Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My day

I started today in a GREAT mood. I'm still in a good mood, but it's one of those days that have you a little drained.

First.... one of our cows got out. No big deal. The electric fence is down, but my hubby can get to it later. I chase her back in no problem. Okay....

Second.... I get a call today. We are having a head lice scare. I go into panic mode, because I've done this 3 times already in the past 6 years. And frankly. It sucks. The laundry, cleaning, head checks nightly with 3 girls with a lot of hair, and A LOT of stuff....cloth stuff, it's a nightmare. My dad (bless his heart) runs down to the school to get my daughter. He brings her home, I check her....I think we are in the clear! Hallelujah!! I don't see anything...but I treat her with a natural solution and I will keep checking her like a crazy woman. When the other 2 get home I will check them too.

Third.... I have a washer repair guy come take a look at my washer, because it's making a HORRIBLE noise. (Which, I have to say he came right over when I called, so that made it nice.) He finds the problem, oils a bearing. He's here a half hour, and asks for $130. I think I turned white and just about passed out. But trying to be thankful that it's just a bearing that needed to be oiled and nothing to serious, I write a check, and thank him so much for coming right over.

It's 1:55 pm, I don't have a clue what I'm making for dinner, because I didn't take what I needed out of the freezer, and right now my brain is a bit fried. So I am going to get off the computer, pull it together, and figure out what goes nicely with a BIG OL' BOTTLE OF WINE :)

*I maybe complaining a little, but I do realize how blessed I am to have such simple problems.

Check out my homemade hot dog bun!

I know your probably thinking..."This girl needs to get out more, she's now taking pictures of her hot dogs?" But LOOK at it! Could it have fit any better? I started squealing with delight that my HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT hot dog bun actually looks good, and tastes amazing!
My kids are the best sucker-uppers EVER. They all praised me at dinner for my awesome hot dog buns. My kids are great for my ego ;)
Anyways, I had to share. Now off to look through my seed catalog, again. Have a fantastic day!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It was a great Spring Break

This last week was filled with fun, family and deep cleaning :)

The first half of the week was full of fun adventures and crafts with my 4 kids. I am so glad I took the time off of work to do those special things with them. We plan on doing more hiking, and geocaching this summer.

The second half of the week the 3 girls went to their other parents for visitation, so my 3 and a half year old son and I had some special time together.
And on Wednesday my hubby and I were able to have a date! I had a super good time with him.

I spent time with my parents, grabbed coffee with my sisters, which we don't do very often (because of the busy personal lives we each have with our own families, house projects, farming etc.)
I'm going to make it a point to spend more time with them. We talk on the phone all the time, but its so much more special when you are face to face, smiling and laughing with them. It was great to reconnect :)

I also got some deep, spring cleaning done. We even opened the windows and doors and let some fresh, outside air in. Some of those tedious projects that have been on my to do list for almost a year, I finally tackled and completed. It feels so good to get caught up on things.

I went back to work today feeling recharged, refreshed, and ready to jump back into work. This week gave me a little sneak peak into my future. For these past few years I have been working like crazy to pay off my credit card debts. It hung over me like a bad cloud. Because I no longer have that weight, it was so freeing to take time off of work, guilt free. There is much more of that in my future, and I can't tell you how much that means to me.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chloe Mae

This is our Australian Shepard, Chloe. We got her for Christmas the year I was pregnant with our 3 and a half year old son. The first couple years she drove me CRAZY! I would ask my husband, "When will she out grow this puppy stage?!" She would test my patience at every turn. She still does things that have me wondering.

I love watching her with my husband. She is always by his side when he is outside doing his chores. When he's clipping the fields on the tractor during the summer, she's out in the field with him. She really is a great little homesteading dog. (When she's not chasing the cows or cat)

She's amazing with the kids. She loves attention, and if you sit down long enough, she wants to cuddle in your lap. She's crazy about mud puddles. She will splash, and bark, and go nuts in them :)

She's a strong girl. She's had a few accidents, kicked by a cow, hit by a car twice, yep you read that right, twice. This last time she was hit, I didn't think she was going to make it. It broke my heart to see her that way, but she pulled through. She's a good girl and very much loved.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

To My New Blogging Friends

I am sitting here this morning (with my cup of coffee in hand, yum) reading through some of my favorite blogs. I absolutely LOVE reading about what's going on in your homestead lives. You are very inspiring! It puts a smile on my face to read about my new found online friends all over the country with the same interests as I. Thank you for taking the time to give us readers a little peek into your lives. I walk away with great ideas, and motivation!

Oh! Guess what! The sun is shining here today! Heehaw! Maybe I will get some strawberry starts planted today. I read that light frost is okay for them...I hope that's true? Or should I wait? And if I do get them planted, should I throw a bit of mulch over them?

Enjoy your day everyone!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our Spring Break Adventures

*This picture was taken today on our hike/treasure hunt. Beautiful.

It's been a fun and busy few days. On Saturday we started geocaching around our town. (Geocaching is where you use a GPS to locate hidden containers.) We only found 1 on Saturday. We didn't spend to much time treasure hunting because of the rain, but it was a great start and the kids were super excited to do it again.

On Sunday I took a bee keeping class. It was very informative, and it really got me thinking that someday I will try my hand at bee keeping. But definitely in the far future. The thought of a hive out here on our property with the kids running around exploring, scares me a little. (Especially now that I know that a queen bee can set the mood for the hive, and I don't want some cranky queen bee lashing out at my children.)
I loved the class, it gave me a whole new understanding, and respect for our lovely little helpers. I would like to read up a bit more on the art of bee keeping.

Today we did some more geocaching and found 2! We did a lot of hiking, had a picnic (in the car), ran on the beach for a bit, took the kids for some ice cream, our final stop being the library. It was a great day. I loved spending time with my kids out exploring.

I'm thinking tomorrow we will take a day to stay in and work on some craft projects and do some baking.

Yay for Spring Break :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Spring

Yay! Today is the first day of Spring :) I'm so ready to get outside and start working on my garden, and prep for my future animals. The weather's been cold, windy and wet, but the feeling of it is different. It seems the sunshine will come out behind the clouds long enough to give me a sense of motivation, creativity, and happiness. It's like it's winking at me, letting me know brighter, sunnier days are near by :) Happy First Day of Spring.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I was finally able to capture a quick picture of Mable. She is a spunky one! She's doing great, very active and curious. She bounces around and is always checkin' something out.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Our weekly menu review

Since everyday this week I tried a new recipe, I though I would type up a quick review :)

Monday~ French Lentil Soup. Was not a big hit with the kids. They ate it cause they spotted the cupcakes sitting on the counter for dessert, but I don't think it's one I will make again.

Tuesday~ Sonja's Tortilla Soup. Very good! It's a keeper. It's one that I will make again sometime.

Wednesday~ Tomato Bread Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. I ran out of ham so we had just cheddar cheese. The bread smelled just like pizza when was hard not to stand over the bread machine and drool. The grilled cheese sandwiches turned out very good. The kids liked them, and said they would like them again sometime.

Thursday~ The Pot O' Gold Potato Soup was a new recipe, and even though it was okay, I won't make it again. I will stick to my original Potato Soup recipe :)

Friday~ Change in plans. I decided to make Homemade BBQ chicken pizza. Oh my golly!
It was so easy to make, and was super yummy! Plus, the money I saved on take out pizza, AMAZING! A rough estimate of my Homemade pizza was around $4.00, and a Chicken BBQ Pizza from our local pizza parlor is $24.95! AND, I didn't have to leave the house to go get it, so I saved gas :) I love little savings like these.

I need to get busy on next weeks menu. I plan on using up some things in the fridge, so I can keep the grocery bill down and the food waste to a minimum.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Spring Break

WoooWhooo! It's Spring Break! Already, can you believe it?!
I'm taking this next week off of work to hang out with my own kids and do some fun things.

I'm on a tight budget so what I've got planned so far is, Geocaching (treasure hunt), work on some arts and crafts that I already have here at the house (including a soap making kit), visit the library and stop by the local petting farm. I also have some things on my "mommy to do list" like, spring clean, taking a bunch of stuff to Goodwill, start a few seeds indoors, plant 10 strawberry plants, clean up around the property, and what ever else I can get done outside (to prep for pigs, turkey's, and chickens) would be a plus (weather permitting).

I'm also going to sneak out for a bit on Sunday and go to a bee keeping class. I'm super excited about this class. The more I can learn about ANYTHING to do with nature, gardening, livestock, I'm all for it :)

"Through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar." ~Helen Hayes

Mama Annabelle and Baby Mable

I snuck out to the barn to check on mama and baby and this is what I saw. Isn't it precious?! I decided to name her Mable. It means Lovable. I will post more pictures as soon as I can get some really good ones of her. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's a GIRL!

Annabelle had her calf!
I had been out to check on Anna a few times, and nothing. She was up eating, not acting differently at all. After my daycare kids had left I went into the kitchen and started on dinner. My DH comes home from work, walks in the door and says "Well, Why didn't you tell me?!" I was a bit confused for a second, and then it clicked. "No way!" So all 6 of us ran out to check on the new baby! She's beautiful. I'm trying to think of a good name for her. I have one in mind, but don't know if it's going to stick. I will let you know when I decide on her name.

We are all excited about our new homestead addition :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Credit Card Debt Free

I'm so excited I had to share! I am officially credit card debt free. After 11 years of going around on this hamster wheel of credit cards, I paid my last one off! :) What a feeling of freedom, and relief. I feel as if I can breath.

A year and a half ago, I was maxed out. $6,000 maxed out. I was barely able to pay the minimums some months. But I decided on January 1st of 2010 I was going to make a change and get this taken care of, once and for all.

I sat down with my bills and started going over them with a fine tooth comb and seeing where we could make some cut backs. I started recycling, which saved us money in garbage service and blossomed into doing something good for our planet. (Now I couldn't imagine not recycling, simply for the pure satisfaction of keeping as much from going into the landfill as I can.) I cut our cell phones back, and our cable. Just in these 3 basic areas, I saved over $606.00 this last year alone. And we didn't feel as if we were sacrificing anything. These little changes added up big!

What a fabulous feeling to see those credit card balances becoming lower and lower :)

They won't be getting my money no more! ;)

*Happy Dance*

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Weekly Menu

I'm pretty proud of the different meals I've been pulling together lately. I love to look online for different recipes and ideas. My family is great about trying something new. We all vote if it's a "keeper" or not. :)

So my weekly dinner menu is lookin' like this~

Sunday~ leftovers

Monday~ French Lentil Soup, and Homemade French Bread (We are trying meatless Mondays)

Tuesday~ Sonja's Tortilla Soup

Wednesday~ Tomato Bread Grilled Cheese and Ham Sandwiches and Salad

Thursday~ St. Patricks Day Corned Beef, Pot O' Gold Potato Soup and a Shamrock Drink

Friday~ Elk Steaks, roasted cauliflower and garlic rolls

Saturday~ Lemon Shrimp and Pasta, and Asparagus

I'm excited to try these new recipes :)

Still Waiting

Yep, we're still waiting on a calf. I think I've worn a path to the barn and back. Awaiting this upcoming event, I decided to research online Cow labor and delivery. I learned some really fun and interesting facts about cows.

I didn't realize there were so many titles for a female cow. Like, Heifer is what you call a young female cow that has not yet had a calf. A Springer is a Heifer that's getting ready to calve (that would be Anna), and a Cow is what you call her after she has a calf. A Bull is a male cow, and a Steer is a male cow that has been castrated. See how this can be confusing?!

Another thing that made me go "oh, huh", I didn't realize cows laid down to calve. So every time I saw Anna laying down I would think to myself "Oh I think it's getting to be time." She would stand up and look at me like "What?"

Oh well, the anticipation of everything is fun and exciting. It's a great learning experience for me, and I'm sure entertaining to my husband. :)

I will keep you posted.
Yesterday morning at 5:15 am I rolled over to turn my cell phone alarm off, and realized a friend had sent me a text message at 2:16 am. It said "Earthquake in Japan, Tsunami warning for the Oregon Coast." I told my husband to grab the remote, we turned on the tv and laid there watching the news footage. As we watched, our hearts became very heavy. My heart is aching for the people that were effected by this disaster. My thoughts and prayers are with you Japan.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My New Toy

I finally broke down and bought a bread machine. I am very happy with it!

I love throwing a bunch of basic ingredients in the machine, pushing a button and having it do the dirty work for me. (It's hard for me to walk away and leave it though, I watch it like a hawk.)

So far I've made Egg Bread, Whole Wheat Bread, Oatmeal Bread, Focaccia Bread, Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns, Cinnamon Rolls and Pizza Dough. I love the idea of having fresh breads, corn syrup and preservative free at the push of a button. Another step towards healthier eating :)

We're expecting!

A calf that is! Anytime. Annabell was our first Hereford we got from a local beef rancher. When we first got her, she was a tiny calf that needed to be bucket fed. Every morning and every evening I would go to the barn and feed her. She was my four legged baby. I loved the way she would lean into me and slobber up my hand with her wet kisses. But as she got older and bigger and didn't need to be bucket fed, I didn't spend as much time with her and just let her be a cow. But out of all the 4 we have now, shes the only one that lets me pet her. She has a special spot in my heart. And now shes expecting! She is starting to show signs of calving. I'm anxious and excited. I hope everything goes well for her.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'm back

I'm excited, motivated, inspired and oh so happy!

The moment I turned the calendar to March, it's like a fire ignited inside me. I'm ready to raise animals, plant my garden, get my kids outside in the fresh air, and have them get dirty.
I will try to keep up with blogging about my ongoing progress around the ol' farm here. (I've got lots to learn.)

I'm also trying to make more food from scratch. I want to share some of my meals, because well, I've become pretty proud of them!

I'm sure things that I will post here will have you wondering about my high school education. Please keep in mind, I'm trying really hard to not think about how it sounds to you all, but type out my thoughts as I would a journal. Thanks for taking the time to read my rambling. :)