Welcome Ostara

I love this time of year, the welcoming of all things cute and cuddly: all things pink and fuzzy.

Just like Yule, where we celebrate all month long, we begin celebrating Ostara, Eostre, or Easter, with Fat Tuesday through the spring equinox into Easter. We make it last as long as we can.

We started with these super easy, super cute beeswax egg candles.

We saved our egg shells back from the chicken scraps over a couple days (sorry chickens), and then colored the empty egg shells. I especially like the way the inside of the shells stained a more intense color than the outside.

Then we propped up little wicks in the shells, and poured the melted beeswax in the empty shells. I was surprised by how fast the wax began to set up. The whole project took less than an hour and everyone is so proud of their eggs.

We love the smell of these cute little things as they burn.



There is Nothing More Spring Than . . .


Anticipation,or being enthusiastic, is an emotion involving pleasure, excitement, and sometimes anxiety in considering some expected or longed-for good event. (Thanks Wiki)

Nothing more Spring like than the anticiaption of a new life, and we deserve this,especially at the end of such a hard, cold winter. This winter has been especially hard for the Trochesset Tribe, emotionally, spiritually, and physically, so these new petite lives are a much needed pick me up; a celebration of life. As one door closes, another door opens.

The day or two before a birth is just agonizing. . . . the contant checking, rechecking, and checking again . . . the wishing and praying and hoping . . . the excitement, the worry, the anxiety.

And then, the first signs of labor; there really is a little life about to emerge. The constant need to find a comfortable position to rest; a moment in the pain and pleasure.

Then, a nose, a couple hooves . . . and it's out . . . rub, rub, rub. . . breathe, breathe . . . BREATHE!

Life is good!

She has the mamma instinct.
The twins are marked almost the same.
The baby girl (Doe)

The baby boy (Buck)



The Winter Blues

We are beginning to wonder if this winter will ever end. Don't get me wrong, I love being out sledding and building snowmen but not in 0 degree weather. And now our frozen, melted-snow, now ice rink, lane is making winter even more bothersome.
So what is a person to do but dream of warmer days. In fact, we have been doing this all winter long. We pull out last years calendar, where brief notes open the flood gates to wonderfully fun memories.
Feb. 24th 2013. Went to Saguaro NP east with mom and older kids. Neat Drive.

Translation - Mom and I decided to drive up to the Saguaro National park on the East side of Tucson. John didn't want to go, so Johnny and twins stayed with daddy at the camper. I remember going through the nice visitors park and then taking the drive - the drive is what this place is all about. The drive is a one way snakey path through the cactus, river beds, and rock hills. We ate snack at a pinic table in the warm sun and climbed rock formations.

What this means on a cold Iowa winter night. 7 excited kids jumping around, laughing, smiling, arms flapping, as if they could fly themselves there. All rattling off things about the giant saguaro, who lives in it, how old saguaro's are before they get their first "arms", the rock mountain we climbed, and the rare fan shaped saguaro they saw. Our livingroom was transformed into another place, sunnier, brighter, and much warmer for over 30 minutes.
But as the kids get ready for bed, and the excitement high fades, I am left, for a moment, sadder than I was before. I want to hook up the camper and be gone - leave and never look back. Alas . . . I turn to the fridge, my motivation center where quotes litter the front, and quickly remember how lucky I am to even have these warm memories with my children. Life Is Good!


What Happened?!?!?!?!?!?!

We arrived home in May 2013, and all the sudden roots grew from our feet; we planted ourselves at home. Several reasons for this but the main one was for Johnny, Ciara, and John and I to get some relief. Johnny and Ciara both need some more specialized care and having extra hands around to help sure does make life a bit easier. So, we resigned ourselves to staying on the farm for a year. Right now with this nasty polar vortex dipping too far south for our comfort it doesn't seem like a very smart choice. The whole family has been daydreaming about rock climbing and the hot springs.

I feel like this decision killed our creativity. In reality it hasn't. We find plenty of fun things to do in the snow like make snow candy, real snow cones, snow men, and digging in the snow banks. But I feel like I am always trying to make something up for the next day or the next week. When we are traveling I never feel like that - we just do whatever is going around us, and when we run out of things to do we move on to another place. Does this make me ADHD? I am beginning to wonder.

Because of this winter and our travels last year, I think I have come up with a new workable plan. A plan were John and I get a break, yet keeps our adventurous family alive.

Starting this spring, we are going to travel for 2 to 3 weeks at a time, and then come back to home base. This will allow us to have the best of both worlds; I hope. The kids can be in some monthly activities like 4-H and stay in contact with friends and family, and John and I get to have regular date nights :) Then when we are recharged, we can go out on the road again.

I know this means we will be doing a lot more road time to get to where we want to go, and less meandering from place to place but I guess we have to save something for retirement; right?

Now my daydreaming is turning to the future - the next big adventure. I am going to use these next couple months to plan our summer adventures instead of planning my garden (only because it is already planned).

Let me know what you are planning for the summer of 2014!


Good Clean Fun

I get asked a lot, "What do your kids learn at 'school' if you don't have a curriculum?" and I often say things like, life, or how to get along, or some other ambiguous answer. We pretty much use the unschooling method of teaching - every waking hour is a teaching moment, so I am often teaching every minute of every day; no summer vacations here.

Today the children learned quite a lot as I sat back and watched their ingenuity. Pictures speak a thousand words.

A day in the life of the Trochesset Tribe.

And believe it or not - the car and the kids were clean by the end of the afternoon.

Now what do you think they learned?



Successful Trip

For those of you who know me well, this is not new news, but I am not the most organized person. I am a work in progress and for the most part I am progressing :) I use to pride myself in being a fly by the seat of my pants kinda girl; however, I have found with 7 kids, and on the rare occasion when I have planned ahead things go so much better.

I am always trying to read the latest organizational book but I recently came across an olde but goody. Getting Things Done by David Allen, and it makes a lot of sense, and best of all - it is working. I started implementing it before we left on our annual camp gathering (PSG), and we are half-way though the week and I can honestly say this book has made our week go soooooo much smoother.

To start with, it has made me make some goals like what did I want to get out of the event. So, I sat down with John before hand and we each came up with our "If I can do _______ then I will have had a successful PSG". I was so surprised at how this simple step made me think differently about how I prepared and packed for the trip.

John said he wanted to be able to drum, as much as possible, at the bonfire circle, and I made sure I geared things for him to have late nights and quiet mornings (well, as much as one can with 7 little ones in a 24 foot trailer).

My goals were for the kids to have fun, make new friends, and have healthy meals without a lot of cooking, and I did a lot of baking ahead of time, prepped all the veggies, and had a meal plan in place. Then I made sure we set up a nice safe yard area in front where the kids could play, hang out, and I could keep an eye on them.

And now at the end of the trip, I can report John got to drum every night, the kids met some great new friends (and so did I), and we are all still smiling at the end of the week. There might be something to this organizational stuff, and although I did not inherit my moms organization gene this old dog is learning some new tricks.


Follow by Email