Projects and Play


It’s been said:


Here is a look at 10 moments that have been the building blocks of our days at Patchwork Farm this week.

If I had to summarize how the minutes of our summer are spent in just a few words I’d call it,

“Projects and Play.”

1…. The summer months allow our homeschooling family a break from the demands of the school year and allows for more opportunities for play and for tackling some of the projects around the house that there never seems to be enough time for when school is in session.

I work to balance the play and the projects in such a way as to keep the feeling of a “labor camp” at bay and avoid mutiny among my children. The solution I have come up with is to have a set block of time set aside every morning for cleaning/organizing projects. I try to make it fun by :

#1. Picking a job small enough to be completed within an hour so that we can all walk away with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

#2. Work all together. I find that if we all work on a job together, as opposed to sending the kids to work on one task while I work on another, we are more productive, there is less fighting, and we have the opportunity to talk and connect as we work.

One of the tasks we tackled this week was bathroom drawers. The kids all picked a drawer to work on while I organized and cleaned out under the sink.


We purged, wiped, cleaned and walked away feeling a wonderful sense of satisfaction. It is amazing what can be accomplished with 7 of us working for a short amount of time!

. When the job is completed our afternoons can then be open for play.

2.  Rusty returned from Boy Scout Camp! It was wonderful to have him back home. His calm, quiet spirit was missed this week. He had a wonderful time with his leaders and scout troop. While there he earned many merit badges including:

Citizenship in the Nation, Wilderness Survival, Movie Making, Sculpture, Wood Carving, Pottery and Metal Working.


The projects from his sculpture and pottery class.



In his metalworking class he made a fillet knife and an eagle chess piece that he painted.



These were not the only souvenirs he brought back from Scout Camp. He also brought back a body covered in chigger bites. Poor kid was so itchy. The bulk of his bites were from his ankle to his head on the right side of his body. We think he got them during his wilderness survival overnighter when he was sleeping on the ground.

3.   A few weeks ago a refrigerator box arrived via UPS and was left on our porch. It was huge but when we went to move it we discovered it wasn’t too heavy. It was addressed to Toby and had been sent by his mom.

What was in it?

A GIANT ROOSTER of course. 🙂

It was for his birthday and he was thrilled. It now has a place of honor in our living room.


4. This week in Young Women’s the girls learned to make homemade cinnamon rolls (as well as other homemade breads.) They had a lot of fun learning from the Greens and when they arrived home were anxious to share their newly acquired skill. The boys were eager to taste the fruit of their labors, so on Thursday the girls took over the kitchen for a few hours and whipped up all sorts of yeasty delights.


5.   Molly continues to work on her driving skills. She is getting braver and this week took to the highway for her first “over 60mph driving experience.” She was nervous but handled the pressure well. We are getting closer to having a second independent driver. 🙂


6.   “We’re in the Money!” or so it felt surrounded by thousands of pennies, nickels and dimes this week. In the evenings, while watching a movie as a family, we began rolling the coins we have been collecting for the last two years. Years ago we began the habit of saving pocket change. Whatever is loose in our pocket or purse at the end of the day goes into a jar. This then turns into fun money or vacation fund. It always astounds me how much can add up by saving a few pennies at a time.


Once the container is full (in this case we used a capped off PVC pipe) then we begin the process of rolling the coins. It is a fun project to work on in the evenings and all the kids get a thrill of seeing the pile of rolled coins grow and knowing how much we have saved.

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This time around Rusty had the task of going through the quarters, before they were put in rolls, to find all of the National Park quarters to add to  our collection.

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7.   This week we headed over to Ellwood City pool to cool off a little. My parents gifted us with a family membership as a thank you for watching their farm while they were in Michigan. It was incredibly generous and we have so enjoyed being able to go play at the pool!

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8.   On  Monday, after an afternoon of swimming at the pool, we made a stop at 7-11 for a free slurpie. It was July 11th (7-11) so 7-11 was giving away free small slurpies to every customer who walked through the door. The kids were thrilled!

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9.   Then on days we didn’t go to the pool the kids created their own water fun in the yard with a roll of plastic, a hose and some soap. Summer just isn’t complete without an afternoon of  homemade slip-n-slide fun!

10.    And after a crazy week Daddy came home!! Toby arrived home on Monday night and will be home with us for a week or two before he heads back up to Michigan. Everyone was thrilled to see him pulling down the driveway!

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Well, there you go…

A look into the moments that make up a week of our life here at Patchwork Farm.

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