The Very Best Kids Activities from 2012 Blog Hop

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I have been thinking quite a bit about what post I should include in this year’s “The Very Best Kids Activities from 2012 Blog Hop.” I tried to think about what craft or project Big B and I enjoyed doing together the most. There were many, but when I really started to think about which blog post got the most views, comments, and response from readers the choice was clear…

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A short time ago I wrote a blog post about the benefits of raising children on a farm. The post is still to the day one of my most popular posts. So many people seem to long for the “simpler” life of farm living. I am quite proud of this post and that is why I am including it in this years Best Kid’s Activities blog hop…

The Benefits of Raising Children on a Farm

Best of 2012 Blog Hop with KBN - Benefits of raising children on a farm

Check out all the other wonderful blogs involved in this blog hop!

52 Brand New ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ angeliquefelix.com – The Magic Of Play ~ At home with Ali

B-Inspired Mama ~ Blog Me Mom ~Boy Mama Teacher Mama ~ Busy Kids = Happy Mom

Carrots Are Orange ~ Caution! Twins at Play ~ Coffee Cups and Crayons ~ Confessions of a Montessori Mom

Craft To Art ~ Creative Family Fun ~ Creative Kid Snacks ~ Creative Learning Fun ~ Creative Playhouse

Creative with Kids ~ Cute and Peculiar ~ De tout et de rien: Activités pour le Préscolaire ~ Dirt And Boogers

Edventures with Kids ~ Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ The Good Long Road ~ Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails

Glittering Muffins ~ Go Kid Yourself ~ Growing A Jeweled Rose ~ hands on : as we grow ~ Here Come the Girls

Home Learning Journey ~ Housing A Forest ~ Mama Smiles ~ In Lieu of Preschool ~ Inspiration Laboratories

Inspired by Family ~ It’s A Long Story ~ JDaniel4′s Mom ~ Kids Creative Chaos ~ Kid World Citizen

Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers ~ Kitchen Counter Chronicles ~ Laughing Kids Learn ~ Learn with Play at home

Lessons Learnt Journal ~ Life At The Zoo ~ Little Artists ~ Living Life Intentionally ~ Living Montessori Now ~ Love, Play, Learn

Loving My Nest ~ Mama Pea Pod ~ mama miss ~ Mamas Like Me ~ Mess For Less ~ Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas ~ Momma’s Fun World

Montessori Tidbits ~ My Buddies and I ~ My Little Bookcase ~ My Nearest and Dearest ~ No Twiddle Twaddle ~ Nurturestore

Octavia and Vicky ~ One Perfect Day ~ ourfeminist{play}school ~ Picklebums ~ Play Activities ~ Playdough to Plato

PlayDrMom ~ playful learners ~ playing with words 365 ~ PragmaticMom ~ Putti’sWorld ~ RainbowsWithinReach

Rainy Day Mum ~ Raising Playful Tots ~ Reading Confetti ~ Red Ted Art ~ Royal Baloo ~ Science Sparks ~ Scribble Doodle and Draw

Small Potatoes ~ Smiling like Sunshine ~ Sun Hats & Wellie Boots ~ Sun Scholars ~ Teach Preschool ~ The Educators’ Spin On It

The Fairy and The Frog ~ The Freckled Homeschooler ~ The Golden Gleam ~ The Imagination Tree ~ The Iowa Farmer’s Wife

The Outlaw Mom Blog ~ The Pleasantest Thing ~ This Reading Mama ~ Toddler Approved ~ Train Up a Child ~ True Aim

Two Big Two Little ~ What Do We Do All Day? ~ Connecting Family and Seoul



Growing up on The Freckled Farm: What 2012 has taught us

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It’s been an amazing year on The Freckled Farm. My husband and I purchased this property almost 5 years ago. It was simply a house on a piece of land in the country, and we have turned it into a live, active farm. All of these changes have happened in the last year. We spent 4 years working on making the house what we wanted, living as minimally as possible so we could pay for all of the “farm needs” outright, and having babies. We wanted the timing to be perfect and we have gotten it as close to perfect as possible. We went from all of our plans being on paper to coming to realization at breakneck speed. Once things started happening they REALLY started happening (The Freckled Farm).

Growing up on The Freckled Farm: What 2012 has Taught Us

What The Freckled Farm Has Taught Us In 2012

  1. Construction projects always take twice as long as you plan… which is very stressful when you have animals coming. Whether you are building a chicken coop yourself or hiring someone to do your bigger projects, like building your barn, the timeline will likely be doubled. The same goes for the cost of projects. While it might not be doubled it will always be more than you expect. Dad and Big B starting the chicken coop back in Feb 2012.Growing up on The Freckled Farm: What 2012 has Taught Us
  2. Chickens are beautiful and really personable creatures. I have to admit that I was not always a fan of birds. They are dirty and I have never understood having them as pets, but after a visit to my friend Gini’s farm in 2011 I started to warm up to the idea of having chickens. We added chickens to our farm in June of this year, and I will say that yes, they are dirty little creatures that poop everywhere, but they have really great personalities and we have grown to be very attached to them, especially Big B. When our chicks were only a few days old:Growing up on The Freckled Farm: What 2012 has Taught UsGrowing up on The Freckled Farm: What 2012 has Taught Us
  3. The six months or so that you are waiting for your pullets to start laying take forever. Somehow you can be saying “Wow Little B is almost 8 months old! Where has the time gone?” one minute than turn around and say “Seriously, the chickens are only 6 months old? When are these things going to start laying already? This is taking forever!!” the next… Doesn’t make a lot of sense. When you finally find that first egg it’s a pretty amazing feeling (We’ve got eggs!).
  4. Goats really keep you on your toes. They escape (The Great Escape) and you are constantly trying to make sure you don’t have any weaknesses in your fencing. Ours push past me when I open the pasture gate and make a beeline for the honeysuckle bushes. I have just gotten into the habit of letting them roam while I am doing farm chores. As you can see from the picture, I love my goats:Growing up on The Freckled Farm: What 2012 has Taught Us
  5. Not allowing Big B to do his farm chores is the worst punishment that I can give. This child loves his animals so much that keeping him from them and making him stay inside is a complete nightmare for him. This is a punishment for both of us though, because if he isn’t allowed to do his farm chores it means I have to do it! (Farm Chores)
  6. I learned how to administer vaccinations and managed to poke myself and hit a nerve on one of the goats on the first try, causing the goat to act stiff and uncomfortable the next few days… not my finest moment.
  7. You become very aware of all the noises coming from the woods when you have animals that you are trying to protect, which is why we are now adding a guard dog to our property… Not that our dogs aren’t doing a good job, but I doubt our 17 pound terrier mix and 37 pound basset hound can protect the goats and chickens from a bear or coyote.
  8. Seed catalogs can be a great teaching tool. Last year when I got my seed catalogs Big B was too young to get any real use out of them. I was also very pregnant and I decided to skip the garden. This year we are planning a huge garden and Big B and I are having a blast looking through the catalogs, talking about everything we can grow, how we can cook with them, and the nutritional values of the different fruits and vegetables. (Seed Catalogs)
  9. This year I discovered that my son really has a “way” with animals. They love him and there seems to be an understanding between them. It took him a little while to get used to each new species that we brought onto the farm (Adjusting to New Animals on the Farm) but in time he has developed a real relationship with every one of them. It’s an amazing thing to watch. Growing up on The Freckled Farm: What 2012 has Taught Us
  10. The farm has offered an education for my children that I never really anticipated and I have realized that it will teach them skills that they would not have learned otherwise. (The Benefits of Raising Children on a farm)

Our farm has grown at such an amazing rate in 2012. I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for us.



Our Visit to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens’ Butterfly Exhibit

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This past weekend we visited Butterflies Live! at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. We had heard great things about the exhibit and I have to say that it truly lived up to all of the hype.

I think Big B’s favorite part were the tools that Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens put out to encouraged the children to interact with the exhibit. They had magnifying glasses, a scope that allows you to see like a butterfly, and an information sheet with images so you could identify the butterflies.

Throughout the exhibit they had laid out rotting food for the topical butterflies. There was usually at least two butterflies on each plate and because they were distracted you could get a great up close look.

Finally, there was a station where you could see the life cycle of a butterfly.

Lewis Ginter’s Butterflies Live! runs until Oct 14th. If you haven’t been yet I suggest that you go. It was a great experience!