Monday, April 25, 2011

Giveaway!!!

Crystal at Homemaking on the Homestead is doing a giveaway for some Shaklee cleaning supplies.  Just in time for spring cleaning (even if spring in not coming this year we all need to do that cleaning!)  Just go to her  blog here:  http://homesteadinghomemaker.blogspot.com/2011/04/first-ever-blog-giveaway.html and follow the easy directions and you too can have a chance at this great prize!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Yarn and Bunnies

I have been able to spend a little extra time spinning this week and have three new skeins done.  I will be doing a local craft show in May, so I am trying to build up my stock!  The younger kids and I took a trip to Hickory Lane Farm to visit Kathy and to pick up one of her last English Angoras before she gets out of the bunny business!  She has been doing it a long time and has some beautiful angoras.  We have three that we purchased from her about four years ago.  In an outdoor angora life, that's pretty good!  We picked out a black one and youngest named her Kairi.  She is sweet and sitting in daughters lap in our living room as I type, she is going to get spoiled fast!  The baby bunny liter is doing well and growing fast.  We did lose three of the nine, but the six remaining are beautiful.  I was able to leave mama in with them (she is one of my best mama's) and they are FAT!  She is taking really good care of them.

It looks like the official kitchen/dining room remodel begins the end of next week with the walls getting torn out.  We will spend the weekend finishing packing up and then let the fun begin.  I don't function well in clutter, and my "kitchen" will be spread between the living room and our bedroom, so this will be interesting.

The weather is the usual, horrible, I am battling sinus issues and headaches in the midst of trying to function.  Warm sunny weather will be so much more appreciated when it gets here...if it does.

Angora yarn (the middle one is angora/Romney blend)

Living the good life...that is one fat bunny!

 Kairi, our newest black English Angora addition

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Michigan Homeschoolers

I have mentioned a couple of times here that Hubby is a host for the Blog Talk radio program Christian Devotions Speak Up!  With homeschooling near and dear to our hearts, he was able to interview Mike and Kim Winter last night on his show.  They are the couple responsible for putting together the Michigan INCH Homeschooling conference coming up May 20-21 here in Lansing.  The Christian Devotions team will be at this years conference, teaching and training writing skills to homeschooling families.  Also at the conference this year will be the keynote speaker Dr. Voddie Baucham, who is AWESOME and Eric and Leslie Ludy, who I was recently introduced to.  Just these three speakers alone are worth the price of admission! 
 
You can check out Speak Up! on the media player on my sidebar here.  Mike and Kim were on last night, the Ludy's were on last week, and Voddie was on his show last February.  All of the Christian Devotion radio shows are archived so you can listen to any or all!  Hubby does an amazing job as host...and I am not just saying that because he is my Hubby~  You can also check out the INCH (Information Network for Christian Homes) at http://www.inch.org/

Monday, April 18, 2011

Seriously?

I was outside this morning at 6 am doing animal chores.  We had green grass and birds singing.  An hour later this is what we have:
SERIOUSLY?  The weather report said "Slight snow showers NO accumulation." Seriously? 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Farm Life

Well the goat barn and pasture is up, fenced and being used!  It is so nice to have it all done.  It was snowing here again today.  I am really looking forward to some warmer weather but it doesn't look like it is too quick in coming.  The baby bunnies are doing great and growing fast.  I have been able to do some spinning today.   It seems like it has been ages since sitting down to do that.  This next week will be spent packing up our kitchen and dining rooms.  The cupboards which were supposed to take up to 4 weeks to get here, end up coming in about 2 !!!  Which is great and we get the project started sooner.  The builder isn't going to start tearing out until everything has a delivery date, so that we won't be misplaced as long.  This is the biggest house project we have ever done in our 19+ years of marriage...things will be interesting!

Girls and I on a walk down to the neighbors
 Youngest helping with the gates inside the goat pen

 The new additions, they are 5 days old!  Aren't they beautiful?  These are all for the intention of selling...but do you see the black and chocolate ones?  If they stay those colors, they will be staying here at the farm! 
 Too Sweet!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Money Pit

Well Hubby and I have given the final thumbs up for the start of our kitchen/dining room remodel!  Hopefully in about 6 weeks a huge part of our house will be brand new!  We watched the movie Money Pit a couple of weeks ago, just to get us in the mood:))  We live in an older farm house that has been "pieced" together over the years, a porch here, a bedroom there.  The biggest addition was done about 20 years ago when the owners added a family room and a new upstairs with more bedrooms.

The deeper we got into our remodel, the more we found out we would need to update some of the electrical, which added some unexpected money to the final bill.  We are ok with this (now) because we are planning on being here for awhile.  We are still curious how much others "things" are going to come into play as they start knocking down walls and pulling up floors.  One of the jokes around here is that one day they are going to find me in the basement doing dishes, because the floor finally gave out (we have some major floor issues in our kitchen).  I cook 90% of all our food here, and with being a home school family that means 3 meals a day for all of us.  We don't take fancy vacations, or go out to eat much at all, so we have decided just to bite the bullet and do this.  I am so thankful that we are able to finally do this project.  I am hoping to teach some classes here, and these new rooms will make a huge difference.  Our house is fairly small for a family of seven, about 1500 sq. ft., and not an open floor plan at all.  We are going to open up two rooms and it will be a huge change.  I will keep you posted with pictures on the progress!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Babies

Well we woke up to this:
This is Laura, she is a French Angora rabbit, and all that fur is her nest that she made.



 This is what we have now:
There are 9 of these little buggers in there!!  They are just a couple of minutes old, because I had been checking on her every few minutes and the last time I went they were all born!

Before

We are getting ready to remodel our kitchen and dining rooms.  It's going to be big, we are basically flip flopping the two rooms around.  I took pictures today as we are packing and getting things out so you could see the before (please forgive the mess, moving two rooms completely out of our house is hard:)) .  See the big space next to our stove? Well our refrigerator decided to finally quit, I say finally because we have had nothing but issues with this fridge since we bought it.  I should of know it wouldn't wait a month until the kitchen was finished!  I will keep updating as we get going on this!

Dinning Room



 Kitchen





Saturday, April 9, 2011

Goat Fence Is UP!!!!

Hubby worked all day today and the permanent goat fencing is finally up!  This more than tripled the space they had to play in.  They sure are happy out there running around all day.  Next week we hope to have the barn up and then that is one more big project we can check off the list.

We have started on our kitchen remodel too.  It is going to be BIG!  The builder came up with this amazing plan for us and we are so excited.  We are basically moving my kitchen into another room.  I will keep you updated with pictures as the construction starts soon!





Friday, April 8, 2011

Goat Barn

My Christmas present this year from Hubby were our three pygora goats.  Well, when he made the decision to finally do this (I have been wanting goats for years!!)  It was sudden and we just did it.  Unfortunately we didn't have a barn or anything for them.  What we did though has worked wonderfully and we are getting the permanent shelter up this weekend.

When we purchased our house ten years ago, I was 9 months pregnant with our fifth child.  At the time we were living in a two bedroom house and knew we needed something with just a little more space.  Ten years ago the housing market was at the top, and there was only a handful of houses for sale in our price range.  We also wanted to get in the country, but at that time had NO crazy dreams of becoming "hobby farmers".   Real estate in Michigan right now is BAD and we couldn't sell our house unless we were willing to give it away.  So we are making do with what we have.

TED
With about an acre of land we able to add a small chicken coop and have a three car garage that we have our rabbits in.  Part of the hesitation on getting goats was "Where are we going to put them?"  Last summer Hubby purchased what we now affectionately call "Ted" it is not a shed, and it is not a tent, but a mix of the two.  He originally got it to put his lawn tractor, rototiller, and other things that were in the way in the garage.  Well when we decided to get goats we also decided we could keep them in "Ted".  We weren't completely sure on this until I picked up a copy of the Mary Jane Farm magazine a couple of days later and lo and behold look what was in it:

A whole barn made from a tent/shed and pallets!!!  So that is exactly what we did.  We have had two blizzards this year (one was three days after the goats got here) and even though we lost sleep those two nights checking on the goats, the tent held up beautifully.  Over Christmas time we were able to get $100 off another "Ted" and we will be putting that up in the next week, so that Hubby can have his storage back and I can have a real goat barn with pasture area.  We started on the fencing last night.  I continue to be amazed with what you can do with one acre of land, and we are excited about not having to mow so much lawn.  With gas prices pushing $4 a gallon that is a good thing.





Home Ec 101 ~ Homeschool Style

I am continually amazed at how much my daughters can do in the kitchen.  They both can whip up a "mean" loaf of homemade bread, by themselves, cook complete meals along with desserts (I usually skip that when I cook) and know their way around the kitchen at 14 years and 12 years old, better than what I did in my mid-twenties.

This week they (along with help from our 9 year old son who also like to cook)  made homemade cheese-its from Farm Girl Cyn here http://cindy50.blogspot.com/  Cindy wasn't kidding when she said these were awesome!  We ate the entire batch in about 5 minutes.  They were soooo good, especially straight from the oven.  We will be making many more batches, only triple...or may quadruple the batch:))






Friday, April 1, 2011

Weekend

Well Old Man Winter just is not ready to leave Michigan yet.  They are predicting some snow possible tonight and that doesn't surprise me at all!  19 years ago this weekend Hubby and I were married (WOW where does time go?) and I woke up on the morning of my spring wedding to 9" of snow, due to a storm that moved in through the night.  Of course that didn't affect the best day of my life!

The girls have friends over tonight, and I have come to the conclusion that girls are much, much louder than boys.  Boys are more busy, but girls, LOUD.  I spent the evening outside enjoying the semi-warm weather and watching my boys play Frisbee and my goats dancing(?)(yes, goats dance I have decided), because Hubby "let them out to play".  Too funny, I never thought I would see goats in my yard, let alone Hubby enjoying them too.  Life is funny that way.