Wintery things

Here it is May and I am still posting about January!  I gotta get going on this…

It was a rainy winter here, the rain really pours when it comes down.  The boys grabbed umbrellas and ran outside during this downpour.  So I had to grab the camera.

J continues to work on reading.  I never realized how incredibly complicated this whole process of learning to read was …  Now I know.

January snow and friends with a cabin beckoned us to Tahoe early this year.  We had a lovely time.

Back at the ranch, K continues the hard work with his helper, fixing up the Victorian, also known as ‘ The main house’.  Here, they have doors from the upstairs drying from being newly fixed and painted.

The front porch works well as a spot for stuff to sit before it heads to the dump.  A LOT of stuff has moseyed its way to the dump from here…

Here is the main house, the original Live Oak Ranch.  That’s where I came up with the name for this blog.

We had a goal of getting things to Stage 2.  I don’t know how many stages there will be in all,  but we feel strongly that we’ve moved beyond  Stage 1.   A lot of things have changed on the place.  A party was a good incentive to get things dialed in better than they had been up till this point.  We had some friends over, a first for an inside gathering there in my time here.  A good time ~ good people, good food, good music.

It was bee time again.  Our friend J the bee guy came over to check on some hives.  It’s always fun when he includes the boys, too.

He suspected there was either a disease in one of the colonies, or the queen had left.  The boys got to be detectives and check out the hives up close.  If there was a sticky substance inside the cells, then they were diseased.  Fortunately, there didn’t seem to be anything wrong and it just seemed the queen had moved on.

The dead bees were a treat to the ducks and chickens.  L was eager to dump the treats into the coop.

The bee project lended itself well to a lesson on bees and math.

The wax became a fun candle dipping project (again!) for the boys.  They LOVE dipping candles.

A  review of the 6 times tables was prompted by the 6 sided hexagon cell.

Here are the candles from the week, along with sachet bags we filled with dried herbs with our Friday Friends group.

Papa has become the master bread maker, giving J pointers on measuring.

K’s grandmother had more things than any human being could possibly have.  Whittling tools are no exception.  Anything to do with wood captivates my boys to no end.

It only took about a year for J to finish this wool lamb he started knitting while still in second grade at the Waldorf school.  He did not hesitate one bit that this little lamb would be a present for Papa when he finished it.

Here are two boys with branches and clippers.  No end to the things they end up with.

Oh, and those swings.  We have quite a few.  They sit unused for weeks, then all at once, they are back in action again.  K used an arborist sling shot to put throw lines over the tree branches to make the swings one year for J’s birthday.  They were and continue to be a huge hit.

The days little brother is with us, we do more fun, crafty things.  This was a watercolor project, experimenting with mixing colors to eventually cut into Valentine’s.

Sometimes things appear completely out of the blue, without my involvement.  This was one such time.

An unusually nice evening and being light a bit later prompted a romp in the field.

Perfect for rolling around in.

I saw a blog (again, Nature’s Nest) where they made watercolor flashcards for math.  I was inspired to do something similar, only with vocabulary words.  I thought it would be fun to write the word in white crayon, and when the boys painted over them, the *secret* new word appeared.  This was especially fun to include little brother L in, too.

The words were associated with the study of mountains we were doing that week.

Bee guy J stopped by again, this time with bee suits the boys could borrow.  Time to get closer than before.

And the kids were a bit sillier, too.

The smoker held special interest to my younger boy, who silently took over the job of smoker guy.  He was super focused on it.

Of course, the sweet rewards of having bees.


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