Well hello dear friends! It has been awhile since I shared what an update from the Brundage homestead….and there has been so much happening. Chad started his studies at Evergreen State College (for real this time!) and I began Avery’s first year of homeschooling. Homeschool has been more of a challenge than I expected, but we are slowly working through it. I feel like homeschooling is one of those things you can get sucked in to and spend hours learning about, reading, researching methods, and planning for. I was certainly overwhelmed after making our decision, but after just reading up on the basics and comparing a few different methods, I decided that it doesn’t need to be all figured out now. We have been drawn to using the Charlotte Mason method as a basis, but really have an eclectic homeschool style going right now with whatever works for us, including using workbooks, unit studies and unschooling. In the new year we are going to take a little time to reorganize our homeschool efforts, create a homeschool vision board, and start a more sincere schedule after the busy holiday season.
We had a really sad event happen in November and we lost our entire flock of chickens. We were in the process of building them a new coop enclosure already, and so continued on with our project, making it even more secure. Of course besides just being practical we had to make the new place look good too! Avery and I painted this sweet mural for the chicks to have a colorful view, even on dark gloomy days.
I am really happy with how the finished project turned out. We used almost all repurposed materials, including wood pallets for the siding, and old doors for part of the wall. The window was found in our garage, along with the wood paneling we used on the inside, and the 2x4s for the frame. I had most of the paint for the mural leftover from other projects. We did have to buy a few things, including screws, the clear roof panels, mounting hardware for the roof, screen doors, and hardware cloth to line the floor inside (so no varmints can dig in to the coop!). The roofing was a great find on Craiglist, and the screen doors and hardware were picked up at a salvage shop. Overall we spend a little more than $300 for the whole thing, which isn’t too bad and is worth having a safe place for our girls.
Speaking of the girls….since we didn’t get the new enclosure done in time before our flock was attacked, we were on the hunt for a few new birds to join the Brundage Homestead. A friend invited us out to her farm and gifted us a mother hen and her baby chicks. It was fun visiting her place, which is out an island in the Puget Sound, so we had to take a ferry to get there. She has llamas, sheep, chickens, and rabbits. The kids loved all the animals! The chickens she gave us are loving their new home. We plan on creating a chicken friendly garden in the area we had been using for the chickens previously, but have some work to do getting it set up and fenced in. So for now the girls are hanging out in their enclosure only and it seems to be working great. We also are trying out the deep litter method this time, since it is a larger space and we have less time available for cleaning often.
The holidays around here were full of time together as a family. Chad finished his classes in mid December, and we took a break from school to celebrate the season. We make cookies, had breakfast with Santa, went to a lighted tractor parade, saw our first Nutcracker performance, created homemade gifts, and made special new stockings to hang.
The best present at Christmas was by far the bunny that Santa brought our children. Meet October, the newest addition to our homestead! He is a 3 month old Rhinelander rabbit. Avery’s face when she unwrapped the paper on his crate was priceless. She named him October after looking at his pedigree paper and seeing that he was born in October. He is a really friendly and sweet rabbit, who is curious and loves people. Right now we keep him in a portable rabbit hutch inside our chicken coop and let him run around with the chickens. They are still getting used to each other; October likes to eat their chick food, and the mama chicken, Lila, likes to chase him around in circles. We are building October a new larger hutch out of a repurposed old dresser. It is turning out awesome and I can’t wait to share when we are done.
Speaking of new additions….earlier this fall I announced that we will be adding a new little one to our family! We are expecting baby #3 in July 2015. Everyone is really excited, Avery is crossing her fingers for a girl, and Sawyer keeps lifting up my shirt and pointing to my belly button saying “baby.”
Thanks for joining me again this month for an update on our life and adventures around the Brundage Homestead. Catch up on what has been happening the past few months here. Do you have or have you ever had a pet rabbit? I would love to hear any advice, just share with me in the comments.