Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Strawberry Picking!

We loaded up the other day to pick strawberries.  It looked like it was going to rain and we only had two hours to get it done, but we were determined to get some picked!

I was glad that McKenzie was able to join us!  The berries were beautiful and plentiful!  It didn't take anytime to pick eight buckets.


Myles was so cute picking his berries.  He picked so hard and refrained from eating a single one until he was finished. :o)

Macheus on the other hand........

Her little pregnant self stooped down and picked hard too! :o)

The air force base was down the road and these fighter jets flew over us the whole time.  It was so loud, but the boys thought it was pretty cool!

Mariah made two batches of strawberry jam. We put some in the freezer for smoothies.  Hoping to go pick some more before the weather gets too warm!

Shoney's Strawberry Pie
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 pkg strawberry jello
6 T cornstarch
Cook until thick like pudding.  Add a little red food coloring and let cool.  Pour over 2 cooked pie shells with whole fresh strawberries in them.  Top with whipped cream.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mariah's Purity Ring

 Mariah received her purity ring last month.  The tradition began almost nine years ago with McKenzie!  When each of our daughters turned  thirteen, Marc took them out to a historic restaurant in our little downtown area.  It is such a sweet and special night and I can't believe our youngest daughter has already reached that milestone!

When we were searching for a ring for McKenzie, it was sort of a popular idea at the time.  It was pretty easy to find rings and we found a company that made heart rings with a keyhole in them.  They also sent a key lapel pen for the dad to wear that sort of represented the daddy "holding the key to their heart".  There was a certificate for us all to sign, and a card for the dad to present to the groom on the daughter's wedding day.  McKenzie had a part in her wedding ceremony where Marc pinned the key onto Daniel's lapel.  When Madeline came along we actually took some of my old gold rings and the company used them to make Madeline's set.  Fast-forward to this year.... I guess the company is no longer in business.  I was pretty upset that I had not ordered Mariah a ring years ago to put up, but God worked out the details and she has a beautiful sterling silver "rose bud" ring.

What was sad to me was searching the internet for certificate ideas and seeing the negativity online about the whole purity ring idea.  Seems it isn't "cool" anymore to do it.  Not sure why people would try to twist something so sweet and make it creepy, but it was sad to me.  It is such a special time with our children talking to them about doing things God's way.  Marc and I are here to protect and guide them and he is ultimately responsible to protect them until their husband takes over that role one day.  I had already talked with all three girls about the "facts of life" before  this ever takes place.  Marc talks to them more about his role of protecting them and the responsibility they have to stay under his umbrella of protection until God brings along the right one. As they get older and more mature their understanding of things of course changes.  Once they reach adulthood there is a level of responsibility they have for themselves, and it has to be the desire of their heart to remain pure both physically and emotionally. It is our hope and prayer that they always yield their lives to Christ and His ways.

   "Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23

Mariah has always been such a funny girl.  She told us years ago that she didn't want a ring on her 13th birthday, that she would rather have a gun. (Which is what we do for the boys.)  Thankfully, she changed her tune when she got older.  (Although, she is chomping at the bit to get her first gun!) :o)

On the front porch of the restaurant where they have all eaten.  This place will always be very special to us!

Mariah has been in a book study this year about girlhood and purity (among other things.)  A rose bud is a symbol of purity, but also symbolizes not pushing on to areas of life that you are not ready for.  Just like it takes time for that rose bud to become a beautiful flower in full bloom, it takes time (God's timing) to reach adulthood.

Just a side note...  When Matthew began to be out in the world more, he realized how different he was.  Guys have been curious about his lifestyle and asked him questions.  Some are rude, but some have gained a great deal of respect for him.  Matthew said he thought if he had a "guy" purity ring it would be a good conversation starter.  He has a black band with a verse or something written on it about purity.  I will have to post a picture of it another time. :o)  He has had a lot of guys at school and work ask him about it.  One of his coworkers ordered one too.  I thought that was so sweet. and it was an encouragement to Matthew.

Ok... I am headed to bed.  I will get caught up one of these days on this little blog!  Life happens much faster than I possibly could blog!  I'm trying hard to at least hit some highlights.  It is so much fun to go back and read my old posts!


Thursday, April 14, 2016

April showers....


 We have had a good bit of rain this week.  It is making everything so beautiful and green!

The pecan trees are the last to get their leaves, but they all have tiny green leaves starting to fill out the trees!

Poor girl during her morning milking.

Her assistant.  And yes, you do need a cowboy hat and gun by your side to milk! :o)
"Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Kidding Season!

 Phew!!!  It has been a busy kidding season!  It started the week of St. Patrick's Day.  Our first doe named "Ivey" gave birth to twins.  It was a boy and girl and we named the girl "Clover" and plan to keep her.  She is a big sturdy girl! 

                                                Myles.... always messing!

McKenzie came over one evening to see our babies.  She has enjoyed being closer and we have loved it!

Myles loves the "bebes". :o)

The grass is green and the horses are enjoying unending grazing days!

This is "Vanilla Swirl".  She is a thorn in our side and we decided after she kidded we would sell her.  Sad, because she is a really good milker about 1 1/2 gallons a day!) but she tears up everything out there! (We have had her mama for years and she is one of our sweetest goats.) When she gave birth she only had one very large buckling.  He was beautiful and healthy and we thought all was well.  The next day she started getting sick and by that night I thought she was dying.  We kind of thought she had another baby inside her that maybe had died.

McKenzie tried to see if she could feel for anything but didn't have any luck.

Our wonderful friend/neighbor (he is an E.R. nurse practitioner)  came down at midnight to help us with her.  Madeline and I were up until 3 A.M. He did an I.V. on her and gave her two bags of fluid.  I honestly hoped she would be either up the next morning or dead.  I really didn't want to pay a vet bill for an ultrasound and surgery. Amazingly the next day she was up and started browsing in the woods.  We gave her a week before we sold her to make sure all was well.  An Indian couple bought her and they have fallen in love with her.  We are all glad she is gone! :o)

I can't keep up with much after those two. I know "Cotton" wasn't supposed to have gotten bred, but we realized over the winter that her udder was developing.  She gave us doeling twins!  "Olive" had triplets, "Dandelion" had a buckling, "Lavender" had twins. I think we had eleven babies total.  We will keep two doelings and sell the rest.

This is "Mandrake" our AGDA Nubian sire.  He is only a year old and already a good size.

These are "Cottons" twins.

                                                    A very pregnant "Olive"!

We bought our own horn burner this year and I have become the official "horn burner". Not sure how that happened.  It isn't a pleasant task, but neither is having goats with horns!  Our goal is to eventually sell off all of our horned goats.

This is "Daisy" one of our doelings from this year.  I can't remember whose baby she is, but Madeline wants to keep her.

This was "Nillas" first morning up after being so sick.

Our last doe to kid had twins really late one night.  This little guy is beautiful!  They were so cold when Matthew and Madeline found them that we brought them inside for the night.

                                                       Mariah the shepherdess!

                                                   Just "kiddin' around"! :o)

This represents hours of work each day!  Most of our milk/egg/cheese/soap  customers appreciate the health benefit of the food we raise.  Those that balk at the prices.... need to come work a day with us and see what it is like!  Rain or shine, hot or cold..... they have to be fed, milked and nursed back to health when sick.  Not always fun, and we certainly aren't making money doing it.  We do it for the health of our own family and hope to break even!

It has been a beautiful spring!

Well, that is just a little of what is going on at our little homestead.  Our spring will be filled with milking, bottles and hopefully selling some goats! Garden has been started (although, we have a lot more work to do there!) We are expecting baby chicks next month!  Never a dull moment!