Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas and Ice Storm

I have been absent from the blog lately due to the season I am in right now. We are still knee deep in foster care, one foster son returned to his dad and a relationship formed with that family, which is exciting to see and it continues. We have another 2 year old girl that has been here since the beginning of November. It is looking like right now she will be with us long term right now. This is by far the most difficult and sad case we have been involved in. I sat in court for three hours this week almost in tears listening to the circumstances surrounding this sweet little girl's life. I like my bubble. I don't want to know that this kind of stuff happens other than in the movies, but it does folks, everyday. So the Christmas season has been full and our house has a revolving door for people right now, which is perfect. Our weekend began with an ice storm that shut down most of the town. We are praying for many people without power still tonight. The pictures around the farm are beautiful though. Merry Christmas and God bless from our family to yours!!



Friday, November 15, 2013

Class Cancelled

The felted angora earring class has been cancelled for tomorrow here at the farm.  If more people are interested let me know and I will reschedule!

Friday, October 25, 2013

(A Chilly) Friday on the Farm

I feel so blessed to live in an area with all four beautiful seasons!  With heavy frost the last two mornings, and snow spitting earlier this week I know that winter is just around the corner.  We have accomplished most things we wanted to this fall.  There is 1/2 of grass fed Angus beef in the freezer, 26 Freedom Ranger chickens raised mainly on grass, and 3 heritage breed turkeys.  Yes, this was the last of the the turkey raising for us.  Our dreams of continuing this breed and raising them to sell just didn't work out.  So now I have two empty pens in the backyard to make plans for colony raising rabbits outdoors in the fresh air and not in cages.  Hubby finished most of the new compost bin last night, I had said this before, but I am amazed at what you can do with a few free pallets and some labor.  The apples and pears are off the trees, we had a bumper crop this year and are still trying to get them stored.  We made our own apple cider this week, if you have a juicer machine try it for yourself.  It is super easy and so yummy.  The last count we had on canning was 292 quarts!  Yes, you read that right! Minus the ones we had already eaten or given away, so I figure it was easily over 300 quarts this year.  All from our 1 acre of land!  I could have had even more, but I struggled with a serious virus that took me down for about 2 weeks so some garden stuff went to the chickens this year.  

I walked outside one morning this week to "peeps" that sounded so much like baby chicks.  After some investigating, sure enough one of our free ranging hens hatched out 9 chicks!  So far they are all doing well.  Hopefully that snow holds off a few more weeks though to give the little one some extra time before winter truly hits.  I don't know what she was thinking.


Frost on the flowers that are left

Three of the nine

Look closely under the front of mamma, you will see little toes...

Trying to take cover

Last one, I promise;)

New compost bins

Empty pens, waiting for rabbits

Jeffrey and Daisy

Sly cat...

Tumtum and Nutmeg

Mittens by the fire

Beautiful view of the back forty

Sun coming up on a frosty cold morning

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Come Visit Our Farm!!!

Our farm has the privilege of being involved this year in the Michigan Holiday Fiber Trail.  Our farm will be open on December 7, 2013 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  You can just come to visit and say hi, take a tour of our small farm and pet the angora bunnies, pygora goats, or alpacas. Our home will be open for Christmas shopping, where we will have homemade knitted and crocheted products and fiber products from our very own animals.  If you are in the Mid-Michigan area don't miss this fun opportunity to kick off the holiday! If you aren't close to us, there are plenty more farms to visit on that day throughout the state of Michigan.  You will be amazed to see what our great state produces and support other small farms like ours!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

End of Summer

We are trying to soak in every last bit of summer we can this year.  We have spent time fishing with friends, playing tennis, and the usual gardening and canning that come at this time of the year. I say this every year, the older I get the quicker time goes.  We still have our 2 year old foster son, but unfortunately the powers that be decided to move our 2 year old girl to a relatives home.  It was hard on all of us.  That will be the thing that I never get used to. Kids coming in and out of our home.  I do still see her a couple times a week on my visitation run (another thing I struggle with).  She is doing well, but last night decided she wanted to come home with me and was very upset she couldn't, again something that breaks my heart.

When Hubby and I were dating and in our early marriage, we spent almost every evening playing tennis with my family.  My Dad, brother-in-law, and sisters would all join in the fun.  We haven't done it in years. To be honest we all got old. LOL.  Our kids are NOT sport kids.  We have done the soccer, dance, bowling, baseball thing over the years with all of them, but nothing ever stuck with any of them.  They are much more into their music and all play instruments and sing.  This last week Hubby wanted to do something, so decided to take them all out to try tennis.  They loved it, even two of our boys who just don't get into sports.  We had a blast and have spent a couple of days at the courts in the last week. I even got in on some of the fun and smoked my "big boys" a couple of times!  

The last week in our small town we saw 5 or 6 unexpected deaths of people under the age of 45. Three because of car accidents, including a 7 year old little boy. One to health issues, and unfortunately one was my cousin who took his own life.  A 42 year old dad of 5 kids and the 7 year old were both in our local foster care system. The little guys was adopted within the system family and the dad had three adopted children through the system and his wife was the one who trained us for our license.  It has been a sad week of the question "Why?" rolling through my head many times. 

Spend time with your family this weekend and love on them, because you never know when your time here is up.















Friday, August 2, 2013

Real Life

I started reading a book last night and it talked about other people's impressions of our lives.  What people may see (or assume)in our lives on the outside is perfection, but real life happens.  I am as guilty as the next person.  I love to go through blogs or Pinterest to be inspired by others, and then what happens is discontentment in my own life or what I have been blessed with.  Hubby also got me thinking last night about enjoying what we have now.  Our dream is to move to a lake some day.  That maybe all it ever is, a dream.  Both of us come from families that are "planters". Our folks have both lived in the same houses for 40+ years.  This is our 3rd home and this probably will be it for us too, but, it still is fun to dream. Now I have been told that I always have it together.  I just have to laugh, because right now it is 10 a.m. and I am still in my p.j.'s. Don't get me wrong,  I have been up for hours, worked on 2 website and did some social media, got the littles breakfast, dressed and around, did outside animal chores (Yes, in my p.j.'s, oh, what the neighbors must think!) but sometimes my creative spirit gets in the way of things like showers and getting dressed. That's okay!

When I look at my life and all the stuff I have going on and have to accomplish, I often think about getting rid of things that are unnecessary.  The hand-spinning, fiber animals, crocheting, knitting, soap making, lost arts kind of things could all go.  But God created me to be, well, creative.  Look around at the beauty of the world, do you expect anything less from Him? But, to be able to accomplish all that I do, I sometimes slack on the everyday stuff.  So please don't ever stop by without warning me first (just kidding)! Just don't be surprised if this is some of the stuff you see from this wife, homeschool mom of 5, foster mom of 2, creative-overflow farm chick.

There is laundry on the table, the bed isn't made, toys on the floor, my desk is, well...my desk, the last three pictures are our "spare 'oom" it doesn't typically look this bad, but I am sorting through curriculum to start homeschool in a couple of weeks and I only get chunks of time to do this right now.  One of those pile is papers for two of the older kids to get into the transcripts for last year.  Don't worry I will finish it before we start this year...maybe.  But I know where everything is!

I hope my Mom, or Mom-in-love doesn't see this, and I am sure Grandma Great is turning over in her grave right now.  Sorry Gram, but this is Real Life!







Friday on the Farm

August. Are you serious? Every summer I say this isn't going to happen and it does. Summer flies by. School will be starting in a few weeks.  Eldest will be heading back to college. I will be embarking on my 12th+ year of homeschool with a senior, junior, freshman, 7th grader and 2 preschoolers this year (fosters are still with us) I am scared in more ways than one. I realize that in 5 short years our homeschool adventure may be done. With the possible option of adopting again, I wonder if I can do this for...16 more years!!!  My son reminded me that God will make that possible, and I am learning to live day to day and not in "What if land".

Our garden seems to be in stand-still mode, as we went from 100 degree days that were unbearable to 60 and 70 degrees during the day and 40's at night!  We are picking beans and cukes and that is about it. I am still hopeful though.  There are hundreds of green tomatoes on the vines and summer isn't done yet.  I haven't canned anything yet, because we just aren't getting any big quantity of anything. I spent most of the first 6 weeks of summer with back issues that kept me down more than I ever care to be.  I am finally feeling human again and my canner is ready, so bring it on!

There are a lot of fun pictures to share with you this week.  Although you will only see the back of the littles (or their stinky feet;), Michigan has a rule about not putting photos of foster kids on line at all) they are still here and thriving.  I am amazed at our 2 year old foster son.  He came here 6 months ago, literally a blank canvas.  He has grown and blossomed in amazing ways and now is a masterpiece. Foster daughter is doing well also, although being a bit older and smart as whip, she gets caught up into the "stuff" more.  It sickens me to see how much "junk" we adults will allow into our lives even to the point of losing our children. The system is so broken (like everything else in this world) and re-unification with the parents is always first and foremost the goal.  The parents have few consequences to their actions and as long as they are following the rules for the time being, they can see their kids and eventually get them back. Not always a good fit, but everyone is happy and no one has over stepped their boundaries....yea right. My personal opinion is this; if you have gotten to the point where the broken system has had to step in, you don't deserve to have them back.  Sorry folks, I have been doing this long enough to know, most of the time selfish people don't change. And, if your children have to come to a strangers home to find love and safety because no responsible relative can be found, then there is a generational issue going on that goes much deeper.  

Off my soapbox and on to better things today!

Feeding the giraffes

Cool birds at zoo

Angora yarn drying

Some flowers at the farm

My boys like to climb on roofs...they don't get this from me.

Our "pool" garden

Eggplant slowly coming

Dirty, piggy, farm kid feet.  We are training them well.

Alpacas

Everyone got fresh bedding last night, the chickens are loving it.

Freedom Ranger meat birds are doing well

The kids have been weeding!

Rogue sunflowers from the birds seed 

Mama and daddy turkey

Strutting his stuff

Red delicious

Courtlands

Courtlands

Pears galore!

Something's up!

Aren't they cute?

Alex, still my fav.

Malachi...they don't like our dog at all, he was letting me know. 

Got grass? Santana

New baby here at the farm

She is laying on her second nest for the year. 

She hatched out 5 babies last week.

Aren't I cute?

More hay please?