Friday, March 30, 2012

I Went There

Why have only one cow when you can get a second for a pretty good price? Yep, I just got home tonight from a trip a few hours north into Tennessee to look at a few Jersey cows for sale.
I might get one. This of course means we would then have 2 cows once they all get onto the property this spring.
This would also mean two baby calves this year.

It might possibly mean that I have LOST MY MIND!!!! In fact as I sit here and type I smell poo. Is it the baby? No.  Is it my shoes (sniff, sniff) No.  Maybe a dog (look around) No.  Wonder if I just spent too much time looking at cows today...but we won't go down that road yet.

Oh and my milking supplies and cheese supplies are rolling in bit by bit each day. In about 2 weeks, we will be ready:-)


On another, more somber note, there is a great book coming out Tuesday titled, "Escape from Camp 14."

It's about a young mans escape from a labor camp in North Korea. He was born in the camp and escaped in his 20's. Should you read it? Yes.
There are many countries out there in the world that are terrible and governments that commit terrible acts of crime against its people. None are as bad or as cruel as North Korea. None.

China doesn't help the situation either.

Here is a video made by my bestest friend and fighter for freedom in North Korea. Watch it and then be grateful for your country. Consider how you can help spread the word about the plight of North Korean citizens.

I hope your weekend is blessed!

***I was just informed that a dog is smelly, like she rolled in poo outside somewhere. Whew! it's not me and my crazy imagination:-)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This, That, and the Other

Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying the same glorious weather that we are having! It gets warm during the day and gets cool at night. It's the kind of weather that makes you want to play in the yard all day, and that is exactly what we have been doing!

This afternoon we walked to the mailbox, which is quite a walk, and Rose was able to stop and pick some wild flowers along the way. Sometimes I feel like I have a kazillion things to do before getting dinner started but I always try and drop everything to take the mail box walk. It's worth it and the kids love it. You know what? All my chores are still waiting when I get back and I manage to get dinner started.

This week has been busy as we are anticipating the arrival of our family cow in a couple weeks AND I also have my Basic Bee Keeping Course in a couple weeks as well. This afternoon I ordered the books I will be using as reference and I must say I am excited.

I inspected some of my hives today and they all look great. I also have some nucs I started a couple weeks ago but I didn't open those hives up. I have learned through the years that when a split or nuc is in process of raising a queen it is best to leave them alone for a good month unless it's an emergency. They all looked great from the outside and seemed calm when I walked by so I think they are doing well. I will be selling a couple of them to people who are getting started in bees this spring.

Next year we plan another Bee Class and also a backyard chicken class, complete with baby chicks. It's so nice to have a couple of long range goals and my teens will be able to help with the classes.


Now about 6 months ago I posted about my Home Made Vanilla that I was making. Well I am so pleased to tell ya'll that the stuff is divine!

I made a Cream Cheese Pound Cake and used a whole TB of my vanilla. All I can say is "WOW!"
I will be making another batch this spring so that it will be ready by Christmas for gifts. If you have any friends or family who like to bake, then this gourmet vanilla is just the thing to give!
This cake recipe was really simple and delicious too. I highly suggest you check it out!
Thank you Elizabeth's Edible Experience for the great recipe.....I might now be addicted to your blog as well!


A couple more things I wanted to share:

1.The Human Experience 
   This is a great documentary and I think it would benefit not only ourselves but our teens to watch. It's on     Netflix instant play too!

2. With all the media frenzy over birth control, I thought this would be a great post to revisit, especially for us family loving mothers. The Culture of Birth Control.
 Thank you Missy for bringing it back to my attention! If ya'll don't know Missy yet, then please go meet her. She's a hoot!

3. HSLDA is defending a family in a horrible case of "the hospital and social workers were overstretching and will hopefully gets their booties sued and will think twice before ever doing this again!" I advise all parents to read this case in astonishment, but if you home school and are members of HSLDA, please consider donating even a tiny bit help pay the legal fees. Here's the full story!

4. I want everyone to have a blessed week! Go out and enjoy the weather! Drop what you are doing tomorrow afternoon and take the kids out to play, sip on some sweet tea, and count your blessings!

I will be back on Friday!

Friday, March 23, 2012


It ALMOST happened. Almost.

We got a call from our social worker yesterday telling us that she had some 3 year old twins who were needing a home. A family. 
The state was in process of terminating the parental rights of the biological parents and these twins would be up for adoption. 
Just like that I got "the call."

Honestly? I was scared. I was worried. I was not ready.
All those months of preparation and all those months of being told that we would wait years and all those moments of telling myself not to expect a call anytime soon had not prepared me for that call. Now what?

Sadly, the social worker had very little information about these children but promised she would find out more and tell me this morning some details about the sibling group.

Last night I couldn't sleep. I had become too comfortable in my easy life. We have our day to day routine down and I all of a sudden found myself faced with a total disruption of my life and that of the family.

I was a wimp. A faithless one at that and I admit I felt very ashamed.

This morning I dug deep into my soul and remembered why we chose this path, this journey into adoption. It's not about me or us. It's about much, much more. It's about having faith and trusting Him to provide not only the finances but also providing the patience and the grace and the love.

What did I do? I called my social worker this morning and my heart was filled with joy and excitement and anticipation! This was THE moment! These are OUR children!!

Unfortunately she informed me that these kids were actually not available to us. We would have to wait. Again.

So here I am back to my comfortable and familiar routine. Only now, I am disappointed and yet hopeful at the same time. Next time, and I pray there will be a next time, I will not crouch in fear. I  will be faithful and graceful and grateful for the blessings of adoption and of family. I will be here ready.

Here's to a week of awakening.

Hope your weekend is blessed!

Friday Phone Dump (now that my teen is here to put it together for me:-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pollen Anyone?

Gotta hand it to spring! She has shown herself fully this week and has decorated every single thing with pollen.
Word on the street internet is that the pollen count was over 8000 yesterday!!!!

If your windows are open, like mine, then you will even get the pesky particles all over the inside of your house.
Thankfully we do not suffer seasonal allergies, and I contribute that to our consumption of raw, local honey and dark chocolate. And sweet tea. I can justify it any way I like.

The last few days I have been in a funk. I just haven't been very cheery and I admit that I felt stressed over...nothing. Nothing that should be stressful, anyway. Well, this morning I looked out the back door, saw the sun rising and magically kicked the funk out! Life is too short to waste on a silly mood funk.

It's been hot enough outside to justify eating more than one popsicle in a sitting and so I guess that means we have spring here for good. Time to garden.

See that large pasture? It's bermuda. Bermuda is a pain to garden around. In fact, you can't garden around it at all. This year we are going to garden in these half barrels. Devin put some paper mill felt down first and the barrels are those large plastic kind that he cut in half and then put one hole in them for drainage. Yes, they will need to be watered more often BUT that bermuda will not be my big, pesky problem this year. Nope, if I fail at growing my veggies I will only have myself to blame.......hmmmm. Anyway, this afternoon I finished shoveling the enriched soil in them. Now my seedlings just need to grow a little more and get hardened off.

Yes, that funk was only a distant memory by this afternoon. We played outside, ran in the grass, checked all the eggs in the chicken yard, and happily opened a package from the mail. The cheese making supplies and milking supplies are starting to arrive. We hope to go get our new cow April 14, which happens to also be the day I am teaching a Basic Bee Keeping Course. I am looking forward to meeting all of the attendees!

And, look! My African Violet is starting to bloom again. It's amazing what beauty you can find when you seek it!

Hope you find beauty all week long!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Adventures With Molly the Family Cow

I think I am the type of person who really thrives on being busy. Okay, it stresses me out to have too much going on, especially when it involves having to leave the house and drive somewhere. Something about having seven kids makes me really enjoy the stay at home pace versus the run around everywhere pace.
But we are not talking about that.
I am talking about how sometimes when I have too much on my plate I get motivated to actually get really busy. Crazy busy.

Case in point:
I neglected my laundry all week and then decided that we needed to change all the sheets on ALL the beds AND go through ALL the clothes to sort through them for stains, size and out of season. Note that this is not all of the dirty laundry and I also have an overflowing bucket of cloth diapers to wash. (sigh)

Well, I was motivated today. The pile of laundry made me get crazy busy and it is halfway done, folded and put away.

Speaking of having more on my plate, we drove to Powder Springs yesterday and put a down payment on our new family cow, Molly. Oh we are excited! We will pick her up in mid- April so today I sat down and ordered some of the supplies I would need to begin milking her. When she gets here you can bet she will be the subject of many posts, so I will title those posts " Adventures with Molly the Family Cow."

In fact, I am removing the "domestic Adoption" line from my header. It's not that we have given up BUT I feel silly having it on there when it could be forever before DFCS calls us with any child. Well, it feels like forever already. It has been more than a year since we first started the paperwork. We are still waiting, and waiting, and waiting for that "phone call."

The cow is going to be a lot of work, but I am looking forward to it very much. I have always wanted a Jersey milker and now that will be reality. I think all of the kids are excited as well, especially the younger group.

 The bee keeping season is in full swing and we made several splits this week from existing hives that were overflowing with bees.

 I even traveled an hour north to make some splits from my hives up there. These small hives are called nucs and they are now at my property. They will need to raise queens and that will take about a month.
My hens are still happy and laying eggs like crazy. I decided to place some eggs under a very broody hen so we will have some new chicks in three weeks.

Today's cleaning spree has inspired me to take a hard look at my own closet and stash of clothing. Okay, perhaps the fact that I can barely walk into my closet helped inspire me some as well. I do not need all these clothes. I only need some essentials and a couple nice things, right?

What do you think are really necessary to own or not own in your wardrobe?

Have a fantastic weekend!

Monday, March 12, 2012

March Madness

It is our version around anniversary and several birthdays within a week's time.

Yesterday was my second born daughter's birthday. She turned 14. Happy birthday Quinn!

Our weekend was spent having parties and eating tons of food. It was a great weekend...the way it should be when you have so many reasons to celebrate.

                                                                     *Quinn age 3*

A friend of mine posted on FB lastnight about the fallacy of a large family. Sometimes people say that two parents could not possibly have enough love within themselves to love so many children. It is a fallacy indeed. In fact that statement would only be stated by someone who has never been around a large family.

And what about the love between siblings?

                                                              *Journee age 5, Quinn age 3*

I feel sorry for those kids who do not have lots of siblings to pal around with and bond, and home schooling only strengthens that bond. You home educating, large families know exactly what I am talking about.

                                                              *Journee age 16, Quinn age 13*

These two girls are still hanging out and goofing off together and I suspect they always will.


On another note, my honey bees have been very busy! A frost last week zapped my plum trees that were blooming but my peach trees are still going strong!

Did you know about 1/3 of all the fruits and veggies we eat are pollinated by the honey bee? I know who to thank when we have peaches this year! Thank you my bee ladies!

Hope everyone has a great week! We have yet another time change (we moved one hour forward Sat. night) to get adjusted to and it stinks. It always messes us up for about a week and the little ones are a bit cranky. Okay, I get a little cranky too. Time for more coffee.

Happy Monday!!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Women Rock!

Today is the birthday of baby #3. She is no longer a baby though, she is 12 years old.

WOW! I have three teen daughters in the house now. Where did the time go?

                                                                         *Indy age 2*

A common comment from people who see me with my 5 daughters is, "Oh I feel sorry for you!" or "Just wait until they are all teens and you'll be sorry!"

                                         *Indy age 2. She attended lots of LLL Meetings as a child:-)*

How sad that so many people feel the need to degrade women.
We wonder about the self esteem of our daughters? Those comments alone are enough to make me cringe in sorrow for young women and girls everywhere who hear them. When I would go out to the store with all five little girls and strangers would make those comments in front of them, I would literally get red in the face mad. How dare a person insult someone based off their gender, to pigeon hole them as difficult, dramatic, or crazy simply because they are females.

                                                   *Indy always had a flare for bright socks as a child*

Well, I will state that I do believe and always have believed that having daughters is amazing. I would take a dozen more! Girls are not only smart, but also resourceful, reliable, witty, determined, strong, and faithful. Being beautiful too is the icing on the cake! (yes, boys are many great things too but I am discussing girls today)

The drama and antics that are the typical stereotype for teen girls is, I think, the result of parents and peers who expect that behavior. We do not have those attitudes here because more is expected of my girls.

It is an important lesson in life that children usually become what is expected of them. As parents, we keep the bar raised high so that the full potential within each child blooms.

That is my say for the day!

It is going to be beautiful outside here in Georgia! We have plans to clean chicken coops and to play outside. I have plans to finish up a quilt this week. Of course, between meals and laundry not everything gets done in a day. You know what? It's OK!

Indiana is celebrating her birthday this weekend with pizza and friends. We can't wait!

                                                         *Indiana is always up for a good time!*

Hope your day is fabulous!

Tell a  lady she is fantastic today!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Once Upon a Time...

There was this guy and this girl who were still in college, but decided after dating for 3 months to get married.

Sure they could have just lived together, you know to see how they got along, first.

But these two were truly committed. It was a dive in head first or get out of the water type of situation so they planned a little wedding over the next 3 months time.

Yep there were joy suckers in the process, people who doubted it would last. This guy and that girl paid no attention, and it was a helpful lesson to follow your heart that served them well throughout their lives.

After 7 months of being together they were wed.

Here we are now, after 18 years and 7 babies, celebrating another anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to us! Here's to diving in head first and swimming along fine through the journey!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Spring Storms

What a day yesterday!!! There was a time when we would get the occasional tornado warnings, but we never really feared because we are located in a valley that is surrounded by mountains. Last year everyone's worst nightmare came true when tornadoes ripped through our little town and the surrounding Chattanooga area.

Here we are again this year...tornado alley. We spent all day yesterday listening to the radio and weather reports and hanging out in the basement as our very warm 75 degree day was the pre-cursor to wild spring weather, tornadoes included. Today it is 20 degrees cooler outside, the sun is shining, and people in the Chattanooga area are assessing the damage from the tornadoes. Fortunately we were not affected personally, but I have a few friends who were. No injuries to my friends, thankfully.

Spring has sprung!
 We are spending more and more of our time outside, playing and cleaning up the yard.

 The children are digging up their shorts and counting the days until summer is here so they can dig out swim suits.

 My peach trees are blooming and I have noticed the bees are out more and more, collecting nectar and pollen.

 Even the bull dogs are soaking up the warmth and sun and seem to enjoy laying around and hanging out with the kids.
Who am I kidding? American Bull Dogs are a wonderful breed for kids. I put them right up there with Boxers, another family friendly dog.

 The warm weather has not only begged the bees to come work the plum trees in the orchard.....
 But it has also encouraged me to pull out my macro lens and start taking pictures of them.
It will soon be time to put honey supers on the hives and start making needed splits.


Sliders are a hit for dinner around here. I discovered an easy way to make them and thought I would share.

Take your meat, ground beef or turkey, and roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on it, and chopped onions if you wish. Bake it at 350 for about 12-15 minutes, until cooked. Soak up and grease with paper towels and then cut the sheet of meat into squares to fit your rolls or buns. It was an easy meal for this large family and would work well for a party too.


What are your plans this weekend?

Go out and make the day special!!!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...