Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Coggeshall Farm Field Trip

We had a wonderful day at Coggeshall Farm in beautiful Bristol, RI. Coggeshall is a 1790's working farm and the kids learned so much today. The weather was sunny but it was a little breezy and that made a nice crisp springtime feel to the farm. I instantly fell in love with the place and could so live there...with electricity...and a flushing toilet...and a refrigerator. Okay-maybe I couldn't but the land and everything was just gorgeous.
George, our tour guide, who was dressed in period clothes told us that the Coggeshall Family had 12 children living in this house. I wonder how many to a bed they slept?

This is the outside of the house. Only the front is painted and the sides are shingled.

Across the street from the farm were these buildings that George said were used to smoke fish. Notice the gorgeous Bay in the background.

Our tour moved inside and George showed us how the Coggeshall family would have cooked on the fire and hearth.

This bucket next to the fire was filled with tallow. George said they would have used this to seal their bowls.

It was past maple sugaring time but George had some Maple sugar for the kids to try. We were all surprised how hard it was and he had to chip off little chunks for everyone to try. George told us that it took about 400 gallons of Maple sap to make this one slab of sugar. I guess there was no running to the corner store for shopping.
It looked like a big slab of brownies...but harder.
I loved the pantry.
These jugs would look great in my kitchen.
George showed the kids how to comb the wool.
Morgan with a nice piece of freshly combed wool.
The huge loom in the house. Notice the large twines of braided wool from their sheep. All spun on the spinning wheel that they have there.
The back of the house. The stone walls were everywhere.
This was the blacksmithing shop on the property and the kids watched as George got the fire going and forged his own nails for repairs on the property. Since there is no electricity going to the farm, everything must be done by hand.
They also have to make their own shingles for repairs for the wood roof. We watched George slice and smooth the boards. One shingle took him about 20 minutes to make. It must take all season to repair a roof there!
The kids were able to feed the sheep with hay from the barn.
This is the yoke that the oxen wore and the sythe for cutting hay. I love old farm tools.

The new baby lambs were so darn cute. These two are whispering secrets to their mama.

The oxen were so huge but very friendly. The two of them strapped together could plow a huge field and ready it for planting. That's Tae's head in the picture-look at the size difference.

As soon as the kids brought the hay over, the animals came running. There were two oxen, a horse named Blaze and a donkey, who George tells us, protects all the other farm animals from coyotes and fox.

More sheep lounging in the sun. Can you tell I loved the babies?

Little man taking a break on a stump.

This was all hay loaded in the wagon in the barn. Mama hen is incubating some eggs in this big hay pile. The Roo and his girls in the barn.

The gorgeous view of the property. To the left is the garden with the fencing all made by hand.

The hay barn. I loved the bright green moss on the roof.

The other side of the pasture with the outhouse.

Looking back toward the house and barns.

The homemade fencing they made to protect the trees from the deer. Very cool. I may try to make some of this for our new fruit trees.
After the tour we went to Colt State park for a picnic lunch with some of the other homeschoolers. Gorgeous, fabulous, incredible homeschooling day!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Need Some Warm Weather Inspiration?

It's been cold and rainy here for two days. I want some Springtime. Thought I would post some pictures...some old...some new. Enjoy!

Darby Field Inn New Hampshire.

Easter Eggs.

The Sun.

Shining Light.

Visitor to our pond.
More tomorrow after our field trip.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shopping Sunday

I think weekends should be 4 days longs instead of two. Honestly, there isn't enough hours in the day to get everything done. I did some shopping today at Walmart, CVS and Stop and Shop. I'm finally figuring out CVS. My bill at CVS came to $38.98 and I ended up paying $8.58!

This is a combination of all the things I got free today from Stop and Shop and CVS but I forgot to include the 2 pack of Wrigley's gum that I got free. Glade air fresheners were on sale at Stop and Shop for $1 each. I had 2 BOGO coupons so ended up with 4 glades for $2. Dunkin Heinz brownie mix was also on sale for $1 and I had a coupon for save $1/3 so I ended up with one box free. One thing I've learned is that you don't need to buy the 10/$10 to get the sale price. Since I stocked up very well a few weeks ago I really didn't need a whole lot but hey-free is free when you have a coupon (that's about to expire). Plumrose bacon was BOGO this week($4.99 savings). The PAAS egg decorating kit was $1.99 at CVS with $1.99 in ECB's. I ended up with about $4 more in ECB's for next time. And I'm very stocked on Toothpaste now. Both CVS and Stop and Shop have had numerous sales and I've had really good coupons. I'm also well stocked on Lysol wipes-I've been hitting the 2/$4 sales and have had $1 coupons. Best of all today-my year to date savings is now larger than my year to date spending at Stop and Shop. Our spending is higher than normal for this time of year but we've had a little extra money and have been stockpiling. All In all, I'm pretty dang proud of all my savings. I'm finally getting the hang of this.

The are the peas I planted just a few days ago. They are doing really well and I can't wait to get them in the garden. The husband plowed the garden again yesterday after adding some cow manure to the garden. The soil is very light and fluffy now and looks great with the amendment of chicken and cow manure. I'm hoping for a lush green garden this year with lots of fruits and vegetables to help sustain us thru many months.

Dear daughter got her hair cut short yesterday. She looks so darn cute...and grownup.
We have a busy week ahead-Art Class tomorrow, field trip on Tuesday to a 1800's working farm to see how syrup is made, hearth cooking and some other fun stuff.
Friday night is my girls night out (we call it Diva's night) where one of the mom's from our homeschool group is going to teach us how to make soap!

Lot's of pictures to follow.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Free ECB's from CVS

Just a quick post. Thanks to http://www.frugalrimama.com , I have signed up to be a CVS advisor. The deal is that you fill out a periodic survey for them, critique some stuff like store layouts or whatever and they deposit between 5 and 15 extra care bucks in your account. They provide you with a checklist of what you are willing to survey for them. I don't know how much ECB's it will earn but every buck counts these days.
You can find the information here:
Lastly, I was giddy with delight last night. I had mentioned before that my daughter was in the paper last week for her homeschool art class. A friend of mine dropped off some extra copies for me and I put them aside. Well last night I was showing a friend the article and out fell at least 3 coupon inserts. Look at all the coupons I found. I have a much bigger coupon holder now and was able to give my smaller one to my friend Lori. I even got her started by filling her holder with some coupons and gave her the Dave Ramsey Book, The Total Money Makeover. It's really helping us to get a handle on our finances. A job for every dollar!

Springtime Butterflies and seedlings

We've spent the last few days in a whirlwind of activity. I was able to get some of my seeds started. The Peas and spinach were planted in these cute little peat pots that I found. I used these last year and they worked well.

I am always surprised at how much water they suck up. This tray of pots took almost 10 cups of water.

The three kids had a lot of fun planting the seeds. When the weather gets warm they are always out in the garden with me. Usually it's to steal cherry tomatoes but who can resist them?

Tae was sure to count out just two seeds for each pot.

He also played his guitar yesterday. My brother in law just released his new CD called Put Yourself Out There, and Tae just loves to listen to Uncle Kevin's new CD.

This lovely little sample was waiting for me after I ran errands yesterday. I'm getting a lot of free items thru the mail. Two cups of Dunkin Donuts coffee in the afternoon. I love DD coffee. Could never get a taste for Starbucks but DD....yummm.
This is the craft room at our Meetinghouse. We are very fortunate to have this space for our coop group to meet.

This is the toddler room. The big kids like to play in here too sometimes.
Yesterday our coop made butterflies. We used watercolors on coffee filters and then scrunched them up and used chenille stems for the antenae. The whole craft room was filled with beautiful springtime butterflies.
There were lots of Easter Eggy colors.

And darker geometric designs.

And earth tones with swirlies.

And spirals with springtime green colors.

Even the little ones joined in.

Beautiful butterflies waiting to be hung up.

Flying butterflies in my window.

Aren't they gorgeous?

Beautiful colors with glittery antenae.

Springtime pastels.

More window butterflies.

Some hanging from the center of the room.

Sarah and Kiara sharing a snack.

Butterfly mobile.
This weekend we have to plow the garden again to get it ready for the seedlings.
Last night I was able to spend some time with a friend. She needed some help in figuring out her daughters IEP and what the public school should be doing for her. It brought back some really hard memories of our struggle with Patrick and the SPED at public school. I'll be posting somemore on Patrick's learning difficulties another time. I'm off to bake some bread and make some dough for our pizza tonight.