Sunday, December 20, 2009

Car accident

DH and HG were in a car accident today, he believes that the Expedition is totalled, it is currently flipped over in a field. We'll know more once the adjuster gets through with it. Please pray.

On a side note it appears that the wonderful people of our town have adopted our family this year, we're not quite sure how they knew but we are thankful for their generosity.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The reason for the season

There comes a time in everyones life when you forget that you are not alone in your struggle. We have been so blessed by the love and support of those around us, not just friends and family but also those in our community. In our careful planning it had not occurred to us that we didn't have a tree, the nice people from town brought us one with lots of ham and candy. lol. Christmas has a way of bringing out the best in people, I am so thankful for the blessings we have received. The kids loved having a tree to decorate and it'll be nice to have something to put in their stockings.

Remember always that you are not alone, hard times are meant to draw you closer in you walk with God. There are many blessings in times of struggle, but there is great joy in giving. In these last days before Christmas please take the time to bless those in need around you. :) Blessings of the season everyone.

Today we lay to rest a kind man from our town, Please keep the Schmitz family in your prayers. Thanks.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

An end to my silence

Sometimes life throws so many curve balls that even narrating the events begins to feel like a whining. I do thank all of you that have checked in on us, your thoughts and prayers have been deeply appreciated. So, on to the quick overview:

Expedition fixed, savings gone, Lot sold (got 1/3 of what he's worth, note to self, never use the sale barn again - though some money better than none), lesson learned, Judd died (reasons unknown :(), hubby didn't find work, dusted off resume and start work in January. Well, that about does it. :)

I have been reading the little house on the prairie books and I must say that I am enjoying them tremendously. It is amazing how different life was back then, their courage is inspiring.

Looks like we will have piglets in the Spring :) Eva is doing really well and Buttercup is taming very nicely. It will be interesting to see how Quinn adapts to his new role as sire, he has never been the only bull around. Blackbird is still a bit weary of us but has taken to the others very well. Eva follows her around when she isn't busy nursing Treva.

The chickens are beginning to lay again now that they have adjusted to their new diet, several have migrated to the barn. We will be working on getting boards on their windows this week to keep the cold air out.

I have added rag dolls to the list of Christmas projects and will post pics of the knitted projects soon. I pray that you all are well and hope you all have a wonderful Advent season. :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday preparation deals and steals

Don't miss out on your chance to get a free $15 photo item (you will still pay shipping), I ordered the photo book and added 17 pages, bringing my total to 14.92 before shipping of $1.99 :)

Here is a link to find free photocards

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My baby is red and swollen.

Not sure what's going on but baby girl is red in patches and appears quite swollen. We thought at first it might be fifth disease, but as she got more swollen we think it maybe hives. I noticed, as I was packing the diaper bag, that dh picked up oatmeal baby cereal, turns out he started using it yesterday, I think this maybe the culprit. I'll let you know. None of our children have allergies, this is new territory for us, especially me as I don't have any either. :( My poor baby, she is so irritable right now, like she needed something more than teething to bother her :(

In other news, the knitting Christmas presents plan is working very well. I am on the 2nd to last of the kids gifts and then I have 2 more and I will be done :) Looks like I may even get Christmas cards out this year :)

UPDATE: They are treating it as an allergy and we are watching her over the next 72 hours. She seems to be less swollen since taking the Hydroxzine. Praise God the visit and prescription came in under $50.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not much to see, move along

The car will also need a new transmission. No further comment.

Homeschooling is going well, it is wonderful to see how much the children are learning and we are having lots of fun with it. The Kindergartner is as quick as a whip and very eager to learn everything. My mother gifted the children a subscription to brain pop to add to their learning aids. The kids really love it. Our 6th grader is enjoying the flexibility that homeschooling offers. Having ADHD is quite difficult in a traditional school setting, the ability to take breaks and spend time outside and working with his hands, offers him a whole lot more than he could have gotten. The toddlers are not left out they are learning writing basics along with counting and the alphabet. The older toddler has his colors and shapes down already.

Anyway, we continue to pray for guidance. We were not able to keep our appointment with the butcher as we had no vehicle to pull the trailer :( Anywho that's what's been going on.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

One thing after another

Today I was excited to let you all know that the car has finally been pulled from the mud. We even get a new battery in the thing, unfortunately, it does not run, it starts but does not go. :( So to recap, we have 1 vehicle with a bad transmission and the other is incapacitated. Great! We were able to get another job but this new development may put an end to business as we cannot risk going too far with the transmission. I am going back to bed till thing pick up, it seems this day is a bust. :(

Monday, October 26, 2009

Boston Market $1 meal Deal

Not to be outdone by the Colonel, click here for this coupon and other great deals from Boston Market. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fantasy vs Reality

The problem with life is that it really follows no rules. No matter how well you plan it is not obligated to conform. There is nothing that ever measures up to the fantasy. Today has been a rough day :(

Friday, October 23, 2009

Catching up

Lots of changes round these parts. Eva has been moved to the small barn and is in training. She has been haltered and is learning our touch and voice. She is not terribly excited about this, especially since Treva is only allowed to visit twice a day for morning and night feedings. Treva was initially quite upset about this arrangement however, she seems to be enjoying her new found freedom. The other cows were given an opportunity to move freely however Lot and Quinn decided to take a stroll and they were sent to the arena. Judd was given a reprieve, until he decided to "steal" my milk, lol. He really missed his mama and will have a chance to get to know Eva a bit better when winter comes, they will be penned together. Buttercup seems to have gotten past her mustang phase and has settled down rather nicely. Dh left the cows in the garden and when he went to round them up (they left said garden area as I told him they would and were on my front lawn), she went very easily back into the arena.

Lot will be off to the freezer next week, a little sooner than expected but we are hoping to at least sell half, we'll see. Looks like the pigs will be going to the freezer in mid-November as we need to lighten out load during winter while we try to get things going. The chickens have been cut off of their feed ration and are now 100% free range as we no longer have our Wichita sales to justify the feed expense. It has been quite an adjustment for them. Right now we are trying to ride out their severely low production due to this diet change.

We no longer make deliveries to Wichita as the transmission on our expedition is going out and we don't have $2500 to get it done. We will try to get the Focus out of the mud next week, we were able to contact the farmer and he said that he will help us while harvesting the milo. This is a big blessing as it will allow us to resume business and except for the expense of getting a new battery it will allow us to sell eggs and the white stuff (lol) again. So much is going on, keep us in your prayers, we are still out of propane and the cold weather has begun. We are paying bills as we can but . . . things could be a lot worse. We are thankful for all of God's blessings during this time and always. Thanks for checking in with us, I'll try to be more regular.

Oh, homeschooling is going well, the kids are really enjoying it. It is amazing how many resources there are available for those on a super tight budget. I highly recommend the core knowledge series,,, as places to start. There is a ton of others. The local library is not really practical for public school kids but works out to be awesome for homeschoolers who are available during their limited opening hours. :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009


We entered our toddler in the Gap photo contest, please take a moment to vote for our girl. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A dream is lost

Tonight we called dh's grandparents in RI, he has never met them and we have been planning to do so this year. His aunt(he's not met her either) answered and gave us the unfortunate news that they have both passed away. We are heartbroken! :( This has been a dream of ours for sometime now, we have never been able to afford the trip. Please pray for the family, he has 2 aunts and an uncle that we will go visit soon. We were really thankful that his aunt is there, it was nice talking to her for the first time. We hope to keep in contact.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Awesome Cheesemaking info

I am desperately wanting to make different cheeses but have been held back by finances. Today I found an awesome site that shows how to make the starter cultures: Mesophilic Starter here is another Mesophillic starter and Themophilic Starter :) It's nice to know that the knowledge of how to make these from scratch has not been completely lost. I was beginning to wonder if Ma Ingles sent the kids to the store asking for Mesophilic starter, a mouthful even for me. I will be setting some milk out tonight to get the mesophilic culture process started. I will have to wait till I get goats to get fresh rennet so for now I will survive on Junket. Everything in time. I'm just excited that I will get to make some hard cheese :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Preparing a Garden Bed - The Home Depot - Garden Club

Good soil preparation is the basis for any great garden. Take the time to do it right and you’ll save time and money in the long run, as your plants thrive and garden maintenance becomes minimal.

Step 1 Cut sod into strips 12 to 18 inches wide. Cut the strips by digging into the ground with a spade or edger, pushing the blade just below the roots — a depth of about 2 or 3-inches deep.
Step 2 Professionals remove sod with a sod lifter — a tool designed specifically for the job that can be rented or purchased at The Home Depot. Alternatively, you can put the handle of a spade close to the ground and kick the blade sharply to dislodge sod.
Step 3 You can reuse sod. Roll up the strips and remove them from the bed. Trim it into lengths of 2 to 4 feet. Replant as soon as possible.

Step 4 Work amendments, such as peat moss, manure or fertilizer, into the soil. Dig to a depth of at least 1 foot, then rake the bed smooth. To discourage growth of weeds, lay down landscape fabric, such as Weedblock, available at The Home Depot. Cut Xs in the fabric and root plants in the soil below. Cover the fabric with 2 to 3 inches of soil or mulch.

Preparing a Garden Bed - The Home Depot - Garden Club

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Love", CHAOS and a dream

It's that time of year again, apparently, you know the time when all bulls fall in love, lol :) Lot is back in "love" with Treva he carefully busted his way out of the arena and was resting in the barn with her and Eva when we woke up this morning. Thankfully he didn't do too much damage and we were able to fix it easily. We are still deciding if we want him to breed her but we probably will and then he's off to the butcher.

CHAOS: Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome - yup there is a name for it and there is help. Thanks to FlyLady there is help for people like me. My mom "blessed" me with a need to have a clean kitchen always if I am to function properly. When you have sucky (yes it's a word, ok I made it up) plumbing like mine and your kitchen sink is almost always stopped up, that becomes an impossible task.

The problem is that once the kitchen goes downhill, so does the rest of the house :( It's a horrible cycle but I'm working through the flylady steps and trying to find creative ways to keep my sink shining. Once we get it done I hope to take 1 room at a time and really get it set up nicely. It's going to be quite the challenge for me but I am determined to do it.

In other news, I have defined my ministry with this little farm. I know what I want to do and I am looking for other area farmers who share a desire to feed others affordably. Farm Fresh/Organic/Healthy shouldn't be cost prohibitive to ordinary people. I plan to have an event to kick it off, anyone interested please email me for more info. Ideas and suggestions welcome :)

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hello and good-bye

A couple days ago the most wonderful dog showed up on our doorstep, we initially we very concerned but she proved to be a great farm dog. WE knew she had to belong to someone so we made posters. We got a few responses, they were looking for boy dogs, then today I got the call and it was them. They had lost her . . . seems so strange that they didn't post any lost posters or even put a collar on her but she seemed to know the lady that came to pick her up or at least that is what dh said. The kids are really sad, she even got along with the chickens (that was so weird). We'll miss her, they call her Lucy, the kids called her Shelby. I really hope she has a good life with them . . . :(

Yesterday our cat had 6 kittens, they are way smaller than I'd ever seen, it is so weird to see kitten the size of mice. We haven't named them yet, she was really hungry and thirsty when we found her and the babies between the bales of hay. We set her up a spot that they could have privacy and be warm, good thing to since it was pretty cold last night. It is officially fall and that means it is time to start thinking of our propane needs to get through winter.

We are currently reevaluating all of our expenses and cutting everything that is unnecessary, we will also see if there are any animals that we can sell so that we don't have to feed them through the winter. Lot may go the butcher if we can't get him sold, we'll see how it goes.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Living within our means

This weekend I did a lot of baking to keep us stocked with bread a real staple at this point. Tonight for diner I wanted to do something different as I was a bit tired of the bread, beans and cheese routine. Dh told me that I could make whatever I like as long as I only need what we already have. The menu consisted of sweet potatoes w/brown sugar, Home-made Scalloped potatoes and baked fish. I was out of butter but I had skimmed cream yesterday. I used most of the cream for the butter and kept some for the half and half. Dh loves it in his coffee. :) Life with 2 toasters ovens is a challenge but totally doable. i also discovered that my crock pot can cook fresh meat in 2 hours or less as long as I don't get too fancy with it. It's been interesting, so what have you guys been up to?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Home-made Hot Fudge Sauce

Too good not to share. The SpruceHill blog is one of todays featured recipe posters on PW's Tasty Kitchen with her delicious fudge sauce recipe. Check it out.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kanye West at the VMA's unbelieveable

Who takes a mic mid-speech to compliment someone else? I cannot believe that he is so ridiculous. Read more here

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Productive day and school irritation

After my not so great day yesterday I decided to bake cookies (WW Chocolate Chocolate Chip), I also made chocolate chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast (not as great as I'd hoped). Several loaves of bread were baked and 8 chickens were butchered for the freezer. It was a very productive day. :)

I was all happy and excited until I get the mail and there was a note from the local school. We inquired about getting the kids in for Music and PE, they have no issue as long as they get their money or it's a no go. I don't have an issue with that but it was the next paragraph that ticked me off. The principal wanted to let me know that he had informed the county attorney that my oldest would not be attending their school this year, though he knows I have elected the homeschooling option, his letter claims that he is "required" to report this. Funny, I was not required to tell them anything since they were not enrolled, but whatever. I really don't trust those people. We have reconsidered the music and PE and will be opting to find that outlet for the kids elsewhere.

So is it time to start working on a fall garden?

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Having a blah day

Today was wildly uneventful, I am incredibly irritated and/or frustrated. I really need to have dinner and go to bed. Not a whole lot else to tell, homeschooling is going well, we are making calls and working on getting accounts for the business. We have some tests scheduled for next week. :) That's about it for now, I'm sure there is a lot more but I'm just not in the mood to think of it. :(

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Our New Business

Since you've asked, I am posting a link here of our business. We are still finalizing a territory map so stay tuned for that update :) Thanks for all of your support and continued prayers.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Homemaking and Volunteer gardening

Because I grew up a city dweller with a concrete front yard (mom didn't want to have to mess with having to mow the lawn), I really suck at gardening. The concepts are so very foreign to me :( Of the things I attempted this year the 1 grape vine has survived and the tomato plants that I put out late are still alive. However nothing has bore fruit. I may have mentioned that I noticed that we had a volunteer garden coming in the old pig pen, well said garden is doing wonderfully. We have gotten some juicy cantaloupes and there are several tomato plants that have begun to produce. We are still waiting patiently for the watermelons to be ripe. It is amazing how blessed we have been by this garden and I am saving the seeds for next year. We had a chance to get a butternut squash from a friend's garden and we have also saved the seeds.

On another note I am really been enjoying having time to crochet. I am excited to re-learn how to knit and I have found a great easy sock tutorial. I will give it a try as soon as I get done with the pillow and blanket I am making for AR.

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