Sunday, May 29, 2011

Steve and I enjoyed a little walk around the pastures yesterday, we have done so much clearing, and we are finally seeing a lot of green coming in, just hoping it the right green. We are currently having pigweed start to infest the lower pasture. We took the weed to the Ag. extension office and the only way to deal with it, is to pull it up by the roots and remove it from the property. This has turned into a job for our teenaged son, mainly, but there are times when the rest of us are right there with him. It appears this will be a several year battle, but we are trying to get to the plants before they come to seed and make more.

All the biddies are doing well, we have not had any new ones in the last couple of days, so we are holding at 34...I have been letting the teens out and we have a nightly check in and count, to be sure they all have made it thru the day, so far, so good.

Today is Sunday, and our Sunday School Class is cooking breakfast, so I am short on time...looking forward to some good cooking though!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Years Worth of Catching Up

Wow, it has been a LONG time since I spent any time on here posting anything! So much has happened in the last year...where to begin?

My Dad has had 4 or 5 trips to the hospital for his heart, with other procedures needing to be done. After getting my siblings involved, we have talked my parents into retiring and moving here with us. Actually, just this past weekend, we got the last of their stuff moved, here to the farm, and the next step is sorting and figuring absolute need.

My brother has had a tough run of it too, there have been other surgeries and trying of different things, much to no avail, but he finally got a leg that I think just might work for him...he has been a modern day Job, and I am absolutely amazed at his strength!

We have added a 30 x 40 metal building to the property, this is Dad's for his tools and a place to tinker in his retirement. It took us a year to get it up and finished with all his hospitalizations, but it's done and just in time for their move.

We have gotten rid of all of the goats, added a angus heiffer, and had one of the Jersey steers put up, now that is some good meat. A freezer putted out on us and we called everyone we knew to get the meat cooked up, did not want to throw any away...was actually a fun evening, if you didn't think about how much was lost to us...all in a day, right?

We have completed our 3rd year of home schooling...the transition from the kids going to public and not much at all being required of them has been the biggest struggle to overcome...actually, it is not overcome, it is a daily struggle...why does our country not care more about educating those who will be running it?

Our chickens were going thru a tough time, with free range you tend to loose a lot of biddies, so, our daughter, Sam and I have been getting the newly hatched and keeping them under a heat lamp, then as they grow, we transfer into bigger and more open cages that we move around the yard so that they can free range. Our first ones this year are now "teens" and are being given actual freedom throughout the day and put back up at night, they are loving it, but they think Sam and I are their moms and we have a trail of little chickens behind us quite frequently throughout the day. With them and the newly hatched ones, to date, we have 33 new additions ~ we are thinking of pairing hen and rooster and taking some to auction, but keeping the majority and continuing to have way too many eggs for our family to consume regularly, but I love the whole process.

I know that there has been more than that, but that seems to be the highlights...or those I can remember, anyhow!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What a crazy year 2010 has turned in to....My brother was in a motorcycle accident on New Years Eve, was hurt pretty bad, but thankful he is still with us. At the first part of May, Dad and I set out to go visit he and his family for a week and ended up staying two, while there, we found out that his right foot would need to be amputated. It was a tiring but good visit, was good that everything worked out and life allowed us to be with them in this time. He is now doing amazing, has his prosthetic and walking without too much assistance.

During this trip, I notice my Dad not being up to par with his typical driving abilities and I needed to do about 85 to 90 percent of the driving. Actually here in the last 4 months my husband and I talked about how he is so tired and can not do much and now we were shocked at how he is aging, not is looks, but ability. WELL....we got a call about 2 weeks ago that Daddy was not feeling well, went to Dr., they ran tests and found that he has 10 blocks in his heart. He has since had open heart surgery and they did 3 bypasses and shot some laser hole to assist too. He is now home and doing well. My sister is able to be there with him as he can not be alone for the first 30 days. While she is there, her 2 year old son is with us - I forgot what a 2 year old can be like....but we are all getting into a groove and doing well.

Also, this is the season where the garden is ready for canning and the plum tree is overloaded with fruit. So amongst all this we are canning and cooking down and packing the pantry with the good stuff!

Right before all this happened I was talking with a friend about how crazy busy life is and how I would love for it to slow down just a bit - I guess God showed me, my everyday regular life is a blessing and not to take it for granted, it could always be worse! Now, I am looking forward to my crazy busy life to be back to the normal crazy busy I know and love.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Catching up

WOW - it has been a while. So much has gone on here!!! Dad came for a while and we got a lot of honey-do's done outside. When Steve and I fenced in the back field, it was so wet and rainy and it was almost impossible to set our corner posts to where they would stay in place, even with them being telephone poles and set 2 feet in the ground....with the weather drying out a bit, Dad and I were able to use his tractor and pull the posts back straight and brace them into place with timbers - that fence is tight now! We also added two 10 foot gates so that we can access the lower pen with the tractor and access the back field, beyond the drainage ditch with the tractor. A lot of reorganization of farm implements and deciding where the garden will be and getting that tilled. I know that every day he was here there was always something and it seemed I never sat still. All the time this was going on, if I was not working with him, regular barn and house chores were needing done, then it was time to cook supper....never ending, but good!

Steve and I have been working on the inside of the house, new flooring in the living room, hall and bath. Now working on fixing the walls and trim in the hall. I love the work and soreness and LOVE the crisp new changes to the atmosphere of this old house. The flooring in the hallway was new to me, the floating floors. I attack it like someone said, there is no way Becky can do this. And my goal is to prove them wrong....and I did : )

Recently (like 2 days ago) we acquired another member to our farm family - she is about 4 weeks old (estimate) and abandoned puppy - to me she looks like a boxer, but there are so many possibilities...we shall see. She is being good, but the every 3 hour feeding and trips outside are tiring. She already know she does not want any "accidents" in her box and has a specific howl she does to let me know going out is needed and needed NOW! Our daughter Sammy, 7, is thoroughly enjoying the mothering she is getting to do with her and is wearing the poor thing out to where I have to give the pup some needed down time every once in a while. Matt (our oldest) and Sammy (our youngest) were naming off names, and since Logan (middle child) didn't seem to care one way or another, I gave him the names, and he chose Boots. His reasoning was that her front legs are white up mid way and therefore she looks like she has white mud boots on, and well, we all wear mud boots here! TOO CUTE! : )

Kids have been jamming at school, they have all taken their E.O.G.'s and now it is just finishing the books and doing the time! I know that I am looking forward to summer break, so I can only imagine how they feel!!!

We have really enjoyed the visits from the sun here of late, are in a bit of a drear today, but the prospect of sunshine and warmth later this week - is worth waiting for!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Cup Runneth Over

We are really being slammed with the winter rain, ice mix this year and I have never been so reluctant to leave the house for chores. Although, once I get to the barn, I love being there and hate to return to the house - so mainly my issue is with being in the outside between the two!

The barn is a mess and to try to muck stalls is an endless battle. We have however enjoyed the last three days of dry, sun and wind and I was able to make the inside of the barn 'better.' But as we are in the midst of yet another rain storm, I am not looking forward to the next mucking session, and feel sorry for the inhabitants of said barn.

The new boys of Black Girls are so much fun - since we were right there from second one of the beginning of their lives and have kept them confined and in there with them daily...I believe they think we are either one of them, or they are on of us. They wag their tails and jump around at us and even up onto our laps. It is hard to leave them to do chores.

Home schooling has had it's ups and downs, but all in all we are hanging in there and doing well. I have recently received each of the kids E.O.G.s and we will be doing that the last week of February. I am interested to see how each of the kids are doing this year, as I feel we all have learned and have a much better grasp of it.

I am overwhelmed with the greatness of God and all he has done in and for our family in the last few years. I feel a closeness like never before, not only in our family to each other, but in our family to God. We are experiencing much more family time and playfulness. Truly my cup runneth over!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New Life

We have had a great week around here. We have really focused on family and working together as a team....actually been holding team meetings and talking about how this family does not win the 'game' unless all team members finish the course. We all put our hands and and say 'go team' and head off into our day. The kids seem to like it and it has really made them think.

A team work moment: I ran errands alone today and Dad stayed home with the kids and farm work....while I was gone, Matt and Sammy ventured off into the woods to investigate. During this investigation Sammy, while trying to jump over a puddle, landed wrong and twisted her foot. She cried and pleaded for Matt to come and help her. Matt went back when he heard her cry and proceeded to remove his socks and use them to wrap his little sister's foot. Then proceeded to carry her out of the woods to the house. When I returned home, I was told from Sammy how "Matt saved my life!' I looked over and he was brimming from ear to ear! I told them "Now that's the team work I've been talking about!" I am one proud Mama!!!

Also, when I arrived home I was greeted by happily screaming youngins that Black Girl had given birth to two babies....they are SO CUTE!!! Flop eared lil' fellas - they are mainly white with some black markings. I took a bunch of pictures with them and my kids, but the camera wouldn't hold them and they were lost. Hoping to redo this tomorrow and post them here. Matt was able to see the birth of the last one and was so excited to have been a part of that! I think it is awesome to see the full life process, gives them such a respect for it!

Have enjoyed a lot of fun times with the kiddos and husband this week and even been blessed with sharing that fun with some good neighbors! God has truly blessed our home!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Good days

This week, with the break from some rain, I decided that our front yard needed some help. We have three large oak trees there and leaves are everywhere. It took me one entire day to get all the leaves gathered into either piles or wind rows. Even with these sectioned off, the yard already looked much better. And I knew that having the leaves up will allow the yard to dry faster and hopefully rid us of the impending mosquitoes I am sure have been laid in the midst of the wetness.

Yesterday we all got outside and began to burn all these piles, it was an all day event, but that yard looks GREAT! Also got froggy and ended up raking more inside the goat pen and burnt two of those piles as well, there is still A LOT of burning and raking yet to do in there, but I will take whatever progress I can get, when I can get it there. Just the portion I have raked is looking so nice and there is such a rage of green showing - I am excited for the spring growth, but am already loving the little green we are seeing. While I was working on this Steve and the kids all joined me and worked on bringing up some wood from some trees Steve fell a week or so back. It was nice to have the whole family there with me and then we were joined by the cows and goats and every so often and group of chickens, it is funny how they join us on our adventures there.

In looking back it seems there has been endless work, and always brush piles to burn and more area to clear...looking forward to having that complete and all that area being useful, graze worthy area. Although, I also know that when this area is 'done' we will only move on to the next! I do love the work and being outdoors though....good thing, or I would be miserable here!

Today I am making some more home made spaghetti sauce. Have sauted the garlic, added the onions and green peppers to cook down a bit and then have slid them into the boiling tomato juice that I put up back in summer. Looking forward to hearing the jar lids pop while they seal this afternoon.

This year has been another learning one for us, we have found the amount of each veggie that we need to can to sustain through the winter and what we need to put up for future use and not make it into the final product until it is needed - the freshness quality that way is unbeatable! I also enjoy the added warmth that canning brings to the house when the fireplace seems to not be ale to catch up.

Kids are doing well with their schooling so far this week - Monday is always a struggle with late night weekends and them wanting to be outside whenever the sun does show up...

Has been a wonderful few days on the home stead....looking forward to more.