Monday, May 25, 2015

Manic Mondays #1

We are back!!!  Obviously I haven't been very good at blogging (considering our last post was 2 Christmases ago), but I'm going to give it another try.  "Why!?" you ask with doubt in your voice.  Because I'm a little bit crazy, a lot excited, and I just don't have enough on my plate...hahaha!!!  We have so many blessings in our lives, that I just have to share them.  In hopes to actually succeed at this whole blog thing, I've decided to focus on one post a week called "Manic Mondays" with the occasional bonus posts if I just can't wait until Monday or I get more organized and together (yeah, right).  "Why 'Manic'?" you ask with suspicion in your voice.  Let me refer to the definition taken from my computer:

manic |ˈmanik|adjective1. showing wild and apparently deranged excitement and energy: his manic enthusiasm | a manic grin.2. frenetically busy; frantic: the pace is utterly manic.
So when I was looking for 'm' words to go with Monday, manic stuck out. Both definitions describe us just a little too perfectly. Many would call us wild and deranged. We are most times full of excitement and energy (how can you not be with four children 9 and under). We are definitely frantically busy.
The Crew - Tucker, Titus, Sadie, & Maddox
Just to catch you up for our first Manic Monday. On November 5, 2014, we welcomed our sweet Maddox Troy into our crazy little family that isn't so little anymore.
Rossi--the super sled dog, beating 2-dog teams for 2nd
On March 2014, we added Rossi, our sled dog, into our family, and after training her this past winter, she clenched medals for the boys in the Tok Junior Race of Champions. Tucker and Rossi got 2nd in the 2-dog race (running one dog), and Titus got 1st in the 1-dog race.
We are the champions, my friends!
We moved out to our property where we will be spending the summer in a friend's camper while we build the garage part of our house before the snow flies. We have a sawmill we own with a friend, the well is in, the stem walls are up, and the posts are posted. Stretch built a temporary outhouse (the ground is still frozen where we want it to go permanently).  The summer will be busy with stacking logs and running saws!!!
The construction on the left and camper/summer home on the right.
Fanciest front door I've ever seen on an outhouse.
So, on to our Manic Monday issue, how do you include kids in the big projects that come up (like building a house) when most of the work is not safe or too hard?  I'm finding that is question of the hour at the Blackard Camp.  But God is so good and provides those spur of the moment revelations that get the kids involved and works towards creating a cohesive family that works, plays and praises together.

One such revelation: The Blackard Helper Worker Club (TBHWC)
Our Motto: Helping Daddy Wherever We Can
Our Pledge: We do pledge to help our dad in the little ways we can to build our home.  We will pitch in with happy hearts and flexed muscles.  We will have fun and work together.  We will always do our best.

Todays jobs: moving slab wood and throwing rocks

Stretch's 1st 2x4s
Today, Stretch ran the sawmill for the first time, making 2x4s out of spruce trees we cut down at our property.  For today's lesson in millwork, after first cutting the trees to manageable sizes, you are left with what's called "slab wood."  This is wood with a straight cut on one side, the barked round side on the other and varying thicknesses from one end to the other.  There's not much you can use this for (unless you're uber-resourceful and want to take the time...which we don't) except firewood.  After Stretch got his lumber cut for his shed project, he was left with a pile of wood he needed to move.  TBHWC to the rescue!!!  The benefit and incentive created for the boys and mama is bigger muscles, because these babies are heavier than you think.  We get stronger, and Daddy has 30 minutes less work he has to do...bonus for us all!

We're building more than a home...we're building muscles!
Sadie's job...keep Maddox entertained.
Our second project (which is actually an on-going project) is throwing the big rocks out of the garage/temporary house area so that Daddy can pour concrete.  Now throwing rocks is fun all on it's own, but adding a game to it just ups the ante (and increases the productivity).  How this worked:  We were throwing rocks out of the house into the forest.  If the rock hits before the dirt and stump pile Tucker gets 0 and Titus gets 1.  If it hits the pile, Tucker gets 1 and Titus gets 2.  Over the pile and into the woods, Tucker gets 2 and Titus gets 3.  They recorded their scores in multiples of 5 with tally marks.  When we were done, we counted by 5s to get their final scores.  The (unknown to the boys) side effects of this game, the boys work on their math skills and work out their throwing arm for t-ball this summer!  They practiced adding, skip counting and recording their information.  Homeschool can be done anywhere!  We worked our brains and our muscles, and saved Daddy about 30 minutes of work!
How far can you throw!?! The dancing helps you throw farther.

The Cheer Squad
I hope you will join our Manic Mondays this summer and beyond!  God bless!
Have a great week!!!


  1. Sara, thanks so much for sharing photos and updates of your family and teamwork! What great ideas for math, I love it. I'm so glad you picked up blogging again. I'll look forward to Manic Monday.

  2. So much learning is taking place in the real world for your family and I enjoyed reading about it! Thank you for sharing this week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays. It is nice to have you Sara :)

  3. P.S. We are now following along :)