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Ginger’s Big Day

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Almost 19 years ago today, I met my beautiful wife, Ginger. It was 1998, I was still in the Army and had just got stationed at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. A good friend of mine happened to know Ginger and, fortunately for me, introduced us (though it did take some time before she finally agreed to meet me). It didn’t take us long to fall in love and eventually get married just 6 months later. To say that my life was never the same would be an understatement. This woman fundamentally […]


Middle School Years

The scene: An eight grade boy sitting beside a fifth grade boy at the kitchen table.

Tension? Oh yes, there is some tension.

Giggles? Yep.

Uncontrollable chit-chat? How’d you guess?

It’s hard to believe that we have finished two years of homeschooling at the Barker Academy of Higher Learning. After last year’s start, stop, and restart execution of home education, I thought I’d keel over from emotional turmoil. Turns out . . . our decision to keep the boys home was a good move.

We are now preparing for our third year. This year the boys will be studying Rome to the Reformation from My Father’s World. The boys are diligently working through the summer with a few breaks here and there. Tristan is finishing up his Pre-Algebra and we are quickly drawing closer to the final week of Creation to the Greeks.

Although I am the Mean ol’¬†School Marm, I have decided that we all need a¬†break before diving into our study of Rome.

Now, quit the chit-chat and get back to work!

Your favorite teacher,

Mrs. Barker

 


Where’d the Baby Go?

As we were driving to my parent’s house over the weekend, I looked back and saw my baby and Hank, the head of ranch security. Here is a then and now photo of these two guys. Hank was 5 weeks old then and now he is almost 7 months old.


The New Baby

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We have a new little baby boy in our lives. He was born January 1st, 2014 and he bites. We named this little bundle of teeth, Hank. We named him after a character in one of Gavin’s favorite series of books, Hank the Cow Dog. He is a Blue Heeler (a.k.a. Australian Cattle Dog). Before bringing him home, the boys built Hank and Annie a dog house. I only agreed to have another canine if they stayed outside. Since our weather is mild in the winter, this is acceptable. Matt […]


Our Feathered Friends

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It’s been a while since we’ve posted on our new feathered family members, so I figured I’d give an update. They’re all about 8 weeks old now and getting bigger every day. A few weeks ago, they made the move to the big outdoors, otherwise known as “The Big House”, thanks to Tristan. Fortunately for our birds, they live in beautiful Arizona, so even though it is winter, they get plenty of outdoor time. 60+ degree days help them out there, though I’m not so sure how happy they’re gonna […]


Chicken Coop Finale

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I dropped the ball on this whole Chicken Coop Update. The good news is that you already know what the coop looks like. But . . . you haven’t seen the completed coop. It looks fantastic. Great job Matt! And the boys did an egg-cellent job painting. Let me reiterate that there was a lot of painting. Did I mention all the painting we did? Now, we have a nice home for our chickens. I’m a little jealous, but I couldn’t live with a bunch of cackling hens. So, I’m […]



Baby Chicks

The objectives: Get chickens, have eggs, and eat chicken.

The steps: Get chickens, collect eggs, “process” the chicken, and eat chicken.

It seems simple doesn’t it. Well, there is more to both the objectives and the steps.

It is true, we are building the home for the ladies. That part is nearly done, as I’ve mentioned several times. The part I did not mention is this: The Chickens.

It turns out that you actually need to have chickens to lay the eggs and to physically be present to eat. Of course, we did not forget this part of the formula (chicken + coop = eggs & meat). That was the formula, in case you didn’t know.

But where, oh where are we to get such fine, egg laying, meat birds? Why not from our fantastic and generous neighbors? I mentioned them before and I will say it again – they are so nice! They gave us a ton of eggs and lent us an incubator. I still cannot believe their generosity and help. Wow!

Okay, let me back up. I totally freaked when Matt suggested that we hatch our own eggs. I mean, can’t I have a pullet (teenager) first because I have no idea what to do with a baby chick? Heck, I have no idea what to do with a chicken that still has feathers on it! Breathe, breathe, breathe. I’m okay now. So, right now, and I mean RIGHT NOW, we have a dazzling array of chicken eggs that are sitting in an incubator in my garage. I am not joking. I have proof.

I have been told, that if they hatch, we will have some cute, fuzzy baby chicks by the end of the month. I say if they hatch, because there is no way to be 100% sure that they are all fertilized and if so, some may be duds. Anyone remember Charlottle’s Web and Templeton?

I’m nervous, anxious, and super excited.

We have dark brown, light brown, light brown with speckles, light green, darker green, white, and cream colored. Yes, I said green. Green eggs and ham, Sam I am.

Oh, and I will share with you what “processing” a chicken is. Later. Much, much later.

Farmer Girl Out,

Ginger

 


Nearly Finished

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The chicken coop is close to completion. I had considered turning it into a bunk house for the boys, but the desire for chickens won out. Hey, maybe they all can sleep out there. Just kidding. Maybe. Matt has worked really hard at finishing this baby up. He goes straight out to work on it when he comes home. A little here. A little there. Don’t worry. I have more projects in mind to keep Matt busy. See, I told you not to worry. Matt built the nesting boxes for […]


DIY: Laundry Detergent

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I did some digging and found a super easy and economical recipe for laundry detergent. I want to avoid as many additives, chemicals, dyes, and perfumes as possible. Gavin’s skin is pretty sensitive, as well as my own, so I like to play it safe. I’ll be honest, I used to prefer Gain. I love that Gain fresh scent! But that stuff seriously irritated Gavin’s skin and NOTHING is worth going through THAT again. I also do not use fabric softener for a variety of reasons including: a) it’s really […]