Homeschool Day #52ish (4.9.21)

Wow! I need to update more, but it’s just a sign that we are super busy and I am very much lacking in free time right 😜! Haha also I must say I wrote this post on April 9, 2021 and I’m just now getting around to posting it (4.27.21)!!! So since we started homeschooling back in January, mine and the kids lives have changed SO MUCH! We restarted the school year in January so my oldest restarted 4th grade and my middle restarted kindergarten, my youngest…well he still runs around like crazy and is a big distraction, but hey at least he is now potty trained and has big sisters to play with ALL DAY LONG (even when they should be doing school). I think we are going to do year round school, and it kind of makes since to start a new school year at the beginning of the calendar year 🤷🏼‍♀️, but it depends on how well the kids do in summer on the assessment tests that are required by the state due in August. *since I wrote this we got the test scores back, and wow I have one smart kid on my hands!*

Most days (unlike today) have been going really well, we are not held to a set schedule and if the weather calls for a school day outside than we move table and chairs to the outdoors and have cows and chickens as our classmates. If the school day calls for more play than work, well at this age it seems just as important to use your imagination as it is to put pen to paper, and if we are just not feeling it, because even little ones need mental health days, than we spend our day cuddling, playing, or whatever my children might need. Because even if they are being “shielded” from the outside world with the drama of COVID-19 going on it still affects them.

Yesterday (4.8.21) we restarted our Thursday adventures back up and went to Fredericksburg to visit the National Cemetery and a Battlefield. The kids had a blast and history was brought to life! I loved seeing my oldest E read the signs to her siblings, I loved seeing history through their eyes as if for the first time, I loved that they saw the layout of a house that is MUCH smaller than ours and wonder at how people lived back than, not to mention the amount of people who lived in the house! Our house in only 1,000 square feet with 5 people, so in todays time it is a very small house indeed!

We had a picnic in the van with cheese, crackers, and fruit, oh was it a feast! The kids loved it from the 10 year old to the 3 year old they had a blast. I also let them each pick something out from the gift shop. Let me tell you that might have been the highlight of the trip 😜 I was/am super proud of little H because he wanted a book! WHAT 3 YEAR OLD BOY WANTS A BOOK!? MINE!!! The oldest E, wanted a quill and ink set, she couldn’t wait to get home to try it. She is pretty good at writing with it, but her favorite thing to do it draw. My 6 year old C asked for a Park Ranger doll that has now become her most favorite toy. I found a new book series that the oldest is in love with and have discovered so many more books in the series that I can get online.

Later that day after a short time at home for naps and a little bit of R&R for me. We headed over to Fort Germanna. If you are local and reading this, that is a nice easy walk by the river with lots of good sand spots for the kids to play. I have to say I slept well that night! Both of these where a good way to start our Thursday adventures back up!

More to come, the next week we headed to Jamestown it was a little over 200 miles round trip 😳

~mary E. J. mason

Homeschooling end of week #2 with a little bit of photography 01.22.2021

I have been wanting to get behind the camera again, I miss seeing things through the lens, I have missed sharing the world as I see it, I have missed seeing my life in black & white. So I am working on an ongoing photography project documenting our homeschool days. Some photographs will be posted with my blog posts but more will be posted in my projects

There are two people from my past that I have to thank for telling me it’s ok to start back into looking behind the camera with the things that are going on in my everyday.

I am now an official homeschool mom, and it’s tough, if you cut me i think it would just be coffee and wine instead of blood to flow out of my veins, did I tell you my 3 year old is potty training… it has been a very long 2 weeks.

It has been worth every minute. My 5 year old is no longer chewing on her hair, something that stated with this school year, my 9 year old isn’t talking back to me as much as she was before, my 3 year old has someone to play with all day. I’m finding i don’t need an escape from my littles like I have in the past…

School is very hands on a perfect way for little ones to learn they get to see, touch, and hear what they are learning, they are no longer sitting in front of a screen all day.

I am starting a photo project, about homeschooling, lets see where it takes me, lets see what my children will teach me, lets see where more inspiration will come from.

~mary E. J. mason

Show Entry… 01.22.2021

So I entered my first show in what feels like forever, I’m sure if I looked back at my last one it would only be a few months. Three photographs where entered and one got in here is the link to that post “Chicken Wire” Fine Art Photography. These two are the photographs that did not get in the show, I am rather happy with them so I am sharing them with you.

“Sunrise” 8×10 Color Photography taken with Fuji X-T2
“Cow Skull” 8×10 Color Photography taken with Fuji X-T2

Welcome to… “The Your Name here” est. ????

https://etsy.me/3jcpBCC

Custom made embroidery, welcome home gift with couples new last name and the year they became a family.

This is the perfect wedding gift or anniversary gift for that special couple in your life who seems to have everything!!!

Please specify up to 2 thread colors and 2 letters.

I use DMC so if you have numbers please let me know.
If you do not have DMC colors please list the colors you would like, a sketch and color palette will be sent to you before stitching

Letters will be in brown or black unless another color is asked for, flowers and leaves you can chose colors please let me know in the comments. See above info⬆️

Since this is made to order please allow 1-2 weeks for the finished project once you approve your colors

Product is backed with felt and signed and dated, and ready to hang on the wall.

Finished product will be mailed in bubble wrap and a padded mailer, please remember that this is hand embroidery so there may be some minor imperfections, and the finished art work will not be identical to the one that is pictured.

Since this is a custom order, I am unable to accept returns
Spot clean ONLY

I live on a little homestead with lots of rabbits and chickens as well as an animal friendly home, with dogs, cats, hamsters, chickens, goats, ducks & guinea pigs & a rabbit

every purchase helps me feed them as well as my three growing children
💜💜💙

Kid life
4H life
Mom life

~mary e. J.mason

6.10.06 – 7.27.20 you are so loved, you will so be missed

We set ourselves up for it don’t we. We give our hearts over to heartbreak. We know it’s going to happen, we know that in the next 10 years or so if we are lucky your heart will be broken with a love that you can never understand a love that you can never explain. A love that truly had no drama involved, no trust issues, no hurt, no anger, just straight out LOVE. The worst part? Most likely you are the one who has to make the choice… that is the most heartbreaking part of it all, you are the one who has to see the pain and decide that they can no longer live with it, you are the one that has to pull the trigger. And yet I would do it all over again knowing how much it will hurt, knowing that in a month I will most likely be expected to no longer morn her, so I will have to hide the sorrow, hide the pain.

14 years ago I made my first big adult decision I brought home the sweetest little puppy, a jack russell beagle mix. It’s a pretty big deal to bring a puppy home, after having babies I can say that raising a puppy is almost like having a newborn at home, you are up every few hours to put them outside, you have your choice of listening to them cry because you are kennel training them at night, or you let them come and sleep with you, I picked sleeping with me, her little whimpers got me every time.

Oh sweet girl how you will be missed! Not only by me but by your best friend, how do I explain to him that you aren’t coming back, how do I tell him to stop looking for her…

I will take a drink for you tonight, I will post random photos of you as I come across them because I have way to many to share, I don’t want to share any of you as an older dog, your pain is not how I want to remember you, I want to remember you as the hyper puppy who always wanted to chase the squirrel and catch the ball. I will remember when you growled at my pregnant tummy the first time the baby moved. How you would always get so excited when my parents came to visit, how you smiled when you where super excited, and yes she really did smile. So many memories are flooding in my mind right now, so much love,

So run sweet girl, run through the fields, sit on my daddy’s lap and kiss him nonstop like you did whenever he came to visit. I will always remember you, you are my “first born” my first “baby” you thought me to love more so than the dogs of my childhood because you where 100% mine, you picked me when you where 6 weeks old, i saw you the day you where born.

So run sweet girl run, you are free, you are loved, you are missed…

One last thing sweet girl… “SQUIRREL”

1 3/4 hours later

H (my 2 year old) is finally asleep, well not finally maybe in his eyes he is finally asleep, we or I am working on cutting out his afternoon nap in hopes he will sleep though the night, so really its 6:30 the earliest I will let him go to sleep. My husband just started a movie with my 9 & 5 year old so naturally I tell him I’m going to bed after I do all my chores with the animals (it was my idea to have them so I am the one who gets to take care of them). We finally had a storm today with a really good downpour, and I’m so happy because, well that is one less thing on my to-do list before going to bed, I no longer have to water the garden. So i feed the rabbits make sure they have enough water and make sure all the kits made it though the day (they did THANK GOD). Next put up the chickens, it’s a little early so I have to convince them with a little bit of food, not to hard, chickens are put up for the night…

I shouldn’t have looked at the garden I should have averted my eyes and just gone inside to go to sleep…

THE WEEDS oh my goodness the weeds where taking over and look at all the fresh veggies that need to be harvested! There is a nice bit of rain happening, enough to keep the heat and the bugs away, and the ground is ripe for the picking, so of course that is what I do, I start to weed and pick all the vegetables both of them could have waited for the morning, but hey why put of what you are able to do, and now in the morning I can enjoy my coffee just a little bit longer… I hope… that all depends on when the kids wake up.

So after the weeding and the harvesting I’m covered in mud so i take a quick sponge bath, I should really take a shower but… I really do want to go to sleep, and than I see all the things that still need to be done inside, I opt to just take care of the animals, yes more animals. 3 rabbits, 7 kits, 3 dogs, 1 cat 2 guinea pigs, and a hamster I feel like I’m forgetting something I hope not, maybe it’s the kids. So everyone is feed i hope and I know that my girls are going to wake me to tell me they are hungry because they didn’t eat dinner and I will give in because I JUST REALLY WANT TO SLEEP. So as I’m doing my last “chore” my 5 year old looks at me and says “mommy I thought you where going to bed” oh sweet girl I am you just have no idea what all comes with going to bed when you take care of the household…

So fingers crossed that my husband can do it, and fingers crossed that my little man sleeps though the night, fingers crossed that the new puppy doesn’t poop in the kids room like he loves to do in the middle of the night, we have no night terrors, and no wetting the bed… the house is still a mess even though I cleaned it about 10 times today, the hamper is still over flowing, and the kids are finally getting along, maybe because they are in front of the tv for the first time today…

Here’s to tomorrow, where we get to do just about the same thing all over again…

~mary e. J. mason

One crazy week on the homestead

Wow!!! Last week on Monday (7.13.20) this beautiful mama rabbit named Roxanne had her first litter (to me) of kits. She had 4 total one on the wire, the rest in the box. The kids and I where on our way to the pool after visiting our local post offfice, and i remembered that I had forgotten to check everyone’s water 😳 not good with the heat that we are having here in Va right now🥵. So we took a detour back to the house, and I am so glad that we did because this lady had her kits and was trying to get one into the nest box.

Two days latter my lovey Mittens had her very fist litter of kits 7 total and a first time mama, she had them all in the nest box and i was lucky enough to watch her give birth to all her kits, I wished I could tell you how long it took, but time was the last thing that was on my mind!

My dream of raising meat rabbits for my family and close friends is coming true, FINALLY, we got the rabbits back in March before everything went crazy and had to wait a while for them to be old enough to breed, we have to wait another 18 weeks before the new kits will be big enough for meat, but with how cute they are it’s really hard to think about that 😳

This is going to be a long post, so sorry.

Here comes the sad news… ALL of Roxanne’s kits have died because of the EXTREME heat that we are having here in the good ole VA. My very first litter for my attempt at growing/raising my own food died, talk about gut wrenching, I’m not going to lie I cried. I know that I was not planning on keeping them and they where more than likely going to end up on my dinner table…but it’s like when you see the baby deer on the side of the road…it never got the chance to live.

I’m sad, but I’m not going to give up. What might be worse is when I removed Roxanne’s nest box, I’m not sure she knew that her last kit had died, she seems fine now and I will try again later when the weather cools off.

I will try to get better at posting both the good and the bad… baby boy is up from his nap and needing me, more next time

~mary e. J mason