June Challenge

And the winner of the “Teach Them Diligently” watercolor print is:

Gail Mathes!!!!

Congratulations, Gail!  You should get an email from me later today!


Oh dear friends.  This parenting thing just doesn’t get any easier.  We had a packed weekend, and some of my kids just struggle with that.  Silje and David had their piano recital, and did fantastic.  We met with our small group.  Knut helped me finish the garden.  It’s just gorgeous right now.  I’ve never seen any of our past gardens look this good.

And yet, my kids still long for screen time.  It’s become the epic battle.  They are only allowed 1 hour a day, but lately if we are too busy for them to each have that hour, because we are too occupied being at parks or the library or at recitals or a friends house or even a birthday party…we have meltdowns.  Coversations of every waking hour is around computer games.  It’s become an obsession with more than one kids, to the point where bike riding and exploring the woods is scorned.  1 hour a day is all they are allowed.  That’s it.

It’s turned into tantrum throwing, insult slinging, kicking doors, chore-time standoffs, all around headaches.  It needs to stop.  Again.  I don’t want to be a stickler about screen time, but I will be a stickler about one thing: active play.  The kids must be able to do some active play, and if they cannot, then screen time goes.  You can argue over the benefits or evils of televisions and computers, but no one argues that getting a kid active and deep in imaginative play is bad.  I insist that it happens.

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Rainy Day

I’ve been working hard to get the garden “in.”  With blistery hands and sunburn on my neck, and aching muscles, I’m almost done.  We are mulching the garden entirely this year, and it’s been a little extra work in the startup, but I’m hoping it will pay off.  Sheet composting is another word for what we are intending.

I’ve also had another project in mind.  Knut and I have been wanting a headboard for our room since we were married.  Somehow a little piece of wood has never taken priority in the budget.  At one point, I fell in love with an insanely expensive Pottery Barn canopy bed, and saved for about 2 years, but when I started to get close to enough money, Knut actually measured our room.  The canopy was about 4 inches too tall, and there was no point in ordering it.  It wouldn’t fit.

This year I happened upon a garage sale, and found this gem near the back:


It’s a really old four-poster, just in need of a little love.  I bought some Annie Sloan chalk paint, and plan to paint it as soon as possible.  Knut reminded me that the garden is more urgent than some home improvement project.  He’s the responsible, steady one, who evens out my crazy “let’s do this project!!” tendency.  I am fairly certain I drive him crazy.

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Growing Up




The pullets have been moved out to the chicken tractor, which gets moved around our yard everyday to get fresh grass.  These chickens will be our new layers.  Our old layers, 5 of them left now, could use some support in the laying department.  A fox took all of last year’s pullets, so we are making sure these little girls don’t wander free until they are absolutely full grown.  Last year the fox stole the pullets when Missy was tied up.  The full grown hens ran to Missy’s protection, but the little ones didn’t.

So now these new chicks (now pullets) have outgrown their brooder in the barn, they get to hang out in the chicken tractor where our meat birds usually fatten up.  Our meat chicks haven’t arrived yet this year.

The avian flu is becoming a big issue in our area.  The large turkey factories near us have it, which is very deadly to their birds.  USDA inspectors came by our place a few days ago to test our flock.  They were going from farm to farm, checking for backyard poultry.  We were told we will only hear from them again if they get a positive test, and we haven’t heard.  I’m not worried.  I am eager for these girls to start laying.  I’m sick of buying eggs.  5 old hens don’t provide nearly enough for our family.

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