Monday, December 31, 2007

Comments

I am having a hard time getting the page to load when I click on a comment, so although I have read them (in my inbox), it takes forever or it's impossible to reply to one!
So, I will just say to Michelle: closets, drawers, and cabinets? WOW! I'm impressed. I haven't even finished with ONE ROOM yet! Started the tree house yet?
And to Teresa: Trust me, you don't WANT me to come clean off your desk! What was not in that picture was the box full of stuff that came off the desk and still doesn't have a home of it's own. :o) I hope you are feeling at least somewhat better?


Erinn took this pic by standing behind

Alex and reaching over her head to put

the camera upside down in front of her face. ;o)



Friday: Alex and Erinn were feeling sick, and so we cancelled our plans to send Alex home with GB and Loy who were going right through Hico Saturday.
Instead, Mum surprised us by coming to get Alex that very evening. Not only that, but she stopped in Fredericksburg and got groceries for us, thereby saving us a dreaded trip to town. (THANKS MUM!) She and Gabby spent the night and left the next morning at 7:30.


Saturday: butchered 15 more of the broilers. They are starting to put on fat now, so I got that done none too soon. Got almost NO WORK DONE in the bedroom.

Diamond in the wagon.

Sunday: Kris "caught" (with a .22) the 4 rogue roosters that have been terrorizing the hens, and producing all sorts of genetically inferior offspring. Also, he "caught" one of the Danish Brown Leghorns that is way beyond laying age. So, I had 5 chickens to butcher. They were tough to do compared to the broilers! Smaller, for one thing. So, I put them all immediately into my large cheese pot and cooked them with onions, celery, and carrots for about 5 hours. Delicious broth for future recipes.

We went to the arena and the school in Harper and messed around trying to figure out how the settings work on the metal detector works... but since someone lost the manual we did not figure it out.
Got a little work done in the black hole - the second corner is finished! Two to go.... *sigh* ...will I ever finish this project?
Deuteronomy 32:3
I will proclaim the name of the LORD.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!




Mooky and Erinn in our living room.


Aunt Loy making peach tea.


Mooky playing Swap.



Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Black Hole


I read this great post on the Heart of Wisdom blog about how children like to organize, and it's true! I had already planned on asking Alex to put her problem solving skills to work on how to better organize our room, and so the blog post was good encouragement. Alex was happy to help me, and she came up with some really good suggestions. I have a LOT of MNAF stuff (books, cds, calendars, magnets, envelopes, etc, etc, etc!) and also about 12 clear plastic boxes of homemade goat milk soap that needed "a place." Also lots of sewing paraphernalia....

As in, a place for everything,

and everything in it's place!


Erinn started getting sick yesterday, and felt a lot worse today. She helped carry about three things before collapsing in exhaustion on the couch. She has a terrible sounding cough and sore throat.


I am only posting this picture of the BLACK HOLE because having such dreadful proof of the mess will be good incentive to clean it up! :o) This picture was taken AFTER we had worked for about two hours boxing up everything that didn't have a place. Some of that stuff got thrown on the bed because we ran out of boxes.

Here's Erinn, in the midst of her 3.5 hour nap.


And what's this? Oh no, I think I killed her! She slept for an hour.

Actually, she feels like she is getting sick too. Uh-oh.


And, to prove that I really did do some work today, here is the finished computer area.

Mooky's Gingerbread House?

Well, since I got some requests.... I'll go ahead and post the pics that Alex took for me while I was trying to crawl my way out of the black hole otherwise known as our room.



Ooops, it came crashing down. I wonder if that had anything to do with using pumpkin pie spice in the "icing cement" rather than the cream of tartar that the recipe called for?

I'm so glad Alex took pictures because by the time I got around to it all that was left was this:

Gingerbread "Houses"



Alex's Gingerbread Tent




They obviously had a great time creating their masterpieces.

Erinn's Gingerbread Stable



More Christmas pictures...


...somehow there managed to not be any pictures of Alex on yesterday's post. Maybe it was because it was Alex herself who posted for me??! :)



Here's the pic she wanted me to choose if I HAD to put one up of her on Thunder. When I complained that I couldn't see her face or Thunder's face, she said "Precisely!"


This one is a little better, but unfortunately I managed to not get any really good ones...




We played SWAP at GB's house on Tuesday.

Kris and Christopher (15, AKA Mooky)



HUH?

Elizabeth (15) Alex (17) Erinn (11)


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

12-23-07



Mooky's first wild turkey.






GB, Elizabeth, Granny Brenda, Loy





Elizabeth and Erinn (what the heck is she doing?)





Saturday, December 22, 2007

An old photo cd.


GB found an old cd in amongst her computer stuff, and it took me forever to figure out how to get the pictures to show up. I had to download a program just to get the .pcd files to open.

And it was worth all the effort.

Erinn 2, Mooky 6, Alex 8, Timmy 10, Maliel 12, I think.

Dogs.


Red is doing a good job of barking at skunks, possums, and raccoons in the night! I presume that Hannah is sleeping right through it all, as usual. :o) Mum, why don't yall let your dogs roam around at night so you don't lose chickens?

Mooky picked four of his stitches out, and left the two most necessary ones that are right over the knuckle. But this morning he woke up and those two were gone! That area wasn't quite ready to go without the stitches, so he splinted the finger this morning to keep it straight. The cut opens a little when he bends that finger, but it is looking very clean. No infection! Still swollen though.

Mooky's cat.




This is James. He is 10 years old and he sleeps on Mooky's bed whenever he can get away with it. Mooky takes excellent care of both his cat and Erinn's. I never have to remind him to feed and water them. I do have to remind him to throw "the old man" outside now and then because he won't meeeeow at the door to be let out like Caddie does.




Erinn felt a sudden urge to ride Thunder yesterday with no boots, helmet, saddle or bridle. BAD GIRL! (Because of the lack of boots and helmet. I don't mind her riding bareback though.) Thankfully she survived the experience, and YES, I took a few pics before telling her to get off and dress herself appropriately. I'm a bad mother.



Healthy meat - and ways we torture our children.

Why do we have to practice doing this?
It's a good skill to have.
Why? I'm never going to butcher chickens again when I am grown.
Well, maybe not, but at least you will have the skill if you ever need it, or want it. You might want to feed your family healthy food one day.
OK, I already know all this. I could do one from start to finish without any help, so can I go wash dishes or something now?
You can? Great, show me!




Attaching leg ropes, to hang from tree.



Rinsing in clean cool water before dipping in the hot water.





Plucking feathers.


Cutting off the feet and eviscerating.





Friday, December 21, 2007

I could cry...

...heck, I think I did cry!

Erinn found what she thought was a blank video and recorded over it. Guess what WAS on that video tape?

Recordings of the kids when they were 2 and 6. Mooky had no front teeth! So cute. We saw the first few minutes of it, then it switched to the movie she recorded, but the quality of the tape was so bad that we couldn't watch it.

Which means, all those precious old "family movies" are deteriorating and something must be done about it! But what?

And not only that but our video camera has been out of commision for two years and that means I am missing out on recording some wonderful childhood memories. So, we either need to get the video camera fixed, and record onto the same old tapes that dont last forever. OR, we need a new video camera. Digital? What will produce the longest lasting memories? Can someone help us decide what we need to start saving for?

Guineas

The guinea with the broken leg got out of her pen in the barn, and has been hopping around on one leg ever since. Poor girl, she can't get around very good, so the other four guineas spend a lot of time hanging out with her in and around the barnyard.
Sometimes they go under the trees nearby and I wonder where the wounded one is... until I see that she is laying down resting in the middle of their group. They surround her and just hang out. Sometimes 3 of them leave to go forage, but the one male that is her partner ALWAYS stays with her.
He chases the chickens away and stands guard while she eats and drinks. He does not try to eat or drink anything himself. He just keeps watch and can hold off a surprisingly LARGE number of chickens!
We got our huge list nearly done in two days instead of four, thanks to Mooky and Erinn! They have worked so hard. Today we plan to butcher more chickens, and continue work on creating some kind of gluten free gingerbread that doesn't fall to pieces then you work with it. Mooky made some yesterday that tasted great, but wasn't sturdy enough.
A couple days ago, a 6 point buck came up near the house when I was shaking a can of corn for the goats. Surprised me! I actually went and got the gun since we really need more deer meat, and I had every opportunity to shoot him because he came within 40 feet of me several times. However, that is NOT normal wild deer behaviour and all I could of was that it was someone's pet deer and I couldn't shoot him. He had to be half tame to come up when he heard the corn in the bucket.... I was telling Kris all about it and he agreed that that was really weird and he wouldn't have shot him either. I have not actually ever shot a deer! And I don't really want to, but we do need the meat, and it would have been a perfect opportunity. We just don't see very many deer on our land because they avoid the goats. We see them all around though!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

And the winner is...

Erinn put all four names in a little box, and drew the name
MICHELLE!
Michelle (legendaryabundance) please email me with your name and address so I can get it sent to Vision Forum before the deadline. Congrats!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sed

This is the new feeder that Kris built by scrounging together various bits and pieces. He is really good at doing things like that! The reason he needed to build a tripod feeder is because there are wild pigs and wild goats, not to mention the Barbado sheep that rightfully live out at the cabin who like to ram the feeder legs to make corn spill out. It causes all sorts of damage to the feeders out there, as well as wasting corn. So, theoretically, the barrel will just swing when the critters try to knock corn out of it, and less corn will be wasted. Then hopefully they will give up trying and not cause so much damage.





This picture of Mooky (seriously thinking about eating plastic food) is from December 6 when we went to the GI in Austin. He had to fast for 6 hours before the ultrasound, so we stopped by LBJ park near Stonewall to kill some time. This display showed various foods that people of that time period ate.


Yesterday we got most of our grocery shopping done, but of course I had to forget something... The pie ingredients. Grrrr. The kids will probably make a couple pumpkin pies, an apple pie, and a lemon meringue. So, all I really need is some pumpkin and I could get that tonight in Harper when I take the kids to their 4-H meeting.

Aileas has been looking kind of thin to me, although it is really hard to tell with all that long hair. I bought some wormer pellets at TSC yesterday and she gobbled them up happily. I am making sure that she gets plenty of hay now that there isn't so much grass. She also eats cattle pellets, and all the milk she can snitch! So, I feel sure she is getting enough to eat, and hopefully the wormer will do the trick. Both cows were together for the past several days, so last night I locked The Crazy One in the barn with the goats. I latched the gate in such a way that she couldn't get out, Aileas couldn't get in, and the goats could freely go back and forth.

We have a HUGE list of things to get done today through Saturday in order to be prepared for guests on Sunday so I won't be online much.


A spinning wheel I thought Mum might like to see.

Monday, December 17, 2007

"The moment you wake up each morning,
all your wishes and hopes for
the day rush at you like wild animals.
And the first job each
morning consists of shoving it all back;
in listening to that other voice,
taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger,
stronger, quieter life come flowing in."
C.S. Lewis


"Even on days when every cinder in our soul feels cold,
if we crawl to the Word of God
and cry out for ears to hear,
the cold ashes will be lifted
and the tiny spark of life will be fanned.
For 'the law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul.'" John Piper

various things

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RED!

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Yesterday Kris (look at the fire on his hand) was
burning some brush and Mad Cow kept hanging
around right by the fire as if she appreciated the warmth!
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Well, the doctor did say he wouldn't
need another tetnus shot for ten years...
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...but if he has a mishap with THIS saw,
he's going to lose an entire finger or hand!
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Erinn helped me package up the twenty chickens we have butchered so far. The rest are hens and one rooster so they are even smaller than these were. I'll try to get half of them done this week and let the rest grow a little more before butchering. I have never had a batch of Cornish grow this slowly, but it may have something to do with the cold weather and lack of time OUT of their pen eating grass and bugs, etc. At least they have all (but one) been very healthy!

With all the butchering of chickens and fingers last week, as well as getting ready for the show, we didn't get a lot of book work done. However, they were learning! More butchering practice. Dealing with bloat in a goat. Cooking meals. Kitchen upkeep while I spent extra time working outside. Laundry practice. :o) See, all those skills will come in handy one day! Like, today. :o)

  • Today we have to take Glitter back home and mail a bunch of calendars.
  • Tomorrow we have to go to town for groceries and gingerbread house supplies. I just realized the kids have NEVER gotten to make a gingerbread house because of us not wanting them to eat much candy or sugar in any form! So, now when we decide to do it, it has to be gluten free! WOW! That is going to be hard... but they are very excited!
  • Wednesday we have a 4-H meeting, and the rest of the week we get to stay home! For us, this is an UNUSUALLY busy week!




Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hill Country Goat Classic - Dec 15, '07

No Need of Spoil - a good article!

We went to Bandera yesterday for our fourth Hill Country Goat Classic. Each year there have been fewer and fewer dairy goats entered. The ladies doing the entry forms told me that dairy goats used to make up the majority of the show. But, yesterday, we had the ONLY dairy goats there.

Erinn entered 3 goats, one in each of the appropriate age groups, so she could show one in each class. But, since no one else brought dairy goats, they put all three of her goats in one class, which meant we had to recruit helpers to show them. She IS talented and all, but it's rather hard to lead three goats around at once. Dana got first place, Glitter got second, and Velvet got third.

After that class, it was time for her to show Mooky's Boer goat (#1), so I had the goat waiting for her when she came out of the ring and we switched goats. Kris took the other two goats from the two girls who helped us. Mooky's finger is only hurting if he bumps it on something, but since you have to switch sides fairly often when you are showing a goat, he could not show #1. The judge started pulling goats out, the worst first, and having them line up on one side of the ring. Erinn's goat did not get picked first, or second, and I was very relieved! Out of thirteen goats, she ended up being 6th place. YAY!! A nice change from last place. :o) She was sad that she couldn't show Hershey, but we just couldn't risk it with her still not feeling 100%.

Quite a few people commented to us about our goats, and asked lots of "dairy goat questions" and seemed quite interested. Dana's udder was very full, so that got a lot of comments, with her being the ONLY goat in the entire show to have milk!

The cold front hit before we left home yesterday. Then, we got to Bandera BEFORE the cold front. It was almost warm there, and right before we left the cold front caught up with us. When we got home, the lean-to gate had blown open and all the animals were pigging out on hay. There were 6 bales in there that wouldn't fit in the barn loft. With goats, they just eat the hay, and probably jump all over it too. BUT, both cows AND the horse were in there which meant that the bales were no longer neatly stacked. They pulled them down and scattered them around, which made it easier for the goats to jump on EACH AND EVERY bale and probably poop on each one too. Thanks a lot.

The kids unloaded the truck and Mooky vacuumed it out while Kris gathered kindling and took firewood in the house. I spent the next hour feeding and watering chickens, giving old hay to the pig for warmth, gathering eggs, and getting everything ready for the cold night ahead.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Life is never dull.

Mooky was working on his woodworking (Christmas gifts) project and sliced his first finger on his left hand pretty deep, at and below the knuckle. It was a razor knife rather than a machete this time. And the bleeding still hadn't stopped after 3 hours so we took him to the doctor who put 6 stitches in. There was some concern that since by then it had been 4 hours and it was still gushing blood, he might have cut an artery. If it is still oozing in the morning we will have to go back in.
Gotta go get the truck loaded for an early start in the morning...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Links, etc.

Hey, Kiwi has a link to a contest too! Go check it out!

Well, I got the Vision Forum Banner up on the right and today is the LAST day to order and receive an instant rebate.

Mooky had a MUCH better day today! And the weather was so nice. We got 10 more chickens butchered, and the kids played outside for hours. It's amazing how rarely that has happened lately. Mooky just hasn't felt like playing, period. This afternoon we mailed some MNAF (click there to learn about Michael New) packages at the PO in Harper, then we went to Erinn's friend's house to pick up a goat that we are borrowing for the goat show. It's a Tiffany X Splash kid, so she is half LaMancha, half Nubian, (and that is why I sold her!) but has EXCELLENT conformation.

GB is able to sleep in her bed again! So, she called and said Kris could go pick up his chair. He is asleep in it and I suspect he is going to give it a warm welcome home by sleeping there half the night! That recliner does not look that comfy since it has wooden arms, but it is the MOST comfy chair ever.

I've only gotten 2 to 3 pounds of milk from Mad Cow the past two days. I really haven't seen her hanging out along the fence line where Aileas can stick her head through and nurse, so I am wondering if the young heifer that is on the FAR far back fence line might be pulling the same stunt? Weird. And annoying.

Hershey, who was really sick yesterday, is better today. Somewhat. Not well enough that I plan on taking her to the show though. Erinn is disappointed about that, but she understands that it would be too hard on Hershey, and we can't risk it even if she seems well by then. So, we just need to clip #1 tomorrow, since we didn't get it done today like we should have...

Vision Forum and Amazon

I have found a way to earn a little money (hopefully) to help pay for school books and educational materials for the kids.


If you are going to order from
Amazon.com or Vision Forum
and you get there by clicking on one of the links in this blog,
we will earn a small percentage.
So, if you already planned to order something, please do it through us!
It won't cost you anything extra, but it will benefit our "scholarship fund". :o)



Also, we have a
Special Giveaway Offer
from Vision Forum!



This offer ends on December 19 so please enter right away by leaving a comment on today's blog (Dec. 13) so I can get your name in the drawing.


The prize is: The League of Grateful Sons (DVD)

The winner will receive the DVD, shipped directly to them from Vision Forum. This contest is only available to those of you who read this blog, so you're not competing with everyone in the entire world!
I am working on getting the links set up in case someone wants to order, but in the meantime go ahead and enter the contest by leaving your comment below!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

10

Erinn helped me butcher 5 of the biggest broilers. I would have liked to grow them out a bit bigger, but the feed bill is WAY beyond acceptable. She got very cold and wet so I sent her in and did 5 more on my own. I really wanted to do 15 today, but the weather was frightful. Mooky helped me get things set up, but felt awful so I sent him in to clean the kitchen instead. He did a pretty good job!
Mad Cow got sent down to the back pasture. She wasn't choosing to stay out of the rain anyway, and I got tired of her pulling entire hay bales down out of the attic. That meant Aileas could be let out of the pen she was reluctantly sharing with Danny. (She immediately took off into the rain and didn't come back for hours.) And so Danny had his pen to himself again, the sick goat had the kid pen and the rest of the goats shared the barn with Thunderific, who took over MC's job of pulling the hay out of the loft. As soon as we use up the first 6 bales they won't be able to reach the rest.
Hershey is the goat we clipped last week and she was standing hunched up in the barn this morning. I gave her colloidal silver and Power Punch. Then after chores I gave her some kefir and massaged her rumen to try to relieve the pressure. Propped her up on my leg so her front end was higher than her hind end and she burped a few times. LOL. She started eating hay after that so hopefully she is on the mend. Who knows what caused that? (Karen thought it was pretty funny that I burped a goat today.)
We are getting 10 to 12 eggs a day now! ut, today we got 18. YAY! And I have all the nest areas blocked off to allow chickens in, and keep Hannah the Egg Thief out. Honestly, besides being nearly deaf, that is Hannah's only downfall.
Erinn and Mooky started their first fire in the woodburning stove today. They did a great job, of course, and it is so much warmer in here now.

Wet and Cold

Sick goat.
Nauseous boy.
Freezing cold rain. North wind.
Cold animals needing extra hay to keep warm.
Not enough barn space since some of them must be separated from others. Buck away from does, calf away from cow. All of them make way for the horse...
$90 spent on 10 days worth of chicken feed for the broilers. ($9.05/50 lbs, the cheapest unmedicated I can find.)
Solution: Butcher as many as possible over the next 3 days. Take a break on Saturday for the goat show, then get back to butchering again!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Nausea again...

Please pray for Mooky! He was 85% free of nausea and stomach pain from Thanksgiving to Dec 7, and we are so thankful for that time of him feeling "not too bad".
I don't know how or why, but the nausea is back with a vengeance. He struggled with it all day today and finally at suppertime it was so bad he couldn't eat more than a few bites. I made some peppermint tea for him, and after drinking it he went straight to bed.

For Teresa:

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Aileas loves bread, although Mad Cow won't touch it. Hannah is begging for a piece!

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