Friday, November 26, 2010

Blessings

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at my folk's house yesterday with all the family and a lot of food!!  I am feeling even more blessed today (and old) as our oldest son turns 17 today!!!  I am just amazed as the kids get older, I look back and remember myself being 17 like it was yesterday.  Time is such a weird thing.  Every year as we get into the holidays, so many things seem like "we just did this a couple of weeks ago".  I realize that with Christmas being on a Sat. this year, it seems like there isn't enough weekends to get all the stuff done.

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that we had some big changes going on here.  Tomorrow morning Hubby, a few of the kids and I are traveling 2 hours to a pygora goat farm to see what they have !!!  Yes, after years of begging, mentioning, more begging and then just giving up, Hubby called the other day and said we are getting goats!!  I am very excited, but nervous at the same time.  This will be the biggest farm animal yet, so there is a lot to learn.  I have been reading and researching on goats in general.  I chose the pygoras, because I am a spinner so I wanted a fiber goat, but they can also be milked and I am also a cheese maker so this breed will cover both.  I am not sure we are picking any out tomorrow yet or just going to pick her brain.

There have been some disappointments here in the middle of joy (isn't that just life?). I am realizing how very different our lifestyle choices are, between homeschooling and now a family integrated home church. We also found out that the closest people to us don't even understand. I am coming to terms with that and realizing that we aren't here to make other people comfortable and happy with our choices. I am going through a lesson in understanding and patience.






 Fruit turkey, made by our wonderful friends!
 Hubby's traditional Thanksgiving nap...weird things always seem to happen to him:)
 B. holding my niece who is fast asleep.
17 year old Nolan and his birthday duduk

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Goodwill Shopping

I read somewhere the other day that shopping at stores like Goodwill and buying items used is the new "cool".  I don't think five or ten years ago this would have been the case.  I can remember back to a time when buying used just wasn't something that a person talked about!  I have been on a mission the last month or two to see how much is possible to buy at stores like this.  I am proud to say that I have done quite well too.  I have re-stock our constantly growing "brood" of five kids with some pretty nice clothing.  I have found items with the tags still on.  I have purchased expensive, brand name clothing for $2.99 or less.  I purchase an expensive winter coat for my daughter for less than $5.00. I am excited!  It has become a challenge for me to see what I can find used.  The only disappointment I have had so far has been a $5.99 VCR that did not work.  That is when you need to be careful to look over the items really well, as I have come home realizing that I purchased a shirt with a rip in it or stain that won't come out.  We also do our part to donate all of our out-grown or un-used items right back to these places, so the circle can continue.  These are some of our latest finds:

 I collect old wooden files boxes (don't ask, I think it may be the wannbe librarian coming out in me:) this cost me a whole whopping $0.99!
I paid $9.99 for the rocking chair!!!  It is so comfortable, once I sat in it, I was hooked.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tis' The Season

Well, it is official, Christmas music is on the local radio stations, and XM started their stations today, so now I can listen without guilt!  I LOVE Christmas music.  I could listen in July if my family would let me.  I don't know what it is but it just comforting to have Christmas music playing in the background even if there isn't snow on the ground (or in the air even) yet.  There is always a lot going on around here, but as the holidays come up fast, I am putting in my heels and hoping for some simplicity this year as I do every year.  Homemaker Ang at http://eclecticculturefarm.blogspot.com/  has a great post on what are we going to do to make changes to make a difference in how we live.  She has a  whole lot more to say too (add applause here:))

I think this is one of the things that I continue to work on in our family.  We are far from being where I would love to be, but we have done the basics.  We have not had cable or satellite in years (and yes we are still okay), we don't watch a lot of t.v. anyways so that helps.  Our kids don't all have cell phones, as I would have to go back to work just to be able to afford this.  We have one cell phone that our oldest uses as he has become a driver this year and does a lot of running for us.  He doesn't have his own car, and probably won't until he can afford this himself.  He is not suffering one bit from these choices.   I love Homemaker Ang's post right now because she is talking about some "insignificant" things that I love to hear about.  She talks about how they save money on things like skin care, and other things like this.

We have some really big things happening in our family right now.  I won't go into details yet and may not on some of them.  One of these is going to affect our family in a big way, but we are being led by God in this and feel that we can't continue doing what we are doing in some things.  The other biggie has to do with our "farm".  If this one happens I will be sharing!!!!! 

As I post right now I am listening to my Hubby's Blog Talk radio show, Christian Devotions Speak Up!  He has Ginny Dent Brant on tonight.  She has an awesome story.  Her dad was one of President Nixon's closest aides and was there during Watergate, but not involved.  He was one of two people who didn't go to prison for this.  If you want to listen to some really neat history go and listen to the show that will continue to stream in the archives at www.christiandevotions.us

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday on Tail Spin Farm

The weather has been beautiful this week, but I am so ready for snow!!  We have been keeping busy with school and projects.  I have been grooming rabbits and listing angora yarn on my shop for the last week.  Hubby leaves tomorrow for Penn. on a business trip and taking our youngest daughter with him.  He does this once a year with our kids, they love it although my youngest is trying to weasel his way into going on this trip, he doesn't think he will make it until next fall.  My Hubby's birthday is tomorrow so we are celebrating tonight.  It's a big one:) so I am certain that this business trip was scheduled this week on purpose, I think he was afraid of a birthday party.  My "big one" will be coming next year and there is no way that I want a party, so I won't do it to him!!
 Homemade Crème Fraiche
 Kombucha Tea
 My outside boy enjoying the sun
Koko, one of our French angoras

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy Birthday!!

Today is our second son's 15th birthday.  I can't believe it.  He is almost as tall as his dad.  We spent the afternoon at Elderly Music looking for a new guitar for him.  He has been saving his money for a while and he got the rest for his birthday today.  He is AMAZING on his guitar and truly loves it! Happy Birthday Cameron!!  We love you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Crisp Michigan Mornings

Well I think it is officially time to get out the hat and mitten bucket here.  The last two mornings have been COLD.  We haven't gotten any snow yet, but they say there is a chance on Friday.  Things have been busy here and I wish I could say it was doing things here, but it seems the last few weeks have been spent just
"doing".  I always start to re-evaluate the stuff we are doing and wonder if a lot of it is worth the time we put into it.  With the holidays quickly approaching I am hoping to get all of us into a mood of thankfulness for what we have and get out of the rut of what we want or need.  Of course I have to get to the front of the line for that one:)  I am my own worst enemy some days.  The turkeys are getting nice and big and I think we are almost to the point for the hens to start laying, which is what we hope for.  I have one angora rabbit that is due either today or tomorrow.  That is the beauty of breeding angoras, it is almost always 30 or 31 days so we are prepared.  I still am longing (and doing my share of hinting with hubby) for Pygora goats this coming spring.  These animals would be two-fold as they are fiber animals, but they also give milk, which means fiber for spinning, and milk for cheese and soap (which I am making on a regular basis now).  Last Friday I took some time just for me, which can be almost impossible some days, and actually left the house to go and spin with Maple at North Star Alpacas.  She is a wonderful person and so full of knowledge.  If you are a spinner, knitter, crocheter, or just all-around fiber freak you can find her shop here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/northstaralpacas  I brought her some angora to use and she ended up spinning it with three other fibers from farms here in Michigan and "promoting" me in her shop!  She called it "Michigan Luxury Batts" and it looks like it already sold!  I will be doing a small craft show on Saturday, and with Maple's help I have some ideas for my etsy shop.  I continue to hope that I can at least start funding some of my passions.  I will leave you with some pictures taken here this week! Blessings!

 Sunrise on a cold morning

 Frost on the flowers
Frozen water buckets...ugh!