Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Time For Every Season

Patches the calf goes to slaughter today. The goats are drying off. Just two more goats need to get bred. Life around here is slowing down to a moderate pace and so begins my time of leisurely pursuits.
I love the fall season. Not just for it's colors and cool weather, but also for the slowing down of things. The garden is harvested, canned or frozen. The freezer is stocked with meat. The firewood is split and stacked under cover, and the livestock are reduced in number and are less time consuming.
I now have time for things that are "extras". None of them are "must do's" or have a deadline attached to them. I can work on them at my pace, as I feel inspired. I'll work on genealogy projects, visit the local library and read more books, and take up some sewing projects that are purely creative and stretch my abilities.
I'll spend time sitting on my front deck soaking in the sun and the amazing smell of fall leaves. I'll make lists of all the things the Christmas season will require: gifts, annual brunch, Chuck Day, etc. I'll plan out the 4-H year for our club. This year should be so much fun with so many new members and new projects to try out.
This fall, we'll start planning and organizing for Abby and Justin's wedding. Next summer is going to be super busy with two college graduations (one involving a trip to South Carolina!) and the wedding. Doing some of the planning now, while life is "slow", will take some of the stress off of next spring when we are in the middle of graduations, goats, syrup, and calves.
So many awesome things in the future for our family, and I am so thankful the Lord has given us this season of calm. I pray that I can truly enjoy these moments and not find myself rushing on to the next thing, as I often do. I am grateful for this fall season where I can sit back, enjoy, and rest in the time we have here. God has blessed us beyond measure and He knows just what we need, when we need it.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The New Normal

In the Bible, Numbers 32:23 says, "But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out". In essence, even if you think no one will know, the Lord knows, and what you did will eventually be revealed.

Rachel and Samantha spent the last week at my mom and dad's. My parent's needed a distraction from some anxious events this week, and Rachel and Samantha's misbehavior on Monday provided an opportunity to send my parents a distraction that included some slave labor. Mom put them to work weeding gardens, moving rocks, and planting trees and shrubs, all the while subjecting them to lectures about "not making your parents crazy because you still need them sane for a few more years.

While they were away, eggs that Samantha had placed in the incubator because she had, "forgotten to collect them for a few days," hatched. Now, it takes 21 days for chicks to hatch, and the eggs were in the incubator for about 8 days. You do the math. Either we have miraculous chickens laying miraculous eggs or, Samantha is lying about how long she neglected her coop. Your sin will find you out.

This week we had a young friend visit us for a few hours. She wanted to play in Samantha's room, but it was quite messy. Sam and our young friend cleaned up her room and found empty wrappers of various snacks tucked in corners and other hidden places. Your sin will find you out.

While with my parents, mom asked Rachel to do some math while they were shopping, and she struggled with it, ending up using her fingers to do the calculations. Upon interrogation by my mother it was revealed that there has been some cheating on math work. Your sin will find you out.

I decided to do a little checking on our Netflix account in light of my mom's revelation regarding schoolwork. It seems my students have become well versed in various TV shows during times when TV is not allowed. Computer history checks also revealed they are spending quite a bit of time on internet games. Thankfully none of them were anything bad, but certainly they didn't involve math facts or fraction usage. Your sin will find you out.

So in light of all this, some new barn rules are in place, snack purchases will be curtailed, the WiFi USB is securely hidden, the Netflix account has been terminated, and they have a new memory verse to learn. Life as they have known it is gone. Welcome to the new normal girls!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall 2014

It's my favorite time of year! The weather is cooler, the humidity is lower, and the air is clearer. And we are super busy, just the way I like it! My birthday this month adds to the fun too!

I love the colors of fall. The leaves, and the flowers in my garden have these amazing hues that just sparkle in the early morning or late afternoon sunlight. The sky gets this amazing color of blue and even at night the stars seem brighter against the crisp darkness.

Our 4-H club gets started up again, after a summer break. We had our introductory meeting the other night and had 10 new kids come and check us out! The group had some great ideas for events, activities, and community service projects. I am so excited to get started with this great group of kids and adults!

The Big E is happening! We bring some of our dairy goats (and some friends' dairy goats, this year) up to the Big E. The goats get petted and pampered for a few weeks while they are used daily to demonstrate milking a goat to the public.

The last weekend of the Big E is the 4-H goat, sheep and dog shows. Sam is once again a chaperon and gets to sleep and eat in the dorms with the boys, while I hang out in the barn and camper. Samantha is the only one from our club to be officially eligible to participate, but next year we have about seven kids who will be able to attend!

Every weekend from now to the middle of October, we will be bringing the animals (chickens, goats, and calf) to the local garden center (Burnett's Country Gardens) for the public to experience and learn about small farm living. I'll also be setting up a booth with my dresses and skirts for sale (Etsy Shop). Abby and Hannah will be doing a face painting booth to raise some money for their college expenses.

Farm life doesn't slow down much this time of year. It's breeding season so we'll be watching for heat cycles and getting our does bred for February and March kiddings. Since we also offer our buck for stud services, we'll be busy arranging boarding and breeding for others. The calf will head to the slaughterhouse in mid-October, and apple, squash, and pumpkin picking will mean lots of canning and freezing. The girls and I are helping Sam to get enough firewood split and stacked for the wood stove in the house, and the evaporator in the sugar shack. Sam is also researching a way to store extra water for the animals, should winter storms knock our power out.

Hannah has a new job that requires some driving, and so she'll be getting her license in the next few months! Abby is moving forward with her wedding plans. Nathalie is back at Bob Jones University to complete her associate's degree in Culinary Arts. Rachel is helping with sewing projects and has taken on a sewing student, while Samantha has more responsibilities in the barn with the goats. My sewing business is taking off and keeps me busy in the sewing room at least two days per week.

Soon enough the snow will start to fall and we will be hunkered in for the winter months. But no worries, the planning of the Christmas Eve Brunch will occupy our time!

Monday, July 28, 2014

New London County 4-H Fair 2014

Nathalie showing Beef

Samantha showing Beef

Samantha and Nathalie showing Dairy

Cori showing dairy

Samantha showing chickens

Nathalie showing chickens

Samantha showing dogs

Samantha's champion bantam rooster

Monday, July 14, 2014

More Fun with the Cousins

Playing on the wii!

Francesca was determined to make that goat walk!

Mitch and Alex sang some karaoke

Friday, July 11, 2014

Summer Fun with Cousins!

Some of the cousins from Kansas came for an extended visit this summer. Here are some of the highlights from the first half of their visit!

Lots of fun playing with the cats.

Catching, researching, and creating habitats for salamanders

Awesome Slip and Slide FUN!

LOTS of time in the pool at Meme and Pepe's house

Francesca helped to water the chickens. She thought our 55 degree morning was cold!

Fourth of July Parade in Canterbury. WE walked from Meme's house to the parade route.

Francesca and Audrey helped the girls do the farm chores

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