What uncommon things do we want to become common?
our children having mutual love and respect for each other.our teenage children having love, honor, respect and obedience for their parents.
us continually becoming better friends and lovers.
our family totally trusting God in all things and putting our faith in Him to fulfill his promises.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Every father should have the chance to baptize his son. It's truly priceless. Especially in his own river. Sterling, You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased. Welcome to the great adventure that is living in the Kingdom of God.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
I've been wanting a real greenhouse for a long time. The big ones worth having cost way too much (thousands of dollars) and the small ones don't seem worth it. In the past we've made small homemade ones out of tomato cage wire and thick clear plastic, but the wind would always tear them up pretty fast. After that Creg and the kids made me one out of old windows we got for free. That did pretty well except when we would be gone all day and I wasn't there to regulate the temperature. I killed all my tomato and pepper plant seedlings two years in a row because it was too cold to open the lid when I left home that morning and by the time I got home that evening it was sunny and very warm and all the plants were scorched. I thought my dreams of growing my own vegetable plants from seedlings were gone. I would have to surrender my self-sufficient ways and buy transplants at the garden center.
But this year is going to be different. I think I hit the jack pot! A friend of ours was renting a house in town and discovered an abandoned greenhouse next door. While we were talking one day she told me about it. We contacted the man, went to look at it and bought it for a great price. It is 9' x 20', a very nice size. It has a watering system, electric plugs, fans and vents for cooling, a time and temperature thermostat that will turn the fans on at a set temperature. The greenhouse is made with a redwood frame and is insulated with 10 mil polycarbonate panels. Plus it came with tables and racks and lots of pots.
It's not new by any means. It needs a new paint job, a few boards need to be replaced, and a fan needs some work, but this greenhouse is perfect for me.
After we bought it I was so excited...what a DEAL!!! I was all fired up about it until we started discussing how we were going to move it to our house. This monster greenhouse is quite a bit bigger than our trailer (2' wider and 4' longer). How were we going to move it? It looked too complicated to take apart and put back together again. What could we do? After much deliberation we decided we could take down 2 of the back fence panels in his yard, pull out one fence pole, and get about 12 strong backs to help us walk it out of the yard and onto our trailer. This was no small feat! There were trees and bushes to dodge, cinder blocks to step over, and the greenhouse was so long we had to work together in unison or something might break.
We called a bunch of our friends from Hope Church to meet us Saturday morning at 10am for the big move. When Creg & several others started to lift the house up with a crowbar the corner started to come apart. Oh no! Our plan was ruined before we started. However, with 14 helpers & several long wood boards for bracing, human ingenuity triumphed. When we slowly but surely got it onto the trailer, the previous owner commented, "Well, you've already surpassed my expectations." It took a lot of thinking and rearranging the boards and bracing for the house to be road worthy, but with the help of several smart engineering minds we were ready to head toward the farm after 2 hours of work. One pickup followed behind Creg with their hazard lights on and 3 or 4 guys rode in the back of our pickup to make sure no problems occurred during the drive home. We had to add several cross straps to the inside of the greenhouse when Creg made that first turn out of the alley (the whole thing wobbled terribly back and forth). After that final touch of genius, we slowly made it home safe and sound.
I am so thankful for my hardworking, patient, quick-thinking husband, and for all of our friends who came and gave of their time and energy and know-how to make it possible for me to have such a great greenhouse. THANKS EVERYONE!
We've been expecting Milkshake to have babies any day now for the past week. It's hard for Samantha to be patient when she knows how much fun baby goats are, especially when she gets to bottle feed them and be their mother. Samantha's been faithful to check on Milkshake regularly to see if it's "time." She's even stayed home a few times this week when we needed to go to town so she wouldn't miss the big event. Of course she just missed seeing them born for the second year in a row. They were born early Saturday morning around 6 am. Samantha named the girl, Star, and the boy, Frosty. They are healthy and happy and cute as can be.
Since they are newborns, we must feed them every 4 hours the first day. We had a job to do in town that morning, so we put them in a box and brought them with us. It's fun to show them off because they are so adorable.
We're expecting more baby goats in a couple of weeks from our other milk goat, Cinnamon. Then bottle feeding time will be even more exciting and more wonderful than it is now.
Spring is here. That means it's time for baby chicks. On Monday morning we received an order in the mail of 50 Freedom Ranger chicks. They are our new favorite meat breed. In 12 weeks they will be full grown and ready to butcher.
That same day we went to ACCO and bought 20 more egg layer chicks to go along with them. Now we have to decide who is going to take care of them.
Since our humble beginnings of living life on a farm, we have grown in our knowledge of homesteading by leaps and bounds. We certainly don't claim to know it all. In fact, we have learned a lot of what NOT to do. One of the most recent sore spots is in the area of raising sheep for meat.
We haven't had very much luck with our sheep raising endeavors. When we first decided to raise sheep for meat in 2009, we bought two ewes that summer with the hopes of raising a small herd. But that fall we realized they were too small to breed so we had to wait until the next fall, 2010. In the process of waiting, we bought a young ram to breed with them. Apparently he wasn't ready either because he didn't do his job and the following spring, 2011, we had no babies. This last year the ram still showed no outward signs that he was the least bit interested in our ewes and we thought he must be sterile or something, so this winter with the help of the Hufstedler crew, we butchered him and put him in the freezer. We might as well get some use out of him.
But a few weeks ago Samantha noticed that Fluffy's udder was becoming quite large. Could she be pregnant? No way! That ram never made a move or even a hint of a move in the year and a half we had him. But her udder was growing round. Sierra had read of animals having false pregnancy, where they show signs of being pregnant, but aren't. We thought that might be happening. However, on the morning of March 22, 2012, Sierra found 2 baby lambs in the sheep shelter! We couldn't believe it! Then on the 28th the other sheep, Fleecy, had one! Ugh. I feel kind of sheepish now.