Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Day Spent in the Dirt

Today was beautiful, 60 degrees and at the end December! I never thought I would have such a glorious day to enjoy this month, but enjoy it I did! I put on some old gray leather gloves (I bought from an estate sale) and plopped my happy butt in the dirt. Ponytail and tee shirt day for sure. I spent three hours just soaking in the sun and talking with God ("Are you there God? It's me Rachel"). It was interesting. I talked, He listened. Not sure of any answers yet but it was very peaceful and he is a great listener.

The "girls" would occasionally come over and help me weed by looking for bugs and moving grass out of the  way. I could almost hear their questions: "Hey Mom, whatcha doing?", "Oh look here is a bug.... would you like me to get rid of him for you?" They are so cute. I wish I would have had my camera. Chelsea would even pick the dirt off my jeans. Always so helpful that one. Handsome (the rooster) came into the garden area a couple of times as well just to see what his harem was up to. He is such a good boy. Always watching out for his girls.

The boys just sat outside soaking up the fresh air too. They enjoyed a couple of carrots I forgot to harvest... Bonus!  Trooper (my buddy) would bring me a stick to throw every 20 minutes or so. Then stalk the chickens and squirrels, find something to entertain himself with and then start the routine all over again. He never gets tired! 
Trace and Aramis would just look at him with noses in the air, they have no desire to chase sticks. They think that kind of behavior is far beneath their fine breeding.

Even my beautiful daughters ventured out and went for a nice long walk soaking up the blessing of today. Lizzie with her shades. And at the end of December!
 Just a beautiful day. No rush, no makeup, no worries.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Can't Wait For My Kids

"Sugar" and "Spice" should be here come late March or early April. And I can hardly wait!
These are my kids(baby goats for those out of the "know"). I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas. I have a lot to do in the meantime to prepare for them. Fix part of the chicken coop so they have a warm place to sleep. Find a proper baby bottle so they don't starve, watch some videos and read some books about properly feeding said baby goats... get the fencing fixed and securing the garden so all of veggies and fruits don't become goat or chicken food.

 A  lot of work in my near future but does that stop my excitement? Not one tiny thread!
Come on April....

 Sooo just in case anyone else is thinking about goats here is a little info about my choice of breed. After a lot of research I have chosen "Saanen" goats.  Originally from Switzerland. These goats are known for their milk production and since I plan on becoming a cheese maker and selling homemade lotions and soaps they seem the best choice... Why you ask?  Because they  produce about 1 1/2 gals of milk a day, apiece! They have to be milked two times a day...  Hey if anyone out there has kids (the children variety that is) that need an experience or just want to play farmer for the day.. Look me up! :)

They are a larger breed of goats ranging in weight of up to 150 lbs  for a doe.. They are also lovingly called "Marshmallows" due to their color and sweet temperament.  Most are usually white but they can range in colors of caramel browns and even black.  They are also known for their intelligence so I assume that unlike my sweet chickens  they will know to come in out of the rain! (Side note: There is nothing funnier then a wet chicken.. now I know where the expression "Mad As A Wet Hen" comes from!)

.... so if in the middle of summer  you happen to stop by and see a strange women up to her elbows in milk wearing a strange happy smile on her face looking confused and wonder what is it is that she is doing only one answer comes to mind... she is having a ball!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Little Boy Is All Growed Up!

Today we celebrated my sons 19th birthday, he actually turned 19 on the 23rd of this month, but being older now wanted to spend the day with his friends. So tonight he comes here to celebrate with his family.  I made his favorite meal Hawaiian Haystacks and Cream Cheese cake. He smiles at me with those big eyes as I ask "How is it?".. He smiles and just takes another bite...  My night is made.


As I watch him I have to wonder... how did we get to this point? Where did my little boy go? When did time just slip away and steal him from me. How did this happen, and where was I?



As I  sit here writing this he drift's asleep in his sisters room,  his long legs hang off the edge of her bed and he looks so big, I swear it was just the other day that he was a little boy driving me crazy with his "but why" questions and leaving his toys out.  I can still see him with his little curls driving his Mickey Motorcycle in the living room, or coming home from kindergarten so excited to share what he learned that day..

Now I have to just hope he will drop by and give me one of those deep hugs I live for...  He stands taller then me by a full 6 inches, has a deep voice and looks so much like a man. He has ripped muscles, a captivating smile and gentle eyes. He is noticed a lot by the young ladies but he doesn't notice...
He is such a great young man. Unsure of what he wants to do with his life, and where to head but so excited to figure it out on his own.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised, that is Ty marching to his own drum, doing it his way. My little boy is gone...and in his place stands a man ready to take off down his own highway just this time it is without Mickey and mommy at his side...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Being Married to Washington For A Day

My husband blew me away...

to celebrate Constitution week and honor our  Founding Fathers he was asked to play the father of our great country...the one, the only, George Washington himself!  He did an amazing job.

He kept the audience captivated as he shared inspiring words from Washington about what sacrifice's he and others made to give us the freedoms we freely enjoy. He talked about what we owe our ancestors for those stripes of red that fly on our flag. He talked about what we need to pass on to our children, and the duties we  each owe our great country. He talked about what they wanted for us (their prosperity)  when the Constitution was written, what they were trying to do when they created that heavenly document.

He shared  how Washington depended on divine inspiration from our Heavenly Father to guide him to lead a nation... and write that amazing document that gives us everything we need to remain free if we so chose , and how to govern ourselves..

What a great man Washington was....so humble, so faithful and gave his all.  I know Washington must have looked down and smiled  What an honor to be Martha.... well at least for a day :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Little Chicks Are All Grown Up!


My little chicks are all grown up now. I used to wake to crowing each morning thanks to "Nothing" (the rooster... yep rooster) but now he is gone. It wasn't the early crowing that got him sent to the chicken farm but the fact that I couldn't convince him that he wasn't an attack dog! (Yes Willa you were right!) At first it was nice to have him be so protective of " his ladies" but after a while it got old trying to protect "everyone" from him. However I have decided that next year I would like to try another rooster and see if we can find one with a better temperament. He was a beautiful bird and though I will miss him I don't think to many others will.

We also lost 2 of our hens. One early on to a predator and another about a month ago. Who knew I could cry so much over a silly hen, but poor Roxy was lost to one of the boys (stupid dogs!). Just in case you have ever wondered what your supposed to do when your dogs decided to go chicken hunting, Let me tell you the solution isn't easy. There is nothing worse then beating your dogs with a dead hen tied on the end of a rope , as your bawling like a baby! Oh well so goes life when you move to the country.


So we are left with the "seven" and they are such good hens. I get at least half a dozen eggs a day from them. And let me tell you folks there is nothing better then free range eggs for an omelet! I love my silly little hens. Those stupid birds bring me such joy just watching them chase bugs. Grasshoppers are my favorite.. they can keep those chickens going for hours! The only thing I would like to change is that they love my garden!


I have lost more melons to hens then to bugs! But next year I will know what to do so I can have both, at least I will try!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Spring Garden

Wow has it really been five months since my last post... Life get's so busy. Summer had so many things growing and changing for us. My beautiful garden came to life and then thanks to the heat, (some days we hit 110) also proceeded to die quickly!  Though I can't really complain as I was one of the lucky ones. Before the heat took its toll we were blessed with lots of lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots, and a variety of  melons. And I guess it wasn't a total loss as I have learned that there is much that I need to learn for my garden next year...Who knew that there was so much to know about a garden!


We chose to go with a square foot gardening option.What a great concept that is... plant lots of different produce in one in bed... Companion gardening, adding your flowers for both color and pest protection... I am not sure who came up with such a brilliant idea, but they have given me back hours that would have been spent on my knees weeding. Plus it is just so pretty! And I like pretty.


Friday, August 13, 2010

The Ant With The Cheese

 Have you ever learned a lesson from the most unlikely source and then just wondered if it was put there for that reason? Yesterday I noticed  ants in my kitchen. YIKES!  One thing that I can't have in my home is bugs!. So as I await the bug man I have decided to just let them be. Who knew that the invasion of my home would give me a great life lesson.

  I was washing some dishes from this morning being annoyed by these little insects, as I  noticed that a piece of cheese was moving across my counter. Last night for dinner we had homemade chili and when the girls were making theirs someone dropped a shred of cheese. Just one little piece of cheese but it has made such an impact on me because of one little ant.

It had been moved from one side of my kitchen counter(where we made the chili)  to the other from this one little ant. I have to admit I was impressed. This one piece of shredded cheese was at least 25 times bigger then this little ant and now he was trying to take it up the wall.

At this point I was done washing dishes and started watching the ant. He must have struggled for at least 15 minutes trying to get this up the wall back to his home. Other ants walked on top of the cheese, pass the cheese,and even over the little ant pulling up the cheese. I  had to wondered why they didn't the other ants stop and help? Couldn't they all get back to their home together? Here was something that would benefit the whole "group" but I guess that each of them had their own job to do and were to busy trying to get it done. Did the other ants even notice the struggle? Regardless of this struggle the little ant continued to work hard and I actually cheered for him when it looked like this piece of cheese would disappear behind my wall, he had almost made it home BUT then he dropped it. And what did he do???? Started the journey all over again!

Who knew my heart could ache for a little ant? I watched him struggle so hard, and was almost there and then due to no fault of his own was back to square one. How many of us have gone through that type of situation and felt hopeless, and just wanted to walk away! I figured that is what he would do, but how wrong I was. Again this ant goes and picks up the cheese and starts back up the wall.

Eventually the others start to come and help him. This led me to think about us in the church recently I have been trying to help a sister that has moved away but I used to be her Relief Society President and so she still contacts me and much to my dismay she is talking about leaving the church because of the trials that is before her. Much like that little ant I really wanted to help, this is her trial. How many times have we had to face something so painful, or difficult it felt like it was 25 times bigger then us? And no matter what we have to keep trying until we get the

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chickens!


Ok so it has been a little while since I have posted and actually a lot has been going on at our little homestead. The most important, baby chicks! I decided it would be a good idea to get the girls on my side by taking them to the local tractor supply store and let them see how cute they were. Much to my happy surprise we left with 8 and a week later added 2 more. Ari wasn't very happy about this as she was sure they would all end up dog food. So far so good. I can be very threatening when I need to be and the dogs have decided the best approach is to stay away. The girls have started to warm up to the chicks since so far no one has become "kibble and bits". So they now have all been named.

I have learned a lot about chickens in the last few weeks. They grow fast. Have personalities, can be very messy at times and when they start to bury themselves in the dust it isn't because they are sick and dying it is because they are bathing. Who KNEW?!?

Nothing (yes that is what Ari named her chick) seems to be the leader. She likes to do what the others won't try and then get them to follow. Roxy seems to be the best at flying and keeps getting herself stuck inside the feeder when she roost up there and then loses her balance. I saved Ethel or Lucy (can't really tell them apart yet) today from following Roxy's example. We are going to have to find a bigger box for them soon and something to cover the top or soon I am going to have flying chicken all over my kitchen. I would not be to happy with that! I hope the weather warms up a little more this weekend so I can take them outside and let them wander.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Hill vs the Tightwire


OK maybe it's just me and I am alone in this but I have to say that sometimes as hard as it is for us to watch we just have to let our children fail. They are not our grades, our responsibilities or life lessons to learn. I love my children more then life. Each one is so special in so many ways but there are times they need to scrape a knee, learn the importance of a lesson or just feel the pain of a failure.

I know that must sound so mean but I would rather my children learn these hard lessons while I can safely help clean the cut, wipe away the tears of disappointment, or offer a hand or shoulder as they learn a much needed lesson for life. Does that make me a mean parent not always swooping in to save the day? I guess so! Does it mean I love them any less then the helicopter parent just waiting to save the day? No, I hope it means that I love them enough to let them learn those lessons while I know they are safe and the cost is little in the big picture of life. I would rather them fall off the hill then a tightwire...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My girl is Twitterpatted!



Ok my girl has got it bad. KC'lynn walks around in a strange kind of "love fog". That's right she is "twitterpatted" with one very nice boy. The minute he calls her you hear the smile in her voice, not to mention the light in her eyes. I remember those days when it seemed like all you needed was love. No worries, no concerns, just the sound of his voice to take you away before life and bills take you both away from that "nothing can ever touch us love".

I love seeing this innocence within her. She is the happiest girl anyway but this new stage is so fun to watch. I think these are the rewards of being a parent. The reason we fed, changed, cleaned up after, and bathed our little ones not to mention the endless nights of little to no sleep. So now we get to stand back and with a smile watch our children go through all the beautiful stages of life.

So worth it!

Monday, February 8, 2010

How Buying Less Can Set You Free (Guest Post)

Guest Post by Danelle Ice from Home Ever After


We all want to have an inviting home, comfortable environment, and nice things for our family. As moms, we’re always looking for products to make our lives easier, to make chores go smoothly, and to make our homes beautiful. The desire for “things” is normal in moderation. The problem is when buying “things” takes you over, cluttering up your home, controlling your actions, and wreaking havoc on your family budget.

The desire for material things is encouraged by advertisers to get you to buy their products. Commercials make us think our lives aren’t whole until our kids have the newest bicycles or our husband has a top-of-the-line barbecue grill. What advertisers WON’T tell you is that not only do you have the power NOT to buy things, but that buying less can set you FREE!

More Things = Less Money + Less Time.
Things are a huge responsibility, and take their toll in many areas of our lives. First, it takes money to buy things. Then, we have to find space to store things, batteries and electricity to power the things, time to learn how to use things and teach our family how to use things. We have to spend time or money to fix things when they break. We spend time to clean and maintain things. We pay for a larger house or storage to have room for all of our extra things.

The first step to simplifying our lives is to stop buying unnecessary items immediately. Just saying no to bringing more possessions into your home will immediately give you more time, more money, and less clutter.

What if you want to let go of things but don’t know how to make the change? Here are 5 tips that can help you get started:

1. Realize that most “needs” aren’t truly needs.
Most “needs” we feel to buy things aren’t real needs, they’re wants. Food for dinner? Yes. 5 new cookbooks? Probably not.

Worse, they’re never ending. The desire for stuff doesn’t end when you get that latest gadget. The empty spot is quickly replaced by another item you don’t have. Read about the difference between needs and wants here .

2. Stop coveting.

Almost everyone has a friend or neighbor who seems to have everything. Don’t get caught up in the desire to have everything others have. Acquiring things to keep up with someone else will not bring you a feeling of contentment with your life or gratitude for what you have; it will only breed feelings of guilt that you can’t afford (or choose not to buy) all those items.

3. Be grateful.
Be thankful for all the wonderful things you have, and the comfortable lifestyle and loving environment you’re able to provide for your family. When you feel gratitude for what you have already, it is difficult to feel bad for not having more.

4. Be content.

We are full, whole, loving people, with or without things. Material possessions can never make you a kinder, nicer, or a better friend, parent, or spouse. Desiring and acquiring more things won’t change who you are–at least, not for the better.

5. Declutter for charity.

Make a family project of decluttering your home to donate unneeded items to those less fortunate. This is a sure way to put things into perspective and realize that “things” only have value when they fulfill a real need. Donate items to Goodwill, to less fortunate friends, or to families from church that can use a little help.

Set yourself free of the responsibilities of being a “consumer” and realize that you have the power to stop buying things! Buying less does a multitude for your mind and soul, including getting you a little closer towards having gratitude for what you already have, not focusing on what you don’t.

This guest post is by problogger Danelle Barbi Ice from Home Ever After, an online Home & How-To magazine specializing in homemaking, decluttering, frugal living, and more. If you like this article, please subscribe to Home Ever After for free!

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Hunt for A Butter Churn


I never thought there would be so many choices for a butter churn. In my mind I see Ellie Mae and the show Beverly Hillbillies. You know the old wooden barrel that had a long stick coming out of the top. I can see her sitting on the porch day dreaming with critters near by turning the milk until she got nice creamy butter. Yummy! Someone pass the warm bread…

But enough of my TV memories…Here is the low down: they range in price from about $30 on craigslist to $2500 if you’re a collector. They come in glass, ceramic, and wood. You can get the electric kind that do all the work or you can find one where you get your daily arm work out as well as butter! Who knew!?

So now I am on the search. I don’t want much; just a hard working churn that is going to last me years and needs no electricity. I don’t care how it looks as long as it works hard. ‘Don’t care how it looks’… did that really come out of my mouth??? Well after all it is a New Year.