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.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Time flies by

It has been another week, really? It seems to be passing so quickly....

Last week we donated our littlest member of our farm to a low income 4H program for inner city children. He (Lil' Butt) was on their farm one week and passed away. There were no signs of anything wrong while he was here, I am shocked and saddened at this event! It is farm life, but it never gets easier!

We have been clearing more land and making for pasture area and it is looking wonderful and the exercise is amazing! I love this work! It is however an interesting task as there is so much mud and so many puddles to wade through as we have had a record year of rainfall. I am not complaining, as we have had a few years of drought and look forward to see what our garden, and new pasture areas look like this coming year. I look forward to spring - my favorite time - I love to see the new growth, the fresh bright green color on everything, and the smells....

Had an enjoyable weekend this past weekend, Aunt Cora, from S. Carolina came to visit and then we all went to Pinehurst to see more relatives (my second cousin Bill, his wife Joyce and his Mom, Aunt Ruth, who is 97 years old). I loved hearing about my Paternal Grandfather, as he died young. I find I am more and more like him and his side of the family every time I hear new stories and tales. Aunt Cora brought some amazing pictures with her. I got to see more of who my Grandfather was and to see my dad as a boy - SO CUTE! I know I could have been home working and clearing, but I think I needed the time away and learning from whence I came.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Cup Runneth Over

It's been a few days and there has been so much going on here. Every day brings new adventures and mild entertainment for anyone who happens to take note.

For home school - this has been our best week so far and I am very proud of my kids and what they are learning, even though I am their teacher.

For the farm - there have been little adventures...we got a 100 gal water container for the field to be sure everyone has enough water. Well, with the cold, all the water sources at the back of the house are frozen. And since I have already been transporting, 10 gal at a time, in two 5 gal buckets, from the front of our house to the back field, at least two trips a day. (roughly 200 - 250 feet one way) When this 100 gal tank arrived, I looked at it like anything else and grab buckets and proceed to just do it....not a good choice. After the second trip and I was already beginning to feel it....I was thinking 'there is no way'. After trip three, I could barely lift the buckets over the fence to dump them into the tank. After rounding the corner of the house on the return of trip four, I notice my husband's pickup in the front yard - here is the moment where I am like 'DUH!' I then round up every 5 gal bucket on the property, mind you, it takes everything I have to lift these 5 gal buckets into the truck now after my four trips....It still takes me two trips with the truck to complete the fill up. Took me two days to recover from those sore muscles!!!

This has also been a very wet season for us, but after two years of drought, we are thankful for the rain, but are also happy for any break from it. Today, after an overnight rain, I noticed some good sized puddles in front of the barn and along the inside of the back field that would fill up along the tractor barn side and decided that I needed to dig some drainage ditches....another, not so good idea....we have been scraping and leveling here and there and filling this low and that, so the back yard and pasture area are a mess. Anyhow, I am me, and continue even though it begins to rain - which I am thankful for because my family, who had just been on the back porch, went inside. There are a few areas that are holding some pretty good water and I decide need to be ditched immediately, so I head into the pasture and begin. I am doing pretty well, until I notice a scrap of wood holding up drainage in the middle of a freshly disturbed area of clay...I walk over and remove the piece of wood and decide that the ditch could use some widening and stand still and shovel for a minute or two. I then notice another area and start to back up to it, however, my feet are "glued" in this clay and the only part of me that moves, well, it was the top part...yup, down I go, right into this thick nasty red clay - laying my legs out straight, so that this goo runs right inside. Of course my first instinct was to look toward the porch and thank God, my family had not come back out!!! I get myself to my feet and then proceeds to try to get my feet out with boots still attached, took some figuring, but I got them! Headed to the house, knowing that there was no way to get in and not be found out! I walk into the house and EVERYONE is in the front room, and of course I have to do the full model view to show how completely covered I was! Well, at least I got everyone to laugh! Thankfully there were no charged and ready cameras available!

Needless to say I am ready for this week and settling back into housework and hoping that things can begin to dry out...

On Saturday we donated Lil' Butt to an under privileged 4-H program and the guy in charge, Andrew, came to get him. He (Andrew) was afraid when I got him here that I was gonna take him out back and shoot him - guess he didn't believe me when I told him 'middle of nowhere'. Anyhow, really enjoyed meeting him and Matt, and look forward to being virtually involved with the program that Lil' Butt will be involved in. And hope to someday soon be able to go visit their farm.

I love my life and all that goes on around here, life is truly amazing and I honestly feel that my cup runneth over and I hope that more people would strive for that feeling and find it. It is not in the new cars and fancy clothes, but in the simpleness of life and loving God and what He created for us to use (not abuse) and enjoy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Progress is Being Seen

WHEW-HOOOO - we got the back fence finished today. I say we, but actually lot of Steve and then our neighbor, Ed showed up and helped out - Thank you Ed! It looks so amazing out there and I am loving that I had the 4 big animals (About, Time, Blackgirl & Snowball) out there and was not worried about anyone getting out - a great feeling! This is going to make my life less worrisome - not having to go to the windows to be sure no one has wondered out front and near the road and then chasing them back in if they had - which I am sure has been pure entertainment for the neighbors. Thankfully I only have one close enough to see all this. Also, a big 'ol THANK YOU to my Daddy for letting us use his Deere to get everything done today - lifesaver for Steve especially!

Began our morning with devotions and prayer - I am trying so hard to have that be first, well, after breakfast, but first before we crack the books. Even so, it was a rough time getting everyone back into the swing of school. Logan was exhausted and had a hard time keeping his eyes open, too much running with Mommy this weekend. I am hoping that to bed early again tonight will help and he can be on track again tomorrow! Matt just suffers from following all directions on each lesson, and being sure he does what is written in his agenda. Everyone deserves a Monday, though, and I am hopeful for a productive learning day tomorrow.

Enjoyed the company of our very dear friends Ed, Sheila & Eddie for dinner and no-bakes! Steve and Sheila could not even let them cool before swiping them off the paper to eat! Caught them on camera and will post it soon! Love you guys!

All in all it was a good day, even with the little set backs in school.

Ultimately, thankful to God for safety and health in all that we have been doing and continue to do.

Productive Weekend

We made it to church yesterday, not for a lack of running around and entering late, but we made it. I am glad, as it was an awesome sermon. Love it when a Pastor can get our 12 year old to sit up and really pay attention.

After church, we ate a quick bite, and headed to the back field and began to work on the back fence. We were able to get the entire back fence stretched and fit for use - Yeah! We let the cows out, even though we are still lacking one side of the field being fenced. They loved it, they ran and jumped, twisted and kicked and then settled in to finding graze worthy food. It was an enjoyable day, as Steve and I worked the fence, we could hear Matt and Sam running and playing in the woods behind us, and watch the cows in the field in front of us. It just doesn't get much better than that.

After we had used up all our energy and had the back side complete, Steve decided to load us up and take us down town for some supper - downtown consists of I think maybe three choices of eating, but on Sunday's one is only open until Lunch, one is closed, and the other is a sandwich and pizza shop - but it meant I didn't have to cook. It was good and we enjoyed playing and talking around the table and Logan had gotten home in time to join us - so our family was back together. I did miss him quite a bit this weekend, he does not do much as far as physically helping us, but he is usually right there near what ever is happening.

So, here it is Monday morning and I am getting the kids settled into and beginning their school day, as Steve heads out to work more around the farm and then I will join him and we will work on the fence. Our goal today is to educate our children and complete the fence...not too bad, right? : )

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Awesome Fruitful Day

With the boys being from a split marriage, we share them on weekends with their mom and try at all occasions to let them go every weekend - as long as Dad has had some time with them too. However, with the tough time at school this week, we (all three parents) decided that Matt would remain home and complete this weeks tasks. To me this seemed a punishment for me as well, I have already spent too much time struggling with him, no break and more time??? I was not looking forward to today.

I woke early find Matt sitting at the school table preparing to work on his past due work. He was bright eyed and eager for his day...I had to double take, but, it sure was him. Huh? maybe this will not be a bad day after all. I sat at the computer and checked in with the FaceBook world, not much going on there, so I looked around the house and began to see all that needed done. It is amazing to me the stuff that gets randomly placed everywhere and just taking the time to put it in it's designated area - what a huge difference it can make! I delved into laundry, cleaning bedrooms, dusting, sweeping and then damp mopping the wood floor in the school room. All this time Matt stayed focused, did not fuss or fight, none of the usual antics - thanking God!!! After he completed the needed work, he started the task of cleaning his and Logan's room, and very thoroughly I might add too. Looks and smells great. From there he ventured to the bathroom and again did an amazing job. Dad got home early and we four loaded up and went to a local furniture makers yard and gathered his wood shavings and chips - great free bedding for the barn. Matt and Sam played great together in the shavings as Steve and I loaded the truck. Upon returning home we began the process of mucking the stalls and loading the new bedding into them. Matt was right there with any task requested with a "yes Sir" or "yes M'am" and did the entire task without a complaint. Let us not forget Sammy, she was right there helping and letting me know that "we sure have a lot of crap on our farm!" From there I headed to the house to look at what was for dinner. Steve and the two kids headed to the wood pile to bring up a few loads to the porch. We came in and waited for supper to be done and Matt went directly to the table and began to read a book - with his restriction for the weekend - he is limited to house work, farm work or doing something educational. Supper done and he is in the kitchen cleaning and talking with his little sister and being so wonderful! This is the boy I know is in there - I am not asking for this perfection all day, everyday, but if you ever experienced the would know how much I want this kid that is here with us today!

Oh, let me not forget....I got a chance to make some more home made peach jelly today too - YUMMY! I did it a little different. I had canned the juices from earlier in the year to have them on hand to make fresh jelly when needed. Anyhow, my friend Sheila, canned some peaches that she seasoned with honey and spice, I opened a pint and mashed them with a potato masher and added that to my juice...did the usual process for making jelly and let me tell you - that stuff smelled awesome and when I tasted the little left at the bottom of the pan after I was finished - oh my....Thank is going to be pure heaven on some toast!

Last and definitely not least Steve and I took the time to flirt and love each other today - An amazing lesson I learned several years ago....loving someone is not involuntary it is something you have to wake up every day and decide to do. I am so happy that my husband decides to love me everyday!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dark Clouds

I woke with a heavy feeling still over me from the previous day. I felt tired, worn and beaten up and had just opened my eyes...I said little prayers I I wandered through the house asking God to lighten my heart and give me the compassion I needed to enter this day of home school and life. I do not know why but the lightening of heart never came to me.

Logan took his tests, on subject we have been working on for weeks and failed both, I am not angry or let down by him, I am weary from trying to figure out how do I reach him, how do I make this on his level of understanding and open his mind to these ideas. I called the NC Non-Public Education office to find if there are different guidelines or regulations for special needs children. Thanking God that there are. I am required to teach him language and math - which are still going to be rough, as he does not have reading comprehension, which comes into play with both subjects. I am hopeful with this new curriculum and that I can focus 2 days a week on math, 2 days a week on language and then leave one day for test or quiz. We will do spelling and reading everyday.

Sammy took her tests and did well, I got frustrated with her but I apologized and she and I have hugged and moved on. So often I forget that she is only 6 and I expect too much from her.

Matt and I struggled even breathing in the same room again today. He has so many issues with his parents divorce, too much freedom, growing up too quickly and then Step-mom comes along and there is structure and a family....too much was ignored and let go for too long and now we pay the consequences for our actions as his parents. Also as I have stated before public school taught him to be lazy, there too is a huge hurdle we are having to cross. Every little aspect of his schooling is fought and drug out, but he is forced, regardless of how long it takes him, to complete it. I am overwhelmed and exhausted with this one regularly. We have found that his word can not be taken and trusted so everything must be checked daily to extreme extent. His birth mom asked me today, "What is next, what is going to happen if he can not do home school, will you send him to public?" I told her, if this was solely about me, yes, he would be in public because I am exhausted, but this is not about me at all, and our children, all three of them, deserve better than the public system of education. We have talked about a boys camp, there is one local that is Christian based, for troublesome boys, he would live there and do school there and we would visit. I do not want him to think that we are putting him somewhere just to be rid of him. I want him to know that if this is ever our choice, that we had to, to save him from himself. I am afraid for Matt....afraid for who is becoming....afraid of loosing the wonderful little man I fell in love with 6+ years ago when I married his dad. Inside this young man there is a wonderfully spirited, loving boy who is just so scared of coming out and getting hurt.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Struggles of Home School

Today seemed to start as all the others, got up to a warm fire blazing and a pot of coffee waiting for me - Thank you Steve! I had a few moments to be alone and listen to the house wake up. How is it we never notice the signs of a hard day starting and why can't we just stop it right then?

Chores were usual, everyone was very happy to see me and receive their freedom from their pens and wander into the pasture area. Ice was thick and took a little extra muscle, but I won! Everyone fed and happy, I venture back to the house to see all three children in the beginnings of their day - making breakfast, cleaning up their perspective dishes or getting to their chores. I am enjoying these little older ages where mom is not needed for every task, and at the same time am sad that mom is not needed for every single task!

Our home school schedule is very simple - we focus on one main subject each day and always have spelling and reading everyday. Example of our schedule would be Mon. - Math - 4 pages, then 1 spelling assignment and 1 reading assignment; Tues. - Language - 4 pages, 1 spelling assignment 1 reading assignment; Wed. - Science or History (which ever we are in this 9 weeks) 4 sections, 1 spelling lesson, 1 reading lesson. Thurs. - go over all the areas in Mon - Wed. lessons (Math, Lang, Science or History) and work on those you missed & really struggled on. Fri. - tests on which ever lessons call for it, always spelling and the others are typically every two weeks, but we alternate weeks so as not to have so many tests in one day. We set up this schedule for our middle son who has autism - too much information on one day overloads and confuses him - this way he has one day to receive, workout and think on each subject - works great - went from getting 30's & 40's to 80's & 90's. Our older son was struggling as well with the typical work load of all subjects everyday, so we revamped his schedule the same as Logan's. Now my Wed. night is checking all work from Mon - Wed to set up their days for Thurs - for Logan this is great, he really gets to focus on those and has been nailing his tests on Fridays. For Matt....not so good....Wed. night has been the night we find out he has blown off Mon - Wed in the hopes that mom is not going to check anything. IF you really work hard, Mon. - Wed. will be kind of long days, but Thurs has the potential of being 1/2 day or less and Fri. you should be done before 11 am. Today was horrible...from the moment he saw that there was so much to do (can not even say re-do). I tried with ever fiber of my being to be calm and collected, but I lost it! I actually vented my frustration from one child on another - you talk about feeling lower then a slug....that was me! I had to send everyone to their rooms and I also put myself in time out! I know in my heart that home school is the best for our children - I just wish we would have been able to do it much earlier - the public school system has taught so many bad habits! The kids can sit and do nothing all day and never get below a 50 - they do not get points removed for not turning in assignments late or not doing them. They have taught the kids that if you do well one day a year that you're good and you can go on to the next grade. WHAT????? What life lesson is this teaching our children....can you show up for work on the day you are getting fired and save your job? Can you be the best husband ever on the day of your divorce and save your marriage? This is the lesson that they are being taught subliminally in public schools today! So my days are fighting the bad lessons that society taught my son from his first 6 years in public school. My prayer is that I have time to save him from himself.

Shame on society for accepting this for our children...Shame on our Gov't. for the education in our Country.

I love my son and I always will, I am just so scared for him...he is on the verge of being a young man and is so lost.

I also blame myself...I did not start today with devotions and prayer - shame on me!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The cows...

Today was nice, sun shining and we actually reached 40 degrees - a heat wave here of late. Went to do morning chores and was greeted by the bleats, barks, meows, clucks and moos of each animal until it was their turn to receive their feed. Have had to schedule trips to the barn to break the ice in all the water buckets. After morning chores I allowed the animals to remain in their stalls until it warmed a little more, after lunch I made my way back out to them to let them out and Again (the larger of the steers) has obviously started looking at me as a play mate and began to romp and play and try to chase tussled with him a little, but think that I need to get him out of this habit, as very soon he is going to outweigh me and this could hurt! I redirected his attention to his brother and they both began to run and kick around the pen and forget me for a while all together.

Kids have been amazing with getting back into school after two weeks off for Christmas - I was really expecting a little more resistance, but am pleasantly surprised and VERY happy and proud!

We are also beginning to plan next years garden and all the delicious foods we can get from there. We have been blessed for two years now with our work and effort out there and look forward to may years of this. I am wishing for potatoes, corn, beans, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and still dreaming of more - we shall see...

Noticed today that the pantry shelf has one last home made jelly on it - fortunately we canned some juices and I am fixing to replenish it soon. I love having the needed items on hand.

Also realized what a country girl I am - I got my mail order rubber boots in this week and was so excited! Sad to retire my bright pink ones - they've gotten good wear and done me well, but can not longer keep the water out! Had to go with a black with white flower print as I could not find any pink ones in my size - bummer! Tried them out yesterday - my toes were warm and dry!

Looking back over this post - I am easily made happy and content - aren't I? Gotta love the simple life!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Steve decided, in below freezing temps (yes NC has those too) that he needed to take advantage of another day off and set some corner and center post in the back field (which will one day be the middle field when we continue the clearing and fencing process). After getting our youngest through school, she headed out to help dad - picture this - camo insulated bibs and camo jacket and carrying a pink purse with "needed" things like a paddle with bouncing ball attached, a special rock and a band-aid for dad, you know, just in case. It was the cutest "work" outfit I have ever seen. Shortly after her trip to help dad I was able to also venture out (with coffee). He had already set the corner and center posts and found that there were little saplings in the way, so we got out the chain saw and commenced to clearing. It looks really great and I am excited for the wire to be hung and the field to be usable space - well, we use it for the goats now, but we just want it finished to where we can let all the animals out and not worry.

We were also able to fix some wiring and clean up some more of the pen - an area of about 3/4 acre that is attached to the barn that all animals can come and go as they please. When we bought the land and got the goats - prior to being ready. We put up a makeshift fence around a lot of trees and garbage pile that "came with the land". Since we have gotten all the garbage cleaned up and trees thinned or removed, we were able straighten and neaten the pen area today - YEAH!

After a little while we were joined by our sons to assist where needed - Matt to take the hatchet to little saplings that were making their way back up and Logan - well, he just was there with us, but at least he was there! Sammy was in and out as far as assisting goes - but always reminding us that "I got a band-aid if anyone needs it!"

Was a pleasure to listen to the kids playing or doing their own thing, but still right there in the midst of it all. I love looking around and seeing them playing, petting and talking with the animals - what a life.

I am thankful to conclude with the fact that no one needed the band-aid, it's still available and in the purse for next time.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A New Year a New Adventure

On January 1st we became the proud new owners of two jersey steers. We have named them "About" and "Time" as this has been both mine and Steve's lifelong dream. It has been a pleasure getting to know these two fellows these last few days and I have enjoyed listening to their moos as I head to the barn for daily chores. This is a huge step for us and we are so excited, as are the kids, to enter into yet another adventure on our farm.

We look forward to posting pics of them soon as they are way too cute not to share.

We are also in the R&D (research and development) stages of revamping the chicken coop wanting to get in a larger breed and getting a better quality and size egg.

There has also been some discussion as to the addition of a pig or two here in the near future.

My Dad & Mom are also in the process of setting up their retirement home here with us, and there is building and sorting out of things there too...Dad is as excited as we are with the farm and daily phone calls with progress reports are almost a must. I am so very excited to share the raising of my children and farm with my parents. What a blessing!

It appears that 2010 is going to be quite a year for us.

Where it all began

I guess for me it all began when I was a kid - roaming the hills and fields of upstate New York.

I was raised on a small farm in the middle of nowhere, but loved it. Daddy was a Baptist preacher and mom worked with him with and for the church. We, well, we were a family. Not like families now a days, we actually did everything together - no matter what it was, it was done together. Growing up in the midst of this life was sometimes, I guess, I would have called a pain back then and I dreamed of escape, but in my looking back, all I ever did since leaving, was actually try to get back!

I have been married three times - each of my first two marriages brought with it their own trials and heartbreaks, but I know now that I needed those failures to appreciate my later success.

Today, I am married to my very best friend, Steve, and co-dreamer in this life that we now live. We are a blended family and together we have three children; Matt - 12; Logan - 10; and Sammy Jo - 6.

When Steve and I got married, Matt was 6, Logan was 3 and Sammy was 9 mo. We both held full time jobs in the city and only had time with the kids in shifts. I would get up and leave early and be able to get out of work early to pick up kids, get them home for dinner, homework and baths. Steve would get up with the kids do breakfast, dressing and delivery to school or daycare and he would work late. We only really were a family on weekends.

Then came the day that we found out that our middle child has autism, we knew that something was not right, as he was not talking, potty training was not working out, fits constantly, and he was very distant, but the diagnosis was in some ways a relief to know what it was and devastating to know what it is...

This began our quest to be the family that we knew Logan needed and in turn we all needed...

There are so many little paths from then to where we are now...and to take you down them all...this should be a book, not a blog.

It has been 6 years, working on 7 since those days and where we are now is our dream and our family is as amazing as ever, don't get me wrong we have those days too...we all do.

We moved to a quaint little town, well we are actually about 6 miles out of town, but it's still quaint. We made sure that we had land; 1. for raising our own food, whether it be from the ground or grazing the ground. 2. our kids - for Logan, not knowing where he will get with autism, we wanted to be sure that he has his own space right here. For Matt & Sam - the joys of working to raise your own food, how a hard days work can make you feel and appreciate so much more in life. We then decided, after a year in the local public school, that we needed to home school our children. With Logan's disability, he was just not getting anything from the congested classroom of public schooling. And there was too much "junk" being learned by the other two. And education seemed to be the least important thing going on there. I am currently on year two of home schooling and love the education that not only they are getting, but mama is learning a thing or two herself! This is one of the most demanding jobs I have ever had, but seeing my children thrive and learn - priceless!

As far as the land...we began to clear...well, as you clear and move to new areas, those you clear, they grow again....and so our adventure started with farm animals. We became the proud new owners of 9 goats. We did not intend to own 9, but there came a deal and well, you gotta love deals. We were able to sell 5 and get back most of the money and since we have used them as a source of income to sustain and add to our farm. And you talk about a source for home school education....there is not much right here that we can not use for home school learning!

We also have gotten into raising our own garden. The first year we went small as we were unsure of A LOT! Thanks to a lot of phone calls with Mom-in-law....we were successful. That was a great learning experience for our entire family and the garden did amazingly well. Year two we expanded and again we were truly blessed and therefore were able to bless others. Kids are kind of spoiled to home grown foods and snub their noses at anything in a can...what can I say - they have good taste!

Every year we find out more and more about our land and have found a plum tree, peach tree, apple tree, persimmon, and pecan trees. Every year we clear here and there and look forward to what gifts we may find and look forward to finding a use for it all. Gotta love making you own homemade jellies - YUM! We have realized that when we bought this land that God had such a plan for us....I do not think we have yet seen exactly all that entails and I am excited at every turn.

We have closed out 2009 with high hopes for 2010 - and know that none of this could have happened without the help of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ because in all we do, we keep Him in the lead.