My husband and I have had some further discussion about homeschooling, and have decided that since legally, we are not required to register our daughter for school until the year she turns six, we're going to hold off on becoming official homeschoolers until next year. That gives us a year to feel our way through this, and figure out what the heck we are doing. :) That definitely eases some of the burden on me, as it gives me plenty of time to research and gather curriculum (as much as is needed for a kindergartener). We're still going to do some unofficial homeschooling, but definitely a very relaxed approach. I just feel like four-going-on-five year olds should still just get to be kids. Thank goodness, because that leaves a little more time for everything else!
My dear husband is working on fixing up the basement to make it habitable... and creating a playroom/schoolroom for the kids. I am counting the days until there is no longer a train table and a sea of toys in my living room. :) The only downside is that whatever precious free time he has will be spent holed up in the basement for the foreseeable future, which means he has less time to help me with the regular household stuff. But I'm quite happy to grin and bear it if it means we finally get a play room!
Last week-end we had a lovely visit with my husband's family in the beautiful Annapolis valley. The Valley is a beautiful agricultural community, and is best known for its apples! I was determined to come home with as many apples as we could fit in the van. We picked some of our own, and bought some, and all told, we have 30 pounds of apples. They weren't certified organic, but they were pesticide-free, which is good enough for me! Do you know how much we paid for 30 pounds of pesticide-free, practically organic apples? $14.00. At the grocery store we would have paid five times that much. And what am I going to DO with all of those apples? Make pies, of course! Lots and lots of pies. And freeze them for winter. With all my spare time. And here's the kicker. I have never actually made a pie. Ever. Not even with a store-bought crust. Even if I wanted to, I'm not sure I could find time to make ONE pie. But somehow I am going to make like 30 of them. If I manage to pull this off, I promise to take a picture. :)
Also, our little Square Foot Garden is producing like mad! We have already harvested all of our radishes, eaten some crisp, perfect sugar snap peas, steamed some beautiful yellow beans, and today, my husband appeared at the back door with two perfect (albeit small) green peppers. We had them in a stir-fry tonight, and they were crisp and green and as flavourful as you could imagine! And there are lots more to come. But I am afraid... very, very afraid... as we planted 16 square feet of tomatoes. And they are all going to ripen at pretty much the exact same time. That is a LOT of tomatoes. So what are we going to DO with all of those tomatoes and peppers? Make salsa, of course! Lots and lots of salsa. (We are big salsa eaters!). So if all goes well, we will never have to buy another pie or jar of salsa again. Well, for a few months, anyway.
So far we have picked (at a U-Pick) and frozen several pounds of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries for smoothies all winter. And made strawberry jam, strawberry rhubarb jam, and blueberry jelly. I want to freeze some peaches while they're fresh and in season as well (peaches in a smoothie are YUMMY!). It's so much cheaper to freeze fresh fruit in season than to try to buy it in the winter. Our goal is eventually to be able to grow and/or freeze/preserve almost all of our food. Luckily I won't have a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and a five-month-old forever. :) Just when I think I can't possibly find room on my plate for one more thing, I somehow manage to squeeze something else in there.
And soon it will be time to get our wood delivered and stacked and then we'll be all set for winter. I love the cozy feeling it brings when all of your hard work pays off, and you finally get to enjoy the fruits of your labour. I look forward to cozying up by the fire and doing some crocheting, and maybe munching on some nachos and homemade salsa. :)