Friday, May 18, 2012

Farm Update....

Lots happening here!  Couldn't decide which topic to post about so I'll just give a quick update on it all....
We got the garden planted outdoors a few weeks ago.  Jason found some wood boxes from an old cotton mill that we planted everything in.  We had some soil delivered to fill them with, and our compost that we started back in October was perfect!  We filled the boxes halfway with dirt then added the compost and mixed it together.  All the veggies seem to be slow growing, but they're all growing nontheless!

Grama Jo and Aunt Michele and Cousin Hudson flew in for a surprise for my birthday!  It was exciting to have them here for the weekend!  This was Michele and Hudson's first time to our home in SC.  The kids had a blast showing them all our animals.
Megan turned 15 this week!!  She also made it all the way to state for pole volting...she finished second overall, and set some new records for Southside!...that's our girl!  We are very proud of her accomplishment!  My camera was not working at her competition...sorry for the lack of pictures :(  But here she is with our traditional homemade ice cream cake for breakfast!
Caitlin and Nathan's rabbits had bunnies on May 1st!  There were 5 to begin with, but sadly, we lost 3 of them.  This was our first time as well as the mother rabbit's first time caring for newborn bunnies...we did not know she needed a seperate space to nest them in.  One was trampled to death :( and the others died because we did not realize until too late that she was not nursing them.  Once we caught on, we began force feeding the last 2 by holding her down and letting them nurse to their heart's content.  The 2 that survived are adorable!  Nate and Cait decided together to give one to Megan for her birthday.  It has fondly been named Cayla ;)  The other is being shared by Ben and Christian to help those two rascals learn some more responsibility.  It's name is Spring.  Here they are the day they were born and exactly 2 weeks later with their eyes finally opening.

The kids and I found a great strawberry patch right down the road that we spent an afternoon at.  We came home with over 17 pounds of strawberries!!  We dehydrated a bunch, which I think was everyone's favorite because they were gone so quick...we froze some for our afternoon shakes...we made some strawberry shortcakes...and we made a bunch of jars of jam!!

Today the kids and I were cleaning out the barn...things pile up, get messy.  Anyway, Christian and I were raking and shoveling out wet hay.  It's pretty gross and heavy when it's other words, it's hard work!  Christian says, "Wow mom, this is like working on a farm!"  Yes!!...we have accomplished part of our goal of moving here (at least with one child)  He is learning some hard work ethic while caring for God's creatures!  That boy brings joy to me every day :)  I love them ALL and I'm so grateful to be at home with them all day, every day.

Psalm 127:3 Children ARE a BLESSING!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Barred Rock Chicks

A few weeks ago for our 15th wedding anniversary Jason got me 20 of these cute chicks!  We have learned about the different breeds of chickens...had no idea there were so many!  Well anyway, these are my favorite.  They are barred rocks. They are called that for their black and white stripes in thier feathers that have the appearance of prison bars!  They are big and beautiful and they are prolific layers of brown eggs...300+ a year, per chicken!!

In just 3 short weeks they have complete changed their appearance.  They went from little balls of fluff that didn't do much but sit and eat to these active, loud cute birds with feathers.  We had been keeping them in another section of the barn in an enclosed tractor for safety reasons and today was their first day on pasture!!  They were so excited to be pecking in green grass!  It was really neat to watch them instinctly know what to do!  They started searching for bugs right away, chewing grass, scratching, and even already fighting each other to figure out who is going to be the top bird!  We are having an incredible time enjoying God's creatures every day!  
Ellison is now 6 months old!!  She is crawling/scooting all over!  She has so much fun playing with the chicks, and she just loves her new swing under the pecan tree :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Our Nigerian Milking Goats!!

Well, we got them sooner than expected, but that's fine with us!!  The plan was to wait until one of these pretties had babies and we would raise the babies and breed them, but the owner of these two goats decided she just had too much going on at her own farm, so we got to have them!  They are mother and daughter and we have named them Latte (the mom who is all white) and Mocha (the daughter with spots)  They are very sweet and love the attention from all of us.  We are "borrowing" a billy to mate them...hopefully soon we will have babies which means milk for us too!  In the meantime, we are just getting to know the goats and learning a lot in the process, and of course, having tons of fun!

All the kids love working and learning about all the animals, but Caitlin and Ben are definitely the fondest of living on a farm.  They enjoy every bit of it, even the tough stuff, and are the first to help mom with anything animal related.