fancy” programs…just working with the basics here…and still on dial-up – I refuse to pay to have a cable line run to our house *just* for the computer – I’ll “suffer” with my second phone line and cheaper service…principles you know?! πŸ˜‰ Anyway, if you haven’t stopped by, please do! Christmas is just around the corner! Consider us for some gift purchasing won’t you?! πŸ™‚

Homeschool – Academics continued throught the summer…just at a slower pace. We completed a couple more “curriculums” we had been working on since last fall and still have a couple more (mostly math) to finish up. We read a lot though – so much we thought our eyeballs would fall out! LOL Nothing beats soaking up that wonderful summer sunshine on the deck with a good book! πŸ™‚ We are going to continue with what we’ve been working on through the end of this year and then plan our new school year for the first of 2006. I prefer to school year round and it works better for me to track things Jan.-Dec. I have ordered the first year of TOG as we are still studying Ancient History and hopefully that will help me determine if I’ve left any “holes” – specifically including other cultures besides the “typical” that are studied. In other words, what was happening around the *world* during this time period not just the Greek/Roman/Middle East areas. If we like TOG, I’ll consider purchasing Yr 2 to do for 2006. I’ve been writing my own lesson plans for the past three years or so and, while I enjoy it, our lives just seem too topsy-turvy right now and it irritates me to no end when interuptions come after I’ve spent “all that time” making the “perfect” schedule! I’m hoping to lessen that by leaving the “schedulin” up to someone else. πŸ˜‰ In fact, I know it will work well as I used Ann Ward’s curriculum during our beginning years and it was so nice to have a plan all laid out so that you could just pick up where you left off when interuptions came. Open and close the notebook and no frustration that you have to go back and redo your plan. πŸ˜‰ I’ve experienced both ways and I’m hoping I like the plan that Marcia Somerville has laid out! Otherwise, back to the drawing board I guess for me… Too early to tell, of course, right now. I’ll report more in our homeschool blog as it works itself out. πŸ˜‰

Well, now that I’ve talked your ears off, I better run and get going with my daily household duties! I hope to be back a little more regularly now so maybe I won’t be so wordy from here on out. See what a blog break can do?! πŸ˜†

Blessings to all this day!
ps – please excuse all typos…i caught several but baby’s hungry so there’s no time for editing… πŸ˜‰