Sunday, June 23, 2013

In the beginning....

    
So here we are. My first blog post. Try not to be too critical if you don't mind (and I'll try not to be too critical of myself). Right now I feel as if I may be biting off more than I can chew by expecting that I will keep up with this, but I LOVE to write, and I REALLY think its important to keep track of our family's memories on this awesome journey!

     So, where are we at right now on said journey? Well, our 5th little bundle of cuteness (Little Lotte) came into this world a mere 13 days ago.

Here she is just 1 day old :)
     She is amazing, and we are completely smitten, as we always are. Labor was... well... LABORING! I am a firm believer in an all natural child birth as I believe that it is called "labor" for a reason. I think you have to EARN that baby. You should feel it all. Its part of the experience! Now I realize that I may have already angered some of you out there, but, it is what it is. We are all entitled to our own opinions, and this is mine.
     On to less controversial topics. lol Currently we have 3 rabbits (2 female, 1 male) for the purpose of breeding and then eating, though they are currently not reproducing. (which is shocking to me since I thought that was ALL rabbits did!)
kinda hard to see... but there are 2 of the 3. Lil Daddy (front) Mrs. Nibbles (back)

     We have 12 hens and 1 rooster, for the purpose of meat and eggs. We raised 15 chicks this year(purchased as 1 day old chicks), and butchered our first 7 chickens when they were 16 weeks. Wow! What an experience! The raising and the butchering! Disgusting, but I def think I should get a special "Chicken Farming" badge for it or something! lol
Here is 4 year old Ginny carrying one of our chickens to the chopping block. She handled it REALLY well! Definitely a needs a "Farmer's Daughter" badge!

7 bags of chicken ready for the freezer!
 
     So, now we have our first broody hen. She has been sitting on that nest of eggs for 6 days now. 15 of them! We cant get in there to candle them so I just hope they are doing their thing, because she has stopped us from getting any eggs from anyone else in the meantime. She just keeps pushing them into her nest! About 2 more weeks and we should know. We are all very excited to have a hen to raise our chicks for once instead of a brooding box.
 
 
     Last (for now) but not least, we have our goats. 2 beautifully fluffy living marshmallows. Sweetie Pie (left) and Rosanna (right) being raised for milk... way down the road.

This is when they were 4 weeks old
 
     We bought them when they were 3 weeks old, gave them their first shots, bottle fed them 3 times a day, built a shelter, built a fence, extended their fence, extended their fence, extended their fence, extended their fence.....  Boy are they clearing our land for us! But, they have also learned how to jump their 4 foot wire fence and have decided to help us clear our garden as well! So we bought the materials to build our first electric fence. It is 400 feet around and in our clearing under a row of telephone poles. The Hubs and Trevor (age 11) got a good  start on it yesterday. They put in all the step-in posts, and ran the poly-tape on the top and the 3 wires on the bottom all the way around. Tomorrow they plan to set up the gate, run some guy ropes, hook up the energizer, dig a trench for the power cord, bury it, and juice it up! I cant wait to see it all done, and I promise I will take pics for you all to see as well. But, as I always say "you could see it a lot better from here, so come on over for a visit!"
     And to tempt you to do that, let me tell you what the rest of us have been working on. Sebastian (age 12), Ginny (age 5), Tempe (age 23 months) and I have been cooking up a storm here in our lil country kitchen! We do a lot of baking and cooking from scratch and batch cooking for canning and freezing. (and yes I DO plan to post recipes at some point)This week so far we have made 32 cinnamon rolls for the freezer, 2 batches of chocolate chip cookie dough for the freezer, 1 batch of Reese's Pieces cookie dough for the freezer, and individual cheesecake jars for the freezer (an anniversary present for the Hubs). We also made peach upside down cake and 15 jars of peach jam from locally grown peaches, homemade hoagie rolls (for pot roast sandwiches), 4 loaves of potato bread (a family favorite that usually gets made several times a week), French bread bowls (for our homemade canned ham and bean soup), 4 loaves of zucchini bread, and several bags of sliced zucchini for the freezer (from the 40 bagillion zucchini we have been harvesting from the garden this week), and 2 dozen bagels (that'll last a few days... tops). We definitely take pleasure in cranking out the good stuff in our lil kitchen and I know I always feel good when I see my family enjoying something that I worked hard to make from scratch (and my wallet appreciates it too!)

     My kiddos are learning the value of hard work on the homestead and learning about all the benefits of this life. I homeschool them all, and we learn the basic stuff that public school kids learn. But, as an added bonus for them, they also get to learn life skills as well. They know how to properly cook and clean, how to take care of animals, how to do a budget and meal plan, how to tend the yard and garden, and even how to make homemade cleaners! (Id say that's a pretty well rounded education! Wouldn't you?) And as an added bonus for me, I get to KNOW my children! I get the pleasure of their company (the good, the bad, and the ugly lol) all day, everyday. I know each one of them PERSONALLY. I know their friends (and their friend's parents), their interests, and their personalities. I get to hear all their thoughts and dreams whenever they want to tell me, not just when their school day is over. And I can happily say that I have NEVER missed a "first". First step, first word, first food, first loose tooth, first crush... and I never intend to! I'm not saying that homeschooling is for everyone, or that my kids are better than anyone else's kids, just that homeschooling IS for us. Its what God has led our family to do, and we are very happy with it.
Okay, so end of rant. How did I do? Not really ever sure where to start and end, but there it is.

6 comments:

  1. Welcome to the blog-o-sphere! I'll give you a tip. Don't beat yourself up when you have take a break. I've been blogging for several years now, mostly as a journal for my family and there are definitely seasons where I need a break from it. :) Its okay to just jump right back in!

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  2. Thanks Stephanie. Im sure I will need to hear that again though... lol

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  3. You've done such a good job! You may have inspired me to restart my own blog.... :)

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  4. Hey Little Cuz,
    Love your blog! Thanks to your dad for posting it on FB! I know Candace would envy your homestead except that would be a sin (LOL!). She is homeschooling, too, and has just put in her first little garden. Gets the kids involved in the gardening, too. Love that you named one of your daughters Ginny! How sweet! All your little critters are so cute, and your children are beautiful. Blessings on you as you seek to follow the Lord in everything you do. Love, Paula

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  5. Thank you so much Paula. I know I def need to get together with Candace sometime. We have sooo much in common nowadays!

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