I have been so grateful for quiet time recently. I had some teeth pulled a little over a week ago, and the forced rest afterwards, while a little uncomfortable, was glorious! My brain and body both needed a rest. It was a very intense summer, and the fall is off to the same kind of start. I’m hoping that things might slow down a little, but the reality is that I just switch out one kind of busyness for another this time of year.

The garden is done. Recently, my mom helped dig the remaining potatoes, and the kids helped me pick tomatoes that didn’t get hit with frost. We just have to finish garden clean up, plant garlic, and get the wheat planted soon… hopefully all in the next week.

Working on garden cleanup

The preservation is mostly done. I still have to finish dealing with tomatoes and tomatillos, and I need to make my sauerkraut soon. I also need to deal with the damaged carrots, and I’d like to can some potatoes and squash, but I may wait to do that until sometime this winter when I’m not as busy.

This was from one busy day of canning.

I have to admit, I allowed a LOT of screentime for the kids since the baby was born so that I could get as much work done as possible. If it kept them from slowing me down, I allowed it. They had to do chores and schoolwork as I assigned it, and they helped out with food preservation and harvest as much as possible, but I always got to a point when I just needed them to stop asking for things or getting underfoot while I worked with knives and hot liquids.

As a result, we’ve had to hit the reset button with everything recently. No video games for a month (they normally aren’t allowed to do much at all, but we got pretty relaxed about that with the baby), no shows during the week, except for special circumstances, and the chores and school expectations had to be reset as well. I redid the chore routine because things were getting stagnant and people falling into bad habits, plus, we had to ramp up our schooling because it’s just that time of year.

On top of all of that, I have been taking the lead to help our homeschooling friends set up some group day activities. We had a meeting recently and worked out some of the details. I’m glad to have done it, but I couldn’t shut my brain off for about a week… it consumed my thoughts for several days before and after the meeting. Thankfully, once I was done processing it all, I was able to relax and stop thinking about it.

Scott and the boys have been busy, too. We’ve had a lot of free wood dropped off, and we got a few loads of wood chips, too. They got the rest of the boards up that will support the steel on the new building recently, so all we need to do before winter is trim some boards down on the sides and throw on the steel. Scott helped a neighbor with a few odd jobs using our tractor, and he helped a friend pour a slab for the wood boiler they are getting installed.

The older boys have been helping family, friends, and neighbors with all kinds of odd work. They’ve been working on cleaning out a barn, doing a bunch of yard work, and then whatever work Scott and I need them to do. It’s nice to have some capable hands around! They’ve also helped me plenty with the garden and canning, sometimes just taking things off the stove, or hauling baskets, buckets, and bags into the house.

Adeline has been helping with gardening and food preservation a lot, and she’s done lots of babysitting, too. She’s been a really big help with cleaning, which I am so grateful for. She’s a lot like I was as a kid, where I wanted to work with Mom and help out where I could, but I also just wanted to go off and do my own thing and could just silently disappear. Of course, I occasionally objected.

Paul has stepped up quite a bit as well in the past couple of months. Paul hasn’t always been cooperative, but it seems like some sort of switch flipped when he hit 9. Suddenly he likes cleaning (when it’s his idea), and he can be quite diligent about it. Of course, he’d prefer to be working with Dad over me.

Elijah mostly plays on his own, but sometimes he’ll help out for a while. We’re mostly trying to get him to be a little more conscious about cleaning up after himself and following through with his chores, but I think he’s doing better than some of the older kids were when they were his age.

Gideon has been surprisingly helpful, but sometimes he’s just a little too helpful. He wants to help, and when he’s just not big enough, he gets pretty upset. One of his favorite things to do is to help me fold laundry. He likes to hand me laundry, but his pace is faster than mine, and sometimes that makes for some problems!

Butchering is just a few weeks away for the pigs. Having 8 has certainly been an interesting experience.

I’m looking forward to a week with little on the calendar. I’m hoping to continue to get the house back on track as we keep working on deep cleaning. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll have the energy to get my preservation done. I need to work on some more things pertaining to the homeschool group, and then I have to start getting information together on pig butchering for those that will be assisting us the first weekend of November.

This beautiful baby has caused a little disruption to our routine, but we love it! Isn’t she sweet?

Tomorrow, Scott’s hoping to work on getting steel on the new building we’re putting up, and if I remember, I might be getting some meat ducks that I may be butchering solo! Say some prayers for us!

How is this fall treating you? Don’t forget to let me know!

Love and Blessings~ Danielle

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