The Old Bailey House

Welcome to the September 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Home Tour
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have opened up their doors and given us a photo-rich glimpse into how they arrange their living spaces.

house in trees

I love my house, I knew from the instant that we walked in approximately 13 years ago that this was where I wanted to live. It has character and style. It’s has soul and a beautiful history about it.
It was built in approximately 1890. The mayor lived here and there was a store in the front corner of the yard. There was a post office in the area behind our house and the town doctor lived next store. Sadly all of that is now gone. The glory days of the house didn’t end, however. Ed Bailey, five-time All-Star professional baseball player was raised here. That is when the house was given its name, The Old Bailey House.

The view out our window.

Nothing is even and there are no clear corners in the house. It is crooked and leaning, but I like it that way. We don’t have many doors, except for on the bathroom,(which is kind of a necessity). There are hardwood floors throughout the house, with lots of crown molding and tin looking ceilings on the bottom level. All of the bedrooms are upstairs, again with no doors. There are two old fireplaces, and large wooden beams highlight the kitchen.

In recent years, however, my house has become a great source of frustration. Old houses require a lot of patient upkeep. Since I’m a single parent now, I have kind of dropped the ball in that area. I guess I just don’t have the know how to keep up with it all, so as a result this last year has been filled with many growing pains. It’s been a struggle to find competent workers that do quality work at a decent price. One man just ran away with $600. of my money, never to return. There are also such a wide variety of opinions on what needs to be done, that it often leaves me frozen with indecision.

Our dining room

This year I’ve had to spend a lot of my focus on our kitchen. I’ve had to replace the kitchen countertops twice this year. I first used bamboo counter tops, but they molded almost right away, so then I went with a ceramic tile. We replaced the floors. There were over 5 layers of flooring underneath. I was shocked when we found the most beautiful, thick hardwood had been covered up with linoleum.

The process took a lot longer than I was originally expecting. Our dining room was filled with boxes for months. I was so thrilled when we were finally able to put everything back into the kitchen and use our dining room again.

stove backsplash

The backsplash behind the stove is a lot of small tiles. I had new cupboards put in around the corner from the stove. By the way, don’t you love the old stove. It’s so cute. Old homes never have enough storage, so I also had the large cupboard to the left of the stove installed. It has large pull out drawers which work perfectly for pantry items.


Do you love old homes, or prefer the convenience of a nice, new home? My parents love new homes and having everything perfect and neat. I am content with crooked and cute. You?
Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon September 9 with all the carnival links.)

  • Being Barlow Home Tour — Follow along as Jessica at Being Barlow gives you the tour of her family’s home.
  • A Tour Of My Hybrid Rasta Kitchen — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama takes you on a tour of her kitchen complete with a Kombucha Corner, a large turtle, her tea stash, and of course, all her must-have kitchen gadgets. Check out Hybrid Rasta Mama’s most favorite space!
  • Dreaming of a Sisters Room — Bianca, The Pierogie Mama, dreams, schemes and pins ideas for when her younger daughter is ready to move out of the family bed and share a room with her older sister.
  • Building a life — Constructing a dream — Survivor at Surviving Mexico-Adventures and Disasters shows you a glimpse inside the home her family built and talks about adaptions they made in constructing their lives in Mexico.
  • Why I’m Sleeping in the Dining Room — Becca at The Earthling’s Handbook welcomed a new baby but didn’t have a spare bedroom. She explains how her family rearranged the house to create Lydia’s nursing nest and changed room in spaces they already had.
  • The Gratitude Tour — Inspired by Momastry’s recent “home tour,” That Mama Gretchen is highlighting imperfect snapshots of things she’s thankful for around her home. Don’t plan to pin anything!
  • Our Home in the Forest — Tara from Up the Dempster gives you a peek into life lived off-grid in Canada’s Yukon Territory.
  • natural bedding for kids — Emma at Your Fonder Heart shows you how her family of 3 (soon to be 4) manages to keep their two cotton & wool beds clean and dry (plus a little on the end of cosleeping — for now).
  • I love our home — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings explains how lucky she feels to have the home she does, and why she strives so hard to keep it tidy.
  • Not-So-Extreme Makeover: Sunshine and Rainbows Edition — Dionna at Code Name: Mama was tired of her dark, outdated house, so she brightened it up and added some color.
  • Our little outdoor space — Tat at Mum in search invites you to visit her balcony, where her children make friends with wildlife.
  • Our Funky, Bright, Eclectic, Montessori Home — Rachel at Bread and Roses shows you her family’s newly renovated home and how it’s set up with Montessori principles in mind for her 15-month-old to have independence.
  • Beach cottage in progress — Ever tried to turn a 1980s condo into a 1920s beach bungalow? Lauren at Hobo Mama is giving it a try!
  • Conjuring home: intention in renovation — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama explains why she and her husband took on a huge renovation with two little kids and shares the downsides and the ups, too.
  • Learning At Home — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling helps us to re-imagine the ordinary spaces of our homes to ignite natural learning.
  • My Dining Room Table — Kellie at Our Mindful Life loves her dining room table — and everything surrounding it!
  • Sight words and life lessons — The room that seemed to fit the least in Laura from Pug in the Kitchen‘s life is now host to her family’s homeschool adventures and a room they couldn’t imagine life without!
  • A Tour of Our Church — Garry at Postilius invites you virtually visit him in the 19th-century, one-room church where he lives with his spouse and two kids.
  • Preparing a Montessori Baby-Toddler Space at Home — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the Montessori baby-toddler space she’s created in the main living area of her home along with a variety of resources for creating a Montessori-friendly home.
  • The Old Bailey House — Come peek through the window of The Old Bailey House where Erica at ChildOrganics resides with her little ones.
  • My New House Not-Monday: The Stairs — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl shows you her new laminate stairs in her not-so-new-anymore house.
  • To Minimalist and Back Again — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how she went to the extreme as a minimalist and bounced right back. Read how she finds it difficult to maintain the minimalist lifestyle when upsizing living space.
  • Our Life As Modern-Day Nomads — This family of five lives in 194 square feet of space — with the whole of North America as a back yard. Paige of Our Road Less Traveled guest posts at Natural Parents Network.


A Pets Role in the Home School

Welcome to the July edition of Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Pets and children.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting. This month our participants are sharing their thoughts and experiences with pets and children! Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


We have a lot of pets. We have fish, reptiles, chickens, rabbits and a dog. We had a pot-bellied pig, Percy, for over 12 years. Pets are an important part of our family. They contribute so much more than we may first realize at first glance. As a homeschooling family, I feel sometimes that our house resembles a zoo. Have you ever felt that way? We may have caterpillars hatching in one corner, a hermit crab in another and tadpoles on top of the dresser. Pets offer a lot in the way of education.  Let’s examine some of the ways pets can benefit a homeschooling family.

“A house is  not a home without a pet.”- Unknown

Learning Opportunities. Whether you’re learning about the metamorphosis of a tadpole to frog or a caterpillar to butterfly seeing it first hand is the coolest way to learn it. The kids LOVE watching their pets  change before their very eyes. They made a connection with their new friends and had mixed emotions when it came time to release them into the wild. Our pets have become the topic of many school projects. My daughter drew a very informative chart in demonstrating the proper way to care for rabbits. She also wrote a  report on  how to train your adult dog, pointing out that it was never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. This led us to look into training courses for our dog. Encourage your children to learn more about their pets. Research their breed or get them involved in obedience training classes. It’s a win-win situation, your kids are learning and you end up with a well-behaved pet. Veterinarian appointments are also excellent places for children to learn, take them with you.Some of our favorite books are by James Harriett he tells some fascinating true tales of life as a veterinarian.  A veterinarian’s office is a great place for kids to ask questions.

” Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog; it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs, your heart is very big. “-E. Jong

Companionship. This may be a very obvious benefit of having a pet.Your pets often become a part of the family, your family friend.  I get such a kick out of seeing my daughter lay sprawled in the front yard with her loyal dog next to her. Pets have a special way of being in tune with their owners. Often they can sense when we’re sad or worried. This has really amazed me. When kids are feeling emotional they often turn to their pets for comfort and friendship.  Pets can help children build trusting relationships. Many kids may feel more trusting around animals, this can lead to building trusting relationships with other children and adults.

“Animals are reliable; many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful, and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.”- Alfred A. Montapert

Responsibility. Pets require work. This is a great opportunity for children to learn how to care, feed and play with their animals. Even toddlers can be responsible for scooping dog food and carrying food scraps to the chickens.  It gives children a sense of worth to know they are responsible for caring for another living creature. They learn to nurture and feel empathy at a young age through their interactions with their pets. They learn qualities such as kindness and compassion by interacting with their family pet. Being responsible for some aspect of their pet helps them realize the importance of commitment and daily responsibility.

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”- Immanuel Kant

Stress Relief  I have been able to witness first hand the calmness that holding her pet rabbit, Burt, has on my daughter when she is doing her math. She often finds her math to be stressful, she holds Burt in her lap and she is able to calmly proceed with her math. Holding a pet has been shown to ease anxiety. This is huge in the homeschooling family. You sure can’t take your bunny rabbit to set on your lap in the traditional school setting. When your child is a happier learner, this reduces stress for the entire family. Pets are non-judgmental and kids appreciate that. Doing their school work with they furry companions can help build self-esteem. They may feel comfortable reading to their dog, this can help build their self-confidence. Pets can be emotional healers for children.

“Animals are such agreeable friends–they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.”- George Eliot

Health Children who are in a home with dogs and cats are shown to be more resistant to developing issues with allergies and asthma. Isn’t that fantastic? Some studies even report fewer incidents of ear infections and upper respiratory infections in families that have dogs. I’m always looking for ways to keep my kids healthy, it’s nice to know that having pets helps. Also children tend to be more active when they have pets to play with. Taking their dog for a walk is an excellent opportunity for exercise. Beyond physical health, pets benefit the family via emotional and mental health. Children learn qualities such as love and empathy from spending time with their pets.

“They motivate us to play, be affectionate, see adventure and be loyal.”- Tom Hayden

Food Pets can teach us about our food systems. We have chickens and therefore, we have eggs. My kids get the connection between their pets and their food. I know some families won’t consider their chickens, their pets, but we do! Some families also will eat their chickens, not us.  I think most people that raise their animals to eat, do not view them as pets. Our chickens will live to a ripe old age just like our pig.There is so much to learn from having your own hens in your back yard.  Dairy cows and dairy goats can be great pets that can also be beneficial to the family by providing food.

“There’s nothing like sitting back and talking to your cows, and if they talk back, you know you’re really relaxed.”- Russel Crow

Life and Death. Our pets are often our companions on our childhood adventures.Having a furry companion for your little ones as they make their own adventures can make for some fantastic memories.  They frolic in the mud puddles with our kids and warn them of danger. Most all of us have some memories of a childhood pet that touched our heart. Those memories are dear to us, even many years later.
True also is the fact that losing our family pet is often times our first taste of dealing with death. Children are often faced with their first emotions of grief and loss from the death of their beloved family pet. They learn life is fragile and they learn to respect it. Through losing a pet, children start to ask new questions, to process their experiences and contemplate what they have lost.

“If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.”- Marjorie Garber

What pets do you have? How have they added to your family life?

APBC - Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic ParentingVisit The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in the next Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival! Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • A Pet’s Role in the Home School — If a house isn’t a home without a pet, how can you imagine homeschooling without one? Erica at ChildOrganics discusses the many benefits of home schooling with pets. .
  • Toddlers and Whiskers, Co-existing as One — Mama Duck at Quacks and Waddles explains how to introduce new pets to toddlers and babies
  • Children and the Death of a Pet — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama offers suggestions on how to help children work through the loss of a pet. She includes a variety of books to support both parents and children during this tender time.
  • 10 Reasons to Be a Foster Family for a Pet in Need — Christy from Adventures in Mommyhood: Mommy Outnumbered gives her top 10 reasons to consider fostering a pet until a forever home can be found.
  • Preparing Dogs for New Baby — Jennifer from Mother of the Pack gives advice to new parents for preparing their dog(s) for a baby
  • Children, Pets and Death — Lauren at Hobo Mama has walked with her son through the untimely death of their cat, a fascinating and troubling journey.
  • The Health Benefits of Having Pets — Laura from Authentic Parenting tells us exactly why having pets is beneficial to your child’s health.
  • Romeo, My Healing Dog — Bianca at the Pierogie Mama writes about her loveable old dog, Romeo, who at one point she had to give away but a few years later he was placed back in her life when she least expected it.
  • 6 Tips to Help a Child That is Afraid of Dogs – Ariadne at Positive Parenting Connection is sharing helpful tips and using play to help children overcome a fear of dogs.
  • The Value of Pets – Caroline from Stone Age Parenting writes about how pets have brought so much more than happiness to her life and how she has learned to appreciate and respond to the needs of animals and of humans.