Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Journee's Homeschooling Post

     Hey guys, I'm Journee. I'm the eldest of the 7 kids here at My Barefoot Farm. Some of you may have read my sister Quinn's recent guest post on this blog, and here is mine. Deal is, Mom decided to have us write a couple posts this week to prove our literacy. Being homeschooled, sometimes that is necessary. Just kidding.

     If you saw Quinn's post, you will understand that she is the most artistic child in the house, landing me at #7 on the spectrum. Honestly, I'm just happy Mom gave us some guidelines on what to write about. It helps me reign in my instinctive, uncontrollable urge to discuss things that will bore people, such as fish, or science, or whatever else I feel like talking about.

(Although to be fair, I made 100% on the paper I wrote about werewolves during college this year.)
     Today, fortunately for you all, I'm going to be examining homeschooling and what it is like from a former homeschooler's perspective.

(Doesn't mean I won't post pictures of fish.)
     You guys have seen this kind of post before. In fact, that is very likely one of the reasons you read this blog. When you are starting out homeschooling your children, or are thinking about taking the plunge, little is more valuable than honest advice from somebody who has done it all before. So here I am, your golden gem of knowledge. Although I haven't yet had any of my own kids to homeschool, I can offer a slightly different perspective.
(Prepare to be enthralled.)
(Willow's rabbit, Spike.)
     Homeschooling is cool. No really, it's great and that is mostly all I have to say about it. Of course it isn't always going to work for everybody, and you may not always be able to homeschool, but the best thing about homeschooling is that it allows for innovation ands flexibility. If you have a problem, you have the ability to fix it. This is wildly different from the public school system in which decisions are made by people with nothing to do with your child.

(My pet rat, Annalise. Want to hear another opinionated post from me? I could write about how rats make awesome pets. Or, literally anything else. I'm opinionated in general.)
     Mark that down as pro #1: Flexibility and autonomy. You're in charge of your own child, and of your own schedule. Sick? Need a break? Take a day off, or read books for a week and don't worry about arithmetic. You can catch up later. This is especially great if you have a kid that doesn't "fit" with the system very well. Whether you have a child who is particularly restless, who needs more time to study, or one that gets way ahead of the other students and becomes bored, you can tailor your schooling to your child. We are people, not robots programmed to behave and integrate information the same way.
     For example, I was homeschooled from when I was a little kid until I was 16 (I'm 19 now), and I get bored very easily. With homeschooling I was able to finish my homework quickly and move on to doing things that interest me more, even if it was just homework from an elective class. Had I been forced to remain at the table until all my siblings had finished their homework (or had I grown up in a public classroom with set class times) I would have been distracted and miserably bored. Even today in my college classes I generally need to be doing about three other things at once in order to keep from becoming bored. Part of this is because I'm usually ahead in my classwork. People learn at their own pace, and with homeschooling you can make adjustments so your child finds learning less arduous and more enjoyable.
(Homeschooling enabled me to get a puppy, and train her and take care of her. This is Zelda, little light of my life. She is 6 years old now, I got her when she was 6 weeks.)
     Pro #2 of homeschooling: You get to spend time with your child. This is also Con #1: you HAVE to spend time with your child. No more having a school full of teachers to babysit your kid. Homeschooling is very hard because it forces you to be with your children nearly 24/7, and that is mentally, emotionally, and physically straining. But it is worth it, because children grow up. I wouldn't trade all the years I have had at home with my parents for anything. As a bonus, by spending time with adults and getting more one-on-one attention, you learn a lot of things other kids don't. You know that question that all homeschoolers (parents and kids alike) are asked?
"How does your kid learn to socialize?"
Well, by hanging out with adults. Of course we had friends growing up, and we still have friends! But who would you rather your child spend the majority time with: you (an adult), or a bunch of other kids their age who you don't even know? By spending time with their parents kids learn to say no, and to stay away from things and people that aren't good for them, whereas in school they may not just because all the other kids are doing it.
(Luna and Delcano)
     There are many, many more positive things about homeschooling, but I don't want this post to be too long. All in all, I would not trade my experience as a homeschooler. Had I been in the public school system I wouldn't know 80% of the things I do now, wouldn't had been able to explore my interests to the extent that I have, and very importantly, I wouldn't have started college at 16.
(These are ranchu goldfish by the way, they are really fat and lack a dorsal fin. That one is named Leeloo.)
     So there you have it. I know it's not the most original post. If you want to hear me talk about something my Mom has definitely not covered before on this blog, leave a comment along the lines of "omg, talk about those cute fish" or find some other obscure topic. Because, while I may not be the most artistic in the house, I can sure talk.
(Is that a good thing?)
     Have a good Tuesday everyone.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

DragonCon Costume Project by Awesome Daughter

Hi, guys! I'm Quinn, the second oldest of the kids, and I'm 17. :3
Just in case you don't remember my amazing face, here's a very attractive photo of me and my dad's puppy, from this morning.
Try to make out the puppy, Luna. She blends in.
(Note the sarcasm. She woke me up. I'm not a morning person)

My mom is having me and my older sister take over blogging for the week, so I'm gonna update you guys on what I've been working on!

This post is very picture heavy, so if you wanna just look through all the photos, that's fine.
Last year, my dad, my sister and I all went to DragonCon, in Atlanta. We're planning on going again this year and it's super exciting.
Last year, my dad and I each built ourselves a costume from the video game series (That if you haven't played, you're missing out) Halo. I considered wearing the same costume this year, but some of the pieces don't fit the same now, and It's just all over not the best looking, in my opinion. So I've been working on making a whole new costume, pretty similar to my first one.

Here's a picture from last year, of my first costume.
Here is kind of what I'm going for. These photo were taken off of the game.

Now, at this point I'm about finished with the build. I just have to build the helmet, do some details for my undersuit, and paint everything.
Over all, here's what I have so far.


I built everything except the helmet, out of gray EVA foam mats (Like foam mats that you see in gyms and stuff) and craft foam. The EVA foam is about 1/2" thick, and I use a few different thicknesses (brown 2mm, blue 3mm, black 5mm) of craft foam for detailing and stuff. I draw my own templates and use them to cut the foam out with a knife and hot glue everything together.
I'll show some close ups of everything.
The chest piece, belt, forearms and biceps.
 Chest piece front view.
 Chest piece side view.
 Chest piece back view.

Handplates, forearms, and spine piece.
Biceps and shoulder pieces.
The shoulder pieces don't have everything attached to them yet, because there are some things I can't completely attach until after painting.
Right thigh piece.
Lower leg, and right shoe.

In game, Spartans are about 6'8", and I'm not short, but I am nowhere near that height. I'm about 5'9". I used this shoe to get myself to 6', and I built all the foam around it, and used clips, so that was I could take the actual shoe in and out.
 So here's what that looks like. The shoes lack a lot of details, so they aren't my favorite part, but I may try to carve some details into them before painting.

Here's a couple photos of what some of that stuff looks like on me.

And here's what I've got so far for the helmet. It's still in its early stages, so it's not very impressive looking yet. It's built out of cardstock, then layered with fiberglass resin, then bondo, then it's sanded, then that pretty much repeats until I get all the details on it then prep it for painting, and making the visor.
Weapon wise, I've been building a sniper rifle from the game, out of wood. It's not quite as game accurate as I want, because I should of done a better job drawing the template, but I'm not too worried about it.
 It's not complete yet, but it's pretty close. The scope is being built separate from the rest of the gun, so it isn't attached yet.
 I'm also gonna bring my lightsaber and probably carry it around with my costume on one day at the convention, because Star Wars and Halo mixed is just, awesome.

That is all. ^-^


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Mid Summer Post

I have been busy with new summer projects this week.

First, I finally decided to purchase a book by Natalie Chanin and boy am I hooked!

The Alabama Style Studio has some beautiful clothing designs and the creator, Natalie Chanin, is so generous by including full patterns in her books. I have made  a skirt and a top that look great. I am working on a tank now and hope to add some beading. Once I get proficient with my Alabama Style swing skills, I plan to splurge on some fabric from her shop and make a fall skirt.

Instead of using cotton embroidery floss, however, I used some wool embroidery yarn that I hand dyed.

It has been super hot weather here, and the only way one can tolerate the heat is by swimming. I am not complaining, though, as I still prefer the heat to the cold winter.
The animals are managing fine, but Indiana has brought Athena up a few times for a cool bath and some grooming.

The new puppy, Luna, is doing well, and house breaking is going okay. The little stinker is afraid of: trains, the dark, wet feet, mama hens, curious cows and all things that go *bump* in the night. Take these things out of the picture and she will happily do her business outside.

She is growing fast, as puppies tend to do, and will soon be 4 months old!

Last week we participated in an infomercial filming. To say this was a new experience is an understatement!!!
We were using a multi cooker that will be hitting the market soon and spent a solid week making meals in the cooker. It was fun and we enjoyed meeting all of the people involved in this production.

Last but not least at all......my hometown, Chattanooga, was attacked last week by a terror gunman. Chattanooga is only 5 minutes from my house, and I think it is safe to say that the entire city is still in shock.
I always figured that an attack is something that would happen in a very large city, but sadly no town is safe.

The city has come together to mourn and to pray for all of the victims and families involved. The Chattanooga Police Department did a fantastic job and prevented the shooter from hurting any one else.

Thank you to everyone who has emailed or messaged me on Facebook. We were gratefully not close to the shootings, but were at home safe. Please keep Chattanooga in your thoughts, along with all of the men and women serving the country.

Happy Mid-Week Ya'll!!!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Local Chicken

Let's talk chicken! This past week we processed the pastured chicken we have been raising for ourselves and for others.
These birds lived outside in the fresh air and on grass. They were not injected with hormones or drugs. They ate a non-GMO feed and were treated humanely. They lived their lives as a chicken should live.

 I am always amazed when I read articles such as THIS one about the US chicken companies sending their chicken over seas to China for processing and then back home to sell in your local grocery store.

First consider the fact that commodity farming of chicken (all animals) is obscene. It is truly a disgusting display of what we as Americans have come to accept because we are so very far removed from our food. Chickens are crammed inside a building and fed medications and hormones. Even your free range chickens are not totally treated as *free-range*.

                                              *My chicken processing crew*

Let's consider the processing now. It isn't a pleasant process here in the USA, as chickens are man handles, electrocuted and sliced open by a mechanical knife. The process is so nasty that the birds are chilled in tanks of water with chlorine.
Because Americans want to keep purchasing *cheap* chicken, this process will eventually be moved to China, where workers will process chickens for a mere $1-2 an hour. Slave labor at best. This should upset anyone who has even a slight care for the treatment of people.

We had a couple of families join us on processing day so that they could learn how to butcher and process their own birds. I have seen a movement forming where people who never thought they would raise their own food, are moving to a piece of land and raising their meat. They are getting back to their roots and becoming connected with their food.

Many who cannot move to land are buying local. This year I happily sold all of my chickens and Journee, who decided to raise a batch as well, has sold all of her birds too.
It is NOT cheap chicken.
It is, however, chicken raised as it should: small flocks in the sunshine and on green grass and processed by hand with care and humanity.

Ya'll it has been a busy and hot summer here. Farming and cheese making has been occupying a huge portion of my days, but this is not a complaint.

I have neglected any farm updates because of all the nation news stories. So many controversial and divisive news stories occupy and flood my newsfeeds and I try to steer clear of too many of those *bait and trap* news stories. They exist to divide us. They make us *think* about things that really do not affect us on a daily basis.

The news of our chicken, our food, being sent to China is one topic I will not remain silent over. It's bad enough that we have huge commodity farms to begin with, but over sea processing make sit even worse.

Local farmers are everywhere and they are raising all kinds of food for you to eat. When you buy from a local farmer you are getting high quality food and you are also helping that farmer pay bills.

The best option to fight the abuse of animals in commodity farms is to opt out. Just simply opt out of the system and shop local.  You will find local milk, eggs, cheese, beef, pork, chicken, vegetables, fruit and more!

                                                            *Just harvested Shiitakes*

If you have supported a local farmer this year, I thank you!


This week will be start busy here as we are participating in a product testing for a multi -cooker appliance. To say this has been challenging is an understatement!
I have spent countless hours in Pinterest looking for recipes to test!
After tomorrow I am done!

I will post about the product testing if I can obtain permission from the company!
Until then.......find a local farmer!

Happy Monday Ya'll!!!!

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