Monday, September 29, 2014

Back from Rock Bottom, For Now

Oh morning sickness, how I loathe thee!

Last week was a very tough week. I had to spend more than a couple of days in bed trying to force food down my mouth.

I did have a couple of evenings, however, in which my energy level was better and my stomach somewhat settled. I also found a little nugget that can make me feel better for a short while.

Watermelon is the ONLY flavor that works, so I will buy a bag of mixed ranchers and offer the other flavors to my teens. It does not disappoint them in the least.

We managed to host a movie night on Saturday night and I felt pretty decent.

Of course, the back yard felt a little more "farm like" than usual due to the fact my hens and geese are currently free ranging.


The geese enjoyed walking around to scavange for dropped pieces of popcorn and chips.


We also brought Hilda the pig outside to socialize amongst everyone until the movie started. She is very good about staying near us, of course she also constantly roots for food.

After the movie I decided to let the cows back out into the yard to graze the rest of the weekend. This morning we woke up to a short episode of drizzly rain and a cow on the front steps.


Penny had already eaten all of my potted plants that I had on the ground around the porch. It seemed she wanted to nibble on the remaining potted plants. We stayed inside so as to not startle her. The last thing I wanted was for her to fall or slip. She finished off a banana pepper plant, turned around and walked back down the three steps to the ground. Once I feel well enough, I plan to empty all my pots out so as to not tempt her any longer.

Amazingly none of my children thought this scene to be unusual. Should this worry me or make me proud? Either way, it's life out here and I wouldn't trade it for a "normal" life in a million years.

I have to thank everyone for the tremendous outpour of congratulatory emails and comments about the new baby we are expecting in May. It really makes my day to read the positive feedback and support for my growing family and if I could I would give ya'll a big hug!

Today I am again feeling puny, exhausted and hungry at the same time. My goals for the day have dropped down to the bare minimum and only include feeding my kids, feeding myself and getting basic farm chores completed. I might add buying more watermelon ranchers to my list of goals too.

I feel ambitious like that today:-)

Happy Monday Ya'll!!!



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What of Your Plans

I almost bought me some new winter work pants the other day, the expensive name brand kind. I need some heavy duty pants that can hold up to winter and milk cows. I put the pants in my cart and then decided to wait.

I am glad I waited on the expense because things come up. Surprises lurk around the corner. Life happens.





My year has made some changes I did not expect. My busy spring will be scaled back and the week long vacation I was planning with Devin to San Francisco has been canceled.

Just when I think I have everything planned out and figured out, God shows me His plans, His will be done.

Just when  thought we would remain a family with 7 kids, I find out there will be an 8th.

Believe me when I say this was a surprise and a miracle at the same time, a work of Providential proportions.

I am sick and hungry at the same time, feelings I have had with all my babies. I am exhausted tired by noon, and I am excited and grateful for this new gift.




We are all very happy.

Baby #8 will appear earth side around early to mid May.

Happy Wednesday Ya'll!





Monday, September 15, 2014

It's All About Quilts and Hotdogs and Turkeys

Wow! What a week we've had over here!
To start, the AQS Quilt Show was in Chattanooga. This means I spent two full days at the show looking at beautiful quilts, volunteering as a show hostess, shopping and even taking a class.

Devin and the kids managed to keep chores done while I was gone, and I was happy to have a few days of fun.

The class I took was a fabric dyeing class taught by Cindy Lohbeck of Hands on Hand Dyes. This class was so much fun and I left with 6 yards of my own hand dyed fabric, ready for a quilt.

The fabrics were dyed using only 3 packs of dye, but we ended up with 24 different colors. I can't wait until she comes back next year, and I will be taking one of her other classes!


Saturday we had fabulous fall like weather. The breeze was so nice and the humidity was low. This, of course, means perfect back yard fire pit weather.


We had an impromptu hotdog and s'more roast for dinner. Everyone enjoyed the weather and the fire pit food.

The puppy enjoyed himself and made himself a comfy spot on Indiana's back. Silly pup.


This weekend we also decided to move the turkeys out of a chicken tractor and into a fenced area.

This chicken tractor is meant for the pastured chickens and I really needed to use it for that purpose. The turkeys also needed more room to move around.

Instead of buying another portable poultry fence (I am feeling cheap), we decided to let the hens free range and use their fence for the turkeys. I will still need to build a better rain shelter and move the fence every few days, but this seems to be working well.

The birds like the space and grass for sure, and you will not notice any complaints from the free ranging hens. My drive will be sprinkled with poo for the next couple of months, but that is not the worst thing.

The hay is also being cut, so of course it is overcast and threatening rain today. We are hoping to get it all cut, baled and put up before it starts raining...or maybe the weather is bluffing. It might not rain at all, but we could sure use some sun to dry the cut hay. Either way, it looks like we will have around 700 bales to get us through winter. Once we are done putting it all up I can let the cows back out to free range as well.

Today we get back to the books and school work. Fall is around the corner, which means more back yard fires in the near future! Hope your week is a productive one!

Happy Monday Ya'll!


Monday, September 8, 2014

The Chicken and the Cow

Chickens and cows go together.
They are best of friends. They live a symbiotic life together. They are like PB&J. You really need both!


When you have cows, you have cow patties. Lots of cow patties. Just come over here to my place for a visit and you will see for yourself how much poo exists on a farm.

Cow patties tend to attract flies. Lots of flies.


Chickens like to scratch through cow patties. They eat undigested grain and bugs, including fly larvae.
Scratched up piles fade quickly into the ground.

 
Of course this entire process fertilizes the grass. The grass grows thicker and healthier, which feeds the cows, which feeds chickens, which fertilizes the grass...etc  This is a perfect example of sustainable farming.
 
I only thought I was a dairy and chicken farmer. I am also a grass farmer.
 
 
 
If you ever needed another excuse to get more chickens or cows, well here you go! :-)
You're welcome.
 
It's gonna be a busy week here! The Quilt Show is in Chattanooga and I am lined up to volunteer and to take a class. I will update when I am able.
 
If you do not follow me on FB, go ahead and give me a like. I plan to post pictures of the week as they happen.  I am even bringing Devin along to an after quilt show party at a local bar! It should be a fun week!
 
Happy Monday Ya'll!
 




Friday, September 5, 2014

Dragon Con 2014

The last 6  months have been filled with a rather large art project for both Quinn and Devin. They decided to construct Spartan armor based of the video game Halo and wear it proudly at the Dragon Con convention in Atlanta. Journee went along to see the sights and take pictures.

This past weekend was the big event. Here are some pictures, although I apologize they are not the best quality. They were snapped with a cell phone.

Upon arrival to the convention in Atlanta, Devin found Blood Assurance set up, so he happily gave a donation in exchange for a Dragon Con themed t-shirt.


They made their suits from EVA foam. This is the type of foam you buy to place on your workout/gym floor. It comes in large squares and snaps together like a puzzle.  They used a heat gun to shape it and glue guns to stick it together, along with Velcro and snaps.
The helmets started out as paper and then was coated with fiber glass and painted.


The gravity hammer weapon and the guns are carved and shaped from insulation foam board.


Here they found a couple other Halo Spartans and posed for a group photo. Speaking of photos, it was difficult to even walk around much dressed in costume due to the many, many people wanting pictures.

Quinn happily obliged to have a picture made with this sweet little girl.

There were also many other people dressed up as every character you could possibly imagine.


We all recognize this evil character from Star Wars.

Who could this person be? Who said who???? Is there a doctor in the house?

Devin also ran into a real life actor that you might recognize from Pirates of the Caribbean.


He was very nice and was happy to pose for a quick picture. I like his pirate tattoo.

35,000 people attended this convention, which included work shops and vendors and a costume parade down the streets of Atlanta.
My crew had a fun time and they are already planning their costumes for next year.


Happy Weekend Ya'll!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Weekend "To Do" List

You know you are in a large family when there are only 5 kids home and it feels quiet.
Devin and the two oldest are headed to Atlanta to attend Dragon Con, and I am left with the farm and the remaining 5 kids.
It's sort of like a vacation. Seriously.





I am making a wheel of cheese, catching up laundry and enjoying lunch at the moment. Later today I plan to cut fabric for a quilt I am working to finish.

We will not leave the house. The kids will play and I will sew. All . Weekend. Long.



Of course this is assuming nothing major brakes or gets ill or injured, but I am keeping my glass half full.
I even promised the kids a little eating out, because there are only 6 of us. Yep...large family perspective.

Happy Weekend Ya'll! 





Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Just Jump

There are days I get nothing done. Zilch. Nada.

I tend to take on a ton of projects and there are always weeks when I just simply cannot get anything done outside caring for kids and cooking meals.

Such is the last two weeks here. Pressure builds, deadlines linger.......

Personally I have found that dropping everything and heading outside with a camera helps. Seriously.
Sometimes what we *think* is a matter of super, duper importance really isn't all that big a deal. When my brain will not function well enough to write or I have no energy to organize or clean a single thing, I head outside.

Last evening, after dinner and farm chores, I scooted out to the trampoline with the five youngest kids.

I discovered a few things:

1. At least one child of mine has a flair for drama.




2. My boys have really  long, pretty hair.




 3. Carrying heavy feed buckets can build strong arm muscles.




4. One certain daughter tries to act serious, but deep down I know she is really a total cut up.

 

5. Sisters make good team mates.


6. I am NOT as young or as athletic as I once was...but I try.



 
Starting tomorrow I am going to get busy!
Happy Hump Day Ya'll!
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