January 22, 2016

Sheep, yarn, winter fun and homeschooling

Here is a picture of the Christmas full moon, peeking through the trees in our front yard.

The chickens in their new inside-the-barn coop. They are loving the new nesting boxes!

This picture was taken before Christmas. The boys made Christmas trees using chocolate, pretzels and various toppings (gluten free graham crackers + marshmallows, crushed candy canes, cranberries + slivered almonds). They had a blast, and they were yummy! We made lots and gifted them to our local friends :)

This wonderful fellow was standing upright before a lot of rain came, but I liked him even more so when he was leaning back and happily peering up at the winter sky! The boys created him while I was working away on my chores. They are quite adept at snowman-construction!

On Christmas day, there was a foamy heart in the center of my cranberry sauce!

Jason's homeschooling charts - mostly letter blends :)

All tucked up in the barn, cozy and warm! Turnip (my black sheep) is rarely in photographs because she runs straight to me for snuggles and nibbles on my sleeve while I try to take pictures!

The quail in their winter-home. They have lots of room in there, and the boys 'decorated' the space in quail fashion, with a play castle, bark tunnels, a bucket full of warm hay, etc..The quail get quite excited when I do the morning and evening rounds, peeping and running to the door. They are very sweet. 

Bean, tomato and noodle soup. Beans, tomatoes, onions and chicken stock all from our homestead!

Blocks of tens and ones that Jason whipped up to help the kiddos.

There was an ice storm and the world was so very beautiful.

I love our barn door.

We'll be getting to this pile of firewood next year, I suppose!

THIS is my very first, very lumpy and crazy-looking skein of handspun wool.
I made it!
Using Turnip's lovely black wool, I taught myself how to spin, and then wrapped it on my niddy-noddy. I cannot tell you how happy I am to finally be spinning the wool from my sheep!
I ordered myself a bran-new spinning wheel to learn on (and a drum carder! I really treated myself!!), as the antique wheel I was gifted was just too difficult for me. 
My second skein is already much more uniform-looking so I am actually improving, thank goodness. Spinning on a wheel has got to be the most cathartic activity I have ever done. I love it.

Jason and Jude going for a walk.

Turnip, Noble, Teapot and Pippin, waiting for their dinner :)

Jude working on his 'marshmallow math'.

And Ollie too!

Ollie is only four, but he wants to do everything his big brother does, and so he does!
Such a clever cookie!

Jude's new favourite thing - cross-country skiing!
He practices on the road, as it is fairly flat and there is snow along the sides. I walk with him and pull Ollie in a sled. Lots of fun!

Jolly Ollie!

Jude has fun whether he is skiing or falling down!

And this is really something - Returning to the house yesterday, we spotted a rainbow seemingly streaming in - or beaming out of - our house. What a sight! On a cold and wintery and totally rainless day, a rainbow! And really not a rainbow at all, because there was no bow, but a line going straight up and down. Beautiful! 



  1. Hello Samantha! Such wonderful snapshots...your barn and homestead buildings stir up some romantic fairy tale ideas in my head. I just love your buildings!!!! And oh, those sheep live in the best barn I've ever seen! So many things to comment on, but I'll just say I love it all. Oh wait...your first skein of spun wool....sooooooo wonderful. I was advised to keep my first skein from seven or eight years ago...such a difference. I also started on a second-hand wheel that wouldn't work for me. I upgraded to a Kromski Minstrel and just love it ~ you can't spin badly on it. What is your wheel? Can't wait to see more! xoxoxo Love the rainbeam.
    xo Jules

    1. Hi Jules!!Thank you! You are so sweet to write :) I love the aesthetic quality of the Kromski minstrel - I went for the ashford kiwi, because of the price primarily, because it's small and I had heard everywhere how easy it was for beginners to learn on. I love it :) I take it to work with me on the weekends and spin there, then pop it back into the passenger seat in my car and bring it back home. I am going to save my first skein too! I have hung it on the wall :) I knew it would come out bumpy and crazy, but I am just so elated that I am actually, finally spinning that it is a great achievement, (which is really something as I am a perfectionist when it comes to creative endeavors). I love our buildings too. The barn does need work, but the structure is good and sound. I love the old-ness of it. When the original farm family built it, they wrote their names into the setting concrete. So wonderful!
      xoxoxo I shall be over to visit in your space! xoxoxo

  2. Your old stone barn is so picturesque in photos. It sounds like you take such loving care of your animals - quite the set up for the quail! How proud you must be of your own homegrown, homespun wool. I will continue to daydream...

    1. Yes, we do take loving care of our animals! They are wonderful and make life so much happier :) xo


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