Plum Creek - Week 3 {Prairie Primer}

Welcome to Week 3 of Plum Creek! This week we covered water usage, prairie fires, and cooked turnips! It was a very light and easy "week" school wise.

Day 1: Going to Church and The Glittering Cloud

Questions and discussion from the Prairie Primer manual - stuff on grasshoppers mostly.

Day 2: Grasshopper Eggs, Rain, and The Letter

We calculated how many potential grasshoppers were in each square foot - crazy to think how many! Malachi colored a grasshopper from a Biology coloring book (similar to this one).

We did the math activity (#2 - How long it would take to walk 250 miles?) and talked about how Pa was a good provider.

How many gallons of water does your family use in a day? We use so much more water at home here in Wyoming than we do in Montana. Here is a pic I took heating up bath water one day. In addition to the water on the stove (our hot water), I used one 5 gallon container (cold water).

We haul water in 5 gallon storage containers, but we bought a pick up tank to haul water in the future.

This is my husband's 1/2 ton pick up truck. He has had it since he was 16 - his first truck. We were only able to fill it 1/3 full - we need at least a 3/4 ton to haul a full tank of water into our place and we need a cistern to store it. We filled all our water storage containers and used all the water we could from it and still had to let it drain out - the kids loved that. They played with the water to their hearts content - not something they do up here as we conserve water carefully.

So, back to the question. We use 5 gallons a day to wash hands and dishes (150 gallons a month), 10 gallons per person if we take a bath (200 gallons if we take a bath once a week like Laura did), and about 2 gallons a day for cooking and drinking (60 gallons a month).  That's 410 gallons a month or an average of about 14 gallons a day.

Our last water bill here in Wyoming (running water!) metered at 1,300 gallons in September - 43 gallons a day!

Day 3: The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn, Going to Town and Surprise

Questions and discussion from the manual.

Day 4: Grasshoppers Walking, Wheels of Fire, and Marks on the Slate

Along with the questions and discussion from the manual, we studied the properties of fire and read about wildfires, then bought turnips from the store, and Elli and I made scalloped turnips.

I wish I loved turnips as they are a non-starchy and can be used in a Trim Healthy Mama S meal, but I don't. If they were all we had to eat, I would learn to like them, as I'm sure the Ingalls did when it was all they had to eat when Pa's wheat crop was destroyed by the grasshoppers. 

And that was our Week 3 with Plum Creek. See what we are using and books and resources we use for more details!

In other news...

We made a lot of trips to Montana to see Nathan and work on the house up there. One trip was just the youngest two and I. Malachi had soccer camp so he stayed behind. Then Elli stayed behind one week for Theatre camp. I did a lot of driving back and forth (a three hour trip one way) to bring a kid home and pick up another. 

At Woodbine (Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness) with Elli and Bo...

And on a hike with the three youngest at our property in Montana. 

Elli sitting on an outdoor "toilet" that Jordan built years ago. :) 
Here's the house we built up there - we hired someone to finish the siding (long overdue), and we painted the house ourselves. 

In my Week 1 post for Plum Creek, I shared that our house up here is built into the side of a hill - the back third of the house has 8 feet underground, the sides have 4 feet in the ground, and the front "walks out." Here's the back:

Summer happened around here and it took us longer than I had hoped to wrap up this unit. With soccer camps, theatre camp, trips to Montana + a trip to see Jordan and his first apartment, I think this "week" took us three weeks or longer! 

One more week to go! See you soon for Week 4 of Plum Creek! 


  1. That's a lot of driving, but so much of God's beauty to see in each drive. I wish I could join you -- love those kinds of road trips.

    Water is truly a precious commodity. Living on a well here, we try to watch it carefully. We even rationed toilet flushes during this drought.

    I love seeing all that you share :)

    1. Thankfully, we have a waterless toilet up there, but we have friends on a well on a ranch and they can't flush unless it's necessary! :) I still think of our trips on the CA freeways - having a friend makes them bearable. ♥ I'm still so thankful that you devoted three whole days to me and my children while we were there! I think often how generous you were with your time and how grateful I am to have had those three days with you. ♥