Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sewing along

What are you sewing this week?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

To sew, with love

Nope, I did not fall off the face of the earth.  Instead I've been sewing, hand sewing to be exact.  HG has been eager to learn and do a project so we are working together on a quilt.

The colors are from the dresses and skirts I made last month.

I need to get pics of the others now that I found my camera again :)
Well now you know where I've been, better get to bed.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The kids are growing up

Bella and Buck are thriving.  Dh, AR and I disbudded Bella, we hope we did the job right so far it looks good. They are getting ready to be properly weaned in another few weeks.  

There's not much to tell, our tomatoes and potatoes didn't make it (thanks blister beetles).  We're hoping the pumpkins do well.  The pigs are staying cool and we should have babies next month and the month after.

Hopefully Eva will get bred soon, we will likely send pretty to the freezer along with patches.  I hope to get some jam done next week but we'll see how it goes. 

Dh finally took his vacation time and AR went to FL, it was an awesome time for all of us to get a break.  We start school on Monday and are really refreshed and excited.  Summer vacation is almost over and it feels like only yesterday it began.  Hope you had a great summer :)


Sunday, July 31, 2011

A great end to July

 My 1st home birth baby turned 4 this weekend.  She is growing up so fast.

 AR got to serve at the Baptism.  We are so glad he was a part of it :)

Welcome into the family of Christ my little one :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Goats :)

These itty bitty babies are living in the old chicken coop (since no chickens live there . . . yet).  The children and I are enjoying bottle feeding them as they we wean WAY too early.  Help us name these cuties, please. :)

Can you believe our girls are so big already?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Diversity is key

Tip # 1: Buy a property with a good well.  I LOVE MY WELL, it saves me so much that it is wonderful.

As you know we are having a drought in this part of the world, not good if you're in need hay or produce hay.  I am not a fan of hay farming, frankly it seems way too uncertain but I'm chicken that way.  I am however a HUGE fan of haying your own property and selling excess when it is profitable.

Thanks to the drought, those who have hay have a great opportunity to enter the cattle market if they want to.  Cattle prices are crashing as finding affordable hay is almost impossible.  Hay producers are estimating that they will only be able to have 1/3 of what they usually get.  The prices are soaring as a result and people are getting desperate.  People are getting very hot under the collar about the higher prices but consider even if they were to double the usual price for hay they will not make what they usually would. (If they are used to getting 3000 bales and selling for $1 they would have $3000 by the end of the season, this year they are getting 1000 bales being sold for $2, giving them $2000 by the end of the season.  Believe me they aren't happy about this drought either.)

Anyway, the point is this is a perfect example of an area of diversity that each small farm needs to investigate to achieve sustainability.  Even if all you are able to do is feed your own livestock you would be ahead of the game and be able to build up your beef breeding/butcher stock. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Old junk car

Well the little car died, now before you tell me how terrible Ford car's are let me say it was not the car's fault. My dh is a car's worst nightmare (love you honey). The poor car hit 2 deer and too many other little critters to mention and we hadn't even owned it for 6 months. Even after all that it still continued to run until it finally had enough, I mean how long is it supposed to run without enough clean oil or coolant? Dh is much like Wayne Szalinski, in that he is single minded in his purpose and the whole world can fall down around him or in this case the car, before he notices something is wrong. Anyway, he's working on it so hopefully he'll work it into his routine.

Well what do you do with a car that doesn't run and isn't going to be fixed? You can always strip it for parts, but who has that kind of time? You can try to sell it, but that is also quite a bother, who wants a wrecked car? For us the solution came in the form of a company called (this is NOT a paid promotion or advertisement). I stumbled across an ad for them as I had several other and having heard the most absurd low-ball offers I was prepared for more of the same when they called. WOW was I wrong and did they make it easy. Now I live out in the boonies and their Kansas person was not able to help me but they were still willing to work with me and given my proximity to Oklahoma I was able to work with their Oklahoma buyer.

Thanks to the money they paid us (plus the little we had saved) we were able to buy another car almost immediately. It's not pretty but it runs and gets great mileage and wouldn't you know it (God and his humor again), He sent it in our theme colors, LOL!!! We have a little Toyota Camry and it even has a towing package, something I had wanted and hadn't even expected. Everything in His time, right on time :) Praise God.

In other news the pigs are doing great, the chicks and chickens are wonderful and the cows are getting big. It's time to get our little Eva bred and I'm very excited to see what her baby will look like. God Bless and try to stay cool this summer :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A new chapter in the pig adventures

You might remember last year when AR bought a bred gilt, well he(we) enjoyed it so much that we have decided to raise pigs for show.  Since making this decision we have learned quite a lot about breeding pigs, for instance they are fed 4-7lbs of grain per day so that they don't get too fat.  Turns out that if they get too fat it can make it hard for them to get pregnant and if they do get pregnant it can make the birth difficult.  I cannot tell you how many questions we've asked over the last few days to breeders from Indiana to Texas.  I am impressed by how friendly and willing to help most seem and it really is heart warming to see  how passionate they all are about their pigs.  A great resource we have also found is oh and WOW the AI world of pigs is amazing, people pay a small fortune for the "right" genetics.   Well, right now we're playing the waiting game since we lost our boar we will be looking to see if the sows come into heat over these next couple days.  They were AI'd last month but she was not certain if it took.  We have a line on several boars at this point and we are looking at some options for the pork side of the business too.  Ahh, so much to do, so little time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The heat

The worse part of this life is when conditions outside of your control take the life of the animals in your care. For the past week temperatures have spiked hitting 104 and feeling even hotter, my poor pigs could hardly cool down fast enough to keep up, the ground drank the water rather than making mud. By the end of the weekend we had lost 1 sow and the boar and with temperatures continuing to rise and winds high, all we could do was move them away from the other animals. 

 Dh contacted the rendering plant yesterday but we discovered that they do not take pigs, only cattle and horses. Today I began to search for options and thankfully the Farm Bureau came through with options. It's something you ever really want to think about but it is part of this life and knowing your options sure helps. Dh and AR are working on a fire pit of sorts and we will incinerate the bodies. I pray it goes well and that we will never have to do it again. :( Thankfully we have been able to keep the other 2 sows comfortable and Praise the Lord, the temperatures this week are much milder.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A little of this and that

Yesterday we picked up 3 sows and a boar, they are show quality I am told and even registered.  We got a GREAT deal as she wanted them to stay together.  Dh and I have converted the corrals to a summer pig pen.  We also picked up a truck bed trailer and a riding lawn mower, all were priced for us far below market, I firmly believe they were God's blessings on us.  


Our grape tomato plant is producing nicely, I am eager to see how the other plants do.  We have tried to water them faithfully and even weed the tiny garden, I pray that it will produce well, I am not impressed by the strawberry plants, but we'll see.

Walmart clearance racks are AWESOME!!  I got all 4 girls matching 5 matching shirts each @ $1/ shirt (Girls team RULE, lol).    DH, AR and I lucked into 6 or 7 thanks to the same deal.  The deal wasn't as great for little boys clothes, but SL got a few and now all boys team have cute fedoras :)  

Today SL turned 6, it's flown by so fast, much like his new remote control helicopter.  He's really gotten into school now, he LOVES the Funnix reading and math programs.  I am so excited to watch him grow and mature. :)

AR is getting better at driving, it is so much better having 3people who can move vehicles and get the trailers hitched up.  

BREAKING NEWS: We just had a RIR chick hatch, our very first.  YAY!  Wait, what do I do now?  Off to research, we have another broody sitting on a nest :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dear John . er . Wichita

It's not you, it's me.  Actually it's dh, he's getting tired of the frequent trips so I'm cutting WAY back.  Given the current gas prices I agree but I'll miss you.  I won't miss the long drive or long lines or getting lost but your treasures (we got a free shed and bricks, Menards had 20inch bikes for 19.99 after rebate - we need 1 more so now all kids have bikes), places to go and eat.  Well It's not quite goodbye, I will see you again. :)

The kids and I went down to Dallas last weekend and had a blast celebrating my birthday and Memorial day with my mom and sister's family.  It was so great to get out of town for a bit, the kids and I had such a great time.  It may seem crazy taking 7 kids on a road trip alone but we had fun.  Here are a few pics

I am still getting all our supplies together for the numerous house projects (Menards has a 3day sale the vinyl flooring is marked down 43%), slow and steady wins the race right? :)  Dh's schedule has made it slow going but we'll get there eventually.  

The summer heat has kept the kids cooling off in the pool almost daily.  My sis got a pool for our visit and sent us home with it :)

Well I better get back to work, more to come soon.